Just A Little Fury

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WHY LEAVE ANYTHING

YOU THIEVING BASTARD?

Tammy Lynne spray-painted that question onto a piece of plywood, dragged it to the end of the driveway and leaned it against the mail post for all the world to see (well, at least the folks who screamed by in their cars and trucks along Route 481).

Tammy had returned home from her afternoon shift at the clinic only to discover that nearly the entire contents of the small cabin she shared with her husband Kevin had been removed.  He left the bed, her dresser, a few chipped dishes, dented pots and pans, the worn couch, her CD player and all of her music.

The walls were bare. All of the art work that had served as memorabilia from their backpacking trips abroad had vanished. The pieces were the only thing of value that they owned. Well, maybe the snow blower and the tools; they were gone too along with the desktop computer that Kevin’s parents gave them as an anniversary present last year. He had the audacity to even take that with him too. Luckily, she saved all of her important information on thumbnail drives. Including those friggin’ incriminating emails between him and that case manager at the hospital. Did Kevin really think she would be that ignorant not to notice how those two looked at each other at the last hospital fundraiser? He spent most of the night ignoring her. Humiliated,Tammy spent it nursing one too many drinks at the bar and fending off the paws of Kevin’s mentor, Phil Keeley. He was one of those docs with big egos and small brains who was constantly trying to get in every woman’s pants except his wife’s. Tammy was sure the night ended badly because when she woke up the next morning, Kevin was sleeping on the couch.

Good thing he had no clue where she kept her secret stash of Hendrick’s gin. The stuff was expensive and hard to find. But Bobby, the bartender down at the Newtowne Tavern, was able to score some for her last month and didn’t charge her for it. She would probably have to find a way to return the favor someday. And Tammy knew exactly what Bobby liked as payments for his good deeds. Heck, he was a hottie; she might even enjoy paying back that debt.

In fact, it was the Hendrick’s that inspired her work of art. She was two drinks down and working on her third, listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s  “Tuesday’s Gone” when the idea came to her. She found the plywood and paint in the shed. In her drunken stupor and the coming light, she tattooed her anger on a 10×12 sheet of pine.

*An older story that I found hiding on a piece of paper in one of my writer’s notebooks. Inspired by something I observed on a road trip last summer.

Tangled Vines

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Greta waited until her husband was fast asleep. Then she’d tiptoe out of their bedroom, pull on her overcoat and mud kickers and practically run to the barn. She need not have worried about waking the sleeping giant next to her. Bert usually drank himself to sleep most nights. As long as she fed him three squares a day, he usually left her alone. After a full day of working the vineyards with the field hands, he only desired about six tall ones for his last meal.

Tonight, she only heard the long low whistle of the train as she scurried across the grassy path.  Franco must have sensed her arrival for he lay there waiting on a blanket in all his beautiful bareness. The tower of burlap feed sacks created a cozy and well-secluded nightly hideaway for their nightly assignations.

Franco was a brute of a man in the fields, sweat pouring from his body as he hauled and lifted these same sacks for cultivating the robust plantings along those thousand acres of heavenly grapes.  But his strength turned to tenderness when he took Greta into his arms. Their love-making was transcendent, nearly tantric in its ritual. She did not hesitate to offer herself in ways she could never have imagined; opening herself to him, discovering her pearls of pleasure. A feeling of intense vertigo, a loss of total control, near groundlessness drew them together time and time again.

They had been together long enough now to know that what they were experiencing was not fiction; not just sheer physical attraction. But until they could untangle themselves from their daily reality, this was all they had. They held onto each other and they held onto hope.

IT’S FREE WRITE FRIDAY!!

This is Kellie’s Prompt:

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#FWF Free Write Friday: Word Bank

Here is your FWF prompt:

You may use any of the following words as inspiration for your piece, or you may use all of them if it does not hinder your ability to write in free flow.

train – burlap – fiction – pearls – vertigo

Different Than The Rest

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Nicolette hopped on the old big yellow for the first time once again. She didn’t bother taking a survey for possible seats to share with someone or even look for empty ones in the middle. Just sat herself down right behind the bus driver. She placed her side-saddle book bag on the empty space beside her. Of course, in 1973 no one thought to carry a bag for their books. Just wrapped them in paper bag book covers and a bungy cord. That’s if they even bothered with books at all. From her twelve-year old perspective, the only ambition that her peers had were playing spin the bottle in someone’s basement or smoking in the bathroom between periods. In fact, she could already smell someone’s morning high at the back of the bus.

She let out a heavy sigh.  A new school away from the safety and innocence of her elementary years where her teachers encouraged her intellect and her small group of friends felt free to be themselves and not follow the crowd. But when Daddy lost his job, they were forced to sell their small house and move to the local trailer park on the other side of town. Momma said it would be temporary and as soon as Daddy landed on his feet, they would buy another house back in their old neighborhood. Yet Nicolette-a girl Daddy said was born with an old soul-knew the family had a long road ahead of them. Dixsville Junior High would be her school for the next few years. A place where they said the inmates ran the asylum. Where the rough kids went. The Dixsville Dump. Not like Janesville where class sizes were smaller and teachers were respected and rules were followed.

Without warning, her brief reverie was disrupted. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her bag being moved to the floor. In its place, sat a long-haired “greaser” wearing a thin black leather jacket, dungarees and black boots. Nicolette dared herself to look him in the eye. Surprisingly, he had a tender, sweet face and a welcoming smile. “Hey there, you must be the new girl. Name’s Joey. You look like one of those smart chicks. Don’t worry, Dixsville ain’t as bad as you think. We’ve got some great teachers who look out for kids like you and me.”

Nicolette looked at him in disbelief. What was talking about?  Kids like him kept the teachers in line, didn’t they? And ate kids like her for lunch.  As if to clear her confusion, Joey asked her, “So what do have first period?”  All of Nicolette classes were Level 1-the courses for the geeks. “Geography with Mr. Fiske,” she replied. “Hey! Me too!” he answered. “In fact, all my classes are the Level 1’s this year. My dad said if I don’t get my act together and show some ‘potential’ (he said this word in a sneering tone) I would be shipped off to military school instead. No way I  am giving up this (he tugged at his jacket) for those  brass monkey suits.”

“HEY! MR. JOE SMARTY PANTS! COME BACK HERE AND HANG WITH US FOR THE REST OF THE RIDE!  “Oh. Looks like my boys want me.  What’s your name by way?”  With a quick and still shy smile she answered, “Nicolette.”

When the ride ended, she stepped off the bus first. As she walked the long portico to the roughly worn brick building, Nicolette knew it was going to be a memorable year.

Kellie took us back to junior high with this one! I know I am dating myself…

#FWF Free Write Friday: Time & Place

He Saw It In A Frosted Window Pane

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He stood on the street corner in the shadow of the amber street lamp. The night was bitter cold and the promised snow was gently falling on the shoulders of the people who passed him by. They appeared not to notice him as the peals of their holiday laughter echoed down the hushed city avenue.

He never felt so alone. Bereft. He knew that she and her husband were back in the city for the holidays visiting family. Their sons were grown now with little ones of their own and she never missed a chance to be near her precious grandchildren. She bought the brownstone so she would have a place to stay and play on her visits. Despite the distance, it was clear that she had kept a strong sense of community here; the amount of guests entering the doorway provided enough evidence. Never mind the vibe of good cheer and love that seemed to dance through the bricks of the building.

He moved closer. His sons were not interested in seeing him once again this year. He was dying to see what his four grandchildren looked like-he had never met them or seen them in a photograph. He knew that they were at the prime age to experience the magic and wonder of the season and he longed to share it with them.

At once, the four appeared in the large bay window. Two girls and two boys-maybe four to six years of age dressed in their Christmas finery. A picture postcard of innocence and joy.

His heart wrenched and he fell to his knees. On this night-this eve-it came rushing back to him. The weight and force and pain of what he had walked away from all those years ago.  He was crushed and defeated. Weak. He rose slowly, his feet wet and cold, his fingers stiffened by the frost.  He had not walked far-just enough to be out of sight when an overwhelming sense of fatigue came over him. He sought respite in the nearest snow bank.

                                                 *********

“Hey, mister are you all right?”  The group of  revelers came upon him a few hours later, his body nearly hidden in the snow except for the black of his boots. “Aw Jeez man. I think he’s dead. Call 911.” The wagon came quietly. They loaded him on the gurney and checked for identification. None. Just another John Doe lost to the streets they thought. They could hope that someone would notice he was missing and give him a proper burial. But no one ever did.

I took a bit of liberty with the FWF title “I Saw It Through a Frosted Window Pane.” It fit with the story. I am sure Kellie won’t mind!

Take a look at the other great writers over there by just clicking on the link below:

#FWF Free Write Friday: Pick a Title

Swimming With The Fishes

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At first it felt as if his lungs were going to burst. He had never held his breathe this long , the depth of this dive seemed endless, the water a black hole of nothingness. His eyes were hurting from the strain and he was beginning to doubt he would ever find it in the infinite murkiness.

Suddenly and without a hint of warning, he saw a light. He swiftly swam toward it, not noticing that his breathing was somehow eased as he approached the whiteness.  Oddly, he found himself ascending. He was no longer in control of his body as the water transformed from a deep indigo into a soothing hue of turquoise.

A great heave of water pushed him up, and there he was, on some sandy, sunny, heated island-alone.  He had not expected this- a wave of panic rushed at him. All he wanted to was to find the key and hand it over to Jacko. Then the hounds of debt would stop nipping at his heals.

Now what was he to do?  He got off his knees and slowly walked to a shady area. He lay down under the cool canopy and fell into a deep sleep.

Days later, he made front page news. A fishing vessel had recovered a body in one of their tuna nets. Naked, except for a chain wrapped around his left ankle. Tethered to the other end was a concrete block.

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Wonderful Kellie Elmore supplied us with 2 prompts this week! The above image came from her.

Love Always

Jackson Wedding

He had fallen in love with those dark tresses first, he thought. Something about the way she moved her body as she walked by him set his soul on fire. Her hair moved in rhythm with the sway of her hips.  Her skin alabaster white and her eyes endless black pools-lit with a life affirming force. And then she spoke. “I’m new to town and I was wondering if there was a bookstore nearby. My brain is thirsty for words!”

“It’s two blocks down on the right. I can walk you there since it is getting a little dark,” he replied.

They shared the literary world and each other from that moment on. Although friends old and new dismissed their whirlwind romance at first, they soon realized that they were witnessing a lifetime love. So today, on this day, vows and promises were exchanged along with the anticipation of a new life they created from the love and pure passion of one another.

This Friday’s post is brought to you by Kellie Elmore. 

#FWF Free Write Friday: Image Prompt

Meeting the Master

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For those of you who are newer here, this story is another installment of my ‘Lola’ series which has its birth in a FWF from Kellie Elmore. The installments are below in reverse order if you care to read or reread them.

Reunion  

Subjugation and Subordination

Ephemeral Relinquishment

Inspection

Captive

The Scout

Lola nearly laughed at the absurdity of this next chapter in her captivity. Yet she knew all three of them would need to play along if they were to survive. Adrienne and her companions were leading them in rapid fashion through a white-washed maze of hallways. The only sounds were the rustle of the white habits against their legs. Lola, Tess and Grace were dressed in flowing but modest gowns and Lola bristled at the confines of it. She was used to more rugged and useful clothing that allowed for freedom of movement.

Abruptly, the maze ended. The long wall parted and the women entered a cavernous room that exuded masculinity. Fine wood grained walls and floors, heavy leather furniture. At its center was a long, dark table with seven armed and throne-like chairs around it. Art objects depicted hunting, war and other forms of conquest.  A concrete representation of power and control.

A wooshing sound startled Lola out of her observation. Six dark suited and well groomed men emerged from six side doors disguised in the walls. Slick and Smarmy thought Lola. They glided to the chairs at the side of the table. Then another WOOSH. At the center panel stood a man of great height and strength. Dashingly handsome and with eyes the color of turquoise. A face of forcefulness. He ignored the escorts (who by then were on their knees) and strode over to the trio. He had no compunction whatsoever as he removed their gowns one by one and closely examined their bodies using more than his eyes. The experience left Lola with a urgent need to violently lash out against the degradation. But she knew it meant punishment or death if  she moved an inch or  showed any emotion. Then the Master spoke. “Councilmen. You may examine them as well.” Then we will decide who is best suited to marry my eldest son and provide us with the progeny for our new nation.”

The procedure was wretched in its ritual. With each stroke, pat and rub, the women felt less and less human and more like goods to be sold to the highest bidder. When it was finally done, the men moved to the table to cast their votes.  “Well, gentlemen. We certainly have found ourselves a treasure trove of perfect helpmates. I see we all agree on the two that will go to my second and third sons.” The Master then rose from his seat and strode over to Lola. “But you, my lovely, are the perfect match for Gabriel.”