Monday, November 30, 2009

A Dreamy Love Affair

Based on Prompt phrases from The Sphere: It's just too good to be true, can't take my eyes off of you, you're like heaven to touch, I want to hold you so much


A Dreamy Love Affair

 

The knock at the door pulled me from my computer where I had been writing my latest chapter to our combined story. Imagine my surprise when I opened the door and you were staring back at me, a goofy smile on your lips and a twinkle in your eye. I thought to myself, I want to hold you so much, you must have been thinking the same thing because you gathered me in your arms and kissed me deeply. Now as we lay in bed, I can’t take my eyes off of you, thinking how you’re like heaven to touch. I think it’s just too good to be true. I yawn and close my eyes, my head on your shoulder, wrapped in your arms and just as I drift off to sleep I’m suddenly woken to find I’m still sitting in front of my computer and that it was all an afternoon nap.

 



Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Devil's Challenge - Deals (Part 3)

Sam felt the air pushed out of his chest and a burning sensation on his face when the airbag exploded upon impact. Sam wondered where the truck had come from as he laid there trying to catch his breath and assess the situation around him. He leaned his head to the right and noticed that where Ellen had been sitting she was no longer there, turning towards the left again he noticed the gapping hole in the windshield. Panicking he moved his hand to unbuckle the seatbelt that had held him inside. After managing to pull his sore body out of the car he began looking for Ellen; his search brought him about twenty feet in front of where the collision had occurred. Seeing the head wound, then after checking for a pulse and finding none, Sam cried tears of shame and wondered if this was God’s way of telling him that Ellen was right.

The Devil's Challenge - Deals (Part 2)

When Ellen was answered by Silence, she turned a full circle looking for Sam but he was nowhere to be seen. Well, I guess I might as well open a gate, she thought to herself as she let out a disappointed sigh. Of course she was going to choose the staircase heading up, after all she figured she would prefer to live in Heaven over Hell. Ellen touched the gold inlays covering the gate and noted how beautiful it had been crafted. She pulled on the gate and it didn’t budge, maybe Sam was right? The thought worried her and she pulled harder, when the gate still didn’t budge, she cried out while pulling with all her might, “Please let me in, I don’t want to go to Hell!”

The Devil's Challenge - Deals

This was inspired by a challenge issued on 6S called the Devil's Challenge where we had to include the sentence: "You can't make a deal with the devil, Sam," she said, "and expect to come out on top."

"You can't make a deal with the devil, Sam," she said, "and expect to come out on top."
"Sure I can Ellen, because when I'm done living on top in sin, then I can just make a deal with God and live on top in Heaven."
"Thats the most screwed up thing I think I've ever heard Sam."
"No, you're just jealous that you didn't think of it first."
"OH GOD SAM WATCH OUT FOR THAT-" Ellen didn't have a chance to finish because while sitting in the car one minute, she was now sitting in front of two gates one that guarded a descending staircase and one an ascending staircase, "Guess we know how God feels about your deal now, huh Sam."

A Better Excuse Please...

His continued silence worried me beyond reason along with all of the other issues carouselling around me. With no other way to contact him other than email, I had continued to send one every few days inquiring on his status: was he lying dead in a ditch somewhere or merely avoiding all human contact. I told myself repeatedly that he was just busy, after all his day job did take up much of his time. An ill feeling had settled in my stomach causing me to despair. I wasn’t sure if it was his lack of response or if it were the other issues also at hand that was causing it. Relief flooded my mind and body when after two weeks of silence I received an email explaining his absence; relief was replaced by another feeling when I asked why he didn’t bother to email sooner and his response was, “I forgot, I am old after all…”

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Greatest Joy or Worst Sorrow?

They told me that being a mother would be the greatest joy. I was foolish to believe them, I know that now. My pregnancy as normal as normal could be, no hiccups, no problems, the tests and ultrasounds revealed everything to be just as it should. What ever went wrong?

My water broke leaving work , thank god I was in the parking lot when it went, otherwise it would have been everywhere, either at work, or in my car. I managed to get in my car, drive home and call my husband. He immediately rushed home and grabbed my overnight bag. I had prepared and packed everything in preparation of this new little one.

My mother and I had oo’d and awed over each cute little onesie and outfit, the tiny socks, and small shoes.

The drive to the hospital went in a flash, not paying much attention except trying to remember if I had packed everything or if something was still forgotten.

We arrived and I was rushed into Labor and Delivery, setup on a hospital bed and hooked up to all sorts of fine machinery. I listed intently to the beep, beep, thud, thud, of the machines that registered my blood pressure and the baby’s heart beat. I was anxious to see my little prince, this creation my body had incubated so well for nine months. Hours seemed to drag by with a little pain here, and a little pain there.

Seven, eight, nine hours after leaving my cubicle at work I was still waiting for the hard labor to set in. The nurse gave me something to help kick start the contractions and I laid back and watched the mundane shows that always appear on hospital cable.

The pain started getting worse as another hour passed. Finally my contractions were to the point that the nurse called for the doctor.

“Are you excited?” He asked, while checking how far dilated I was.

“More in pain right now.” I answered through my gasping breaths.

“Give her the epidural now. You did say you wanted one right?” He looked to me.

“Yes!” followed by a whimper.

The process of the epidural was painful, but I’m not sure what was worse, the pain from the contractions or the large needle filling my back with the numbing solution. My body started to relax and I was once again grateful.

The contractions, still being felt but on a smaller scale began coming every minute and they knew it was the time we had all been waiting for.

“Push! Breath! Push again!” The doctor was telling me, “I can see his head!”

I continued to push until the little boy, my little boy was being placed on my belly. His beautiful head, his beautiful body, and his sweet cry filled my heart with joy that nothing can compare to. They measured and weighed, cleaned him up then handed him back to me.

I cradled his tiny body, my husband and I whispering sweet nothings to him, when it happened. He stopped breathing. Frantic, I yelled for a nurse. A whole crew came running in and by then there was nothing they could do. They tried and tried to bring him back, my poor baby boy, my prince, but no heart beat or breath they could find. Sobbing I looked at the doctor and the nurses, their heads bent in grief. Why was I only given one moment of joy to only have it ripped away and replaced with a sadness so deep.

The doctor whispered something to my husband and a nurse filled my IV with a liquid but didn’t tell me what it was. Now, my heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains my senses. I feel so tired, so tired and so hurt. What kind of God would do this to any mother? I feel so tired now…

Monday, November 23, 2009

Coincidence?

It was a routine by then; I would get up, shower, shave, dress, check my email, read the headlines on the morning paper, then head out to pick her up for our morning cup of coffee and scone.

Terra was always ready when I pulled in the drive, and met me before I even had a chance to get out of the car. I hated it when she wouldn’t let me open the door for her; it wasn’t right. I had always been raised to open the car door for women, no matter who or what the occasion. Her manners seemed uncouth.

We drove to The Grind, the local coffee shop on the corner of 6th and Madison Ave, parked and headed in to make our daily order. “I’ll pay today,” I sternly told the cashier, seeing her about to protest, I repeated again, “I’ll pay today.” I practically threw the change at the cashier while looking at Terra.

Sitting down at the table by the window that we always sat at, again just routine, she began to protest. “I don’t see why you insist on paying all the time, I can afford my own coffee you know.”

“I know. It’s just the principle of it.” I replied smiling at her. She just didn’t understand that as a southern gentleman I had been raised to open car doors for women, pay the tab, and treat women with the highest degree of respect.

“And what principle is that, and don’t give me that excuse of that’s just how you were raised. You’ve had plenty of time to grow out of it.” She looked me in the eyes and waited. I was glad for the interruption of the clerk bringing us our coffee.

“Its just how I am, nothing is going to change that.” The routine played out just as it had for the last six months. Terra had been given a promotion at work and that put her working next to me in my department. I was too shy to ask her out on a date so I settled for offering her a ride to work and home; I also knew the stories that circulated about dating a co-worker and how they always ended disastrously.

“Hey, sorry to change the subject, but have you ever noticed them?” She stared behind me at something. I turned and looked, but didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.

“Notice what Terra?” I asked.

“There’s always someone behind you, Henry. Haven’t you ever noticed, or am I just the first one to point them out?” She looked from me to whatever she had been staring at before. Confused, I turned again and looked. The only other people in the shop were regulars that we saw everyday. There was no one right behind me so I wasn’t sure what she was really trying to say.

“Um… okay.” I said stretching it out. I turned back to her and took a drink of my coffee. The scalding liquid burned my mouth and instantly I swallowed then wished I hadn’t. I doubled over holding my sides as it burned its way down into my stomach.

“How many times have I told you to blow on your coffee before you take a drink!” Terra looked at me exasperated. “Seriously though, you can’t see them?”

“No. Are you just trying to make fun of me?” I was beginning to get frustrated.

“No, I’ve always been honest with you. These people that follow you all the time… some of them scare me. I don’t like you bringing them to my house when you pick me up in the mornings.”

I had no idea what she was talking about, what people? I never brought anyone with me. It was always just me. “I never bring anyone with me, I live alone, I drive alone, and I most definitely don’t bring anyone with me to your house.”

“You are not being funny! There IS always someone behind you, Henry! I just thought you might want to explain them to me, that’s all.” She got up from the table and walked over to the counter. Still confused and angry that she would continue to badger me about something I knew nothing about I watched her take the phone from the cashier and talk to someone for a minute. She then came back and sat down.

“What was that about?” I asked.

“I’m having a taxi pick me up.”

“What? Why?” I never thought that she would feel she needed to get a ride from someone else.

“Because I can’t look at you without seeing them, and I won’t ride with you if I you won’t tell me who they are and what they are doing.”

“I don’t have any idea what you are talking about, but if you feel that you need to ride in a taxi, at least let me pay for it.” I started to take a $20 out of my wallet.

“No Henry, as I’ve told you before, I can afford my own coffee and I can afford my own taxi.”

“Yes, ma’am.” I quietly replied. I grabbed my coffee and my half finished scone and headed out to my car. I drove to work with the sick feeling that I had no idea what she was talking about and that maybe I was missing something.

I arrived at work earlier than usual, alone and distraught. I tried to get some work done, but just kept worrying about the knot in my stomach. I looked down at the clock on my computer and noticed that Terra was now forty minutes late for work. I rang Mindy, the receptionist, and asked if Terra had called, her answer: no.

Concern ate at me, I knew I shouldn’t have left her alone at The Grind. I tried to concentrate the rest of the day at work with her continued absence. I drove home, taking the time to stop at the coffee shop and ask if they remembered seeing her, the new people on shift couldn’t recall her. I then stopped at her house, nothing looked disturbed and there was no answer when I knocked on the door and rang the doorbell.

I unlocked my front door, walked inside and sat down on the bench in the entry. I tried to clear my mind. A sudden ringing from the phone in the kitchen brought me out of my trance. I picked up the receiver, “Hello?”

“Henry, its Mindy. I just got off the phone with Terra’s mother. It’s not good. I’m so sorry Henry. There was an accident and Terra was killed on her way to work.” I stared out my kitchen window holding the receiver in silence. “Henry? Henry? Hello Henry? Are you there?”

“How?” Was all I could push out of my mouth.

“Her taxi collided with a Semi Truck that ran the light at 9th and Madison. I’m so sorry Henry, I know you two were close.”

“Thanks for telling me, bye now.” I muttered then hung up the receiver. I sat down on my tile floor and put my head in my hands. Sobs shook my entire frame. It was my fault, all my fault.

I still don’t know what she was talking about when she said that there was always someone behind me. I still find it odd that the day she would mention it to me, she would be killed. Obsessed, I now look behind me frequently, expecting to see someone standing right behind me or following close by.

Its now been three years and still each day I drive past her house, have coffee at the same coffee shop, sit at the same table, and then drive to the same job to sit by her same desk now filled by someone else. I still wonder, was it coincidence?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Twice Dead, Once Mourned

She lay there and watched blue sky turn grey with the approaching storm, felt the dropping temperature as the wind picked up, and waited for the tears that wouldn’t come.

She couldn’t tell how long she had lain there, but one thing she knew, it hadn’t been long enough. Her body had quit complaining a while ago about the sharp twigs and rocks hidden beneath dead leaves, grass and pine needles that had been poking her in the back. Her skin burned where each individual snow flake landed and melted, leaving tiny wet marks. The chill that lingered on the breeze had caused her to shiver uncontrollably until finally her naked body had started to turn blue and calmed with the escaping time.

She watched the fog descend slowly toward her from the treetops. It wrapped around her like a white snake, constricting her thoughts, causing her to think again about why she was there.

Why wouldn’t the tears come? She had been notified early that morning about her mother's unexpected massive coronary in the middle of the night. She was not old by any standards nor was she relatively unhealthy. She was however, an emotional leech feeding off of making her family suffer.

She thought about how hard she had tried to please her mother, to gain her acceptance, simply to hear a word of acknowledgment, but to no avail. She thought about how hard she had tried to maintain a relationship with her, if for nothing other than to give her children the opportunity to know their grandmother. All in vain.

She remembered the conversation that had ended the entire fa├žade a few years ago. It was Thanksgiving Dinner; her mother stood and told how grateful she was for family, and how her family had made the sacrifices so they could come and be with her. She rambled on and on about seeing all of her children and their spouses many times throughout the year, and yet not one mention was made of her eldest daughter, and her efforts. It was her turn next, she stood, and looking her mother in the eye said, “I am thankful for a husband who encourages me in all that I do, when you, my own mother have never encouraged me at all.”

The glances surrounding her were of utter shock, except for her mother who was sporting an amused look on her face while she said, “You are no longer welcome in my home.” She was relieved really. No more having to wear a mask and pretend to care about a person she now inwardly hated. She cried mixed tears of anger and relief the whole drive home.

As the fog slinking around her begin to rise, realization sunk in. She knew why she could not shed a single tear for her mother’s passing. How could she mourn a person who had already died? Her mother died that day at Thanksgiving dinner.

She pushed her numb hands under her to help her sit up. She took her time getting to her feet and walking back to where she had parked her car. She slowly dressed. Feeling the smile playing on her lips, she stepped into her car and drove from her mountain retreat towards home.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Skeptic's Newspaper Article

MAN GOES ON RAMPAGE FOR NOT BEING HIRED

CHARLESTON, So. Carolina - Thursday, police arrived at the scene of David's Bridal, where a man allegedly pulled a gun and opened fire, injuring 8 employees. The HR Representative told reporters that she recognized the man because she had just interviewed him for a job position a few days ago and had called him that morning to tell him he had not be accepted.

David's Bridal was put in lockdown Thursday afternoon as officers began a dressing room-by-dressing room evacuation.

One eye-witness was heard saying, "I just ducked inside the dress shop to escape the sudden downpour when I found myself in the middle of a heated discussion between the employees and the man in question."

Charleston County Sheriff's Spokesman Samuel Obbercott says his department is backing up the Charleston police and they are still looking for an armed man wearing a light blue polo shirt and jeans.

The Charleston Fire Department told reporters that 8 people were injured. Interstate 12 is closed in both directions through downtown and that a nearby school is on lockdown.

This man is armed and dangerous, if you come in contact via a job interview just start praying for your life, if you survive the encounter, contact the Charleston Police Department immediately.
CJT - Sr. Journalist

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Silencing Evil

Being a victim was what had caused her to make this decision. She had been a victim her whole life, from being molested by her uncle as a child, being made fun of for a visible birth mark on her neck as a teenager, to being the victim of date rape in college.

Now, carrying the consequence of the latest victimization, she stepped off the chair and dangled by the rope around her neck. She knew while dying in the arms of an angel that she was preventing her unborn child from entering a world of evil.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Skeptic's Newspaper Article

This is a piece of Flash Fiction prompted by The Sphere.

The barking dogs could be heard echoing over the fields. There was something out there, always something out there unknown and unseen. The evidence was clear. Dead cattle, goats, and chickens were found from one farm to the next stretching for miles. The farmers tried to catch the unknown creature by dangling bits of turkey giblets from the corn stalks surrounding their livestock. The bait was never taken. Raving Lunatics claimed to know the answer of the livestock killing creature, they claimed it was "El Chupacabra."

Upon reading this, Pink Floyd thought it would make a great theme for their new album: A Thanksgiving Day Feast.

Lust...

This piece was part of a 6S challenge between 7 members, myself included, to write about the 7 deadly sins, each of us took a sin and wrote about it. - CJT

Looking at the photos in her email, she couldn't help but wish she was single again. The faces, the chats, the emails, it was too much. Her body ached to be free. The tension was growing within her; she felt the good begging her to think about her children and the life she had built with her husband, the bad asking her to remember when she could have any man she desired. Days filled with desire of other men and nights filled with lustful wishes, were taking their toll on her. Finally she reached "The Point of No Return" and told her husband that their marriage was through.

Sound...

This piece was a challenge issued on 6S between 5 members about the human senses, each of us taking a sense... Enjoy! - CJT

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a single sound can leave you speachless.

You heard your mother's labored breath as you entered the world.

You heard your heart beating fiercely when hiding as silently as possible from your friends in a game of hide-and-seek.

You heard the sobs that escaped your lips as your husband gave your daughter away on her wedding day.

You heard the joyous laughs and giggles of your grandchildren as they happily played at Thanksgiving.

Now, you struggle to listen and can only hear the sound of silence as you watch your life fade into the wrinkles of time.