prompt: peacock, puzzle, electric

If it hadn’t been for the photo on the front of the box, there’d be no way to tell the puzzle was supposed to be a large, colorful peacock. It’d been three hours and Ryland had finished the border, started filling in one corner, and the lightning continued in earnest outside the window. This wasn’t Ryland’s first hurricane, but it was the first since he’d moved out on his own. His first one alone. 

Like clockwork, his mind started to run down the mental list. There were enough batteries for his five flashlights, the shutters had covered the windows since the night before, and the food stores were stocked. Lightning flashed again and Ryland’s fingers clenched around the puzzle piece. The only reason there even was a peacock in the first was because his mother always did puzzles during hurricanes. With rain pounding on their roof, she’d declare them to be calming and time consuming. Once the electricity went, they were able to be done by candlelight or flashlight. 

Lightning struck again, overhead the electricity flickered and even with the puzzle, it was nothing like the storms he remembered growing up. Too quiet inside meant that everything that happened outside only sounded louder. He never felt more alone.

prompt: mountain, mustang, object

Out of the corner of her eye, Mary could see Frank’s smirk flickering every time she gripped the mustang’s leather seat cushion. He liked to see her gasp and squirm at things, like an object that amused him, or perhaps endeared him. As they drove twenty miles over the speed limit on a midafternoon mountain road, Mary couldn’t care less why he smirked. Instead, every time she saw it, it reaffirmed a conclusion she’d been entertaining for a year:

It was time to end thing with Frank. 

Their five years together, her second long term after–No. She wouldn’t think of Roger and everything she threw away. Not today, not right now, not with the determination finally fueling a fire in her veins. Thoughts of him, of her poor decisions…. No. She clenched her fist against the seat again. Right on cue, there was Frank’s smirk. 

As soon as they parked this car. It was over. 

prompt: cherry, flag, sofa

The cool leather couch pressed against Sarah’s thighs as she clicked the button to another Fourth of July special. A crowd danced on the beach to what seemed to be the EDM version of the Star Spangled Banner. It was cheesy but a cherry colored speedo caught her eye, the man shaking his ass with everything he had in him. Sarah found she couldn’t look away, far more interested in watching the crowd more than the DJ on stage. The way the thin fabric curved around the man’s skin made Sarah shift on the sofa.

Then the camera panned away and landed on lips, bright cherry pink–practically as plump as the man’s ass had been. Red, vibrant, and the woman they belonged to danced in a stringy white bikini. Sarah’s gaze drifted from her lips down, over her sunkissed collarbones, along the dip of her chest. Her breath caught at the way the bathing suit barely held on as she danced. Sarah licked her lips, pressed her thighs together.

The camera swung away again, this time to the ocean, then back to the stage, then an American flag. Sarah groaned at herself and stood up from the couch, turning off the TV. It was time she went to find some fireworks of her own.