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: flirt, pink, open

There’d been a row of pink tulips lining the path, the last time Stacy walked up their stone entryway. Now there was nothing but snow, the brightness of spring buried. When she reached the door, Stacy didn’t need to turn the knob to know it would no longer be left open for her, that Carol had locked it–changed the locks even–months ago.

Now, Stacy knocked and waited.

Carol took her time answering, the dog they’d rescued together barking as she waited, as if labeling her an intruder. She’d missed Rose for months, the way she acted like a lapdog even though she weighed nearly ninety pounds. It was a manageable feeling to focus on, compared to the bone-aching loss of Carol.

The door opened, and there wasn’t a welcoming smile, only a barely there flash of pain in Carol’s eyes before she shuttered it all away behind a wall that Stacy no longer had permission to pass through. It was hard to believe this woman used to laugh with her, flirt with her, used to love her–How quickly all of it could turn into this, buried like pink tulips under the snow.

prompt: asphalt, thunderstorm, chocolate

Rain hit the asphalt in an unrelenting staccato rhythm that meant many things, but mostly it meant Francine would be late. Again. Marc let the curtain fall over the window as he retreated back into the living room in defeat. 

It’d been so long since he’d last seen her chocolate eyes. 

From his well worn spot on the couch, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes, allowing himself a brief moment to remember the way her eyes would lighten to amber under the afternoon sun. Recalling the memory was simple enough, but the onslaught of emotions that accompanied it had never been easy for Marc to bear. 

Instead, he opened his eyes again, fixed them on the television, and waited. 

Warmth in the Storm

Over the ocean, in the far off distance, lightning lit up a gray cloud. Anthony shifted on the blanket next to Dean, not quite ready to go inside from their impromptu picnic just yet. The wind picked up and made him curl further into the warmth of Dean’s arm, where it was wrapped around Anthony’s waist.

The crashing of the ocean broke against the sand in front of them, the sunset they’d come out to watch had long since fallen over the horizon, just leaving the faint dusk light and the dancing of lightning. Anthony knew they’d need to go inside soon, that the wind would bring the cloud to shore and with it the oncoming storm.

Dean’s lips brushed across Anthony’s hair, another bolt making him gasp against the dark strands. “We should go inside soon,” Dean whispered between breaking waves.

“We should.” Anthony’s hand hit the box of chocolate at his side and Anthony reached for a piece, holding it up for Dean. Warmth from Dean’s lips wrapped around his fingers, cutting off the chill of the wind.

Dean swiped his tongue against Anthony’s fingertip before pulling back. “Maybe five more minutes,” he said, before another bolt of lightning cut across the sky, this time followed by thunder. “Or maybe three.”

Unconcerned, Anthony hummed, content to sit on this blanket in the sand, under the warmth of Dean’s arms, long after the storm rolled in.

Come Whatever

They’d said goodbye a hundred times already, but Greg knew he’d say it as many times as Jack wanted.

Greg walked the path along the side of the football field, behind the bleachers and down the row of trees that separated the school grounds from the lake. There was only one tree with a trunk thick enough to lean against, and that was where he was heading.

It seemed as if no one else was around, the rest of their graduating class out on the front lawn, where the rows of fold-out chairs and the stage were set up for graduation. But he knew he wouldn’t be alone back here. Not today, when the clock was ticking and they were both due on planes in opposite direction in a day’s time. And this was the last time they’d be on their high school campus together.

Continue reading “Come Whatever”

Failure to Steep

He improperly steeps my tea. His lips form into a distracted smile as he hands me the mug but I know, it’s a power play.

He must have a reason – this man wouldn’t intentionally fail such a task. He’s British, he knows how to steep tea. He wants to see if I’ll say something. Will I?

I haven’t seen this man, this former lover, this former teacher, this former idol, for almost a decade.

He fails to steep my tea. I put it on the table, unable to play his games.

~~~

I cannot stop staring at her knees. Skin as pale as I remember, looks as soft – crap, when did I put the tea bag in? It’s distracting; the slightest movement sends her scent my way. My hands shake as I hand her the tea – I cannot remember what type it is, let alone how long I let it steep.

Yellow

He came into my life in a burst of yellow; yellow raincoat, yellow floppy hat, yellow bag on his shoulder. We caught the same train. From under brown eyelashes, I stared at his yellow form for six stops. At one point, the movement of the train car jostled us together but we both looked away – yellow.

I saw him next on a bright day; yellow sunlight on yellow hair, a yellow coat trailing as he ran for our train. I held the door open. Our eyes met, then fell, then met again; his were warm honey with flints of yellow. I moved to let him pass, brushing my shoulder against his but said nothing – yellow.

We met again on the platform, waiting for the yellow line train. My eyes were on the departures screen so I did not see the yellow man, only his yellow blur as he tripped over his feet and into my own. Suddenly, I was covered in thick, wet, yellow. Splatters of paint fell onto the platform as the yellow man moved into my line of sight, face apologetic as he lifted the now empty pain can.

“You yellowed me,” was all I could think to say.


 

Photo Challenge # 95: January 12, 2016

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Yellow Orchids by Liz West CC BY 2.0

New Year

She waits; face painted and eyes aglow.  The hand of the clock moves closer to the next year, a new year.  She’s gathered her apparel, adorned her jewels, and is ready to fly over the merriment. For only tonight does she live outside the minds of those who call to her, only tonight.

“Five!” Someone shouts from beyond.

“Four!” The group gets louder, she spreads her wings.

“Three!” They scream now with raised glasses.

“Two!” She hovers, breath caught.

“One!” She takes to the air as a song breaks out. Below her the humans laugh, kiss.

No one notices her vestige, no one sees her garb. Yet they feel her presence. One man twirls his partner, a lady with a wide smile, and proclaims wildly that he will turn a new leaf. A woman grabs her friend’s hand, pulls the smaller frame into a hug and resolves to laugh more. Another man gets down on one knee with a diamond, another woman throws out her pack of cigarettes….

She flies, for sixty seconds and then she disappears.

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Fairy by Teatro Escola de Pelotas CC BY 2.0

Written for: Photo Challege #93

Same Bed, Different Dreams

Lela loved her feathered comforter. She loved the way the cotton brushed against her skin, how its heavy weight kept away the cold. But Lela did not have her feathered comforter.  It was wrapped around her husband’s body, held there by the unyielding strength of a sleeping man.

In the darkness of their room, in the dead of night, with only the lamplight casting across their bed Lela realized, she wanted the comforter more than her husband.

Herman loved his life. When he placed his head on the pillow every night it was simple – he was happy with his wife, his choices, his bedding. Even though the comforter was well-worn and had belonged to Lela back before they were married, it smelled like them mixed together. He breathed in the sweet smell with every REM cycled breath.

In the darkness of their room, in the dead of night, with only the lamplight casting across their bed Herman realized, in the depths of his sleep, that he wanted to keep this comforter and the mix of their smell forever.

Inspired by The Daily Post’s Third Rate Romance