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”

Yellow-Bellied Love

The pencil snapped in her hand and he was grateful because it gave him something to look at instead of the cruelty in her eyes. “You’re nothing,” she spat. “A coward. A yellow-bellied fool.”
 
He winced at the words, a scathing reply on his own tongue that he swallowed down. But then resentment followed, why could she spout vile but he had to take the high road? “Call me a coward, but at least I’m not the one sabotaging this relationship because you’re scared of a little criticism.”
 
“You’re criticism is garbage, Jeremy.” She crossed her arms, turned to the window and threw the pencil pieces at the glass. She liked to make loud noises when she was angry. “Why should I value your opinion?”
 
It was like a slap in his face. “Because, you love me?”
 
Her laugh was tight and short. “Yea, cause that has anything to do with this. You call me a coward for wanting to do more, see more. You call it running away.”
 
“It is running away!” His voice boomed across their living room. “You’d be leaving me.”
 
God, he hated when she rolled her eyes, and there she was, rolling. “I’ll be gone for six months. It’s not the end of the world.”
 
A hot flush crawled through his body because he hated that he cared more than her, that he so obviously was the more invested one. “Fine,” he said. “Go.”
 
“I don’t need your permission,” she reminded, spite in her words despite getting everything she wanted.
 
He saw red, but it blurred from the tears in his eyes. “You did. But you don’t anymore.” And then he walked to the door.
 

 

Three words: Pencil, Yellow, Garbage
Mood: Angry

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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.

NaNoWriMo Day 25

The end is near, the light at the end of the tunnel, just around the corner, fin.

I am ready.

A Bit About Today:

I started this afternoon at 37k and aimed to hit 41,666, the official target for the day. My focus waned twenty-five hundred words into it but I forced out another five hundred to hit a solid 40,000. 

I am happy to announce that my story, for the first time ever, will end when the challenge ends. The past two years I hit the word count but still had so much story to tell. Not this time. The irony? I didn’t even outline this one. I decided to use a generic rom-com skeleton and diverted when I felt it necessary. It’s really kept me in line. Today I wrote the fight scene that spirals us into the ending, right on schedule. 

Favorite Excerpt: 

His dad stood behind the kitchen island with an apron and a very real chiefs hat on his head.

“Where did you get that?” 

“Sean the bartender.”

Jake reached for a chipped mug from the dish rack and poured himself a cup of coffee. “I don’t want to know.”

“We’re doing Thanksgiving!”

Jake took a deep sip of the watery coffee. “We don’t have a turkey.”

“Ah, that’s where you’re wrong.” His father walked over to the fridge and pulled out an defrosted wrapped bird.

“Sean the bartender?”

His father nodded, grin pasted on his face impervious against Jake’s lack of enthusiasm. “He was heading to his family for dinner but had ordered an extra just in case he decided to keep the restaurant open.

“You know,” Jake pushed himself up onto the island, “it should raise some red flags that your best friend is the bartender.”

His father’s smile faltered. “He was my friend before he was the bartender.”

“Technicalities.”

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I’m grateful for each and every one of you. Thanks for reading!

NaNoWriMo Day 11:

I had the day off from work so I spent it writing and playing Fallout 4 and writing some more! The bad news: I’m still behind. The good news: I’m only behind 530 words.

We’re supposed to be at 18,333.

This is the part of my NaNoWriMo journey where I have to wait for GoogleDocs to load all the pages, where once formed chapters now blur into a string of scenes, where I sometimes scroll back up and add a detail or two. There is just so much content now!

For the first time doing this little challenge, I don’t feel overwhelmed.  The story is flowing and my core character’s are fully-formed(ish) in my mind. I have a group dynamic with this story that is fun to write. I do worry that some scenes may be too…campy? But that’s why we edit. Right? Right.

A Bit About Today

I came to today a full day behind, but intentionally. I needed time to think about where I was going with this part of the story and wanted to be fresh from my mega-writing spree this weekend!

So when I opened my document today, the first scene flew by – most of it was planned in my head and in one solid hour I got made up for what I missed yesterday. Then it was time to face today’s words. This arc was still pouring from my fingers but my stamina and style were starting to suffer after the long day. So, more for tomorrow!

Favorite Excerpt

“I’m going to start a fire,” Benny announced.

Jake groaned but moved closer to the pit at the center of the campsite. “You’re just trying to change the subject.”

“I told you I don’t want to talk about you and Vanessa.”

Jake remembered the feel of her in his arms, her soft skin. “Who else am I supposed to talk to about it?”

“I don’t know but not me.”

“Oh come on!” Jake pleaded. “She told me all about the other guys and everything.”

Benny looked up from his squat by the tower of wooden sticks. “She did?”

“Yes.” Jake felt proud. He wasn’t freaking out. He was a mature adult man who was having mature adult reactions to a girl preferring non-exclusivity.

“And how does that make you feel?” Benny urged him to continue.

“What are you, a therapist? It’s fine.” Jake told the wooden sticks.

In the Hallway

Written for Cracked Flash:

She bolted down the hallway, the children screaming behind her. Behind them was a man, a man with a water hose.

He held the nozzle down and the screams turned to shrill laughter. She barely got away, dashing through the bathroom door. She poked her head around the corner and observed her children under the kitchen fountain’s stream. In the moment, it did not matter that they had carpet or that they would need to dirty a clean towel.

Her son spun under the spray, head facing the ceiling as the cool water broke through the summer heat. Her youngest sat next to him, having fallen in her escape. Her hands rose upward and feet kicked in delight.

And over their shoulders, behind the nozzle, she met the eyes of the partner she loved and realized that in this moment lived her happiness.