The curve of your spine is like crisscrossing branches.
I trace your skin, kissing each vertebral knot
as we lay together, tangled as one.

Written for #3LineThursday

“Every round, we get a fair amount of entries that center around the theme of love (or lust or passion or something in that ballpark). This one stood out because it so perfectly incorporated imagery from the photo prompt, which made the emotion of the narrator so accessible.” Judge’s Thoughts

Ballooned Happiness

The wood creaked under my weight as I stepped further into the room. I knew those shoes, I had bought them for his birthday; I knew that wrinkled shirt, I had washed it many times. I knew him, he was my lover.

I just want you to be happy.

And I tried to explain to him that I won’t always be happy, that it didn’t quite work that way – that I didn’t quite work that way. I won’t always be happy and that was okay. More than that, I don’t rely on others for my happiness. Yes, even him.

I saw the confusion in his eyes, then. Now, I only see his torso and his legs.

I had told him once, years ago, that balloons made me happy. I liked them from beginning to end. From inflating them, to helium sounds, to flying high into the sky. I liked popping them and bouncing them. Balloons fly and I help them with that flight.

He wanted me happy. A simple request that’s not so simple when the mind can run and twist things into demons. Yet he tried, he appeased, he indulged.

I reached out and ran my hand along the top of the balloon. “What did you do to yourself?”

He didn’t reply, couldn’t reply. Instead, he clapped his hands and let evermore balloons fly from his grasp.

- Julia Anna

Three Line Stories –

It’s Thursday! Head on over to Not3LineThursday for some fun. Here’s my last two submissions for a taste:

Prompt –  Wherever you are sitting, look up, write about something that you see ahead of you.

Wooden planks connect white cinder blocks,
In this uniform work cage.
I will soon be free; only to return tomorrow.

Prompt – The second person you loved.

You quoted Harry Potter and it was easy to say yes
to the date you asked me on. Then I tripped into you
during our first kiss; you petted my hair and laughed.


Silent Awakening

Excitement bubbled inside her belly as her fingertips trailed along the velvet seat. It was worn, a telling sign of many tales told. It may even be the exact seat she sat in when she first saw this silent film many, many, years ago.

Agnes had been about ten, then. Going to the theater had been a privilege that her father bestowed only when she had behaved her best. She remembered how her hand felt in his larger one as they crossed the street to the shining lights of the movies. The bulbs had dimmed in the years; the painting had chipped as well. Her father had passed away decades prior.

Agnes had read of the re-release of A Heart’s Love in the newspaper – the most interesting thing she had read in the papers in over a decade. Her own heart had raced just from the two lines of text because she easily recalled his face, his laugh, his Hollywood smirk. The actor on screen that had taught her exactly what a man could do to a girl’s pulse.

In that moment many, many, years ago, Agnes had learned what attraction meant.

The lights dimmed. Agnes held onto the velvet seat and fell in love, again.

Written for this past week’s FlashFriday. The prompt was twofold – (1) Set in a theater and (2) incorporate a black and white photo of an attractive man.

Truth or Dare

“Truth or Dare?”  Sally asked with her nose tilted towards the ceiling, as if the entire game were beneath her almost-ninth grade sensibilities.

“Dare.”  Jake spat.  He crossed his legs so their knees brushed and added, “only chickens choose Truth.”

Sally had chosen Truth.

Despite being a year older, Jake knew she had the romantic experience of a fifth grader -as in, none at all.

She blushed, eyes meeting his for a moment before dashing away just as quickly.  He smiled as he watched her squirm. They were only playing this game because Sally had questioned him after Jake called himself “Daring”.  As if his love for skateboarding and habit of questioning authority failed to settle his reputation in the eyes of his next-door neighbor.

So now, it was the two of them, face to face and pushing each other’s barriers.  Now, through this game, Jake knows that Sally thinks he’s cute.  Her Truth settled, unmentioned, between them.

Sally’s eyes kept flickering from the ceiling to Jake and back towards the closed door.  He knew she’d pick something lame.  Her fingers kept turning into her sweater sleeves and he wondered if she’d make him run around the neighborhood naked or do all of her homework for a week.  No, Sally wouldn’t trust someone else to do her homework.

She bit her lip, eyebrows drawing together and he tried to read her mind.  When the blush reddened on her normally pale cheeks, Jake knew she settled on a dare.

“Kiss me.”  Sally said flatly.  Her eyes stopped their dance and drilled him with a stare.

Jakes jaw dropped as he realized he wasn’t the only daring one in the room.