Tags:. Quote, quotes, Mark Twain, Lie, Truth, Speed of gossip
Tags:. Quote, quotes, Mark Twain, Lie, Truth, Speed of gossip
Sherman returned from a town meeting exhausted. He wanted Constance to rub his weary shoulders and speak in quiet, soothing tones, sending him off to calm and dreamless sleep. Her gentle nature is truly something to behold, he thought, opening the door in search of her sweet face. That is when he saw it.
He had received ‘the look’ from a few prior girlfriends and it was frightening enough then, but none of them held a candle to Constance. While the eyes and anger of others had shot daggers into his quick retreat, not one had filled him with dread like ‘the look’ staring back at him now.
Constance was not a woman who angered easily. She was long on patience, empathetic to a fault, and knew fact from fiction almost without exception. Everything she breathed, touched, and attempted, was with single-minded, passionate devotion. It was one of many qualities that drew him to her, but he hadn’t considered her passionate focus in this context.
She had only a few faults, the worst of which were jealous tantrums. She had good reason, but Sherman was ill-prepared for jealousy, coupled with murderous intent, in the eyes of his lovely bride. Standing here now, frozen in his tracks, he realized, if looks could kill, I’d be a dead man served up cold on a cement slab, and the colonel would still put a bullet in my brain. Thank God he was with me!
Sherman summoned all his courage, slapped on a bright smile, and handed her a bouquet of flowers that she did not try to grasp. The bouquet fell to the floor and Constance didn’t blink. Neither did her expression soften in the slightest. She just stood there, glaring hatefully, with stems and petals strewn about her tiny feet.
“Honey, I’m sorry. I had to attend the meeting at town hall. This was about farming and water for the crops. They might dredge the lake and I had let them know our fields are drying up. I didn’t know it would last all night,” he explained. Seeing no change in her countenance, he finished, “What was I supposed to do?” He stood defiantly, waiting for response.
With her arms still folded across her chest, Constance kicked the flowers from her slippers, never taking her eyes from him, and slipped stiffly into a chair, “Lie to me,” she spat acidly, with rage building in the timber of her voice, “This is how much respect you have for me? You think I’m so unintelligent that you’re going to just stand there and lie to me now,” she quizzed him, with her fury building dangerously close to combustion.
Anyone with eyes could see she was a lit keg of TNT with precious little fuse left. Sherman began to approach and then thought better of it. She’s a volcano about to erupt. Even I can see this one coming on. Then suddenly, his lips turned up slightly as he recalled the first time he’d bedded her and she had been a much more accommodating volcano. He wiped off the grin but it was too late.
“You dare to laugh at me? You think this is funny? I paced the floor all night wondering if my husband is alive, dead, or with the town whore, and you’re smiling? How dare you,” she screamed, “So it’s hilarious that you worried your wife sick”?
Constance shoved her chair back standing ramrod straight and crossed the room. Fisting the first heavy object that came into her hands, she sent a prized Louis XVI sevres hurtling toward him, nearly clipping his ear, as it whizzed past his head and shattered against the wall along with his hard won calm.
© February 23, 2017 – 07:36 PM – All Rights Reserved
Tagged: Lust, Love, Romance, Jealousy, Tantrums, WiP
Sherman recalled his triumphant return from battle. He was jubilant enough to ask her father for Constance’ hand in marriage. Many truths were revealed that night. It was an evening he would never forget.
Colonel Douglas Brenner appeared to be all business. He ran the mansion quite efficiently, made his fortune in farming, land and crops, and spoiled his daughter with extravagant trinkets and lavish gowns all for the fun of seeing her face light up with joy.
Colonel Brenner shook Sherman’s hand and slapped him on the back, saying, “I wish you luck, old boy. You’re braver than the dandies that came to call before you.”
“Why thank you, sir,” he responded stiffly.
“Don’t be so formal, Sherman. We’re practically family now,” the colonel smiled.
They shared cigars and brandy over a game of chess until the small hours of the night. After they’d had their fill of drink, Sherman watched a darkness come over the colonel as he leaned across the large, oak desk to impart his wisdom.
“Constance is not my biological daughter,” he spoke softly; “I don’t think she remembers and I am the only father she’s known. I trust you will keep this confidence strictly between us,” the colonel said conspiratorially.
“What are you saying,” Sherman questioned.
The colonel continued, “Her mother and I made the adoption legal after we were wed, son, but we decided never to tell Constance if she didn’t question her heritage”.
Sherman watched slack-jawed while the colonel took a long pull from his drink, draining the brandy from its snifter. He whispered his confusion, “But her mother is.” Again he stopped with the unease of having been drop-kicked into a mine field blindfolded.
“Anice,” the colonel phrased the question for him.
“Yes,” Sherman acknowledged.
“Yes and no,” the colonel replied, “Before I married Anice, the future Mrs Brenner attended the Institut Villa Pierrefeu. It’s a finishing school in Switzerland. She shared a room with a young woman who’s reputation was,” he paused, searching for the right words, “less than sterling. Lydia Oliver was her name”.
Sherman lit a cigar, urging, “Go on”.
“The young lady got herself with child. Anice helped Lydia hide the fact, but Lydia abandoned the baby girl soon after giving birth. She left her child on a blanket with a note.”
The colnonel rummaged through a desk drawer and produced a scrap of paper. Sherman read it in silence.
“Dearest Anice, I know you come from money and that your heart is made of gold. You’re a better friend than I could have hoped for. Please take care of her like you did me.”
Sherman looked at Douglas Brenner with new respect and asked the obvious question, “So she kept Constance?”
“Indeed,” the colonel beamed, “She went to the Headmaster and higher-ups to explain her predicament. They tried to talk her into giving the child up for adoption but Anice was already in love with the baby girl. She was determined to keep her. It was teamwork and some luck that they managed to hide the presence of a baby at the Institut Villa Pierrefeu. Anice is quite a special woman,” He finished wistfully.
“And you married her anyways”? Sherman queried trepidaciously.
“Absolutely,” the colonel beamed, “I’ve only loved three women in my life,” he exclaimed, “My mother, Anice, and Constance. It’s no easy task to give my youngest in marriage but you’re a good man, Sherman Mandrel, I know you will never fail to do right by my little girl,” he said, patting his revolver for assurance.
“You can count on me, Colonel,” Sherman uttered, hoping his voice didn’t shake.
© February 23, 2017 – 07:36 PM – All Rights Reserved
Tagged: Lust, Love, Romance, Requests, Revelations, Proposals, WiP
both giving and taking,
in the grip of fiery, insistent need,
always ravenous lovemaking,
exchanging deep, fiery passion;
their united eternal need.
They married in an hour,
stayed together forever,
and lived happily ever after.
Tags: Flash fiction, Love and Lust, Valentine’s Day
Tags: #Tuesday #TuesdayUseItInASentence #Language #English, #Patience #Patients
Click the graphic to read all of our TMI confessors!
If you were forced to wear a warning label, what would yours say?
If you were a Sesame Street character, which one would you be?
Oh please! Which one do you think?
If you could have an endless supply of a candy or baked good, what would you get?
Warm chocolate chip cookies or fudge brownies straight from the oven!
Who is your favorite villain? Why?
The Joker. You just have to love Jack Nicholson in that role!
Are you more in tune with sunrise, daytime, sunset or nighttime?
I’m about half and half right now but I prefer a sunset to being awake for sunup. Sleep all day and play all night. I want all the naps back that I didn’t use as a kid! LOL!
Sunset? Time to wake up!
Resort and Casino Owner. Fun, a place to crash and tons of money, all self-contained in luxury. Ahhhh, Vegas, baby!
Tags: #TMITuesday Blog #TMI #Tuesday #Too #Much #Information #Questions #Answers #Fun
Jake plumbed the murky sea, swimming deeper into the spot where he had seen Sirina go under. Nothing was visible in the storm-black seawater. He plumbed more deeply, extending arms blindly in every direction until his lungs threatened to burst.
He retreated and dove again with all of his senses coming alive. Jake hauled his body ever deeper seeing only blackness until his foot brushed against something which was not rock. He froze at the touch of fingertips to his ankle and falling away.
With a ludicrous mix of terror and relief propelling him, Jake pushed deeper with limbs stretched akimbo until he finally caught the feeble fingertips that attempted to alert him. He tightened his grip on a hand too weak to hold his own and hauled them both upward, drawing a great gasp of air upon surfacing. Sirina did not.
Jake caught sight of the cabin cruiser, and motivated by sheer panic, swam with fury, dragging Sirina’s limp body until he could fling himself into the dingy for leverage. Never letting go, he strengthen his hold, moving his hands to her wrist and arm. Jake braced himself and pulled mightily, hauling Sirina aboard.
On instinct, he threw himself over her tiny, lifeless form, shielding her from rain bulleting down amidst a storm which gave no quarter. Jake moved his face close to hers, listening for the sound of breath as he held his own. Nothing! Wait, Was that a shallow breath?! Again he steeled himself, waiting and listening. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
He grabbed her shoulders shaking her, “Breathe, Sirina! Breathe!” Then he pressed his lips to hers covering her mouth to breathe life into her lungs, reciting silent instructions and shouting panic with every pause. Tilt head back. Pinch the nose. Deep breath and push into her lungs. “Breath, Sirina!” Head tilted. Pinch nose. Deep breath. Push it into her lungs. “Don’t you give up on me! Breath now, he commanded. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Following several more rounds, he paused to listen again. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
Willing her to live, and filled with terror, he administered CPR pumping her chest frantically. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. “Again! Again! Again,” Jake instructed himself aloud and to any god that might listen. Once more, he paused to listen. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Wait! What was that?
Sirina’s diaphragm lurched and she coughed.
Jake lifted her head, rejoicing, as Sirina coughed up the ocean which had nearly killed her.
As the storm died and she had sputtered her last, Jake held her close, whispering, “Inhale the good air. Exhale the bad air,” more for his comfort than hers, stroking her hair all the while and feeling her tired body fill with life.
Finally, he lay Sirina back gently, instructing, “Don’t move a muscle,” as if she could.
Sirina managed an exhausted reply, “No problem.”
Jake had already clambered up the side ladder and turned to her, issuing, “Shhh, be still.”
Jake hurdled the side rail and bolted to the wheelhouse. He hit the button which hauled the dingy and its precious cargo to safety.
Sirina stared into the now calm skies knowing that Poseidon had tested and spared her – this time.
©December 03, 2015 – 11:21 PM – All Rights Reserved
Read it from the beginning!
Tags: Love and Lust, Fantasy, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Man and Mermaid, Romance, Mythology, Poseidon, WiP
Yes, if you’re lucky. No. Ummm, wait! Can I change my mind? LOL!
I never knew and understood myself like this.
Swim with recently fed sharks. I’m that creeped out at the thought of swallowing insects. Can you say “Fear Factor”?
Kindness and words which truly come from the heart and are meant.
I just finished #TuesdayUseItInASentence and folding laundry.
Bonus: Are you a little bit damaged? How so?
Ummm, no. I mean, yes. Well, I was…but I’m much better now! LOL! Duct tape holds the world together. I cover it with too much foundation. On second thought, no comment. Why, does the duct tape show? Wait! I want to change my answer!
Tags: #TMITuesday #group #Too Much #Information #questions
How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!
The California quail made its home in a tree outside my bedroom window, and I let it stay because it seemed to rail at sunup, crying, “No-o-o! No-o-o! No-o-o!” resonating my own distaste for morning.
To hear it, choose California Quail:
Tags: #TUESDAYUSEITINASENTENCE, QUAIL, LANGUAGE, ENGLISH
READ MORE ABOUT #TUESDAYUSEITINASENTENCE
They were willing prisoners too comfortable in the confines of a short honeymoon phase with entirely too much in between. They had run far and fast enough, escaping the families that opposed them. He had slipped her hand into his, threading his fingers through hers, as they approached the chapel doors. The moon rose up full in the sky and she took it as omen that, at least, god approved their union.
Everything about the day was beautiful because she was with him, finally, alone, uninterrupted by the rudeness that was her life prior. She had survived so much and knew now that this was why. Marcus hit the accelerator and colorful leaves clouded in the wake of his car as she watched the countryside turn into molten gold and fiery reds that shamed the sunlight and flames in her heart.
Violet wanted this imagery, every single leaf that had fallen from trees, daylight sparking fire in the highlights in his hair, the easy conversation and the comfortable quietness, the wind rippling his shirt against his taut body, the last of summer’s warmth, and knowing the night air would be chilled. Violet needed to memorize every second with him now, every perfect moment, because nothing would ever be exactly this way again.
She leaned back into his shoulder, listening to the breeze carry his voice away as he pointed out landmarks and that which he recalled fondly, wanting to share with her. She gave him a nearly untroubled smile wishing this second would last forever and knowing it couldn’t – and wouldn’t. She loved him with her heart near to bursting with emotion, knowing even then that it would not be enough to sustain a lifetime.
They had lain in the tall grass ready to fulfill their mutual cravings offering up perfect, wanton lovemaking along with the beautiful innocence of two so untried and that unrepentant souls can muster, here in this place where two souls unite in ecstasy’s death in culmination at last.
Violet would remember. She would cling to this moment, vehemently, as no other could. Every movement; his hand stroking her hair, her cheek, their impure desires, the angle of the slightly bashful new moon, their bodies pressed together, the heat of comingling all made perfect in marriage.
This was beginning and end which would afford her warmth, in recall, that she may need in a thousand years or the space of another breath. Nothing, she knew with paramount certainty, would ever be as special, awkward, innocently loving, and as lovely, as this momentous second.
Marcus slowed the pace, asking “Are you hungry, Violet? Do you want to stop?”
But she knew that the reality of anything concrete was enough to break the spell which had carried them this far, and though it was already too late, though something in her heart slipped as the smile slid from his lips, she closed her eyes against the sadness of torn time-space continuum, replying, “Just keep driving, Marcus. Drive forever.”
Tags: #love and lust #innocence #lost #lust #cravings #love #marriage #honeymoon #phase #fulfillment #spell #cast #broken #concrete #reality #Lovemaking #moonlight #memory #warmth #between
© January 01, 2017 – 06:00 AM
Photo: MOMA https://www.moma.org/collection/works/110263
Six degrees of separation
and twenty-four hours of pain
while he’s ordering another round
he sleeps with a bar-fly
but cannot recall her name.
Six degrees of separation
and twenty-four hours of pain
because this is how Noah felt
when he couldn’t stop the rain;
the deluge was too great
Six degrees of separation
And twenty-four hours of pain
because she can’t admit to herself
that she’s worth much more than this
and he should be out of the game.
Six degrees of separation
And twenty-four hours of pain
For the very last time tonight
She will cry for what might have been
knowing he’s already forgotten her name.
Six degrees of separation
And twenty-four hours of pain
because she’s out there living the dream
And celebrating a better man who
treats her better than what’s his name.
The theory and results:
In the first large-scale test of the six degrees hypothesis, called the Small World project, scientists from Columbia University in New York had participants send e-mails to acquaintances with the goal of eventually reaching one of the listed targets. Results, published in 2003 in the journal Science, showed the targets were reachable in five to seven steps. However, many of the chains terminated prematurely, which the scientists attribute to lack of incentive by individuals to reach a target.
Kalista’s hands shook and the world spun into blackness. She returned to consciousness seeing the face of her neighbor calling her name anxiously as though he were a long distance away. She was coughing, choking on ammonia fumes as the sound of sirens wailed in the distance. Nothing made sense and she wondered if the earth had turned over or spun off its axis. She couldn’t fathom how she came to be lying on the floor.
“Kalista, are you okay?”
She managed to catch his arm to push the smelling salts away.
“James,” she murmured in confusion, “What are you doing?”
“Oh, thank god, I thought you were done for!”
The offending fumes dissipated but sirens screamed more loudly in her ears and then halted abruptly.
“Thank god is right,” she whispered, letting her head fell back onto the carpet. Detecting unfamiliar voices and activity, Kalista shook off the temptation to lapse back into merciful oblivion and tried to rise.
James was at her side in a second, preventing further movement ordering, “No you don’t. Be still.”
“But how,” she began, “Why am I,” she tried again, fighting the fog that gripped her thoughts forcing her to give up.
James stayed her with a gentle hand, explaining, “I was just passing by to fetch the mail. Your door was open and I saw you clutch your chest. You hit the floor like a sack of hammers. I thought you had a heart attack. Paramedics are here.”
As memory returned, Kalista prayed the earth would open up and swallow her whole, “No. I’m fine, James. I’m sorry I gave you such a fright. I just skipped breakfast. I guess, I was a little light-headed,” she lied.
“You really scared me. Your face was ashen and you went down hard. I feared the worst, Kalista. You’re not moving until the paramedics check you out,” James cautioned her.
Kalista acquiesced reluctantly, “Okay but it’s not necessary. I feel so silly for causing all this commotion,” she argued with her cheeks burning.
James relayed her explanation to the medics and they checked her out thoroughly, administering an EKG and taking her blood pressure and temperature, then helping her to the couch. They filed out of the apartment explaining that she may have a concussion and shouldn’t be left alone.
Kalista couldn’t wait for them to leave so she could collect herself and her thoughts, but James took it upon himself to stay glued to her side as self-appointed caregiver. He strode the short distance to her bedroom and returned to wrap her in a blanket and tuck a pillow under her head.
She was somewhat taken aback at his innate ability to take control and make order from chaos yet, she hadn’t decided whether his insistent care was welcome yet. She only moved in two weeks prior and this protective display came as a complete surprise, but the effects of a too eventful morning took form in the shape of heavy eyelids and exhaustion.
James retrieved her mail from the floor and examined the contents of the box as her eyelids fluttered, fighting sleep, until she collapsed into the warmth and assurance of James’ commanding presence and she let her heavy eyelids close.
“Well there are no bills and nothing pressing. This is a beautiful piece of jewelry,” he said, lifting the box for a closer look, “Do you have a significant other?”
Her eyes flew open with a start as he examined the box from Daveed. Before he noticed that she was alert Kalista slammed her eyes shut, feigning sleep and hoping he wouldn’t look at the card. She lay in unsettled silence until exhaustion finally claimed her.
Tags: #long lost #love #lust #college #reunion #beau #thirty years later #gift #choker #collar #jewelry
As the world knows it is crazy-time with elections in the USA, on this TMI Tuesday. Today’s questions were created by Recusen and little ol’ me. There are many types of elections–student council, city government, civic club boards, union leadership, executive boards, Homeowners Associations, and more.
Refer to any type of recent elections as you answer the following questions.
1. I think more favorably about a candidate who has family, such as a spouse and kid(s)
True or False
2. I am more likely to support a candidate who has my same religious beliefs?
True or False
3. I am skeptical of anyone running for any type of office if they are devoutly religious.
a. I agree
b. I somewhat agree
c. I disagree
4. If a candidate has a sex scandal, I will not vote for them.
5. If a candidate was involved in a sex scandal more than a decade ago:
a. I don’t care, it will not affect my view of the candidate
b. Scandal is scandal, I cannot support that candidate
c. Everyone has sex, sex is not scandalous, I don’t care about a candidate’s sex life
e. For me to be swayed by a candidate’s sex scandal it would have to be something huge, heinous and against humanity
6. I like when candidates call each other names and get into negative verbal sparring.
a. Yes – It’s exciting to know the dirt
b. No – It’s a waste of time, I learn nothing about either candidate
Some of each. It speaks to a candidate’s character and reveals truths which were covered up.
7. Do you vote? Why or why not?
Yes. We fought for the right.
8. When it comes to campaign ads, which kind do you respond to:
a. Negative ads
b. Positive ads
9. Has a campaign ever swayed your vote?
10. Do you pay attention to who placed/paid for the ad?
Bonus: Select all that you agree with, select as many or as few as you like.
a. U.S. Presidential campaign lasts way too long
b. U.S. candidates for President waste a lot of money
c. 2016 U.S. Presidential Race is a steaming pile of poo!
How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!
How’s it going–you know, your relationship?
How did you realize an important relationship (romantic, friendship, business) was over? What was the pivotal moment or statement?
After being involved for 2+ years, he asked if I wanted to live with him. When I said no, he asked if I knew we could get married by Notary Public, like he meant to hide it.
Relationship strategy–do you have one? Share.
I have several:
Love completely, not blindly. Don’t question your instincts. Don’t let anyone else make you doubt yourself. You know what you know. Communicate. There must be love and trust enough to put fears to rest in order for love to grow instead of stagnate. Be that invested. If he gets angry instead of communicating about anything run, do not walk, to the nearest exit. Most women believe half of what their S.O. says. My strategy is to know which half.
Name two things you appreciate about your current relationship. Why are these things significant? (If not currently in a relationship, feel free to refer to your best relationship)
He had basic insight about how to satisfy a woman… Make that women.
He knew that selfish sex would not garner the result he wanted in return.
In your relationship, do you compromise?
a little never – I usually get my way
too much, it helps keep the peace (Now, I have a rule of thumb: Be empathetic, work for it, but not to the point of being a doormat.)
If you went to couple’s therapy, which of these are you most likely to have a need to discuss:
My significant other feels more like a roommate Sex is uncomfortable My partner doesn’t know what I like in bed “Forget sex! We barely touch.”
We were compatible in all those ways but it’s not a relationship if you’re in it alone.
Bonus: Below is a list of extreme sports. You must pick one sport to try. Why would you do that sport?
volcano diving (Possibly, if another relationship ends badly and there is the possibility of death. Perhaps this would snap me into a new perspective. Rebirth from hell’s mouth?)
zip-lining through a jungle bungee jumping
How to play TMI Tuesday: Copy the above TMI Tuesday questions to your webspace (i.e., a blog). Answer the questions there, then leave a comment below, on this blog post, so we’ll all know where to read your responses. Please don’t forget to link to tmituesdayblog from your website!
Happy TMI Tuesday!
Please visit all of our Friday Flashers and show them some love.
She stood on the boardwalk at Jones Beach State Park. She couldn’t believe her luck. A single week ago, she had graduated college and now her feet were standing on a beach. She watched the sunset with the Atlantic rising majestically to pummel the sand as waves crashed down with the rush and sound of fulfillment. It’s something akin to a sadistic mating dance, she thought.
Jasper began shooting the ocean and wondering how much these two elements must love one another. She watched dark, powerful ocean slap the sand sadistically, chasing earth inland in wild pursuit, only to pull a fraction of earth back to sea in enticing, seductive retreat. Its intimate give and take, and an eternal exchange of energy. Nothing can ever end this, she mused excitedly.
Standing alone in the moonlight, her cheeks flushed with embarrassment as she realized that shooting the ocean made her nothing shy of an intrusive voyeur. Jasper rolled her eyes at herself, ugh, the worst kind.
She’d caught many shots that were much more than just the wildness of Mother Nature. These are unique, one-of-a- kind photos with an intense, sensual point of view, she told herself, not like the repetitive National Geographic Magazine, she grinned lost in thought. Then Jasper hugged her camera and did a small, celebratory jump-twist.
It was as if the wide-angle lens of innocent curiosity lead her to stumble upon lecherous lovers thought hidden. Jasper knew she should leave but froze in fascination. She knew these photos would be rewarded handsomely, as certainly as she knew that cashing her paycheck would feel too similar to walking away from a John and tucking his money into her thigh-high boot.
Nonetheless, she couldn’t let it dampen her spirits. She was ecstatic knowing these shots would ‘make her’. These photos would be the beginning of a stellar reputation and career. She ran for the boardwalk anxious to tuck her equipment safely into a photography bag.
Jasper returned to the stairs below the boardwalk, bent down to retrieve her shoes and found herself looking into piercing, ice blue eyes as a scream welled up in her throat.
© October 21, 2016 – 04:10 PM
Gonna get all up onto my high heels
and haul ass out of here
gonna have to fight like a holy hellion
like I never fought for anything
like I never fought before.
Gonna slip on out of my warm bed
and paint my black jeans on
gonna be wearing a hat that matches
like I just got a sign
this is my declaration divine.
Gonna get all up onto my high heels
and haul ass out of here
gonna have to be my own super woman
for all of my sisters who can’t fight
like I have a godforsaken right.
Gonna get all up in my own existence
and then I’ll get up in yours
gonna fight like a holy hellion
like I never knew I could before
I’m no longer keeping score.
Gonna get all up onto my high heels
and paint my black jeans on
gonna be wearing a hat that matches
because this is my declaration divine
and I have a godforsaken right.
10/16/2016: In dedication to a personal declaration and end of abuse: No more divided alliances or allegiances in my home or at my back. If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the abuse.
© October 16, 2016 – 11:44 AM
They met in a chat-room for adult role play. She had just come of age and was craving the attentions of a real man. Not any of the boys in my peer group, she thought, with Joffrey in the back of her mind. Her every fantasy had come to life in him and though they had not met, she was certain she knew him through and through.
Mandy Lynn felt that she had come into her own, right here and now, but she longed to touch him and consummate what they had begun. Joffrey had broken through her defenses as no man in her life ever had. He worked at it and for it, solely set on allowing her to bare all, so she knew that Joffrey truly loved her. She could feel it from thousands of miles away.
It had taken a year but, Joffrey had worked tenaciously to break through her walls and to her amazement; Mandy Lynn let down her guard. Slowly she began to reveal her secrets and show a little skin; a bare shoulder first, then cut-off shorts hiding a black garter belt hooked to stockings, then a see thru negligée. Finally, he feasted his eyes upon her nubile, feminine form.
The lighting was perfect with shadows falling in the exact right places. He smiled in the darkness watching her features on his camera and snapped pictures she knew nothing of. He was intent on finding out just how far to push her and when to loosen his grip, all without ever breaking contact. He would save that for his ultimate weapon.
He memorized her features, etched into mind almost indelibly now; her soft lips smiling at him or parting to laugh at his jokes, her wide-eyed innocence and the curve of her hand twirling a lock of hair nervously, not knowing what to expect of him. Joffrey imagined her perky breasts, taut thighs, and tight, sweet, little ass, while he played at being a gentleman.
She had never roll-played before. She’d never even taken an acting class but she knew he was genuine. When he finally invited her to meet in person, Mandy paused for only a fraction of a moment but realized her instincts true. She knew Joffrey to be a very good man and readily accepted his invitation.
Mandy Lynn left Freeport Florida taking a leap into a future she could only dream of prior. She knew Joffrey was charming, a gregarious temptation with a warm and engaging personality. She ached to know if his arms were the perfect match she had imagined.
Every night, after chatting online, she closed her eyes to imagine the warmth and safety of his strong arms around her, the feel of his large hands exploring her, revealing her most intimate secrets, kept only for him. He would kiss her gently, increasing pressure gradually until she let him devour her and wanted him all the more.
Upon arrival of the much anticipated cab which would carry her to the airport, she couldn’t understand the knot in her stomach, or a sudden uneasiness that assailed her. She chalked it up to nerves and climbed into the taxi.
Their first week together was magical. Mandy Lynn leaned into a lamp post for strength. Retrieving a photo from her skirt pocket, she stared hard at the picture she had kept for years; a picture of the last time she was still that innocent.
In the second week Joffrey had stripped her of money, decent clothing, and withheld affection, food, and everything necessary for survival. He put her out to work the streets, under threat of bodily harm, and let his buddies trade her like so much chattel, and now I am a whore, she realized knowing she could never go home again.
For the millionth time she stared at the photo she’d kept of those days, wondering how she’d never suspected that the man she was so certain of was actually a woman-beating pimp, but couldn’t summon tears, knowing they would freeze in the biting wind, only to begin again in the depths of her broken heart.
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to persons living or deceased is strictly coincidental.
© October 01, 2016 – 02:04 AM
Dahlia stood in the darkness thinking, worrying her hands, debating her options, and wishing she was still young. Decisions came so easily then but now, she paused laying her forehead against her arm at the window and then finished her thought, now I’m twenty nine. She closed her eyes against stinging tears and swallowed hard.
She couldn’t imagine her life without dance and couldn’t imagine losing Rand either, but this was a choice she had to make. It seemed the only choice and she would have to make it again and again. Dahlia sighed shaking her head when Melinda bounded into the room with hallway light streaming in around her.
“Uh oh,” Melinda said, hitting the light switch.
Again Dahlia closed her eyes asking, “Uh oh. What?”
Melinda sat down at the table digging into her clutch, “Dahlia, you only strike that pose when you’re really upset. What’s up?”
“Nothing,” Dahlia answered.
“Sure. I’m buying that,” Melinda quipped, “You’re standing here in the pitch dark leaning into the window like you want to jump. Sure it’s nothing.”
Dahlia pulled herself upright and went to sit across from her, “I’m old, Melinda. How did this happen? I was eighteen just last week,” Dahlia said, hanging her head in her hands.
“I know but don’t think about it now. You won’t get cut. You’ve got at least a year before you have to worry about that.”
There’s more,” Dahlia whispered, “It’s Rand.”
“Mr. crazy-hot body?”
Dahlia smiled half-heartedly, “Yeah, that’s him.”
“So what is he on your last nerve about,” Melinda asked, laughing, “I’d be happy to take him off your hands!”
“We made love last night and,” her voice trailed off as she thought back.
“And,” Melinda snapped anxiously.
“And he accused me, Melinda. I’m guilty. Oh god, I’m guilty as hell! He said I wasn’t there,” Dahlia stopped short and got up to pour a drink.
“Not there? How the hell do you make love and not be there? Oh! You mean, not present?”
“Bingo,” she answered, pulling two glasses from the cupboard, “And it’s the awful truth. From the moment he asked me out, I’ve Grand jeté with every breath. One minute, I was building to orgasmic crescendo, blissfully lost in his touch, his kiss setting me on fire, and a minute later he asked, ‘Where are you, Dahlia? Where did you go?’ That’s when I realized it.”
“Realized what,” Melinda voiced her confusion, “I Grand jeté into every open door when I’m in love. Hell, that’s how I know when I’m in love!”
“Yea? And do you get lost in thinking about how the turn of your ankle was slightly off just as you’re writhing beneath him about to climax?”
“No way,” Melinda cringed.
“Way,” Dahlia placed filled glasses on the table and poured rum into each without measurement.
“You just got distracted,” Melinda offered, “He doesn’t know how hard it is for dancers. Did you tell him this could be your last year?”
Dahlia rolled her eyes at Melinda, “Yeah right. He’ll understand. He’s an architect, for crying out loud.”
“Do you love him, Dahlia? Is he absolutely the one,” Melinda swallowed hard, not expecting the amount of rum she got, “I mean, maybe he’s not worth all this?”
Dahlia sat her drink down and glued her eyes to the floor answering, “He is and he’s leaving next month.”
“Oh. Oh! He asked you to.”
Dahlia put a hand up, “Stop! Don’t say it!”
Melinda was ecstatic and crushed for Dahlia; even though it would be the break Melinda was hoping for.
Dahlia couldn’t speak. This was worse than being torn between two lovers. Dance was her life. She took a long draught and whispered, “Yes, he did.”
“I don’t know,” Dahlia cried, “I don’t know what to do! I only have a year left in dance but Rand said he’s never coming back. I asked him to wait but he needs to feel more important than anything else. He won’t wait! When he’s gone, he’s really gone,” Dahlia poured her heart out.
Finally, Melinda extracted a teabag from her velvet clutch and held it up to the light explaining, “It was a gag gift at a party I just came from.”
“Melinda!” Dahlia was shocked at her but curious, “What’s in it?”
“Pills,” Melinda replied.
“Duh! What kind of pills?”
Melinda paused, grappling for the right words and finally blurted, “The answer to your problems, Russian Roulette pills.”
“Melinda, what are you talking about?”
“Grand jeté into the grave,” Melinda whispered, testing Dahlia’s mettle, “In case of emergency, make tea.”
Dahlia descended into a fit of giggles and Melinda couldn’t help but join her. Melinda filled the teapot with water and Dahlia put the kettle on the stove. The two embraced happily and Dahlia laughed, “Okay, you’ve made your point!”
“Good! I was half worried you would do it,” Melinda grinned patting Dahlia on the back.
“It’s not a fate worse than death, but it is in a way.”
“Oh yes,” Melinda laughed, “I’d sooner die than marry Mr. crazy-hot-body! Geezzee! Drama! Drama! Drama!”
© September 19, 2016 – 04:44 AM – All Rights Reserved
In the shadows of the back room at a party, their mutual presence and timing was serendipity. His eyes met hers. She stood frozen in his gaze breathing a little too hard, her voluptuous chest rising and falling to the rapid beat of his heart. Their emotions were palpable. His countenance was that of a wolf stalking prey. Their mutual attraction was evident and insistent.
“Damn it,” he whispered, closing the gap between them.
“No shit,” she countered, throwing her arms around him.
Both knew the electric-blue heat crackling between them would likely be their demise. They lit the fuse on the keg of potential discovery that night, and risked life-threatening lies with every meeting thereafter. Theirs was a desperate love, demanding fulfillment at any price, so they rolled the dice knowing that any time together was too priceless a gift to remain undetected.
They lived on the fringes of practiced poker-faces, weaving in and out of the razor-sharp edges of night, skillfully navigating every possible means to spending time in each other’s arms, living and dying together by the tick of a clock. One ill-timed second, just the space of another breath could shatter too many lives. The intensity of their love and the depths of their attraction should have come with a HAZMAT label.
They were desperate and dangerous, a fatal combination, doing anything to sate the flames burning unchecked between them. They skated on killer blades across shards of icy domesticity, holding onto memories that could blast a Grand Canyon into undeserving worlds. They came together with precision, kindling, lighter fluid, and concentration. This love sliced the fragile ice with a single spark so potent it threatened to set the pitch-black night ablaze for all eternity.
With each of them married to another and too many lives dependent on their own, the culmination of lethal passion meant gambling everything; meeting in the small hours, slicing precious seconds in stealth to be together, or carving it out of thin air. They only existed together, arriving in disguise, signing names no one could trace, skating between luxurious hotels, the back seat of their cars, or anywhere they could lie together anonymously.
He breathed fervor upon her lips with his kiss and she drank his elixir with the desperate need of unadulterated addiction. He inhaled light that shone in her eyes that spoke of combustible emotions for him. Her eyes flashed an unmistakably beautiful light, like that of a Turkish lantern, conveying the sheer love in her heart and he could not look away.
They made vehement love with limbs wound together, bodies writhing in a deeply fierce, primal, copulate frenzy, much more incredible than either had known prior. She vowed that her life was in the mercy of his hands. He swore his only reason to breathe lay in the mercy of her presence in his life.
Together, they were salvation and damnation. With that knowledge, they threw their craven bodies to the wolves within. Fearlessly, they twined and bound their limbs, fondling and twisting entangled together on desperate coital fringes, loving more deeply, more intensely than their bodies would allow. Their love was both lifeblood and lethal tonic.
They were junkies engulfed in gambling all on the chime of time between mundane days and rapacious nights. The two were drawn together by the pull of love like the pull of moon upon ocean, both were powerless to resist. Silently, they accepted the consequences of certain death in discovery, only truly alive in suicidal satiation, greedily welcoming the divine culmination of little death.
They knew the beauty of heaven in a flash that breached earth’s atmosphere with the hellish craving of junkies, both pimp and prostitute, together, offering up everything, gambling all on the craven need to torch the kindling with every dizzying orgasm. Supply increased demand and they embraced it with the honor among two who love, like thieves in the night, stealing what was not theirs to keep.
This couple, these two that defy every obstacle, to love, to share and bestow as one soul, united them in stealing a breath of life, each for the other, in meeting and fulfilling their ravenous taste for ambrosia, on the sharp end of a needle sans judgement, caution, warning, and defying all labels.
Anyone barely glimpsing the power of their love would have killed to bottle and sell their combustion, knowing anyone would happily hand over his soul for a single sip of their cocktail. These two stole time to drink heartily and chase it with sensual fulmination; an explosion having a brilliance that blinded the gods and drowned them in their own nectar, sated and ecstatic for whatever time they claimed, each time, until the next desperate moment.
© January 11, 2016 – 02:16 AM
Dear Diary, 12/8/2015
I’m sitting here next to feckless Fred except now he’s dead, and I’m about half seas-over working on my sixth pint of Conqueror Black IBA. I found a crate in the back of his truck! Okay so murder is wrong, and way out of my comfort zone, but it was really self-defense so I know you will forgive me when I explain why.
That’s the last picture I took of him right before Thanksgiving dinner at the community club. Well it’s half the picture. Old feckless was getting an early start. Nothing new about that, but that night was the first time he hurt me.
Later, when I downloaded the pictures, I cut his head off and pasted it onto a silver platter surrounded by bloodied mashed potatoes. You’ve got to love Photoshop! I stuck it on an e-card and wrote, “It’s what’s for Dinner – Happy Turkey Day!” Well, it made Olivia laugh and I got to vent. What he didn’t know never hurt him.
Only you and Olivia know the things I said weren’t premeditation, like, “If he comes home stinking drunk again I’ll do something drastic!” I never really meant it. I was just blowing off steam. I was pissed and I spouted off, “I’ll spike his drink with Drano,” and “If he lays a single hand on me, I’ll go Unabomber on his feckless ass,” but tonight he busted through the locked bedroom door, blackened my eye and split my lip. I snapped. I guess, by now, I knew I’d kill the bastard someday. I just didn’t know it would be today.
Knowing his nightly routine, I waited to hear him turn the faucets and fill the bath. I heard the water splash in protest as he lowered his fat ass into it. Tonight, I stopped threatening and issuing impotent warnings. Tonight, I made good on them.
It was time to put up or shut up. Olivia knew it. She said, “If you forgive him, he thinks he can do it all the time and get forgiven all the time. All that teaches old feckless is that he’s right. He thinks he can injure you and get off with a few practiced tears and empty words.”
Geeze, she sure was right. She spoke with the voice of personal knowledge, warning, “One day you’ll make a decision or he’ll force you to, if he doesn’t kill you first.”
She offered to let me stay over when he really had a snoot-full. Until tonight I was damn near living there, but just like she said, Fred forced me to choose. It was his life or mine so I did the first thing that came to mind.
I went to the tool shed to fetch a long extension cord and plugged it into the wall outside the bathroom, then got the toaster and plugged it into the other end. Silently, I cracked the door. Fred got up when he saw me enter. Before he could make a move I lobbed the toaster at him, yelling, hey Fred, go deep!
You should have seen his face when I pitched the toaster into the tub! Oh, it was so much better than I’d imagined a million times! What now? I have to call Olivia straight away. Maybe she’ll know what to do with fried feckless.
(Photo (c) kiaarax
The axe fell and Jake was extremely fortunate though suffering a good deal of survivor’s guilt. He saw three good friends let go along with many less tenured personnel at Carson & Rand, but he had been promoted to fill a new slot at the company.
It was no secret that two positions, now vacated, were conglomerated into one and retitled. One man to do two jobs would ease the burden on the company and would certainly make or break the man appointed to do it.
Carson knew Jake was the man for the job. Jake can do this with his eyes closed. He’s been covering for those slackers all year, he thought, recalling that he had hand-picked him from throngs of applicants two years ago.
In him, Carson saw a ‘mover and a shaker’, a younger replica of himself. Yes sir, he congratulated himself, Jake will fill the void at a lesser salary and it will still be a hefty raise to him.
Jake swallowed hard watching his friends empty their desks and clear out office spaces that he would soon occupy. They said civil goodbyes as he looked slightly past them unable to meet their eyes. He knew it could just as easily be him vacating the premises and he could barely breathe as they filed past him to the door. It was promotion served with a roundhouse punch, upward mobility delivered with complimentary uppercut.
Emotionally and mentally Jake was beaten black and blue. Though relieved he had been spared, he was crestfallen knowing his promotion came at the expense of coworkers whom he liked and respected. My life is a roller-coaster from hell, he thought, scowling out the window.
Following grueling weeks of adjustment and weeks of long hours, Jake assuaged his guilt with the purchase of a shiny, new cabin cruiser which he named The Siren. When the load at work finally lightened he took three weeks of leave.
Every evening he sailed the sea headed for the same place; the place where she had appeared and everything had changed. He dropped anchor close enough to see the beach where he had met Sirena, or had a momentary breakdown, he reminded himself.
This time Jake stayed out all weekend telling himself he had earned a break after the office cutbacks and accompanying anxieties. But while at sea his eyes were constantly scanning, always searching for red hair sparking in the sunlight or anything resembling the mermaid he recalled. Sirena still filled his thoughts and he couldn’t let her go. He still felt unsettled in a way that would give him no peace.
Maybe I just need confirmation that she wasn’t real. Maybe that’s closure, he thought, but then tacked on, and maybe I’m fishing for the one that got away. He scratched his chin in consternation, continuing, either way I’ll have a tall fish-tale bigger than the rest, and scowled into the horizon knowing how unlikely it was that he would ever breathe a word of it.
Jake cruised several miles out into deeper water, noted dark clouds building in the evening sky, and took it as a personal challenge. He checked the portal weather station and turned the transistor radio on to hear reports of thunderheads and storms throughout the coming night. “Good,” he mumbled, “It suits my foul mood just fine.”
Sirena clung to large rocks which balanced precariously atop a sandbar. She could do nothing but hang on for her life and wait, while the driving rain pummeled and stung her flesh. Deafening thunder punctuated by blue-white lightning bolts split the ink-black sky around her. She had never seen her home from this perspective before. She’d never felt threatened by her own world until now.
She renewed her tentative grip on slippery rocks and vented her anger trying to best the thunder, she screamed, “I get it! You’re messing with me. Right?” Forgetting herself, she flung her fist into the air and went under again. Scrambling to surface, Sirena realized she could barely swim without her fishtail.
She fought to gain ground, pulling her shoulders and torso onto the rocks, angling for a safer position and yelling spitefully, “You’re punishing me for changing the natural order! Right? I thought we had a deal, Poseidon!” Another bolt plunged into murky depths as if in answer, while she watched another enormous wave building.
“Rhea should have kicked your ass to kingdom come the first time you ever threw a fit!” Sirena screamed her rage and terror into the driving wind and rain that battered her aching, exhausted body. With too little fight left she tightened her fists and filled her lungs for the next wave.
More torrents beat her down threatening to drown, but she wasn’t going to die without driving her point home. With a burst of energy born of anguished rage, she unleashed personal umbrage that matched her fiery hair illuminated in staccato, electric-blue flashes, “You traitor,” she wailed, unleashing hell’s fury, “I said I wanted to try being human! You call this a try? You’re a welcher and a traitor, Poseidon!”
Sirena hurled the insult into the torrential night with her voice breaking as rage gave way to throes of impotent sobs, “You make me human and drop me into certain death? That’s it? No warning? Why are you doing this to me,” she demanded, sputtering, coughing up seawater, and facing imminent death, yet raising her fist defiantly.
Again, the merciless night saw her hysteria, shrieking and weeping soul-wrenching tears, yet offered no reprieve. Now lost in the virulence of utter madness, Sirena didn’t see the last wave that tore her from the rocks, slammed her back into them and knocked her unconscious. She slipped below the surface, a tiny speck in the vast, violent ocean, knowing that she would die completely unnoticed; utterly alone.
Jake heard distinct cries of distress and knew her in an instant. He grabbed the torch in time to see her red hair flashing in white-hot, jagged electric, and shaking her tiny fist in determined resignation even as she went under, time and again. He ran to starboard and leapt astern, with his mind racing, I knew you were real! I knew it! Jake dropped the torch and dove overboard, yelling, “Hang on, Sirena! I’m coming!”
I dragged my hurting ass to breakfast the next morning. Aching from head to toe, I straightened my posture determined not to give goon one iota of satisfaction.
Danica watched me take a tray and walk stiffly to the table.
“Geezzze, Em’, you look like death. Are you okay?”
“Oh sure,” I ground out, “Nothing a year long, hot bath won’t fix.”
Perched before another poor excuse for food, I mused wistfully, “Oh, do you remember baths; dropping into warmth and soaking away your pain?”
Danica touched my shoulder and whispered, “Tonight we hunt. We’ll find something that you can soak in, Em.”
Slapping on a smile I didn’t feel, I prepared for hell day. Almost immediately, psych guy appeared calling my name, “Emmaline!”
Shit. Here we go again.
Without flinching, I raised my hand, “Present!”
“Be present in my office in fifteen minutes,” He said angrily, as he walked away without so much as ‘hello, goodbye, or kiss my ass.’
Helen shot an unnerved look at me, “They know it was us.”
“No way,” I confided, “it’s not about that.”
“What then,” she drilled me.
“Suffice it to say, the score is, us: 3, them: 1,” I informed her, wincing every time I moved a muscle.
“What? Did you do something last night?”
She looked worried sick and I half-feared she would spontaneously combust, so I did my best to ease her tension, “It was nothing. I can hardly believe they noticed.”
Danica jabbed a spork into flapjacks, shaking her head, and I was suddenly riddled with guilt. I broke down and told them, “I just left a teeny, tiny, little message on the scrolling marquee last night. It was nothing, really.”
Helen finally smiled, saying, “Besides, they have an elevator to lasso!”
“Atta girl,” I encouraged her.
She grinned but her face fell as she eyed her breakfast with despair.
I leaned in and said, “I have to face psych guy already. You can do this.”
I stood to go and then turned to wait. She cut off a piece and popped it into her mouth trying not to show her distaste, while I hid how badly I felt for her. Before I could rethink it, I grabbed my spork, jabbed it into her breakfast, and shoveled a big piece of her meal into my mouth.
I must have turned six shades of green just trying not to wretch. Helen laughed right out loud. The sound of her laughter made me feel brand new. Even Danica and Marie were joking and laughing. I walked to the inner sanctum mentally patting myself on the back.
When I arrived at psych guy’s office the door was closed. At times like this, he really grated on my nerves. I stood there thinking over my predicament,
I can knock. I should knock. It’s his office, but he showed me no zero respect in front of everyone in the community room, and I didn’t get to eat breakfast!
Finally, I grabbed the doorknob, twisted and barged in, and flounced into my usual chair declaring loudly, “Present!”
“So you are,” he mumbled into his palm, unimpressed.
“Sir, yes sir,” I saluted him not bothering to stand. Even my bruises felt like they had bruises.
Mercilessly, he stated the obvious, “It would seem you’re not quite up to your usual standards, soldier.”
I rested my head on my hand, nearly crumbling. His stare burned into me. He was just waiting for me to break, to disintegrate into dust so he could be rid of his problem; me.
“What is it, Emma?”
“Emma,” I shrieked, “Don’t you dare presume to call me by a familiar name! You don’t know me and I don’t trust you! You haven’t earned my trust and neither has any of the staff! You fire off your orders, not once considering that we’re all here for a reason. A profoundly ugly reason! If I gave a shit, I’d ask what your major malfunction is, but to be perfectly blunt, I couldn’t possibly care less than I do at this very second!”
I gave him no quarter, not even a space of breath to interject anything before I stormed out, slamming the door behind me. To my stunned disbelief, he didn’t follow.
The next morning, I joined the herd racing to pre-breakfast smoke break. I sat alone at my table and pulled a cigarette from the pack, but didn’t light it. I stared down, flipping it in my fingers and wondering if I still wanted to die. I rolled it in my palm thinking hard while concocting a slightly morbid pro/con list in mind,
I never planned a slow death. I just want it to be over, done,finished – finally. Now. I need to escape the whipping post and I need to never return to people who are killing me slowly, every single day, and enjoying it.
God help me, I started this and I need to try for Danica. I made a promise, took an oath, and shared my deepest grief with her. Maybe an apartment isn’t realistic, with both of us working for minimum wage, but there are shelters. We could stay at a shelter, pool our resources and save up. I have to try. I didn’t promise just anyone. I promised her. She’s the only family I have now. Actually, she’s the only true family I’ve ever had.
To my own shock, I stood and walked past goon, went inside and handed the pack to big B without a word of explanation and walked away. Then I joined the girls for breakfast as goon made her way to the front of the room.
Danica smiled, beaming at me, and whispered, “You did good!”
I hadn’t realized she had been watching me so closely. I smiled wanly when Goon interrupted my thoughts, “Attention, everyone,” Her voice boomed, “Whoever is responsible for the elevator is in serious trouble! That is a fire hazard and this person, or persons, will be punished accordingly.”
I presumed her announcement had everything to do with ordering me to mop the community room tonight. I figured I’d better get used to it if we planned on life in a shelter, but I took the opportunity to curse Psych guy in silence, presuming he probably put her up to it.
That evening, I mopped for a long time in silence but screaming in my mind. Again I considered lighting goon on fire and shoving her down an empty elevator shaft, or into rush hour traffic on a busy highway. I mopped furiously, fueled by my homicidal thoughts, and when I finished I fell into bed too exhausted to speak.
Fitful sleep imprisoned me in ungodly nightmares until I woke to Goon’s pudgy face peering through the small window. I considered turning over to sleep through the night but I wouldn’t let her think she had broken me. My eyes were nearly closed again when I forced myself up to sit on the edge of the bed.
Danica and Marie were sound asleep. I heard the front door click shut and it was too much temptation while thirsting for revenge. I let myself out of our room, went to the main computer, set the scrolling marquee, and typed:
Graduate Mop Maid, Institution of Screw, Fucking, U!
I left it scrolling across the screen, well aware that goon would know with certainty that I did it and I didn’t care one bit. Once again, I chalked up an imaginary score, slicing the air with my finger, and whispering, “Them – one. Us – three”.
Out of unadulterated, malignant spite, I stayed up long enough to write deplorable ‘love lost’ prose, dropped the page near the door, and slept soundly for the rest of the night.
© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM
He stood on the shore, scanning the rolling waves and hoping to catch sight of her, even as he began to unravel. With both hands gripping the sides of his head, a tortured scream was wrenched from deep in his gut, echoing from sea to sky and back to him.
“No! No! No! No! Noooooooo! This isn’t happening! What the fuck is happening to me? Fucking hell!”
With his knees giving way Jake slid limply to the ground having no clue where to turn now. Night descended while he sat, butt in the cool sand, reviewing the day and trying to determine exactly where he’d slipping off the beam.
Okay, He thought determinedly, so layoffs are more traumatic than I’d realized. So what? I’ll find another job. A better job! Yea! And make more money than I do now! It’s a momentary mental break, just a minor, little psychotic, He winced at the word, break. He continued coaching himself. That’s all. My mind just created a powerful diversion; an escape, of sorts. What man can resist a siren? Yea, it’s a delusion, that’s all. I’m okay now. I’m fine.
But Jake was acutely aware that he wasn’t fine.
Mermaid, he snickered at himself. You’ve read too many tales of man versus sea, old boy!
He effectively talked himself down from the proverbial ledge when his thoughts turned to Katherine. She never failed to warm his heart and he took immense comfort in her nurturance. Jake had chosen his first wife wisely and longed to go to her now.
He could almost feel his head in her lap while she ran delicate fingers through his hair, whispering, “Shhh quiet your mind, love. Don’t think any more tonight. Close your eyes and I’ll sooth you to sleep.”
He rested elbows on knees still gripping his head, as though it may explode, thinking, I can’t let her see me like this. For crying out loud, get it together man! You have real responsibilities to handle!
Then Myra’s face came to mind. She was such a joy to be with and a smile never failed to kiss his lips at the thought of her. She was the woman he shared his dreams and ambitions with, the wife who seemed to think he could do no wrong. Myra always looked at him reflecting all that he wished to see in himself. Nothing was too silly or far-fetched. No topic was off limits. He imagined the amusement in her eyes if she could see him now, knowing that regardless, he may never speak of this day to anyone.
Jake released his head and stood to swipe the sand from his rumpled clothing and all traces of delusion from his face. He ran his hands over jeans and tan skin ensuring that he was entirely put together. Pausing for a brief moment, he looked out at the constantly rolling waves, whispering to himself, “I’m okay. I’m a lucky man. If the price of having too much love is a momentary lapse, I’ll count myself very lucky indeed,” He comforted himself.
Jake turned homeward feeling as though he were trudging through wet cement, but forced his feet to turn back saying , “Goodbye, my beautiful Sirena. Perhaps we will meet again someday.”
Sirena floated silently in the ocean, hidden in breakers with tears in her eyes, watching him disappear into the night.
He spent the afternoon on the beach walking in the surf and trying to clear his mind. Layoffs were imminent and he couldn’t afford to get the axe now. Jake was a benevolent man and caring for his family came to him as naturally as breathing. Still, he was just a man with just a little bit of ‘the devil may care’ in him.
He turned to walk the half mile back to his car when something made him stop and look back. Jake stared into the distance trying to discern what it was.
A sound? No, more like something haunting me that’s trying to breach the surface.
He started back toward the car when it happened again. Jake looked to the heavens, saying aloud, “You’re messing with me, right? This is punishment for taking more than one wife?”
Jake regrouped long enough to wonder how he would appear to anyone that might be watching; standing here alone, imploring the gods, tossing his arms up and speaking to no one there. He shook his head laughing at himself thinking, It’s stress. It’s always stress. That’s what drives rational men mad.
Again the feeling interrupted his thoughts. It was something akin to a gentle tugging at his heart, which made him turn fully to look over his shoulder. Then he saw her.
No shit! No way!
Jake stood transfixed, mesmerized at the sight of her and unable to think. He forced his focused enough to believe he wasn’t imagining her, but didn’t dare move suddenly for fear of frightening her away.
Sirena propped herself on the shore drying her gossamer locks in the evening sunset. Her fiery hair tumbled carelessly down her back as she breathed in the salt-sea air, the vast ocean, and the long expanse of deserted beach. She loved everything about her life; carefree days, full moon nights, warm sunset evenings and wide open spaces; everything that was her freedom.
Only half believing his eyes, Jake made his way down the beach, approaching her with caution, while trying to make sense of the scene before him. The beach had been deserted all evening, not another soul around yet, suddenly, there was a half-naked beauty stretching lazily in the spot where he’d stood fifteen minutes ago.
But it’s more than that, He thought. It’s as if she radiates all the goodness in the world; like she’s emanating the purity of, love.
Jake would have sworn he’d been sluicing through a desert and she was a mirage. He was close enough to touch her shoulder but she showed no modesty, nothing that spoke of shame or covering herself in his presence. She sat at water’s edge, playfully dangling her legs in the waves as he stood stock-still searching for an opening line.
He raked his hand through tousled hair wondering if she had actually spoken.
Did I imagine it? She’s not real. I’m not real. None of this is real! Jake scolded himself; I’m probably in the car having some freaky, stressed-out, highway hypnosis or something.
“Isn’t it customarily polite to speak when spoken to?”
Her back was still to him but this time Jake was sure.
“I’m sorry, miss, I didn’t… ah, hello,” He offered, moving to sit beside her, “I’m,”
Sirena turned eyes to him and he tripped over his tongue, “Stunned,” He finished.
“You’re stunned? That’s your name,” She teased.
“Jake,” He corrected, offering his hand, “I’m sorry, I guess I am a little…” Jake stopped, still unable to tear his eyes from hers, “How, What, Where the devil did you come from,” He asked, still disbelieving his own eyes.
“I’m Sirena. Good to meet you too.”
Did she say that? I’m starting right at her and I don’t know if her lips moved.
“The pleasure is all mine,” He returned, “How did I not see you sooner,” He asked, “I’ve been here all evening.”
“I’m sure you have many burdens and I was pretty far out,” She answered, watching him scan the sea for a boat or diving gear.
“Where are you from Sirena?”
“Oh, you know,” she evaded, “I’m a child of the world.”
“I guess you’ve traveled a lot,” He asked, attempting small talk.
“You could say that,” She replied with a nonchalant shrug as she sensed the change of tide even before she felt it.
Jake knew he was already head over heart in love with her but knew, as well, that all of this was just too surreal.
“It’s getting late,” Sirena whispered, not quite realizing why that fact made her feel melancholy, “I have to go soon.”
“No wait,” He plead urgently, “Can I see you again?”
Sirena couldn’t fathom why she was drawn to Jake, or to anything that could jeopardize the life she had now.
The turn of the tide is a warning. The pull of the moon is trying to lure me out of this, this… this!
“Sirena, please. I must see you again,” He pressed.
“Do you believe in mermaids, Jake,” She probed.
“Do you,” She demanded point blank.
“Okay, yes. Sure. Can I see you tomorrow?”
Sirena slipped into the water saying, “Meet me tomorrow at sunset.”
“Okay,” He smiled, tentatively relieved, “I’ll be here. Wait! Why did you ask about mermaids?”
She smiled up at him and stated matter-of-factly, “Because I’m about to test your meddle.”
With that she ducked below the surface and the last thing Jake saw was a fishtail that slapped the ocean powering her departure.
I postponed our meeting until after I’d met with Helen. It seemed an eternity until goon and B left for break and I was edgy. They suspected me of everything. I knew that. I also knew I was entirely guilty but they had it coming.
B and goon headed for the elevator just outside the front door. I presumed it went to a lunch room or eatery of some sort among other floors and places.
Helen must have been anxious too. When I entered the bathroom, she was already there. I pulled myself up on the ledge by the sink and she sat next to me.
“Ready,” I asked extending my finger.
Helen looked ecstatic and admitted, “I’m happy to finally feel like I’m a part of things. I’m officially one of you.”
My heart ached, “Oh, Helen,” I said, “You have always been one of us. Honest, I never meant to make you feel otherwise. We can’t do anything significant without you. If I asked to move you to our room, goon would see to it that you were moved further away.”
“No,” she confided, “You didn’t make me feel alienated, I just don’t get to share with you guys much since I’m not in your room. I’ve just been an insecure goof.”
“Hold on a sec,” I said, “You’re no goof and that’s my friend you’re putting down. It’s perfectly fine to feel insecure. No one here is exactly on solid ground,” I said, rolling my eyes at the absurdity, “Hell, that’s why we’re all here. I’m sorry, Helen.”
“It’s okay. It’s not your fault and besides,” she said, “tonight we rock the place!”
“Absolutely,” I laughed, and reached to hug her.
I extracted the makeshift tools from my hospital sock, explaining, “I collected utensils from meals and found a nice-sized rock to sharpen some and flatten others, “and these,” I said, holding out some pieces that were sturdier, “I melted together with a lighter I found buried by the fence.”
Helen took them from me turning them over to inspect them. “What, exactly, do you want me to do,” she inquired.
“If you can, I want you to rewire the elevator,” I smirked, “and I want it floating from floor to floor and bouncing around, stopping randomly but not on ground or at the break room. Can you do that?”
Helen didn’t answer right away and I could almost see the gears turning.
“Will these work,” I asked, eyeing the utensils.
“I think,” She said uncertainly, “I hope so. Let me try,” she replied more brightly.
“That’s all I ask,” I giggled wickedly.
“Oh, you are evil! Can you imagine how pissed goon will be?”
“Exactly,” I said, grinning mischievously, “but this also has to do with frustration and helplessness,” I explained.
I pulled the list from my elastic waistband and my other list; the list of what to say to Danica fell out. “Whoops!”
I fumbled grabbing the folded paper to stuff it back in my waistband, and then pulled a pencil from my sock.
“What’s that,” Helen asked.
“Later,” I said hurriedly, “No time right now.”
I made a mental note to shred the useless list into confetti and flush it, or eat it if I had to. Then I looked over my shoulder to check the door, “Meet ya back here at four,” I said hurriedly.
“Okay,” she agreed, sliding silently from our perch.
I took the utensils from her and stuffed them into her sock. We made the usual bathroom noises and, having arrived ahead of me, she left first. Returning to my room, I heard B and goon enter just as I clicked the door closed.
The girls were already forming a circle when I motioned frantically, jumped into bed and hauled the covers up. They followed suit and we waited in silence. Return rounds came and went.
Later I took a chance, tiptoed to Danica and touched her finger. She turned to face me and I leaned down explaining, “Tonight could take a while. If you want to talk later, get some rest now if you can.”
“Sounds good to me, sis,” she replied, stretching.
“You sure,” I asked, “There’s always tomorrow night.”
“Let’s try for tonight,” she said, “If I fall asleep, we will make tomorrow a given,” She smiled up at me.
“Great. That’ll work,” I told her.
“What are you and Helen going to do,” she inquired with a grin.
“Oh no,” I said in a hushed tone, “You’ll have to wait and see this time,” I chuckled, tiptoeing back to bed.
The front door clicked shut and B’s voice became a drone and then silence ensued. I cracked our door and checked the front desk. They were gone.
I looked back down the hall as Helen cracked her door and I motioned for her to come. She got a running start and skidded in her socks across the slick floor. I smiled happily, knowing we were both terribly pleased she would finally be included.
“Before we do this,” I cautioned, “I cannot tell you how important it is that if you get as much as a feeling that someone might be coming; that we could get caught, or any uneasy feeling, I want you to drop what you’re doing and haul ass for the nearest hiding place, even if it’s an uncomfortable night sharing my cement slab.”
Helen’s face was absolute seriousness until she descended into a fit of the giggles. “I know,” she chortled, “The beds are conducive to doing penance or something, anything but sleep!”
I laughed with her until we reached the front doors. We both stopped and held our collective breath. I pushed and she pulled. We turned to each other and switched sides doing it again.
“Damn it all,” I hissed.
“Wait a sec,” Helen said, moving to reach toward the top on tiptoe.
“What are you looking for,” I asked.
“There should be,” she stopped mid-sentence and felt around higher than she could see. A moment later, I heard a loud click and spring. Then she finished, beaming proudly, “an emergency fire button!”
“Way to go, elevator gal!”
I pushed the door open with one hand and patted her on the back with the other. We scrambled for the elevator knowing time was getting short.
Helen hopped in and I followed. She pushed a button and the doors closed. She managed to remove the faceplate without too much trouble and, while watching her replace one wire with another, I was fascinated by how much she seemed to know innately.
No doubt about it, the girl is spectacularly smart, I thought while watching intently.
Helen pushed the faceplate back on explaining that she had rigged the elevator to stop at the break room once and never again. To me, that was code for, ‘The elevator will pick up B and goon to take them on a ridiculous ride until they get frustrated, and feel helpless enough, to exit on some other floor and walk.’ It was precisely what I wanted.
Helen had bought us precious minutes. Just as I was wondering if we should hide under the stairs for the night, she gave us just enough time to run for it. I made it to my room and watched as Helen shut her door just in time. Heaving a relieved sigh, I leapt into bed and listened.
B was voicing her frustration, “Wasn’t that weird,” she asked goon.
“No more weird than the other things the mice have been up to lately,” was Na’s disgruntled reply.
When the cats are away, the mice will play! I laughed to myself.
“Maybe it was just a fluke,” B said.
“Yea and I’m a monkey’s uncle,” goon returned.
Yep! I thought so!
Again, goon rounded on us immediately but found nothing she could pin on us. She left with an infuriated warning to me, “I’m watching you, missy! One step out of line, just one!”
Goon closed the door and I smirked silently, I don’t know Missy but I reckon she’d best watch her step!
We waited until B and goon’s voices were a soft buzz at the front desk before we moved into our circle. Danica was nearly ready to burst, “What the heck did you guys do,” she asked, peering at me with astonished eyes.
“Not me,” I said, “Helen! She’s a genius!”
Marie and Danica looked at each other and then Marie said, “I thought she fixed elevators?”
“Yeesss,” I drew the word out in a smug, self-satisfied voice.
“You didn’t! You couldn’t have possibly,” Danica began.
I cut her off, “No. I can’t, but Helen can!”
I wanted to make a big deal for Helen. I hadn’t realized just how left out she had been feeling, and tonight was an amazing coup d’état. I was so proud of her and wanted the girls to fuss over her.
Again, they looked at each other and Danica turned to me hissing, “Spill!”
It was my turn to combat a fit of hilarity, “Okay! Okay, here it is,” I took a moment to collect myself and explained what I’d asked Helen to attempt. All of us, even I, was stupefied that she pulled it off. “If this were the working world, Helen is Executive Management, and I was one step away from flipping burgers and asking ‘Would you like fries with that?’”
I explained how she had found the emergency lock and gave Danica and Marie enough of the story, omitting details, to know they would pry Helen for details.
“Holy cow,” Marie whispered her amazement, “If I ever have to be in a fight, I want you two on my side!”
“Likewise,” Danica laughed.
“Deal,” I said with a smile.
The following morning, breakfast was perfect for once.
“For how long,” Marie asked Helen, “The elevator is just bouncing around all over the place?”
“Kind of,” she smirked, “I rigged it to pick them up at the break room and then bounce around, stopping on any floor except the break room or ground.”
“So they bounced around until they had to exit on another floor and take the stairs,” Danica asked, her eyes filled with exuberance.
“Yep,” I chimed in with the intent of war games, “and it will continue to until they feel aggravated, frustrated, and helpless enough to call the repairman, or woman,” I smiled at Helen, and then turned away from the desk overlooking the long table, laughing and holding my stomach.
Helen seemed to walk taller after that. She was also more talkative and I was pleased that circumstances conspired to bring us closer. It was a happy day for us.
Under cover of night, I took out my list and crossed off frustration, aggravation, and helplessness. The girls leaned in to see what I was doing.
“The big picture is,” I whispered holding up the list, “war games have a point.”
“Damn,” Marie giggled, “We’re good!”
“Damn straight,” I laughed softly.
“What’s next,” Danica inquired.
“Bed,” I said, stifling a yawn.
“No, I mean for goon and B!”
“Ummm, rest,” I dodged, avoiding the question for now, “Okay, off to bed. Even warring women need sleep.”
With that, we repaired to our beds. Danica and I moved our pillows back to the lower end and looped pinkies. We lay there in silence until I could hear Marie’s breathing deepen, and then I asked Danica, “Where did I leave off?”
“No good deed went unpunished and your unavailable brother,” she sighed.
I smiled to myself.
We both just want to be each other’s family and be happy, I thought, why can’t anything ever just be easy?
I decided to take her advice and just start anywhere, “I think, besides marrying at a young age, the folks couldn’t deal with losing their sacrificial lamb. I mean let’s face it; I was the one they could count on beating down on a constant basis. I don’t know, maybe that helped them feel better about their miserable lives. Then they had the audacity to ask me why I had such low self-esteem.”
“Good grief, Em’, when the mailman delivers, does your address just say ‘Hell,’” she asked, sympathizing with me.
“Pretty much, yea,” I said, with absolutely sincerity.
“It’s been pretty repetitive for most of my life. It’s like an avalanche; nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and impossible to stop.”
“This happened every day,” she asked.
“Yes. It was more heaped on top of more, and more, and more. I couldn’t take one more word. I swear to God, Danica, I’d rather die, so I did the math and that was the best answer for everybody in my world.”
“Wow, so they finally broke you,” she said, pondering my circumstances, “Ever since you can remember?”
“For as long as I’ve been alive,” I admitted. This is not to imply that I actually lived. I died steadily, little by little, every day. I just wanted, no needed, to put myself out of their misery and mine.”
“Holy hell, Em’! You can’t go back there! You’re not insane but they sure are.”
“I know,” I said, breaking down for the first time, “I don’t know what to do,” I admitted with tears stinging my eyes.
Danica held my hand tightly and offered, “I don’t know how yet, but we’re going to be fine. We’ll figure it out together.”
She sat for a moment, gripping my pinky tightly, each of us lost in our own thoughts, until she murmured, “We’re a real pair. You’re the sacrificial lamb tied to the whipping post and I’m the invisible daughter.”
“Exactly,” I agreed, sobbing and trying to haul myself together again. We should think about getting an apartment together,” she said, glancing toward the door.
We both moved our pillows back and Danica tucked me in like a child. I wiped my tears and whispered my thanks as she left me with words to ponder. We had almost opposite lives. How the hell did we wind up in the same place?
Posted with special thanks to a cousin who did this in college, due to water balloon wars, and paid harshly for it. You rock, cuz!
From psych guy’s office I wandered to the porch and, took a seat. I turned to the girls, talking boisterously, and I touched Danica’s finger, saying, “Tonight. Right?”
She nodded and I strolled out to the fence. No longer feeling apprehension and terror, I wondered if things really can change. God knows I’ve had ample evidence to the contrary.
Immediately, I dismissed the thought as I contemplated the change in Maya. She seemed so clean, so clear-headed, as though her twisted mind had been unknotted. She even walked differently, with assurance of self and shoulders squared.
Then I realized what I was thinking. No shit! I’m envious? I envy her? Holy cow pies!
I felt startled and shaken to the depths of me, when I saw Danica cresting the hill searching. This time I got up to close the gap. Meeting her half way down, I asked her about my prior conclusion, suggesting, “Sis, I know I said we should only talk at night, but, if it’s okay with you, I’d like us to talk whenever the coast is clear.
“Yes! Yay,” she smiled.
I locked our fingers and we headed back. Upon reaching the porch we all sat talking about the crappy food, and lousy mattresses atop makeshift, metal bedframes, and I made it a point to pay special attention to Helen.
We had staggered our meetings and I was sure there were times when she must have felt left out. She didn’t get to share a room with us and she had to eat the crappiest, sugarless foods while watching us receive the semi-normal foods, but I had a surprise up my sleeve. I touched her finger and asked, “Bathroom at two a.m. break?”
Having listened in, Danica and Marie broke into huge smiles. Marie asked, “Is it time? You have,” and quickly lowered her voice, “the tools?”
I nodded, saying, “I think so. I’ll show them to Helen tonight. You’ll know if they will work. Right?”
“Yea! You bet ya,” she exclaimed.
We were filled with glee and hiding it in silence when I turned to find goon standing against the door, holding it slightly ajar. It was too obvious she was spying. At this point, silence was the kiss of death, so I hid my arm in front of me and pointed back at goon, making an ugly frown.
Marie took the cue, “Helen, your hair is so silky. How do you keep it like that?”
Helen glanced quickly at goon and replied, “Well I don’t have the usual tools here, but I tend to stick with shampoo that has,” she stopped short not knowing the scientific words for the products and finished, “softening agents in them and I use a detangler. Oh and never brush wet hair,” she cautioned.
With my back to the door I grinned at them, knowing they had just saved us some unneeded grief.
“I’ll look up the softening agents for you,” Helen continued, “as soon as possible.”
I saw Marie and Helen relax and looked back to see that goon had gone on her way. I dragged the back of my hand over my forehead, saying, “Whew! That was close!”
All the girls mumbled that goon was onto us. I didn’t want to scare them, but it was an inescapable fact.
“Yes, I know,” I warned, “We have to be more cautious from now on.”
“Are you sure this is wise,” Helen asked.
I smiled snickering, “Of course not, but what other fun do we have here, unless you really enjoy broken crayons and ancient crossword puzzles?”
All three grimaced and grumbled about how little was made available to do.
“That reminds me, I haven’t written any lousy prose for big B lately,” I said, lost in thought.
Everyone leaned in to touch my finger and Helen laughed,”Let’s all remember to bow and give thanks to the television gods for access to a TV!”
“I guess you guys are as bored as I am,” I said.
“Well yea, that,” Marie hinted, “and you haven’t breathed a word about psych guy.”
I turned to my opposite side knowing Danica hadn’t even told the girls and gave her a thankful wink.
“Okay. I’ll say what I’m able to tonight but use extra caution. Okay?”
They nodded affirmatively and we filed inside for dinner.
I stared at the slab of turkey breast on my plate, recently frozen and thawed to eat, with think globs of gravy on top of sliced bread. Trying not to wretch, I considered Helen. I was certain the meal must look like heaven to her, so I dug in vigorously, cut off a huge helping and shoveled it into my mouth.
Before I could bite down, I tasted a dreadful and unmistakable tang. My effort became an immediate small disaster. Fisting a napkin, I spit out the mouthful and turned my meal over to expose large, moldy spots on the bread and I turned at least five shades of green.
“What is it,” Marie asked, chewing hungrily.
“I’m allergic to mold,” I whispered, cupping my hand around my mouth to hide my dismay from Helen.
Marie leaned over to inspect my overturned meal, sputtering, “Oh! Ewww!”
Without hesitation, she flipped her own to check and with that, all attempts to hide disgust were lost.
“Mine’s fine,” she said, slicing it to give me half.
I thanked her kindly and asked her to take it back explaining that I’d lost my appetite.
“Okay, but I’ll sneak the cookies back to our room for you. If you’re hungry, you can munch then,” she whispered.
“Thanks,” I offered, as goon made her way behind me.
Hmmm, she’s getting sneaky. She’s definitely onto us or, at least, me.
“You hardly touched your meal,” she said cunningly.
I tried to think of something she couldn’t argue with but drew a blank. Instead, I bit my tongue.
Goon heaved a sigh and rounded the table finishing dinner rounds. Helen shot a worried look at me and whispered, “She knows something’s up.”
“Agreed,” I conspired, “Like I said, extra caution from now on.”
I reached beneath the table in a way that was only perceptible to us. Three fingers touched mine and I looked around before saying, “Meeting tonight after two a.m. rounds. Helen, meet me in the bathroom a few minutes after you hear me open my door. Okay?”
“Sure thing,” she answered, tossing me a relieved smile.
Sometimes I wonder if the girls trust me a little too much, I worried.
“If goon and B come back early, it’s off tonight,” I added for safe measure.
“Got it,” Helen whispered, under her breath.
Afterwards, I reached next to me and coiled my finger through Danica’s to let her know we would talk privately after our meeting. She sent me a knowing glance and got up to empty her tray.
When goon called lights out for the night I tiptoed to Danica to explain that I would be slightly late for our talk.
“How come,” she asked with a worried frown.
I’d finally remembered a website I loved and fudged, “I just have something to do.”
“Want some help,” she queried.
“Nah, I’ll tell you about it later. Get some rest.”
At two a.m. rounds, I waited until the coast was clear and went straight to the computer to look up netdisaster.com.
I downloaded an application which would attack a computer in a variety of ways and wondered which one to choose. Cows pooping on the screen?
I tried it but it didn’t send the right message. Nuke the monitor!
I downloaded Desktop NetDisaster and installed the software to make missiles nuke the computer screen, giving the appearance that all records had been infected or hacked as bombs exploded on the monitor, complete with sound effects.
I set up the effect on all the office computers smiling wickedly at my handiwork, and then scooted back to the room, extracted my list, and crossed off ‘helplessness.’
© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM – All Rights reserved
Breakfast was fairly uneventful, for a change. I didn’t have a meltdown. I was refreshed yet exhausted. I recognized the irony of the paradox, but didn’t fully understand it.
Last night was the only time I’d ever confided in anyone and I slept better than I could recall in recent memory, yet I was profoundly tired.
I suppose, carrying everyone’s world up a mountain can have that effect after my first night of rest.
Conversely, psych guy was wide awake and ready for me, with his hair combed in place, wearing a suit without a single wrinkle, and eyes bright and alert. He greeted me with a beaming smile, “Good morning, Nyx.”
“’Morning,” I mumbled and plopped into my usual seat wondering,
Why do I always feel like I’ve been sent to the principal’s office?
“Well, it looks like sleep was not a friend to you last night,” he jabbed, tossing my own words back at me.
“On the contrary,” I quipped resuming yesterday’s calm demeanor, “Aergia dropped by for a visit and I’m still recovering from the night’s effects.
“Aergia,” he repeated, obviously rifling through his repertoire of Greek mythology.
“Yes, I said, “We enjoyed a long, lazy, girls night of chit chat. It’s so rare when our attentions are not pulled in other directions by obligations and commitments,” I prattled on, emphasizing ‘commitments.’ She is an ever present fixture, if not exactly vigilant,” I explained.
“Oh, lazy, sloth, Aergia. Got it.”
“Perhaps not entirely,” I countered, “She’s a spirit, one of several who guard my son’s domain. Aeriga is spirit and a goddess. Do you know what that means?”
Psych guy shook his head, speculating about what I would come up with next.
“Spirits, by definition, affect other souls with like qualities,” I explained, “Aergia is the spirit of laziness. She is infectious in that way. I’m just recuperating from a night of supremely indulgent laziness.”
“What sort of home does your son have? He must be very rich,” he stated petulantly, “to require that much security.”
“It’s a deep, dark, rocky, cave,” I said, with a mother’s tolerance.
“A cave,” he replied, “A cave that Aergia guards. What exactly does she guard, pray tell? Does he expect looters to steal his stash of rocks?”
“I would imagine, much the same things you do,” I shot back at him.
“I see,” he said thoughtfully, scratching his chin, “How so?”
“She, among others, guards his home and his well-being. He resides in a dark cave next to his twin brother, Thánatos, in the underworld.”
“He does,” his voice was a mixture of appreciation and incredulity.
I didn’t even slow down. Trying out my imitation of a purely maternal voice, I continued, “He does not see the changing of days, the rising or setting sun, or even the moon,” I frowned slightly for effect, “His peace lies in tranquility, the quiet; his own and that which surrounds him. His home has not as much as gates that may awaken him with creaking.”
“Really, a deep, dark cave in the underworld, where he brought his wife to live, next door to his brother,” He challenged me, “Who is Thánatos?”
“He is god of death.”
“You must be very proud,” he smiled derisively as he shot his dig at me.
“Well, admittedly, it’s not every mother’s dream but,”
“Hypnos lives with his wife, Pasithea,” he repeated, testing my knowledge and trying to figure out how to best me, “in the underworld with his twin brother, death,” he interrupted.
“Do you expect that I am uneducated about my own family? Do you think me unfit?”
Our eyes locked in a battle of wits and wills as tense silence filled the room.
Just to annoy him further, I continued, “As I was saying, it’s actually quite lovely. The River Lethe runs through it, and Pasithea has such a sweet countenance. She’s the deity of hallucination and relaxation. She’s so good to Hypnos and good for him,” I sighed clasping my hands over my bosom and smiling like an oblivious mother, brimming with ignorant joy, then caught myself thinking,
Cripes, I just made myself want to hurl!
“And what does all this mean to you, Emmaline?”
His question startled me back to reality and I stumbled, “You asked!”
“Good! Very good, Emmaline! I did ask, Emmaline. What did I ask?”
“You asked me who I am,” I shot at him, suddenly realizing I’d let him get away with addressing me by my real name, “But I still don’t know this Emmaline you speak of,” I added, attempting to put things to rights, “Perhaps you will tell me about her one day?”
“I believe you will discover her,” he explained kindly, “and you will be a better mother to her than she has known in the past.”
I turned a confused face to him while attempting to hide startled eyes, but he imparted nothing more.
Instead, he finished with his usual, “Come again tomorrow at noon. Good day, Emmaline.”
I opened the door to leave, took a step, and found myself face-to-face with the lost girl I had noticed yesterday. Again, she looked much healthier than I had witnessed while being admitted. I couldn’t help myself. I touched her shoulder gently, smiled, and said, “Way to go, girl.”
She smiled back, quietly saying, “Thanks,” and stood waiting.
“Emmaline,” I introduced myself, extending my hand.
“Maya,” she said taking it.
We shook once and I turned away as she opened psych guy’s door.
© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM – All Rights reserved
Marie, Danica, and I sat in our circle after goon made rounds. The three of us added to our list of B and goons’ schedules and deviances from them. As it happened, goon was fairly regimented about sticking to her routine. Big B wasn’t quite that methodical. I expected that.
What woman in love does the expected things all the time? Probably not many.
I asked and answered my own question in my head, not even realizing I had slipped into my own thoughts; thoughts about the staff, the girls’ respective wellness, and what I would say to Danica tonight.
Eventually I heard Marie and then saw her waving her hand in front of my face, “Emmaline, come baaack.”
“Oh. Oops. Sorry,” I said, chagrined.
“Where did you go,” she queried.
Even in the darkness, I looked away and lied, “I was visiting my happy place.”
“Wow,” she countered, “If that’s your happy place, I’d hate to know where your hell is.”
I forced a smile and replied, “We’re in it. At least my sisters are with me.”
Danica touched my hand and slipped her finger through mine. It was small, yet a really huge, gesture that no one but us noticed. I knew then, that she was not just my sister on the inside. She was my family for life.
Later, we arranged our beds backwards so we could whisper to each other after Marie fell asleep. With pillows at the foot of our beds, we reached to circle our fingers and Danica asked haltingly,
“You-told me to ask. Remember?”
“Yea, I know,” I said, “I mean, its okay, I remember.”
“So what happened to you, Em?”
I thought for a long minute and replied, “Whew, ummm, where do I start?’
“Anywhere, I think,” Danica replied, “I mean, for me, it’s not really about the order of when things happened. It’s that they did happen.”
Danica fell silent and I found myself thinking that my first summarization of her had been exact: Astute, fearless, and sharply pointed.
“Okay,” I said, “But after I tell you, then you have tell me.”
“I will,” she assured me, loosely shaking our looped fingers, “I promise.”
“Well let’s see,” I began, “I used to be the white sheep. I did everything that was asked and expected of me, to the best of my ability, for all my life,” then paused, realizing I couldn’t hear Danica breathing.
“You still awake, sis?”
“Of course,” she whispered, “I’m just concentrating. Go on,” she pressed.
“Around my fifteenth year, I broke.”
Danica sighed heavy-heartedly, “That’s horrible. You were a worn out work horse at fifteen.”
“Yeah, no shit,” I responded, continuing, “I was a good daughter and the daughter who could never be good enough. You know?”
“Yes, I think so,” she said.
“I tried every way I knew to gain my parents approval but even when they tossed me a compliment, it was delivered with a backhanded slap.”
“Wow,” Danica whispered.
“You know,” I said, imitating my parents, “This was great, but you missed this, this, and that, and you should have done it the way I would have.”
Danica squeezed my finger and I continued, “There was never just ‘Wow, this was great’ or ‘What a good job.’ It was always accompanied by a list of demerits,” I huffed, in deferred pain.
“You okay,” Danica asked, “Do you want to take a break?”
I tore myself from my stream of consciousness and said, “Nah. I’m okay for now. You?”
“I’m good but my heart hurts for you,” she lamented.
“You know, for the first time, mine kind of doesn’t,” I admitted, feeling slightly confused.
“It sounds like you’ve been carrying everyone’s world up a mountain for a very long time,” Danica surmised, “It must be a relief to finally stop, sit down, and talk to someone about it.”
Again, I thought, Astute, sharply pointed, and fearless. For a girl I would have mistaken for ten or twelve, she has bewildering maturity that surprises me at every turn. I wondered at the burdens on her tiny shoulders.
“I think so, sis. Do you want to take turns? I could stop and you can tell me some now.”
I followed the trail of her eyes to the window in the door.
She explained, “It’s getting near to second rounds. Quick, tell me one more thing before we remake our beds right side up!”
“Okay,” I laughed, “I had a brother.”
“Is he good looking,” she snickered.
“Ewww, and um, ewww! He’s married with children now.”
Danica clutched her heart pretending I’d just fatally wounded her. It was all I could do not to collapse into peals of laughter. She looked toward the window and I knew we had cut it close. We tucked our pillows back at the head of our beds and feigned sleep until I actually did fall asleep.
Unaccompanied by any ugly thoughts or troubling memories, I fell into a deep and dreamless sleep for the first time I could recall. I woke at five a.m. rounds to B’s voice saying the same thing she said every morning, “Arms up.”
I lay there not budging with my limbs feeling weighted, as if they were too heavy to move.
Residual effects of carrying worlds and holding my breath forever, I decided.
B lifted my wrist and I fell directly back to sleep. I could only hope they thought I was being intentionally uncooperative.
An hour later, I woke with a start, and psych guys words ringing in my ears, “I want answers to those questions tomorrow at eleven a.m. sharp.”
There wasn’t enough time after breakfast. I needed to pick Danica’s brain now.
Why didn’t I remember to ask her last night? I kicked myself as I tiptoed to her bed and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder. Slowly, she turned weary eyes to me and I touched my finger to hers, mouthing “I’m sorry!”
She rolled toward me and scooted back, giving me the edge of the bed to sit on.
“I forgot about psych guy and our early meeting,” I whispered, “I need to ask you about Nyx.”
“Oh yea,” her whisper was barely perceptible; “You didn’t tell me what happened.”
“I’ll tell you everything later today. I need to know what the significance of Nyx is. What made you choose her?”
“Well, I was never any good at history, but I liked Nyx. She’s a Greek primordial goddess of the night. She’s only seen in glimpses. Nyx lives in shadows, which reminds me of me, and she’s really powerful and exquisitely beautiful, like I wish I was,” she confided, yawning.
“Okay. Why did glimpses and living in shadows remind you of you?”
Danica hesitated, opening her mouth as if to answer and then closing it.
“It’s okay, sis,” I whispered, cupping my hands around her ear, “I told you things last night and will tell you more, I promise.”
“Okay,” she conceded, sitting up in bed, “In my family, I am one of five children. I’m number three. I’m kind of opposite of you, Em’. Whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, I’m unnoticed. I identify with existing in shadows, possibly powerful, but altogether powerless. Some say Nyx watched creation happen. She watched, standing on the edge. That’s me. I’m in the shadows or on the edge, but never really in the picture.”
My heart ached and I swallowed my tears, “Danica, you are so much more beautiful and powerful than you’ve received credit for, even from yourself, but how would you know that? You have existed in the shadows. No one ever bothered to show or tell you.”
I stood and she gently pulled me back down, “They say she was a shrew but I don’t buy it. Besides, if she was I think she was justified.”
I hugged her quickly and tucked her back into bed as Marie began to stir. I crawled back into my own bed and slept until breakfast time.
© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM
I sat cross-legged on the floor with my back against the bed, facing Danica. The week seemed to drag on an interminable length of time. I hadn’t considered the waiting aspect of war games, nor had I considered the wrench in the crazy parfait. He was going to be trouble with a capital T.
Our plans weren’t impossible, but psych guy’s presence made it a lot more work than I’d originally anticipated. I combed my hair back with my fingers and heaved a sigh.
“You okay,” Danica asked.
“Yea,” I issued crossly.
“I suck at waiting,” I confessed.
“Yea,” Danica laughed softly, “I got that.”
“And psych guy,” I continued, “We just had to get one who is well-versed in the Hellenistic period,” I rolled my eyes with contempt.
“How about a sex change,” she grinned.
“Don’t be a queen next time. Be a God or something,” She suggested.
“Ya know,” I laughed heartily, “maybe I could keep him guessing; like hop around to different time periods and personas!”
As soon as I thought it through further, it occurred to me, That could lead to a permanent stay here and not just for me! I didn’t have the heart to voice it.
“There you go,” she said with smile, “but what are you going to do to blow off steam right now?”
“Well, let me think.”
Once again, the wheels were turning. There were small things I could pull off alone. Danica fell silent as she watched me thinking. Several minutes later, I was drawing on my knowledge of websites when Danica could stand no more, “Spill!”
“It’s just a little thing,” I explained, “but this one is on me.”
“Okay,” she said anxiously, “Spill! What are you going to do?”
“I know how to set the screensaver to scrolling marquee and download the Chiller font,” I explained.
We lifted our water cups and made a toast to the resurrection of “Operation Any Little Annoyance.”
“If I get caught,” I began.
“No” Danica interjected, “You can’t! You won’t!”
“I know,” I consoled her, “but if the worst happens, it’s just me acting alone. Nobody else goes down with me. Understand?”
Danica’s face fell. With her eyes to the floor she shook her head saying, “But we’re sisters, all for one and one for all.”
“Of course,” I argued, “but if it happens, I need you guys to finish what we started,” I lied, hoping she would buy it.
Training her eyes on mine, Danica saw right through me, “I think we should concentrate on getting you out of whatever hot water you’re in,” she replied defiantly.
“Okay, okay! I give,” I laughed.
We both knew I would protect our group with my life but, right now, I wasn’t going to take chances that involved any one of the girls.
I needed to lighten up the gloom that had descended upon us so I stared deeply into her eyes for several minutes, as though meaning to say something profound, and then broke into a wide grin,
“Its weird right,” I said, feeding her own words back to her.
“Oh, It’s weird alright, ” she laughed, “Oh so weird!”
I stood and reached for her hand to help her up,
“Darned straight and it’s about to get more weird,” I giggled softly.
We made our way through the community room and out to the porch and found our usual seat, atop the table furthest from the door. I waited while Danica stared into the distance. It wasn’t hard to tell that her thoughts were far from here tonight.
I sat watching her for a moment. There was a pain on her face I’d never seen before or perhaps didn’t notice, in my effort to keep from tumbling headlong in that direction myself.
We sat in silence while I watched emotions flash in her eyes and suddenly she looked like a woman in her thirties. She was my first friend here, the first one who was willing to be an open book, as well as guide me through my first days in this hellhole, but I hadn’t noticed.
Watching her now, staring off into the night, I realized that life had been terribly unkind to Danica. I was absolutely grief-stricken. Now, I realized that she had depths of unbearable pain that she didn’t want to talk about, but she was willing to with me. I felt really ashamed of having snapped at her on my first morning inside.
I adjusted my position to sit next to her, throwing my arm around her shoulder as she had done for me that night by the fence, wondering, How can a girl who comes from so much harsh reality still be such a caring and kind friend? What had happened to her that made her want to die? Who or what had near-fatally wounded my best friend?
We sat together for a long time not saying a word, yet conveyed so many things. We stayed lost in our thoughts until the call came for lights out. I cupped my hands around Danica’s ear and whispered, “Okay, ask me tomorrow night.”
I expected her confusion but all facades had been dropped somewhere in these last few hours.
“Okay,” She agreed.
Goon stood waiting, watching our exchange while holding the door. She looked suspicious and slightly miffed but neither of us cared. Something extremely important had changed tonight, and neither Danica nor I would ever turn back.
At two a.m. break, I made sure everyone was sleeping, and padded in my butt-ugly turquoise socks, to the main computer at the head of the community room. I downloaded the Chiller Font, set the marquee to scroll immediately and typed,
As I strolled back to bed, I sliced the air with my finger whispering to myself,
“And the score is: Us – two. Them – zip!”
By the time I returned from the bathroom, Danica and Marie had remade the beds, mine included. B and goon had returned to their posts and we gathered for a group hug. I thanked them for taking care of the mess goon had made of mine. For a change, we all settled in with grins on our faces and slept straight through until rounds.
It had been quite a night and I knew that goon and B would be scrutinizing every move I made. The trick was to outlast them; to wait until they no longer suspected that I was up to something, and then attack when they were no longer expecting it.
I was the last one to the breakfast table and the girls smiled up at me. We talked amicably over lukewarm French toast while watching Helen try not to gag on sugarless syrup.
“I’ve been diabetic for a long time, but could never get used to sugarless food.”
I winced visibly and offered her my condolences,
“It’s bad enough to have to tolerate this shit hole with barely edible food. If I was you, I wouldn’t make it,” I said, peering at my breakfast with revulsion.
Helen grinned, stabbing a square with her fork as a man entered the community room. We looked to each other and shrugged. None of us had seen him before.
He stopped next to big B and called for Marie. I watched the stranger intently as Marie approached him. He spoke to her briefly but her face was ashen upon her return.
“Who was that,” I asked, trying to sound unconcerned.
“In-house psych guy,” she said nervously.
“What did he want,” I queried further.
“Twelve-thirty meeting – the inner sanctum,” she replied.
I sat back from my rubbery French Toast and pondered her answer.
In-house Psychiatrist? What the hell am I going to do about this? I need a distraction; a diversion that will pull his focus away from the four of us. Apparently goon and big B called in the all-seeing, all-knowing eye last night. Well, I guess he’ll have to eat crazy parfait too.
I just knew this would throw a wrench into the works, so I cautioned the girls, whispering, “If he prescribes anything for you, pretend to accept it but don’t take anything!”
They nodded their agreement.
I leaned forward and touched everyone’s fingers to mine indicating that we meet tonight.
Psych guy returned a moment later and called my name as he scanned the room.
“Emmaline Mason,” he said loudly, “Emmaline?”
Without as much as turning around or a glance up, I raised my hand and answered stiffly, “Present!”
“In my office at one-thirty,” He ordered stiffly.
I leapt from my seat into full salute, standing at attention in mock-soldier style, I shot back, “Yes, sir!”
He shot a wry grin at me replying, “At ease, soldier.”
In that moment of exchange, I wanted to convey to him, I’m going to make your job as miserable as I possibly can, you talking head!
In the next, he conveyed, Bring it! It’s on!
I knew I had my work cut out for me. In truth, I was worried our plans would be shot to hell, but I also knew my sisters wouldn’t give me up. I picked up my tray and dumped my rubber toast in the garbage to goon’s dismay,
“That’s all,” she asked, as she check-marked a list of foods I’d declined to eat.
“Yep,” I replied with disdain, “Rubber disagrees with my digestion.”
I left goon sputtering and stepped outside, moving to the furthest table; the one where I had recruited Marie, I sat waiting pensively.
Marie emerged from psych guy’s office and made her way around the long table to join me. Before I could say a word, she whispered, “Name, rank, serial number and dog-tags, mother’s maiden name, father’s middle name, bank account numbers and what will your epitaph say?”
I turned stricken eyes to her and she smiled, snickering under her breath,
“The expected nuisances, nothing more.”
I was relieved to find he hadn’t asked about war games and sighed heavily.
I headed toward the inner sanctum with trepidation and rebellious angst. I approached the office, stopped, and glanced inside.
“Psych guy noted my presence and said, “Good afternoon. Emmaline?”
I took a seat in a chair that had cushions. Already, I knew I would probably be coming here a lot. At the very least, I wanted to be comfortable while psych guy busied himself with prying questions and attempted diagnoses.
“So Emmaline,” he began.
“Emmaline,” I asked, cutting him off sharply.
“You are Emmaline Mason. Correct?”
“No,” I said straight-faced.
“No? Well, who are you,” he asked.
“I am Hippolyta, Amazonian Queen,” I said with gusto, while adopting a more regal posture.
“Well hello, Hippolyta,” he rallied enthusiastically, “You’ve come a long way. It’s good of you to join me. I am honored to have you in my office today!”
I know what you’re doing asshole, and it won’t work!
I sat silently, leaving the first move up to him. He smiled politely across the desk pretending to believe me. I diverted my eyes to focus on the wall just past his right ear as we sized each other up.
I realized he was wondering how long it would take to break me, and both of us knew I would try to break out of here before I’d let that happen.
I’ve got more stamina than you do Mr. Wrench with a Prescription pad!
“So where’s your magic girdle,” he inquired with feigned innocence.
I turned to bore holes through his forehead, saying, “Plebeians confiscated it. I will see it returned or my father will destroy them,” and screwed my face into a look of disgust.
“Ohhhh… your father,” he said, already forming his next question, “Who is he?”
“You do not know Ares, the god of war,” I asked indignantly.
“Oh yes, of course, Ares. God of war… and he’s your dad,” he shot the question back semi-conspiratorially.
“Enough,” I shouted with my arm extended with a hand up to block his face, “I will hear no more of your placating nonsense. All the land knows of my father!”
“You’re right,” he said, stifling a yawn, “So how is old pop these days?”
“He is presently in route to storm the gates, kill the plebeians, and return the girdle that signifies my authority as queen,” I said, in a tone of underlying threat.
“I see,” he said flatly, “and he’s coming from?”
I rolled my eyes and spat, “Dolt! He comes from Mount Olympus and will arrive in a fortnight! Father will stop at nothing to indemnify my honor!”
Psych guy groaned softly, raking his fingers through his hair, “Okay, Emmaline, ahem, I mean Hippolyta, our time is up today. I want to see you again tomorrow.”
“Not if father gets here first,” I countered.
“Well yes, of course,” he replied, “I’d hate to interrupt a war for the queen’s honor but, barring that, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
I opened the door to go and psych guy said softly, “Good day, Emmaline.”
I ignored him and made a beeline for the restroom. Having caught Marie’s eye, she entered just behind me.
“So,” she questioned, “What did you talk about?”
I couldn’t suppress a wicked smile and simply said, “We had a little talk about Greek mythology.”
“Huh?” Marie looked entirely confused but relieved as well, though she had spread the word to Danica and Helen in case I needed help. All of us were exhausted from waiting and worrying.
“It’s fine. It’s okay. I’m leading him a merry chase down the primrose path and all ‘round Robin Hood’s barn,” I giggled.
When lights out finally arrived, we gathered long enough for me to explain that it’s best to lay low and not try anything until we figure out why psych guy had suddenly arrived on the scene, and to give goon and big B time to forget the preceding night.
At five a.m. the door banged open and fluorescent light flooded the previously darkened room. All three of us groaned. That’s when I knew my voice had returned. I elected to keep silent. Nurse Belinda entered, joined by rent-a-goon, for morning rounds. I turned to face the wall wondering if I would ever know a full night of sleep again.
“Arms up,” Nurse Belinda ordered.
With eyes still closed I raised my arm swiftly, nearly clocking her. The goon instantly stepped between us and I dropped my arm. She glared down at me saying, “Don’t even think about it, missy.
” Missy? Missy? Is that the best you’ve got, you eighth grade-dropout?
Big B took my wrist to show me what was expected. She took my pulse and checked my blood pressure while goon watched carefully, spoiling for a fight. Moments later, the two filed out and the room went dark again. From a corner bed, I heard a whisper,
“Hey! Pssst! Hey! New girl!”
I remained silent. Nonetheless, the voice persisted,
“Make it easy on you. Don’t start shit with Big B.” I tugged at the uncomfortable pillow longing for silence but the emphatic voice went on insistently, “Big Belinda and Nadine, the guard, are lovers. Na will make your life miserable if you start up with big B. By the way, welcome to hell.”
Breaking my silence for the first time, I whispered, “Thanks, I think.”
I snuggled into the blanket, closed my eyes, and drifted back to sleep drawing comfort from having won an ally and potential friend. Precisely at seven a.m., I listened to what could only be a herd of Buffalo stampeding through the halls. I lay there shocked, thinking, Chaotic disorder in a place that’s all about control? Surreal.
The girl in the bed across the room got up and headed for the door, then paused to toss over her shoulder, “Smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.”
I sat up in bed rubbing my eyes and then looked around taking in my surroundings. “Not what you expected. Huh?” It was the voice from the corner bed.
“It’s ahhh,” I stumbled, grappling for words to sum up my estimation, “It’s… No. It’s not,” I replied, with adjectives failing me altogether.
“I know. I got here three days ago. I’m Danica.”
“Hi, Danica, I’m Emmaline. Call me Emma,” I responded with a halfhearted smile.
“Okay Emma. Its weird right,” Danica queried.
I knew the feeling intimately but wasn’t ready to talk and deal. I tried not to wince, “What’s weird?”
“That we weren’t supposed to be alive today.”
I realized that Danica may appear to be a shy mouse, but she was actually sharply pointed and fearless. I closed my eyes as images of the preceding week assaulted me.
“Yea,” I murmured, “It’s weird.”
“Where did you matriculate from,” Danica asked hesitantly, “I mean, how did you end up here?”
“How did you,” I countered sharply.
“Okay. That’s one for the psychiatrist,” Danica backed off.
Feeling slightly ashamed of having rebuffed my first and only ally, I forced a small smile and evaded the topic, “I traded one hell for another. Didn’t you?”
“Yea, sure enough,” Danica laughed softly as we stood and approached the door. I estimated she was about my age. Probably a year or two younger, I surmised. Her dirty-blonde hair was short, cropped close to her face with bangs. It was flattering, but gave her a childlike appearance. She was a little taller than I and as thin as a rail. I doubted she had ever eaten an entire meal. Had I seen Danica from a distance, I would have mistaken her for a kid.
Maybe she is just a kid. Too young to feel fear? I wondered but felt certain that by virtue of being here, she had definitely known fear.
She stopped me in the doorway saying, “Show no fear and stick close. I’ll be your informant.”
I wondered why I would need one. What could possibly be worse than last night?
Danica cautioned me to avoid the food-cart stampede running from smoke-break to breakfast. We parked it at the end of the long table to wait until the other patients were seated with meals. Big B and goon doled out trays that were made specifically for patients on special diets, one of whom chose a seat directly across from of us.Through lowered eyelids, she said a soft hello.
“Hi,” we replied in unison.
She eyed the empty spaces in front us and asked, “Not eating?”
“I wish,” Danica grumbled.
“I’m diabetic,” she explained, “They force me to eat this cra… food,” She amended her language.
“We’re going to have to teach you some driving words,” I smiled.
Just then, Danica grabbed my hand and hauled me out of my seat, “C’mon. The mob is gone.”
“Wait here,” I instructed the young woman, “We’ll be right back.”
I searched the picked-over food cart for anything resembling a caffeinated beverage while Danica picked up a tray eyeing me warily.
Not finding a cup of coffee or even a soda, I moved to search the opposite side of the cart, rummaging frantically, pushing aside trays, juice drinks, and small milk cartons.
Danica stood behind me, waiting patiently, already knowing what I was searching for. With nothing left to search, I turned frenzied eyes to her.
“They don’t have it,” she sighed, shaking her head dejectedly.
“But,” I began half hysterically. “Shhh,” She cut me off, “Na and B are watching us.” She shoved a tray into my hands and guided me back to our seats. I sat down trying to collect myself but failed. I was at my wits end, “But they allow smoking for shit’s sake! No caffeine,” I blurted, questioning her and any junk-food god that would listen.
“Nope,” she replied, “This might be a good time to take up smoking.”
The woman across the table groaned, as did I. I lowered my voice and whispered menacingly, “I was admitted late last night. I didn’t sleep until some ungodly hour of the morning. I was rudely awakened at five a.m. I’m not going to make it through the next hour, let alone the rest of the day!”
“I know,” Danica replied, “Today’s going to be a bitch. Same thing happened to me.”
That’s when I felt three sharp taps on my shoulder. Big B stood behind me armed with paper and pencil. She shoved a form into my hands, ordering, “Fill this out and return it to the front desk.”
Danica issued, sheepishly, “Oops. I forgot.”
“Good going, informant,” I groused.
The form requested names and phone numbers for people I was willing to see. To me, it seemed like the final “screw you.” I was done. I walked with steadfast assurance, in a bee-line to the front desk, crumpled the form into a ball, and aimed for the trash can.
I made the first basket of my life with an adamant “No way in hell!”
Returning to the table in a fit of anger, I shoved my tray away and stomped to a door that opened onto a large porch with an expanse of lawn beyond. I needed air and freedom. I needed a way out.
The porch was cool cement against my still bare feet and I made my way beyond it to warm grass and sunshine. I stood in the middle of the lawn soaking in the morning sun and looking around. Finally I could breath and started to wonder why patients didn’t just leave in the night. It was certainly solitary enough, open and unsupervised enough. That’s when I noticed it.
Previous © copyright 2015-04-30 06:20:34 – All Rights Reserved
I was admitted to the institution with the usual invasions of privacy and personal violations, as though a serious attempt to off me wasn’t enough suffering for one day. Admittedly, I had no idea what to expect here, but so far, this wasn’t it.
A large, rotund rent-a-goon with an imposing posture escorted me into the ladies room. She pushed me past the bathroom stalls into the fluorescent lighting over the sink area.
“Strip,” she demanded.
I blinked in shocked disbelief.
“Come on, I don’t have all day,” she spat.
Hesitantly, I reached for my blouse buttons as rent-a-goon lifted her clipboard and began making notations.
“Put your arms out and turn slowly.”
I did so, praying my humiliation would meet with a quicker end than I had.
“Again,” the goon ordered, moving closer.
Again I turned, with the chill of cold tile running up from the bottom of my bare feet and spreading through all of my extremities. Goon looked my nude form up and down, made another note and asked with incredulous disbelief,
“No tats? Not even a tramp stamp?”
I struggled to choke out words but none were forthcoming. It happened every time life handed me a horrific circumstance. When I most needed my voice, I was hopelessly mute.
The goon relented, allowing me to dress again. I did so quickly, relieved that the utilitarian he-she wasn’t going to attack me.
“Follow me,” She demanded.
Rent-a-goon led me down a sterile, deserted hallway and deposited me in what looked like a small waiting room in a doctor’s office. She exited without a word. I stood in the room wanting to scream after her,
If I was sure you’re a woman, I’d bitchslap the shit out of you!
Instead, I took a seat trying to distance myself from that deeply personal, humiliating affront.
The room was filled to capacity with girls who looked more like ‘the undead’ than human beings. After the most uncomfortable half hour I’ve ever spent waiting, I noticed that they weren’t actually sitting at all. They were lying around, every last one of them; some on the floor, some on a small couch, and the rest draped over chairs.
I pretended to adjust my position so I could see their eyes without being obvious. All were completely vacant save for two girls. The two ranted loudly denigrating everything about the place. My eyes flew back and forth between the desk jockeys and raving girls but no one seemed to notice. Everyone was completely unfazed, as though this was just ‘business as usual.’ An icy chill ran down my spine.
Suddenly, it occurred to me that I was trapped; there was no escape now. I stared longingly at the locked door and my stomach gave a lurch when total recall struck.
I realized I knew these girls intimately. I had studied them in Psych classes, scrutinized and analyzed them trying to form a correlation between speculative analysis and factual understanding. I rummaged through my mind for anything I could recall from classes and medical books.
An acceptable definition of ‘Incurable insanity’ had eluded me, and all research failed in light of being trapped in a too-small room with those who wore the label.
These were the girls who could say, do, and get away with anything. They could not be held responsible for their actions. These were the patients who were never leaving; veritable street urchins caught in a system which had failed them.
For the sake of convenience, this establishment had drugged them into oblivion. They were drones and junkies completely unaware of reality. Their home was here for all the rest of their days. These were the lost girls.
© June 14, 2015 – 04:09 AM
All of us went to bed sleepless that night. We waited forty-five minutes past lights out before daring to speak.
Sitting at the edge of our beds, Danica asked, “So what’s the plan?”
I spread a blanket on the floor and motioned for Danica and Marie to join me, “Okay,” I whispered, “First, we take an oath, “None of us breathe a word of what we’re doing. No matter what happens, even if you decide not to play anymore, not a word.”
I raised my hand in the air extending my index finger, “We can’t take a blood oath, so this is the equivalent. If you’re in, you’re all in, from now until. If you want out, we do it again. We all need to be clear about who the players are; who’s in and who’s out, “Agreed,” I asked, reaching into the center of our circle.
Danica and Marie touched their fingers to mine, saying, “Agreed.”
“What about Helen,” Marie asked softly.
“We meet her in the bathroom in about fifteen minutes.”
“Won’t that be too obvious,” Danica questioned, “All of us needing the bathroom at the same time?”
I smiled in the darkness. Danica was astute and already protecting our group. She was a definite player.
“Exactly,” I whispered, “If you’re both in agreement, I’ll repeat this same oath with Helena, uh Helen, I mean, on behalf of all of us.” Again, I raised my finger, “One touch is yes. No touch is no. That’s how we communicate about this plan from now on. Okay,” I asked.
Both touched my finger without reservation. I grabbed their hands and squeezed hard.
“You guys get into bed and think about skills,” I said, retrieving the blanket from the floor, “We’ll have to work with what we have; computers, lookout posts, just anything, and we’ll work together to figure out how and when Na and big B take breaks and make rounds. This week, we observe and gather as much information as possible.”
“Okay,” They whispered climbing under covers.
“Dig through anything from your past that can serve any annoying little purpose. It’s time for Na and B to earn their keep and their paychecks. This is small-scale war, ladies. During the day, if we have something to say about war games, we touch fingers and talk only after lights out.”
We all touched fingers to affirm our pledge and plan. Then I went to the bathroom to finish taking care of business. Helen arrived moments after I did and, to my dismay, wore pajamas with cartoon dogs on top and bottom. I wondered if she had a devious bone in her body.
I stood stalwart, thinking it over and considering my options. Helen looked down at her PJs and said, “I know, but what do you really have left to lose? They’re comfortable and I’m not trying to win approval or any beauty contests here.”
Following that acknowledgment, I knew my initial instincts about Helen had served me well.
Knowing that goon had seen both of us enter, I kept it short and to-the-point. We took the oath and I conveyed the hand signal with the importance of talking only after lights out. Repeating everything rapidly, I asked her to think about any skills she could contribute to war games.
Helen turned dejected eyes to the ground whispering, “I repaired elevators before I went bonkers. That’s all.”
A slow smile spread across my lips and it was all I could do to not burst into hysterics. I hugged her, replying in an excited whisper, “Perfect! Now go flush the toilet and wash your hands. I’ll leave first since I came in first. Then you go back to your room. Same time tomorrow night,” I asked. She touched her finger to mine and nodded affirmatively.
As I reentered my room, I found my ‘partners in war’ waiting for me. I raised my finger grinning widely. They both followed suit and we settled in for what little rest we could get despite our excitement.
Five a.m. rounds came too early, though not one of us could go back to sleep after that. I lay awake trying to remember some useful websites. Thankfully, journaling was encouraged, so paper and pencils were plentiful. I scrawled what I could recall and stuffed the folded paper into the elastic waistband of my panties.
To cover my tracks, I left papers scattered about containing horrific prose about unrequited love. On occasion, I returned to find pages missing from where I had strategically placed them. I knew that big B thought she had stumbled on immense insight into my damaged psyche. I grinned slyly and put my poker-face back on.
At night we stifled our laughter under cover of darkness, while we shared and noted observances that would come in handy. We worked in shifts to determine staff schedules, and the comings and goings of big B and goon.
In short order, we discovered that Danica had been right. Big B and goon were lovers. In a week’s time, we learned that they took fifteen minute breaks together, at two and four a.m., and occasionally slipped out to the smoking porch to sneak a hug and kiss. I knew that would be the perfect time to commence war games.
Marie turned out to be a valuable asset. She had worked in an office prior to coming unglued, hence her subsequent arrival at the ‘Institute for the Lowest Form of Life,’ as the local townies referred to it, and less than affectionately deemed ‘I.L.L., for short’
Danica had worked in fast food before starting work detailing cars. She confessed she had hated both jobs. She would be accustomed to watching and listening for her boss’ return from his daily excursions. She was the perfect one to watch for unexpected departures, entrances, and deviance from schedule.
I staggered my visits with Helen so they wouldn’t get suspicious and because I had a special idea for her, which would have to take place later. It would be too risky to implement before we were entirely familiar with B and goon’s schedules. Also, Helen would need some makeshift tools.
Last but not least we made a very important list together; a list detailing everything we felt, were made to feel, and had been put through since our arrival here. I had concocted a short list, but wanted to score a blow for each of us, as well as those we didn’t know or hadn’t met yet. We came to our circle at the back of the room just after goon made her first round.
“Ladies,” I said, holding up my paper covered in chicken scratch, “I’ve made a list detailing some things that we felt upon arriving here, along with the subsequent, unsettling annoyances and abuses of power, acted out upon us.”
“Why,” Marie asked, “What’s the point?”
“I was hoping you would ask,” I said smiling.
“The point of war games is to make the staff feel every emotion and fear they put us through. This is the entire point to war games, but I intend for us to enjoy this and revel in watching their reactions. Their reactions are our victories,” I explained excitedly.
“Ohhh, so there is a bigger picture,” Danica stated wide-eyed.
“Yes,” I confirmed, “There is a bigger picture. War games have reason and rhyme or I wouldn’t risk this much.”
I closed my eyes and held my breath. For the first time, I felt I was asking for too much. It was a huge risk that could mean a longer or even permanent stay with the orderlies, goon, guards and their ilk, and big B, along with their collective wrath.
Here, on the third floor of the psychiatric facility, no one had been tied into a strait jacket, wrestled onto a bed in solitary confinement, or shot up with enough Thorazine to leave an elephant drooling, but it was a possibility none of us could deny.
Silence claimed our group momentarily while my girls absorbed the fact that these ‘games’ would serve more than just revenge in the form of being a nuisance.
In light of divulging the news, that I was designing war games to serve a more severe cause than my girls had previously thought, I waited for all to think through cause, effect, and potential repercussions. Afterward, I did the oath again. With trepidation, I reached into the center of our group,
“If anyone wants out, we are still the best of friends. No one will be shunned,” I reiterated, “One touch means you’re in. No touch means you’re out.”
Danica touched my finger immediately, and was joined by Marie’s slightly more reluctant touch following hers. I leaned forward and gathered us into a group hug.
Marie whispered, “What about Helen? Does she know everything?”
“Yes, she has been informed at our impromptu bathroom excursions, and I already added her grievances to the list.”
I reached into my elastic waistband and extracted the list I had begun. We all hovered over it, trying to see what we were writing. The girls spewed their ideas at me fast and furious, while our list grew tremendously lengthy.
We worked swiftly, putting like things together under one heading, to narrow it down to personal injuries, violations, abuses of power, humiliations, and helplessness. Finally we accomplished a much smaller list of exact points. I folded it, kissed it for luck, and relaxed on the bed, waiting.
At two a.m., big B and Na went for coffee and we went to war.
On my third morning inside, I sat in bed watching and planning. Rebellion?
I considered the idea for a moment deciding, No. Not strong enough!
I dismissed the thought and traded it for another. Mutiny! By the time I’m done they’ll throw us out!
After five a.m. rounds, I whispered my thoughts to Danica,
“Want to play a game,” I asked in my very best imitation of Joshua; the kick-ass computer in the movie War Games.
“K, Sure,” She replied, still groggy and asleep.
At seven a.m. break, I waited for the girl across the room to rouse. I learned her name was Marie and bummed a cigarette from her. She started toward a nearby seat on the porch but I tugged her to a more distant location. We sat on the bench of my choice, the furthest from the door.
She taught me how to smoke without turning green and I confided that I was making plans and recruiting, between coughs and choking. I explained the revelation I’d had after sobbing by the fence,
“On the inside, it’s us against them,” I explained, “They’re free to treat us like garbage because they can. How badly do you want out,” I asked emphatically.
A wide grin spread across her lips that shone in her previously hollow eyes.
“What’s your plan,” she asked.
“That depends on you,” I said, testing the waters, “Are you in or out?”
I knew I would need her loyalty. I also knew I was asking a complete stranger. It was a necessary risk.
“In,” she hissed happily and without forethought, “I was wondering when you would wake up and smell the incarceration!”
Goon and big B waved us in for breakfast. We all ate Corn Flakes together in silence while I schemed, plotting to reign down hell’s fury on them. Danica and Marie flashed smiles across the table as they watched my eyes register my thoughts.
I focused my stare on my bowl of sodden flakes remembering the words big B had said when I arrived,
“We earn our own keep around here. You’ll do well to remember that.”
I did remember that and wondered about their jobs; hers and Goons’, as well as the orderlies and others, Whose making them earn their keep? For how long have they been paid to do such a cushy job? They actually ‘earn’ paychecks to follow us around, looking for any little thing that they deem to be wrong? No! No way in hell!
I decided to start with making sure they earned their keep from now on, and with making their jobs a lot less cushy. Smugly, I thought, They’ll have to work very hard to earn their keep and paychecks from now on. No more ‘Miss nice gal’ for you. Your jobs just got a whole lot harder, I mused with an angry sneer.
I was pulled from my vengeance when the lady who had taken a seat with Danica and I, the preceding day, rejoined us. She placed her tray on the table asking, “Is this seat taken?”
Marie and Danica turned eyes to me, waiting for me to answer. I let go of my thoughts long enough to smile brightly and say, “Nope, it’s yours. Have a seat.”
She smiled warmly, digging into Corn Flakes and lukewarm milk while I introduced all of us, “I’m Emma and this is Danica and Marie,” I motioned to ‘my cohorts in crime’ with my plastic spork.
I cast a sideways glance toward Goon and B realizing that we had been too quiet. I knew it would arouse suspicion bringing unwanted attention to our little group.
“I’m Helena,” she admitted shyly, “I hate it. Please call me Helen.”
I looked at Helena across the table and instinctively summed her up. Her hair was permed in the front and on top, leaving the jet-black length to fall straight down her back. She had the appearance of an older woman, possibly in her mid-twenties and wore an engagement ring. I made a mental note of it.
Helena stood to reach for a spork. When viewed from a different perspective, I knew she had to be about eighteen. Helena’s brown eyes were wide with confusion, and though she wore a great poker-face, I detected absolute fright. I gathered that she was a newbie, fearful of all that was unfamiliar and perhaps with good reason,
Hell, I thought, aren’t we all afraid? All of us have heard the horror stories about life in an institution. Not one person had even attempted to ease our fears. All we got was strip-searched and ‘follow me.’
Determined to make small talk, I replied, “Wow, the most beautiful woman in the world and a major cause of the Trojan War. Must be a tough rep to live up to.”
Helena’s face turned scarlet as she ground out, “Imagine the high school jeers and jokes.”
“You can relax with us,” I said kindly, “There will be no jokes, jeers, or wars here, that are not of your choosing.”
Goon began breakfast rounds and Helen’s unspoken question hung in the air. There would be time enough later to determine how much to reveal.
Slowly, I made my way toward something looming in the distance. Soon, I could make out an enormous fence. I ran my fingers over the rough-hewn, chain links, peering through it in abject horror. My eyes followed the trail of my fingers as high as I could reach and then I raised them to the top.
The fence was adorned with coiled, razor wire affixed lewdly atop like life-threatening graffiti; a detestable contrast to the blue, cloudless sky. Everything outside looked so peaceful, so friendly and normal, it made my heart ache. My knees gave way and I sank to the ground, unable to pry my eyes from the hideous razor wire.
We’re not patients. We’re incarcerated prisoners, inmates with no hope of escape! This isn’t jail. It’s hell! Verifiable hell!
Danica’s first words to me rang in my ears, “By the way, welcome to hell.”
Did she know how right she was? Her three days and nights here must have seemed unending.
The sun set and night fell with a damp chill. I didn’t notice. I sat, from dawn to dusk with downcast eyes, my fingers tightly wound around chain links in hopeless misery. I clung to the only tangible hatred I had; that which trapped me inside, in more ways than I could bear.
My world was drastically reduced. There were only two places in existence now, inside and out there.
Inside were endless, desperate, days and nights stretching out before me. Outside was an elusive dream; all ‘look but don’t touch,’ like some museum painting, cordoned off and guarded by goons.
Danica came to collect me, but I doubted it was possible. All hope was shattered. I was shattered. No one would be able to find the pieces of me I’d lost.
Great, I’m suicidal Humpty Dumpty.
I sat hugging my knees, weeping in futile rage. Never had I been so lost, so alone or so impossibly trapped. I knew then, that I was entirely at the mercy of the merciless. I couldn’t breathe, move or speak.
Danica pried my fingers from the chain links whispering, “Come on, Em’. Come inside with me.”
She helped me to stand throwing my arm around her shoulder as we stumbled back, shrouded in darkness that masked the tears streaking down my face. She patted my back gently, saying, “Shhh. There, there. It’s going to be okay.”
Everything in me wanted to plead for an answer I knew she didn’t have,
How? How is it going to be okay! Tell me how, please!
I had no voice, no words, and I knew it would be fruitless to ask.
She sat me at the edge of my bed, saying in a hushed tone, “Be right back,” as she scooted from the room and returned with paper towels. She wiped my face and cleaned me up whispering soothingly all the while.
As my sobs subsided, Danica sat down next to me taking my hands in hers, “Remember,” she whispered, “Show no fear. It makes you an easy target. Don’t give them that.”
I knew she was right. I thought of rent-a-goon, just waiting for an easy victim. She would shred me at every chance and lay in wait, relishing her next opportunity.
Finally I wiped away the last of my tears, set my jaw and straightened my back, adopting a less devastated posture, and then hugged Danica hard. I mouthed my thanks to her. She hugged me back, looped her pinky through mine and said, “Sisters. Promise?”
I promised nodding affirmatively with a weak smile and promised myself, then and there, I wasn’t going down without unleashing an unholy war.
Danica went to her bed stretching and yawning, and for reasons I couldn’t fathom, I felt a ton better, like I’d been suffocating in a world that had caved in on me. Danica was my buffer, my pocket of air. For better or worse, she was now my sister in sins committed and those we would commit.
Previous © copyright 2015-04-30 06:20:34 – All Rights Reserved
Too abruptly, I realized that none of the lost girls had a single thing left to lose, and I was outnumbered eleven to one. The term ‘Criminally Insane’ leapt to mind and I would have torn my own skin off, had it meant I could free myself from the oppressive atmosphere.
This moment, and every moment of degradation leading up to it, was too much to stand, too unsettling to contemplate, too panic-inducing to ruminate! The entire scene was something straight out of “Alice in Wonderland,” after she went down the rabbit hole, or Janice Joplin’s rendition of it.
“Go ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall,”
The refrain bored into my thoughts like a drill boring into hardwood; unbidden, seemingly excruciating, and slightly off-kilter. Something deep inside me shifted into sensory overload and I flew out of my body.
The shell of me remained seated. By all appearances, I was a slightly uneasy young woman squirming in her chair. All else bolted for the door. I was pulling on the handle, kicking and clawing the door, screaming at the top of my lungs,
“Let me out! Let me out of here! I need to go! I’m not them! I’m not even like them! Help me!”
An undetermined amount of time later, I came to with a gentle hand shaking my shoulder. A strikingly shrill voice called my name,
“Emmaline? Emmaline Mason! Are you okay, honey? Did you take something?”
Lacking ability to respond, I ran my hands over my arms and down my sides, making sure all of me was present and accounted for. For a brief moment, I was stupefied that no one seemed to have witnessed the scene I’d just made. I wondered how much time had passed while I was in that state.
Minutes? Hours? Days? I wondered, but couldn’t piece the time together.
My eyes scoured the room, but I hadn’t seen a clock since I’d arrived. The effort was useless and I shook visibly knowing I was the next likely candidate for ‘eternally hopeless junkie.’
“We were afraid we wouldn’t be able to wake you, dear.”
The name on her smock read “Daisy.” Hers was the voice of kindness, but still could have shattered glass. The smile tugging at the corners of her lips was almost genuine.
Daisy asked the expected questions,
“How old are you, Emmaline?”
I stood mute in her inquisitive stare.
“Okay,” She replied gently, “Let’s try this one. Is there any chance you could be pregnant?”
I shook my head emphatically.
Daisy glanced down at my medical records, whispered something to her co-worker, and turned her crimson smile back to me,
“It’s okay, dear. You don’t have to speak. I’ll get it from your insurance form.”
She made short work of divesting me of all my worldly possessions, never once losing that damned smile. I wondered if she painted it on every morning.
“Why don’t you give me your purse and sit down to remove the laces from your shoes,” She asked kindly.
I was suddenly stricken with outrage at the invasions, intrusions, and abuses I had already suffered at the hands of the personnel. I stood there in silence letting my thoughts consume me, listening to the angry voice running amuck in my head,
Why don’t you cram it where the sun don’t shine, fake face? By the way, is that smile by Max Factor or Maybelline?
Slowly, I lifted my purse from my shoulder, handed it to Daisy, and sat staring down at my shoes to hide my snarl.
“I’ve searched your bag and removed all contraband; prescriptions, junk food, candy, soda, etcetera. I’ll put it in a locked box until you’re ready to leave,” Daisy explained as she approached, “Let me help you with those shoe laces,” She offered, kneeling to remove my last vestige of individuality.
Upon extracting the offending laces from my Kmart, $5.99 sneakers, she looked up at my veiled expression. She stood, saying cheerfully,
“Oh! Not to worry, dear. You’ll get everything back when you leave.”
I wanted to challenge her, confront her then and there,
Isn’t it a question of if rather than when?
But I wasn’t certain I was prepared to know the answer. My short, hellish exposure to this place had made me extremely paranoid. I presumed that I too would be drugged beyond oblivion like the lost girls. I glanced nervously at them; terrified that their fate would become my own.
Daisy took my hand and issued the words I had already come to dread,
I followed dutifully, wondering what my next mortification would be.
She led me into a large, dimly-lit, community room and I was brought up short, being left to the merciless Nurse Belinda. The tall, big-boned woman pulled several sheets, some blankets and a tiny pillow from shelves.
“Arms out,” she insisted.
I lifted my arms weakly, really feeling how weary I was, when Nurse Belinda dropped the entire load into my tired arms.
“We earn our own keep around here. You’ll do well to remember that. Follow me.”
Again with the ‘follow me’ routine, I huffed silently.
I glared daggers into her back and prayed this was my last “follow me” for the night.
Belinda showed me to a pitch-black room, save for a tiny amount of light seeping through the small, square window in the door.
Finally, sweet, sweet, blessed sleep. Hallelujah!
I found an empty bed in the darkness, spread the blanket atop a thin, threadbare mattress, and placed the tiny pillow under my head. I shoved the rest of the linens over me haphazardly, not caring how it would look in the morning. Exhaustion claimed me and I was asleep before I could contemplate tomorrow’s torments.
Delite toweled herself off wishing she could just walk off the set.
“One or two more shots and it’s a wrap,” Meryl said, walking toward her.
“You said that twelve shots ago, “She protested from a seat without shade.
“Come on,” he cajoled, hauling her from the beach chair, “On your feet. You have to pay me back for those puppies, right,” He asked, training his rat-face and squinty eyes on her chest.
She walked to the backdrop cursing him silently and struck a pose. This better be it, you smarmy snake.
Meryl snapped several shots ordering, “Shoulders back, chest out. Smile!”
She glared holes through him wishing she had been able to turn down this junket and forced a frozen smile for the camera.
“You’re not giving me what I need, Delite!”
“Meryl please,” she plead, wondering if one more smile would fracture her face permanently.
“I need, ‘Come fuck me in Hawaii!‘ I need,”
“Meryl, I’m begging you,” She interrupted.
“I need more, Delite! I need a brochure that says, ‘I’m a free whore! Come to Hawaii and I’ll jack your junk!’”
Infuriated, she grabbed her shirt and yanked it down nearly exposing her nipples.
“Excellent,” he smiled haughtily, “That’s better! Great!”
She barely had a white-knuckled grip on the last of her patience and allowed herself some small amusement at his expense. ‘Excellent? Great?’ So now you think you’re a professional? I’m going to be a rich supermodel and then I’ll stomp you into the dirt with the rest of the scumbags in the biz. She pushed her toes into the sand, smiling coyly, imagining crushing him like a bug.
“We’re losing daylight,” He shouted, pointing at the crew beckoning them to move the set, “Okay! This is it! Let’s do it! Lick your lips and show me that B.J. pout,” Meryl ordered, turning back to her.
Delite turned it on one last time as the sun sank behind her and prayed for an end to this grueling day. He moved in for a close shot and she yanked her bikini bottom down leaving precious little to the imagination. With pearl-white teeth clenched, she talked herself through the shoot. He’s a dick. No big. You’ll work for lots in this business. Besides, she thought, this is just getting a start. This is the hard part; paying your dues.
Meryl stretched his thin lips into a lecherous smile saying, “Perfect! Now lean in and show me the goods, baby! Let’s part those oldsters from their money!”
Delite leaned down as Meryl moved in again. He made her skin crawl and she knew, at this range, he wasn’t shooting for the brochures anymore. He took another step and she lost her tenuous hold. With his face and the lens very nearly down her cleavage, she fisted the business end of the camera to shove the hardware back into his face.
“Owww! What the fuck? You don’t act like a model who wants to get paid, Delite,” he warned, wearing a smirk that made her want to spit nails.
She took a deliberate step, not releasing the lens, and moved her face close to his. They stood nose to nose as she ground out, “It’s a wrap, you S.O.B., and I better not find any of your close-ups anywhere but the trash!”
Delite turned away to retrieve her towel, muttering, “Lowlife, good for nothing, scum- sucking shit. If I wasn’t desperate, I’d be on my way to the airport.”
Meryl was one step behind her, asking, “Really? With what, Monopoly money? Until those tits are paid for I own you, so you’ll do whatever I want, slut!”
She froze at the sudden realization that she’d sold her soul to the devil incarnate. Turning on her heel she spewed murderously, “You make me physically ill. You’re vermin! Go be with your own kind! Turn over any rock!“
“Not until I’m paid in-full, you cock-sucking slut!”
“Fine,” She screamed, hot-footing it to the hotel door, “That’s just fine! You’ll get paid! I’m making a one-night-only offer to the boil on the butt of the human race, to get you off my back forever.”
Meryl stayed on her heels as she ran for the elevator. Catching the doors, he forced them open threatening in a low, menacing tone, “You’ll part like these doors for me or I’ll fucking split you open!”
The doors closed behind him and he backed her into a corner.
“Never corner a wild animal, rat shit! You’ve been warned!”
He grabbed her shirt at the bodice and yanked hard. Delite watched him throw her ripped beach wrap aside and she sprang at him; clawing his skin, scoring him sharply, screeching, “That cost a lot , fucker,” as the doors rolled open again.
Meryl picked her up seething, “Shut the fuck up or I’ll add an extra week to this shoot,” then flung the room-door open and body-slammed her onto the bed.
She stifled a surprised cry as he removed his belt, issuing a demand, “Kneel, bitch,” He snarled, tossing pants to the floor.
Delite knew she was defeated. She knelt before him trying not to look up. Meryl stood firm cupping her chin roughly. Finally, she raised her face and their eyes met. They fell into hysterics, laughing until they were sprawled on the floor. Just as suddenly, her eyes were smoldering and she clawed the rest of his clothing out of her way.
She attacked his lower extremities, violently sucking his cock and grazing him with her teeth as she pushed up and down his firm length. He forced his stiffness down her throat mercilessly, making her choke and struggle to breathe, pummeling her bruised lips relentlessly.
In a last-ditch effort to regain control she pushed off the floor, finding just enough leverage to roll him over. She mounted him cowgirl posture with knees on his forearms. Delite smiled victoriously, “Beg me,” she commanded smugly.
Meryl shook his head and she clasped his face between her thighs, demanding, “Eat me! You know you want to.”
She slid closer to his face and Meryl grasped her round, silky ass, pulling her to him. He licked small circles around her clitoris, teasing her and letting her frenzy build until she could take no more. He ran the tip of his tongue around her tiny nub slowly, letting her sexual need build and burn until she was vibrating astride him.
She fisted his hair as he breathed hotly against her bundle of nerves. Pulling her sweet pussy into his mouth, his tongue speared her depths searching out her most intense pleasure, slowly delving in and out, and deepening each time. He meant to enjoy every moment of this bounty.
Delite bit her lower lip to stifle a primal scream as he tongue-fucked her masterfully. She bucked wildly; riding his face like her life depended on it, until he forced her onto her back to drive his hard, aching need into her moist, craven cunt.
She abandoned all dignity and control as they fucked savagely, thrashing and thrusting until they exploded in blinding ecstasy. She screamed her unbearable release with Meryl’s cock throbbing and jumping in the confines of her taut, dripping canal. They lay together side-by-side in each others arms, momentarily sated, and she giggled, “I love this game!”
He laughed with her, saying, “Me too and I’m damned glad we got married last night. If you hadn’t said yes soon, I was sure to end up in jail.”
Delite shrugged, teasing impishly, “Why buy the horse when I’m getting a free ride?”
“Because we were made to love each other,” He smiled, pressing a soft kiss to her lips.
“Yes, yes, yes, we were,” She sighed, “Oh! Next time, let’s play ‘How many hotels we can get thrown out of?’”
Meryl rose, turned down the bed and fluffed the pillows as she snuggled close to him, “You’re on, my beautiful bride, but you’ll have to repay me for those free rides,” he taunted, feigning indignance and already planning their next game, “Of course, I’ll try to go easy on you, since you are now my sole Hawaiian delight,” he chuckled.
She pulled up a tan, slender leg to plant her foot on his ass and shove him off the bed, laughing, “Don’t you dare!”
Meryl peered up at her from the floor, rubbing his bruised ass with eyes narrowed in challenge, then pinned her to the headboard rasping in his intimidating tone, “You’ll pay for that, bitch.”
Her lips turned up in a sultry smile and she whispered, “More Hawaiian Delite? It’s on the menu for only one night.”
Meryl growled and lunged at her.
© copyright 2014-10-18 07:06:03 -All Rights Reserved
Also on FESS: http://freeeroticstoriessite.com/content/Hawaiian-Delite
Henry woke to the sound of a motorcycle rumbling outside and squinted at the digital clock, grumbling, “2 am. on a Tuesday. Don’t the neighbors know I have to work in the morning?”
He rolled over pulling a blanket with him when he heard knocking at the door. For a moment he hesitated but urgency propelled him from his bed. It was an uneasiness he hadn’t felt in months. Henry fought to surface from his dream-laden sleep, talking to himself and attempting to recall when he’s last felt this way.
“Not since I was seeing,” He cut short his thoughts and pulled the door open to find Kit leaning against the doorframe wearing a familiar look; one that seemed to say, “What took so long, asshole?”
He smiled despite himself. She was the only woman he couldn’t read, but even entirely disheveled, with her hellfire hair windblown and tangled, she was a vision.
Kit incited feelings in him that were utterly endearing, if somewhat disquieting. She was woman and child; part fully grown, tougher than nails, strong in her own right temptress and vixen, yet part playful, silly, wide-eyed innocent, coquette with a bit of wild child.
Henry studied her wondering whether to fold her into his protective arms or pin her to the wall and ravage her. He could never quite discern what was veiled with practiced stealth behind her eyes.
When they lived together briefly, he surmised that she meant to send no obvious message, intentionally leaving him to wonder whether she wished to appear mysteriously alluring or had, perhaps, arranged for his early demise. Her turbulent seastorm eyes and lips that only turned up slightly at the corners could mean one of two things, his greatest joy or worst fear realized.
Had he been Superman, she would have been Kryptonite. Kit loved with an intensity that left him gasping in astonishment, and in the space of a breath she could be the embodiment of tornadic wrath swirling around it’s entirely too attractive eye.
You may be the death of me, he thought, remembering that she had always been a volatile creature, albeit an enticingly beautiful one. He was certain she had been a mythical Siren in a past life. She had certainly lured him with her charms and left him in emotional peril with his hopes dashed.
Even entirely disheveled, Kit was stunning with fiery locks framing her angelic face. He had nicknamed her “Hellcat” for the riotous red waves she could never quite tame. Hellcat eventually merged with her given name and she was his “Kitkat.”
Henry shook his head clear and steeled himself, “Kitkat! What brings you here?”
“I can’t believe you remember that,” She laughed.
“Of course I do. You never forget a moment of your first love. It seems appropriate now. You’re stunning. Wow!”
Henry froze, certain that her heart slammed shut the moment he said ‘love.’ It was a hard and fast rule for her. Kit couldn’t handle love.
Ironically, by way of reply, she flew into his arms kissing him hotly, ardently pressing her slight frame to his and raking her nails down his back. Instinct urged him not to question his good fortune as all reason deserted him, but there had to be more to this picture, more he wasn’t equipped to handle at this hour.
Henry struggled to extract himself from a hormonal cocktail, feeling as though he were in the vice-grip of something much stronger than himself. After a heated moment locked in passionate embrace, he managed a step back and rummaged his thoughts for a plausible excuse, “Kitkat, this is a very welcome surprise,” he informed her, “but I have company tonight.” He glanced toward the stairs holding his breath.
She paused, smiling at the nickname he’d given her, and immediately called his bluff. With one eyebrow cocked and eyes sparking challenge, she flatly stated, “Get rid of her.”
Again, Henry wondered if her eyes flashed lethal lightning or promiscuous promise. He loved Kit, always had, but he wasn’t going to hand her this ‘win’ on a silver platter, “Why,” he questioned, feeling every inch the liar he was.
Kit felt his defenses weakening and stated with calculated deliberation, “Because I’m more.”
Henry understood what she had shorthanded and knew it to be true. She was more of everything he wanted, needed and desired whether it was best for him or not.
They were thrown together years ago. She was forever in his heart and he in hers. Their lives were irrevocably entangled. Together they were a force to challenge Heaven though the match may have been the design of hell.
Without waiting for reply, she marched through the house and into the kitchen. By the time he caught up, she was pouring Coke into glasses and asking where he kept the rum.
Henry stood behind her smiling, enjoying the sweetest derriere he had ever admired, quite lost in a flood of memories. He could never accuse her of a single dull moment. With his libido barely in-check, he relented, “Okay, I give. Be quiet and I’ll go get rid of her.”
“’K,” she acknowledged with off-the-cuff nonchalance, as though there hadn’t been another option.
Henry climbed the stairs pretending to gently remove the fictitious suitor from his bed and escort the figment out the door, then remembered to place a noisy kiss to the back of his hand for effect.
Kit had perfected her ‘Whistler’s Mother smile’ long ago. Her countenance gave nothing away. Her expression could be infuriatingly ambivalent. On more than one occasion he couldn’t have guessed if she’d just won the lottery or totaled his car.
Silently, he laughed at himself knowing this was the source of his unease, her unpredictability and capacity to touch him profoundly without physical contact. I should have known, he chided himself, we have always been connected somehow. I’ve always known when she was hurting or when she really needs me.
Kit broke her silence and his train of thought, “Hi, Henry, I’ve missed you.”
Her affectionate lilt sent him reeling headlong into his own hard-won defenses, like a wrecking ball into walls it had taken years to erect.
For half a second, he wondered if she could hear the noises, the explosion of brick and mortar walls built in mind, the racking sobs that rivaled cumulative wailing wall cries, the rending of woven fabric into separation.
His shredded heart still screaming it’s excruciating pain, the shattering of personal safety, now an illusion that lay in quivering, bloody chunks of self, of labor, heartache and tears, whimpering in the spaces between them with the illusion of safety now thrashing on the floor, dying at her feet …and he wondered, Does she know? Can she feel it, hear it, or is this a one-way connection?
He swallowed around the enormous lump in his throat and fought for composure, “Hi Kit, how have you been?”
Henry was well aware that being raised by wolves would have been preferable to the rearing she had received. It was the pink suede elephant perpetually in their personal space. She had spent too many years trying to escape what was done to her in the name of love, family, relationships and obligation.
He had no doubt that she loved him but was fully conscious of the fact that she had no acceptable definition of it. She had only a few diseased examples for comparison and all of them made her feel sick, trapped, and suffocated. If she couldn’t avoid the feeling, she had certainly stricken the word from conversation.
“I’m fine. You?”
“Kit, you always say ‘fine’ when you’re not. What is it?”
He hadn’t meant to blurt it or care as much as he did, but she was here, and in her presence he was suddenly invested again.
“You know, just stuff. Life happening.”
“Yea, I hate it when that happens,” he laughed, trying to lighten the moment.
“I’ll drink to that,” She quipped, relaxing into the overstuffed couch.
Jack checked the time already knowing he would never make it to work as expected and there would be no untroubled sleep tonight. He went to replenish their drinks, asking over his shoulder, “How about we have another and we’ll watch your favorite comedy? I can play hooky tomorrow.”
“Sounds heavenly. It’s okay to crash on the couch?”
“As long as you don’t mind if I pull out the sofa bed while we do.” Henry held his breath wondering if she had just changed her mind or would change it now and he remembered, Kit can downshift faster than the speed of light.
With so much of her youth being lost to mental enslavement and emotional blackmail Kit had sought out the only love she could relate to. At eighteen, she left home and became involved with several abusive men.
Later, she took refuge in a motorcycle gang. They were warm, welcoming, safety in numbers, able and willing to abuse anyone who mistreated one of their own. They ‘had her back.’ Ultimately, they were the family she never had.
A precious few had been lovers but all afforded her protection; gave her a semblance of stability, shelter and succor. They accepted her unconditionally. She belonged solely to herself and with her chosen family. As long as she owned what was left of her battered mind and body, they were balm to her wounded soul.
Kit understood love only in that context. She was safe with them. Anything resembling obligation or commitment made her want to run screaming into the night.
She studied him with an expression that could fill with infinite affection, guileless innocence, or wanton lust, as quickly as she could drop an iron curtain veiling malice, venom and murderous intent.
Henry risked a timorous guess, testing the waters in making the couch bed into a comfy sanctuary. Kit seemed content, and thankfully, ill-prepared to bolt. He sensed she needed a cozy hideout in a familiar fortress. She came to him for consistency and stability.
He loved her more than the salvation of his soul, and was wholly convinced now, that she had been a mythical Siren in a past life. She certainly had the capacity to lure him in and leave him in emotional peril with feelings raw and hopes dashed.
With certainty, he knew they could climb to ecstatic heights of incomparable pleasures founded solely in genuine love, as certainly as he knew she would be gone before he woke.
He had wanted to give her the world but she already had her world on her terms. What he learned the hard way, and only just realized, is that he wanted to give her his world, on the condition that she share it.
He would ask her to bend after a lifetime of bending and breaking. His idyllic view of family would be her certain death.
Finally, he understood and accepted that clinging to her freedom was no more selfish an act than asking her to love him in the fashion he would visit upon her. How could I expect her to conform to my definition of love and family? She comes from her own little war zone; her own personal hell having that exact prerequisite.
Henry wanted to give her the love she longed for and so obviously needed, but in a flash of understanding, he realized that the most loving thing he could do for her is let her go no matter how many times he would have to. Bikers were her family, and for the foreseeable future, he was her home.
As they rested spooned together, safe in the night with all other appetites satisfied, her words came back to him, “Because I’m more.” She was absolutely right but wrong. He closed his eyes slipping into sated sleep, whispering, “Because you’re everything.”
Kit smiled knowingly and closed her weary eyes. With her need of affirmation and acceptance; her ultimate craving finally fulfilled by the only man she ever truly loved, she fell into a more peaceful sleep than she had ever thought possible. She was home.
(C) February 12, 2016 – 07:36 AM – All Rights Reserved
It is too hard to think of when my slow burn began, too hard to focus on fact while I lay next to you letting thoughts of you and me, secret thoughts of us, drift into and out of my consciousness.
Wrapped into your embrace, I am musing silently beneath the star filled sky. It is that amazing time in the early morning, far before the garish sun is near to claiming the night; where I can close my eyes and inhale you… breathe you in with all of my senses. It is that perfect hour where I can let myself walk the too-thin line between anxious thought and deep, dark emotion.
I lay there, lazily dreaming, lost somewhere between salacious desire and intense, raw-emotion, the place I never dare to approach in my waking world. But the breeze brushes over me gently and your fingers run slowly up and down my back, as I realized that you are lost in your own world of half-asleep thought.
I watch you, here in the darkness, conflicting features crossing your face, while you think you’re most personal thoughts, believing that you are safe in the night, unaware that I am taking in everything. Every crease around your beautiful eyes, soft smiles that come and go, the occasional frown that saddens your expression, and I realize that I have the desire to take all of your worries from you, but wonder if I have the ability.
I lay back on the blanket you brought for us and stretch languorously. Finding myself too close to my own fearful thoughts, a shiver runs down my spine, so I hold you a little more tightly to me, snuggle into you more closely, and close my eyes as I finally close the door on lingering fears; fears that you are fast-eclipsing here, in my heart.
It is the one place I dare not examine too closely, but then I remember that you have always been twenty-five kinds of patient with me. I smile to myself as I gingerly touch my lips to your cheek, dreamily picturing the day you asked me out, remembering how I stammered and stumbled nervously in all of my uncertainty; knowing how long I have been wanting you but paralyzed in the breadth and depth of my residual pain.
I was overwhelmed by your confidence and larger than life personality then, and I picture your rugged handsomeness on that day.
“Have coffee with me,” you said as you approached me.
I scanned the spaces beside and behind me, wondering if you were actually addressing me. I stood rooted to one spot, rummaging through any number of replies that I might have choked out, but my still-wounded heart leapt into my throat so I just stood there, mute in your gaze.
“Never mind,” you stated firmly, “Make it adult beverages, girl. Seems like you could use it.”
I stammered something unintelligible which thankfully, you did not hear.
“Pick you up at eight,” you said, over your shoulder as you turned to walk away, but then quickly turned to flash a grin at me that crinkled your eyes, and I was hooked. I was completely and utterly taken, and then I knew… this is where my slow burn began.
Unaware that you have been watching me this night, I am completely unguarded in re-experiencing you, and this is where your lips meet mine, startling me out of that not-so-long-ago moment. I drag my errant thoughts back to the present, into the here and now of you, into the profoundly sexual kiss that is steadily heating up.
Slowly, you let me come to you, and I returned your passion two-fold as I let you part my lips. Your hand lightly cups the soft, warm globes beneath you as you graze my unexposed nipple with just one finger. You stroke me tentatively through the fabric of my blouse, and deepen the kiss gently, yet firmly demanding of me, not making any sudden moves but deliberately exploring me with maddening slowness.
You entwined your tongue with mine and press deeper, forcing my lips and mouth open to you. Knowing how much I want you, you let me know that you will determine how this goes.
You slow my actions with a gentle hand to my shoulder and will not give in to my urgency. Ever so slowly, you knead my taut breasts squeezing my nipples slightly as you undo my buttons, all without ever breaking our kiss.
Your hands are gently seeking, feeling, softly rubbing and stroking until you suddenly stand and pull me to my feet. With my body pressed full-length against you, locked in your muscular embrace, you loosen your grip slightly to remove the last of my clothing and yours.
Not letting go for a second, you stroke my long hair and move your hand to caress my cheek. You press your steel-hard need between my legs. Your cock is my scabbard, springing to life from its dark patch of hair.
I am aching for you to fill me, aching for you to make this slow burn blaze into unrestrained passion. But you lift me gently into your arms to gingerly lay me down upon the blanket and, in so-doing, lay waste to my inhibitions; the content of my wounded soul.
As you lay atop me with your firm, broad chest pinning me down, you crush me to you with your devilish eyes locked on mine, almost daring me to utter a word of protest, but I cannot.
Instead, I wrap my legs around you, trying to pull you closer still, finally let me melt into you. I give into the mêlée of riotous emotion that only you can make me feel. Your every touch is searing white-hot flames upon my skin, branding me your own.
l let you trail fire down the length of me, as you drag your fingertips down my stomach, past my abdomen to find the nexus of me and I cry out into the night at just the tips of your fingers touching me there.
Sizzling, electric-heat shocks me, leaping from synapse to synapse, culminating in the core of my womanhood while this slow burn threatens to consume me; to incinerate my very soul and I am suddenly assailed with terror.
I am unprepared to feel this deeply and intensely, ill-equipped to fall face-first and headlong into the all-consuming fire that constantly torments my waking and dreaming hours. I am writhing, squirming and pushing; fighting you, fighting me, and then begin begging you,
“Stop! Wait! Stop! Please! Please stop!”
But you do not let me go, will not let me run. Knowing that you are plenty strong enough to hold me down, you just hold me gently in your firm grip. Again, you pull me to you hard, letting me panic, writhe, and fight to push you away until my terror gives way to tears.
I am weeping in silence, tears streaking down my face, while you hold me tighter than you ever have, murmuring loving words into my ear, letting me retreat and die, to be reborn into your arms; the girl all but gone and a woman in her place.
Then finally, we both move, kissing frantically, wrapping ourselves around each other, rolling over and over again, both of us finding “our rhythm.” Then you push up from the ground to kneel between my thighs while lightly fondling my clitoris. You stroke me softly there with the full, firm length of you deep inside of me. You continue your sweet, sensuous torment until my breathing comes fast and ragged.
You begin a quicker rhythm, slamming into me hard and fast, as you stroke my most intimate secrets. I feel the slow burn become tumultuous as both of us push harder and faster. My hips meet yours, matching you, thrust for frenzied thrust, our crescendo building hotter, wilder, your fingers stroking my sensitized womanhood while you fill me with your steel-hard length, your unrelenting girth impaling me and letting my orgasm build.
Soft whimpers and longing moans escape me as I am twisting, thrusting, and aching to explode with you just as your deep, guttural growl fills the air, matching my soft scream that splits the stillness of this night. Finally, I let myself fall into our mutual fulmination, into flames that are borne of you and me. Our simultaneous orgasm rocks us through and through.
Then, at last, I am lost in you; in feeling your pulsing member sheathed within my hot wetness while I contract almost violently around you. I let our torrential lust and love consume me as you fall into my arms. I so love the culmination and completion that is you… and me… that is us… wholly and only us… and just the thought sets me back on a slow burn.
©October 16, 2016 – 05:26 PM – All Rights Reserved
Daveed was first her childhood crush, then her high school sweetheart, next her college love, and throughout their courtship, he became her world; her veritable everything.
In her innocent youth, she had indulged in fantasized certainties that are promised to none; eternal, infinite love and a marriage that would be the envy of all her friends; a supportive, nurturing husband constantly by her side, and she his unfailing font of more, ever increasing, in return.
Prompted by high school girlfriends, on a lark she had looked up the meaning of his name:
Pronunciation: (DAY vid); (da VEED)
Form of: Itself (David)”
Following which, she teased him mercilessly calling him beloved, especially in front of a crowd. Though he would punch her softly on the arm and wink, he never seemed to mind.
When left to her own devices, she scrawled his name and the meaning in her notebook as artfully as she could
In later years, the scrawl became:
“Daveed, my beloved.”
Even then, in her wildest, naïve dreams, she hadn’t a clue that he would become so much more to her than that. God himself could not have predicted the breadth, depth, and magnitude of what was to come.
In her first and second year of college, Kalista was timid, fearful, and at times, outright terrified of what and how deeply he made her feel. Daveed had worked long and hard to win and keep Kalista’s heart his own; loved, cherished, encouraged to grow, yet protected.
She was his hard-won prize when she finally accepted the certainty of him and their fantastical future together. Reward to both was their full and open hearts, his consistency of unwavering devotion, and her will to constantly, ever-presently, renew their love threefold.
Neither could let the other down. They were only one together. Theirs was a love so deep and strong it was the stuff of fairy-tales, which they happily lived daily. She was the air that allowed him to breathe freely and drink in her unending supply of love and affection. He was her earth, her rock, her reality-touchstone in times of trial, despair, success, and ecstatic happiness. They grew to share more than any married couple they knew.
Though they resided in separate dorms in college, Daveed waited outside, on the sorority steps, each morning while Kalista dressed hurriedly, donning any clothes that would make him proud to call her his girl. Invariably, she skipped breakfast to be in his arms as quickly as possible. It was all the sustenance she could ever want or need.
Several weeks prior to his graduation, her third year of college, he had gifted her with a choker collar so beautiful she couldn’t believe her eyes.
On a day like every other day, she had rushed out the door to greet him, but found him in a tumultuous mood. She gathered that he was troubled, possibly torn about something, and caught her breath. Daveed took her hand gently, tugging her with him, saying, “We need to talk. Let’s go someplace more private, most beautiful one.” It was his pet name for her. Kalista hadn’t a clue that Daveed had done the same as she, in looking up the meaning of her name.
Immediately, her face was deeply grooved with concern and a little fear, though she complied responding, “Of course, my beloved.” Kalista looped her arm through his and he led the way through patchy woods to a bench long ago forgotten. Daveed explained his acceptance to medical school in another state. She looked deep into his eyes then, with torrents of pleas that lodged in her throat.
In that moment, she couldn’t breathe or speak. She felt as though air and gravity had suddenly ceased to exist. Daveed retrieved a box from his pocket, pulled a gorgeous choker from it, and placed it around her neck declaring, “I claim you. Wait for me, my most beautiful one. We’re worth it. You know we are. We will marry and be the one couple who does live happily ever after. You’re my destiny,” he whispered, and paused to see tears welling in her eyes; a look he never wanted to be the cause of.
He pulled her into an embrace that spoke of never wanting to let her go, and continued, “I want to provide for you as a husband should. Please wear the choker. It’s our acknowledgement that we are the key to each other; that we hold the key to our future together. It’s engraved beneath with our initials inside locked hearts.”
To Kalista, his words were elation, as much as devastation to the world they had created and lived in together for so long. It was the proposal she had longed for and exile to a life that she couldn’t possibly begin to bear.
For a moment, she clung to him for dear life and then pushed him away. She sprinted deeper into the woods, running as fast and hard as she could, trying to outrun the wailing scream that threatened to shatter the earth around her, just as her heart had shattered in the space of a breath.
She stood there alone, bereft, her world shredded, letting racking sobs, and small screams escape, until dizziness forced her to sit down on a patch of dead leaves fallen from the trees. Nothing mattered anymore. She felt as dead as the leaves crackling beneath her. Kalista stayed all day, grasping the key on the choker, not possessing the strength to return to campus. A life less her everything was too frightening to contemplate.
When she finally did return, she took cautious comfort in her sorority sisters. She let weeks of classes pass unattended while all she could do was weep. They approached tentatively, keeping her abreast of classwork and social functions, in small doses.
Understanding her need to grieve, they comforted and cajoled her back to functioning somewhat normally, and then worked to help her catch up with term papers and responsibilities. Barring time for her to sleep, they took shifts, working around the clock to beef up her fallen grades, just to enable her to stay with them.
Through years of study and infrequent letters to and from her beloved, she could not remove the choker. It was all she had left of the beauty that was them. It had become her darkest despair and highest hope though, in her heart of hearts, she felt there was no hope.
By her own graduation day, she knew she owed her sisters a huge debt of gratitude never realizing that hers was such a giving heart, there was never a need to feel indebted. Many times, she had done the same for them without a single thought for herself. Her debt was repaid long before she ever needed to indulge in their many kindnesses.
On graduation day, Kalista removed the choker from her throat and mailed it back to Daveed with a note tucked inside that simply read, “Best to you, beloved – always.”
Now, thirty-three years and one failed marriage later, she brought the mail back to her apartment, as she had on every other typical day. It wasn’t bills or letters that made her catch her breath. She held a box that she unwrapped hurriedly. Inside, was a familiar choker collar with a note that read, “Most beautiful, missed you at the reunion. Drinks?”
Suddenly, air and gravity ceased to exist…
© October 20, 2015 – 12:54 PM – All Rights Reserved
Image Writing Prompt: ©Murbo Dagldiyan https://500px.com/photo/13083823/a-mineral-by-murbo-dagldiyan
Alexis was raised sheltered, overprotected and cloistered in her stifling Roman Catholic family. She was slowly suffocating and knew she must escape before they stifled her will to live. After college, she joined a BDSM club with its own dungeon. Even now, she was still changing in the restrooms before and after she partook.
“This is ridiculous,” she screamed in her car, “I’m old enough to choose my own path!”
Alexis pulled into the driveway, ran into the house, and repeated same to stunned parents. They responded with the “wrath of God,” as she mostly suspected they would. Her father yelled,
“Let’s see you out tonight, with no car, no clothes, no food, and no money!”
Alexis ran, terrified, until she couldn’t run anymore. She made her way several blocks further and exhaustion claimed her. She crept into a construction site to lay down on a cold, steel forklift, feeling stripped, as though she were lying there raw and naked, thrown to the streets like so much garbage, and vowing to never return.
© October 29, 2015 – 12:39 AM – All Rights Reserved