Thursday, July 22, 2010

100 Word Challenge: Abundant Price

She sat next to him; her beautiful face vacant, unaware of the wake following the ferry toward Nantucket, the waves winking beneath the sun, or seagulls hovering like mobiles overhead. He turned away from her holding the Blackberry up to his ear. With a snap he closed it, tucked his connection into his pocket offering her an apologetic smile.

A few moments later a ring sounded from his pocket. With a shrug of shoulders he began talking.

"Can’t you just turn it off?"

It was the price she paid for the abundant life he provided that included vacations on Nantucket.

This week's 100 Word Challenge is all about the word abundant.  Catch more quick reads with Lou hosting the challenge at Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge. 

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

From View to You

Ack!  I've done it again.  I'm too late to post on Magpie Tales, but I'll go ahead and post this bit of fiction anyhow. 

You’ve always had a lush garden crisp with fresh greens and juicy with red tomatoes. I’ve watched from my kitchen window as you toiled under the hot sun, a baseball cap covering your sandy blonde hair and protecting your blue eyes. You never did look right in a garden, to me. You belonged on a baseball field pitching balls at Autobahn speed or in an Armani suit in a gleaming high rise on Wall Street, but then if you’d been there you wouldn’t be here, a small town in the middle of nowhere.

Every morning you’d turn on a hose dripping water into the garden. I was disappointed that you didn’t use a sprinkler so I could see the tiny rainbows that move back and forth with the spouting water, but you know best when it comes to growing things.

You have a hole in your fence. Did you know that? It’s rather large and once I peeked through it to get a better look at your yard and you, too. You took your shirt off that day and I could see the fine, muscular outline of your back as you worked. The sheen of sweat that glistened in drops on your tanned skin made me bite my lip until it bled. At one point you removed your cap, wiped a dirty hand across your forehead leaving a brown smear that marred my image of you. That’s when I stopped looking and went back inside.

Hey, I think it’s really nice that you grow flowers, too. I like flowers, especially those big red ones. You know the ones with the shaggy heads that smell like mint? I guess I’ve given away my secret now. Yep, sometimes I walk in your garden; usually when you’re gone in the evening. Once I went in during the day. Yes, indeedy, I just walked right up to the gate and let myself in. You sure do like pretty plants, but you really should have tore out that nasty rose with the long thorns. It grabbed my shirt, ripped it and left a nasty scratch on my arm. I’m sorry I had to take sharp loppers to it. It sure was a shame seeing all those beautiful, decapitated rose heads lying on the ground like globs of coagulated blood, but it won’t hurt people now.

Hmm...just look at that big bowl of tomatoes. There’s yellow ones, pink ones, and red ones all on one stem. Why did you pick them before they were ripe? Well some are ripe. This one is delicious and just look the juice is running down my chin. You must think I’m terribly uncouth with no manners at all, wiping the juicy stream from my face and licking my fingers.

You know? I could have lived next to you forever just enjoying the view from my kitchen window, taking secret walks in your garden when you weren’t around, just had to ruin everything. You spoiled it all when you allowed her into your garden. I was furious when I looked out my window. I had to get my binoculars to get a closer view and there she was, prancing around, like the skinny whore she is, in a stupid yellow dress all sunny and cute. Who ever thought you’d go for a red head? I figured you a blonde sort of lover.

I really hope you enjoyed the tomato juice I made for you.  I even used big, juicy, red tomatoes fresh from your garden. Well, it won’t be much longer now...I’ll go home soon.

Monday, July 12, 2010

On the Wings of Indecision

"I can’t even decide what box I want. See how confused I am? How full of indecision I’ve become?" We stood in the aisle surrounded by round, square, and rectangular boxes with flaps, lids, latches, and handles as I pointed out my obvious wavering to my friend. There were frou-frou boxes covered in scenes from Paris, retro boxes adorned with a lady in a full-skirt dress that looked like she’d stepped out of a 50s magazine, mules with a fluff of fur standing pretty on pink stripes, brilliant red poppies on black, and scenes from the seaside. I loved them all and couldn’t decide which I wanted. I stood in that aisle for a good ten minutes opening and closing boxes, trying to imagine a stack on my desk. MJ offered me a 40% off coupon, listened to my ridiculous complaining about how I seem to have misplaced myself, made sound suggestions, and then walked on leaving me to mull over the choices. In the end, I gave her back the coupon and left without a box.

This is a small view into my current wishy-washy self. I cannot decide who I am or who I want to be. In the past I always knew, I was the daughter of...I was the sister of...I was the wife of...I was the mother of...I lived in the country on a farm in a house built in 1870. Gardening was near the top of my love-to-do list. I decorated our home with antiques, heirlooms and items purchased at antique shops and auctions. Bringing small bits of history back to life thrilled me. Books and reading were an integral part of my life. Yearning for something more so ingrained that I breathed it in and out like the dusty air in the old barn until I nearly choked.

Here I am years later feeling lost after taking a year to find myself in the place of my dreams. I did what I’m guessing most people never have the opportunity to do. I should count myself among the luckiest of lucky, yet I feel as if I’m a teenager who just can’t quite figure life out. It’s ok to be indecisive when you’re 16 or even 26, but eventually shouldn’t I figure this trip out?

Who am I...

I’m a woman
I love my children and grandson
I love my siblings and their families
I adore my friends
I love writing; satisfies my passion
I find freedom in photography
Reading takes me places I could never go
I love to create
I love water: oceans, seas, lakes, and’s where I find serenity
I love flowers
I love flower gardens more than vegetable gardens
Poetry is beauty in words in my microcosm of the world
Music can bring me to my knees
Pretty clothes make me swoon
High heels excite me
Art inspires me
I prefer boutiques and out of the way shops over the mall
Farmers’ Markets are the best way to buy vegetables and fruits in my book
I believe there’s a Zen to baseball, but not basketball
The sexiest thing a man can wear is
a button-down oxford shirt with his sleeves rolled up
I have a paper, pen, and notebook fetish
The color pink enchants me
I want to believe Santa Claus, angels, the Easter bunny, and fairies exist

Where am I in this list of things? How can I love the truly sublime, yet find a fascination with the basest portions of life? Can I be such a juxtaposition of opposites all rolled into one mind, body, and soul? Perhaps it’s just the dark side of me warring with the light. This is why I have two is light and the other can become dark from time to time. I just wish I knew in which camp I truly reside. I’m hoping I’m just like everybody else, layered in experiences, loves, likes, and dislikes. Maybe it’s time to spread my wings and fly once more...I just wish I knew where to.

*Photos taken by me over the weekend outside the Toledo Museum of Art.  The statue is 'Wings' by sculptor Carl Milles, circa 1908.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Between Brothers

****************** Language Warning *************************

"Let’s roll puke," George said slapping his younger brother’s head.

Charlie responded, "Hey! Whadja do that for?"

Shifting the Barracuda into second gear George goaded, "You are not normal, ya little prick."

"Am too!"

"Do you even know what normal means?"

"Yeah, I do. It's being like everybody else."

Well, that leaves you out. You forget every thing; otherwise I wouldn’t have to drive you to school. Hell you probably forget to wipe your ass after taking a dump."

"Do not!"

George pulled up to the sidewalk and socked his brother in the shoulder. "Hey, good luck with try-outs tonight."

I have three brothers and based this 100 Word Challenge on thousands of conversations between the two or three of them that I've overheard.  Hike on over to LceeL's blog, Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge to give writing it in 100 words a try or read other writers' take on this weeks prompt, normal.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Facing the Elements

He left the library at closing, passing ivy-climbing brick buildings. Snow, like a torque, rotated about him in a furious frenzy. With head held high, facing directly into winter’s temper tantrum, he tore open his shirt exposing his chest to the elements and screaming into the winds, "Bring it on, bitch!"

He never felt more alive than he did at this moment with freezing snow pelting his bared torso and howling winds biting his goose-bumped, prickling flesh in angry response. He countered with a hard kick to the blanket of snow covering his path and arrogantly continued on his way.


Written for Velvet Verbosity's 100 Word Challenge.  Take a minute and check out the other entries using the word prompt, blanket.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


She perched on the high iron stool at a bistro table checking her watch for the third time in five minutes. Her fingers worried the petals of the pink flower as she turned it over and over unaware of the velvet texture. Her penchant for correctness compelled her to arrive exactly five minutes early. As she entered the brick alley she noticed a small shrub of ball-like blooms in shades of pink and palest blue. Uncharacteristically plucking one of the pink balls from a stem she carried it with her to the table to wait.

He’d said he be there at precisely 7 pm...right here in this very public garden in the middle of town. She’d even specified which table she’d be sitting at. Her face blushed pink as she told him over the phone, "I’ll be waiting at the table just after the blue painted ’57 Chevy and next to the bare-chested man holding the leash of his dog."

He couldn’t possibly miss the designated meeting place. There were only three alleys lined with paintings, plantings, and places to sit, each one a small oasis hovering between buildings in the small town.

When she first arrived, she quickly opened her purse, took out the small compact checking for feathering lipstick or smeared mascara, but everything looked good...well good enough or as good as it’s going to get, she thought. She’d painted her toes and fingernails a rosy pink that matched the lipstick, put on a simple sundress, grabbed a light cardigan sweater, just in case the summer evening turned cool, and headed out the door her heart thumping beneath a flat chest. Trying to orchestrate how he would first see her, she crossed her left leg over the right and then switched. She smoothed her skirt down, fussed with her hair, and waited.
As she sat alone, time moved at the pace of the snail she watched sliding across the cool bricks to the other side of the alley. Fifteen minutes after her arrival, she picked up the flower again. Her fingers pulled tiny flowers from the head as she stared at the arched back entry anticipating his arrival any moment now.

I wish I’d stopped and got a drink, she thought as her mouth dried from anxiety doubled with annoyance. He’d promised to pick up a latte for her on his way to the meeting, but of course, he’s not here.

"How long should I wait? He’s not coming. I just knew he wouldn’t," she whispered as she strangled the ball of blossoms crushing the remaining tender flowers in her tight fist.

At exactly 7:25 she scooted off the stool, tossed what was left of the hydrangea on the table and walked through the arch to her car.

Five minutes later, right on time, a tall, thin man wearing black-rimmed, coke-bottle thick glasses approached the bistro table just after the ’57 Chevy, but before the bare-chested man holding his dog’s leash. From his pocket, he took out a piece of paper scribbled with directions...Meet at 7:30 on Saturday. The only thing waiting for him was a pile of pink bruised flower petals lying on the table. He stood contemplating what to do for the next few ticks of the clock while he rolled a floret in his fingers. He dropped the tiny pink ball he’d formed and walked away sipping a latte.