Occasionally she took a ride in her mother’s car; without permission, which made a good thing (driving) even better. She wished she could have been honest with Harriet, her loving mother, but she knew her place as the eldest most responsible daughter, and coming clean would have meant giving up a modicum of respect and honor, which she was not willing to do. So she drove the Bentley when she felt like it, but only when her grieving mother was safely tucked away in her room, sipping her syrupy sweet sherry and reminiscing, and only while wearing her best dress and sleek black driving gloves–a gift from her father.
If Daddy were still alive, he would have encouraged Erin to drive as much as possible because he was a practical, no-nonsense man; a father beyond comparison who loved her more than life itself, and who had still remembered what it was like to be a passionate person living a sheltered life. But he wasn’t here, so she had to handle her urges on her own, even though it was illegal for a 14-year old to drive, and even though she knew that it was only a matter of time before her mother found out about her trips to the fiery edge of town where she could fan the flame of her desires without worrying about her responsibilities for a change.
This week’s challenge, provided by the ever-wonderful Lillie McFerrin was the word “flame.” See more entries by clicking on the icon below:
There was nothing left to prove; eighty-four years had been a long time to figure out, and then to realize that every moment was not going to lead up to something spectacular.
The journey–it had certainly been interesting, briefly promising, stimulating, challenging, and even thoroughly enjoyable–but it had not been what she had expected, nor what she had wanted.
Her true love, a dashing Harry-Connick-like ladies’ man, had broken her heart over and over again and only when he lay dying, seven years after having left her, did he tell her: “I want to come home.”
Oh how many times she had replayed these words in her mind and fantasized about what it would have been like to have brought him home and to have loved him like she should have done had she not been so busy keeping the perfect house and raising their five children in keeping with the times; times when a woman had a defined role to play; times when you kept up appearances only to realize far too late that keeping something else up would have been better.
Nevertheless, she now lay dying, and having been given sufficient permission, she had decided that instead of trying to conquer the living, she would visit her beloved dead: “I want to come home too,” she whispered to him before taking her last breath.
Today’s post is “Five Sentence Fiction,” the birthchild of Lillie McFerrin. This week’s word: conquer. Visit this intriguing weekly challenge by clicking on the icon below:
On the evening of her sixth birthday, after opening presents, eating a sumptuous dinner, and accepting her blind and much older brother-in-law’s marriage proposal; a baffling yet exciting prospect nevertheless, she retreated to her lavender bedroom to play with her gifts.
The record player was open and waiting as usual, and she placed the delicate needle head gently on “Emil and the Detectives” and waited for her favorite part; the sing-song sound of the European siren clamoring through Berlin:”wee-ha, wee-ha, wee-ha.”
Her eyes fell on the brand new bank, a lovely pink one in the shape of a fat little coin-eating piggy, a gift from her new “fiancée.”
Tap, tap, tap went the pig as it repeatedly made contact with the hard bedroom floor, the little girl convinced that she would soon find the exact point before which the pink bank would shatter.
“Yes, I did bang it on the ground,” she said to her mother, her distraught face red and tear-stained, “but I didn’t think it would actually break.”
This week’s word, provided by Lillie McFerrin of “Five Sentence Fiction” fame is “delicate.”
Unless she had camped there, climbed a certain tree, waited for Independence Day and known that being brutally honest with herself was the only viable direction, she would not have noticed any of it; couldn’t have discovered a single marvelous feature of their new home.
The day they chopped down the Carrotwood tree because it was cracking the decking around the pool, the sky was a cloudless blue and as the last few branches hit the ground she cried out from her perch in the upper bedroom where she had been watching the workers chip-chopping away, “The ocean – we have an ocean view!”
So it went, her fascination with living near the sea as she had always wanted to; the only possible thing missing being a passionate relationship (her marriage had lost that years before), the kind that makes you want to linger in bed, the kind that makes you forget about eating and sleeping and drinking, drunk and full and sated as you are with your, erm, activities.
July 4th found her lazy and blue; feeling as if she should want to go somewhere and watch the fireworks, should want to be festive and lively, but it wasn’t until the doorbell rang, the neighbors standing there with chairs asking if she minded them watching fireworks in her front yard, that she realized the excitement had unfathomably come to her.
She grew to love her home, despite the fact that she had hung nothing on the walls in two years, as if it were a temporary abode; nevertheless enjoying the regular sound of the train – another inadvertent discovery, in the distance and finally the day that, many days after asking her husband to leave, she discovered the church bells ringing in the distance, the glorious music of her new life ringing with them.
This week’s word: ringing
By the time I reached her side she was standing on a ledge so narrow that I could hardly believe she had not already plunged, due to her very large feet, into the mad Monday morning melee of cars hurtling their passengers to work, to the gym, or to their clandestine lovers.
The call had come less than five minutes before, and I had sprinted from the coffee shop where I had been enjoying a quiet morning of endless caffeine while writing, or at least pretending to write, the next chapter in my frustrating but insistent novel, to the eight-story building where she teetered on her last nerve. It took every ounce of courage I possessed, despite my love for her, to crawl through the uppermost window and stand, sweat pouring from every conceivable gland, next to her and begin the speech I wished I had practiced during my desperate lung-bursting run to save my best friend.
I went for the kind of straight talk I thought might work: “I know things have been tough lately, but geez Carmen, this is extreme even for you.”
Carmen suddenly moved from her unstable perch, causing my heart to lurch so powerfully that I nearly lost my balance and only managed to re-gain my footing a moment before she leapt through the next window with a maniacal laugh and the fading words, “NOW did I inspire you to finally write your next chapter?”
Lillie McFerrin provides weekly prompts for her “Five Sentence Fiction” challenge. This week’s word: inspire
He pushed her slowly; so slowly that it was as if he was not moving her wheelchair at all, so imperceptible were his movements. Three hours later they reached the middle of the field, having flattened an entire row of ranunculus along the way, their vibrant colors nevertheless brightening a dark day.
He wanted to turn back, to pretend that he did not remember their agreement, to avoid keeping a promise that he was afraid he would regret fulfilling, but he did remember, and he knew that he had sworn to her that regardless of how difficult the job was he would not fail in its execution.
Finally he lovingly placed a blindfold over her vacant eyes, checked that the gun was loaded, and kissed her gently, tears streaming down his face despite his resolve and commitment.
Although it would be a blessed relief for her and the end of a waking nightmare, it was to be the beginning of a new horror for her son.
Despite her nearly unbearable anguish Eva trudged ahead, hardly able to lift a boot out of one snowy imprint before making the next, practically falling forward with every step as the wind pelted her petite bundled body, freezing her brittle bones. It wouldn’t be long now since her actions had caused a horrendous chain of events; consequences she could neither have foreseen nor stopped, especially since Arden had blocked her ability to control the weather when she had lingered a nanosecond too long at her grandmother’s bedside selfishly trying to save her instead of continuing on as she should have done.
Prior to the endless and bitter winter controlling Eva’s quadrant and destroying her body, she had enjoyed boundless freedom, daily breathing in the intoxicating euphoria of flight when her wings had been wet and warm, not frozen and broken as they now were. Arden’s severe jealousy of Eva’s gifts, in particular her uncanny ability to help others discover their own, had placed her on the wanted list where she had remained for aeons, saved only by miraculous wings that had hurtled her effortlessly through space faster than the speed of time, allowing her precious seconds to protect the future from Arden’s efforts to destroy Earth and allow Hellbor to flourish.
Being in constant motion had not only protected her from destruction, but had also kept her from thinking too much, as her thoughts could not withstand the sheer force of the time-warp, which had, prior to the deadening winter, kept her from feeling guilty that she had once supported Arden with her vote, her body and her heart.
This week’s word is “candidate” -from the great Lillie McFerrin and her weekly Five Sentence Fiction prompt. Click on the icon to visit and try your hand at your own five!
A gopher is eating my butterfly plants one tasty root at a time, so I get out my hammer and wait ever so patiently, earbuds blasting Rage Against the Machine for effect and motivation. While I am rocking out, evidently moving in such an unusual way that my neighbor, who thinks I can’t see him behind the dilapidated wooden fence boards, cannot take his eyes off me. Contrary to the logic of my somewhat “shy on stage” personality, I begin to gyrate to the sexual intensity of Zack de la Rocha’s energy, hyper aware of both the ironic fact that I find political rants anything but sexy, and also that my poor neighbor has been lonely so long that me undulating with a hammer is particularly cruel on so many levels.
Apparently my gopher dance has worked more than one miracle, and his destructive little head pops out just in time for me to compose myself, raise the hammer, and begin the swift and powerful descent necessary to knock him silly and save my caterpillars’ home. But my plan is flawed, as I should have known that headphones, an uncharacteristically sexy set of dance moves and sheer resolve would not be enough to help me get beyond just how cute the little guy is, and I accidentally pound a formerly healthy butterfly plant instead.
The only time he wasn’t worried about the future was when she visited. Her stopovers were so infrequent however, that he had never been able to find a pattern; some timing to count on, to look forward to, to fantasize about.
He waited, mostly empty, impatient, merely existing, barely breathing, until she appeared out of Nowhere, took his shaking hand, and made love to him without the slightest whisper. She ravaged him hungrily, fully, silently.
Rising on her haunches, sated, his skin in her teeth, blood dripping seductively from her ravaged lips, she leaped once, twice, and again to reach the next detour out of Forever and back to the place from where she had come.
He was so handsome that she nearly lost her nerve, especially when his eyes pierced hers, but the dare was too enticing; after all, she did love a rousing challenge. As she approached the long, teak wood bar, she chastised herself for such childish folly.
“Excuse me,” she started in, voice sultry and tempting, raising her arms high, breasts plump and spilling out over her corset, her cheeks faintly pink with embarrassment, “but did you happen to drop this cute little teddy bear?”
The next moment took her totally by surprise, as he swooped her up, deftly ascended two flights of stairs, hastily unlocked the mahogany door, traversed the long hallway in seconds, and threw her down on the perfectly made bed only to kiss her long, hard, and deep, his passion rising with each exhale into her expectant mouth.
By now their loyal customers were used to such escapades, having frequented Phred and Mona’s Long Bar for years, continually enthralled by the oft-shocking antics of a couple with such other-worldly devotion that they easily became fools for love in each other’s presence.