An Ending (or Is It A Beginning?)

Here is a short piece of fiction I wrote for a prompt over at WordsmithStudio.org:

An End (or A Beginning)

This is the last time I’ll have to ride this offensive form of mass transportation. It smells even worse than usual. The guy in the front row is dirtier than I’ve ever seen him. The floor is definitely stickier; I can barely lift my shoes to take a step. I strategically sit in the space that is simultaneously the farthest from every other person I’m forced to share oxygen with. I can’t wait to get home today. I’ve finally saved enough to buy my neighbor’s pickup, and I’ll never have to ride the bus again.

I actively avoid eye contact with the other passengers. I don’t want to smile and make conversation. I just want to get off this bus and never get on it again. A guy near the front catches my eye and I’m unable to look away. He is actually kinda cute. His straight, dark hair falls in a parted curtain, hiding most of his face. One electric blue eye peeks at me through the crack. Dimples appear on either side of his pale lips, just under the reach of the black curtain.

My thrilling, dirty white shoelaces recapture my attention and I admonish myself for looking up in the first place. I close my eyes and see his smirk on the back of my lids. I shake the image from my mind, replacing it with an old S-10. Black lines don’t shine quite as much as they used to. Rust eats away a spot of fender near the front tire well. I can’t wait ’til that hunk of metal is mine.

Chipped black paint is suddenly replaced with sleek, ebony hair and one lapis eye. A sigh escapes before I can hold it back. Almost there. One more stop. I don’t open my eyes again until I hear the door open. The gorgeous stranger and I rise in unison. A trickle of fear caresses the base of my spine. No one ever gets off at my stop. I follow him down the steps then pass him as he checks something on his phone.

“Hey,” he calls. I shudder, but turn around none-the-less.

“Um, yeah?”

“I’m a little lost.” Deep parentheses erupt around his heart-stopping smile. “Can you help me find…” he checks his phone again, “616 Chase Street?” He looks down at me hopefully.

“Uh, sure. It’s just down the road here, third left. I’m headed that way anyway; I’ll show you.” I am a little uneasy that this guy is going to my apartment building, but he already has the address and he isn’t following me like a stalker, so I dismiss the feeling.

“Thanks. I’m Simon,” he says, hand outstretched.

“Izzy, uh, Isabelle.” I start walking and he follows.

“So, Izzy, you work at Sidney’s restaurant?” He nods at the logo on my shirt.

“Um, yeah. It’s not as bad as you’d think. Those country club snobs tip pretty well.” A soft laugh eases through his lips, drawing my attention to his dimples. A girl could get lost in those caves.

“You have a pretty smile,” he whispers before I even realize I’m smiling. It doesn’t happen often.

“Thanks. It’s just a couple more buildings down. What brings you here?”

“I’m buying a truck. I’m in a hurry, actually. The guy said he might be selling it tonight or tomorrow. I’d like to get there before he does.” He scans the parking lot, “There it is! I hope it’s a good as my friend says it it.” His pace quickens.

I’m dumbstruck. I told Jeff I wanted it and I’d have the money after work today, tomorrow at the latest. This guy is so not getting my truck. “Um, it actually sold today,” I say, stretching the truth just a bit.

He turns to me, “How do you know? The sign is still in the window.” He looks back at my truck. “He said if I got here before 8, I could have it. It’s only fifteen after. Maybe I’m not too late.” He turns and heads for apartment 12, and I catch up.

“Wait, Simon. I told you, it’s sold. I hope you’ve got a ride home. That was the last bus tonight.” I look pointedly at him. Apprehension dawns in his heavenly eyes and I feel kinda guilty. “Look, I’m sorry you came all the way out here. I told Jeff I’d have the money after work today. He shouldn’t have told you that.”

“But you haven’t bought it yet. I brought an extra hundred just in case. Who do you think he’ll sell it to?” His eyes sparkle.

I don’t have another hundred to spend. I just stare at him, openmouthed. My blood begins to boil.

“Hey, I’m just kidding. Calm down. Tell you what: I’ll let you have the truck, if you’ll give me a ride home and let me buy you dinner on the way.” His smile erases my rising anger in two seconds flat. Was he really asking me out?

“Deal. I just gotta change first. I live right next door to Jeff,” the asshole. “Um, can you wait out here? My place isn’t really suitable for company.”

“Sure, Izzy. No problem.” I really just want to curl up in those dimples and take a nap. I slip inside and make a mad dash to find clean clothes.

I’m pulling up my jeans, searching for my black slinky tee in clean pile on the couch, when I hear voices outside. Surely he’s not out there buying my truck while I’m stuck in here half-naked. I listen at the door and hear Jeff talking.

“See, I told you she was cute,” he says with a rough laugh.

“I know, I know. You were right. I kept telling myself I was wasting my time riding on that nasty bus. I figured I’d end up riding it all the way back home. But when I saw her get on, I knew I’d be coming here tonight. I can’t believe she doesn’t have a boyfriend.”

“All she does is work. Me and Mary are always trying to get her to come over or go out with us, but she just keeps to herself. I’m glad you came tonight, Simon. She’s a nice girl and needs to relax a little. You’d better be good to her.”

“Oh, please, Jeff.” I can hear his eyes roll. “You know I’m not into one night stands. I’m looking for something more long term.”

“I know. That’s why I gave you the heads-up in the first place. I’d better get back inside before she gets back. See you in a minute.” He laughs again and shuts the door.

I stand in my living room, in just jeans and a bra, with my ear against my front door. Really?! Jeff is setting me up? I must be more pathetic than I thought. Simon is pretty cute, though. I guess I can just see what happens.

Every fairytale begins somewhere, right?

 

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Flash Fiction Picture Prompt: Queen Calliope

I was prompted to write this piece of flash fiction for a friend, Katherine Faulcon, who made the picture and requested some writing to go with it. When I looked at her, this just sort of wrote itself. I hope you guys like it. 😉

Queen Calliope

Her newborn laugh resounded like bells and her parents named her Calliope. Golden curls grew around her ivory face. Eyes shone like aquamarines through a thickening fringe of lashes. As a teenager, she hid behind delicate fingers and downcast eyes.
It was particularly this effort to go unnoticed that first drew Charles’s attention. It took him ages to draw up enough courage to speak to her. She was so refined, a princess, no less. He was the son of a nobleman, so he thought himself not hopelessly beneath her, though nearly. He saw her many times before he was brave enough to approach. When he finally did, he could imagine no sound more melodic and pleasurable than her voice. Always soft spoken, her words came forth thoughtful and deliberate.
He sought her out at every social function, monopolizing her attention, though she never seemed to mind. She avoided large groups, though never outwardly uncomfortable, and he sensed that she preferred his solitary presence.
They would sometimes stand on the balcony and discuss a common love of literature beneath the stars. This was where they shared their first kiss. Pale pink lips brushed softly across his, before her cheeks flared with color and his heart nearly escaped his chest.
On their wedding day, she shone brighter than the stars that witnessed their love blossom. Her creamy skin was nearly as pale as her milky white dress. The jewels of her crown made her sky blue eyes sparkle. Her smile revealed her immense happiness at the prospect of spending her life with him. His soul overflowed with love and appreciation at the outstanding luck that he had won her heart.
As time flew by with increasing speed, he found that he loved her more with every passing day, month, year. Their children had children and he was thankful for every second of his blessed life. They still sat on that same balcony, rocking under the stars and speaking of love and literature. They held hands in silence, basking in their shared accomplishments and lives well spent. They gazed into each others’ eyes, content in each others’ arms, even as they shared their last breath, passing peacefully into the afterlife together.

Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys! Comment! Or connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and LinkedIn!!! Interaction is what this life is all about.

Flash Fiction, Poetry, and Photography

I’ve been pretty busy lately trying to avoid actual writing so I’m posting a flash fiction piece and a poem I’ve been cleaning up, as well as a few pictures I’ve taken. The flash fiction story was inspired by a TerribleMinds prompt (from a while back) to write a complete story in five sentences and 100 words, or less. The poem was written in response to one of Robert Lee Brewer’s PAD challenges to write a Tanka poem. I had done this one previously (check it out here) and had a lot of fun with it, so I did it again. Photography has become my latest hobby and I’ve had a lot of fun taking pictures around the house of my flowers and babies. So I decided to share some of the better ones (IMO). 😉

Flash Fiction: KTFO (WC79)

Blood covered my face, but the fight only had thirty more seconds. I jabbed left and she dodged right. I jabbed left then followed with a hard right and she blocked. I leaned back and, when she pursued, popped a straight kick, catching her right under the chin. Her head snapped back just like a Pez dispenser, but no candy came out. As she landed flat on her back, I let rip my victory cry, “KNOCKED THE FUCK OUT!”

Baby Girl

Tanka: Baby Girl

Strawberry blonde hair
Wispy, curly, and cowlick’d
Above sky blue eyes,
Ivory skin, and pale pink lips
Little arms reach up to me

Pictures

Pretty Roadside Weeds

Pete the Garden Gnome says, “Go Reds!”
Hot Pink Rose
Pink Roses

Hot Pink Rosebud
Garden Mushrooms

This looks like it’d be a great photo prompt for a fantasy…

Do you like to write or take pictures? What are your favorite subjects? What do you think about my writing and pictures? Any ideas or suggestions? I appreciate any and all feedback. Even if you think this sucks, as long as you tell me why you think it sucks. I can’t wait to hear from you guys! Interaction is what this life is all about.

If you’re interested in my ROW80 progress… well, there isn’t really any.