Everything to Lose

Neon splashed the rain swept sidewalk in globby hues of purple, and streaks of green and pink. An arched doorway lead to The Violet Cactus, a downtown bar where indie bands entertained throngs of eager fans.

Woolgather, a band on it’s way out of vogue, was playing the night Kira met Owen. He sat square in the middle of the bar counter, monopolizing the bartender with his wit and creative conversation. It was rare when a customer had the mixologist leaning on the bar,  sharing stories and having a friendly palaver with a complete stranger.

Kira always came to the Cactus when Woolgather played. She sat at the end of the bar near the band the best spot, to fully enjoy their set. Owen would catch her eye, wink and smile. She had to work the next day so she was drinking ginger-ale with lime wedges. Half an hour into the set, the bartender walked a drink to the end of the bar nodded toward Owen who rolled his hand down and bowed his head as if to say “your welcome.” In the shape of cool confidence, he strolled to the end of the bar.

It was their beginning. Intriguing, fascinating, enchanting. Kira  captured an elusive good catch guy, one of those mythological creatures friends, mothers and grandmothers wished for their girls.

Everything she could ever want. He took her breath away, and filled her sails, created a new world and made her believe she was the center. He skillfully painted a new life for her, one where she believed she needed nothing more.

He was everything. Until he wasn’t. When the curtain fell and the real Owen materialized, the love and care he crafted seemed to dissolve, and she discovered she was disposable. After four and a half months, it ended swiftly. Tuesday she awoke content and happy. Wednesday dawned. He said it was fun, but he was bored, ready to move on, and her everything vanished. She was no longer courted and cared for. She was sidelined and marginalized. After she staggered back into the light she found herself following a trail of damaged girls in his wake.

Owen scarred her, left her on the side of the road, her heart broken and bleeding. He taught her, getting everything you want has nothing to do with anything.

Getting everything you want just meant you had everything to lose.


I’m sure I’ve broken some cosmic music rule by pairing Vertical Horizon’s “Everything You Want” with a quote from Thom Yorke of Radiohead, but the quote fit the song and the combination of the two helped me get a story started, and this piece bloomed into being.

For the Scriptic.org prompt exchange this week:
Michael at http://MichaelWebb.us gave me this prompt:
Getting everything you want has nothing to do with anything. –Thom Yorke

I gave SAM at http://frommywriteside.wordpress.com this prompt:
The signs of the time are omens. –Switchfoot, “Innocence Again”



5 comments on “Everything to Lose

  1. Lance says:

    This is terrific craft. That opening paragraph would sell books like hotcakes.

    I like the transition later. Owen and Kira are really interesting. More, please.


    • debseeman says:

      I hadn’t thought about this being more, but i can think of a couple of angles to expand the story. Kira and Owen will have to sit on a back burner until I finish Vivid Black though, which is close. I’m glad you like it.


  2. Michael says:

    Beautiful! Great piece, with an excellent close. Bravo.


  3. […] Author: Debbie Challenger: Michael Prompt: Getting everything you want has nothing to do with anything. –Thom Yorke Response: Eveything to Lose […]


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