Little Lies

IMG_1523.JPG

The wind moaned through leaning pines, and sideways snow crusted over a landscape already draped in invisibly layered ice. The air sharp and breath-taking bowed swaying branches fighting to keep the leaves of Summer. A hunched gray squirrel perched in the cold clinging tightly to one high branch. What brought this daring venturer out on a day when he should be in a long deep rest, curled within the warmth nest made for a long Winter? Was it to shred one last pinecone or a dare from his ne’er do well neighbor bent on thieving a hidden Winter bounty?

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Written to the prompt, “perched” from Velvet Verbosity and a bonus, “Little Lies” by Fleetwood Mac.

VV is a blog hop, so click on the site name above or the blog badge below and read and comment on some of the other talented writers who participate.

100 Word Challenge #403

100 Word Challenge #403

Icy Persistence

Shane’s persistence paid off. That and having her cell phone moved to his account when they got married. He’d sincerely meant it when he suggested they would save money by consolidating and Clara readily agreed.

After she moved in, he set up the wifi password on her iPad, laptop and phone and while he had her phone, he installed a phone tracker app, and he found a slick way to hide the icon so she was completely unaware. He hated the way other guys looked at her in “their bar”, The Shooting Star. She always smiled back. He told himself he was keeping her safe.

He never thought she’d run away. His own phone lay on the seat beside him with an address in Spencer Iowa where her phone had been for the past month. When he found she’d left, he spent a few days with emotions swinging ferociously from sadness and grief to anger and violence. He’d tell himself to let her go, it’s what she wanted. Then after a few drinks there was the red anger boiled to the surface. He knew she had replaced him and wanted to find her. Awakened the next morning with a hangover the sadness would return, the last, setting a resolve to find her and fix this.

IMG_1267
The Camero idled as he sat in the convenience store parking lot across from The Lakeshore Motel. He keyed the ignition off, opened the door and stepped out. Hands buried in his Levis his breath puffed like frosted clouds. His foot steps echoed on the crusted snow, and he walked with his head bowed low as he walked toward the Motel.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

My friend Lauren posted a writing prompt on her Facebook page,
“Footsteps echo on the ice crusted snow
He walks with his head bowed low…”

This post is where those words took me. A new post for Faith from Ruin. Shane has found Clara. What do you suppose he means by resolving to fix this? Hmmmm…. and a little ditty from The Police which is a little creeptastically appropriate for this post.

Worrisome Heart

She shielded her eyes to the brilliant sunlight as she left owner Nigel Atherton and his delightful antique store. Clara’s step was light and her eyes shone with hope glimmering on her horizon.

Her heart had been fretful and worrisome since she and Lucy fled even though she knew she had to break free from Shane’s troubling ways. Unfortunately she discovered too late, he had lots of baggage to claim.

This job, in this town surrounded by new friends was so unexpected. She kept wondering when she would awaken because this gift was so much more than she ever deserved.

stylized-plant-separationLast time with ”Faith from Ruin” ~ Enchanted

I’m back at Lance’s 100 Word Song writing more for Faith from Ruin. The inspiration comes from the song Worrisome Heart by Melody Gardot. It certainly fits Clara!

Above and Below

Enchanted

The old glass door scraped as Clara pushed hard to enter Bygone Antiquities. Three old service hand bells jingled and clamored like small children, trying to outdo one another. She emerged into a fairytale wonderland,  stopped to turn this way, then that awestruck by the space the owner had created. In front of her stood a hexagon counter built from old barn doors and stain glassed windows lit from behind. The space was elevated and two steps above the showroom and was lit by a heavenly view of twinkling, sparkly chandeliers hung overhead.

chandelier

A thin man, smartly dressed in tailored trousers, dress shirt and orange cashmere vest and a bold orange and lime green, paisley bowtie walked down two steps, and extended his hand and in a crisp English accent greeted her.

“Welcome to Bygone Antiquities! To where can I guide you?”

Clara had preconditioned ideas about antique stores appearances, and this magical place and dapper gentleman left her pleasantly unnerved and a little off balance. She blinked twice and fluttered her head,

“Uh, nowhere, I mean, um, I called earlier, about a job? I’m Clara Pit…err, Clara Rosner.”

She’d decided to use Rosner rather than her married name Pittman. The divorce was inevitable and the name shift felt right.

His smile brightened, he reached out and grasped her hand in both of his,

“Clara Rosner, I’m pleased to meet you.”Hand released, he continued, “Come, let’s sit, have some tea and discuss employment,” and he gently guided her toward the counter.

She rose two steps to see a small organized kingdom separated into distinct realms; business – filing, register and phone; comfort – overstuffed chair, side table and small bookshelf, and necessity – bistro table, chairs, doorless cabinet that held a microwave and refrigerator, and electric kettle on top along with assorted mugs.

“Please, make yourself comfortable Clara Rosner. Sugar or cream in your tea?”

His mellifluous voice furthered the enchantment.

stylized-plant-separation

 

I have been lamenting and beating myself up for ages because I’ve been uninspired, unwilling, unmotivated to write. When I posted a pitty party on Facebook a blogger friend SAM at My Write Side reminded me she had prompts. It took me a couple of weeks to get a twitch while reading a book to grab one. Part of Master Class, which she hosts on her blog is a weekly word challenge. The current challenge, Master Class Session 4 is the word “Precondition(s/ed) and the word limit is 320 words. Plenty to stretch out my writers brain and give some more life to my story “Faith from Ruin”. I also give you “A Sky Full of Stars” by Coldplay because the lights I see in Bygone Antiquities look like twinkling stars.

Thanks for the nudge SAM.

To catch up on the story from the beginning you can go HERE

To pick up where I left off, last time with ”Faith from Ruin” ~ Divin’ In

Master Class -Badge

Divin’ In

BEEP BEEP BEEP

Clara clawed at the night stand, groping for her phone and swiped the screen to stop the noise. “God I hate alarms.”

She looked across the room at the other bed where a lump with a spray of messy blonde spilled across a pillow and wondered at her daughter’s ability to sleep through the blaring alarm.

“Luce. Time to rise and shine.”

An arm poked out, then two and then a muffled “whump” as she flopped the covers off.

Her voice wispy and scratchy from sleep she muttered, “Morning Mommy.”

“Hop to it kiddo. You’re going to Ida and Frank today. Mommy’s got to get an early start today if she’s going to find a job.”

~*~

After a good breakfast a cup of strong coffee and her stainless travel mug filled with more, Clara headed out. Ida and Frank put up a fuss about looking for work like she knew they would. It was time to really move on. Idling felt too much like freeloading and that wasn’t her style. She had decided Spencer was a good place to settle down with Lucy. It was far enough from Shane and her family and they could start clean.

She gleaned the want ads in the local paper and online while she sipped coffee and found a handful of places where she could apply. The Library in Gilbert, the town 10 miles North, had a full time position open, a couple of café’s in Spencer and Bygone Antiquities, the vast antique store on the edge of town.

She started at the library where she had a chance for more hours and benefits. Unfortunately, they wanted experience and a library science degree. She left applications at The Coffee Cup Diner and Chic Eats, unsure either would work because the unpredictable shifts could cause problems.

Discouraged, she drove through town and worried she might not find something as soon as she hoped. Pulling into the parking lot, she shut the car off. The effects of her lousy sleep washed over her in a wave of weariness. With eyes closed, she gripped the steering wheel and took deep breaths. When she opened her eyes the sun dazzle the blue Swarovski beads of her rosary that dangled from the mirror and she heard Mother Elizabeth’s strong, sure voice, “ Mind your prayer life sisters. ‘Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.’ Remember Emerson’s words. Prayer pulls the weeds so you can clearly see the path to God.”

The memory sparked a smile. Grabbing her phone and purse, she opened the car door and told herself, “This is gonna be the one. Come on Clara, take a leap of faith. OK. I’m divin’ in.”

~*~

Last time with ”Faith from Ruin” ~ Tomorrow

I’m back with Write on Edge for their prompt. Clara is finding her feet and trying to move forward. A little extra inspiration from Steven Curtis Chapman and his song “Dive”. Write on Edge offered this as inspiration:

Use the quote as an opening/closing line, draw inspiration from a single word within it….

“Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tomorrow

The familiar comfort of Frank’s faux-leather recliner rocked and lulled while the TV blathered through the drowsy fog. Endless late hours finally caught up to her. Stress, worry and insomnia conspired against a good night of sleep. She pushed info on the remote; 12:37 a.m. Clara shut the TV and lights off and stumbled to the bathroom for a hot soak, and a little bit of “The Girl….” to soothe her into sleep.

She was running on empty. Trying not to confuse rearviews with sunrises.

Sinking into the steamy heat, head back, eyes closed, hand and kindle dangled.

“Tomorrow. Tomorrow.”

~*~

Last time with ”Faith from Ruin”  ~ Misplaced Hope

One year ago I began this story with a song, “Running on Empty” by Jackson Browne. This week 100 Word Song had the same song chosen as a prompt. Maybe this is chapter Two. I still love this song and Jackson Browne. I close my eyes and feel 16 again.

IMG_0382

Collected

Psychedelic wildflowers in neon, adorn a hippie-esque hippo given to a sixteen year old. A collection was born. The wild hippo became a Speech Meet mascot, kidnaped, ransomed and protected with squinty suspicious eyes.

The obsession passion, nurtured and propagated with Indiana Jones-like quests, procuring even more. The sleuth collected primitive tribal, garishly ornate, and saccharine cute hippos; ruggedly handsome, curiously unique, and itty-bitty hippos. Acquisition are celebrated, some with stories; all loved. 2014-05-20 21.45.36
Wide-mouthed wonders heavily populated horizontal surfaces, now are viewed through goggles of dust-free curio glass. The long gone girl smiles. Favorites have escaped and deliberately splashed about.

~*~          ~*~          ~*~

The inspiration is long gone. A plush beanbag hippo, became victim to my young need to display it prominently on the dash of my car. She succumbed to the cruelty of the sun which faded and disintegrated the fabric. Many have followed that small beginning.

Prompt from Velvet Verbosity’s 100 Word Challenge #379:
This weeks word comes from the last page of The Book Thief: “Collection”

This is a blog-hop, so click the 100 Word Challenge button above to enter your link and view other submissions.