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.

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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”

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Her Serene Heart

****You can find the previous chapter of Vivid Black here.

Ray stepped into the garden of St. Therese Monastery and quietly wandered toward Leta who stood amid a carpet of flowers. Gently he slid his hand into hers and she calmly returned the grasp of his familiar hand. She turned to look into a his anguished face, crushed with grief.

“Leta. Sarah Jane.” was all he managed.

Gently she enfolded his shaking form into her own, and softly stroked his hair. They both wept.

He slid his hands up, held her face and tenderly kissed her forehead.

“Baby, she didn’t listen. She went out anyway and, and she’s gone.”

She tipped her head back to look in his eyes, pursed her lips, inhaled deeply and as the breath left her, her shoulders relaxed and her face smoothed into serenity.

“Ray, I knew—”

“But how? Brother John Mary said—“

“No. Not like that. I knew. Something just poured out of me and I knew Sarah Jane was gone. She has been so out of control, so defiant and it’s not your fault. Ray? Do you hear me? It’s not your fault.”

The stress and worry of the past day had no where else to go and his shoulders went slack as he collapsed onto the bench next to them. Leaning his head over the back, he let out the breath he’d been holding since he got the call from Waters. Smiling, Leta looked down at him and touched his cheek. Her serene heart and devoted soul, reminded him that her heartbeat was the other half his.

She took his hands and tugged until he stood. His arm around her waist, their hands joined in front, their love and grief carried them to the Abbot’s office where Leta would leave word of her departure.

Tomorrow would be another day, another test. Tomorrow they would learned how to live with the empty ache. Today Ray needed Leta’s heartbeat and Leta needed Ray’s courage to solve the injustice, to find the monster who killed their daughter.

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Music and how it fills the space in my world has been on my mind a great deal thanks in large part to Lance at “My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog” and his 100 Word Song prompts. I AM a musician, and have a ridiculous collection of CD’s and my iTunes library loaded with more music than will fit on my iPod. Consequently, and a good consequence I think, when I write, if a song isn’t running through my head already, I finish and then starting spinning through the jukebox in my brain for a song to go with the post.

Fix You by Coldplay came quickly when I finished this piece. It fits the emotion and the need between Ray and Leta.

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Trifecta is responsible for inspiring this post with their prompt this week. They give us one word and these instructions:

Your prompt this week is the third definition of:
HEART (noun) — 3: personality, disposition ;

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.

Farewell Slumber

A peaceful new  
     slumber found,
   The pain endured, ceased
   Watching in fear
     Waiting with dread
The end, bitter yet sweet
   brings comfort for the finish
     grief for an irretrievable loss

Slumber disrupted
  tears, ache, sorrow
     presence missed
Saying farewell brings angst
   Unease of tears misunderstood
     Comforting kin
        Hurting alone

Tis not goodbye
   Refuse to release
     Memories of laughter
       Recollected passion for life,
         for both clan and comrades
Vestiges of your shadow
   linger in corners, behind doors

Day by day
  the ache recedes
    memories bring smiles
The pain of your absence never erased
  the life you lived
    championed,
      cherished,
        beloved.
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This weeks prompt Over at Velvet Verbosity for the 100 Word Challenge is “Slumber”. I wrote this prompt after my Facebook wall received numerous posts from friends, acquaintances, and bloggers who shared their loss of loved ones. Some sudden, some expected.

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Also linking up with Trifecta where they gave the word “New”, 3rd definition which says

3: having been in a relationship or condition but a short time

          

Cherished

Mother earned the love drawn in the twinkle of her eyes and carved in the curve of her happiness. Her cherished brood is enveloped in a reverently woven mantle, fiercely protected and treasured.

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I’m linking up with Trifecta for Trifextra: Week Sixteen. The challenge goes like this:

This weekend’s Trifextra is the first of its kind.  This weekend we only need 32 words from you, because we’re giving you the 33rd.  Your challenge is to write anything you want, in whichever form you please, so long as your response is exactly 33 words and includes the word “mother.”

Finding Forever

Mazi’s Sports Bar was the hip cool place to hang out. The college kids swamped the place after football games.  Eric and Lauren worked the late shift and barely had time to swap glances and winks across the floor. Finding a lull in the crowd, they snuck into the alley. Shy, alone and hidden, he slid closer, near enough she sensed the heat as his arm brushed past her. The night air was sharp with needles of frost piercing the senses as Lauren puffed hot breath onto her hands and scrubbed them warm.

She leaned in to nestle against him,  their layers squeezing together as his arms encircled her. Lauren’s face came near Eric’s. She felt his warm breath, and anticipated the next step. The next moment. Gazing eye to eye, soul into soul, they realized they had built a beginning with glances and winks in the bar. Up close they could see proof of something more.

They came closer and melted together. Eric’s nose rubbed the tip of Lauren’s as mouths pursed into bows, touched. Their infatuation swiftly became much more. The affection was intense. Cold air insignificant to the warmth of new found enchantment. Lauren wove her fingers into Eric’s and whispered “We have to go back.” She tugged him inside and gave him a quick final peck.

Eric had a wide grin lighting his face. He winked at Lauren and whispered, “Later?”

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I wrote this from a prompt at Trifecta, but I was too late to add it to their weekly collection. It’s relevant to Valentines Day, so I went ahead with it. The prompt went like this:

“In honor of upcoming Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d ask something a bit more, shall we say, sensual of our Trifectans.  Your task this week, should you choose to accept it, is to write a love scene in no fewer than 33 and no more than 333 words.  Interpret that prompt as you will, but please be sensitive to our diverse audience and limit the use of explicit language.  (This is not TrifeXXXtra.)  The only other restriction is that your response cannot use any of the 33 words listed below or any derivation of those words.”

Love Begins

Yes! The invitation was unexpected. Lilly felt plain, boring , shy. Joseph found mysterious beauty thriving within her. Floating through the night, hands finally touching, then gently embracing. Enchantment sparkles and undying passion began.

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This prompt really stretched me. It’s hard to convey a complete “story” in so few words.  This comes from Trifecta and the prompt went like this:

The first weekend prompt is as follows: write a love story in 33 words.  You are free to interpret that prompt however you wish, but your response must be 33 words exactly.

Good luck, fellow Trifectans.

Vanished

The fog licked at the sides of the buildings and draped over the benches like a watery veil. As Emma walked to her aunts house she cringed and felt queasy. She couldn’t help notice, the way the heavy oppressed day looked, was pretty much how she felt about this mandatory visit.

Emma’s life and circumstances had dealt her a lousy hand, so she waged a war and constructed the cubbyhole life that she existed in. It was small and there wasn’t room for anyone else. All the people in her life who were suppose to care for her had misused and discarded her, so her walls shrank and there wasn’t room to share.

Aunt Polly required more of Emma than she felt willing to give and  swept into her life unannounced and unwelcomed. Years after her mom died and she had run away from her dad, SHE showed up. Of course she had a fortune in excuses and money.

Often Aunt Polly would remind, “Maggie threw her life into the gutter Emma! She chose a needle and that low down drunken pig over you and the good life she could have had.”

Maggie, Emma’s mom, rejected  the wealth and status of her well bred upbringing as completely as a publisher spurns the work of a hack. She was firmly committed to heroin,and everything that wasn’t dignified or refined, like her family. She vanished into the places in New Orleans where it’s dark, dirty and desperate and people live their lives unclaimed, nameless and unknown.

Polly rummaged the city for Maggie. She looked behind every broken door, and searched the ravaged faces of every wrecked woman on every street corner. Maggie, living and breathing, was never found. The quest ended when she found out Maggie was dead.

Finding her sister had a child, Emma, was like the sun began to shine again for Polly. She gently scratched and tapped at Emma’s doors and walls knowing over time a seemingly impenetrable obstacle can be breached. The years she spent chasing her shadowy elusive sister created a woman with persistence like a rose growing through a rock; strong, determined, beautiful and deeply rooted.

Emma knew her Aunt had an unchanging, devoted love for her but her cubbyhole was built for protection. It kept her from the weapons unleashed on her by those who said they’d shield her from abuse. She would not sabotage her fortress by letting her guard down because one more defeat would surely turn it into a pile of rubble she could never rebuild.

Emma continued to slog through the sloppy soup of fog until she reached Aunt Polly’s manor. It should be foreboding due to it’s sheer size but at the hand of Polly, it was full of the life and color of a child’s painting. As she walked up the wandering path to the door, she smiled at the splashes of random color and texture that included a long, wide rope swing on a grand old oak tree. The perfect place to release yourself as you reached for the cotton candy clouds or the tip of the crescent moon.

Cora, Polly’s “accomplice” (not maid) let her in. Emma made her way to the foot of the glorious staircase whose unique charm implied whispered stories and secrets like a book waiting to be opened. She liked the mystical wonder she sensed as she looking up the winding climb to the Aunt she wanted to love.

A tiny smiled creeped  into the corner of her mouth as she began the climb.

Maybe she could.

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Another speck in the portrait of Emma….  (More of Emma at – “Emma”  , “Better than Bad”  , and “Love and Velcro

“This week’s assignment was to write a piece inspired by pictures. You could chose either one or even do both.

What did the images mean to you?”