Here is a very short something based on Paloma Faith’s version of Never Tear Us Apart.
The beginning strains of the song floated through the room, familiar, yet different at the same time. The expected voice was replaced by a sultry female, soulful and sensual.
She looked around the floor, seeing couples dancing close, moving to the rhythm of the song. Out of the dark, a hand grabbed hers and silently pulled her to the middle of the crowd. His arms went around her waist, pulling her close as her hands moved to clasp behind his neck, fingers twisting into the ends of his hair. She moved with him, letting the music flow around her.
“You, you were standing. I was there. Two worlds collided.”
The words, so full of meaning, washed over her, filling her with sorrow. His hands found her hips, gripping tightly, almost painfully. Not a word was spoken between them, but they said volumes to each other. History, love, pain, pleasure.
“And they could never tear us apart.”
She knew better than anyone that wasn’t true, but she let herself believe, just for the length of the song. As the final notes drifted off, he pulled away, her body suddenly cold without his so close. Closing her eyes against the rush of feelings, she didn’t see him walk away. But she felt it.
Get ready for all sorts of regrets and sadness, people.
- Don’t do things for other people.
- Maybe this would be better worded as, “don’t NOT do things for other people.” (All the double negatives!) When I was younger, I had a lot of worry and guilt about how my actions would affect other people. I let that stop me from doing things I was planned out for myself. I regret that to this day. And we’re not talking about serious worries, more like a mother who didn’t want her child to move away to experience things. Blaming someone else is a cop out, but it’s hard to do things when you are constantly told you shouldn’t.
- Stop being so practical.
- I followed a particular path in life because it was practical and sensible. I wish I had made other choices when I had the chance. I know it’s not too late to change things, and I’m slowly starting to figure out how I can. But I’ve spent a number of years working in a profession I don’t have a passion for. It’s getting very old.
- Quit worrying about what other people think of you.
- I can’t say I’ve totally learned this yet, but I’m getting better. Even just posting on my blog can make me spiral down into anxiety, worrying what people think about my words and thoughts. But, I’m still posting (occasionally, any way), because it’s what I want to do. I’m also trying to embrace being more comfortable in my body. But that is still a HUGE work in progress.
How’s that for an uplifting Wednesday? On that thought, I leave you with this to brighten your day:
Time for another First post, this month is First Kiss. I was using a specific WIP for these posts, but that story doesn’t have much opportunity for kissing. So instead, I’m going to use a snippet from the first full length novel I wrote.
We walked out of the restaurant in time to catch part of the sunset, so we stayed on the boardwalk a little longer, neither one of us quite wanting to go home yet. At about ten-thirty Caleb’s phone buzzed. He pulled it out of his pocket and groaned when he saw who it was.
“Just a minute, I need to answer this.” Dropping my hand and turning away he said, “Hello.” No inflection, just a dull greeting. He talked for a minute, just a few uh-huh’s and yeahs before hanging up without saying good-bye. I didn’t say anything, not wanting to be nosy. “That was Greg.” Silence.
“Oh, what did he want?”
“Wanted to be an ass, mostly. Also, wanted to tell me my mom was on the warpath about something, so it would probably be a good idea if I came home soon.” He frowned. “I sound lame. My mom wants me home at ten-thirty on a Saturday.”
“You don’t sound lame,” I reassured him. “You sound like someone whose mother is somewhat…difficult.” I didn’t want to offend him, but from what he’d said, she sounded like a “mommy dearest” most of the time.
“Difficult is a nice word for her. I suppose I’d better start heading home.” We turned away from the water and began walking back towards town.
“Where are you staying?”
He told me the address.
“That’s not too far from my house, three blocks or so.”
“Excellent! That means I can walk you home tonight.”
I hesitated, only for a second, but he caught it. “You’re not going to blow me off again, are you?”
I didn’t even pretend to misunderstand him. “I didn’t blow you off the other night, or I didn’t mean to, at least. I just got, nervous, I guess about letting you know where I live.”
“Do I look like a serial killer?”
“Does any serial killer look like a serial killer?” I retorted.
Frowning I said, “True, but that’s not the issue. I just didn’t think it was a good idea to let some strange witch know where I live.”
“Now I think I’m throwing caution to the wind!” I giggled and grabbed his hand, walking past the street his rental was on towards my house. The closer we got to home the more nervous I was. Was he going to try to kiss me goodnight? Did I want him to? Yes, I definitely wanted him to. That much I knew.
As we walked up the drive, I noticed there were no lights on anywhere except the front porch; my parents must have gone out for the evening. Still holding my hand, Caleb walked with me up the front steps and didn’t stop until we were standing in front of the door.
Taking hold of my other hand as well, he turned me to face him. “Thanks for letting me walk you home this time. Think you’ll let me walk you home again?”
“Now that you know where I live, I don’t suppose there’s any reason not to.”
Smiling, he let go of my hands and put his on my waist, pulling me closer to him. He whispered, “I think I’m going to kiss you now, because I’ve been wanting to all day, and this time I’m gonna go for it. So, if you don’t want me to, tell me.”
I didn’t say anything, and he took that for the sign it was. He met my eyes for an intense second before leaning down and touching his lips to mine. His mouth was warm and soft and just as amazing as I had been imagining. I slid my arms up around his neck and ran my fingers through the soft curls at his nape as he kissed me more deeply. Eventually, he broke the kiss and we both pulled back, breathing a little heavily.
“As much as I don’t want to, I should go,” he said, a little unsteady.
“Okay,” was all I managed, my mind a little fuzzy from the kiss.
“I’ll see you soon.”
“Okay.” I’m an oratorical genius, I tell you.
He leaned down and kissed me one more time, quickly but so sweetly. “Bye, Gwen.” He turned and headed down the walkway towards the sidewalk.
I watched him walk away for a minute before unlocking the front door and going inside. I was greeted by my slightly tubby, gray cat winding between and around my legs. “Well, Nyx,” I said as I bent down to pick her up. “I think this is going to be a very good summer.”
This week’s flash fiction post is a “Promptly Penned.” All of the bloggers use the same phrase(s) to inspire them, the phrases that inspired this are in bold.
“Why are you glaring at me?”
“I’m hoping you’ll spontaneously combust. Or at least end up with a terrible headache.”
“Geez, who peed in your cornflakes this morning?”
“You did, Maggie! Don’t you remember?” Reaching the end of my rope, I threw my pen across my desk and stood up. “You want a list of everything you’ve done today, and just today, to make me want to inflict harm on you?” Advancing on her, I was satisfied to see Maggie cringe away from me. Good, I was done putting up with her crap.
“First, I’ve had to hear three, count them three, times about your phone call with your brother this weekend. And let me tell you, it wasn’t that interesting the first time around. Then, you used the last of MY creamer that was in the fridge, with MY name on it. You opened MY mail. And then you told our boss that I was the reason your report was late. Which makes no sense. I have nothing to do with that project!” At this point, I was breathing hard, having really gotten into the ranting frame of mind.
Maggie’s lips had taken on that pucker she gets, that looks like she’s sucking on a lemon. “Well, if you were to just focus on your job and not other people’s business, then maybe these things wouldn’t bother you so much.”
I was speechless, she was completely unaware of how much of a hypocrite she was. Not to mention how annoying.
“Well, Maggie, if you weren’t such a bitch, we wouldn’t have to talk at all.”
With that, I sat down and went back to glaring at Maggie with all the force I could muster. She tried to ignore me, but she kept glancing up and meeting my eyes. Each time she looked a little more frightened. Finally, I felt it. That little spark in my brain that meant I had reached my goal.
Before my eyes, Maggie was engulfed in a huge flame that reached the ceiling. As quickly as it had appeared, it was gone, leaving no trace behind.
As I was silently congratulating myself, by boss walked up.
“Jules, have you seen Maggie? I need to ask her some questions.”
Using my most innocent, wide-eyed stare I shook my head. “No Nolan, I haven’t seen her. Not since you stopped by earlier.”
And just like that, no more Maggie in my life. I breathed a contented sigh of relief, wondering who I should teach a lesson to next.
This is another First Time post, this time focusing on a First Argument. I might be stretching this one a little bit, because I sincerely doubt this is the first argument any of these characters have ever had, but it’s the first in this story, and this is related to the First Meeting post which you can read here.
After a thoughtful moment Grandpa asked the question I had been dreading. “What did you see?”
Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I told them everything I had seen. The blood, the slashed and mangled body, and the fact that it was a young women. That part hadn’t registered with me at first, but replaying that horrible scene in my head I saw she had been beautiful. Before he got to her. Brown hair, as best I could tell through the blood. And her face had been untouched. Clean, actually.
At my descriptions, Gran’s lips pursed in anger. I’m not sure if it was anger at what had been done to the poor girl or anger at my having seen it. Probably a bit of both.
“Could you tell if it was a memory or a something the person was just thinking about?” That was my dad, always straight to the point.
“No way to tell unless it was a conscious thought. And it wasn’t.”
“Do you know who you got the vision off?”
“I…no. There were so many people getting of the ferry the same time we were. I was bumped from behind and ran into a couple of people in front of me because of that. But I couldn’t tell you what any of them looked like. It was just an ordinary crowd.”
Will pushed the plate of cookies towards me, knowing how much I loved them. I’m sure he was hoping to help cheer me up, but I couldn’t eat. The sights I had seen kept swirling in my head like a tornado of blood and gore.
“What do we do with this information?” Grandpa asked.
“What information?” Dad countered. “The information that my psychic teenage daughter saw what could have simply been a sick psycho’s fantasy when she brushed up against some unknown person in a large crowd? Maybe it was a scene from a movie that stuck with someone. Maybe it was…”
But before Dad could keep going, I interrupted. “It was real. I don’t know if it was past, present, or future, but it was real.”
Gran put her hand over mine. “How do you know that?”
“The rage and the…the…pleasure behind it. It was a feeling of pride, I think. Pride in the scene and the act. I think that’s how the vision got through my defenses. It was the strength of the emotions that allowed it to push through, maybe even helped it.”
“I repeat,” Grandpa said, “what do we do with this information?
Everyone looked at me, but it was Dad who spoke. “We do nothing with it. We don’t know that it means anything or even have any concrete details we can pass to anyone.”
“Dad,” I said quietly, meeting his stare with one of my own, “you know that’s not possible. You know that’s not what mom would have done. I have to go to the police.”
“Absolutely not,” Dad said. “There is no way I’m letting my teenage daughter tell the police she may have seen a crime scene in someone’s head because she’s psychic. At best, they’ll blow her off. At worst, they’ll try to lock her up thinking she’s mentally ill.”
“Now, we should talk about this,” Gran said. “Maybe she can tell them something useful.”
“And what exactly would that be?” I had never heard my dad speak to Gran in that tone of voice and apparently she hadn’t either.
“Don’t you take that tone with me, Robert Matthews,” she said. “I am still your mother, I don’t care how old you are.”
“Yes, you are. And I’m Francie’s dad, so I get to decide what’s best for her.”
“What about what Francie thinks?” Will asked, his quiet voice drawing attention from everyone. “She’s the one who saw it, she’s the one who has those pictures stuck her in head now. Shouldn’t she be the one to decide the next steps, if there are any?”
I smiled at him gratefully before meeting my dad’s gaze again. “You know I have to say something. What did mom always tell me? With great power comes great responsibility.”
“That’s from Spiderman,” he said with a sad smile.
“I know that. But the sentiment is the same and she meant it. Mom always said because I had this extra sense that allowed me to see what others couldn’t, I had to help if I saw an opportunity. What if that poor woman I saw on the table is still alive right now and I could help save her? How can I walk away from that?”
Dad leaned back in his chair and ran his fingers through his hair, making it stand up straight. “You don’t know what it’s like, Francie, to try to tell someone you have knowledge that you absolutely shouldn’t have. I saw your mother try time and again to tell people things they didn’t want to hear, it didn’t end well. Many times either they didn’t believe and she wasn’t able to change anything or they listened to her and became suspicious of how she knew what she knew. I don’t want that for you.”
“I know,” I said. “I know you want to protect me dad, but when it comes to this, you just can’t. This is my ability, my call.” Dad stared at me for a second with sad eyes before standing up and walking out of the room.
All I’ll say about this Wordless Wednesday post is that these are all places I’ve thought about running away to…