This month’s song flash fiction is inspired by The Wind Blows by The All-American Rejects. If you’re interested, below are links to the lyrics and a video for the song.
The cracks in the ceiling were starting to make pictures in my mind. The far corner was an airplane, the group by the bathroom door was a mountain range, but the set over my head, that was a bleeding heart. Poetic, right? Try pathetic.
It’s been four months since she left and this is how I spend most of my days, lying in bed, staring at the cracks on the ceiling and the walls. Trying to figure out how I ended up here. We had been happy, I thought, until the day she walked out on me and left me with nothing but this sad room.
Across the room, a soft beeping pulled me out of my thoughts. I hadn’t even noticed it was so late in the day, but time to get up and get started with my evening. I let the alarm continue for longer then necessary, enjoying the rhythmic sound that matched the tapping of my fingers. Finally, I pulled myself out of bed and shut off the alarm. Time to get ready for work.
The cafe across the street from the restaurant was a perfect place to sit in the evening and observe, and there were enough theater kids that my mostly black wardrobe didn’t stand out too much. And it definitely needed to blend later.
I sat, drinking my coffee, reading a book, and waiting. Watching. And there she was, bringing drinks to a table on the front patio of the restaurant. She looked the same as always, my Amy, long dark hair that she wore in a braid down her back, minimal make-up, and the required bright-colored t-shirt for her waitressing job. She looked amazing.
The rest of Amy’s shift went slowly, brightened only by my glimpses of her each time she had to come outside. But that was okay, I could wait. This wasn’t the first time I had sat at this cafe, spent my evening here, watching. Finally, she left for the night. I let her go, I didn’t need to follow, I knew where she was going and I knew the way.
Outside her window, I waited for the lights to go out. Once they did, I climbed up the tree to her second floor bedroom window which was cracked. She always did like to sleep with the window open. As silently as possible, I climbed inside and set my bag of tools on the floor next to the bed.
“Hello, Amy,” I said, as I sat down next to her. Her eyes flew open and I put my hand over her mouth. “You took my heart when you left. Now I’m going to take yours.”
Walking into Nick’s apartment I let out a little scream. “What the hell is that?”
“What? My painting?” he asked. “It’s my term project.”
“That’s your self portrait for Turner’s class?
“Yeah, what’s wrong with it?”
Nick sounded hurt, or maybe offended that I didn’t seem to love his work.
“It’s, just, a little disturbing. Especially, considering that its supposed to be a SELF portrait. Also, its a little…well…clockwork-y.”
“That’s the point, Darla.”
“I know what it makes me think of! Oh my gosh, that’s why it’s so disturbing. You’ve been watching too much Doctor Who again!”
Nick let out an offended huff. “Okay, first of all, there is no such thing as too much Doctor Who.”
“True, my apologies,” I said.
“Second, don’t know what you’re talking about.” He looked a little too innocent though. Like he was trying to pretend he didn’t know every episode of the show by heart.
“It reminds me of those creepy-ass clockwork people from that stupid episode with fireplace.”
“How dare you insult The Girl in the Fireplace!”
“Ha! I knew it! That WAS your inspiration. Some self portrait.” I turned back to look at the picture again, the gears on the face, the gold paint, the various pipes and pieces of metal. “I don’t get what its supposed to say about you, though.”
Nick looked at the picture with me for a minute, pondering. “I guess its supposed to say, ‘I’m more than just a man, I’m not merely human.'” He seemed very pleased with himself at that deduction.
“Hmmmm, all I get is creepy-ass clockwork. But I’m sure Turner will love it. A+ my friend. A+.”
The cape only added to the heat, the heavy velvet trapped the humidity and made it even harder to breathe. But is was part of the mystery, no one was allowed to wear “normal” clothing or bring any sort of technology to the gatherings.
I made my way down the colonnade, hurrying so I wouldn’t miss the beginning and be locked out. I didn’t see anyone else but that didn’t necessarily mean I was the last to arrive. There were so many ways to approach the gathering place that it was almost as if the others appeared as if from nowhere.
As I got closer, I could hear voices, low and musical. Just talking at this point, so I wasn’t late. I slipped through the door and joined the first group I saw.
“Are we starting, soon?” I asked.
“Soon,” one of the others said. “We’re just waiting for the signal.”
Just a couple of minutes later, the signal came. The lights went out and silence fell immediately. There was shuffling as everyone got into position, at this point we all knew our places and didn’t need illumination to know where to go.
The silence endured as we waited for it to begin, our whole reason for being here.
Suddenly, the quiet was broken by a loud, single beat. Then another. On the third beat, the movements began. Synchronized and swirling, we moved, forgetting about the oppressive heat. It went on for minutes, the choreographed chaos.
The music stopped and we all froze.
“Alright, everyone,” came the voice from the balacony. “That was better. But this flash mob is happening in just a couple of weeks. We need to be on point. Again!”
This week’s random Wednesday topic is a peek behind the scenes of my current project. I haven’t been super productive lately, or productive at all, but I’m going to give you a sneak peek of the project I WANT to be working on.
This story came about from a photo flash fiction prompt last year. If you’re interested and want to read the story that started it all, click here. I think this is going to end up being the prologue, or maybe some sort of flashback. I definitely want it in the story somewhere.
The main location of the story is a bed and breakfast in New England, I see a house in my mind kind of like this:
I also have a pictures in my head for a few key characters. The main character is Abigail, a widow who moves out East to start over. For her, I picture someone very girl-next-door, wholesome, sweet.
For her deceased husband (who I realize isn’t actually in the book but still plays a large part), I didn’t have a specific person in mind. Not someone famous anyway, but a certain look for sure. This character is based on someone I knew in high school, but we’ll need to add some curly hair.
For the dashing doctor, Kyle, non other than the beautiful Chris Pine. Let’s all just take a minute to appreciate those eyes.
And finally, for Abigail’s new friend Maya, who brings a wonderful group of people into Abby’s life:
This is basically just the most beautiful town ever, obviously.
I’m not sure what else I can say about the story at this point. I guess it would be categorized as a contemporary romance, my first foray into that area. Up until now I’ve focused mainly on YA. I’m probably a third of way through the first draft and I’d really like to finish it by the end of the year. That’s my goal.
See what the other bloggers are working on, and say hello to our newest blogger, Torrance!
“So, this is it, huh?”
“Seems like it.”
Daniel reached over and took my hand as we watched the scene unfold below us. People were running every direction, panic clear in the way they rushed about with seemingly no purpose other than to get as far away as possible. We could hear crying and screams, although from this distance no actual words made it through.
“Is this really the right way, Daniel? Are we supposed to just watch this happen?”
We both looked at the sky as the clouds visibly gathered and darkened, almost as though we were watching a time lapse film of a storm moving.
“You know the rules, Hannah. We are simply here to observe. That has always been our job. We do not interfere. We watch.”
He was right, I knew the rules. We’d been following them for long enough, but this was, I don’t know if heartbreaking was the right word. Senseless, maybe. Pointless. And still, we watched.
As one we turned to the east at the sound of an explosion. Daniel watched dispassionately as a large warehouse exploded, for no reason I could see, sending large pieces of flaming roof pouring down over the people trying to flee.
We could so easily help, get people to safety. Even stop the gathering storms if we were so inclined. But those weren’t the rules. With a crack of thunder the clouds burst open and a torrential rain fell, flooding streets. We saw people and cars washed away like so much debris and still, we did nothing.
Abruptly I realized Daniel was no longer by my side, but standing in front of me, blocking my way. “I can feel your indecision, Hannah. And if I can, so can the others. Do you want Raphael to come down here? Or Michael? It will be so much worse for these people if our brothers decide to become personally involved.”
He was right, Daniel was always right.
“Why create something like this only to destroy it?” I asked. The age old question, one we’ve asked time and again. Looking into the distance, far beyond what the people below could see, there was more smoke, more rain, more destruction. It was a never ending hellscape.
“It’s time to leave. We’ve seen all we need to,” Daniel said, gesturing toward the scene behind him. “Nothing is going to stop this now, that’s all we had to see to.”
I wanted to cry for these people, cry and scream about the unfairness of what happening to them. But I couldn’t, crying was impossible for me. And screaming would no good, in fact it would only make things worse. The kindest thing to do for them was to leave them on their own.
As one, we turned, our wings effortlessly lifting us into the sky. It was time to leave. Daniel was right, there was nothing more to watch. The apocalypse had come, those that were meant to survive would. And so would we. After all, angels were forever.
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Today’s post is a Promptly Penned topic. We all have same two lines to inspire us and/or to include somewhere in our post.
Person A: “How long have you been standing there?”
Person B: “Longer than you’d like.”
“How long have you been standing there?”
“Longer than you’d like. Long enough to see you bust out some serious 80’s dance moves. What was that?”
I could feel the blush starting in my neck and creeping up my face. What was it about this girl? Every time I saw her, I managed to make a fool of myself. It was like some force in the universe was playing a joke on me.
“Aw, come on Amy,” she said, laughing. “Don’t be embarrassed. It was cute. In a dorky, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, kind of way.”
“What do you want, Mellie?” I tried to sound as impatient as possible. I wanted to make her think I hadn’t been dying for her to stop by all day. That I hadn’t been thinking of every reason possible to stay in my dorm room, so she’d be able to find me. I went back to folding my laundry, like she was interrupting my incredibly important task.
Mellie flopped down on the end of my bed, disturbing my carefully stacked pile of clothes. I shot her an annoyed look but she just smiled at me. She knew she was cute.
“So,” she finally said. “Are you going to ask me out at some point, or do I have to keep making a nuisance of myself?”
The look on my face must have been priceless, and Mellie thoroughly enjoyed it based on the huge grin she couldn’t hide.
“Well, um, yeah, so…”
She motioned for me to continue when my voice drifted off.
Clearing my throat, I tried again. “Do you want to maybe go to dinner? With me?”
“Oh my god, Amy!” Mellie threw her arms around me neck and pulled me close. “I thought you’d never ask.” Smiling she leaned in and kissed me.
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