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Posts tagged: original

Rated G

Word Count ~440

Visible also at my LJ. Comments/constructive criticism can be directed there or to my askbox.

In high school, she’s one of those insanely popular girls that everyone likes, and not just because she’s pretty.  Some people hate her, but even they’ll admit that they’re just bitter, because she’s so sweet and beautiful and smart and perfect.  She’s that girl who gets along with her teachers and her parents and charms adults and children and teenagers alike.

When she graduates valedictorian, she goes to one of those small colleges with a great name in the middle of nowhere, and studies mechanical engineering and kinesiology, a joint degree with which she plans to go on into medical school and eventually amputee rehabilitation.  People go all soft-eyed when she tells them, so she doesn’t usually say it.

Then one night, when she’s doing a terrible karaoke version of ‘Hound Dog’ with a friend, he’s there, laughing like everyone else, only unlike everyone else, he doesn’t take his eyes off her smile.  He approaches her once she’s come off the stage, and before she knows it, it’s three months later and she’s slow-dancing with him at her sister’s wedding.

Her mother is frightened of him and his tattoos and the black stretchers in his ears, but he treats her nice and she thinks she might love him.  So when he whispers a proposal in her ear while they shower her sister with rice, with her next handful goes her caution, and she says yes.

They don’t announce it, but he buys her a pretty little grey diamond set in titanium, and it isn’t her mother who first notices, but her father.  He shakes her fiancé’s hand while her mother fans herself and tries not to faint.

The wedding is small, six months after their first meeting, and she falls pregnant before the year is out.  She and her sister give birth within days of one another, and before anyone really realizes, she’s having their second and third children at the same time, twins who take the names of their fathers.

Fifteen years later, when their oldest has packed up and left to tour the world with her band, she goes back to school, finishes her masters’ degree and eventually, two weeks after the twins have gone to colleges two thousand miles from one another, she starts her first day at work, rehabilitating soldiers who’ve suffered amputations.

And suddenly, she’s smiling again, like before the children.  Twenty years into their marriage, they feel again like newlyweds, and it’s one such of these days that he watches her awake with the widest smile he’s ever seen her wear that he falls in love with her all over again.

More of my different posts

Here’s more of what I posted yesterday…I do particularly love feedback if you would be so kind. And I welcome constructive criticism.

There was something about her, and it wasn’t her long legs.  Nor was it the curve of her hips and chest.  Not the bow of her lips or the cornsilk of her blonde hair or even the angle of her eyebrow.

It wasn’t even the way her body fit against his, or the way she said his name.

It was the way he could always read the smile in her eyes, the silent words that walked between them and told him how happy he made her.  It was the way she bit her lip when she looked at him, like there were always things she wanted to tell him but knew that he already knew.  It was the way her eyes snapped to him every time he entered the room.

It was the way her palm felt against his.  The way her rings made his fingers cold in the wintertime, because she refused to wear gloves if they were going to hold hands.  The way her thumb pressed against the back of his hand to make sure he didn’t pull away.

That’s why it came as such a surprise when he found the gun hidden in the trick drawer in her closet.  He’d just been searching for his Christmas present when the back of the drawer had sprung out, leaving him with a block of wood and a Beretta and a panic that was so fierce that he dropped the semi-automatic and screeched like a little girl.

She came running, looking between him and the pistol until he pointed at it from his new vantage point in the corner behind her dresses.  “Christmas present,” was all he managed to stammer, and she cocked her head at him in utter bewilderment.

“That’s not your Christmas present,” she said, picking up the gun and putting it back into the drawer and replaced the false back.  Pushing the drawer in with her hip, she reached out to him, but he didn’t reach back.  “What?”

Gun,” he said.

“Oh.”  She stepped back and shrugged one shoulder.  “Just because I mostly do deskwork with Interpol doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to carry weapons.”  But he just stared at her in horror.  She fidgeted.  “Look, it’s really not a big deal.”

“But you—you just keep that in the drawer.”  Keeping his back to the wall, he edged around her and backed out of the closet.  “What if—I mean—what if…Why don’t you keep it in the safe?”

She followed him, flipping off the closet light and shutting the door behind her.  “Why?  It’s not loaded—I keep the bullets in the next drawer down.  Besides, there aren’t any kids around to find it.”

He waved one hand around.  “Irrelevant!  What if—I mean I could have…”

“Christ, I already told you—it’s not loaded,” she said, slowing her words down as if she was talking to a five-year-old.

His fists clenched and unclenched, and clenched once more.  He licked his lips.  “Are there any more?” he asked, pushing a stray sock across the carpet with his toe.

“No,” she said, then hedged, head cocking as her eyes slid sideways.  “Well—I have one at the office.  I keep it in my desk, just in case one of our leads pans out.”  As his eyes narrowed, she took three steps forward and reached for his hand.  This time he didn’t pull away, and her thumb rubbed across his knuckles.  “But I never bring that one home.  It stays at the office.”

He sighed, eyes on her hand in his.  “Why do you need two?”

“Just in case,” she said, shrugging one shoulder.  “You know I take my badge home.  I have the gun so that if I get called in for something, I’ll be prepared.”

When he continued to look unconvinced, she took his other hand and laced her fingers through his.  “”Look, I’m sorry.  Okay?  I should have told you.  Let’s just—let’s just forget about it.  The gun won’t come out of the drawer again.”

He hesitated another few moments, but then she shook he one hand so their arms swung between them.  Nodding, he pulled her closer and leaned down to kiss her cheek.  “Okay.”  He nodded again as if reassuring himself.  “Okay.  Let’s have dinner.”

This post is different

I don’t know where it came from, and I don’t know if I’m going to continue, but I guess it should go up because I’d love some feedback on it.

Rated G

Word Count 184

There was something about her, and it wasn’t her long legs.  Nor was it the curve of her hips and chest.  Not the bow of her lips or the cornsilk of her blonde hair or even the angle of her eyebrow.

It wasn’t even the way her body fit against his, or the way she said his name.

It was the way he could always read the smile in her eyes, the silent words that walked between them and told him how happy he made her.  It was the way she bit her lip when she looked at him, like there were always things she wanted to tell him but knew that he already knew.  It was the way her eyes snapped to him every time he entered the room.

It was the way her palm felt against his.  The way the rings on her fingers made his fingers cold in the wintertime, because she refused to wear gloves if they were going to hold hands.  The way her thumb pressed against the back of his hand to make sure he didn’t pull away.

White Tile Floor

Rated PG-13

Word Count ~1200

Summary:

She’s here. Also visible here at my LiveJournal.

Any reviews are welcome, and should be directed either to my ask box or posted on my LJ.

Excerpt:

  “This is you,” the nurse tells him, and lets go of him, shuffling off down this eerie half-lit hallway.  He breathes in and huffs out the air all at once, staring at the door.  There is a nasty green splotch underneath the door handle, and he shivers, trying not to think about what it might be made of.  He takes one more calming deep breath before pushing open the door.

A phone rings.  And rings, and rings.

                And rings.

                And rouses a man from sleep, barely.  He gets up, an automatic reaction to the sound of the telephone—Pavlov’s dog versus his bell.  He makes his way toward the kitchen.  The phone rings.  He trips over a pair of dirty jeans, an overturned chair, and a pan before he reaches the phone—which rings, again.

                The voice on the line is soft, barely controlled, as though the woman’s throat has closed up.  She’s here, she tells the man, she’s here, and why aren’t you?

                Now he is awake, and frantically trying to find those pants he almost fell over earlier.  He yanks them on.  They’re too big, probably his roommate’s, but it doesn’t matter—and he hopes his car keys are in his coat pocket as he pulls it on.

                He races out the front door, leaving it open behind him because it takes too long to close it.  The leaflet advertising for a new pizza parlour flaps off his windshield as he squeals out of the parking spot.

                The man is lucky that the city he lives in hasn’t yet put cameras at intersections as he speeds through one, two, three yellow lights and a red.

                He reaches his destination in record time.  He parks the piece-of-crap Ford that he can’t afford to turn in underneath a glowing orange streetlamp and sprints across the lot.

                Bluish-white fluorescent lights buzz over a white tile floor, and the short man blocks out old memories he doesn’t have time to deal with as he jogs to the desk.

                “I’m, err, looking for my girlfriend,” he says to the pretty young woman in pale yellow scrubs.  “Where would she be?”

                She smiles at him.  He ignores the sympathy in her eyes.  “What’s her name, sir?”

                Blushing, he mutters the name, looking around as though there will be neon signs directing him to where he needs to be.  He shuts his eyes and mouth against the sudden wave of bile threatening to release itself all over the registration book the nurse is looking at.  He hates hospitals.

                He watches the woman’s mouth as she tells him where to go, struggling to comprehend her words in his distracted state.  She asks him, please, to not run in the hallways, so he powerwalks to the elevator and joins an elderly woman with a cane.  He jabs the door close button until they start moving, and stares at the lit button for the fourth floor as the cab slowly dings its way to two.  He bounces on the balls of his feet impatiently.

                “Your first?” the woman asks, smiling knowingly at him.  He nods.  She laughs pleasantly, and pats his arm as she hobbles out onto the third floor.

                The fourth floor is dead silent; more than half of the lights are out and everyone walks as though attending a funeral.  He hears a baby’s cry and balks, backing into the elevator again and hugging himself.

                A passing nurse stops the hydraulic doors from closing, looking in at the man.  “Are you lost, sir?” she asks, “do you need help getting somewhere?”

                He shakes his head, but reaches out and takes her outstretched hand anyway.  “I’m supposed to be here,” he tells her, her thumb making slow soothing circles across his palm.  “Here, in maternity.  I just…don’t know.”  He shuffles after the tall woman as she leads him out onto the white tile floor.  “The nurse downstairs said to go to room four-fourteen.”

                She smiles in recognition.  “I just came from there!  Your family is doing fine.”  She hooks her arm into his as they walk, seeming to feel his hesitation.  “Your baby’s very healthy.  What are you going to name her?”

                Her?  The man stops short, turning to look at the nurse in shock.  “It’s a girl?”  She nods, her smile fading rapidly.

                “Oh, I thought you knew!” she cries, one hand coming to cover her mouth.

                Now it’s his turn to comfort, and he awkwardly pats the hand resting on his arm.  “They told us it would be a boy, is all,” he reassures her, “I just didn’t pick any girls’ names.”

                “Oh.”  She gives a short, relieved sigh and turns him back to face the corridor, pulling him into a quick walk as though she is embarrassed and doesn’t want to spend any more time with him.

                The pair comes to a door, plain white with a push bar across the middle.  A little plaque to the left of it tells him that this is room four-fourteen.  That on the other side of this door is a room, and inside the room there is a bed and a mother.  A crib and a baby.

                “This is you,” the nurse tells him, and lets go of him, shuffling off down this eerie half-lit hallway.  He breathes in and huffs out the air all at once, staring at the door.  There is a nasty green splotch underneath the door handle, and he shivers, trying not to think about what it might be made of.  He takes one more calming deep breath before pushing open the door.

                A scream that sounds vaguely like “help me!” rips itself from his throat, and he can hear it echoing down the corridor momentarily before the heavy metal door slams behind him and he is across the room.

                He will swear later that he heard the quick snap of breaking bones as he yanks the pillow from the grip of his baby’s mother, but for now he is too busy trying to get her away from his child to acknowledge the noise.  The doctors will tell him later that he broke her wrist while relieving her of the pillow.  They will tell him that the mother sustained a concussion against the white tile floor when they toppled.

                They will tell him that, if he hadn’t entered at just that moment, his baby would probably have died.  They will throw around big words like ‘post-partum’ and ‘manic depressive.’  They will tell him that the mother has been committed to the psychiatric ward.  They will tell him many things that he won’t care about because now he only cares about his baby.

                He takes the unregistered child home the very next day with instructions to bring her back when he’s chosen a name, so that a birth certificate can be printed.

                He agonizes over the little girl for three days, flipping through the baby name book that he had checked out from the library what feels like aeons ago.  On the fourth day, his roommate enters the kitchen to find the father bundling his daughter up tightly in the blanket his mother had knitted for her, unaware that he is being watched.  The child gurgles and he gurgles back, unable to look away from the tiny person.

                “Have you decided?” the godfather asks, and the shorter man jumps and glances at him.

                “Yes.  Her name is Mia.”

                “Russian?”

                The young dad shakes his head as he lifts the child into her baby seat and carefully buckles her in.  “Spanish.”

                “I’ve never heard of anyone Spanish named Mia.”

                “It’s not a name—it’s an adjective.”  The man hoists the basket-like seat up to his body and turns toward the door.

                “I don’t get it,” his friend says plainly.

                The father pauses in the doorway.  “In Spanish,” he explains patiently, “mia means mine.”

Black Widow

Rated PG

Word Count ~300

Summary:

It was an elaborate game that she put on with herself, an elaborate game that she always won.

Also visible here at my Livejournal.

Any reviews are welcome, and should be directed either to my ask box or posted on my LJ.

Excerpt:

They were wrong.  They didn’t realize it until afterward, until she had flicked them off like a spider on her sleeve.

She did the choosing.

She did the summoning.

And she did the playing.


People thought that they could choose her.  Men thought that they could choose her.

They thought that they could crook their finger she would come, like a dog.  They thought that they could pick her up and put her down at their will.

They thought that they could play her.

They were wrong.  They didn’t realize it until afterward, until she had flicked them off like a spider on her sleeve.

She did the choosing.

She did the summoning.

And she did the playing.

It was an elaborate game that she put on with herself, an elaborate game that she always won.

The first step was to choose: to make a decision on who would play her pawn.  Once she had chosen, all she had to do was sniff him out, decide how he might like to meet her.  Then she would strike.

All it took was a moment to push him toward her.  She had her techniques: some men liked her to be direct, to look them in the eyes and arch an eyebrow.  Others liked to save her – the easiest of her games, all she had to do was attract someone she did not want to speak to and act as if she felt trapped.  He would be at her side in a moment.  Some men liked to think they were heroes.

Then just like that, they were hers.

She could be what they wanted her to be: sweet or seductive or helpless.  She could have them under her spell in ten seconds flat.

And they could be gone in just the same amount of time.  Once she lost interest, they disappeared without a trace.

And the game would start again.  She would flit from place to place, that predatory smile on her mouth as she searched for her next victim.

Is this fellow bothering you?

Speed Demon

Rated PG

Word Count ~600

Summary:

Written originally for class under the prompt “an aspect of your life.” The aspect that I chose to write about was skiing. Also visible here at my Livejournal.

Any reviews are welcome, and should be directed either to my ask box or posted on my LJ.

Excerpt:

There is something poetic in the action of strapping a pair of carbon-fibre boards to my feet and throwing myself down a mountain.  Maybe it’s just the altitude, the thin air – but I prefer to think of it as the happiest place on Earth.  Up there where the snow is great and the view is greater, the sky runs on for miles, broken not by clouds but by chairlift cables, cut through by scraggly mountain tips.  The snow glitters in the bright white sunshine and the blue blue shade, untouched on the branches of trees.


The sun blazes, fierce but wonderful, warming the air so it doesn’t freeze my lungs as I stare, motionless, across the bowl to the mountain peak on the other side.  I take it all in, breathe deep, deeper, and slide over the crest, allowing myself to gain speed before I bother pointing my skis any direction but down.  A little to my left, I hear my name being called, an invitation or a challenge, I’m not sure which.  I glance – a challenge – and hunker down to cut the wind in a more aerodynamic way, speeding up as I do so and I race a family member (it doesn’t really matter which one) towards the bottom of the slope, the level spot where I can see a snowboarder jerking his way along like a slug.

*                              *

The very best place to be is not so much a place, to me, but rather a state of being: skiing.  But not just skiing; skiing at Vail with my dad, my brothers, my cousins – my family.

I’ve skied Vail since I was two.  I grew up in Boulder, Colorado, a town about two hours northeast of Vail Mountain, alongside two cousins and two brothers, all close to me in age.  Although I didn’t start off thinking of it this way, when I think of skiing now I think of family.  Nights by the fire, falling asleep at eight with the light from the television shining on our faces, and packing the house fit to burst.  All of this juxtaposed against blue sky and white mountain.  Against sunburnt noses, a spray of snow as laughter catches my ears.  Tricks, moguls, skis.  Brothers.  Cousins.  Family.

I think of granola bars for lunch, pasta for dinner, of powder and making fresh tracks through it.  I think of racing home, of James Bond impersonations, of pretending to be a jumbo jet while vroom-vrooming down a cattrack.  I think of yard sales and faceplants and wiping out so big that the people on the chairlift above you cheer.  Of hockeystops so tight you fall over, or spray yourself with snow instead of the person you were aiming for.  Of stopping above a catwalk fall-in to catch some air on the way down; hiking up forty metres for the thrill of an extra fourteen turns.  Two-mile walks back into civilized country, grinning the whole way because I’m pretty sure no one’s ever skied that and how deep was that powder, man!  Black snow – the remnant of precautionary explosions versus avalanches; falling crystals so large and thick I can’t see three feet in front of me – and going heart-poundingly fast to get the adrenaline pumping.  Skiing the trees to show off quick turns and quicker reflexes.

There is something poetic in the action of strapping a pair of carbon-fibre boards to my feet and throwing myself down a mountain.  Maybe it’s just the altitude, the thin air – but I prefer to think of it as the happiest place on Earth.  Up there where the snow is great and the view is greater, the sky runs on for miles, broken not by clouds but by chairlift cables, cut through by scraggly mountain tips.  The snow glitters in the bright white sunshine and the blue blue shade, untouched on the branches of trees.

Snow is made for skiing.  Moguls are made for showing off.  Catwalks are made for racing.  Broken legs are for learning to ski on one foot.  The bunny hill is for beginners.

Chairlifts are for eating.

Snowboarding is for people too scared to look straight down.

Skiing is for family.