Friday Fictioneers-In the High Heat of Summer and Blood

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In the heat of summer, we began cleaning my deceased great grandmother’s home. Heavy with pregnancy, I pulled the old shoes from the bottom of the armoire. I felt overwhelmed by the chore and my grief of losing her before Adam was born. Sweat slid down my swollen belly as I filled the first box of many. Old shoes were easy to throw out, but what about the the other antiques? The baby kicked while I worked. Then the nosebleed began. Blood poured down my shirt and the old shoes. Distressed, I pinched my nostrils, and ran outside for relief.

100 words exactly!

Genre: autobiographical, memory, hell I don’t know.

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers. I’m happy as heck to be inspired to write again. I’m hoping that this priming of the pump will cause the words and stories to flow for me again. Dear Readers, please go to Rochelle’s site to read all of the entries.

Have a terrific day!

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My Body Bathed in Moonlight

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It wasn’t long after I’d graduated from high school and broken things off with my first fiancé that I began to run a little wild. I met up with G. at a party but I’d known him since he was a freshman in high school. He was a senior and a jock so we really didn’t run in the same circles.  That’s not entirely true, I ran in any circle I wanted to, seeing as I was a chameleon and all.

G. brought me a drink, a cheap brand of beer most likely. We sat and chatted while other party goers took turns doing lines of cocaine off a huge mirror that had been placed on a dining room table. I’m not sure if G. was into coke or not, but that drug scared the hell out of me. Our poison of the evening was alcohol, though we didn’t begrudge anyone else for choosing to snort lines off a mirror for five bucks a pop.

One beer turned into three and our tongues loosened. The conversation turned dirty and I saw a glimmer of mischief in his eyes. I gladly returned a devilish look and answered yes to his request to take me to bed. Walking hand in hand we quietly retreated to a friend’s apartment just a few doors away. We wasted no more time with pleasantries and innuendo. He produced a condom and I grinned from ear to ear. I’m pretty sure I rolled that condom onto his cock with my mouth.

It was a long time ago so I don’t remember all of the details, but I do remember having a lot of fun. I don’t ever remember laughing so much and feeling such comfort while completely naked. His body was beautiful, athletic and lithe. I lay underneath him enjoying the weight of his body on mine. The outstanding feeling of his hardness moving in and out of me. I arched my hips up to meet his thrusts when he stopped suddenly, and rolled off of me. There I was splayed before him, completely naked and vulnerable. My breasts and midriff were lit faintly by the moonlight streaming in a nearby window.

‘Fuck, you’re body is beautiful’, he said.

I was tongue-tied by his comment. No man had ever looked at my naked body with such reverence before. All I could manage was a smile that I hoped he could see in the moonlight of his friend’s bedroom. I pushed him onto his back and straddled his waist as I guided his cock back into me. Sweet Jesus, how he filled me completely.

Our bodies spent, we laid in bed and cracked jokes. I think we might have even shared another beer. As we dressed, we heard his friend S. come home. The poor boy was so drunk, I think he banged his arms and torso on every wall as he stumbled to his bathroom. S. threw up into his garbage can as G. and I walked out of the bedroom.

‘Hey Renee, how the fuck are you?’,  he asked.

‘Better than you’, I giggled.

G. and I helped S. into bed, he whined incoherently about something and passed out almost as soon as his head hit the pillow. G. and I headed back to the party a few doors down. We didn’t exchange phone numbers and we never saw each other again. I can’t say I wasn’t a little disappointed, but sometimes sex is just that, sex. It was fulfilling and beautifully dirty.

I did see G. a few years later, at a little family restaurant in Saline. I walked in with my future husband and sat down in a booth. I looked up and there was G. grinning a devilish grin. The blood rushed to my cheeks and sex as I smiled back at him. I might have even said hello. I remember thinking what a delicious secret G. and I had.

I wonder, if I saw him now, would my body react the way it did 28 years ago? I’d like to think it would. I also wonder where he is now. I hope he’s happy. And I also hope he tells the woman he’s with now how beautiful she is.

100 Word Song-Passionate Reunion Kisses

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She remembered their reunion kisses well. Moist lips meeting, and the bristling of his whiskered chin on her smooth one. How his tongue invaded her mouth, and the way it tasted. Like hot sex on a summer night when she was 16. Oh God, the way he smelled.

The mere presence of him left her breathless. His hands cupped her breasts through her clothing. She moaned into his mouth, and sucked his perfect tongue.

As they said goodbye, she knew she’d never see him again. Their lives continued to be complicated, and no amount of passionate kisses could mend them.

Robot-Badge

Thank you Lance Burson for hosting the 100 Word Song. I’m honored to write stories with all of you.

Friday Fictioneers-Vanilla and Tabacco

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When an adolescent, I played in melted candle wax. Mom wasn’t around much at night, and I was easily bored. Entranced as solid became liquid, I’d light up a Benson and Hedges pilfered from a carton kept in the kitchen. One quick exhale extinguished the flame. Wick and cigarette smoke co-mingled in mid air, while I watched the wax begin to harden. Dipping my finger in, it became slick with oil. I smelled vanilla and burning tobacco, and I prayed Mom didn’t come home early. She’d no doubt question this quirk of mine.  That, or she’d kill me for smoking.

100 words/Genre: memoir

Thank you  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting Friday Fictioneers. It is an honor and a privilege to have Ms. Rochelle critique my work. Please be sure to go to her page and read their stories too. We are a rather eclectic group and the genres run the gamut.

I welcome kudos and criticism. Happy reading.

The Bloody Shoe

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Maya Angelou

 

I arrived home to my little apartment in the college town that I live in. The air was sweet with the scent of mud and springtime. I opened my sliding glass door to welcome the gentle breeze that would send those wonderful scents inside, allowing the smell of kitty urine to dissipate. For a short time, till I could get on the floor and scrub away the anger that Cinders felt because I left her for three weeks.

My ex-husband continuing to be the good man that he is, brought me home from the rehabilitation center that I’d been residing in for the last 17 days. I was recuperating from a major auto accident that left my ankle shattered but my resolve steely. On March 12, I decided to go buy gas before I went to bed. Knowing the temperature was going to drop, I headed into the night. I didn’t realize that it would be a fateful decision, one that I will grapple with understanding for the rest of my life. It changed everything. Everything.

I scooted around in my new friend, a kick ass wheelchair. I figured I better get used to it since I was going to be using it for at least the next three months or more. I’m recovering from a shattered ankle and reconstructive surgery along with two bone grafts thrown in. When I do it, I do it up good! Cue more rolling around on carpet and trying to get re-acclimated to my domicile. Cinders, the devil kitty mewed like she was in heat. I guess she missed me, but when I rolled up to her, she backed away and showed me her ass.

Roger helped me start putting things away, all the while admonishing me not to do too much. He was my partner for almost 25 years, and he knows me all too well. He went to grocery shop, and I set my sights on emptying bags. And putting things back where they belong. Wiping down kitchen counters with bleach and going through mail. Cinders kept observing me from afar but her curiosity got the best of her and she sidled up against my leg. The one with the cast, because, well, I needed cat hair to adhere to it.

Laura buzzed my door and I popped up to press the button to let her in. Chalk one up for old one leg, I could buzz people in through the apartment security door. Woohoo! She was so excited to be my first visitor. We hugged and chatted, both of us fucking around with our phones and catching the score of the Tigers game. That’s one of my goals this season is to watch the Tigers and enjoy doing so. It’s easy to do when they have a pitcher as hot as Verlander. Damn!

Roger returned from grocery shopping and we put things away, together. I’m determined to live independently and that means putting away groceries. After that task was done, I started emptying the box of shit from my car. Gloves, umbrellas, hats, and other odds and ends were put away in the coat closet. There are no immediate plans to buy a new car. I can’t drive for at least three months anyway.

Then I found the bloody shoe. It was the one I was wearing when I collided with a bus on a slippery surface street at a railroad track. There was a bloody sock too, but it didn’t effect me quite the way that damn shoe did. My blood was soaked into it, along with other flecks of gore. I was mesmerized by it. I contemplated saving it. I had just bought them, for 25 % off no less. Roger and Laura with all of the their R.N. empathy told me to get over it and throw the damn thing out. I laughed with them, but decided to keep it. For now, anyway.

I wanted to keep it to remind me that life can turn on a dime. An impulse. Or even a decision to go buy gas on a night when there’s been a blizzard, because OMFG I need gas right now. I’ll throw it away eventually. Probably when the cast comes off for good. Or, worst case scenario, when the doctor tells me that I’m going to have my ankle fused after my fourth invasive surgery. I pray for the former, but I’m trying to prepare for the latter.

That bloody shoe reminds me to be less impulsive. It also reminds me that it could have been worse. Much, much worse.

The Woman in the Room (Inspired by Stephen King)

“You want to remember that while you’re judging the book, the book is also judging you.”
Stephen King, Night Shift

She sleeps a mere ten feet away from me, in a rehabilitation center set atop a little bluff in a busy college town. The walls of our room are painted a celery green. They’re not unpleasant looking, but they don’t wow me much either. The color of the walls are muted, but the drapes are another story. Though washed in earth tones, the design ‘pops’. Little circles of brown connect large dots of sage and spinach. I can’t say I’d have them hanging in my house but I’m sure the designer was going for neutrality and comfort when they designed the place.

I lie in bed, my foot propped up on a cushion. I’ll be this way for at least twelve weeks, then with a little luck and a lot of prayers, I’ll go back to a semi-normal life, though I may never run or dance again. That’s a story for another day though. Today it’s about her, my roommate. An elderly woman, hard of hearing and dealing with dementia.

While I recover, I keep reverting to the short story by Stephen King, The Woman in the Room. It’s an agonizing story about a mother with terminal cancer and the son that takes care of her. The decisions that she and her son come to throughout will make you question your morals and ethics. I surmise that it’s because I’m the youngest person here, single and due to a serious injury unable to care of myself completely yet.

Thick white hair adorns her head and covers her shoulders. She has a smile that must have charmed a few men when she was in her prime. Her hands are gnarled, yet dainty.

“Hi there,” I called out brightly from my adjustable bed, our first morning together.

“Hey,” she yelled. “I’m E, and I broke my back.”

“Oh my Dear, I broke my ankle and had it reconstructed,”  I announced.

This little woman yelled back, loud enough to drone out the throbbing sound of a diesel truck, “I’m hard of hearing and I can’t hear a word you say!”

With effort and my walker I hopped over to her and repeated what I said. She smiled and shook her head, but I know she still didn’t comprehend one word. Right before me she transformed into my Grandmas N, H, G and B. Four fine women that were more than wives, mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers. They were women once. The kind that charmed. The kind that felt fear. The kind that felt everything we women have felt throughout our lives. Sexy, desirable, exhausted, even dead inside.

My Grandmas all battled growing older, while I battled my emotions watching them deteriorate and eventually surrender. They died at different stages in my life. A young adolescent girl, a teenager, a young wife and mother, and a wife and mother of teenage children. Each of their deaths effected me differently. At my youngest, it was barely a blip on my radar, at my oldest, gut wrenching.

Miss Cotton Hair had to be assisted with all aspects of self-care. Teeth brushing, toileting, washing, and dressing. Those are things we take for granted, and here I am doing them on one leg. The staff here are sweet but not too sugary. They do their job with tender loving care. We shared breakfast on that first day. I tried to chat, but she could not hear for shit. We communicated with smiles, and she ate everything on her plate.

Throughout the day she carried on conversations with herself. Sometimes with her children who weren’t there. She moaned and cried out because of her injury. She did physical therapy like a trooper, yet after she had her clothes changed she was convinced her son was coming to pick her up. To take her home. He wasn’t. He did come and visit that evening.  His conversation skimmed the surface. He didn’t ask much about her care. Or how she felt. It unnerved me. That woman bore him, the least he could do is ask her how she was being treated.

Don’t get me wrong, not all humans should be parents. There are some kids that have had enough, dealing with the neuroses and self-destruction of their parents. They must preserve their own hearts and sanity. They must put up barriers to protect themselves. I don’t believe that’s the case with sweet and confused Miss Cotton Hair. I’m guessing that the son only sees her in one role, that of mother.

He read her the paper. Talked about his life. The kids and wife. She’d respond, but he didn’t acknowledge the weight of her replies. Didn’t ask her about any of her life stories that will die when she does. Stories of how she danced all night and drank champagne with a young soldier on New Years Eve. The first time she fell in love. What her 13th summer was like. How it felt to kiss her husband at their wedding. What it was like the first time she had sex. What her biggest fear is.

Inside the shell of the old woman beats the heart of a girl. One that used to giggle and flirt. Or sipped soda from a straw in a small town soda fountain. That collected lightning bugs in jars and danced in the grass on a sultry summer night amid sheets still damp from the humidity.

Remember, we will all be there one day. We’ll be old. If we get lucky that is. Stay strong and healthy but have fun. Share your stories with your kids whether they want to hear them or not. Listen to your parent’s stories too. LISTEN! Even if they’ve never left their home town, they have lived. We need to know more. We need to know that they are a man or woman. That they are a dignified, passionate, strong and weak human.

When We Were Young

When we were young.

We thought we knew so much didn’t we?

Our young brains could only comprehended the present.

We never thought of the future and what we’d be like when we were middle aged.

Now, we are no longer children, yet our hearts are childlike.

We are less stodgy than our parents were at this time in their lives.

At least we hope we are.

We think about the future.

About our children all grown up and moved away.

Living lives we’ll know only a smidgen of.

We think about retirement.

Maybe, we’ll live somewhere warm in the winter months.

Yet we live with that niggling fear that we’ll miss out on being groovy grandparents.

We’re no longer young, and that’s okay.

I’ve the feeling that what’s around the bend is going to be so much better than we anticipated.

*Special thanks to my friend Stephen Uelk for inspiring this little verse.*

A Final Rendezvous With Renee

In my Dreams

These days words leave me hollow like a rotting tree stump. It may be dying, but there’s life buzzing in it anyway. Insects and animals colonize within, while the stump slowly decays and becomes one with the earth again.-Heath

I’m hollow. An empty vessel. Spent. And my story has been told. Every single one of my posts have helped bring me peace. I’ve poured my heart into every word I’ve written. Doesn’t matter if the story was real or fiction. I still bled on these pages.

The fictional stories have all had some grain of reality. A real person. A need. A want. A longing and desire. I have never created characters. I’ve created living, breathing people. Maybe someday I’ll tell you the origin of some of them, but probably not.

My journal entries, now those were something weren’t they? They taught me a thing or two about over sharing. Without them, I would have never learned about this gift that I have. It’s a curse too. See, once you begin to write,  it controls you. You immerse yourself in fiction because reality is too much to bear.

Sometimes words came so fast, I couldn’t write or type them fast enough. I was obsessed, to say the least. Photographs and paintings brought forth words and stories. I never realized how much I had to say.

My first fictional piece was called Ascent. About a girl that wanted to die. She didn’t though. Her newly discovered wings saved her as she began to plummet toward the sea. Little did I realize I was the one sprouting those metaphorical wings.

My writer, he pushed me to write for Friday Fictioneers. What began as a lark proved to be a much needed exercise in discipline. My writer fled, but I stuck with FF. Rochelle Wisoff-Fields has been a terrific mentor. I’m honored she worked so hard with me. I adore her for every criticism and kudos. My best flash fiction story was, The Invisible Man. I may submit it to Narrative Magazine. They’ve rejected my work before, but you never know what can happen.

I’ve had five short stories published by EtherBooks. Alan and Melissa from Ghost, and Damon and Rhiannon from Sounds will always be my best creations. The stories are still available for download on your iPhone or Android phone. The app is free, so please download and critique my stories.

‘The Ghost of a Great Love’ 

‘A Night Swim with Marilyn’ 

‘Dawn at Antietam’ 

‘Sounds of Orioles and the Taste of Lemonade’ 

‘On a Hot Summer Night’ 

Sometimes God Sits on a Stoop is a favorite recent post. I saw the face of God that day. I’ll never forget Curt, or his story.

I’ll keep the blog active for awhile, but don’t be surprised if one of these days it’s gone. Like me, she is a force of nature that can’t be contained.

Real life is waiting. I’m going to live it. I suggest you do the same.

Love,

Sparkly Girl

P.S. Don’t hate on me for posting the 1D video. This song is the shit. Even if it’s sung by a British boy band.

P.P.S. How can I forget Rory, my brother in arms? My world will never be the same now that you’re in it. I love you.

Although I am broken, my heart is untamed, still
And I’ll be gone, gone tonight
The fire beneath my feet is burning bright
The way that I’ve been holding on so tight
With nothing in between
The story of my life…

Journal Entry-Happiness and 180 Days

Happiness“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”-Confucius

Yeah, I know it’s been awhile, but I’m back.

The holidays were different this year, but none the less special. My ex-husband, Roger Darling and I shared the expense of buying gifts for our four kids. We prepared dinner together. Prime rib, mashed red skin potatoes, and a wonderful salad bar. We ate heartily and laughed exuberantly. Even though our family is now fractured, there is still happiness and laughter.

We spoiled our children with good gifts like we always have. And filled their stockings with everything they could possibly want. Thank you God for the dollar store!!!

The kids drank wine and beer, but it didn’t bother me. I drank Diet Coke and quietly celebrated my own milestone of another day without a drop of alcohol. I know Roger Darling keeps track of my sobriety, which I’m kind of honored by. I will never understand how a man who’s heart I shattered could give two shits about me. Never mind, I do know. Even after everything we’ve been through, he still loves me. I may not love him the same way, but we will always have a connection. We were a family, once upon a time…

In this New Year, I celebrate that I’ve been sober for over 180 days.

Many times I’ve stood in the liquor aisle and stroked the bottles of flavored vodka. They called to me like they were my lover, but it is a siren’s song. I knew if I took a drink, I would crash into the shore of my own self-destruction again, and again, and again.

I made myself walk away from those bottles of poison, more than once. No matter how lonely, depressed or angry I got, I never drank.

I just knew the next day would be full of hope, promise and at least one reason to smile.

I’m still finding my way back to happy. It isn’t in the bottom of a vodka bottle.

It’s within me.

My heart, mind and soul are happier, sober.

I’m no Pollyanna. There are days that I can barely get out of bed. I force myself to get up and face the day. Just waking up without a hangover and going to work is blessing enough.

Happy New Year my dear friends. I hope that 2014 is a better year for all of you. May you all let go of fear, and live the lives you desire.

Love,

A sober and somewhat happy Sparkly Girl

It Started With a Jar of Pickles

depression-13057Two weeks ago on a Monday morning, depression crept in. The trigger? A jar of pickles I’d bought had expired. There I stood, with the fridge door open and the jar in my hand. The glass cooled my fingers, while hot tears streamed down my face. I placed them in the door and slammed it closed. With my tears wiped, I reapplied my makeup and headed to my office.

Work went fine and I was dealing well with the news that my job had been eliminated. Luckily, I’m guaranteed placement in the new Shared Services Center. I’m not thrilled about it, but it beats not having a job. For some strange reason, I kept thinking about those damn pickles. I continued to lose control of my emotions.

Meggie texted me and asked if we could meet for dinner. We made our plans to go to Benihana. That’s what I needed, food prepared by a silly man flinging extremely sharp knives.  Even my son in law Chris would be joining us.

I planned to go visit Adam Boy first to see his new place. He and Claire moved out of Roger Darling’s into a cozy little apartment. Along with their two kitties and Baxter, the wonder Lab. I’d stay and we’d chat. Maybe we’d even recite some lines from Anchorman and laugh. Then I’d take off to see my other kids.

During the first blinding snow storm of the season, I made my way to see Adam Boy. I walked in and was greeted by an overly excited Baxter. I hugged and kissed him. Let him lick my face off. My boy showed me around his place. It was nicer than my little apartment. A tad bigger, and the walls were painted an earthy green.

10 minutes after I got there, my son told me to leave. He shattered my heart. I hadn’t even taken off my coat and barely sat down. I picked myself up, pet the dog and walked out. I cried the entire time it took me to get to my daughter and son in law’s place.

During dinner, Meggie told me I looked like someone had run over my dog. I told her I was fine and we enjoyed dinner. Chris farted the entire time we drove back to their house. I had to roll the windows down so I wouldn’t vomit. He’s hysterically funny, but extremely gassy. I’d venture to say it was because he’d eaten a pound of garlic butter on his food. Egad it was so gross!

In bed that night, I thought about the stupid pickles again. Finding sleep to be elusive, I took a Clonopin. Back under my warm comforter, I counted sheep and tears. I fell off the edge of consciousness into oblivion.

My week progressed as did the darkness in my soul. By Friday, I’d had enough. I wanted to stay home, but Lo Lo wanted me to meet her new guy. We went out dancing, which I usually adore. But my heart wasn’t in it. That Friday was the first time in almost two months I felt like I’d never be with another man. That no one would ever want a woman my age, size, intellect, or a multitude of other qualities. That I either did or didn’t possess.

By the following Monday, I was wallowing in self-pity, but I didn’t drink. After a huge argument with my friend and a shit ton of tears shed, I’d had enough. I crawled into bed and slept like a stone.

The next morning, I awoke and smiled. The dark cloud that had hung over my heart had vanished. I showered, dressed and got ready to leave for work. Before I did, I opened the fridge and removed the expired jar of pickles. After throwing them in the garbage, I locked the deadbolt and made my way out the door.