Sunday, February 26, 2012

January Wedding

I was dressed in a completely inappropriate shade of pink, while Sarah looked stunning in her cream lace gown. Leave it to her to choose a dress that did nothing to complement my complexion or my figure. But, it’s her day, I reminded myself. No sense being bitter.

The organ music had just started up inside the church. I received my last minute instructions from the wedding planner. Step forward, feet together. Step forward, feet together. No rushing, no ungainly strides. Face front, demure smile. No big toothy grins, that wouldn’t be appropriate for the bridesmaid. Not that I had anything to laugh about.

The doors cracked open, I began my trek down the aisle. Small smile plastered upon my lips, graceful (I hoped) steps in time with the processional. Perhaps I looked like a big bag of cotton candy, but I would be dignified cotton candy, damn it.

Hard to believe that just a few weeks ago, Sarah was bemoaning the fact that all the decent men in the world were either married or gay, and now she was getting married. To a guy she met on the internet, no less. Too bad I hadn’t had a chance to meet him before the ceremony, but my flight had been delayed and I’d only hit town late last night.

As I approached the altar, Sarah’s groom turned toward me. Our eyes locked.

Huh.

When Mike told me that he wouldn’t be able to come home with me this weekend because he had other plans, I didn’t think twice.

But he had definitely neglected to mention that he was getting married. Bastard.

***
Welcome to this week's edition of Mostly Fiction Monday. What's that, you ask? It's a little something Stranger and I cooked up, you can find the story here. Today's post was inspired by the prompt Internet. 
Don't forget to swing by Stranger Upstairs to read another take on the prompt, and come back next Monday, when we'll be writing something inspired by Lost.  
Maybe you'd like to play too?  We'd love it if you joined in.  Make sure you leave a link in the comments so we can come see, if you do.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Used To Be

No sense in focusing on what she used to have, she thought as she selected a can of potatoes from the shelf.  Nor what she used to be.  That was pointless - who needed that sort of reminder, after all?  A can of tuna joined the potatoes.

Hmm.  Beans in tomato sauce?  Or molasses?  The options might not be grand, but she still had choices.  She selected one of each.

Day old bread (once toasted, it tasted just the same, after all) and a carton of milk were added to her basket.  She mentally tallied up her purchases and smiled when the numbers came out right.

Her final selection was a pint of out-of-season strawberries.  Completely impractical, a critical voice whispered.  Isn't that just like you, to be so stupid about things?

But the bruises were fading and that voice, along with them.  The strawberries stayed.

In the checkout line, she found herself behind a woman with an overflowing buggy.  It was filled with the kind of things that she had once taken for granted.  She watched as hamburger and potato chips, tomatoes and cola marched down the belt and were placed into bags.

It was foolish to think about what she used to have.  Her basket might be empty, but would she trade for that full shopping cart if it meant going back to what she used to be?

She put a hand on her still-flat belly.  No, she thought.  Better to remember what she was now: ex-victim.

***
Welcome to this week's edition of Mostly Fiction Monday. What's that, you ask? It's a little something Stranger and I cooked up, you can find the story here. Today's post was inspired by the prompt X. 
 
Don't forget to swing by Stranger Upstairs to read another take on the prompt, and come back next Monday, when we'll be writing something inspired by Internet.  
 
Maybe you'd like to play too?  We'd love it if you joined in.  Make sure you leave a link in the comments so we can come see, if you do.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Don't Fear The Reaper

I'm in line behind a kid at the liquor store.  He proudly displays his ID to prove that today is his nineteenth birthday - he's buying his first (legal) hootch.

It suddenly hits me - I've been buying booze since before this kid was born.  Just barely, but that's not the point.

How did this happen?

I'm old!

***

Here are my fifty-five words for G-Man's Friday 55.  Head on over and see what others had to say this week, and maybe give the F55 a shot yourself.

Monday, February 13, 2012

If I Am A Stranger

She stood, naked, in front of her closet, wondering what to wear.

She settled on her blue dress (he once admired the way the colour matched her eyes), then spent a careful hour on make-up and hair.  The final touch: perfume from the bottle on her dresser.  It was his favourite, he always said so.

The April sunshine and fresh spring air were made for walking through, so she passed the bus stop and kept right on going.

Her steps slowed as she neared her destination.  Her lipsticked mouth tried to rebel against the smile she pasted upon it as she pushed her way through the door, but she wouldn't allow it to slip.

There he was.  Her heart sped up.

She cleared her throat, nervous as a school girl.  He turned, and met her gaze.

"Hello, Ben."

"What do you want?"  His face was sunken, his words mushy.  She hated it when they didn't put his teeth in.

"I've come to see you, love."

"Why?" he demanded.  "What do you want with me?"

"I thought we could have dinner."

She watched emotions chase each other across his face.  He frowned.  Considered.  Relented.

"I guess we all gotta eat.  It's roast beef tonight, I think.  Smells like roast beef.  I hope there's pie for after."

"Let's get your teeth in first," she said.  "Hard to eat roast beef, otherwise."

He raised a wrinkled hand to his lips, explored the territory with his fingers, and nodded.  He followed her to his room; she coached him through the insertion of his dentures.

"That's better," she said.  "Now you look more like that handsome man in the picture on your dresser."

A black and white photo: a young couple on their wedding day.  He wore a dark suit, the woman, a simple dress.  You couldn't tell by looking, but she knew the dress was blue.

"Who are you, again?" he said.

"I'm Helen," she said. "Your wife.  I'm your wife, Ben."

"That's my wife," he said, gesturing to the photo.  "You're old."

"Oh, love.  So are you.  Come on, let's get some supper."

She linked her arm through his and they made their way down the hall.

"You sure do smell nice," he said.  "My wife wears that perfume."

She smiled, lipstick stretched to its limits.

"Yes, I know."

***

Welcome to this week's edition of Mostly Fiction Monday. What's that, you ask? It's a little something Stranger and I cooked up, you can find the story here. Today's post was inspired by the prompt Stranger.
I must admit: I found our word limit of two-fifty was just, well, too limiting...so we've decided to bend the rules a bit.  Anything under 500 is now considered a win.  Nothing like making the rules up as you go along, right?

Don't forget to swing by Stranger Upstairs to read another take on the prompt, and come back next Monday, when we'll be writing something inspired by X.


Maybe you'd like to play too?  We'd love it if you joined in.  Make sure you leave a link in the comments so we can come see, if you do.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dreaming

You open your eyes and stretch, like a cat.  Warm sunshine streams in through the window, and the sound of birds chirping outside brings a smile to your face.

On the bedside table is a steaming cup of coffee, a single red rose in your favourite bud vase, and an envelope with your name on it.  You sip the coffee and open the note.  You read:

Darling,


I've decided to take the kids on a weekend camping trip.  You have been working so hard lately, I thought you could use the break.  Don't worry about the laundry or the house work, I will take care of that when I get back - you should just concentrate on relaxing. 
Maybe take a nice bubble bath and do a little shopping.  I bet you probably need a new pair of shoes.
By the way - I also booked you a massage.  The agency said that Jacques is the best they have, I hope you will agree.  He will be by around 10.  Enjoy your weekend! 
I love you.
You glance at the clock: it's 9:57.  The doorbell rings...

 

If you think you must be dreaming, turn to page 17.  If this is just like any other day, close the book and smack yourself firmly in the face with it.  You will find this painful, but everyone else will feel better.

***
Welcome to this week's edition of Mostly Fiction Monday. What's that, you ask? It's a little something Stranger and I cooked up, you can find the story here. Today's post was inspired by the prompt Dreaming, as well as a tale written in the second person by someone in my writing group who is definitely too young to remember Choose Your Own Adventure books.

Make sure you swing by Stranger Upstairs to read another take on the prompt, and come back next Monday, when we'll be writing something inspired by Stranger. 

Maybe you'd like to play too?  We'd love it if you joined in.  Make sure you leave a link in the comments so I can come see, if you do.