Sweet Little Lies


His voice dripped with the sexiness of rodeo cowboy. His words would have fit into a romance novel. His past displayed actions of an American hero in uniform. This could have been a great modern-day romance…except for one factor-he was a liar.

It all started out honest though, but doesn’t it always?

Trace messaged Julie through Facebook about her post on their mutual friend, Rick. They shared some stories. Julie had dated Rick in high school. Trace had spent a year in Iraq with him when they were both Airborne Soldiers. Julie was a Soldier too so that lead to conversations about war and the effects of it when you return home. The occasional emails turned into occasional calls and it all blossomed from there.

“When I first got home, it used to drive me nuts to hear people complain about the stupidest things,” said Julie. “It’s like they don’t realize how lucky they are! It took all I had to not scream, ‘How do you function in life if THIS is a tragedy!?’”

“I know what you mean. I went through the same thing,” said Trace with a laugh that was draped in silk. “They just have no clue.”

The now-daily chats connected them on a new level. It was no longer about their friend Rick. It was no longer about war. It was basic simple life in this day and age-a man and woman courting from afar. It crossed Julie’s mind that she may be falling for someone she met online. But this was different. He was a friend of a friend. He wasn’t a complete stranger. And he was different; he was a fellow Soldier. To be safe though, Julie did her homework. She checked out his social media sites for history. They shared a few pictures. She asked the right questions.

He was separated from his wife, and living in another house. While on the phone with him, she heard him speak to his daughter. They spoke at different times each day. He always answered her calls. This all made sense and supported his story. Julie herself had been separated for a while before her divorce so it all seemed normal. So they continued to flirt and talk about a potential visit.

“If you came here, I would show you a real rodeo and take you out to the Saloon. They have the best bands. We could dance all night,” promised Trace.

He could have told her he wanted to sit on the couch and eat popcorn for all she cared. With his voice, he could make anything sound sexy.

“Well, if you came here, we could go hiking in this local canyon. It is so peaceful. Then we could go downtown to eat at Roman’s. They have the BEST food and on the weekends they have music. Sometimes it’s jazz. Other nights, rock. It just depends on the week. I think you would love it,” said Julie.

Like two teenagers, they spoke for hours. They just clicked in so many ways. So as the weeks turned into months, the excitement about meeting was palpable. They both couldn’t wait.

Then, Julie got a call that stopped her in her tracks.

Trace’s wife informed Julie she was a fool. There was no separation, no other house, and in simple terms, there was no pending divorce.

“I am so so sorry,” exclaimed a mortified Julie. “I never would have spoken to him had I thought his story was a lie. Oh my. I feel sick. Oh God. I am sorry.” Click was the wife’s response.

Almost immediately, Trace called trying to make it better, but he couldn’t change the facts.

“I wanted to tell you. I never intending this to happen. We just started talking and you turned out to be so wonderful. I couldn’t stop talking to you. I just fell for you…”whispered the liar in that seductive voice.

“It doesn’t matter Trace. You lied. How could you lie to me? I thought we were friends first!”

Julie hung up the phone when Trace started talking again. “Go tell your wife Trace.”

‘I guess all those stories about meeting people online applies to friends of friends too,’ thought Julie as she threw herself on her bed in tears. ‘Thank God I never met him in person!’

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

No Escaping My Love


It was a long, grueling day at work so I was relieved to take a steaming hot shower. I needed to wipe away the stench of failure. Business at the firm had been intense lately, and seemed to be going all wrong. It was like I was under a black cloud. But, I was the newbie. I think they wanted us to fail in the beginning to season us. At least that was my hope anyway.

Wrapped in a towel, I drug myself into the kitchen, feeling only slightly less beaten. I broke out the bottle of merlot that the firm had left on my desk at work today for “all the hard work this week.” They were such a wonderful bunch of people. Though they worked me to the bone, they were the most supportive group of coworkers I had ever met. So supportive, I revealed my secret to them. So supportive, they swore to protect me if the time ever came. I hoped it never did. No, I prayed it never did.

I had taken every precaution, looked at every detail. If moving across the country was not good enough, I had changed my name as well. No longer did I sport flowing locks of gold. Instead, I had the shortest, blackest bob cut possible. I was a new woman. A woman he could no longer stalk.

Thinking about the crazed man who hunted me like prey gave me chills. They were the worst three years of my life. Everywhere I turned, he would appear. It started simply enough with a hello, a card, a flower. He seemed sweet at first. God. What a fool I had been to date him, and for two months! But I thought I would chalk it up to a bad experience when I broke up with him. That only made it worse though. He called me relentlessly. He showed up at my house, at work. I begged him to stop. He didn’t.

Finally, in a fit of anger, I slapped him and told him he was crazy. He grabbed me, and pulled me close. Through his teeth he told me, “You are mine bitch. You will always be mine. So YOU are the crazy one if you think you can just dump me and walk away.” Then he dug his hands into my arms and threw me to the ground. People on the street just stood there staring at the scene, afraid to get involved. Each time after that, his “visits” got more intense and violent. When he had broken into my house and pleasured himself in my bed, leaving me a video of it. I got a restraining order.

That didn’t stop him though. Nothing did. Stalking laws were clearly inept at protecting people. For years, the police could do nothing. He became good at leaving his “gifts” as untraceable as they were unwanted. The final straw was his “promise” to me-a video of me sleeping while he pleasured himself next to me. Apparently, he had drugged me that night. So I lay there oblivious of his revolting presence. At the end of the video, he kissed my unconscious body and then looked right into the camera with his creepy mask, and whispered, “Next time, you will be awake my love, and I won’t entertain myself.”

I packed up and left the next day knowing the police could do nothing, yet again.

It had been a year now in this new life. How wonderful it was to begin to breath and relax. With that thought, I took another gulp of merlot. I could feel my tension fade away. You are free of him, I told myself.

Maybe, I’ll watch a good girly movie tonight, or maybe just go to bed. I was feeling pretty buzzed already. Yeah, maybe bed was a better idea, I thought. But first, I’ll read the mail that the mailman had handed me earlier when I came home.

I grabbed the pile I had thrown on the counter. In the middle of the bills, ads, and magazines was an odd envelope. I didn’t think much until I read it. I dropped to the floor trembling, uncontrollably. The room started to spin. I felt dizzy. I reached for my phone, but I couldn’t help  stare at the message.

“It took me a while to find you my love. But I did. When you wake up from your wine nap, I’ll be next to you waiting for our night to begin.”

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Prompt for Challenge

You’ve just been handed a message that makes you drop to the floor, trembling uncontrollably.

  • No more than a Word Count of 600. (SUGGESTED)
  • Using the above scenario, create a scene of what the note is about, and why it makes you react the way you do. (REQUIRED)
  • No external dialogue for this scene. (SUGGESTED)

 


Return of the Warrior


The bar had a musty foul smell. Why anyone would choose to sit here was beyond her, thought Amera. Walking through this horrible place was not her choice. It was more of a duty-one that the king had essentially commanded. She would not fail, regardless of the stench.

Amera stopped abruptly when she saw him. What a disgusting mess he was, her uncle. His clothes were unkempt and looked to have been worn nonstop for weeks, if not months. He looked dirty, probably contributing to the odor of the place. His stained hands had a slight tremor as they lay near his cold pint. Maybe this was a bad idea, she thought. How could he help me now?

“Are you going to just stare at me awkwardly child, or are you going to have a drink with your uncle?” asked the heap of man in rags.

“I was undecided uncle as I was making sure it was really you,” lied Amera. “You cut your hair.”

It was getting in the way of my drinking,” stated Markor plainly.

“Aye. That’s a good enough reason as any I suppose.”

“Well, pull up a chair my child, and tell me what brings you to the palace city. Though, I have heard the rumors on the street, I’d like to her what my own kin has to say of the matter.”

Amera pulled up a sticky seat and plopped down next to the shell of her uncle. She felt like a child again. But this time, she was not staring at a heroic war legend. This time she was sitting next to a broken warrior who had watched his own wife and son die before him. She had heard the horrible tale how the evil spirit had slowly tortured them in front of Markor’s eyes while IT had him frozen under a spell. Indeed, it was a good enough reason for a man to break. A lessor man would not have survived nor had any sense of reality after. She could see the pain in her uncle’s eyes and understood his need to numb the memory, one that assuredly haunted him daily.

“The king has commanded me to seek out those who IT has affected. I am to try and heal them, if possible,” stated Amera wasting no time getting to the point.

Markor took a long, slow gulp of his pint and stared forward. She remembered how regal he was, the battle-worn Soldier, the warrior of legends. There were portraits of him at the palace even. They crafted him in his prime, stabbing a dark spirit in battle. His face was handsome and fierce. His long golden locks flying in the wind, like a lion. She looked over at him now thinking he could easily go unrecognized now. He just looked like a regular dirty drunk. She knew he was more though, which is why she was here.

“I see. And from your sudden presence, you wish me to help?” He didn’t even turn when he asked. He just kept staring forward, not at the wall but somewhere deep in his mind.

“I can think of no other better qualified uncle. Nor one whom I’d trust more.”

There was a long pause. They both sat in silence…

She knew she was asking a lot. It was a dangerous mission. IT was still out there hurting people. If left unattended, IT could regain power. The king could not risk that. So Amera was to heal while her uncle was to fight. However, his last fight with IT had destroyed him, and here she was, asking him to face IT again. It was a huge request, even from the king.

“We will need help,” he finally stated.

“Yes indeed we will. The king told me he will pay our team: other healers, other warriors.”

“And we will choose our team?”

“Of course. The king expects no less.”

Markor took a deep breath and turned to Amera. “Well. I suppose it’s time child. We can begin in the ‘more. Tonight, we shall celebrate your regal appointment and talk of good days.”

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Prompt for Challenge

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.~Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

  • Word Count of 500. (SUGGESTED)
  • Take your favorite quote from a movie and use it as inspiration for your entry this week. If you want more direction, make it the last sentence in your piece. (REQUIRED)

 

I used lines from the movie, Georgia Rule. “You cut your hair….It was getting in the way of my drinking.”

When my daughter and I were watching it, those lines took you from a serious moment to funny. We started cracking up laughing and crying at the same time. Brilliant writing. Now, we pull out those lines every now and then as a joke. So, I had to use them.

The story above is a continuation from two other short fiction pieces I wrote. If you want to read those, they can be found at the links below.

First story, Walking Through Death, Finding Hope.

The second story, Saving the Prince.

 

Highway of Fear


The car to the right suddenly lunged into her lane and then quickly darted into the far left lane, crossing just feet in front of her. Terra’s heart stopped for a split second as she didn’t even have enough time to slow down.

“Well, excuse ME for being in YOUR way!” she muttered to her empty car. People on this road were always aggressive. Thank God she didn’t have to come to the city often. Well, she never had to before, but now…things would be different. She was going to have to learn to cope with crazy drivers.

As if on cue, another car came speeding up behind, so close she could not even see their head lights. “OMG! I am going 70! Go around!” she screamed in frustration.

The driver, who was on their phone, thrust out to her right and flipped her off as they whipped past her. “Really?” she muttered. “What is wrong with these people?”

She shook her head and took a deep breath and started thinking about was her family. Her son was just starting college. Her daughter was about to get married. Her husband had started a new business. Things were all in place, almost perfect. Except for her and her problems. She couldn’t tell them her worries though. She just couldn’t. She had to help them with their new steps in life. She was the glue of the family, and loved it that way. But she had to admit, she was scared. She wasn’t sure she could do this alone. But how could she mess up all their excitement?

Another car thrust itself in the small space between her and the car in front of her. Slamming on her brakes to avoid their sudden presence, she gasped. She couldn’t even think of something yell at this point. All she could do was hope these road-raging maniacs didn’t kill her.

She didn’t have time to die. She had plans. College plans. Wedding plans. Business owner’s wife plans. It was an exciting time for them all, and she couldn’t wait to be there for all of it. She even had her own big plan of course. She was practically done with her book and her editor said the draft looked promising. Everything was falling into place, like a dream.

This trip into town was turning into a nightmare though. She snapped on the radio. Maybe that would calm her nerves. The radio announcer was rambling on about National Pink Day, “Don’t forget to wear pink tomorrow for breast cancer awareness…

She turned off her exit and was passed on the right again, but this time on the exit ramp. “Clearly, I must be invisible or these city people are all bat-shit crazy,” she muttered. If all her drives to the city were going to be like this, she may as well stay home.

…Each year, thousands of people are diagnosed…..” the radio droned on. “So show your support. Wear pink!…”

She pulled into the parking lot and took a deep breath. She clicked the radio off with irritation. “I don’t need to wear pink or show my support. I don’t need another damn reminder for God’s sake!” Laying her head on the steering wheel she started to cry. Hot tears of fear streamed down her face, falling into her lap. Then all of the sudden, she started laughing, the kind of stress relief laugh that came with tears. “Shit, driving to my chemo appointments may kill me faster than my cancer does anyway!”

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friday-fiction-200

February 5th is National Wear Red Day, or Shower With a Friend Day. There are much more serious International Days the 5th is set aside for, but the challenge at this point in its growth is not a place to explore those quite yet. Although I’m not stopping anyone. If you know of another National/International Day you want to write about this week, go for it.

  • Word Count of 500. (SUGGESTED)
  • Some great stories were written last week. Continue those stories this week! (SUGGESTED)

OR

  • If you are not writing a series then It’s National ? Day and you are in charge of the party. Create your own National/International Day and spread the news. (REQUIRED if not in the middle of writing a series OR doing the above Suggested Prompt.) You can always mention a national day in a series.

 

Broken Heart Drive


I’ll drive my heart into the night.”

It was a cryptic text response to his pathetic question, “Are you going to be OK?”

OK? Yeah. I’ll be just fine by morning. But tonight I’m pissed. Tonight, I felt used and stupid. So I’d drive and scream and cry. I’ll remember all romance and excitement…and betrayal.

After months of talking and flirting, and a week after I visited him, our daily chats disappeared. When I asked what was going on, Sam simply said he was not ready for a ‘relationship.’ “Did you think we were in a relationship?” he coldly asked.

“Well, not exactly, but I didn’t expect us to completely stop talking right after I visited. It seems odd, like I did something wrong,” was my reply.

I replay the conversation in my head over and over. It makes no sense.

“Oh, so why were you calling me every day? Why were you flirting with me? Why did you encourage me to visit?” I scream the questions into the dark of my car.

The silence mocks me. It tells me that I have been a fool and knew it from the start. I knew the risks of a long-distance romance, but I had to try. He did and said all the right things. He eagerly played his part. I saw his hands shake when we greeted each other at the airport. I saw the look on his face. I heard his voice tremble. “I didn’t imagine those things,” I say to myself as tears run down my face. “He cared. I know he did.” My self-encouragement doesn’t make me feel better though so I punch the accelerator.

The Nissan Z took the curves beautifully, giving me a sense of control. “I can’t believe I fell for it. Hook. Line. And Sinker.” I laugh and cry at the same time. “You are a fool Sara. How would this have worked anyway? You live states away from each other. Chalk it up to a fling and five wasted months. You did have fun while it lasted though.”

I smile. It was pretty fun for a bit. That was true. And had I not tried, I would have regretted it.

Regardless, my pity party was still on the clock and I would purge my soul of him by the morning…I hoped anyway. With that thought, I turn on the radio. Of course, a mournful song kicks me while I am down with it’s lyrics.

…But I guess I have no valentine. Send me roses, I’ll just let them die. I was crazy for thinking you were mine. It was all just a lie.

I laugh through my tears. “At least I am not the only fool.”

 

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friday-fiction-200

  • Use the first line of one of your favorite song and begin your story with that line. (REQUIRED)
  • Word count of no more than 300. (STRONGLY SUGGESTED but I don’t want you to let it get in the way of creativity.)

 

And here is the song I used: