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:

The King’s Dance


Today was a day to celebrate life, and Sampson would ensure that would happen-even if it killed him.

He looked down at his sleek dapple-grey coat. It had a warm glow to it that made his muscles shimmer in the light. His hooves were polished and possibly the shiniest he had ever seen. His mane, a mix of black and grey and white, fluttered in the breeze. He looked like the king he was, which made him hold his head higher. His pets had done good work. Humans were a nuisance to own at times, but they had their uses, like helping him display out his best features. He looked noble and powerful. And he had to admit, he kind of envied his pets’ interesting paws at times like this. They could accomplish some incredible assignments so he had to give them come credit. However, there were times when these pets got on his nerves. Often, they seemed to forget who was really in charge. Today they would be reminded though.

Today was special. It was the Celebration of Life Festival and Race. The race, which Sampson would win, just like he did the past four years, not only secured another year as king, but it was a grand festival for his herd. They would all look their finest, with the help of their loyal human pets. Their favorite pet was honored to accompany them into the dance arena. Each noble horse would perform an elegant and powerful routine. Each step had meaning and history. Each move had a graceful flow. The dance even required their pets to be in sync as well. This displayed the herd’s power and rule. Of course, this took months of regular training since humans were a stubborn breed. And with some pets, the training could be quite grueling. Nonetheless, it was a great honor to perform the historical dances in front of the crowds.

After the dancing part of the festival, was the main event-the Celebration of Life Race. The race displayed power and agility. Each prince and princess from the provinces competed in the timed event. The goal was to run cross-country at the fastest speed. To add more spark to the race though, it included more than just quickness. Any horse could run. However, a noble horse needed more of a challenge. It was in their blood. Their race required running across the countryside and jumping a variety of obstacles, all while maintaining a pet on their back. So it was speed and power and grace and balance all in one. It was no easy task indeed, but it reflected the challenges in life and the herd’s move to power.

The history of the race dated back to ancient days when horses were wild. They called them the dark days. No one wanted to go back to those days where the herd was chased and hunted. And in between that, there was the constant fear of starvation. Those stressful days were hard on the herd and no one missed them.

But now, things were different. Sampson ruled and the horses were free. Not one horse in his herd went hungry. They were living blissfully in plush pastures. They all had servant pets to groom them and wait on them. They wore the finest in tack. They were at the height of their fitness and power. Life truly was something to celebrate indeed.

With that thought, Sampson nudged his pet to stop grooming him and pushed his way towards the arena. He snorted and stomped the ground to call his herd to attention. The time had come, Sampson was ready to start the festival. His pet quickly took the hint and took its place on Sampson’s back. Now, it was time to show his herd just how a king danced.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Photo credit: Horsenation.com

friday-fiction-200

Shared Pain


Sara didn’t normally sit at bars, but life wasn’t normal anymore. So she took another drink.

The cool wine slide down her throat and held back the tears. Nothing would be the same anymore, and she didn’t really know how to go on. Mark was her life, her soul, her motivation. Without him, she was just a shell. Nothing really mattered, though she had been putting on a good show for friends and family. Everyone knew she was sad, but they saw her moving on with life. She went to work and the gym. She even managed to be social with friends on occasion. It is what everyone expected so she tried to ease their worries. Sara half thought that if she stayed busy, the pain would subside. But it didn’t. Instead, it grew with time.

It had almost been a year since Mark died, and she only felt more lost without him. There wasn’t a moment that didn’t go by where she didn’t think of him or yearn for him. Every night she cried. Every night she dreamt of his smile, his laugh, his touch. It was as if part of her heart had been ripped from her chest. How did someone recover from that? How could people live with half a heart?

Numbly, she motioned the bartender for another drink. As he brought it over, a lady two stools down caught her eye. She looked sad too, Sara noticed and thought, ‘I know that look. Maybe she could use a friend.’

As Sara grabbed her wine, she looked over and gently smiled at the lady. “How long has it been?”

The sad stranger paused, and rested her lifeless eyes on Sara. “Is it that obvious that I am mourning?”

“I recognize the look since I see it in the mirror every day,” Sara replied.

“Oh. It’s two months today. How ‘bout you?”

“Eleven months and two weeks.”

The stranger took a sip of her drink and after a long pause asked, “Does it get easier?”

“I wish I could say it does…but so far no.”

“So it’s like ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine?”

Sara looked into the grieving lady’s eyes and offered kind smile. “I have never thought of it that way, but yes. That is exactly it. Though, I am not sure if you will ever see that on a sympathy card.”

The sad stranger smiled ever so small, “Yeah, I suppose not. I guess I may as well drink then. Maybe it will help me forget some of that time.”

“I hear you. I’m on the same mission.”

Sara and the lady nodded to each other and sat, sipping their drinks, and soothing their pain. ‘At least one person understood me,’ thought Sara.

So they sat in comforting silence.

After a few minutes, Sara offered, “I know nothing I say will really matter as nothing did to me when everyone spoke. But, I will offer you this. I know what it’s like to be alone now and want people around, but yet don’t want them to speak. So, if you need a friend who gets that, just give me a call. We can hang out and not say a word.”

The lady looked up from her drink, with tears in her eyes. “I think I could used that. What are you doing Friday?”

Sara smiled. “I guess I will be sitting here.”

“Great. I think I could use that friend.”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

friday-fiction-200

“Ticks and tocks of essential time, sink the spirits lower than wine.”

  1. Include the above sentence somewhere in your work of fiction. (Required.)
  2. Keep your word count at no more than 500 words this week. (Suggested.) Do NOT let your story suffer because of the word count limit. Remember, it is a suggested part of the prompt.

 

Cupid’s Arrow ~ Take Two


It is the third week of Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes, and the prompt was the plane picture above. I immediately thought of some fiction I wrote back in February, so I thought I would post that for this challenge. (Assuming that is ok since it is still my work, just an older post.)

I would love to get some honest feedback on it as fiction is my most challenging goal right now. Yet, it was my main goal of starting this blog. Therefore, here goes my first submission for Friday Fiction.

Cupid’s Arrow ~Take Two

Standing on the plane, my bag in hand, I begin to sweat. I feel nervous, excited and terrified all at the same time. As I creep forward I think, my life is about to change forever. Once I fall into his embrace, I am done. This will either be the most romantic and passionate weekend of my life or I will find my heart utterly shattered, but still not wanting to change a thing.

Who would have thought that I would be meeting Sam after 25 years! Sam, my former high school sweetheart. In minutes, I will see him face to face after months of talking. My heart is pounding. My belly is fluttering. It is like I am 17 again…minus the awesome flat abs and wrinkleless face. Damn the aging process! What the hell? I never understood why men looked more rugged and distinguished in age and women…well, they just look old. Not fair Mother Nature. Not fair.

Finally, people start to make progress and my feeble legs manage to walk. I head toward the baggage area and text Sam that I am on the way. “OMG. I am so nervous! But, here I come.”

“I am nervous too baby. No worries, we’ve waited long enough. Now hurry up, so I can kiss you,” Sam quickly replies.

I am so excited that I have to stop by the bathroom to breath, check myself in the mirror and dab my sweat. Looking in the mirror is not that 17-year-old girl anymore, but instead, a confident woman. “I can do this. Breathe. And for the love of God, stop sweating! Now go. He will like you,” I chant to my reflection. I walk down the long corridor. I swear it seems ironically long as the 25 years that have passed since I last saw Sam. “How long is this damn hallway?” I mutter.

Raging with nerves, my scattered thoughts think about our high school romance. We were so into each other back then. He was on the football team. I was a cheerleader. We were the best of friends too. Oh, and we were both so shy. It’s a miracle that we even went out since it took forever for us to summon the courage to talk to each other. After football games, we would go to the pizza house with all of our friends. We would walk around hand in hand. We would talk and laugh by each other’s lockers at school. We would take long drives to be near each other. Everyone thought we were the cutest couple.

I giggle. People must be wondering why I look so stupidly happy as I walk down this ridiculously long hall. But I can’t stop smiling. And much to my displeasure, I am still sweating. “Ugh. Well, I sure hope he is sweating as much as I am. Maybe then, it won’t be as obvious,” I think.

Finally, I see the door. I stop for a brief second. I breathe. I look down to make sure there is no toilet paper on my shoe. My dress is straight. “OK. This is it,” I tell myself literally out loud. Yep, I have resorted to talking to myself. I am that nervous. Hopefully, no one noticed that. If so, who cares! I am about to kiss Sam. “Oh my God! My breath! Where is my gum? Does my breath smell bad?” Yes, I am having a moment of panic and I stand there rummaging through my purse.

Suddenly, my phone beeps with a text. “I can see you. Get out here! I can’t wait to kiss you. So whatever you are worried about is not real. I can see you already and I know I want to kiss you! Walk through the door,” Sam’s text reads. I laugh and look up. The door is the only thing separating the 20-foot distance between us. And there he is smiling and standing there…waiting for me.

I walk out the door and up to him. We are looking at each other and standing so close I can feel his breath on my face…and it smells good. We just stare into each other’s eyes for a moment. I don’t even know how long even – 10 seconds? 30 seconds? 1 minute? I don’t know, but we just stand there, taking each other in. I gaze into his blue eyes and I know, I am done. I am so done. We smile and then he grabs my face and pulls me to his lips. I immediate drop my bag from my hand and wrap my arms around his shoulders and kiss him back eagerly. He steps back after we have a full, long passionate kiss and says, “Um, hi. Welcome to California.”

I laugh, “Yeah. Hi to you too. That’s the best welcome a state has ever given me. I need to fly more often if this is the reception at airports these days.”

Sam’s eyes laugh and he blushes some. “Let me grab your bag. Oh, and I got you these,” he says as he hands me small bundle of colorful flowers that were down by his feet. I grab the flowers, bring them to my nose and smell, thinking he is so sweet because the bundle has little tiny pink carnations in it. That was the homecoming corsage he got for me decades ago, and we joked about it in one of our recent conversations. I stop and grab his arm. “Sam.”

“What? Is something wrong?” he looks alarmed.

“Oh no. I just wanted to say thank you,” and with that, I lean into him and kiss him on the cheek. “I am so glad I am here.” Relief washes over his face.

“I am too baby. I have been waiting for this day for a long time. Let’s get out of here. I will show you my town, and if you’re lucky, I just may kiss you again,” he teases me.

With the biggest grin on my face, I say, “I kind of have a feeling, I’m lucky. I mean who gets a second chance to kiss their homecoming date, football star, super-hot boyfriend after 25 years!”

“I guess you do my sexy cheerleader. Yeah, you are so getting lucky today” Sam laughs as he grabs me, pulling me into his arms again and kissing me deeply. All the years we spent apart start to fade away as I stand in his embrace. I am 17 and falling in love again, with my whole future ahead of me, but I stop and look up at him seriously.

“Sam. I don’t think we should get too lucky at the airport.” He drops his hands and a boyish grin crosses his face.

“You are absolutely right. If we keep this up, we could end up in jail for the next four days. Let’s go get reacquainted baby doll.” And with that, we exit the airport and head out to wherever this second chance is leading us. Neither one of us knows where that may be, but we sure as hell are not missing the chance to try.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~