Quote #36

I tried to tell trailer trash that I was leaving her to seek help! What did she do? Plotted against me, threw me out like a stinking bag of garbage, then stole everything I owned and threw it away! ... NEVER piss off a dying old man!

Image credit; http://www.pinterest.com

Site obtained from; This didn’t have a site again, I’m sorry.  Full credit to the author!

I’m not sure if I agree with this.  To a certain extent, yes.  On a physical level, you cannot heal where there is contamination.  You can’t heal if there is still sickness all around you, you can’t get any better.  On a mental level, I’m not sure.  If you are mentally sick, you do need to get out of the toxic environment you are in.  But, you can come back even stronger and face that environment.  You can see the whole world differently, and thrive.  But, you just need some help, some quiet healing away from that for a while.  Then you can come out and fight even stronger.

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

My Hero

This one has the most cliche title in the history of the world, but I liked this one.  This short story is actually the first one I ever wrote.  I really like it, it was fun to write the twist.  I also did not win the short story contest on this one either.  Interesting prompt, though.

 

  1. Write a story with an expanded ending — readers are given a glimpse of what happens after the story ends, maybe a couple years or decades into the future.

My Hero

As my tears fall on the photograph one by one at half-past midnight, I reflect on my life.  It has been a good one, I guess. Full of experiences, wonderful people, too. But there is a lot of dark stains on my past and will be in my future, I’m guessing.  I was foolish and naive when I was younger. Indeed, as I look back now, I wonder how I could have been so stupid to expect more.

When I was nineteen years old, done with my first year of college, I met him.

Andy.

My hero.  I had been walking down a street in our small suburb with a cup of steaming coffee in hand, not looking where I was going.  I looked up from my phone when I ran into a stranger. I started to apologize when I saw the look in his eyes. He was a hulking figure, but his eyes frightened me the most.  He looked at me as though he was angry. But I imagined something much more sinister in his mind. My mind was reeling, and I didn’t think I could get away easily. I was trying to remember what to do when another man came up behind me and grabbed my elbow.

I remember vividly that he had said, “Delaney!  I told you to meet me at the next street, did you forget?  Looking at your phone again? No wonder you ran into this gentleman.  I’m so sorry, sir.”

He smiled at the dark stranger, then looked at me.

I looked up (he was very tall) into his handsome face and he took my breath away, even then, when I was terrified out of my wits.  His dark brown eyes were staring at me urgently, and I suddenly remembered where I was.

“I’m sorry, Roland,” I had said, inventing the name on the spot.

He smiled and nodded at the colossal figure and put his arm behind me.  He steered me down the sidewalk, to the next street over, and into a small bookstore.  There, in the shadow of the Fiction shelves, he held me while I quietly cried out my shock and relief.

After I had calmed down a bit, I started to feel embarrassed.  I thanked him over and over again, until he finally put up his hands.

“Miss,” he said, “it’s all right.  You don’t need to thank me. I saw you needed help and I helped.”

I started to say something, maybe that I did need to thank him, when he shoved his hands in his pockets and looked at me with a hesitant smile.

“But,” he said cautiously, “while we’re here, would you like to go out to lunch?”

From that moment on, we kept in touch.  He lived in the city, like me. We eventually kissed a week from that fateful night we met and became a couple.  My college girlfriends were in awe that I could find a good and “cute” guy just like that. But I wasn’t surprised.  I knew that no matter what, we would’ve met at some point. It was fate.

We were matched perfectly for each other.  Where I had a temper, he was calm and collected.  While I was terrible at cooking, he was a master. While I was a bookworm, he was happy to discuss the scenes with me.  While I was not a sports-fanatic, he enjoyed the games once in a while, but did not obsess over them. We were both content with silence, though we enjoyed each other’s presence too much to remain quiet for very long.  I loved Andy with all my heart.

But he had a dream.

Andy had a dream to join the military.  And as much as I loved him, I was filled with horror when he confessed his lifelong dream to me.  His father had been in the Marines, and Andy wanted to make him proud and do the same thing.

I thought that he would not truly think about joining the military, and I eventually forgot about it.  We fell deeply in love. I could not think without thinking about him. There was times when I wondered how I could have found him, how I could have such a thoughtful person.  I found most people at my age then, twenty, to be immature and careless. But Andy was a refreshing break from them all.

We were married in November of 2009.  We were both 21. We knew it was a quick engagement, as we had only known each other for about a year, but my parents took it surprisingly well.  As I walked down the aisle on my father’s arm, I looked at no one but Andy. His face shown with happiness, and I remember thinking that there was no one luckier.

Everything about my story sounds cliche and typical.  Nothing special. But one thing I noticed a few years into our blessed marriage was how many divorces were happening.  No less than five of my college friends divorced within two years of their marriages. Because of arguments, money problems, one could not have children, lack of communication, or just because they were not ready for the commitment of marriage.  Being a Christian, I took this news with horror. It seemed terrible to me, and I worried a couple nights that it might happen to Andy and I.

But I needn’t have worried.  Andy and I were married for five years without anything wrong happening.  It seemed like we were on a permanent honeymoon. Every time he called to me through the house, I got butterflies.  To this day, I get them when I think of Andy.

Around 2014, Andy told me that he had decided to pursue his dream.  When he told me those words, my body froze. I couldn’t move a muscle.  I recalled with horror what I had recently heard on the news, that some soldiers had been involved in fighting in Ukraine and many had died.

I shook my head to clear it and was brought back to earth.  Andy had wrapped his hands around my shoulders. How strange, I thought, I hadn’t felt them.

He asked me over and over if I was okay.  I finally responded a minute later.

“No.”

Once I got over the shock, Andy told me more details.  I struggled to maintain a poker face so as not to upset him.  He told me that he was still planning to be in the Marines, and that he’d only employ for a couple years.  He didn’t plan on being the “army dad” when we had children, he had said with a faint, teasing smile. That sentence made hope blossom in my chest more than anything had ever before.

That sentence made it possible for me to go through the weeks he spent researching and contacting people.  When he finally got his airplane ticket, I sobbed uncontrollably for an hour. I packed his suitcase using his direction, my vision still slightly blurry.  I drove him to the airport as he left for the army base.

“Don’t worry.” he had told me with a confident grin and a sparkle in his dark eyes.  “I’ll be home before you know it. I get leave during the summer, remember?”

I kissed him before his plane left, and I had to stay in the city for a while to cry myself out so I wouldn’t be a danger to others on the road.  I stayed there, crying in a bathroom stall, for about two hours until I pronounced myself safe.

I drove home and barely made it before midnight.  I stayed in the house the next day, trying not to think of anything but Andy’s promise.

The year that Andy had gone passed by so slowly, I wondered if someone had bewitched time to slow down.  When September of 2015 finally came, I drove to the airport to wait. When I finally saw him, I ran to him and almost knocked him over.  I kissed him for a long time, afraid that if I let go he would disappear again.

We got home and I spent a month with the love of my life.  He talked little about his time in the military, knowing that it would only terrify me.  What he did say, I knew he was only saying what he knew wouldn’t make me have another panic attack.  I sensed the meaning behind his flippant words, and I knew it was harder than he thought. He had seen things that I couldn’t imagine, and I understood that.

When Andy left again, I cried even harder than the first time.  I missed him so much that every cell in my body ached. I couldn’t imagine that he was going to be gone for a whole year.  I waited anxiously for September of 2016.

But, when I waited with building anxiety at the airport, my beloved Andy did not step off that plane.  The weather seemed to mimic my mood, pouring rain on the windshield the whole time I drove home, fighting torrents of tears.  When I arrived home, I found a person sitting on my porch bench, waiting for me, I assumed.

“Mrs. Davis?” he said, standing up.

“Yes?” It came out like a question.  I stood at full attention, waiting for any news of my Andy.

“I’m sorry to tell you, but your husband, Mr. Davis, went missing in the Pacific four hours ago.” I realized this was a death notifier, telling me that my Andy would never come home, that we would never have children.  He couldn’t keep his promise.

I nodded.

“Mrs. Davis?” the notifier said.  I turned, already fighting tears. “I’m very sorry.  I knew Andy and he was one of the best people I’ve ever known.”

I nodded once more.  I went inside my house and closed the door.

I then released the creature clawing its way out of my throat and into the room now filled with melancholy.

 

Three Years Later….

 

It’s been a while since Andy died, and I still think of him.  I haven’t even started dating, though I doubt I ever will. It’s a hard thing to contemplate, that I won’t ever see him smile, see him laugh, see him look at me with that sparkle in his eyes.  But, I realized that night when the notifier came to my front door, that the memories are the same. I still love Andy more than anyone or anything. It’s just that he’s gone away for a while. And I’ll see him when I die.

Even though I look healed on the outside and to my friends, I still cry when I take out the box of his pictures.  There are so many, some from our college days, some from our wedding, some from hanging out with friends at a dinner.  All of them cause some pain and some happiness somewhere in my heart.

But I don’t know how to take it anymore, I think, as my tears fall on the photograph one by one at half past midnight.  I just want it to be over, this pain that never seems to fade. But I must bring this upon myself, I think. I keep staying in the small, old house that Andy and I bought together.

I’m startled by a loud knock on the front door.  I jump up, wiping my tears, and head slowly to the door.

I open it, wondering who would come in this weather at this hour.

I look out, and I see him.

Andy.

His brown hair is wet and dripping, his eyes sparkling just for me, his smile melting the inside of my heart.  My mind reels, both jumping in with two feet to accept that this is real, but the logical part of me is saying that this can’t be true.

As I run forward and wrap my arms around him, he disappears.

I look all around me in a panic.  It slowly dawns on me that he may not have been there at all.

 

Sorry!  I had to twist it!  My friends were insanely mad at me when they read this short story….  I have to say, I like being the evil author.  The one that everyone hates but loves.  >:)

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

The Land of Blood and Shadows

This one is hardcore fantasy, but I like it.  It’s creepy and cool, I enjoyed writing it!

 

Land of Blood and Shadows

I was not always the hunted; I used to be the hunter.  I was a wondrous creature. I could stalk someone so silently, then wind stood still.  The night disguised me, shadows helped me stay anonymous. They bent to my will, making me the most feared criminal in all of Bloodcaster.  I had no regrets. If the rulers of this wretched city weren’t going to do anything, then I could. I did.

But, I contradict myself, I do have a regret.  For my whole life I have been without a companion.  I have been a lone wolf for most of my life, and I admit, it has been getting to me.  I imagine it must be nice to come to a warm home, call out to your mate, have them answer cheerfully, happy that you’re home.

No one is happy to see me.  I have no one to call out my name with joy, with love, with the tenderness that only two mates can have.

I shrug to myself.  I don’t need anyone, I tell myself.

But the memories come without a call, though I try to suppress them.  They will break through my wall eventually, I think, so I might as well as get them over with.

 

Two Years Earlier….

 

I was the daughter of one of the rulers of Bloodcaster.  Perhaps the thing that had sparked my rebellion against my father was his nonchalance.  When people came into his office to report the dead, he shrugged them off, saying it was less mouths to feed.  I remember seeing red as I yelled at him that he had no sense of pride, of compassion, the coward. I still feel a growl growing in my throat when I think of the vile man.

After my rebellion, when I was about eighteen, I made it my mission to be the lone “police” of Bloodcaster.  I researched and read newspapers, trying to separate the wicked from the innocent. I learned much about myself in those two years I worked alone.

I was the stealthiest and best tracker in all of Bloodcaster.  I could move so silently animals could not hear me, even with their improved hearing.  I practiced for hours, so I could sneak up on my prey and kill them quickly. I trained with knives, scythes, bow and arrows, clubs, and everything else I could access.

As I said, my “job” lasted for two years.  To my intense pleasure, crime in Bloodcaster decreased greatly.  People were afraid to kill or steal, for fear of the “Silent Shadow,” as they called me.

I still remember the first time I saw him, and he saw me.

I had just finished another job, and I walked down the alley, pulling back the hood I always wore to protect my identity.  But he saw me. I remember the thoughts rushing through my head. Will he tell? Does he know who I am? Is this the end.

But he didn’t look afraid, something that I had never seen before.  I always inspired terror, sometimes pleading. I never spoke, because I knew that technology had increased.  People with high-tech gadgets could recognize my voice.

But he smiled at me.  He walked close to me, and he began to talk.

“I saw you.” he said, still smiling. “Our house was being robbed, and you stopped it.  I don’t believe you’re what the newspapers say. You don’t kill the innocent.”

I stood stunned.  I remembered what he was talking about.  I had been walking down the street when I saw someone shooting the lock on a door.  I pulled up my hood, and crouched down behind some bushes. I shot the man in the back of the head.  He dropped like a stone, and did not move again. I waited until morning when someone came out of the door to scream and move the body.  I remember now the young boy looking at my eyes accidentally, and I was certain that he had seen me. But he looked away and helped his mother back into the house and into a chair, I hope.

I came back to reality with a start.  He was holding out his hand to me, a gesture of friendship.  I hesitated for a long moment, but he still did not put his hand down.  I shook, certain that he would keep my secret.

We talked then, and I fell in love.  I would never admit this to him, because he regarded me as nothing more than someone to admire.  I could also never settle down with him, for I moved around frequently with my “job.” I was destined to die alone, most likely in a prison cell.  I didn’t see him much, but when I did, he was always so wonderful. He worried about me every time I left. I told him that no one would ever catch me.  I was too good for them.

By that time, my father had heard of the Silent Shadow.  He sent out his personal guard to catch me. I found the guards comical.  They were so loud, I wondered how they stood it. But I had come to realize a long time ago that I had powers outside of the normal human being.  When I hunted, I let myself go and I shone like a star. Every move was executed perfectly. Until that fateful night.

I squeeze my eyes shut every time I think of it.  I had gone to see him. We were walking and I was thinking very hard about how to tell him that we could never work out as a couple, as he had been too-casually hinting about it tonight.  I was too dangerous, my lifestyle was too dangerous.

But one of my father’s soldiers caught me off-guard.  I tried to escape, as I had many times, but he got in the way, trying to protect me.  My blade meant for the soldier went through him like he was made of paper. I remember his shocked expression, his scorching words that burned me from the inside out.

“You did this.” he said to me.

I dropped beside him, the knife falling out of my hand.  All thoughts of self-preservation were gone. I kneeled next to him, whispering that I loved him, that I was sorry.

When the soldier hauled me to my feet, I didn’t even try to think of a way to escape.  I was burned with grief and sorrow, hating myself for what I had done.

I was brought to this prison cell after my trial, which was just for show at that point.  I am currently waiting here to die.

Someone opens the door.  I get up with they drag my arm and they walk me into a drab room, one that speaks ominously of death to me.

I expect there to be some sort of ceremony, but Bloodcaster is past the point of caring.  I feel a needle in my arm, and I inhale sharply out of instinct. I don’t even try to fight the blackness that falls over me.  But it is a good thing, this permanent unconsciousness. The blackness is comforting and cool, letting me wander away from my thoughts forever.

 

This creepy tale is one of my favorites, hope you enjoy!

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

A Story of Modern Letters

I also wrote this one to a prompt.  I didn’t win the contest, but I loved writing this one.

  1. Write a story that sets the stage through letters between two people.

A Story of Modern Letters

September 25, 2018

9:19 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

I miss u. its been a whole month since I saw u. can u please just answer me once? I need to know if ur okay. I know that the hospital will let you have ur phone and contact people. Maybe u don’t want to talk to me, but I want to know ur okay.

Max

September 26, 2018

4:16 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

I’m okay, Max.  But I told you not to contact me.  I am still recovering, and I need some time.  Please just give me some space. I will tell you that I’m getting out in October.  Don’t worry about me.

Anastasia

September 26, 2018

5:00 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

Thank god ur okay.  I know that u told me not to talk to u, but I can’t help it.  I still love u, Anastasia. I miss u so much; people are asking what happened to u.  I don’t want to say anything, but I can’t do this.

Max

September 26, 2018

6:00 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

I know, I miss you, too.  But it hurts so much to think about you.  It’s getting easier, I think, through these emails, I guess.  And I told you, what happened wasn’t your fault, it was mine. It was my choice to do that I did.  Just calm down. I’ll be back at school in October, no matter what. I promise.

Anastasia

September 26, 2018

7:37 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

Can we keep emailing if this makes it easier? its so hard not seeing you in school.. October seems so far away. but if you promise to keep writing itll make it easier for me.  Plz? Also, it is my fault that everything happened. if i had noticed earlier, then I could have prevented it

Max

September 26, 2018

7:50 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

I guess we can keep emailing, if it makes you feel better.  But Max, it was not your fault. I’ve told you a million times, it was my fault!  I made some stupid choices, and I am paying for that. You can’t blame yourself because you didn’t notice.  I made it a point that people couldn’t notice. Please don’t feel bad for that. You were always there for me, and I’m thankful for you.

Anastasia

September 26, 2018

7:59 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

It IS my fault! Damn it Anastasia if i had noticed you wouldnt be in the freaking hospital right now!  Its always my damn fault im such a terrible person. I was ur boyfriend, i was supposed to make u feel better and make sure u were happy. i should have noticed how UNhappy you were. I should have noticed that u were afraid to go to school everyday because u were bullied!  i should have stood up for u! i was a terrible boyfriend so I can see y u didnt want to talk to me anymore

Max

September 26, 2018

8:10 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

Max, I didn’t get myself into the hospital because of you.  I made sure that people didn’t notice I was cutting, I covered my scars up so no one would know.  I made sure that you never saw me without a smile. And that wasn’t too hard when I was with you, because you can make me smile when I’m about to break down and cry.  Even now, even through digital screens when we’re miles away, you still make me happy. When I tried to commit suicide, the hardest part was thinking about how upset you’d be.  But I told myself that you’d be okay, because you didn’t need me. Max, through everything, you were my golden ray of sunshine, everyday, who I could count on. You made my life amazing, even through my Dark Ages.  I was in a lot of pain, mentally, and every time I was with you, I could forget all about that. You couldn’t have noticed I was bullied, we had almost no classes together. The classes we were together, no one dared bully me, because they were scared of you.  Max, I love you. Please don’t blame yourself, you were a perfect boyfriend.

Love, Anastasia

September 26, 2018

8:30 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

I love u, too, Anastasia.  I love ur smile, ur laugh, and u were amazing.  I love ur quirkiness, ur r so weird. Y on earth would u try to take urself out of my world when u r the most amazing person on this world?

Max

September 26, 2018

9:03 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

I tried to kill myself because I thought I was worthless.  I would cut because I thought no one liked me. You were the only one who saw my weirdness as something to admire.  Every night I would think about how worthless I was, what my purpose in life was. I never could figure out the answer.  I would overthink everything you said to me each day, trying to figure out if you loved me or not. My thoughts are like tornados, sweeping me up.  They never stopped, making the chaos and noise in my head deafening. One day I couldn’t take it and decided that I wasn’t meant for this world. I took those pills with an intent to kill.  My one regret was you, Max. I knew that you’d blame yourself, but I back then I thought that you didn’t love me. My death wouldn’t kill you, too. You’d be just fine without me.

Love, Anastasia

September 26, 2018

9:26 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

If u had died that day I don’t know what I wouldve done. Died, maybe. Idk. when ur mom called me with the news that you had tried to take ur life away with overdose, I couldnt breathe.  She told me she found out youd been cutting for a long time, and I blamed myself instantly for not noticeing. i had no idea u didnt know I loved u so much. I wouldve told u everyday if I had known. can u tell me the address of the hospital?

Max

September 26, 2018

9:38 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

876 Elm Street

St. Gredin, NE 68710

Why?

Love, Anastasia

September 26, 2018

9:43 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

Im coming to see you when the hospital opens. i want to see ur beautiful face again. is that okay?

Max

September 26, 2018

9:58 P.M.

To <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

From <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

Dear Max,

Yes!!  Come at 8:30 in the morning, that’s when the hospital opens.  Max, I love you more than anything!

Love, Anastasia

September 26, 2018

10:10 P.M.

To <justagirlinthisworld2023@gmail.com>

From <maxthebasketballstar2004@gmail.com>

Dear Anastasia,

I love you more than the whole world put together.  See you tomorrow, my beautiful princess.

Love, Max

 

Anastasia….

The morning after our email conversation, I was a little more than slightly nervous.  It’s one thing to talk to someone on screens, but a whole other thing to see them in person.

I wondered what he would think of me, what I knew everyone must have been thinking of me.  “Oh, look, it’s the girl who tried to commit suicide. Hope you feel better! Attention seeker….” I knew that people would look at me and whisper about me behind their hands.  I knew that they would point and gossip after I left. But, I deserved that, I guess. That’s about the only thing I did deserve.

Although, I didn’t think that Max would treat me any differently.  I loved him when we were together in school, he was my everything. I loved him more than I loved air.  He was the only one who saw me as me, who saw all my faults as beautiful things. Max was different from other guys I knew, he was more thoughtful.  All other guys I knew were just focused on the present, on making people laugh, flirting, and enjoying themselves with being ornery. Max was popular enough in our school, he was just a little more quiet, more content to sit silent, listen, and observe.

My stomach gave way to butterflies when I noticed the time; 8:00 A.M.  Max would be here any minute.

I was surprised when he walked through the door just five minutes later; he must have driven over the speed limit the whole way.

He stopped short and looked at me; at the same time, I took a lingering look at him, scrutinizing his expression.  His light chocolate hair was slightly damp, probably from the rain outside. His jawline was more sharp than I remembered.  His eyes, dark dark brown, stared at me for a long moment. It seemed like he couldn’t look away. There was nothing accusing me in his eyes, instead some other intense feeling I couldn’t quite put my finger on.

I came to my senses soon after and tried to get up off the bed.

“Max!” I cried, overjoyed even though I knew that we weren’t really together anymore.  No doubt he wouldn’t want to be with me, I’d hurt him too much.

He rushed to my side and pushed me back on the bed.  I tried to resist, but I was still to weak to do much of anything.  Once I was seated again, I reached up and wrapped my arms around his neck, pulling him to me.  I didn’t care if this was going to hurt again when I was alone, or if I had more nightmares because of this.  I was going to hurt anyways, I might as well do it thoroughly.

While I was thinking this, Max wrapped his arms around me as well, surprising me.  He buried his face into my hair and neck, whispering something I couldn’t hear.

We stayed like that for what seemed to be hours.  He had to pull away first, but when he met my eyes, I knew that he didn’t really like the idea of that, either.

“Anastasia,” he said in his deep, beautiful voice, “you will never do that to me again.  Understand?”

His eyes were so serious, it hurt.  It hurt even more to think about all the pain I’d put him through.

“I promise, Max,” I said, just as serious as him.

He sat me back down on the bed, and he sat in the chair next to me.  We talked of casual subjects for while, like school, class drama, hospital cafeteria food, etc.  I was surprised at how easy it still was to talk to him, even through everything.

“So,” Max said, “are we going to talk about everything?”

My heart started beating more quickly than what was necessary.  So, we were finally at this part, huh?

I swallowed. “I made some bad choices, but I’m better now.”

Max raised his eyebrows. “That’s not exactly what I was talking about.  Although, that does have a major role.”

I frowned, beyond confused.

“Anastasia, do you still love me?” Max said, his eyes burning into mine.

I was staring back at him so hard that it took me more than a few seconds to answer. “Of course, I do.  Max, I never stopped loving you.”

He grinned the brightest smile I’ve ever seen. “Good.  That means that you’re still mine.”

I grinned back at him, happy that he was mine, too.  How could I be so lucky?  I had always wondered how a broken person like me could ever deserve someone such as Max.  But I was glad that I somehow got him, because I was never going to let him go again.

 

I liked this story a lot!  I loved writing the emails, especially when I got to be sloppy and type incorrectly. 🙂

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

Two Years Silent

So I wrote this short story about the writing prompt below.  I entered it into a short story contest, and I’m still waiting to hear back from them.  I’ll update in the comments if I won or not.

 

  1. Write a story about an author who has just started writing again for the first time in a couple of years.

Two Years Silent

I draw a deep breath as I stare at the blank page on the computer screen.  

“This is it,” I think to myself.  “Today’s the day my life finally starts again.”

My hands start shaking as I put my fingers on the worn, familiar keys.  Everything about this is just so comfortable to me. The white screen, my hair up in a messy bun, sweatpants and a jacket, the words slowly making a sentence, a paragraph, a page, a story.  Everything is perfect about this. But is it, really? This depression I’ve been in had gotten better after everything, but now it’s ever worse. How could it get better now? Am I doomed for endless melancholy?

I start typing.

I stare at the small, but large, world outside the airplane window.  I’m finally landing in Florida, where I will live the rest of my life.  The cylinder shaped bronze and silver buildings look like stacks of coins, the little cars like children’s toys.  The millions of small home pools like a small aquamarine dots on the surface of the green earth….

I withdraw my hands.

“UGH!” I shout in my head.

I haven’t been able to write for about two years.  How could I, when….

“No.  I can do this,” I tell myself, breathing deeply again.  “I was strong enough to make it through everything, I can write a short story for the thousands of viewers still waiting to hear something from you.  No pressure, no pressure at all….”

I give my head a little shake, and I wonder what I need right now.  Meditation? Relaxing massage? A little reading time? Some music?

But the answer comes to me, and I’m just tired of fighting it all.  I always knew that at some point I’d have to think about everything.  I can’t just ignore it forever. And this writer’s block is only going to get worse.

I stare at the little part of my reflection I can see on the computer screen.  Long, fiery-dyed hair, bright blue eyes, light skin, and black glasses. I’ve changed so much over the years, I’m hardly recognizable.  But I’m me, and I need to get back to being me, not the person that everyone thinks I should be.

As the memories consume me, I’m glad for a second.  I’m finally on the road to recovery. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s the right thing. I close my eyes….

I stare at the wall of rain outside the window.

“What have I done?” I think to myself as the rain pours down from the heavens.

My guilt is endless, I can’t get rid of it.  People say that the grief and guilt fades into something sweeter, into memories.  But not for me. This is forever, I’m doomed to this misery forever. I can’t deny it, I was always destined for pain.  I deserve it.

I open my eyes, gasping through tears that I didn’t know I was crying.  I shake with sobs for another couple minutes, until I calm down. Even though this time will be more painful, I close my eyes again….

As I raise the blade over my wrist, I think to myself, “This is good for everyone.”

I cut myself over and over, the sink starting to turn red.  I am so consumed by my own destruction, that I don’t even notice when the bathroom door slams open.  I hear a terrible scream, and feel the knife wrenched out of my grasp.

“It’s over, it’s finally over,” is the last thing I think as the world fades into an inky black.

I open my eyes, surprised to feel nothing.  No pain, no anger, no grief. Nothing. Just a sense that something has been lifted from within me, something that has been weighing me down for a long time.

I take yet another deep breath, and pull back my jacket sleeve.

The scars are still there, angrily accusing me.  But I don’t feel their sting anymore, they seem to be fading a little.  Healing, just like I am. My eyes close of their own accord this time….

The darkness surrounds me, wrapping me up in a blanket of stars, keeping me safe from the evil world out there.

But through the comforting darkness, a terrible voice.

“Einmana!” the voice cried out, sounding as though it was in a desperate pain. “Please!  Don’t leave me!”

The voice faded away, leaving me alone with the darkness.  But in the darkness, a blinding white crack. I knew, somehow, that the crack in the darkness was reality.  It was the way to escape the darkness and go back to the real world, back to the voice. Should I go back? I was never wanted there, though.

“But,” I argued with myself, “that voice says something differently.  You are wanted, didn’t you hear them? That was the sound of the most tangible human pain.”

Maybe I was wanted.  Maybe I had a purpose in life.

As the darkness retreated a little, I was able to think properly.  I thought about everything that I loved. Fresh coffee, the breeze through the trees as I sat outside, my best friend, Annabelle, reading while listening to the rain outside, and my boyfriend, Alexander….  Every time I thought about something new that makes life worthwhile, the crack in the darkness widened. The crack soon consumed the darkness, making the pain I had been starting to feel alive and within me.

I opened my eyes and found a white room with white walls, a white bed, and white curtains.  Someone was in the white chair beside my bed, making the strangest of noises.

“Alexander?” I asked softly.

The person jumped about a foot in the air and looked at me with red eyes.

“Einmana?” he cried, hopping out of the chair. “You’re awake!”

“Of course I am, silly.” I said, realizing just how much I loved him. “Did you really think I’d leave you?”

Alex broke into the biggest smile I’d ever seen.  He leaned down and kissed me, slowly and carefully, as if I was made out of the most fragile glass.

“Oh, Einmana,” he said as he pulled away from me, his face crumpling into a frown. “How could you do this?”

I smiled sadly.  I smiled because I was just comprehending that I really did belong here.  I belong in this world. I belong because I have a purpose, why else did that crack of dazzling light bring me back?  But it was a sad smile because of how much pain I had caused.

“Oh, Alex,” I said sadly.  “I was in a terrible state.  I’m so sorry to have caused you so much pain.  I didn’t realize that I belong here, that I should be here.  I thought myself worthless, but I’m not, I see everything so much clearer now.  I won’t ever try and leave this place again, I promise.”

He smiled, although it was also a little sad.  I was glad to see that he believed my promise, though.  He really did, he really did.

I open my eyes.  My breathing is deep and loud, and I’m surprised to see the current Alexander standing right in front of me.  His eyes are wide, his curly blonde hair tousled from sleep. His face is terrified, and he’s shaking me desperately.

“Einmana!” he cries.  “Are you okay? What’s happened?  Do you need to go to the hospital?”

I grin at him so brilliantly, he stops shaking me and looks even more panicked.

“Einmana?” he asks again, his voice a little higher than usual. “Are you okay?  Please!  Talk to me!”

I keep grinning, then through myself at him and kiss him.  I can feel the surprise in him, but he soon melts into my tight embrace, kissing me back just as fierce.

He has to pull away hard to make me let go of his face.

“Einmana?” he asks yet again, although much calmer than before. “What’s happening?”

“Alex!” I say, the first time I’ve spoken in two years, “I love you!”

 

I liked writing this short story, I liked the twist at the end.  Bet you didn’t see the hint in the title?  Interesting prompt, but a good one.

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

White Grave Wedding Dress

I’ve recently been getting into writing short stories.  I love it so much!  This one is my favorite, and by far my best.  Side note; the bet inside the story is true.  I made the exact same bet with my sister.  I hope you enjoy my short story!

White Grave Wedding Dress

As I sneaked into my girlfriend’s apartment that evening, I was a little more than a little nervous.  I had been thinking about this night for more than a month, planning out every single detail. Everything HAD to be perfect.  A few days before, I could hardly eat. Wild thoughts raced through my head when I was trying to sleep at night. What if she says no?  What if she doesn’t feel the same as I do? Will she break up with me? Will my heart ever heal again if she does?

For I was planning on proposing to her that night.

Asena and I met when we were in 6th grade.  I had always noticed her, how could I not? Even in 6th grade, I knew she was beautiful.  Her long auburn hair hung to her waist when she left it down. Her eyes were hard and calculating when she was on edge, but when she was comfortable they were warm and light.  She hardly spoke to anyone, only to her best friend, Via. Even in class, she didn’t like to speak. Everyone knew she was smart, but she just didn’t let on much. Everyone in our class noticed her, but I doubt anyone noticed her as much as I did.

Despite my attraction to Asena, we didn’t really start talking until high school started. Over that summer, she had changed, grown into herself.  She was more beautiful than ever. I was still too afraid to talk to her, for fear she would shut me down. But it was my love for music that enabled me an excuse to talk to her.

I loved music, it fascinated me.  Classical music by Beethoven and Bach, but also modern music.  When I was at home, I’d just listen to music for hours, hearing the blend of voices, the background beat, and piano, guitar, or whatever instrument I could hear.

I took the choir class, trying it for the first time.  My elementary music teacher told me I had a good voice.  I couldn’t be sure, as I had never really sang in front of her.  In elementary, you don’t really care that much about music, you never really sing, either, you just kind of mumble and hope that your teacher won’t yell at you after the concert.  Anyways, I was eager to start.

Asena and I started talking when I noticed how wonderful her voice was.  I asked her about her preferences in music, and we just started hanging out.  We’d go over to my house and listen to some new music I’d found. When she concentrated on the music, it looked like she was trying to set fire to the carpet with her eyes.

We didn’t start dating until the summer before sophomore year, when we’d started to spend the most time together.  We went to the park together, just as friends, to just listen to the sounds and feel the breeze. But the best time that summer was when I took her to her first concert.  When I saw the ads, I started saving up. Asena’s favorite band, Careless Rain, was playing. I knew that she had never been to a concert, and I knew that she would have the time of her life.

When I finally presented her with the tickets, she just looked at them for a long moment.  My heart was beating so loud, I worried that she would just cast them away. Before I knew what was happening, she leapt at me and hugged me, for the first time, so tight it was hard to breathe.  But I didn’t care, I didn’t care.

At the concert, she just closed her eyes during the first song.  I don’t think she even noticed how hard she was grinning. She was completely lost in the music.  To this day, I’ve never seen anything more beautiful. After the first song, she opened her eyes and looked at me with bright eyes and an even brighter smile.

“Thank you,” she said to me, and hugged me, more gently than that first time.  I hugged her back hesitantly.

She let go of me, and lost herself in the music again.  When the concert was over, I drove her home. I walked her up to the front door, but she didn’t open it and go inside, like usual.  She stood in front of me, just looking into my eyes. I couldn’t move. She moved closer to me, and kissed me.

We became a couple soon after that night.  Asena had been hiding so much of her personal life from me.  After we started dating, she told me more about her family than I would have ever guessed.  Her father left her mother when Asena was only three years old. Her mother had a drinking problem for most of Asena’s childhood, although she was getting better.

Asena also told me that she had been enslaved by her thoughts for a while in junior high.  She couldn’t control her thoughts, she had been depressed. She told me that sometimes she would get home and cry for hours.  Soon after she told me this, I had been so angry at her stubbornness. Why didn’t she get help? But I knew, she was too prideful to admit she couldn’t do it alone.

During high school, I started saving up for my future, I got a job working as a farmhand on weekends during school and every other day during the summer.  I didn’t know then quite what I was saving for, but I would know in a few more years.

After we graduated high school, we went to the same college, quite by accident.  I had been looking at Martinez University for a long time, because of its excellent music program.  I could learn about the music industry, mostly about digital music production. I decided to get a degree in media planning in marketing.  We got quite a few scholarships between the two of us.

Asena went to Martinez University to also learn about music, mostly vocal and instrumental music, and get a degree in therapy and journalism.  She had always wanted to help young people overcome mental issues like anxiety and depression. She would be perfect for her job, either therapy or journalism.  She would also fit the music business, her voice was so beautiful.

College was amazing, I met a lot of new people.  My dorm roommate, Derik, was one of the best people I’ve ever met.  Asena’s roommate, Renna, was also a great person. Renna really helped Asena overcome some of her shyness in front of large groups of people.

After college, Asena and I each bought an apartment, even though I was secretly planning to propose by this time.  Asena got a job at the local newspaper, and she was making pretty good money. Her employers loved the way she wrote, how she related to every person who read her articles.  I also got a job working as a media planner.

Which leads me here, where the story began.  Sneaking into my girlfriend’s apartment, laying everything out with my hands shaking.

I had no idea what to do for my proposal for Asena.  Instead of putting out the cliché rose petals, I used dozens of bouquets she had pointed out to me in her favorite flower shop.  They were a mixture of Vendela roses, Dusty Millers, Anemone, White Ranunculus, Blue Thistle, and Silver Brunia. When all the flowers were laid out, all thanks to Renna, I set out the speakers in the hallway.  I was planning on playing, “Like An Angel” by Careless Rain, as it was Asena’s favorite song.

The rest of the setup was a blur, I’m surprised I made it through without collapsing from nerves.  Renna was the one who made everything go correctly. I vaguely remember Derik stopping by and helping, but I can’t be sure.

“Can I see the ring before I go?” Renna asked me.

I wordlessly pulled out the small box, and handed it to her.  She gasped when she opened it. I admit, it is a beautiful ring.  It was silver, the top molded into a rose shape. In the center, a beautiful diamond resided.  The sides were twisted with the tiniest of diamonds on them. Asena would love it.

The clearest memory was when I heard the front door’s lock turning, and I knew that it was Asena.  I raced to the bedroom, where I would put my heart out on the line, where it could get hurt. I pushed “play” on my phone, and heard the quiet music start.  In my mind, I imagined Asena seeing the white envelope, taking out the letter and reading it with the concentration I loved to see on her.

As the doorknob turned slowly, my heart jumped into my throat.  I tried to swallow.

Asena walked into the room and stopped in her tracks when she saw me.  We stared at each other for a solid thirty seconds. I then came to my senses and slid off the bed to stand before her.  I looked into her gray eyes and forgot what I was supposed to say. So I improvised.

“Asena,” I said in a quiet voice. “I love you.  I have loved you since we became friends in high school.  I still can’t believe that I’m lucky enough to call you mine.  But you’re not completely mine, yet.”

I sank onto one knee and pulled out the small velvet box.  I opened it slowly.

“Asena Jackleen Linz,” I said, still staring into her eyes. “Will you make me the happiest man in the world?  Will you marry me?”

For about a minute, Asena just stared at me.  Then, to my surprise, she also dropped onto one knee.

“Will,” she said in her melodious voice. “I love you, too.  I have ever since that first concert with you. You’ve proved to me countless times that you are a great man, and I sincerely believe that.  I will always be yours, no matter what.”

She put her hands on my frozen ones around the small box.

“William Daniel Thomason,” she said. “Will you make me the luckiest girl in the world?  Will you marry me?”

I stared at her, wondering how a person could surprise me so much.

“Of course, Asena,” I said, my eyes never leaving hers. “I love you.”

“Then, yes to your question, as well,” she said.

I slid the beautiful ring on her finger.  She watched my hands, mesmerized. I kissed her, hardly believing my luck.

She pulled back and hugged me.

“Oh, Will,” she said. “Meira won the bet.”

For a moment, I didn’t say anything.  I was sure that I’d heard wrong.

“Come again?” I asked, pulling away to look her in the eyes.

She smiled the saddest smile I’ve ever seen. “Meira, my sister.  She won the bet.”

My brain reeled.  A sister? In the near ten years I’d known Asena, she’d never mentioned a sister.

“I didn’t know you had a sister,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

“I didn’t,” she said, further confusing me.  Until I heard her continue, “I had two.”

Soon after these bewildering confessions, Asena led me to her car and drove us out of town.  She wouldn’t tell me where she was taking me, only that I’d understand soon. We came to a small piece of land surrounded by a white fence, with many trees around it.  I saw the headstones, the flowers, the words written on each stone. Oh.

Asena got out, and started walking to the middle of the graveyard.  I caught up to her and held her hand. She squeezed my hand, as though reassured herself I was really there.  She walked down about ten rows, then turned right and continued for five more stones. She stopped in front of two graves, side by side.

One grave read,

Here lies

Vanya Mirella Linz.

Birth; December 10, 2004

Death; December 16, 2014

“Your spirit goes on while your body is left behind.”

The other grave read,

Here lies

Meira Evette Linz

Birth; June 13, 2000

Death; July 6, 2014

“Keep up your happiness, it’s the only thing keeping you here.”

I was shocked.  How could Asena not tell me that she had two deceased sisters?  That seemed like something that you should tell your significant other.

I was too busy with my wild thoughts to notice that Asena had fallen onto her knees and put her face in her hands.  I sank down beside her instantly, and put my arms around her.

She gasped and took her hands away.  She touched Vanya’s grave, then Meira’s.  Tears were falling down her face like a rain shower.  She didn’t seem to notice.

“Meira and Vanya were my sisters,” Asena said.  “They were the happiest and sweetest girls I’ve ever met.  Vanya died of cancer when she was ten. Meira died in a car accident when she was fourteen.  Before she died, Meira and I made a bet. Meira bet me $10 that I would get married. I agreed, saying that I wouldn’t.  I said that even if she died, I would put $10 on her grave. Of course, I never dreamed she would die so young.”

“Asena,” I said, speaking for the first time since entering the graveyard. “How could you not tell me something as important as this?”

My voice was not harsh or angry, as I wasn’t angry, but Asena flinched. “I didn’t want people looking at me like I was a kicked puppy.  The poor girl with two dead sisters. I meant to tell you once we started dating, so many times. But I could never get the words out. You’re the first person I’ve ever told about them.  It’s so hard to talk about, even now.”

She turned her eyes away from the graves to look at me beseechingly. “I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you, Will.”

I looked into her eyes and saw a still-raw pain.

“Asena, I know this has been hard for you.  I forgive you. But they would be proud of you.  I know they would, you’re amazing,” I said, meaning every word.

“Thank you, Will,” she said, leaning into me. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

We sat there for a long time after that, just sitting there, not even talking.  When we finally left, we went to Asena’s apartment and laid on the couch together.

Several months later, the wedding was finally starting.  I was so nervous, especially when Renna evicted me from the room so she could dress Asena up.  Who thought of the rule that the groom can’t see the bride before the wedding?

When I saw Asena walking down the aisle, my nerves were gone.  I knew that my life was starting, that it was going to be wonderful.  All because of that beautiful woman walking towards me, in a pure white wedding dress.  I knew, and I was right. My life has never been better.

I hope you enjoyed my first published short story!  Thank you for reading!

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker

Quote #35

start where you are, use what you have, do what you can. motivational quote, words of wisdom, quotes about self care, quotes about success, words of wisdom, words of encouragement, inspirational quote, quote of the day, quote about working hard, workout quote

Image credit; http://www.pinterest.com

Site obtained from; http://www.designerprintables.com

First, I have something that isn’t really related to this quote.  I know I’m probably being really confusing with this blog, I’m still trying to figure out what to do.  I keep doing new things, and I’m jumping around a lot.  Thing is, I enjoy what I write about.  The unsolved mysteries, the quotes, book reviews, my poetry, (soon to be) my short stories, and (also soon) a couple travel guides.  I have a LOT of other ideas, too, so I’ll be doing a lot of crazy things.  They are all connected because I love them, they’re my passions!  Thanks for listening to my rambling!

So, this quote.  I agree with this, I think.  My music teacher once told my whole band class, “You can’t start where you’re not.”  He meant that you have to start at the beginning.  So I believe this quote when it says, “Start where you are.”  You can’t start at the end (except on mazes XD).  Definitely, use what you have!  You can’t do everything with absolutely NO help!  Finally, do what you can.  This is kind of vague, I don’t know exactly what they mean by that.  But definitely, you should do everything you can to help other people, not to mention yourself.  There are loads of ways to help other people, but don’t forget about YOU.

Yours in writing,

Adrienne Parker