Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chance Encounter

Here is my story for this week's Three Word Wednesday prompt.

A chance encounter changed my life.

I was walking along, minding my own business, when the most gorgeous man I’d ever seen in my life ran right smack into me. I mumbled an apology even though it was clearly his fault because he came crashing around the corner without even looking. Still, it was only polite to say you’re sorry when you collide with someone.

He lowered his head and said, “So sorry, how clumsy of me.”

I assured him that it was no problem. I knew I’d get the feeling back in my arm soon, and it was worth it just to get to talk with him. 

I almost fell over when he grabbed my hand, kissed the knuckles and said, “You are much too forgiving, fair lady.”

I wanted to savor the sensation of his lips on my skin, but all too quickly, he pulled away. I’m sure it was because he finally got a good look at me. You see, I’m not all that much to look at. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not butt ugly, but I’m no super model either. I’m just me, plain ole Caroline. And he was definitely not the kind of man who usually paid attention to me.

What happened next blew me away. When he said, ‘May I entice you to go out to dinner with me?’ I knew I must have been hearing things.
“Excuse me?” I asked.

“I’m sorry. I’m much too forward. I just don’t want to miss the chance to get to know you better. Please forgive me.”

“No, no,” I replied. “It’s perfectly fine.” 

And it was. More than perfectly fine, it was totally out of this world. He was asking me out. I couldn’t believe it. 

Turns out, if something is too good to be true, you should know it’s not going to work out. Hopefully, when it happens to you, it won’t turn out quite as badly as it did for me.

Oh, we went on our date. The evening was wonderful. He took me to a fancy downtown restaurant that I’d always wanted to go to, ordered a hundred year old champagne, and danced my socks off. It was afterward that things went downhill.

We were walking along the boardwalk, the full moon casting everything in a mellow glow, when all of a sudden a chill wind seemed to blow across our path. I know it sounds melodramatic, but that’s what it felt like. Anyway, the next instant, Raymond, that’s the gorgeous stranger’s name, pounced.

Before I knew what was happening, he had me in a vise-like grip and his mouth was at my neck. I thought he was just getting fresh, and truth be told, I would have welcomed the advance, but when his teeth sank into my flesh, I knew something more scandalous was at work.

As bad as it sounds, something good did come out of the encounter. It seems that when you become the undead, you also become beautiful. I guess it’s so you can snare others easier. I’m not sure. All I do know is that men sure pay more attention to me now, even though I’m pale as a ghost. 

It’s nice getting all the attention. I just hate that they have to die so soon…

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Here's our exercise for this week: LOVELESS. Create a character around this sentence. 'Nobody has ever loved me as much as I have loved him.' Do not use this sentence in the fragment of fiction you write. The sentence comes from Guy Davenport's aunt, Mary Elizabeth Davenport Morrow, via his essay, 'On Reading,' in The Hunger Gracchus. Resist the temptation this exercise offers for a completely self-indulgent character. Of course, some self-indulgence will be fun. Think of this sentence as a kind of mathematical formula. Is the person who utters this sentence speaking of all the friends and loved ones he has known in his life? Or is she focusing on one person who did not return love satisfactorily? Consider the strong possibility that whoever would say s omething like this is unreliable. 500 words.

Here is what I came up with. How do y'all think I did? 

Sometimes, when I people watch at the park, I get so angry I could scream.

Don’t get me wrong, I love watching the little kids play. They’re so damn cute. But seeing them just brings back painful memories of all the times we tried and failed.

I can image that curly redhead over there is mine. She’s bouncing from one swing to the other just like I did when I was her age, and that attitude. Well, people have been known to say I am as stubborn as a mule, and that little darling looks like she’d argue with a fence post.

It hurts so much I have to turn away. Unfortunately, today the park is full and anywhere I turn, I see more happy family scenes. The mother kissing her son’s booboo after he falls off the jungle gym, the dad rough housing with his little boy in the sand, and the one that really gets me, the mom sliding with her daughter. She’s holding on so tight and you can tell she’s scared to death, but she’s doing it because her daughter needs to learn to be fearless.

And the way the kids look up at their parents just melts my heart. I want that!

I don’t even know I’m crying until a little girl around five walks over to me and asks if I’m okay.

“Yes, honey, I’m fine,” I assure her.

But I’m not fine, and it gets even worse when she pats my face with her little hand and tells me it’ll be alright.

Her mom drags her away when I burst into tears and double over in pain.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Single Touch

“I’m sorry, young man, I don’t seem to know my own strength sometimes,” I said after yanking the door right out of the stranger’s hand. “Guess I get in too big a hurry and forget my manners. Please,” I added and gestured for him to go ahead. “Have a nice day now.”

I watched as he and the young lady who came out right behind him walked away. I couldn’t tell if they were together or not at first. They were both so stiff you’d think somebody starched their pants and they walked like they had sticks up their butts as my daddy used to say. 

I stood so long staring that my arm about gave out from holding the door open, but there was just something about the young man that struck my fancy. I can’t say what it was really. He reminded me a little of my Arthur, God rest his soul, but I don’t think that was it. I just don’t like to see anybody upset, and he was definitely that. And I do believe it had something to do with the girl following him.

I thought if he’d only turn around and take her hand, everything would be okay. Don’t know where I got that notion, because I still didn’t know if they were together, but it looked like she’d enjoy the gesture, and I didn’t think it would hurt the young man to have a comforting touch either. 

They waited at the bus stop, separated by no more than six inches, but miles apart it seemed. I saw her glance at him more than once and then quickly look away before he noticed. He seemed to inch closer to her the longer they stood until they were but a hair’s breadth apart. 

Finally, I could stand it no longer and I went over. After all, my appointment with the oncologist could wait. And if it didn’t, well, that wouldn’t matter either. I only had weeks to live anyway and was about tired of spending half my time at the doctor’s office.

The young man liked to have jumped out of his skin when I tapped him on the shoulder, which made the lady giggle. I was about to say something when the young man blushed and started to laugh as well. The girl then playfully hit his arm and said, “You’re as jumpy as a rabbit.” 

After that, I knew my help was unneeded. The young man grabbed the lady in his arms and whispered that he was sorry, and that everything would be okay. 

I left when they started kissing.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Native Heartache

Mighty cries silenced
Wastelands of sorrow, land raped
Trail of tear-soaked pain