Fiction Friday #19: Honesty

debiehive.blogspot.com

My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This week, Kelly DeBie at DeBie Hive provided the prompt. This is episode nineteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first eighteen episodes, here are links:

7. Love
__________
     Amanda, Brad, and Robert sat at the kitchen table for dinner.  The lazy Susan in the center was full of the boys’ favorite meal, lasagna, garlic cheese bread, and salad.  Feeding two teenage boys kept Amanda busy, and sitting down to eat together and practicing manners was important to her.  Taking turns serving themselves, Robert kept his eye contact away from his mom because he knew he was in trouble.  With a nervous feeling in his stomach, he started eating the lasagna hoping that it would calm down.
     “Highlights and lowlights.  Robert?” Amanda asked as she poured herself a glass of her favorite Merlot.  She kept a pleasant tone of voice and had a smile in her eyes, attempting to set a positive tone at the dinner table.
     “My highlight is everything, and my lowlight is nothing”  he replied with his standard answer.
     “Brad?”
     Brad was wolfing down his third piece of garlic bread and mumbled, “uh let’s see.”
     “Finish eating before you answer. Where are the manners?”
     “OK,” he swallowed and looked around as if trying to recall his day.  “My highlight was probably soccer practice, and my lowlight was waking up this morning.  I seriously hate getting up so early. How about you mom? What are your highlights and lowlights?”
     “Well, my highlight is right now. I love being together with you boys.  And my lowlight is getting a call from school today about Robert’s unexcused absence.   What exactly is that all about little man?”  She turned her eyes to Robert and waited patiently for his answer.  Amanda had already raised two teenagers, her oldest Steven was quite a challenge in high school, and Robert was easier because he was her second oldest.   She learned some things along the way raising her oldest.   At eighteen, Brad was past his roughest teenage years and becoming more mature.
     “What? Robert skipped school? What’s up with that little bro?”  Brad laughed casually.
     Robert didn’t know what to say. He didn’t want to tell the truth, and he didn’t want to lie either.  What a bummer that the school calls the parents.  He thought to himself as he avoided his mother’s stare.  He looked out the window, then back to his plate.  “What? I was there!”
     “Robert, come on. Do you think I believe you or the school? You know I am an adult who believes other adults in most cases.”
     “Dude, little brother, do not lie to mom.  She hates that.  You will be better off telling the truth than if you start lying.   Liars need to have a good memory little bro;  once you start lying you weave a tangled web of deception and have to start lying about your lies. It’s confusing brother.   Trust me on that one.  Been there, done that. Remember when I got in trouble for lying about going to the movies and got busted going to my friend’s party?  Mom was so mad dude.  I got my car taken away for a month!  How was I supposed to know she could track my location on my phone? That’s sneaky mom.  I was so stupid.   If you skipped school today, mom can handle the truth. She already knows. Just be honest.  A little bit in trouble for telling the truth is way better than a lot in trouble because of both the behavior and the lying.”
     Robert kept eating, letting his big brother have the floor.  Anything to postpone having to answer his mom.  He didn’t think he would get caught, so he didn’t even have a good story.  Amanda waited patiently, eating her salad and sipping Merlot.  “Wow, your big brother has gained some wisdom has he?”  She smiled at Brad and thanked him for his help.  “He is right Robert.  If you did something wrong, trust me I can understand that.  You are human. We are all human. We mess up from time to time. That’s how we learn, from our mistakes.  This is not my first time dealing with bad behavior, so your lucky to be the youngest.  At thirteen years old, frankly I expect to have some behavior issues.  That’s normal really.   If you skipped school, I would at least like to know why and what you were doing.  I care about you.  And your education is important.  Whatever it was you were doing is not more important than school. You will learn that one day.”
     This was the first time he had ever skipped class, and now he felt so stupid because all he did was walk around.  He didn’t even do anything exciting or scandalous.  “It was math mom. I wasn’t ready for the test.  I didn’t want to fail it” he said softly, embarrassed.
     Brad laughed at him as he cleaned his plate. “Hey now be nice Brad.  Honey, thank you for telling me.  I didn’t even know you had a test coming up.  You skipped class so you wouldn’t fail the test? What did you do? Where did you go?  Were you with anyone?”
     “I just walked around. I didn’t go anywhere, and no I was alone.”
     “And nobody caught you in the halls?”
     “I guess not.”
     “Are you sure that’s it? You weren’t smoking cigarettes or drinking beer or trying drugs were you?  Please tell me there wasn’t a girl involved.  Seriously.”
     “Mom! Come on. No!” Now he was really embarrassed.
     “Because I want you to know you can talk to me about those things.  I know what it’s like to be a teenager, and I know that there are drugs in the schools here.  Don’t get me started on that.  But honey, you are going to be exposed to all those challenges for the next several years.  My bottom line is safety with you boys.  And pregnancy as in not getting a girl pregnant.  I want you kids to stay alive and not get a girl pregnant before you are married. That’s it.”
     “Like Steven?”  Robert was happy to get the attention off of him.
     “Yes, like Steven.  We all saw how stressful that was for both him and Althea at the time, and we see how they struggle now as a young couple.  It’s better if you can get your education and start your career and get married before you start having babies.  But just like with Steven, there is nothing this family can’t handle.  I just want you boys to tell me the truth.  And I will help you handle whatever it is.  Since you told the truth, you will lose electronics for a day, and you will write an apology note to your teacher for skipping her class.  If you were going to concoct a lie about it, the consequence would have been much more serious young man.  Since it’s an unexcused absence, you will have to accept the consequence, which in this case is a failing grade.  Unfortunately you won’t be able to make it up like you would if it was an excused absence.  That stinks, but hopefully you will learn from this experience.  If you need help, just ask. I am good at math!  In fact, why don’t you boys clean up the kitchen after dinner and then you and I will sit down and look at the material.”
     “Yes ma’am.” He reluctantly agreed, knowing that being polite was his best option right there.  Honest and polite.
Truth lies

Truth lies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

__________
Here’s the prompt for the week: “Liars need to have good memories” ~Algernon Sidney
Visit my Friday Fiction Friends to see what they wrote with the same prompt:http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/http://www.bulamamani.com/

http://www.susannenelson.wordpress.com/

http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/

http://theincompetenthausfrau.wordpress.com/

http://www.mollyfield.com/

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@worldsworstmoms

@BuLaMamaNi

@DeBieHive

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@MollyFieldGrassOil

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Friday Fiction #15: Wings to Fly

created by Kelly DeBiewww.debiehive.blogspot.com

created by Kelly DeBie
www.debiehive.blogspot.com

It’s Fiction Friday and a new month with a new theme: cliches. Starting this month, we are going to rotate giving prompts by the week. This week’s prompt is from Clearly Kristal. My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This is episode fifteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first fourteen episodes, here are links:

7. Love
___________
The next day, they started packing up Anderson’s and Ella’s bedrooms. Once they finished those two rooms, they could start working on the rest of the house. The house was already nicely decorated and usually kept tidy since Amanda was a stay-home mom. It had been four years since anyone touched the two empty kids’ rooms. Bravely, Amanda got to work with all three of her sons, starting in Ella’s room with Brad, while Steven and Robert started in Anderson’s room. Deciding to pack everything away temporarily and not throw or give anything away, it was just a matter of putting things into boxes.
Little Cassidy played on the X-box downstairs in the living room while everybody worked upstairs. She made noises as she swiped left and right to chop fruit on Fruit Ninja. Jumping and laughing, she was totally oblivious to the serious tone of her family upstairs. “Woo hoo, high score daddy! Look!”
“Cass daddy’s busy upstairs now. Good job, I’m super proud of your high score. Try to beat it again!”
Picking up Ella’s bedazzled dance bag by the strap, Amanda zipped it and packed it away as it was. They took the pictures off the walls and carefully bubble wrapped them. Her jewelry went into Ziploc bags, and her posters were carefully rolled up. One by one, they cleaned out her drawers and emptied her closet. Next to her bed sat a small framed picture of baby Ella, taken on her first day of life in the hospital. She wore the generic pink and blue stretchy baby hat that all newborns receive as a welcome gift. Her little face was pink and puffy, but Amanda could see her big girl in that baby’s face, and it was all too much for her. She reached her limit. She sat down on her bed holding the picture frame, hung her head, and started crying. Steven hugged her then took the picture frame from her hands and put it back down on the bedside table.
Charlotte's Newborn Session

Charlotte’s Newborn Session (Photo credit: Christine ™)

“Mom, take a break. I got this. Why don’t you go hang out with Cassidy for a while?”
Nodding her head and taking a few breaths, she agreed with her oldest son and left Ella’s room to check on her granddaughter. Cassidy was still slicing fruit, making samurai moves and grinning ear to ear. “Grammy look I got a high score! Want to play with me?”
Amanda couldn’t help but smile and laugh in return. Such innocence. “Oh honey, I don’t know if I feel like playing now. I’m not feeling so great.”
“Let’s go outside! Daddy always tells me to go outside for some fresh air when I’m not feeling good. We could ride my new bike! You know, my pink one with the bell that you keep here for me to ride? Please Grammy, please?” She smiled a convincing smile and opened her eyes wide with anticipation.
How can I resist her? “Sure Cass, let’s go outside, why not? Get your sneakers on and I”ll go look for your helmet.”
Cassidy had her own bike at her house and was in the process of learning how to ride it. Amanda bought her an extra bike so she could practice when she took care of her. They just took the training wheels off the last time she was over a few weeks earlier.
Outside, it was a beautiful sunny day without a single cloud in the sky. Amanda and Cassidy brought the bike around to the front of the house so she could practice on the sidewalk.
“OK, now remember how you did this last time? Remember to keep the pedals moving forward and handlebars straight. Find your center. Balance.” Holding her gently from behind, she counted to three then pushed Cassidy slightly forward. Cassidy pedaled, and the handlebars wiggled. She put down her left foot to keep herself from falling over to the side.
“I’m going to crash! I can’t do it! Grammy, I’m scared.”
“It’s ok honey, you can do it. It just takes a little practice. You’ll get the hang of it; I promise. Come on, let’s try again. Let’s move your pedal around to the top of the cycle so it’s easier for you to get started. Ready?”
Reluctantly, she tried again. This time she pedaled, and although the handlebars wiggled a little, she straightened them out and kept going straight past the next house on their street.
“I’m doing it! I’m doing it!”
“Yes, you are! Keep going and stop at the alley!” Amanda watched as Cassidy continued down the street and to the alley. Cassidy stopped, turned around and called for her Grammy to help her get started again.
“Try it once on your own and see if you can do it!” she encouraged.
Cassidy paused for a few moments, then started pedaling her way back. Her blonde curls blew in the wind, and her sweet smile was mesmerizing as she approached and stopped her bike. Elated, she jumped into Amanda’s arms. “I did it! I’m so happy!”
“You sure did. I knew you could. High five!” She congratulated Cassidy and decided to bring out her portable chair to the front yard. “I’ll sit here and watch while you do it again.”
www.dreamstime.com
__________
Here is the prompt:

Use the quote below to tell the story of how your primary character comes to the edge (a cliché). Note: Your character may/may not fly. However, he/she encourages others to start a new beginning – i.e. to “fly.” Spring offers new beginnings to grow and soar. Tell this story in no more than 1,500 words (no less than 800) with a balance of dialogue and imagery. Now let your story fly!

“Come to the edge, He said. They said: We are afraid.Come to the edge, He said.They came. He pushed them,And they flew . . .” — Guillaume Apollinaire French poet

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/

http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/

http://www.mollyfield.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@SusanneNelson1

@clearlykristal

@worldsworstmoms

@MollyFieldTweet

Follow us on Facebook:

Susanne’s World

Grass Oil

Clearly Kristal

World’s Worst Moms

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Fiction Friday #14: Moving On

created by Kelly DeBiewww.debiehive.blogspot.com

created by Kelly DeBie
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com

It’s Fiction Friday and a new month with a new theme: cliches. Starting this month, we are going to rotate giving prompts by the week. This week’s prompt is from Molly Field at Grass Oil (see below). My Friday Fiction Friends and I write different stories based on the same prompt. This is episode fourteen in an ongoing series. If you missed the first thirteen episodes, here are links:
7. Love
___________
Amanda decided it was time for a fresh start. There were too many memories in the Keilsth family’s four thousand five hundred square foot home. They bought it when their oldest son, Steven, was a baby with hopes of filling up the rest of the bedrooms over the years to come. They wanted a big family, and they wanted to grow roots in a big house where their kids could grow and return as college students to their old bedrooms. They thought of retiring near the ocean eventually, but with their youngest son, Robert only thirteen years old, they thought they would stay in the big house for a while. But everything changed when Richard died; Amanda decided it was time to put the house on the market and start over in a smaller house. She couldn’t stand to sleep in their bed alone or to see the pool where he died every day .

Anderson’s and Ella’s rooms remained untouched since they died unexpectedly four years ago. It was too hard for Amanda to clean out their rooms or to change the decor. A part of her wished that if she left the rooms the same as they left them, parts of her kids would stay alive. She often spent time in their rooms wondering what would have been had they gotten a chance to grow up.

Posters of Justin Bieber still hung on Ella’s walls, and her dance bag still sat on the floor unzipped with ballet and tap shoes sticking out of the unzipped opening on top. Medals and awards lined her shelves. Recital and competition pictures covered the pink walls. Notes from friends lay folded on her dresser, and candid pictures of her and her friends smiled from a bulletin board hung over her bed. Her favorite pink baby blanket waited patiently on her bed for Ella to come back from school that day. She used to joke about her attachment to her baby blanket, claiming to be unable to sleep without it.

Anderson’s room was dark blue. Toy dragons and legos decorated the corner next to his wooden bookshelf. Baby books, handed down from his older siblings were mixed in with stiff toddler books and picture books. The Superman sheets and comforter reminded her of how often little Anderson used to run around wearing a superhero costume. He loved airplanes and anything else that flew. His Taekwondo uniform sat out on top of his dresser waiting for his next class. Portraits of a happy baby boy hung from the walls in the room where her youngest child was growing up, subtle and sad reminders of the potential of his young life.

This was not how Richard and Amanda planned for their lives to unfold. She decided to put the house on the market and downsize to a smaller place. Obviously, their vision for the future had been crashed into tiny pieces, and staying in their family house just didn’t make sense any more.

She called Steven, now 21 to ask him to come over for dinner so they could talk.

“Mom, I don’t know I’m awfully busy. Do you want all of us to come? Althea has class I think. I’m supposed to be taking care of Cassidy tonight.”

“Steven it’s important. Please I need to talk to you. I know you’re busy, just thirty minutes, that’s all I ask.”

He worked part-time as a physical therapy aide while he also went to college, majoring in physical therapy. He had experience as an Army medic and wanted to use it to build a career in the medical/health field like his dad. He was getting used to the role of fatherhood despite its challenges, and he was working toward the idea of a long term commitment (engagement and marriage) with Althea. There was just so much going on in their lives, and they had only gotten back together a few months ago, he wanted to take things slowly and not make emotional decisions. Althea was also in school and working part-time, struggling to make ends meet and get an education at the same time as mothering her little girl. With his father gone, Steven felt more responsibility to help with his mom and stopped by to visit her more often since the funeral.

“OK mom what time is dinner? 6:30 as usual?” He was used to 6:30 being family dinner time growing up and knew it was his mom’s favorite time to eat a family meal together.

Nineteen year old Brad took a year off after graduating high school after the drama of losing his two younger siblings and was accepted to start college at the University of Texas in the fall. He would be moving out of the house and into a freshman dorm on the university campus. He had no idea what he wanted to major in, but he felt it was time to pursue higher education and was looking forward to a whole new life as a college student.

Thirteen year old Robert was Amanda’s youngest child. He still had several years left living at home. Amanda wanted to find something with three bedrooms (instead of six) so she, Robert, and Brad could finish this school year and then it would just be the two of them, Robert and Amanda, living together after that. It would be a tough conversation to have because life would be so different, but she needed to have it with her boys.

That night when they sat down to eat dinner together, she told her sons what was on her mind. Little Cassidy watched Spongebob as she ate her dinner, spilling peas onto the placemat.

“I decided to put the house on the market boys. I know this is the only home you’ve ever known, but it’s time to move on. There is too much sadness, and there are too many memories here. I called my realtor earlier today, and tomorrow we will start getting the house ready to show. I know this is going to be hard for you, but it’s something I feel very strongly about, and it’s something I need to do…for me and for us.”

The boys were surprised but took the news pretty well. In between bites of mashed potatoes with gravy and roast chicken and peas, they took turns asking questions.

“What about school?” Robert inquired.

“We will try to stay in the same zone. I don’t want to disrupt your lives any more than they already have been. I need to think about the finances, and this house is just too big for us. I also…” Amanda broke into tears, “…I also need a whole new reality. It hurts too much to stay here after everything that’s happened. Daddy left us insurance money, but I’m probably going to have to go back to work, and we won’t be able to afford living in a house this big. I need to make a fresh start in a smaller place, and I’m hoping you will both support me in my decision. Our family needs a fresh start.”

“What about Ella and Anderson’s rooms?” Brad couldn’t imagine the thought of his mom packing both rooms away. “Do you want my help in there?”

“Brad, that’s very sweet of you. Yes, I would love your help. I will need your help. It’s been too hard for me to change them so far, but we need to accept the past for what it is and go for it. It’s time. Life is telling us loud and clear it’s time to move on.”

“I’ll help too mom.” Robert added.

Steven agreed it was a good decision and also offered to help. “Mom, maybe you should let us take care of the packing for you. Dad would want us to take care of you. He wouldn’t want you to pack up their rooms alone.” His green eyes mocked Richard’s glances as he waited for an answer. His lips smiled in Richard’s familiar way.

Amanda was so proud of her young men. They all shared a piece of their dad with her and carried on his life in his absence. Amanda imagined all of them together, although there were three empty seats were at the dinner table that night. “Thank you. I love you guys so much!”
20130405-101356.jpg

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Here is the prompt:
Your character (new or old) has been stuck in a rut of inaction or stinkin’ thinkin’, encumbered by doubt or memories s/he has been unable to shake. In a moment of whim and unbridled mirth, who knows: faith? s/he decides to throw caution to the wind and just go for it, do what s/he has been avoiding out of fear, or just sheer bad timing or dumb luck. The stars have aligned: this is the moment. S/he goes for it… you decide if the venture is successful or not.1,500 words max. 50% Dialogue optional, but suggested

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/

http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/

http://www.bulamamani.com/

http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/

http://www.mollyfield.com/

http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/

http://www.quirkychrissy.com/

http://www.katbiggie.com/

http://theincompetenthausfrau.wordpress.com/

http://temorgan.blogspot.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@SusanneNelson1

@clearlykristal

@worldsworstmoms

@BuLaMamaNi

@DeBieHive

@MollyFieldTweet

@chrissawoj

@Near_Genius

@katbiggie

@uncwisdom

@incompetentfrau

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The Incompetent Hausfrau

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Friday Fiction #11: Beware the Ides of March

created by Kelly DeBie

created by Kelly DeBie

It’s Fiction Friday; every week the members of the Friday Fiction Femmes Fatales write different stories based on the same prompt. This is episode eleven of a continuing series. If you missed the first ten episodes, here are the links:

1. Lesson Learned
2. Althea
3. The Aftermath
4. The Gun
5. Eyes Are the Windows to the Soul
6. Facebook Envy
7. Love
8. Home = Our Beliefs about Love
9. One Day at a Time
10. A Stronger Woman
__________________________

With the weather warming up outside, Amanda and Richard heated up their backyard swimming pool over spring break. Richard took the day off work to spend at home with his family since it was the last day of his sons’, Robert and Brad, holiday from school. Their oldest son, Steven, lived in his own place with his girlfriend and daughter, and they were too busy to come over, but Amanda talked to them after breakfast and everything sounded great. It was a sunny day outside, and she chopped vegetables in the kitchen while the guys swam outside. She planned to join them after she finished getting some lunch ready. Lying in the sun and floating in the cool water were two of her favorite pastimes.

Suddenly, Brad came running in the house through the patio door. “Dad’s dead. Mom, come quick!” Water dripped from his suit on the wood floor. He panted, out of breath, furrowed his brow, and Amanda could tell he wasn’t kidding. She could hear Robert crying.

“What? What happened?” she dropped the knife and ran outside, almost slipping on the floor. Adrenaline pumped through her veins, and she couldn’t believe what was happening. “Call 911 Brad!”

Richard floated face down in the pool. Robert cried and screamed in the pool next to him trying to turn him over. Amanda jumped in the water, shoes still on. “Richard, oh my god!” Blood was in the water, but she couldn’t see where it was coming from. “What happened?

“He jumped in and came up like this. I don’t know what happened! We were doing cannonballs. He said to watch him do a watermelon cannonball.”

She grabbed him under his armpits and tried to get to the side of the pool. He was so heavy. Amanda was only 5″3′, and Richard was 6 feet tall. She struggled to flip him over and hold his head out of the water, but he wasn’t breathing. His skin was turning blue as she cried his name.

EMS arrived on the scene and the minutes that ensued were a blur of medical equipment and questions. They were able to resuscitate him briefly, but couldn’t sustain it. He kept crashing. Amanda and the boys rushed to the hospital in the police car not far behind the ambulance. She called Richard’s family and told them what happened and to meet them at the hospital.

The doctors said he had a cervical fracture and was not breathing on his own. He had a large cut on the top of his head, toward the back. They didn’t know if he had brain activity, so they needed to care-flight him to another hospital and run several tests. Amanda knew it was bad news when the hospital chaplains introduced themselves while she, the boys, and his parents waited. The tests showed he had no brain activity and was in a vegetative state. Amanda would have to decide whether to take him off life-support and donate his organs. It was agonizing. Of course he would have wanted to donate his organs so other people could live, and she knew he wouldn’t want to be kept alive artificially. Those parts of the decisions made sense, but it would be so very hard to say goodbye to the man she married and created a family with, the man she hoped to grow old with. She sat with him in the hospital bed that night, speechless, crying, hugging him gently and lightly touching his face.

She sent the boys home with Richard’s parents and said she would stop at home and pick up some things then meet them at their house. It was too painful to think of sleeping in her bed without him. Just going back into the house was going to be hard. She made it quick, grabbing some clothes, shoes, and toiletries. She saw Richard’s phone on the table next to their bed, and she picked it up then headed over to her in-laws’ house for some sleep and a shower. What a day.

Amanda crawled under the sheets and started looking at pictures of them together on his phone. She noticed he had text and email notifications, so she opened them up, wondering what his last messages were about and to whom. She would be in charge of notifying everyone of his passing. At the top of his text screen were three messages from Amy, Amanda’s friend who also worked at the hospital with Richard. “Missed you today; How’s your day at home going? You there?”

My friend Amy? What the fuck?

There were emails from her too. As she scrolled through his pictures, she couldn’t believe her eyes. There were pictures of her husband with another woman, a beautiful, blonde woman in lingerie. And this woman was her friend, a single mom who was widowed when her husband died of cancer. Amanda supported Amy through the whole experience and helped with the care of her two boys, essentially letting the fox into the henhouse. She went into his ‘sent’ folder on his emails and sure enough, there was a long list of emails from Richard to Amy. One by one, she read them. He blamed Amanda for the deaths of their children and wanted to start a new life with her. He told her it wouldn’t be long until he was going to leave Amanda.

Her heart sank. Her stomach felt sick. How much worse could this day get? Amanda put the phone down and cried herself to sleep.

Why?

In the morning, she peeled herself out of bed and held herself together enough to go back to the hospital with her family and Richard’s parents. Richard’s phone kept vibrating with new messages, so Amanda turned it off. Today, she needed to focus on saying goodbye to her husband.

The hospital arranged the organ recipients, and informed the family they would take him off life support at 3:00 pm. Everybody said their goodbyes separately in privacy. During Amanda’s alone time with him, a few tears fell from his eyes as she lay in bed next to him, and she wanted him to answer her but knew he couldn’t. So, she just hugged him and kissed him and told him she loved him. Only Amanda and his mom were with him during his final breath. A piece of Amanda went with him that day.

For more information on organ donation, visit www.taylorsgift.org

For more information on organ donation, visit http://www.taylorsgift.org

__________________________

Here is the prompt:

The Ides of March — that fateful day when Caesar was assassinated by coup by a team of Roman senators on the steps of the Curia in Pompey (http://news.discovery.com/history/art-history/julius-ceasar-stabbing-121012.htm). (Can you tell I love history?) Our character is betrayed, hardcore, by a friend. The relationship is forever altered, “killing” a little piece inside, of our protagonist, yet empowering her/him despite the damage.

Imagery, dialogue, movement…

Visit the other blogs to see what they wrote with the same prompts:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/ http://www.itsadomelife.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://the-suds-box.blogspot.ca/
http://www.quirkychrissy.com/
http://www.noholdingback1212.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@SusanneNelson1
@ItsADomeLife
@DeBieHive
@MollyFieldTweet
@monsterNbox
@chrissawoj
@Near_Genius
@katbiggie

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Friday Fiction #6: Facebook Envy

I write fiction every Friday along with my group, the Friday Fiction Femmes Fatales. February is romance month! Our hostess, Molly Field of Grass Oil, sends a prompt and we all write different stories with the same prompts. Make sure to visit the other blogs to see what they wrote! Links are at the bottom of this entry. This is the sixth episode in a series. If you missed the first five episodes, here are the links:

#1 Lesson Learned

#2 Althea

#3 The Aftermath

#4 The Gun

#5 Eyes are the Windows to the Soul

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http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/50567431#50567431

http://digitallife.today.com/_news/2013/01/25/16698935-its-not-just-you-facebook-envy-makes-people-miserable-studies-show?lite

Amanda and Richard had a lot of problems to work out. Their marriage was never the same after losing Ella and Anderson in a car accident. Amanda carried the blame for that, but they both blamed themselves after almost losing eleven year old Robert. He accidentally shot himself when he was playing with Richard’s gun while his parents were at a counseling appointment. Big brother Brad, seventeen, babysat him that night, so he blamed himself also. He was too busy playing guitar in his room alone to watch after Robert properly. Richard decided to put the handgun in a locked box under the bed instead of having it loose in the drawer next to the bed. Robert barely escaped with his life, and neither Amanda nor Richard wanted their family to face any more tragedy. Richard lost a good friend from work whom he had developed feelings for, and Amanda was trying to recover from her drinking problem. Although she enjoyed herself having one flirtatious lunch with an old flame, she drank too much and got a DUI on the way home. She didn’t want to cause any more problems for herself, her marriage, or her family. She was withdrawn and lonely, but she reached out to people over Facebook and other social media thinking that was a safer way to feel connection with others.

She liked spending time online keeping up with everybody she knew, but it also made her feel jealous of others as she unconsciously compared her life to theirs. She saw people posting about their engagements, their family joys, and their fabulous vacations. She was careful not to post too much about her situation as she didn’t want to let everybody in to her complicated world. One night, as they were lying in bed falling asleep to comedy shows, she liked a friend’s status so she could play along with a game. It was one of those chain-type games where you get an age from somebody and then you share what your life was like at that age and compare it to now. This ought to be interesting she thought to herself.

She participated three times as three different friends were playing the game. They gave her three different ages: 18, 21, and 23. Amanda was about to turn 47, so it was a walk down memory lane for her. Her life had changed so much since then. She was a student during the first two ages and by 23 she had already met Richard and was about to get married to him. One of the questions asked who had her heart at the time. When she was 18, she was a high school student and had just broken up with a boyfriend. But the young man who had her heard when she was 21 was someone special. Great. Why did I have to get this age? I was head over heels for this guy. Do I really have to admit that online? He had her heart, but she didn’t have his. It bothered her then, and it bothered her now. She thought about it for the rest of the day.

She met Brian in college. From the beginning, he had her heart. He pulled at her heart like a magnet. He was beautiful in the face with eyes that smiled when even when his lips weren’t. He was incredibly good-looking yet humble at the same time. They were good friends and did fun things together like mountain biking and rock climbing. He was smart, and he was funny. She was gaga from the beginning.

Amanda drifted off to sleep, feeling gravity’s pull. Her breathing slowed, and her mind relaxed. Time and space started to shift, and her visual landscape became surreal. She winded down hallways and spirals into a dream world full of colors and unknown places.

He was there. They were there. She travelled back to a magical morning when they woke up together in his bed. They were both young and free, and although they were affectionate, they weren’t sexual partners. She happened to stay at his house that one time, and that moment was etched in her memory. Sunlight poured in from the window on the east side of the room. The air was still and quiet and the blankets were soft when they awoke, embraced, and smiled at each other kissing lightly. It was dreamy. Amanda got lost in the moment. Their spirits intertwined and time stood still as they lingered contentedly.

Her body twitched, and she suddenly awoke. Catching her breath, she saw her bedroom walls, felt her familiar bed, and heard the familiar sound of her husband snoring next to her. He didn’t want a serious relationship with me. It was just friends with benefits to him. She reminded herself of that reality. She didn’t sleep much that night because she couldn’t stop thinking about the dichotomy between the dream and real life.

She and Richard needed to find that place again, but life kept throwing them punches. Brian married someone else, just like Brian had other girlfriends back when Amanda wanted him. Richard was the man who committed his life to hers; he was the man who built a family with her and was by her side every day through thick and thin. Having five children and individual careers got in the way of their bond.

Her oldest son, Steven was bringing his girlfriend and daughter, Cassidy, over for dinner the next day. Amanda couldn’t wait to meet her granddaughter for the first time. She had so much to do to get the house and the meal ready. She was working in the kitchen when she heard on the news, “A German study has shown that Facebook can make you full-on bummed out. That’s right, Facebook Envy is a new term used to describe how it can affect your outlook on your life.” She thought back to her dream and how different her life was then than it is now. She thought about putting Brian in proper perspective. It was an intense connection and an intense emotion, but it belonged in the past. Surely, her life with Richard was the enduring kind of love. It was a complicated and intense kind of love, but it was the mature and stable relationship she cherished and wanted to strengthen.

My Love

My Love (Photo credit: Jennuine Captures)

_______________

Here is the prompt:

Your character is drowsy, just about to drift off to sleep only to be roused because s/he spontaneously remembered an intense moment from his/her past with another love? It keeps her/him up all night, distracted the next day.

Go!

Visit the other blogs to see what the writers did with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/

http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/

http://www.bulamamani.com/

http://www.itsadomelife.com/

http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/

http://www.mollyfield.com/

http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/

http://the-suds-box.blogspot.ca/

http://www.quirkychrissy.com/

Follow us on Twitter!

@SusanneNelson1

@clearlykristal

@worldsworstmoms

@BuLaMamaNi

@ItsADomeLife

@DeBieHive

@MollyFieldTweet

@monsterNbox

@chrissawoj

@Near_Genius

Thanks for reading this entry. Peace out!

Fiction Friday #4: The Gun

Every Friday this month, I’ve been posting fiction as part of a challenge by my friend, Molly Field, over at her blog Grass Oil. Today is the last installment of the month. If you missed the first three entries, here are links. If you haven’t read them yet, you might want to catch up since this is part four of the same story.

Fiction Friday #1: Lesson Learned

Fiction Friday #2: Althea

Fiction Friday #3: The Aftermath

     After Amanda‘s arrest, she and Richard went to bed without speaking. She retreated into herself and didn’t know how to handle the embarrassment. What would everyone say about her? Why did she have lunch with an ex? What would she do to make things better with Richard? How would she go on day-to-day with so many problems?
The next day, she got up and helped Brad and Robert with breakfast and the before-school routine. She and Richard were cordial but superficial to each other. He was obviously upset with her and worried about her at the same time. He left for work without a kiss, and the boys left shortly thereafter.
Once she was alone, she went back to her bedroom and sat down on the bed. She opened the drawer in the night stand, pulled out a piece of paper and a pen and started to write, “My dearest family, once you read this note, I will already be gone. I am sorry for the pain my death might cause you, but I think in a few years it will become something you can get used to. I can not forgive myself for the past, and I know you can’t either. I haven’t been happy in so long.  Please know I love you, and I’m sorry.  I just can’t go on like this any more.” She folded the paper in half and propped it up on the bedside table. She looked out the window and took a few minutes to contemplate the garden of roses growing outside. Life goes on, she told herself, they will be fine without me.   She looked back over the past couple of years and wondered what happened to her family. She wondered what happened to herself. She pulled the pistol out of the drawer. She held it carefully in her hands, and it was as if her whole life flashed in front of her eyes.  How could she ever fix all the problems she created in her family? She blamed herself for losing Ella and Anderson, and she knew Richard and Robert had never fully forgiven her for what she did. Their marriage had never been the same since the accident.  How could she face people after what happened at school?  Maybe it would be easier for everybody if I wasn’t here she thought to herself.

HS2000 9mm Pistol

HS2000 9mm Pistol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Amanda never wanted to have a gun in the house. She didn’t have a father growing up, so she was never exposed to guns as a child or young lady. It was never a question in her house. Richard felt it was a necessity to have a gun in the house. He wanted it for self-defense (in the case of home invasion) and for hunting. They owned some land where he frequently went hunting and camping, and he really enjoyed going there to pursue his hobbies.
When she met Richard, she learned of his interest in guns and tried to understand it (even though it was new to her). Part of marrying someone is accepting who they are as a person not changing who they are.  Amanda firmly believed in the importance of each spouse maintaining some individuality in the marriage. She felt strongly that there are some things that are deal breakers like cheating and beating, and other things are part of the territory of marriage that you put up with. You accept certain things about your partner so you can live a peaceful happy life together. So she accepted Richard, guns and all.
She was most worried about having guns in the house because they had children. There were stories all the time in the news about kids who accidentally shot themselves, siblings, and/or friends when they played with a parent’s gun. There were other stories about teenagers who had lost their minds, taken their parents’ guns, shot and killed people in public places like schools, stores, and movie theaters. She really didn’t want her family on the news in a tragic, avoidable story.
They agreed to keep most of their guns in a safe, but Richard insisted on keeping a pistol in his night-side table drawer so he would be able to get to it quickly in the case of emergency. The safe with his rifles was in their closet, but he didn’t want to lose precious minutes if confronted by an attacker in the middle of the night. He signed Amanda up for shooting classes, and she braved the experience to show interest in her husband’s hobby. Once she learned how to handle a gun, she felt empowered and prepared for the possibility of being face to face with an intruder. She thanked Richard for exposing her to a whole new world and could barely believe the dichotomy inside herself as she grew to appreciate something she also feared and disliked.
All of the sudden, her phone rang. It was Richard. He was able to schedule a marriage counseling appointment for them that evening. He wanted to talk to the counselor about the arrest and what led up to it. When he asked what she was doing, she answered, “uh, nothing really, just thinking about things.” She hung up the phone, put the gun away, and threw the note in the trash. Not today she thought to herself.
She ordered pizzas for the boys and put Brad in charge of watching Robert for a few hours while she was at the counseling appointment with Richard. Brad was practicing guitar up in his room and choking down bites sausage pizza in between songs. He shooed his little brother when he came into his room to listen to him play. “Go find something to do! Mom and dad will be back soon. Don’t you have some games to play or something?”
Robert played video games for a while, and then he decided to make a video of himself as his favorite character in his new game. His parents weren’t home, so he sneaked into their room and got the gun out of the drawer. They didn’t know that he knew it was in there, but he did. His big brothers showed it to him before and made him swear not to tattle. He set up his camera and got a kick out of seeing himself on the screen. He pointed the gun right at the screen then right, left, up, and down so he could see it from many angles. He made tough faces and felt like a tough guy. He could still hear Brad playing guitar upstairs, so he knew he wouldn’t get caught.
Amanda was telling Richard about having lunch with her ex at the counselor’s office. Brad just nailed the solo he was working on in his room when out of nowhere, there was a BANG! Brad stopped playing and looked around wondering what just happened. It sounded like a firecracker. He paused for a moment and then realized he knew exactly what that sound was.
“Robert?” He screamed as he started running down the stairs._______________________________________________________________________________________

     Here is the prompt:  “Invent a / your character (who) has two personality traits that are completely incompatible, that don’t fit together at all. For example: this character is incredibly messy and is also a total perfectionist. Or: this character is a pacifist and also has a really explosive temper. Or: this character believes in strict, traditional family values but is promiscuous by nature. You decide. Then think of a situation in which these two sides of your character would be in direct conflict with each other. Write the story / scene.”

     Please visit the other blogs to see what the writers did with the same prompt:

http://www.clearlykristal.com/
http://www.worldsworstmoms.com/
http://www.bulamamani.com/
http://www.itsadomelife.com/
http://www.debiehive.blogspot.com/
http://www.mollyfield.com/
http://neargenius1.blogspot.com/
http://the-suds-box.blogspot.ca/
http://www.quirkychrissy.com/

Follow us on Twitter:

@clearlykristal
@worldsworstmoms
@BuLaMamaNi
@SusanneNelson1
@ItsADomeLife
@DeBieHive
@MollyFieldTweet
@monsterNbox
@chrissawoj

Thanks for reading! Peace out.