Finish This Sentence #7 – You’d Never Believe Me

Finish this sentence (and then write the story that accompanies it): You’d never believe me if I told you that I _____________, but it’s true and I can prove it.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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173 thoughts on “Finish This Sentence #7 – You’d Never Believe Me

  1. writer1105

    I wrote this in the exact word limit, 500 words
    “You’d never believe me if I told you that I have cancer, but I can prove it.” Corinne told me.
    “No, you’re joking, that’s not very funny!” I exclaimed.
    “I’m afraid not, I went in for an x-ray the other day and they told me.” she said.
    A million thoughts run through my head. Why does this have to happen to me? Why my girlfriend? She has so much to live for, we’re only in college!
    I tell her, “No matter what it takes, I will always be by your side. Through all your treatments, everything. I’ll be there.”
    “That’s sweet,” she says “but you don’t have to give up your whole life for me! You can’t just stop your college life, you can still have fun. I’ll be just fine, I’ll fight for us.”
    “I’ll do homework at nights and we can do whatever you want for the time while you are fighting and I’ll be there for you.”
    “Okay, if you insist. I love you Mason.”
    “Love you too.”
    I take her home and tell her that whenever she needs me to just call.
    I drive home and I just sit thinking about everything that happened that day. I can’t believe it, my girlfriend! I thought we had lots and lots of years together! I scold myself, I can’t think like that, she will make it through.
    Some time when I was thinking I fell asleep on my couch without eating dinner, I was starving. I got up and made myself some scrambled eggs. They were good eggs but I couldn’t enjoy eating them with everything that had happened. I look at my watch, it’s already 11:00! I’m late for work at the Starbucks. I’ll call in sick today, I can’t stand it.
    After I call Starbucks I call Corinne and I come over to her house and bring her coffee from a different place, don’t tell Starbucks.
    We sit and talk for a while, and we watch a movie. We watched “Happy Gilmore” her most favorite movie. She wanted to laugh. I don’t know why she finds it so funny.
    2 months later
    Corinne isn’t doing so well, she has been in the hospital for the past two weeks. She has lost all of her hair and the treatments aren’t working. I’ve been by her side most of the time except when I had to work.
    I come back the next day and she is doing terrible. She’s too weak to stand. They try one more treatment and it doesn’t work. She wants to do Hospice, she wants the treatments to be over.
    So we go home and spend time together. I can’t believe she going on Hospice, she’s only 22! I stay by her side and hold her hand. At 11:00 she falls asleep holding my hand. When I wake up her hand is cold. I scream so loud the neighbors wake up I can’t stand it, the love of my life is gone.

  2. ClutteredThoughts

    I am extremely late but too happy with this to not post it.

    You wouldn’t believe me if I told you I could fly, but it’s true and I can prove it, says the other person.

    I cannot see the face of the person I walk next to. Is it my best friend? A woman, a man? Someone I have never truly seen before, a face half-glimpsed and hardly remembered…

    We are walking slowly on a road the color of rust. Low clouds of dirt follow our feet. Rusty-dusty road, walking down a rusty-dusty roads, my mind says inanely.

    You wouldn’t believe me if I told you I could fly…

    I laugh, clearer than bells in the night, and tell the other person that I can fly too.

    …but it’s true, and I can prove it. Can you? he asks. Rusty-dusty, rusty-dusty road. There is nothing but flatness to either side.

    Well, of course I can. I just need a good place to do it, I say. Isn’t this a rusty-dusty road, and-

    STOP!

    The other person, the man, grabs my arm to keep me from going over the edge of the cliff. It came from nowhere, but that doesn’t matter. Nothing matters, but we have to fly. We have to prove it to each other.

    I can see your face, I say in surprise. It’s true. His chin’s got a reddish beard and light tan skin and short brown hair but the eyes, the eyes are still hidden. He looks like my friend.

    He laughs, shrugging off his heavy coat. It hadn’t been there before either, but you can’t fly with a heavy coat on, so it all made sense.

    Rusty-dusty road, pale-cream sky. Why is it not blue? Blue’s best for flying.

    You first, I tell the man. Prove to me you can fly.

    He smiles, facing towards me, back to the sky, and steps backwards.

    I fall, and the air rushing past my face is not really there, because I am still on the rusty-dusty road, watching him step backwards into the pale-cream sky, watching myself fall up on a pillar of earth. My eyes, too, are hidden.

    I don’t know which I am but I am falling, I am standing, in a rust-and-cream world…

    “Ah!” I clap my hand to my head, wincing. The light from my clock clearly shows me that I’ve just whacked it against the underside of my bunk bed, and the sound from above tells me I’ve woken up my roommate.

    “Wha…?” he growls.

    “Weird dream,” I reply, unable to recall the specifics. He grunts, gives me another look, and disappears back to his own dreamland.

    Or so I think. “Me, too,” he replies. “Something about a road, and a hidden face… and…”

    I’m already half-asleep again, so I can’t quite make out what he says, but it sounds a lot like rusty-dusty. I can’t remember why it sounds so familiar. Rusty-dusty and a pale-cream sky…

  3. Jennifer Park

    [This is based on a novel I have been pre-preparing.]

    “Mother.”

    Mother did not stop her chopping of the roots. Mother took pride in how finely and consistently she could chop, and she was not going to mess it up for the heresy her daughter was about to commit.

    “You’d never believe me if I told you that there is a place for me in the war, but it’s true.”

    Mother did not respond.

    “The Emissary will be here tomorrow, to confirm everything…”

    Mother looked up briefly, only to suggest that she did not want to hear about the Emissary. The knife continued chopping at an even pace.

    Kshtet decided to stop talking, and wait.

    It worked. “The Emissary… is a heretic.”

    “Yes, mother, and so am I.”

    “You no longer believe in the Trinity?”

    “I… We… believe that they are one. One-god.”

    “Heresy.”

    “Yes, mother.”

    “There will be a war. Against the heretics.”

    “Yes, mother, and I will be in the war.”

    “Why would they want your kind… our kind… in the war?”

    “They want… There is a place for everyone. For all of us. And me, too.”

    “You are of the wrong kind!”

    “Here, I am. Here, you are. But, under One-god…”

    Mother finally paused her chopping for a moment. She resumed her chopping.

    “Please, speak to the Emissary. All can be explained…”

    “The Emissary has done enough explaining. The Emissary is a heretic, and explained things to you. You are now a heretic. I do not want any explanations. There is no way there is a place for you in the war!”

    Kshtet teared up. Mother was determined not to understand. That Mother would not believe in One-god, Kshtet knew and accepted. That Mother would not understand Kshtet’s reason for believing in the Emissary, Kshtet knew and accepted. That Mother would not understand that Kshtet will be happy to be with the Emissary, to have a role in the war… that was one thing…

    “Do you love the Emissary?”

    Kshtet almost jumped in surprise. “What?”

    “Do you love… love, as in love, the Emissary.”

    Kshtet hurriedly shook her head. “No, Mother. It’s not about…”

    Mother stopped her chopping, put her knife down, and looked up at Kshtet. Her eyes were deep and moist. Her face was red with emotion. She was silently sobbing. Her eyes jittered as they tried to focus on Kshtet through the tears, and her lips quivered as she spoke. “It is OK if you love the Emissary… It is wrong, but it is OK. You are useless here, anyway, so you may as well go and die… with someone you love.”

    Kshtet had never thought that her feeling toward the Emissary entailed anything beyond admiration, camaraderie, kinship, friendship, and… and…

    Mother resumed her chopping. That was all the blessing she could afford for now.

    And all that Kshtet needed.

    1. MoiraiTQ

      This one reminded me of a conversation between my mother and me. She insisted that everyone had to believe in her God, regardless. I asked her if someone was an atheist if that person had insisted upon everyone being an atheist. My mom couldn’t see the correlation.

  4. Beebles

    Not original, but just having fun thinking about it the other way around.
    ————————–
    ‘You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.’

    ‘Told us what?’ Jugho replied, great jets of hot breath snorting from his nostrils in the cold winter air.

    ‘That I know where they came from.’

    ‘Who?’ Laylanda was practising her dance, twirling, arms outstretched face to the pale sun just cresting the top of the distant mountains and sending long shadows through the pine trees around the clearing where they sat.

    ‘The kings and queens of old,’ answered Kohli, familiar grin of mischief on his face. ‘But I can prove it. I can take us there.’

    ‘Rubbish!’ bellowed Jugho, rising to his feet. ‘It would be blasphemy. Anyway, I have a heifer and calves to get back to. I can’t go off on one of your hair brained adventures you pointy eared rascal.’

    ‘Why? Why should we fear to venture to their land if they can come here? Besides , we are only going to look. We needn’t stay.’

    ‘I think their land must be beautiful,’ called Laylanda dreamily, then laughed as she span faster and faster.

    ‘Then come on. It’s this way.’ Kohli rose and trotted off to where the pine wood was thickest. Laylanda glided after him, passing ethereally through the low needled branches, translucent dress of the fainest green pressed against her willow slim limbs by some otherworldly wind. Jugho snorted again, drinking in the clean fresh smell of the needles and thinking of the scolding he would get if he was late home, but Kohli would get himself into trouble if he did not stay with him. He always did. Sighing, he lumbered after his friends.

    The density of the branches increased until Kohli was having to fight his way through. They did not worry Laylanda of course.

    ‘Mind out, let me lead,’ Jugho growled and pushed to the front, cleaving a path with his thick arms, their black hair almost as thick as the needles. When the forest was so dense that even the most temeritous rays of the sun could not penetrate and even Laylanda was struggling, her natural cheery disposition draining like tapped sap, Jugho came to a sudden halt. He laid his hands on the surface confronting him.

    ‘It’s a door.’

    ‘I knew it,’ squealed Kohli in excitement. Jugho rounded on him and looked down, finding the furry legged rapscallion in the pitch darkness as easily as he could find his children’s bed in the rear of his cave at home, though the same darkness hid his expression from his friend.

    ‘Well, don’t just stand there you great bull, open it!’

    ‘Oh, yes do, Jugho,’ Laylanda pleaded in agreement, ‘I have never known a forest so claustrophobic. I do not think we can even get back this way.’

    Jugho felt the first real vein of fear solidify within him. He leant his great weight gently on the door and it creaked open.

    Before him lay a dim room, cluttered with all manner of furniture and bric-a-brac. A great glass window occupied one whole wall, beyond which there was a city of acrid, invisible smoke, tall buildings, and monstrous howling creatures of many colours that raced between them. And before the window walked the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve. Thousands of them.

    ‘By Aslan’s main,’ whispered the minotaur, stepping from what appeared to be a large cupboard, ‘what is this place?’

    ‘I don’t know,’ answered the faun, eyes wide with terror.

    ‘But,’ whimpered the Dryad through her tears. ‘I think we have left Narnia far behind,’

    1. Kerry Charlton

      It’s hard to express how much I liked this. The journey to the discovery was magnificent and the description of buildings, cars racing and the smog must have terrified them.

      Well, what happens next?

    2. pven

      Oh, nicely done. The words you chose were both descriptive and revealing, creating a setting that dovetailed well within the world that you reveal in the last few sentences. Nicely done indeed

  5. Smileyface256

    Rick ran his finger along the edge of the picture frame. Today had been…almost normal. Only a few orders to put together for work. A peaceful hike in the woods. Lars rambling about how far he’d gotten on writing his improvised play for the high school kids this fall. Mom had called–Rick sniffled, a tear he’d been holding in all day ran down his cheek.

    He thought that after ten years, today would be easier. In some ways it was; he’d gotten better at pasting on a smile and pretending. But every year, as soon as the day was over and he got behind closed doors, he would take out the picture of him and his dad when everything was normal. Before an officer came to the door, hat in hand, and said that his dad’s car had been found abandoned on the side of the road with a significant trail of blood that ended at a cliff over the ocean. Before the funeral with an empty casket, because no one ever found a body. Rick hugged the photo to his chest and allowed the tears to fall. It had taken him a long time to accept that his dad was really gone.

    He’d tried college, but changed his major eight times before finally dropping out. One year he made the mistake of visiting the cliff where the car had been found. His foot had hovered over empty space before a stranger pulled him back. He’d stayed away from high places ever since, brushing it off as a fear of heights.

    A knock yanked him back to the present. “Rick?”

    He sniffled and cleared his throat as he shoved the picture under a blanket. “Yeah?”

    “Someone’s here to see you, buddy.”

    Shoot. “Uh, ‘kay, give me a minute.” Rick swiped his eyes and blew his nose.

    Lars took a moment to respond. “Are you okay?”

    Rick cleared his throat again. “Yeah, yeah, I’m…fine. Just tell whoever it is that I’ll be there in like, five minutes.”

    “You sure?”

    Rick suppressed a groan as he saw his puffy eyes in the mirror. “Yes, I’m sure.”

    “Okay.” Lars’s footsteps receded down the hall.

    Rick finger-combed his hair, trying to make it less of a mess than usual. Who would come to see him a this time of night? He mostly kept to himself. Unless one of his siblings had made a surprise visit…but Angie lived on the other side of the country and Jay was visiting Mom, last he’d checked. Besides, his family rarely just…showed up like that, especially at this time of year. He gazed at his .45 for a moment and slipped it into the concealed holster on his waist before heading into the hall; couldn’t be too careful. He reached the living room and stopped cold.

    A man stood from the couch, hair a little grayed at the edges, face aged and scarred but still recognizable, a thousand emotions swirling in his dark green eyes. “Rick?”

    It was impossible. This couldn’t…this had to be a dream. Rick pinched himself until he felt a bruise forming on his arm. Okay, maybe he was seeing a ghost. Except, ghosts weren’t that solid…were they?

    “Rick, it’s me.”

    That voice…the voice that told him bedtime stories, the voice that rumbled with a deep, warm laugh when he used to tell jokes, the voice that comforted him when he was scared of the dark…he had missed that voice.

    The voice shook with emotion. “It’s your dad.”

    Rick lunged forward and threw his arms around the man. Because if this wasn’t real, if it was a dream, it was a darn good one and he would enjoy it while it lasted. The man–Mike–his dad–hugged back.

    “I can’t believe–you died, we all thought you were dead. How are you here?” Rick’s dad was a lot thinner than he remembered. “What happened to you?”

    Mike pulled back. “I was…imprisoned. Escape was difficult; I tried half a dozen times before I finally succeeded.”

    “Imprisoned?” Rick’s gut twisted. “By who?”

    “By–” Mike fixed his gaze on Rick’s hand and his eyes widened. “You’re not wearing your ring.”

    “Oh yeah, I left it in the bathroom.”

    “Put it back on, right now.”

    Rick was going to argue, but his dad looked terrified. Mike followed him as he ran to grab it.

    “How often do you leave your ring off, Rick?”

    Rick slipped it on. “I usually wear it, I just forgot.”

    Mike gripped Rick’s shoulders, eyes frantic. “I told you to never take it off!”

    “That was ten years ago before you di–before you disappeared! Why is it so important?”

    “It’s an inhibitor! It keeps you from being tracked!”

    Rick blinked. “What?”

    Mike let his hands slip to his sides. “That’s right…you don’t know.”

    “Know what?”

    “You’re a light bender, Rick.”

    Rick shook his head. “What?”

    “A light bender, like me. I was going to tell you earlier, but then…”

    “What the heck is a light bender?”

    “Someone who can bend waves of light, create illusions, and–look. I promise I’ll explain everything later, but we need to get out of here.”

    Rick looked at his dad sideways. “Why?”

    “Because those same people who imprisoned me will now be after you. They can track light benders, and they know where you are because you took your ring off.”

    Rick put his hands on Mike’s shoulders, studying his expression. “Dad, I hate to say this, but it sounds like the guys that imprisoned you messed with your head.”

    Mike sighed. “I know it’s hard to believe, but I swear I’m telling the truth. I know this is asking a lot, but I will explain more when we get to somewhere safe.” He looked Rick squarely in the eye. “Will you please trust me at least that far?”

    Rick studied his dad. He looked so much older than before, but in some ways he was the same man. He still loved Rick. He still wanted to protect him. “Yeah, I trust you.”

    Mike smiled slightly. “Thank you. We’ll pack a few essentials and go to our old family campsite. I’ll tell you everything on the way.”

    Rick nodded. “Okay.” He grabbed a backpack from his room and froze as the full realization of what just happened hit him in the face. Mom was going to freak out.

  6. Critique

    “It’s your turn.” Dennis grinned at the petite woman sitting on the ground next to him by the campfire.

    The six hikers had met a few days before and teamed up to go backpacking in Yosemite Park. The plan was to finish up climbing the Half Dome. They had finished day three of a four day hike and were unwinding by the crackling fire while stars twinkled in spectacular display above their heads. Someone had suggested they each tell a story about themselves staring with the sentence: “You’d never believe me if I told you that I….’ and let the others decide if it were true or not. There had been some hair raising and hilarious stories. Most of them true.

    “You’d never believe me if I told you that I survived a vicious dog attack, but it’s true and I can prove it.” Dulcie said.

    Tyler the certified leader of the hiking expedition added more wood to the fire and cast a discreet glance at the attractive woman who had proved her mettle on the strenuous hike.

    “Last spring I went for a walk near my home – I live on an acreage. It was a beautiful day, a little cool – I was in shorts but decided at the last minute to wear my sweats. I sing in a community choir so I thought I would squeeze in some practice for our year end concert. It seems bizarre looking back but I was singing Stevie Wonders ‘Don’t’ You Worry About a Thing’ when I heard a dog barking. I saw a big dog in a fenced yard barking his head off at me. The dog was contained so I wasn’t worried. Then off to the side I saw a German Shepherd crawl under the partly opened garage of the same place and run towards me.”

    “My first thought was – he’ll leave me alone if I ignore him and keep walking. The dog grabbed my lower leg in his mouth and hung on as I walked. I knew I was in trouble.” Dulcie’s voice cracked recalling the feral eyes and hot breath. “I thought he would let go. But no. He ran around me in circles biting my legs. I was screaming. Then it grabbed my buttock in his mouth and hung on as I walked. I could feel my flesh tearing in his mouth.”

    “Good god.” Someone murmured.

    “I kept my arms tight to my chest because I thought, if I swung at him he’d grab my arm and I’d go down.” Dulcie’s clasped her arms around her knees recalling the terror. “He’d have me then.”

    “Bloody hell.” Another hiker said. “What happened?”

    “Down the road a man run out of a yard with a hockey stick in his hands. The dog kept at me. I was screaming. I heard him say, ’That dog should be put down’ as he ran past me swinging at the dog. An older man came out from another yard – said he heard me screaming, and asked what happened. I was a mess. Could hardly walk. He took me into his house where he and his wife kindly took care of me.”

    “You must have had some serious injuries?” Dennis asked quietly.

    “I ended up in emergency. The police were called. They took pictures. Pressed charges against the dog owner. Thankfully I wasn’t wearing shorts or it could have been worse. I needed stitches in several places, had puncture wounds everywhere. My legs were black and blue for weeks.” Dulcie looked up to see them all watching her intently. She tipped her head down, embarrassed at the attention. “The proof is in the scars.”

    “Don’t think we need proof Dulcie.” A hiker spoke up. “We know truth when we hear it.”

    “I hope they put the damn dog down.” Tyler said jabbing at the glowing embers with a stick.

    Dulcie nodded. “Yes the police told us the owner put the dog down.”

    The therapist had reassured her it was a good thing to share her experience. That it would get easier. Dulcie took in a deep breath, relieved there were no tears this time.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      This was close to terrifying to read and seemed so true I am going to ask you, is it? It appears to me with the descripotive verse it would be close to impossible to write something that exact and detailed and terrifying. If it is fiction you fooled this old buzzard.,

      1. Critique

        Hi Kerry, you are perceptive.
        It’s mostly nonfiction – happened to yours truly this past April. The hiking trip is false – the attack is true. Worst experience of my life…. And yes my therapist encouraged me to confront it, talk about it and that it would eventually be categorized as one of life’s experiences. Almost there 🙂
        Thanks for commenting.
        Val.

  7. pven

    “I’ve a way to get through the mountains, and I can prove it!” Dusan said. Rummaging through his knapsack, he pulled out a small, dark, roughly cylindrical rock and held it up.

    The patron nearest to him squinted at Dusan’s hand and asked: “Whuzzat?”

    “It’s a compass. A Magic Compass.”

    “Magic Compass?” Amber laughed. Her cajoling eyes sparked briefly, but Dusan didn’t see the flare-up. “Isn’t that an opera?”

    “No, no. That was about a flute.” Dusan held the lodestone by its tapered ends, as though shifting his grip would help explain. “This helps you find things.”

    Chairs shuffled on the floor. “Find things?” someone asked. “It’s not some Masonic devilry, is it?”

    “Masoni…? No, no. I don’t think so…”

    “Hey!” slurred a rotund fellow sitting beside the fireplace. “Find me pet chicken! It’s been lost these past four days!”

    “OK.. um… ‘pet chicken…’. Do you have a feather of hers I can use, or…”

    The room erupted into laughter.

    “He don’t have no pet chicken!”

    “Didn’t you eat the poor thing?”

    “Ach!” the portly man shouted, slapping his stomach. “She’s been found, then! In me belly!”

    Dusan lowered his head and shoved the lodestone back into his sack.

    “Why not find a passage through the mountains, as you said?”

    The inn fell silent at the stern gravelly voice that had rumbled out from the darkest corner of the room. A man leaned forward from the corner, allowing his hood to drop further down his face, conceding only a wizened scowl and a gristly chin to identify him.

    “What, here?”

    “Here is a good starting place,” the man said.

    Dusan nodded. “A good starting place…” he repeated. He wrapped a string around one end of his compass.
    Stretching his arm straight in front of him, he let the lodestone drop until it hung half a meter from the floor.

    “A passage through the mountains…” he murmured, staring at the stone as though willing it to move. “Point to a passage through…”

    Although Dusan remained still, the lodestone began to swing back and forth. The inn’s patrons chuckled nervously as it swung wider, then fell silent as they realized that the compass was no longer swinging, but defying gravity and pulling Dusan’s hand towards the door.

    “Ah! That makes sense,” Dusan chuckled, withering under the hidden gaze of the cowled man. “We’ll – um – need to go out the door, first.”

    The inn spluttered into laughter, although several patrons remained nervous. The cowled man leaned back into the darkness and said nothing.

    “Put that away!” Amber snapped, grabbing the compass from the air. She shoved it into Dusan’s hands before he could protest, and closed his fingers around it. “You don’t want to attract any unwanted attention with magic.”

    Only then did Dusan notice the cold stares that would not meet his eyes, and the wary eyes and nervous glances from those who had been laughing moments before. He nodded, and shoved the rock back into his knapsack.

    “But now you believe me,” he said.

  8. MoiraiTQ

    way more words than i had planned.

    “I can prove it! I can prove it! I can prove it!”

    Ah! Katie awoke with a start. She was drenched with sweat. Her eyes were in that wild post-nightmare mode. She sat up in bed and looked around. All was normal in her bedroom. No fog or strange characters.

    Good thing it was Saturday. She really needed the day off. Katie got up and pull on her yoga pants and t-shirt. Grabbing her phone from the bed side table, she ambled down the hall way to start a small pot of coffee. When the coffee was dripping into the pot, she went into the living room to turn the TV on. She wanted to catch the local news before she started her day. Walking back into the kitchen, she pulled out the frying pan from the cupboard and the bacon and eggs from the fridge.

    The coffee finished, so she poured a cup. The pan was heating up, so she added two slices of the maple flavored bacon into the pan. It smelled really good. Coffee, maple bacon, and eggs. She was really looking forward to her breakfast.

    She kept an eye on the bacon and picked up her phone to check her emails. As she was reading the first one, she was listening to the news. It was a human interest story about a family adopting a dog from the shelter. Suddenly there was an added voice coming over the TV. It was a weird one. It didn’t fit the story. She couldn’t tell what it was saying. It was more of a mumble or a muffled sound. It really wasn’t out loud, but more in her head.

    Katie turned to the left to look at the TV. She could see the video of the family, but something else was appearing on or taking over the screen. It was pretty weird. It started to look like her dream. She blinked a couple of times thinking it was going to go away. It didn’t.

    No one was going to believe this. She closed her email, tapped her camera app, and tapped the video. She started recording what was on the screen. It seemed like the rest of the world had paused. She didn’t hear her bacon, but didn’t want to stop looking at the TV to ensure it wasn’t going to burn.

    She was looking at her smartphone screen and it was the same as what she was seeing with her eyes. The image that was taking over the TV screen was looking and talking to Katie. It, he, or whatever was calling her name, with this being the only thing that was discernable from the rest of the voice.

    Katie was having a hard time not walking over to the TV. That thing was commanding her to get closer to it. She could feel it trying to pull her into it. She didn’t want to and she stood her ground. She didn’t know what was going to happen if she got closer. It scared her too much.

    Her nightmare started to come back to her. She had almost touched it in her dream. The closer she got the more she felt like she was losing herself. No, more like she was getting sucked out of her body. No way was she going to let this happen to her in real life. Real life? Stuff like this doesn’t happen in real life.

    Luckily, she noticed her remote control on the counter. Still recording, she shuffled those few steps over to the remote control. She wasn’t able to move her hand to it. The voice, the power, or whatever that was coming from that thing that was on the TV wasn’t letting her pick it up. She wanted to shut the TV off, to get rid of that thing. Unlike her dream, she really only could make out its eyes and sort of its mouth. She could see the mouth moving as if it if was really talking, but still it was a mumble or a muffled voice. Just when it said her name, did she understand what it was saying.

    She took a deep breath and forced her hand closer to the remote. She felt something pushing her hand away. Again, she slid her hand closer to the remote. The voice got more insistent and angry, the closer her hand got to the remote. She felt something try to push her hand away. Not this time! She clenched her teeth and forced her hand to the remote. She grabbed it with her left hand. Her right was still steady and recording what was on the TV. She slid her hand up the remote so she could reach the power button with her index finger. As her finger got closer to the button, she felt heat coming from the button. At this point, she aimed her phone at her hand on the remote. A quick peak to ensure it was aimed at her hand. Eyes back on the TV.

    The will of the thing on the TV wasn’t getting stronger, but angrier. Katie was winning and it hated it.

    She turned her phone back to the TV. She pressed the power button on the remote. The thing on the TV screamed. It was the sound of a hundred souls screaming in terror and anger, knowing that they had lost.

    Just then, the TV returned back to the human interest story of the family adopting the dog from the shelter. Katie put the remote down. Her hand was tired from fighting the force. She put her phone into her left hand and stopped the video.

    No one will believe me that I saw an evil spirit, but I can prove it! It’s all here on my phone.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        This is one heck of a frightening story, the power of evil trying to get out of the TV and into your mind. Today you don’t need to convince me there are evil spirits and angels to combat them. And I will tell you what happened to me today. Three years ago I lost my wedding ring and had worn it 47 years. I was devestated and scalped the back yard, rented a metal detector and walked it an entire weekend. Looked eyerywhere inside, no luck for weeks.
        Last Saturday I started cleaning my workshop located in a small room off the garage.

        This Saturday I continued throwing most of it away and three hours ago, I removed the last heay boxes from under the workbench. When I started to sweep the inch worth of dust and garbage away, I found my wedding ring. It had been under the es. Neither box had been moved for six or seven years. And you say are there ghosts, for certain along with a host of angels. P. S. I’m not riting a story, It happened three hours ago.

        1. MoiraiTQ

          Thank you so much, Kerry, for your words! Your opinion of my writing means a lot to me.

          I’m glad you found your ring. It would be worth writing about, though.

  9. JosephFazzone

    You know that song? That song you can never get out of your head? You can’t always get what you want, something about cherry red, and whether the singer ever got what he wanted when he ordered it at the Chelsea Drug Store. These are questions to ponder on another prompt, or perhaps, some would argue, never again.

    Well this is a tale about getting what you want, and that being the problem.

    “You’d never believe me if I told that I have seen a UFO, but it’s true and I can prove it!” Vipsork told me.

    “Say what kind of name is Vipsork anyway?”

    “You always ask that,” he said with a snorkel sort of laugh. He brushed a single lock of alabaster hair out of his eyes.

    “And yet, you never answer.” I asked as I wondered what he spent in bleach every year. Of course, I was skeptical, so I made the mistake of asking him to, “Prove it.”

    We got into his car, drove away, and after a while, we parked his blue Subaru on the side of the road a few miles up at the Santa Susanna Pass, through Box Canyon. Remember all those stories we heard about the illegal rocket fuel dumping, and that the whole area is contaminated? Well, Vipsork had no concerns as we hiked up a small game trail into the small forest of sparse bony trees, and boulders. As we rounded the bend, there we were face to face with this flat rectangle shaped vehicle made from black opaque matte like surface..

    My jaw had been slack as I stared, and Vipsork snorted, and then said some word I didn’t understand that sounded like he said, “Fire Tree Kitchen.” And the door to the vehicle opened.

    “There it is,” he said proudly.

    I stared, and ran my hand down the edge of the door. The material the ship was made from felt like a cross between velvet and stone.

    The ship shivered as I rubbed it. My hand retracted in fear, and Vip laughed.

    “It’s sentient,” he explained. “I think she likes you.”

    “She?”

    He just laughed at my discomfiture.

    “Come on in,” he said as he boarded. “I will show you how it works.”

    “You’re an alien!” I exclaimed.

    “Is it that obvious?”

    “We’re in a frickin’ space ship after all, so…”

    “Well, it’s true,” he replied as he laughed and bowed. “You have been selected to represent your species in a very special operation.”

    “So, you’re not going to slice me, dice me, and have me for breakfast?” Why did I go inside with him?
    “If you want I can, but were on the verge of a major war on a nearby planet, and your specific genetic makeup is critical to our species survival.”

    I shrugged in confusion, “All I have is a mild case of eczema.”

    He shook his head, and laughed. “You have no idea how special you are.”

    He fired up the controls, and the ship lurched upward.

    “Wait!” I screamed finally realizing what happened.

    Too late.

    Mom, I love you and the puppies. Please give them my love. This letter is never going to get to you. I’m on the planet Zurko in the Mejinma Galaxy. Nowhere near home.

    So, I finally got what I wanted.

    I think that song should add the line, “you can sometimes get what you want, but if you end up stuck, your sh*t out of luck, get the heck out.”

    Now I’m stuck here until I save their planet or something. Didn’t get what I needed. Screw that song.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Well Joseph you a winner here. You need to introduce some half naked beauties who have no idea how we reproduce . Would that make an interesting part two. I would say so. Your descriptive really works well in the story and I am itchy for part two. Go man!!

  10. typewriter

    (This story is 741 words longer. So, I got a little carry away with it, coming up with more touches sure packs a punch. And there is a twist at the end. Happy reading you all.)

    You’d never believe me if I told that I found a Zoltar Fortune Teller machine (manufactured by Pinball Machine Co.) in the garage, but it’s true and I can prove it. “Hurry, I’ll show you.” I beckoned Bobby to the detach, one-car garage, which led by a hilly walkway. It’s been a scorching Saturday afternoon here at Mrs. Bucket’s house across the street. For a bit of extra cash, we’d decided to help clean the garage. Mrs. Bucket gave us a list of things to do. I had the piece of green tint Steno paper crumpled in my pocket with all the things scrawled onto it. Maybe if you do a good enough job, she’ll invite us in for a dish of her homemade blueberry cobbler, which is resting on the windowsill cooling. The flourishing scent phantoming around my nostrils. It smelled rich and utterly good. I can almost taste it.

    The garage has not been touched for twenty years. What a heap of a mess you have there grandma. Since her husband passed, she neglected it. Now she’s feeling energetic to clean it (out with the old, and in with the new), with the help of me and my friend Bobby Champ.

    “Good riddance to bad rubbish,” Mrs. Bucket said.

    Bobby and I stood in the grungy garage, he was thinking exactly what I was thinking: man, sure beats shingling roofs in the dead of summer. What a load of junk.

    “You think we’ll find Jimmy Hoffa in here?” Bobby said sarcastically.
    “Clearance sale. Everything must go,” I said remarkably.
    “Where is the Zoltar machine? I haven’t seen one in person before. Hope it still work.”

    I said, “Look over there!” I pointed to where the Zoltar machine was. Bobby looked and saw it, he stared quizzically for a moment at it, and saw the most amazing thing he’d ever in his life. Bobby, mystified—and I could tell he was eager and desperate to speculate it.
    The Zoltar Fortune Teller stood next to a battered vintage Cola machine. A pool table (with a few storage crates of second-hand books on top) in front of it.
    “Let’s move the pool table,” I suggested.

    Once we had moved the table, we was closer to Zoltar. Still in working condition. A spider web crack on the windowpane, but with a few minor repairs. A little spit polish sure would make it glisten like Dorothy’s ruby slippers. Probably be worth thousands of dollars.

    “The thing’s been sitting here for a really long time, I mean look at the dust.” I took my hands and windshield wiped the window. Inside, Zoltar vaguely appeared.
    “According to Mrs. Bucket, I guess Mr. Bucket (Bob) worked at a gift shop at an amusement park back in the 80’s. The park closed down back in ‘96 due to financial problems, you know the usual allegations, and auctioned to the public. Bob bought this machine.”

    We was invited in for Mrs. Bucket’s blueberry cobbler, Mrs. Bucket prepped me and Bobby a cold glass of Nesquik strawberry milk. Our cobbler was still warm to the touch. I forked a piece into my watery mouth. Me and Bobby was seated across from each other, with Mrs. Bucket at our sides at the head of the table that centered the dining room.
    “The cobbler is really good Mrs. Bucket,” Bobby said sincerely.
    “Please call me Martha, dear. Did you guys get a lot out, is the garage clearer, now that I can put the important stuff at?”
    “Yes. You can put as much stuff as you want,” I said.
    “We did find a Zoltar machine in the there. I didn’t know if you remember that. Sure looks like it’s been in there for a long time.” Bobby said.

    Mrs. Bucket looked at us boldly. Her eyes became narrow slits. “You didn’t happened to plug it in, did you?”
    “Nope.”
    “Why?”
    “That machine holds something malevolent inside it. It gives a similitude affect; a semblance of it. Once it’s plugged in, whoever comes in contact with it. You are not you. You are it.”
    “Don’t worry, we didn’t plug it in,” Bobby chuckled.
    “I’ve plugged it in before. When Bob died, I had wondered about my future predictions,” Martha said.
    Mrs. Bucket craned her head back like a Pez dispenser, her jaw opened, revealing a set of coffee-stained dentures.
    What came out was a shocking discovery. A fortune ticket rolled out from her mouth.

    1. writer_sk

      Typewriter: I liked it! I felt I was in the garage and in the kitchen eating the dessert. Wonderful storytelling. The ending was creepy. Good job.

  11. Russ

    You’d never believe me if I told you that I saw a gorilla in my closet, but it’s true and I can prove it.

    It happened 3 nights ago. I was trying to sleep, almost asleep as a matter of fact, and I heard a loud bang, a loud thud, in my closet. My first assumption was that there was a person in there, but I was wrong. I continued to lie there, nervous as hell and still as a statue. A burglar? A murderer?

    I soon heard shuffling in the closet; my clothes were being pushed around. The closet door was opened, but more closed than anything, so I got up as quick as a rabbit on ice and ran for my bedroom door. I made it and went to my living room. Quiet as a mouse, I listened. I then heard another bang. It sounded like the closet door opened. I heard shuffling come towards me, and then I saw a gorilla enter my living room. It went straight for my backyard screen door and went through it like it was paper, and then it must have hopped a fence, because it was nowhere to be found when I went outside moments later.

    I called the police, but they didn’t believe me. But look at this screen door; do you think I did that? and come here, let me show you this.

    He had me follow him to his room. The closet door was unhinged.

    Look at that damn hair! That is gorilla hair!

    He swiped a hanging shirt and showed me several black, thick, short hairs.

  12. Bushkill

    Finish This Sentence #7 – You’d Never Believe Me
    7-2-17
    (So I’ve missed a few weeks …er months trying to complete a novel. I hope to be more regular with this now. Also trying to get a blog going over at https://ktmorley.wordpress.com/ Plan on taking this short over there and elaborating a little on the what’s and why’s. Not sure of the legality of that, mean no offense. Enjoy!)

    “You ain’t gonna believe this, Mal. Did I tell ya’, that story about Carla?” I looked sideways, shifting my gaze with some effort to Mal. The room spun at my every motion. “It’s true. I can proves it even.” I grinned slowly and took another long pull on my next to next to last pint.

    “Your drunk, Tommy. Go home.”

    “I’s paid for a few more rounds yet. I’ll get goin’ after that.”

    “You show up sauced for work tomorrow and you’ll be out of a job again. You should quit now and drink some water to help flush your system.” Mal slid a twenty forward to cover his tab and tip the barkeeper. “See ya’ around, Tommy.”

    I smiled and raised my glass to Mal but he just shook his head and walked out. I saw him lean over the other end of the bar and talk to someone, but lordy! I can’t see that far on a good night and tonight ain’t that kinda’ good. The woman turned and came straight down the bar to me, leaning on the counter and staring at me hard.

    “Ugh, Hi Carla. What’s got you all stirred up?” I hastily wiped the dribble of beer off my chin and swept a hand through my hair to give the semblance of cool sobriety.

    “Mal said you was talking ‘bout me, Tommy.” Her eyes glistened as if on the verge of tears.

    Now, you need to know Carla, see. She’s not the cryin’ sort. More the love ‘em and leave ‘em sort. She’s got brains and, well, “other attributes”, which conspire to give her power over mortal men.
    She lassoed a young buck a couple years back who thought he was an actual descendent of Zeus, a verified Greek god. Seems the lad figured he would marry himself a leopard or whatever and then walk away with a fat purse.

    He figured wrong with Carla, see.

    He wanted half of everything in the divorce, the house, the money coming in, and the sports cars. Old Carla, she saw him coming long before that though. She’s smart.

    The lawyer says “split it all” but Carla wants the house. She hides her play like a pro and talks the lawyers into settling on something like 80% of her paycheck goes to Apollo but she gets to keep the house. Carla, she made good money brokering trades in the city. Seven figures!

    The kid thinks he’s hit it big time, but Carla waits till all the ink dries, see, then quits. Seems as if that sort of salary led to a conservation of wealth and a healthy, hidden bank account.

    The bartender puts a glass of water by my beer. Then she leans over so our faces are close. “And he don’t get my tip money neither, Tommy, that ain’t salary. Now, if you don’t start walking home, I’ma be forced to take you home with me.”

    “No thanks, Carla. I’ll be goin’ on my own.”

    1. JRSimmang

      I wouldn’t cross Carla, that’s for sure. I wonder if she’s living up to the legend about her, or if she’s just benefiting from them.
      Nice job with the dialogue, and I think the MC is developed nicely.
      Welcome back, Bushkill.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Good to see you Bushkill
        I.liked the story a lot and found Carla a really interesting .Woman. if you knows how to jabber to them you’se got you a good woman and not a prickly pear. Years of understanding a few women like her, not that I,’ve fallen for ’em. Well ….Maybe once or twice.

    2. RafTriesToWrite

      Welcome back bushkill!
      Loved the theme of both the dialogue and narration.
      I’m with Kerry, Carla seems like an interesting woman. Though I’ve never met any women, or anyone new for that matter, these past few months, so I couldn’t say I know what kind of a woman Carla is. Nor have I met a woman like her in the past as well.
      I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something off about her. Something, something bad.
      Hmmmmm. Maybe it’s all just in my head?

  13. MoiraiTQ

    Hold pver from Shark Attack. if you’re interested, please see pts 1 and 2 in the previous prompt.

    Shark Attack pt 3

    Trippy and Rooster were in one of the local bars off the strip. Like most locals, they avoided the strip like the plague. Prices were too high and there were too many tourists. Both men turned their heads and looked at the beautiful older woman as she entered the bar. Her entrance brought in the evening heat. She waited a few seconds, close to the door, before she sat next to Trippy. She ordered a gin and tonic while she sat at the bar. When her drink arrived, she held the glass loosely with both hands. She still had the wedding ring tan on her ring finger.

    The men knew money when they saw it. Intrigued, Rooster moved to the seat on the other side of the woman. Still looking at her drink, she quietly said, “I have a gun and I’m not afraid to use it. I want to make a deal with you, Trippy. Your friend needs to leave.” She didn’t move her head or her eyes until Trippy signaled for his friend to leave the bar. “I’ll catch up to you later,” was all he said. Rooster left a little butt hurt. He didn’t want to miss out on the action he thought that Trippy was going to get with that woman.

    She looked up from her drink and straight into Trippy’s eyes. Her eyes and face had no expression. Dead eyes. Trippy started to get scared. She got up from the bar, walked over to a darkened booth in the corner, and sat down. He just sat there at the bar.

    “Bring me my drink.” It wasn’t a request.

    Trippy picked up the glass and sat in the opposite side of the booth. She stretched out her long leg and put her foot onto the seat next to him; letting him know that he wasn’t to leave.

    “I have a deal for you. Three people need to die.”

    He raised an eyebrow in question, but not denial.

    “Three women are in town. Once we agree, then I’ll give you information about them and their car. Make it good.”

    She reached across the table for her drink. Trippy held onto it. “How much?”

    “A million dollars.”

    ++++

    The funeral for Rooster was a quiet one. Trippy was one of the pallbearers and gave the eulogy.

    1. JRSimmang

      Oh no! How’d Rooster die?
      So, Sandy, Judy, and Heidi went to Vegas, but Trippy got to them first. This is one messed up love… hexagon. With each part, you’ve added some very intriguing details. Seems like there might need to be a part 4 sometime soon.

  14. flyaway

    Jane’s jacket flapped in the wind as she made her way home. The temperature had noticeably dropped since she left the bakery just over ten minutes ago.

    “Jesus, it’s cold. Where did those clouds come from?” she wondered to herself, quickly zipping up her jacket, then shoving her hands in its pockets.

    She picked up her pace – the rhythmic thwack of her sneakers hitting the pavement grew louder, lulling her into deep thought. The street she was on was mostly empty, yet she didn’t notice passing the little girl, who sat cross-legged in front of the ash blue house.

    “Hey!” shouted the little girl, “Miss! Can you help me?”

    Startled, Jane looked around before realizing the voice had come from behind her. She turned to see a six-, maybe seven-year-old running towards her.

    “Sorry? Did you say something?” she asked the little girl.

    “Yeah, I said I need your help. It’s Mother’s Day tomorrow and I wanted to bake cookies for my mom, because she works all day and really likes cookies, but I don’t know how to bake.”

    “What makes you think I do?”

    “Well, I remember seeing you working at the bakery when I was there last week with my mom.”

    Jane didn’t like the intense way the little girl was looking at her. It felt almost impatient, as though she had been waiting on Jane.

    “Is anyone home, honey?” Jane asked.

    The little girl scowled. “No, I just TOLD you: My mom works all day, and she really likes cookies, and – ”

    “Ok, ok. I got it. But, honey, can’t you ask one of your neighbors to help? I don’t think your mom would like a stranger to be in her house when she’s not there.”

    “Oh… They’re not home, anymore,” the little girl paused slightly, “My name is Violet. Now we’re not strangers. Can you please help me?” Violet clasped her hands together and pouted her lips.

    Jane looked towards the sky and noticed the clouds had grown darker. “It’s probably going to rain any minute,” she thought. She needed another half hour to get home, which would feel that much longer if she walked it in the rain.

    “Alright,” she told Violet reluctantly, “I’ll help you. We’ll bake the cookies quickly and then you’ll lend me an umbrella.”

    “Oh!” The request clearly surprised the little girl. “I guess that’s… fair.”

    Violet led Jane up the cracked driveway and through a vine-covered door to the side of the house. Once inside, Violet switched the lights on. Jane noticed that there wasn’t a lot of furniture in the house. A strange sadness washed over Jane, but she couldn’t tell why.

    “Are you guys moving out?” she asked Violet.

    “No, we just moved in last month. My mom said the neighbors at our old house were too nosy…”

    Jane noticed the little girl’s eyes growing darker as she spoke, sending shivers down Jane’s spine. Violet realized she was being observed and quickly changed her demeanor back to the happier one she had a few minutes prior.

    They made their way into the kitchen, where Violet took a big recipe book off the shelves near the pantry door. Despite her small stature, the floorboards seemed to creak as she passed the pantry.

    “We should make these chocolate chip cookies. My mom loves this recipe because there’s this secret ingredient. You’d never believe me if I told you that it gives you, like, special powers, but it’s true and I can prove it. My mom uses it all the time.”

    “What’s the secret ingredient?”

    Violet furrowed her brows together. “It’s… unusual. It sort of depends on the person… My mom usually keeps it behind that door,” she said, pointing to the pantry.

    “Then could you get it? I need to read over the recipe to know what to do.”

    “It’s… on a really high shelf, so I can’t reach it…” By the last few words Violetta’s voice had dropped to almost a whisper.

    Jane suddenly noticed a faint light coming from under the door. Had it always been on? She made her way over, noticing that her heart had started beating a little faster. As soon as the cookies are done, she’s leaving, she resolved. Something about this house and the little girl was just… off.

    “You know, Violet, you really should turn off the lights when you-”

    Jane opened the door to find a windowless dirty room with an empty table in the middle. On the opposite walls glistened newly sharpened knives of various shapes and sizes in the fluorescent lighting. And right next to the door stood a middle-aged woman, whose toothy smile cleaved wrinkles into her tired face.

    “Wha-”, Jane barely uttered before she felt two small hands push her from behind. The door whipped itself shut and she heard Violet call out, “Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!”

    1. JRSimmang

      One of my favorite Neil Gaiman short stories is “Click Clack the Rattlebags.” It’s a stupendously horrific story, and I think you’ve given Gaiman a run for his money. Great pacing, excellent dialogue. I was on the edge of my seat. Thanks, Fly.

      1. flyaway

        I just read the story and they’re kind of similar! haha
        I don’t know about the run for his money, tho. His story had this amazing movement I’m still struggling to put into mine. But thanks so much for the compliment 🙂

    2. RafTriesToWrite

      OH MY GOSH. My heart was racing when Violet said that their old neighbors were too nosy and I don’t know why. You really built the tension up for me here flyaway. Gave me the shivers until the end afterwards.

      Nicely done.

  15. dustymayjane

    ~Love and Living ~

    “I know you find it hard to believe. But if you’ll give me a chance, I’ll prove that I love you Carl.” 

    Jeanette held tightly to Carl’s arm, pressing it between her breasts. Her ebony eyes and coal black hair shimmered in the starry moonlight. The romantic path was certain to have seen many exchanges of ardor. Many warm lips parted in anticipation and many tears shed over broken hearts as well. 

    Carl cursed the moon and the stars, and most of all the testosterone that rushed through his body, sending every last drop of his blood straight to his groin. 
     
    “Jeannette please, don’t.” Carl groaned and pulled at his arm.  

    Unrelenting, Jeannette stepped closer and pulled him in with a deep, sensuous kiss.  

    Carl’s body hummed in response to her sweet mouth and her amazing talent to use it so persuasively. He pushed at her and tried desperately to clear his head. “Stop it Jeannette! I’m begging you.” 

    Jeannette wanted Carl and she would stop at nothing to have him. Her thoughts raced. What could she do? How could she make him stay with her? 

    “Carl, I didn’t want to tell you this way.” Jeannette pulled away and turned her back to Carl. She doubted briefly, her lie and couldn’t face him while delivering it. But wouldn’t let him go this way. “It’s Maryanne. She’s having an affair, with my brother John.” 

    Carl’s eyes widened in shock. “No! You’re lying. I don’t believe you!” He turned Jeannette to face him and saw the fear in her eyes, the desperation. The emotion was raw, he saw her pain. She was telling the truth. Wasn’t she?

    Jeannette drew emotion from deep within and let a tear fall from her thick lashes and down her porcelain cheek. “I’m so sorry Carl. Please let me love you, my darling. I can make you happier than she ever could.”  

    Carl believed Jeannette’s lie and embraced her while shedding his own tears. His wife, Maryanne, could it be that she was unfaithful? It all made sense. John and Maryanne had been friends for a long time. And Jeannette, so beautiful. 

    Carl’s eyes were pinched closed, while Jeannette’s opened behind his back, and she smiled, knowing she’d won.

    “Cut! That’s a wrap. We’ll see you in the morning everyone.” 

    Jerry turned to Alex, the producer of ‘Love and Living’ and said. “I told you she was hot. Didn’t I tell you? I proved it to you too!” 

    Alex slapped Jerry on the back and even though it irked him to admit it, that scene had his jeans tightening a bit too. “You were one hundred percent correct Jerry.”

     

    1. JRSimmang

      Oh, Carl. You twit. I guess we’ll have to tune in next week to find out what happens.
      Jeannette’s character is very well-fleshed out here, and I think she may be more than a little dangerous.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I want to know where this girl was when I was in college. We had a serious lack of “smoking” women at the time. I was hooked total like a dumb fish. I loved this, got the old body moving

  16. ShamelessHack

    You may not believe it, but I am actually a ___________ and I can prove it.

    When I was young, everyone thought I was a **********, or a ########, but I was always set on being a ___________, come hell or high water.

    In high school, one of my friends, who was a natural-born ;;;;;;;;;;;;; encouraged me to strive for my dream.

    Then in the army, @@@@@@@ was drilled into me. But I knew if I kept my eye on the ___________ I would triumph.

    I got a job in finance, and though you might think I would have become a $$$$$$$$, instead I met a woman who changed my life.

    Her name is &&&&&& and she is totally ‼‼‼‼‼‼‼. We got married and now have three children, 111111, 222222, and Eddie.

    And I’ve built my own business, a keyboard company which I named “Typo DotdotdotdotdotdotCom.”

    This morning I got up early and looked in the mirror. My heart soared. Staring back at me was a ___________!

    Don’t let anyone tell you that you’ll never realize your dreams. If they do, just tell them, “#%@* you!”

    1. writer_sk

      You’re good at comedy- especially set ups and and one liners.

      Totally fun to read and I’m not saying that because I’m a /////////////

      I also loved Eddie

    2. JRSimmang

      Just played MadLibs with your piece, Shameless, and it was one of the best so far. I think the MC certainly proved one thing: you’ve got such great comedic timing that comes out time and again. Very entertaining.

  17. Turkey Girl

    “You’d never believe me if I told you I was telling the truth, but I am, and I can prove it,” Mark insisted to Tayyib. “I was having lunch with my wife. I’m sure she’d be glad to reassure you about where I was.”

    The Arabian man shook his head. “You are correct. I don’t believe you. I do not believe you were at lunch. I think you were planting a bomb in that hotel building we were holding a conference in.”

    “I was nowhere near any hotel buildings.”

    Tayyib pulled a photograph from his pocket and showed it to Mark. “We have evidence that you walked past the building moments before it blew up. What were you doing there?”

    Mark squinted in the candlelight to look at the photo. “I was walking my wife to her car. That doesn’t make me a criminal.”

    “But blowing up a building does. Who do you work for?”

    Mark held the man’s icy stare. “I work at Speedway. My wife’s a nurse.”

    Tayyib laughed. “You don’t work for Speedway. You work for the government. They told you to blow up that hotel and they gave you the equipment to do it. We will take our revenge as soon as you tell us what we need to know.”

    Mark twisted in the wooden chair he was chained to, wondering if there was a way to get out. Tayyib was holding the candle dangerously close to his face, so close he could feel the heat from the flame reaching towards his face. “I don’t work for the government. My bank account is proof enough of that. Look, I don’t know who blew up your hotel, but I know it wasn’t me. So why don’t you just let me go and find the real guy?”

    Mark watched as the Arabian’s eyes flashed red with anger. The man stood up and punched him hard. Mark could feel blood running from his nose, warming his face in the bitterly cold basement. He wanted to get home to his wife and leave the entire incident behind, but somehow, he’d been horribly caught up in it.

    Tayyib walked over to the other side of the room. He blew out the candle. Somehow, in the dark, he was still able to make his way around the room. He came back to Mark.

    “When is the next important government meeting?” he asked. “Preferably one which the president attends.”

    “I don’t work for the government.”

    Mark watched as Tayyib kicked the legs of the chair. They broke, and the entire structure collapsed on the floor in a wooden mess. Surprisingly enough, Mark was still tightly bound to what was left of the chair, and he couldn’t move it anywhere. He watched with growing fear as Tayyib pulled a matchbox from his pocket and struck a single match. Leaning down, he lit the edges of the wood with Mark in the middle of it.

    “You may not ever tell us who you really work for, but we will still have our revenge,” he said, climbing the ladder out of the basement and closing the trapdoor behind him.

    Mark watched for a few seconds in silent horror as the flames ate their way over the wood. He struggled to break away and get out of the mess, but the chains which held him down were far too sturdy. He knew that once the wood was burned enough, he could get away, but he didn’t know how long it would take. His clothes were already catching fire and any exposed skin was burning already. His pants suddenly erupted in flames and he screamed, squeezing his eyes shut and trying desperately to get away.

    Mark opened his eyes again to find himself in his bedroom. He sat up and jumped out of bed, still screaming. He lay on the floor for several minutes, checking to make sure it had all been a dream. He heard his wife’s voice.

    “Honey, are you all right? You’ve been screaming for a good five minutes.”

    He got up off the ground, noting that he was covered in sweat. “It’s nothing. I’m just very glad that I don’t work for the government.”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        You had me going for a while, I used to have hopeless dreams like that when I was younger. Thank Heaven I grew out of them. Very detalied writing

    1. JRSimmang

      I think Mark actually has a secret he’s keeping from his wife and Tayyib. Those details are too specific to make them up. Nice use of diction to describe the characters, and I think the dialogue is solid.

  18. Pete

    “Come on, Lia, this is crazy. Even for you.”

    Lia was six or seven steps ahead when she spun around and tore into me with her harshest glare. I was certain she was crazy. Absolutely crazy. I couldn’t tell if the buzzing I heard was coming from the streetlight over our heads or the energy crackling in her eyes.

    She flung her hair back. Her glare softened into a smile. “I know what I saw. Trust me.”

    Like I wasn’t going to follow her. At midnight, under the graying hemlocks, as she set her arms like wings and spun around. But I repeated what she’d said, just so that she’d hear how crazy it sounded.

    “So you’re telling me that Mr. Higgins—Preacher Higgins…”

    Lia yanked my arm so hard I fell into her, behind the Juniper bush at the end of the street. At Preacher Higgins’ house. She leaned close, her magic hazels promising unicorns or pixie dust—or most likely, trouble. But with Lia, you never knew. “Yes. You’ll see. Now come on, we don’t have much time.”

    I looked back up the street. “Lia.”

    She turned to me, irritable, as though I’d interrupted the conversation in her head. “Matthew, if you’re going to sit there and complain all night, I’d rather you just go home.”

    I followed her—as always—down the dirt path, between the thickets of brush, out to the clearing at Greer Pond.

    She led me around the tall grass that lashed at her nicked-up legs. The heat and humidity fought through the darkness, smothered by the clouds that hung close, amplifying the chirring in the trees. I listened for snakes slithering in the shadows, swatted at mosquitoes, and hoped my father didn’t decide to check on me while Lia skipped along barefoot and careless. Then my shoe got stuck in the muck.

    Lia told me to leave it. She slowed, crouched and motioned like a lunatic for me to hurry. I hobbled over and she wiped back her crazy hair, untamed and matted but streaked with highlights from summer and sun.

    “Over there.”

    “Where.”

    Her smile lit the way across the water, rippling with mystery and skippers, to the lone figure with silver hair.

    I shrugged. People went catfishing at night.

    Lia grabbed my arm and dug in with the giggles. “Higgins.” It came out like a raspy bark. Lia was the world’s worst whisperer. Always had been.

    But it was Preacher Higgins. In a robe at the pond at midnight. I knew his deep rumble anywhere. He was always singing over everyone else at service, his voice so deep I thought the stained glass was going to shake right out from the frame.

    If nothing else, seeing Lia’s face was worth risking the apocalypse. She was boiling over with the snorts, Preacher Higgins could always spot noise from the pulpit. If he decided on a moment of quiet reflection we were sunk. What was he doing anyway?

    A crack in the clouds. Sure as midnight, Preacher Higgins’s robe fell like the walls of Jericho. He stood pale as moonlight, letting it hang, so to speak. I covered my mouth and Lia gave me a shove. “See!”

    Higgins threw his hands to the sky, his shriveled parts dangling in the moonlight. I wouldn’t have been surprised if lightning struck us down were we stood. Where I stood anyway, Lia had lost all control, rolling on her back and convulsing with laughter. She let out a gasp and tried to hold it back, then let out a howl that must have woken up half of Gretna.

    Higgins arms fell to his side and he hunched over trying to get a look at his midnight congregation.

    “Hey, who’s there?”

    Lia was up in a blink, snatching my arm, giggling and snorting as she dragged me back through the grass. I took one last look back at the man who baptized me, now fumbling about for his robe. I knew then I’d never rid myself of that image of Preacher Higgins. His ivory white backside at the pond.

    And he wouldn’t forget either, when he so kindly brought my muddy shoe to my house the next day.

    1. JRSimmang

      Gah! Pete! You got me, hook, line, and sinker. I was expecting something completely different, and when I got something else, I smiled at the pure joy of it. Ol’ Preacher Higgins might have to change his midnight plans, but these two won’t ever forget it.
      Great job with voice and setting. These two may have to have more adventures in the future.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Pete, do you know whose style of writing you are doing? He was born during Haley’s Comet and died seventy years later during Haley’sComet

          1. Pete

            I don’t know about that, but this was fun and I think I”m going to see where it goes. Thanks for flattering me!~

  19. jhowe

    I watch as the man takes a long pull from my bottle of Jack Daniels. Twenty eight bucks, a brand new bottle. The rat bastard.

    “Tell me again why you’re here, sir.” I shiver as his eyes bore into mine.

    “You wouldn’t believe me, so why waste my breath.” I watch his gray tongue slurp whiskey that drips down the bottle neck. So much for me enjoying any of the Jack for myself. He stands to his full height, a monster of a man. I fantasize the ceiling fan will rip into his knurly head but it misses by mere inches.

    “You can’t go digging on my property. They’re laws against that.”

    “Do you really want me to tell you what’s there?” he says, his marbled voice rumbles.

    I don’t want him to tell me anything. I want him gone. “Yes,” I say.

    “Bodies,” he says, smiling with cracked teeth.

    “Human bodies? That’s ridiculous.”

    “You’ve lived here, what, three years?”

    “About that,” I say, my mouth getting dry.

    “You ever meet the previous owner?” I hadn’t. He taps his oversize chest.

    “You?”

    “So, do you need proof that there’re buried bodies?” He screws the top on the whiskey bottle and gently sets it on the table. It’s nearly empty.

    “No, I don’t.” My knees tremble and I steady myself with a kitchen chair.

    “Too late. You see, four years ago, I had to flee. The law was on my ass. My ex-wife sold the property while I chilled out in Puerto Rico. Lots of nice babes down there.” He eyes the bottle, opens it and drains it. “She’s out there, you know.”

    I say nothing.

    “Your proof, whether you want it or not, is that no one that finds out lives.”

    I bolt for the door as the explosion roars and I feel the sharpness between my shoulder blades. I see my blood pooling behind me on the tile floor as he drags me by the heel. He grabs a shovel as we cross the yard and my head spins, losing conscientious. I’m grateful for that.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Gosh, gollly gee,! This is gritty stuff, John kespecially the dragging through his own blood. We have a bad ass here and I d
      Don’t like the guy
      A swing of the shovel to the back of his head would work nicely for the end of the story.

    2. JRSimmang

      Don’t think I’d ever invite a person digging a hole in my lawn in for a dram of whiskey, then again, I don’t have any whiskey (currently) as it is. J, you always do a great job creating characters we can see, and you’ve done it again this week. I can just picture his gnarled teeth and duster.

    3. writer_sk

      Wow. Exceptional job. The control in coming back to the prompt multiple times and tying the dialogue back to that was really a testament to your skill.

  20. sridhar231

    You’d never believe me if I told you that I am an astounding genius, but it’s true and I can prove it.
    It all started a month ago. By the way everything I am about to say happened during my sleep, in my dreams. My first dream was about solving a very difficult mathematical problem, called Hodge conjecture. I don’t remember how I solved it but trust me, it was solved. I never knew anything about this so called Hodge before last month. What, you don’t believe?
    Then there was this second one, a couple of weeks later. This was about the theory of everything. As you know this is still elusive and famous guys in their sixties and seventies with a couple of Nobel prizes are sweating it to come up with one. If you don’t know what I am talking about, let me explain. The assumption is that there was one fundamental force when the universe began. Now these guys say that there are four, gravity, electromagnetism, strong and nuclear forces. Am I boring you?
    Since these forces ideally should’ve had one mother force, which is what we would like to know. I solved it. But don’t ask me how, I don’t remember. Hey, don’t you look at me like that!
    Ivy, Listen, what I am about to say is more earth shattering than all of the above. I found a proof that soul exists. Yes, I have seen it. No joke, the sighting was definitely scientific. It was red and pear shaped – my soul. It got out of my body and stayed for ten minutes before returning. Again, sorry don’t recall how it began.
    Now, I told you I can prove, correct? This is where I need your help, my love. Will you marry me, Ivy? If our plan works out, you will be the proud wife of a super genius since Einstein himself and of course, we will be fabulously rich.
    I need you to capture my sleep movements, talks and any activities that can prove the Eureka moments. Of course, we need to sleep together to make it happen. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t mean that kind of sleeping but you get the point, right?”
    She got up, opened her hand, gave the finger and walked out of the noisy bar. Crap, no luck this time too. Honestly, I didn’t think this technique would work, but I am sure I almost had her.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      No real.bait like cash, jewelry, furs and designer shoes and purses are what attract
      Well the poor honcho is going to have to change and go to a bait shop to snag women with. Extremely funny in spite of the dumb.ox that’s trying to catch a woman. Try listening, not telling.. thought provokeing.

    2. JRSimmang

      I’m with rlk on this one. I can just imagine Ivy hooking up the MC to all sorts of gadgetry, taking copious notes, and subjecting him to a barrage of experiments, totally draining whatever libido he had left. You wrote the MC well enough that I think I know that guy!

  21. writer_sk

    “You won’t believe me as I tell you this but I can prove it. For the past year I have been either dying and being re-incarnated or I’ve been time travelling.” Sally spoke in a hushed tone while rolling the trash barrels down the suburban driveway of the too-large house she got in the divorce. Now she longed for the poorer days, the days she and Jack struggled living in the apartment. He’d go to work at City Hall while she stayed home with little Cam, now 10. Back then actually finishing nursing school was a pipe dream, she never would have thought she’d be the charge nurse at the local hospital. With her chore complete she washed her hands and poured another glass of the nice bottle of red she had open on the counter, the kids having gone to a sleepover with their cousins.

         “Sal, are you ok, are you on something?” Jack’s voice conveyed annoyance more than concern.

         Sally could still feel the soft breeze through her hair as she and Cam sat on the stoop outside the old apartment, mama blowing bubbles and Cam trying to pop them. There would be a walk to the park, an errand, lunch and a nap on the old mattress they all shared, placed on the floor up against the wall so little Cam wouldn’t roll off.

         “Just give me a chance to prove it to you. Something keeps happening each day when I drop off Molly at the daycare center.”

         “You’re still using the highly acclaimed one on Houston St. because I get the bill. Is something going on there, is Molly alright?”

         “Has she told you about her friend Sally from daycare?”

         “Yea.”

         “I’m Sally.”

         “OK, look, the girls are elsewhere? Do you need me to come over?” Sally flashed to when Jack held her as they watched movies on the old small TV and ate popcorn, she had felt loved and secure.

         “No, let me get some sleep, but I implore you to come with me tomorrow morning and…”

         “I have to work,” Jack interrupted.

         “Just go to this website, I’ll text it to you, and you’ll see what I mean. I put in my wish, which was to spend more time with Moll, like I had done with Cameron. I promise you something happens to me when I drop her off. I never leave.”

         “Alright, Sal,” she heard the warmth and kindness she sought from him return to his voice.

         The next morning was bright and crisp as winter crept between the tree branches, pushing and hurrying autumn along.

         They drove down Columbus Ave in the BMW crossover Jack was leasing, turning onto Houston, the thick shrubbery that covered the yard of the establishment provided privacy but felt too sterile. Once past the threshold Jack dropped his daughter’s hand, her princess pink backpack also falling from his grasp as he watched Sally become transparent and a 4 year old version of her come skipping around the ominous hedges to give Molly a huge hug, a kiss on both cheeks and a quick tap of her index finger to Molly’s freckled nose. It was so natural and happened so swiftly he wouldn’t have thought twice had he not seen his ex-wife lovingly greet their children this way countless times, every single, solitary time she saw them.

         In disbelief he entered the car only somewhat aware the adult version of Sal wasn’t next to him, but a transparent motionless replica, he looked on to watch young Sally take two dolls out and give his delighted daughter one.

         He logged onto the website Sal had given him, as he had last night to see his status as 50% done and watched as it went to 51% but couldn’t wait to go with his son to baseball practice and show him how good he was at running the bases when he was 10.


    1. writer_sk

      The above contains a typo: “the girls are elsewhere” should read “the children are elsewhere” because Cam and Molly are a boy and girl.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        This is fascinating and quick to the draw. I speed read to get to the end and wasn’t disappointed. Grandparents feel the same way, could we transpose just for the day and be their age and struggle with their problems, so we understand better. Very thought provoking story.

    2. JRSimmang

      Your work here is certainly intriguing and thought-provoking. There’s something magical going on at that daycare. Or, maybe it’s the website. I want to know how they travel through time!
      I did get a little turned around in the dialogue, but I got it sorted out with a closer read. Did Sally and Jack go to the daycare together like Sally had requested, or had Jack gone by himself and Sally’s time replica suddenly appeared after he got back in the car?

      1. writer_sk

        Thank you! They went there together. (Yea I acknowledge the characters and nicknames got a little iffy.)

        This is a concept I’ve been thinking of for years.

    3. flyaway

      I like the concept a lot! It really makes you think. Personally, I’d love it if there could ever be something to allow us to briefly be kids again.

    4. Bushkill

      Good story. Great idea. That’s inspired. how many of us would do that? I think the super interest parents pay to their children now would engender this type of technology development and distribution. Really fun read.

  22. RafTriesToWrite

    Let’s go to the dark side shall we? Plus, I finally did it with 500 words (as per count by MS word), excluding this intro.


    “Hey, hey babe”

    “Yeah?” He breathes. I love him so much.

    “I did something fun tonight, guess what it is!” I giggle over the phone.

    “Lemme see, you robbed a jewellery store?” ooooooh, so close.

    “Nope, try again.” I giggle again.

    “You, hijacked an armored truck full of cash?”

    “No silly” I let out an airy laugh. Oooh that is fun, but that’s not what I did today.

    “Then what?” He raises his voice a little, and I tense up. That is so hot.

    “Well I was out on a nice evening stroll and I happen to be near a supermarket, thinking of bad things to do inside”

    “Uh huh?” He uninterestingly breathes. I rolled my eyes at him even though he couldn’t see me.

    “Then I saw Alfred go in” I hear him gasp and his chair shuffle.

    “And?” He eagerly asks. I love it when he gets excited like this.

    “Aaaaand, you’ll never believe me if I told you that I went over to the supermarket and killed Alfred, but it’s true and I can prove it.” I giggle in excitement.

    “How’d you kill him?” He’s really into this. He’s super excited and I love it.

    “Well you know my lovely bat right?”

    “The one you never put down unless you have to pee or consummate our everlasting love? Yes, I’m familiar.” He laughs a bit, a sign that he’s already sold on what I told him.

    “Well I went behind the dumpster, and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited for a very long time” I nagged.

    “Yes, yes, I know you don’t like waiting. What next?” He’s sounding too eager now, almost annoyed.

    “But then he came out, and he never saw me comin’ baby. I bashed his head with my trusty bat, and down he fell. Then I hit him again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, until he’s not breathing anymore” I giggle. He laughs at the other end, the maniacal laugh that I love.

    “Where’s your proof Ms. Harley Quinn?” He asks. I giggle.

    “Knock knock?” I say flirtatiously and knock at the door in front of me.

    “Is that you?” He asks. I hear the chair move again, and then footsteps. Then soon after, the door knob twists, and came in view the love of my life.

    “What’s that?” He asks and points at the garbage bag that I was dragging around.

    I smiled widely and opened the bag.

    “Phew, it stinks” I say as I wave off the smell from my nose with my hand.

    “You really did it baby. You killed Batman’s Alfred”

    “Yup” I bite my lower lip as I smiled aggressively.

    “That’s it. Marry me, right now” He turns to me and kicks the garbage bag away from us and grabs me by the shoulders.

    “Are you serious baby?” My heart stopped. My joker is asking me to marry him?

    He just violently nods in excitement.

    “Of course baby”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Weird from the word go it was and frankly I got a little excited myself. These two deserve each other, let’s hope they have no children and they save their money for the nut house. Nut houses are expensive these days. When you mention evil, you mean it. Brrrrrrrr!

    2. rlk67

      No! No! It can’t be! Alfred?! He’s untouchable! He was the backbone of everything! Ooohhhh….this is the end of Wayne Tower and whats-his-name with the cape.

  23. Kerry Charlton

    I WON’T DANCE WITH YOU

    Robert Bennington tapped his toes to the music as always. He had been invited to the gala ball organized as a charity event by The Two Hundred Club. He had been invited by a college friend who’s Father was a member. Robert knew the hard times once and Brad Richardson’s business had tail spinned after his heart attack. So Robert had quietly written a check of eight thousand for the table.

    Tap, tap, Robert’s foot continued until his eyes settled on a classic red head dancing as if shd dreaded it. He walked through the crowd quickly and as the music stopped, he looked into her eyes and extended his hand. The orchestra started a waltz and Robert stood there slowly dancing to the music. Her hand slipped in his and within ten seconds they had danced across the room.

    As they danced, the crowd melted back to give them room.. Twirling and whirling and a leg lift or two, they continued and still not a word. As the music stopped, she breathed deeply and asked him,

    “You’re such a marvelous dancer, I had no idea I could follow you. But you knew how to guide me. I’m Brenda Wittington.”

    Robert Pennington, Miss Wittington, I pray..”

    “Are you asking if I’m married, is that not slightly presumptuous?

    The music started and this time he put his arm around her and off they went.

    She marveled at his preciseness with the Tango, and suddenly he spoke to her,

    “Brenda, you’d never believe me if I told you that I’ve fallen in love with you the
    moment I first held you and I can prove it.”

    “Well Robert, I think your tie has cut off the oxygen to your brain if you think I’m going to buy that one.”

    A moment of silence and the band started Moonlight Serenade. Robert put his lips close to her right ear and started to sing,

    “I won’t dance, don’t ask me

    I won’t dance, don’t ask me

    I won’t dance madame with you

    You know what, you’re lovely

    You know what, you’re lovely

    And oh what you do to me

    And that’s why I won’t dance

    I won’t dance, how could I ?

    I know that music leads the way to romance

    So if I hold you in my arms I won’t dance!”

    The music stopped and as they stood for a moment, a small tear made it’s way down her cheek. The band started with another waltz and this time they slowed to the music as she nestled her head to his shoulder. The music stopped again, she stood on her toes and kissed him. As their lips parted Robert heard her say,

    “In all my dreams, wishes and thoughts, I never thought you would come, and here you are and I’m crying my heart out. Do you have something to dry my tears with?”
    .

    .

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you rlk67. I was listening to the music myself, especially Moonlight Serenade. Sinatra made a version that puts you in dreamland or standing next to him as he sings it. I’m very happy you liked it.

    1. JRSimmang

      Kerry, you’ve painted such a wonderful vignette full of class and sophistication. I can visualize these two on the dance floor, a la Fred and Ginger, smart bowtie with lapels and tails, and a sequin dress that dusts the floor.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you J R, you’re an old mush mush like myself I am glad to have the company. You bring your redhead and I’ll bring mine. You set the scene so perfect wish I had taken extra words to paint the scene also.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Bushkill, one of my favorite songs of all time, Fred Astaire sang to Ginger Rodgers in the movie Roberta, [1935] has become an immortal song, more to the talent of Fred and Ginger rather than the song itself. Oscar Hammerstein rewrote the lyrics to jazz up the song. Jerome Kern wrote the music . I had a great time writing this and have seen Roberta at least six times, never tire of it.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hello T Girl, I do appreciate your comments . Funny that you mention the setting and how you could see it, four others said the same thing. The clue that I gave was charity and a thousand dollars ticket. The rest you did the imagination yourself
        You have no idea how much that please me, thank you.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Raf, in today’s world there’s always a place for romance
        With out it what have you got?. Helen started it with the launching of a thousand ships.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Critique, I am as big a fan as you are. I love to write them because I always place myself as the MC. That way I get to meet a host of women, God love them.

  24. JRSimmang

    Trying something new this week, and it may turn into a novel at some point. So, honest feedback will be greatly appreciated.

    UNDERCURRENTS

    As many times as I had visited the attic, I never noticed the small bay window that cut the light into neat segments and cast a faint shadow across the hatch. I sat, mesmerized, by the floating dust while Susanna was elbows deep in a box labeled “Memories.” It was the eighth box with that same label, and I was having a hard time finding the energy.

    “What about this?” she asked, and held up a small locket. “It’s pretty.”

    I sat up and squinted my eyes to focus. Nothing worked. I could feel the headache coming on. “Are there pics inside?”

    She opened it. “Yep. Looks like your gramps and a girl. Not your grandma. They look a little damaged. Water, maybe.”

    “Really?” I held out my hand. “Let me see.”

    She tossed it over to me and, sure enough, the pic wasn’t Gi-Gi. “She looks almost Latina. Did your mom ever mention anything about her?”

    “Nope.”

    “Maybe I’m making things up… Sister?”

    “He was one of seven boys.”

    “Your poor great-grandma.”

    “Yeah.”

    “Best friend?”

    “Maybe, but I thought my ‘uncle’ Davey was his best friend. Died a few years back.”

    “Well, he couldn’t possibly have a dude’s face next to his in a locket. Too many questions.”

    “I’ll have to ask mom.” I put the locket in the small box of trinkets I’d been gathering, which was beginning to paint a picture that the Gramps I knew was someone different than the one everyone else knew.

    Eames sat on the edge of the pier overlooking the lake, counting the times fished jumped to the surface. He lost count an hour or so back, but he remained, content that he was lost and sunburned. He fiddled with the locket in his pocket, wishing that Reyna would hurry up.

    The plan wasn’t foolproof, but it had to happen. There was a window of opportunity, and it was closing quickly.

    He stood up, stretched, and ran his fingers through his hair. How much longer will I have this hair, he thought. Dad’s never had hair long as I can remember.

    But, these thoughts didn’t last long. Eames felt the tuggings of regret, thinking that his mom would have already started to get worried. He’d been gone too long, she didn’t get his note, she found out that he’d be heading to California with a Mexican woman. He probably killed his mom. She would probably die.

    But, she was once young, too. He remembered her telling him that his dad wasn’t the first man she fell in love with. She loved a guy named Tag, but he was a preacher’s son, and he going to Seminary and it wouldn’t have ever worked out. She remembers youth. She remembers love. She would forgive him.

    The sun had started to touch the horizon, and Eames was about to turn around and leave when he saw the bow of Reyna’s boat. Who was inside that boat turned Eames’s bowels to mush. Reyna was there, but so was her father and uncle, and a few other men with long knives and guns.

    Eames turned up the pier and stumbled a sprint toward the treeline.

    His feet pounded out an echo that bounced off the water below and matched the pounding in his ears. Did she give them up? How did her father know? Did he see any way out of this?

    A man in a crisp linen suit stepped out from behind a tree and leveled a rifle at Eames’s face. Eames stopped hard, nearly toppling himself over. The man started a slow march, backing Eames back out toward the water. “You better stop running, or things will be a lot worse for you. You’d never believe me if I told you that I have cut off a man’s face, but it’s true and I can prove it.” He chuckled. “I am quite good at it.”

    Eames withered to a stop at the end of the pier. He looked at the man’s rugged and weathered face, turned to glance at the boat, and met Reyna’s eyes.

    She looked sad. He smiled, half-heartedly, took a deep breath, bent at the knees, and jumped off and into the water. He swam as deep as he could, the muffled sound of rifle fire bursting into the water, the bullets changing the pressure around him, popping his ears, and he swam. He swam until his breath burned in his lungs. He swam until his tears could no longer be distinguished from the water. He swam until his legs went numb. He came up only to gasp on the surface. He wasn’t being pursued.

    Once he reached the opposite shore, he ran. Home wasn’t an option. I would always have her near, he thought, and he shoved his hand into his pocket to make sure the locket was still there.

    “What else is in that box?” I asked Susanna.

    “Looks like a box of mints, a pocket knife, a pocket watch… maybe this is stuff he carried in his pockets.”

    “Gramps always had bulging pockets. Pack rat. It fascinated me seeing everything he pulled out of them.”

    “Mine was a gambler. Nothing in his pockets but IOUs.” Susanna shuffled some things around. “Ooh, here’s a medal.”

    “Let me see.” She tossed it over to me. “Hm. Mom never mentioned Gramps being in the military.”

    -JR Simmang

    1. writer_sk

      Hi JR, yes I like it. It certainly seems like it could become a book.

      The action scene where he runs from the father and uncle was especially exciting.

      Now if you made it longer would the story focus on Eames or include the backstory of the grandchildren? The flashbacks are very well written but I just bring it up because you might not need them since the way it reads now the heart and soul of the story lies with Eames. I could read more about him and his relationship.

      Eloquent and intriguing story.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I have to agree with writer, it is beautifully written and one heck of a lead in to a book or novella. You understand the MC from the get and that’s most important in any story especially a novel.

      2. JRSimmang

        Without giving too much away, the story would revolve primarily around Eames and his life. This particular anecdote would be lengthened into a full picture of him and Reyna. There will be a simultaneous story taking place between the grandson and Susanna in the attic, though the depth there will be somewhat shallower than Eames’s story.

        Thanks to both of you, SK and Kerry. Realistic fiction isn’t really something I’m comfortable with, and I think Kerry, through your elegant snippets of memoir, you’ve inspired me to explore that route, though mine is fiction.

    2. RafTriesToWrite

      Aside from one (or maybe two) spelling issues, I don’t see why this shouldn’t be turned into a novel.

      I’ve read enough works in the other platform I’m on, to know that not everyone is perfect. Plus, I’ll let you on a little secret. This platform that we’re on right here, displays much more professionalism, interest and passion in their work.
      Because, most of the works I read at the other site, are almost always too “cringey” to read because of the too frequent typos, violently random subject changes, and awful dialogue. (I may be guilty of some of those as well, shhhh).

      But in all honesty, this anecdote right here appears to be a good start for the chapter one of your novel, or perhaps just a teaser to start your novel (a synopsis if you will). Even though I am a bit sleepy when I read this, I understood fully what was going on, so that’s good. It had a good flow. I like it.

    3. Critique

      I liked your story very much and feel that you have substantial material here to expand into a wonderful novel. Switching the story from the past with Eames and into the present with the MC would be appealing in my view. Good luck with this!

  25. rlk67

    I casually switched positions on the plush, dark blue chair so that the interviewer had a much better view of my good side. He quickly jotted notes as I described my passions in life. I was impressing him. I saw that look.

    “You’d never believe me if I told you that I am a successful author with many publications, but it’s true and I can prove it.” I strategically paused to allow him time to process this most significant information.

    He adjusted his tie. Did he realize that paisley was passe? We would chat later.
    “It is somewhat hard to believe,” he whispered with a chuckle. “Yes, how exactly could you verify this?”

    I was ready, of course. “My extraordinary agent, Roberta, has come with me. She is the best in the field. How she came to attach herself to me is a long story, but she will gladly substantiate my claim.” I grinned broadly. “And besides, just go to almost any section of the better book dealers, and you will find any fabulous selection for which I am quite proud.”

    Mr. Paisley nodded. He was obviously grateful for getting the story of the year!
    “I didn’t realize you were such a prolific writer. Do you have a favorite book you’ve written?”

    I moved my head into dramatic thinking mode. “Well, I’ve had humble beginnings, you know. Practicing on renown websites, submitting well thought-out material. I am particularly delighted with my ‘Dr. Homicide Jam’ detective series about a private-eye rapper who loves Bach. And of course I must mention my educational research about the effects of mold spores on calculus equations. The awards and accolades keep pouring in.”

    Roberta made a splendid entrance in her stunning white gown. “Ah, Roberta. I was just discussing my works with this gentleman. Perhaps you can confirm what I’ve been saying.

    Roberta glanced over at the newest member of my fan club and smiled. I could tell she likes him.

    “What would you like me to do?” she asked him. Oh, just jump in his arms already. He’s waiting!

    He sighed. “I think we’re going to increase her meds, Roberta. And make sure she stays in her room as much as possible.”

    “Yes, doctor.”

    They’re playing a game. They do like each other. Oh, wait! Silly me, I forgot something.

    “You know, I didn’t even mention that since I started writing, I have only had one single rejection notice! That publisher was drunk, I found out later.”

    He stared. “In that case, can I have your autograph?” He pulled out a paper. Happens all the time. “Just sign on the line under the word ‘Waiver’.”

    “But doctor,” said Roberta. Stunning dress. “Is a shock treatment really necessary?”

    He folded the paper after I signed. “Listen. It’s one thing to claim being a successful author with a top agent, but to say that you’ve only had one rejection? That’s plain nuts.”

    I love nuts. I wrote a book about them. Roberta led me out giggling.

    1. pven

      “Practicing on well-known websites.” I chuckled.
      I, too, have had only one rejection letter. Which is why I do not lay claim to being a successful author.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        What a funny laugh for a dark and dreary Wednesday morning. Anyone with one rejection is totally insane, I agree with you. A most amusing tale.

  26. GrahamLewis

    80 PROOF

    “Hey Robbie, it’s John. Sorry to call you so late.”

    “No problem, John. You know me. Three a.m. is still early on a weekend. What’s up?”

    “You at home?”

    “Yeah, why?”

    “Because I’ve got something to tell you. Something that might be pretty important to you.”

    “What’s that?”

    “Your know Lovely Lola, Mad Mike’s girl?”

    “Sure, everybody does. Beautiful but an airhead. And untouchable.”

    “Not necessarily. You’d never believe me if I told you that I went to bed with her tonight but it’s true and I can prove it.”

    “C’mon John, You’re so full of BS your eyes are brown. She’d never look twice at you.”

    “Well, it is true. I went over there tonight to put down a bet on the Derby, and he wasn’t there, but she was and she was already half-blotto. She doesn’t know me from Adam, we never met before, but she invites me in for a drink, says Mike’s out till 2 or so.” Pause. “We talk for awhile, and she gets out this expensive whiskey of his, like 80 proof. We have a shot each, one thing leads to another and, well, let’s just say she’s all that you can imagine and then some.” Pause. “But afterward she gets this funny look and starts to cry, says what we did was wrong. I say it’s okay, and I’m sorry. She cries louder and tells me to get out. I say okay, but first I want to leave my bet. I had the money in an envelope, and I ask her for a pen to write my name and address on it. Then I leave.”

    “Well, sleeping with her was stupid, but leaving a name and address was beyond stupid. You know you’re a dead man. She’ll tell him first thing and she’ll make it sound like you attacked her. And he’ll see the name and address on the envelope.”

    “Yeah she will and he will, but I’ll be okay. I’m on my way out of town, just in case.”

    “Well, it’s your life. Or was. They don’t call him Mad Mike for nothing. He’ll track you down and kill you without a word.” Pause. “Hey, somebody’s pounding at my door. So I gotta go, but first, you said could prove this to me. How you going to do that?”

    “Easy I put your name and address on the envelope. That’d be Mad MIke at your door right now. You can ask him. Bye.”

    1. JRSimmang

      Another zinger? You and rlk have set the bar pretty high this week. Total dialogue is hard to pull off, but you’ve managed to paint the scene really well through your use of identifiers.

  27. T.A. Dieringer

    “If I told you that I stowed away on board the US Nassau, a Navy Ship, and dressed as a Sailor, for one-hundred-and-eighty-days, and would you believe me? Because, I can prove it.”
    Mike took one long, last drag from the Blunt before passing it to Bailey. He suppressed a cough, with his fist, pressed to his lips.
    Bailey took the Blunt, the tip glowed red as he inhaled the pungent smoke into his lungs. Taking in what his friend had just told him as well.
    “So, your telling me you stowed away in a Navy Ship for six-months and never once got caught?”
    “I never said I didn’t get caught, I said I hid away for six-months. It happened in Toulon, France. I was there visiting as a foreign exchange student, and we happened to be at a small café a few miles from where it was docked. A few Sailors came strolling by, and heard us speaking English”.
    Bailey interrupted,
    “Wow, I remember you going on a trip, but man, but I thought you went to Northern Cali, or some shit like that”
    Mike laughed, and took the Blunt; “‘Naw’ man, I was in college, I was taking Photography, and had a chance to got to Europe on an exchange, and I took it.” He inhaled the last of the blunt before tossing it. The buzz slowly overtook them both, Mike laughed again.

    “Yea, we were sitting at this table drinking beer, and these two Sailors walk over, and introduce themselves”

    “Hey, how you all doing, my name is Ted, and this here is Nate, were from the Nassau”
    Nate jumped in “Yea, we heard you speaking English, and we were wondering if there are any decent clubs or bars, around”?
    “No, not really”, I replied. “This here Café is just as good as any. The waitress is nice to look at, and the beer is cheap, and cold. More than I can say for some other places here”.

    Bailey interrupted again, “So, you just stayed there and got drunk with some Sailors”?

    “Well, the night went by as fast as the beers, and before you know it, I was more or less carried along by these two Sailors, who helped me up the Gang-Plank, and onto the ship. I over heard them tell the Officer of the Deck, that I was passed-out, and that they would get me into my rack, ASAP. I woke up on the bottom of a two-foot-wide, and one-inch-thick mat. They were beds, or as the Sailors called them, ‘racks’ it was a good name too, that’s what it felt like I was sleeping on. Drunk or not!”

    “so, how did you stay his for so long, did you have to stay down there? In the ship”?

    “No, Bailey, Ted took me to the mess deck, where we ate, he introduced me to his buddy, who ran the Pot-Shack, and since no one wanted to work there, they made a deal with me, work the pots, and they would get me a uniform, and put me to work there. So, I really had no choice, I took them up on the offer. The food was good, the work hard, but the men were cool. I made a lot of friends there. I wont ever forget them.”

    “Well, that’s all good and all, but you said you could prove it. How you going to do that”?
    Bailey smiled, he figured the story was just that, another one of Mikes many tales. Only this time, there it was, Mike stood in front of him holding a square four-by four picture frame of himself and several other Sailors, all in uniform in front of the USS Nassau.
    Bailey busted out a laugh, it was one of the funniest stories he had heard Mike tell!

    Mike put the picture back in its place, and walked to the kitchen, “Where’s the Fruit-Loops?”

    “If they were up your ass, doing flips you would know” Laughed Bailey, as they both rummaged for munchies.

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