Telling Your Life Story

On the long flight to a foreign country, you wind up telling your seatmate much of your life story. Only it isn’t yours. You’ve always wanted to pretend to be somebody else, just for an hour or two, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Only now you find yourself falling for your seatmate, and you don’t know what to tell him/her. Write your conversation.

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

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287 thoughts on “Telling Your Life Story

  1. writergirl08

    To say I was nervous would be an understatement. It was my first time flying alone- ever- and it was an international flight. Dad had taken it upon himself to get me into first class. And now I was on the massive aircraft, and I was slightly panicking. What was I going to to?

    I swallowed and sat down at my seat, which was a window seat. I could only hope that the person sitting next to me would be nice- and preferably skinny, so that when I had to get up to use the bathroom it wouldn’t be awkward. I smoothed down the black and white dress I was wearing and put my bag under the chair in front of me. I was here simply because I wanted to visit the city. It had always seemed romantic to me, and something that a writer should do.

    A few seconds later, someone sat down next to me. I jumped, surprised, and looked at him. He was beautiful- really. Messy black hair, a bit of stubble on his cheeks, and grey-green eyes. A sharp jawline and he was dressed in a suit. I offered him a small smile, which he returned. His lips were thin, pink, and his smile was slightly crooked.

    “My names’ Eddie.” He said in a low voice.

    “Genevieve.” I blurted. My palms began to get sweaty. My name wasn’t Genevieve- it was Sarah. Why had I lied to him? Sarah just seemed like a boring, plain name. And besides, I could be anyone I wanted for these next few hours. I’d probably never see him again, anyways.

    “So, Genevieve, what brings you to London?” Eddie asked me, leaning back into his seat and relaxing.

    “Modeling.” I said, and instantly regretted it. I could change my entire identity- everything- and I chose to be a model? It was too late to go back now.

    “Wow, really?” Eddie said. “You don’t really look like the model type.”

    Well, of course not. I wasn’t a model. But really- was that really necessary to say? “Uh…”

    “Oh, not in a bad way.” Eddie said quickly. “Most models are worried about their appearance, you know. Like, they won’t eat anything and never go out without 20 layers of makeup on. You seem more real.”

    The words made me flush, even though it was a lie. “Thank you. So… what brings you too London? Business? Pleasure?”

    “Both, I suppose.” Eddie said. “I’m a singer. London concert tomorrow.”

    “I’ve never heard of you,” I said apologetically. “But I guess I don’t really keep updated with singers and actors. I just model.” Generally, models were best friends with famous people.

    “I’m not very well known.” Eddie clarified. “It’s just at a club- people will be to drunk to even notice me. But it’s publicity, you know.”

    “Yeah.” I said. “I, uh, am modeling for some fancy chain tomorrow.” I made up.

    We continued talking, him talking about his singing career, and me making up things about modeling. “Hey. maybe I can come see you tomorrow.” Eddie says, half an hour before the fight ends.

    I bite my lip. “Maybe. I don’t know if its open to public. I could come to your concert.”

    “About that…” Eddie said nervously. “Well… I’m not really a singer. I’m a painter- I’m just here to visit my sister. There is no concert tonight.”

    He looked at me, as though excepting me to be mad. But I burst out laughing. “Really? Because I’m not a model, either. I’m a writer. And… my name isn’t really Genevieve. It’s Sarah.”

    “Well, then, Sarah, I think we’ll have to go on another date to get to know each other,” Eddie said with a smirk.

  2. erica0805

    This story is base i real life!!!!!

    “Moving on is the best way to be happy”

    LOVE is my way to be happy, my inspiration to live, my key of my successful, and to love someone unconditionally. I was thought that I can use peoples heart to love me and give all I want and needs but then, I realize that LOVE isn’t like a playground that I can play whenever or wherever I want.

    BEING ATTRACTIVE WOMAN, I use it to get a lot of attention from men’s. I played their feelings for me and dispose them whenever I want or when they asking to get my virginity. I hate when they ask too much. I know that they always gave to me what I need, “money and anything I want” but it doesn’t mean I should give my body for the exchange. Some of my friends called me PLAY GIRL. Yeah! They are right but, I have a deep reason why I am doing this. 1st I’m scared to get hurt, 2nd I am looking for a men who can respect me, who can wait if when I’ll be ready to give my body and soul, a someone who could also accept my past life and love me unconditionally.

    Sometimes, there is a time that I had a bad experience for being so picky. I encountered a man so obsess on me and came in the point that he found out that, I’m just playing around. So, he decided to force me to have sex with him or else he will hurt me in physical. I was so scared of him at that time but, I stayed calm and tried to think if what should I do to stop him before he get what he want. While he is doing something to me I can see in his eyes if how obsess he is to me and I can feel also his body is shaking in nerves, and the way he holding me? it’s like he don’t want to let me go anymore. The first thing that came into my mind is hug him and tell him “stop, please! if you really love me you will not forcing me to have sex with you and if you love me you are willing to wait if when I get ready” then he hug me and saying “I’m sorry, this will never happen again”. Thank god! He’d listen to me and he finally released me. After that I stop my communication with him. But then, I still didn’t stop for being a play girl.

    A MAN WHO DESERVE TO LOVE, I finally found a man who showed me the respect I want, he showed me though if how kind he is and he accept me if what i did on my past. When he showed me how important I am, I decided to trust him and finally give my body and soul cause, he deserve to trust and love him unconditionally. I never regret to love him even once but still, I feel like something is missing. I have a feeling that he is not the one I really looking for. And because I don’t want to hurt his feelings I thrown all negative thoughts and focus to our relationship. I also keep loving him, stay loyal and keep trying to become a perfect girlfriend for him until, someone is came in.

    He is so arrogant but I feel something different and sparkling. I tried to ignore him but he didn’t stop, he really wanted to be close with me. I tried my best to be a loyal but because I feel a little doubt to my boyfriend, I let myself to go back in the way I was before. Later on I secretly had a relationship with him. I keep this secret to them because, I don’t want to hurt and lose one of them. Even though I know this will be a big mess, I still keep going. But, as people said “no matter how careful you are, the secret will reveled when the right time is come”.

    To be continue……

    This story is not finish, I just want to know your thoughts about the story I wrote.

  3. joprosaic

    I could kill my cousin’s bridesmaid for contracting food poisoning, forcing me to take her place in the wedding today.

    But I loved my cousin, so I sat on the plane feeling ridiculous in my emerald green, tulle and taffeta ball gown, hair up in a loose twist on an airplane to Memphis. The best man would rush me straight from the airport to the ceremony when I arrived.

    A man stopped in the aisle beside me.

    “Excuse me, that’s my seat,” he said, pointing to the empty window seat beside me and eyeing the crystal pendant I had borrowed from my grandmother. His arm brushed mine as I got up and stood in the aisle to let him pass, sending chills of excitement through me. It wasn’t intentional, rather, I hadn’t got out of the way quick enough. He slid his bag under the seat in front of him, loosened his tie and hung his forearm over the arm rest.

    “Business or pleasure?” He asked as I pulled at the parts of my dress that fluffed out over the center armrest.

    “Business,” I blurted out. He looked like some hot shot attorney or investment banker, who probably sat next to girls in ball gowns on planes all the time so I should try to stand out. The flight from Cincinnati to Memphis was short, so I wouldn’t have to keep a story straight for long before we permanently parted ways.

    “I’m staring in a music video,” I tried to convey insouciance. “And a movie later in the week starring Faith Hill and Brad Pitt.”

    His eyebrows flashed upward, but he seemed to be buying it.

    “The movie will be coming out next spring,” I continued, and he listened intently, nodding and asking questions about the movie and show business as I talked. I sipped my ginger ale and threw my head back laughing throughout the conversation, pretending to be a charming, aspiring movie star rather than the Holiday Inn front desk clerk that I was. It seemed to be a convincing performance, maybe I should audition for a movie.

    I told him about the palm trees and white sand beaches in southern California, even though I’d never been west of the Rockies. The ice cream vendors out there, I told him, serve frozen tofu instead of ice cream because everyone is on a diet. And women tattooed their makeup on so they would never be caught without it. He listened like no man I had ever known, and at one point he looked at me as though I was the movie star I claimed to be. I wished in that moment that I had more time with him.
    The captain announced that the plane would start descending, so we refastened our seatbelts.
    Finally, I stopped spewing my mess of lies and asked, “What about you? What is your business in Memphis?”

    “I’m going to my brother’s wedding. Straight from the airport, that’s why I’m so dressed up on an airplane.”

  4. vaswims

    Maybe Margot was right. Maybe I am too stiff. I never let loose or want to go out with any of the girls. Mostly because they just do crazy things. Who would want to go out all night and hook up with some guy you’re never going to see again? It’s all stupid. I like the way things are for me. Get home from class, do homework, do some light reading, then fall asleep. It’s all sensible and normal. I’m on my way to New York though, that’s a little wild right?
    I took a deep breath, realizing that it really wasn’t at all. There’s nothing I could do that would make me a less boring person. I’m Sarah Evans. The girl you can ask to do anything, and it’ll get done because she hates having things hang over her head. Or the girl you could copy homework off of because you know she always has it done–I haven’t had a single missing assignment my whole life.
    So I sat in my little seat in coach on the flight to New York City that August evening wondering what I was doing with myself. I was doodling on the napkin that the flight attendant gave me with my snacks when the guy next to me said, “Hey, that’s a pretty cool pattern.” I looked up and saw him eyeing the napkin from his seat. I blushed; strangers never talked to me unless it was because they needed something.
    “Oh… um.. Thanks,” I said blushing. I looked right into his eyes and my heart lept. Wow was this guy cute.
    “What’s your name?” he said.
    And that’s where it hit me. “Emma. I’m Emma Wood,” I said slowly. It was the name of a girl that used to live on my street when I was younger. I don’t know why it popped into my head but it just did. I could be Emma Wood for two hours. Take that Margot, I’m no stiff.
    “Hey Emma. I’m John. Why are you going to New York?”
    “To become an actress” I lied. It was this old fantasy I had when I was little. I’d be Sarah Evans, broadway star with the lead role. But I knew that wouldn’t happen ever since I tried out for the play in 5th grade and was casted as a tree.
    “An actress? That’s bold. I’m just going to visit some family,” John said. He brushed his brown locks out of the way of his bright blue eyes. His hair was long but not too long and it fell just perfectly.
    “That’s nice. And yeah, acting has always been my passion,” I lied again. It most definitely has not. “It’s just been a part of my life. I don’t know how I’d live without it.”
    “That’s how I feel about my work,” John said. “I work at a cancer research center. I’ve always been fascinated with science and medicine so this line of work just seemed to fit me like a glove.”
    Wow. First he’s all about family, now he’s all about saving lives? And he looks like an angel? I can’t believe I lied to this man.
    Over the intercom, the flight attendant told us all that we would be landing in New York City shortly and she gave us the whole spiel about our tray tables and such. I started to panic. I didn’t want to leave John without him knowing who I really was. Maybe we could meet up somewhere in New York, maybe I could be reckless and not stick to what I know. I could take a chance with him.
    John and I continued talking until we landed in New York. My plan was to tell him about myself once we got to the gate entrance. We got our bags and started walking through the tunnel. Once we made it to the gate, I said, “Wait John, I need to tell you something before we go.”
    “It’s okay Sarah. I know.”
    He winked at me and walked towards to baggage claim, leaving me there at the gate, speechless.

  5. MiatheLunatic

    “…So yeah, I travel. Mom always says I spend one third of my life looking for things, one third packing, and then one third on planes. And by looking for things, she means, like, looking for, physical stuff, belongings…”

    Gosh, he has dimples.

    “Cuz I’m unorganized. Also… this is cheesy, but I do look for things metaphorically.”

    Oh no…can’t quit now.

    “I mean, being a journalist, long flights… you don’t just do that stuff for no reason. I have a bad habit of talking to strangers. Venezuela, Cambodia, South Sudan…hearing people’s voices.”

    People’s voices? What am I even doing. All I know is the people’s voices around us are drowning out to a gentle hum. He has dimples. I have to keep this going- he looks genuinely into it… into me?

    The butterflies in my stomach feel unusually intense. Is this really butterflies, or just plane sickness?

    He has dimples. ..

    This is my first time flying…

    He’s staring at me fondly…

    He says I’m turning pale. Green.

    First time flying. 25-hour flight.

    I have to tell him now.

    “I lied, I work at MacDonalds.”

    I had to grab his arm. January 20 2018, I barfed right onto my seatmate’s shirt.

  6. Teatimeprose

    I had always wanted to be mysterious. The kind of noir woman in a sleek little trench coat who saunters off into the distant fog ahead. Alec, the man sitting beside me in aisle 12 of flight 977 waited for me to answer the question, “what do you do for work?”. His lithe was familiar and yet somehow foreign and made explaining that I was a manager at a bank so painfully boring. So I lied. I spilled my guts about the woman I dreamed to be. A jet-setter and journalist who made their way around the world investigating the harrowing tales of those without voices.
    His face became more animated as I continued on. He seemed genuinely intrigued. Alec explained that, he too, was a journalist and his next stop was to do a scoop on the turmoil of refugees in Europe. His passion, his knowledge. Alec was truly a citizen of the world, belonging everywhere and yet nowhere in particular. He was the male epitome of what I could only dream of and here he was, sitting next to me. His bronzed and bony fingers swiping through pictures of distant lands on his phone.
    I hadn’t talked to another human being the way I had spoken with him. It was as if we had known each other our whole lives. Our likes, our dislikes, even our upbringings were so very similar. Hey, I did tell the truth sometimes. We talked for hours about nothing in particular. It was better than any date I had gone on but as our plane was landing in Paris, I knew I would never see him again.
    “You are such an interesting person. I’m so glad to have met you.”
    My heart sank with those words as his hand held mine. He didn’t meet me. I am the nobody who saved up for years to make this trip and could only go because her rich best friend was allowing her to stay at her flat. He met the woman who had it all together and was as worldly and sophisticated as she was. As I replied, “You too”, I tried to pretend I was still the girl he had met.
    After we arrived in the airport terminal, we stood at the baggage claim until we could collect our bags.
    “Alec, I lied about what I do.”
    I spoke softly, deeply ashamed of the lie that had slowly been eating away at me. The look of confusion on his handsome face made it so much worse. I explained everything, pouring out my heart and apologizing profusely. When I was finished, a serious look washed over his face. Then, he laughed.
    “Oh, I know. I did too. I’m actually a manager at a local grocery store in New Mexico. Paris inspires us to be something greater, I suppose.”
    With a smile, he grabbed my phone, added his number, and disappeared through the terminal doors ahead.

  7. JosephFazzone

    My takes obituary.

    Alas, for minutes closing to half an hour did I toil.
    Writing prose and pomp to make your blood boil.
    Did it post, did it make it to the light?
    Nay!
    It died, snuffed out by fright.
    That this be the only thing I can submit.
    It’s enough to make me want to quit.
    As we sit in a holding pattern, praying that the next prompt isn’t about some clown fighting cybernetic crocodile’s, and eight year old tuba players with glandular problems.

  8. Still JM

    A handful of you will understand this… I hope. 🙂

    Here I sit heavily sighing
    ’cause I wrote a story about a man who was dying
    but the WD gremlins wouldn’t let me in.
    Now my frustrated thoughts have turned to EDWIN.

    If only the gremlins would just step aside
    I could send poor Edwin on an airplane ride
    where once again he could work his black magic
    with consequences absurd and so very tragic.

    So maybe those gremlins know a thing or two
    ’cause they won’t let me inflict Edwin on you.

  9. jhowe

    Her I sit all broken hearted
    This week’s prompt is long departed
    My saddened soul makes this a Blues Day
    I’m sure next week is Two-for Tuesday

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Here I sit, all broken hearted,
      drivel is about all I’ve started
      without a prompt to guide
      me through this week’s ride.
      I hope one will soon appear,
      if not, I’ll just have more beer.

      1. dustymayjane

        Here we sit, without our thunder.
        Where is Brian, is it a blunder?
        Shall we see a prompt today?
        Or must we find another way?
        How I miss the weekly prompt,
        My mind is needing a creative romp.

        1. Nicki EagerReader

          Writers, too long prompt-bereft,
          may fall into a crisis.
          Yet your poems are all so deft,
          your words full grit, you rhymes with heft,
          that maybe sometimes, to be left
          to your own devices
          entirely suffices.

          Frohes Schaffen 😉

  10. ReathaThomasOakley

    Flight to nowhere

    (Started thinking this yesterday, had more stories, but meds wore off.)

    “Strangest group I’ve ever seen,” the younger flight attendant whispered to the older as she looked at the passengers in the super sub-economy section at the back of the plane. “You, you had anything like…”

    “Nope, never, I think they’re connected in some way, some club, something like that, but the way they talk…”

    “I know, I’ve tried not to listen, but I can’t help it. Like the Apache warrior with the full headdress in aisle 78…”

    “Hmmm, ah, here he is on the passenger list, cosi van tutti, keeps on talking about Ambrose to the college kid squeezed into the middle seat, Kerry Charlton his name seems to be. I could swear that’s the Chinese basketball wiz against the window, but according to this, her name is Jay “the Doc” Wilson.”

    “Bizarre, isn’t it, like all these people have either assumed names, or identities, but they seem to all be complaining about the same things, comments that won’t post, no new prompt, stuff like that.”

    “Right, it makes no sense, but I must say, I’d hate to be Brian Klems, whoever he is, right now. What do you suppose HER story really is?” The younger attendant nodded toward the willowy blonde sitting in one row, alone except for the cat in the expensive carrier at her feet.” I’ll bet she’s a super model or something, but the way she keeps using her iPad, she could be a best selling author. What’s her name?”

    “Here she is on the list, Reathathomasoakley. Oops, time got away, didn’t it. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know who all these people really are.” She folded the passenger list. “You got big plans for tonight, with the layover and all?”

    “Yeah, Jeff, he’s the astronaut you’ll recall, also has a few days off. We might never leave our room,” she laughed. “And, you?”

    “I suppose it will soon hit the tabloids, Brad is leaving all those kids with Angelina in England and jetting over, should be fun. Well, I suppose it’s time,

    “Ladies and gentlemen, if I could have your attention please…”

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      Hah! I always dreamed I would be an adopted female Chinese basketball whiz, probably from Brooklyn. Cosi and Kerry going at it about Aurelius Ambrosius, is it?

      So, when ARE they going to put up the new prompt?! I’ve been having new story withdrawals. Also, where’s my rum-laced Friday coffee?

      Stewardess!

        1. Critique

          Fun to incorporate some of the prompt folks and to find out you’re a super model 🙂
          I’ve had issues posting comments on this site – some of them wouldn’t post after many tries.
          Maybe a virus on Writer’s Digest?

    2. jhowe

      Clever. I like it when the prompt people get included. I always suspected you were a supermodel hiding within the anonymity of this forum. Now I know.

    1. UnclePizza

      Happened to me over the (last) weekend, and then one (only one) showed up on Monday. Only about half my comments have shown up so I’ve given up until whatever the problem is gets fixed. In the meantime I’ve been enjoying what I can read though!

          1. ReathaThomasOakley

            I just had to reset my password, same one I’ve always had, lots of strangeness going around.

  11. TheAwkwardLlama

    “Excuse me, I think you’re in my seat.”
    John was already engrossed in the thriller he’d bought in the Sky Harbor bookstore, and he was slightly annoyed to be interrupted. The girl who’d spoken was standing in the aisle, blocking other irritated passengers, and when John glared at her she blushed. “I just, you know, since we’re flying out of the country I don’t know if maybe, we’d get in trouble if we’re in the wrong seats.”
    John sighed. “All right.” Even as thin as he was, it was a squeeze making it out to the aisle with his laptop case so the girl could take the middle seat he’d swiped.
    “Sorry,” she murmured.
    John ignored both his seatmate and the safety brief through takeoff, as usual, but once the jet was in the air the girl’s fidgeting and surreptitious glances at his book broke his concentration.
    “You all right?” he asked, trying to make his tone pleasant.
    The girl blushed again. “I forgot my book. This is going to be the worst flight ever.”
    “I’ve got another,” said John, sympathizing in spite of himself. “If you like mysteries.”
    “That would be amazing,” the girl said gratefully as John reached into his case. She had a slight accent that John couldn’t place. “Are you going home or on holiday?”
    Later John wondered why didn’t hesitate at all, but he said, “Home.”
    “Oh, you’re married!” The girl said, glancing at his left hand holding the book. She sounded genuinely pleased. “You must be so happy to be joining your wife.”
    “Actually, she’ll be joining me in England next week. We just got married, and we’re moving to London.”
    “That’s wonderful. Is she from England?”
    “Yes.” John pictured Amal as he had last seen her, and his throat caught. “What’s she like?” the girl asked softly.
    The woman John described was like Amal, and not like her. The further apart they were in time and place, John had realized, the dream Amal became less like the real one. Eventually he would be in love with a ghost, and that, he supposed, would represent the end of his heartbreak. Who but a madman would pine for someone who didn’t and had never existed?
    For now he was only a liar. By the time he had finished describing his wife, and answered the questions as to where and how they had met, he had almost forgotten that he was single and unemployed and headed to England for what reason he did not quite know.
    After the two of them had mostly stopped conversing and returned to their books, John kept thinking. For these next few hours he was a married man, waiting to be reunited with the love of his life. How would this man sit, talk, read? Would he slightly incline himself to keep an eye on the charmingly awkward girl who reminded him a bit of someone?
    “Finished!” the girl said with satisfaction as a gap opened in the stream of passengers. She handed him the book and slipped into the aisle. “It was a wonderful book, John. Thank you so much, and I wish you and your wife all the happiness.” She was swept away by a jostling noisy family, who came up behind her and blocked John’s way out.
    “I’m sorry, I meant to get your name?” But John did not ask very loudly. She turned back once more and smiled at him, and when he finally got to the terminal he could not see her in any direction.

  12. Critique

    (Sorry for the length )

    Kathryn raced through the crowded terminal, the wheels of her sister’s carryon bumping a merry dance behind her. Morgan, her older sister showed her how to pack minimally for her European holiday – “Trust me Kath, take it. It’s all you need.”

    Her taxi driver was new to the city, took a wrong turn into a construction zone… she was the last to board.

    A male steward reached for her bag as she attempted to jam it into the compartment overhead. “Dr. Pearson, let me help you with that.”

    Startled, Kathryn remembered she hadn’t changed her sister’s name on the tag.

    “Thank you.” She sank into the aisle seat and snapped on her seatbelt.

    “Is this your first trip to Europe?” She glanced toward the deep voice near her ear and hooked into blue eyes framed by the longest, thickest eyelashes she’s ever seen.

    “Um. Yes, it is.” Her mind went blank.

    “Well since we’ll be seatmates for the next 12 hours.” He smiled showing even white teeth. “Dr. Pearson, I’m Graham Marshall.”

    The unexpected rush of pleasure she experienced from the respect reflected on his clean shaven features effectively deadened her conscience.

    “I’m uh, Dr. Kathryn. Pearson.” She shook the hand he held out.

    The fact that Graham was an attentive listener, the fact the muscles on his arms and chest strained against the short sleeved t-shirt, and the fact there seemed to be an instant mutual attraction between them, skewed Kathryn’s reserved honest nature into spinning a yarn – her mother would be wringing her hands in her grave – of her academic accomplishments. She’d picked up enough medical knowledge from her sister over the years to sprinkle her story with believable jargon.

    They talked for hours. Like old friends.

    Kathryn rarely touched alcohol but found herself sipping a third glass of the free wine offered on the flight. She wondered. Would Graham be as interested if he knew she eked out a living as a personal trainer?

    “Graham what brings you to Europe?” It was time to turn the tables.

    Graham’s body language exuded enthusiasm as he told her he was going to manage a training facility for triathletes in a seaside town in Spain. The site was a paradise for cyclists, access to the Mediterranean Sea for swimming, and a picturesque marathon run alongside stunning beaches. He described it in vivid detail.

    Kathryn hung on every word.

    “It sounds fantastic.” She said. “My last marathon was in Boston, the year after the bombing.”

    Graham’s eyes widened. “You’re a runner?” He touched her arm. “You would love this place.”

    “I love the training as much as the actual event.” Kathryn said feeling the effect of his touch all the way to her toes.

    Graham looked a little puzzled. “I don’t know how you do it. Training and running – no pun intended – a busy medical practise.”

    Guilt reddened Kathryn’s face. Dishonesty was as foreign to her as an Eskimo parka on a Caribbean Beach. He might despise her but she had to come clean.

    “Graham.” She turned her head and caught him watching her. “I have a confession.”

    She took a deep breath. “That’s my sister’s name – the doctor – on the carryon. I’m just Kathryn Pearson who does personal training for a living. It’s a stink to admit but I’ve always envied Morgan a little and I felt for the first time what it must be like to have the kind of admiring respect her vocation gives her. I thought what the heck it’s only for a few hours. Stupid I know. I’m sorry for misleading you.”

    Graham chuckled.

    “Kathryn Pearson you could give Nicole Kidman a run for her money.” He reached for her hand. “I absolutely love the fact you’re a personal trainer. We have a lot in common.” He laced his fingers with hers. “And I think you should seriously consider joining me in Spain so we can see where this takes us.”

    “Thank you.” Kathryn felt relief and joy bubble up inside as she squeezed Graham’s hand. “I think I’d really like that.”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Loved the conversation between the two. It’s most believable. A little sprinkling of Katherine’s physical side, what her hair looked like, her eyes, a deep shade of emerald with a look of mystery and enchanement….. . Something like that would be great for the reader to hang on to.

      1. Critique

        Thanks for the comment Kerry and your right. I thought about giving Kathryn some physical attributes to make her more visual but ran out of time and wanted to post the story before the next prompt came up. 🙁

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      Husband told me new stories up, glad I came back to read. Now, this is the way such a journey should be, and a reminder that truth often works.

    3. MichaelPerry

      Interesting how you had the MC assume her sister’s identity: a luggage tag. Very plausible.
      Loved the back and forth between them.

      Very nice

  13. wheeler04

    again late and hurried…

    THE DREAMER OF FLIGHT 19

    In my profession I get few opportunities to sit back and escape reality, however an eight hour flight from New York to Zurich provides an opportune time. From my aisle seat I survey the people as they file pass. I’m looking for someone to share my flight with when my eyes catch a dream of a woman approaching down the aisle. I gather my courage and decide to start the game.

    Just as she reaches my row, I stand and block her way.

    “I believe this is your seat here,” I say pointing to the window seat.

    She stares at me and begins to speak as I gently push her towards the window seat next to me.

    “Hurry, we don’t want to block the aisle.”

    She slides in and I follow her.

    “What happens when the person who has this seat comes?”

    “Aphrodite would never allow anyone to come between us.”

    She smiles and settles in. Her name is Lauren. Mine is Mark, for now. We exchange pleasantries and chat until …

    “I believe one of you are in the wrong seat.”

    Standing next to me is a man just a few years older than me. I stand and reach inside my jacket for my boarding pass. I examine it briefly and return it to my jacket pocket. I turn to Lauren and examine her boarding pass. I hand it back to her with a wink. I turn towards our intruder. He hands me his boarding pass.

    “Ah, there’s the problem. Your seat is not 4A, its 16C,” I explain as I hand the pass back to him. He looks at me. Looks at Lauren. Looks at his boarding pass. Looks at the hundred dollar bill I slipped into his boarding pass. He nods.

    “My mistake,” he says as he turns to look for his new seat.

    Lauren laughs quietly and wonders how much it cost me. I deny having used anything but my charm.

    Once we’re in the air, the game began. Lauren is an actress who’s heading to Zurich for the film festival. I’m an army vet turned gambler. I show her my “war wound”, a healed broken hand that I received in hand to hand combat (actually from slipping on an icy sidewalk). After my discharge, I gambled some in Vegas until they banded me. So then I took to gambling in foreign countries with winnings scattered across the world. That’s why I’m headed to Zurich to check on my accounts.

    She mentions that maybe I could finance a film for her. I agree as long as I play the leading male role and the film contains a passionate love scene. She says she would insist on it as she reaches for my arm.

    Later, when people start to fall asleep, I whisper to her “Good Night” and warn her that I might snore and that she should poke me in the ribs to wake me.

    “If you start snoring, I’ll poke somewhere else to wake you,” she says with devilish grin.

    She sleeps while I sit and watch her. Every breath she takes is a Kodak moment for me, hopefully to be recalled every time I think of her.

    Hours later, we’re approaching Zurich and I know that this dream must come to an end, or does it?

    I ask if she’ll be available this week. She hesitates before answering.

    “Truthfully, were you ever in the military?”

    I’m beginning to feel panic. I know my dream is going to end, yet I wish it wouldn’t end so quickly and brutally.

    “Yes, but mostly desk jobs.”

    “And the gambling?”

    “My parents bitterly oppose of my gambling.”

    She laughs at me, causing me more embarrassment.

    “Well, we should always listen to our parents. Tell me, was there anything that you told me that was true?”

    “Did I tell you that you are the most beautiful woman in the world and that I love you?”

    “No you didn’t,” she replies.

    “Then in that case, no.”

    She smiles and gives me a kiss on the lips.

    “I do love an honest liar.”

    She rises to join the throng of departing people. I help her get her carry-on from the overhead. I contemplate one last scheme to delay her until I see the two men trying to board the plane against the flow of exiting travelers. I know they’re airport security and they’re here for me. My dream of entering Switzerland undetected is also crumbling away.

    I give Lauren another kiss and promise her that I’ll look for her at the festival and then I gently push her towards the exit. I need her to be out before security gets to me. My dream of a shipboard romance fades with each step she takes.

    As I watch Lauren, I wonder if she’ll look back. Luckily the security men ignore her as they pass her yet she’s still in hearing range when they reach me. They address me, yet I don’t hear them. My attention is on Lauren. She then turns to look back. I’ll always wonder if it was because she heard what they said or a gesture of love.

    She turns back forward and I watch her until she’s out of sight. I turn my attention back to the men.

    “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

    “Your Majesty, I simply asked how was your flight.”

  14. cosi van tutte

    One last one before the prompt changes….

    ***

    “Ahh, you want to hear my life story? Of course you want to hear my life story. Everyone who sits next to me wants to hear my life story. So, of course, I will tell you my life story.” Chuck Quazz paused to take a breath.

    I sighed. “I don’t mean to offend you, but I am not—-”

    “So! Here it is. My life story as told by me since, you know, it is my life story.”

    “I’m not interested.”

    “I was born in Illakoo, Nebraska and my life story began. I had a mother and a father and a little sister and they all lived with me in—”

    “Please stop. I really am not interested.”

    “—a nice olive green house. It was a ranch style house with white shutters. But they weren’t white. They were more of an off white. I would call it eggshell white, but that still sounds too white.”

    “Could you please stop talking?”

    “The shutters were not made out of wood. My dad didn’t believe in wood. He said that wood doesn’t exist anymore. All the wood that’s out there right now is really plasterboard, dissolved hemp, and glue with a lot of paint to make it look pretty. The last wood died five years ago. It was a great tragedy, but you never heard anyone in the news talk about it. Oh, no. They didn’t want to ruin the Woodworkers Association of America by saying that they aren’t using real wood. That would—”

    “That’s all so fascinating, but I need to take a nap. So—”

    “—ruin the Woodworkers Association of America and then who would do all the woodworking even though there is no—”

    “Ohh!” I stretched my arms. “Soo tired.”

    “—-wood anymore. Our front door was made out of Japanese plastic because they make the best plastic you’ll never find such fine plastic here in America oh no—”

    What happened to all of his punctuation marks? Why was he talking in one long breath? Why wouldn’t he stop?

    “Japanese plastic is superior to even Chinese plastic which is still better than Russian plastic Russian plastic is the worst nothing is worse than Russian plastic and I think that—”

    I clenched my teeth and tried to think calming thoughts. Flowers bobbling in the wind.

    “The glass panes in our windows were made out of transparent porcelain. Very rare and expensive but so worth it you should see how it glows in the—”

    Babies sleeping soft and gentle.

    “—Then, of course, the carpet was made out of genuine bigfoot fur. Oh, I know you don’t believe in bigfoot it’s so hard to find someone who does but I swear upon my Granddaddy’s ancient log pile that—”

    Kittens and puppies and Kit-Kat bars and—

    “—It all went up into flames of course that is what real wood does not that we have real wood now a days so maybe you don’t know about how wood can catch on fire if you put a lit match next to—-”

    “CHOCOLATE BUNNIES!” I couldn’t keep it in anymore. I burst into flames, which set off the automatic sprinkler system.

    But it made him shut up. For five overheated yet blissful minutes. “Huh. Interesting. So, as I was saying. You don’t know about how wood can catch on fire if—”

    My flames self-extinguished as I sighed. This was going to be a very long plane trip.

  15. Lastjedi

    The plane was near capacity, fellow flyers bumping into one another. There was hardly room on the overhead compartments. Once the commotion died and he settled in his seat he proceeded to open his book and lose himself in another world as the flight went on. A moment later out from the side of his vision he caught someone coming to fill the empty seat next to him.

    She had long raven hair, olive colored skin and tattoos off trees weaving into intricate patterns all over her back and arms. She opened the overhead compartment and tried finding a space to fit her bag, she moved some of the bags to make space and one fell out.

    He jumped up and caught the bag just before it hit her.

    “Thanks!” she said still in shock from the almost impact.

    He simply smiled he polite smile and went back to his book.

    She sat down and relaxed into her seat. She pulled out one of the airline shopping magazines.

    “I love these things..oh look! shoes that clean your house for you, too bad they look like something a troll would wear” she said.

    “Is a troll less entitled to a clean house than say you or I?” he quirked.

    “Of course not, except there’s that creeping around the forest bit” she fired back.

    “If you’re going to creep, a forest is a good place as any to do so, we humans take offense to it when it is done in our backyards” he said putting down his book and meeting her eyes.

    She laughed and playfully laid her hand on her hand elbow on arm rest as if she was observing him from a table away. “Know a bit about creeping do you? Tell me all about it and don’t say no otherwise I might think you a troll”

    “As a disclaimer there are parts that cannot be disclosed due to open investigations” he did his best at an evil grin.

    “And what if I’m a cop?” she winked.

    “No worries, I left nothing traceable behind” he proclaimed with his head up high.

    “Ah pride is greatest just before the fall…isn’t it?” she tilted her head to side.

    “Maybe, but I have full immunity” he leaned back pretending to be uninterested.

    “Ah so you’re some international criminal feeding information to the cops on your fellows then? What’d you do huh? Traffic untaxed cigarettes?” she said mockingly.

    “Cigarettes, small troll dolls so horrifically ugly that they can only be purchased on the black market, I’ve also dealt in fake purses, quite lucrative those purses, never know what brand you’ll get” he said.

    “Ah I see might I-” She was cut off as the announcement came onto begin gathering our things.

    “It appears my date with the international criminal has come to an end, might I know your name or can you tell me that?” she twirled her hair as she finished her question.

    “Bond, James Bond….but my friends call me John” John responded with delight.

    “My friends call me Jennifer, but you may refer to me as your highness” Jennifer gleefully fired back.

    Jennifer rose and carefully opened the over head compartment and grabbed her bag. She let out a sigh of relief when nothing came crashing out this time. When the plane landed and passengers began disembarking, John grabbed his bag and when he turned around she was gone.

    John frantically worked his way through the crowd and no sight of her. He walked around baggage claim and could not find her. He ran about the airport like a madman but could not find her, for a moment he thought he dreamt the whole thing up and she was just a blissful fantasy. John with his head low went outside and hailed a cab.

    From behind John heard the voice of an angel, “You’re under arrest Mr Bond”

    John and turned and couldn’t hide the excitement on his face. He grabbed her hands and asked “Come with me and I’ll hold nothing back”

    “Took you long enough, so where off to first Mister Bond?” she winked.

  16. cosi van tutte

    One more just because…

    ***

    “Pour me a drink.” she whispers. “And tell me some lies.”

    I press a button beside her chair. “I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

    She opens her eyes a small couple of inches.

    I smile. My smile feels small too. “You are much too young to drink anything harder than a ginger ale.”

    “Dear boy.” She lays a thin, dry hand on top of mine. “Dear, dear boy. Go on. Tell me more.”

    I look at her delicate, wrinkled face and, for a minute, I imagine her as she might have been years ago. “You are young and vibrant. Beautiful. All of the young men pine for you.”

    She laughs, which ends in a gasping wheeze. “Do people nowadays still pine?”

    “Some do.”

    She closes her eyes and sighs. “I’m so tired.”

    “Should I leave you alone?”

    Her hand trembles as she struggles to wrap it around mine. “Tell me more.”

    She looks so breakable. Like ice cubes that aren’t quite set. One touch and she’ll shatter. “You’re on a plane and an irascible young man sits next to you. Oh, he’s a handsome one, you think but don’t say. He looks at you and wonders how he can make such a vision care about what he wants to say. So, he tells her things that aren’t quite true. They aren’t true at all.”

    Her breathing becomes shallow.

    I clear my throat. “But she listens to him. Because she cares about what he has to say. She knows none of it is true, but she listens for the joy of hearing his voice. They’re old friends, you see. One is a bit older than the other, but they are such friends.”

    Her breathing becomes strange and irregular.

    I take hold of her hand as if that can make her stay. “They talk throughout the whole flight. Even…”

    I can’t tell if she’s breathing. “Even when night comes. He knows…”

    Another breath. So barely there.

    “He knows he should get some sleep, but he doesn’t want to leave her alone in the dark. So, he talks and talks. Even though he doesn’t know if she can still hear him, he talks. Maybe it will comfort her to hear a familiar voice as she falls asleep.”

    She takes a breath.

    I wait for the exhale.

    It never comes.

    “Good night, Grandma.”

    1. Still JM

      Hello there old friend! You are becoming so good at conveying so much meaning in such a compressed space. It is wonderful to see! Also, congrats on taking the plunge with the blog — it looks great!

      1. Still JM

        I have been trying to post for two days on three different devices and the website just won’t let me. I’m surprised it allowed this comment. (Hope all my posts don’t come through all at once…)

        1. Bug934

          Same thing happened to me, I tried a bunch of times And had two posts worth of the story, and it posted the first half twice about 4 days later!
          My comments came through right away but not the story…

  17. deannacheri

    The plane lifted and, finally, Rose relaxed in her seat. Eyes closed, head pressed against the rest, she allowed the familiar push and pull of the ascension to reassure her winter would soon be far beneath her—and then far behind her.
    “Are you running away?” her seatmate whispered, his voice low and melodic.
    His warm breath feathered across her right cheek and Rosa fought the urge to open her eyes. Maybe, if she kept her eyes closed and her new friend shrouded in mystery, she could pretend she truly was running away.
    But Rose opened her eyes because her curiosity overruled her dream of anonymity.
    Her seatmate, sitting much closer than she had anticipated, stared back at her with earthy eyes and a devilish smile bit at his lips, “Topher.” He leaned back in his seat.
    Rose dusted her response in a velvety wisp, “Rose. What makes you think I’m running away?”
    She watched him intently. Cheek bones cut with diamonds and a jawbone cut with marble, Rose decided he could very well be the most beautiful thing she’d lay eyes on today.
    “I’ve been on a few planes and I’ve never once seen someone look that peaceful as it took off.” He reached one arm down to trail it across her armrest, “So where are you headed?”
    So aware of his fingers expanding closer to her hand, Rose tumbled over her words, “Anywhere that will have me.”
    His fingers stopped, digging ever so slightly into the cushion on the armrest, and Rose’s breath caught in her throat.
    Can he possibly know it was a lie? Can he tell I’ll never be that girl, no matter how much I might dream of it?
    Finally, his fingers did move and Rose sighed in relief.
    The relief was short-lived and Topher covered her hand with his, “I wouldn’t take you for a runner.”
    He believes me!
    Squeezing her fingers, he smiled brightly and brought his lips close to her ear, “Are you a wildcard, Rose?”
    No.
    “Yes.”
    “Show me.”
    She did. Twisting and turning through stories of danger and grandeur, Rose developed an entire new character from her lips to his ears.
    Topher’s stories were just as exciting, if not more and Rose struggled to make herself even half as interesting as him.
    By the time the plane had landed, Rose’s heart shuddered with the burden of her lies.
    Before leaving, she placed a heavy hand on his shoulder, “I’m sorry. I don’t know how to say this but… nothing I’ve said tonight is remotely true. I just can’t stand the thought of you leaving this plane thinking I might be someone I’m not. I am not this person.”
    Disappointment swirled in his eyes before he leaned down and pressed a gentle kiss to her temple.
    “Who said you weren’t that person?”
    When Topher stood up and offered Rose his hand, she held onto it for dear life because, if he’d have her, she’d go anywhere with him.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Whoa! I thought I knew how to write romance but your story comes out of the barrell, smoking hot. I haven’t read amything, and I mean anything I’ve enjoyed more, the last five years. Where you you been? This site needs you to srir up old geezers like myself. Welcome to the forum.

    2. MichaelPerry

      Very powerful and nicely written. Fluid dialogue and pace. You might want to insert a space between each paragraph for easier reading. Well done!

      Welcome to the forum.

    3. cosi van tutte

      Hi, dean!

      This was such a lovely story. I especially loved this part:.
      “…I am not this person.”
      Disappointment swirled in his eyes before he leaned down and pressed a gentle kiss to her temple.
      “Who said you weren’t that person?”

      😀

  18. Reaper

    That Girl

    I’ve always wanted to be a badass, a successful badass. Failing that, and I have been for about half a life time, I’ve always wanted to pretend to be someone is. Part of that always required an audience that believed though.

    The girl sitting next to me, no, the woman, was French and twenty-something. Say what you will about the older man, younger woman taboo, but here’s a truth about it the media doesn’t consider. When you’re basing a relationship on lies, it’s the best way to go. If she was older I never could have gotten away with it. The life story I told was two parts Heff, one part King, one part Lemmy, and a dash of Connery. A woman my age would have seen through some of all of it.

    She wasn’t.

    I watched my worldly stories take her breath away. I saw the interesting things that did to her chest. Yeah, at first it was just physical. No, at first it was the badass thing. Second it was just physical. I don’t want you to think I’m a predator, but that second part, the one where I noticed her body… Well, I don’t know if I need to thank the king of porn or the sexiest Brit ever, but Frenchy and I ended up taking a trip to the bathroom.

    Nearing fifty and joining the mile high club. It was hot. It didn’t last long. I’m fifty-five percent sure she wasn’t faking how much she liked.

    Third came her talking. Telling me wild stories. Tales like my own youth, except brought forward. Propelled to a time when girls were free and morals were looser. I started falling in love. The looks she gave me… Well, I knew she could get past the age thing. I wondered if she could get over the lies. Then I wondered if I could keep them up forever.

    I mean, hell I had a little more than thirty years left, if I met the average. Looking her over, thinking of a decade of wild sex with her I was betting I would be lucky to make twenty more if I got involved with her. Especially if her stories were true and her wild days were still going. Probably less, young girls suck life and money out of old men.

    Everyone that chases the young ones knows that.

    I decided I could keep up the lie, just as I felt a sting at the side of my neck. I slumped towards her, wondering how she smuggled so much liquid on board, as she slid the needle back into her purse. Her wicked smile curved her lips as she whispered to me.

    “The men you pretend to be were all heroes of my father. If you were younger you might have recognized the women I chose for my persona. Every one of them would be proud of me, removing another pervert from the gene-pool. Sleep the sleep of damned, predator.”

    I swear she giggled as everything went black.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Way to go Reaper, one of your very best in a long time. You threw yourself totally into this story, even with the finality of it. Can you imagine making a video game called “Dodge The Needle”. Make you a fortune.

  19. dustymayjane

    part 2 as requested MichaelPerry. Thanks
    _____________________________

    Yes, I am a sucker for the dimple. “No, No boyfriend, no husband. I’m divorced.”

    Tim’s sleepy eyes rested on my face and his lazy smile threatened my undoing. I try to keep it together but it had been ages since I had the attention of a handsome young man. Was I going to have to ask or will he volunteer?

    “Are you involved?” Good grief!

    He only smiled.

    Are you kidding me?

    The flight attendant arrived to take a drink order.

    “Bombay Sapphire please.” It was early but what the hell. “Let me buy you something Tim, a beer maybe?”

    “No thanks. A water is fine.” His eyes followed the attendants backside as she rolled her cart forward.

    Mm, so that’s it, he’s a player, playing it cool. Well I started it, I might as well finish it. “So Tim, you haven’t answered my question.”

    He adjusted his seat belt and I think it was perhaps a ruse to draw my eyes to his lap. Impressive! I think I purred audibly because he actually laughed open mouthed, out loud and totally satisfied with my reaction. The gin was to blame.

    “I’m unattached at the moment. How’s your drink?”

    “It’s delicious.” I was anxious to tell him my story, since he’d asked, sort of. “My sister is getting married tomorrow.”

    “In Morocco?”

    “Mmhmm, yes, tomorrow.” In reality I’d be presenting findings of agricultural studies from the University of Indiana on beef quality raised organically. It was a big deal for me but I just couldn’t imagine anyone finding it ‘sexy’.

    Tim leaned closer to me with twinkling dimples and sparkling blue eyes. “Sounds romantic.” His lips were parted and I saw the tip of his tongue between straight white teeth.

    Was he flirting? I couldn’t tell being out of the game for so long.

    Tim looked up and down the aisle and I watched as he nervously shook his foot so that his knee bobbed. Again, he leaned over and this time whispered. “So, you wanna?” He titled his head to the left and nodded.

    Did I want to what? I gave him a shoulder shrug and a “What?”

    He blushed. “Nothing, forget I asked.” His leg shook.

    It dawned on me what he was asking. I think he was actually embarrassed and here I thought he was a player. I had never. I placed my hand on his knee. “Alright.” I heard a voice that sounded like mine. What had I agreed to? Damned gin!

    He looked sly and seductive. “Follow me in two minutes.”

    I downed my gin and found myself in his arms, in the tiny lavatory, thoroughly enjoying our not so little, rendezvous.

    Tim left first and gave me a chance to put myself together before returning to my seat. It was surreal when I saw my reflection in the mirror. I’ll bet mother never did that in yoga pants, I chuckled.

    Upon landing, Tim asked for my phone number. We kissed goodbye and it was sweet. Our parting left me sad and once alone in my cab I wished I had given him my real number.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Great finish Dustymay. Very smooth writing, looks like she received exactly what she wanted and was smart enough to leave it at that, because, my reading says Tim would have been bad news for anything permanent.

    2. MichaelPerry

      Awesome finish, Dustymay.
      You have a great ability to keep the narrative going with smooth dialogue and plotting. I’m totally invested in the MC. I did feel for her sitting in the cab regretting she gave him the wrong number.

      Great ending.

    3. ReathaThomasOakley

      Nice work, but I kept seeing those eyes, detached, on her face and following the flight attendant, and her eyeballs in his lap. Sorry, the images just wouldn’t go away.

  20. UnclePizza

    “Tell me about yourself,” she said shortly after takeoff. “Where are you from? Where are you going?”

    The question took me a little by surprise. I mean, I fly every week and I’m used to seatmates who want to talk, but don’t often run into one who was quite so direct. Or quite so beautiful. My hesitation gave her a moment to add, with just a hint of slyness: “And what will you do when you get there?”

    Well now, I thought to myself, this could go any number of directions! She couldn’t know the first thing about me, so why not play this out a bit and see where we end up? After all, it’s a long flight across the ocean and we have nine more hours to go.

    “I’m a scientist,” I said somewhat automatically, and immediately regretted how boring that sounded. “I live in Hollywood and advise movie studios on scientific special effects,” I made up quickly, hoping to fabricate a bit of cool-factor.

    “A scientist in Hollywood? Well, that certainly sounds exciting. I’ll bet you know some very interesting people.” Was that a twinkle in her eye?

    “A few,” I said. “Though I think I’m about to get to know one more!” Grooaaan – just shoot me now. OK, the scientist part is true, as if everyone can’t tell by how awkward it is for me to talk to a gorgeous, raven-haired stranger sitting in the window seat beside me. I’m so embarrassed that I want to disappear. She turns to look through the window at the clouds below. Shit, I blew it. Again.

    But, wait, she turns back to me with…really? I could swear that’s a twinkle in her eye. The kind that means she’s smiling with me, not at me.

    “So, tell me Mr. Scientist,” she says with what is definitely a no-doubt-about-it-now twinkle, not just in her eye but in the way she leans in a little as she looks at me. “Just what is it that you’d like to know? About me? Up here, on our way to…oh, you never did tell me where you’re going…”

    “I’m on my way to meet with some investors,” I say, weaving some truth back into the tale to help me keep it straight. “I’ve got a big demo to present and if it all goes as planned then I think everyone will be very happy.”

    She leans closer, her long, thick hair brushing my shoulder as her pursed lips approach my ear. “Everyone,” she whispers in a low, silky voice. “Even me? Eve…Eve…Eve…Click… Even me? Click. Even me…”

    Damn it! What…ah, good lord, after all this testing I can’t believe there’s still a bug in the AI code. I push my almost-but-not-quite perfect prototype back into her seat, open my laptop, plug the cable into the port just behind her left ear, and start debugging. I’ve got eight more hours to get her working perfectly for the demo, and I’d better make the most of them.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      That was a barrell of funs Uncle. I’ve been had again. Well, it certainly isn’t the first time. And I’m sure on this forum, it won’t be the last. Your set up was beautiful, you set the hook deep and it didn’t even hurt.

      1. UnclePizza

        Thanks Reatha. I was stumped all week, more writer’s block and busy with work than anything, and then I heard my wife ask a friend if she’d ever seen the movie Ex Machina, and BAM! – I knew I had my story!

  21. Not-Only But-Also Riley

    The Gentleman

    Surely it had taken some powerful magic to lift the metal bird into the air. My hands clenched the seat rests as the world moved below us. As the machine reached its highest a hand fell over mine.

    The hand belonged to my seatmate and was rough but calming. I ceased my heavy breathing and turned to look at the face that went with the hand, only to be shocked to see that there was none.

    The man (thing?) sitting next to me had no face, but instead a shiny, featureless, copper-colored head that was turned toward me. He had to be nearing eight feet when he stood, but besides that and his head the rest of him looked completely normal. His hands were the skin of a human and not the shiny metal that his head was. He looked down at me and I wasn’t sure what to say because of the lack of an expression on his face.

    I found myself pulling my hand out from under his and moving it to my lap.

    “Thanks,” I smiled at him, wondering if he would ever even know, or even knew I was talking, “I’ve never been on one of the things.”

    He suddenly held up one hand and the tip of his index finger became longer, and the nail grew into a fine point. As disgusting as it sounds, it wasn’t at all. It was absolutely beautiful, a smooth and fluid motion that it seemed a finger was always meant to do.

    So he knows some magic, I thought to myself, I wonder how much.

    He then moved the elongated finger through the air between us and exquisite calligraphy appeared in a shimmery copper writing the same color as his head.

    They call me The Gentleman, the floating words read, and I am part man and part not. What do they call you?

    At this I stopped and thought. This thing surely couldn’t see me, it surely didn’t know me. To it, I could be anyone.

    And, with that though in mind I grabbed his hand and wrote with it myself.

    They call me Kadhba. I am to learn magic under the great Aikhtiar, that is why I’m on this metal bird.

    When I wrote the last name The Gentleman shifted a little in his seat. He was impressed. Of course, it was a lie, but it made me feel good to impress him. He lifted his hand on his own and began writing again.

    Congrats on being accepted byAikhtiar. It is a great honor to apprentice under him, he wrote in tiny, but neat cursive. What kind of magic are you to learn?

    I took his hand and wrote my own message again, Magic of Zalam.

    This part wasn’t entirely a lie. I actually already knew how to cast Zalam spells, but the magic was so ancient that few even knew what it was anymore. I doubted The Gentleman knew much about it all, despite the fact he actually seemed to know some magic himself.

    But I was wrong. He dropped his hand down and it began transforming again.

    This time it was much less graceful. The bones rearranged and groaned under stretching skin. Things moved this way and that as the hand lost its shape entirely. Finally as one finger stretched and another bended the transformation was complete.

    He held up the hand to me and showed the gun it had created to me. A rare and powerful weapon, one that many would kill for and many had died for.

    I also recognized it as a Zalam style spell that not even I knew. Dark magic.

    “Wonderful,” I sighed through a smirk, “I am Sharr, queen of darkness. And you, I want you to no longer be The Gentleman.

    “I want you to be my Gentleman.”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      So she has herself sort of a half genie and half man. How convenient. Next thing you know, she will say “I don’t want you to act liie a gentleman, then life will be complete. You really pulled me into this story. Now, do you have any plans to get me out? Or will there be a part two?

  22. cosi van tutte

    This one is slightly off topic (maybe more than slightly) but something in igonzales’ story inspired me.

    ***

    I had my orders and I had to follow them through. Personal feelings did not matter. Getting the job done and leaving on time – that was all that mattered.

    I sat in between the married couple. They thought I was impossibly rude. They wanted to snuggle and hug and kiss and heaven only knows what else. But I had a job to do. And I did it.

    I left them and sat beside a greasy looking teenager with a broken iPhone. He held out his phone to me and asked if I knew how to fix it. I never did answer his question.

    Then, came the hardest part. I sat next to a woman. She was traveling alone. She held a baby in her arms and looked at it as if her baby were a treasure. I knew her. I knew her history. I knew why she traveled alone. I knew which one I had to take with me.

    I whispered an apology as the baby closed its eyes.

    She looked at me. This woman that I knew so well. She looked at me and said, “Take me with you.”

    I shook my head and tried to leave.

    She grabbed my cloak. And fell.

    I held her pearlized soul in my hands. She was not on my list. I was supposed to leave her alone.

    I lowered her soul to her limp body, but she refused to leave. She clung tight to me and refused to let me go.

    I held her to my mouth and whispered, “It is not meant to be. Not now. You have much yet to do.”

    She clung for a couple minutes more before dropping into her body.

    I wanted to stay and speak comfort to her, but I had to complete my mission before the plane landed.

    I did the kindest thing I could. I touched the baby’s face and left peace’s glow behind. It would only be a thin comfort for her, but it would be a comfort all the same.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Aha! the Grim Reaper aboard the flight. What a horrible task before him. I like all the emotion you’ve placed here in so few words. You always seem to amaze me with your talent. Keep them coming and I’ll keep reading, maybe some of them will wash off.

  23. igonzales81

    “Auto insurance? Really?” Madeleine said, laughter in her eyes.

    “Yes, indeed,” I replied, with a smile of my own, the lie coming easily. “Third largest company in Chester, Rhode Island.”

    “Pardon my saying this, but you don’t look like any insurance adjuster I’ve ever met.” She made a vague gesture that took in my tanned skin and lean, athletic build. Even nearing sixty, I was still fit. It was a requirement of my job, my real job.

    “Well, I had to get in shape. This is my vacation of a lifetime, after all.” Another lie, no more difficult than the last one.

    “So this is your first time out of the States?” Her eyes still sparkled with amusement, but she was giving me her full attention. I hadn’t known a lot of women who did that.

    “Yes, indeed.” Lies atop lies; I was actually very well-travelled on five continents. “Unless you count Hawaii, which doesn’t really count as a vacation spot after the first time.”

    Now she laughed aloud. It was a very nice laugh. “I suppose it doesn’t compare to a holiday in Hong Kong, now does it?”

    A holiday in Hong Kong. That’s what she was looking forward to. I felt so stupid, making a mistake like this. “So what about you?” I asked. “Where are you from?”
    “Oh, my family has estates in southern England, Wales, and Normandy. Mostly I just call myself a Londoner.” She gave a shrug. I knew all that, and more. I knew she was a billionaire heiress; I knew that there were other heirs. “I travel a great deal, and don’t really call any one place home.”

    I could relate to that, in a way. “So you’ve been to Hong Kong before?” I put just enough curiosity into my tone. Once again, I chided myself for not double checking the travel arrangements. A week of careful research, and I ended up sitting right next to the person I was supposed to kill. Worse, I found myself liking her. “Any tips for a first-timer?”

    “Avoid eating anything raw,” she replied, a mock-serious expression on her face.

    I laughed obligingly. “I’ll keep that in mind.” Of all the people I’d given the sweet release to, this one was definitely going to be the toughest. I could chalk it up to pity; it wasn’t her fault that she’d been born to money, and that someone else wanted it. But any way I looked at it, her life was worth a lot more than the two hundred grand I was getting for taking it away from her.

    I opened my mouth, to try to keep the conversation going, maybe to peel away enough layers that I could find something to hate about this charming young woman. Before I could speak, a scream came from back in economy. As I craned my neck to look—instinctive but futile—a different voice spoke.

    “No one move! Stay in your seat and do as we tell you! You will not be harmed. We are taking control of the plane!”

    And I thought things had been complicated a minute ago.

    1. cosi van tutte

      Hi, igonzales!

      I really liked the character development in this story. Great job!

      I especially like this line: “But any way I looked at it, her life was worth a lot more than the two hundred grand I was getting for taking it away from her.”

    2. Kerry Charlton

      Well redemption comes with a solution. He should be armed to the teeth, rescue his hit and the whole planeload. Your MC has nothing to lose and an enormous gain if he’s successful and if not, so be it. I’d love you to finish it, it’s such a good story and has all kinds of avenues to travel through.

  24. Not-Only But-Also Riley

    The Gentleman

    Surely it had taken some powerful magic to lift the metal bird into the air. My hands clenched the seat rests as the world moved below us. As the machine reached its highest a hand fell over mine.

    The hand belonged to my seatmate and was rough but calming. I ceased my heavy breathing and turned to look at the face that went with the hand, only to be shocked to see that there was none.

    The man (thing?) sitting next to me had no face, but instead a shiny, featureless, copper-colored head that was turned toward me. He had to be nearing eight feet when he stood, but besides that and his head the rest of him looked completely normal. His hands were the skin of a human and not the shiny metal that his head was. He looked down at me and I wasn’t sure what to say because of the lack of an expression on his face.

    I found myself pulling my hand out from under his and moving it to my lap.

    “Thanks,” I smiled at him, wondering if he would ever even know, or even knew I was talking, “I’ve never been on one of the things.”

    He suddenly held up one hand and the tip of his index finger became longer, and the nail grew into a fine point. As disgusting as it sounds, it wasn’t at all. It was absolutely beautiful, a smooth and fluid motion that it seemed a finger was always meant to do.

    So he knows some magic, I thought to myself, I wonder how much.

    He then moved the elongated finger through the air between us and exquisite calligraphy appeared in a shimmery copper writing the same color as his head.

    They call me The Gentleman, the floating words read, and I am part man and part not. What do they call you?

    At this I stopped and thought. This thing surely couldn’t see me, it surely didn’t know me. To it, I could be anyone.

    And, with that though in mind I grabbed his hand and wrote with it myself.
    They call me Kadhba. I am to learn magic under the great Aikhtiar, that is why I’m on this metal bird.
    When I wrote the last name The Gentleman shifted a little in his seat. He was impressed. Of course, it was a lie, but it made me feel good to impress him. He lifted his hand on his own and began writing again.

    Congrats on being accepted byAikhtiar. It is a great honor to apprentice under him, he wrote in tiny, but neat cursive. What kind of magic are you to learn?

    I took his hand and wrote my own message again, Magic of Zalam.

    This part wasn’t entirely a lie. I actually already knew how to cast Zalam spells, but the magic was so ancient that few even knew what it was anymore. I doubted The Gentleman knew much about it all, despite the fact he actually seemed to know some magic himself.

    But I was wrong. He dropped his hand down and it began transforming again.

    This time it was much less graceful. The bones rearranged and groaned under stretching skin. Things moved this way and that as the hand lost its shape entirely. Finally as one finger stretched and another bended the transformation was complete.

    He held up the hand to me and showed the gun it had created to me. A rare and powerful weapon, one that many would kill for and many had died for.

    I also recognized it as a Zalam style spell that not even I knew. Dark magic.

    “Wonderful,” I sighed through a smirk, “I am Sharr, queen of darkness. And you, I want you to no longer be The Gentleman.

    “I want you to be my Gentleman.”

  25. Teserk

    I gazed at the beautiful woman sitting next to me, chatting away about some pretty intimate details of her life, her hand resting comfortably on my arm. It was amazing! Being entirely socially inept, I had never have managed to successfully talk for this long to a complete stranger, let alone a woman as beautiful as Sophia. But with the help of my newly created pocket time machine (PTM), I had managed. Every time I made a mistake I had simply pressed the activation button and we had jumped back a minute or so in time. I corrected whatever it was that I had done wrong and moved on from there. It had been hard at first. I had made lots of jumps:

    “Hi, my name’s Leonard, ya know, like the teenage mutant ninja turtle?”
    Wide eyes.
    Dang it!
    “Hi, my name’s Leonard.”
    “Is that a pocket protector?”
    Dang it!
    “Hi my name’s Leonard.”
    Pause.
    “I’m Sophia.”
    Yes! “You want a breath mint, Sophia?”
    Glare.
    Dang it! This was never going to work if I was Leonard. I needed to be someone more suave. What if I channeled a movie star? Someone from the Avengers…
    “Hi, I’m Chris.”

    Now, three hours later, I found that I hardly needed to press the button. The time machine had allowed me to carefully craft my conversation so that I was exactly the kind of person Sophia was attracted to. I was stoked. Never had a woman so thoughtful, funny, kind, and yes, beautiful, shown any interest in nerdy, awkward me. I was enchanted.

    I was a fool. I realized with a start that all of it was a lie. Sophia wasn’t showing interest in me. She was showing interest in the person I was pretending to be. I had crafted each moment so that the response she gave was favorable, but in doing so, I had lied so many times over that there was no possibility of continuing this relationship past the end of the flight. I simply wasn’t who she thought I was. When we landed, this was over.

    My dismay must have touched my face.

    “Chris, what is it?”

    The concern in her eyes broke my heart. What could I do? If I fessed up, I would lose her forever.

    There was only one solution. I pulled the PTM from my pocket and changed the setting to three hours in the past. I took a deep breath.

    “Hi, I’m Leonard.”

    ——————-
    This is based on this awesome short film, which is much better than my version.

    1. igonzales81

      That was really good. I really liked how you did that opening dialogue. Very believable; trust me, I’ve been there. The ending was magic.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Never had the problem, women threw thenselves at me. The reason, I never thought about it when I was young. Only when I became aware of what they were up to, did I stammer. Thankfully I had a good speech theropist who helped train me as a child. She taught me some great tongue exercises.Including how to swallow glass marbles while I was trying to talk.

        Now on your story if you’re still reading this. Number one, the above is the truth. Number two it is a clever story and you have done an excellent job with it. The moralistic approach to it makes it even stronger.

      2. Kerry Charlton

        I’ll tell you the whole key to having good relationships with women. Have the kind of Mother who sets the example for you and teaches you to honor all women that cross your path. Then it’s an easy cruise through life. On to your story, it shows a lot of effort in the conversational mis-steps.
        Also, love the machine you invented. Can just imagine how wealthy you’d be with it. Love these kind of fun takes on the prompts, makes my morning.

    2. UnclePizza

      Not sure if you were trying to be hilarious with this, but it cracked me up. I could have used one of those PTMs in my younger days. Probably best I didn’t have one though – I would have died of old age while the rest of the world only aged half an hour!

  26. MichaelPerry

    THOR

    When I leaned closer, our shoulders touched. The exotic fragrance of orchids tickled my nose. When she tilted her head, long hair the shade of midnight spilled over bronze skin. Chocolate eyes simmered like a mirage in a vast desert. I turned to face her and our eyes locked. “I was embedded inside the Navy Seals for three months. It’s how I researched my latest book.”

    She eased back in her seat contemplating my story. She nibbled her lower lip and casually twirled her silky hair with a slender finger. “How many New York Times best sellers did you write, Mr. Thor?”

    I smiled. “Call me Brad. Fifteen.” The phony grin hurt my cheeks. If I told this gorgeous woman the truth, that my real name was Leon Spooner, a gasket salesman from Bad Axe, Michigan, she’d laugh all the way across the Atlantic. The author bit was much more fun and always more successful. For some reason, hot women loved famous writers. Who knew and who cared. Book my reservation in the Mile High Club.

    She sat up in her seat, brushing her shoulder against mine. “That sounds so exciting. I’d love to read—”

    I held up Thor’s latest novel. “I just happen to have an extra copy. I’ll autograph it for you if you’d like. What was your name again?” Oh, no. Big mistake. I cursed myself. Now, what was her name? Cheryl… Shanna…Sherry…Think you moron.

    Her penetrating stare locked on mine, her expression dark and ominous. “My name is Cheyenne.”

    I took a deep breath. Like a love struck teenager, I held her stare, leaned on the armrest, and propped my chin on my palm. “What a sexy name. Is it Italian?” I whispered. Wait, I meant to say Indian. You idiot.

    She flicked her hair over her shoulder. “Native American,” she said, her voice seething with anger. “I’m a full-blood Cheyenne Indian—”

    “Of course, how could I be so—”

    “—and a witch.”

    It took a few moments to process her response. I slumped back in my seat. I knew she was too good to be true. Another nut job. “You’re joking right?” I said, raising a hand to my mouth to keep from laughing. “I don’t believe in the supernatural…or witches.”

    Her intense scowl held me immobile. Her eyes had taken on a dull grey cast and gave me a terrifying sensation of being pinned by an unseen force.

    The spell broke and she spoke in a hushed tone. “I’m deadly serious.”

    I snickered and waved a hand in the air. “What are you going to do, cast a spell on me?”

    “The Cheyenne people have practiced witchcraft for hundreds of years. I wouldn’t joke about the spirit world.”
    She made me. She obviously knew I wasn’t best-selling author Brad Thor. She was punking me. I grinned and raised both hands in surrender. “Alright,” I conceded, “I see where this is going. You don’t believe I’m Brad—”
    “”No, I afraid you don’t see.” From under the neckline of her blouse, she pulled out a stellate pendant of some kind. It sparkled with electric red and blue stones. It hung from a silver chain around her neck. She yanked the object from her neck and placed it on the foldout tray in front of her.

    “What in hell is that?”

    She grinned. “It’s a talisman. It belonged to my great-great grandmother. It’s used to ward off evil spirits and protect me from harm.” Warring emotions passed over her face; she closed her eyes. With both hands she began drawing small air circles over the talisman; chants in a strange language followed each repetition.
    I swallowed. Hard. Sweat prickled my scalp. The air circles and chants increased in velocity and volume, Cheyenne’s face frozen in a trance-like state.

    I scanned the cabin in a panic. Passengers were sleeping or had earbuds jammed in the ears.
    “Uh…Cheyenne darling, this is not funny.”

    The lights flickered and dimmed, flooding the cabin in a murky blackness. The chants echoed louder in my ears and pounded my temples. A burning sensation struck my chest. My breathing became shallow. Turbulence rocked the plane. We’re going down! I tried to stand. A cold tremor shot down my back, anchoring me to my seat. The world became fuzzy, distant, like I was descending into an endless chasm.

    Darkness.

    When I opened my eyes, relief washed through me. We didn’t crash; just a hallucination? I felt myself floating in the air as I approached a stewardess standing near the exit. Something strange happened. I looked down and didn’t see my legs, only stubby…paws. I cocked my head up and saw Cheyenne’s smiling face. I tried to speak but all that came out of my mouth was a high-pitched “yip.” The stewardess reached out and scratched my head. “She’s the cutest little thing,” she said. Her voice lowered to a whisper. “She really should have been below with the other pets.”

    “It’s a he,” Cheyenne said. She pulled me out of her purse and held me aloft.

    I stole a glance between my legs. My manhood was…gone. Neutered. The bitch!

    The stewardess smiled. “I love Yorkie’s. How did you get him to behave on a nine-hour flight?”

    Cheyenne raised an eyebrow. “Oh, just a little black magic.”

    I tried to scream. Wait a minute! I’m not a dog. My name’s is Leon Spooner. I’m a gasket salesman from Bad Axe, Michigan. Nothing but high-pitched yips and squeals leaked from my throat.

    “What’s his name?” the stewardess asked.

    “Thor,” Cheyenne replied.

    The stewardess laughed. “The God of Thunder. How cool.”

    “Not him. The writer. Brad Thor. I’m his number one fan.”

    The stewardess frowned. “I’ve never read anything by him.”

    Cheyenne handed my copy of Thor’s latest book to the woman. “Take this. I just finished it.” She shot me a scathing grin.

    “Yip,” I croaked.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      You’re hitting the web site like a comet. Boy, this was scary at first and then funny. I know only a handfull of full blood Indian women. I felt intrugued by all of them. Good thing I didn’t try pulling a fast one with them. It’d be my luck to comr back as a hairless Chihuahua!The descriptions of Cheyenne were dead on!

    2. Bug934

      So interesting, I love the somewhat villain against villain, and now I will never look at a dog in a purse the same, although that always irritated me, now ill be wondering who’s trapped in there. Fun read 🙂

    3. Critique

      I was laughing at the beginning but not as the story progressed. Unfortunate Leon didn’t deserve such drastic action. Cheyenne could lighten up just a little 😉

  27. jeff.beyer

    I pretended not to hear the question and stared into the cieling of the cabin.

    “Is there a pilot on the plane?” The stewardess was even more anxious asking her second time down the aisle.

    After the stewardess had passed I could feel the stare of the woman sitting next to me as the scared passengers murmurs became outright panic as the oxygen bags fell from above and the plane began losing altitude.

    I picked up the in flight magazine and feigned interest in the article, “Top Five Kareoke Bars in Jacksonville, Florida”, barely able to hold it still from the shaking of the fuesalge.

    “excuse me”, the woman next to me says loudly over the increasingly violent turbulence. “Didn’t you say you were a pilot?”

    “Hmm?” i relpied as if i didnt hear the question and it was the first words we had ever spoken.

    “Didnt…you …say…you…were….a…pilot?” she repeated as calmly as a woman could while the nose of her plane she was a passenger on began to dive towards the ocean.

    “no…no”, i said dumbfoundedly…… “I said i was a Pirate”.

    I calmly put on my oxygen mask as the plane began to barrel roll and break apart and debris began to shower over us from all sides .

    smirked to myself….”dodged a bullet there.”

    1. Teserk

      This cracked me up. As Ron Weasley said in the Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone movie, “She (or he as the case may be here) needs to sort out her priorities.”

  28. Bug934

    Truth is relative. At least for me.
    After so many years in my profession, you learn to insert bits of truth into a lie, so easily that it becomes real. For some reason on this 15 hour flight to Germany, seated next to a young brunette from Ohio i find myself clinging to youthful Optimism. This is that feeling which overcomes young lovers under a grove of bonsai trees, ready to dishonor their feelings and run away to America on a whim.

    “So where have you flow to?” Her head cocks to the side like a lost puppy, fingers trailing the hand rest.

    “Most recently to Argentina, Singapore, and of course the States” which wasn’t untrue. I hold my drink and rattle the cubes of my $15 gin and tonic. “my favorite place to land is Saba, very intense landing site, its only fifteen minutes to San Maarten from there, but an extremely short runway, most difficult to land there.” Take a sip of the sub par airline cocktail, providing an alluring pause. “i welcome the challenge.”

    I watch her eyes glaze over, falling step with the set up. I almost feel guilty.
    “There is this excellent little spot that serves the best drinks, all of course with a small Umbrella, which i find gets in the way of the purpose.”

    “What purpose is that?” She leans back in her chair, flipping her hair over her shoulders and exposing her naked shoulder.

    “Drinking, making love, whatever you wish to do when you visit the islands.” I smirk and take another sip, rattling the ice in the now empty glass.

    At this point it would be way to convince her to take a walk to the bathroom and seal the deal right then and there, its not the first time I would have made the proposition. She, however turns away twoard her small window and sigh.

    “I’ve had enough to random sex for a lifetime.” Her eyes droop, pools offsides linger there for a moment too long. “Im actually escaping that life. I made a promise to be honest from here on out, and thats hat in intent to do.”

    “We shall start your journey together then.” I raised the empty glass, annoyed at its lack of contacts, and waved the stewardess over. “another for me and my friend please.”

    “I’ll actually take a glass of moscato, if he’s buying.” She winks at me, leaning forward resting her elbows on the tray table. “why are you flying to Germany, another flight?”

    I wanted to tell her the truth for a moment, that i would be meeting with a cartel there, delivering the goods i slipped into her overhead bag. She would then have the realization that she was the one i picked to transport the goods through customs. Clearing my throat i wipe away the truth.

        1. Bug934

          thanks! there is actually another half of the story…. I tried posting this about 15 times, and it never works… I come back a few days later and here it is, with a bunch of errors, and half missing.. posted twice.. so weird… i just tried to post the rest and it did not work! again! oh well maybe in a few days it will appear….

  29. Bug934

    Truth, is relative. At least for me.
    After so many years in my profession, you learn to insert bits of truth into a lie, so easily that it becomes real. For some reason on this 15 hour flight to Germany, seated next to a young brunette from Ohio, I find myself clinging to youthful optimism. This is that feeling which overcomes young lovers in a grove of bonsai trees, ready to dishonor their families and run away to America on a whim.
    “So where have you flown to?” Her head cocks to the side like a lost puppy, fingers trailing the hand rest.
    The lie rolls easily “ most recently to Argentina, Singapore and of course the states” I hold my drink and rattle the ice cubes of my $15 gin and tonic. “My favorite place to land is Saba, very intense landing site, it’s only about fifteen minutes to San maarten from there, but an extremely short runway, most difficult to land there.” I take a sip of the sub par airline cocktail, providing an alluring pause. “I welcome The challenge. ”
    I watch her eyes glaze over, falling in step with my trap. I almost feel Guilty.
    “There is this excellent little spot that serves the best drinks, all of course with a small Umbrella, which I find gets in the way of the purpose.”
    “What purpose is that?” She leans back in her chair, flipping her hair over her shoulder and exposing her naked shoulder. Clearly egging me on.
    “Drinking, love making, whatever you wish to do when you visit the islands.” I smirk and take another sip, rattling the ice In the now empty glass.
    At this point it would be easy to convince her to take a walk to the bathrooms and seal the deal right then and there, it’s not the first time I would have made the proposition. She, however turns away toward her small window and sighs.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      I enjoyed this Bug934. ‘When will they ever learn’, a beautiful line from Mary Travers. No man walks on earth, clever enough to fool a woman. Take it from one that knows. Under play is the key, that fascinates them. Women aren’t the only ones who can play mystery. I have a friend of mine I’ve known for fifty years. I have no idea what his exact business is, how used to money he is or much about him. He is however surrounded by women, much to the annoyance of his wife.

  30. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    This is a response to Amaria’s poetic take on the prompt, which I highly recommend you read. 🙂

    The Liar

    I only told him a little white lie,
    Okay, maybe, just maybe, it was a bit more
    I knew I probably wouldn’t see him again –
    And so I was a journalist, traveling to Rome
    A much-needed vacation from my dark world.

    Had I known I’d fall for his eyes,
    Those that sparkled in the golden sun
    Like spherical glaciers docked in pure beauty,
    I thought to back out, tell him the truth,
    That I was a short-order cook who lost her way,
    Though now too deep was I when the time came,
    And then my mother whispered into my ears
    From that old cold coffer in which she sleeps,
    “Lies aren’t little, even when they’re white.”
    It made me angry because she was right —
    Aren’t they all?

    Departing the plane, I gathered the courage
    Pressing a small paper into his palm,
    And I hoped he might call me, and we’d talk
    Maybe we’d come to know each other, maybe even love
    Then maybe I could tell him the truth,
    Perhaps he’ll love me so much he won’t care.

    “I tell him to look me up in Rome,
    Then I realize I’ll never be in Italy –
    Before I can turn to tell him other
    He’d dissolved into the crowd,
    Fading away like a dream,
    One that I’d soon forget just as easily,
    Until my cell rang…

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Loved the star-crossed reply. One double line in particular

        “Lies aren’t little, even when they’re white.
        It made me angry because she was right.-”

        .

  31. ShamelessHack

    “Miss, can ye fetch me another whiskey. Flyin’ sure makes me thirsty. Thanks.”
    “You sure can knock ‘em back mate. Miss! Bring me one too, will ya! It’s a long flight we’re havin’ ahead of us.”
    “So, what should we be drinkin’ to mate?”
    “Ireland! Let’s toast to Ireland!”
    “Gaw! Yer from Ireland? So am I! Here’s to Ireland!”
    “What a coincidence, ain’t it! What should we drink to now?”
    “Here! Here’s to Dublin!”
    “Yer jokin’! Me family lives in Dublin!”
    “Mine too! Another long shot! Drink up!”
    “Here, let me make a toast. Here’s to Culligan Street in Dublin!”
    “Yer not serious! Me mother lives on Culligan Street!”
    “No! Can’t be! So does mine!”
    “S’truth! Here, let’s have another shot! Here’s to 327 Culligan Street.”
    “S’not possible, mate! That’s the address where me sainted mother lives!”
    “No! Here, let’s drink to—“

    “Susan, what’s going on in row seven?”
    “Oh, those two? They’re just the O’Brady twins getting drunk. They fly with us a lot.”

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      I like the twinny action here. Isn’t there a drink limit on flights? I don’t know, I rarely fly. Can’t stand airplanes lol

      Also, I love how unique of a voice your characters have, but they have the same voice. I guess maybe twins would have the same voice, but would they have the same voice? Growing up, I was twins with two different sets of twins, and each twin had a separate personality that changed the way they talked to people and each other. For the same of the story, would it be better to change one of the twins to speak slightly different to show that there are two different people talking or keep them sounding the same to ensure that the dialog blends like crazy? The decision to make is yours and yours alone, but whatever the case, you have a good story done well in so few words.

      Thanks for sharing, hack!!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hey Larry, the last line is a killer! About twins, my daughter has identical twin girls. After twenty years, I still can not tell them apart. They entered a district school’s competition in writing. Over 1000 entries, they placed first and third in the contest. High school of 4000 thousand students, they placed first and third scholastically. I’ve watched them talk to each other with merely a glance, a raised eye lid or a smile. I knw they’re communicating.

        So I’d say you nailed the twins conversations.

      2. Amaria

        I remember flying across the US to San Diego and there was this guy in the emergency exit ordering alcohol. They were tiny bottles but still I was thinking if there is an emergency….? LOL.

    2. MichaelPerry

      I think I met these two somewhere along the way. Great job capturing the dialect and voice of these two.
      “S’not possible, mate! Love it!

  32. amarriott1011

    “Excuse me; I believe this is my seat.”

    I move my bag from the seat next to me, and make room for the gentleman.

    The crew begins their usual spiel and I pull out the “What to do in case of an Emergency Landing” pamphlet.

    “First time flier?” the man next to me asks.
    “Oh no, just looking.”
    I put the pamphlet back in the seat pocket in front of me.

    “Good afternoon ladies and gentleman this is your captain speaking. We have been cleared for takeoff. We will be arriving in Dublin 5:30 tomorrow morning. Sit back and enjoy the flight.”

    “So, what brings you to Ireland?”
    “Business, actually, you?” I have no idea why I said it. I wasn’t going for business, I was going to meet my newborn niece.
    “Site seeing. What business allows you to travel to a foreign country?”
    “I am a writer.” Actually, I am a lawyer but that doesn’t really matter.
    “A writer, what kind of writing do you do?”
    “Well…” oh crap major brain fart; quick what do I write? “…a little bit of everything. I mostly do freelance work. I am visiting Ireland as a form of research. I am working on a novel that takes place just outside of Dublin.”
    “Wow lucky you!”
    That is lucky, what am I made of money? I can just travel to another country for research?
    “I am also working on an article for a travel magazine, so killing two birds with one stone.”

    Where was this all coming from? I have never lied so easily and effortlessly in my entire life.

    “What is it that you do…?”
    “Jeremy”
    “Alyssa” we shook hands.
    “So, what is it you do Jeremy?” I could hear the flirtatious tone in my voice.
    “I work for an advertising agency.”
    “So you’re creative.”
    “I try to be, nothing like a writer.” Right, I am a writer not a lawyer! “I take other people’s ideas and make them more approachable for consumers.”
    “Do you do the design or jingles or ….what?”
    “I do it all.”
    “Impressive. Do you like what you do?”
    “Very much, yes.”
    “What’s your favorite part?”
    “Pitching an idea to a client and landing the account. It doesn’t get much more exciting than that, knowing that you are going up against the biggest names in the business and you landed it, that the client liked my idea and my approach. It’s exhilarating.”
    “Sounds glamorous.”
    “It can be. What about you, I take it you like your job?”
    “It can be stressful at times,” This part I didn’t have to lie about. “but I love it.”
    “The deadlines?”
    “Yeah, the deadlines (court dates) and the rejections (losing a case). You invest so much into these characters (clients) and then you feel like you let them down somehow.”
    “I get that, you put a piece of yourself in each of them.”
    “Exactly.”

    *DING*
    “The captain has turned off the fasten seat belt sign, feel free to move about the cabin.”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Clever way to end the prompt. So many stories this week need to have a finish to them and this is one of them. Why not grab it and run with it. You can post as late as Monday and still get responses.

  33. thejim

    I came up with 4 different stories and did not like any of them. So this is number 5 and still not happy with it but it was time to move on.

    Flying is so outdated. With only one air shuttle in business there is no longer a choice and they say within the next 5 years they will have completed the connection port to the outpost on Europa and this transportation will be useless. Unfortunately I still have to take it every other month for a general accounting meeting on the base. Why the owner does not just use the implanted Sprizon Retinal Phone is beyond me.

    The seats are filled with the normal crowd: HydroPhiinaes and their offspring looking for a place to raise a family, the normal vacationers with the yearning for adventure on the open seas and worker drones designed to mine the depths of the Bertinion Sea.

    I made my way down the right row to my accommodations. The grimy floor showed its signs of age, the outdated colors and drab lighting succeeded in hiding the dilapidated vessel. The shuttle sat six across in sections of 2 seat/sleepers, a comfortable chair that can full recline into a very comfortable bed. Each seat is equipped with a slumber bubble which when activated will enclose you completely, it is sound proof and climate controlled, of which I was thankful for. The flight is only 12 days not bad since Europa is around 400 million miles away.

    I sat in my seat and got everything organize. I was fine that the security screen was up in the seat next to me. I prefer to be alone I have the knack for just blending in on these trips and apparently my acquaintance wanted to be inconspicuous too.

    The first day was uneventful; I put together my presentation and ignored the outside world.

    Day two I was moving along at a turtle’s pace. Right before lunch, I was ignoring a movie on the inside of my screen and watching the people through the two way feature of my bubble. My neighbor finally emerged from her pad like seat. She was rather beautiful but normally not my type. She sort of hopped by me and made her way to the rest room. I straighten myself up and opened up my bubble before she returned.

    When she returned I could see it was a bit shocked to see me sitting next to her, she forced a smile as she sat down in her seat. I quickly tried to start up a conversation. I introduced myself as Lguana Tuatara. She was a bit aloof but I began to elaborate on my job and actually building myself up to probably a bit more that I should have. I probably over exaggerate a bit. But she was going for it and she leaped right in.

    After a few hours of talking my tongue was a bit dry so we ordered several drinks she eased into my seat and we enclosed the bubble around us. It was either the alcohol or just instincts that took over.

    “Then is that when it happened?” The police enforcer asked.

    I looked up from the large rock I was cuffed to, “I am not sure.”

    “Well we have I witnesses and video recall of the incident and you emerged from your bubble with Ms. Anura Frox’s throat slit and you covered in her blood.” The larger Enforcer Croc said. “And it looks like somewhere along the way you lost your tail but I’m sure you don’t care since it will grow back. Now take this cloaca dirt bag and lock him up.”

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      There’s a lot of potential with this story. The character’s voice is good, even if it’s moody. I’d really like to know what happened and why. I don’t mind a relatively open-to-interpretation story, but too few details here doesn’t allow me the indulgence of using my own imagination to fill in the blanks. Good voice, good character, but I wanted a more complete story. Given you’re dislike for it, I don’t blame you for shorting us the details. I’ve written stories where I wasn’t all-in, and it was 100% lacking in good content. Nothing we can do about that.

      All in all, I like what you have, though. The only thing that bugged me was the tail comment. It felt shoe-horned into the story, but awkward people are awkward, am I right?

      Thanks for sharing, Jim. Good stuff!

      1. thejim

        Thanks Jay – My heart was not in it even though there was a bunch of research that went into it if you Google some of the names and such you would be surprise as to clues of what is happening. You may have liked one version. It was a Schizophrenic with multiple personalities.

      2. thejim

        Thanks Jay- Yes my heart was just not in it, but there was a bunch of research that was done. If you Google names and such you’ll understand more so of their personalities.
        You may have liked one version the MC had schizophrenia with multiple personality disorder.

          1. Kerry Charlton

            I liked it also and have the same feelings Jay does. Why not use it as an exercise, force yourself to rewrite it and post it again as a new story. You will be amazed what you can do with it. It can be a really great story, the bones are there.Try it and see what happens. If you don’t like the rewrite, you don’t need to post it but I would be interested in seeing it.

  34. jhowe

    He sat beside me and nodded, stowing his battered tote under the seat, smiling as I fished half his seatbelt from under my leg and handed it to him. His eyes were the color of coffee and cream and they danced behind frameless lenses. I abandoned my plan to bury my head in books for the flight to Sydney and smiled back. His scent was rustic, like sawn oak, completely intoxicating.

    His head tilted and shifted slightly downward. He touched the side of his upper lip and rubbed. No, it couldn’t be. I felt the loose piece of the mustache with my fingers and pressed it back into place. I felt the heat rise to my face and knew I was turning red.

    My stomach fluttered as he held out his hand. “Miles Brindley,” he said, his mouth remained parted as we shook.

    My hesitation was a beat too long. “Steve Smith.” He raised his eyebrows. I was certain he didn’t believe me. Hell, I wouldn’t have believed me. He busied himself with his tote, removing a tablet and switching it on. A flight attendant asked us if we wanted a drink. He ordered a Heineken. I nodded and indicated me too.

    “Four grand for a beard and mustache and the damn thing peels off,” I said.

    “Four grand?”

    “It’s my own hair. Custom made.”

    He nodded. “I’m sure you have your reasons.”

    The attendant came with our beers. “I hate to bother you,” she said. “But I’m dying to get your autograph.” She handed me a pen and scrap of paper. I groaned inwardly and signed it. So much for incognito.

    “I should explain.” I said after she left.

    “If you’d like, but there’s no need.”

    “My name’s not Steve Smith.”

    “No shit.”

    I told him my real name. “I’m an actor and I really wanted to enjoy a stress free vacation. Get away from the mob scene.”

    “I understand,” he said, reaching for the in-flight magazine.

    “Please don’t be offended. I didn’t mean you.” He sighed and his smile returned. Relief flowed through my veins like a shot of heroin.

    “I don’t see many movies. Were you in that one about a casino heist?”

    “No, that was Clooney.”

    “Oh yeah. You were in that one about a rodeo star.”

    “That was McConaughey.”

    “What were you in then?” I listed them all, from the low budget bombs to the blockbusters. He hadn’t seen a one of them. I’d never been more attracted to a man. We talked off and on for hours. He got sleepy and laid his head on my shoulder. We talked some more and I slept on his shoulder.

    At baggage claim, we stood, suitcases tilted on their wheels. “Where are you staying?” he asked.

    “Do you mind a presumptuous answer?”

    “Only if you lose the facial hair.”

    I ripped off the mustache in one fell sloop. The beard would have to wait. I said, “I was hoping to stay at your place.”

    Together we walked outside and hailed a cab. This was going to be the best vacation ever.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Even though I’m way off my beaten path on this subjuct, I thought you did an excelent job on describing this kind of courtship. You picked a great nane in Miles Brindly, how authenic can one get?

      1. SkyFox

        Hi Jhowe! I loved it! Just one word of advice. “We talked off and on for hours. He got sleepy and laid his head on my shoulder. We talked some more and I slept on his shoulder.” Personally i think that sentence didnt flow as it should have. Myabe somethibg like… “We talked on and off for houre, until his head dropped onto my sholder, eyes shut tight. Later when he stirred we talked again, flying on the wings of converstation.”
        Just a suggestion! I really loved it, especially the use of the celeb under cover story line!
        🙂

    2. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      Overall, I really like your story, MrHowe. I felt like this line:

      Relief flowed through my veins like a shot of heroin.

      just didn’t belong with the style and feel of the story, but it’s a good visual. I would also hazard to guess that most heroin addicts / noobs will argue that a shot of heroin is anything but relieving when that painful substance enters their body, stingers and all at the ready, but I’ve never done it, so I could be wrong.

      Bold choice of main characters, but not unusual in the time that we currently live. More and more writers are beginning to be more comfortable with breaking the stereotypes and allowing their characters to show another part of humanity that was previously too taboo to handle, and you handle it well.

      I do wish you had more dialog between the main characters, though. I wanted more sparks of romance to connect them on a intimate level so we as readers feel that connection between them.

      Again, I really enjoyed that, dude. Thanks for sharing!

  35. chandra_wd_writer

    It went a bit long, but I hope you guys like reading it. Waiting to hear your feedback. Hoping I got the dialogue well.
    ———-
    “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything,” said my stepfather when I got home drunk the first time. We were living in a rustic beach house in California. My mother, my stepbrother, and stepfather. It’s only a few years later I learned that it was Mark Twain’s wisdom that my stepfather quite paradoxically copied and boringly repeated. I took to the advice seriously like any teenager would—I started remembering all my lies; I remember all the lies I have ever told from that day.

    My stepbrother got into a good school, and he now works for a software company in San Francisco. As for me, I took to lying as a profession; well, I am a salesperson by the day. I hate to admit, but in many ways, I was a complementing inferior half to my stepbrother who excelled at everything. He married his first girlfriend, and they are still together with their two lovely daughters. Enough to say my stepbrother and I never got along well.

    I had never been in a serious relationship; in fact, only a few were long enough to qualify as a relationship. All of them started with beautiful lies and ended in lies. But other than that, I am a sane man if obsessive lying isn’t a big crime.

    I have always wanted to run away from my past and start fresh. Finally, that day had come. I bought a one-way ticket to Paris, and there I was sitting in the business class, with a beautiful woman next to me. I saw her in the security line, and I wished she took the same flight. But when she sat next to me, how I wished we were in the economy; the damn business class seats were too luxurious and separated.

    After I had cleared the security check, I remember I saw her again as I rushed past her towards the boarding gate. My bag almost brushed her shoulder. A few seconds later, I felt as if someone called my name, but I was in a hurry, and I never bothered to look back.

    Anyhow, now she was sitting next to me. Should I or should I not? One last time, I decided and started lying. Old habits don’t die easily.

    “It’s a long flight, huh… I am David,” I said. My hand was still extended expecting a handshake that never came.

    She smiled and shuffled her stuff. Is she a first-class traveler who is traveling in business the first time? How rude is it to not respond to my casual talk? Well, to be honest, the intention wasn’t that casual.

    “Hi, I am Sarah. Sorry, I was a bit nervous, then,” she said a few minutes later, and the handshake happened this time.

    “No worries. I was nervous too. I am always nervous during takeoff and landing.” Probably the only truth I ever told her.

    “Are you headed to Paris?” she asked.

    “No. Isn’t this flight going to Singapore? Damn! I boarded the wrong one!” For a moment, I thought I had her. But her bright eyes suggested otherwise.

    “What do you do, David? Other than lying that is,” she said after an uncomfortable pause. She brushed a few strands of her blonde hair.

    Well, how did she know I was lying? Was she a spy? Then I realized it was probably a response to my bad joke.

    “Well, I run an animation studio in Los Angeles. I am going to Paris for a new business deal.” What the heck is an animation studio, exactly? Why not a software company?

    “Well, that sounds like a lot of fun. What kind of animation work do you do?” Well, nothing.

    “Well, it isn’t fun, except if you think running a multi-million dollar business at thirty is ‘fun.’ We work with major film producers across the world.”

    “Smart and impressive. I mean, the way you told me your age,” she said.

    “Well, it wasn’t intended that way.” Of course, it was. “But anyhow, I am thirty, and I am single.”

    “Well then, it’s not going to be a long, boring flight like the last time,” she said. It was an honest advance. Also, she indirectly hinted she was a frequent flier.

    “Pleasure is all mine, beautiful lady,” I said. She blushed, and her pink cheeks added more contrast to her beauty.

    “Excuse me, Sir, do you need a drink?” interrupted a male voice.

    “Yes, of course. Wine please.”

    Sarah took wine, too, and we cheered to the long, boring flight.

    “So what do you do, Sarah?” I asked.

    “Well, mine isn’t a glamorous title like yours. I work as a marketing manager for a company. I just finished my MBA last year. I am on a work trip to Paris. Company paid, you know.”

    “Well then, beauty with brains, I would say.”

    “Well, tell me, am I the most beautiful woman you ever flirted? There is a lot of beauty in LA.”

    “Probably. It depends on what beauty means.” Rather philosophical for a liar.

    “You are rich, handsome, and young. How can you be still single? Sure you aren’t lying?”

    “It’s a long story. In short, I broke up with my girlfriend a month ago.”

    “Oh… I am so sorry to hear,” she said with real concern.

    “Thank you. But I am over with it. We were supposed to come on this trip together. I was planning to propose to her. I still have that ring with me.”

    “Stop it,” a voice said inside my head. Too romantic and melodramatic. “Tell her the truth. Now.”

    “Well, if it’s of any help, I must tell you, I broke up with my boyfriend a few months ago,” she said in a consoling voice.

    “Sorry to hear that. I can see how difficult it must have been for you,” I said as if to hide my happiness.

    “Well, this wasn’t the first time, you know. Still figuring out men.”

    A lot of lies, a few naps, a few drinks, and a few more lies later we finally landed in Paris. The landing was scary due to bad weather, and Sarah held my hand from the time the pilot announced descending until the plane came to a hard stop. She closed her eyes all the time, so it was easy for me to admire her beauty, though it lacked the charm her blue, crystal eyes added.

    The rush of impatient passengers started the moment the flight stopped. I had slept for a couple of hours before the descent started. Though the arduous journey came to an end, I was about to start my new journey in Paris. A day I had waited for years. But surprisingly, I wasn’t excited but rather saddened that I won’t be seeing Sarah again.

    After all the lies, there was no undoing. I had to let this go along with my past.

    I helped her with baggage, and we got out of the baggage claim together. She could have left me long ago, but she seemed like she wanted to stay with me. But there was no going back for me. It had to end as David.

    We stepped out and headed towards the taxi stand. We were ready to kiss final goodbyes.

    “It was nice talking to you, David. You made this trip memorable. Thank you. Good luck with your business deal,” she said with rehearsed accuracy.

    “The pleasure is all mine, the Beauty with Brains! Good luck with your work,” I said. Then we exchanged a quick hug.

    “Wait…there is something I forgot, Michael,” she said and laughed out loud.

    How the hell did she know my name? I did not know how to hide my face and all the lies I have told her.

    She handed over the baggage tag with my name written on it in my handwriting and said she took it from the floor when I rushed past her after the security check. That’s when I realized she was the one who called me then. I checked my backpack, and the tag was missing. I was embarrassed, to say the least. In a way I had never been before.

    There was nothing left to explain.

    “Call me in the evening. My number is on the back of that tag,” she said and started walking. “By the way, call me Amanda!” she added turning her head back, and her beautiful eyes sparkled under the bright Paris daylight. Paris, here I come.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Well, this could be a romance from hell, but who knows? No need to worry about the conversation, it was done well mixed in with the thoughts of the MC. I get the idea she may be as good a liar as he is, but what kind of relationship would that be. I would have preferred a little more physical description of Amanda. Just what were her eyes telling him, perhaps.

        1. chandra_wd_writer

          Thanks, Kerry! Glad you liked the conversation. Yes, she was lying as well. Good point that I probably should have hinted what her eyes and physical expression suggested.

  36. Amaria

    A poetic take on the prompt:

    “The Lie”

    It was only a little white lie –
    okay maybe just a little bit more
    but it wasn’t as if I would see her again
    so I embellished on my life story –
    a business man trekking through Europe
    she, a journalist, traveling to Rome
    on a much needed holiday

    Yet I never intended to fall for her lips
    – like red roses and eyes like jewels
    sparking from Cartier shop windows
    yet I am in too deep to retreat –
    mom always said it was better to tell
    the truth than lies – and she was right
    but she always was – no big surprise

    Upon our arrival she pressed her hand
    in mine – a piece of paper with numbers
    she tells me to look her up in Rome
    I didn’t have the courage to tell her
    my journey would begin and end in Paris
    instead I watched her fade into the crowd
    as silent as she drifted into my world

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I loved the last paragraph, full of broken dreams and chances perhaps. Is there a finality of life the MC is thinking about or is it physical? A good thought to leave with your reader, a slight puzzlement.

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      Ooo, I loved it Amaria. It even inspired me to write a response, an alternate look from the point of view of the female character. It’s on this page somewhere.

      Anyway, I really enjoyed it, thanks for sharing! Keep up the good work.

  37. frankd1100

    “BITE THIS”

    He made his way to aisle seat, 22C, on the Boeing 777 that would take him to San Francisco, carrying a thin, tan leather briefcase under his right arm. Dropping the briefcase onto his seat he moved in and let enough boarders pass by to open the aisle. Removing his light, hounds tooth sport coat, he stepped into a gap in the traffic, and neatly folded the coat into the overhead.

    “The flight attendant told me the window seat wasn’t booked and I should move over from the middle if I wanted.”

    “That’s nice,” he said, as the latch clicked on his seat belt. He turned toward the dark, attractive, woman and asked, “Going through to San Francisco?”

    “I am,” she said, her blue eyes bright in anticipation.

    “My name’s Donovick,” he said, reaching across to shake a warm hand, though she didn’t offer a name. He guessed she was mid thirties, probably single, traveling to a business convention of some kind. “Are you traveling on business?”

    “I’m attending a week long conference, an international meeting on blood cancer,” she said, pushing an unruly wisp of dark hair behind her ear. “It’s an annual meeting sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and oncology clinics from around the world.”

    “You’re a pharmaceutical rep, I’m guessing.”

    “No,” she said turning slightly toward him from her window seat. “I’m a Nurse Practitioner. I work with blood cancer patients at a clinic in Boston.” Glancing down at a laptop tucked beneath the forward seat, she said, “I’m presenting at several sessions on the results of a clinical trial we’ve been using in the clinic. What about you,” she asked? “This isn’t your first cross country flight.”

    “No indeed,” he said, smiling, falling into his routine. “I run an equity hedge fund based in San Francisco, mostly tech stocks but a small specialty ‘pharma’ portfolio too. We should meet for dinner if you have a free night to discuss the health care environment.”

    She’d been retrieving her laptop as he spoke and it caught the hem of her skirt, exposing a shapely runner’s thigh. She blushed, tugging her skirt into place and said, “I don’t know if I’ll have an evening free with the number of meetings and…”

    “It’s OK,” he said, interrupting her discomfort at being hit on by an older guy. “I just thought you might like a break and a dinner away from tourists and conference attendees.”

    “It sounds nice,” she began, but before she could continue, a muffled report, like a round fired from the front of the plane caused him to unlatch his seat belt. A strong, female voice on the intercom shouted, “Donovick! Code one, black!”

    Drawing a modified Smith and Wesson he stepped into the aisle. As he turned back to show her his badge he was confused by her wearing of a personal air mask. She shot him in the throat, jumped over his falling body and amidst a rising crescendo of panicked shouting, fired randomly, all center mass hits, as she rushed the front of the plane.

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Hmmm, thought I’d posted here, I know I tried. Anyway, great job, that ending took me totally by surprise, I was expecting something much different.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        So was I, it was rather sudden and disturbing but I’m sure you planned it that way. A terrorist attack perhaps or a hi-jacking. It leaves the reader in shock but I’m sure you were going for that.
        Well, it worked well, but where is part two? We need a part two, please or I’ve have to make up my own conclusion.

    2. MichaelPerry

      I agree…This is definitely screaming for part 2. Loved the setup and the surprise twist. Hijacking or terrorist ?? I’d love to know how this ends.
      Nice job.

  38. Kerry Charlton

    THE PRINCE OF THIEVES

    .

    Brad Princeton was surprised to be taken to first class, but the airline had sold his student seat on a flight from New York to Rome. Twenty three, with a masters in architecture, Brad had earned a summer in Rome to study the ancient architecture. It was fall of 1952, the world was his oyster, yet he fantasized a different life. Not anything resembling his occupation as an promising architect.

    ‘I’m about to enter heaven’ he thought as he slipped into his seat and immediately fell under her spell. A petite brunette with a pixie face, a beautiful smile and her eyes, or Lord, her eyes, they were incredible. She paid little attention to him however.

    ‘I don’t blame her,’ he thought, ’she must be used to men falling at her feet in idol worship.

    Her voice entered his mind,

    “Are you stopping at Rome, or continuing?”

    “It’s my destination, and you?”

    “Same, I’m doing a screen test for my first movie.”

    “That must be so exciting, you’re so young to have the chance. . My name’s Brad Princeton. And yours?”

    “Audrey.”

    “Just Audrey?”

    “Un huh.”

    “Mysterious woman?“

    “Un huh.“

    “Okay with me. Where’s your boy friend?”

    “I don’t have one.”

    “Impossible, they must be falling at your feet.”

    “Nu huh.”

    “If I made a fool of myself and spread a cape for your dainty feet, could I be your boyfriend?”

    “Maybe, if you kissed my hand.”

    “You mean, like this, I could be your prince, you certainly deserve one.”

    “A make believe prince?”

    “If I told you, I was a prince, would you believe me?”

    “I might if you kissed me on my cheek.”

    “You mean like this?”

    “Yes, I dub you Prince Brad of, of….”

    “How about Prince of Thieves.”

    “Have you ever stolen anything?”

    “Not yet, I never saw anything I wanted bad enough to steal.”

    “Never?”

    “Not until today, can I hold your hand?’

    “Of course, Prince of Thieves, can I be your princess?”

    “Of course you can. You look like a princess, you’re certainly beautiful enough.”

    “Thank you, my prince.”

    “If we’re in make believe, would you consider being kissed.“

    “I might if we weren’t on a crowded plane.”

    “Could you play make believe and go with me?”

    “Depends, on where we go.”

    “I’ll take you anywhere in ‘make believe’ just to be by your side.”

    “That’s sweet of you.”

    “I mean every word of it. Where is your make believe?”

    “You’d think my silly, ‘Prince Of Thieves’.”

    “Never princess, tell me where and I’ll take you.”

    “Anywhere at all?”

    “Yes oh yes, for a kiss.“

    “Then my ‘make believe’ is sitting here next to you, even on a crowded plane.”

    Unknown to both of them, half the plane had been listening to this conversation.

    Two make believe lovers kissed to a polite applause. It startled Audrey and she buried her face in her hands. Brad stood to address their unknown audience,

    “I hope you enjoyed that scene, we’ve been rehearing for a play.”

    Applause again as he sat down. He touched her face with both hands and gently kissed her again.

    “Don’t for one minute believe this is ‘make believe’, he said.

    “I don‘t.” she shed a tear.

    “Why the tear?”

    “Do you believe in love at first sight.”

    “I do and I really am a “Prince of Thieves.”

    “In make believe?”

    “It‘s not make believe Audrey. It’s real with me.”

    “Then you’ll always be my prince, Brad?”

    “Always, forever.”

    The two make believe lovers held hands the rest of the flight. As Audrey stepped off the plane, she walked toward a limo, surrounded by reporters. She hesitated and turned toward Brad,

    “I always remember, ‘Prince of Thieves‘.”

    “And I’ll never forget your beautiful face. You didn’t tell me your last name, Audrey.”

    “It’s Hepburn.”

    .

    1. frankd1100

      Ahhhhhh! Kerry, don’t tell anyone but I have goose bumps reading this. To create such intimacy in this tiny space is amazing. Audrey Hepburn has to be one of the top three most beautiful women to have walked the earth. And ‘The Prince of Thieves’ stole her heart, for a little while.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Frank, I had the same feeling myself in writing this story. I wish it could have been at least a 1000 words. I had so much more I wanted to say between the two ‘make believe’ lovers.

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      Kerry, you knew I’d love this one. Great job planting the clues, Audrey, Rome, Princess, etc. BTW, opened a new jar of guava jelly this morning.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Yes Reatha, I certainly did realize you’d love this one, I do also. So much more I wanted to write. At first draft, I changed two words in the story, no more. And that’s unusual for me. I’ve been searching for the Holy Grail of jelly in San Antonio and now I’m afraid I’ll find it and then what will I do?

        1. ReathaThomasOakley

          Kerry, I have time on my hands before happy pills kick in. Google Blue Bayou Farms for their website, that where we get jellies, etc., right next to Yalaha Bakery where we get bread and sinful things, they also have a website. You might try calling Blue folks, really nice people, and see if they’d ship you some guava jelly. It’s made in small batches right there. No one should crave guava jelly without the hope of finding it.

    3. cosi van tutte

      HI, Kerry!

      Why do I suddenly feel like singing “Make Believe” from Show Boat? 😆

      This was a very sweet story told in your historical fiction style. Great job!

      And Just so you know, I love how romantic this line is: ““Then my ‘make believe’ is sitting here next to you, even on a crowded plane.” It just makes me happy.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Cosi. I was singing it in my mind, writing at the same time and picturing Katherine Grayson and Howard Keel. That line you like, just came to me because I felt it was very realistic. I’m happy you enjoyed this.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Jay, I know, I know, just call me ‘Mush Pot’. Too many movies from the forties and fifties still wander in my brain, it’s hard not to be sentimental.

    4. MichaelPerry

      Fabulous story. I’m amazed the way you weave in details with the dialogue. Love the mood you created and the historical style. They definitely don’t make movies like this anymore.

      Fantastic!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Michael, I get a chance every now and then to flex some nostalgia muscle
        I even got jealous writing this story. I need to control that. Thank. you for the critique.

    1. Bug934

      any ideas? i have tried dividing it into two posts, posting below my above comment, and just doing the whole thing at once and it is not working. 🙁
      my comments are posting right away but not the story…. has this happened to anyone?

  39. cosi van tutte

    Ahh! Sorry! This one turned out a lot longer than I’d intended. 🙁 Sorry!

    ***

    She wasn’t beautiful. Not really. But her long black hair fooled me into thinking otherwise. “Excuse me, sir?” Her voice was a dark alto. “Some creeper stole my seat.”

    “Where?” I started to stand. “Let me at him. I’ll set him right.”

    She laid her hands on my chest and gently pushed me back down. “There’s no need for that. I’ll be fine.” She smiled. Her teeth were well-shaped and reasonably white. “If you let me sit next to you.”

    Her audaciousness shocked me. But then, I’d never had a woman be so forward with me. Ever. This was a truly outstanding moment in my life. “Well. Yes. Sure. I mean, okay. Uhh. window seat?” Too bad I had to ruin the moment with my inane burbles.

    She looked at the oval window and squinted in disapproval.

    “Well, you can have the aisle seat if you want.”

    “No. I don’t like people bumping up against me. It’s such a small thing, but it grates on my nerves.” She slipped past me. Somehow. I don’t know how she did it. I would have tripped and smashed my face against the window.

    She sat and gave the outside another disapproving squint. “Do you mind if I pull the shade?”

    “Well, no.”

    “Thank you.” She pulled the shade down and sighed with relief. “I’m sorry for imposing on you.”

    “Not at all.” Wait. I think I said that wrong. “I mean, you’re not imposing at all.” Wait. That sounded wrong too.

    “My name is Atalaysha.”

    “Wow. Pretty name.” Gah! Why was I being such an idiot? “Is it just the one name?”

    She smiled. “No. But I don’t like revealing my family name. It’s personal.”

    “Do you want to talk about it?”

    She blinked in surprise. “Why? There’s nothing to talk about.”

    “Oh, yeah.” Yep. I am an idiot.

    “So, what’s your name?”

    “Uhh, it’s uhh…” John Jones. Most boring name ever. Especially compared to Atalaysha. “Umm, my name is Randolph G. Penthrist. I’m uhh…” A substandard journalist who can’t keep a job. “I’m a world renowned writer of truth and beauty.” Stab my larynx with a fork. That was so pretentious.

    She gave me a long, contemplative look. “You don’t strike me as a Randolph.”

    I laughed nervously. I sounded like a hyena on speed. “I get that a lot.”

    “Hmm. Tell me more.”

    “Huh? More? More what?”

    She laid her hand on top of mine. “More about you, of course.”

    Uhhh…

    My mind went blank.

    ***to be continued***

    1. cosi van tutte

      Continuation/Conclusion

      ***

      Why did she keep touching me? Stupid question, yeah, but dang! She wasn’t planning to kiss me next, right? Not that I would mind her kissing me, but…well. Just dang!

      “What’s the matter? Cat got your tongue?”

      “No, I was just trying to decide what…” audacious lie “…fascinating detail I should tell you about my life.”

      She squeezed my hand. “It doesn’t matter. Just tell me.”

      “Well, I live in a…” half inch by half inch one bedroom apartment that I can barely afford “…mansion. A mansion in Beverly Hills.”

      “Really?”

      “Really.” Not. “I try not to bother my more famous neighbors. I respect their privacy and all. After all, they’re just people like you and me.”

      She turned her face away to, apparently, stare at the hard beige shade. “Not everyone is like you.”

      Uhhh. What? “Why don’t you tell me something about you? I don’t want to spend our whole flight gabbling on about me. I’m not really that interesting.” Solid, one hundred percent truth.

      “Something about me.” She looked back at me. “Does it have to be the truth?”

      Hey, I’ve been telling whoppers left and right. So…”No. Unless you want to tell the truth.”

      “I’ll tell you a little bit of both.” She smiled. “Let’s see if you can figure out what is true and what is not.”

      “This should be easy.”

      “Maybe. My name is Atalaysha of No Last Name.”

      “True enough.”

      “I live in a castle.”

      Maybe it was a lie, but there was something about her. “True.”

      “I have many servants and companions, but no one that I love.”

      “I don’t know why, but true.”

      “My family and friends have all died before me.”

      I shrugged. That one could have gone either way.

      “I died.”

      That wasn’t necessarily impossible. People get revived from almost death all the time. “True.”

      Her smile fell. “I died three hundred and eighty years ago.”

      I laughed. “Now, that is a lie.”

      She blanched, for some reason.

      “You don’t look a day over one hundred and seventy-four.”

      Her color returned. “I appreciate the compliment.”

      What? That was a compliment? From what side of the world was that a compliment? “So, what else?”

      “I am dangerous. Cold-hearted. Lethal.”

      “Lie.”

      “I’ve killed before.”

      “If that’s the truth, this isn’t the best place to admit it.”

      “I kill for sport and for…necessities.”

      I frowned. “Necessities is kind of a vague word.”

      “I kill for food.”

      So, she’s a hunter. Okay. She doesn’t look it, but okay. “True.”

      She looked away from me again. “I don’t know how to love anyone other than myself.”

      “Lie.”

      “But I like you.”

      That statement would have had a stronger impact if she had been looking at me when she said it. Still threw me for a loop, though. “What? Me? What? But what why? I mean, what? No, I mean, why?”

      “It doesn’t matter. You should stay away from me. Don’t let me get involved with your life.”

      She’s going to confess her “like” and push me away at the same time? Dang! This is why I don’t get into the whole dating scene. “Why?”

      She bowed her head and still refused to look at me. “I am a vampire.”

      The intercom dinged. “Hello, ladies and gentlemen. We are about to begin our descent. Please return to your assigned seats, if you are milling about. Please fasten your seatbelts. We will be landing shortly. Have a lovely day.”

      “A vampire…” That had to be a lie. I mean, I’ve seen vampires before. I’ve actually worked with a couple. She did not look like a vampire. But…Well, dang! If she’s lying, she’s putting on some performance. And what a thing to lie about. But it couldn’t be true. Could not. Nope. “Lie.”

      She didn’t reply to that. Again, if this were all just an act, I’d gladly go on stage and present her with the Oscar for Best Actress In An Airplane Movie. I know that there isn’t any such Oscar, but I’d still do it.

      The plane landed with all of smoothness you’d expect from a Berkamooka Airlines jet.

      As everyone else got up and grabbed their overhead luggage and whatnots, we sat still.

      “Do you have someone out there waiting to pick you up?”

      “No.”

      “Oh. I can walk you out if—”

      “Randolph.”

      She interrupted me, but I was fine with that. “Yeah.”

      “I’ve said many things about myself. You called a good percentage of them lies.”

      “Well. That’s because some of them were obviously lies.”

      She looked up at me. “Everything I said is true.”

      1. ReathaThomasOakley

        Now the question is, do we have a reliable narrator! Visited your blog today, how do you have time to write such great stuff that always impresses. Amazing.

        1. cosi van tutte

          Thanks, Reatha!

          I’m glad you liked my blog. When I created it, it was a lot like when I created my account here. I debated about it back and forth until I decided “Ehh, phooey. Let’s just do it.” And so I did it. 😆

          So, now that I got my blogging feet wet, I’m debating about making a separate blog for my Ambrose and Elsie stories. I will probably do it. Maybe. I’ll have to think about it some more. 😀

          1. Kerry Charlton

            Loved it, Randolp’s just going to stand there and get bitten. He probably figures on lowering his blood pressure. What a fun response you’ve written here. It’s not to long at all.

  40. dustymayjane

    Of all the luck! My damned shoe had a broken heel and there was a major run in my stocking. My Mother told me there was no reason for flying in anything less comfortable than yoga pants and tennies. But I was headed to a meeting upon landing with no time to check into my hotel and change.

    At my departure gate, I set my bag on a chair. The youngish man seated close by looked up at me and than down. A quick double take of my breasts and than my legs put an appreciative smile on his face.

    “Hello.” He flashed a brilliant smile and my weakness, the always adorable dimple. “Oh, you broke your heel. What a shame.”

    It was hard to feel attractive when hobbling through the airport like I was, but he scored about a nine point nine on my scale of one to ten and his attention upped my ego temporarily.

    “Hi, yeah, damned escalators.”

    “Here let me see it, maybe I can fix it.”

    “Um, how?” I sat and removed my shoe. He pulled a tool set from his laptop case. “How did you get that through security?”

    He scratched his chin and raised a thick eyebrow above sky blue eyes. “You know, I never thought about it. I’ve never been checked. I have it with me whenever I travel. I’m Tim, by the way.”

    “Hi Tim, I’m Monica. So you’re a techie of some sort?” I wasn’t a techie of any sort.

    With a narrow nosed pliers he straightened a nail that would have connected the heel to my shoe. “I guess so. I’m on my way to Brussels to lead a team through updating their communications software.”

    It sounded rather dull but I tried to maintain interest. “Brussels hmm? I connect in Brussels and then off to Morocco.” I didn’t want to bore him so I quickly devised a story that seemed much more interesting than attending a conference on grassland management and beef production.

    I waited for him to ask what I was doing in Morocco but his focus was on my shoe at the moment. “Here, all fixed.” He proudly handed over the repaired shoe.

    “Wow, that’s amazing. I guess if the whole software thing doesn’t work out you can become a cobbler.”

    He looked puzzled by my comment. He either didn’t get it or his sense of humor was nonexistent. I was disappointed, because he was awfully cute.

    We compared tickets and he seemed happy to find my seat was next to his. “I hope you don’t mind, but I’ll be fast asleep. That’s the only way to fly.”

    “Oh, I don’t mind. Do you snore?”

    Again, he ignored my comment.

    We boarded the plane and settled into our seats. I was surprised to see Tim with his eyes closed so soon. What did I expect, his full and undivided attention?

    Our ascent was uneventful and I could hear Tim’s soft breathing. So disappointing!

    I was drifting off myself when I heard Tim ask. “So what’s happening in Morocco? You’re not meeting a boyfriend I hope.”

    Oh that dimple really got to me.

    1. cosi van tutte

      Hi, dusty!

      I really enjoyed the interaction in this story. It was very believable and just plain fun. I wonder who Tim is and what he really does for a living. For some reason, I expected him to be a Time Lord. 😆

    2. ReathaThomasOakley

      Ah, so many questions, like why didn’t Tim get the common cultural references. Who/what is this Tim, with the dimple? Nice job.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I think he’s a robot! Anyone else would be all over Monica. A really fun read and great response. The MC’s a real doll, sorry for Tim.

      1. dustymayjane

        Challenge accepted Michael. This may not answer questions about who Tim really is, but it does say a lot more about Monica. A different day a different mindset, I hope it lives up to part 1. Thanks 🙂
        ____________________________________

        Yes, I am a sucker for dimples. “No, No boyfriend, no husband. I’m divorced.”

        Tim’s sleepy eyes rested on my face and his lazy smile threatened my undoing. I try to keep it together but it had been ages since I had the attention of a handsome young man. Was I going to have to ask or will he volunteer?

        “Are you involved?” Good grief!

        He only smiled and winked.

        Are you kidding me? I looked for hearing aids but saw none.

        The flight attendant interrupted to take our drink order.

        “Bombay Sapphire please.” It was early but what the hell. “Let me buy you something Tim, a beer maybe?”

        “No thanks. A water is fine.” His eyes followed the attendants backside as she rolled her cart forward.

        Mm, so that’s it, he’s a player, playing it cool. Well I started it, I might as well finish it. “So Tim, you haven’t answered my question.”

        He adjusted his seat belt and I think it was perhaps a ruse to draw my eyes to his lap. Impressive! I think I purred audibly because he actually laughed open mouthed, out loud and totally satisfied with my reaction. The gin was to blame.

        “I’m unattached at the moment. How’s your drink?”

        “It’s delicious.” I was anxious to tell him my story, since he’d asked, sort of. “My sister is getting married. Her fiance is French and very rich.”

        “In Morocco?”

        “Mmhmm, yes, tomorrow.” In reality I’d be presenting findings of agricultural studies from the University of Indiana on beef quality raised organically. It was a big deal for me but I just couldn’t imagine Tim finding it ‘sexy’.

        Tim leaned closer to me with twinkling dimples and sparkling blue eyes. “Sounds romantic.” His lips were parted and I saw the tip of his tongue between perfect teeth.

        He knew he was good looking, he knew I was flirting. Was he flirting? I couldn’t tell being out of the game for so long.

        Tim looked up and down the aisle and I watched as he nervously shook his foot so that his knee bobbed. Again, he leaned over and this time whispered. “So, you wanna?” He tilted his head to the left and nodded.

        Did I want to what? I gave him a shoulder shrug and a, “What?”

        He blushed and waved a hand. “Nothing, forget I asked.” His leg shook.

        It dawned on me what he was asking. I think he was actually embarrassed and here I thought he was a player. I had never. I placed my hand on his knee. “Alright.” I heard a voice that sounded like mine. What had I agreed to? Damned gin!

        He looked sly and seductive. “Follow me in two minutes.”

        I downed my gin and found myself in his arms, in the tiny lavatory, thoroughly enjoying our not so little, rendezvous.

        Tim left first, giving me a chance to put myself together before returning to my seat. It was surreal when I saw my reflection in the mirror. I’ll bet mother never did that in yoga pants, I chuckled.

        Upon landing, Tim asked for my phone number. We kissed goodbye and it was sweet. I found parting sad . Alone in my cab, I wished I had given him my real number.

        1. dustymayjane

          I apologize for all the submissions, I couldn’t get any to post and now they all are !! yikes! Administrators-feel free to delete duplicates if you wish. Thanks 🙁

        1. dustymayjane

          Part 2 :)—different day, different mindset. I hope it lives up to P1

          Yes, I am a sucker for the dimple. “No, No boyfriend, no husband. I’m divorced.”

          Tim’s sleepy eyes rested on my face and his lazy smile threatened my undoing. I try to keep it together but it had been ages since I had the attention of a handsome young man. Was I going to have to ask or will he volunteer?

          “Are you involved?” Good grief!

          He only smiled and winked.

          Are you kidding me? I looked for hearing aids but saw none.

          The flight attendant arrived to take a drink order.

          “Bombay Sapphire please.” It was early but what the hell. “Let me buy you something Tim, a beer maybe?”

          “No thanks. A water is fine.” His eyes followed the attendants backside as she rolled her cart forward.

          Mm, so that’s it, he’s a player, playing it cool. Well I started it, I might as well finish it. “So Tim, you haven’t answered my question.”

          He adjusted his seat belt and I think it was perhaps a ruse to draw my eyes to his lap. Impressive! I think I purred audibly because he actually laughed open mouthed, out loud and totally satisfied with my reaction. The gin was to blame.

          “I’m unattached at the moment. How’s your drink?”

          “It’s delicious.” I was anxious to tell him my story, since he’d asked, sort of. “My sister is getting married. Her fiance is French and very rich.”

          “In Morocco?”

          “Mmhmm, yes, tomorrow.” In reality I’d be presenting findings of agricultural studies from the University of Indiana on beef quality raised organically. It was a big deal for me but I just couldn’t imagine anyone finding it ‘sexy’.

          Tim leaned closer to me with twinkling dimples and sparkling blue eyes. “Sounds romantic.” His lips were parted and I saw the tip of his tongue between straight white teeth.

          He knew he was good looking, he knew I was flirting. Was he flirting? I couldn’t tell being out of the game for so long.

          Tim looked up and down the aisle and I watched as he nervously shook his foot so that his knee bobbed. Again, he leaned over and this time whispered. “So, you wanna?” He titled his head to the left and nodded.

          Did I want to what? I gave him a shoulder shrug and a “What?”

          He blushed and waved a hand. “Nothing, forget I asked.” His leg shook.

          It dawned on me what he was asking. I think he was actually embarrassed and here I thought he was a player. I had never. I placed my hand on his knee. “Alright.” I heard a voice that sounded like mine. What had I agreed to? Damned gin!

          He looked sly and seductive. “Follow me in two minutes.”

          I downed my gin and found myself in his arms, in the tiny lavatory, thoroughly enjoying our not so little, rendezvous.

          Tim left first and gave me a chance to put myself together before returning to my seat. It was surreal when I saw my reflection in the mirror. I’ll bet mother never did that in yoga pants, I chuckled.

          Upon landing, Tim asked for my phone number. We kissed goodbye and it was sweet. Our parting left me sad and once alone in my cab I wished I had given him my real number.

  41. ReathaThomasOakley

    On the road
    1960
    (Myrtis is The Girl’s mother, Granny’s daughter)

    “This seat taken?”

    “What? Oh, uh, no, let me jest…” Myrtis gathered up the sweater and brown paper bag from the seat next to her and stowed them at her feet as the tall man took off his hat and put it on the rack above.

    “Bus kinda full today,” he said as he sat and unzipped his jacket.

    “I reckon, ain’t noticed,” Myrtis said. “Guess I was takin’ a little cat nap.” She looked around, more people must have gotten on the bus at Wildwood, now, at Ocala, almost all the seats were taken. “Sorry, I didn’t catch…”

    “Just asked where you’re headed,” Myrtis noticed he had a nice smile.

    “Over, um, Starke way, ’bout two hours, with all the stops. Where you headed?”

    “I got me a longer ride than you I reckon. Going all the way to Alabama, got me a new job in Montgomery, that’s where my brother settled after Korea, lotta construction.” He shifted in the seat, turned so he was looking right at her. Myrtis tried not to notice.

    “That what you do, construction?” Myrtis turned toward him, then wondered why she’d done that.

    “Yeah, done most ever job from laying foundation to building trusses. Reckon I could build me a whole house, bottom to top, if I had to.” He gave a little laugh. “And, you? You look like a career girl to me.”

    Myrtis could feel heat rising from her throat to her cheeks.

    “Oh, I, I’m a…stenographer.” Oh, Lord, she thought, why’d I say that. I clean tourist homes with my hair tied up in a bandana.

    “See, I knew it! Career girl!” He laughed again. Nice laugh, Myrtis thought, maybe I should wear lipstick and a nice dress more often.

    “By the way, I’m David, David Osteen, some folks call me Davy.” He held out his hand.

    “I’m, um, My…Myrna, Myrna Smith.” What am I doing, Myrtis thought as she took his hand. Strong, fine hand, she mused and quickly pulled hers away, turned to the window. “Nice day, not too hot.”

    “Better up this way, hotter on down south. I been workin’ phosphate outta Bartow, ready to get back to building.”

    Oh, dear, she thought, he wants me to talk ’bout my job, why’d I say stenographer.

    “Davy? You hungry?” She reached for the bag on the floor. “My Ma…Mother, packed me some sandwiches. Chicken salad, with tomatoes from our garden.”

    “Our garden? You live with your mother?” He took a sandwich half.

    “Yes.”

    “Boyfriend?” He took a bite.

    “No, no boyfriend,” she answered truthfully. “No boyfriend.”

    For the next hour Davy and “Myrna” talked, mostly Davy. He had a plan for his life, he’d sold his car, packed everything he owned in two battered suitcases, and bought a bus ticket for a new life in Alabama. Myrtis listened, entranced by his voice and his future.

    “Myrna,” he said when the driver announced next stop, Starke. “Myrna, I wish I could just get off this bus with you, find some place to just keep on talkin’.”

    “Oh,” she tried to laugh, “how’d I explain you to my aunt?”

    “I know, I know, but I want you to promise me somethin’, I want you to write me a letter, David Osteen, General Delivery, Montgomery, Alabama. Please, Myrna?”

    As the bus pulled into the station, Myrtis stood, pulled on her sweater, picked up her purse, and the paper bag.

    “Davy,” she started, but stopped as he took her hand. She looked down, nodded, pushed past him, and was first off the bus. Davy walked to the front and took a seat behind the driver.

    “Now that’s a fine lookin’ girl,” he sighed, “that cloud of black hair, that white skin.” He stood up and stared. “That’s funny. She just walked right into the station, didn’t get no luggage.”

    “Yeah,” the driver said. “Her bus ain’t here yet.”

    “What? Her bus?”

    “The bus what’s gonna take her to Raiford.” He pulled out into the road.

    “Raiford? The prison? What’s she…” Davy sat down hard.

    “Her ole man’s there.”

    “Her father?” Davy felt as if the ground was giving way under his feet.

    “Ain’t hardly that. It was her daddy what her husband killed ’bout ten years back. Ever three, four months her and lotta other gals get on buses all over Florida and head to Raiford. Go back home that night. All for some sorry man.”

    “But, she said, no boyfriend…”

    “Son, she’s a good girl, she ain’t got no boyfriend. She’s got her a little girl, must be ’bout growed by now. She come with her mama few times. Little thing, black hair like her mama’s, think there’s ‘blood’ ‘long the way in that family, big eyes, like saucers, real serious, like she’s ponderin’, ’til she grins. When that little girl grins, she’s got these little extra teeth, kinda hidin’.”

    The driver kept on talking, but Davy’d stopped listening, thinking about Myrna and what could have been.

    1. cosi van tutte

      Hi, Reatha!

      Just so you know, your characterization is awesome (as usual)! I felt so bad for Davy. 🙁

      But I couldn’t help but laugh as I imagined how this story would have gone if Granny had come with her. I think she would have told Davy what is what, which actually makes me feel even worse for Davy. Poor guy.

    2. frankd1100

      A truly fine piece of writing. Authentic dialogue and dialect. I could taste road dust and smell the inside of a bus filled with struggling folks. How often a little spark of hope blooms when two people meet, and though it ends as suddenly as it happened, the dreams of the heart carry them above the mundane for days.

    3. ReathaThomasOakley

      A little note, hospital in the AM for another new part, I should soon be bionic! I’ll try to read and comment as I have time and opportunity. Love my iPad.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I feel so comfortable reading you Reatha, seems like I’ve met all your characters sometime in my travels. Most people who don’t live in Floridanever realize how diverse the people are. From the panhandle to the capitol, central east coast, historic, the glitz of Miami to the tomato farms in Homestead. I figure we;ve got a whole nation of people living in Florida. Good luch tomorrow,

        1. ReathaThomasOakley

          I get frustrated when people say they know Florida. They just know attractions. New knee is working, not a lot of pain, good meds!

        2. ReathaThomasOakley

          Hmmm, answered this, I think, but didn’t show up. New knee is in, good meds also, walked some, pain starts tomorrow, I’m told.

        3. ReathaThomasOakley

          Third time a charm? Can’t get response to take. Some folks think they know Florida when they only know attractions. New knee is working, been walking. Hope this time this shows up.

          1. Critique

            I enjoyed this so much. The dialogue was excellent – I could envision your characters clearly in my mind’s eye.
            Wishing you 100% recovery from your surgery Reatha.

    4. MichaelPerry

      Reatha,

      Your ear dialogue and dialect is amazing. Wow.
      I felt like I sitting in the seat behind these characters listening to their conversation.

      Awesome!

  42. SkyFox

    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    Hi guys. Now I just wanted to say something. If yoru family/realitives were involved in this tradgery I wrote this to honour them. I mean no offence and I give you my deepest regrets. All those beautiful lives wiped out like that inspired me to write this. R.I.P the people that were killed
    ———————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    The smell of airplane fuel invaded my nose, making me cough.
    My stomach rolled as I made my way across the tarmac, the beeping of the luggage thingy echoing across the cement, the whirring and groaning of the planes making my stoamch roll. Soon I would have to board one fo these metal tubs.
    The flight attenedant smiled as she gestured towards the metal stairs. My feet echoed as I clambered up the metal stairs, peering towards the outside which I would not see for 4 hours. I could faintly see the stamped black letters. MH370. Hell for the next 4 hours. Sighing I ducked inside, and walked down the asile, searching for my seat. D3.
    I sank into the cushioned blue chairs. Well tried to. My muscels were as stiff as wood, and I found myself gripping the seat.
    I couldn’t the feeling that something was wrong. Irreversibly wrong.
    The shuffling of the passengers distracted me and I glanced over. A man in a pressed suit, his tie askew,glasses sliding off his nose. A lady with her child, bouncing it on her lap. A young man, head bent, sholders slumped.
    Another guy, my age. Walking down the asile, head high, his blond ruffled, sky blue eyes bright and twinkling. I smiled. He was like a life guard from Bondi, which Georgia and I would sigh over.
    He kept walking and stopped on my row. MY row.
    “Is this D…4?”
    “Yes,” I squeaked. Mentally I slapped myself. Realllll smooth genuis. Reallll smooth.
    He smiled, with strong white teeth.
    “Looks like we are airplane buddies.”
    I smiled nervously. Just relex. Breathe. Dont be dorky.
    He frowned at me, his forehead drawing toghether.
    “Damn it. I wanted the window seat.”
    “Y-you can have it!,” I squeaked. My inner voice shrieked at me. What are you DOING? You sound like your going through puberty again… while eating a lemon.
    He chuckled, his rich laugh rolling over me. Oh my god.
    “I was joking!”
    I smiled.
    “I’m Jason.”
    “H-hannah.”
    He slid into the seat next to me and leant down to put his bag away.
    I furisoly patted my hair down. Was it smooth enough? I cursed. Oh my god. I need a mint. What if he gets close. He’ll smell my breath. What if he kisses me…? Dont be an idiot! HE wont kiss you. He probaly has a girlfreind. A really hot, better looking girlfreind.
    He straightned and smiled at me.
    “So why are you heading to Beijing?”
    I stared at him. Was he talking to me?
    “Studying.”
    His eyes widened.
    “Where?”
    “P-peking Uni.”
    “Really?”
    “Y-yeah.”
    “I am to!”
    I resited the urge to jump out of my seat. The hostess voice rang over the airplane. I clipped my seatbelt as the plane moved foward.
    “What are you studying?”
    I couldnt tell him what I was really studying. It was embrassing enough to tell my freinds.
    “En-engineering…?”
    He nodded and leant back into his seat. “I take it that your a… good girl?”
    He flashed me a grin. Those eyes. They were like the ocean. Like somone had poured them inside of him.
    I nodded.
    “You could say that.”
    The roar of the engine sounded through the plane as I was thrown against my seat, the plane jumping across the runway. Slowly it climbed and finally leveled off, the clouds whipping by. I raised my hand in a farewell to Indonesia and turned towards Jason.
    “So what are you studying?”
    He grinned and pointed at the cockpit.
    “Piolet.”
    I nodded, trying to to blush.
    “Sounds exciting.”
    “It is. My dad was one, his dad before him, generations of piolets.”
    He waggled his eyebrows at me and I giggled
    “Ever heard of the Red Baron? He was my great great something or other grandfather.”
    Woah.
    “Thats amazing…”
    We chatted through the plane flight. He told me about his sisters who live in Australia. He told me about his dog, Bucky. We chatted about our favourite movies, our favourite books. Yet I couldn’t shake that feeling. Thats something was just fundamently wrong.
    “So then my Grandfather said, listen here young man.”
    Then it came. A horrible ripping noise. Like somone was sawing metal in half. The lights flickered and went out. The plane tilted as babies cried and mothers screamed. I was thrown in my seat, my head hitting the back of the chair. Jason made a choking noise, like someone had punched him. I grabbed his hand as the sea rushed closer, that never ending blue flying towards us.

    1. cosi van tutte

      Wow.

      This was a powerful story. You did a great job making your characters living, breathing people.

      Just so you know, I loved this part: “My inner voice shrieked at me. What are you DOING? You sound like your going through puberty again… while eating a lemon.” 😀

      1. SkyFox

        Hi cosi! Thanks for the critique. I felt like I was on a tightrope, trying to balance between a girls blushy,giggly side while trying maintain that air of indifference. Looking at the prompt it really made me think of something gone and nothing could change it. MH370 really affected me, although no one I knew was directly involved, but the world just felt lost. Like somone had just blown out a candle and fumbling for matches. Just so you know that line took forever to think of.
        Thanks again! 🙂

        1. cosi van tutte

          By the way, I did receive your e-mail. I tried to reply to it, but I received this error message: “Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently.” I think I figured out the problem. I sent you a test e-mail just now. That seemed to go through okay. So, I sent you a reply to your e-mail. Hopefully you get it. 🙂

  43. Pete

    The passport swept through without a second look. I held my face like stone through various checkpoints. No reason for alarm, no lingering glances. I’d cut my hair and shaved my beard to as instructed.

    This would be my second time on a plane, but this time it was of my own doing. The first was with father. His strong hand on my shoulder. The rumble of his many prayers.

    I’d said my own words to God. Cleared my mind free of the jumble of the airport. Brisk men and women, hunched over, stumbling over one another in their distraction, mere herds of cattle struggling under the weight of their own apathy.
    Boarding, shuffling in the aisle. I thought about my mother and brother. How I never said goodbye.

    My hands flopped around in my lap, my fingers crawling along one another when a feather fell out of the herd and into the seat beside me. I nodded to her, quickly, then tried to turn away but found it impossible to leave such wonderful eyes, eyes that matched the thick of the forest after a good rain.

    “Excuse me, do you have a pen?”

    Her face leaned in to her question. I found my pack and my neck burned. Ants crawling down my back, biting, skittering down my spine. I handed her the pen.

    “Thank you. Are you nervous about the flight?”

    A man in front of us turned around. He smiled then faced forward. Suspicion grew in my temples. Maybe he thought it was funny that I was nervous around the beautiful girl. Maybe he was worried about her scarf, my skin, the two of us on the plane. Maybe words like Syria and Somalia turned heads on planes. Or maybe he thought she was talking to him.

    “My name is Kinah,” she said.

    “I’m Samir.”

    “Hello Samir.”

    The way she said my name, like a warm, clean sheet on my back. But we went on, both speaking this wretched language, her in a way that made it bearable.

    “So, what is it you do, Samir?”

    “I’m, a student.”

    A small smile. “Oh,” she said. “Me too.” She held up my pen. “Journalism.”

    Instructions. Then the plane moved. Slow as it turned around. Outside the men scattered, moving luggage and hoses and equipment. Kinah asked what I studied. I blurted out engineering. Like I’d told father. He said I was too young and naïve, like Saalem.

    Kinah’s eyes watched my memory. The plane rumbled, I closed my eyes and saw my father as we raced down the runway and into the sky. Kinah set her hand against mine.

    “Relax, Samir.”

    Great things had been planned and instructed. Things that were now out of my control. I was to train and return. But Kinah was a distraction. An intensely beautiful distraction. Her voice made me forget about war. Her eyes led me from hopelessness. She smiled again and I was strong in her gaze. Confident. A scholar.

    She talked to me through the flight. Flying over the clouds, the ocean below our feet. We soared, over the world, like the crowned eagle above the great body of water and I wanted to stay in the sky. I wanted to fly forever.

    But the pilot came over the speaker. Approaching. My stomach rolled. Kinah smiled and I took her face in, picturing it on the other side of a booth, a plate of food between us in a strange country. Her smile and her soft laughter filled me warm with hope and desire. But the plane was approaching, making its descent towards the land, where the two men at the airport who would guide me the rest of my way.

    The lights came on. They all stood up at the same time. Brushed off their close and spoke of the rain.. Kinah handed the pen to me.

    “It’s been really nice talking with you Samir. I wish you well on your journey.”

    “And you.”

    We pushed forward. Towards the terminal and training. I wanted to tell her I was going to Syria. That we could go together. But then she was lost in those heads. It the apathy. I looked for her eyes but our paths became jumbled and I said the words over and over again….And You….And You….until I saw the two men coming for me. One took my bag, the other my arm. The beautiful stranger was gone, and my journey continued…

    1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

      Nice, Pete. I really like how you use the story to invoke the personal prejudices in people to make them think he’s going to hurt people on that plane. For instance, saying goodbye to his family and shaving his beard. All things that make people wonder what he’s actually doing on that plane and why he’s hiding who he is.

      My favorite line, that turns out to have quite a bit of sex appeal is this one: “…eyes that matched the thick of the forest after a good rain.”

      I’ll have to use some legal, non-plageurism variation of that some day, mark my words. lol

      Well done, Pete. Well, done, indeed.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        One of your very best Pete. The story unfolding and the tension rising at the same time, was excellent. I wasn’t sure he wouldn’t blow up the plane even with knowing he was meeting two men. Very clever response.

    2. dustymayjane

      If only Samir could change his course and his life. Maybe if the flight were longer Kinah could have made that happen for him. I enjoyed imagining it with Samir.

  44. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

    Love at First Flight

    I really wish I could tell her the truth. I want her to know more about the real me, but I’m afraid she won’t accept me. I know that acceptance of someone’s true self is what becomes necessary for a healthy relationship, but can she ever truly love me for me?

    Sophia twists a thin lock of her blonde hair around her index and then rubs the soft strands between her fingers. She speaks quietly to me, “So you’re on business then?”

    I nod. “Yeah. I travel a lot, but sometimes I work from home.”

    I notice she’s looking at my mouth. I read once that when someone looks at your lips then the chances of them wanting to kiss you is pretty high. Either that, or you have a spot of chocolate on your lips or broccoli in your teeth. I prefer to think she wanted to taste my lips, and I wasn’t entirely opposed to it.

    “Home? You mean you don’t have an office?” She looks at me quizzically as if trying to determine the kind of man I am by reading my face. Normally, I suppose that’s a good way to figure people out, but not me. I’m excellent at deceit.

    The problem is this: I don’t want to deceive her as I do everyone else. Normally, I’d smile, tell her everything she wants to hear, and show her the face of trust. When we get deeper into each other’s lives, I’d show her a face of understanding for her pain. I’d cap that off with a smile and a few words of wisdom carefully picked to ensure the conversation stays about her but makes her think about me. Before the trip ended, I’d have nailed her in the bathroom.

    Sophia is different, though. She makes me want to be a better person. Okay, maybe not a better person, but just as she’s different for me, she makes me want to be a different kind of lover to her. All right, okay, maybe lover is too strong a word when we’ve only been sitting together on this flight for a few hours, but when there’s magic you just know, right?

    I never used to believe in love at first sight, but I feel like something that I don’t entirely understand happened here on this plane. I’m as shallow as everyone else when it comes down to how beautiful or ugly person is, and of course I couldn’t help but notice how gorgeous Sophia is, but there’s more to it. A lot more. For one, I never cared about someone’s laugh before. It’s cute, subtle. She bites her lip, which has left little intents in the pillowy flesh. More importantly, she’s honest with me. Everything she says seems genuine.

    To show interest, I ask her, “So, you own a… flower shop is it?”

    She nods excitedly. “That’s right. Down on First and Brookhurst.”

    Oddly, I knew the exact one. I was there two weeks ago buying flowers for Mother’s Day. I always order them online for my mother, but for some strange reason I decided to stop by there and pick up a bouquet.

    “I’ve been there. You have a nice shop,” I tell her as I lean onto the armrest between us. I don’t really need to lean, but I want the tips of my fingers to graze her bare leg, which she’s been pressing against the divider between us for some time now. I need to know if she will allow such a subtle expression of affection, and as it turns out, she will.

    She glances down, giggles softly at the touch, and then looks up at me with her big, brown eyes. “You like my shop? You’re sweet.”

    I can’t really fake a blush, so the one I gave to her was genuine. I had to look away, and as I did, a tall man wearing a brown overcoat walks past me. My guess is he needs to use the restroom because there’s nothing else back there. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and turn back to her to meet that beautiful gaze.

    While I wasn’t looking, she had leaned closer to me. She had crossed her legs, and had slipped her leg under my hand so that I’m fully palming her lower thigh. I hadn’t noticed. She was a smooth operator.

    I smile and try to disarm her with a personal, intimate compliment. “You have very soft skin.”

    She nods as I very gently pet her thigh with my fingers. She looks at my lips again, and this time I’m sure there’s nothing in my teeth. I know that look she’s giving me. I really want to lean in and meet her for that kiss she so desperately wants, but I have to go to the bathroom. If I go, though, will she think I’m trying to avoid her obvious advances? I don’t know, but I really have to go.

    “Excuse me for a minute? I really have to pee,” I tell her, though that’s not what I was going to do it there; the truth is much more disgusting, and I don’t think she’d still want to kiss me after I got back. Although, I have read that if you can fart in front of your significant other, then you must be truly comfortable and in love. That’s true, right? Well, I don’t know if it is, but it sure is gross. I’d rather rip one in the bathroom or go outside to blow the horn rather than have someone I care about suffer that kind of evil, eye-watering stench.

    I unbuckle from the seat, and as I stand, she puts her hand on mine. We lock eyes for a moment, and I truly hope she feels what I feel just then. The desire. The romance. The unadulterated joy.

    I make my leave, and follow the narrow aisle. Most of the passengers ignore me, but a couple of them look up from whatever Facebook status or tweet they’re crafting to wishfully get the most attention from their friends. When I reach the hallway with the bathroom, I see only two doors. One has a green “vacant” sticker and the other a red sticker indicating someone occupied it.

    From my pocket, I fish out a universal key, and quietly unlock the door. He’d been in there for a couple minutes so either he was pissing or dropping a deuce. I don’t know which, but because I have a poor gag reflex, I prepare myself. After taking a deep breathe of the not-so-fresh-but-fresher-than-pooh cabin air, I hustle into the bathroom.

    As I shut the door, I reach down and wrap my hand around the man’s mouth. Sitting on the pot, he tries to stand, but I force him back down. He attempts to scream, but with my hand muffling his cries for help, no one can hear him over the moan of the engines.

    He’s a fighter, but I manage to reach back enough in that confined space to jab him in the neck several times with my fist. I eventually hear the soft pop and ensuing gurgle from a collapsed throat. It takes him a while, but he soon gives in to the lack of air. He’s probably not dead yet, but I quickly get to work hiding his body in the space under the floor panel.

    I wonder what Sophia would think about this if she had walked in on it. I mean, I’m not your normal man. The average person would feel disgusted by the horrors of real death. Sure, many people have some sort of sick fascination with it, but to actually witness a real body—or murder—would phase everyone but those sick few who are okay with murder and death. Granted, this isn’t one of my messiest hits, but I don’t think she would like it, regardless.

    After closing up the panel, I stow the plastic bolt driver into my pocket. I would have put it back in the lining of my shoe, but honestly, they aren’t going to check the passengers leaving a plane. Their only concern is the passengers getting on, and honestly, they don’t do a good job screening them, either.

    The mirror has a nice polished finish, and I check myself to make sure I look as I did when I left my seat. An errant tie might make her suspicious. Not because I’m worried that she might think I murdered someone. I feel no guilt, and therefore don’t suffer the effect of thinking that everyone knows what I’ve done even though they don’t—and probably don’t give a damn about me, either. I know for a fact they don’t. No, my concern is looking good for her when I get back. I don’t want her thinking that I had to fight with a monster deuce in here if I come out looking like I just wrestled… well… a body into the floor panels.

    I leave, and return to my seat. It’s there I find Sophia waiting for me with a cold glass of white wine and that beautiful smile.

    “Hi,” she says, “thought you might want a drink.”

    I did. I mean, I want more than that. A whole lot more than just wine, but it’s a start.

    I sit down and take a sip of the crystal liquid. It’s a piss poor quality, but it has a crisp bite and it’s full of decent flavors. She smiles, and we talk for another half hour. The wine is getting better now; maybe it’s getting to my head too fast. I set down the glass—or do I?—and lean next to her. She leans closer. I can’t feel my body, anymore.

    She flicks my nose with her middle finger, and I don’t know if I flinch. I didn’t feel it.

    She says, “You’re a hard man to track down. No wonder you’re so expensive.”

    With my head canted at an odd angle against the seat, I can barely see the syringe in her hand. I don’t know what she’s going to do, and I can’t imagine it because for some reason everything is fuzzy. Not thinking clearly. Nothing is making sense anymore.

    She says something but I only catch part of it. “…take credit for your kill. Two birds with one stone.”

    She pokes the needle through my shoe. I don’t feel it. I don’t feel sick, either. I see the darkness, but I don’t feel any pain. I feel… I feel…

    1. Pete

      Wow Jay, this through me for a loop, but even before the twist I was hooked on the mc’s voice, his thoughts and mundane observations as he went about his “business” . I’ll need to read again for sure. Good stuff.

    2. Teserk

      I suspected the moment I read “getting to my head too fast” that she was taking him down. Great turn of events and a very enjoyable story.

      Not sure I believe he could do what he did in the bathroom, though. Those things are so cramped. With two people stuffed in there at the same time could he really get the dead weight maneuvered through the floor panels?

      1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

        I guess it really depends on the size of the bathroom and how much experience he has doing it. i had decided to leave him in the bathroom as if he’d died on the toilet, but suspicions arise when you’re told to take your seat.

        I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not super familiar with the toilet area of a plane (and I’m an aerospace engineer by day!), but I suspect that give the right motivation, practice, and aplomb, you can achieve just about anything in an airplane john.

        In the end, I tried to make everything enjoyable a real enough so that when that shoddiness came at the bathroom scene, there was enough investment to be okay with some shenanigans with reality.

        Glad you enjoyed, and thanks for reading and your comment!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hi Doc, there’s nothing that Ian Fleming knew, that you don’t. I thought this a very clever plot made even more so by your writing skills. It’s always a great ride, reading your posts. Keep them coming and I’ll do the same.

        1. dsurajiwale

          I was getting on the plane, preparing for the mission ahead of me. Once I land in Frankfurt, Germany the danger starts. But you know I think I’ve gotten a little too ahead of myself, my name is Riley Creston. I am twenty-four years old and I wish I could lie about what I do but, right now I don’t have a choice. I am a federal agent working for the CIA in the United States. You may think it’s fun, but everyday of my life is dangerous.

      1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

        Glad you enjoyed it, Frank! I agree, it’s one of my favorite things to explore. We all get that the good guys have bad days, but you know, the bad guys sometimes wake up with fate working against them. Thanks for reading and your comment!

      1. Jay "The Doc" Wilson

        Thanks, Amaria, it was a fun write. I didn’t stop until the story was done because it had me interesting the whole way through, even when half-way through, I decided that the woman sitting next to him wasn’t who she seemed–or is she exactly what she seemed?

        1. kaycourt

          Women love literary figures; the article had said. It had then gone on to how to bring up literature in conversation but it had given me a much better idea.
          “Will Darcy, “I replied smiling suavely at the woman seated next to me on my flight to Atlanta. She gave me a slightly quizzical look.
          “Your last name is Darcy?” she asked.
          “Yes, is there something wrong?” I responded
          “No, it’s just you don’t hear that name very often. Nice to meet you Mr. Darcy.” She said still looking at me warily, “I’m Lauren Scott.”
          “Nice to meet you too Miss Scott. Pardon me for asking but would you call yourself an accomplished woman?” Lauren Scott stared blankly at me for a second,
          “I am a teacher and I believe that I am accomplished at that, so yes I suppose I would call myself accomplished. Why do you ask?”
          I had been nodding in ascent as she spoke and hastily answered her,
          “Oh it is just that it is so hard to find truly accomplished women these days, why most call themselves accomplished because they can play a few songs on the piano and paint roses on teacups.”
          “Yes, I guess that it is.”
          “It was so much simpler when I was a child,” I sighed “I grew up in a manor you know in England.”
          “Did you?” she said flipping through a magazine. She was really very pretty with shoulder length brown hair and delicate pointy eyebrows she seemed to raise quite often.
          “Yes, it’s a very large manor.” I continued “with a lot of land and servants and things and horses.” I was glad I had remembered horses, women liked horses, that had been in the article as well. When she didn’t respond I remarked, “my parent’s died when I was quite young and left the manor and all the things to me. I am very wealthy and very single. I have only my younger sister to share my large manor and fortune with. That is why I am looking for truly accomplished women you see.” I said glancing at Lauren who nodded, her eyes still on the magazine. “Besides being accomplished I am looking for a woman with a pair of fine eyes.” I went on to tell her about my childhood at the manor and my friendship with one of the servant’s children and how he had been my father’s favorite and then squandered all the money he left him. “And then he had the nerve to try and seduce my little sister to get some more of the family fortune.” I said shaking my head.
          “Really,” Lauren replied, she was so cute! It was now or never. An announcement came over the intercom that we had landed and could now disembark. “Finally,” Lauren said quickly gathering up her things and exiting the plane.
          “Wait,” I called, running after her. “You must allow me to tell you passionately and ardently I love you!”

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