Sunday Writing Prompt: Fine Dining

Sunday 71617 Prompt

The flowers were picked wild from the field across the highway.  Their presence put on a air of homely comfort – the first of many lies that would be shared with their guests.  But the shadows told the truth.  For it was only the middle of July, there was no reason the shadows should extend so far beyond the table before he made an appearance after work.  Ashlee whirled into the house like a cool breeze at the front of a storm with Mike on her heels already popping the top of his beer bottle.  “Where’s Jeff?”

“Oh!  I must have forgotten to call.  His meeting ran late.  It will probably be another hour or so before he gets home.”  The lies flowed easily now, as if a tap had been installed in her mouth.  She headed toward the refrigerator, whisking a small potion bottle into her apron pocket, hoping they hadn’t noticed it out on the table.  Ever since she had discovered the real use of the potion – the one not advertised on the label – she couldn’t seem to make it through an evening without a few tablespoonfuls.

As she began to arrange some vegetables on the the cutting board for chopping, she realized Ashlee had already made herself at home by rescuing a couple wine glasses from the cabinet while her dutiful husband freed the cork from the bottle.  The shadow of the fruit bowl must have perfectly ensconced her secret.  She focused on her thoughts, “Frankly, I don’t care if he’s out having a beer at that hole-in-the-wall bar or banging that floozy in the janitor closet.  But he made this dinner date!  He should have the nerve to show up on time for his own plans!”  – making quick work of chopping the Romaine lettuce and starting on a cucumber before she realized Ashlee was standing next to her holding out a glass of wine and talking.

“Huh?”  She turned to face Ashlee and accept the glass of wine, “I’m sorry.  I haven’t been sleeping well again.  My mind must have wandered.  Do you mind throwing that dip in the oven and keeping an eye on it.  It should be done in five to seven minutes and then we can snack while we wait for dinner to cook.”

Mike had wandered into the family room, selecting something on the TV.  The two women made idle, meaningless chit-chat as they poured chips in bowls, prepped dip, and beautified the veggies on a serving platter.  More guests arrived while dinner cooked.  They caught up, sharing stories, laughing, and indulging on adult beverages.

As she placed the last side on the dining room table, it occurred to her this dinner was one elaborate lie.  He had never intended to come.  “Dig in.  I’ll go grab those bottles of wine.”

She sat next to the lying flowers, attempting to call his phone, but the number was disconnected.  She reached into her apron pocket.  Her hands shook as she fumbled to unscrew the top.  She took a giant swig from the potion.  Ashlee walked in as she was pulling the bottle away from her lips.  “Oh honey, I thought we were over this.”

Tears streamed from her eyes, “His phone is disconnected.  I don’t know why he isn’t here.  This was his idea.  Why didn’t he come home from work?”

“Honey, he hasn’t come home in a month.  We have to get you to stop drinking this stuff.  You don’t seem to be aware of reality anymore.  I don’t know how you manage to cook, clean, and go to work, but you don’t seem to remember your friends.  You don’t remember that your husband left you.  I really think it’s time to get you some help.  Let’s eat and then Mike and I will talk with you after dinner.

 

**Prompt Here: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/19271780/posts/1528095664 **

#SoCS – A Day Late – Sunday

As per usual, I generally seem to hit this thing a day late on Sundays.  In the summer I have no excuses… I just didn’t get around to it yesterday.  Oh – I did homework and I attended a 3 hour West Coast workshop and then I danced for another 3.5 hours.  Now, I was sitting here thinking and I thought it would be nice to just write so I look up this:

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**Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “book title.” Take the title of the book you’re currently reading or the one sitting closest to you when you’re ready to write your SoCS post and base your post on the title only. I’m not asking for a book review or a synopsis, just whatever the title itself brings to mind.**

Girl on a Train.  I’m finally around to reading it.  A few years ago it was all the rage – everybody told me to read it.  I suppose I’m only getting around to it now because it literally jumped off the shelf at me in the thrift store on the day books were on sale for $0.50.  I couldn’t pass it up.

The title feels like my life.  I feel like my life is a train that won’t stop.  It’s a train – so it doesn’t turn.  It doesn’t seem to have any brakes.  I’m just here for the ride.  I HATE my job.  I have filled out at well over 50, maybe even 100, job applications this year.  Not one interview.  Each day the sun sinks toward the horizon and the cicadas hum, forcing the horrible truth that I will have to return to a hellish world in a few weeks.  It almost makes me sick to my stomach thinking about trudging in there before the sun rises every day to babysit during work hours and do my work outside of the 8 hour day.

My relationship is taking a long fall down the trash shoot.  But I don’t feel sick over that… just my job makes me hateful and irritable.  I can remember driving over the river on that giant highway bridge and feeling excitement to see this man that is currently my boyfriend.  I was always super excited to see him and spend time with him.  Now I’m stuck on this horrible train ride where he is the obnoxious passenger next to me.  I remember the moment that excitement all went away.  It was a bit more than 3 years ago.  I apparently did something to make him mad, and so the logical course of action was for him to completely ignore me for weeks and of course throw up a few Facebook posts that made me feel targeted.  Fortunately, there was a Facebook advertisement for some online dating website.  I decided I must be single since all my phone calls, text messages, and in person accounts were completely ignored and I’d click on it and explore out of curiosity.  I made a super basic profile and started looking at what kinds of guys were on that site.  I couldn’t even tell you the name of the site, but I didn’t really trust it.  Anyone can lie online.  That thing immediately gave me “matches.”  When I clicked on on a profile, the website would give a percentage for how good of a match we were.  There it was.  He had a profile on that website that had been there for months.  Instant nausea.  The website said we were like a 78% match.  He had been looking for someone else all along… all that time.  I realized how unwanted I was.  I deleted my new online profile right that moment.  I made plans to get away – visit my mom when the school year ended.

Somehow a guy I went to high school with took me on a date while I was on that visit.  It was a whole day event.  We were leaving the Field Museum in Chicago… he was driving in a bit of traffic.  I looked out the window at the people in the cars passing by, noticed those walking on the sidewalk toward unknown destinations.  I gazed up the skyscrapers and had a realization.  This is what dating could be like.  I was having so much fun!  I was comfortable.  He was nice to me, not judging me.  I returned to my newest home remembering my experiences.

That other guy continued to ignore me for a few weeks.  Then I got a text that said we needed to talk and if I wanted to salvage this relationship I’d make it a priority to talk to him as soon as possible.  I didn’t want to salvage anything.

After months of tying he managed to convince me to date him again.  Yeah.  I made that decision.  Right now I feel stuck.  Stuck on this train of life.  Stuck in a job I hate.  Stuck in a relationship I’m not proud of.  I guess I’m afraid to leave the relationship because he says he wants me.  In 33 years, I’ve never found anyone else who really wanted me.  But I don’t believe he really wants me.  He wants this love story he has built up in his head.  He’s clinging to it like he clings to everything else in life.  He is trying to change me… force me to melt into his mold.  The harder he tries, the more I feel the need to run.

I feel guilty for that.  I feel like I should want this.  I feel like the world is telling me that it gave me the person I always wanted and I should be thankful.  But I’m not.  I’m not happy in this situation.  I would really like to be in a relationship, get married, have kids.  But not like this.  I’m not happy.  I don’t want to waste my time attempting to force myself into his mold.

But what if there isn’t anyone else out there for me?  Do I have to spend my life alone?  Maybe it’s better to be alone that betray myself to become his thing – his creation.

 

FFfAW Challenge-Week of July 11, 2017

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He stood at the edge, gazing across the city, remembering 5 years ago when he made this first jump. He remembered realizing there were people below.  He hadn’t considered there’d be an audience to watch him fall on his face.  Until that moment, the idea of running across buildings hadn’t scared him one bit.   His friend had stood watching him before calling, “This is an easy jump!  You can’t stop at the edge of every building.  You’re gonna need to keep moving, gather up some speed in order to make bigger jumps.”  For a moment, he had hesitated, questioning this new friend and his crazy ideas.

“Hey!  You forget something?”  Jaime had circled back and looked up at him.

“Nah, man,” Alan clenched his fists to prevent tears from welling, “Just trying to memorize the view.  Tomorrow I won’t be in this city.”

“Freeloader.  That scholarship is buying a whole new group and a different city of tricks,” Jaime started moving.  “Last one to the pier buys the sodas!”

 

**Prompt Found at https://flashfictionforaspiringwriters.wordpress.com/2017/07/10/fffaw-challenge-week-of-july-11-2017/ **

850 Words

I earned my high school diploma, secured a B.S., and obtained an M.A., but now, for the capstone project of this measly little Graduate Certificate, my first assignment requires and 850 script in storyboard style…

I’m stuck like a mustard stain on a white shirt.

I’m fairly certain I acquired the ability to write 800 words about one topic with a 900 word term paper assignment in 6th grade.  Since then I have written papers, projects, stories, and presentations longer.

Seeing as I currently have no boss to report to, I’m desperately searching for a new, shinier job, and apparently even my supervisors at my volunteer position are too busy to meet with me…

these 850 words need to appear from me about an undecided topic as a never-ending scarf is effortlessly drawn from a magician’s hat

because, ultimately, I must be able to make something up to last the next 8 weeks of this project.  Since I have no mentor, no boss, no guidance, I must apparently choose some topic I am knowledgeable about, or can find information on independently.

Words.  They’re just words.  How can 850 measly words be so intimidating?

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**Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “ick.” Find a word with “ick” in it or use it as a word itself.**

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The sun has been lingering – clinging to the horizon until closer to six.  It failed to clear the trees until 7:12 this morning.  Just as it peeks in around the curtains, my friend’s car pulls into the driveway.  Early Saturday morning visit to the Farmer’s Market.  I’m dwelling on the fact that I have to see my boyfriend today.  It has been 6 days since I’ve seen him.  The time is running out on this relationship.  Tick-tick-ticking away like the shortening days of summer.  The arithmetic probability he will change is closer to zero.  People don’t change.  I dated him in the past and it was horrible for the same reasons it is now.  Doesn’t the phrase say, “Crazy is doing the same thing expecting different results.”  Maybe I do possess the lunatic gene that runs in my family.  I like to think I’m a functioning lunatic, though.  I don’t scream at people, throw random tantrums, or use aggression to get my way.  I’ve just run out of patience for the “same shit, different day” kind of stuff.  I’m tired of managing teenagers in the classroom, giving the same instructions day in and day out.  I’m tired of hearing the same sob-stories, same excuses for why this boyfriend isn’t happy.  I’ve been burning the candle at both ends.  I think the wick is nearly gone.

**Prompt Here: https://lindaghill.com/2017/07/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-july-817/ **

Discarded Items

The scent of early morning dew evaporaing off the grass in the sunlight wafted up her nose as she gathered discarded items from the grass.  A cicada hummed abose her as she gatheted beer cans amd water bottles.  Her joints popped and clicked in protest each time she would stand.  Tiny blips of last night appeared as foggy memories as she moved through the yard unsure of the events that created such a mess.  

George had popped the top off a couple beers and set them on the table just before the cabal stormed the door waving a rather small piece of paper.  That waving piece of paper preceeded an assinine argumemt.  Even though the problem was initially asomatous, it grew in a diabolic manner until it had become and absolute rift between family members.   

About thirty feet from an abandoned shoe lay the half dressed body of one of her sister’s cronies.  She kicked the foot still wearing a shoe.  No response.  She kicked harder.  

“What the hell?”  The body promoted itself to a sitting position.  

“Thought you might be dead.  Since you’re not, get off my property,” she ordered with a flick of the wrist.

“You’re so opaque,” the girl said as she stood and brushed her dewy short with her hands.

“It would be better to remain silent than to display your own ignorance by using the wrong words.”

“Did you just call me stupid?” she asked as she staggered toward her cast away shoe. 

“My child, your ignorance is the exact reason you should not be running with my sister.  It is also the reason you are no longer welcome at my home.”  She shoved a discarded coffee cup and a skittles wrapper into the trash bag she had been carrying.

George tripped over a log, “Babe, what are you doing out here so early?”  He stretched and yawned.

She laughed, “Early?  It’s nearly eight a.m.!  Not to mention, a bit of fremdschämen was keeping me from the joy of sleep.”
** written for Wordle #162 plus my own photo hunt I created to occupy myself this morning **

Odd Things

So I’m clearly struggling in my relationship right now.  The Claddagh ring he gave me randomly tarnished… Across the heart, A spot on one hand and across the other.  I noticed it today; the day after yesterday’s post.  Is this a sign of some sort?  Or is it just reflecting how my heart is feeling?  And do these sorts of things really happen in the real world?  Clearly they do.  It’s so weird.  A sign… I don’t understand the meaning of.