Friday Fictioneer: Poem – Free Verse – “Echo Beyond”


Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting FF.


ff-train-to-no-where
Credit: C.E. Ayr

Parts of city, no one admits are here,

Only smashed cars, railroad tracks live dying.

Find a fleck of hope here;

There’s not but skeletons, twisted years lost.

*****

We stare into the crisscrossing of tracks,

Wonder how all the trains never seem lost.

For accidents, no care.

Here is our place, where no one dare go.

****

I will always hope,

Wishing there’s more left,

Then empty spaces littered.

I’ll find strength where it hurts,

Will I change our lot?

Someday our names will echo beyond.

*****

I’m tired of staying in this mishmash space,

There’s more to life than choking on coal dust.

My love, we’ll find our place.

We’re wolves, eyes gleaming, searching for home.

*****

Bitterness leaves me caught in this valley,

Is still and hot; we’ll move, find our names.

Wolves as you and I,

Our might is large; ignored, we’re crafty.

*****

I will always hope,

Wishing there’s more left,

Then empty spaces littered.

I’ll find strength where it hurts,

Will I change our lot?

Someday our names will echo beyond.

*****


“The Cave” – Mumford & Sons


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

11. How Was Last Night For You: Talise at the Farmer’s Market


Read Chapter 10 here.

Chapter 11: Talise at The Farmer’s Market

Nina was delighted to have John take her to the farmer’s market. She enjoyed the atmosphere of the popular market which provided farm-grown produce, baked goods, prepared foods, as well as handmade speciality goods. A modest-sized warehouse with murals of oceanic scenes, was home for the market during the Winter months in Adare. In the late spring, the market moved outdoors so people could bask in the sunshine as they shopped.

The quick drive downtown, however, was silent. Nina was busy worrying about Rianne and her broken arm as well as her  confrontation with Talise. John was distant and brooding as he drove his Mercedes and parked a few blocks away from the market.

The aroma of fresh produce, sweet and inviting, met Nina as she walked into the crowded warehouse. The smell of fresh bread made both Nina and John inhale and smile at each other. Nina shoved her worries to the back of her mind. She immediately began talking to some of the merchants she knew, tugging John’s hands. Nina went to a few different tables she knew would be promising to find the best price for some vegetables. At different tables Nina bought an array of lush organic vegetables.

She was drawn to a table which sold spice blends called Cumin and See.  The company had spice mixtures, seasonings, and recipes for food. Nina purchased their special Caesar salad spice, a sweet cinnamony spice for apple cider, and a mixture of spices for a warm cheesy dip which would taste superb with crackers or chips. Nina wasn’t only buying for supper, she was thinking some down time would be a good idea soon.

Nina browsed along the tables where handcrafted jewelry was displayed. She gently held a fine 14k gold chain with a lustrous pearl and a tiny charm that read ‘beloved.’ John noticed Nina eyeing the necklace before she reached out and ran her finger over the pearl pendant and charm. John smiled at the cheerful merchant selling homemade jewelry at her booth and asked the lady how much for the necklace Nina was admiring.

” Oh don’t, it’s fine John. It’s $229.00 for this little chain. It’s not worth it.” Nina whispered to John.

“But you love it, right?” John said.”You’re worth it to me.”

Nina blushed at John’s praise and nodded her head. She did love the necklace,  it was classic. John ran his hand through Nina’s soft hair playfully before paying for the necklace with a swipe of his Visa. John carefully opened the fine necklace and clasped it around Nina’s neck. She loved the necklace and John’s gesture of buying her something. Nina adored that gesture a great deal.

“Thank you John,” Nina said sincerely, leaning up to kiss John on the lips.”Pay you back with some dessert sometime.” The kiss deepened and some people were openly gawking.

John smirked at Nina, aware he’d put on a show and held Nina’s hand as she went to a table that offered baked goods and bought an aromatic delicious apple pie for dinner. ” I love apple pie” John murmured to Nina, “Apple pie is more then enough in exchange for the necklace. Not that you had to get me anything.”They shared a warm companionable and heated gaze before Nina was distracted by more goods being sold.

Nina let go of John’s hand and went to browse among the tables of items.  She wasn’t often able to make it to the market in the winter time; work often meant overtime. Nina browsed aware John was worried some awful event might happen if they remained at the market long.

John had been looking at some homemade red wine, drinking a coffee when Nina last saw him. But when she turned around, John had disappeared into the crowd. Nina wasn’t too worried. John had his Samsung on him and she had her Iphone. The market wasn’t huge and it wouldn’t be impossible for Nina to find John in ten minutes or so while she shopped. Nina’s eyes immediately admired a baby pink scarf made of silk and light as air, hanging on rack of scarves beside a table.

A carefully manicured hand with sea green nail polish touched the delicate pink scarf and held it up so Nina could see how delicate and pretty the scarf was. Nina didn’t look up at the vendor because she was memorized by the way light hit the scarf. John could have bought her this scarf she thought, but she truly loved the gold necklace. She would purchase the scarf herself, Nina decided.

” Do you like it?” a girly voice asked Nina. Nina was to busy admiring the scarf, but then the voice said: “This would look wonderful on you Nina. It is exactly the right color of pink for your skin.” Nina knew the woman’s voice. She looked up to see Talise in a floaty silk blue blouse and leggings, behind the table.

“Oh” Nina said, “Talise, I didn’t know you had a booth here. Your scarves are gorgeous.” Talise smiled.

“It’s my friends booth. She’s the artist. I’m only filling in for her today. But she did tell me I could have any scarf of my choice. I would like for you to have my scarf. Take the light pink scarf Nina it suits you.” Nina was surprised, touched, and a suspicious of Talise’s gift. But she didn’t want to appear ungracious, even though she loved the pink scarf. She wrapped the silk perfection around her neck.

” That’s nice of you Talise. I didn’t think we were off to a friendly start at the fundraiser. You were judgemental of John and his past. How’s Malcolm?”

“Oh, he’s fine. He’s watching the Broncos play football,  while I do this. He loves sports. As for John, I’m only concerned about your safety with John, Nina. I don’t think he’s a reputable guy from my own experiences. For some reason, I always felt accidents and bad things occurred around John. Maybe, I’m only imagining these events, but I think you can do better than John.”

“It wasn’t your friend who John and his brothers laughed at when you said your friend loved  John, was it?  It was you?” Nina asked Talise in a flash of realization. Talise’s jewel green eyes shed a tear and then went blank.

“Yes, it was me,” she said. “I loved him and he talked about me behind my back. I wasn’t valuable to him. It was onto the next girl with John.”

Nina let her breath out nervously stroking the soft silk scarf Talise had given her. She felt wrong accepting the scarf now. Nina felt as if by wearing it she somehow agreed with Talise’s opinion of John now, that he was still a womanizer and a selfish man.

Nina felt she couldn’t give the scarf back to Talise, because she didn’t want to have a confrontation with her. She clutched the necklace John had bought her, hidden under the scarf. The necklace gave her hope and courage to defend John once again.

Please Read Chapter 12 here.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

3. How was Last Night For You – Difficult Thing to Admit


Read here for Chapter 2.

Chapter 3: Difficult Thing to Admit

John held Nina’s hand as he opened the door to his grand house. A white sparkling stone face on the outside of the house glittered in the sunlight. Nina walked into the entrance and she felt the slick expensive wood floors. She saw a large living area with comfortable grey couches that bounced when she pushed her hand against their solidness. The living room had light blue accents but was mostly masculine with its light grey furniture and dark charcoal walls. Nina spied two comfortable wing-backed chairs facing a slate fireplace. A thin TV glistened black over top of the mantel. It was a fitting piece for a single man’s domain.

A soft blue-grey sky through walls of windows was transparent over most of the living room and kitchen. Below she saw a well manicured backyard with a large patio and stone pathways. The windows inside spread past a granite bar with four stools, into a kitchen with pristine white cupboards and a butcher block counter top. John seemed to have only the best appliances in his kitchen including a wine fridge and a second oven. There was also a Tassimo instant coffee maker. Nina smiled because she had the exact same one. Nina could smell the delicate but heavenly scent of chocolate chip cookies in the air. She wondered who baked them, a housekeeper?

Nina removed her shoes and John beckoned her to one of the soft grey coaches. They were made of the softest dove coloured suede leather. Nina bounced awkwardly on the sofa before becoming settled. John’s main floor was huge and open concept. Nina felt quite small in the great room. Though walls that were windows enhanced the feeling the space had of being open, it was a dreary day outside and little sun shone in the house.

John felt as if he needed to explain his problems to Nina. But she wasn’t quite ready for whatever fantastical story John had to tell her. The whole situation felt unbelievable to Nina. It felt like a Dark Brother’s Grimm fairy tale come to life.

When John had taken off his jacket and removed his watch, he sat beside Nina on the couch and smiled at her a bit nervously. Nina looked over at the Tassimo Coffee Maker, “do you think I could have a tea John? I’m kind of craving something warm right now.”

“Oh yeah, sure what kind would you like?”

“Green tea or Chi, if you have it.”

“Yeah, I have green tea. I’ll get you one and make myself a coffee too.” John braced his hands on his legs and got up. His tall body brushed Nina as he went into the kitchen and she shivered at the contact. She saw John grin as he passed her. He felt it too.

” Can I get some honey in that tea, John please.”

“Yeah I have honey. Do you want milk?”

“No, I’m fine with honey thanks. I need something a bit sweet.” John touched her arm tentatively when he sat down and handed her her tea. Nina took a small sip and placed her tea on a coaster on a coffee table in front of her and John. John set his coffee down as well. He appeared apprehensive and kept looking at his feet. It was a different side of him Nina thought. So far, he had only been confident and sometimes brash.

John put his arms around Nina’s shoulder and stroked her gently. “Nina, would you like to here my story . . . would you like to know why I am cursed?” He wouldn’t look Nina in the eye when he asked her this. Perhaps, it was because is story was fantastical. He took a drink of his coffee and swallowed slowly while Nina waited for John to say whatever it was he had to say.

Nina was a kind person and she felt sorry for John. She moved closer to him on the couch and felt the now familiar pull of herself towards him. For John to trust her with something like this in his history was a huge deal. ” Are you sure you want to tell me, I mean you don’t know me that well John.” Nina looked at John with huge soft-blue eyes.

John starred back and said:” I’ve never trusted anyone more than my own family to know the story of how I became cursed, Nina.” John took a deep breathe in, ” the fact that you might believe I am cursed to begin with, demonstrates to me I can tell you the facts without you freaking out or thinking I’m crazy.”

” Well, I might freak out,” Nina admitted. But  John barely heard her.

“I need to tell you this Nina, I need to tell you because I think, the way I feel about you already, well I think you can help.” John looked at Nina with hope in his bright eyes  His knuckles were white and his forehead wrinkled in consternation. ” I need to tell you my story because other people suffer because of me Nina. Other people get hurt and it drives me insane. I need to share my burden if you can help. Is that too much of me to ask of you? I’m no good, but your still here anyways.”

Nina gulped down her tea and burned her mouth. She held her hand to her lips. Her throat felt raw.  Her voice was small as she admitted to John she’d like to hear his story. ” I feel like I’ve been waiting to hear your story since the night we first meant.” Nina said, “so please tell me and don’t leave me in suspense.” She noticed John had a bit of a tremor in his hands as he took her right hand into his own. She felt fireworks and sense of foreboding when John touched her. But she needed to hear why he was cursed if she continue any kind of relationship with the inauspicious John.

John smiled at Nina and looked down at the floor. Nina looked at his face and noticed how tired and weary John looked. She decided to have pity on him even though his ‘curse’ story was a bit unbelievable. John looked at Nina with piercing eyes and with a ragged voice began to tell her his story. He halted several times to check Nina’s reactions. At times he looked ashamed and other times he looked as if what he was telling Nina hurt him.

Please read Chapter 4 here.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.