Fiction: “Nerve”


Thanks to The Daily Post for the word prompt nerve.

—–

Daisy, Kyria, and Josephine were at the beach in Vancouver, watching their kids as they played in the sand and shallower lake water. 

“No, Danny not too deep!” Daisy cried to her eight-year-old son as he attempted to swim into water up to his neck. “You can’t swim well enough yet, you’re only in level five,” Daisy reminded Danny who made a face at her but returned to the water up to his chest. 

Kyria patted her baby Lola who she had finished breast-feeding. Her other two daughters, Ivory and Laura, were building sand castles near by. Kyria was talking to Josphine whose nine-year-old Michael played with Danny in the lake. Danny and Michael both had floating crocodiles that they sat on pretending to eat each other.

The three friends and mothers talked to one another inbetween yelling at their kids. But all conversation ceased when a curvy bombshell walked infront of them in a skimpy bikini. The bombshell had long strawberry-blonde hair and pretty freckles on her pale cheeks. She may not have been tanned but it was evident she was beautiful.

——

Amber felt like some mint-chocolate-chip ice cream. It was her day-off from work as an administrative assistant and she had been so excited when she heard the weather was going to be hot and sunny that morning. She had changed into her favourite emerald green bikini and threw a beach dress over top before sliding into flip flops. 

Amber passed three mothers watching their children, walking to the ice cream store on the beach. She thought how lucky those women were to be able to have kids. Tegan (her husband) and Amber, had tried to have kids but with no success for the past three-years. At least, Amber thought, being able to look great in a bikini was some conselation.

—–

Kyria gapped at the bombshell as she passed them. The girl flung her strawberry-blond hair back and brushed her fingers through the strands. Her hips wiggled as she walked and she ran her hands down her waist and flat stomach. Kyria watched distainfully, as the girl adjusted the straps on her emerald green bikini top, ensuring her generous chest was covered.

“The nerve of that woman!” Kyria exclaimed to Daisy and Josephine.”We can all see she is skinny and a perfect hourglass shape. We don’t need her to show her body off right infront of us and our children. Who does she think she is anyways? She’s so pale too.” Kyria said with venom.

Josephine looked at Kyria annoyed. “I don’t think she meant anything walking infront of us. She’s probably only using what her Mama gave her. Remember, we used to dress in skimpy bikinis when we went to the beach, before we all had kids — Michael stop trying to drown Danny, he’s your bestfriend!” 

Michael looked at his Mom Josephine and let Danny up from under the water, where he’d been holding Danny’s head down. Danny punched Michael and the boys returned to playing with their floating crocodiles. 

“I agree with Kyria,” Daisy said grumpily. “That girl was showing off. Why would she do that in the middle of the day, when there are mainly families at the beach. I don’t need Danny fixated on women yet, he’s only eight. That girl has some nerve.

Josphine shook her head surprised at both her friends.” I think you two are jealous. Kyria just had a baby so she is still losing weight from pregnancy and you Daisy haven’t been keeping up with our dates to the gym. You act as if that girl should be ashamed of her own body, just because her body is in mint condition. I think you’re both being mean.” Josephine remarked.

“Why shouldn’t that woman be proud of her body, while she has it? She was probably enjoying a day off at the beach. I have pictures of you both in skimpy bikinis, not too long ago. I think you’re both hypocrites and have a lot of nerve judging another woman, especially at the beach.”Daisy and Kyria were speechless. 

——

The girl in the skimpy bikini was coming back there way, licking an ice cream cone in one hand. Kyria rolled her eyes and made a disgusted noise. The girl looked up at that moment and smiled at the three ladies sitting on their blankets, underneath an umbrella in the sand. “Oh, your daughter is gorgeous,” she told Kyria walking over to Kyria, Daisy, and Josephine, “What’s her name?” 

“Her name is Lola,” Kyria said stiffly.

“You are so lucky to have her. Those two beautiful girls playing in the sand, they must be your daughters as well, they look just like you.” The girl exclaimed putting out her free hand which Kyria pretended not to notice.

 “I’m Amber, my husband Tegan, and I have been trying to have kids for three-years but I haven’t been able to become pregnant. I’m envious of you girls. You’re lucky to have kids, I want one so much.” Amber sighed and smiled at the two boys play fighting in the lake near by when Josephine pointed them out to her. Then, she gazed back at baby Lola adoringly. 

“It was nice to meet you girls, but I promised my husband I’d make him a special supper since I have the day off.” Amber smiled genuinely at the women and waved as she walked off the beach towards the parking lot.

Josephine peered at Kyria and Daisy wondering what their reaction to Amber would be now.”She’s right,” Daisy said watching her son Danny. “We’re so lucky to have our kids. I think Danny is worth not having my bikini body anymore.”

Kyria remained silent. “I still say Amber has nerve showing off her body infront of a recently, pregnant woman.” Daisy and Josephine looked at one another and sighed.

Nerve isn’t necceserily a bad thing,” Daisy said thoughtfully. “I don’t think she was trying to make you look bad, Kyria. It’s obvious to anyone who sees you with Lola, your baby is only a few months old. She can’t help that you were pregnant, or what comes along with being pregnant. She wants what you have actually.” Kyria rolled her eyes and Daisy shook her head. There was no convincing Kyria.

Josephine looked away from her friends to see Michael and Danny dripping water on her and the blankets. “Mom, we need more sunscreen,” Michael told Josephine. Josephine smiled and sprayed both boys with SPF 50 sunscreen. Indeed, Josephine felt lucky to be a Mom. But part of her admired Amber, a woman with nerve; the good kind.

——–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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Sunday Photo Fiction: Krampus


Amber was afraid of Santa. She couldn’t tell you why. He gave her a scared feeling. A feeling a four-year-old didn’t enjoy. 

As the line became shorter Amber began to clench her little fists and grit her teeth. She didn’t want to sit on Santa’s lap.

“What’s wrong Amber?” Her Aunt Kylie asked, ” don’t you wan’t to see Santa and tell him what you want for Christmas? You’ve been a good girl, right? So, it will be no problem for you and you’ll get a candy cane,” said Aunt Kylie.

Amber pursed her lips and stomped up and down. “No Santa. Santa is bad. I don’t want to see him; this Santa is not the real Santa.”

Aunt Kylie shrugged and patted Ambers mess of hair. Amber waited and her fear of Santa increased ten fold when she went up to him and an elf put her on St. Nick’s knee.

It was then before Amber’s eyes Santa’s face changed. His eyes were black as coal and face changed into a monster with horns. He looked at Amber and smiled malevolently.

“Hello Amber” he whispered to her, “my name is Krampus. When you’re a naughty girl you go on my list. And when I come to your house Christmas Eve there will be no presents. I’m going to whip you with chains and lashes and take you down to the firey place all bad children go.”

Amber screamed loudly and Krampus transformed back into St. Nick. Aunt Kylie apologized for Amber’s outburst and Santa laughed and gave Amber a candy cane and an elf snapped a picture of Amber and Santa. Amber continued to squirm and push against Santa the whole time and Santa told her to be good as if he was a kindly gentlemen. 

But Amber knew what she saw and heard. She knew come Christmas Eve, Krampus would come for her. So, on Christmas Eve she hid with a gun she knew her Daddy kept in his bedside table. And when Krampus came to find her she hid under the bed. But he pulled her out anyways and tried to whip her body. Then Amber pulled the trigger at his head and screamed.

Aunt Kylie, Mom, Dad, and Kylie’s boyfriend Vince all came running out to Amber’s room. They were all shocked to see a vile beast lying dead on Amber’s floor, a bullet hole in his forehead. He had cloven hooves and horns and a curly white beard. His skin was gray and disgusting and his eyes were terrifying. Even dead, they were evil and contained knowledge of a hell, where the worst children would go. 

Amber laughed. She hugged her Daddy’s knee and pointed to the dead Krampus on the floor joyfully. 

  
Thanks to Alastair Forbes for hosting and Merry Christmas! 

——

©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: A Sordid Affair


Apology: I’m sorry, this is way too long for Flashfiction but the story just developed and formed. I tried to cut it down and it’s still too long 😦

——

I am sitting by a government building and admiring its interesting architectural elements. I am waiting for my contact to arrive. 

It’s fall and I can feel the nip in the air as winter approaches. It’s why I have chosen to wear my new coat. It’s long, hits me mid-calf, and is made of a silk-lined pink-wool with black buttons.  My makeup is flawless down to the lipstick that matches my coat and my hair is curled artfully. I’m anxious, but I need to appear in control. 

My contact ‘Winston’arrives. He is dressed impeccably in a tailored suit and expensive shoes. He could be any government businessman. Winston looks at me and  I can tell from his calm expressionless demeaner he knows about ‘intrigue’ well.

“Do you have it?” I ask him curtly “you’ve had plenty of time.” He looks at me sternly, “time is money” Winston says and I hand him a small bag filled with twenty-thousand dollars. 

I stare up at Winston and hold out my gloved hand. He places a small memory stick in the leather of my palm and passes me a hard copy in an envelope. “It’s pretty obvious” Winston murmers matter-of-factly, ” Senator Smith’s wife is cheating on him. She has been for seven years. Two years after he found out, he began his own affair.”

“And before?” I  question.

 “He was faithful for the five years they dated. Since the day he meant her, he never slept with another woman until five years ago. Before Ashley, um you…  he was miserable. He channeled his energy into his work and became a young Senator.” I shook Winston’s hand,”anytime, Ms. Taylor.”

I stare at the memory stick with the evidence of Linda’s affair. I knew about the affair of course. Jamie’s wife Linda was the one who first cheated. He had loved her deeply. She had wounded him and he hadn’t recovered until he meant me. But Jamie was still married to Linda. A piece of his heart hung onto her, even though she was always with Daniel (Jamie’s cousin) and hardly spoke to Jamie. 

Slowly, I walked away from the ornate government building, walked down the street past some trendy shops, and into a restaurant called Linguini, where I met Daniel, Linda’s boyfriend. 

“She gets a divorce or she disappears,” I tell Daniel. Daniel’s face turns pale when I present him with the envelope Winston gave me.”Why does she string Jamie along Daniel? You and I could both be free to be with who we love, if only Linda would sign the divorce papers.”

Daniel sighs, “she won’t sign the papers because she gets almost nothing. Just a million for twelve years of her life.”

“But she cheated first and she hates him now. Jamie didn’t start seeing me until two years after Linda first cheated. She had her chance.”

“It makes me angry too, Ashley. I have lots of money, but she gets hysterical when I ask her about signing the divorce papers.”

“If she doesn’t the media will know what a whore she was. How she ripped apart her marriage with the senator, cheating with you. If that’s not enough I’ll have her sent away. She’ll never see you again Daniel.”

A growl comes from Daniel, ” I’ll get her to sign the papers. I wish you would have came to me and we could have worked out a better situation for both our lives, Ashley. You didn’t have to play dirty.”

Daniel left the restaurant quickly and I sipped my Mascoto deep in thought. Jamie arrived soon after, his eyes sparkling at me  serenely.” I have missed you so much,” he tells me kissing me softly and then deeply as we get lost in each other. 

Jamie sits down beside me and puts his arm around me while we order food and drinks. “I have something to tell you,” I start talking nervously. I tell Jamie the whole story of me highering Winston to dig up proof of Linda’s indescretions. When I’m done talking a tear escapes my eye and Jamie wipes it away with his thumb. 

“Ash, I wish you’d told me sooner. We both would have felt better if I knew what you were doing.”

“Are you mad?” I manage.

“No, not mad at all. This proves to me what I know; you love me and are faithful to me. You’re also a smart and savvy woman. I told myself I’d never be fooled by a woman like Linda again. That’s why I sent her the divorce papers and that’s why she’ll go to trial and get the death penalty if she doesn’t sign the divorce papers.” I gasp. 

Jamie’s face has gone rigid and I can tell it is difficult for him to say the next words:”We did have a child once. A little girl named Amber. She was sweet and only two when Linda strangled her for crying loudly when they were home alone one night. Linda said the noise was driving her crazy. . .” I huddled into Jamie stunned. With a vacant look in his eyes Jamie whispers,”she was my wife. I kept her secret. I thought she was depressed. Then I found out she was cheating.” 

“That’s terrible Jamie. I can’t believe you’ve been keeping this inside you all these years.” I whisper. 

He smiles at me, “two years later I met you and you made me feel whole again. I promised myself I would cut ties with Linda. She wants more money but I won’t give her a cent. She killed my innocent daughter, and I have all the evidence necessary to put her in jail on death row.”

The food arrived and Jamie and I ate hungrily keeping us from saying more about the situation. Although, I wanted Linda gone, apart of me wondered whether she had struggled with postpartum depression; maybe she was still dealing with a mental illness untreated. She did seem volatile.

One instant I was eating and the next I heard a commotion in the restaurant. Linda was standing at our table screaming at Jamie. Daniel was close behind her trying to calm her down. I guessed his discussion with her based on my threats hadn’t gone well. 

Linda threw the divorce papers on our table and shouted, “I want more money! If you don’t give me more, I’ll shoot the skank.” A handgun was pointed at my chest. Daniel and Jamie were carefully, attempting to settle Linda down and obtain the gun when Linda cracked and pulled the trigger. People screamed as the shot rang out. 

I felt a burning in my chest, then extreme pain. I saw the blood on my hands as I tried to stop the steady oozing with my thick wool coat. Everything was happening quickly. Then Linda held the gun to her own head and despite pleading from Daniel, and the sounds of horror others were making in the restaurant, the gun went off. I briefly thought about how many people at Linguini would be traumatized by this shooting;  not only Daniel, Jamie, and I. 

I shrieked, surprised I still had a voice. My head was cloudy and I ached in pain as Jamie was trying to stop the flow of blood on my chest and call 911. Daniel was a mess as he cried over Linda’s body. There was blood everywhere and I registered the noise and panic of the people around us from a distance. 

I slept fretfully for ages. I dreamt awful scenarios and I almost woke up before tumbling back into a nightmare. When I finally awake, I’m at a hospital and I can see out a window to the government building below. My memory is pricked but Jamie is asleep beside me, his head on the bed. I adjust my position on the bed as carefully as I can without hurting myself and waking Jamie. 

The funeral for Linda was weeks ago. Daniel was devastated, especially when Jamie told him about his past with Linda. He felt Daniel had a right to know the truth. 

I had been in the hospital a month in semi-consciousness. I almost died and Jamie had spent most of his time waiting for me, (while taking a leave of his senate responsibilities)to wake up and live the life we wanted together. “We’re free Jamie,” I tell him when I am allowed to leave the hospital. He grins and my pulse increases.

 “I thought I’d lost you Ashley. The doctors told me it was a long shot you’d recover. ” I held Jamie’s hand in solidarity. I was done with intrigue and blackmailing people, for now…

  
Thanks to Alistair Forbes for the prompt picture.