23. How Was Last Night For You: Rianne’s Mugged and Nina Disappears.


Please read Chapter 22 here.

Chapter 23:  Rianne’s Mugged and Nina  Disappears.

Rianne’s head ached badly, and so did her once broken arm. She had been lying on it for what felt like forever. The more Rianne tried to escape the tiredness that plagued her, the deeper she fell into nightmares

Rianne dreamed Nina had a fish tale. She dreamed Jasper and herself were visiting Nina on a beach. Nina kept the lower half of her body beneath the waves and refused to come any closer to shore. Behind Rianne, Jasper regarded Sam and Eric playing in the sand. They were building sand castles as Rianne had shown them how to do properly.

Sam and Eric adored Auntie Nina and wanted her to come play in the sand too, but Nina only smiled at John’s nephews sadly; she waved her hands at them blowing both boys air kisses which they pretended to catch with their hands. Rianne reached out for Nina but her hands only grasped lake water. Her best friend and childhood pal, swam away into the Sirene Lake, a mermaids tale flicking behind her.

Rianne recalled Nina had always stood up for her since the time they first met in primary school. Nina was the girl who despite being shorter and smaller, beat-up other girls for pushing Rianne around on the playground and calling Rianne names. Rianne had grown tall and sturdy, but not until high school when she began to workout and play basketball. Rianne had been nearly fifteen-years-old before she began to grow into maturity.

Rianne wrinkled her nose. It smelt like Chinese food in her dream, Chinese food that was stale. Something wet dripped on Rianne’s face and she abruptly awoke. A homeless man leaned over Rianne, his water bottle in hand. His weathered face showed concern.

“Lady, are you okay? Sorry about pouring water on you, but you looked passed-out and I didn’t know another way to wake you without involving the police. We’re you mugged? ”

Rianne gazed up at the man from the sidewalk where she lay on her bad arm. She forced her body into a more upright position and realized her savior could badly use some help of his own. His shoes had holes, his clothes dusty, ragged, and tattered.The man carried an old backpack and his face was covered with a straggly grey beard. Rianne tried to thank the man, but no words came out of her mouth. She was relieved this homeless man was no foe.

“There’s a bump, a red goose egg on your forehead. It looks as though someone knocked you out and robbed you.” The homeless man said to Rianne.

Rianne groaned and rose to her feet hanging onto the homeless man for balance. She felt dizzy but not all that bad considering the bump she saw on her forehead in her reflection on the glass of the Chinese food place. Rianne checked the time on her watch which hadn’t been stolen. It was early morning, around 1:00 am; how long had she been passed-out?

After a while, Rianne was able to walk without help leaning on the homelessman or the window of the Chinese restaurant. Rianne smiled at the man in gratitude.

“Thank you for waking me up and ensuring I’m alright,”  she told the homeless man with sincerity. Rianne’s voice sounded groggy. The man grinned, showing teeth that needed dental work she knew he couldn’t afford. “I wish I could give you something, some money for helping me, but my purse is gone. It’s lime colored, you would see it if it was here.” The man chuckled.

” Someone stole your purse when they knocked you out. I’ve seen it occur before. It happens to quite a few woman at night. Maybe buy a cheaper purse next time. I’m betting your purse was designer.” The homeless man said knowingly.

Then he looked at the bags of food  by Rianne’s feet and smiled. “Can I have your food?” Rianne looked at the man confused at first. “Your Chinese food, it’s probably still okay to eat. I felt the bag, it’s kind of warm yet.”

“Are you sure it might be dangerous to eat now?” Rianne asked the man. He smiled at her again.

” For me it’s fine, I’m used to eating food with recent expiration dates,” the homeless man said chuckling again. Rianne slowly, picked up the food with her good arm and gave it to the man. She was sorry that stale Chinese food was all she had to give.

“My watch,” Rianne said suddenly, “you could take it and pawn it. It’s worth a lot. I received it from my Mom for my twenty-first birthday?” She held out her precious watch to the man. He took it placed it in her hand and closed Rianne’s fingers around it, shaking his head. The man observed Rianne closely.

“Are you sure you’re feeling okay, Lady?” Rianne nodded slowly.

“I’m a tad dizzy and my head hurts but I’m alright. I need to get back to my friend. I told her I’d be back with food hours ago. She’ll be worried.”

The homeless man thanked Rianne for the food after Rianne had reassured him she didn’t need to go to a near by medical clinic.

Rianne thanked the man again, for caring enough to wake her up and they parted ways. She wished there was a way to help him more, to give the homeless man something better then old Chinese food. But he seemed happy and declined to give Rianne any information so she could find him again and give him money.


 

She walked as fast as she could, back to Nina’s condo building, passing The Manhattan which was full of people having a good time before last call.

Rianne didn’t have her key, but luckily a neighbour was coming out the door and recognized Rianne as Nina’s friend. Delighted to see her and asking Rianne about the bump on her head, the kindly woman waved Rianne through the condo door entrance.

Rianne rode the elevator up to Nina’s condo on the seventeenth floor. She had a sick feeling in her stomach, as if something was wrong. Not only had Rianne been mugged two blocks from Nina’s condo, but she had had a weird dream about Nina being a mermaid.

Rianne contemplated her dream, wondering why she remembered it with such clarity. The dream about Nina being a mermaid seemed awfully coincidental considering curses, magic, and sea witches had become real to Rianne in the past few months. She pondered if her dream was as John’s dreams, a premonition of what could be.

Rianne’s head was pounding out a study rhythm when she entered the condo. Nina’s front door had opened without Rianne having a key. Rianne prayed this meant Nina was home safe. Instead, when Rianne walked into the condo she could immediately tell the condo was empty; something wasn’t right.

A messy scrawled note from Nina read that Nina was staying at Heather’s tonight. Nina hated staying at Heather’s place. Heather was a nice lady, but lately, she had had a lot of male company. Company Nina more then a few times, had run into as they were half-naked. Heather would later tell Nina: ” Oh he’s no one.” But Nina had preferred not to stay over at her Mom’s after running into her Mothers various lovers.

All these thoughts sprang to Rianne’s mind in an instant. She needed to talk to Jasper but she didn’t think she had a phone. Nina had no landline, only her cell and Nina’s cell was in Rianne’s purse. Amazingly, Rianne found her own cell half-charged in her pocket. It’s lime leather cover matched her stolen purse.

Rianne sat down at Nina’s kitchen table. Her arms were suddenly wet, there was water all over Nina’s table from a water pitcher. But the pitcher wasn’t leaking so how did the water get there?

Rianne dialed Jasper on her phone; her head throbbed painfully.

” Jasper, sorry to wake you but it’s me. I was mugged on the street picking-up Chinese food for Nina and I. It should’ve taken me fifteen-minutes but someone knocked me out. I have this horrible bump on my head.They took my purse. When I arrived back to Nina’s condo, her door was unlocked and she isn’t here. Her condo is empty.” Rianne said as quickly as she could manage.

” Huh, what?”  Jasper said sleepily but concerned, “Are you okay? Do you need to go to a hospital? You could have a concussion you know. Did Nina leave a note? Maybe give her a call on her phone?”

“Her phone was in my purse Jasper. I took it away from her because she kept looking at her phone to see if John had answered her messages to him. I was so stupid. I shouldn’t have taken it from her.” Rianne said.

“And there was this note. It was really weird it was on the kitchen table which was sopping wet. There is water all over the table and that is unlike Nina to leave water all over her table. The water pitcher wasn’t even broken.” Rianne was getting tears in her eyes. She was usually self-contained.

” What did the note say Ri?” Jasper asked her gently.

“It said she was staying at her Mom’s tonight. But Nina hates staying at her Mom’s house. She would’ve told me if she was going to be sleeping there earlier. I called Heather’s cell but she’s not answering. I’ve left several messages. What if Talise has Nina? What if she took Nina away and wants to kill her like John said?” Rianne was full-out crying now.

“What do we Jasper?” Rianne said fatigued.”John is out at Talise’s cave and Nina is mysteriously gone from her condo. Somethings wrong Jasper.”

“Call Heather again right now,” Jasper ordered Rianne. “I’ll be over soon. Maybe, I can reach John on his phone. He should be back from the cave by now, depending how things went. I should’ve never let him go alone, but he insisted. . .”

“It’s not your fault Jasper. John’s headstrong, especially where Talise is concerned. I’ll try calling Heather again but I don’t think she’s picking up the phone. Maybe she’s out with one of her boyfriends? Come quick and bring ice for my head.” Jasper sighed. She could tell he was exasperated with the entire situation.

” A homeless guy woke me up in time Jasper.” Rianne said trying to stop him for worrying. ” I’ll be okay. It’s Nina I’m worried about.”

“Alright, stay there at Nina’s don’t move.” Jasper told Rianne. “I’ll buy you a new purse and we’ll figure out where Nina is…What did the homeless guy say? I hope Nina is safe, John’s going to kill me. ..”

” Hurry Jasper, don’t worry about the purse right now. I love you.” Rianne told Jasper, hanging up on him before she started to bawl. Rianne didn’t say anything to Jasper, but she knew she was the person supposed to be watching Nina for John. This was her fault, Rianne told herself sternly.

Her head hurt painfully. She got up from the table and took two Advil from Nina’s medicine cupboard. Rianne changed out of her sweater with wet sleeves from the pool of water on Nina’s table, before soaking up the water with paper towel.

Exhausted and frustrated that Jasper was taking so long getting to Nina’s Condo, Rianne lay on Nina’s soft suede couch. She drifted in and out of a sleep of nightmares, none as clear as the one she had when she was unconscious earlier. Rianne knew she shouldn’t be sleeping after being hit on her head so hard, but she couldn’t help it; she passed out.

Suddenly, Rianne awoke. She heard the door knob turn on Nina’s front door and it startled her. The room was dark except for a lamp Rianne had turned on earlier. She arose carefully, and went to meet Jasper at the condo door. He hugged Rianne hard when he saw her, towering over her and giving her security.

” Are you okay? You shouldn’t be sleeping with a bump like that on your head.” Jasper shouted at Rianne. She glimpsed past Jasper’s shoulder and was relieved to see he hadn’t come alone, he had brought Jordan with him.

“Thank God your both here,” Rianne said tears sliding down her freckled cheeks. “I’m worried about Nina, we need to find her. Did you hear from John, either of you?”

“I talked to him briefly,” Jordan said curtly. He was trying to not upset Rianne and she could tell.

“Sit down both of you,” she commanded, “are Sam and Eric alright?” Rianne asked Jasper, slamming the front door and sitting beside Jasper.

“Yep,” Jasper said his arm around Rianne as he gently felt the bump on her head and reached down to a grocery bag for an ice pack. The ice stung Rianne’s bump but after a minute or two her head felt better. Jasper continued:

“Mom is watching the boys. They’ll be okay. Super thrilled to have Grandma take them for swim lessons tomorrow. How are you feeling Ri? That bump is nasty. I want Mom to look at it tomorrow.” Jasper seemed to be stalling and Rianne who was usually calm began to panic. She looked at Jordan:

” What did John say? Does he know where Nina is? Is she with him?” Jordan looked uncomfortable but began to talk anyways.

“John’s phone wasn’t working too well. Too much water got in it. He ran into Talise on her piece of paradise. She tried to trap him in the cave, but he managed to steal her dagger. She took my boat to shore and she was coming after Nina. But um, John injured Talise when they fought for the dagger, it effected her magic; she’s not as strong as she was and her barrier trapping John in the cave broke. John had to swim to shore. . . he’s so afraid for Nina. Then, John’s phone went dead . . .” Jordan let out a breath.

Rianne’s eyes were as big as saucers. “No, Talise can’t have gotten to land so fast could she Jordan?”

Jordan swallowed afraid. “John was at the harbor when I called him. We need to go there, I think. If Talise has Nina, that’s the first place she’ll be. And we need to find John, he must be exhausted and freezing.”

” I agree,” Jasper said. His voice was firm and he looked angry as Rianne had never seen him before.

“Let’s go guys,” Rianne said, “Damn it, my keys were in my purse.”

“You hurt your head,” Jasper said tenderly, ” I’ll drive.”

All three of them ran down the stairs as it was faster then taking the elevator. They sped off in Jasper’s car towards the harbor, to the Sirene. All of them were afraid of what had become of John and Nina.

Please Read Chapter 24 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

21. How Was Last Night for You: The Pain of Heartbreak


Please read Chapter 20 here.

Chapter 21: The Pain of Heartbreak.

It had been a week since Nina had had her awful fight with John at his parent’s home. John had chosen to end his and Nina’s relationship. He had told Nina it was for her safety. He didn’t want to be responsible for her death.

No one at the Eric’s house had seen the driver of the red pick-up truck who had twice, attempted to run Nina down. They had all been certain, Talise or someone she bewitched, had been responsible.

Thank goodness Jordan (John’s youngest brother) had saved Nina from becoming road-kill. Nina was frightened of what Talise was capable of concerning her and John. Nina had announced to John’s entire family at dinner that she loved John and wasn’t going to let him suffer from a sea witch’s wrath alone.

John’s family, Rianne, and Nina, were certain Talise (the sea witch who cursed John) had become evil in her jealousy over Nina and hatred of John, who refused to be with Talise again.

John had wanted to save Nina from Talise’s threat to stab Nina through her heart, by finding the cursed dagger Talise wanted to use on Nina. What was problematic was that John had only seen the dagger in a nightmare and the rest of the information they had come up with on the dagger, was purely fairy-tale or Adare folklore.

The red pick-up truck incident pushed John into panick mode. One moment Nina and he were lovers fighting Talise together, and the next moment John told Nina she was safer without him. Nina thought this was absurd because even though John’s curse had been noticeably absent for three-months, John alone protected Nina from his curse because he loved and cared for her.

Nina’s heart and mind were struggling  to come to terms and understand John’s decision to break-up with her after what the two of them had been through. Perhaps, John had only thought he loved Nina? Maybe he only wanted to break his curse so badly, Nina was someone he was using as a means to an end?

Nina’s doubt made her think back to her former longterm boyfriend Max who had used Nina and destroyed her heart and self-confidence with verbal abuse and manipulation. Was John no better then Max? Had John been playing Nina this entire time? But Nina didn’t care about Max because of John. She felt strongly about John, that his feelings towards her were true.

Yet, John had abandoned Nina onhis parents lawn while Nina wept. Rianne and Jasper had driven her home and Rianne had been staying with Nina since.

Rianne was especially worried about Nina and what Jasper’s jerk brother was doing to Nina. Rianne remembered Nina with Max, she knew her friend could not go through such heart-break again and still be a woman who believed the best about most everyone she met. Perhaps, Nina’s rose-coloured glasses had already been broken?

Nina was working again at Wilus after an extended absence due to her concussion. Each day dragged and Nina spent an eternity thinking about John and what he was doing. Nina developed a habit of checking her phone every couple of minutes to see if John text messaged or called her. He never did.


 

Rianne and Nina were watching She’s All That, when Rianne caught Nina robotically checking her phone for the thousandth time and got up to take Nina’s iPhone away from her. Rianne placed the phone in her own purse, so Nina couldn’t take the phone back easily.

Laney was coming down the stairs in She’s All That with her new dress, hair, and makeup, on the TV screen; but Nina’s eyes were glued to Rianne’s Kate Spade lime purse.

“Nina,” Rianne exclaimed, “this is your favourite part in the movie when Laney comes down the stairs with her ‘new look’ to show to Zack for the party. You love it when she trips. You think it’s hilarious and realistic.” Nina made a little puff of air with her mouth, narrowing her eyes at Rianne.

“I like it because Laney is Cinderella, but a modern Cinderella. She already had all this beauty inside her and Zack’s sister and the dress, only help make her beauty blossom. The Prince, Zack, already adores Laney. And who doesn’t love Freddie Prince Junior from back-in-the-day.” Nina told Rianne. But as bees to flowers, Nina’s eyes were drawn back to Rianne’s lime purse.

“Who purchases a lime Kate Spade bag at full price? You could have had pink, light blue, navy, white, or even classic black and you chose to pay eight-hundred-dollars for a lime Kate Spade bag. I would be embarrassed to say I paid hundreds for a purse that colour.” Nina remarked, grinning snidely at Rianne.

Rianne smiled not fooled by Nina’s rude comment. She began to sort through her lime purse, fixing her lipstick, powdering her face, and spraying herself with a sample of perfume. She grinned at Nina pulling out Nina’s iPhone and shaking her head. “Nope, he didn’t call or text you Nina. John still hasn’t answered any of the two-hundred messages you left him on voicemail or by text.”

Nina frowned at Rianne: “Give that back you crazy whore. I want my phone now!”Rianne gave Nina another huge smile and zipped her lime purse up with Nina’s phone inside.

“Nope,” Rianne said.” Call me any name you want but you’re not getting your phone back until tomorrow morning. It’s not healthy for you to check it every two-minutes.”

“When he’s ready, John will call you. He loves you Nina. He’ll be back. He’s just scared for you and it doesn’t seem like he has had a woman he’s been afraid for before. He’s not dealing with you almost being killed again well. He doesn’t want you to die and frankly, I don’t want you to die either.” Rianne remarked.

Nina sighed and scrubbed her face with her palms. Tears started falling out of the corner of her eyes, trailing down soft cheeks bare of makeup. “Rianne…” Nina choked out, “I really need my phone. What if I miss his call?” Nina barely heard Rianne’s sound advice and concern. Nina was having her own pity party, as she had been all week.

“He won’t call tonight anyways.” Rianne said, “John went to find Talise’s dagger tonight, in her special cave.”

“What?” Nina asked sniffling, “You’re only telling me this now? Did John go alone?”

Rianne looked sympathetically at Nina, “Yeah, John won’t let anyone else be hurt by Talise. Especially, if she’s using dark magic, which we’re ninety-nine percent sure she is using.” Tears kept trailing down Nina’s cheeks and Nina started to sob in earnest.

“What if something happens? How could John do something so stupid? Something is going to happen to him I know it. I haven’t talked to him or seen him in a week. That’s a long time you know.” Rianne rolled her eyes.

“I’ve been here with you all week Nina or at work, so I haven’t been able to see Jasper or the boys at all. I talked to Sam and Isaac and they’re both scared I’m not coming back. They’re only five and three -years-old you know, they need structure and routine.” Rianne told Nina, silencing her sobs.

“I’m so sorry Rianne. I don’t mean to be selfish with you. Go out with Jasper and go see Sam and Isaac, tell them you’re only visiting Auntie Nina for a few more days.”

” That would be so good Nina, but I’m supposed to help keep you safe too, so you’d have to come with me to Jasper’s place.” Rianne told Nina and Nina nodded her consent.

“Tomorrow we’ll go see Jasper, Sam and Eric. I’ll babysit for a few hours so you and Jasper can catch-up.” Rianne smiled at Nina gratefully.

“As well, don’t panic but Edith told me John’s curse has returned. It caused some car accidents after the dinner last week. Since then, his curse been acting up powerfully… making up for lost time I guess. John hasn’t had a moment of peace all week, Edith told me. . . ” Nina’s eyes started to tear up again.

” I should be with him. I have to help him break this curse and defeat Talise. If he leaves me . . . If he doesn’t return . . . I don’t know what I’ll do. John’s my guy, curse or not. I don’t want to be without him in my life,” Nina admitted.

Rubbing her face while she cried had made Nina’s face red along with her eyes. Rianne studied Nina with concern:

“Eventually, I’m hoping, and John’s family is hoping, you and John can work-out your relationship. For now you need to get up, shower, and start putting effort into yourself again. The Nina I know hates not wearing makeup and styling her hair. The Nina I know, doesn’t sulk for days, she starts living life again because she believes there are better times ahead.” Rianne brushed Nina’s hair out of her eyes and gazed at Nina, conveying her message with her eyes and voice. She was serious and practical as usual.

“I’m heading out to buy Chinese food for supper. You haven’t been eating Nina, so we need ‘substantial’ food, ” Rianne said grabbing her lime purse, her jacket, and heading for the condo’s door.

“You need to eat more your losing your curves. It’s not healthy for you to wallow in tears so long. You’re the most positive person I’ve ever known. You’ve had your week my friend, but it’s time to start living again. Your still in danger from Talise and you can’t let down your guard.”

” I’ll be fifteen minutes Nina, then we can eat Chinese food until we’re stuffed. After, let’s watch another old movie. How about a couple of scary ones? Let’s watch both I Know What You Did Last Summer movies.” Rianne declared, smiling after her talk with Nina. Scary movies were Rianne’s favourite movie genre.

Nina felt shell-shocked. She wanted to remain laying on the couch. But she needed a shower and Nina knew Rianne was right about everything else too.

Nina needed to pull herself together. That was the best way she could win John back and guard against Talise. She could not let her self wallow in selfish self-pity as her break-up with Max had caused her to do for months. She was over that stage, and she would get over this one.

Nonetheless, Nina was extremely worried about John going after Talise’s dagger alone. Nina didn’t trust Talise’s intentions for her or John. But she got up off the coach to put her face on. ‘Fake it until you make it,’ the saying goes.

Nina took her time showering and shaved, putting a conditioning mask in her hair, and a mud mask on her face. She dressed in comfortable PJ’s, a soft tank top with pajama bottoms. The pajama set was navy blue and Nina loved blue about as much as she loved pink.

She felt a lot better after her shower. Nina felt refreshed and like a burden had been lifted from her shoulders. She felt like herself again and knew in her heart she would be alright. Nina was certain she would be with John again soon.

She began the process of blow-drying her thick white blond hair. It was only half-dry when Nina heard the buzzer for the door downstairs at the condo building front entrance. She had been waiting for Rianne but wondered briefly why Rianne didn’t use her key when she buzzed Rianne into the building.

Nina noticed Rianne had been gone about an hour longer then the fifteen-minutes she had said and Rianne was always on time. Nina supposed the Chinese place was busy due to people eating late on Friday night in front of the TV. She felt uneasy about Rianne being gone so long. And she didn’t have her iPhone to ask Rianne where she was.

Nina went to unlock her door when she heard Rianne fiddling with the door knob. She gasped when it was not Rianne who met her, but a horribly aged Talise.

White strands stood out in Talise’s  wavy golden-blond hair. Talise had wrinkles around her eyes and mouth. In a short-time, she had gone from appearing in her early-twenties to appearing harshly older. Talise smiled at Nina and laughed, pushing the doorway open forcefully.

” You and I have business, dear,” Talise said. Her voice was throaty and dark.

Nina cringed at Talise  and Talise threw Nina back on the couch using magic harnessed from water in a flower vase.

Talise slammed and locked the door behind her, keeping Nina trapped inside her Condo with an unpredictable and unstable dark sea witch.

Please Read Chapter 22 here.


©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers: Goodbye Old San Francisco


Jacklyn loved the old part of San Francisco. She couldn’t think of anything she adored more than spending a morning walking and browsing in various shops.

As Jacklyn devoured Chinese food, the sky began to darken. A rumbling thunder could be be heard in the distance. Jacklyn felt apprehensive.

Fat drops of rain fell and became numerous. The rain fell in torrid sheets, pooling on the streets. Jacklyn and many others were soaked as they ran inside. The the wind arose strongly and it began to hail.  An eerie green light was cast upon the sky and Jacklyn froze as she saw a funnel cloud near.

The wind picked up as Jacklyn and others hid under tables in the Chinese restaurant. The acrid taste of fear was in her mouth. Jacklyn heard a roaring as the Tornado blew through the area; the sound went on forever.

Later, when the Tornado had passed, Jacklyn and the people inside the Chinese Restaurant’s building came outside. To Jacklyn’s shock, it was the only building in old San Francisco standing. She wept.

Word Count: 177 words

Town
The Story Tellers Abode: The Old Part of San Francisco

Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting the challenge!

Note: I have never been to San Francisco. I don’t know if they get Tornado’s there. But for the purposes of this story they do.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.