Fiction: What A Million Dollars Won’t Buy #amwriting #fiction


Here’s another piece from my course, edited of course.


Credit: Paul Paul @ProdigyPaul via Unsplash.


Eugene steps onto the plane as his stomach summersaults. In Eugene’s seat, fellow author Jerry Norman, reclines.

“I need the legroom, let an old man have the aisle.”

Eugen shakes his head ‘no.’ He stows his carry on and sits. “Thanks a million for not making this difficult, Jerry. The aisle seats are quicker to leave from when the plane lands.” Eugene winks.

Jerry’s eyes narrow. “I’d watch it if I were you. I don’t like you sassing me.”

Eugene grins, then his stomach flips. The plane’s wheels come off the runway, and he buries his face in his hands. He swears under his breath between prayers until the plane achieves flying altitude.

Jerry laughs, “Think you’re some tough guy, eh? You take an old man’s seat than can’t handle take off?”

Eugene rolls his eyes. He notes Jerry’s red face with sweat gleaming. His hands are fisted tight around the armrests. “I don’t think you’re such a flier yourself. You’re a bit of bullshitter, aren’t you, Jerry?”

“That’s neither here nor there, Eugene. I’ve ridden on a plane that’s nearly crashed. Stop being such an asshole. I’m not a bad guy.”

Eugene snorts. He removes his iPad from the seat pocket and closes his eyes to the latest Avengers movie. When he awakes, screams of terror resonate. His stomach lurches as the plane nose dives, rattling, bumping up, and down as the left engine sputters.

Eugene believes he’s having a nightmare. He blinks, and everything around him occurs in slow-motion. The breathing masks tumble down, and Eugene gulps in oxygen at a slow even pace.

Beside him, Jerry has knocked his head on the window and passed-out. Despite Eugene’s dislike for him, he stretches as far as he can. He displaces his oxygen mask for a moment, and attaches Jerry’s. Then, he does the only thing he can think of doing, he smacks Jerry across the cheek to wake him.

“Jerry, come on. Your head’s bleeding, and you can’t sleep until you see a doctor.” He watches Jerry’s pupils dilate as he sucks in deep breaths of oxygen. Eugene’s numbness permits him to remain calm as the plane alters from a nose dive to a straight position above a grassy field. The landing is rough and jars everyone. At the end, Jerry catch’s his eye. Both mean realize the plane nearly crashed.

Eugene’s numbness fades as his nails dig blood-filled crescents into his palms. When they leave the plane and slide into a verdant feel, he turns to Jerry. “Stay awake, we need to find you an ambulance before you fall down right here.” The other author leans against Eugene, as he supports him. They find a paramedic who checks them both over for injuries.

Eugene thinks of the million dollars he could’ve had for arriving early to the writer’s conference both and he Jerry were attending.

“All that money wasn’t worth this.” Jerry fumbles over his words, but Eugene knows they are the absolute truth. He nods at Jerry lying in a stretcher in an ambulance waiting to leave for the hospital.

“I’ll come with you, Jerry, might as well. Someone has to call your family and let them know what happened.” Jerry makes a noise, Eugene assumes is agreement.

He closes his eyes for a moment. One million dollars.


©Mandibelle16.(2018) All Rights Reserved.

Writing Prompt: Fiction – First Time Two Stepping In Front of a Crowd #amwriting #nonfiction 


Thanks to Oloriel of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last week’s prompt on doing something for the first time. 

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When I was in university my friends and I enjoyed going to country bars often. If you ask many woman they will tell you how country singers, male or female, have a kind of talent you can’t fake. They have genuinely wonderful voices as most of them can sing with nothing but a guitar. Moreover, a country song is the best song to dance too whether it’s an upbeat tune or a tear-jerker ballad to slowly dance along with. I was and am also a big fan of line dancing, it’s a lot easier to catch onto than two stepping for me.

 I have always had trouble two-stepping because I find it difficult to keep in time — despite playing piano for ten years. Several times I remover thinking I finally understood the rhythm of two-stepping and than the next time my friends and I went out, I’d find I could no longer do the correct steps. Maybe I had to be drunk too do it? I’m not sure but usually I faked it as best as I could. I can do some basic two stepping moves — some simple steps, turns, and twists but I always ended up messing up the rhythm and stepping on my partners feet. My biggest fear was being pulled onto the dance floor alone with a guy, forced to two step in front of a crowd as some of my girl friends had had happen quite a few times. Not surprisingly, however, the best two-steppers can make a terrible dancer appear as a decent one. 

On one occasion I was out at a country bar with a bunch of girl friends and the night was winding down. The last energetic set of songs were being played by the DJ and a hot bartender who had been giving me eye all night , pulled me onto the dance floor twisting and turning me, even picking me up and making me squeal. I was embarrassed because I knew I sucked at two stepping. Had it been a slow song at least I could have gotten by with a simple waltz and faked two-stepping. 

Instead, I was at the center of attention in the bar being thrown into the air, swished off the dance floor, spun, and turned by this bartender who was an amazing dancer and always kept us moving to the right rhythm. We remained dancing for about three songs and even though I kept messing up, the bartender only laughed and kept moving me in such a way that my mistakes were not obvious. It was exhilarating and dizzying as we moved speedily from one end of the dance floor to another, back and forth, than again. 

Finally I had enough as the upbeat songs became slow dance songs and the bar was emptying out as last call had passed much earlier. Everyone around the dance floor clapped as the bartender escorted me to the place he was tending bar. He winked at me and poured me a drink before we clinked glasses. A minute later the bartender was called away and I slipped out cabbing home with my friends who teased me knowing I hate being the centre of attention when I’m clueless. It might have been nice to talk more with the bartender, but we had all drunk a lot and were falling asleep in the early morning hours. 

Having to do something like that in front of a crowd, something I was terrible at, was a first for me. But a sexy bartender and his amazing two stepping skills saved my inept dancing in front of a lot of people. As it was, I’m pretty sure most of the crowd was too drunk to note my missed steps and my high heels on the bartenders poor feet. 

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“We Were Us” – Keith Urban featuring Miranda Lambert

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Challenge: Poem – Cascading Etherees – “Sleep Walker”


Thanks to Mind Love Misery’s Menagerie for hosting.


Water Girl Brook Shaden Photography
Brooke Shaden Photography

Resplendent woman in her ivory gown,

Treading downstairs in sleep, not knowing,

Dreams guide her graceful body through,

A darkened house, unaware —

Their mama walks in sleep,

Following her story,

Playing out in,

Dream –

Scapes.


She’s,

But a —

Waif as she,

Opens the front,

Door, padding barefoot,

Unto the beach, squishing,

Sand between her toes, walking,

To the ocean’s shore, where waves pull,

Lantern in hand, believes she’ll become,

A mermaid, as she wades in waters deep.


Waves brush her thighs, makes her gown sodden, wet.

She doesn’t realize anything is wrong but —

She keeps wading into the ocean,

Despite, the cold and water,

Trying to suck her down,

She keeps walking,

Knowing that,

Reward,

Waits.


Waist,

Deep she,

Kicks off from,

Sandy bottom,

She floats, her lantern —

Lights the way, as water comes,

Up to her waist and past her —

Chest as she swims, dreaming she has,

Her mermaid’s tale, joins her sisters in —

Ocean, she greets them, soaring in the waves.


From the house, a small girl watches, mama sink.

Tears roll down, soft cheeks; mom doesn’t return.

“Stay away from the ocean girl,” her —

Grandma always warned them.

Mama needed freedom,

Didn’t actually die.

Daughter knows she,

Swims in deep,

Peaceful

Now.


Girl,

Is sad,

But knows her –

Most loved mama,

Goes to happier place,

To ocean’s froth, she’s free.

Gran cooks pancakes, strawberry —

Sauce and whipped cream; mama’s favorite,

Girl watches with delight how mermaids play,

Sees Mom flip jade tail, waving to her girl.


©Mandibelle16 (2016). All Rights Reserved.