Photo Challenge: Fiction – “A Better Life” #fiction #amwriting #writing #vegas


This past week’s photo challenge was hosted by MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

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Credit: Nekneeraj

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The lights assault my eyes, as they blur past me. Vegas is a beautiful city at night. I had had a table with my friends at the club with bottle service. Slowly, I remember us drinking the vodka shot by shot until the girls had enough.  

 “Were done, I’m already too drunk. I want to be able to shop tomorrow afternoon,” Megan said and her friend Kelly nodded in agreement. 

The other guys and I laughed and jeered, egging the girls on to do one more shot. They refused and went off to dance. After an hour or so passed, I saw them leave the club, removing their heels on the way. 

I noticed my good friend Ryan had passed-out on the cushioned bench around the table, parallel to me. I continued drinking, sipping my vodka shots, determined to finish the little vodka left in the bottom of the bottle. It was expensive after all to get bottle service. 

A concerned bouncer who had been watching me with deep dark eyes, set two glasses of water down in front of me. “Sir, you need to drink both these glasses,” he said. 

“Umm, no. I want more vodka. I’ll pay for another bottle,” I slurred. 

The bouncer shook his head, “You need to drink these glasses now sir. I don’t want you to get alcohol poisoning and die in my club.” 

I sighed grabbing both glasses, I downed them one at a time.”Gees, I was thirsty,” I told the bouncer.

 “I’m calling you and your friend a cab at the back door entrance,” he said nodding at Ryan. ” I don’t have to, I could just throw you out. But, I get this feeling you’re running from something, trying to drink it away. So tonight, I’ll be nice,” the bouncer said. “I get it man, but you’re a grown-up and even in Vegas, you have to have limits.” 

Another bouncer came to aid the first bouncer, guide us out to the cab. I leaned on the first bouncer’s shoulder and the other guy half-carried Ryan out the door. 

The cab driver looked nervous, “I don’t want anyone throwing-up in here,” he announced. But the bouncers ignored him. 

“Where is your hotel?” The first bouncer asked me.

I had to think a moment, everything was such a blur and it was difficult to think. I was so tired and mad at her. Why’d she cheat on me after ten-years marriage? Why’d she leave me for him?

“Um, we’re at Caesars,” I stammered, then reached into my pocket, pulling out a wad of bills; I tried my best to count out $100.00 exactly. I gave it the cab driver. He nodded, “okay where too?” The bouncers shut the cab doors and the driver took off down the Las Vegas strip.

The lights of Las Vegas were beautiful, brilliant, and blurred. But they also made me nauseous. I closed my heavy lids, and opened them as I tried not to sleep. But I couldn’t stop myself and I fell asleep quickly. 

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Ryan was shaking me. “Come on Blaine, wake up. You’re 6’4″ and two-hundred-some pounds, I can’t lift you alone. You need to help me.” 

I blinked in the bright lights at the entrance to Caesars guest reception. It would take us forever to find our rooms because the hotel was so huge and neither of us were well enough to remember where our room was specifically. 

Ryan’s hands shook and his face was pale white. He ran and threw-up in a garbage can. He apologized five-minutes later to a man near by helping guests at the front entrance and gave him a twenty, and thinking this man would have to clean the garbage can up. 

I was slowly, stepping out of the car, but my legs nearly collapsed and I groaned in frustration. I reached into my wallet and pulled out eighty-dollars. I could count money now at least, though my head felt like someone was hammering my temples. 

“Here,” I said to a couple of men upfront working for Caesars. I gave them my cash and asked,”Help us back to my room, please.” 

Two silent men grabbed the cash splitting it and they smiled at me now. “Of course sir, do you have your keycard?” I nodded, pulling it out of my pocket. I gave it to the men and they called for two other men, one whom I leaned heavily against as we made an endless journey to my room. Sometime in there, I fell asleep. 

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It was 3:00 pm when I awoke in my hotel room. Immediately, I went and threw-up in the bathroom several times before I felt better. I took a shower and washed away the smoke and putrid smell of vodka and vomit. I called room service to put some food in my stomach and help me recover. I ordered some French toast, coffee, and orange juice –two orders –one for Ryan as well, when he awoke. 

I saw him lying on the bed and I tried to shake him awake. I thought he only needed more sleep. He wasn’t a big guy, so perhaps the vodka hit him harder than me. 

A day later, Ryan still wasn’t up and I asked my friends what we should do.

“Well, sometimes you really need to sleep it off. We’re not so young anymore, hangovers can last two-days. He’s breathing so he must be fine,” Kyle reasoned and my other friend Maison seemed to agree. We went down to the casino to play poker. 

 On the third day we asked reception to call a doctor for us. It was expensive but my friends and I were worried about Ryan. He was cold and his chest barely moved, his breathing was so shallow. 

The Doctor was tense upon inspecting Ryan three-hours later. “I’m sorry gentlemen, your friend died earlier this morning, about the time I was called to your room. If only you’d called sooner and emphasized how badly he was doing,” the Doctor chided. 

“Ryan had alcohol poisoning so badly he went into a coma. He has no heart beat and isn’t breathing as you indicated earlier. It’s tragic but I guess you’ll understand me now when I say, watch your alcoholic intake; in Vegas especially.” 

I started to cry in front of the Doctor and my friends. I didn’t know how I could tell Ryan’s family he’d passed on. He’d been the one who said we needed a boys trip to help me get out the funk of my wife cheating and divorcing me. 

I remember him saying, “Blaine you need to get out and have some fun. Come to Las Vegas with me and the guys. Forget about your problems for a while. I’ll forget about mine too,” he said. He never told me what his problems were and I never asked, I thought regretfully. 

Now my good friend Ryan was gone. I closed my eyes imagining lights blurring past me. It wasn’t only how I felt when I was drunk. It was how I felt all the time these days. As if I had no control as all the pretty lights rushed by. 

When I did have time, I made the wrong choices. The lights were my escape, but I needed to pay attention now, to move on in my life as Ryan would have wanted. I couldn’t drink the pain away. 

I vowed for Ryan, I would live my life better. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

 

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Sunday Photo Fiction: Nineteen-Years Later #flashfiction #amwriting


Thanks to Alistair Forbes who hosts SPF each week.

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A Mixed Bag

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“So why exactly did you choose Loddington House Hotel, Uncle? The shipyard view is not a nice one.” 

“I like the view.” Chad’s Uncle Sam mumbled.

“Errr, I guess it grows on you . . . What’s that you’re peering at through your binoculars? I think people would be creeped out if they saw a guy looking through his hotel window with those.” 

“Well, I’m not a peeping-Tom. It’s the surveillance van. It arrived when we got here exactly and only leaves when we leave.” Uncle Sam muttered.

“Well we’ve hardly left at all. I thought you wanted to come with me to see the University I’m going to be attending. You know, like my Dad would’ve done had he been here.” 

“Chad, there are bigger things going on. The same people who killed your Dad are watching us. What I don’t know, is why?”

“Your Dad was in the Marines Chad; it must have to do with him. But what do they want nineteen-years-later? And what are they trying to accomplish by not hiding their van in plain sight?” Uncle Sam wondered.

Chad’s eyes went wide; his face went pale. He had a feeling their troubles were only beginning.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

NaPoWriMo: Poem – Long Lines – “Eleven- Years Strong “


Finally, our prompt (optional, as always!) Today’s prompt comes to us from Megan Pattie, who points us to the work of the Irish poet Ciaran Carson, who increasingly writes using very long lines. Carson has stated that his lines are (partly) based on the seventeen syllables of the haiku, and that he strives to achieve the clarity of the haiku in each line. So today, Megan and I collectively challenge you to write a poem with very long lines. You can aim for seventeen syllables, but that’s just a rough guide. If you’re having trouble buying into the concept of long lines, maybe this essay on Whitman’s infamously leggy verse will convince you of their merits. Happy writing!

Please see NaPoWriMo for more information.

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Missing the ladies, who I grew into adulthood with and we saw,

The Grand Canyon in its burnt orange and red glory set,

Peering far down into the canyon, too close to the edge smiling,

Pulling each other back, to flash pictures on cameras all of us worn.

And planning each Thursday night to go dancing and drinking down on Whyte,

Collecting free drinks, shots from young men, paying ninty-nine-cents at the end.

Frequently, snapping pictures at winter formals, wearing our finest,

Staying at the fanciest and most historical hotel for sixty bucks,

Four girls to a room, preparing their hair and makeup, perfection, beauty.

If only I could be as fat, as I thought I was at twenty-one-years-old,

Thinking my stomach stuck-out, it wasn’t concave, it was fine and flat.

Walking through Vegas in stiletto heels, not feeling the pain, lost shoe —

My friend had a lovely Silky black-heel, she dropped walking back, barefoot.

Crying at 3:00 am (forget), remember times smiling and laughing.

Working in the same store, I dream I work their at night with my ladies,

Now raising kids, puppy training, fiancés, husbands, moving in — life changes.

From twenty-years-old to thirty-one-years old nearly; eleven years still strong.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Moral Monday’s Flash Fiction: A Place To Sleep


Thank you to Nortina from Lovely Curses for hosting Moral Monday’s. Today’s moral is: “There is no place like home.” 

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http://www.123rf.com

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When I take a vacation, I like to have a nice room to stay in. I like a clean hotel or AirBnB room/apartment, with a comfortable mattress and enough soft blankets and pillows.

 This has been vital to me in the last eight-years as it never was before because my body can’t handle an entire day out. In the mid-afternoon after walking around and exploring, I need to rest before evening activities. I need to crawl into bed and sleep or watch TV. 

To be honest, the best bed in the entire world, is my bed in my room at home.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: A Rhino’s ‘Horn.’


“I’v never seen a Rhino before Dallas, they’re cute.” Tanya told her fiancé.”Out of all these exotic animals we’ve seen on the Safari, I think I like the Rhinos by our hotel the best.”

“Why do you love the Rhinos the best Tanya –they’re ugly. All they’re good for is their horns!” Dallas remarked off handedly, grinning at Tanya. “Too bad I can’t hunt one of them while we’re here.”

Tanya’s eyes darkened with anger and her body went stiff.”Excuse me?” Tanya said to Dallas, “we’ve seen all these beautiful creatures and learnt about hunters who are poaching them even on wildlife sanctuaries made to protect exotic animals, and you think a rhino’s worth is only in his horn? What if I told you, you were only good because of your horn?” Tanya ranted poking Dallas in the chest and looking down.

“Well,” Dallas said confidently, “You’d be right to assume it’s one of my greatest attributes. That’s if we’re thinking about the same ‘horn.'” Dallas said winking at Tanya.

“Dallas this isn’t about your ‘horn,’ this is about preserving exotic wildlife. If we hunt these animals they will become extinct, one species of rhinos almost is extinct. As for your ‘horn,’ it’s not as good as you think. If you were a rhino, you’d live a long life.”

Dallas’s face went bright red and he looked away from Tanya who couldn’t stop laughing.

——

Alistair Forbes

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Thanks to Alastair Forbes for hosting SPF.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Boudoir Photography and A Little Self – Confidence


www.media.photobucket.com
http://www.media.photobucket.com

Why would anyone do Boudoir Photography? Isn’t that more like for your boyfriend or husband? Isn’t it embarrassing posing around in sexy lingerie, especially if you haven’t got the perfect body?
I think those are all questions people like me asked ourselves before checking out Boudoir Photography. Although, I’m sure some places aren’t the classiest about the whole affaire many photographers are and strive for elegant photos of you in your sexy best. Think of a 1950’s bedroom and the luxurious lingerie women wore back then or think of the simple underrated sexiness of slumming it around the house in your boyfriends comfiest jersey and your underwear, except either way you look gorgeous because your hair and makeup have been coiffed voluminously and your cat eyes done perfectly by professionals. Some places even have all women staff to make you  more comfortable and to make you feel more comfortable in your own skin.

And who gets boudoir photography? Women of all shapes and sizes in all kinds of classy outfits. Usually you get to pick about 3 to 4 outfits for an hour or so session. If your like me that was no problem, in fact, it was hard to cut down my choices. I chose a couple bra and panty sets, a couple of corsets, and a silk negligee. I had matching shoes and jewelry for most of my outfits. But actually, the particular photographer I chose had jewelry, shoes, and other outfits to choose from should I change my mind or want to use anything she had brought, from a few participating stores.

The shoot I went to took place in a classy hotel, but many photographers have their own studios for you to choose from. After changing into my first outfit, I was a little nervous because I didn’t know how to pose and I felt a little self conscious about my weight but my worries were soon obliterated. The photographer knew exactly how I should pose and move in the most attractive manner. We used props like a blanket, the bed, the chair, a mirror, and the curtains. And she was constantly showing me how the pictures looked even before she went and subjected them to some photo retouching. I felt great looking at those photos, very self-confident about myself and my body.

www.mediaphotobucket.com
http://www.mediaphotobucket.com

Many women go to get Boudoir Photography for their husbands or boyfriends. Although, my boyfriend would like the photos, the real reason I went had nothing to do with him. I was doing this for me. I wanted to be able to say to myself in 50 years look this how I looked when I was young, not to bad eh? I didn’t even want my boyfriend to see the photos at first but they turned out so well that I had to show him and he approved of the classy boudoir photographs my the photographer had taken.

It was an hour and a half session the first time I went so it was long time and we took a lot of pictures in various poses. Later, I was mailed a CD with the best of the photograph’s on the CD and I had 2 photo books made. One photography book I made for me and one for my boyfriend. All in all though it was a confidence booster for me and helped me feel a lot better about a body that had seen about 25 lbs of weight increase in 4 years due to medication and the inability to stay fit. I felt like a sexy bombshell and I knew that if I looked this great under my clothes then with my clothes on I would feel even better.

So, here I am 2 years later, after that fun and renewing experience. I have put on another 12 lbs due to medication and I don’t feel so good about my body. My boyfriend always tells me he loves what he sees but I have decided to try Boudoir Photography again for myself to see how I really look at this stage in my life, almost 30-years-old. I am a bit nervous to see what I will see but I know that I will feel good about what I see after and that the photographer will make look good even if I’m a little chubby now. I have chosen my outfits and I am excited to go, to have my hair and makeup done again and to prove to myself that I am just beautiful as I was 2-years before.

I know I can’t go and get Boudoir Photography every time I gain a little weight. But a place I was planning on going for it had a groupon for a good price and I have heard fantastic things about the company. So I am excited to look sexy under the camera again reaffirm what I already know, I look good skin deep and otherwise.