Wordle #201: Fiction – “The Emerald Dress” #amwriting #fiction #Wordle #MLMM


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Wordle #201.

Today’s words: Drab, Envy, Counterweight, Correspond, Qualify, Ginger, Revolve, Deasil, Finite, Pressurize, Postpone, Thewless,

Thewless – Adjective. thewless (not comparable) (obsolete) Lacking morals or virtue. Lacking vigour or energy; listless; weak; nerveless.


Credit: Sarka Jonesova via Unsplash


Jewel studied herself in the mirror, envious of her sister, Luna, who prepared for the party behind her.

She sighed as she stared at the dress her mother bought her; it was child-like. Jewel peered at Luna and her white freckle-less complexion. Instead of having lustrous golden-hair, Jewel was cursed with her grandfather’s ginger mane and speckled skin. I’ll never be a counterweight to Luna or those mean girls in my class.

Luna had style, while Jewel’s clothes were drab. The outfits her mother insisted she wear wouldn’t qualify as trendy. Emilia, had no eye for colors that corresponded to her daughter’s skin tone and hair. All Jewel wanted was to dress as fashionably as other girls.

She believed she was thewless compared to Luna, who shoved her aside, acting playful. She twirled her red gown in front of the mirror, and Luna’s skirt revolved around her perfect hips.

Jewel frowned. She was jealous of her sister. The pressure of living up to Luna’s elegance, and thinking about her mother’s treatment made Jewel’s head spin and her lungs constrict. She gasped for air and her heart beat sped. Luna noticed Jewel’s breathing and rubbed her back.

She was the only person who knew how much Luna despised her own appearance. “What’s wrong, Sis? Having anxiety? Relax, it will be fine. I left the mean girls from your class off the guest list.” Jewels chest and and hands unclenched.

“I keep telling you, you’re sixteen and you’ll grow into your beauty soon. Don’t let mother’s expectations bother you or those *itches from school. When I was in your grade, mean girls hated me too.”

Jewel nodded as the rest of her body calmed. “You keep telling me that my awkward stage is finite. But, I’ve always been gangly and plain.”

Luna smirked and grabbed Jewel’s hand as they sat on the bed. “No, you were a cute kid. Everyone thought so, and you’ll be a beautiful woman soon. You’re a late bloomer. Soon you’ll have boobs that rival those *itches in your class. Guys have a thing for red-heads, you know.”

“Mine’s ginger, not red.”

Luna squeezed her hand. “You’re beautiful as you’re are now. But I can’t make you see that. You have to believe that inside.” Jewel closed her eyes. She wished Luna’s words were true.

“You can’t keep postponing all of father’s parties or he’ll get mad again. One day you’ll believe you’re as gorgeous as I think you are. None of the women in our family are ugly or plain.”

Jewel shrugged. “I’m not ready, yet. Tell dad I’ll be fifteen minutes.” Luna hurried towards her door then halted.

She turned around and clasped her hands. “Jewel, wear one of my dresses. I have one that would be gorgeous on you. It’s not as trendy as the one you have, but the emerald green will highlight your hair and complexion well; your svelte figure too.”

“Really?”

Luna grinned and nodded. “I’ll talk to mom about letting me shop with you. Then, you and I can choose the clothes you like to wear. Mom can’t dress you like a twelve-year old forever.”

Jewel scrambled to Luna’s closet. She yanked out the emerald dress. “This one?”

“You bet. I always thought the color suited you better. You’ve got deasil, Jewel. Many excellent qualities on the outside and on the inside too; don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.”

Luna left and Jewel tore off her muted gown and slipped on the emerald silk dress. She zipped it up and was shocked to discover the shade made her skin glow. It complemented her hair too.

Her shoulders were bared and ruching at her chest enhanced Jewel’s cleavage. A bow on the gown sat above her bottom. To her delight, the dress was tight and ended mid-thigh.

Jewel grinned and borrowed a pair of her sisters heels. She flounced down the stairs. For once, was excited to attend one of her father’s parties. She couldn’t wait to see the expression on her mother’s face.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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Photo Challenge:  Fiction – That Could Still Be Us #amwriting #fiction #relationship 


Thanks to NEEKNERAJ for hosting MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge this week. 

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Credit: NEEKNERAJ

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Twilight fades and darkness overtakes the sun. It’s difficult to see at night in the winter when there isn’t much snow. Those glistening piles such as frozen clouds, usually manage to catch the moon’s radiant glow. But tonight the only light outside is a crescent moon and far above, the glimmering stars. 

The lights on the dashboard flicker on and I gaze at you behind the wheel, humming softly to yourself as you continue our drive in an ink dark night. I can see from your face you’re exhausted.

“Please let me drive for you? At least a couple of hours so you can sleep, Tye?” 

You roll your eyes at me in the relative darkness in the inside of our car, “You don’t drive well enough. You only drive to the grocery store and a short distance to work. You don’t have experience driving on icy highways at night, Cara” Tye looks at me waiting for me to respond. 

Finally I peep, “When I took my drivers lessons, we drove on icy snowy highways. I drive all around the city,” I inform him. “Highways aren’t my favorite but you’re falling asleep at the wheel and I can handle driving until we reach Red Deer. The roads are deserted and I’m going to be driving straight and making sure I stay a good distance behind any other vehicle I come across.” 

Tye nods and bites his lip. I can tell he has no energy to argue with me. “I do need the sleep badly. When we get to Red Deer let’s stop and stay at a hotel for the night, okay Cara?” I smile at Tye in agreement and watch him pull the car over to the side of the highway to trade seats wih me.

I start to drive and at first I can see he’s a bit frightened for me and frankly so am I. But eventually Tye realizes I can keep up the speed on the highway and that I’m driving well, keeping my eyes on the road. 

At one moment I feel the car wiggle and slide over an ice patch but I pump the breaks and I drive the car without incident again. I wonder if he noticed my dangerous slip, but peering to my side I see Tye is sound asleep.

My poor guy, I think running my one hand through his hair as we reach Red Deer. I park the car near a decent hotel. The Best Western appears newer and well taken care of. Tye rubs his eyes when I gently shake him awake. 

When we are finally in our room I shower and I’m surprised when he joins me. “So, we’re talking again I guess? You’re not mad at me anymore?” I ask Tye. 

He holds me from behind, curving his body into mine and sighing in my wet hair. He kisses my cheek, “I don’t want to fight with you Cara. I want us to us again. I don’t like that your ex kissed you, but I thought about it the entire time we’ve been driving home from the mountains. You didn’t initiate the kiss and your friends said the same thing. My buddies agreed with them too. The whole situation made me so angry, I can’t even explain it.”

I nod and rest my head back on Tye’s bare shoulder, “I would never, you know that? But I can’t explain things to you if you won’t communicate with me. We could’ve solved this back in the mountains and skipped the tense ride home. I didn’t mean to make you jealous. I punched my ex for hitting on me after you went back to the hotel still foaming at the mouth,” I say with a proud smirk. 

Tye strokes my cheek and kisses my lips, “Punched him, hey? I’m so happy to hear you did. I wanted to more than punch him before I cooled down. It’s all forgotten, Cara. But I think we could both use some extra distractions just in case.” 

I giggle and turn around so I’m flush against Tye, “Okay, let’s completely wipe our minds clear of the past couple of days.” 

The night became one of our most memorable nights together. 

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“That Could Still Be Us” – Keith Urban 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.   

Photo Challenge: Poem – Blitz – “Still As Your Breath” #amwriting #poetry


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for this week’s photo prompt. 

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Credit:SIrLounge.com

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In dress of Emerald green unfurling, 

Unfurling and scampering, the forest behind 

Behind her hair of onyx locks

Behind her the forest forms, her dream image 

Image of imp, earthen worm silk for her gown

Image of child feet bare on the ground

Ground echoes as she pants and runs 

Ground misting with fog on grey lake

Lake where the monsters swim

Lake where they slither and with trickery bid

Bid her come swim 

Bid her come beneath the surface

Surface of lake reflective mirror

Surface of mind, smoke cascading from hair 

Hair the metaphor of her thoughts

Hair rising with caustic smoke

Smoky, the sky is dim and grey

Smoky, her thoughts show disarray 

Disarray of the mind and she scatters

Dissray of her feet on dying grass

Grass beloved in spring

Grass lush and wild around her

Her the woman, the sprit

Her the goddess –only in her mind

Mind overflowing she burns black thoughts

Mind recreates as she destroys smoke black 

Black as her hair, the ravens are jealous

Black as her pupils, focused on running

Running from life, imp of nature

Running until lungs burst

Burst with her blackness inhaled

Burst with the need for fresh air

Air breathed in and out

Air the forest created

Created as she makes trees 

Created to help her and us breathe 

Breathe the freshest lake air

Breathe and feel free to live

Live but how? 

Live but why? She’s black soot scent

Scent of tar from smoke

Scent of wildflower and rain

Rain and her dress greener still grows

Rain and her tears are diamonds 

Diamond of nature stop fleeing 

Diamond of nature flawed — just stand 

Stand silent and inhale fresh mountain air

Stand and inhale new beginning — be still

Still as your breath and the silence gives rest

Still as your breath and the silence gives rest. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Tale Weaver Fairy Tales: Berjlot the Wolf #fairytales #fiction #taleweaver


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this month’s fairy Tale prompt. The prompt is: “imagine an evil force be it witch or some other dark force has cast a spell on you. What form does the spell take, are you frozen in time as in the above image? Are you cursed in a different way?”


frog-taleweavers
Michael – Tale Weavers Fairy Tale

http://www.photobucket.com
Berjlot was a pretty girl with her father’s white-blond hair and her mother’s curls. She also had her mother’s mysterious green-eyes and delighted the entire viking village with her presence.

Asta, Berljot’s mother, had been in labour for hours the night Berjlot was born. The baby wouldn’t come out so Astab finally told her husband Bjarke that he must allow the midwife to cut her belly open and save their babe.

Bjarke felt great pain in his heart when his wife asked him to do allow the midwife to cut the baby out. But he knew he could not lose both Asta and the baby and survive himself.

Cutting the baby out (a much worse version of a c-section) was newer concept which the village midwife had suggested hesitantly. There wasn’t anything to help Asta from the pain but some whiskey. She drank all she could and screamed in pain as her baby Berjlot was born.

Asta named her child Berjlot or “Light will save,” and soft light was exactly what Asta saw as she entered Valhalla. She bled out before the midwife could attempt to stitch her up. Chances were Asta would have died from infection anyways. 

Bjarke held his little girl Berjlot proudly. She was his and Asta’s last child, her four-older brother’s were nearly men. But the baby girl was a light to her father and helped him survive the loss of his wife Asta (“divine beauty”).


Bjarke whose name meant “bear” was indeed, built like a bear and so were his four sons. They helped their father fell logs. Bjarke was now considered an older man and he would need the help of his son’s to survive. 

He had a been a great ship builder but was now arthritic and in pain. He spent most of his time keeping his eye on little Berjlot who spent her days enchanting those around her, a light to the entire community. 

Some of the other women taught Berjlot the necessities of life as a viking woman. Berljot seemed to easily learn how to sew and cooked delicious meals. She also helped with the shearing of sheep and weaving clothe. 

Berjlot’s mother Asta, had also been an accomplished artisan so Berjlot learned the craft of jewelry making from an old women in the village named Ragna (“giving advice”).

As well as crafting fine jewelry, Ragna was a medicine women and a pagan witch. Most people were afraid to be near her but Berjlot had no choice as she was the only other women who knew her mother Asta’s craft of jewelry making.

She was a talented girl and Ragna, seeing her youth, beauty, and the skill with which Berjlot seemed to accomplish every task, became seethingly jealous of the girl. Even at her young age and artisan skill level, Berljot’s jewelry was sought after. 

She was only ten-summers but Ragna was envious of the girl she knew would grow up to be a beautiful woman and likely out rank her being from a powerful family. 

The witch had always despised the girl’s mother Asta for her goddess-like beauty and her gift of creating beautiful jewelry of better quality than Ragna’s designs. 

One day when Berjlot had a cough, Ragna,  playing the kindly old woman she always played around Berjlot said to her:

“Poor dear, I will make you a potion which will rid of you of your awful cough. We can’t have it get into your lungs. Bjarke would be devastated if he lost his only daughter.”

Berjlot accepted the purplish potion Ragna wanted her to drink. It smelled awful and smoke whirled from the earthen cup but the girl drank the potion trusting Ragna as her Oma. 

Suddenly, Berjlot hiccuped. She felt a strange sensation as her body changed from that of girl into a stunning light-haired wolf. She knew her father and brothers would never recognize her in this form and so did Ragna.

Berjlot cried the tears of a wolf and old Ragna laughed at her. She made it appear as if a  wolf had eaten Berjlot.

“Bjarke,” Ragna cried. “A light-haired wolf ate your daughter. See? I have her bloodied and torn dress here. There was nothing I could do.” Ragna wept and made it appear as if she was broken-hearted at losing Berjlot.

Bjarke was devastated. Berjlot was the light of his life and his health failed rapidly after losing his daughter. He was soon set out down the nearby river in his funeral pier set aflame to join his wife Asta. 

Bjarke’s oldest son Dag took over the boat building business with his three brothers and his best friend Asmund (“Divine Protection”). After they had spent time in mourning for their father they and the other men from their settlement,  went into the woods and destroyed all the wolves they could find –even the pups. They never forgot about their little sister Berjlot who had brought such joy wherever she went.


Eight-years passed.  Dag, his three brothers, and Asmund were prosperous men in their viking community building ships and amassing a great amount of land and wealth. Asmund, in particular, was considered a fine catch for marriage but had not found a wife to his liking; Dag and his brothers had already married well.

Asmund was out walking in the forest one night when he saw the most striking female wolf beneath a tree in the moonlight. She had mossy green-eyes which were extremely unusual for a wild animal such as a wolf.

He was surprised when the wolf jumped on him when he wasn’t paying attention. He was set to bring his small ax down on the wolf when she lay down on top of him gently and peered at him with sad eyes. She talked as wolves did, pawing at him, trying to get Asmund to understand something through her barks. He laughed and petted the beautiful wolf as she slept on him. 

The next morning Asmund awoke and the wolf was gone. He thought he’d only dreamed of her. When he went for a walk in the forest several nights later, he again saw the same beautiful wolf.

She playfully tackled him to the ground and barked at him, trying to make him understand her wolf song. When that failed, she lay her head beneath his chin, and slept on top of him as before.

The light-haired and green-eyed wolf barked and slept with Asmund every night he came out into the woods, always burying her nose under his chin.

One night, Ragna the old witch noticed Asmund asleep with the wolf she knew was Berjlot, snuggled half on top of him. The witch plotted to kill Berjlot once and for all and told Berjlot’s oldest brother Dag about the strange looking wolf she’d seen around the forest. 

Dag and his younger brothers went to find and kill Berjlot the following night with Asmund. But when they found the wolf with the light-fur and moss green- eyes,  Asmund begged them not to kill her.

He told Dag the light-haired wolf had become his pet and was docile. Berjlot approached her brother Dag and bowed, she did any trick her brother or his bestfriend Asmund told her to do.

When wicked Ragna saw the brothers had not killed Berjlot in wolf form (and instead, were going to adopt her as a kind of pet) she ran out to kill Berjlot with her sharpest knife. Ragna poisoned the tip of the knife so even if it nicked Berjlot the wolf, it would kill her.

Dag, his three brothers, and Asmund were shocked to see the old witch after the wolf they had befriended. They caught and disarmed Ragna before she harmed the wolf. When Ragna was disarmed she turned to run back to her cottage but Berjlot jumped on her, tearing out the witches throat.

 Immediately,  the light-haired green-eyed wolf turned into a young woman of about eighteen. She was beautiful with her long wavy-blond hair, exotic green eyes, and white skin. Dag’s three younger brothers immediately recognized their sister from her moss green-eyes.

 “Berjlot is that you?” They asked, overjoyed to see their sister alive.

“Yes it’s me,”Berjlot said crying. She hugged her brothers, including Dag. They were a bit sensitive about her being naked with Asmund around. He generously gave Berjlot his cloak to cover herself with. 

“The witch Ragna pretended to be my Oma,” she told the men gathered. “Ragna was jealous that I was prettier than her, and that our mother Asta was prettier than her too. She hated that I did all my tasks well, especially jewelry making. When I had a cough, she gave me a steaming purple potion. I trusted her and drank the potion and she turned me into a wolf.” 

“That’s terrible,” Dag shouted, angry for his sister. “Your death is the reason our father became ill and died. I’m sure the gods are pleased you ripped out the witch’s throat.”

Berjlot sobbed upon hearing about her father’s death. When Asmund comforted her with a hand on her shoulder, she looked up at him with adoration in her eyes.

“I was almost killed when the men from the village wiped out all the wolves but somehow I thrived, even as a wolf. I thought I would always be a wolf until I saw Asmund one night.” Berjlot blushed when she said Asmund’s name.

“Each night Asmund came out to the forest, I pounced on him and tried to tell him what happened to me, but my words only came out as barks or noises as a dog would make. But he kept coming back almost every night and I slept with my nose snuggled beneath his chin.”

“Is this true?” Dag asked his best friend whose face reddened when he gazed at Berjlot in his cloak.

“Yes, it’s true,” Asmund admitted. “I fell for Berjlot. Somehow the gods made me see how noble and beautiful she was even as a wolf. She’s an even more beautiful woman then she was a wolf.” 

“I would be honored if you would allow your best friend and partner in business, to be a husband to your beloved sister,” Asmund asked. To him Berjlot was a light he could not live without in his life. He loved her as a wolf and more so as a woman. 

Dag and his brother’s huddled together talking while Berjlot stared anxiously at Asmund. She came up to him and snuggled her head beneath his chin, showing her affection and gaining Asmund’s comfort. 

“At last, I get to see you in my human form,” Berjlot told Asmund. Both lovers were overcome and wanted to do much more than stand not touching but for Berjlot’s hair cushioning Asmund’s chin.

Dag and his three other brother’s broke from their meeting with happiness. They agreed Asmund would be the perfect husband for their sister because he loved her and watched out for her, even when she was only a beautiful wolf. Thus, they set the betrothal date to that moment and day.

Asmund offered up sheep for wool and jewels as a dowry for Berjlot and they married in a magnificent ceremony in the village. The gods had allowed Berjlot to return from the dead and for two powerful families to be joined in marriage with days of feasting and celebration for the whole community.

Both Asmund and Berjlot lived happily ever after (as best as you could in that time and place). 


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Poem: Alouette – “Murderer” #amwriting #poetry #poison


Thanks to Poets United for the poetry prompt: Predator and Prey.

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http://www.quotesgram.com

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Loved being your girl, 

But, done with this world.

Preyed on, murdered viciously.

Hunted, forcibly;

Caught, controllably.

Trapped in sucking quick-sand.

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Stuck in thought in —

My head; beg within, 

Is this the end?  You and —

I, are no more to —

Be; merely, see -through, 

Another couple out of hand.

——

My skin is white, pale.

I’m not cold, don’t wail.

Hours ago, you poisoned me, 

I fell asleep no —

Pain; not yours, dead though.

Hate seethed through you, love which bleeds.

—–

When did it leave us?

Love, affection, trust?

Did you become predator

When he looked at me? 

He’s vapour; Freely —

Loved you; your prey; died with gore.

——

But I’m above clouds, 

Mistakes by cowards.

Shutting you out, I never

Ingrained hurtful pain, 

Inside your body; lame —

Excuses, you’re a murderer.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Three Days of Three Quotes (Nine Quotes) In One #quotes #amwriting #Emma #JaneAusten


Thanks to Paul of Palfitness for nominating for me for three-days of three quotes. I’m going to do all nine quotes at once. My theme is Jane Austen’s Emma. All quotes are from Good Reads as well as book cover images. 

Emma is one of my favourite classic novels. Emma is intent on arranging marriages  for all her friends, but doesn’t want to ever marry anyone herself. However, her plans for fixing others up often go awry in hilarious ways. 

Emma also finds out she loves Mr. knightly, her dear friend, when she thinks she’s going to lose him to a woman named Jane. The movie Emma with Gwynth Paltrow as Emma is one of my favourite movies as well.

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http://www.goodreads.com

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1. ” A woman is not to marry a man merely because she is asked, or because he is attached to her, and can write a tolerable letter.” – Haha great advice. In other words, don’t lead a guy on! 

2. “Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.” – Very thoughtful comment I think. We can never tell, exactly what the truth is unless we were present when an event occurred. Often we paraphrase and leave details out when we talk about events second-hand. 

3. ” Better be without sense than misapply it as you do.” – Makes me laugh. Be logical, have sense, but don’t abuse your skills. There’s more to this life than ‘black’ and ‘white.’ 

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http://www.goodreads.com

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4. “Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives.” – Don’t fake who your are, pretend you’re what you aren’t. I think the right man, will love you for who you truly are. 

5. “Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing; but I have never been in love ; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall.” – This quote holds such irony; Emma does not think she will ever get married while she arranges other marriages. The situation change when she learns Mr. knightly might be marrying another woman.

6. “I cannot make speeches, Emma…If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. You hear nothing but truth from me. I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.” –Mr. Knightly and his way of telling Emma he loves her. They’ve been good friends, often offering each other advice, but never more. If Emma can put up with his lectures, Mr. Knightly knows he’s found his right woman for marriage.

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http://www.goodreads.com

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7. “Why not seize the pleasure at once? — How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation.” – A great point Carpe diem; cease the day! 

8. “If a woman doubts as to whether she should accept a man or not, she certainly ought to refuse him. If she can hesitate as to `Yes,’ she ought to say `No’ directly. It is not a state to be safely entered into with doubtful feelings, with half a heart.”  – One should be sure about who they’re going to marry. Maybes and second thoughts aren’t a good thing to be experiencing if you are wanting a lasting and content marriage.

9. ” A single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as any body else.” – A woman with her own money, taking care of herself, is equal to her married peers. 

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©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: First Date Mishap 


  

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” Never talk to me again! Don’t worry about driving me home. I can get there myself,” Aimee shouted at Jason. “I’m going to walk until I catch a damn cab.” 

“Wait, don’t go. Darlene’s not my girlfriend. She’s my happily married boss with kids. She was only asking me about our most recent project at work,” Jason pled. 

Aimee ignored Jason and kept walking. 

Suddenly, her sandal caught on a grate in the sidewalk. “Oh Hell,” Aimee muttered unwedging her heel before hearing it snap. She swore repeatedly.

“Let me help you Aimee,” Jason said. He bent down and removed her heel from the grate. Jason took the gum from his mouth and sealed Aimee’s heel to her sandal. “That should hold until I get you to my car, if you lean on me.” 

Aimee was touched that Jason had come to her aid. She didn’t know why Darlene made her feel so jealous.”Okay Jason, you can take me home. Thank you for helping me.”

 Jason smiled as Aimee leaned against him; she smiled back.

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Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

12. How Was Last Night For You: The Sea Witch Revealed.


 

Read Chapter 11 here.

Chapter 12: The Sea Witch Revealed.

Nina counted to ten in her head before telling Talise what she had already told her about John before; he wasn’t the same person he used to be.

” Talise,” Nina said, “people change. John is repentant for his past. He doesn’t use woman anymore. He has only dated women who want to date him and he likes, in the past few years.Some relationships aren’t meant to be. He loved and lost his first girlfriend when he was twenty-five. John said the wrong words, as he sometimes does. He lost Tia forever and she disappeared. But he has paid for his mistakes with Tia everyday of his life.” Nina smiled meaningfully at Talise. “John and I make each other happy Talise. Every person deserves to be happy at least some of their life. All humans make mistakes and suffer the consequences. Better to enjoy life while we are able.”

Talise laughed darkly.” You think you and John are meant to be? Malcolm tells me you’ve only known each other not even a week at best.”

” I’m taking my relationship with John day by day. Our relationship has blossomed quickly. It’s none of your business actually. I’ve told you way more then I should have, but I feel bad for you because your stuck at a place in your life which was obviously a difficult time for you. But I believe it would be best for you to move on.” Nina cautioned Talise.

“I feel something life changing with John. I have never felt like this for any guy I’ve dated before, even when the relationship lasted a year or more. John feels the same as I do for him, for me.”

Talise flushed in anger. She was frustrated with Nina and upset Nina was ignoring her heartfelt advice.” Just leave,” Talise shouted at Nina. The people around Nina looked at Talise curiously when she shouted. Talise’s eyes were a stormy green and she looked murderous.

Nina glanced at the large door of the warehouse which remained open when the weather wasn’t too cold at the market. She smelled the distinctive scent of rain before it began to drop outside. It was noisy and harsh against the warehouse made from metal sheeting.

Nina moved away from Talise and closer to the entrance to see outside. The sky was taking on a blackish- purple hue. The wind was blowing against the building with bursts of intense noise and outside a storm awoke. Hard pebbles of hail clanged against the warehouse of the market. A few men struggled to close the metal doors to keep out the wind, hail, and rain.

Nina searched for John amidst the dismayed crowd. She spotted John and he was yelling at Talise. ” Tia is that you?” he asked with surprise and distress. “After all these years? You’ve finally come back to see me? To ruin my life more!” John loathed Tia for what she had done to him. Living a life where everyday something dreadful or sad happened was harsh.

John was a meter away from Nina in the crowded market but she could see he was transfixed by Talise. He was staring at Talise with a mixture of emotions on his face, his hands gripping his hair. She could see the expressions on John’s face as he went through the emotions of regret, pain, anger, and abborance.

Talise sauntered around her table of scarves to John and whispered something in John’s ear. Her actions were flirtatious and she touched John as a lover who knew him well. Nina felt the first stings of jealousy beginning to threaten but John’s manner towards Tia was stone cold. John wasn’t about to forgive Tia for all the suffering he, his family, and old girlfriends had endured. John backed up from Tia with revulsion and he looked for Nina fearful for her safety. When he saw Nina he realized she had observed his reunion with Tia, short for Talise.

“Stay away from that woman Nina,” John said  rushing to Nina and sternly gripping her upper arms.”She’s a witch, a sea witch. I can’t believe it. After all this time . . .Tia is back, and you’re wearing one of her scarves!” John’s words were incensed and loud. He had to be loud to be heard over the storm battering the warehouse. John’s temper was making it difficult for him not to be irritated with Nina. The words flew out of Nina’s mouth as she tried to explain to John she was on his side.

” I didn’t know Talise was Tia. I meant her at the fundraiser yesterday. Talise told me she’s dating Malcolm,  an editor at Mergers. It’s her friends scarves and  she’s only filling in. I hope the vendor of the scarves booth is actually a friend. I hope Tia didn’t hurt the woman so she could be here to tell me to stop seeing you.” Nina said fervently.

“Tia keeps warning me away from you John. She told me bits about her relationship with you. She said you threw her away. I didn’t understand why I saw her at the fundraiser and here today, but I do now. If  Talise is Tia, she hates you John. Time has only made her deteste you more.”Nina was talking so fast she had hardly breathed.

“You saw her at the fundraiser?” John said horrified. ” I knew she was there. But whenever I tried to get a look at her she turned away. She’s trying to reach me through you. Please don’t speak or be with her again alone Nina. Never, she’s cunning and desperate.” John warned.

“She hates you John. But at the same time, I think she wants you back. She is jealous of me, I can tell.”

“Of course Tia is jealous,” John raged. “She only wants for me to suffer. To live without another woman’s love until I die. I’m not going to do that. You and I, we have something together. Leave Talise or Tia to her schemes.” John was passionate as he spoke. Nina glanced behind her to see the beautiful Talise waving at Nina with a smirk on her face. Talise was probably gloating because Nina hadn’t figured out she was John’s first love Tia. Nina had even told Talise about Talise’s own past. Tia disappeared eerily into the crowd.

“What did Tia say to you John, when she was whispering. I saw her talking to you?” John grimaced and looked at his feet. He started to talk but couldn’t complete his words. He tried again with a look of frustration and sorrow in his bright blue eyes:

“She says my heart or yours, Nina. I don’t know what she means yet, but I think Tia has a violent streak. She wants revenge and she wants me back. Errrr….last night I had a nightmare. Tia was in it and she said to me the same phrase she whispered to me a few moments ago.” Nina gasped.

“Why is she still so angry at you John. You’ve suffered so much. How can she be so malevolent? Does she literally want my heart out of my chest?”

John nodded grimacing. He held Nina in his arms and stood behind her. He kissed the crown of her head. “I won’t let her hurt you,” John murmured over and over again, soothing Nina and himself. The storm raged on outside.

Without warning, the roof of the aluminum warehouse started to lift with a powerful gust of wind. The wind was blowing produce, goods, booths, and tables around the inside of the warehouse. The people at the market were left to huddle low to the ground and attempt to avoid debris the wind had picked-up. Many people sported cuts, bruises, and even broken bones. Nina glanced at John as smaller objects streamed around them. John had been gripping a couple of their bags full of produce in his hands, his knuckles white with anger as they crouched on the floor.

Abruptly, the table of scarves blew over. Scarves fluttered everywhere like displaced butterflies and the table was caught in another giant gust of wind. Everyone caught in the warehouse crouched low, their hands shielding their faces. Nina dove with her bags to the ground with John, when they were almost hit by a former fruit booth.

Nina looked around her hoping the worst was over. With fear in her pale blue eyes, she observed the table from the scarves making a pathway right for her before she could think to move. The table bashed Nina in the side of her head and landed on the cement floor. Nina was stunned and felt blood oozing from an open wound. She felt a searing pain as she lay on the floor miserably, her hand trying to stop the bleeding in her blond hair.

The storm passed away as fast as it had arrived. The roof sat awkwardly half-back in place on walls of the warehouse. Nina lay on the floor beneath her bags including John’s apple pie. She tried not to cry and held her head as she sat up feeling nauseous and sick. She felt dizzy as she attempted to locate John. This time, he hadn’t been able to protect her. But Nina had a feeling this event was more a product of Tia’s rage and not a product of John’s curse.  Nina hurt everywhere and her eyes kept closing without her being able to stop them. Nina felt herself sliding back to the floor. She faded into unconsciousness.

Please Read Chapter 13 here.


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