Published: Poem – Free Verse –  “Sweet Vice” on SpillWords #poetry #amwriting #published #spillwords 


Another piece published on http://www.spillwords.com. I haven’t published in on the blog before, partly because the contents a bit adult. But hope you like it anyways. Here’s the link to Sweet Vice. It was initially Inspires by the Miranda Lambert song “Vice.” 

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Credit: http://www.spillwords.com

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Challenge: Poem – Synchronicity – “The Thief” #amwriting #poetry #fiction


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting. 

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Credit: Anja Buhrer

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“But how can one regret what, to the mind, has never existed? Even loss is an inaccurate description, for what loss is without the awareness of losing?” – Nicole Krauss 

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Reflections or shadows briefly stand,

Together as soulmates, us two

Lovers.

——

Your illusion captivates,

Your splendour resilient,

Eyes bright.

——

Even mirror images,

Destain to show your glory told, 

Goddess.

——

Knew you once as a child laughing bold,

Called you names and pulled your hair,

Cute girl.

——-

You’ve grown and you’ve changed,

Hair black and sweeping, shoulder length,

Glossy.

—–

Green eyes telling a story of —

Smiling lips, straightened teeth gleaming

Perfect.

—–

Stubborn chin, lovely breasts rising,

Fluted waist, lush body, legs —

Stellar.

—-

Curves run imagination wild and I, 

Stare, hopeful to hear your lilting voice —

Whisper. 

*****

I examine our reflections,

How strange you hate your beloved —

Husband.

—–

Caring for you as Alzheimers, 

Steals your lifememories; you’re —

Forty-nine.

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Synchronicity Poetry — A type of poem with events simultaneously related. The last two stanzas reveal a twist and the syllable count for each stanza is 8, 8, 2. 

Please see Shadow Poetry for more information. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Friday Music Prompt:  Poem – A L’Arora – ” Obesssion Deludes” #amwriting #poetry #music 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Friday Music Prompt. Friday’s song was, “Waiting for Tonight” by Jennifer Lopez.

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“Waiting For Tonight” – Jennifer Lopez

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Credit: Art Nouveau VSCOcam, painting art on Instagram

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(Her View) 

Tonight’s the night he’s meeting me here later

Passions ignited, we’ve fires, need sating

All the desires of our time together, at last met

I’ll be shaking, moaning, chasing the stars

Caught in the moment, we’ll shatter as glass

Wrapped in your strong arms, I’ll have a blast. 

Waiting for tonight, excitement beaming

When you and I are lovers holding,  fast. 

——

Preening, applying makeup and shaking

Preparing for you, our first time creating. 

Ensuring our night’s perfect; it’ll end complete. 

Skin grazingcaressing, nothing sub-par

Lovers busy enjoying repast

Perfect lingerie, beneath a gown fast

Becoming a favourite; it’s perfect and tight

Rip it off, no need to be so classy

——

Waiting for tonight, our love embracing, 

Perfection between us, this night for our sake. 

I’ve planned it exactly, we’ll not overstep

Each moments vital, at the finale beseech. 

Give into our lust, marvel in love far —

Better than any you’ve ever had; here we’ll last, 

Until mornings stunning rays of light

I wait for him, he’s mine; trembling, my hands clasp.

——

(His View) 

Tonight it came, the nightmare couldn’t wait

She’s obssessed, unstable, any day she’ll break.

Better to stop, was never invested, not set

On staying with her; she’s a whale beached.

Though thin like a beanpole, not nice at all

Loathsome personality, running fast —

Driving passed; her obsession frightening

I was ‘nice’ once or twice, now there’s an impasse.  

——

Need freedom, her annoying voice I hate,

Can life be normal again? Not Hell made? 

Can I touch the one I love, and not regret

Bringing him into drama; twice I cheated, 

Boyfriend enraged; a dumb girl caused my fall. 

 Told her, “I like men most;” but left aghast —

She doesn’t care, spoiled girl; not smart, no insight, 

Traps into engagement; I’ll always pass

—–

© Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Photo Challenge: Poem – Licentia – “Without A Sound” #amwriting #poetry #love


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo prompt:

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Credit: Rich Howman

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Laughter in the moment, golden hour found

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound

Swing her up into your arms, because it —

Felt like the thing to do, she’s dear and swift;

Her punch on your arm, painful kind of bliss

All to happy to meet with a wet kiss. 

Perserved in time the clock keeps ticking fast, 

Moments gone, looking back, it never lasts. 

Years slide forward, what can you do but, 

Move forward too, memories cause a rut. 

Laughter in the moment, golden hour found, 

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound

—-

Swept her up into your arms, because it —

Felt like the thing to do, she’s dear and swift. 

Wiggling and giggling in your —

Arms; begging to have legs on ground restored

She thought she was too heavy for your back, 

You just laughed and kept her close, said “Relax.” 

You were walking barefoot on the cool —

Wet ground, the grass made you slip, such glad fools. 

Drop of joy harnessed in a crystal glass

Kept to hold, make the precious moments last. 

Laughter in the moment, golden hour found,

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound.

Her punch on your arm, painful kind of bliss

All too happy to meet with a wet kiss. 

Lovers as close as lovers can be, rolling —

On the blanket, on grass, after strolling.

Gleam in her eyes promising heaven, 

Twist of her smile taking you to Never —

-land of pirates, lost boys, and she, Wendy, 

Picking up a sword, fighting for her when —

Pirates attacked; shoeless running in real

Life; time ceasing again, treasures for feels. 

Laughter in the moment, golden hour found

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound

——

Perserved in time, clock keeps ticking fast, 

Moments gone, looking back, it never lasts. 

The truth is hard to swallow, to remember

Years pass, euphoria is dismembered

Harsh realities, sickness, health; sickness wins, 

She flew away my sparrow with the wind.

Such disease sucks the life from a body, 

Hope, a religious dream from pain prodded. 

A new eternity to love, swing round with —

Dirty bare feet and love despite death’s grip. 

Laughter in the moment, golden hour found

Hearts beat as one, time stops, without a sound

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved

Poem: San San –  ” Lover’s Dream” #poetry #introtopoetry #amwriting #sansan


Today’s Poetry 101 prompt is pleasure with anaphora or epistrophe (repeating the same word at the beginning or the end of a line of poetry).

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abcabdcd rhyme scheme -repeated each end word for a, then b, etc.

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http://www.indulgy.com

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Caresses soft, we both want, hallowed place.

World formed between limbs of ours, wrapped so snug,

I feel downy hairs; your skin is blazing.

Inferno in your eyes, burning me in place. 

Hours we will spend; lips meshing; arms snug. 

Wet kisses, biting teeth, leave marks on skin.

Such sinners are we in bliss, found blazing.

Creating such heat, sweat intermingles, on skin.

——–

Hands run down arms and legs, pull a part,

Search within such depths, eyes reveal,

Our own precious world as we stroke, and float.

Bliss is our home; euphoria plays part.

Kisses spread over every nook; all reveals.

This memory we keep locked in lust; pleasure, 

Skin brushes, hair pulled, lips locked, we touch, float.

Breathing quickens, with larks; cry pleasure.

——–

Keeping pace with what lovers do make,

Place forbidden, for all but what lovers give.

Providing pleasure; sparks of light which scream,

An explosion of consequence share, make —

Each other never forget gift each give.

Lovers unite again to touch, caress, dream.

Giving pleasure, to make your partner scream.

Such is the lovers world, living dreams. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Free Verse (Quatrains) – “Slow Sweet Burn of Life” #amwriting #poetry


Thanks to The Daily Prompt for the words Burn and Pleasure.

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http://www.pinterest.com

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Pleasure it awakes in swirls of dreams, 

Our thoughts hold the key to a slow sweet burn.

To our wildest and most tempestuous scenes.

Seductive and entralling time, causing rug burn.

——–

Who plays the Queen of hearts, the lady prestine? 

As our hearts smoke, cinder and ash burn.

Or wish we only for, human contact; no pipe dreams,

One hand holds another with compassionate concern.

——-

A tiny fist squeezes back, dressed in winter white cream.

The pleasure in the laughter of baby’s unreserved.

The precocious and precious delights of a child us appease.

Giggling with exuberance, gurgles for future ice cream.

——

Of love and light and fascinating swirls gleaned.

Pleasure seeking knowledge, conversation purred.

Inspiration; genuflection to God, alter the flaws, appease.

Right the wrongs, make what’s true everyone’s concern.

——-

Ambiant light; the truth in fog, bliss in dreams.

Lovers kiss, and delight in beloved’s eternal burn.

With desire and, touch, and scent, all streamed.

Only for a deep, true love, do some lucky, yearn.

——-

Embrace, scintillate soulmate; live in love’s esteem.

 Imperfections, what makes us human? To aid, serve.

Endorphins, serotonin, results in passionate beings.

But the true-love is rare; seeing life’s wheel turning.

——–

Adoration of fractures in each other; lost words breathing.

Pleasure in such imperfect cracks of others learned.

Pleasure in memories; in night’s hectic moonbeam.

Yourself, thinking back; ignoring anxious concerns.

——–

Of Pleasure indulge; of moments in life, redeeming.

Treasure seconds; breezy, blowing freedom unreserved.

As the light shines on, linger in pleasurable daydreams.

Feel yourself lost in thought, of life’s slow sweet burn.

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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.

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 😦

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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.