100 Word Wednesdays, Fiction, Memories/Childhood, My Thoughts, Photography/Visual Art, Relationship, Religion/Morality, Writing, Writing Challenges

100 Word Wednesday: “Heart Break” #amwriting #flashfiction 


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesday! 

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Credit: Jennifer Pallian

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Everything had to be perfect. Kayla didn’t want this to be a one time affair. It was 1:00 p.m., and Tye had awoken hearing noises in Kayla’s kitchen. 

He lumbered in, taking a seat at the island where Kayla had prepared a tray with ‘hair of the dog.’

“Morning Tye, you probably have a killer hang over at your age,” Kayla teased.

Tye drank both drinks from the tray. “Feeling much better now. Where’s your brother? Did he crash here too?”

“We, no Tye, it was just us. Christian stayed at Mimi’s last night.”

“He’s a lucky guy. Mimi’s a fine woman.”

Kayla frowned, “What about last night? Aren’t you a ‘lucky guy’ too, Tye?”

“What about it?”

“Does it mean anything to you? You told me you loved me.”

Tye was silent, “From the moment I saw you in that short black dress . . . I don’t remember much. I drank a lot. It can’t mean anything, Kayla, even if I’ve always had a thing for you. You’re Christian’s sister, he’d kill me.”

“Not if you actually loved me. If you felt the way I feel about you.”

“Doesn’t matter –”

“It does matter because I’m twenty eight-years old, a grown woman. If last night meant nothing, just say it. Because I’m damn sure you’re lying when you say you don’t remember.”

Tye rubbed his face his eyes dazed. He lumbered back to the bedroom and began dressing.

He wouldn’t look at her and Kayla confronted him, catching him off guard. She pushed him hard and kept pushing, attempting to get a reaction from Tye when he grabbed both her hands holding her still. 

“I’ve loved you since I was fourteen. You may have not loved me then, but I’ve seen the way you’ve looked at me since I turned twenty-five. You like me a lot and you know it,” Kayla cried. 

She struggled, but Kye wouldn’t let go of her hands. He pressed his lips to hers, brushing them back and forth before pulling back. “This can’t happen again, Kayla. You know that, I’m engaged.” 

” Lisa doesn’t love you. You don’t owe that harpy anything.”

“I do owe it to her, we’ve been together five years.”

Tyler brushed his thumb against her lips and let go of Kayla. He left her bedroom to put on his dress shoes at the front door. “I wish I could be with you. But Lisa’s pregnant. If I don’t marry her she’ll never let me see my daughter, ever.” 

Kayla blanched. She tried not to burst into a crying jag as she held her throat feeling her breath constrict. She gazed at Tye, “Please tell me I wasn’t just some girl you slept with.” 

“I wasn’t that drunk, Kayla. I lied. Last night meant the world, but that’s why we have to both forget it.”

The door shutting echoed long after Tye left. Tears dripped down her cheeks as Kayla sat on the floor, a ferocious pain eating her alive inside as she wept. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Thoughts, Religion/Morality, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Story Continuation Prompt: Flash Fiction – Judged


Thanks to Wandering Soul for hosting this prompt challenge. This week’s challenge is up to a 500 word piece of writing with the beginning sentence: “The delicious aroma of the freshly baked croissants wafted through the near-empty café.”

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The delicious aroma of the freshly baked croissants wafted through the near-empty Cafe. It was Sunday morning around 9:00 am and the majority of people weren’t up this early. Many church services did not begin until 10:00 or 10:30 am. Giselle thought about her home church while eating a buttery croissant and drinking a cappuccino.

She hadn’t been to church in a while. It wasn’t because she stopped believing in God or his son Jesus. It didn’t mean she didn’t have a few Christian friends or that she didn’t miss some of the people she grew up with in church.

Other issues were at work in Giselle’s life and a place which had always felt peaceful and inviting to her, became a place full of judgement. There was no forgiveness to be found in her old church and Giselle felt heavy hearted. People she had fondly thought of as Aunties and Uncles growing up, now gazed upon her with severe disapproval. 

Giselle believed it was God’s right alone to judge a person’s sins. Other Christians in her life could guide her and warn her of where her actions might lead, but she didn’t deserve hatred from them, to be the subject of gossip. Her best friend Ivy especially, had turned on Giselle.

Giselle had read a meme on the internet that read: “Thou Shall Not Judge Because Thou Has F$&#%d Up Too.” It was pertinent. When Giselle admitted to Ivy she had been attacked and raped by a stranger in an alley one night, Ivy had given her a stunned stare. 

“Are you sure?” Ivy had asked, then later told her parents and other church members Ivy ran into. Giselle had told Ivy she was pregnant with the rapist’s child. Rumours and gossip spread. Ivy, her family, and many other church members thought Giselle was having an abortion when she was admitted into hospital. 

The reality was Giselle’s pregnancy had failed; the tiny baby growing within Giselle had died. A doctor informed Giselle there had been complications. She could never have a child again. 

An elderly man at church had told Giselle, “You sew what you reap,” when he had heard the gossip Ivy had spread about Giselle having an abortion.

Giselle was suffering inside and some of her best friends were ‘outing her.’ The only people who knew and believed the truth were Giselle’s family and they were judged harshly for supporting Giselle.

She attended her home church for the last time that Sunday, enduring cat-like behaviour from the women and men who told her she should be ashamed. Shouldn’t they be helping her and ‘lifting her up?’ Did they no longer care about her? 

Giselle thought it ironic her church wondered why Christains were not attending church. Couldn’t they see, the world had become a kinder place than their church? That Jesus’ light was brighter out among strangers? People Giselle had known and trusted all her life had become like ‘a den of vipers.’

Looking up one last time at the cross and steeple of the church Giselle had called home, she left her church for good; Giselle had hope she would find a kinder church someday.

—–

Note: There are great Christian churches with kind and understanding people attending them. They are good neighbours who through God, help people like Giselle heal. This story is fictional and hopefully, a worst case scenario.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Flash Fiction, Health, May Day Prompts, My Thoughts, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Maydays: Fiction – The Truth About Marrion.



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Thank you to K L Caley from new2writing for hosting the Mayday prompts. Today’s prompt is skeletons in the closet.

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http://www.larrylawhead.com

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Who is this woman beside Uncle Terrance in a wedding dress? Was he widowed before he married you?” Aunt Rosie gazed at Katie as if she had found something she shouldn’t have touched.

“Where did you find that Katie?” 

“Oh, it was out on the table by the front door. I saw Uncle Terrance in there today, taking out some boxes.” Katie said.

“Are you okay Aunt Rosie? You’ve gone pale. What’s with the picture?” 

Aunt Rosie shook her head.”I can’t. I just can’t,” she said, holding her throat.

“You seem out of breath. Maybe, relax a moment and I’ll make you some lemon tea. Do you want to tell me about this photo Auntie? I think you would feel better if you did.” Katie remarked. 

Aunt Rosie began to hyperventilate. It took a few minutes but Katie calmed her down. ” Nice deep breathes Auntie. That’s it, now here’s your lemon tea. It will soothe your nerves.”

Aunt Rosie sat silently and finished her tea. After about twenty minutes, she began to speak haltingly.

“Your Mom and I . . . we had a little sister, her name- her name was, Marrion. She was – was a younger sister. Only, twenty-seven when she passed on.” Tears ran down Aunt Rosie’s usually cheerful complexion.

“Your Uncle Terrance and Marrion loved each other, from -from the day they met in high school. Marrion was sixteen and Terrance had only graduated. He was working at his Dad’s construction company.” 

“Mom, never said anything about her having a baby sister,” Katie said stunned.

“Sharon and I, we don’t like to talk about Marrion. There’s a reason,” Aunt Rosie remarked.

“Terrance married Marrion when she was only seventeen. I had always had feelings for Terrance, but Marrion didn’t care. She said Terrance loved her and she was right.”

“For six-years, everything was fine. I managed to hide my feelings about Terrance and Marrion and Terrance were in their own world of love. Marrion became pregnant at twenty-three and had a girl she named Lisa.” Aunt Rosie admitted.

“What happened to this baby and was Marrion alright? I don’t have a cousin named Lisa?” Katie questioned.

“I know you don’t Katie, let me explain. It’s time – time you knew the truth . . . Marrion suffered from Post – Partum depression. She didn’t care about the baby and could barely get out of bed.” 

“For the last four-years of her life, Marrion was in an institution. She kept trying to kill herself. Marrion easily became immersed in self-loathing.” Aunt Rosie recalled.

“Sharon, Terrance, and I, we wanted the old Marrion back. No medication seemed to help her. ECT only made Marrion distant, it was if the real Marrion wasn’t there anymore.”

“Who raised Lisa?” Katie wondered aloud.

“Your Mom raised her dear. Terrance asked her if she would be Lisa’s guardian. He said he couldn’t handle taking care of Lisa while working and visiting Marrion.” Aunt Rosie’s voice began to quiver.

“One day Marrion wasn’t in her room or even in her ward. We found her hanging from a storage room ceiling.” Aunt Rosie sobbed.

Katie went to comfort her but Aunt Rosie held Katie back.” Lisa isn’t Lisa anymore. Your Mom raised Lisa from the time she was three-months-old.  Lisa’s your older sister Denise.”

“What?” Katie gasped, having to sit down herself. She was shocked.

“Your Mom asked Lisa after Marrion died,  if she would like to choose a different name for herself. Almost five-year-old Lisa chose the name Denise. It was the name she had given to her most treasured Barbie.” 

Aunt Rosie’s admission hurt Katie.”How did I not know Denise and I weren’t sisters, but cousins? We look so different in appearance. Her hair is auburn and my hair is blond. She has curves and I’m athletically built.” 

“Not to mention, Mom never told me who Denise’s Dad was, she said Denise had been the result of an old boyfriend she didn’t want anything to do with now.” Katie said aghast. 

“How did you get together with Uncle Terrance?” 

Rosie smiled: “Terrance was devastated when Marrion died and had loved her so much. But he needed comforting.We grew closer and got married.”

“It took a few years, but Uncle Terrance eventually loved me as much as he’d loved Marrion, but in a different way I think. Things came together and Sharon met your Dad and had you. We never spoke of Marrion to anyone but your Dad.” 

Aunt Rosie had stopped crying. She smiled and Katie could see she was happy again, as if a burden had been lifted from her shoulders. 

Katie thought about her Aunt’s revelations: “That’s unbelievable Aunt Rosie, you guys have all been hiding this from me. I need to talk to my Mom.” 

“Oh, you can’t ever tell Sharon, dear.” 

“But why?” Katie said frustrated.

“I promised her, Uncle Terrance promised her, and so did your Dad. You were never to know the truth about Denise and the sad fate of Marrion. Sharon was close to Marrion because they were nearer in age. Marrion’s death is a wound your Mother carries and it never heals.”

Katie sighed. “I wish Grandma had told me about this before she died.” 

Aunt Rosie smiled softly. “She never knew the truth either, dear. We told her Marrion had a reaction to a new medication and died.” 

Katie shook her head sadly,” Talk about skeletons.”

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Story Comtinuation Prompt: Fiction – Remembering Helen


Thank you to Wandering Soul who hosts this prompt challenge each week. You can complete the prompt sentence by writing up to two-additional sentences in her comments section in the link above or you can link to her blog page. Also, if you choose to write a longer story from the prompt, link the story to her page as well.

Today’s prompt sentence is: “The old man stared at the droopy white lilies.”

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http://www.thelilygarden.com
  

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The old man stared at the droopy white lilies. Memories flooded back to him as he smelt the strong scent that lingered. He felt the edge of one of the petals, still baby soft but crisp and dry on the edges. Helen had always hated lilies; that was why he had them placed on her grave every Sunday.

You might think this a mean thing for an old man to do but Ernest (the old man) had had a complicated relationship with Helen. Though it might not appear so, he had adored her and thought she had always been a magnificent woman.

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Ernest remembered the first time he had seen Helen in his senior year in high school. She had her abundant curly brown hair styled in a forties-bob. Her blue eyes sparkled when she saw him. He felt their two souls collide in that moment and Ernest knew their souls would always be connected.

Ernest and Helen dated until Ernest was twenty-three years-old. Helen hadn’t liked that they had dated five-years without getting married. In hindsight, Ernest realized he should’ve married Helen long before he did.

Helen became pregnant and the whole town turned against her. The women called her a hussy and advised Helen to marry Ernest immediately. His old man had took Ernest aside and told him that everything would be fine if he married Helen quickly and quietly.

But Helen was feisty and didn’t like being told what to do. She was hurt that her best girlfriends looked down on her and that the town’s people whispered and gossiped about her behind her back. It was then Helen changed her mind about marriage to Ernest.

One day Ernest and Helen were swinging on the porch swing at Helen’s parent’s house, Ernest trying his hardest to convince Helen marriage was an excellent choice since they both loved each other.The following day Helen and two suitcases full of her clothes and baby items she had been collecting, had disappeared.

Ernest searched for Helen. He wrote letters and searched various small towns. He went to big cities, remembering what Helen liked to do and where she would likely be found. He remembered the places she dreamed about visiting. Ernest also feared a young pregnant woman alone, wouldn’t find much friendliness from strangers. He was frightened for Helen and his unborn child.

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Twenty-years later Helen appeared at Ernest’s house in Pittsburg. Ernest’s wife Lilian, was battling Cancer. To both their regret, Lilian and Ernest had never been able to have children. But behind Helen was an enchanting young woman whose green eyes he recognized as his own. 

The three of them sat outside and talked. Ernest had felt guilty about not seeing his wife at the hospital that day as afternoon turned to evening. His daughter’s name was Grace and to Ernest she was indeed a ‘grace.’ 

In the morning Helen was gone but Grace remained. His daughter stood by him, even when his wife Lilian passed away a week later. Despite the fact Grace had never known her father, she stayed with Ernest as he grieved and she began working in the woman’s section of a department store.

Grace told Ernest that her mother Helen detested Lilies and that was why she left. But Lilian’s favourite flower was of course a Lily; they covered Ernest’s home while Lilian lived. He was always greeted by their pungent fragrance when he came home from work. Ernest knew better the reason Helen hadn’t stayed: She didn’t want to make Ernest’s life difficult. Grace had chosen to stay with Ernest on her own.

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Twenty-years later, Ernest was a happy Grandfather of four teenage grandchildren. Grace had married a man in Pittsburg and lived close by his house. She visited Helen and spoke to her mother often, but clammed up whenever Ernest asked about Helen. 

One day, Ernest was home alone doing yard work and Helen appeared out of no where. It gave him such a shock that Ernest’s green eyes started to tear up not believing what he saw. Helen aged, but still magnificent, embraced Ernest and they both cried for the lost years they hadn’t been with each other. The love between them was still strong, even after forty-years mostly apart.

Helen remained with Ernest. The happy couple had a small wedding and Grace was delighted her parents were together at last. 

Ernest and Helen were driving to the airport for their honeymoon in Paris. Helen was complaining about the orange lily the florist had slipped in her bouquet. Ernest had thought Helen’s complaints funny. They both started laughing and Ernest in his bliss, missed the red light. He hadn’t seen the pick-up truck before it crushed his car where Helen sat, graceful in a white suit; she died instantly.

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Years passed and Ernest religiously had lilies deliveried to Helen’s grave each Sunday. He always thought about how much Helen hated lilies. But lilies made Ernest, the old man, remember his beloved Helen. So that even after Ernest’s own death, their darling daughter Grace, continued to have lilies deliveried to Ernest’s and Helen’s shared grave.

Grace wiped a tear away from her eye. Both her parents were sorely missed.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, Flash Fiction, My Thoughts, Relationship, Short Stories And Serial Stories, Travel, Writing

Moral Monday’s Flash Fiction: Off Her Feet


Thank you to Nortina from the blog Lovely Curses for hosting this prompt. This Monday’s moral is: “Blood is thicker then water.”

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http://www.themominmemd.com
 

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“Come on Arryn. This is our annual vacation since we’ve been eighteen-years-old. You have to come to Phoenix.” Harley begged.

Arryn loved golfing, drinking beer, and the various sport’s games he and Harley usually attended on their trips. But Lisa was eight-months pregnant and Arryn wasn’t comfortable leaving her alone all day. The Doctor said Lisa should stay off her feet and Lisa seemed to ignore this particular instruction.

“Harley,” Arryn said, “I think this isn’t the best time for a holiday.” Harley scoffed. “I knew you would back-out. Lisa isn’t dying, she’s pregnant.”

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Fiction, My Thoughts, Relationship, Travel, Writing

Part 3: Never Again – Jolene and Scott’s Past.


Please read Part 2 of Never Again here.

Part 3: Never Again – Jolene and Scott’s Past

” Do I look gorgeous Auntie? Do you think he’ll like me?” Jolene asked her Aunt Cathy who had become her guardian after her Mother passed away.

Cathy observed the stunning Jolene. “If only I still looked half as pretty as you look, I’d be married right now.” Jolene grinned.

“You’re beautiful Auntie. Any man would be lucky to have you. I had to get the looks from somewhere and it wasn’t from my Mom. You could be a Cougar.” Jolene joked. ” I’m sure you could find a man ten or fifteen years younger than you, with your timeless looks.” Cathy laughed.

” I had your Uncle Henry before Cancer claimed him. I haven’t had it in my heart to replace Henry. He was my one and only. I wish you could have known him Jolene. He was something in his day.” Cathy mused.

“Scott is my one, Auntie.” Jolene said with a soft sigh as she floated down the stairs in a soft pink skirt and black tank top. Cathy hoped Scott wasn’t  Jolene’s ‘one,’ — she had heard rumours of his sleaziness from some of the other ladies with girls Jolene’s age. But what could Cathy say. Jolene would be heart broken if she couldn’t date Scott after all this time crushing on him. 

A handsome young man in a suit, with brown eyes and dark hair, stood in front of an expensive car waiting for Jolene. Scott had a careless manner about him that made Cathy instantly dislike him.

—–

Jolene was thrilled to be out on a first date with Scott. She had loved him since she was twelve-years-old. Even when her skin was breaking out, when she wore geeky clothes, and had ugly glasses, Jolene adored Scott. It had taken time for Scott to notice Jolene. Jolene knew the affect she had on men these days. At seventeen-years-old, she finally had the boy of her dreams and they were holding hands as he drove them to the movies and then out for some wine.

” You look fabulous, Jolene.” Scott complimented her. Jolene felt herself blush. She never blushed.

“You’re pretty good yourself you know,” she told Scott, trying to be cool. He grinned and said:

“Of course I’m good. I’m hot! Every girl wants me, but you are the only one lucky enough to have me. I have wanted you forever, Jolene. Since I saw your sweet ass walk into Math class in grade ten. We make sense together. We’re the Homecoming King and Queen. I’m the MVP football quarterback and you’re the head cheerleader. Tonight is only the beginning of you and I. You’re so lucky to have me.”

Jolene didn’t think too much about what Scott said to her most of the time. She didn’t notice how the majority of what he said was self-centred and he wasn’t much interested in getting to know Jolene beyond what was skin deep. Jolene pretended to never notice how Scott had planned out their life, and didn’t include her wants or needs in his plans.

Jolene also was blind to Scott’s filandering. She never knew Scott made  plans with other girls. Scott began doing this after Jolene had graduated high school and her Auntie Cathy had allowed Jolene to start modeling full time. Eventually, Jolene wanted to go to fashion school. But Scott thought Jolene would be too busy looking after their children for her to go to school. Maybe she could do that when the kids were older, Scott said. For now he liked having a known model on his arm.

When Jolene turned twenty-one,  Scott and her were still a couple talking about becoming engaged. Jolene modelled all over France and she was away from Scott too often for her liking. Scott was working on finishing his degree in Business Management and he didn’t miss Jolene much when she was travelling on a modelling shoot. Scott worked part-time as a salesman in Marketing for his father’s company. He was kept busy attending classes, working for his Dad, and having trysts when Jolene was away working.

—–

Jolene was nervous to see Scott when she returned from a modelling gig in Paris after Scott had graduated. Jolene had exciting news to tell Scott, but she wasn’t sure he’d be as happy as she was about the good news.” I have a surprise for you,” Jolene told Scott on her cell phone.

” A surprise?” Scott said, “Will I like this surprise? Does it have anything to do with you and me naked, in bed all night.” Jolene giggled.

“It’s a wonderful surprise, I promise. We can celebrate in bed later. Meet me at the beginning of the pathway to the Chateau at 7:00 pm and I’ll tell you.”

Scott arrived later than 7:00 pm, but he walked with Jolene onto the pathway that lead to the Chateau at one end and to a beach at the other end. Scott held Jolene in his arms and kissed the top of her blond hair when they were at the middle of the walkway.

“So, what’s my surprise, chere?” Scott asked Jolene teasing her ear with his lips. Jolene could hear the waves lapping sloppily against the rocks on the side of the path. It was a distraction for Jolene as she tried to tell Scott she was pregnant.

“Well,” Jolene said, turning around in Scott’s arms. “I think this is going to make you happy. It’s the next step in our relationship. I know your Dad wants grandchildren soon.”

“G-G-Grandchildren?” Scott rasped. “What do you mean by that Jolene? Tell me right now.” Scott demanded.

“I’m pregnant, Scott” Jolene shrieked showing him the pregnancy test excitedly.Scott blinked at her.

“Aren’t you thrilled? We’re going to be parents.” Jolene said. Scott stopped her celebrating with a heavy hand on her shoulder, holding Jolene still so he could have a serious talk with her.

“It’s okay Jolene. I know you’re pretending and trying to act like you want this baby. But we’re too young to have kids. I want them someday but not now. It’s too soon and I’ve graduated with my Business Degree only recently. I’m starting my Masters Degree in Business right away. Because I have experience working in my Dad’s company, the University allowed me to start early.” Scott said ignoring Jolene’s eyes which were starting to tear up and looking up at him pleading.”Here, take my credit card. Get this baby taken care of. It’s only a few weeks old right?”

Jolene went absolutely still. “How could you not want a baby, even if it’s only a few weeks old. That’s our child, Scott?”

Scott gave a half-hearted attempt at a comforting smile.”It will be okay Jolene. I can come with you if you want to the clinic and we’ll get you sorted out. It won’t hurt too much. Many girls end up with unwanted babies and receive abortions, it’s safe for the Mothers.Don’t worry, we’ll have kids in the future. Just not when I’m in Grad school. Maybe when I’m higher up in my Dad’s company and when you’re not such a highly desired model in France.”

Jolene was aghast and her crying quickly turned into sobs. She grabbed Scott’s credit card and ran down the pathway to the Chateau, ignoring Scott’s pleas to come back. Scott tried to reach Jolene by phone or by visiting the Chateau many times. When she finally picked up the phone a month later ready to talk to Scott, he only asked about the baby. Jolene lied to Scott and said she had had the baby aborted, that her Aunt had paid for it. Jolene mailed Scott back his credit card.

Two-months later, Scott broke up with Jolene for good. She had been avoiding him because her stomach had begun to show she was pregnant. There relationship had been in shambles ever since she told Scott she was pregnant. 

“It’s for the best Jolene,” Scott said to her over the phone. “You’re away modelling most of the time and I hardly get a chance to see you. We had a good run, but you and I are not meant to be together for life.”

Jolene was angry and spiteful to Scott. She had seen him around with a lovely red-headed girl, who was delicate and acquiescing. “You only broke up with me so you could be with Katrina. She’s not half as pretty as me. You’re only going out with her because I’ve had issues with you lately and Katrina’s family has a mountain full of money. Your Dad likes Katrina because her father is best friends with him.” Scott laughed at Jolene’s spite.

“You’re just jealous Jolene. You’re not half the woman my Katrina is, not half as caring or beautiful,” Scott said meanly. Jolene hung up on Scott and she didn’t talk to him for years. 

Jolene told her Aunt Cathy about the baby. Cathy was sad about the situation between Jolene and Scott but she loved her niece as if Jolene were her own daughter. Jolene gave birth to Kasia eight-months after she last saw Scott on the pathway to the Chateau. Jolene loved her baby with all her heart. She loved Kasia more than she had ever loved anyone else. It made Jolene tear up when she thought about the fact that Scott had wanted her to have an abortion. Kasia was the best thing in Jolene’s young life.

Jolene never told Scott about Kasia but she never stopped loving Scott, despite the fact that Aunt Cathy and Jolene’s few girlfriends, pointed out what a loser Scott had always been. It didn’t lessen Jolene’s feelings for Scott. She loved him the only way she knew how to love a man.

Years went by. When Kasia was three, Jolene was battling Kasia’s sleeping issues. Kasia was having nightmares and refusing to sleep in her own bed. Jolene reassured Kasia her nightmares weren’t reality and sang Kasia to sleep, eventually in Kasia’s own bed. Jolene thought about Scott as her daughter retreated into dreamland. Seeing parts of Scott in her daughter’s appearance, and Kasia’s strong-willed personality, made Jolene feel as if she would always have a piece of Scott with her. At the same time she Jolene detested Scott, who had made contact with Jolene again and occasionally bothered her, wanting to meet up with Jolene.

When Jolene was twenty-eight and Kasia was seven, Jolene had had enough of Scott and his constant interference in her life. Part of Jolene still loved Scott, but a bigger part of her was offended by his mere existence. Scott wanted to have an affair with Jolene. Jolene refused because she still believed Scott was her’ one and only.’ Jolene thought Scott should divorce Katrina and marry her. Scott had thought she was hilarious for demanding such action from him. How could he abandon his daughter Sara, he asked Jolene. Just like you abandoned Kasia, Jolene thought.

Jolene in hindsight, believed Kasia should have been Scott’s true firstborn. Kasia should have been loved and cherished by a loving mother and a father as Sara was. Jolene avoided Scott as much as possible but he always reached out to her.

Feeling as if she was going to lose it, Jolene seized her chance to leave Nice, and the countryside in France where the Chateau was. Jolene left, barely telling her Aunt her plans. Jolene told Cathy the bare minimum (incase Scott contacted Cathy), that Jolene was going to live, work, and go to fashion school in Canada. She had modelling jobs lined up and a scholarship for a post-secondary school in Toronto. The institution had daycare and was near a elementary school.

Jolene packed up her daughter Kasia, taking only what they could fit in two large suitcases and two small carry-ons. Jolene isolated herself and Kasia from her worried Aunt Cathy with sorrow. Eventually, she did reach out to her with a picture of Kasia or the two of them, every now and then.

But she had escaped Scott and that was the best gift Jolene could give her young daughter: A life free from Scott’s selfish narcissism. She would never tell Scott that Kasia, the baby she was supposed to abort, had lived. Although, she knew someday she would have to tell Kasia the truth about her father.Jolene dreaded that day already. 

——-

Presently, Jolene paced the hallways of the Chateau trying to walk off her anger towards Aunt Cathy for telling Kasia who her father was before Jolene was ready. She felt betrayed. Jolene could feel that feeling of familiar dread making her stomach churn. Kasia must never meet Scott. Not until she was thirty at the very least. . . 

I’m having many ideas from the original prompt. So, please stay tuned for a Part 3 in the near future.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Short Stories And Serial Stories, Writing

Writing 101: Day 4 – The Cottage


Prompt: Write about a single image.   
In the tangles of tree trunks, twigs, and pine needles behind my Grandpa’s house, there is small clearing. The trees guard a sacred place. In the Summer their is a smattering of grass and weeds, and in the Fall a layer of dead leaves blanket this space. Fireflies guard it at night and create snatches of light in the deep blackness.

If you go beyond this place not far their is a cottage and my Grandpa told me when I was young, a witch lived their and she ate children. Perhaps, he was simply teasing us with his modern version of Hansel and Grettle, but he was very adamant that we never go into this clearing or by that cottage.

The cottage was old, grey, tumbled down, and in need of repair. If indeed a witch lived there, she didn’t use her magic to keep her home in a presentable condition. But perhaps, she had no children visiting so she could not bake them into cookies and treats to make her home look like a gingerbread house.(This last part I thought snidely because I never believed there lived a witch there who ate children, not ever.)

When my Grandpa passed away I was willed his house and property back in the woods. It stretched for many acres. I also was willed the tenancy of single woman in a cottage. I decided to finally go to this cottage despite my Grandfather’s pleas that we never go there even as adults. 

So, Monday when I drove out to Grandpa’s house to assess the shape his house was in, I went first to the cottage. The light of the sun was muted in the woods and when I knocked on that cottage door dust and dirt rained down as a young woman opened up the door.

Her eyes were blood shot and grey like stones and rocks. Her house smelt dusty and I think she could have used a shower. Her brown hair was matted, growing a long way down her back. Underneath a dirty face, her skin was perfect and pale. She was unkept but I don’t believe she looked like any witch I imagined.

“Hello” she rasped, as if it were hard for her to speak, “would you like to come in Thomas. Your Grandfather spoke highly of you, perhaps, that’s why he left you his home. I haven’t had visitors in a long time so you’ll have to excuse the mess.”

“Oh, alright. I guess I could come in for a bit” I said wrinkling my noise at the musty smell. “What’s your name and how long have you lived out here, you seem young to be living out all alone here.” 

” I use to live here with my Grandmother and my name is Ivey. I am twenty-three-years old and I know how to handle myself.”

“Oh I see” I said “But maybe I could help bring your home up to a safer and more attractive level. It’s such an old cottage and the nights are cold.”

“I’m fine, Thomas. I plan to start working on repairing the house shortly. But for now let me go down to the creek and wash myself, then I will make us some supper.”

I agreed and sat in the disgusting house as Ivey fixed herself up. When she came back I thought she was quite beautiful her washed damp mane was a glossy brunette, her eyes enchanted me. Her skin was as white and beautiful as I imagined. 

Ivey hummed a song as she cleaned up the dusty kitchen and wonderful smells came from the stove as she chopped vegetables fresh from her garden. She was making stew. I enjoyed the dinner heartily with wine and Ivey was quite entrancing. That night I left her house thinking, how could Grandpa  have ever thought she was a witch.

I loved my Grandfather’s house and the trees within that secret clearing. And as I was a writer I set about to write a story using details from my Grandpa’s life for some parts in the book. As I sorted through his life in that house, some things I kept and others I gave away. I spent many nights with Ivey, she always insisted on cooking me dinner. I brought her little trinkets, clothes, and items most other woman liked. She would always smile at me and kiss me, grateful for the present.

When she became pregnant I tried to marry Ivey but she would have none of it.

“At least move into the house” I said, “that cottage can’t be good for the baby. Or let me get it fixed up for you?”

Ivey finally consented to having the cottage remodelled. We could preserve nothing but the skeleton of the cottage and everything else had to be redone. It was modernized with a bathroom and a kitchen with an extra-large oven in it, Ivey’s only request.

I was happy to do it for her. I loved her, that is why I could not understand it when one night I came over supper, she gave me too much wine and watched gravely as I held my daughter. Then she asked me to check that the oven was working before pushing me in. She had been fattening me up to eat for months. The last thing Ivey said to me was:

 ” I cannot be better then my Grandmother, I’m sorry Thomas, but I will take good care of our daughter. I’m not like my ancestors, I do not eat children. But I make men into sweets to decorate my house and eat.”

It was a horrifying thing to hear from my beloved Ivey. But no matter, it didn’t hurt due to Ivey’s magic. I am the post and lentil around Ivey’s door, some kind of short bread. And I can see out to that magical clearing and remember what my Grandpa said in vain: never go out to the witch’s cottage.