Sunday Photo Fiction: The Creep #fiction #amwriting


Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting the February 11th, 2018 Edition of SPF. This is a bit of a longer piece. Written for a writer’s course, around 500 Words as opposed to 200 Words or less. I cleaned it up and changed the original a bit.


Credit: J. Carol Hardy


Charlene twists her hair. The potent drink on the bar is her fifth tequila shot in an hour. The hazy, dreamlike atmosphere in the crowded town bar confuses her. Most of the crowd puff away, smoke lingering in the air, twisting above her, a toxic dragon of cigarette stench.

An attractive singer who isn’t local, belts out tunes while strumming his guitar. His catchy music has Charlene humming, her fingers tapping to the rhythm.

When he plays a soft song, the crowd boos. Some men throw beer bottles that smash and scatter glass against the small stage’s back wall. The singer peers around the room, his eyes darting back and forth. A bouncer drags away one of the offenders and the singer resumes his music, belting out cheerful tunes once more.

Charlene chuckles. As per usual, the town bar echoes with boisterous laughter and harmless drunks telling tale tales. Then, the creep beside her, pokes her arm. “Drink it, drink the shot.”

She peers up at him and his putrid breath makes her sick. “I don’t want it. Go away.” He leers and Charlene shivers.

She turns, stumbles towards the cracked vinyl booth where her coat and purse lay. Grabbing them she fumbles, zipping up her coat. The creep follows her and pinches her chin, trying to pour the shot into her mouth.

Warm tequila dribbles from her lips, acrid as she chokes. “No more, I don’t want anymore.” She cuts off his words, the poison of the creep’s lizard-tongue. “I’m going home — alone.”

Charlene teeters, leaning against the worn bar. She presses her hands against the humid backs of people waiting to buy more drinks. In open places, she leans on the bar, tracing it’s antique carvings, the dents on its worn surface. Jerry, one of the bartenders, slides her a glass of water. She nods at him, and swallows, her throat aching.

Past the bar, Charlene leans against a lone stool at a table. The stool wobbles on splintering legs. She grits her teeth, than sucks out a sliver of wood from her thumb. A gift from the table top.

Head spinning, Charlene lands in the quiet of the shuffleboard area, dizzy against the table. She presses her phone, fingers clumsy as she sends for an Uber. She downs more water from her purse. With some clarity, she wanders through sweat-soaked bodies towards the main door.

In the chill of the night, the creep is somehow beside her, waiting to follow her into her Uber. She ignores him, hobbling to a bouncer. “He’s following me, make him go away. He put something in my drink.”

The lie slips out; she doesn’t care. The creep who bought her five shots scares her. The bouncer’s blue eyes bulge. “No problem, Miss. I’ll ensure you get into the Uber alone.”

The bouncer offers the creep free beer to go back inside, and Charlene shivers, the wind biting at her face as flurries fly. She falls asleep inside the Uber, and the driver helps her into her apartment on the third floor. He takes the key from her hand and unlocks her door as she offers him a scrunched five-dollar bill.

“It’s fine. I don’t need help.”

The driver shakes his head. “That man you were running from, he’s bad. He has a different woman drunk each weekend night; he drugs many of them. The bouncer’s my friend, and he made sure you got into my Uber. We’re trying to catch him, but this a**holes too experienced to leave much evidence.”

The fact that the creep could’ve drugged her for ‘real’ makes Charlene ill. She rushes to the kitchen sink, throwing up multiple times.

The Uber driver ‘Ahems’ behind her. “I’m going now. Will you be okay?’

She nods. “Thank God, you’re a good man.”

“Stop accepting drinks from weird strangers. Don’t lead guys like him on. You have to think before you accept more than one drink; especially, in a small town like ours.”

Charlene nods, collapsing on the floor. She knows she’s asleep, but a sharp tempo beats against her temples. She’s half-awake, restless, afraid of the nightmares seeping in; the creep’s leering grin and eyes of a predator.


©Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#OctPoWriMo Day 16/Tale Weavers: Poem – Free Verse – “Me Too” #amwriting #poetry #taleweavers


Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting the Tale Weavers prompt on circles or wheels in life. For OctPoWriMo Day 16 with a prompt on tears and fears.

——

Carli Jeen via Unsplash

——

I didn’t mean to break the teacup, 

I didn’t know it was so sacred. 

That porcelain so fine,

Meant to last generations, 

Passed down from mother —

To daughter. 

But Great Gran hated her China pattern, 

It wasn’t to her taste; 

It wasn’t used, 

At each meal for supper; 

It would’ve shattered,

Much sooner then. 

Great Gran knew like people, 

China is delicate, 

Especially if it’s shatters, 

And re-pieced. 

And you can’t possibly tell me, 

Fragility is permanent. 

That those who are broken, 

Remain that way, 

Once you break someone,
They’re never whole again;
They’ll heal and they’ll form, 

White scars gleaming.

But you cannot make anew,

What must be glued together;

Fragment by fragment. 

You can’t expect it to maintain, 

Indelible strength.

You don’t know what defines beauty, 

True beauty is brokenness. 

That those not in their entirety,

Are destined to chip and crack. 

Perhaps their outer designs and artistry,

Masks their flaws. 

But fault lines are visible, 

Places one could dig deep, 

Exploiting pains throbbing echo, 

Across generations, 

And unwanted China. 

You’d think we’d be afraid of shattering,

We’re all terrified until we find,

Someone to help us, 

Someone who doesn’t see the cracks. 

Love blinds us in many ways,

Some that hurt, 

Some that heal and bind wounds. 

It’s a cycle, a circle, 

Despair and rapture, 

Too much or too little.

And I think Great Gran, 

Would’ve smiled, 

Seeing your beloved teacup scatter; 

It’s just a cup, 

One she despised. 

For she wanted a reality for us,

Beyond teacups, of lady’s serving tea;

She didn’t want our suffrage,

Our call to feminism,

To remain at the price,

Of “me too,” where —

Every woman,

Has had a close call,

Not one she wanted; 

A narrow escape,

Or a constant nightmare, 

Where pleas meant nothing.

“Me too,” she would say, 

Staring with disgust, 

At a patterned teacup, 

China gifted from the husband,

Who perpetually, 

Reminded her of wifely duties, 

With or without, 

Her blessing or consent. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Three Line Tales: A Thousand Was Not Enough #fiction #amwriting #3LineTales


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales. 

——

Credit: Dev Benjamin via Unsplash

———-

Scattered in vivacious colors, a thousand was not enough, but would’ve a thousand paper cranes healed you, done anything? I guess they weren’t for you, they were for me, to keep my hands busy as your eyes glassed over and the pain meds kicked in; they stopped me from crying out from asking, why you didn’t even try to heal, for you, for me. I leaned over your bedside the paper cranes around us and you gave me a half grin with your dimpled cheek, somehow there when all other reserves of flesh were gone; then you were gone before I could  memorize your last smile. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Collage Prompt: How Edges Are Smoothed #amwriting #poetry #LaCharta


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Collage Prompt. 

——

Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

——-

Obscured by flowers she slumbers;

In restless sleep, dreams and wonders. 

Of every place she could be stumbling. 

She’s on a bus; she’s left and coming. 

Engaging, discovering the world, 

Hands in the air, gives happy twirl. 

—–

She knows she’s one of those shattered

Those broken people, hearts scattered. 

All she lost hurts her, still matters, 

She’s travelling, her soul battered

Wherever she feels she goes free —

Never having felt mindless glee. 

—–

In parks she discovers nature’s gifts, 

Rain falling down in healing bliss. 

Frost on the pine trees, light snow drifts;

Fall’s leaves hanging with an ice kiss.

Dew drops on the pine needles caught, 

Icicled and splendid shots. 

—-

Shuttering Nikon bright photos, 

Numerous, exquisite, with notes —

Written neatly underneath rows. 

Photos printed, memories wrote. 

Publishes first book from afar, 

Remains here; she’s seen lucent stars. 

—-

Gleaming, brilliant lights overhead, 

New home to heal, words yet unsaid. 

Forgets past, hangs laundry instead, 

Milk in jug for children, she’s wed; 

Life remoulded into her dreams, 

Someone loves her, he teases. 

——

They laugh with each other love spun; 

Knows her well but she’s cut him some. 

Yet he heals, heals her too; he proves —

Love is the balm, steady, true. 

Whenever her edges spike through, 

Holds her tight until she’s smooth, soothed. 

—–
LaCharta

“The LaCharta, created by Laura Lamarca, consists of a minimum of 3 stanzas with no maximum length stipulation. Each stanza contains 6 lines. The syllable count is 8 per line in iambic tetrameter and the rhyme scheme is aaaabb ccccdd eeeeff and so on. “La” is Laura Lamarca’s signature and “Charta” in Latin, simply means “poem”.”

Please see Shadow Poetry for further information.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

NaPoWriMo: Poem – Free Verse – ” A Day in the City”


img_1070-2

And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to fill out, in no more than five minutes, the following “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers. Happy writing!

 

 

 

—–

Edmonton at Night
Edmonton at Night (www.pinterest.com)
——

Warm Spring Day at fifteen degrees,

In our pretty bungalow near the River Valley,

Gerber Daisies on the table, warm colours please,

Resting on a tablecloth, Easter pastels gladly.

—–

The dog lies under the table in my art studio,

I’ve tried to paint her, but she never sits still long.

Driving downtown to immerse myself, with dog go.

Bask in the presence of the farmer’s market’s throngs.

—-.

Dog walking beside me, enjoying all her doggy friends.

Conversation with some guy about Hockey playoffs,

Not many Canadian teams made it, no matter in the end.

Many Canadian players, play for American teams, so layoff.

——

Walking down the street past ancient buildings,

Observing the walls speckled, thoughtless youth wrote graffiti.

Some call it ‘art’ while others would say ‘you’re dreaming.’

Obscenity scrawled haphazardly, done messily.

——

“Where’s your boyfriend?” Asks the aged vendor selling peaches.

I give him a smile, saying: “I’m happy to be single right now.”

Subject change, “Have you seen my new puppy?” Subject now out of reach.

Old guy is comfortable, complains of gas prices and frowns.

——

Oil prices particularly  bad, so I let him know gas prices are low.

He doesn’t understand; when he was young gas cost barely anything.

Ready to move on, I don’t want to be rude; dog barks, “time to go.”

He talks more, the Terwilliger Park Foot Bridge opening this spring.

——-

The new bridge has an amazing minimalist design,

I tell the vendor about biking there with my Dad,

When my brothers and I were younger, biking was fine.

Following closely, didn’t want to get spanked as we had.

——-

Then slipping away I wander to other booths,

Comfortable in leggings and thin white sweater,

The dog wants to run, I can tell; We leave, dog approves.

Down to the river valley on the off leash trails is better.

——-

We have to watch out for the Beavertaur — a mythical animal,

But some say they have seen it on the prowl.

Both beaver and minotaur; a creature quite unimaginable.

For those walking river valley trails, the situation could be foul.

——

My friend has sworn upon Wayne Gretzky’s statue,

That he barely escaped the Beavertaur with his life.

Made me laugh; today the dog and I are fine, no snafu.

We went on home and we had a nap, long day but no strife.

——

Gazing out my window, to the brick patio below,

Think we need outdoor furniture, to enjoy in the sun.

Remembering family friend, left life’s flow.

Gone for five-years already, in heaven’s quiet hum.

——

She babysat me when I was small, thirteen years my senior,

Reading Appley Dapply Nursery Rhymes; beloved childhood book,

Then settling in bed I sleep for a moment, no dreams either.

Hearing cats screeching, the dog barking, awake I’m shook.

——

In alley, a neighbour’s trash bin — scattered garbage,

You can’t leave your trash out, the cats will make a meal of it,

Neighbours leave their bags in the open always unguarded,

I’m annoyed, but I roll my eyes and think, ‘forget about it.’

—–

Vacation thoughts stir my mind in other directions,

A trip in Canada, much easier then going through US border.

Maybe, Quebec City or Montreal, thoughts and reflections.

Killing a large spider with a block of wood; restored order.

—–

It’s good luck to kill a spider, he won’t end up in your house.

Dog is whining; she wasn’t outside with me,

That’s just life I tell her; TV on, channel browse,

The debate: aren’t we the City of Champions? Can’t you see?

—–

Or does the Oiler’s last ten-seasons make us champions not?

It’s more than merely about playing hockey,

It’s a way of acting, some people don’t understand that talk.

Being a champion in the heart, it’s  Edmonton’s image worthy.

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.