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.

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Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer: T-Rex For Real #flashfiction #amwriting


Thanks to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAW.


Credit: Yinglan Z. 2017


For many months after watching Jurassic Park, Jacob had been terrified of the giant Tyrannosaurus-Rex before his dad presented him with Iggy, a stuffed T-Rex. Iggy fought T-Rex in Jacob’s nightmares so that he was no longer afraid of dinosaurs when his dad took him to Jurassic World, the new dinosaur theme park.

Unfortunately, mayhem broke out in the theme park and Jacob found himself wedged into a tiny space, crying and clinging to Iggy. Eventually, he snuck out of his hiding spot, running towards the boat dock where men from the army shouted, “Run faster.”

He trembled when he heard the T-Rex roar right behind him, covering him in slobber. Jacob had learned that a T-Rex could only eat you if you moved, so he stood completely still. When Iggy slipped to the ground Jacob thought his life was over. Instead, the T-Rex carefully picked up Iggy with his teeth and stomped off into the jungle.

Jacob woke up, swaddled in his dad’s arms, a helicopter taking them back to safety. He hoped that the T-Rex liked Iggy. Maybe the T-Rex was afraid of a bigger dinosaur? The thought had never occurred to him before.


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Photo Challenge: Poem – Blitz – “Returning” #amwriting #poetry 


Thanks to MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s photo challenge. 

——

Credit: Mario Gervals

——

Aurora-borealis paints the sky

Hues of light to charm

Charm the cold from old man winter’s grasp

Charm the sky hovering, colours delightful still

Still as the snow when it stops

Still as the young man in the living room

Room in a home where he’s troubled 

Room of the television — loud sports

Sports of the freezing weather

Sports loved best

Best loved is hockey

Best loved he watches, engrained 

Engrained in the screen

Engrained in the game 

Game on and he misses his wife as she drives away

Game of his wife searching for time

Time ended when she him left 

Time is new for her; he doesn’t care now

Now she moves on 

Now she is but thrilled

Thrilled, yet in a storm she drives

Thrilled to have escaped without another fight 

Fights always happen

Fights which got worse, never stopped

Stopped when she rethought her life

Stopped when she said, “I’m gone” 

Gone while the new sliver of a TV loudly plays

Gone, he knows it it, feels depressed

Depressed at the mess of his life

Depressed, slight lines etched into his face

Face with red eyes

Face with mouth stifling sobs

Sobs because she’s gone for good

Sobs because she gazed at him appalled

Appalled because he always yelled

Appalled because he’s why ‘they’re finished

Finished forever, she’s free

Finished, but she’s not safe in such a blizzarding storm

Storm outside flinging snow in his face

Storm outside, her car didn’t make it far

Far off and tired the look in her eyes

Far off but tears streaming ’cause she’s stuck 

Stuck in the bank of snow 

Stuck in her life, no escape

Escape life here, without him?

Escape yet, she’s glad, for her, he came 

Came, so she takes him back; he understands now

Came, so they return to times where they showed

Showed love, affection where no distance divides 

Now acts of love, little things, change the future

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

Poem: Life Shapes You


Life shapes you.
It molds, it beholds a person still forming.
In a variety of ways it kills you inside, be still as it fills you, you do not die…
Life shapes you, and you haven’t a choice how malleable you are.
You can live with the changes, the bitter exchanges; life is a stranger
It makes a white web of dew drops flow through you like tear drops
Life is web of disasters, reactive or be proactive, you must live
To forge through the jungles, the brick walls, the barriers ahead
Injury is injust, but nothing is just, it’s the laws of nature you know
Survive, revive the fire that fuels the ether of your soul
Be a stranger in the land, be a friend, be a teller of stories
Through stories we live, write the tale, write the book
Carry the history of the world on your shoulders as life shapes you.

Life shapes you.
The rejected, protected, protesting people of the world.
They live through imagination, fantasy erases reality, in our bubbles we float.
The lost and the lonely, the ghostly faces, cold …
We do not greet each other warmly, we conform, push our faces until they are still.
Impressions, of ghastly masks, the future in fluorescence bright
Perhaps, there is a dawning, through let downs, and push downs, no gifts in this life
Selfish and forlorn, we do not remember He gave, so we give nothing.
The smoke of a burning, my stomach is churning, these candles aren’t holy
There the incense of blasphemy, a man smoking hasheesh to dull the pain that blinds.
Remind us we see nothing, we are into ourselves, and no one else, we see our own souls.
We lack sight into the souls of the broken and burnt, those crushed by life – we only see a mirrored reflection and miss the men behind the mirror that life shaped too.

Life shapes you.
You have little choice in the matter, you move to control to fight the shaping
You grow, hear the wails and the lo’s, down low you fall in throws
Fits of passion, purging the truth from the eyes of the polite and apathetic
Progress, ingest the flavor of this life, providing a taste, wonderfully complex
Move to improve, do not choke on incense, it’s needed by some
Who fight pain and the blame of some mother and her children, she teaches selfishness
She grows sadness and injustice because she doesn’t realize the knifing pain that wrings you
Dry, inspire tears in dry eyes, don’t undo, the glue that keeps us healthy
Request that life keep you in it’s hands, until He comes to get you that glorious day
Removing, relaxing the dull blindness of the world
A world that doesn’t give, a world that suppresses, all that we are suppose to be
And see the light in the darkness
The glow in the worm
A beacon, a breathe, flooding agony in the sunlight, highlight the shadows that surround us
Confound us, rebreak and reform us, here we see the dense thickness of hate
Become shiver upon tiny sliver that glimmers.
Life shapes you.