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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100 Word Wednesday: Poem -Free Verse – “He Flew” #amwriting #poetry #100WordWednesday


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesdays 

——–

Credit: Nicolas Picard

———

Doing tricks, 

On his skateboard, 

Young boy. 

On banana board, 

Travelling fast, 

Down paved roads. 

Swerving before cars, 

Smashed him. 

On the Merry-Go-Round, 

Flying off, 

Into the afternoon sun. 

On ground, 

Never crying. 

More stitches;

He didn’t mind. 

Snowboard, 

Flipping, turning, 

Off half-pipes. 

Black diamond hills, 

Rushing towards. 

Bright-white powdered snow. 

Matress softening, 

Terrible falls. 

Breaking legs, 

Collar bone, arms. 

On his bike, 

At the skateboard park, 

Flying as a new robin. 

Wings wavering, 

Into unforgiving air. 

Didn’t care if he, 

Landed on his head. 

Concussions, 

Some awful, 

Even with a helmet. 

Bruises deep purple, 

Fractures, sprains —

All painful. 

Wherever he went, 

Whatever he did, 

He flew. 

No one ever, 

Expected him, 

Not to. 

He should’ve been, 

Born with wings, 

But he wasn’t. 

He flew, 

Just the same. 

——-

©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Friday Fictioneer: Poem – Free Verse – “Echo Beyond”


Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting FF.


ff-train-to-no-where
Credit: C.E. Ayr

Parts of city, no one admits are here,

Only smashed cars, railroad tracks live dying.

Find a fleck of hope here;

There’s not but skeletons, twisted years lost.

*****

We stare into the crisscrossing of tracks,

Wonder how all the trains never seem lost.

For accidents, no care.

Here is our place, where no one dare go.

****

I will always hope,

Wishing there’s more left,

Then empty spaces littered.

I’ll find strength where it hurts,

Will I change our lot?

Someday our names will echo beyond.

*****

I’m tired of staying in this mishmash space,

There’s more to life than choking on coal dust.

My love, we’ll find our place.

We’re wolves, eyes gleaming, searching for home.

*****

Bitterness leaves me caught in this valley,

Is still and hot; we’ll move, find our names.

Wolves as you and I,

Our might is large; ignored, we’re crafty.

*****

I will always hope,

Wishing there’s more left,

Then empty spaces littered.

I’ll find strength where it hurts,

Will I change our lot?

Someday our names will echo beyond.

*****


“The Cave” – Mumford & Sons


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

#OctPoWriMo – Day 12 – Licentia – “Keep Fighting” #amwriting #poetry


Day 12 Prompt: Strong

“What comes to mind when you hear the word “strong”? Here are some of my thoughts: strong storm, strong body, strong spirit, strong drink…” 

——–

http://www.quotesgram.com

——–

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here. 

Strength is a quality not measured in moments, 

Measured in years, standing against time, back bent. 

It’s an eternal struggle with internal —

Thoughts and habits, striving to change and descern. 

Attempting to learn what experience teaches, 

Growing in ourselves and for others reaching. 

Improve upon our lives, our relationships, 

Don’t be still, life needs our participation. 

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here
——

Strength is a quality not measured in moments, 

Measured in years, standing against time, back bent. 

Fighters push hard, keep trekking through the swamp land, 

Mud sucking at your boots, praying there’s no quicksand. 

Though tangled vines block your path, the machete cuts, 

Letting no vines keep you from glory — sword thrust. 

Old boat leaking, passing through life’s wide valleys, 

A quest you must complete, don’t you dare dally.

A light in the distance, shows your boat safe path, 

Light saves you from ending on rocks, body smashed. 

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here. 
——-

It’s an eternal struggle with internal —

Thoughts and habits, striving to change and descern. 

Looking inside ourselves, we’re often selfish, 

But we can change, help others, give back and wish —

We knew how wonderful it felt to generously, 

Give of all we are; family gives meaningfully. 

Inner strength once found, perserverance we grasp, 

Goes into the world, makes a sad person laugh. 

For finally they can overcome their issues sad, 

They see a light, see truth wins –every card hand. 

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here. 

——-

Attempting to learn what experience teaches, 

Growing in ourselves and for others reaching. 

Spread fortitude, physical, emotional and —
Spiritual; seeing  it bless, teach, understand —

Beyond words and muscle, past many barriers, 

Teach us to grow and find strength as warriors. 

Life such a battle, we do what we can in —

The time we are given, keep fighting and win. 

Glory and honour maybe yours or not yet, 

We go through life either way, path never set.

Beautiful, bountiful time you glimmer dear, 

One moment you’re stalled, the next you’re too quick here. 
——

Licentia: 

“The Licentia Rhyme Form, a poetic form created by Laura Lamarca, consists of at least 3 12-line stanzas with 11 syllables per line. Of course, the poem can be elongated adding on to the following rhyme scheme: aabbccddeeAA, BBffgghhiiAA, CCjjkkllmmAA.” 

Please see Shadow Poetry for more information. 

——

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

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.”

——

 

http://www.thelilygarden.com
  

——

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.

——

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.

——

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.

——-

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.

—–

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.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.