Forbidden

The path through the forest was narrow and overgrown. Vines of ivy trickled through any available opening, desperately searching for a glimpse of sunlight. Most of the villagers avoided this path, preferring to take the long and easy way into town. There were numerous stories and tales of the woods being haunted, surely fabricated to keep the villagers out of woodland. But Armus, on the other hand, loved everything about the forest and tried to travel this way way as often as possible.

He had been playing in these woods since he was a small boy. It was in these woods that he defeated armies of knights, slayed dragons and even discovered and conquered new lands. These woods were home to him and he often sought solace amongst the silence of the trees.

His favorite place was a small opening towards the center of the forest. The clearing was carpeted in soft grass and decorated with patches of bluebells and snowdrops. Here he would contemplate life and retreat from the ever increasing demands of his father. His father’s latest obsession was marrying him off to a local maiden that Armus had no desire for.

Armus began to take off his shirt so he could stretch out in the tall grass when something flickered in the sunlight and caught his eye. But before he could focus – it was gone. Strange he thought, and plucked a long blade of grass to soulfully gnaw. But there, closer than he realized, was Nissa. She had been impatiently waiting for his return.

Nissa made herself comfortable atop a white snowdrop, swoonfully resting her head in her hands. She watched as the sun glistened off the smooth, chiseled muscles of his chest. She leaned forward, longing to reach out and just touch him and have him touch her. She was so instantly caught up in the moment that she lost her balance and went tumbling to the ground.  She landed in a heap, flustered and mortified. Well, that was quite unfairy like she sighed. Thankfully, Armus did not notice. What would it take to get him to finally notice her? It was the question she pondered since the day she set eyes on him, many moons ago.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, lisa challenged me with “Write a story about the two mostly unlikely people you can think of falling in love” and I challenged Heather with “Write about the fickle finger of fate“.

Indefinitely Yours

The door shut with a loud thud, followed by the clicking sound of three rows of latches. It was now too late for hesitation. Any chance of Amyrah changing her mind had been missed.

The makeshift room was small and crowded. Due to the length of time they would be in the air, each passenger was given a strict packing code to follow. Anything that was not considered a necessity – to them at least – was allowed on board. With all the young excited bodies squeezed inside, the small room heated up quickly.

She looked around at the other chosen ones. Each passenger was stunningly beautiful in their own right. In fact, she could hardly find a flaw in any of them. It hadn’t dawned on her till they were all seated together, how similar all the passengers looked.

Her mind quickly shifted as an public service announcement came on, preparing them for their departure. Amyrah was having a difficult time containing her emotions, something frowned upon at the academy. But she was just so anxious to finally be leaving the academy. She was the first in her family line to ever leave. It was an honor few were ever chosen for.

Amyrah had been one of the top of her class for as long as she remembered. Her older brother, Cryant, always disliked that about her. He wouldn’t even say goodbye when she left, yet she didn’t feel conscious of his absence. Instead, she quickly became absorbed with the streaks of light fluttering past her window. Streaks of white and blue flashed past her eyes at an alarming rate, causing her mind to drift off. Just what would this new commission hold for her?

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, dailyshorts challenged me with “Write a story telling why this day is important: August 18, 3015” and I challenged Major Bedhead with “You are in a room full of people and you are the only blind person there. Describe the room and the people in your mind.”

Death Of A Kingdom

Continued from The Eternal Kingdom….

Surely this is all just coincidental. Could she have really just destroyed the maps leading to the Eternal Kingdom? That thought sent shivers down her spine. She must find Galiena, surely she would have answers.

Without hesitation Ur grabbed her cloak and headed into town. The wind whipped and twirled her hair, giving it a crazed life of its own. She bent her head down, shielding her face from the wind’s wrath. The journey into town was long and treacherous. The impending storm had left the streets eerily vacant.

Ur pressed her face against the tavern window, hoping to catch a glimpse of Galiena. The townsmen were oblivious to the storm. Their only concern was seeking solace in their mead and sharing elaborate stories of their various conquests. Attentive barmaids lingered nearby, eager to hear the latest stories.

With no sign of Galiena, Ur was left with no other option, she would have to make the long and arduous journey to Galiena’s cottage. The thought of making the journey sent a chill through Ur. The road quickly became uneven and rocky while the enraged wind made it even more difficult for Ur to maintain her balance. Ur could barely make out the faint flicker of a candle in the window up ahead. As she approached the door she was relived to see the old woman slumped in a chair in front of the fire. But before Ur could knock, Galiena was already up and on her way to the door.

“I wasn’t expecting you till dawn youngling.

“I… I didn’t know. I thought what you were saying was… was…”

What are you babbling about. Spit it out already!”

“The map. I didn’t know.” Ur raised her eyes to Galiena’s scornful gaze. “I threw the map in… the fire.”

Galiena’s demeanor quickly shifted and her eyes went from fearful to panic stricken. Now she wore a mask of pure terror.

You what?? Oh youngling….. you have no idea what you have just done.”

 For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Diane challenged me with “There was no way I could have known then, but my decision would later shake the very foundation of the entire world’s beliefs to the core.” and I challenged Fran with “What happens when a computer malfunctions and traps about 400 people in a small department store?

A Room With A View

I couldn’t believe this day was finally here. After weeks and weeks of searching, I had finally found the perfect apartment. I secretly snickered as I thought of everyone back home who didn’t think a lil’ country girl could make it on her own in a big city. I’ll show them! Of course, deep down I wasn’t always so sure I would make it either.

I definitely didn’t believe I would ever be living in an apartment like the one I just found either. It was a beautiful one bedroom corner apartment on the 31st floor with two walls of windows. During the day, the apartment was flooded with afternoon sunlight and on clear nights, I could see for miles.

As I pulled my car up to the building I thought back to the day I called my realtor about this place. I had stumbled across the listing as I was leaving a restaurant with some friends. I still didn’t understand why the realtor was so hesitant to show me this place, especially since it was in my price range and was way nicer than any of the other dumps she had me walking through. I reached across the seat, grabbed a box and shut the car door with my hip. Guess I had better get this production started!

After a long day of moving and unpacking I decided to call it a night. I poured myself a glass of wine and stretched out on my new sofa. I took a deep sip and surveyed my surroundings. Sigh. Seriously, could life get any better then…

If it hadn’t been for Cotton-Eye Joe
I’d been married long time ago
Where did you come from where did you go
Where did you come from Cotton-Eye Joe
If it hadn’t been…

What the!?! My silent serene night came quickly to a halt as “Cotton Eye Joe” came blaring through my ceiling. I watched in horror as my Grandmother’s vase filled with fresh flowers was vibrating its way across my kitchen table. I jumped up to save it from its impending doom as a new, even more painful noise began – a banjo. I tried to block out the noise and find my calm happy place but this ear carnage was just too much for me to handle.

I began to countdown to the end of the song. As the last verse was sung I let out a huge sigh of relief, until….. the song began to play AGAIN! My neighbor continued to play that annoying song over and over again for the next hour till I was on the verge of tears. When it cycled through again I was done.

“Oh hell no! This is going to stop NOW!” I grabbed my keys and stomped towards the elevator. The door slid open and I pounded the button for the 32nd floor. Only a distant rumbling of that God forsaken song could be heard as the doors shut, but I was quickly greeted by the song when I arrived to the floor above.

I began to knock on the door. No answer. The intensity of my knocking increased as my request for acknowledgment was being further and further ignored. In a fit of pure frustration I began violently kicking the door while continuing the assault with my fists. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity the latch on the door clicked.

“Can you please turn down your music? I just moved in below you and your music is rattling everything in my apartment. I’m really tired and just want to unwind for a bit so…”

Yeah no, that’s not gonna happen. This song is how I unwind. After a long day I come home and decompress. You are just gonna have to get use to it missy.”

“I am just asking you to turn it down a bit…”

And I said, NO! It’s my apartment and I will do whatever I please, when I please and for as long as I please.

“Well you don’t have to be such an ass. I was just asking you to consider someone other than yourself.”

“And I don’t have to listen to one little word that comes out of your pretty little mouth!”

“What?? How dare you! I swear, if that song gets played one more time I am going to…”
SLAM

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Kameko Murakami challenged me with “If that song gets played one more time, I swear I’m going to…” and I challenged Fran with “If you could invent something to help mankind what would it be?”

Imagine

Many of us walk through life wondering what would happen if we truly spoke our minds. If we honestly answered that questions, “Does this make me look fat?” We may even have pretend conversations with ourselves, telling that certain person just how we really feel. We reflect back on past encounters or confrontations and realize all the things we should have said but never did.

I spend my days with a constant filter. Deliberately screening my every thought, mindfully choosing my words. I am careful not to inflict harm and cautious to never speak the truth. This filter forces me to exchange daily pleasantries with people I loathe. It constrains me to tolerate their lying grins, their backstabbing ways. I am always on guard, buffering all information to protect my soul. I try to come across as intrigued to buffer the fact that I am truly disdained by their utter existence.

Now, imagine trying something new. Envision a day where there is no filter. Where every word, thought and pondering flows freely from your lips. Imagine a day where we are no longer bound by social convictions, restricted by our inner ego. Imagine a day when our id rules our conscious, no longer bound by responsibility. I wonder just how the world would react to such freedom.

What is the first thing you would say?

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, SAM challenged me with “Try something new.” and I challenged Dim Dom with “Write from the point of view of a virus about to infect an important document.”

Promoted

sassy irish lassie The blaring of the alarm clock jarred me from a deep sleep. Ughhh, morning already, I thought. I swung my legs over the side of the bed, stretching and yawning as I got my bearings. Another day, another dollar. As I methodically went through the motions of my morning routine I began to wonder how I would keep myself entertained at work today. Hmmm, another rousing game of solitaire? Or perhaps I’ll challenge Sue in HR to a cut throat game of Words With Friends. I grabbed my mug of coffee and the latest copy of Sports Illustrated from the counter and headed out the door.

The doorman had my morning paper ready as I stepped outside into the brisk city air. Just a few blocks and I would be in the comfort of my corner office on the 26th floor.

The elevator opened and I was greeted by Vivianne, my secretary. “Good morning Jack! Here are your messages from yesterday.  Please make sure to call Sue in HR as soon as possible. She said it was an emergency.”

“Thanks Viv. Doesn’t Sue think everything‘s an emergency?” I chuckled.

I took out my laptop and put my briefcase on the floor next to my desk. I quickly browsed my messages while my laptop booted up. Nothing too exciting there I sighed, as I added them to last week’s pile.

I was quickly glancing through my inbox when an email in red from Sue caught my eye: Confidential – Applied Innovations Offer Letter. Offer letter? Why is Sue sending me an offer letter? I have been working here for years.

I opened the email and began reading.

Hi Bill and welcome to Applied Innovations. We are so happy to have you join our team. As you are aware, Applied Innovations is the leading company in company website and email security. Our cutting edge technology prevents spam, email hacking and viral infections transferred through email and outside websites log-ins. Our company is the only one of its kind to offer detailed logging and charting capabilities to monitor your staff’s email and internet usage. We are leading the way with new technology developments that will keep companies even safer from the ever growing world of hacking and prevent costly security breaches.

As Vice President of Technology you will be in charge of overseeing technology development, trialing newly created software and supervising the installation of hardware at client sites. You will also be accountable for supervising all employees in the technology and development centers and will be responsible for scheduling and conducting all of their yearly employee reviews.

Attached you will find your offer letter, commision framework, insurance package and available stock options.

Please complete all the required paperwork and fax them back to me as soon as possible. If you have any question, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Sincerely,

Sue

Bill?? Who was Bill? And why was he receiving an offer letter fo MY job? Before I could ponder the situation any further Vivianne buzzed my office.

“Jack? Jack? Sue is on line one for you.”

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, LP challenged me with “write a scene where an e-mail is sent to the wrong recipient.” and I challenged Jester Queen with “Write a story about fatherhood with a florist as the main character and a new dress as the key object. Set your story in a restaurant.”

Silenced

Snow, sassy irish lassieThe main road was dark and quiet. News of the storm was all anyone had been talking about for days. Jack had been sure to stock up on all the necessities the day before. He just had one more stop to make before he headed home to settle in the for the storm.

He checked his rear-view mirror. Only the pale flecks of the falling snow could be seen dancing across the blackened night sky. Jack pulled to the side of the road, laced up his boots, and grabbed his hat and gloves. The wind tore through his jacket as he walked to the back of his truck. He opened the tailgate, sliding his truncheon to the side, and reached in with both hands.

Better get a move on before we are both stuck in the snow”, he sniggered.

The road had iced over, making it difficult to maneuver the extra weight. But nothing was as difficult as what he had witnessed when he came home early the other night. Her words had been like daggers, digging deep and twisting to the core. She had told him he was too effete for her taste, that she needed a real man to satisfy her needs. She thought she was so smug with her big words but he wasn’t as naive as she thought. He knew about all her time in those stupid chat rooms. She was never smart enough to erase the history.

After that, he knew what he had to do. There was no wavering, never a second thought to his decision. Things needed to be made right and he was just the man to do it.

He pulled his collar up around his neck and stuffed his hands deep into his pockets. The storm was just starting to pick up and Jack could feel the temperature dropping. The weatherman proclaimed it as going to be the snowstorm of the century this afternoon on the news. That was exactly the weather report Jack wanted to hear.

As he began to walk back to his truck, a blue glimmer in the snow caught his eye. The snow was softly falling on the body, creating the illusion of  fluffy white blanket. He stooped down and smirked when he realized what had caught his attention. She had always insisted on wearing that God-awful necklace – saying it brought her luck.

“Well look at all the luck it brought you now missy.”

Jack fingered the blue and green ostrich charm in his palm. “I have just the place for you little fella.” With a swift tug the necklace was free and dangling from his finger tips. He slid it in his shirt pocket and quickly re-zipped his jacket to fight off the wind’s brutal assault. The silence in his head was golden.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, ChrisWhiteWrites challenged me with “Use the words effete, truncheon and wavering in your story. Also, include an ostrich. Oh, and for bonus virtual high-fives adopt an orphan prompt from IndieInk. I chose: ‘The snow was falling softly on the body” and I challenged Kelly Garriott Waite with “Use these words in your story: doctor, roll of film, stairwell, telephone“.

Stark Mystery

The ancient bonsai

Full of mystery and intrigue

Wrapped in history

Branches intertwine

Dancing with intricacy

Delicate, yet strong

Where coiling eels meet

Gorgeous shades of green emerge

Embracing their roots

Miniature in size

Elementary in beauty

And fashioned with love

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Carrie challenged me with “bonsai, elementary, coiling eels” and I challenged Grace O’Malley with “Create a story or poem based on this personification: The sun bows as pain vibrates“.

Lock down

The booming voice on the microphone became muffled as I shut the bathroom door behind me. My heart was racing in my chest and it took everything in me to not have a complete and utter breakdown.

I walked over to the sink and turned on the cold water. As I looked in the mirror I hardly recognized the person staring back at me. My face was pale with beads of sweat trickling down my hairline. “Seriously man, get a grip“, I said to the pathetic reflection staring back at me.

I knew I only had a few more minutes before they were going to begin the awards ceremony and I wanted to make sure I was in my seat before they dimmed the lights. Tonight was the culmination of my life’s work and I was not going to miss my big moment. Countless hours of research, days upon days away from my family, holed up in my office till I found the ‘perfect’ chemical combination. Tonight, the ultimate prize was mine.

I quickly splashed some water on my face and turned off the faucet. When I turned to grab a hand towel I heard the distinct sound of a dead bolt sliding into place.

Well that’s weird, I thought as I tossed my crumpled towel in the garbage can. I quickly ran my hand through my hair and straightened my tie. Now’s my time to shine!

I pulled on the door handle but the door didn’t budge. I tugged and yanked with all my might, but each time my pull was met with resistance. “What the……”  I began frantically tugging at the door handle. What is going on? Why won’t this door open??

Outside I heard the ceremony music begin to play. NO! This can’t be happening! I began to pound on the door. “Help! Somebody please help me!”

The music was too loud and was drowning out my pleas and I was sure everyone was already back in their seats. How could this be happening? Why now? After everything I have done to get here.

I turned and slid my back down the door till I hit the floor with a thud. As I rested my head in my hands I heard the president our company begin his introduction – MY introduction. I sat and listened as he went on and on about my research, my discoveries, my progress for the human race. When he announced my name it was welcomed with silence, or at least I thought. His next words hit me like a punch in the groin. “Since Jack had to leave unexpectedly and will unable to accept his award this evening, his assistant Tim has graciously offered to accept on his behalf.”

And with that, everything became clear.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Trencher challenged me with “A character is locked in a bathroom at the worst possible time. ” and I challenged Melissa with “Create a story or poem inspired by a line in a Charles Bukowski poem: “some suicides are never recorded.””.

Confined Prey

sassy irish lassieThe sounds of children splashing in the lake woke me from my afternoon siesta. I leisurely opened one eye, not ready to commit to being fully awake. The midday sun was pleasantly toasting my back and lulling me back into my state of slumber. Oh how I love lazy July afternoons. Nothing to do but bask in the sun and enjoy an afternoon nap or two.

Being in this position too long had begun to make me feel stiff and achy. I gingerly stretched one leg, and then the other, before resituating myself back into my comfortable position.

The wind rustling through the trees made the sunlight dance between the leaves. I sat mesmerized, watching their performance. Entranced by their movements I began to feel myself swaying to their rhythm, lost in my own world.

WHAM

Suddenly without warning I was grabbed from behind. I tried to struggle. I tried to break free, but every time I did his grasp tightened. I was carried for a while before being thrust into some sort of rectangular compartment. I tried again to escape but he was too strong. He pushed me back down and shut the top.

Everything surrounding me was dark. I fumbled around, trying to get my bearings. I frantically felt around the insides of my confines, hoping to find the opening so I could escape. The confines had not left me much room, making it difficult to brace myself during the sudden jolts inflicted by the bumpy ride.

After what seemed like hours we came to a stop. I could hear the muffled voices outside getting louder and louder and I knew he was coming for me. A sudden shift in my confines had me sliding down to the bottom of the box. The top lifted and sunlight streamed into my face. I tried to adjust my eyes when I began falling through the air.

My arms and legs were trying to reach out and grab anything that might possibly break my fall. I landed with a thud. Dazed, I looked around to assess the situation. This new confinement was different. While I could not get out, I could see the outside world.

His big eyes peered in at me as he tapped against the side of my new surroundings my new surroundings. As I attempted to gaged how high my new prison walls went, a shower of green grass sprinkled from above.

“I’m gonna name you Mantis.” He tightened the lid, sealing my fate.

For the IndieInk WritingChallenge this week, Kurt challenged me with “And if you cut yourself, you will think you’re happy. He’ll keep you in a jar, then you’ll make him happy. He’ll give you breathing holes, then you’ll think you’re happy. He’ll cover you with grass, then you’ll think you’re happy, now.” -Kurt Cobain, “Sappy.” and I challenged Tara with “If I could accomplish one more thing, I would…“.