Daily Prompt – Dramatic

“Don’t be so goddamned dramatic.” He spat the words out as if they were poison.

His words were poison to me. I had caught him again. This time before he had a chance to do anything, but he was still caught. It was an email with directions to a hotel room where she should meet him. While I was away on a business trip. Again. At least he was predictable.

When I confronted him with the evidence of course he deflected the conversation to me and my so-called insecurities. “Don’t be so goddamned dramatic.” He said that the first time I accused him and so I, in my shame, retracted my accusation. Then later learned it was true. He back-pedaled and told me it was my fault for smothering him, and I believed him. Each time, each story, each shameful reproach I believed.

This time I caught him before he cheated. Still, he was ready with the deflection. He was prepared to shame me into submission. “Don’t be so goddamned dramatic. It was nothing. Just a meeting. You’re so fucking paranoid.”

I took a deep breath and looked at his face. Suddenly he didn’t seem so handsome, he lacked the charm of our first meeting. The shiny new version had been replaced by this dull, tedious, tiresome person I no longer recognized.

I stood to face him. “No drama.” I kissed him on the cheek and walked out the door, smiling.

On the Other Side

Daily Prompt – Admire

She stared across the street and thought, “I admire you. You leave the house in the mornings looking so polished in your business suit and designer shoes. Your hair and makeup are always in place and your nail polish is never chipped or dull. Your house must be immaculate. No crayon marks on the walls or juice stains on the carpet. You probably have time to yourself each night, to read or take a bath with no interruption.” She sighed and turned back to the clamor of her children behind her and began to pick up the toys strewn across the messy living room floor.

She stared across the street and thought, “I admire you. You kiss your husband good-bye every morning while holding your newborn baby. You stay home and raise your three beautiful children. Your days are full with the meaning of caring for your family. Your house must be full with the sounds of laughter and love. You probably never feel alone, there’s always someone to hug or kiss you when you need it.” She sighed and turned back to the silence of the empty room and poured herself a glass of wine.

Ode to Me

I sit alone. Fiercely proud of where I am, the obstacles I have overcome, the challenges I have met. Some I have faced with help, but too many I have faced alone. Like a cherub meeting Satan face to face, toe to toe. Not quite a fair fight, a scrap to be sure. I’ve always come out of it alive, but, unscathed? No, I have my scars. Some visible and some hidden far from sight; I’m careful to keep those from view. Too many questions and my world might come unhinged. Still, I’m here. Alone, but proud of where I am and how far I’ve come.

What’s in a Word?

Daily Prompt – Wind

I wind down the curving dirt drive, minding the potholes and making a mental note to tell him to fill them in. It doesn’t matter that nobody visits. I’m somebody. I visit every weekend. I guess daughters don’t count.

I pull up to the house, turn off the ignition and sit in the still silence looking at my childhood home. The faded blue paint is peeling off the shutters and front steps. Cobwebs have taken over all of the corners of the expansive porch. The windows could use a good cleaning but the screens have recently been replaced and the two wooden rocking chairs on the porch have fresh paint. Dad is ready for spring.

Maybe it’s a good sign. Since my mom died I’ve had to fight with him over the smallest of things. From wiping down the kitchen counters each night to sweeping the front porch. The porch I can overlook. I walk inside carrying bags of groceries and see no crumbs on the counters. I’ll take this small victory and move on to the next. Maybe I can even overlook the potholes for the time being. Sometimes moving forward means taking baby steps.

I Am

Daily Prompt – Unstoppable

It’s a feeling you have when you’re young. Before the world has shown you its cruelty and worn your spirit. Like a seed planted just after the last winter frost, that bursts forth with the spring rains. You are invincible. You are driven. You are unstoppable. One day you will be a force to be reckoned with. One day you will be exactly who you plan to be.

Then one day comes and you look in the mirror and you don’t see the invincible, driven, unstoppable woman you planned to be. You weren’t a force to be reckoned with. You smile. Even better. You became the woman you see in the mirror.


In Situ

Daily Prompt – Crisis

No warning flag was raised; no alarm was sounded.

There was a crisis of faith in situ.

It began very early, when I first concluded that right is wrong.

And virtue is not virtuous.

That hell hath no fury,

And Heaven hath no peace.

That if the good die young

And young is just a state of mind

Then the good just die.

Father Michael was no help.

Give me your confession and I’ll pray for your soul.

Small concession.

How could I look at him again with no shame?

It was a crisis of faith in situ.

That grew.

Feast – A Mother’s Lament

Daily Prompt – Feast

The linens had been pressed and neatly draped across the cherry table. The china was removed from the cabinet and carefully washed and dried then meticulously arranged. The silver retrieved from its chest and polished to gleam brightly, placed just so in a precise order. Crystal goblets of various sizes came from the highest shelves of the cupboard and found their places at each place setting. Five in all, four for her son’s family and one for her. Last years candles were replaced with fresh new white candles bought yesterday, their white wicks standing stiffly upright.

The timing had to be perfect. Her list in hand, she began to check off each item one by one. As the time neared, her heart began to quicken and a smile formed on her face. This year she was nearly impeccable. She moved quickly to pull food out of the steamy oven, place it neatly onto serving trays, positioned appealingly. The feast was arranged exquisitely on the table. She lit the candles and waited. They were sure to arrive any minute. The invitation had been set for 7:00. And it was precisely 7:00.

She poured herself a half glass of white wine. She knew they would come. Perhaps they were stuck in traffic. She looked at the clock and it was 7:15. Perhaps one of the children’s soccer games ran late. They could have called but it must have slipped their minds.She looked at the clock and it was 7:30. She poured herself another half glass of white wine. Perhaps. Perhaps. She sighed and finished her wine then stood and blew the candles out. Happy birthday to me.

Frail, Fragile Things

Daily Prompt – Frail

Faint memories skimmed the edges of her mind like dragonflies alighting the surface of a pond. She struggled to grasp them and hold onto them but they fell through her fingers and away like so many others. She was once strong and fierce, a force to be reckoned with. But with the softness and sweetness of an angel. Her life had been a struggle, but not more so than anyone else. She held her head high, proud to call herself a woman. Proud to call herself a wife, a mother. Proud to be a God fearing woman who earned an honest wage.

The years came and went and she stayed strong and fierce. The struggle remained and she fought with everything in her. But eventually, no matter how strong and fierce, no matter how soft and sweet, we lose the fight. We become such frail, fragile things. Mere shadows of our former selves.

Her frail memory would not let her recall her former glory. Nor could she remember how strong and fierce she once was. Or how soft and sweet. She struggled to find any memories at all. They all seemed to be just there, at the edge of her mind, where the dragonflies alit on the surface.


Daily Prompt – Drive

I sit, paralyzed with fear. I can’t leave but I can’t stay. My heart tells me to run as fast and as far as I can. Get in the car and drive and never look back. But my head . . . damn if my head doesn’t tell me the same thing. Except something is keeping me from leaving. Not my heart, not my head. Then what? Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear that I might be okay alone and fear that I might not. I want to get in the car and drive. Drive as far and as fast as I can and never look back. I don’t care what direction, as long as it’s away from here. But I sit, paralyzed with fear.

And Then I Met You – 16

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks
Warnings: Oral Sex, penetration

Chapter 16

The night of the premiere for Avengers: Age of Ultron came. Kayla was still hiding from the media which meant being hidden from view on the red carpet. She didn’t even want to stand with Lisa, Shanna and Carly for fear of being photographed again.

Continue reading

Storm on the Horizon

Daily Prompt – Storm

A storm was brewing on the horizon. She could feel it in her bones. She always knew when there was something coming. A dark cloud hung over her. She got a strange chill in her spine, that feeling you get when you think someone is following you in the shadows. It was going to be a bad night. She braced herself for the worst.

He burst into the room like a Category 4 hurricane, winds howling, rain pelting against the glass windows, battering the house with its full force. Except it wasn’t an outside force. This rage came from within.

She stood ready to withstand the gale. She had done this before. It wasn’t her first battle with him and his demons. But she loved him and she was willing to fight for him, with him. First there would be the accusation. She would counter with facts. The truth about where she was, who she was with, proof of her innocence. Then there would be the doubt. Perhaps someone was covering for her. A friend providing an alibi. An elaborate cover-up. He had a great imagination when it came to her testimony.

They would have a free-for-all fight. Throw words at each other, accusations, ugly reminders of past discretions. He would go for the liquor cabinet. That was a certainty. He liked his bourbon on nights like these. She would have liked to stop him but it only urged him on. So she watched him pour two fingers and drink, hoping it would stop at one glass.

He would glare at her in contempt and she would cringe, knowing the one time mistake would forever haunt her. For this she paid the price time and again. The storm raged on. Eventually he would calm, either pass out or let the rage pass and sleep in the guest bedroom down the hall. She was left on her own, to relive her own failures, her own regrets. She was a fallen woman and no amount of penance would change that.

The storm had come and passed. Once again she had weathered it. But at what cost?


Save the China for Guests

Daily Prompt – Guest

My mother told me to save the fine china for when we had guests. Except we never have guests. I’m an introvert. I married an introvert. We don’t like dinner parties. We barely like family dinners. Except with our two sons. Who don’t appreciate fine china.

I don’t know why I even got the china. Tradition. I didn’t have a ‘real’ wedding. It was a halfway elopement. The china came as birthday and Christmas and anniversary presents for years afterwards from my mother-in-law until I finally told her I had a complete set. And I’ve used it exactly once. At Thanksgiving. To prove a point. That I had a set of fine china and I could use it. It made my husband and sons extremely uncomfortable. Then they glared at me when I told them they couldn’t put it in the dishwasher.

I’ve tried to use the china again. But my husband resists at every turn. He hates it when I pull out a tablecloth. “No, I’ll just spill something on it and stain it.” He puts a dishcloth underneath his plate to protect the $30.00 tablecloth. So fine china is a no go in our house. It sits on the top shelf of the cabinet. Occasionally I think about pulling it down to use for dinner. Then I think about my mother. “Save the fine china for when you have guests.” I sigh. But I don’t have guests.


Daily Prompt – Cowardice

I sit here alone. Fighting the urge to talk. No, I’ve drawn my line. I’m right. I’m RIGHT. That’s what matters. After all it’s a black and white world. Or at least it should be. I’m right. And what happened to me is wrong. So I made my stand. My silent stand. We’ll see how many people miss me. My friends, my true friends, they should stand with me. They should defend me. I won’t be alone. Will I? Are there people who will fight for someone else’s honor any more? Am I the last great hero? Is my silence just an act of cowardice?

And Then I Met You – 15

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks, Scott Evans, Lisa Evans

Warnings: Sexual references, language

Chapter 15

“Chris, would you stop pacing? You’re driving me up the fucking wall.” Kayla tapped her foot impatiently as she watched her boyfriend practically carve a hole in the floor of the living room.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 14

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: None, Fluff

Chapter 14

The sun glinted through the blinds and hit Kayla precisely above her cheekbones. She squinted her eyes closed which caused her head to throb more than she realized it had already been. She gingerly rolled to her side and opened one eye to look at the clock. SHIT. She was late for work. She sat straight up and immediately fell back to the bed, groaning loudly.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 13

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: Lots of language

Chapter 13

Kayla walked through Von’s pushing her cart slowly. It had been a long day and she was dead on her feet. All she could think about was a hot shower and her comfy bed. But she was out of milk and pop tarts. So she was making a quick run to the grocery store then home.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 12

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: Oral sex, penetration

Chapter 12

Kayla had been spending more time at Chris’ house lately and he was enjoying having her in his life. He tried not to think too far ahead, to when he would have to leave for filming. It was coming way too soon. He just wanted to enjoy what they had right now. She was slowly opening up to him and it was killing him to be patient. But she was so different than the women he usually dated he was willing to wait and see where this would lead.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 11

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: Talk of death, military deployment

Chapter 11

Kayla was nestled on the couch with a textbook in her lap while Chris sat a few feet away reading a script. Well he was trying to read anyway. He couldn’t seem to focus on the words. The scent from her honeysuckle body wash lingered in the air from her post-work shower.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 10

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: None, Fluff

Chapter 10

Kayla heard the faint sound of bells chiming. There was a stirring next to her and she felt an arm wrap around her waist. Chris. She realized the chiming was her phone alarm, the sound muffled by her bathrobe on the floor. She carefully extracted herself from his grip and left the bed to silence the alarm.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 8

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: None, Fluff

Chapter 8

Chris stood nervously on the front porch. He couldn’t remember the last time he felt this unsure of himself. Somehow in the space of three weeks Kayla had found a place in his heart. He smiled at the thought of their first meeting. She was feisty and stubborn and he loved that she didn’t back down even when she knew who he was. Especially when she knew who he was. He licked his lips and rang the doorbell.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 7

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: None, Fluff

Chapter 7

All her life Kayla had a habit of making strange faces when she was thinking and the more she thought the stranger the face. So Chris couldn’t help but laugh when her nose crinkled up, one side of her mouth caved in on itself and her right eye squinted at him.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 6

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: Language, Fluff

Chapter 6

“Kayla Hope Brooks. You’re seriously named after a character on a soap opera? I have to meet your mother.” Chris threw his head back and let out a belly laugh. Kayla hadn’t felt this relaxed in a long time. The sound of his laughter was like the beautiful melody of a familiar song; once it was in your head you couldn’t get it out. They were at a coffee shop near the hospital; Kayla sat with a chai tea while Chris opted for hot cocoa. It was busy enough that he went unnoticed and they sat at a booth in the back of the building.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 3

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: Language, Fluff

Chapter 3

The following week Kayla walked into Von’s and waved at Beth, her favorite cashier. Kayla shopped at Von’s frequently and Beth was usually working. She noticed Beth pull out her cell phone, a cardinal sin according to the store manager, and hoped whatever Beth was doing was important enough to risk her job. Maybe Beth was having personal problems because she had done the same thing the last time Kayla was in.

Continue reading

And Then I Met You – 2

Characters: Actor Chris Evans, OFC Kayla Brooks

Warnings: None, Fluff

Chapter 2

Chris wiped the smile off his face before he turned to face her. “Can I use your cell phone?” He looked at her like she was from Mars. Kayla tried again, pointing at his phone, “Your phone, can I use it to call my friend? Mine is dead.” She waved her now useless phone in the air.

Continue reading