The Most Important Things

The most important things are the hardest things to say. That would be why I’m sitting here staring at my hands while you talk about your day. I nod and try to smile. I even ask a question or two to keep things moving, but it’s for no other reason.

I’m trying to work up the courage to tell you any one of the things that should have been mentioned long before. That I want you to take your sunglasses off so I can see your eyes, or that you have a drop of ketchup on the end of your nose.

What I really want to say is that I’m confused and scared. I feel the need to remind you that I love you and I don’t want you to move four hours away. That maybe we can find a way to make it all work out, here, together. We could, I know it, if only you felt the same way that I do.

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This story came from a quote by Stephen King that I was given as a writing prompt recently. You can see the full version here. To be honest, the quote is something that has been with me for a lot of years, I’ve had it written down in one form or another since I was a lot younger than I am now. It resonates, I suppose you could say.

I hope you’re not too depressed now, because I want you to be excited about something that I will have ready to show the world in a few weeks time. I’m building a brand new website. Writing My Way Out of Here has served me well, but it’s time for the next step. I have some new features planned, and some exclusive content if you’re willing to sign up for my monthly newsletter. I’ve also been working hard on writing, and have a few new books scheduled for the new year. By a few, I mean four, and I’m nervous and excited and maybe a little terrified. Here comes the freight train! That’s me by the way…

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Smile

“Smile,” Thea said.

My hands clenched tight enough that I could feel my pulse. The heat from the horse’s breath washed over my neck and made me shiver. When it shifted a foot behind me, I almost had a bowel movement.

“Come on, get in a little closer.”

I didn’t move. I couldn’t. “Just take the picture. Please?”

Thea grumbled and set her eye at the viewfinder. She turned knobs and pressed buttons. I bit my lip and looked to the pen across the way, at the small flock of sheep that had recently been sheered. They milled about and chewed at the air. I counted them to distract myself. Maybe if it had put me to sleep it wouldn’t have been the worst thing.

I heard the click of the shutter and ran to Thea’s side. She watched me for a moment and frowned. “You alright? You look a little green.”

“I’m fine,” I said. I stretched out my hands and looked at the indents my fingernails had made. “Maybe we can go in for lunch now? I think the sun is getting to me.”

 

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Hello friends. I wanted to take a quick minute to let you know that I have some big news coming soon. A new website with new features, a newsletter with content you won’t find anywhere else, and books. An ambitious amount of books. I hope you stay tuned.

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Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Beyond the Divide: Part 27

Liz leaned back and stretched her legs out in front of her. She looked up into the sunshine, it was warm on her face. Birds chirped and flew from tree to tree in the park behind her. A butterfly flew along the sidewalk in front of her. Liz tracked it as it bobbed up and down and out of sight.

For no specific reason, she felt content.

Evie sat down on the bench and folded her hands on her lap. “Hello, Liz.”

A narrow smile formed on Liz’s lips. “Hey, Evie.”

“You seem to be in a good mood.”

“I am.”

Evie looked away. “I am happy for you.”

Liz turned to Evie and her smile faded. “What’s going on?”

Evie shrugged and faced forward. “I have much on my mind.”

“Okay.”

“You made quick work of the hound, I hear.”

“I did. I’m surprised you didn’t stick around.”

“I would only have been a distraction. I was and am confident in your abilities.”

“Thank you?”

Evie looked at Liz from the corner of her eye. “Do not be that way. You are special. There are not many who can do what you do.”

“Oh? What is it that I do then?”

“Face the darkness and win.” Evie swept her hand in front of her. “Not go crazy in all of this.”

“I didn’t know that was a big deal.”

“It is a much bigger than you know.”

Liz nodded and looked to the tips of her toes. “Okay.”

“Would you do it again? If you could?”

Liz shrugged. “Sure.”

“It is an important role to play. To provide balance.”

Liz twisted in her seat and leaned an elbow on the arm of the bench. She looked to Evie and waited.

“You might expect a flowery speech, or for me to explain in minute detail the reasons for my decision. If so, I will have to apologize in advance.” Evie pulled at her skirt and smoothed it with her hand. “It is time for me to move on. It has been time for a long while now, but I felt I had to wait until there was someone who could take my place.”

Liz pulled her legs in and straightened her back. “Does that mean you want an answer right now?”

Evie stared, but did not speak.

“Right.” Liz faced forward and ran her hands down the tops of her thighs. “Okay. I’m in.”

“Are you sure?”

Liz nodded.

Evie lowered her gaze and gripped the edge of the bench. “Thank you.”

“So that’s it then?” Liz said.

“It is,” Evie said.

“I hope it works out for you, whatever comes next.”

“It will, I have no doubt. It will be an interesting journey, finding myself again.”

“Good.” Liz looked up the road in front of them. “Listen, I’m not the best at goodbyes, and I should be going anyway. I need to see Mark.”

“Absolutely.”

Liz and Evie stood together. Evie moved in close and wrapped her arms around Liz’s waist.

Liz smiled and set her arms over Evie’s shoulders. “Bye, Evie.”

Evie stepped back. She attempted a smile. “Goodbye, Liz.”

 

***

 

Image by Kaleigh Kanary

 

 

99 Words #33 – The Safebreaker’s Daughter

Her daddy worked with the Overton crew. Best safecracker on the west coast is what they said. It was like a magic trick. He did it all by feel. Never left a mark.

She worked the same way, except it wasn’t money she was after. When she’d touch you, it would last just long enough. She’d look at you, and you’d forget about anything else. Before you realised what happened, it’d be too late.

Her daddy always told her that if you’re gonna do something, do it right. What she knew how to do, was break a man’s heart.

 

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This piece is in response to the August 29 Flash Fiction Challenge from The Carrot Ranch.

August 29, 2019, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about the safebreaker’s daughter. Who is she, what did she do, and where? Go where the prompt leads you!

August 29: Flash Fiction Challenge

Photo by Gabriel Wasylko on Unsplash

 

 

 

Beyond the Divide: Part 26

“Drop your weapon and put your hands in the air!”

Sonja lowered her gun. She looked from Mark to Christopher. The flashing lights and shouting disoriented her. Thoughts of what her future looked like ran through her mind and tears formed in her eyes. Sonja let out a sharp breath and then raised her gun toward the flashing lights. Three sharp pops sounded over the melee, and Sonja fell to the ground.

 

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Image by Kaleigh Kanary