Beyond the Divide: Part 5

Liz and Evie walked along broken pavement, in and out of the yellow glow of the streetlights.

“Who’s him, by the way?”

“My brother.”

“Oh.” Evie nodded. “It must have been important, what you needed to tell him.”

“Yes, it was.”

Evie watched Liz with expectant eyes.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Liz said.

Evie frowned and turned forward. “Your choice, I suppose.”

They came around a corner onto a concrete sidewalk. A small car pulled out of the intersection ahead of them and turned the other way. They crossed the street and walked along a line of dark windows. A man stumbled out of the shadows in front of them. His hair was greasy and uncombed, and his face unshaven. His clothes were dingy and worn through in spots.

Liz froze as he approached. Evie stepped aside and watched Liz’s face. The man dragged his feet and his arms were loose at his side. He moved right toward Liz, but at the last second drifted around and past her. Liz looked back at the man as he wandered away.

“Could he see us?”

“No. Most can’t, unless you want them to.”

“So was it by chance that he didn’t run into me?”

“Again, no. While they may not be able to see with their eyes, there are other senses that come in to play.”

“Oh.”

Evie smiled and held out a hand. “Shall we?”

Liz looked along the sidewalk. “Sure.”

Three blocks later, Evie took them up a side street and stopped at a narrow greenspace. Along the road there was a metal bench surrounded by flowering bushes. Near the back were more benches and an old, rusty merry-go-round. Liz sat on the bench facing the road. Evie sat on the opposite end with her back straight and her hands on her lap. They watched cars and the odd pedestrian go by.

“Why do you run around looking like a little girl if you’re not?”

Evie shrugged. “Why do people go around looking like bankers or prostitutes? It is a way for me to get what I want. There’s not much more to it than that.”

Liz nodded. “You’re not wrong, I guess.” She brushed her hand down her leg to her knee. The sensation was as muted as her colour. “What is your story anyway?”

Evie pondered for a moment. “I’ve told a lot of stories. So many for so long that I’ve forgotten what is true. I was a princess, sent to the Americas to hide my father’s shame. I was a slave, murdered for looking at a white man’s wife. I was the young bride of a man who cut off my head with an axe. He buried it in the coat of a Confederate soldier, and then fed my body to the pigs. It changes depending on the situation.” Evie looked to Liz. “I don’t normally share so much. Maybe I’ve been around too long. Maybe I have a soft spot for those that have been done wrong.”

“You can tell that?”

Evie nodded. “It’s your energy. It would be different if the reason you died was natural, or if it was by your own hand. Your light burns stronger, brighter.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

Evie smiled and shrugged. “I guess you will.”

 

***

 

Image by Kaleigh Kanary

 

Beyond the Divide: Part 2

The door clicked shut and the room was pitch black. Mark fumbled with his free hand for the light switch. He squinted as his eyes adjusted to the crisp light from the fixture above his head. He turned the latch on the deadbolt and hooked the chain. He released the ring of keys from between his teeth to his open hand, and then tossed them onto the counter.

Mark was walking through the kitchen when he felt the buzzing in his pocket. He pulled his phone out. The display name was blank. He hesitated for a moment but pressed the green button and held the phone to his ear.

“Hello?”

“Mark.”

Mark stopped in front of the dining room table. The voice was quiet. It sounded like it was echoing down a long corridor. “Liz?”

“Mark, I…”

“Liz, where are you? I think we’ve got a bad connection.”

Mark set the grocery bags down on the table. A can of tuna dropped down and rolled off onto the floor and toward the living room. Mark watched as it arced and settled in front of the TV stand. His eyes raised to a figure standing in the shadows of the far corner.

Mark stared at the woman. Ice water ran through his body. The woman’s mouth was closed tight and her eyes pinched. Her hair was damp and hanging straight, her clothes sticking to her body. She looked like she was concentrating. There was hurt in her eyes.

Mark pulled the phone away from his ear. “Liz?”

The voice came through the phone, but the woman’s lips moved in time. “Mark, I didn’t do it. What they’re going to say about me.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Find my journal, Mark. It will lead you to the truth.”

The phone fell silent and Mark lowered his arm. The woman began to shake her head back and forth, slowly at first. Her mouth moved like she was trying to talk. Her face went flush, and her eyes inked over to black. She let out a scream like she was dying.

When Mark pulled his hands away from his ears and opened his eyes, she was gone. He looked around the room. The windows were closed, not that there was anywhere to go. He turned to the front door. The deadbolt was locked, and the chain still fastened.

 

***

 

Image by Kaleigh Kanary

99 Words #22 – What is Love?

Baby?

Hi sweetie.

Hey there…

Umm, what are you doing?

I just wanted to say, I loves you…

Oh God, please don’t.

But I loves you…

Stop it.

I eats the ends of the banana bread loaf so you don’t have to.

Why do you have to be such a dork?

I never leaves you an empty toilet paper roll.

Knock it off right now or I’m going to smack you.

Don’t be angry, I Ioves you!

You make me angry, because you’re a dork!

But baby…

I said stop it.

I…

Don’t do it.

LOVES YOU!

Smack

Ow.

*******

Written in response to Carrot Ranch Communication’s July 13, 2016 flash fiction challenge prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the emotion of anger. Hey, it’s in there…

July 13: Flash Fiction Challenge

Homework Gone Awry: Song Titles

This is How it Goes

You & Me

A Story No One Told

 

Falling Faster Than You Can Run

Everything Changes

Heart in Two

 

Nothing to Say

Nowhere to Go

I Just Don’t Understand

 

My Broken Heart Belongs to You

When It’s All Said and Done

I Don’t Want You On My Mind

 

Don’t Worry About Tomorrow

Close Your Eyes

Let it Go

 

*******

This came about as a challenge to write a piece of poetry using only song titles. I don’t claim to know what I’m doing as far as poetry goes. But then again that’s pretty much the case with everything I do in life.

How many titles do you recognize?

 

The Stag

The stag is just standing there staring at me. I don’t take my eyes off of him either. He only fades as wisps of my own breath rise and disintegrate in front of me. I’m too scared to move, not that I have anywhere to run.

“Git!” I shout at him, but the only response I get is the twitch of his nose.

“Go on now!” Nothing. Eyes as deep and dark as an empty well are locked on me, waiting. “Beat it ya wretch!”

I shift my stance to ease the pain in my feet. The stag levels his head at me, and takes a single step forward. I feel warmth running down my leg as I drop to my knees and start to pray.

 

99 Words #20 – Smile

I’m sitting here thinking about cancer, and I’ve decided that life isn’t fair.

Celebrities get shout outs and hashtags, while our friends and family are taken from us and nobody knows. Everyone is talented. Everyone is important. Right?

I’m lost in thought, when the boy pops up in front of me. He’s grinning ear to ear, tongue sticking through the space where a tooth used to be.

“Hi dad.”

Just as quickly, he disappears. I realize that maybe I’ve got it all wrong. It’s not about recognition, it’s what we do with the time we are given that counts.

 

 

The Night Victoria Snuck Out

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Metallic hinges groaned open after having been stationary for many years. Shadows shifted in the unlit entryway. A sharp nose and squinted eye appeared from behind the opening door. There was a pause, a sniff at the wet night air, and then Victoria emerged from her hiding spot.

She tightened the ragged shawl that constituted her disguise around her face. Startled by a procession of four wheeled transport carts making their way around the square, she nearly tumbled backwards in to one of the rose bushes that stood sentry outside the entry way.

Victoria composed herself with a heavy sigh, and began shuffling toward the side gate. When she was half way across the courtyard she had another scare. Just around the corner of the long stone wall came laughter. Victoria turned to see a group of men gathered together, enjoying a cigarette in what remained of the night now that the rain had passed.

Victoria turned to continue on her way, but she had already been spotted. She tried to move at a comfortable pace, not wanting to raise immediate suspicion, but still the heavy clap of boots on the cobblestones continued after her.

“Hello there! What business do you have outside of the palace this evening?”

Victoria clasped the shawl over her face and turned to face her pursuer. She tensed as the man came near. “So sorry Sir, I seem to be going daft in my old age and’ve lost my way.”

“But…” the man paused, eyeing Victoria closely, “Grandmother?”

Victoria sighed and dropped her hand from her face. She kicked at a small rock in front of her, “Bugger.”

“Grandmother! What on earth are you doing?”

“George! Hush now, I wish to avoid unwanted attention!”

“But Grandmother, why are you sneaking about at this time of night?”

“I don’t believe I owe any explanation to you young George, but if it must be known I wish to see Mister Cody once more.”

“The man from the Wild West performance? Whatever for?”

“He wished to give me a private showing of something he referred to as his ‘white sheet rodeo’, I was intrigued.”

“Grandmother!”

“Hold your tongue young George, you are family but do not forget that your future is very much in my hands.”

“Yes Grandmother…”

“Now, it appears that the traffic along the carriage path has diminished, be a dear and latch the gate after I’ve gone, will you?”

Musical Interlude – Thank You.

Hello there.  Not something I really do but I wanted to post an open message to everyone who follows my blog, or has liked or commented on anything along the way.  So here we go.

 

Life is busy, for many different reasons, I know that better than most.  It’s been a struggle for me to find the time to write lately.  Like time is something that can be found, it’s all around us, so really I’m here to say I haven’t yet been able to completely rid myself of lame excuses…  Anyway, I used the April A to Z Challenge to get me back in to a regular flow, in my opinion it was a positive move.

 

 

So what now?  I’m going to get back to the project that I started for NaNoWriMo, and haven’t really touched since.  I’m going to do my best to get back to a once per week posting schedule here, and I hope you will stay tuned.

 

 

I’m done babbling now.  Thank you for following along.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to read my words.  Thank you for keeping me going.  My greatest hope is that I will be able to return the favour in some small way.

 

99 Words #19 – The End (aka Z is for Zombies)

“ZOMBIES!”

“Son of a bitch Bubbles!  What the hell was that?!  I nearly crapped my drawers!”

“Want a drink friend?  I’m going to make Zombies!”

“What are you talking about?  It’s 9 o’clock in the morning.”

“It’s never too early to try something new my son!  Or really old as the case may be.”

“No, I think I’m… Jesus!  Why aren’t you wearing any pants?!”

“It’s a beautiful day! What better chance to give the mistah a little fresh air!”

“That…  That is extremely inappropriate.”

“Calm down friend, no need to be so prudish.”

“I’m going back to bed…”

99 Words #18 – Keep Walking (aka Y is for Yesteryear)

We hang on to the past so tightly.  Fond memories and stories.  Pictures and special mementos.  We also hold on to things that offer us no benefit.  Perceptions and expectations.  Fears and regrets.  The person you are today was built upon all of your experiences, good and bad, but you don’t need to let those things define you.

I was asked a question today.  If I could tell my 16 year old self anything, what would it be?  My response was, no matter how bad things look right now, everything is going to be all right.  Just keep walking.