Monday, March 28, 2016

Tuesday Tales - Are Memories Hard to Swallow?

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! It's time for Tuesday Tales. A group of writers gather together and give our interpretation of a specific word prompt each week. Once per month, we even write to an image.  You never know what you might encounter when you get inside our minds. This week our group writes to the word- swallow This will be an excerpt from Twister Fate, my new WIP for a new romance contemporary.


Watching daytime television was interesting for only so long. Being in the hospital limited my choices by the channels they chose to pay for. Truth be told though, I could’ve had a thousand picks and still not found anything to take my mind off the everyday. I was sleeping a little better, my dreams reduced to faded happy memories without the tremors of ugliness. It had been three weeks since the tornado ripped through my happiness.  I didn’t need a calendar to remind me.

Stirring scrambled eggs around the cafeteria-supply white plate, I’d eaten several bites, enough to quiet the growls. The decision to eat more went round and round in my brain, while the eggs cooled to room temperature. Soon, it would be even less appetizing, so, I needed to decide fast. The baby knocked just in time, giving me the cue to make a happy plate. I’d give it my best effort, taking another swallow.

He peeked inside as he knocked.  “Hey, how are you?”

My day brightened, even if I didn’t want to acknowledge it. “I’m okay, trying to eat this breakfast.”

Observing my tray, he smiled. “You’re doing a great job. I’m happy to see your appetite perking up.”

“I’m doing what I can to be a good patient.”

“It’s all we can ask.”

This wasn’t his usual schedule, hopefully he wasn’t there to deliver bad news. “It’s early in the day, what’s the morning visit about?”

“Well, I was going through some of my storage containers and found something I think you might like.”

Storage containers? What in the world was in his history I would be interested in? “You don’t say?”

Waving a little brown paper bag in my direction, he teased me with the mystery. “Yeah, I got a kick out of it.”

“Okay, I give, what’s the big surprise?” In a way, his delight brought a little happiness to my morning.

Fishing around inside for the contents, he looked between me and the sack. He held up something in his large hand, waving it around triumphantly. “Look what I found!”

Inside his long, skilled fingers he held little plastic toys. Memories of times with Cameron temporarily enveloped my sadness, folding it up neatly before tucking it away. Upon further inspection of the mysterious, I saw the unmistakable brown, molded outline of a body wide mane. “No way, is that what I think it is?”

For a moment, I was transported back to my childhood days. We spent hours playing with action of figures of different sorts. However, Star Wars was our clear favorite. Our parents influenced us with the likes of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg while our friends were hooked on Power Rangers and Ninja Turtles. I acknowledged our parents all the time for their tutelage in the classics.

“How cool is this?” Cameron clearly had a huge kick of delight upon bringing me this treasure.

“You still have Chewbacca. I’m impressed.”

“I kept these tucked away in a dresser drawer or something, so, they never made it to the donation box.” Handing the figure over to me, he also held up a couple more. “Look, I have Obi Wan and Yoda too.”

“Wow, we really did spend hours with these things, didn’t we?”

“Yeah, it was awesome. I credit those hours with building my imagination. We were never bored were we?”

“No, I can say we weren’t. Plus, I was the only girl so I didn’t have to fight with anyone else about being Princess Leia.”

“That’s right, probably the most important part. You had no competition.”

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Monday, March 21, 2016

Tuesday Tales in the Mirror...what would you see?

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! This week our group writes to the reflective word- mirror This will be an excerpt from Twister Fate, a new WIP for a new romance contemporary.



Releasing a long exhale, Cameron took his time with one simple sentence. “Sheila wants to move back to the East Coast when I finish school. She’s actually looking for jobs out there.”

Suddenly, this girl angered me, taking advantage of Cameron’s emotions. He was too much a gentleman to tell her no. “What about your job? Seems to me it should be up to you, since you’re gonna be a doctor.”

“I can get a job just about anywhere. There’s always a need for physicians.”

“Don’t you have to take state license exams or something to practice medicine in different states? That test can’t be too easy.”

“You’re right, most states require separate testing, but there’s some reciprocity too.” Running his hand through his hair, he appeared contrite. “We haven’t figured it all out yet.”

“I guess I never thought you’d want to move away from your family and uproot again.”

“I’m flexible, and learning to compromise.”

I was such an idiot. This girl wasn’t just a fling or a young romance, she was his fiancĂ©e for crying out loud. Of course, he would be willing to make some life adjustments for her. Damn, he could probably do quite well practicing medicine out in some big city. “I’m proud of you.”

What a condescending thing to say.

“Enough about me, how about you? I never asked what your career was?”

Smoothly transitioning out of the fire, Cameron turned the conversation back to me again. I truly didn’t want to be the focus, yet here I was. “I became a teacher. Of course, I’m on a leave of absence for a while.”

“I bet you’re a wonderful teacher. You’ve always been full of energy and imagination. Those kids are lucky.”

If I hadn’t known Cameron for so long, even with the years apart, I’d think he was pouring on the charm. “My job keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure. Most days are good ones, and some of my students are so sweet.”

I missed the daily interaction I had with my students. The mother hen in me desired the happy faces and eager minds of the kids I considered my own from nine to three thirty each day. “I teach second grade. Some of the ideas they come up with are brilliant and I forget how good kids are at problem solving. They don’t make the world so complicated. With them I see the innocence we all used to live by.” Thinking about them made me want to smile, but, somehow I still couldn’t. “I wanted to go back to college for my post-graduate degree. I’m not going to do that now.”

“You might not do it now, or anytime in the near future. But, you’ll find that drive again.” Nodding, Cameron revealed his confidence I would return to a state of dynamic normal rather than the feeble version I found myself operating by.

Good thing he was probably moving away. I was sure I’d let him down. I was ready for him to leave my room so I could be alone. Any talk about the future reminded me of everything I lost. “I’m getting tired…”

“Sure thing, take a nap. I’ll see you tomorrow?”

Turning over, as much as I could in that bed, I faced the opposite wall and said as much as I could. “Okay.” Good thing there wasn't a mirror in my hospital room, I could see just how wretched I looked. I wasn’t in the mood for visual proof of my internal struggle.

Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of mirror Tuesday Tales Main Page

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Tuesday Tales to Grab You

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! This week our group writes to the diverse word- grab This will be an excerpt from Twister Fate, a new WIP for a new romance contemporary.

“You’re in a very bleak place. On one hand, you deserve the right to mourn the loss of Billy. He was your world, your partner, the one you planned to conquer the world with. But, on the other hand, you have a baby growing inside who already loves you. You are his, or her, entire world. With this little person, your priorities change from your own needs to the baby’s needs. You’ve got to be there one hundred percent, taking all the responsibility of mother and father. It’s not a task for the faint of heart. Not everyone could do it.”
Was this some kind of reverse psychology bullshit? “Thank you Captain Obvious. I thought I had some obscenely huge tumor in my stomach.”
“Stop, you’re just as feisty as when we were kids. You know what I meant.”
“I’m not really sure I do know. I haven’t seen you in what…fifteen years? How much could you know about me as an adult? You knew me as some kid eons ago.”
“We were best friends forever, then, you were my girlfriend. You were my first love, really.”
My stomach gurgled and did a small whoop-tee-do, like going over hills really fast in a car. My brain quickly reprimanded my emotions with how shitty my reaction was. I wasn’t gonna minimize Billy in any way, shape, or form. “Oh, good grief, that was years ago. We were stupid kids.”
“We were best friends forever, how could you forget?”
“Because you up and left me, do you remember that? How long did we write each other, huh? Maybe six months before we both got too busy to give a damn. We grew up without each other. The heart forgets.”
“My heart never forgot you.”
A rescue ship drifted into view from my deserted island, I wasn’t alone. Relief settled my nerves, calming my blues. Closing my eyes, balling my hands into fists, I strongly rejected the peace Cameron offered. My husband just died for Christ’s sake. “Are you fucking making a pass at me? That’s low.”
“No, I’m not making any passes. I’m engaged to someone. I was only trying to give you some comfort, talk about something happy. I wanted you to know I never forgot our friendship.” Looking down, he gripped his hands together awkwardly.
He was engaged?
A million thoughts entered my mind all at once. Relief washed over the worry he was making a move on me. I was glad to know he remained gallant in this world sometimes blackened with self-indulgence.  Yet, a small twinge of regret poked at my consciousness, like not finding the prize egg during childhood hunts, even though my basket was abundantly full. My life had been abundantly full, when he just happened to stroll back into it as the earth shattered. “I’m sorry, I was being a jerk. Congratulations on the engagement, she’s a lucky girl.”
“I’m the lucky one, I gotta admit.” Standing, he smiled his irresistible crooked grin. “I’m on rotation here for several more weeks. I’d like to check on you, if that’s okay.”
Here was someone not part of the world that had imploded. Maybe he was just the person to talk to, remind me of happier times. Even though I doubted I’d ever be fully happy again, he could help pass these miserable days until the baby arrived. I had nothing to grab onto, everything felt like gelatin as my life rope.
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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tuesday Tales and a Picture is Worth 300 Words

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! This week our group writes to a photo prompt. As usual, we only have 300 words to accompany the visual prompt. We had a few images to choose from, giving a little more creative freedom.

 I chose the following picture, as it fit in better with my 300 word snippet.   This will be an excerpt from Twister Fate, a new WIP for a new romance contemporary.

-The summer before my freshman year of high school was exciting and scary. I spent most of the days with my best friend, Cameron Murphy. Cameron and I had been friends since the first grade. Although we became closer that last summer we spent together. Before he moved away, breaking my young heart.
We spent hours drifting down the river on inner tubes, laughing and splashing our way down the lazy current. The sunburns couldn’t quell our excitement to be alone in swimsuits, as my body gave me impulses to be closer to his skin. Fear coupled as deeply with curiosity to understand what the adults found indescribably euphoric.
Growing up with Cameron gave me a comforting trust within our blossoming friendship. When he held my hand for the first time, my heart fluttered and I understood what butterflies really did to a human stomach. Underneath a large oak tree, Cameron tentatively leaned forward, kissing my lips. I think I closed my eyes to close out everything but the feeling on my mouth. He pulled away, his cheeks redder than my sunburned shoulders.
Taking our time, we didn’t rush anything that summer, we assumed we had the rest of our lives to explore further. We didn’t want to ruin the closeness we’d established during our entire childhood. We spent small bursts of times hidden within the trees, drinking pop and eating sandwiches underneath the cool shade. Just before our mouths got us into trouble, we’d pack up and jump back into the river, cooling the heated coup within my hips.
I’d caught a glimpse more than once of his boyhood erections. I couldn’t decide if I was sad that he hadn’t pressed our physical relationship just a little more.
He probably knew what was going to happen…he had to leave.
  Please visit us at our main site for more stories based upon our writers' chosen image Tuesday Tales Main Page


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tuesday Tales, From the Hip

Ahoy Fellow Fathomers! This week our group writes to the diverse word- hip This will be an excerpt from Twister Fate, a new WIP for a new romance contemporary.

“I heard them, you know, the rescue team – Billy included.” I looked at Cameron sitting, waiting patiently for my next words. I wasn’t sure I wanted to go any further. When I didn’t speak, he smiled this get out of jail free card, silent proof he wasn’t forcing me to keep talking. Closing my eyes, I released this painful gale hiding behind a dam of shame. “I wanted to tell him to stop, to wait, I was okay. He didn’t need to put himself in further danger, we would be there till it was safe. I’d tripped on something stupid, I fell in the dark, somehow my flashlight went out.” I remembered the throbbing. The pain shot through my hip, shattering my consciousness.

Filling with tears, Cameron’s eyes widened slightly before he closed them again. Clutching my hand, a small gesture meant to soothe became a rock within this swirling rapid river of regret. If only for a moment, I had something to hold onto, something to keep me from rushing away. “I know you’re hurting.”

“But, if I’d only yelled loud enough, he wouldn’t have kept walking all over that electrified ground.” Returning to the impossibly simple scenario made me sick to my stomach. How the hell do people live with what ifs?

“How do you move forward from this place?”

The sincere question became a quest without a map, starting in the dark with no light. Impossibility crushed my dreams, any hopes I’d had for the future. “I don’t know I ever can.” My jaw clenched, despair filled my lungs, squeezing out the air.

 Please visit us at our main site for more interpretations of hip Tuesday Tales Main Page