#MWBB Week 2.14 : The Break-Up Song

A new bar’s always an interesting experience. Different people, bartenders, bands, music, but the same stories.

I plunked my empty bottle down, and stared at it a moment, then waited for the bartender to find me. She was a hot one. Put a hot one behind the bar on a Friday night, draw in guys by the dozen, and watch them spend everything they have while they watch her.

“Want another, hon?”

I nodded, and she was off to get a full one.

I turned to look out at the crowd. It was a good Friday night, all the tables were full. I saw what I expected around the tables. some were groups of guys, some groups of girls, and some mixed couples. Like always, the guys were hunting girls, the girls formed groups for safety, and the mixed tables were laughing, because they’d already paired off.

That’s why bars have bands and dance floors, so couples can form up. Usually a guy and a girl, but sometimes two guys, or two girls. That’s how Chrissy and I met. In a bar, with a band, and dance floor.

The dance floor was full of couples, some just forming, others having lasted longer, and some nearing the end. The new ones were fun to watch, especially on slow dances, as they got that first full body contact. It either worked, or it didn’t. If it worked, they got closer. If not, they barely touched. The couples nearly done looked around as they danced, with that “I remember when this was fun” look.

“Here alone?” The bartender put the next bottle down.

“Yeah.”

“Just break up?”

“Yeah.”

“Let me know when you want the next one.”

“And the one after that.”

She had great eyes, lots of cleavage, and hips. God, what hips! The kind you want to put your hands on. Of course, she knew it, and she showed ‘em off well. The guy next to me took a big chug from his glass, gave me an evil smile, and whispered, “God, I’d love to bang that!”

“Who wouldn’t,” I thought, “Now that Chrissy’s gone.” We’d shared the same apartment for years, but not any more. The thrill, the excitement, was gone, and had been for months. We’d met at a bar, on a dance floor, and we’d liked what we felt on that floor. That first slow number, every curve of her molded right into me, like two puzzle pieces did.

But the physical parts were the only parts that fit together. In every other way, we fit together like housewives and cockroaches. Gods, the fights we had! Of course they always ended with us naked, trashing the bed sheets again. “Hi, honey! Let’s have another fight, so we can fuck!” Yeah, that’s what everything turned into.

So, we broke up. It was for the best.

I wasn’t in the bar to find a new girl. No, I was there to understand I might find another Chrissy, and have hot sex with her for a year or three, and then have to find another bar, and another Chrissy. And it would never end.

I was drinking to think about how to find a woman. A real woman. A friend, someone to trust, to talk with, and spend time with. Someone who’d be there when you needed ‘em. Not just another body I could bang.

But I had to admit I missed banging Chrissy. Damn, she’d been hot, and so had the sex. But I’d get over it.

I looked at the guy next to me as he stared at the bartender’s ass. “Dude, no drooling on the bar.”

“God,” the guy mumbled, “Give me one night with a number like that. That’s all I want. One night.”

I spent the rest of the night watching hot women turn guys like him stupid, and wondering if I’d ever find who I was looking for, and where I’d find her, because I knew I’d never find her in a bar with a dance floor, and a band.

675 words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry for Year 2, Week 14 (Week 2.14) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other stories in the challenge.

Advertisement

That Wasn’t Really The Worst Of It

“You’re still finding your way, aren’t you?”

I laughed. That question was all Shelly.

“Tom, I’m serious.”

I made a point of looking into her soft, green eyes, so she’d understand I was paying attention to her. Of course, I liked looking into her eyes. I sometimes wished I could just stare into them. I knew I’d get lost in them, forgetting everything, including time. And just stare. But I didn’t want to disturb her, so I quickly looked away. “Yes.”

Shelly shook her head, and ran a hand through her long, brunette hair. I found myself wishing it was my hand, so I could feel the texture of her hair, so I put my hands down on the table. As I did, I realized my eyes were studying her. The way her hair fell across one shoulder. The line of her neck, and the way it curved so gently into her shoulder. Her lips. For the thousandth time I wondered how they tasted. How it would feel to press my lips to hers. I forced myself to look at my hands.

“Tom, another person would have gone back to work by now.”

I shook my head. It was my turn to smile, so I put the best smile I knew how to make on my face, “I’m not normal. You know that.”

I dared to glance at her eyes again, and wished I hadn’t. I could see the confusion, and the sorrow there. “But you had a good job. You were successful. You had a career.” Shelly put her hands on top of mine.

Gods, what a feeling. I wanted to close my eyes, and listen to everything my hands were telling me. I wanted to memorize the feel of her hands, on top of mine. Her graceful fingers on top my hands, her palms resting on my fingers. I knew I’d remember the feel of her touch, of her hands on mine, for weeks, every time I closed my eyes and thought of her.

“Tom,” her eyes locked on to mine, “It’s been three years since this all started.”

Gods, how I knew that! Three years since I came apart. Three years since my life burned to the ground. My career ended then. I’d worked a part-time job since then. I’d stopped looking for another job.

I tried to look away from her eyes. I couldn’t. I wanted to talk, I did. But all I could see was the concern, and the sadness leaking from those pools of green. I fought desperately to say anything, and I managed to whisper, “I can’t go back.” I tried so hard to smile then. And I failed. “I can’t go back.”

I wanted to tell her I knew she felt I’d come apart. Collapsed. Fallen to pieces. I knew what had happened to me made her sad. And I knew she didn’t understand anything that I’d been through. I knew she didn’t understand the life journey I was on. I knew she never would.

All I could do was smile.

She pulled her hair back over her shoulders. She did that when she tried to think through something.

“I can’t return to the world that nearly killed me.”

“Then find a different job. Don’t let your skills go to waste. Don’t let life pass you by.” Her eyes had that look people give each other when they know what they’re talking about. I know those looks exist. But I don’t know what they mean. I didn’t understand what she was saying at all. It was like she asking me to go back in time, three years. And become the person I’d been.

I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t become that empty shell again. I couldn’t become what she wanted me to. I couldn’t be bound, or defined, by a career, by a job. I couldn’t be how people wanted. I couldn’t be what they wanted.

“It’s like you’ve given up.”

I wished then, she could see my soul. See the tears my soul shed then. I wanted to explain everything to her. Tell her I hadn’t given up. I’d awakened. Come alive. Stepped beyond the walls of the life she lived in. Walls she couldn’t even see. And that wasn’t really the worst of it. The worst was she believed I no longer cared. All I could do was stare into her green eyes and try not to drown in them. All I could do was feel her hands on mine, and try not to cry tears of joy at the exquisite feelings coming from my hands.

All I could do was whisper, “I haven’t. I’ll find something.”

“When?”

“When I find what I’m looking for.”

I knew I’d never get to taste her lips. I knew I’d never get to run my fingers through her hair. I knew I’d never get to lose myself in her eyes. I knew she’d do what everyone else had done.

She’d walk away. And never look back, believing I would never recover from what had happened.

She’d never understand.

I was outside the world she lived within.


Author’s Note : Sometimes, the constraints of a flash fiction challenge just get in the way. Sometimes, I have to cut away too much of a story to fit into the straitjacket of a word limit. This is one of those times. I wrote the original version of this story, and then cut it to ribbons, to fit it into the 250 word limit for #ThursThreads. (That version is here.)

This time, I had to go back, and rework the story, adding in things I’d had to cut away, filling in the missing parts of the tale. Hope you like the extended version.

Mark.

#ThursThreads Week #77 – Find A Warm Body

Stephanie met her girlfriends outside the movie theater. They all bought tickets to the same movie and sat as a group in the same row. I followed, knowing I had to watch, and wait, until I saw the yearning in her body, the ache of loneliness written in her eyes. I waited, and watched.

After the movie, Stephanie and her group went out for drinks, taking up several of the small tables near the bar, ignoring the baseball game on the TV over the bar. I watched as Stephanie expression changed. I could taste the ache in her, the wish to not have to spend another night alone. It was time. I introduced myself, “I couldn’t help but notice you all having fun. Your laughter and smiles have made my evening much happier, and I was wondering if you would allow me to buy you a round of drinks, as a thank you.”

They accepted, of course, and I joined them, pulling a chair up next to Stephanie. One by one, her girlfriends departed, going home to their families, their husbands. Until only Stephanie was left.

We both knew she would not spend that night alone, or any other night alone, unless she wished to. She’d found a willing lover in me. That night, I relished every taste of her body heat I could consume. She had lots of heat to spare.

That’s the first rule of a body heat vampire’s world. Find a warm body.

Stephanie was certainly that.

250 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 77. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#MidWeekBluesBuster 12 : Sea Of Love

I sat on my towel, on the sand, watching the calm, blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Feeling the soft breeze flowing from the Gulf to the shore in the early morning, while the ground was still colder than the water.

I closed my eyes, and felt what little hair I had left moving in that breeze. I felt the sunshine on my face. I listened to the quiet, calm surf of the Gulf. I’d told her, once, it was like the Gulf was a giant swimming pool, with calm water, and peaceful waves.

Sitting there, it was like I could reach out, take her hand, feel her fingers interlace through mine, feel the warmth of her skin, the delicate, graceful lines of each finger. It was, of course, nothing more than a memory. I’d never see her again, at least, not in this world. No one would ever see her again.

She was gone. Beyond the veil of life. Where I couldn’t yet follow. Where I couldn’t yet reach.

But every year I returned to the Gulf. To her favorite strip of sand. She’d always loved it there. I used to watch her get up before the sun, spray herself down with insect repellent, and walk out to the shore in her swimsuit, barefoot, with nothing but an old Wal-Mart shopping bag.

I used to follow her out, taking a long, two-hour walk on the shore. I always saw her as I walked out and back. She’d be there, up to her ankles in the Gulf’s waters, peering into the sand, looking for shells. And I always loved to watch her. Such a simple thing, searching for shells at the beach. Most people would ignore her.

They never saw what I saw. The brilliant blue light shining in her eyes. A light that I could never see enough. A light connected to my heart. The gentle smile on her face that said everything in the world was OK. That made me feel alive.

Sitting on the sand every year, I always wished I could see her one more time. Watch her searching for shells, with her eyes so very much alive, and he smile driving away all the hurt and pain of the world.

I couldn’t. I knew that. She was gone.

All I could do was sit on the sand. And remember.

All the times we’d visited the Gulf. All the times I’d walked along the water’s edge with her, holding her hand in mine. All the times the world just went away, and left me alone with her. Happy. Every year I took long walks by the water. Watching the clouds and the calm, relaxing waves. Remembering the days my heart was still alive. The days my soul still cared for life.

Remembering her.

471 Words
@LurchMunster


Trying Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge again. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

Share this:

Fifteen Years

One day, there she was. We hadn’t seen each other in fifteen years. She was with her spouse. They’d been together 25 years at that point. She recognized me. I’ve been told I never really change. Just age. The lines in my face growing deeper. My hair growing more grey, and ever thinner up top. “Tom?”

I heard her voice. I stopped walking, and turned to look for who had asked my name. I saw her standing there, staring right at me. I didn’t know who she was. “Tom?” she asked again. “Is it you?”

I didn’t speak. My mind was racing through my mental archives. Searching through everyone I’d ever known. Everyone I remembered. Trying to remember people I’d long ago forgotten. She spoke as if she knew me. “Tom. It’s me. Barbara.”

I tilted my head to the side. “Barbara?” My mind searched for that name. I’d only known two people with that name in my 65 years on Earth. One in high school. One from the land of work. A land I’d exited rather suddenly.

As I stood there I remembered her. “You don’t remember me,” she said. “Do you.”

She was wrong. “I remember.” I wanted to add, “How could I forget?” I didn’t. It wouldn’t have been right. I’d come to realize in the years after my exit from the working world, I’d hurt her. I’d never meant to. But I had. It took me years to figure out what I’d done. And how my coming apart had hurt her.

I still didn’t really understand what I’d done. How what I’d done had caused so much damage. I only knew it had. I had.

“You look well,” I threw out a phrase I’d learned through the years. Something I knew people said to each other. It was a social skill I didn’t have. One I could mimic, but I couldn’t understand it. Small talk. “You look happy.”

She smiled. “It’s been a long time.”

I knew how long. I’m like that. I remember dates. Times. Events. Like the date and pretty close to the time of day I’d met my wife. The date, and time each of our children were born. Dates my mind considered important always remained in my mind. I could never forget them.

I could never forget the dates tied to her. The date she told me she was ill. The date the people at work had sent me home, forcing me out on leave. The date those same people declared I was never to talk with any of them again. For any reason. So many dates.

I remembered other dates. The one I’d told her I’d take her out on a boat, on the river, any day she asked, for as long as she wanted to go. The date I’d told her I’d send her a picture of a rose once a week until she got well. The date she’d come back to work after her first round of surgery. So many dates.

“15 years. Give or take,” I’d learned to fuzzy up the answer. I’d learned imprecision. Precision upset people. It disturbed them. Made them uncomfortable.

“How’ve you been?” She smiled as she asked. I remembered her smile. And her eyes. Both still reached right to my soul, touching my heart. I knew I could still forget everything just by looking into her eyes, seeing her smile.

She’d never understood, I knew that. No one ever had understood. Except my family. And my doctor. They knew. They understood me. They knew I loved Barbara. They knew I believed she was my friend. Someone I never wanted to hurt. Someone I would help any way I could.

Barbara never understood that kind of love. Learning I cared for her, learning I loved her scared her. She backed away. And everyone that knew both of us acted to keep her safe from me. Now, there she was. Standing an arm’s length away from me. Smiling.

I took a chance. I glanced, briefly, into her eyes. Then, I looked at her husband. I smiled at him, and extended my hand. He accepted the gesture. “Good to see you both,” I stated the greeting I’d learned over the years.

I’d promised myself I’d do one thing if I ever saw her again. I’m a lot of things. Disturbing. Disruptive. Confusing. Lost in a social environment. But I always tried to keep my word, and I’d promised myself, and God, I’d apologize to her if I ever saw her again.

I looked back at her eyes. She always had such beautiful eyes. “I’m sorry, you know.”

She just looked at me.

“I never meant to hurt you.”

I looked at him once more. “It’s been good seeing you both. I wish you well.”

With that, I smiled one last time, at her. Then I did what I had to. I turned and walked away. I knew how much I’d changed. I knew she didn’t know who I was. She only knew who I’d once been. I knew too, she’d never understand me, what I’d become, who I’d become. Part of why my time in the working world ended as badly as it did was to protect her. From me.

I wouldn’t take the chance to hurt her again. I would honor the wishes of the people I’d once known, and protect her from me.

So I turned, and walked away.

#5SF : Whisper

The voices whispered in my ear. They told me what to do. They told me he would leave her alone. Never hit her, never hurt her, never make her bleed, never break another of her bones. If I drove the ice pick through each of his eyes, and then deep into his chest, at least four or five times.


Here’s my weekly attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is Whisper.

Please, go read all the other entries to this week’s Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

#ThursThreads Week 61 : It’s Uh… Personal

Sargent Major Musket stood before me. I’d really screwed up, and I knew it. It’s bad when a wheel had just fallen off the Major’s jeep while his aid drove him across the base. It’s worse when you’re the corporal that personally inspected the vehicle, and declared it safe for use. There was just no way this was going to end well.

Musket cleared his throat, and stared right into my eyeballs. I thought they was going to melt.“Tell me again, how the Major wound up in traction, with two broken arms, and fractured ribs, and his aid wound up with a concussion, and is having his faced stitched back together, after riding in your jeep.”

Musket just stood there, his hands on his hips. “Well, Corporal. I’m waiting.”

I told him how I’d driven the jeep from its parking space to the door, where the aid and the Major had taken it. How I’d checked its maintenance log, kicked the tires, checked the oil and the other fluids, and declared it safe to drive.

Musket stared at me. I woudn’t have been surprised if he’d ordered my hands nailed to the pavement. “Well, Corporal, what are we going to do about this little mistake of yours?”

I swallowed, and then tried to speak. “It’s uh… personal failure sir. And please, call me PV1 Greaser, sir.”

At least he didn’t nail my hands to the pavement.

497 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 61. Hope you enjoy it. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#5SF : Empty

I looked into my own eyes in the mirror, and wondered. Married with a beautiful wife, and beautiful children. A nearly perfect job, with lots of vacation time, great medical benefits, and great pay. The house, and car, and all the things I’d always wanted. And yet, staring into my own eyes in that mirror, I couldn’t help but see how empty they looked to me.


Here’s my weekly attempt at Lillie McFerrin‘s flash fiction challenge, Five Sentence Fiction. This week, the prompt is Empty.

Please, go read all the other entries to this week’s Five Sentence Fiction. It’s amazing what creative people can do with just five sentences.

#VisDare 8 : Listen

The door closed behind us, and Alice kept pulling me along. We were in another hall, that led to a train tunnel. A train was waiting. Alice pulled me into a car, and thought, “Please, sit where you wish.”

I sat next to the doors of the car. The train started moving. “Listen, Alice,” I asked, my voice filling the car, “You’re pretty, so I don’t mind following you, but I’d like to know where we’re going.”

Two voices spoke in my head. One was Alice. I’d never heard the other. I didn’t understand either voice. When the voices stopped, Alice sat down beside me, and spoke, “I’ll  tell you where we are going, but first,” she looked at me and smiled. I thought she had a gorgeous smile, stunning eyes, and very kissable lips. “Do you really think I’m pretty?”

150 Words
@LurchMunster


This piece is the fifth in a continuing story I’m working through for Angela Goff’s Visual Dare. Please read the other entries in this week’s Visual Dare challenge. I like all of them.

#12DaysBop : Day 11 – A Feast For The Eyes

It’s Day 11 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Only one day left. Today, the prompt is the gift of feast. And I did NOT come up with a big meal…


Ramona was ticked. She had that look that said when I’m done with him, I’ll scratch your eyeballs out, and feed them to you, you slimy worm. I tried again to tell her it was an accident. That I didn’t even know who Julia was.

“That’s no excuse!” I wondered if Dave would be sleeping on the sofa in my apartment for the next week. It was my fault, really. For his Bachelor Party, I took him to Desperado’s. Country music. Beer. And lots and lots of dancing.

She’d walked in wearing a corset that squeezed her in all the right places. and jeans that had to have been painted on. I still haven’t figured out how she got her hands in her jean pockets. I just know somehow she did. “Sweet Jesus, feast your eyes on her!” just kinda found it’s way out of my mouth, as I poked Dave in the ribs. So he looked. And she looked right back at him.

“Dave? Is that you?”

“Julia?”

I heard my jaw smack the table, “You two know each other?”

They’d been neighbors growing up. They’d done a lot of firsts together. First date. First kiss. First dance. First sex.

I lost track of Dave after that. My eyes kept feasting on her. Ever line. Every curve. Legs. Hips. Boobs. Tush. God, what a woman! All I remember was sitting there, watching that body. Wishing I was the one dancing with her. The one kissing her. The one she going home with her that night.

I found out Dave did.

Now, Ramona, Dave’s fiance, was ready to run over us with a truck, gut us, and barbecue us in a pit, so she could feast on our remains…


Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 11 – The Gift Of Feast