#ThursThreads Week 137 : A Tale Of Wrath – His Team Lost

Sharon stared into the mirror. She’d have to call out sick to work in the morning. No amount of eye shadow, foundation and blush would hide the bruise. She could hide the ones on her arms, and neck. But the one on her face was too much.

His team lost the game. They didn’t lose many games. She was grateful for that. It would be better if they never lost.

Every Sunday during the season, she prayed, and rooted for his team, while she hid in the kitchen, too terrified to watch the game with him. If they won, she’d be OK. He’d be horny, and she could handle that. Suck him a while, get naked on the floor, and moan as he banged her. Make him think it felt great. Ask him what he’d like her to do. When they won, everything worked out.

When they lost…

She looked in the mirror, as she whispered to God, “It’s not good when they lose. You know what I mean? He’s not himself when they lose.”

She fixed his favorite snacks while the game was on, brought him more to drink every time the other team scored. At half-time, she blew him, to calm him down. “I’ll be on the bed, after the game, waiting for you.”

When they lost, he lost it. He hit things. He broke things. He hurt her.

She knew she should leave him. She wanted to.

If only she knew how.

245 Words

I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 137. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#MWBB 35 : I Am Going To The West

I closed my eyes, and listened to her song, and felt once more those first words touch my heart, and stir my memories.

In this fair land, I’ll stay no more
Here labor is in vain
I’ll seek the mountains far away
And leave the fertile plain

It’s what I’d done. I’d left the land I’d lived in for nearly 30 years. I’d abandoned it. Because it was a dead-end. That land of work I used to live in. Where nothing ever changed. No matter what I did. No matter how hard I worked. No matter what I tried. Nothing ever changed.

I didn’t have the words then, to explain what was happening. How do you explain to everyone you know that you’re trapped? Stuck in place. In a cage. That’s what work had become. A trap. A cage. Where nothing would ever change. Where I faced the same day, the same problems, the same expectations every day. Where there was only one way to behave. Only one way you could be.

I remembered the words I’d been told a thousand times, across a thousand days. “You should be more like him.” I used to wonder how I could. “How can I be like someone else? Someone I’m not?” Until I found myself asking, “What would he do? How would he react? What would he say?”

And I lost me. Somewhere.

Do you want to know if you’re trapped? Look in the mirror. Into your eyes. And ask what the person you see in the mirror wants. What that person feels. If you don’t know. If you can’t answer. You’re trapped.

And I listened to her words as she sang them. I know they weren’t meant for me. But it felt like they were.

Where waves of grass in oceans roll
Into infinity
I stand ready on the shore
To cross the inland sea
I am going to the West

Her words echoed in my memory. For 3 years now, I’d been on a journey. Across an inland sea. A sea within me. A sea I had to cross. To find my heart. To find my soul. To breathe life into me. I remembered standing alone. Straining my eyes, my mind, my heart, to see the future, what was ahead of me.

I couldn’t. No one can. If they tell you otherwise, they lie. Don’t listen to them.

“What are you going to do when you grow up?”

“What are you going to do to earn a living?”

“How are you going to pay the bills?”

“Where are you going to live?”

Yet, no one ever asked the questions that mattered. And it was those questions that ate away at me.

“Who am I?”

“What do I want?”

“What do I believe?”

“Are my dreams still alive?”

“Am I still alive?”

I remembered everyone thinking I’d gone crazy. Telling me to pull my boots up, and get tough. “They’re watching you. If you don’t straighten out, they’ll get rid of you. If you don’t behave, they’ll get rid of you.”

They did. And it hurt like hell. And it scared me stupid. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t sleep. I swear there were times I couldn’t breathe.

But with time, that changed. I figured it out. I’d done what I had to do. To save me. I’d escaped.

You say you will not go with me
You turn your eyes away
You say you will not follow me
No matter what I say
I am going to the West
I am going to the West

It cost me everything. Every friend I had. Every person I knew. To escape. To take those first steps into that inland sea. To begin to ask those questions.

“Who am I?”

“What do I want to do?”

No one followed. That was what scared me the most. What kept me there in the first place. What kept me trapped. What kept me lost. The fear everyone would say what they’d said all my life.

“I will not follow you.”

“You can’t live that way.”

“You can’t be that way.”

“You’ll always be alone.”

If only they knew.

If only they knew.

693 Words

NOTE : The song lyrics used are from the song I Am Going To The West, from the CD The Border of Heaven, by Connie Dover © Taylor Park Music/Connie Dover

This is my entry for week 35 of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. Please, go read the other entries in the challenge.

There Are Days I Forget

There are days I forget.
Days I get lost.
Days like today.
When I feel empty.
When I feel wounded.
When I feel drained.
When I feel all wrong.

There are days I forget
This moment in time.
This place.
When I remember everything.
When I can’t find my way
Out of my past.
Out of what’s already done.

Other times
I get lost other ways.
Worrying about too many things
That haven’t happened.
That are not happening.
That may never be.
Lost in wondering about a future
That I can’t possibly know.
That I can’t possibly see.

And I can feel my jaw clinch.
And my pulse begin to race.
I can feel my anger build.
Fueled by all my fears.
And all the experiences
Of my life.

The seeds of self-doubt
Sewn so many years ago.
When everyone I knew
Told me I couldn’t be
Told me I had to be

It’s on days like this,
When I’m so lost.
So confused.
Remembering my past.
And worrying about things
That haven’t happened,
And may never be.

It’s on days like this
I have to sit down.
And stop.
And breath.
And close my eyes.
And remember.

This heartbeat.
This breath.

They taught me long ago
The air is invisible.
You can’t feel it.
You can’t see it.
How can you know it’s there?

Like so many things
I was taught
In the life that was,
What I learned
Was all a lie.

For I know
As I sit here on my own.
And I close my eyes.
And simply breathe.

I know.

I can feel the very air
All around me.

I can hold out my hands.
Spread my fingers out.
And I can feel the air
As it flows across my palms.
And between the fingers
Of my hands.

How can anyone believe
The air isn’t really there?
When you can touch it.
When you can feel it.

So I sit,
Silent and alone.
On the sofa
In my home.
And I close my eyes.
And breathe.
Just breathe.
And feel.
Everything my body feels.

And it only takes a few heartbeats
For my body to remind me
Of the truth.

All I have,
And all I am.
I now.

In this breath.
In this heartbeat.

And there is nothing else.

There is no past.
It’s gone.
It’s done.
No one anywhere
Can go back and fix
Anything that’s happened

No one anywhere
Can even fix what happened
In the last heartbeat.
In the last breath.

There is no future.
Because it hasn’t happened yet.
And while it’s possible
To extrapolate,
And project,
The events that might happen,
Based on what’s happened
In the past.

But there’s no way
To guarantee
What will happen
In your next heartbeat.

So I sit here.
And I breathe.
And I remember.
This breath.
This heartbeat.

I sit here
And remember


A bench by the lake at Norfolk Botanical Garden

A bench by the lake at Norfolk Botanical Garden

There is a place I know.
A place I visit
Time and time again.
A place that speaks
To my heart.
To my soul.
That heals wounds inside of me
About which
I don’t even know.

I would take you there.
To that bench.
By the lake.
Ducks swim there
Pure white herons fly
Just above the water
Every now and then.

There are trees,
And flowers,
And Rhododendrons,
Surrounding that bench.
Every now and then
They are filled with colors.
And ever blues.

I’ve sat on that bench myself.
With my pen in hand.
My notebook in my lap.
Listening to the words
My heart spoke to me.
Trying desperately to hear
The song my own heart sings.

I would take you there.
To that peaceful place.
And let you rest.
Let you watch the water
Of the lake.
The birds as they fly by.
The squirrels
In the trees.
The robins
On the ground.

Let you close your eyes
And listen.
To the sounds
Of life.

And perhaps.
Just perhaps.
Some of your own wounds,
That I see
Every time I look into your eyes,
Will begin to heal.

Some of the hurt
You feel,
And live with
Every day,
Will fade.
If only for a time.

And perhaps,
You might begin
To once more hear the music
Of your heart’s own song.
A song you forgot
So very long ago.

#12Masque : Lost In The Masquerade

Welcome to the Twelfth Night Masquerade, hosted by Meg McNulty. A masquerade celebration of the twelfth night of Christmas. What follows is my entry into the celebration.

She looked the part she’d chosen to play in the masquerade. The black silk gown she’d selected was exquisite. It fit every curve, drew attention to every surface. Her shoes, more like sandals with straps that wrapped around her ankles and calves. Her nails were all polished black as night. She wore black lace gloves that reached to her elbows. Her black hair cascaded down her bare back, the gown held in place by a black ribbon that laced from the small of her back up to the base of her shoulders. She’d topped it off with a black mask. The pale black eye shadow she’d so carefully placed was just another detail in the work of art she was.

I’d expected nothing less.

She was the same every day. Perfectly made up. Perfectly dressed. With perfect behavior. Like an actress playing a role made just for her. Putting on a show for all to see. With no depth, no life beyond the screen. What does an actress do when she’s not acting? Who does she become when she’s not in character?

I knew the answer, though I dared not share it with anyone, save her.

It was a joy to watch the way she played the part. Turning men into helpless boys, unable to take their eyes off her. Nodding their heads, and racing to fetch her another drink when she indicated she wanted one. Too tongue-tied to ask her to dance.

The way they turned to love-struck puppies was no surprise.

Other women avoided her. The spoke of the hussy in black in hushed tones in their little gatherings. Green jealousy, and red hatred filling their eyes. Visible through their masks. Smiling when their paths crossed hers. “You look stunning tonight, dear. Really. You make it look so easy.”

I stood, in the shadows. Speaking to no one. Watching her perform. Watching the corresponding performances from those around her. Wondering how they would behave, if they knew her as I did. If they knew the truth of who she was.

Would they understand how hurt, how broken, how wounded she was? Would the see the way her heart bled? Would they see the scars within her soul? Would they see she had forgotten so very long ago who she really was? No longer knowing what she felt, what she believed, or who she was. Just an actress, playing a part, and nothing more?

Would they see the little girl, hiding from the world she didn’t understand? Always hidden behind a mask.

As I watched her perform that night, I found myself wondering, as I have wondered so many times before. If I could ever help her find herself. If she would ever see herself as I did. If she would let me walk beside while she searched for who she was. Or if she’d remain as she was now.

Lost. In the masquerade.

496 Words

Please read the other entries in this masquerade. They are all wonderful stories, freely shared by word artists, and are well worth reading.

#12DaysBop : Day 9 – I Have A Tale For You

It’s day 9 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the prompt is stories. And I have a tale for you.

Gather ‘round children. I have a tale for you. A tale of forgotten dreams, a lost soul and an aching heart. Listen carefully, as I share this tale with you.

It’s the story of a boy who wrote stories, big and small. Drew airplanes, cars and spaceships. He drew flowers too. He loved to play the piano, in his family’s home. And he loved to sing. Not unlike many of you.

As the boy grew older his friends started asking him, “What are you going to be when you grow up? What are you going to do to make a living? It’s good that you can write. Don’t ever stop. But what are you going to do with your life?”

As he grew older, he stopped singing. One day in church he closed the hymnal and never sang another word. He stopped drawing for he knew his artwork wasn’t good enough for him to earn a living with. He even put down his paper and pen, and never wrote anything again.

He went to college, got a job, and went to work. Like people do. He took care of his family, bought them a house, and a car. He gave his wife, daughter and son everything they asked for.

But he never, ever smiled. He was a good grown up. A success in life.

Then one day, he heard a song.

I’ll be great becoming
Someone I’ll adore
Let me reach my destiny
The life I’ve failed before

Transform me in the image of
What I’d rather be
Open me and pour in
What you want from me

He cried. For the song described his life, and how he’d thrown himself away to become just like everyone else.

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 8 – The Gift Of Seas

The Eighth Edition of Friday Night Write : Hope Remains

Sash woke up in a bed. A real bed. With sheets. And blankets. And pillows. Something was wrong. She never woke up in a bed. She remembered passing out on the park bench. And she had passed out. The fix had worked. Made her feel happy. Made her relax. Made her forget the pain of her life.

She sometimes wondered why she just didn’t die.

But now, she was in a bed. She sat up, and moved the covers down to her waist. She was dressed. In flannel pajamas. And those pajamas felt good. Warm. Clean.

My god, she was clean. Her hair was clean. Her face, her neck, shoulders. All of her was clean. She didn’t remember taking a bath. Or a shower. She didn’t remember anything. She didn’t have any idea at all where she was.

She got out of the bed. Found slippers next to it. Soft and fuzzy. She put her feet in them. Decided to keep them on. She walked around the room she was in. There was a window, with curtains, on one side of the room. Sunlight was coming through the curtains. She walked to the window, pulled the curtain aside, and looked out.

Outside, there was grass. And trees. And a garden. With flowers. She found herself staring at the flowers. They were so beautiful. There was no place like that in the city. No place at all.

Where the hell was she?

There was a knock on the door. Followed by a voice, “Miss Sash?”

She answered, “Yes.”

“May I come in?”


The door opened. It was a woman. Maybe in her early 40s. “I’m glad to see you’re awake. Would you like something to eat?”

At first, Sash wanted to scream, “Yes!” Food sounded so good. She couldn’t remember her last real meal. But, she caught herself. And took a more cautious approach. “Who are you?”

The woman smiled. It was a disarming smile. “I’m Cynthia. I work for Mr Harland. This,” she looked around the room, “is Mr. Harland’s home.”


“Yes, Miss Sash. Harland. The owner of Harland Enterprises.” Cynthia smiled. “You are wondering why you are here, no doubt.” Then Cynthia had started toward the door of the room, “I’ll let Mr. Harland answer all of your questions. He is expecting you. Please follow me.”

Sash thought she was dreaming.She’d heard stories about Mr. Harland. How people living on the street would one day vanish, showing up a year or two later. Completely different.

Cynthia was speaking as she led Sash through the halls of Mr. Harland’s home. “Mr. Harland makes it his personal work to find lost spirits. Wounded souls. Broken hearts. And give them a second chance. All of us that work here were once lost, like you, Miss Sash. Mr. Harland found us. One at a time. And brought us here, so he could show us that hope remains.”

Everything Was Broken

I stood on the sand.
By the water’s edge.
Looking out to sea.

It was Sunday.
In August.
The sun had been up
Only for an hour.
And already
I was standing
On the sand.

“Everything is broken,”
I remember thinking.
I remember standing there.
Hearing those words
In my head.
Over and over.

I’d walked on the sand.
God knows how long.
God knows how far.
I didn’t know.
I didn’t care.
I didn’t even know
How I’d gotten there.
To the sand
That day.
And I didn’t care.

Nothing mattered anymore.
Everything was broken.

For me,
The world had ended.
Everything I knew.
Everything I understood.
Everything I believed.
Was gone.
All of it.
A lie.

I stood there.
And I watched the ocean.
I  watched the waves.
I watched  them come in.
And breaking.
White caps
And foam.

I watched the way sunlight
Glinted off the ripples
In the surface
Of the ocean.
Forming little diamonds
That were there.
And then were gone.

The way the sunlight
Illuminated the backs
Of waves.
Shining right through them.
Making them brighter
Than the ocean
They were part of.
And then
They were gone.

Everything was gone.
Everything was broken.