#LoveBites2020 : Trapped In An Elevator

It was Two in the morning, on February 14th. Valentine’s day. We’d been stuck in the elevator for almost an hour. An hour earlier, the floor had bounced, and we heard two loud pings, and the elevator came to a dead stop.

I’d used my cell phone to call building maintenance, but no one answered, and my call went to voicemail. She’d used her phone to post her status on Facebook, and Twitter, and to send messages to her friends. No one answered. No one texted back.

We were stuck. “I figure we’re stuck here until the maintenance crew gets here at five or so.” That didn’t make her happy, and I’m sure her being stuck in an elevator with someone who was probably older than her parents, wasn’t something she wanted.

At the one hour mark, I decided to sit down in the back corner of the tiny room we were trapped in, and see if I could take a nap.

She watched me like I was some kind of predator, waiting for her to pass out, after which there was no telling what I’d do.

“Well, since we’re stuck here,” I pulled out my phone, and put up a picture of my daughter. “This is my daughter. She’s 31, and married. Expecting a baby in a few months.”

The girl looked at my phone. I let her hold it. “She’s older than me.”

“Yeah. I thought she was.” I shrugged, and leaned my head against the wall. “I’m too old for a lot of things, you know.” After a big sigh. “A lot of things are for younger people.” I almost laughed, “Getting stuck in an elevator at stupid o’clock is exhausting. I need a nap.”

She sat down in the other back corner. “I could use a nap too.”

“I have a son, too. Want to see his picture?” She nodded. I brought the picture up on my phone. She looked, and smiled, “He’s kind of cute.”

“He’s not married yet. Think he has a boyfriend. But he doesn’t talk about it.”

She handed my phone back to me. “Are you married?”

“I was. She died early. Way too young.”

“Oh. I’m sorry.”

Since we were talking anyway, I asked, “You married?”

“No. And not in a hurry.”

“Can’t blame you there.” I shook my head, “Men these days. I’m telling you.”

She actually laughed about that.

“If you want a nap,” I tugged at the shoulder of my coat, “You are welcome to put this out on the floor. I mean. I wouldn’t sleep on this floor. Holy crap.”

We talked a bit, about families, and work. About cats, and dogs. Even about how no one would ever believe we got stuck in the elevator all night. Eventually, she did take me up on my coat offer, and stretched out on my coat, on the floor. I drifted off to sleep myself.

I woke up when the elevator floor bounced again. So did she. I was surprised to see she’d put her head in my lap. “I needed a pillow.”

“Well. At least I’m good for something.”

We heard two more pings from the elevator, and it finally started to move. It was five-fifteen in the morning. We staggered to our feet. Well. I staggered. She bounced right up. “Work is gonna suck today.”

She laughed, “I know what you mean.”

“Nine for me. You?”


“At least you get to take a good nap.”

“I got a good nap. You make a good pillow.”

As we got off the elevator, finally, she tapped me on the shoulder. “For what it’s worth. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather get stuck in an elevator with.”

“You make a good person to talk with.”

“Happy Valentine’s day, old timer.” She gave me a hug.

“Happy Valentine’s day.”

640 Words

My attempt at writing a story for the #LoveBites2020 Blog Hop. Tried something different this year. Hope it’s acceptable.

Please, go read all the other entries for the Blog Hop.

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#ThursThreads Week 351 : I Don’t Know What To Feel

I rang the doorbell. Her husband let me in, then lead me to the Living Room, where she was stretched out on the sofa, with all the lights out. “She needs all the friends she can get,” he whispered. “It’s like everyone she knew has abandoned us.”

I nodded, “I know. Humans. So stupid.”

When I walked into the room, she slowly sat up. I couldn’t help but see the agony in her eyes. I wanted to tell her she could stay where she was. Instead, I wished I could somehow transfer tons of my own energy to her.

“Hi,” was all she said. She pointed at the space on the sofa next to her, and that’s where I sat.

She loved the Valentine’s Day card I’d picked for her, and the chocolate truffles I’d brought. We sat in silence, watched movies, and ate truffles.

I told her, “I don’t know what to feel, sometimes. About people. Should I be sad for them, because of how blind they are? Or should I be angry that they abandoned you?”

“They’re only human,” she smiled.

That evening we picked the next day I’d visit, and we’d watch movies. I visited twice a month, since she’d gotten ill, and her body had trapped her in her home. Not because it was right. But because I wanted to.

That night, I wondered for the millionth time why none of her other friends visited her. “I never will figure out humans, will I?”

248 Words

Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s Week 351 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who show up weekly.


Cupid Was Pissed Off

“Ah. February 14th.” I stretched. “It’s time.” I’d planned this all year. Carefully put together the correct apparel, all in black, with metal studs, and chains. Had the feathers on my wings died black too. The same black as the night sky. The same for my hair.

Everyone thought I was nuts, but I knew what I was doing.

I’d purchased a new bow. Not a cheery, red one, or one that showed off the grain and color of the wood it was made from. Instead, I went with a black, carbon fiber composite. With arrows that had fiber composite shafts, and gleaming, titanium coated, stainless steel tips, with barbs. The barbs were cast at angles from the arrow heads, so they would stick in better, and cause way more damage to remove.

“Just a few hours, and it will be dark enough to start.” I’d start in Australia, where the sun set first on Valentine’s Day. “Don’t worry, ladies. I have heard your cries.” I smiled at myself in the mirror. It was long past time someone did what I was about to do. Long past time someone corrected the behavior of certain human men.

I looked back at my friends list on the human social network, “Facebook”. I knew their names so well. Every name. Every story. Stories of betrayal. After ten years, fifteen years, twenty years of marriage. Where he didn’t even ask to leave, and never mentioned anything was missing or wrong. Where he went out, and found a new model. Like he was buying a car, and trading the old model in.

Stories of abuse. Where he screamed at her. Told her how useless she was. Always set her up for failure in everything. Told everyone how she was good for nothing. What amazed me was how few times he physically assaulted her. Assault made the abuse obvious. It wasn’t like the emotional, and psychological abuse, which was hidden from the eye. You couldn’t see a broken, bleeding spirit. You couldn’t see the tears a soul cried.

I carefully loaded my black leather quiver with my deadly arrows. “It’s going to be a fun night indeed.”

Oh, the number of times I’d read that one story. From so many different women, of so many different ages. “He owns a gun, you know. And sometimes, I wonder. Would he use it? Is it worth finding out?” So, they let him do whatever he wanted. And they did whatever he wanted. It was always non-consensual. Always forced. Always done to stay alive. To be safe.

It had taken a few years for me to wake up, to understand what was happening. To see the never ending fear, and abuse, so many human women lived with daily. But, once I understood, I found I had no choice.

“But! Cupids are supposed to spread love! We shoot people with love arrows, that don’t really hurt them. And make them fall in love. And have glorious times, and glorious memories.”

Yeah. Right. Memories that too often ended in broken lives, and shattered souls, who could never really be whole again. Who would always wear the scars others put on them. Who would always have those fears, and the never ending dreams, the never ending nightmares, of what had happened. And of it maybe, one day, happening again.

“Spread love, my ass…”

I waited for the sun to set. That was when I’d commence spreading a little of my own love. There were going to be a lot of smug, arrogant, abusive men who visited hospital emergency rooms on that Valentine’s Day.

I’d guarantee that. Hell. I’d shoot them all year after year. Until they either died out, or they learned.

“Whatever it takes, right? Whatever it takes.”


#LoveBites 2016 : Cupid’s Got Nothing On Me!

Teddy looked at the calendar. “February 14, 2016. Fucking Valentine’s Day.” He looked at the crossbow on his sofa, and the thirty odd bolts he had for it. “I won’t be bringing a single bolt home.”

This was his year. His Valentine’s Day. The day he celebrated love his way, the way the world taught him love worked. All those guys who had all the girls had better be ready. Teddy was going out on Valentine’s Day.

He picked up the crossbow, and the bolts, carried them to his car. He heard the voices in his head again, endlessly, like he always did. “Poor Teddy. Can’t get a girl. Sits at home alone. He’s such a geek. No girl would be caught dead dating Teddy.” He turned on his car, his tiny little Toyota, with its hatchback, as he listened to the laughter in his head, “Teddy bought a car! Look, it’s so cute! Looks like one of those Hot Wheels cars. The kind you have to push to get it to go anywhere. Not a real car at all. But it works for him, right? After all. Who’s going to be riding in it with him?”

Always, it came back to Teddy being alone. Everyone he knew, everyone he worked with, spent time celebrating Valentine’s Day. Except him. They all knew it, and the never let him forget it. Not for one minute.

“So, Teddy? How was your date Friday night?”

“So, Teddy? Was your $50 spent well this weekend?”

“So, Teddy? Is Miss March worth the cost of the magazine?”

“Shh, guys. We can’t talk about that kind of stuff around Teddy. He doesn’t understand it.”

On and on it went, day after day, endlessly. “Just because I don’t have a girl!” He turned the volume up on the car stereo until it hurt his ears to listen. But he didn’t care. He didn’t care if he went deaf, all that meant was he wouldn’t have to hear what they said to him.

Teddy drove to the movie theater, the “Regal 24”, where he sat in his car, and waited by the theater exit doors. He knew what he had to do, what he needed to do. He had to show them, show the world, he was a real man.

When the first of the doors opened, Teddy got out his car, picked up the crossbow, and a hand full of bolts. He’d practiced hours on end, for weeks, for months, in the woods where he’d set up a small range. He knew how to use his crossbow. How to set it, aim it, fire it. He knew he wouldn’t miss.

He set the first bold, picked a target, fired. “One less person who thinks I’m a failure!”

He fired again. Then again. And again. Until he ran out of his hand-full of bolts. Oh, the panic. Oh, the chaos. People running. Screaming. Hiding behind anything. Tripping. Running over each other. Girls, screaming over the bodies of their boyfriends.

When he ran out of bolts, Teddy got in his car, and drove off, to the next theater, to wait for another movie to end. He had more bolts to get rid of, and the night was young.

“Fucking Valentine’s Day my ass.” He grinned, and laughed. “No one’s gonna forget me!” He laughed harder, “Cupid’s got nothing on me!”

Teddy made sure it was a Valentine’s Day no one would ever forget.

570 Words

Thus ends my entry in Ink After Dark’s Love Bites 2016 flash fiction challenge. It was entertaining to write, and I hope it was fun to read. Now, go read all the other entries in Love Bites 2016. There are some amazing little stories, well worth reading.

#LoveBites 2014 : I Miss The Misery

Bobby tried to drain the entire glass in one chug, resisting the burn in his throat as long as he could. The 50-50 mix of Jack Daniels Black Label and Sprite scorching everything in his throat. When it hurt too much, he smacked the glass down to the table, “Yeah! That’s better!”

The bartender looked at him. “Another?”

“Fuck yeah! I ain’t drivin’!”

So began our conversation on Valentine’s Day, 2014. I’d known when he called it was gonna be one heck of a night.

“Hey, buddy! Let’s go get ripped!”

I knew exactly what he meant. He’d broke up with Kelly the month before. January first. Happy New Year. All he’d ever said was, “Damn, I’m glad she’s gone! I can sleep at night!”

You have to understand. Bobby and Kelly never even liked each other. Hell, they hated each other’s guts. They met at the gym. She caught him staring at her. “What are you doing?”

“Watching your abs. Why? Is it wrong?”

Thought she was gonna slap him. She kept working out, making sure he got a good view. Abs, legs, arms, everything. When she finished, she marched up to him, “I’m done. Take me home.” She kissed him. And from that moment, Bobby was just a dog hunting a bitch in heat.

I’d tell you I felt sorry for him, but I didn’t. Everybody knew he was getting laid every night. The two of them spent nights at her place, and at his place. They didn’t go out to eat. They didn’t dance. He told me, “She loves porn.” Said she wanted to try everything they watched in the videos.

I lost count of the stories. “She handed me a rope. I got to tie her up, and do anything I wanted.” That day he’d passed out at his desk at work. The whole office laughed about that one. Said she’d worn him out good.

“She brought a girlfriend. Two at one time! Gods, I’m beat, but I’m happy!” He called out sick that day.

After the first week, things with Bobby and Kelly changed. “She stopped letting me sleep there.” Every night, she’d visit him, and leave when she finished. Or, he’d visit her, and she’d kick him out when she finished.

“She told me she calls me her boy toy. Tells her girlfriends I’ll do anything she wants,” he whispered to me in the office. “What’s a boy toy?”

“Dude. You’re her vibrator.”

“Oh. I can live with that.”

I gotta admit, I’d have banged Kelly in a heartbeat, if she asked. Who wouldn’t? She looked like something from a magazine cover. One of those photoshopped bodies men just drool over.

“Dude. You know what happens when you get tired of a game? You buy another game.”

He came to work some mornings, he couldn’t sit down without wincing. “She’s into spanking now. My ass is black and blue.”

“Why do you put up with that?”

He just grinned. “I’m getting laid every night? And you?”

December 31st, they had New Years sex. Then, she threw him out, and changed her phone number, and moved. January first. He called, and got no answer. He visited. No one was there.

“Face it, Bobby. She got what she wanted, and went searching for another toy.”

Bobby tried to drain another glass, smacking that one down on the table when the burn got too much. “Yeah! That hurts!” He laughed, staring at the glass. “Hell, I know. I hated her, really. I did. We fought all the time.”

They had. They’d argued, screamed, she slapped him all the time. “I hated her guts. I’m glad she’s gone. I’m relieved. Life is normal now. I sleep at night.” He drained a third glass, then looked at me, with those puppy dog eyes of his. “But damn, I sure miss her body.”

Yeah. Valentine’s Day. Gotta love it.

646 Words

In honor of Valentines Day, 2014, I’ve written for the 2nd annual Love Bites blog hop, hosted by Ruth Long, Lisa Shambrook, Lizzie Koch and Laura Jamez. There are plenty of good shots at Cupid and Valentines Day in the hop. Please, go read them all.

A special thank you to the band, Halestorm, for their music video I Miss The Misery, as it was my inspiration for this little story.

#ThursThreads Week 58 – We Call Them Destructions

“Well, she said she didn’t want dead flowers, and she didn’t want anything like chocolate or candy.”

Bobby looked at the mangled remains of Steve’s mangled garage door. “You could have asked for help.”

Steve threw his hands up in the air, “But, the instructions said it was easy to install!”

Bobby walked toward Steve’s garage. He saw where the door’s spring loaded cable was wrapped around several wheels of the door. That clearly happened when the door started going up. The wire had come off track, tangled in the wheels, and as the automatic opener kept trying to open the door, the the door had come apart. After that, the motor had still tried, but the door’s remains wouldn’t budge, and the motor had ripped loose from it’s mountings, tearing a hole in the garage ceiling. The whole mess had landed on Laura’s car.

“You could have moved the car into the driveway before you installed and tested the door opener.”

Steve just glared at me. “That wasn’t in the instructions! Besides, what good does it do telling me what I could have done?” He looked at Laura’s car. “I’m toast!”

I sighed. “Betty will handle Laura. I’ll help you fix this. And you can sleep in our guest room.” I smiled as best I could. “Laura will understand. You really tried.”

Steve just shook his head and mumbled, “I frickin’ hate Valentine’s day…”

I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 58. Hope you enjoy it. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#LoveBites : I Just Don’t Understand…

My doc asked, “It’s Valentine’s Day. How are you handling that.” He knew damn well what I would answer.

“It sucks, as usual.” Of course, I knew he wouldn’t let me stop there. He’d make me explain, going into detail. “I sent a Valentine’s E-Mail to Betty, said I’d give her a virtual hug, and virtual kiss on the cheek. Well… The other half saw it somehow, and that’s where the bruise on my left cheek came from. Never saw that coming.”

Doc was smiling. Never a good sign.

“I got a card for Halley at work. Said Have a Happy Valentine’s Day. That’s all it said! Nothing else. She brought it back to me, tore it in half, and tossed it in my trash can, and said if I ever did anything like that again, she was gonna report me for sexual harassment.” I shook my head. “I have no idea what I did wrong there.”

Doc was almost laughing. It was gonna be a long session.

“I gave Gina a tiny candy bar. A whopping 1.5 ounces. She made me eat it, all the while explaining to everyone how I was trying to make her fat. Then she slapped me, and stormed off.”

I shook my head, looked square in Doc’s eyes. “I fuckin’ don’t get these social holiday things. Maybe I should just give up on ‘em.”

I wrote this little ditty for the Love Bites Blog Hop, hosted by the Inklingettes. I couldn’t resist this blog hop. There are lots of really good stories in this one, from writers having fun striking back at Cupid and all the schmaltz of Valentine’s Day. Go read them all, and enjoy the holiday.

Click here to read the other stories.

Tomorrow Is Valentine’s Day

Tomorrow is February 14th.
A day known as
Valentine’s Day.
A day that I find
More than a little

But I’ll deal with it.
Because its time
For me to change.

I’ve been reading things
Written by people
That I talk with
On Facebook.
Watching the way
That they react
To the thought
Of another Valentine’s Day.

There was the post that said,
“Apparently nobody has plans
For valentines day.
I don’t feel so bad now.”

And I find myself asking
If people feel bad
If they don’t have a plan
For Valentine’s Day?
I don’t have a plan.
And I don’t feel bad
At all.

Then there was another post
That said there’d be no
Valentine’s Day this year.
“14 – 2 – 12 = 0
Mathematical proof
That there’s no
Valentine’s day this year.”

And if that wasn’t enough,
There was a comment
Made to that
That said something
I just won’t forget
For months.

Never had a guy who thought
V-day was anything
But another day
On the calendar….”

That comment reminded me
Of so many Valentine’s Days
That I endured
A long time ago.
When I was in school.
Especially middle
And high school.

Of the way I learned
To ignore the day.
And just wish
It would hurry up
And go away.

But I’ve reached the point
Where I don’t ignore it
Any more.

It was just last year,
On Valentine’s Day
That I wrote
Of how very much
My Lady means to me.

And the compassionate,
Tender-hearted warrior
That I am becoming
Has already told me
There are things
I’ll do tomorrow.

On Valentine’s Day
Of 2012.

Because sometimes
It’s just plain right
To let the people
That you know
Know that your world
Would not be the same
Without each of them.

That you are
Who you are
Because life gave them
To you.

So, on this day
Before Valentine’s Day.
I find myself looking
At the rules of life
Once more.

And thinking
Once again.
“It’s time to throw them
Out the window.”

Life’s too short,
And to priceless,
To not appreciate
The gift
Of friends.

As I’ve said before.
“Book named Rules
Of Socially Acceptable
Meet window…”

It’s time for me to take
Another step away
From the life I had
That’s dead and gone.

Another step into
The new life
That I have today.