Thursday, August 4, 2016

Prime Real Estate

Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday

The words: minor, nebulous, oily

* * *

Prime Real Estate

The living room was large, boasted floor-to-ceiling windows which offered an impressive view of the water from the penthouse suite.

Rick Emerson imagined his furniture in the space: Sofa against that wall, a couple of club chairs and a big-ass television over there.

The smell wasn’t that bad—nebulous, at best—once you got used to it. Despite the lingering odor, the charm was evident. Crown moulding enhanced the jewel-tone paint of the walls. Of course, there were a few marks in that one section, but he was sure he could wash those out. He didn’t have time to repaint. Besides, he liked the color. The rich hue added elegance to the space.

Hardwood floors, still oily from recent treatment, glistened throughout the three-bedroom unit. He crossed over to the window to take in the view. From this height, the marina was nothing more than a tub filled with toy boats bobbing in bath water. He wondered if a slip was included.

He was pretty sure no one would be interested in the space. Of course, filling out the paperwork for this unit would be a fucking nightmare.

His mobile buzzed in his pocket.


As the voice on the other end peppered him with questions, Rick turned away from the window.

“That’s right, three bedrooms,” he confirmed. “Yes, it is a great location. No, units in this building rarely come on the market. It’s empty, ready to move in. Yes, I would love to show it to you. There’s this one thing I should mention…”

When Rick pressed end and pocketed his phone, he smiled at the young woman who lay sprawled in the center of the floor of the living room with the million-dollar view.

As he dialed nine-one-one, he decided the paperwork was a minor burden for prime real estate.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Today's muse: First 50 Words

The prompt: "Secret"

* * *


He has been dead more than twenty years, but some things are best left unsaid. I am not protecting him, you see; I am sheltering those I love. It would destroy them if they knew.

So I lie awake each night, ride the panic attack. And keep his dirty secret.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Apartment 204

Today's muse: First 50 Words

Today's prompt: "Apartment 204".

* * *

Apartment 204

Amber lights ricochet off the darkened windows of the gated complex. Neighbors gather to speculate in excited whispers. Most wear pajamas, though a few are caught wearing less.

Where is the super? What is taking the police so long? And is that blood smeared on the door of Apartment 204?

Thursday, May 5, 2016

About Her

Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday

Today's three words: unselfish, winding, amoral

* * *

About Her

If you interview every woman he’s slept with—and there are a lot—each one would say the same thing: “He’s an unselfish lover.”

This declaration is often punctuated with a blush and a knowing smile. It is always followed with a sigh. And the sigh is always wistful.

Everette Beale provides a much needed service to neglected women. Neglected married women, to be specific. He has countless letters from former lovers (he doesn’t call them clients) thanking him for saving their marriage; for saving them.

He studies each woman’s interests—learns about her family and friends, her hobbies—so that he can have a meaningful conversation with her. He courts her: takes her out to dinner, a movie, even the opera, if that’s what she likes. He snuggles with her on his sofa and strokes her hair while they discuss a wide variety of subjects.

Or he simply sits with her in complete silence.

Some would think this is amoral. After all, these women are married. But Everette doesn’t look at it that way. He thinks of himself as a modern-day hero, a champion of relationships, if you will. Without the cape, of course. Unless she’s into that. In which case, he’s all in.

Everette’s lovers hire him because they are neglected by their partners. This desertion is not as simple as a spouse who works too many hours and has no time for his wife. It’s about contact and communication.

“He doesn’t talk to me anymore,” is the most common complaint.

So Everette listens. And eventually, the conversation shifts from talking to contact. How she longs to be touched again, misses how he used to look at her; when a mere glance across a room at a crowded party would make her wet.

As she confides her desires, gives voice to her hidden cravings, Everette’s mouth takes a winding trek down the column of her neck and across her shoulder. Her head falls back as she gives in to the hedonistic need that has tortured her for months—years—and he takes with a ferocity that reminds her of how it used to be with her man.

The agreement is terminated when he fucks her. It’s not a secret; he’s quite up front about it.

He tells her it’s because she will want to reignite the passion she once had with her man; that the sex—the glorious, liberating sex—that they just shared will be a pivoting moment that will strengthen her marriage.

He tells her that she no longer needs him. And he sends her home, back to her husband. It's the same routine each time a contract is terminated.

When the agreement ends, and before the next one engages, Everette sits at home alone. He holds a tumbler of scotch in one hand while the other one strokes his cock.

And he thinks of her.

He always thinks of her.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Good Morning

Today's muse: First 50 Words

The prompt: "Good morning"

* * *

Good Morning

“Good morning.”

A muscled arm wrapped around her, dragged her across the mattress to be pressed against a hard body and a hard cock.

She liked his voice, the gravelly sound of it, the way it skimmed across her skin and made her wet.

She just couldn’t remember his name

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Next Time

Today's muse: First 50 Words

The prompt: "Next Time"

* * *

Next Time

“Can you pick up some milk on the way home?”

“I’m busy.”

She hated when he did that, just flipped her off. “Fine.” And she’d hung up.

She should have said thank you. Drive safely. I love you.

Not just fine.

She smoothed her hand over the casket. “Next time.”

Monday, March 28, 2016

Once in love with Amy

Today's muse: First 50 Words

The prompt: Once in love with Amy

* * *

Once in love with Amy

He fantasized about it a lot; his calloused hands wrapped around her sensuous neck, squeezing until she was limp.

There would be nothing but silence after that. Oh, to be free of her incessant bickering, the fucking nagging.

She wasn’t always a bitch. He was once in love with Amy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Always Watching

Today's muse: First 50 Words

The prompt: The Sky

* * *

Always Watching

She glanced up at the sky, at the dark clouds heavy with storm.

Was he watching? she wondered.

Yes, she thought, he watched. He’d always watched her—touched her—no matter how small she’d tried to make herself.

He’d been dead twenty-five years and she still tried to be small.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Today's muse: First 50 Words

Today's prompt: Hungry?

* * *


She wore an oversized tee that hung just below her hips. The thin fabric did nothing to hide dark circles that teased him. Beckoned.

She held a mug of coffee, traced her finger around the rim, ran her tongue across her upper lip. “Hungry?”

His cock twitched in response. “Starved.”

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cedar Chest

Today's muse: Based on a true story

* * *

Cedar Chest

I was given a handmade cedar-lined, walnut hope chest by my first husband.

It was enormous and weighed about one hundred and twenty pounds.

I kept if for many years after our divorce, but there came a time when I no longer needed it. More important, I no longer wanted it.

When I remarried and moved into a new home, I decided to rid myself of the chest—start fresh. I thought about selling it, but it had a few battle scars and I didn’t think anyone would want to pay money for it. More than anything else, I just wanted to get rid of it. So my husband and I put this beast into a borrowed van and brought it to Goodwill.

We carried it inside the store and before we even set it on the floor, four women surrounded us and started asking questions.

When I told them it was handmade, they asked by who. I don’t know what made me blurt it out, but I said: “My Ex.”

There was a lot of tongue-clucking and a few muttered “bastard”, at which point, my husband edged away.

It was a busy Saturday morning and a steady stream of customers entered the store. Each one stopped to admire the chest, stroked the smooth finish.

For about fifteen minutes, I stood with several strangers, all of them women, circled around a wooden box that my ex-husband had made. They said kind words about his workmanship, and cussed his obvious lack of style to let such a wonderful woman leave his life.

I had walked into Goodwill with a heavy weight, but walked out feeling lighter than I had in years.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Madison's Avenue - Deleted Excerpt

Today's muse: I am trying to get back into my photography and have reinstated my blog at 365 Project. My dear friend, who is in charge of kicking my butt to continue writing and finishing Madison's Avenue, posted a photograph of an old key. Which reminded me that the muse for Madison's key is this:

365_Key on 365 Project

This is the key to my inlaws's home. The moment I saw it, it invoked mystery and famly secrets. It was the starting point for Madison's Avenue. But, as any writer will tell you, the book (and Madison's character) took me along a different path and the key scene has been deleted.

This is how it used to read:

* * *

Madison's Avenue - Deleted Excerpt

Madison wandered back into the living room. Wine glasses, tea cups and dessert plates scattered the room. She pulled the papers from the envelope, frowned at her grandmother’s sloped handwriting.


You were small and scared when you came to live with us. It was a long time before you trusted. No surprise, given the terror you had lived through. Your grandfather and I raised you as though you were our own. Perhaps it was the fates giving us a second chance, to have something good come from such evil. I don’t know if we succeeded, but I do know that we are proud of you. We couldn’t ask for a more loving child.

It was a blessing that you couldn’t remember; we thought the life you had before was best forgotten. Now, I’m not so sure. Perhaps it is better that you understand your past and know that, despite everything, you are a strong woman. A survivor.

I cannot bear to know that you will not forgive me, forgive us, for keeping the truth from you. Even hiding behind these written words does not give me the strength to say what I need. Instead, I will do the only thing I can. I will send you home.

Open your heart and listen. Hear the whispers of the past and trust. Trust yourself, Maddy. I hope, one day, you will trust enough to forgive.


The air whooshed out of Madison’s lungs, blood thundered in her ears. She tilted the envelope; a key, heavy and old, dropped into her hand, leered up at her like a toothless Carny.

Long-forgotten memories slammed into her: the stench of stale booze and cigarettes, his rough hands pressing her down into the worn mattress.

Madison stared at the key that opened her childhood home. How could Nana expect her to forgive?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Still a Rose

Still a Rose

Rose seldom made eye contact, talked to no one. She sat alone in a cubicle meant for four secretaries. She sat alone because no one wanted to share a space with her.

Rose’s name did not befit the aroma that hovered around her. It shrouded her like Pigpen’s dust cloud; omnipresent and foul. Everyone talked about her, but avoided engaging in any actual conversation with her. After all, it’s difficult to talk and hold your breath at the same time.

The complaints to Human Resources could no longer be ignored and Rose was walked out the door under the premise that her job was obsolete.

The thing is, the smell lingered.

A cleaning crew was called in to disinfect the area, scrub it down. They sprayed the carpet tiles around her desk, replaced her chair.

It still stank.

A second crew came in and ripped out her desk, even emptied her filing cabinets.

“Jesus, fuck!”

Eric took two steps back, dropped the garbage bag he had pulled from the last drawer.

“What?” Frank walked over, peered inside. The stench was overpowering and he gagged. “What the hell?”

Eric pulled his t-shirt over his nose, opened the bag to get a better view, though he immediately regretted that.

“What is that?”

“Not what." Frank swiped his hand over his mouth. "Who.”