Friday, March 11, 2011

Exorcising Ghosts

Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday

Today's words: dainty, haunting, tantalize

Some stories need to be told. Miranda's begins here.

And now, it continues...

* * *

Exorcising Ghosts

“You need to get back out there. Go out on same dates. Have fun.”

This sage advice was doled out in large quantities on a daily basis. Miranda knew her friends meant well, but it was irritating. She didn’t want to have a relationship. She just needed to scratch an itch that she couldn’t seem to reach on her own, no matter how often she tried.

“Just come up to the cottage for the long weekend. There’ll be a bunch of people there, it’ll be really casual.”

Beneath the shade of a blue, white and gold Corona umbrella, Sherry sat across from Miranda, taking dainty sips from her margarita. One tanned leg swung over the other, a pink flip flop dangled from fuchsia toes.

Miranda gulped her Guinness, flicked her tongue across the foam on her lip. She didn’t think she could muster the energy to wear a happy face for three days straight. However, the thought of a weekend of sun and surf was more than a little appealing. She hadn’t had a vacation in almost a year. She’d thrown herself into a new job after the separation and was enjoying the hard work, but she knew it was time for a break.

“Who’s going?”

Sherry grinned. “Matt will be there.”

“I already told you I don’t want you to set me up.” Miranda had heard enough about Matt to know he’d be a tantalizing diversion, but she didn’t want the complication.

“I know,” said Sherry, “but there’ll be other people there. You don’t even have to talk to him if you don’t want to.”

Miranda sipped her beer. “Fine. I’ll go, but I’m not bunking with your brother-in-law. I don’t even know him.”

Sherry’s gaze was intent on something behind Miranda. “That’s about to change.”

“Ladies!” Sherry’s husband, Walter, grinned at them. He turned to Miranda. “This is my brother Matt.”

Miranda glowered at Sherry, mouthed bitch, before she turned to Matt.


Matt smiled and dropped into the seat next to her.

“Are you as pissed at Sherry as I am?”

Miranda’s lips curled up. “Probably more.”

Matt nodded. “I hear ya.” He signalled the server. “Two pints of Guinness. Want another one?” He pointed at Miranda’s empty glass. When she shook her head, he raised two fingers. The server nodded and walked away.

Matt twisted in his chair to face Miranda, threw an arm over the back rest. “I say we just tell her to piss off.”

Miranda laughed. She was starting to like this guy. His chocolate eyes pulled her in, closed off everything around them. Her body hummed and she was certain he’d scratch very well.

That was seven weeks ago. Seven weeks of movies, dinner, dancing and sex. Pretty good sex, too. God she felt limber.

Matt sat in the passenger seat and played with the stereo, while Miranda drove. They agreed her car was more practical to drive than his pickup. Not to mention, much more comfortable. Walter and Sherry followed behind them. After spending every weekend at the cottage this summer, locking down for the winter was disheartening. Thick steaks and a couple of cases of beer were nestled in the trunk; an end-of-season celebration to dispel the gloom.

Matt reached into the back seat and came back with a joint.

“Don’t light that in my car.”

“Come on, babe. It never bothered you before.”

“I don’t care that you smoke, just don’t do it in my car.”

Matt shrugged and tucked the stick behind his ear. “We’re almost there anyway.”

When they arrived, they made quick work of unloading the cars. After dumping the suitcases in the assigned bedrooms, Matt and Walter were sent out to the veranda to start the barbeque.

The night sky was clear and the full moon glowed like a beacon. Beer flowed and the sweet smell of cannabis hung in the air. It was well past midnight when everyone said goodnight.

Miranda turned down the bed and changed into an oversized t-shirt. Matt stripped down to nothing and crawled under the covers. He reached over and pulled Miranda close.

“Pot always makes me horny.”

“I know it does, but Sherry and Walt are in the next room and these walls are paper thin.”

Matt nuzzled into her neck. “Then you’ll have to be quiet.”

Miranda chuckled. “No. We’ll have to wait until we’re home.”

“I don’t think so.”

Matt pulled her against him, his erection stabbing her leg. She pressed her hands against his chest and pushed him back.

“I’m serious. I can’t. Not tonight.”

Matt leered. “Come on babe.” His words slurred as he spoke. “Just a quickie. I promise it won’t take long.”

“Oh, that’s charming.”

“Come on, you know what I mean. I’ll make it worth your while.”

“Forget it, Matt. I can’t do it when I know they can hear us next door. They can probably hear us right now.”

“Who cares.” He rolled over on top of her, kneed her legs apart. “Just let me slip it in for a minute.”

Panic washed over her. She knew he was much stronger couldn’t fight him off for long.

“Please, Matt. Don’t do this.”

“Try and stop me.” He pinned her down, yanked her shirt up and cupped her breast, squeezed until she cried out in pain.

Miranda stilled. Her mind flew back to that haunting moment with Darryl and, for half a second, she contemplated laying still. Just let him use me and get it over with.

As quickly as she thought it, something surged through her. She couldn’t say if it was anger or fear. Perhaps it was pride. Power coursed through her and she shoved at him, throwing him off. She leapt off the bed, shoved down the t-shirt to cover her bare bottom.

“Don’t ever do that again.” She was surprised her voice didn’t waver.

Miranda pulled on her discarded jeans, slipped on her shoes. She tossed her bra and panties into her duffel bag, thankful she hadn’t unpacked.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“I’m leaving.” She knew this was her chance to break the cycle. She wasn’t going to let someone else dominate her. Never again.

“Come on, babe. Don’t be like that.” Matt rolled off the bed and came up behind her, wrapped his arms around her and cupped her breasts. He pressed himself against her, rubbed his cock against her ass. She shivered, repulsed by his hardness.

Miranda whirled around, pulled her arm back and let her fist fly into his cheek. Matt staggered back, his hands on his face. She ignored the pain that radiated through her hand and up her arm.

“Are you fucking crazy?!”

“You haven’t seen crazy yet.”

Miranda hoisted the bag over her shoulder, snatched her keys from the dresser and stormed out of the cottage, not bothering to close the door behind her. She yanked open the car door, tossed the bag onto the passenger seat and slid behind the wheel.

Clutch. Key. First gear. Her tires spit gravel as she peeled out of the driveway.

* * *

Miranda's story continues...


Deborah said...

Phew! (that was me breathing at the end) Such a difficult subject, yet it reads with such ease. Just brilliantly written. So well done!

jaerose said...

Miranda takes the will be a tough ride but she's getting Deborah said, read so flawlessly (and unflinchingly) Jae

Anonymous said...

dang, luv it when the world turns round and then one day everything explodes and all is well within... there's something to be sed for kick-ass stories that that tell a kick-ass story...

Monica Manning said...

@ Deborah: Thanks! It may read with ease, but it's not easy to write. I let out a rush of air when I'm done, too.

@Jae: She does take the wheel but, as you said, it will be a bumpy ride. She will get there, and be stronger for it.

@pieceofpie: It's a turning point for Miranda. And kicking ass makes her strong! Thanks for the support, POP!

glnroz said...

I dont know how i missed this until today,, but..
Ms. Manning, good for "Miranda". I dont like "Matt". this one didnt make me grin,,,