Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Late Arrival

Today's muse: First 50 Words

Today's prompt: Late Arrival.

This prompt was suggested by me. I'm so thrilled that Virginia DeBolt chose to use my prompt!

* * *

Late Arrival

Neck-deep in lavender bubbles, Janice dropped her head against the cool bathroom tile. Just a few more minutes, then she’d know.

Would Frank be happy or sad? Would she?

She started when the timer rang; sloshed water over the tub. Janice reached for the stick. Stared at the results.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Crystal Ball

Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday

Word prompts: amicable, frivolous, unrefined

* * *

Crystal Ball

Each house in the quiet subdivision was painted a drab brown, fronted by a postage stamp of manicured green. The few gardens that existed were planted with simple white flowers. No color existed on the street.

“Jesus,” Keith muttered. “It’s like driving through a Sepia photograph.”

He scanned the front of every home as he crawled through the neighborhood, kept his speed under twenty-five. She had said he’d recognize it, that it would stand out. Every fucking house looked the same. How the hell was he supposed to…

Then he saw it.

Bright red siding. Neon-yellow front door. Enormous sunflowers reaching for the afternoon sun.

He couldn’t stop the laugh. “She wasn’t kidding.”

He parked his simple, blue four-door sedan behind her car—a bright yellow eighty-four Volkswagon bug. The only spot of rust, he noted, as he walked to the front door, was at the bottom of the rear passenger-side fender.

Moonflower, Keith decided, was an appropriate name for her.

The self-proclaimed gypsy was the product of hippie parents who had insisted on raising their only child within the amicable confines of a farming compound. She had taught herself to cook—vegan, of course—learned to paint and had discovered she had the gift of Seeing. At least that’s what her website stated.

The door opened before Keith could knock.

Moonflower stood in the doorway, raven curls swirling past her hips, eyes so dark they only reflected hope. She wore a floor-length dress in periwinkle blue, a frivolous number of gold bangles on her left wrist and a serene smile that spoke of knowledge beyond this realm and a promise of unbridled sexuality.

Months of text messages and telephone flirting had bloomed to this. It was no longer a fantasy. Every unrefined thought whipped through Keith’s head and straight down to his cock. She reached out and took his hand, guided him into her home.

“I don’t think I’ll need my crystal ball today,” Moonflower said, backing him into her bedroom. “I already know how this will end.”

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Two of Cups

Today's muse: Sarah Selecky's Daily Writing Prompts

The prompt: Write a scene about tarot cards and a fishing rod.

* * *

Two of Cups

The sun had not yet reached the horizon when he walked across the dock. Each morning, for the last three months, Jerry Walker had followed the same path: tackle box in one hand, fishing pole in the other. A thermos of strong, black coffee tucked under his left arm.

He opened the thermos, took a few gulps. After baiting his hook, he swung back, cast out his line. The high pitched squeal of the line as it released was comforting and heartbreaking.

Fiona had liked fishing.

Jesus. When would he stop thinking about her?

He’d never met a girl who would even think about touching worms, let alone bait her own hook. Fiona was almost perfect. She never understood football, but he could overlook that. His parents liked her. His friends liked her. She was a goddess in bed.

Jerry reeled in his empty line, cast out once more.

But when that fucking gypsy woman had flipped over that card, it had changed everything.

Fiona had stood up, sent her chair tipping back. “The Six of Swords?”

The old woman squinted through thick glasses. “Yes. You are leaving on a journey.”

“No I’m not.”

“But you need to, child.”

He remembered Fiona seemed panicked at the time, denied it a little too much. And then she left. Left him alone. He lived on nothing but Jack Daniels and bourbon for weeks. Played her favorite song over and over. Stopped counting the days.

It had been ninety-one days, eighteen hours and—he glanced at his watch—twelve minutes.

But he wasn’t counting.

And he wasn’t going to catch anything today. Jerry reeled in his line, packed up his tackle box, picked up his thermos. Back at the cottage, he put away his gear, rinsed out his thermos. It wasn’t quite ten o’clock yet, but he poured three fingers of scotch and dropped into a chair at the kitchen table.

He fingered the card he kept in his pocket. He didn’t believe, but why take the chance? He pulled it out, stared at the lovers gazing at one another, each holding a golden chalice. He ran his thumb up and down the female, pure and innocent in her white gown.

As was his habit, Jerry sent a quiet prayer to the Goddess—because, hell, you never know—before slipping the Two of Cups back into his breast pocket. Closest to his heart.

Closest to Fiona.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Change of Heart

Today's muse: Sarah Selecky's Daily Writing Prompts

The prompt: Write a scene that starts with the line, "Next.".

* * *

Change of Heart


Jennifer was now at the head of the line, had been standing there for what seemed like hours.

“Are you going?” The angry woman next to her all but growled the question. “We’ve been waiting, too, you know. You’re holding up the line.”

“I know. I just…” She just what?

Jennifer looked around the room filled with women who smiled and laughed. She could see that a queue had formed out the door; imagined it went down the street and around the block. After all, an event like this only happened once a year. And most of these women had dreamed of it since childhood. She didn’t fit in with these women.

“Honey, don’t be shy.” The assistant—the only man in the room—smiled at her, exposing a neat row of straight, white teeth. “Step behind the curtain. I’ll help you.”

Jennifer glanced behind her. A woman—quite a few years younger than her—seemed faint with excitement. Before Jennifer could ask if the girl was okay, Angry Woman shoved her forward.


“Alright! Alright!”

She had a sick feeling in her stomach. It was the same sensation she’d had when she walked to the principal’s office that time she got caught cheating on her calculus exam. She’d hated calculus. Sucked at it. Who the hell needs to know linear functions?

The toothy assistant pulled the curtain aside and nudged her through, let the drape close behind her. It was exactly what she had imagined, every vision she had conceived since she could read.

And she felt empty inside.

On the other side of the curtain, the crowd erupted in cheers. The first woman must have exited her own curtained room with her selection, Jennifer thought. She knew she should be happy for her, excited to walk out with her own selection, but she just couldn’t bring forth that emotion.

“I can’t.”

With one last glance at the wedding dresses hanging in the curtained room, Jennifer pushed through the drapes. Angry Woman stopped her as she walked by.

“You didn’t pick one?”

Jennifer smiled. “It’s not for me. But the second one from the left will look great on you.”

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday

Wednesday's words: electric, passionate, savage

* * *


His gaping maw snaps open and closed. My breath catches with every savage clamp. His fight to hold on is passionate, but useless, for I am unable to keep my catch.

With tender hands I dislodge the hook and apologize for the pain I have caused. Sad, electric eyes stare back. He does not understand why I am throwing him back. He wants to stay in the boat.

His long, narrow body undulates in the water. He turns to me, beckons.

“I can’t swim with you,” I tell him.

Playful now, he flicks his fin in the air, gives me a splash.

I reach over for my rod, drop my line in the water.

Okay. Maybe just once more.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Dirty Words

Today's muse: First 50 Words

Today's prompt: Dirty Words (well, to be honest, it was the December 20 prompt)

* * *

Dirty Words

I often hesitate when asked what I write. The standard response is ‘I write Romance’. But the truth is, I write Erotic Romance.

It’s not much different from your run-of-the-mill romance. Girl still meets boy. They fall in love. Live happily-ever-after.

But there is one difference: I use dirty words.

Monday, January 5, 2015


Today's muse: Standing on a crowded train platform. Too many people, too much noise, too many smells. I had a brief flash and to suppress the panic that I was sure was about to swamp me, I spun the image into a piece of prose. I am so thankful I have my writing for therapy.

* * *


He thrust out his hand. “I’m David.”

His smile was genuine, showing straight, white teeth.

“Erica.” She slipped her hand in his, gave a slight pump, then let go. In what seemed like a casual gesture, Erica transferred her drink to her right hand, took a sip. Five years of intense therapy allowed her to perform the ritual without trembling or breaking out in a sweat.

Prior to meeting the wonderful Doctor Gibson, Erica would have stayed home in the dark, rather than attend any social function. Within a year of working with Dr. G, she was able to go to a movie by herself. Of course, if anyone sat next to her, she rushed off to the bathroom to vomit. But the fact that she was out and socializing was an enormous leap.

“How do you know Andrew?” David asked.

“We took some classes together.” Art therapy, but David didn’t need to know that.


Erica nodded. “He has a brilliant eye.” He had taken pictures of her while she set up her own shot. Had printed them in black and white. They were sad and somehow hopeful. She had framed a couple, hung them in her apartment.

They were different from the other pictures taken of her.

“I’ve never seen you at Andrew’s parties.”

“No. This is the first one I’ve been able to attend.” Not because of her schedule, but because it had taken Andrew this long to convince her to come.

She didn’t like strangers encroaching her personal space; didn’t even like people she knew invading it. Erica didn’t like to be touched. She no longer cringed if someone did—she had suppressed that reaction a few years ago—but she didn’t like anyone touching her. Especially men.

Men had touched her before. Doctors, police. And, of course, him.

He had kissed her, rough and angry. Had pinched her nipples until she’d cried out in pain. And when she turned twelve, he told her it was time to be a woman.

“How do you know Andrew?” She forced a smile, just to be polite, pleased that she was keeping up her end of the conversation.

“We went to Boy Scouts together.”

“Oh.” Oh!

David only smiled. “I see Doctor G, too.”

Erica smiled back, and this time it reached her eyes.

David gestured with his glass. “Do you want to sit? Maybe talk?”

It was the first time that Erica had ever felt relaxed around a stranger. More important, it was the first time she’d felt relaxed around a strange man.

She noted that he was careful not to touch her when they sat. She wasn’t sure if that was for her or him. Either way, she was grateful.

David sipped his drink, sat back in his chair. “Andrew and I reconnected in university. We had Spanish together.”

“Hmmm. I’m afraid my Spanish is rather limited. I can ask where the bathroom is.”

David raised his glass in a toast. “A very important phrase to know.”

Erica laughed. “Indeed.”

She bumped her glass against his and their fingers brushed. It was unexpected and she jolted back.

“I’m sorry.” Ashamed, she stared over David’s shoulder, unable to look at him.

“It’s okay.”

Her gazed shifted to his and it was then that she noticed he hadn’t moved his hand. It was still raised in mid-air, as if he waited for her to tap his tumbler again.

And it trembled.

“Oh, David.”

He lowered his hand. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I don’t like to be touched.”

“Me neither.”

He nodded and Erica sucked in a shaky breath. He set his glass on the table, gestured for her to do the same.

“Let’s start over,” he suggested.

Relieved, she smiled at him and nodded.

He held out his hand. It trembled, but he held it out. “Hi. My name is David.”

She hesitated for only a moment, then slipped her hand into his. It was warm and dry. She wanted to pull away and sensed he felt the same. Instead, she wrapped her fingers around his and he squeezed back.

“I’m Erica.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Erica.” He didn’t let go of her hand, kept his eyes on hers, his smile natural and full.

No, Erica thought, the pleasure is all mine.

Friday, January 2, 2015

The Curtain

Today's muse: First 50 Words

Today's prompt: The Curtain

I didn't treat this prompt as the beginning of a piece but, rather, a stand alone fifty-word prose.

* * *

The Curtain

Stress has only brought stabbing pain to mine, Tin Man should wish for something else. My spinning brain gives me sleepless nights. You’re better off without one, Scarecrow. And trust me, Lion, being brave is overrated.

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. Dorothy was right. Go home.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I know, I know. Where have I been? I've been busy. Too busy. And a little stressed out with it. But I hope I'm back. Thom G's site is my favourite writing prompt site, so it's only appropriate that I start off the New Year with Three Word Wednesday.

Today's muse: Three Word Wednesday

Today's words: jovial, promise, resolute.

* * *


Today is the first day of the new year.

I won’t lie and tell you I promise to write every day, or even every week.

The fact is, I lead a busy life. I have a frantic full-time job where I put in a lot of overtime. I look after my in-laws every Saturday. This leaves one day a week to myself—to write my novel, operate my small business, socialize with friends and family, and reestablish peace in my soul so that I can start the crazy ritual again on Monday.

It is not easy to maintain a jovial façade. In fact, I am a miserable failure at being happy.

But that ends today. Or, at least, I plan on trying to end it. My parents, gods love them, always told me they only wanted me to try my best. So that is what I will do.

Henceforth (I am a legal secretary), I will try my damnedest to write more often, take more time for myself, and make the time to finish my novel.

And I am most resolute in finding happiness.