Toxic

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PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr

“What a hideous shoe.  Actually it looks kind of like the ones you’re wearing,” Elle remarked.  “When are you going to let me give you a makeover?  I mean, you know I love you, but you’re kind of clueless about this kind of thing.”

“These shoes were a gift from my mom,” Denise answered.  “She took me shopping yesterday.”

“Oh,” Elle said instead of apologizing.  She would have looked embarrassed, if she were the kind of person that got embarrassed.  “So, where do you want to go to lunch?”

“I think I’ll walk to the bistro across the street.  Alone.”

For Friday Fictioneers!

Bus Stop Cinderella

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PHOTO PROMPT © C.E. Ayr

Kat’s shoe was stuck in the grate.  The sky rumbled above, and it began to rain, a virtual deluge.  The perfect end to a perfect day.  She pulled at her shoe as heavy raindrops pelted her unprotected head; of course she’d forgotten her umbrella.  Completely drenched, she decided to abandon the shoe, limping as quickly as she could to the bus shelter.

“Is this yours?”  She looked up to see Liam, her handsome coworker, holding her battered, wet shoe in his hand.  She nodded.  He knelt and slid the shoe onto her bare foot.

“It fits.”

For Friday Fictioneers!

 

Animal Moment – Cows

Fun fact – according to PETA, Cows “are generally very intelligent animals who can remember things for a long time. Animal behaviorists have found that cows interact in socially complex ways, developing friendships over time and sometimes holding grudges against other cows who treat them badly.”

Enjoy the cute video:

Thursday Thriller – Odd Girl Out – Part 4

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Read Odd Girl Out part 1

Read Odd Girl Out part 2

Read Odd Girl Out part 3

Two summers ago

Scarlett, Laina, Regan, Ashlee, and Charity stood in a circle in the upper bedroom of the A&B Building, waiting.  It was Scarlett’s first summer, but she had already emerged as their leader.  A general.  Her mother had come here many summers ago, so she knew about the ritual.  Knew from day one that she had to exude confidence.  She had to be loved and feared.

The door opened downstairs.  Stella called out a timid hello, but was only answered by silence.  Stella.  So hopeless.  Her awkward posture, the fattening homemade baked goods she’d brought as gifts on the first day, which everyone had thrown in the trash behind her back, her eagerness, desperation, to fit in.  She stank of it. An obvious odd.

Stella crept up the stairs, pausing when she saw the girls.  Quickly, they engulfed her, dragging her to the floor.  She was going to be hard to pin down.  Charity dragged the metal cage, created to fit a large dog, out of the shadows.  It would be Stella’s home for the next eight hours.  Her arms would be cuffed to its roof. The cage would be pushed into the dark closet, where Stella would be forgotten.  The girls would go about their day.  They’d tell Gwen Stella was ill and she would nod, not responding.  It was what had been done to odds at this place for decades.  It’s what would be done to Maggie the following summer.

Scarlett the summer after that.

But Scarlett didn’t know that.  Couldn’t imagine it, as she sat on Stella’s chest to keep her still so Ashlee could snap handcuffs on Stella’s wrists, adjusting them so they would dig into her skin, leaving the tell-tale scar that all odds wore. Charity placed duct tape over the lower half of Stella’s face. Laina stood to the side, watching, looking  terrified.  Loser.  Laina should be thanking Stella.  If Stella hadn’t come along, Laina would have definitely been the odd.

Hours later, after the girls had enjoyed a day of sports, swimming, and tanning, they returned to the closet.  Scarlett unlocked the cage.  She noticed Stella wasn’t struggling anymore.  She undid the cuffs and tried to pull Stella to her feet, but she was too heavy.  Pig.  When she looked at her face it was obvious.  Stella was dead.  Maybe the tape over her mouth and nose had caused her to suffocate.  Maybe she’d had some sort of cardiac event.  Maybe Scarlett had crushed her when she sat on her chest.  They would never really know.

Scarlett composed herself as she faced her soldiers.  The other girls stared at her blank-faced, waiting for their next instructions.

Read Odd Girl Out part 5

Writing

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Ridiculous.   Kim dropped the magazine she’d been reading to the ground, and leaned back in her lounge chair.  She thought about signaling the waiter to bring her something stronger to drink, but glanced at her daughter splashing in the pool and thought better of it.  She sipped her water and seethed.

She’d just read an interview in We’re Still Hungry Monthly with Kendall Keys, the author of Skinny Nonfat Latte, a novel loosely based on her experiences working as an assistant at Skinny magazine.  Of course her first big interview would be with Skinny’s biggest rival.  Kendall was 23 years old and already a best-selling author, not to mention millionaire.  All because she had to deal with a rude boss for all of one year.  Join the club.  She remembered another article she read recently about a woman the same age as Kendall who was publishing a book of all the tweets, texts, and emails she’d sent her ex-boyfriend over the past year, called Textually Speaking.  Kim’s stomach twisted in anger.

She’d also written a book.  It had taken her five years, but she’d finally finished it.  A novel about a woman and her daughter traveling cross country on a journey of self-discovery and the people they met along the way.  It had been hard to find time for her writing.  Her life was so busy.  She was also an assistant, but not at a glamorous magazine, for a middle manager at a company that manufactured plumbing supplies.   She was raising her daughter alone; her husband had abandoned them long ago.  She couldn’t even afford to take her daughter on a real summer vacation.  Spending the weekends by the pool at the country club where her sister worked all summer would have to do. But her book was good.  She knew that it was.  So many literary agents told her how much they loved it.  Just that it wasn’t a right fit for them.  Why? Because I’m not 23?  Because I don’t want to air my dirty laundry to the world?  Because my boss wears Men’s Wearhouse instead of Prada?  

A loud splash from the deep end returned her attention to the pool.  “My mommy’s a lawyer,” Kim heard a little girl say to her daughter, Stassi.  “What does your mommy do?”

Stassi paused thoughtfully, then said, “My mommy’s a writer.”

Kim thought her heart would burst.  She quickly wiped her eyes and pulled her laptop from her bag.  Maybe I’ll look into self-publishing.

In honor of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to post a new flash fiction story every Monday in November – each incorporating either the word National, Novel, Writing, or Month.  Original right?  🙂  Thanks for reading.

True Love

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“Do you think he followed us?”

“He didn’t.”

She touched the side of her face, still blue-black and tender from her husband’s last drunken tirade.  I turned the car onto the highway, the road that would lead us to a new life.

“But he had a tracker in my car.  Maybe he put one in yours too.  Or in your phone.”

“He didn’t.”  I put my hand on hers.  “Trust me.  We’re safe.”  I quickly moved my hand away so she wouldn’t see the speck of dried blood on my sleeve.  I was certain no one was following us.

Inspired by the Flash! Friday prompt