Fighter

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It was quite the coup.  The biggest moment of her career. Her, the little girl with skinned knees from a town no one had ever heard of, interviewing the most powerful man in the world.  She asked tough questions, holding his feet to the fire when he was evasive.  When it was over, he called her a fighter.  She laughed and told him maybe he’d met his match.

Once she was alone, the tinted windows of her chauffeured car completely raised, she felt the bile rising to her throat.  She waited for her pulse to slow, praying she wouldn’t vomit until she got home.

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is Lessons from Dad.  My favorite Dad Lesson – Never let them see you sweat!

 

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Beacon

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The night had started well.  She could remember his playful laugh, the way she felt his eyes lingering on her as she walked away.  You can look, but you can’t touch, she’d thought with a giggle.

She looked at him now, slumped over in the passenger seat.  She stopped in an abandoned lot, dark and still at 3 AM, but bustling in a few short hours.  She let his body tumble onto the wet asphalt, the mysterious drug he’d intended for her still coursing through his veins.

She stared at the word written on his forehead in crimson before driving away.

RAPIST.

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is Look, Don’t Touch.

Glass

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“You were supposed to be here an hour ago!”

Kacey put the phone on speaker so her sister, Kenna, could hear.”We’re almost there, Mom!” Kacey zipped around the corner in the luxury car her parents had just given her.

“Go have a Xanax,” Kenna added.

“Byeeeeeeeeeeeeee,” Kacey yelled as she ended the call, tossing the phone in her Gucci handbag.

“The same crap every Sunday.  I’d rather eat glass.”

They rushed inside as their mother emerged from the kitchen carrying two plates, each covered with tiny, broken shards.

“Your purse called me back,” Mom said with a tiny smile.

 

For Moral Mondays – The prompt this week is Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child.

Turnabout

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It’s not my fault.  Anne was missing deadlines, making stupid mistakes.  I didn’t mince words on Friday when I told her to clear out her desk.  She didn’t make a scene, just gave me a tight-lipped smile and left the room quietly.  I should have known then.

I am nervous when my boss asks me to come into the conference room, where the HR rep is waiting.  Covering the table is a print-out of every email I ever sent to Anne, dating back years.  Messages she promised were deleted.  My face is hot as I drop into the nearest chair.

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is Harsh Words Stir up Anger.

Buddies

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I take a long sip of my smoothie and glance at Lisa, my workout buddy, wondering if we could ever be friends outside the gym.

“I have some news.”  She doesn’t hear.  On the television mounted on the wall, Entertainment Tonight is running a story about pregnant actresses over 40.

“Why are women these days waiting so long to get pregnant?  All those weird fertility treatments.  How selfish.  They’ll be 60 before…”

“I’m pregnant, Lisa.”

She sputters.  “Oh, errr, I didn’t mean anything by…I was just…”

I wave away her protests and smile.  “Spin class next Thursday?”

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is Listen Before You Speak.

 

Faces

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I don’t make it home often. I prefer the chaos and noise of LA to my sleepy, slow-paced hometown.  I’m a new woman now.  New nose, new jawline, new cheekbones.  New life. I peek through the window of my childhood home before I knock.  My sisters are already there, surrounding my mother in the living room.  I take in the way the skin above their broad, identical noses crinkles as they laugh.  Their distinctive jawlines.  I feel like a stranger.  My youngest sister sees me and rushes to the door, dragging me inside.  They welcome me as though nothing’s changed.

 

The prompt for Moral Mondays this week is Mommy Lessons.  My favorite mommy lesson – you’re beautiful just the way you are.

Leaving

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Her children no longer spoke to her.  She hated to admit it, but sometimes she preferred it that way.  She couldn’t bear looking into their pained, soulless eyes.

She’d suffered too.  She’d endured broken ribs, countless black eyes, busted lips and bloody noses.  She knew the sound of his broad fist barreling into her flesh so well.  Her children did too.

Her bag was light.  There wasn’t much from this place she wanted to keep.  She would drive across the country, show up on her daughter’s doorstep and beg her forgiveness, hoping she would let her in.

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is Better Late Than Never

Adopted

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It was Nelly’s last day.

“You’re just too old, Nelly,” Baby, the chihuahua across from her, taunted.  “Tough luck.”  Baby had a new sign plastered to the front of her cage.  She was all to happy to tell Nelly what it said.  “Adopted.”

Nelly heard footsteps in the dark corridor.  All the dogs, except Baby of course, stood and wagged their tails, ready to put on a show.

An unfamiliar human knelt in front of Nelly’s cage and smiled.

A new sign was placed on Nelly’s cage.  She didn’t need Baby to tell her what it said.  Adopted.

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is There’s No Place Like Home.

Whirlwind

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It was only her second time even meeting his kids.  All five of them.  There they all were, lined up in a row, each holding a sign.  Together they spelled out a question – WILL YOU MARRY OUR DADDY?  Her chest tightened when she realized what was happening. Maybe it wasn’t exactly PC to say, but she wasn’t even sure if she liked all of Jay’s kids – that little one seemed like he’d be a handful.  She needed time.

Before Jay could get on one knee, she put her hand on his arm.

“Can we speak privately?”

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is:  Don’t Take On More Than You Can Bear

I must have proposals on the brain, my second engagement-related story in less than a week.  It’s that time of year!

Instinct

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Her instincts had never led her wrong.  There was something about his eyes.  The way they avoided hers whenever they spoke, waiting in line for their coffee.  He was a liar.  She just knew.

But that morning, her guard was down.  She ended up sitting with him, baring her soul, for nearly a half-hour, through two refills.   When he left, she put her number in his contacts, ignoring the alarm sounding in her brain.

That night, the phone rang as she slept.

“I don’t know who this is, but I found your number in Tim’s phone.   This is his wife.”

 

The Moral Mondays prompt this week is Never Talk to Strangers.