January 30, 2015

Happy Friday! Just a little Friday Ode to start off your weekend….

Without you, I would be blind

Distances seem greater

And truth is hard to find

Without you, I’d lose my keys

Life would be cloudy

I grab corn instead of peas

Without you, I miss the signs.

I hit play, ‘stead of rewind.

Without you, my world is blurred

I see the story, but not the words.

Without you, my world is hazy

Can’t tell a thistle from a daisy.

With you by my side, things become clear.

Thank you, glasses, for being here.

Image courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/

January 29, 2015ght

Sorry I’m late today, guys… My mind’s been all over the place today and this one took a bit longer than normal. Here you go:

He honestly didn’t know why he’d bothered to come.

Carnivals were…. Well, they were a bad idea in general. Cheap rides, put together quickly and just as quickly taken apart – as likely to break down as not. Rigged game booths, designed to enhance frustration, for prizes that weren’t worth the price of entry to begin with. And, despite the late hour, sticky-fingered children, running around everywhere like loose marbles, always underfoot.

But he found himself wandering around the fairgrounds, intermittently staring up at the night sky, if only to relieve his eyes from the kaleidoscope of bright, garish color. There was nothing he could do to avoid the scent – the odor of sweat and fried things lingering in the air.

That wasn’t exactly true…. He knew exactly why he’d come. Boredom. It wasn’t a good reason, but it was a reason. Like they said, ‘It might be crooked, but it’s the only game in town.’

Well, this, he thought darkly, was the only game in town. It was a pretty small suburb. The alternatives were shelling out money to see some garbage movie, or sitting alone at home. This had seemed marginally better than either of those.

Almost against his will, he bought a ball of cotton candy, because walking around awkwardly at a carnival might seem slightly less awkward with something to chew. Not that there was much to chew when it came to cotton candy – he watched as the vendor wound a tooth-rottingly pink cloud onto a cardboard stick.

He stepped away from the gaggle of children in line for the sweet stuff, careful not to end up with his cotton candy in anybody’s hair. It was like being a giant in munchinland. Sigh.

Pulling a face, he grabbed a wad of it and stuffed it into his mouth and immediately wished he hadn’t, as the taste of pure, unadulterated sugar flooded in.

He almost didn’t notice her, laughing at him, just barely visible, out of the corner of his eye. She was leaning against the log building that was hosting the snack booth.

Long dark hair.

Dark eyes.

Long legs.

And she was definitely laughing at him.

Maybe the night was actually looking up?

She met his eyes for a moment and gave him a half-smile before darting around the corner of the building. He wasn’t sure exactly why he followed her, except that he was absolutely certain she wanted him to. He dropped the cotton candy into a garbage bin and it was already forgotten as he followed her trail.

She led him a merry chase. He would spot her somewhere, not very far ahead, but always just out of reach. She perched for a moment on the rim of the popcorn cart. She stood on the packed dirt beneath the Ferris wheel. She darted around and between and behind, twisting through the packed dirt pathways, always certain to stay just within view.

He watched as finally, she ran out of the fair grounds, trotting into the woods some small distance across the green, back behind the campers where the carnies slept at night.

More than a little out of breath, he finally caught up to her, just inside the tree line. She stood still, looking down as he huffed and puffed, doubled over, hands on his knees. She stood close enough that, in looking down, he could see her feet, pale against the deep green grass that peeked out between her toes.

She was barefoot, he noted absently. Strange. But at least she wasn’t running anymore.

“Why…. did you…. run?” he huffed, without looking up at her.

“Anything worth having is worth the chase,” she said. “Don’t you agree?”

Her voice was low and throaty and quiet. He had to strain himself to listen, even standing so close. He looked up into her face. Her lips were very red against the pale skin. He stared up at her as those lips spread into a smile.

“Sure,” he said uncertainly. “Worth the chase.”

“I’ve never been one for loud, noisy crowds,” she continued, planting an index finger under his chin and pulling him up to stand beside her. He was, he noticed, just barely taller than her.

Strange, he thought. All of this was strange. Perhaps he shouldn’t have come? Perhaps he shouldn’t have followed so easily.

The palms of her hands were cool against the skin of his neck as she reached up, twining her fingers through his hair.

“Besides,” she continued. “There are things best done in private, don’t you think? Things best done in the dark?”

Her smile widened.

She could feel his heartbeat, thumping faster and faster, like a frightened rabbit. She gave him a careful looking-over. He was young. Relatively attractive, she supposed, but slovenly. She took in the stained t-shirt and the battered jeans, torn on the bottom from being dragged against the ground.

Not her usual taste. She usually preferred someone a bit more refined….. She did have a thing for a nice suit and tie. Slick, urbane businessmen were her specialty. But she supposed she would take what she could get, in this place. She was only going to be in that dinky little town for a night – she’d already forgotten its’ name.

His heartbeat raced faster still as cool fingers stroked his neck, feeling the strong pulse of the blood in his veins, and he barely noticed as she tilted his head to the side. His heart jumped in his chest, as she nuzzled his neck with her nose, taking her time.

She supposed, in any other context, this would be considered playing with her food. He was not exactly surprised when her mouth opened again, this time, not smiling, exposing fangs that he hadn’t noticed before, but he was surprised at just how much it hurt when she bit.

He was right, he realized now. He should not have come. Not a particularly original last thought, reader, but a last thought nonetheless.

She let out a long, lazy sigh, and gave a final lick across the length of his neck, picking up the last few dribbles. She supposed he was good enough for now….. What was it they said again, about the only game in town?

Writing Prompt:

(write for) 25 minutes * original male character * carnival

Writing Prompt Courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator2.php

Image courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/

January 28, 2015

She pressed her nose up against the glass, like a puppy waiting to be adopted. If she’d had a tail, it would’ve been wagging.

Good thing she didn’t have a tail.

“Have some decency,” she muttered to herself, pulling herself away from the glass and straightening the lapels on her suit jacket. But she didn’t stop herself from staring through the big picture-window of the bakery.

It had, she reasoned, been a long day. And she was tired. She could let herself look for a few moments, even if she knew she couldn’t have what she wanted. After all, she reasoned, who was she hurting?

Nobody, really, aside from herself.

So…. There. Why shouldn’t she look?

She drew in a deep breath and let it out, focusing on the image in the window, so much so that she didn’t notice the elderly man who paused next to her.

He looked in the window and smiled.

“Sure looks great, doesn’t it?” he said. “Makes me drool just looking at it.”

She nodded.

It was a high-end bakery, with fresh croissants and fruit tarts and homemade marzipan fruits, in addition to lots of other pastries so fancy she didn’t know what they were called, she noticed, now that she looked at them.

She brought her gaze back to the happy couple seated just in front of the window.

The young woman’s hair had fallen out of its’ bun, strands of hair straggling around her face. Her boyfriend seemingly didn’t notice – or didn’t care. He smiled and broke off a piece of the croissant they were sharing, offering it to her, and then laughing as she playfully bit his fingers.

She wrapped her jacket a little tighter around herself, although it was not particularly cold outside.

“Yup,” she said. “It looks beautiful.”

Writing Prompt:

(write for) 20 minutes * female character * wanting what you can’t have

Writing Prompt Courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator4.php

Image Courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/

January 27, 2015

To the casual observer, she would have looked like any other old lady, tottering out onto the ice. Which is not to say that there were many old ladies on the ice at all. As a matter of fact, she appeared to be the only one. Not that she was taking a survey, mind you. Her attention was concentrated on far more important things, like staying upright.

She gripped the entryway tightly, holding on for dear life, as she set first one foot onto the ice, and then the other.

“Breathe,” she told herself. “You can do this.”

More to the point, she had promised that she would. And she always kept her promises. She knew that words were not a thing to be thrown around lightly.

But that did not stop her from muttering under her breath as she tried to move forward, one wobbly foot in front of the other, making some attempt to glide instead of stepping.

She tried not to think about how she looked, gripping onto the wall as she scoot-skated her way around. She was a vain woman, and in every other sense, she had tried to arrange her appearance to her liking. Steely-gray curls were arranged just so, looking buoyant and bouncy without appearing out of control. She’d picked the smart-looking red sweater to go on top of the brown woolen skirt that belled out around her legs, with a coordinating red-and-green tartan scarf. It would look, she had thought, rustic and charming.

But now, all appearances aside, she felt silly.

What business did she have doing this, anyway? Ice skating at her age? She shouldn’t even be making the attempt.

She silenced her own mental voice. ‘Should’ did not matter. She had promised. And promises mattered.

She closed her eyes for a moment, and took a deep breath before pushing off of the wall.

Glide… glide…. good.

She was still slightly wobbly but somehow she managed to stay upright, keeping her feet under her as she drifted farther and farther away from the wall.

“Excellent,” she thought, as her feet skimmed the frozen surface. “I can do this.”

That was before the first small child zoomed past her, missing her by mere inches and nearly causing her to lose her balance.

“Foul child,” she murmured angrily, glaring at the small streak of a person that was presently halfway around the rink from her.

Somehow, she managed to regain her balance.

Glide…. glide…. Aarrghh!

This one touched her as it sped by.

“Tag!” the little boy shouted as he skated away.

“I will fall on you and you will cry!” she yelled back, glaring at the child and windmilling her arms in an undignified attempt to remain on her feet.

Of all the things she hated (and she hated a lot of things, reader), being undignified was in her top ten. At this point, it was swiftly creeping into her top five.

They continued zooming around her, the little monsters, coming within inches of her with their grubby little hands, almost knocking her to the ground.

“If it happens one more time….” she mumbled, eyes narrowed, shaking her head.

All it took was one more, really.

Yet another child blew by her, skates inches away from her own. Miraculously, she managed to stay upright, gripping the wall like a drowning person clings to a buoy.

“All right,” she said. “That’s it.”

She focused her gaze on the child in question, a little boy who couldn’t be older than nine, sporting mushroom cut and an oversized red-and-black jersey.

“Flame that singes, flame that burns,

Teach this child to wait his turn.”

She couldn’t help grinning, cackling quietly to herself, as the little boy’s skates caught fire.

She may have looked like a regular, sweet old lady, reader, but she was not.

She was, in fact, a witch.

And she was most definitely not sweet.

There are many things you should not do to a witch, reader. And first and foremost among those things: you should not make her angry. You wouldn’t like her when she’s angry.

Sadly, the fire was quickly put out, as the boy dropped and rolled on the ice, only panicking slightly. Sigh, what a shame. Even the skates weren’t too badly burnt – just a few dark spots. Oh, well. She’d do better next time, she supposed.

She did not have to wait long for next time… Mere moments later, a little girl zoomed by. This one had the nerve to grab at her as she went past, sending her into a tale-spin.

When she finally got her breath back, she glared, smiling wickedly at the child. What would it be this time? It had to be something good…the foul child certainly deserved it.

Hmmm…. foul child.

Well, foul certainly begets foul, doesn’t it?

“Frogs and toads and swampy-spawn

Get this child before me gone!”

She muttered it under her breath, but it wasn’t any less effective for that.

She chuckled into her scarf, barely managing to control her glee, as a horde of frogs and toads poured onto the ice, seemingly out of nowhere, chasing the little girl around the rink. She couldn’t resist a particularly loud giggle as a rather large toad leapt, landing squarely on the little girl’s head, causing the child to emit a high-pitched shriek, prancing around as though her hair was on fire.

She was so concentrated on the spectacle occurring across the rink, as the girl leapt and bounced and eventually raced off the ice, with a parade of slimy things behind her, that she did not notice the small, quiet presence by her side.

She did not notice, in fact, until the small person by her side slipped a mittened hand into her gloved one. She looked down, smiling sheepishly at her own small someone, and received an admonishing glare in return.

“Grandma,” she said, with a frown.

And that one word, spoken with such disappointment, was all it took.

“I’m sorry,” she said, giving the small mittened hand a squeeze.

“You promised…..”

Sigh.

“I promised I’d go skating with you,” she said.

“And you promised you’d be nice.”

Her granddaughter looked up at her, clear blue eyes trusting, despite the disappointment.

“And now I will be,” she said, managing a smile.

Wobbly-legged, on uncomfortable skates, with a small, mittened hand tucked into her own and a trusty companion by her side, she began again.

Image courtesy of:

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

January 26, 2015

She had never, in the past, been confident in the existence of God. She had prayed, but it was in a casual, hopeful way, the way some people will have a cigarette on social occasions. She would send up a quick prayer, off-the-cuff, before job interviews or dates, hoping that whatever it was up there, it was on her side.

But there is something about the middle of the night that makes the barriers to belief a bit more porous, or at least, it did for her. For that brief time, with the cold of the bathroom tiles biting into her knees, forehead pressed against the rim of the bathtub, she believed, totally and completely. Perhaps it was desperation, more than the lateness of the hour. Or perhaps it is easier to believe in something greater than yourself when you are on the brink of losing everything.

Either way, she believed.

Tears ran down her face and she pulled herself up onto her knees.

“Please God,” she cried, out loud for the first time in her life. “Help me! Tell me what to do…. What should I do?”

The silence was complete. It was, after all, three in the morning.

She listened to the stillness for a few moments, hiccupping and wiping away messy tears, before the silence was broken by a voice.

“Go to sleep, Stupid!”

It was not God. It was, in fact, Mrs. Fitzsimmons from next door, rudely awakened from her own sleep by her neighbor’s rather boisterous tears.

She knew it was not God – not by a long shot. But she shrugged anyway, pulling herself up off the cold bathroom floor.

Good advice, she reckoned, is good advice, no matter where it comes from.

Sometimes, God’s a little busy. Sometimes, Mrs. Fitzsimmons will do.

Writing Prompt:

drabble (100 words) / humor / faith

(exceeded wordcount a bit…)

Writing Prompt Courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator1.php

January 23, 2015

Birthdays are supposed to be happy, aren’t they?

You’re supposed to be celebrating and punching the air and eating a cake that’s bigger than your head, surrounding by a group of smiling people who may or may not be your friends. At least, that’s the way it looked in the commercials. She’d seen 16 Candles – that was how it was supposed to work, wasn’t it?

Platinum, Molly Ringwald had said.

Platinum, she repeated out loud to her mirror-self.

Thirteen was a big one, too. Some sort of milestone. Milestone of what, she wasn’t sure. She still couldn’t vote. Couldn’t drive. Couldn’t drink, legally anyway. What could she do? Not a whole hell of a lot.

She looked in the mirror and tried for a smile. Not even her fake mirror-self looked happy. Fighting a grimace, she unnecessarily reapplied the lip gloss. Like her mouth needed to get any shinier. She didn’t look happy – she looked scared.

She was alone for the moment, painting on concealer, scraping on eyeshadow like armor.

They would be here soon.

Her mother had gone to pick some of them up. Some would be arriving of their own volition.

The Relatives.

That was how she always thought of them, with the capital letter. Imagined them rushing up the driveway, like an oncoming horde. Large women, with too-bright dresses, too much lipstick, hair like fluffy unnaturally-colored clouds resting on their heads.

The old lady pouf – that was how she thought of it, and shuddered at the thought. She ran her fingers through her own long, dark hair. God forbid she ever end up with the old lady pouf.

There would be an endless dinner to sit through, with a constant stream of questions pinged in her direction, like missiles.

How’s school? Do you have a boyfriend? What do you want to be when you grow up?

Cringe.

Shouldn’t something that’s ostensibly for you feel less like torture? She’d rather have dinner with Attila the Hun, honestly. At least he’d have some interesting stories to tell.

She jumped about a foot into the air when the doorbell rang. Solemnly, she faced her reflection one last time, trying to feel just a little bit brave, but it was not to be.

She blinked at her reflection-self and with a heavy sigh, began to make her way downstairs.

It had begun.

Prompt:

10 minutes / female character – under 18 / glass

Prompt Courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator1.php

Image Courtesy of: http://www.morguefile.com/

January 21, 2015

Continued from yesterday’s post, located here:

https://litforlunch.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/january-20-2015/

She hiccupped, swallowing the last of her tears and glared at me.

“What do you want?”

I froze under that cold, silvery gaze.

“I – I don’t want anything,” I said. “I just…. I thought maybe you needed help.”

“I’m fine,” she said, fiercely, glaring at me.

Her eyes belied her words, red-rimmed with tears.

“Are you sure?”

I took a few steps closer. She shifted on the ground a bit, but didn’t move away. Because she couldn’t, I thought.

“I thought you might be hurt,” I volunteered.

“I …. I’m fine,” she said, although she couldn’t get the words out without her lip quivering.

“Really?”

“No.”

She plopped her face into her cupped hands and returned to her tears. I could see them, a fine silver trickle, just visible trailing down her cheeks, between her fingertips.

“What happened?”

This might’ve been the strangest thing that happened to me in the woods – a weird silver girl in the middle of the forest – but it felt a lot like dealing with a small child.

“I was… running,” she gulped air, in the attempt to form a coherent sentence. “And I wasn’t looking where I was going… And I tripped and fell… And now… Now I’m here.”

She looked at me, tear-stained face sad and somehow hopeful.

“And I don’t know how to get home,” she said.

I smiled at her.

“First things first,” I said, reaching down to her skirt.

She twitched away from me, looking up at me mistrustfully.

“I just want to see how badly you’re hurt,” I explained, gingerly lifting the hem of her skirt.

She was barefoot. And her feet were as silver as the rest of her.

And outside of that, she had one of the worst sprained ankles I’ve ever seen. The thing was swollen. It looked painful. Not good.

As gently as I could, I covered it back up.

Maybe I could just go to her house and get her parents? Then they’d be able to come get her and I wouldn’t have to deal with this whiney stranger in the woods?

“Ok,” I said. “Where do you live?”

She glared at me again.

“Like you can’t tell,” she said.

“Enlighten me.”

With a theatrical sigh, she pointed skyward.

“Very funny,” I said. “Now really, where do you live?”

“Where do you think stars live, stupid?” she huffed. “Of course I live in the sky.”

Well, that was one explanation, I guess.

“You’re a star?”

“Of course, I’m a star… What the hell else did you think I was?”

“I don’t know… I…” I stumbled to find words. “Aren’t stars supposed to be giant balls of burning gas?”

She looked like she wanted to punch me.

“That’s the worst thing that anyone’s ever said to me.”

I could see tears welling in her eyes again.

“Fine,” I said. “I’m sorry. You’re a star.”

Clearly, the sarcasm didn’t translate, because she stopped crying.

“Thank you,” she said, lifting her head a little higher.

“So if you’re a star,” I said. “How did you get here?”

“How do you think?” she said. “I told you. I tripped over something. And I fell.”

“Yeah? What did you trip over?”

She shrugged.

“Asteroid, maybe. Could’ve been one of the smaller moons. Or a space shuttle. Those things are tricky.”

I looked at her carefully. Outside of the silver glow… and the eyes…. And the dress…. Well, quite honestly, she looked pretty human.

“If you’re a star,” I asked her. “What’s the difference between you and me?”

“Besides fashion sense?” she asked, looking at my raggedy old sweater and galoshes.

“Very funny,” I said. “I just mean…. You look human.”

“I am human,” she said. “We all are. All stars are.”

“So what’s the difference?” I asked, genuinely wanting to know.

She looked at me for a few moments.

“There is no difference,” she said. “Humans …. People used to be stars. You used to be like us.”

She gave me a sad smile.

“You just forgot how to shine,” she said.

“So… we’re all just lost stars?” I asked.

She didn’t say anything. Just that sad smile.

We were both distracted when a loud whispering sound filled the darkness of the woods.

It was strange, actually, the darkness. The sun should’ve risen by now, or at least started to rise. I must’ve imagined the pearly light at the horizon earlier, because now it was a solid stripe of darkness.

The whispering wasn’t quite a whispering – more of a shushing. It was, I thought, the sound of cloth being dragged along the forest floor. She clearly recognized it immediately, because she lit up, glowing with a brighter light – and with a genuine smile, this time.

“She’s here,” she said. “She’s come to get me.”

I didn’t have a chance to respond before light filled the woods – not lantern light or a flashlight. Bright, clear light, like the dawn should’ve brought by now…. Except it was coming from the wrong direction. I squinted my eyes at it and somehow, through half-closed eyes, the light resolved itself into a woman in a shimmering golden dress that shone as brightly as her skin.

I couldn’t focus on her – couldn’t make out the details. But before I cast my eyes on the ground, I saw dozens of gold bracelets, long, chandelier earrings. The woman was heaped with jewelry, her hair done up in some elaborate, loopy pile on top of her head. Except for the light, she looked like a statue had stepped off of a plinth in a museum.

Staring at the ground, I couldn’t see much. But I did hear the girl yelp as the woman wrapped a long-fingered hand around her arm, yanking her up to totter on one foot.

“Silly, disobedient girl!” she huffed. “How many times have I warned you about this sort of thing?”

“I’m sorry, Mother.”

To her credit, she did sound genuinely sorry, but I think this might’ve been more on account of hurting her ankle than actual penitence.

“You’d better be sorry,” she said. “And you’ll be even sorrier by the time I get through with you.”

Their voices were growing a bit muffled through distance as they walk-hobbled away from me.

“It’s taken me forever to find you… Do you realize how much trouble you’ve caused? Do you realize that everything has been held up? Waiting? For you.”

She was shouting now.

“Selfish little thing,” she continued ranting. “You think the world revolves around you. Well, I’ve got news for you… It doesn’t!”

“But mother…” her protest was feeble, probably because she was focused on hobbling along, trying to keep from putting weight on her injured ankle.

“No Buts! I’ll have no more trouble from you….”

The voices faded off into the distance, the twin glows I could just barely focus on growing more and more distant until they faded away completely. I sat hunched on a log in the now mostly-silent forest.

It wasn’t terribly surprising when the sun rose a few minutes later, bright and golden in her glory.

“Are we all lost stars?” I asked, testing out the words, just trying to see how they sounded.

They sounded just as silly as I thought they would.

I shook my head, pulled myself up and turned away from the sun, beginning my walk home.

I think I need more sleep.

Writing Prompt;

350-500 words * mystery * morning

Also inspired by the song “Lost Stars” from the movie “Begin Again”….

“Are we all lost stars trying to light up the dark?”

January 20, 2015

It was one of those nights when it seems dawn will never come, just an indistinct pearly-gray smudge on the horizon, too distant to be any comfort. It almost seemed to hover, stubbornly just out of sight, like a diva primping before she hits the stage.

Sleep was as evasive as sunlight and lying in bed felt like a waste of time. Not that I had anything better to do, really. Except for that jittery sense that I ought to be doing something, and laying in bed didn’t feel like something.

I pulled on a pair of sweatpants and an oversized sweater and dragged a pair of old galoshes onto my feet. It hadn’t rained last night, but the woods always felt somehow soggy to me in the morning.

I was right. The grass was squishy, on that well-trodden path to the woods behind our house. Someone else, a more cautious someone, might consider going to into the woods in the still, dark early-morning to be a dangerous idea. That someone is not me. And if something in there was going to bite me, I imagine it would have by now. Or at least, that’s what I’d like to think.

I’m a miniature giant stomping through the woods, smushing clover underfoot, into the damp soft soil, and otherwise enjoying the almost-silence. No place is ever completely silent – the woods least of all. Snippets of pre-dawn birdsong. Twigs snapping. Still, it’s more peaceful than a complete silence could ever be.

It’s almost completely dark…. Except… Except….

There’s a strange glow, somewhere off in the distance. I’ve been in these woods every day of my life, for as far back as I could remember – nothing’s ever glowed before. This isn’t a campfire or a flashlight. It isn’t disoriented fireflies. It’s a clean, white glow.

And I’m not exactly one to battle my curiosity. Call it a personality flaw, but as soon as I see it, I’m walking towards it, weaving a slow and steady path through the trees.

But it isn’t until I’m almost there, when the glow began to substantiate into a human form, that I heard it – the crying. It was quiet; a dull desperate sort of sobbing.

That made me move faster.

The pale, sobbing form resolved itself into a girl – sorry, a young woman – crouched awkwardly on the ground. The glow was coming from her. It was enough to make me stop and stare for a moment. Long, silvery hair, done in braids and then arranged intricately on top of head, pinned with what looked like real diamonds. Her long, silver dress pooled around her like spilled liquid, molten and flowing and completely concealing her legs from view. But the most startling thing was her skin – a pale silver-gray, with a startling sheen.

She glowed, her hair and her skin exuding a light that flickered as she sobbed. Her hair and her skin and – as she turned to face me, suddenly aware of my intrusion – her eyes, stark, bright silver, with startling black pupils.

She hiccupped, swallowing the last of her tears and glared at me.

“What do you want?” she asked.

To be continued …..

Prompt:

350-500 words * mystery * morning

(obviously I’ve exceeded this word count as well…)

Prompt courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator5.php

January 19, 2015

She was going to be home soon, and he was starting to sweat.

It had seemed so simple, at the time.

Just make dinner.

A nice meal. A little candlelight. A little romance.

He’d already dusted and swept… well, as much as you could sweep a floor that was entirely composed of dirt and rock. He grunted, releasing a small spurt of smoke. He just hoped she appreciated his effort.

She was always complaining; about how he never cleaned up after himself, about how he always tracked mud home.

‘I got that stupid welcome mat for a reason,’ she’d say. ‘And it’s certainly not because anyone else is welcome here.’

She’d complain about always having to do the cooking, and how he was constantly leaving his things all over the place.

Today she’d gone out with the girls – getting a mani/pedi. An utter waste of gold, if you asked him. Of course, she hadn’t asked.

‘I’m going out,’ was all she’d said. He’d heard the irritation in her words and known better than to argue.

He was in hot water, he knew. But it would go from hot to boiling if he didn’t have the place cleaned up and dinner on the table by the time she got home.

Speaking of hot, it was a good deal harder to get the fire started than he’d anticipated, even for one of his particular skill set. With a half-grimacing, toothy grin, he turned away from the fire and started getting dinner set up – that fancy French word – what was it? Mise en something?

He’d actually been decent at French in school… You know, once upon a time, before he’d gotten hungry and eaten the French teacher.

That was another thing she always complained about – he was too impulsive. Sigh. Admittedly, he had a ways to go toward being the perfect husband. But he was bound to keep trying as long as she was willing to put up with him.

Arranging things on the counter, he heard a clattering noise behind him.

Dammit. Not again.

With a sigh, he turned around and shuffled over to where he’d left dinner. Not surprisingly, dinner had made a run for it.

Dang humans. Always trying to escape.

He thought he’d tied the guy pretty tightly, but the little man, still in his armor, was apparently pretty resourceful, although not smart enough to take off the suit before trying to make his getaway.

There the little man was, clanking towards the cave entrance.

He rolled his eyes and caught up with him in a moment.

The cave was not a terribly large one – she was always complaining about that as well. How they should save up the gold, instead of spending it on all of the little gadgets he was always buying. She wanted a bigger cave. Then, she said, they could have children. There was no room in this tiny little space. Now that he was thinking about it, she was right.

As if to reinforce her point, he managed to trip over a pile of gold he’d left off to one side of the cave, cracking a claw against a particularly sharp ruby.

Dangit.

He ignored the pain and grabbed the human in one big paw.

“I thought I told you to stay still,” he said, walking back into the cave to tie the little man up again. “Won’t do any good if you run away…. You’re dinner, you know. Without you, all I’ve got is garnish. And I don’t need to be in any more trouble than I already am.”

He wasn’t sure why he was explaining himself to dinner, but somehow, saying it out loud made him feel better.

Not that dinner had anything helpful to say in response. The little man was shouting something about sparing his life, pleading and such. Not terribly interesting.

Absentmindedly, he retied dinner to the spit, tighter this time, of course, before turning back to his preparations. He should, he thought, do this more often. She deserved it.

He hummed a grumbly, growly, indistinct song as he began chopping the carrots.

Sometimes, he reflected, it really is important to show the people that you care about how much you love them.

Writing Prompt:

250-300 words * A Mythical Creature or Idea * cooking

(exceeded the word limit, but there you go…)

Writing Prompt courtesy of:

http://panthermoon.com/generators/generator5.php

Image Courtesy of:

http://www.morguefile.com/