Thursday, September 22, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss

We were sitting in my room, he on the edge of the bed, me in the computer chair. It's not the biggest room to begin with, and it's a shared office/bed space. So we were knee-to-knee and he had to have known what was coming. It wasn't the first time he'd lied to me, nor was it the largest. But it was the last time he would.

I asked him a question that I already knew the answer to, and his lip started to quiver. He knew I knew, and he thought I'd forgive him and try again, as I had just a few short months earlier. After all, our wedding was only weeks away. He pleaded desperately that he had been bringing me and the children money. From his mother. I swallowed my rage and coolly asked him to leave. It wasn't about the money. It had never been about the money, or the home, or the job.

After he drove away finally, avowing his love, devotion, and desire to get it all back together and win me back, I returned to sit on the bed and stare into space. I felt numb. I'd told him at the end of the conversation I didn't have anything else to say. I did, but he wasn't worth losing my temper over. It was my own fault for not looking harder, for not seeing through his web of lies earlier. I wanted the happy times to be the truth, not the lies and laziness that he hid so well.

My weekly Indie Ink Challenge piece. I was challenged by Sadie with "I don't want to see the truth, I was happy with ignorance" and I challenged Hannah, and her response was brilliant!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mirror, Mirror...

“How do I choose what I will do with my life? How do I know what consequences those choices will have for me ten, twenty years down the road?”
The slender, brown-eyed girl frowned at the reflection in the mirror. She had received three acceptance letters from college in the mail that afternoon, and had opened them all and pored over the descriptions of each school and majors yet again. She still couldn’t decide. One had the advantage of being close to home - but it would be nice to get away from her family and try her wings out. Another was a prestigious school, but it would be expensive. The third hadn’t really been an option at first, but was where her boyfriend planned to attend. 
She closed her eyes. “Mirror, mirror, on the wall...” she muttered. Magic would be nice, of course - a fairy god mother to wave a wand and tell her what to do to find her happily ever after. She opened her eyes and did a double take. 
The girl spun around in shock at the plump, short-haired woman who stood behind her in the mirror reflection. She was alone in her bedroom. She looked back at the mirror. There was still a woman standing just behind her left shoulder. She was grinning at her. 
“Wha - Who!” she stammered. The woman chuckled. “Are you my fairy godmother?”
Now the woman laughed. “No, I’m your older and wiser self. Hello young lady.”
The younger shook her head in bemusement. “How?”
“Oh, that will become clear later, but I won’t tempt paradox.”
“Getting quite journalistic in your questions, good girl. I am here to offer a tiny bit of guidance.”
“You’re going to tell me where to go to college.”
The older version looked quite shocked. “Not at all, that would bring a paradox right down on us. Merely a hint, is all. How many acceptances so far?”
“Five. The last three came in today.”
“Lay them out on your bed.”
The younger turned and collected the pile of letters and laid them out edge to edge along her pink comforter. She looked back at the mirror, where the older woman was leaning forward as if to see. 
“The third one from the foot of the bed. Start there, and count off the ‘eeny, meeny, miny, moe ryhme.”
Obediently she bent over the letters, touching each one in turn, cycling back around as she counted. When she finally picked up the letter that was it, she turned to look back at the mirror. The apparition was gone. She looked down at the letter she held. The college was one she hadn’t considered in her top three. It specialized in maths and science. The young woman looked back at the still-empty mirror and realized that the counting rhyme had a set sequence. Her elder self had chosen the school for her as surely as if she had pointed to it and stated “That’s the one.”
Sweeping the other letters onto the floor, the young woman flopped onto her bed and wondered about the possibility of quantum time travel. She fell asleep dreaming of a laughing pair of eyes that were her own. 

Writing for the Indie Ink writing challenge! I was challenged this week by Tara R with "eeny, meeny, miny, moe" and I challenged with "Part-Time Husband". 

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fork in the Road

Joe slouched in a hard chair, his phone dangling from one limp hand. He almost let go and let it all fall down, down to the floor. He wanted to just stop the world and get off now. Everything was gone, it was all laid to waste and his life might as well be over. The world was his oyster, not that long before. How had he let it come to this? 
He picked up his hand and stared at the text on it. 
“I know what you did. Don’t bother coming home. I changed the locks already.”
So she knew what he’d done to keep his family together, to keep his home and give his children someplace to sleep at night. When the last business he’d tried to start he had gone to his father-in-law. The ruddy, balding man, his white beard neatly trimmed, had looked down at him from over his wobbling chins. 
“Not a penny.” He had said before his son-in-law had even opened his mouth. The man had felt his face flush. “I’ll get it from someone else, then.”  The older man, Arthur, had sniffed contemptuously. “Not likely. But you won’t get another penny from me. My daughter is always welcome, of course, but not while she’s married to you.”
Joe had left, head held high, although his heart was sinking. His credit was shot, of course. Coming to Art had been a desperate last ploy. His carpet cleaning business was going down the tubes and the last loan he’d scraped up had all gone to pay his vendors.  Now what was he going to do? 
Joe drove into town, following the truck ahead of him without paying much attention to where he was going. The rain and dusk didn’t really exist for him, he blindly followed the taillights ahead, tears making them look like stars. He almost followed them right off the edge of the road. 
Stomping on the brakes, he fishtailed to a stop. His heart in his throat, he ran to the edge of the blacktop and looked down into the ravine. The armored truck lay on its back in the ravine, one headlight still shining. The undercarriage was steaming in the cold rain. 
Joe scrambled down to the truck, grabbing branches and slipping the last few feet. He could hear a man groaning from the wreck. He looked into the gaping hole where the passenger window had been. The guard was obviously dead, his head hanging at a strange angle. The driver was half conscious, covered in blood. Joe couldn’t see well enough to tell what was wrong with the man, and he couldn’t reach him from this side of the truck. 
He backed out and started to go around the back of the truck. He didn’t want to go near the engine. The back door was buckled open, and Joe stopped and stared. Bags of money lay half inside the truck, one was torn open and twenties had spilled out into the mud. The driver moaned and Joe started. He looked up at the road. Only his headlights showed. He hesitated a minute. This road wasn’t busy, but it was likely someone would be along very soon. 
He made his decision. 
Now, four months later, he sat in a hotel room wondering bitterly why he had chosen as he had. Would she still care? Was this the end of everything he’d ever wanted? He lifted the phone and dialed a number from memory. Time to find out the answer. 

This is my Indie Ink challenge piece for the week. I was challenged by Dirk, with "the world's his oyster", And I challenged SuperMaren. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011

I'd written a lovely story about the USO in Vietnam, and my computer crashed and I hadn't saved it… bad Cedar! I just got home from Civil Air Patrol meeting with my daughter and found it gone. With only an hour to deadline, I'm not going to be able to finish writing it, now. I was thinking of the cadence challenge tonight, as I was watching my daughter drill with the other cadets. They were marching and calling cadence, and it made me think of all the young men and women who serve our country in uniform, not so much older than these children. They go out whole and hearty, and come back on those choppers, damaged sometimes beyond repair.

One of the biggest regrets in my life was giving up my opportunity to serve. All I can do now is support those who wear the uniform now, and raise up the next generation to be patriots. Perhaps one of my children will one day serve their country, and I shall send them off with tears and pride.

My challenge this week, which I failed miserably, was
"I hear the choppers coming 
They’re hovering overhead 
They’ve come to get the wounded
 They’ve come to get the dead"

From: KSyrah

My challenge to Sarah Cass was "Hey Y'all, watch this!"