( A short/short in four parts.)
Are You My Punishment?
The man’s hand itched to grab his gavel; his fingers slithered toward it. He stopped short. The woman’s words had robbed him of even this small pleasure.
She continued to stand defiantly before him, her eyes boring into his, her gaze challenging him. He could hear her unspoken words. Be a man!
Worse, he could hear her spoken ones. Are you my punishment? she’d asked.
As her composure grew, so did his discomfiture. He ran his hands over his sweaty face, peeking at her through his fingers. With a prolonged sigh he finally spoke.
“No,” he said. “You are mine.”
(a short/short in four parts)
That Little Piece of Wood
The man and the woman eyed each other.
“You feel powerful with that little piece of wood in your hand?”
Startled, the man let go of the gavel as it were on fire.
“Watch your mouth, MIssy!”
“Or you’ll watch it for me?”
The man flushed to his hair follicles. For he had been doing exactly that; her full sumptuous lips prompting an ember to glow.
She kept her eyes locked onto his.
“Are you my punishment?”
The words, uttered in a seductive whisper, caused him to lower his gaze. This witch could read his mind.
(A short/short in four parts.)
Do Not Tempt Me, Woman!
“You will face your punishment now.”
“You will live your life with one man.”
“Of whose choosing?”
“I see only you.”
“Do not question our authority!”
“I only question yours.”
“This impertinence will stop!”
“It will stop when I die.”
“Do not tempt me, Woman!”
Her lip curled into a knowing smile as he seemed to shrink before her. He clutched his gavel tightly, the only tool he possessed that was hard to the touch.
(A short/short in four parts.)
You Stand Accused
“You stand accused of having loved more than one man.”
“Is that a crime?”
“Your heart may belong to only one man.”
“My heart belongs to me. I give that to no man.”
The gavel exploded onto the tall platform hiding the man from the chest down. He glowered down at the woman standing before him in full view.
The man was incensed. She did not cower before him. How dare she display such arrogance?
“You will not contradict me!” he screamed.
“I do not contradict. I clarify.”
Her voice held no tremor, her stance no timidity. She seemed to grow taller; chin and breast jutted out, spine erect. Her unblinking eyes showed no fear.
What was there to be afraid of? He was only a man.
Lounging under a chickee hut, enjoying the view.
Doing some reading, some emailing, some dozing.
A lazy Sunday afternoon.
“Alma,” he spoke her name, savoring it. “That means soul in Spanish.”
“That’s what I am,” she replied. “A soul.”
She faced him, seated cross-legged on the grass. The lush vegetation of the botanical garden formed near-solid walls around the small clearing they’d found. Overhead, the bright blue sky held a cresting sun as wispy, cottony clouds were ushered along by a sluggish breeze. Brilliantly colored butterflies flitted about, and the only other sounds came from the chirping birds.
He lay full-length in front of her, propped up on his elbow. He seemed to be idly plucking at the grass, but his attention was riveted on her tube top. With her long hair flowing freely, it was hard to tell there were no straps to hold it up. But he was close enough to see.
“All I have to do is this,” he said, bringing his finger close to her breast and making a downward motion.
She said nothing, daring him with her eyes. His eyes bore into hers as he brought his finger to her breast again and left it there suspended, a hairsbreadth away. After a moment’s hesitation, he hooked it into the top pulling it slowly down one side. She remained perfectly still as she felt the soft breeze caressing her breast.
(From Alma: A Soul Caught Between Heaven and Hell)
They went out in her little Mustang instead. She loved that car, and made sure to get sole title to it in the divorce. It was aqua. She’d seen only one other in that color in all the years she’d owned it, and that was on the cross-country drive. The northern winters had not been kind to its poor body, but the V-8 engine still growled like a lion. And it was fast. Flying in her little Mustang didn’t scare her one bit.
He would ride to her parent’s house, where she was staying while in town, and leave the bike there. He grumbled about it, making sure it was safe and secure within the fencing. He muttered about riffraff coming around to steal it. It was a beautiful bike, black and gleaming with soft leather seats and silvery chrome accents. She laughed it off, saying nothing is going to happen. And nothing ever did happen, to the bike.
(Another small excerpt from my WIP I call: Alma)
He fell in love with her.
She fell in love with love.
His name was Val, short for Valentin. She thought it perfect, karma, she had found her Valentino. He rode a motorcycle, hence the black leather jacket. He took her out on it.
She didn’t like the constriction of the helmet. It was heavy and she couldn’t see well. She didn’t like the speed and screamed as he made wicked turns, swaying, the pavement almost coming up to meet them. She clung to him for dear life, her arms tight around his slim waist. But mostly, she didn’t like the vulnerability, the openness, the lack of barrier between her and the rushing world. In her line of work, motorcyclists were known as organ donors.
(This is a bit from a book I’m writing.)
My father came to me last night in a dream. He looked as he did at my age, robust and strong. I was as I am now, as he gently escorted me down a busy city street to a night class. Traffic boomed all around us, headlights ablaze, and he did not speak as we walked amidst many others. Before leaving me, he pointed out the building I should go into as if I didn’t already know, and then he held me in his arms and kissed me on the cheek, his stubble rough against my skin.
Though I don’t often dream about my father, I still feel him with me these many years after his death. He was a simple man who put family above all. He believed in paying his way and if he couldn’t pay, he would do without. And we did, do without. Yet, I never went hungry or lacked a roof over my head. And it was only long after I’d left home that I realized how poor we truly were.
” Writing is a struggle against silence.” – Carlos Fuentes