Monday, October 21, 2013

Snippit Of The Day

Homeless Heart
“That’s my damn tarp,” Kelly said coldly. “Hand it over.”
“Listen, Kelly...” Sam’s tone softened on a sigh. He released the large, blue piece of vital plastic, letting it fall to the ground. He kicked it toward her. Kelly lunged for the tarp, folding it in her arms. Sam spoke slowly, as if needing to regain his composure. “It’s bad enough I let you hole up here, but you’ve got to have this little campsite of yours cleaned up and out of sight by five a.m. Understood?” His dark eyes bored into hers. Sam ran a hand over his bald head, his lips twisting with annoyance.
“Yeah, I got it,” Kelly huffed. She picked up the backpack that was stuffed with the few precious possessions she owned and stormed off into the woods that bordered Union Gas and Propane. She needed to cool off. If she pushed her luck with Sam, she’d be screwed.
Kelly tied the rope into the corner holes of the tarp. She’d already screwed the hook-and-eyes into the trunks of the surrounding trees. She threaded the ends of the rope through the hooks imbedded in the bark and tugged until the rope was taut, knotting the ends.
This had become her prime location, her home, however pathetic it was. It was secluded, protecting her from the sun and heat of a summer that was soon to be ending. The tall evergreens would hopefully conceal her from the elements of the pending winter. 
She’d only been on the streets a few months. Winter was a worry that grew more potent with each passing day. Though Steve said she’d do fine, the concerns weighed heavily. It was already September. If time continued to fly by, she’d be shivering in the snow very soon.
The sun was spreading across the sky, casting intricate patterns of white heat in its wake as it filtered through the evergreens above and settled on the damp ground.
She’d gotten very little sleep last night. Her thoughts had kept her up. They came every night with the darkness, haunting her, shaking her awake until she fully surrendered and aborted the idea of trying to snooze. 

Hotter Horizons
 “Here, take it,” Jada said, forcefully pushing a wad of cash into her hand.
“No.” Fern shook her head. “It’s too much. You’ll need it to carry my end of the expenses.”
Jada grabbed her satchel, stuffing the cash inside.
“I’m working the last four shows,” Jada said, hand on hip. “Believe me ... I’ll be raking it in.” Jeff Foxworthy was performing his act at the casino where Jada worked, her last week being very lucrative.
Fern relented. She did need money. Jada was a cocktail waitress at the Mohican Sun Casino. She had a real knack for dealing with the public, not to mention her glamorous looks, which only added to her gift. The amount of cash the girl could earn in one night was sickening.
This drama-laden plan of escape was very sudden and unplanned. Fern had hit the wall. She was done with Johnny. After almost three years of dealing with his dysfunctional behavior, she was finally tapped out.
Being in a relationship with Johnny was like dealing with an entire street gang. His often violent, possessive behavior interfered with even daily life activities. If Fern even glanced in the direction of another man he thought she was interested. He was jealous and insecure. Johnny did have a soft side but its appearance was rare. He gave her no freedom of movement.
For Jada, Fern’s departure was a day of rejoicing, but it came with a price. Fern would now have to leave. Jada had been trying to get Fern to ditch Johnny ever since voice-activated email made its debut. Fern was going to suffer the most from this breakup, forcing  
her to abruptly relocate and abandon all she knew, heading toward another horizon all on her own.
When would she be able to see Jada again? They’d been roommates forever. She wouldn’t miss her job at the Turnstile. She was tired of dealing with rowdy club-goers and loud music, and patrons like her ex. I’ve acquired the lifestyle I grew up despising.
Now she’d be forced to wander, just like her father had his entire life, never owning anything or putting down roots. “I don’t like things that hold me down,” had been her father’s famous words. Her mind scrambled back to Johnny and the reaction her absence would create. 

Dual Desire
“Who is that?” Joel’s face went slack, his eyes wide. He was immobilized, gawking at the gorgeous brunette who was gracing the front desk in the lobby.
“Contain yourself,” Reed said, murmuring between pressed lips. He playfully smacked Joel upside the head, grabbing his arm and pulling him behind the partition.
Reed shook Joel’s shoulder, forcing his twin brother’s eyes to connect with his. Life with a twin wasn’t easy. It was a life that constantly teetered between sides. Joel was the one person he could count on, but at times they’d become adversaries, though it was much more prevalent during their childhood. As adults they needed each other too much. With their parents passing in an unexpected accident while overseas on vacation, they were all each other had.
“Her name’s Ivy. She’s the new front desk coordinator,” Reed told him, his words a hushed whisper. He didn’t like the way Joel’s eyes were wandering. Joel loved women. He also loved to share them with Reed. Reed didn’t fully understand it, but the few times they’d shared had been an incredible bonding experience. They were closer now than they’d ever been. Sometimes Reed felt like Joel’s crutch. Nevertheless, he’d give his life for Joel. Not many brothers could be naked with the same woman.

 The South Window

“Tess, don’t do that.” Allie yanked the curtain down. “You can see through, the material’s sheer enough.”
“Come on, we want to get a good look at him. Besides, you could use a little stimulation.” Tess turned, flashing her dark, sultry brown eyes.
“Thanks,” Allie sighed, feeling beaten down again by Tess’s brutal honesty. “Listen, I have work to do. Federal Express will be here by noontime tomorrow.”
Allie crawled off the love seat and watched Tess perched on the windowsill with the binoculars as close to the screen as she could get them, the seam of her short-shorts riding up her behind. Allie wondered how she could cope with that thick denim seam searing through her crotch all day.
Tess rested the binoculars on the cushion then scooted off. “Oh well, we’ll just have to investigate him now, won’t we?”
She walked over to Allie’s drawing table. “So, what do we have here? A wedding, baptism, or are those sympathy cards?” Tess eyed all the pastel drawings that lay on her table.
“They decide when they get them.” Allie started to organize her tools, eager for Tess to leave. 

Dark Day Bright Night

“Hey, your clock is wrong. It seems to have stopped.”
“Yeah, I know.” Zane rolled over, wincing as he sat up. His gut twisted with a burning cramp. He grabbed the remote, silencing the stereo. His new neighbor walked closer to the wall, gazing up at the antique timepiece that his uncle had given him. Zane’s eyes wandered down her tall, willowy frame. The girl needs a sandwich.
“That’s a shame. It’s such a pretty clock.” She faced him. Fiery- red curls fell over one emerald-green eye. She did have a unique type of sex appeal, but she talked too much, too many words for Zane to process. She was also quite friendly, which only fed his guilt, but she was just too much for him, so bubbly and happy—too happy.
“Yeah, well, actually...” Zane stood up, his head swimming for a minute. “It worked up until yesterday, but when I got home from the doctor’s, it was broken. Just like me. It’s stopped keeping time, and so has my body. Our lives are stationary, I guess.” He shrugged. It was really too deep a philosophical statement coming from Zane, but it was one he believed was true. He’d met Meg down in the vestibule, near the mailboxes, last week. Today he’d gone shopping, only to have dumped his stuff all over the floor of the lobby when his bags tore open. His bladder was on the brink of bursting, so Meg had waved him off, saying she’d bring his stuff up. Too nice.
Meg turned her back on the clock, her face creased with worry. Two thin, vertical lines deepened between her brows. She was sort of cute.
“What d’you mean?”
“Doc told me yesterday that I have Hodgkin’s disease.” Zane grabbed one of the green tote bags and headed into the kitchen. He tossed his groceries on the high counter that lined the edge of the kitchen. Meg was on his heels. She slid onto one of the stools behind the counter before he could blink. She toyed with a box of Pop-Tarts, eyeing the contents listed on the side of the box, her brows pulled together.
“I’m sorry.” Her wide eyes reached for him, her stare a bit intense. Zane instantly regretted divulging this information. He could almost see her head spinning off her thin neck, which had a sensual curve to it, he noticed. 

Rearview Mirror 
“What the hell does this mean?” Liz asked. She stared wide-eyed at the small card Duane had tacked up on the refrigerator. Riverdale Cancer Center. She swallowed hard, forcing down whatever it was that was creeping up into her throat. Liz checked her tone, noting it bordered on hysteria.
“The doctor said my cell counts are low. He wants me to go see a hematologist.”
Duane shrugged. He turned and opened the fridge, grabbing a beer. His nonchalant attitude was infuriating. This news gnawed through Liz like a hungry termite.
“But...what does it mean? Did you even ask?” Liz tossed her purse on the counter, exasperated. Why was it that you couldn’t send a man to a medical appointment alone? She knew she should’ve stayed home from work. To think she used to get frustrated over a botched-up grocery list.
Duane pulled the blue bandanna off his head. It was wet and rancid-smelling, trapped under his hard hat all day, absorbing the sweat produced by a humid June heat.
“I guess we’ll find out next Tuesday. No worries, babe,” Duane assured her. He flashed her those brilliant baby blues, clear as a summer sky. He tipped his beer back. His throat worked quickly, sucking down the cold, sudsy foam. "I'm fine," Duane rolled his eyes at her drama.

Behind The Iron Fist 
“You can’t let him leave. The guy’s inebriated.” Mia glared at Troy, speaking through gritted teeth. Her eyes darted to the door as it swung closed. She hurled the bar towel at Troy and chased after their drunken patron.
“He’s been in here before. He’ll make it,” Troy grumbled as she ran outside.
Frigid air bit into her skin. Mia hated March. One never knew how to dress. It was the month of a winter season having its last word. She squinted into the darkness, her breaths ribbons of white smoke, her steps quickening.
A dark figure was bent over, trying to see the keyhole in his car door. His body swayed, his hand gripping the edge of the roof. Mia’s hand clamped down on his upper arm. Tight muscles flinched in rebellion. Shit, this guy’s solid as a rock.
“Excuse me.Her breath caught. Hooded, black eyes faced her. The glare of the streetlamp had them glowing like embers. “I can’t let you drive in your condition.” His lips curled into a scowl, making her assertiveness waver.
  "It won't be the first time." His tone was hard. His eyes lowered to her hand, still holding his arm.
  Mia released him. Words of warning spewed from her mouth. “You don’t want blood on your hands, trust me. I live with someone else’s blood on me every day. It’s a stain you can never wash out.Her chest heaved around her words. “Please...Let me call you a cab.”
His eyes flickered over her. Mia wrapped her arms around herself. A deep shiver ran through her. He was as dark as the night that surrounded them. His face softened slightly. He adjusted the wool hat on his head and raised his hand. Mia stepped back, her heart kicking into overdrive, her body on full alert. He dropped the keys into her hand.
“You win.” He turned on his heel and walked across the parking lot, shoving his hands into his pockets. She looked down at the keys, the metal still warm from his fiery palm. Mia searched the darkness, just in time to see him disappear around the corner. She faced his vehicle, a battered Honda Prelude. She slipped the keys into the pocket of her apron and ran back inside. 

The Unveiling 
“What now!” Neil banged his fist on the steering wheel. Lights flickered on the dashboard like a pinball machine. The snow was hypnotizing. It flew from behind a curtain of black. Millions of flakes hit the windshield at once, turning the glass into a billboard of slush.
A pungent smell pushed through the heater vents, making him gag. Gray smoke filled the car, burning the inside of his nose, smelling like burnt rubber. Having to choose between asphyxiation and the frigid cold, he rolled down the window.
“Fuck it all,” Neil growled, pulling over. He was tapped out. As soon as he put the heap of junk in park, the car coughed and sputtered, stalling on the shoulder of the dark and desolate road. He tipped his head back in the driver’s seat, pinching his eyes closed, willing all that was happening to cure itself. He opened his eyes and stared into nothing. Neil reached for the glove box, rustling through a pile of papers. He’d only spent four hundred dollars on this piece of crap, hoping it would at least get him over the state line, away from Pennsylvania. He slammed it closed.
“Damn it to hell!” Neil got out, his boots slipping on a snow that was accumulating fast. He popped the trunk, yanked out his backpack, and slung it over his shoulder. He walked alongside the car and opened the door, tossing the keys on the front seat. Neil rolled up the window and slammed the door in disgust and peered into the thick-treed woods. He took a deep breath and listened. The air was cold and sharp as it attacked his warm insides. The light crinkling sound calmed him. He stared into the wooded silence, listening as millions of flakes fell, clinging to the bare branches.

Extra Credit 
“You got nabbed, too, huh?” Chad threw his backpack down on the long table. Overhead lighting glared off the glossy work surface.
“Yeah, stupid fucker. He said my paper’s incomplete. I need this like the flu.” A fellow disgruntled student shook his head, his thin lips twisting in disgust.
“Chad Minnelli.” Chad extended his hand. “You know what they say...misery loves company.” With the end of his junior year in college in sight, Chad’s mind was already flooded with the sights and scents of the Jersey shore. Tons of hot guys and lots of cock, but now that he had screwed up on his final, he needed to do extra credit so he didn’t have to repeat the course. This news corroded his spirit like a cancer.
“Alex Hayes.” Alex’s slender fingers wrapped around his, his hands surprisingly smooth.
“You wanna work together? See if we can bang this thing out?”Chad sat down across from him, meeting the aggravated glare of Alex’s icy blue eyes. “I got a shore rental for the summer. I’m not sticking around here for too long. Fuck that.” Chad laughed.
“No shit.” Alex’s face lifted. “Yeah, I could use a hand.”
“What topic did you pick?”
Chad pulled his laptop out of his pack.“The fall of”

“Hitler’s demise.” Chad rolled his eyes, his tone cranky. “I’ll be right back. The librarian’s holding some stuff for me.” Chad got up and headed for the front desk, knowing Diane had set his stuff off to the side. She always came through for him. During his stroll back, Chad couldn’t keep his eyes from visually exploring Alex.
He was lean, a bit taller than Chad, but with ample curvature. Wheat-colored flesh stretched nicely around his limbs. Alex wasn’t ripped, but looked nice and tight, just the way Chad liked his men. His sandy-brown hair was trimmed short on the sides and in the back, but longer on top. Streaks of gold ran through the strands, like he had been struck by the sun. Longer strands hung over his brow. He frequently ran his hands through it to keep it out of his eyes, or a quick jerk of his head would suffice.
Alex slumped over the three books that were open in front of him, one leg resting up on a vacant chair. He’d like to take him for a spin, maybe take him down to Seaside for a weekend. He’d have to fish, though, scope him out. Chad hadn’t seen him around before today.They were looking at a few days together. Maybe while they blew through these papers, he could gain a little insight. When he sat back down, he asked Alex if he would look over his outline before he got started.


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