Picture It and Write It-Scars in Ink

Thank you Ermilia for the kick ass photo prompt this week.

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The tattoo is the mark of the soul.
It can act as a window through which we can see inside,
or it can be a shield to protect us from those that can not see past the surface.

They lie side by side in a king size bed. Their black lab, Mowgli, takes up the other half. He juts his paws out and appears to be running as he dreams. A soft whimper escapes from his open mouth.

“What do you think he’s dreaming of?, Damon inquires.

“Chasing rabbits in the woods,” Rhiannon replies.

“Why do you think he’s chasing rabbits?”

“Because he’s smiling.”

Damon shakes his head and chides, “Dogs don’t smile honey.”

“Mowgli does, but only when rabbits are involved,” Rhiannon giggles.

Damon turns on his side and faces Rhiannon. She is so beautiful. Green eyes, freckled nose, and red hair. Real red hair.

She continues to lie on her stomach but turns her head to stare into his blue eyes.  He begins to gently trace the lines of ink on her back. Wishing he could understand her need to have a needle full of color driven continuously into her skin. It becoming an amalgamation of many stories into one. Harmonious in its chaos.

She looks at him. “You want to know why, don’t you.”

“Yes.”

“Is it that important to you?”

Damon lies and tells her, “no.”

Eyeing Damon suspiciously she begins to speak. The tale that Rhiannon weaves is almost beyond comprehension. He had no idea the pain she’s endured during her life. He wonders how she ever made it. A beautiful, broken woman with ink permanently etched into her skin. They are her scars and badges of honor. Rhiannon wears them proudly to prove that she is a survivor. Oh God, how Damon loves her. Even with her scars.

“My step father raped me and then passed me around to his friends. I was a young girl and confused. It felt good to be needed. Felt good when he touched me. I thought he cared about me. As I grew older, he wanted less to do with me, and his attention turned to my little sister. I endured pain and humiliation, but I would be damned if he was going to touch her. One night while he and my mother slept, I shot him. I made sure that he would never touch another young girl again, especially my baby sister.”

Damon stares at her unblinking. He can’t believe his ears.

“You asked me why, and now I’ve told you. The images cut into my skin are reminders of a life left behind. I didn’t get charged with anything and Sis was safe. At 15, I became a grown up, but my innocence was gone long before that.”

“I have no idea what to say,” Damon admits.

“There’s nothing to say, and no balm invented to fix me,” Rhiannon explains. “Isn’t that all we ultimately are, scars that have been repaired?”

“I guess you’re right, but I’m sorry. That’s all I can think of to say.”

Looking into his eyes she says, “that’s all you need to say, and that you love me.”

“I love you Rhiannon, with everything I have.”

She rolls over and into Damon’s waiting arms. He kisses every inch of the tattoo on her back. Rhiannon gives a contented sigh, and watches as Mowgli continues to dream of rabbits and smile his doggy smile.

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I GOT PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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“I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.” ― Marilyn Monroe

My short story, On a Hot Summer Night has been published on Ether Books. It will be available for download in approximately 2 weeks. I will give you more information as it becomes available. Ether Books is downloadable on your iPhone or Android phone. Holy shit, I’m so damn excited I could pee!!!!!! Here’s the app information. PLEASE TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW.

https://itunes.apple.com/app/id362070951?mt=8

Ajay recently posted this gorgeous photo of a farmhouse. I told him that I could see an entire story unfold in it. I wrote of a young married couple named Tyler and Anna. It was sort of erotic, but mostly sensual. It took me three days to write and revise the story. When I finally posted it, I received great feedback. I read and reread it. I was proud of it, but not overly so.

I spoke with my friend Duncan about some of his short stories that he had published on Ether Books. I asked for details on how to do it and he gladly helped this novice writer find her way. In the meantime, more of his stories were being picked up. I kept downloading and reading them. He’s so damn good, I figured there was no way in hell I would ever get published. Me, a silly woman that has only been writing a little over a year.

I gave in and said what the fuck, it couldn’t hurt to try. After creating an Ether Books account, I submitted my story. Mind you that was a little over a week ago. I checked my Yahoo email account every day expecting the worst. Rejection. Who would have thought that I would receive an acceptance email? My first submission. My first acceptance. Not only will it be available for download on Ether Books in two weeks, but it’s a PAID download.

The first person I told was Duncan. The second was Roger Darling. Then the kids. Then my personal and author page on Facebook. Can’t forget my Twitter account. Last but not least was Rory, my editor. I told him that this was only the beginning. I have stories that I’ve already written that he needs to edit. It’s time for this crazy woman to move forward and submit more.

I promise to let you know when the story is available for purchase. Renee Heath, published author. Who’d a thunk it????

Friday Fictioneers-You’re Not Their Mother

Thank you to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the prompt for Friday Fictioneers. She’s addicted to purple, just like me. I hope you like my story. Not sure what the genre is. There are real people in it, but it’s no memory. Maybe wishful thinking on my part…

copyright-Jennifer PendergrastCopyright-Jennifer Pendergast

Lin and I sit in the stairwell, waiting for Ally and Claire.

“You love my daughters don’t you?”

“Of course I do. They’re all I have left of you.”

“You’re not their mother, I am.”

“I know that,  I have never tried to replace you. Ever.”

She looks at me with azure eyes; same color as mine. We could be sisters, she and I. We were, once.

Ally, dressed in her wedding gown ascends the stairs. Claire in tow. I stand up and give both of the girls a radiant smile. Lin touches my hand, and then her apparition fades.

Friday Fictioneers-U.S-1 and Flaming Red Hair

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Copyright-Beth Carter

All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.-John Denver

Miriam was ready to start a new adventure, in Key West. At her old home, she tidied up affairs. Freed herself of all that didn’t matter anymore. Even her car.

“We always wanted to live on the beach, Honey.” she spoke into the air. “You’re in the ether now, but you’re always with me.”

Ray had been dead two years. It was her turn.  To write. Run. Smile. And live.

She threw her luggage into the silly homemade car she bought. Placed his urn in the seat next to her. Drove along U.S.-1, flaming red hair dancing in the breeze.

**Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for keeping the dream of Friday Fictioneers alive. The prompt this week was an inspiring one. Not sure if I captured enough of it in my story. Please give criticism and kudos. I’m a romantic twit, but I can take it. **

Observations from “The Pier” by Jack Vettriano

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It was understood back then everybody needed a pier. Now there’s a perception of a value change. There’s a sensitivity to the scenic impacts of piers.-Don Lane

I’m seated in the gallery. My eyes focused on a painting by Vettriano entitled, The Pier. I’ve often wondered what the stories were for each of the subjects that he painted. The young lovers seated next to the solitary man. The lonely man gazing over the railing. The young girl in blue standing next to her father. The middle aged couple standing under the umbrella.

It’s funny how I can view an image and weave a story. Some folks think it’s a talent. Some think it’s me being arrogant. Like I know that I write well. For me it isn’t either of those things. I see the image and there’s a flash of clarity. A knowing. It’s not always a good story. Nor should it be. There’s a darkness to this talent of mine. A sadness that seeps into my chest. No one can remove it, but me. It escapes when I write.

I withdraw my notebook and pen from my purse. I stare intently at the older couple standing under the umbrella. My mind wanders to the pier. I’m standing at the railing with the lonely man. I take into my nostrils the tang of the salt water. Hear the squawk of the seagulls. See the waves lap the shore. I’m in my element. At home. My pen starts before I realize what I’m writing….

The lady and gentleman stand under the umbrella. Not touching. But there’s an intimacy in the way he shields her from the heat of the day. He looks at her and envisions the young woman he married 15 years before. She turns to him and gives him a knowing smile. That’s the nicety of being with someone for so long. The familiarity. They came to the pier that day to walk and soak up the sun. There was the shared hot dog and cotton candy too. The ride in the rickshaw. Holding hands while walking in and out of shops. They bought nothing. Only talked about what items would look pretty in their seaside home. They’re childless after so many years together, but they have each other. That’s all that matters. He wishes he didn’t have to hold the umbrella. He wishes they were at home. In bed. Sharing wine, chocolate and kisses.

Remember I told you, I’m standing next to the lonely man at the railing. I turn to look at him as he stares out into the wide open. There’s a crashing of waves in his eyes. A storm. There’s no serenity in the seascape for him. He’s thinking of the job he lost. The wife that’s no longer waiting for him at home. He knows his next double shot of whiskey will bring him no solace. He wants to end it all. Walk into the ocean and drown. Like Sylvia Plath. Stones in his pockets. The end.

The young girl in blue stands with her father. She wants to be any place but here. Actually, she wants to be with her sweetheart. They had shared their first kiss a few days before. She’s still preoccupied with the softness of his lips. The way they bumped noses trying to figure out which way to turn their heads. Where to put their hands. The tingling sensation that surged through them as they brushed tongues. Daddy is asking her about school. She answers automatically, “It’s fine. Everything is fine.” She smiles at him. He sees his little girl growing up before his eyes. She’ll be going away to college in two years. He’ll be lost without her. Even though she grows away from him, he loves her more with each passing day. Also, he knows about the first kiss from her sweetheart. It makes him happy, but wistful.

The old man is sitting on the bench next to the young couple. He thinks back to the day when the love of his life died. He lost all hope for living when he put her in the ground. His children are there for him. Take care of his bills. The housework. Bring the grand kids to see him too. They try to make it not seem like an obligation. Like they love him and want to be with him. He knows better though. They have their own lives to live. He wishes they would do just that and leave him alone. His mind wanders back to a pleasant memory of his wife. 40 years before, they’d walked the pier. Hand in hand. Her hair up in a bun with a few tendrils escaping the clasp that she had used to keep her hair in place. He bought her some popcorn. They shared the bag and smiled at each other when their fingers touched. He licked the salt from her fingers, and the blush that rose to her cheeks made a stirring in his loins. How he missed that feeling. How much he missed that beautiful wife of his. And how he longed for his death, so he could be with her again. For eternity.

Ah now it’s time to tell the story of the young couple. Not even a breath of air gets between them.  His arm is around her. Her hands, on his chest. It is sweltering, but the lovers pay no mind. They continue to touch each other. Sharing a sip of soda to cool their lips in between sweet kisses. She lays her head on his shoulder. He caresses her side and kisses her forehead. They gaze out at the ocean. Hear the roar of the surf. The crest of the waves surge, like their need for each other. How he wants to take her right where they are. On a bench in the middle of a crowded pier. She would allow him to, for she wants him also. Her dress billows in the wind caused by the surf. The young woman turns her head, and whispers, “take me home, and make love to me.” He answers yes, by lifting her delicate hand to his mouth. He licks the tips of her fingers.

I back away from the railing and once again find myself seated on the bench in front of the painting. My eyes open and notice my notebook bears the scribbles of the story I just penned. It’s funny, I barely remember writing anything. I thought I was standing next to the lonely man at the railing on “The Pier”. I place the items in my hands back in my purse. I get up to leave the gallery. It’s then that I notice hanging on the wall close by is, The Singing Butler by Vettriano. I head to the gift shop to buy the print. I always wanted to have a copy of it for my home.

Friday Fictioneers-For Sale By Owner

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“I’m not like a car you can fix up. I’m never gonna run right” Bella” ― Stephenie Meyer, New Moon

Genre: Romance (with a side of broken heart)

He said he wanted to live with her in the country. She had no use for such wide open spaces. Feared the quiet. The tedium. Mediocrity. Giving in to him, she bought the place. He was supposed to come live with her. Love her. Save her. He never did. Any of those things. She wasn’t meant for a provincial life. For white picket fences, country homes, and barns. She was destined for so much more. What exactly that was, she hadn’t recognized yet. She hammered the staked sign in fresh earth. FOR SALE BY OWNER and the phone number.

100 words

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for carrying on the grand tradition of Friday Fictioneers. This week’s photo comes from Janet Webb. It spoke to me of broken hearts and discontent.

Contrary to popular belief, I do want you to criticize and comment on my stories. Don’t blow smoke up my ass. If they suck, tell me. I’m no shrinking violet. I can take it.

Friday Fictioneers-Charred Remains

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Copyright-David Stewart

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the prompt this week. I decided to try something completely different. I hope you like it. Remember, kudos and criticisms are very welcome. Be tough if you need to. Have a great weekend.

They gazed upon the sculpture. Cast in bronze, a drowning man groping for purchase. It reminded them of their life.  And wasted love. Rain, from drizzle to downpour. It soured their already foul moods.

Dammit, I hate this weather. I’m cold and miserable.

You’re a miserable bitch. Doesn’t matter if it’s raining or not.

Fuck y–

Their argument was cut short. At that moment, air raid sirens wailed. Planes flew overhead. Bombs hit their marks. Life was destroyed. Love killed too. Buildings toppled. Cars exploded. Fires spread. The rain that descended couldn’t even begin to wash away the charred remains.

Picture It and Write It-Nectar

I’ve decided to participate in another weekly writing project titled, picture it & write it. It  is sponsored by authors Ermilia and Ermisenda. There aren’t a lot of restrictions, but it’s important for me to keep the story short and descriptive. Romantic, sexy and yes, a little dirty. Let’s give it a go.

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He kisses the valley of her sex. She opens for him. Warm breath entices her to touch herself. He playfully bites the orifice of her utmost pleasure. With the middle finger of her left hand she teases the cleft of pink flesh as he engulfs her pussy with his mouth. She mashes his face into her body. She writhes. He wraps his arms around her legs and holds on tight. His warm tongue darts in and out of her. He lays it flat and laps at her. He releases her left leg and places a finger inside of her. She thrusts her hips forward to feel him. For it to sink in further. His lips flutter around her and he kisses her petals. Their fingers keep a constant rhythm. It brings her closer to the edge of ecstasy. The impending orgasm erupts and brings forth the flood only his mouth and touch can bring. As the tremors subside, he looks up at her. His dark brown eyes search her vibrant blue ones. There is serenity; contentment. With her image imprinted on his brain, he dives in and drowns in her delicious nectar.

Friday Fictioneers-A Winter Wedding on Smathers Beach

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the using my photo. I’m tickled to death about it! It was taken at public beach post 10 on Smathers Beach on the beautiful island of Key West. The bridge served as the wedding aisle for my Meggie and Chris on their big day.

Genre: Memoir

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Meggie holds Daddy’s hand. Guitar music floats in the ocean air.  Mom stands at the end of the bridge that serves as the wedding aisle. Dressed in white, daughter smiles at Daddy says, “we better get moving.” He shakes his head and grins. He squeezes her close and starts the short walk to her husband-to-be. Sand in toes; waves lap the shore. Lemon-yellow, morning sun. Chris looks at his bride-to-be with adoration and love. Meggie takes his hand. Pledges of life and love are made. Dad slips his hand in Mom’s and whispers, “this is perfect. Everything is perfect.”

Friday Fictioneers-A Prayer and a Phone Call

Thank you Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for the following prompt. It was a difficult one for sure. I hope you all enjoy it. Actually, I hope it leaves you scratching your head and wanting more. Happy Friday my sweet friends. 100 words!

Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Ba-ruch A-tah Ado-nai E-lo-he-nu Me-lech ha-olam a-sher ki-de-sha-nu be-mitz-vo-tav ve-tzi-va-nu le-had-lik ner Cha-nu-kah.

Rebekah strikes a match on the hearth. Lights the shammus and first Chanukah candle. Her two young sons stand by as she chants a prayer in Hebrew. When finished, she smiles to try to brighten the solemn look on their faces.

She says softly, “Daddy will be home soon.”

They remain silent and her smile falters. Even she doesn’t believe it anymore. The children wander back to the kitchen to continue their coloring.  The phone rings. She picks up the receiver and puts it to her ear. Hearing the words of the caller, her hands shake and the tears spill.

Genre: historical fiction