Writing Challenge – A to Z – Grace

Happy Memorial Day to my readers.  Thank you to you, your family members or friends for their service to our country.

I realize it has been a long time since I posted in here.  Work got a bit crazy for the last month or so, but I’m hoping to find a little more free time in the coming weeks.  Thank you for your patience as I slowly get my head above water.

With all of that said, here’s my post for the A to Z challenge. Enjoy!

Enjoy!

grace1

Longing

Jenna’s pencil flew across the paper, drawing Kelly as she danced across the stage.  Jenna’s precision with a pencil was like an extension of her hand, so was the grace exuding off of Kelly.  Kelly was the girl Jenna had been longing for all through high school.   Sure, the pair were best friends, the kind that shopped together, and texted about boys at all hours of the day and night.  What Kelly didn’t know was that it was all a farce.   The only thing Jenna liked about boys was that they could reach things on the top shelf at the grocery store when her tiny 5’1” body was too short. She’d been living a lie since she realized she was gay in the seventh grade.  A long, lonely and closeted existence for the last five years.

Letting out a sigh, Jenna watched her friend dance her final recital of the year before she headed off to Michigan on a full scholarship for dance.  Kelly was mesmerizing to watch, her skill, beauty and poise could woo any dance aficionado,  Unfortunately for Jenna, she wished Kelly’s boyfriend, Michael wasn’t sitting next to her, appreciating it almost as much.  

Jenna was headed off to New York to study at the end of summer, even if Kelly was a lesbian and they were girlfriends, they’d still have to say goodbye in a couple of months anyhow.  Jenna had put an expiration date on her mooning over the straight girl, it was for her own heart’s survival. She was just going to have to get over it and find someone new to love come September.   

At the end of Kelly’s performance, Michael mumbled something about having to head to work and to tell Kelly he’d text her later.   Jenna nodded, disgusted that he couldn’t have waited the additional minute for Kelly to take her bow and get off the stage before leaving.  It was as if Michael wanted Kelly to see him disappear from the audience.   

When the last of the groups had performed, Jenna grabbed the huge bouquet of Gerbera Daisies along with the drawing she’d scribbled a note and her signature on and headed out to the lobby.   

Kelly was a huge supporter of Jenna’s art.  Whenever she sketched Kelly during a performance, Kelly always wanted to keep it.  Jenna had barely been able to keep a few of her very favorites, as Kelly demanded she sign and date each one, grinning and telling Jenna she’d be a famous, artist someday and the picture would be worth a fortune.  

Through the thick crowd, Jenna wove her way to where she’d seen Kelly’s parents standing off to the side of the stage door.   

“Oh, darling, that was magnificent.”  

“Sweetheart, you were amazing, as usual.”

Jenna could hear the praises being bestowed upon Kelly as she waited patiently behind Kelly’s parents, knowing she probably was risking a lot with the words she wrote on her sketch combined with the flowers she’d brought with her.  

It was only a moment before Kelly pushed her way past her doting fans to rush forward and give Jenna a crushing hug.  “So, what’d ya think?” she whispered, releasing Jenna from her grasp.

Thrusting the flowers and the folded sketch towards her, Jenna smiled wistfully and told her every little detail she’d found mesmerizing during her performance.   Kelly was about to open the folded drawing, but Jenna pushed Kelly’s hand down, saying this one was for her to read when she got to Michigan.   Kelly tilted her head to the side, sizing Jenna up, before yanking her hand away.  She turned her back to Jenna, holding the sketch out of her reach and read the passage Jenna had been holding in her heart for so long.   

Jenna bowed her head, knowing once the truth was out, Kelly probably wouldn’t speak to her, so instead of waiting for the inevitable, she turned on her heel and trudged towards the exit.

She had almost made it out to her car when she could hear Kelly calling after her.  Jenna paused, resting her head wearily against the top of her car door.  Jenna was waiting for a tirade, but instead she got a gentle brush down her spine.  Kelly tugged on her shoulder, spinning Jenna to face her.   Jenna couldn’t look up, refusing to see her love thrown back at her face in disgust.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” Kelly whispered, tipping Jenna’s chin up to force her gaze upwards.   “We’ve wasted so much time,” she whined, bending down and kissing a shocked Jenna on the lips.  

It took a moment for Jenna to realize what was happening, instead choosing to enjoy her first kiss without her mind getting in the way.  

Kelly broke the kiss and hugged Jenna fiercely.  “I have loved you for so long and you wait until a month before we head off to college to tell me your feelings?”  

The smile that eclipsed across Jenna’s face was blinding, and something Kelly couldn’t wait to see more of.   

“Hey, you’ve been holding out on me too,” Jenna mumbled as she leaned up on tiptoes to kiss Kelly back.

“I guess we’re both pretty stupid now, aren’t we?”

Writing Challenge A to Z – Fearless

Happy Friday, folks.  I hope you are all getting ready to enjoy the most out of yours.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk this week, both work and home have seemed to get the better of me, and my muse left the building.  I wrestled her to the ground today, and even though I didn’t feel like writing, knew I needed to write something, anything to get over that hump of frustration.

So I’m off to get a sassy new do, and pour myself a nice little cocktail when I get home to celebrate having made it through another week.  I wish you a lovely day and hope you enjoy it to the best of your abilities!   Cheers, Michela

 

Fearless-Kids

Truce

Darla looked down at the stack of dishes, wondering when her life had become about cleaning up after her two precocious children.  When Trevor and her decided to adopt, first Andre and then Anissa, she’d decided to quit her job and stay home with the kids.  After all, this is what they’d dreamt of, a family to call their own.  After years of trying, they’d finally decided if Darla couldn’t conceive on her own, they’d open up their home to a couple of children who could use loving parents.   

She sighed heavily, wiping her hands on the dishtowel next to the sink.  It had been a rough morning.  Andre and his sister had decided to start their day battling wills, and the aruging hadn’t stopped all morning.  Darla had finally sent them outside to play in the backyard, hoping they’d find something to entertain themselves individually so she could actually get something done other than refereeing another one of their arguments.

Come to think of it, she hadn’t heard any whining, crying or complaining for a while, which as any parent knows, silence usually means kids are up to no good.   Stepping out onto the patio, she looked around, wondering what the pair were up to.   Wandering towards the small playhouse they’d build in the far corner of the lot, she heard giggling.  Not just giggling, but belly laughter.

Tiptoeing around the corner of the house, her jaw dropped open.  There standing on a low hanging branch of the oak tree stood her two kids dressed up as superheroes.  They were jumping down off the branch and zooming around, swooping up toy trucks and action figures as if they were saving the day.  Each claiming to be braver than the other.   Not wanting to disturb the peace, she backed slowly away, allowing her happy children to continue their epic battle between good and evil.  She smile to herself as she went back to washing the dishes knowing that these kinds of days were the ones that made every other one worth it.

Writing Challenge – A to Z: Epic

Here is my letter E entry for this challenge.  You’d be surprised how hard it is to find a great photo prompt to go with an adjective starting with E.   So, Epic it is.  I found this photo and it resonated with me and where I am in my life right now, wondering where all the time has gone and how I ended here instead of the path I’d always figured I’d end up on. Not that here is so bad, just different.

So here you go, enjoy!

epic

Just Press Pause

Shit, she was late for work– again.  It wasn’t like she had a poor work ethic, or was perpetually late to everything, but this job.  It sucked the life right out of her.  Emily had been working at the Simpson and Simpson law firm as their receptionist for the last month when their previous employee left for a new job.  After a month of fetching coffee for pompous jackholes, answering phones and filing enough folder to fill a warehouse, she was over it.  

She tapped her foot to Beyonce’s Formation, willing her train to arrive quicker than the five minutes the arrival board was displaying.  The platform was bustling, and she was jostled around to facing the pylon with the words, ‘Do Epic Shit’.  It was as if a lightening bolt struck her beside the head.  How could she have veered so far off course?  She’d come to New York, just like every other person from podunk Nowheresville, USA, looking for fame and fortune on Broadway.  She’d stopped auditioning a while back when she needed to take any job she could to pay rent.  A roof over her head, even a roach infested hole in the wall, seemed more important than living on the street for a dream.

Staring at those words, etched on the wall made her reconsider her whole perspective.  The subway rattled into the station.  Emily squeezed into a seat and pulled out her phone, binging up the Backstage website.   By the time she arrived at her station Emily had noted three shows she was planning on securing an audition for, right after she put in her notice to her current job from hell.  She’d find a waitressing or bartending gig somehow to pay the bills, but she couldn’t let her dreams pass her by without giving every last drop of blood in her soul into the endeavor.

Writing Challenge A to Z: Depressed

Hope you are all ready for the weekend.  Here’s my next little dribble of a story — the image based on the prompt: Depressed.

Enjoy!

depressed

Pressure

Sinking further beneath the bubbles, Audrey felt the stress of the day melt away.  Her life was spiraling out of control.  She wished it would all just melt away like she could close her eyes and slip beneath the water, never to surface again.  

It hadn’t always been this bleak, but between Audrey’s mother’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and her company giving her a pink slip, it felt like a black cloud was following her around.  She’d just come home from visiting another assisted living possibility, this one even more expensive than the last one she’d visited yesterday.   The pressure of life was caving in on her, and she felt like she was drowning.  

She lit the cigarette she’d had hidden in her freezer since she’d quit six months ago, inhaling the smoke and feeling its immediate soothing effect.  She could hear her phone pinging in the other room, but sunk beneath the bubbles in an effort to tune out the world for just another few minutes.  To believe, she’d somehow be able to care for her mother in the best way possible. To hope, she might find a new job before her unemployment checks ran out or got evicted from her tiny apartment.   

For now, she enjoyed the serene silence, knowing chaos was just above the surface.

Writing Challenge – A to Z: Carefree

I hope you all had a lovely Easter weekend.  It’s taken me a bit to get back into the groove of writing.   Today, I have chosen ‘Carefree’ as my word and the below image to go with the prompt.  Enjoy!

carefree

A Change Will Do You Good

Stuck.

She’d been stuck in the same old rut for the last seven years.  She wasn’t sure how she succumbed to being a slave to her work, but it had somehow snuck up on her.  Like a thief in the night stealing any fun, or love life she might have had.   Working for over sixty hours a week will do that to you, not to mention send you into a body bag at a very young age.

When the pink slip suddenly shows up on your desk one day, the company deciding you’re no longer worth the money you make or the revenue you bring in, what do you do with your life?  How do you decide what’s next when you have been jogging on the same treadmill year after year singularly focused.

Kelly packed up the last box in her office, giving one spare glance over her shoulder and walked out of the building, dropping her badge at the front desk without a word.  The afternoon sun blinded her as she walked towards her car, a grin peeking out from her grim facade.  

Throwing the box in her trunk, she got into her car and sped off, dreaming of sandy beaches and fruity cocktails —  hell, maybe a cabana boy or two.

 

Writing Challenge A to Z: Book

Thank you to all my fellow writers and friends who’ve commented/or liked my last post about the challenge.  I’d love to do this with other people.  If you’re interested in joining me, let me know.  I’d be happy to hook up our various blogs so we can all give each other feedback and encouragement.  Feel free to share my initial post – here – if you think others might want in on the action.  I have a pretty small following, so I’d appreciate any help getting the word out.

My goal is to complete this challenge by the end of April.  Today I did an image search for BOOK, and this is what I grabbed.   Enjoy!

book1

Coming Home

Mariella wandered past her parent’s room, unable to face the items that needed sorting.  Instead, she wandered further down the creaky hallway and stopped in front of her old bedroom door.  It was open just a crack, and she could see her bed, still made up with the pink and purple patchwork quilt that her grandmother had made for her all those years ago.  Pressing the door open, she revealed a time capsule of her young life, preserved over time and her parent’s belief that you could always come home.  

She hadn’t been back to the house in years, finding her work took her to the far ends of the earth.  Instead of coming back to the middle of Nebraska, instead choosing to use her mileage points to fly her mom to wherever Mariella wanted to go.   Sinking onto her twin bed, consumed with grief, she realized she’d never asked her mom where she’d like to go, instead always dictating their relationship.  It was always on her terms and now that her mother was gone, she’d never have the chance to ask.

Brushing away her tears, she spotted her favorite stuffed bear, Mortimer sitting on top of a book she’d never seen before.   The bear coughed up a plume of dust when she’d picked it up to read the title of the intricately designed cover.

It wasn’t until she flipped the book open to reveal it was a book at all, but a photo album meticulously put together.   Fingering the edges with reverence, Mariella saw her life from the perspective of a mother who wasn’t the best at expressing her love with words but used the lens of a camera to capture it instead.  She sat in awe long after reviewing the album’s contents, stuck on the last photo with a note written in her mom’s delicate script. 

The photo was of Mariella as a child, probably no more than six, pretending to teach Mortimer how to read.   The note simply stated:

This is how I’ll always see you, my dear sweet child.  The lover of learning, the caretaker of the disenfranchised with a heart as big as her mind.  I’m so proud of you and the work you do with Care International.  I hope these memories keep you grounded in what is good no matter what hurdles the world sends your way.

I love you now and always,

Mom

Writing Challenge A to Z: Alone

alone

ALONE

She sat high above the city, contemplating her next steps. The breeze wafting over the rooftop brought with it the stale scent of New York in spring. Not quite as pungent as the summer’s putrid stench, but it stung Lacey’s nose all the same. It had been two years of trying to break onto Broadway, and after twenty-five rejections and three different bartending jobs, it was time to decide her fate.

Do failed dreams ever really fade away, or did they linger like a nagging itch in the middle of your back, just out of reach? She hated to give up, but with an ailing parent back in Ohio, should I stay or should I go became more than a rock anthem. Lacey wished decisions like these were as black and white as who she was planning on voting for in the next election, but alas this was so grey it was an ever-present looming shadow.

Climbing off the ledge, she knew what she had to do. Lacey’s heart was filled with regret as she made her way down the fire escape to let her roommates know she wouldn’t be here next month. She pressed her hand to her heart as if willing away the ache that had already settled in.