Friday, August 31, 2012

The Goddess of Love (Fiction)

In response to a writing prompt at Write on Edge:
Write about a face to face meeting which, for better or for worse, doesn’t go as planned. Fiction or memoir, 450 words.

        It had been thirteen months since Diana left Al.  And with good reason. He had quit his job. He didn’t try to find work. At first he reluctantly did housework, but soon he parked himself all day in a lounge chair drinking and watching ESPN.

“If you leave, you might spend the rest of your life alone,” a friend had warned.

But wouldn’t anything be better than living with a freeloading drunk? Diana packed and moved while Al visited his brother. 

She moped around her apartment, wondering if she had made a mistake.  She stubbornly refused to answer Al’s calls or e-mails. Yet she missed him ---the Al she married, not the one she left.

Shaking herself out of her gloom, she exchanged her mousey style for an ash-blonde bob.  She joined a gym and eliminated all white food, including sugar, eventually losing two dress sizes. She traveled to Greece.

Two days after her return, she joined an online dating service. Leery of posting personal information, she acquired a second e-mail address, calling herself  The Greek Goddess.  She gave no personal details and posted no photo.

She had corresponded with several men and had met two for coffee ---informal encounters she could leave quickly if necessary ---but nothing had clicked. Since the beginning of November, she corresponded with The Bear.  She loved his self-deprecating humor. The Bear eschewed personal information, too, requesting a face-to-face where he promised to reveal all, but after two disappointments, Diana wanted to continue the online flirtation for a while.

The day after Christmas, in an e-mail, The Bear invited her to join him for dinner on New Year’s Eve. Within a few days, they agreed to meet in Giannopoulos' bar. She described herself as a blonde who would be wearing a red cocktail dress.

When Diana entered the bar, she saw several men who might be The Bear. And then, she froze. Sitting at the first stool was Al.  She scampered behind him to find a seat at the far end where it was darker.  She turned slightly toward the wall, hoping The Bear would hone in on her red dress. 

She felt the presence of someone behind her. A seductive voice said, “If you’re The Greek Goddess, I’m Ursa Major.”

Diana turned to find Al standing behind her with a huge grin. The smile faded quickly.  

“It, it’s you,” he stammered, “I’m sorry. I didn’t...”

Realizing she had been flirting with her own husband, Diana was speechless.

“I’ll go,” Al said. “I’m leaving.”

But Diana saw the tears in his eyes and put her hand on his arm as he turned to leave.

"Don't,” she said.  “Let’s talk over dinner.”

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Theme Thursday: EYES

In response to Theme Thursday: EYES
(digitally merged and manipulated photos & text)

Butterfly Kisses - Poetry

This post was inspired by Mama' Kat's writing prompt: 
What do you remember most about your childhood bedroom?

(This is a poem I wrote some time ago that includes what I remember about my childhood bedroom.)

Too hot or too cold for living or playing,
my attic bedroom is a place to sleep or be sick.

Morning light radiates off mustard-yellow walls splotched with green.
In the acid-green spots, applied with a sponge by my grandfather, 
I imagine animals, plants, and distorted faces.
At night, I think they glare at me.

I rest in a big iron bed, enveloped in a cushy mattress, 
propped up on large pillows.
September breezes lift lace curtains that brush my feverish cheeks like
butterfly kisses.

Mother feels my aching forehead and spoons cough syrup into me.
She draws a mothball-scented quilt over my legs.
The quilt has been scrapped together with smooth pieces and rough,
bright and dark, plain and fancy, 
held together by scarlet cross-stitches.
As I sip hot lemonade, Mother retells the quilt story.
The plaid piece was Daddy’s wool jacket.
The brocade was a golden slipcover.
The pink patch was a flowered curtain.
The satiny fabric is left over from her wedding gown.

She pulls dark-green blinds and tucks my baby doll under the covers.
I close my eyes.
Mother’s kiss feels cool and as soft as a butterfly’s wing.