Forget-Me-Not

There are consequences from remembering a past life. I found this out the hard way when I was convinced that my vivid nightly dreams of being a WWII nurse meant I should study nursing at college. I was drawn toward medicine and knew I wanted to help others.

I did well in school and had my pick of places to work when I finished getting my BSN. The only problem was that I hated working in hospitals. I didn’t like the doctors and honestly, couldn’t stand the smell of sickness. Call me despicable, but there it is.

A part of me recognized the problem. If indeed I had been a nurse in a past life, I was absolutely done with the profession in this one. In my youthful ignorance, I chose the path most remembered rather than the path of my heart.

It’s funny how life works out. My grandparents left me their 1940’s house, complete with faded linoleum, wood paneling, and a crumbling pool. But it has a shed with an electrical outlet. Cans of turpentine line one shelf, old vanilla candles another and strings of beat up Christmas lights hang from the ceiling beams.

After my nightshift ends I get a couple of blissful hours to sit in this shed clicking away at my laptop, pondering different worlds, new ways of describing love, and searching the Internet for the deadliest types of poison. My imagination runs free here, away from bright hospital lights and heart attacks.

Here I can sip steaming mugs of the blackest coffee, watch the sky lighten to hazy purple and remember what I wanted from life before I remembered my past one.


Image credit Mari Lezhava via Unsplash

This is a creative work of fiction inspired by the word prompt from

Photo Challenge #223 and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie

The Shining Blade

“There are those who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.  He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”

–Matthew 19:12

Ever since I read this yesterday I’ve been contemplating its meaning- whether in the shower or watching Galaxy Quest with my son or even staring into the fridge wondering what I’m having for lunch.

Like the metaphorical eunuch, can I cut off my false dreams, painful thoughts, and delusional fantasies? Is this cutting off even possible?  I’m intrigued.  I’m scared.  I’ve crushed some thoughts to my chest like an old rag doll – doesn’t matter if it’s coming apart at the seams.  Doesn’t matter if it offers nothing in return for my devotion… I don’t want to let go.

Looking back, I see how loss was part of the journey and even sowed the seeds for future joy. Intellectually I get that. Emotionally, letting go can feel as if I am giving up on purpose. And yet there is something in me that dares to know the truth. Maybe the modern day eunuch questions his thinking and the thoughts release him. Maybe questioning is the fire that heats the blade. Maybe the eunuchs know.

Maybe I can know.

Photo by Xtream_i

The Daily Prompt: Purpose

(and, yes, abbreviated quote from Matthew 19:12 )

Calmed

It’s not enough… How could it be?
You gave me a taste, a drop of vanilla
Splashed across my lips.

I wanted more but you turned the bottle
Upside down and shook your head
Then walked away from that look in my eyes.

Like a swimmer who suddenly finds herself
Far out to sea
I struck for shore, a flutter in my chest.

No lifeguard to rescue me, no stranger
On the beach to wink and say it will be ok
Just my heart and the memory of that taste.

I am calmed now, remembering that day
I didn’t make it, you know…
But my God! That water held me closer than I deserved.

(Thanks to OSI for the writing prompt, “Calmed”)

Antidote

“Love Me Two Times”

Chapter 1

It began the way most things do – with a stab to the heart.  Dying that day was not on my agenda.  Not to say I wasn’t depressed.  Of course I was… Yet I’d somehow accepted that living small was safe.  It was comfortable, familiar.  It kept my disappointments to a minimum.  If I cried sometimes, randomly, well, that was part of it.  It was my life and I had no serious intentions of leaving it.

They said the attacker was lucky – a stab to the heart is hard to do.  I knew that because I heard the conversation of the crowd that had gathered around my cooling body.  Apparently the ribs are a pretty good defense against things seeking to pierce the heart.  Evolution or God… Our bodies seem to have a bit of wisdom when it comes to survival.

Floating above the circus of co-workers and rescue personnel, I noticed one individual who seemed calmer than the rest.  Happier.  There was something soothing and grounded about him.  I guess I glided over, because suddenly there he was, staring at me with piercing green eyes.  Gray wisps of hair seemed to dance from his eyebrows and a crooked smile highlighted his somewhat crooked nose.

“Mickey O’Hara,” he said as he tipped an imaginary hat.  “Nice to meet you.”

Feeling a little off guard because in no way did my random after-death musings ever lead me to consider anything Irish, I smiled.  “Are you here for me?”

“That’s right, my dear.  Are you ready?  We’ve got a nice warm body waiting. I wanted to give you a chance to get used to your new state, but…” He tilted his head. “You seem like a fast learner.  Shall we go?”

Me a fast learner?  I was the 40 something sliding into Prozac and late night TV infomercials.  The most I’d done since finishing college was tread water in a job way below my abilities but that paid the rent. Barely. I didn’t count my half finished novel or the poetry that screamed mid-life crisis.

“What do you mean you have a nice warm body waiting?  I just left a perfectly functioning warm body… Don’t I go to some kind of review?  Or get bathed in healing crystal energy or something?”  I’d watched enough B movies to figure that one out.

Mickey rubbed his jaw.  “That’s not the way it works.  At least for you.  You’ve got a different assignment that needs your immediate attention.  Now dear, shall we see what it’s all about?”

My recently deceased eyes bulged.  What the hell?  “Look, I have no idea what you’re talking about.  A little more information would be spiffy here.”  Then seeing his eyebrows draw closer, I added, “Please.”

“Darlin,” he said as he leaned into me, “You want the antidote to your life?  A way to fill the hole gaping in your chest?  Do you even see the metaphor to your death?”

Well, shit.  He had me there.  “Okay.  I’m willing…”

“That’s all that’s required.”  He gave me that crooked smile again and something in me relaxed.  Death isn’t so bad I thought.

And then I felt a thousand volts coursing through my body and the smell of ozone.

……

(This is part of a new novel idea, using the writing prompt from Sunday Scribblings, “antidote.”)

Twin Flames

me and my shadow

“Why do you watch me?”

I pulled my hood lower across my forehead. “Your aura.”

Black eyes narrowed. “I don’t believe in that stuff.”

I hugged myself and turned away. “Which is why I’ve kept my distance.”

“And yet I know you’re there all the same. When will you lose interest?” He gently lifted a lock of my hair and tugged.

The fog drifted as I pondered this haunting question yet again. “When I go to you and instead find my feet walking in another direction.”

He let go of me and started pacing. “I’ve never lead you to believe…”

“This isn’t about that. We’re bound, twin flames. We work better together than apart.” I purposely shrugged. “Romantic love doesn’t have to be part of it.”

He laughed. “Do you know what my heart feels when I see you?”

Surprise flashed like lightning. “I didn’t think you felt anything. Or perhaps, pity.”

He laughed as long steps carried him to the shadows. Devil’s eyes found mine and pinned me. “The need to possess.”

It was a challenge, a fork flung into the middle of a road. And I, sure of his ambivalence, was completely unprepared.

Photo by Alice Popkorn

The Daily Post: Fork

What a Day

business man

Getting shot in front of his realty office was not what Derrick Dunn expected that sunny Tuesday morning. As death hovered, the part of his mind not in shock was laughing hysterically. So this is what you get for trying to turn your life around. Brilliant, he thought. You’re going to die after ending your affair with a hot twenty-something and before you’ve had a chance to drive your new $140k Tesla.

As Derrick’s cheek pressed into the damp earth, scenes from his past tripped across his mind—stepping on his first partner to secure the listing on a luxury condo. Hiring, sleeping with, and firing real estate assistants in that order. Never feeling like he had enough and never appreciating what he had.

Derrick was fading when he heard the clattering of high heels on the cement walkway. The scent of Coco Chanel told him his wife, Celia, had arrived, likely needing an increase in her checking account. After not finding him inside the small but exclusive office she walked out the door again. What made her look down and to the right she’d never know, but there was her husband, on his side, blood pooling around his middle. She was so surprised to see her elegant husband lying among the hedges she gaped a full 30 seconds. The lying, cheating, son of a bitch finally got what was coming. She didn’t want to feel sorry for him but found herself yanking off her Michael Kors heels and stepping over to feel his neck. “What have you got yourself into now?” she muttered.

She quickly called 911 and wondered who pulled the trigger. That he had been cheating on her was a given. He was also into some speculative real estate and there had been strange characters calling their home late at night. Strangest of all was how he had been acting the last couple of weeks. For one thing, he was actually at home. He was also painting again rather than wheeling and dealing or taking out his annually upgraded real estate assistant. Derrick was acting more like the boy she knew when they were in high school together. The artistic kid with a gift for color and an even better knack for numbers. 

Even back then she knew he was headed for success not that she gave a damn about art. Raised in the state’s foster system, Celia Shaw kept her eyes on the prize and encouraged then shy Derrick to pursue a business degree. With her California tan and blue eyes, it was easy enough. One thing was for certain, Derrick Dunn was a cash cow and Celia wasn’t giving up her Mercedes lifestyle without a fight. 

The wailing of the ambulance made Derrick’s eyes open. Blood frothed at his lips. “It’s over, Celia. Better start looking for husband number two.”

“Enough of that, Derrick. Pull yourself together.” She looked at her shoes lying in the bushes. “And you owe me a new pair of heels.”

 

Photo by Fulcher Photography

Last online writing assignment, summer 2018

No more waiting for me

Looking into the future

 

If I’m honest, waiting is my super power. I can sit in plastic chairs drinking stale coffee with the best of them. Because at some point, something will arrive and reward my patience, my suffering.

At least that’s how I thought it worked. Except these days I’m feeling restless. I’m dreaming of mesas and blue sky. I’m wondering if I can chose differently? Deal myself a new hand.

What if I just threw the entire deck away? What path would I walk then?

………………………

 

The Daily Post Waiting

Photo by Alice Popkorn