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

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”)

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

The Curly Tailed Beast

Monsters don’t jump out of closets, they clack across old linoleum with big eyes and lolling tongues. They act on impulse, quirk their heads when confused, and jump at the scent of food. Believe me, they have an agenda. Don’t let their outward cuteness sway you – I made that mistake once and pay for it every day. You may very well ask how I live with it.

I won’t bore you with the saga of sharing a small apartment with a pug. Better to ask how clouds form rain. Why E = MC2.  You don’t want to hear about their snoring. Their incessant need to lick everything in sight. The food addiction, the obscene shedding. Life is too short to talk about their half goat/ half pig genetics. These are horrors that would haunt your dreams.

Just beware of these beasts if you ever come across them. Their eyes will mesmerize you as they reach into your very soul…  you will find yourself reaching out to touch them. My friend, at that point you will be lost and all hope gone. Go to your closet, throw out all your dark clothes and prepare for a new life. Some say their devotion is worth the trade-off. Their love a balm to life’s misfortunes. But I say there is nothing so terrifying as a hungry pug. And just because I *must* kiss my own every day does not mean I have succumbed to his charms. I mean look at that face! He’s so cute annoying. You are warned!

Saga

Bad Bangs

(for Evelyn and Bad Bangs across America…  )

I did it to myself

Followed the directions to a T.

Stepped into the shower and washed out all the goop.

Dripping, I entered a steamy world of white.

The mirror showed me nothing.  Not yet.  Too soon.

Rub, rub… oh the toes were a-tapping.  Time to peek?  Just a little one?

Now…

Grab the hair dryer… Point at the mirror… flip the switch and let it roar.

Oh… soon!  Soon the New Me!

Perfect circle forms on glass too revealing, too sharp.

I stand transfixed.

This cannot be…there must be some mistake!

My hair is strawberry-yellowy?  Incandecent orange?  WHAT THE HELL IS IT?

I grab clippers and feel the vibration in my hand as I ponder.

Bad bangs were the least of my problems.

I must stop doing this to myself.

And I will…

Right after I fix this.

Just this.

Thanks to OSI for the awesome prompt, Incandescent.