Have We Met Before?

A light breeze turned the pages of her notebook as she gazed into the distance, lost in the jumble of images floating through her head.  It had been months since she was able to make the trip to her favorite cafe with her notebook, pen, and imagination, but that most crucial imaginative element seemed to be eluding her at the moment.  The only things that she could think about were reports and emails and all of the many tasks that she could be doing to get ahead in the office and a silent, sickening feeling was settling in the pit of her stomach.

With a resigned sigh, she gently tossed the pen onto the notebook and leaned back in the chair to take a sip of her coffee.  The cafe wasn’t the most hip place to be; strictly corporate, truth be told.  The people watching was descent, however, and it didn’t require an incredible drive on her part.  That being said, it was not uncommon for her to be the only 30 something in the place.  Setting her coffee back onto the table, she picked the pen back up and continued her aimless gazing at the blank page on the table.

The door chimed and she looked up from her contemplation to see a man coming through the door, a warm smile on his face as he called out a greeting to the other young man behind the counter.  It was like watching a scene out of a John Hughes movie, with the super popular guy walking into the room in slow motion.  Before she even realized that she’d been staring, he had already caught her eyes.  The heat crept up her face very quickly and she’d never been more thankful that her foundation was extremely good at covering up the red of her embarrassment.  A sly smile lifted one corner of his mouth and with a wink, the man made his way toward the back of the cafe where a small group of people were waiting for him.  Once his back was turned, she let her head fall to her notebook and let out the breath that she hadn’t realized she’d been holding.

What the hell was wrong with her?!  He wasn’t exactly smoking-hot-male-model material, but she hadn’t been able to look away.  There’d been a moment of recognition and she couldn’t place his face.  Try as she might to get back to her writing, the woman found herself glancing toward the group and the man who was conveniently facing her.  Did she recognize him from the cafe?  He obviously seemed to know the staff well, but was he a regular?

She looked back over toward the group once more and again, he caught her eyes and the two of them just stared.  He knew that she was watching him and she knew that she was busted.  Frozen for what felt like an hour, she looked back down to her notebook and began to write.  Still no story ideas flowing so her composition was a grocery list.  After that the woman didn’t dare look over at him again.  She didn’t particularly feel like having them ask her to leave for making the customers uncomfortable.  Once the grocery list was completed, a fresh cup of coffee was in order.  She got up from her table and made her way to the counter.  As the guy behind the counter handed her the full mug, she steeled her nerves and blurted out her question.

“So, who is the guy that came in earlier- a friend of yours or just a regular?”  Her delivery was sufficiently neutral, but the man still gave her that knowing look that all people have when you mine them for information about anyone of the opposite sex.

“He’s a regular.  That whole groupp, they come in every weekend for a few hours, why do you ask?”

“No reason, he just looked familiar.” she replied and returned to her table.

When she settled back in to the seat disappointment hit square in the chest as she realized that the boisterous group of people had all left along with her chance of working up the nerve to go and talk to him.  The little angry voice in her head began it’s chastising for being a scardie cat and letting yet another moment get away.  This was the point at which she reminded her inner voice that there was a reason that she was in her thirties and single to which the voice responded that she shouldn’t forget that she also had three cats and would be getting a rocking chair and shot gun for her birthday.

There were no stories flowing from her mind, pen, or any other useful instrument at all, so she sat there with her cooling coffee, doodling eyes in the margins of the notebook.  She’d been so absorbed in her own inner monologue that the approaching figure made her jump when he got to the table.  He hadn’t left after all.

“Hi.” She said and immediately began choking on her coffee.

“Hi.” he replied, “you ok?”  She still couldn’t speak so she gave him a weak thumbs up. “Sorry to bother you, but I kind of noticed you staring at us back there and this may sound stupid, but, have we met before?”

“I’m not sure, but you look really familiar.  I’m sorry to have stared, it’s not a habit, promise.” she said.

“You can stare all you’d like,” he replied with the same half smile he’d given her earlier, “May I sit?”

Her heart was now beating faster and she was sure that her inability to respond was clearly plastered all over her face, “Sure.” she managed to croak out.

“Don’t worry, it’s just a cup of coffee.”  he said, sitting across from her and somehow those words untied the nervous knot in the pit of her stomach and she finally smiled back at him.

Nine Inch Nailed at the Sock Hop

It was one of those Fridays when I felt like I had nothing to wear because there was not one piece of clothing in the closet that made me feel sexy and confident and ready to take on the town.  My makeup was done, the cat eyes were purrfect and my lips were as red as a corvette.  That’s when my friends told me to go naked, so I did.  Mysteriously, by the time that we left the house I found I was dressed in a little white number with gold accessories- kind of reminded me of She-Ra, but it didn’t matter- we were going to the sock hop!

The group of us made our way down the street, in a manner strangely reminiscent of some video we’d seen in the days when MTV still aired those kinds of things.  We laughed, we joked, we pushed each other into oncoming traffic- we were carefree!  It was then that a man stepped forth from the alley and blocked our way.

“Hey, little girls,” he said, smelling curiously like Summer’s Eve Fresh Meadows, “I see that you’re on your way to the sock hop.”

“Why, yes, yes we are, but we mustn’t speak to you- you’re a stranger!” said my friend, who was dressed as Pedo-Bear.

“No, I’m no stranger!  Here, let me introduce myself,” at that moment, my friend’s phone chimed and she’d received a follow request from Twitter.

“Right, well then, we must be friends now!” She said and gave the brightly dressed man a hug,”My friend- what are you doing standing in this dark alley?”

“Well, I’m trying to get rid of these magic cigarettes.  They’ve been specially made for me by the bath salt company, but I’ve recently quit smoking!  I’m just not sure what I can do to get my money back and I’ve got to pay my rent tonight!”  The brightly dressed man was twitching so rhythmically that I thought he was moon-walking back and forth across the alley and my friend threw up her hands tossing her wallet at her new friend.  He then tossed her 2 boxes of cigarettes and ran faster than any skinny white kid since Maniac Magee and one phrase kept rolling through my head- stranger danger.

Taken from Pictureisunrelated.com

The rest of the way to the sock hop, my friends were pressuring me smoke one of these fancy cigarettes, but I’ve learned to live above the influence and continued to sip on slizurp while politely refusing their advances.  It wasn’t until the door man looked at me like a wolf that I noticed my party had not actually made it to the door with me.

“It appears that my friends have abandoned me!  May I please get in for free?” I asked sweetly.

“There’s no cover, love, go right on in!” he said with a wink.

I proceeded to the bar but was stunned at the scene before my eyes.  Millions of glowing, wolf like eyes had turned in my direction and were glaring at me as though I were a side of beef.  I coughed nervously, trying to determine if I could make a run for the door when a blood curdling scream came from the door.  My friends had finally gotten there, but to my horror they’d turned into Zombies in the time that we’d been apart- God Damn You Bath Salts!

They were viciously making their way through the crowd of fantastically good-looking werewolves that I’d found myself trapped by.  Ears flew by me and the white parts of my dress were slowing becoming covered in congealing crimson streaks of blood.  It was then that I noticed one of my favorite songs, Ringfinger, coming from the speakers and over the screams as the wolves began to turn into Zombies and assist my posse with dispatching the rest of the crowd.

  As the screams died down and my friends made their way back to the bar, I saw him standing there on the dance floor, still swaying as through holding the date that the guy next to him was chewing on.  It made my heart melt.  I went over to him and looked lovingly into his glistening cataracts.

“Hi there, what’s your name?”

“LeRoy, LeRoy Lamont,” he replied,”You know that your friend over their ate my fiance, right?”

“I’m so sorry about that, they were given these Bath Salt Cigarettes on the way here and I told them to just say no, but what can you do?”  The zombie chewing on LeRoy’s woman stood with two-thirds of an ear dangling from his tooth.  He’d been dressed like 1970’s Elvis, but had somehow managed to lose the pant part of the sequined jump-suit.

“Hey, Bubba. You don’t look so good. And why ain’t you wearin’ no britches?” LeRoy asked.  Elvis shrugged, groaned, and began to pick his way through the bodies in search of fresher meat.

“Would you like me to walk you home, little lady?”  My dress had now gone completely Crimson and my gold accessories were transformed into black leather.  He handed me a matching crimson cloak from the racks by the door as we walked arm-in-arm back toward my apartment.

And the moral of this rambling and pointless little farce is, well, who am I kidding- there really isn’t a moral, I’m just really bored.  HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY WEEKEND EVERYONE!

The House The Time Possessed – Part 1

The click of the lock started her heart beating at 1000 bmp and Jane knew that she was home.  Her first home.  The foyer looked into a darkened room as she shut and locked the front door behind her, but the darkness didn’t scare her.  It was as though, with the closing of that door, she was removing herself from the world and it gave her great comfort.  She finally felt safe somewhere.  She flipped the light switch and frowned.  The empty space of the living room was now illuminated and she began to check off the numerous and expensive pieces of furniture she would need to buy in order to furnish her new home.  With a sigh, she made her way to the kitchen where she saw that the Realtor, Jim, had left her a note sitting next to a bottle of water and a plate of cookies.  Jane expected to see a small thank you on the card or congratulations, but she did not expect that every inch of the paper would be covered in minuscule writing or that it would have continued to a folded piece of paper tucked within the card itself.  She took the plate of cookies and the water, and then settled herself onto the floor for what would surely be an interesting letter.

“Ms. Smith-

I would normally say congratulations on the purchase of your first home, but I can only stress once more to you that this house is special.  Please remember what I told you during the closing and do not invite anyone else to live with you and whatever you do, do not second guess your own eyes.  This is very important- DO NOT BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE CRAZY- you are perfectly sane, but sometimes there are impossible things in the world.  You are in for an amazing experience, Ms. Smith, if you can open your mind and your heart to it.  If you need to contact me, for any reason, all you need to do is place a note under the 3rd brick to the left of the front door and I shall call on you for a visit.  I do prefer tea and butter cookies.

Yours,

Jim

P.S. – Here is a list of important names and dates that you will need in the coming months- GOOD LUCK!”

Jane furrowed her brow in confusion.  Her Realtor had seemed like such a nice and not crazy guy.  As she read down the list, she became more confused.  The names began as early as 1859 and ran through the current year with her name as the last on the list.  It must have been a list of owners and tenants, but this made no sense either.  The house was only 25 years old.  Jane thought a little more to what Jim had told her when they were first touring the property, that this piece of land was first built upon when the town was founded in the 1800’s, but there has been so much development and growth since then she wondered how he could make such a list when surely thousands of people had lived on this land since the original settlers built upon it.

She looked down and saw that the cookies were gone and she now had a headache from trying to figure out why Jim would send her such a large bag of crazy on her first night in her new home.  Making a mental note to lose his contact information, Jane made her way to the bedroom where her only furniture was arranged neatly and ready for her to settle into.

When the sunlight hit her eyes, Jane remembered that it was Saturday and groaned, resolving to buy curtains first thing, but when she looked at her cellular phone, she began to get upset.  The phone told her that the time was 4am, but she was plainly staring at the rising sun.  Had she forgotten to reset her time for Daylight savings?  Logically, Jane knew that there was a satellite somewhere sending out a signal that did this automatically, but there were very few explanations that came to her mind for the disconnect that she was observing.  The next oddity to hit her senses was the scent of coffee.  Not the strong aromatic scent of an expensive coffee shop, but the smell that came from an old-fashioned percolator; the scent of her Grandmothers house in the mornings when she used to spend her summers out on the farm.  Her confusion was pressing at her temples and then the final sensory assault began- voices.

Jane jumped out of bed, silently thankful that she’d worn a nightgown last night, and moved to the corner of the bedroom, quietly listening to try to understand why there were voices in her house.  She heard laughter and talking, no yelling, no whispering, and nothing that seemed malevolent.  For a moment she had convinced herself that the neighbors were simply having an out-of-doors breakfast and then came the scent of bacon and the sound of pans being moved around in the kitchen.  She was now terrified and fumbling her hands toward the closet door to hide from these unknown intruders.  Jane felt around on the wall behind her and finally got to the knob, opened the closet, and got inside.  She took a deep breath, trying to make sense of all of this and came to the conclusion that she must have squatters and that they hadn’t realized that the house had been sold- that must be the case.  As this justification ran through her mind and she began to believe that this must be what is going on, she heard a small mew from inside the closet and then felt something brushing against her bare feet.  That was the last straw.  Jane jumped up, nearly knocking the closet door off of its hinges and made a mad dash toward the front door, screaming her head off.

It wasn’t until she’d unlocked the front, gotten outside, and run to the end of the driveway that Jane realized- it was dark.  She took in the pre-dawn night that still covered her neighborhood and also noticed that the house was entirely dark and empty.  Carefully, she made her way back toward the house, listening with every footstep for the sounds of the people who had been making breakfast in her kitchen, but there was only silence and the occasional owl.  A deep breath crashed its way out of her lungs with a slight laugh.  How could she be such a little child!  She’d simply had a nightmare and been sleep-walking.  With that assurance to herself, Jane once again entered her new house to see a pitch black living room.  She proceeded to close and lock the door and with the click of the dead bolt, the world around her came to life with the morning sun shining through the windows and the smell of pancakes, bacon, and coffee wafting at her from the large dining table that had appeared before her eyes.

“Jane! Darling! Pull up a chair dear, I’ve poured you some coffee,” said a smiling woman wearing a long dress and apron straight out of the 1948 Sears Catalogue.  Jane screamed and proceeded to faint spectacularly.

Assassination Tango

Her entrance into the grand foyer went almost entirely unnoticed by all except the doorman.  It was the annual Sam Hain Solstice Ball, a masked event that could be mistaken for an S&M evening were it not for the tuxedo’s and haute couture draping the masked guests as they mingled and sipped expensive champagne while pretending to be oblivious to the identity of their companions.  Brennan’s mother had once told her that the tradition had begun before the McCluskey had even made their way to Boston as a celebration of life and the Source of all of their magic.  As a girl, all the she’d understood was that she had to stay in her room because the grown ups were doing “adult” things.  A smile slid across her lips with the memory of the night that she’d discovered what those adult things were.

She had been 13 years old and very upset with her parents for not allowing her to finally attend the event.  So, as a small rebellion, she’d snuck out of her rooms and made her way toward the ballroom, but was stopped before she could even descend to the main level.  Baring her way had been a man and a woman, pressed against the wall directly next to the doors.  Though Brennan had only been 13, she knew what was going on and she became utterly fascinated by the look on the woman’s face.  Her head was thrown back as though she was in pain, but she was gripping the man’s shoulders, as though trying desperately to pull him closer to her.  The scene had played out before her eyes for nearly 10 minutes before the magic had begun.

It was subtle, at first, and then brighter.  An iridescent blue light had begun to tint the woman’s skin and fill her eyes.  The man’s hair was standing at attention and had even stopped swaying with his carnal movements.  The two were now in a swaying rhythm that reminded Brennan of a waltz and with every movement, swivel of hip, and moan, the two shone brighter with the light.  She had wondered, as they continued to shine, if the light became too much, would they burn?  And just as that thought had crossed her mind, the woman’s hand shot toward the ceiling and tried to grip on to the wall above her as her back arched painfully and the power that had been building loosed itself like lightning shooting from her fingertips, disappearing into the house.  She had been trapped in the hallway, listening to the two people whispering softly to each other breathing heavily for quite some time before she’d been able to sneak back to her rooms unnoticed.

The first bars of Strauss’s Blue Danube filled the ballroom, pulling her from her memories as the crowd around her began to file onto the dance floor in pairs.  Her perch behind a large stone column kept her safely in shadows and sufficiently alone to scan the crowd for her target.  Brennan was still not sure why her Uncle Rory had sent his lap-dog, John, to give her this mission, nor could she understand what sort of threat this boy posed.  His unassuming head of brown hair was bobbing with the cadence of the waltz, his partner spinning and swaying with him, and they were both smiling.  He couldn’t be more than 15 years old.

She turned and made her way up a staircase to the balcony that overlooked the main floor.  In a bygone time, this would have been an exceptionally imposing reception hall.  Her memories of attending the Sam Hain Solstice Balls made her thankful to be masked as she was sure that she had turned a violent shade of red.  On her 18th birthday, her mother had confirmed what she’d already suspected- the ball was a means the McCluskey’s used to replenish the Source resting far below the house.  The people in attendance were invited for the very specific purpose of being seduced and having their energy recycled back to the pool to be used as the Council saw fit.  Looking around the dance floor, Brennan stifled a laugh, not many of tonight’s attendees were unaware of this arrangement.  The crowd looked to her like a swingers bar on Halloween.

Three more songs played before her targets dancing companion was able to coax him off of the dance floor and Brennan knew just where she would take him for some privacy.  She weaved her way through the throngs of people who seemed to be moving closer and closer together to see the young man and his companion slip behind the doors to one of the library ante-chambers.  She hurried around toward the other entrance through the rear of the library and found herself alone, in the darkened room, with only the young voices coming through the crack in the door.  Brennan began to look through the many artifacts being displayed in the dark room and found the one that she had been looking for- a small black metal compact that had once belonged to the original McCluskey and could drain you of your life within seconds.  She slowly moved toward the door, whispering the incantation to activate the compact softly as she went.  When she was about 5 feet from the door, Brennan stopped, unable to move.

She struggled against her own body, but she’d been frozen in place.  A loud noise echoed from where the boy and his companion had been hiding and the sound of hurried apologies and scrambled dressing came through the crack and into the empty library.  If she’d been able to move her lips she would have screamed and she was about to try when the voice came into her head.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, my love.”  A soft, American voice said only to her.

“Who are you and why are you interfering?  Do you have any idea what you are doing?” She could feel his presence- he was in the room.  She felt out the shadows with her mind to find this interloper and deal with him, but the room was entirely empty.

“You won’t find me, it is not time, you are not ready,” he said, then she saw it.  A shadow in the shape of a man moved from behind the large chairs positioned next to the fireplace and walked calmly toward her.  She could sense no anger, nothing menacing from him, just the weight of centuries.  It made no sense and she was still fighting to get free of his binding spell. “You never fail to make me laugh, even now, in the years before you find yourself.”  She felt the spell release and her body immediately ran toward the rear door- it shut and locked itself before she could get there.

“Who are you?” she said aloud this time, her back against the paneled walls of the library, “What do you want?”  The shadow continued to close the distance between them.

“I want nothing my love, you are not ready,” Brennan took a breath and in the instant that she blinked, the shadow was upon her, hovering inches from her face.  A scent filled her nose, but she gasped in shock, the smell was that of Pine Trees and Honeysuckles and fresh streams, not the tar and malevolence she’d though he was made from.

“What the hell-” and before she could finish her question the shadow leaned down to kiss her and the world went dark.

At that same moment, 2 continents and one very large ocean away, Shawn Donovan woke from a dead sleep, covered in sweat and breathing as though he’d just run a marathon.  What had just happened?  The dream had felt so real, but who had that woman been and why had he referred to her as love?  He turned to look at the clock on his side table and saw that there were still 5 hours before sunrise.  Laying back down he determined to commune with the Source after the sun sets to be sure that this was not an omen or a warning of some sort.

Curing my Writers Block

Good Evening Cats and Kittens!

So a wonderfully brilliant friend of mine provided me with these exercises to cure my writers block- and don’t you know- I think that I will try them!  And the best part is that I’ve now got at LEAST 25 posting topics to keep you all entertained 😉

Get your motor running — general ideas

  1. Write about something unusual you saw yesterday.
  2. Describe the first time you did something (ride a bike, do a cartwheel, etc.).
  3. Imagine how your parents met and write the story.
  4. Write about the worst date you ever had.
  5. Write about a beauty pageant without using stereotypes.
  6. Tell a story in the form of a love letter.
  7. Make up your own fairy tale (and be sure to start with “Once upon a time…”)
  8. Write in stream of consciousness.
  9. Summarize the plot of your favorite novel, movie, or TV show in your own words.
  10. Watch strangers and make up stories about what they’re doing.
  11. Read an obscure feature story in a small-town newspaper and write about the object of that feature.
  12. Write a letter to a friend.
  13. Describe the view from your window.
  14. Randomly select an object from the room you’re in and write about it. Include its physical description and any memories associated with the object.
  15. Write about the best date you ever had.
  16. Describe something you love to do.
  17. Imagine that the thing you fear most actually happens, and write it.
  18. What would your life be like if it were perfect?
  19. Write out the words to your favorite songs.
  20. Write about football.
  21. Write from the perspective of a two-year-old.
  22. Start a story about a dare.
  23. Write about the best vacation you ever took.
  24. Get in the mind of a pharmacist who hands out drugs to people with all sorts of wacky health problems.
  25. Write a story about a protagonist whom no one likes.

Random Scene: Remy

Remy St. Jean drove down the deserted highway with the windows down and the hot wind of the South roughly caressing his face.  The mid-afternoon sun was beating down on the driver’s side, tanning only his left arm, which his sister very lovingly calls his trucker tan.  He didn’t mind the name calling- he was free to roam through the highways and by-ways and got paid to do this, so he usually just lets her laugh.  She wouldn’t be laughing if she knew what he was really doing.

Remy was, for all intents and purposes, a gopher to an eccentric woman out of Lafayette, who had him driving all over God’s green earth to deliver trinkets to her friends.  At least, he thought that he was delivering trinkets.  He’d never actually looked into the packages since they were wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine every time.  For the past 6 months Remy had been putting miles on his already ancient black 1959 El Camino, with the chrome batwing and trim.  The car was his baby and it had nearly killed him to refurbish it without an authentic engine, but there simply wasn’t one to be had.  That alone had kill a lot of its value as a classic, but that car was the most beautiful girl in Remy’s world.

Today’s passenger was a tiny box, no bigger than a biscuit, but it smelled something awful!  Not even the open window could mute that onerous musk emanating from his passenger seat.  All that he could do was light another cigarette (Camel’s preferred) and continue on his way.  The sky up ahead was getting pretty black with storm clouds that sent a shiver up his spine and made his foot a little heavier on the gas peddle.  Over the past 5 years he had experienced more than his fair share of Tornados and was not looking forward to another run-in, especially not if his Baby Jane would be in danger (Baby Jane is his car’s name).

He was almost at the end of his driving directions and had no idea where he was other than the obvious middle of nowhere.  Once he’d gotten off of highway 64, the world turned back about a century and he was expecting to see a horse drawn carriage pretty soon, but all he saw was sunshine and pollen floating lazily across the highway as he drove on.