Friday Fictioneers – Going Back

Hello everyone!  This is my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.  This exercise is brought to you by Rochelle Wisoff – Fields – Addicted to Purple.  The idea is to write a 100 word flash fiction based on a photo prompt.

The photo prompt for this week is:

wallpaper

Photo Credit: Mary Shipman

 

Going Back

In a good neighborhood gone bad the house remains. White clapboard that was cheerful is now tattered and neglected. It used to smell of honeysuckle and fresh baked biscuits. Now it reeks of poverty and three dollar wine. The once delightful wildflower wallpaper ripped and smudged with grime. This home reminds her equally of pleasure and pain. A childhood ruined in one summer. She lights the match and enjoys the burn. Maybe in the ashes she can find herself. The woman she might have been had she never seen this place or the neighbor who was never her “friend.”

99 words.

 
You can find other Friday Fictioneers here.
InLinkz

 

I hope everyone enjoyed this and all criticism is welcome, but hopefully just the constructive kind.  🙂

 

As Always,

 

Woman on Pause

Friday Fictioneers – University Daze

Hello everyone!  Welcome to my submission for this week’s Friday Fictioneers.  Brought to you by,

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple

The purpose of this exercise is to write a fiction story 100 words based off of a photo prompt.

Image
Photo Prompt – Copyright –Jennifer Pendergast

InLinkz link HERE

 

University Daze

As she walked the grand courtyard of the University she smiled, imagining days of books and classes. She dreamed of evenings giggling with girlfriends. The ability to study along side the brightest of minds. She could almost feel midnight kisses from beaus left sweetly on her cheek.

She entered the hall and as she picked up her mop the handle brushed her growing belly. She caressed her womb and sweetly whispered, “All can be yours sweet girl.”

 

78 words

I hope everyone enjoyed my submission and kind but helpful criticism is always welcome.

 

As Always,

 

Woman on Pause

 

Friday Fictioneers – Burned Out

My submission to Friday Fictioneers.  Brought to you by this wonderful woman right here.

The picture that prompts this week’s story is below.

Image

And the prompt photo belongs http://erinlearywrites.com/

 

The idea is to write a 100 word flash fiction story based on the photo.

I hope everyone enjoys my submission.  All thoughts about the work are welcome.

Burned Out

The view from the back porch of the rental cabin was exceptional. The steam darted up from his coffee as he took another relaxing sip. As he raised the mug to his mouth he noticed red in the cuticle of his thumb. He clearly missed some blood and now the weekend was ruined. He would have to return to make sure he didn’t leave any thing else behind. He enjoyed one more sip and thought, “This job is going to kill me.”

82 Words

 

As Always,

 

Woman on Pause

 

The link to this and other submissions is here for InLinkz

 

Friday Fiction – Lamp Light

I found Rochelle’s Blog and the concept of Friday Fiction and I just couldn’t  help myself.  Below is my addition.

Image
Photo by:
Dawn Miller

Lamp Light

The belts didn’t match the hats on the mannequins that looked down on her.  She also noticed the jewelry didn’t shine.  Tarnished and chipped the baubles looked cheaper than they were. The rows of discount lamps some with shades, some going naked without them.  The glow from the their bulbs only revealed how bleak this place had become. She turned off each lamp to hide the sadness this place represented to her. As she walked out the only thing she left behind was, “I Quit” written in the dust on the jewelry case.

93 Words

As Always,

Woman on Pause

P.S.   The goal for Friday Fictioneers is to write a complete story with no more than 100 words based off of a photograph.  And it was HARD, but a lot of fun.

Holy Shit, I quit my job.

So.  The big news.

I quit.

I QUIT.

Well, I put in my three week notice, but you get the point.

I know what you are thinking, big friggin deal?  You start a new job and life goes on.  Blah, Blah Blah.

Nope.  I am not starting a new job.  I have no job waiting.  I am quitting work, and for the summer spending the time with my two boys and being a housewife.  Then I am going to maybe have hip surgery (again), then I am going back to school.  All the while blogging and writing like a frantic monkey on meth. Have.never.had.this.much.time.to.write.

The thing that makes me happy and feel personally fulfilled. <——-The Meth Monkey thing.

This is big because if you knew me, you would know I have NEVER NOT worked.  Ever.  I began work at age 12.  Working for my Grandfather behind the counter of his store.  Then at 16 I interned at an office locally and waited tables.  At 17, the damned Monday after graduation, I started my first 9-5.  Then from there it was basically a new job every 3-6 years.  Each one moving up the ladder.  Leading me to Accounting then Finance.

Then 2008 happened.  I took a major hit going from a Manager at a very nice salary, to a peon with a crappy hourly salary with a two hour commute.  I have done this now for three years.

After the hubs and I crunched the numbers it just didn’t make sense to send the boys to day camp (PRICEY Motherfucker Day camps are) while I spend tons in gas and wear and tear to Prince Valium to make jack shit.

So we decided I would quit.

HOLY HELL.

This is why I restarted this blog a week or two back.

I am going to be documenting going from a 9-5 day job for 19 years. to being a Stay at Home Mom.

Heyyyyyyyyy, wait.  Don’t be that way.  This won’t be a mommy blog.  I mean those are great and all, and I have learned many crafts and recipes, but this is going to document the journey.

My Journey.

And I am damned excited/scared/freaked out/stoked/completely unprepared.

This shit should be interesting.

Stay tuned.

It just gets better from here.

Or I go down in flames.

Either way, it makes for good reading.  Don’tchathink??

Holy shit no pictures.

As always,and stay tuned.

Woman on Pause

A Farewell to Facebook

I was reading “The Less than Domestic Goddess” yesterday and her post was about how she realized it had been one year since she quit Facebook.  (http://www.thelessthandomesticgoddess.com/ – I suggest this blog, She is great)

This revelation got me thinking.  What exactly am I getting from Facebook?  I talk to people who are close to me, and honestly if I’m not, I should be.  I shouldn’t rely upon the internet and social media to maintain relationships. 

So, I made the decision to take some time off.  I am going to stay away for a year.  I made all of my photos private, except for the one’s that didn’t include the kids, cleaned up my profile, confirmed my security settings and posted the following quote, “Remember, Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

And I meant it. 

Basically, there is too much of this life to live to be worried about how my ex-boyfriend from High School’s dog is doing since it fell ill.  Or how someone I haven’t seen since grammar school is peeved about the red light in her neighborhood.  Why do I need to know this?  That’s right, I don’t.

Also, it became some odd habit to check it all the time. Did someone post on my wall?  Did I get a picture comment? 

Really? I am 34, I realized no matter how many other people do this, it make me feel silly.

So, I decided to spend any time I was going to spend on Facebook, writing, or cultivating ideas about writing.  I may still surf my regular break sites like Jezebel.com, CNN.com, NPR.org, etc. but for the most part I have bid adieu to Facebook. 

Wish me luck, just don’t post it on my wall. 

I won’t see it.  😉

 

As Always,

Woman on Pause

Southern Dyscomfort Part II

Part II Enjoy!  W.O.P.

Today on NBC7 your news for Vernon Parish, tragedy for a military family as a young woman was found dead outside of the “Powell Drive Laundromat” last night.  Her name is being withheld pending notification of her family.  Few details are available at this time regarding this matter. Only that she was found outside the Laundromat by the evening Maintenance worker and Manager, Mr. Brent Washburn. 


Mr. Washburn was released after questioning and is not a suspect at this time.  It is believed that she was attacked and killed at this location and as of this hour the suspect is still at large.  More news as the story develops.  Back to you Pam.  “Taxes going up?  One Vernon Parish resident says this is enough…
 
Is that it? 
 
Is this how she is going to “go out” so to speak?  A BLURB by some local newscaster…
 
She opens her eyes and still hears the light thump thump of Louise making sweet dry love to her jeans. She is still sweating. 

He is still standing there. 
 
“I wonder how long I had my eyes shut.”  She didn’t know.  She didn’t care.  The feeling is getting stronger but she is scared to just run out.  Practically because every bit of clothing she and her husband own are in two dryers. 
 
Death or drawers?
 
“This is silly.  I am not going to die.  But wait; IS THIS what people think before they die?” 
 
FUCK
 
The mental cursing was loud this time.  She was actually getting impatient with herself and had almost come to the conclusion she was just being silly and everything would be fine.
 
CLICK
 
“Whoa.  What, there are no washers running.  What the fuck was that?”

She had taken her peripheral vision off of him for only a SECOND and then she heard the click. 
 
Time to go.
 
The voice inside her screamed louder than she realized her mind had ability to…
 
GET THE FUCK OUT NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!!!!
Trying to be casual, she rises.  Grabs her two green baskets and puts one empty basket into the other.  She figures if she is casual, grabs the laundry and leaves he will just keep waiting there for his “Red Truck.”
 
She opens Louise up and realizes that everything is still pretty soaked.  Wet denim is oddly heavy when you are scared out of your mind and just want to run away screaming.  She loads the basket in basket and it is so God Damned heavy.  How is she going to get this to her car?
 
“Suck it up bitch, it is now or never” she thought.  She is quite the motivator when it comes down to what she needs to do when she needs to do it.
 
A voice inside is nagging “Fucking hurry.  There is something wrong here and if you don’t move your fat white ass you are about to find out what it is.”
 
She is able to pop the basket up and prop it on her hip.  The handles dig in and hurt her side.  Badly.  This was going to bruise she could feel it. 
 
She heads for the door and takes one glance back.
 
He was walking towards her.
 
Panic is starting to set in.  Things are moving slow.
 
She turned quickly and tried to free one hand to open the door. 
He was walking quicker.  She could hear his shoes squeak on the tiled floor.
 
She almost dropped the basket but managed to pop her hip higher, lift her leg and catch it as she still managed to keep the door open at the same time. 
 
The door was so heavy with one arm awkwardly holding it as she tried to slip through. 
 
His hand was on hers.
 
He was helping her open the door.
 
Well of course he was.  That was the decent thing to do now wasn’t it. 
 
A bit of relief fell over her and she felt her cheeks begin to flush. 
 
“Thanks”
 
Do you know when the blade of a knife penetrates your skin it burns?  And when it is then quickly removed and blood starts to pour out of you it is actually hot, almost like what hot maple syrup would feel like?
 
I know.
 
As he held open the door for her he slid a knife in between her third and fourth rib.
 
She actually remained up right for the longest time.  Eyes wide.  She wasn’t confused.  She wasn’t even all that scared. 
 
At that point she just knew.
 
Then finally she collapsed.  Half in the door and half out, basket upside down by her side, wet clothes on top of her and the sidewalk. 
 
She began to feel dizzy and out of her own head. 
 
Where was HE?
She laid there for what felt like an hour and then finally turned her head up to see him still standing over her. 
 
Smiling.
 
He still had the pocket knife in his hand and he knelt down beside her.
 
“You shoulda run.  I knows you wanted to.  I could smell it.”
 
She closed her eyes. 
 
She prayed.
 
She began to weep.  Silently.  She did not beg.  She wept for the child she would never have.  The house she would never own.  The degree she would never finish.  The pain that would never leave her mother.  And the loss that would never leave her husband. 
 
He leaned down bent at the knees and stroked her temple. 
 
“Youuuuu shoulda runnnn”  “Cain’t run now, can ya?” 
 
She is pretty sure he giggled but she was starting to black out and just wasn’t sure. 
 
He started rubbing on her.  Not sexually, but as if he was looking for something.  He found she had something in her pocket and dug for it.  All he found was a lighter, and 7 quarters.  He put that into his pocket and started looking for her keys. 
 
Once he found them he seemed much calmer.  He put the keys next to him on the sidewalk and then he grabbed her hair and oddly, gently pulled her head back.  It hurt, but yet he didn’t yank it back as she had prepared for.
The stretching made it feel like her ribs were being pulled apart.
 
He put the knife to her throat.
 
She wept and braced. 
 
The tip of the knife cut her on the right side of the throat and then he stopped.
 
Then came the light…
 
The light burned her eyes.  They were shut but she could feel the light penetrate her eyelids and into the eyes themselves.
 
The lights were the headlights from Mr. Washburn’s 1982 Ford F150.  He was pulling up for his 7-10 shift. 
 
Her head was upturned toward the light and she thought death was bright white blinding light.  All I remember was the light.  It was so bright…
 
From what the police told her Mr. Washburn got out of that truck, baseball bat in hand and bashed Bill Martin’s head in.  One hit. 
 
Billy Martin’s three day meth binge ended in his brain matter scattered all over her wet laundry.  Later, she would find this pleasingly ironic.
 
She woke up several hours later in the Ft. Polk Military Hospital and was told what happened. 
 
She just remembered the light.  The rest just hurt her head.
 
She eventually mended her injuries but a part of her was born and died that night.  The part of her that died was the part that trusted people.  Even a little.  In her lifetime she would be a little scared at every moment.  It would get better, but just like that scar it would never go away. 
 
The part that was born was her new appreciation for life.  The exact knowledge that as cliché as it is, time is perishable.  And it could be expire at any moment.  She lived her life with that knowledge and it was a good life.  Probably better than it would have been had she not encountered Billy Martin.
 
Only those who have tasted death appreciate the flavor of life. Especially those who have seen the bright light and lived to tell the story.

Southern Dyscomfort

A Short Story By Woman on Pause

She checked out her cuticles. “Damn, is there ONE decent place in Ft. Polk Louisiana to get my nails done?”

She started to push back her cuticles with her opposite hand. “I really really wish I hadn’t forgotten my book. I would read a fucking VD pamphlet right now if I had it.”

A quick survey of the place showed NO reading materials. The vending machines were bare. Not a soul in the place except Betty, Jeanine, Lois, Edna, and good old Louise.

She loved Louise. Louise was the best in the place. Louise was hard working, did the job, but was gentle and that was the exact combination she needed. There were others lined up but the black stenciled names had long been worn away.

Only in Louisiana did they name their dryers. They were the LARGE commercial variety in a dumpy Laundromat in Leesville. The washers were normal, the kind you would find in your house. But the dryers, oh the dryers… These were front loading, avocado green, mammoths. You could fit two loads into one and cut your time in half.

And Louise was the girl for her. Bette tended to never get hot enough. No matter how many quarters you fed her. The others were ok, but Louise was the belle of the laundry ball.

Since she picked prime time to be here, Wednesday at 7pm, church time for the locals, she was left in peace to listen and wait for the washer click letting her know that it was time to transfer the clothes and that she was only about 45 minutes from getting the hell out of here.

One day she would have a washer and dryer. They wouldn’t be fancy but they would do the trick. And she was always amazed how excited she got to do laundry now that she didn’t have to haul her and her husband’s clothes twice a week to be laundered.

I mean, she just had to walk to the back of the house and start it up. Go watch TV, or cook dinner, or practice fucking Tai Chi. Whatever she wanted!!

That day was to come soon, but for her not soon enough.

CLICK

“Sweet Jesus thank you.” She got up, officially bored out of her mind, and dragged the two green plastic laundry baskets and began the chore of lifting 4 loads of wet laundry and transferring it to the dryer.

Towels, jeans, sheets, sweaters, BDU’s, cook white’s, scrubs, undies, boxers, anything she could find to gather up after work and get clean so she wouldn’t have to come back until at least Saturday.

She sat back down, crossed her legs and began to look at her toes. She needed a pedicure too. That hooker at “Curl up and Dye” cut her cuticles last time. “Not going back there, and I doubt I am welcome since I did kick her in the chin.”

She takes a quick mental inventory of what she has at home to do a quickie pedi.

Her thoughts are broken by the door opening and a man of about thirty walked in. He had dirty brown hair, a red hat, white t-shirt, and an old pair of jeans.

She thought, “Oh good the Maintenance Mr. is here.” See, normally in these places there is a guy. He wears coveralls and makes sure the lint traps are clean, sweeps, makes sure there is no hogging of the washers and most importantly he took good care of Louise. It was dusk, and this was about the time he would be in.

She didn’t see car lights behind her so he must live near by. Typical for this area. Not many folk drive. A good amount walk. Even if it is 107 degrees and it feels like you walk into a hair dryer on Hi when you walk out of the house. They still walk.

This particular place was a quite a find, open till 10pm and off the beaten path. She called it “LAUNDRY GOLD.” She had only been here about 4 times but had already decided this was it for her until they could save up enough for a W&D of their very own.

A packed Laundromat is the kiss of death. You can spend six hours doing five loads and you can kiss that day GOODBYE. She had this down to an art. If you are going to play white trash wifey-poo in “The end of the earth” Louisiana then you better have your smarts about you.

She went back to examining and criticizing her cuticles.

He walked in and went to the back corner where Bette met in the corner with what looked like “Glna” the lettering had worn off, so she hadn’t bothered using it.

And there he stood.

He didn’t go in the back and put on his coveralls. He didn’t grab the broom or check to make sure the Tide, snuggle, and spray and wash were fully stocked in the “Laundro-vend.”

She looked up and glanced at her dryer darling Louise.

He put his hands in his pockets.

And then it came.

The feeling.

She had never felt this before. It was a wave. A scream from the inside of her that said something is very fucking wrong and she didn’t know if she was being silly or just out right paranoid.

“Maybe he is waiting on the wife to lug in the laundry. Or maybe he has a load in one of the washers from earlier in the day”

He just stood.

The feeling began to overtake her stomach. Ate at it so hard she had to bend a little because it was beginning to hurt.

This was 1998 and there were no cell phones. A quick look over her right shoulder showed what she remembered, an “out of order” sign on the one pay phone outside. Her car was still secure and lonesome about 20 feet from where she sat.

He finally spoke. “You seen a red truck?”

“Nah, not since I have been here” she croaked. She all of a sudden realized the feeling that was eating at her had sucked all her saliva from her throat and mouth. It felt like trying to talk with a throat full of sand.

No response. No movement, No flicker of ANYTHING.

*fuck*

This is what repeated in her mind over and over. In her thoughts it was quiet. A whisper. Almost afraid if she thought it too loud he could hear her think it.
She quickly and very unconvincingly thought “He hasn’t done anything. What is wrong with me??”

He scratched his arm.

Her palms were drenched all of a sudden, and her long hair, tied in a bun started to feel like a pile of hot dry hay sitting on top of her head. And she began to sweat profusely.

He adjusted his hat and began to walk towards her.

 

Part II will be posted Tuesday April 26th.  Please check back.

*And yes, already written promise not to leave anyone hanging. 

As always,

Woman on Pause

Summer Reads & What-not’s

Where have I been?  Where have YOU been?

Just kidding. 

I have had a very busy couple of weeks.  My husband and I took a much-needed three-day escape to Savannah GA where we were able to glimpse into our lives away from our kids. 

It was glorious. 

While it goes without saying we love and adore our children, they eat up every free minute we have.  As they should, that’s kind of the point.  And 99 out of 100 times we really don’t mind having to drive here, watch this game, homework, meals, weekends, calls about questionable behavior, vomiting, colds, laundry, unruly hair, and the 1,228,004 things that comes along with having children.

We truly don’t.

But we are also firm believers that it is essential to nourish your marriage.  We have been down the aisle before and are trying out best to learn from our past mistakes and be kind to our marriage. 

And so we took our first three-day weekend alone.  The only one we have ever taken in almost two years. 

I think we were due.

On top of that, and normal life, I did manage to begin and finish two books.  Of which I highly recommend. 

 

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

*Note:  When I began reading “Water for Elephants” by Sara Gruen I had no clue there was going to be a movie.  And much to my chagrin that it was going to star Robert Pattinson.  Who I am sure is a doll, but frankly his over exposure made me less than pleased with the casting.  I have a firm rule, I rarely break; if I read it I won’t watch it and vice versa.

I have only broken this rule a very few times.  The Shining was one and then there was the notebook.  The more I read I find this rule harder to follow, but I still try very hard to stick to my guns on this one.  The characters in my head when reading are always completely different from the actors picked.  (Exception – The Shining.  No one could have played that better.  Go Team Jack)

So, that being said, for my work book club we were assigned “Water for Elephants” and I truly enjoyed it.  And I recommend it to someone looking for a nice summer read.  I am extra pleased to have read it because honestly I would have never chosen it on my own.  So it was a pleasant surprise how much I liked something that seemed outside of my tight little snobby reading genre.

The next book I read was “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen.

"Freedom" By Jonathan Franzen

Note: I listen to books.  Via Audible.com.  I also highly recommend this especially for fellow commuters.  If it weren’t for audible I wouldn’t ever get to read/listen/experience books at all.

I had previously read, “The Corrections” by Franzen and while at first I felt I had to look up every other word out of the readers mouth, I ended up becoming very invested in the characters and at the end of the day truly enjoyed the book.  It was a very intellectual but honest slice of life story.

Same thing for “Freedom.” I am in awe of how he is able to take every day nuances and bring them out without making the story about them.  He uses detailed descriptions to develop characters in a way that blew me away.  I hope to see more from Franzen.

So, this concludes my, “Where have you been?” and what I recommend for Summer Reading post.

I am hoping to be able to give you all a little piece of something I have written soon.  Now that things have slowed down somewhat I am chomping at the bit to get back to writing.

Feel free to recommend some good books here as well!

PS –

Ever time you see the word, recommend in this post, it was misspelled.  Oh the shame…

PPS –

And it should also be noted I misspelled, Misspelled.  What in the hell, I have no business writing.  Jeez.
As always,
Woman on Pause

Photo Credits:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43641.Water_for_Elephants

http://www.kadisera.com/2011/2010-best-books-jonathan-franzens-freedom.html/jonathan-franzen-freedom

Two more and there would have been a scandal.

I had 67 views last Thursday!  I am not completely sure why.  Nor do I really care.  YAY!  Granted it was mostly for my “I am in a glass case of emotion” post, but once again, I am not a choosy girl. 

In spirit of said uppance in viewage.  Yes, I typed that and meant it. 

I am releasing the first photo of me.  It should be up as this post is set and ready to roll. 

Still working on Big Mama part II.

Until then, I can’t help but say that I am completely moved by the tragedy in Japan and my family and I, while we are not big church going folk, have been praying for the safety of the people of the effected areas.  I don’t think that what has been going on lately, tsunami’s, earthquakes, millions of dead sardines, are a glimpse into the apocalypse. Some say these are signs of the end of the world.

I have my doubts.  But then again, I don’t study the Bible or the Mayan Calendar so what do I know.  I think it is a sign that mother nature is a mean bitch and unfortunately these things happen.  As horrible as it all is.  Japan, not the sardines. 

I truly hope they can make a quick recovery with as little damage and death as possible.  I couldn’t imagine being in their place, and I truly feel horrible for what they are going through.

So, all of that being said, if my new picture isn’t up, here it is.  Yes, I know, you all knew it was me allllllllll along.  😉

Ta-Da!

I promise to post again soon.  The bottom line of this post is to say,

“Thank you for reading.”

As always,

Woman on Pause aka the “Storm Trooper Crumb eater in your keyboard.”

Photo credit: http://wallpapergravity.com/Image.php?ID=278933