I’m Supposed to Be Getting Married Today, But …

You call an old flame from high school whom you still have feelings for and ask to meet up. The flame says, “Sure, how about noon at the pub by your house.” While waiting at the pub, your flame walks in—wearing a wedding dress (or tuxedo). The flame looks at you and says, “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but …” What happens? Write this scene.

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594 thoughts on “I’m Supposed to Be Getting Married Today, But …

  1. missymo

    I sit and nervously fidget in the corner booth facing the darkened entryway. I can remember the last time Tim and I saw each other, nearly 4 years ago and how after we said that last goodbye, I knew deep down inside, the next time we said hello, everything would be different. The random yet intriguing emails we sent back and forth within the past couple of months have led me to finally pick up the phone and invite him to the pub we used to hang out at when we dated so long ago. I look down and check my phone, no new messages and just as I glance up again for what seems to be the millionth time, I see his tall figure standing in the entrance, searching the crowd for me. My heart races as I try and look composed as he casually strolls over, but once he arrives at my table, I notice he’s dressed in a dark black tuxedo with a crisp white shirt and silk black tie. Just as I open my mouth to utter a sarcastic, “I feel a bit underdressed,” Tim says, “I’m supposed to be getting married today but..” his voice cuts off and he looks down at the floor, taking a seat across from me.

    “What?” “Why would you..” I try to utter a complete sentence but the thoughts are racing in my mind mimicking my pulse. “I’m…I’m sorry. I..I just had to see you one last time” he says as looks at me with those dark almond eyes that pierced my soul unlike any other. His face is solemn. He reaches for my hand, but I pull away. “What are you doing here then if you’re supposed to be marrying someone today?” What would possess you to even think about coming to see me first?” The nervousness that I had felt prior to him arriving has now turned to anger. I grab my purse and meet his gaze, “look. Had I known you’d be pledging your love for someone today in front of God and all your loved ones, or more so, had a girlfriend for that matter, I wouldn’t have asked you to come here.” He looks down at the table and is jolted by the buzzing of his phone going off in the pocket of his coat. “Looks like you need to leave now.” I say as I stand up, dizzy from the scene unfolding before my eyes. “Look, I needed to see you again to know within myself that its over. For you. And for me.” He says as his solemn look turns to desperation. I shake my head in amazement as he poses this question on the very day he’s supposed to be marrying someone else and just like that January night 4 years ago, I gathered my things, but this time, I was the one walking away.

  2. rissa_forever

    Real quick, Do you know how hard it is to post something under 500 words! Even this is 549 words! Anyway, here’s mine :)

    I never thought I would see him again. After graduation and we went to our separate colleges we lost all contact. Most couples experience this, but most – if not all – don’t want it to. As soon as graduation was in reach, I immediately knew we wanted different things. He was smart, organized, and punctual; I on the other hand was none of those things. He wanted to become a lawyer and all I wanted to do was use my imagination to create stories for young teens that were safe and appropriate.
    But when I see his number while swiping through my contacts one afternoon, I decided to call him up. Now, don’t get me wrong, we had broken up over five years ago, but when I think of all the fun we had together at parties and different school activities, I get chills. It rings three or four times before the line connects, “Hello?” a deep voice ripples over the speakers.
    The hairs on my arms stand on end, “Hi, Trent? It’s Cheyenne.”
    “Oh, hi, Chey!” he sounds genuinely excited as he uses my old nickname.
    My cheeks flush red and I feel embarrassed even though he can’t see me, “Hey, sorry to bother you but I just happened to see your name in my phone and thought I’d call.”
    He pulls the phone away from his ear and by the sounds of it he’s running out of a crowded room, “No, I’m glad you called. I’m actually in town right now, believe it or not. What’s up?”
    “Well, I guess since you’re in town, maybe we could meet up sometime? If it’s alright, I mean,” I’m still feeling awkward. I mean come on, just how do you ask your ex out on a date? After five years no less!
    “Sure, I’d love to! How about tomorrow afternoon at the pub near Fifth and Ninth?”
    I gasp, “I live in the apartment complex right around the corner on Fifth!”
    He laughs, “No kidding! Well noon then?” I agree and we end the conversation.
    My heart skips the next afternoon as I sit at the bar with an iced water with lemon at my fingertips. As the clock rings noon it sinks a little as I begin to think he might not bother showing up. He always was a prankster and liked to mess with my blonde brain. Then someone taps my shoulder. I whirl around in the wooden stool and nearly drop my drink. Before me stands a groom! Black tux, white shirt, bow tie, the works.
    He looks almost nervous and his cheeks are wind burnt, like he’s been running through the harsh spring wind outside, “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but I knew I just had to see you before I made a mistake.”
    “Mistake?” I ask, still taken back by the surprise. He continues to explain how he met a girl in college, and they had some good times, but when he talked to me, he realized he missed our conversations. He tells me he was in the middle of a wedding planning meeting when I called. He sat next to me and we had a drink. We talked for hours. I went home that evening with dinner plans for the next evening.

  3. drnoag

    My Flame

    When she was younger and I was clueless, we did a little dance. We had our way and it was sweet but sweeter still because our way was to be the way which I would become, in this world. Funny, how the experience of soft and young days could harden our expectations into want and need once time had laid its sandy old grip on our hearts.

    She was heat and recklessness and I wished for that again. Dare I to conjure such temptation anew?

    I dared; if not to rekindle what we had, perhaps to start fresh. No experience is properly exotic save new experience. Plus, this time around, I knew what I was doing. I was more prepared. Youth may be best because it is strange but with age comes sharper tools and meaner knowledge.

    We would meet at the bar, her and I. This was good because I had very recently uprooted and did not have a static place to call my own.

    While I sat and waited, I drank club soda and let the bubbles pop and pleasantly sting my tongue.

    When the door opened and she stepped through, the outside light of the day struck me blind. I tried to blink past fried retinae.

    Things happened very quickly then. I am not ennobled to say that I don’t really remember what was said or even how what happened did happen. I remember feeling mourn and loss at her sight. Married…her!…but she was here! With me. She told me as much. She calmed me down. We set to work.

    Her smile was bright as the promise of spring and I couldn’t help but think that her teeth could leave a great-felt mark on the right side of my neck; like I want her to stop, but never.

    We danced our old dance as the day grew bright. We sang the songs and laughed to memories. We toasted to new experience. We burned down the house.

    Alarms and emergencies always seemed to sound the same. Sharp flashing lights cast out and all over everything. It was enough to give me a heart attack. Panic and desperation; they had such a filthy, dirty, wonderful ring. While the smoke stench from my burning house rose to the sky like a charcoal mountain against the background of angel wings, the bar had only just begun to catch. It would though. It would burn like everything else. I placed it in my past. I noticed, for the first time, as I looked into the rearview of my newest stolen car and smiled our truest smile, that my teeth looked sharper and longer. Our eyes, hidden behind glasses so black they stole our name, interpreted the world in terms of flame.

  4. Dev

    Girlfriend, everyone wish for. I never had any experience in this field although I was one of the most talented guy in class, less fashionable but good looking. I am very introvert , shy from birth. On that very day I can’t resist to think of that girl for whom I had feeling that had never been able reach my mouth. I had never talk about these to my friends also. At present I am doing a job with good salary to have a good lifestyle , but being at this young stage to live without any girl in life is seems to be meaningless.

    It was need of a girlfriend or feelings for her that I don’t know but it was something that triggered me. On that day I don’t from where the courage came but I decided to talk to her about my feelings which were just feelings , never have a written form but just are in mind. I have a her contact number but never called her and last time I talk to her was like four years ago which was due to mutual friend. So I take a phone and just called her just without thinking of the result. She pick up the call late , I don’t what she was doing but my heart beat was racing here.

    ” Hello ” she said.

    Hi remember me . Mike we were in school together.

    Ya I remember. Good to hear you. What happened?

    Nothing special. Can we meet today if you don’t feel any problem?
    (after taking a moment ) Okay fine Little sister(pub name) at 4 o’clock today .

    Fine See you then

    And I hanged. That leaves me 8 hours to practice what to talk about. I thought about what to order and how to try to be nice in front of her. I practiced for the opening lines like you look gorgeous , you have a beautiful eyes and so on. I was very nervous the whole time and somehow time reach to 3 o’clock. I dressed in descent clothes and reach the Little sister 10 minutes earlier. Inside the pub looking at many couples my confidence increase.

    After 15 minutes she arrived in pub but I got very scared when i saw her. Not because she was looking ugly but she was in wedding dress. She came to me and say

    Hi why did you call me and sorry not to call you on my wedding. I was in such a mess I totally forgot to invite you when you called. I am really sorry.
    (humbling) Never mind. By the way you are looking gorgeous.

    Thanks. So why did you call me?

    (I started to think and started to talk arbitrary) You know I work at this software company and they had this new project which they were working on like two years. and yes they wanted to advertise it but they don’t want to take professionals as not to spend much money on this. So they asked in staff if we know someone who can do this job . I was going through school pics and then i thought about asking you.(and I finish my sentence anyhow)

    Okay don’t feel so shy to ask. I am flattered. Thanks for considering me for this job and i would love to do that ,but I will free after two weeks . You know marriage , relatives.

    Oh sorry they said something about next week and i can’t change that. It is not in my hands. So really sorry to trouble you . May be I should have asked you on phone.

    No its fine. Thanks for asking may be next time. By the way you should meet my husband. He is talented have a nice job in company. Thing I like about him is he is very shy and introvert.

    Ya sure. Maybe some other time. I think u should leave now as they must be waiting for as you are still wearing wedding dress. Wish you happy married life.

    Thank you. I will call you. okay bye

    bye

    and she leave. I take sigh of relief and I thought may be next time should make some research on her. I may be most unlucky guy on earth to call someone to tell her feelings once in a lifetime on the same day on her wedding day. I leave thinking may be I am made to be arranged and these things are not my type.

  5. Dev

    My first time. I hope you enjoy .

    Girlfriend, everyone wish for. I never had any experience in this field although I was one of the most talented guy in class, less fashionable but good looking. I am very introvert , shy from birth. On that very day I can’t resist to think of that girl for whom I had feeling that had never been able reach my mouth. I had never talk about these to my friends also. At present I am doing a job with good salary to have a good lifestyle , but being at this young stage to live without any girl in life is seems to be meaningless.

    It was need of a girlfriend or feelings for her that I don’t know but it was something that triggered me. On that day I don’t from where the courage came but I decided to talk to her about my feelings which were just feelings , never have a written form but just are in mind. I have a her contact number but never called her and last time I talk to her was like four years ago which was due to mutual friend. So I take a phone and just called her just without thinking of the result. She pick up the call late , I don’t what she was doing but my heart beat was racing here.

    ” Hello ” she said.

    Hi remember me . Mike we were in school together.

    Ya I remember. Good to hear you. What happened?

    Nothing special. Can we meet today if you don’t feel any problem?
    (after taking a moment ) Okay fine Little sister(pub name) at 4 o’clock today .

    Fine See you then

    And I hanged. That leaves me 8 hours to practice what to talk about. I thought about what to order and how to try to be nice in front of her. I practiced for the opening lines like you look gorgeous , you have a beautiful eyes and so on. I was very nervous the whole time and somehow time reach to 3 o’clock. I dressed in descent clothes and reach the Little sister 10 minutes earlier. Inside the pub looking at many couples my confidence increase.

    After 15 minutes she arrived in pub but I got very scared when i saw her. Not because she was looking ugly but she was in wedding dress. She came to me and say

    Hi why did you call me and sorry not to call you on my wedding. I was in such a mess I totally forgot to invite you when you called. I am really sorry.
    (humbling) Never mind. By the way you are looking gorgeous.

    Thanks. So why did you call me?

    (I started to think and started to talk arbitrary) You know I work at this software company and they had this new project which they were working on like two years. and yes they wanted to advertise it but they don’t want to take professionals as not to spend much money on this. So they asked in staff if we know someone who can do this job . I was going through school pics and then i thought about asking you.(and I finish my sentence anyhow)

    Okay don’t feel so shy to ask. I am flattered. Thanks for considering me for this job and i would love to do that ,but I will free after two weeks . You know marriage , relatives.

    Oh sorry they said something about next week and i can’t change that. It is not in my hands. So really sorry to trouble you . May be I should have asked you on phone.

    No its fine. Thanks for asking may be next time. By the way you should meet my husband. He is talented have a nice job in company. Thing I like about him is he is very shy and introvert.

    Ya sure. Maybe some other time. I think u should leave now as they must be waiting for as you are still wearing wedding dress. Wish you happy married life.

    Thank you. I will call you. okay bye

    bye

    and she leave. I take sigh of relief and I thought may be next time should make some research on her. I may be most unlucky guy on earth to call someone to tell her feelings once in a lifetime on the same day on her wedding day. I leave thinking may be I am made to be arranged and these things are not my type.

  6. Tannai

    I’m supposed to be getting married today but…

    “I’m getting married today.” He paused then released a shaken breath before proceeding. “We’ll, I’m supposed to be.”
    He stood in front of me, the distance between closest in five years. Every last inch of the perfect man I remembered and so desperately craved since our break up hovered once again near me. My lust and longing for him had never left the prescience of my heart and made themselves more evident now.
    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but,”
    His words stretched in the air, echoing loud in my ears. He spoke as though the words were for me to catch and throw back to him.
    I began to trail the neatly pressed outline of his dark tuxedo. It fit in all the right places; tightly around the arms, but a bit more puffed out against his chest. He was a lot more built than before.
    My eyes caught the attention of his pearl shoes. Fine white stitched lines surrounded their exterior. His pants were long almost draping the floor. I followed the clean apparel up until a large bulge in his pants proved to distracting to skip over.
    “I’m supposed to get married today, but”
    My hand reached into his pants and curled their fingers around its warm hard exterior. I pulled the box from his pocket, opening a large ring. The ring was for someone else.
    “You’re supposed to be getting married.”
    I placed the box in his hand and brushed past my past .

  7. theduke192

    Sorry for the length, but this is my first time writing a prompt. Hope you enjoy. Giving this one last try to work.

    ===================================
    The Undying

    “I’m not calling her,” Tim said staring out at the city from his penthouse.

    His friend sighed on the phone and said, “You asked for closure and here it is and probably your last chance. It can’t hurt to talk to your old friend.”

    “Fine,” Tim said and hung up the phone.

    Looking out over the city, he remembered everything the good, the bad, and everything in-between. It had been four years since she had spoken to him and he never knew why. When the talking stopped, he could not hold his feelings in any longer and wrote her a letter, confessing everything. He had given it to her friend on his behalf and that was the end.

    “I don’t need this,” he said looking at his apartment.

    Living on the upper side of New York City with a promising career in engineering and four book publications on the best sellers list, but then he looked deeper. Since her departure from his life, everything felt hollow and pointless.

    He opened her contact information and stared at the call button, “I’m going to regret this.”

    He pushed the button and it began to connect. He waited. The first ring, no response. His heart started to beat like it had a long time ago when the second ring finished. He wanted her to answer and then another part wanted it all to just go away after the third. Tensing as the fourth ring ended when her voice message kicked in.

    Her voice was still heavenly and could still melt the defenses of his heart to nothing. He waited until it was over and said, “It’s just me. Just wanted to see one last time. Goodbye.”

    He threw the phone down in frustration and now he thought he pushed the best friend he ever had even further away. However, he turned his back for only a minute when the phone vibrated.

    Snatching the phone up he read, “Noon tomorrow. O’Grady’s. ”

    The message stopped him in his tracks. He knew what tomorrow was and could not believe she wanted to see him and he did not care. She wanted to meet at the bar he took her to for the first time.

    “Here goes nothing,” he whispered into the night that was growing.

    Tim arrived early the next day, almost as soon as the doors had opened. It was empty and dark as most of the patrons were recovering from the night before. He wore his usual attire of a black suit and white shirt, but this was Saturday meaning no tie. Tim leaned back nursing his dark beer watching the door. The TV behind him caught his attention for only a second when he heard the bell above the door ring.

    He looked back and there she was. His anger and fear evaporated at the sight of her walking through the bar. Even the bartender said hello as he remembered her. She wore a wedding dress that was not the average dress. It was tight and white, nothing more nothing less, but her eyes still shined as bright as they did before.

    Tim stood when she reached his table and said, “Thank you Ashley.”

    “It’s good to see you Tim,” she said giving him the smile that melt his heart the first time.

    “Please have a seat,” Tim said as the two of them sat.

    By now, some patrons had crawled out of their beds and were now at the bar for their afternoon beer and some glanced at the two out of place people, but no one said a word. He stared into her eyes with a mix of words going through his head when she asked, “Why did you want to see me?”

    “I wanted to say congratulations for you,” Tim said lying through his teeth, “How long do you have?”

    “Three hours,” she said and leaned forward, “You told me once that you would lie to me.”

    “Yes,” Tim said remembering those exact words, “I will never lie to my best friend.”

    “Then why are you not happy for me?”

    He hesitated and remembered their times together, “Because he is the same idiot that you dated before me.”

    “He is a good man,” Ashley said defending her future husband, “You were the one who left without a word.”

    “What?” Tim asked loud enough to get a few looks, “I did everything to try to talk to you! You were the one that ignored me.”

    “I got nothing, except,” she said reaching into the white purse Tim never saw, “Except this.” She placed a letter on the table. Her name written cursive and Tim knew what was on the other side the crimson wax that he melted before placing his family’s crest in the center.

    Tim looked down as a wave of different emotions took over him. He did not know if this was good or bad that she had kept it. Standing up as he realized she was gone to him, he walked next to and said, “He doesn’t deserve you and I won’t stand in your way of happiness. I will always have your back until the day I die.”

    He started for the door when she stood and said, “I read it yesterday.”

    Tim stopped and said without turning to her, “Ok you probably read it hundred times in the last four years for all I know.”

    “I read it for the first time yesterday,” she said catching Tim off guard.

    He glanced back and asked, “What?”

    “You gave it to Eve, right?” she asked and continued after Ashley received a nod, “She gave to my mother.
    My mother hid it from me because she didn’t believe in you and didn’t see what I saw. She saw what I’m
    marrying and gave me the letter yesterday and almost by fate, you called and wanted to talk.”

    “Sadly,” Tim said with a tear rolling down his cheek, “It changes nothing.”

    “Why do you think I went back to Ryan?” she asked, “He wanted me. After you left, there was no one, my heart was broken and I thought I had done something to offend my best friend.”

    Tim looked down and said, “I’m sorry, that part of me is dead.”

    “I don’t think so,” Ashley said snatching up the letter, “If that were true, a true man would never have admitted to the words written on this paper. You spoke of undying love. Love so strong that it would survive the test of time. You once told me I saved your life, will you save me from making a mistake that will forever destroy my life?”

    “I don’t love you,” Tim said clenching his jaw from the tears and turned to go.

    “Tim!” she said stopping him in the doorway, “If you don’t love me, you won’t know the answer to this question. What was I wearing the first day we met?”

    Tim stood silent, his head down, and he looked broken. Between Tim’s words on paper and in voice she was ready to throw away her wedding for her best friend she had lost, but Tim was silent. A tear started to work its way into her eye when he said, “Blue jeans and a ‘I Love New York’ shirt. Your hair was in a ponytail only because your friend suggested it. You wore aviator glasses walking to your first day of class freshman year.”

    He turned around just in time for her arms to wrap around him. She pressed her lips against his and they stood there in the eyes of four men applauding them. One even was crying to the words of a young couple.

    After the wedding was cancelled, Tim started write again. It was not long before his new book was published with special thanks to his best friend who became his wife and wrote the foreword. In those words, she put the letter for all the world to see. It was a statement of a love that was true and undying that would and did survive the test of time.

  8. Amyithist

    I sat at the bar, my wedding dress gathered and piled over my lap. The shot of whiskey in front of me glowered back at me and I felt an incredible weight pressing over me. Today was supposed to be the happiest day of my life. But the moment I received the call, my stomach had been in knots.
    His voice had been so familiar and the moment he spoke my name, all of the old feelings I’d had before came rushing back to me. “Meet me at our place,” he had said. Before I could reply, he hung up. Without a second thought, I ran from the church, fighting off the urge to break down and sob.
    I downed the shot of alcohol and pressed my hand against my forehead, closing my eyes as I tried desperately to calm myself down. Why was he calling me now? Today of all days?
    The door to the pub opened. A warm, summery breeze slipped around the silhouetted figure standing in the threshold. I could tell it was him. I suddenly felt my body surging with adrenaline. I held my finger up to the bartender, signaling another shot was in order. He nodded at me and retrieved the bottle of Wild Turkey from the middle shelf. Just as Ian approached, he poured the caramel colored liquid into the shot glass.
    I turned as Ian stood next to me. I swallowed and looked up at him. “Ian…” I breathed. He smiled at me.
    “Grace, you look incredible.” I felt my face flush as his eyes lit with that familiar passion. I’d never experienced the same passion with another person as I did with Ian… It was raw and effortless and every time I was around him, I found my body burning with an undeniable fire.
    “Ian, it’s been so long,” I whispered, running the tip of my finger along the rim of the shot glass.
    He smiled at me and sat next to me. He motioned to the bartender. “I’ll have what she’s having,” he said.
    We sat there for a moment, Ian facing me, watching me intently. No doubt wondering if this man I was about to marry had a hold on me the way he had once… And I couldn’t say for sure that he did. Ian was the love of my life. My soul mate…
    But he’d left me. Abandoned me without any explanation. Suddenly, the anger I had felt at that time burned into me and I frowned at him. “Ian, why are you calling me now? Why would you do this to me?”
    He sighed. “I’m sorry, Grace. Obviously this is bad timing.”
    I scoffed at him, pushing my veil behind me. “You think?”
    He downed his shot and stared at me with intent. “Grace, I know that you’re supposed to be getting married today. I know that this is bad timing, but I need you. I haven’t stopped thinking about you. I…” he stopped and lowered his head, “I love you, Grace.”
    I felt my heart fall to my feet and I closed my eyes as tears brimmed and splashed down my cheeks. “Ian…” He stopped me by wrapping his hands through my hair and pulling me close. He pressed his lips against mine and I felt my resolve fall away. I returned the kiss, groaning as he slid his hand over my waist. I wanted him. I wanted all of him.
    I pulled back and looked at him, my heart thudding in my ears. “How do I know you aren’t going to leave me again,” I asked. My voice quivered against the emotion swelling through me.
    “I’ll never make that mistake again,” he said, taking my veil off. He set it on the bar top and grinned at me as I gave him an incredulous look.
    “What makes you think I’m going to be with you now,” I asked.
    His smile made my body tingle. “What choice do you have? I’ve seen the guy you’re engaged to. Pfft.” He playfully rolled his eyes at me. “Does that suit and tie even know how to have fun,” he asked.
    My face suddenly dropped and I shook my head. “No, Ian. I don’t…I don’t even know why I’m with him.”
    “So this decision should be pretty easy,” he said, smiling wider.
    I weighted the decisions in my head. Vincent was a powerful, angry man. He had hit me on more than one occasion and the only reason I was getting married now was to keep him from hurting me further… But Ian; strong, protective, loving Ian, wouldn’t let anything happen to me, would he?
    I turned my eyes to him. “Ian…”
    He kissed me again. “Just say yes.”
    I smiled and slid the ring from my finger. I set it on the bar top and jumped into his arms. What else could I say? My heart had always been his. This just felt right… “Yes,” I sobbed. “Ian, Yes. I’ll go with you!”

    1. Tannai

      Your story was captivating. I got the sense that the bride-to-be was completely torn by her past lovers call. She was nervous and anxious and yet Ian was calm and collected in a sort of smart ass whimsical way. He came off as her perfectly flawed other half that made the decision to leave that brute Vincent too easy. I really enjoyed this story. Great job.

  9. Tannai

    You see I’m supposed to be getting married but…there’s just a lot of things I don’t think I’ve truly taken into consideration. For instance I love you Bob, but am I truly in love with you? Lets reflect.
    When we met on that misguided summer night I was nearly drunk out of my mind , and you just happened to appear as that safety net I’d need to carry me away from the bar, and back to the presentable conservative home I assumed you occupied. Clearly your 5’8 skinny frame could do no harm. In some sense I think I was helping you out. Your khaki pants, and neatly pressed and tucked collared shirt SCREAMED fish out water. Although further memories of that night had been lost when I blacked out in the back seat of your car, I do however fondly remember wakening to an unusual breakfast in bed.
    My eyes cracked opened to an awkward 22 year old stranger hovering above my disgruntled hair with a tray of what could have been severally harmful foods. You said nothing and laid the food on the black drawer beside your wide bed and stood silently. I moved myself into a sitting forward position slowly, trying not to rattle the earthquake in my brain to much. The room was neat and lit well enough not to stun my impaired vision. And your bedding lay on the bottom edge of the bed, likely because I’m a horrible sleeper. The only thing out of place was the pool of vomit beside your unrecognizable pillow.
    A stranger you stood beside me, the blues of your eye looking at me in a way that overtook all sensibility of the current situation. I guess you could say they looked into me, rather than at me.
    I placed the tray on my lap, picked up the fork and placed a considerable amount of overcooked egg in my mouth.
    That was the first time I could see my tomorrow, and the first time the fear driving my drunk past life had ceased to exist.
    And just like that, the comforting, truthful eyes of a stranger sobered my life forever. So Bob, I’m supposed to be getting married to you today, but in all honestly, You had all of me with the eggs.

    Sincerely, Yours Already…

  10. Tannai

    I’m Supposed To Be Getting Married But…
    Michael loosened the pearl tie around his neck, and removed his dark tuxedo jacket, placing it on the bar stool beside him.
    He gave a heavy sigh. “I’m supposed to be getting married,” he said looking forward, away from me. He called the bar tender over and ordered a considerably large amount of shots for himself. One after the other they were downed.
    “I’m, I’m supposed to be getting married.”
    It had occurred to me that when I’d invited him to the pub I’d need to present some part of the conversation, but his performance seemed to have taken the words I so eagerly wanted to confess to him, since our break up nearly two years ago.
    “I’m supposed to-”
    “Be getting married.” I interrupted. The words began to sit too heavily on my conscious, so I reached over, grabbed a few of his refilled shots and began drowning my thoughts with the liquor.
    One after the other we drank. The bar tender eagerly passed us our next set while tallying the bill. There were no words spoken for what felt like a long couple of minutes. We both drank, the way we did together in our younger days; sitting on a bare kitchen floor, the refrigerator wide open. Our legs interlaced as we fed each other shot after shot. Drinking games that always led to passionate eventful nights followed by hungry mornings.
    It began to feel as though both he and I drank to memories through the silence. His hand wobbled for a second as his fourth glass of liquor slipped out of his hand; spilling all over his right pants leg. His tolerance had finally been breached.
    He took another heavy sigh and turned himself to face me. We looked at each other for a good moment. His eyes sung of apologies and missed memories. The tension between caused my brown eyes to spill lustful tears.
    He placed his hand in his pocket and removed a small black phone. Dialed a number and waited for its receiver.
    “Michael, Michael, I love you!” A frantic feminine voice shakily yelled.
    His eyes glued to mine, he reached over and held my hand. Warm and familiar, I placed my remaining hand on his.
    “Michael, I love you. Where are you?”
    “Julia. I’m supposed to be getting married to you, but…”

  11. K Lee

    I sat in the cafe wishing it was even more empty than it already was. There was an old couple sitting by the window holding hands. A middle aged man was monopolizing the electrical outlet by the door. Then just a few booths away sat my best friend Katie. She smiled brightly at me over her morning coffee as I went between glaring at my hot chocolate and her. I had found out just a few moments ago that Katie had been conniving for months on how to best ruin my life. She had set up a facebook account in my name to try to find someone for me. I was of the personal opinion that I didn’t need someone. I was perfectly content being a crazy cat lady for the rest of my life. So I cried every time I read a romance and lamented my lack of a mate, so what? I’m a women. I have unbalanced hormones, it’s no big deal. Katie doesn’t agree. She says that she has located one of my old flames from high school. After I pointed out to her that I didn’t even date anyone in high school and therefore didn’t have any old flames, she just laughed her knowing laugh and dragged me to this cafe. At first I tried to leave, but Katie quickly wrestled me back in the booth and threatened to spill all of my deepest secrets if I didn’t co-operate. When the waitress came over to break us up I unwillingly consented and sat down. I have to admit that by then my curiosity had been building exponentially. But I was still very upset.
    I was thinking of 101 ways I could possibly kill Katie when he walked in. My heart stopped, attempting a stealth attack, and then tried to pound its way through my chest. I gaped at Katie in total disbelief. How could she? He was not an old flame. H-h-he was a nemesis, the bane of my high school existence. He…he…he was even more wonderful than I remembered. He flashed that smile and I felt my face heat up. He walked over to the booth, (man I liked it when he walked) and sat down his smile growing with each second. I glared over his shoulder at Katie and decided that I was not going to be nice. “Tessa.” Oh my goodness I was melting. Where did he learn to say my name like that?
    “I wasn’t the one who invited you,” I said filling my voice with as ice as possible. Which is very difficult when your whole being is in flames.
    “Oh, I know,” he replied resting his chin in his hand and just looking at me. Where did he learn to look at people like that?
    “Well, umm, why are you here?” I was trying desperately to reduce the blush covering my cheeks but every second he sat there it got worse. I attempted a blank look, but it probably didn’t work half as well as I thought it did because he laughed.
    “I don’t need any of your idiotic teasing,” I said convinced that was why he was here, “So, if you’ll excuse me I am sure Katie is now satisfied, and I will be leaving.” I stood to leave but he grabbed my hand. My skin tingled where he was touching me and my eyes widened. I carefully composed a mask of indifference before facing him. I looked pointedly at his hand on mine before meeting his eyes. Which of course just made my mask slip and transfigure until it was unrecognizable.
    “Just sit down,” he tugged my hand a little, “please.” I plopped onto the bend with a huff and tried to pull my hand away. When he didn’t let go I looked up at him again. His eyes met mine and after a long moment he let me go. I looked at the table, deciding that was safest, and pulled my hand down to my lap. He cleared his throat trying to get my attention. But I couldn’t bring myself to look up. I was so angry at him in that moment. I hated that he could make me compliant with one little please. I hated that I had given up swearing and now could not think of a single thing to say to him. Oh I just loathed him, those eyes that made my heart flutter excitedly, those remarks that made me feel like a schoolgirl, and that smile that made me want to spill my secrets. I hated him so much. Yet, at the same time, my heart begged me to give up, give in.
    “I was getting married a week ago today,” he sighed. I told myself not to look up as I held my breath waiting for the rest. But he was silent. With every second I felt something building inside of me. I imagined him running out of the church with a picture perfect bride by his side. I imagined them taking walks in the rain, and getting their little kids ready for school. I thought about how much his daughters would love him. And I wanted to strangle that bride, I wanted to make her feel every fracture in my heart as she took everything that I wanted. Then I felt like crying because he must love her so much, and he was married, and she must be so wonderful, and he was married. He was married.
    “Congrats,” I forced out after an awkward pause. I still didn’t look up, afraid he would see
    the tears in my eyes.
    “I didn’t go through with it.”
    Suddenly I forgot to keep my eyes on the table. “What,” it was just a sigh, barely audible. He was looking out the window at the autumn sky and I don’t think he heard, but I couldn’t dare to say it again. That vicious thing called hope was already clawing it’s way into my heart, and I couldn’t give it another inch.
    “We were standing at the altar. Keturah, I was at the altar!” He looked over and I dropped my eyes not wanting him to see the emotions I was fighting. “Then I looked over and suddenly realized she wasn’t you.”
    My heart, it just… it just stopped, completely. I couldn’t think, couldn’t breathe.
    “Look at me.” The plea was quiet and gentle but I couldn’t look up. I had tried so hard to hide from all of this.
    His fingers brushed my burning cheek and then cupped my chin. “Look at me.” He brought my face up slowly. I meet his eyes for just a split second. Where did he learn to look at me like that?
    I jumped up from my seat turning so my back was to him. I heard him rise slowly, deliberately. I wrapped my arms around myself. Why did his slow calmness make me feel like I was fragmenting? He was right behind me and I still couldn’t breathe.
    He turned me around and I let him. He pushed my chin up and this time I looked him in the eyes. I was shaking, and he was coming closer. Katie was staring at us. Everyone was staring at us, watching, waiting. Then I was burning from the inside out, and he was kissing me.
    And there was only the two of us, just me and, “Ryan.”

  12. cvalderr

    “Sure, the pub by your place?”

    “Yeah,” I replied, “How about an hour?”

    “Okay! See you soon.”

    I ended the call and sat up staring at the wall. What was I doing? I never enjoyed rocking the boat but I felt like I had just shot a hole right through the bottom of it. Already I felt the subtle inclinations rising up trying to convince me to call her back. My mind turned into a pinball machine filled with excuses to give saying that something had come up.

    “Shut up” I murmured to myself, “Get your butt up and get in the shower.” There was no use in arguing. I felt my stubborn side taking over. I shot up and headed for the bathroom to get ready for something I knew I shouldn’t have been doing.

    After a quick shower, and a long conversation with myself in the mirror, I finally sat down in the booth at the back of the pub. Outside the window next to me a woman in a wedding dress quickly darted passed. This odd site offered a pleasant distraction from the anxiety that was creeping up from my chest through my throat. “What an odd place to be walking around like that” I thought to myself. I secretly chuckled as I pictured this lost soul running to the nearest bar for some liquid courage before her big day. Or maybe she was even running from her future and needed a drink to hide in. Even more amusing would be if she was hunting for the guy that was scheduled to meet her at the altar about an hour ago.

    I watched as the speed-walking bride took a sharp turn through the doors of the pub. My eyes followed the wall and met her again as she entered bar. My jaw dropped almost as fast as I stood up and yelled, “Beth!”

    “David!” Beth waved and continued her marathon pace towards me. Her nervous smile stretched from ear to ear. Without hesitation she hugged me.

    “How have you been, David?”

    “I’ve been good. How are you?” I couldn’t help but smile as I hugged back. The smell of her body brought back warm memories. This was almost enough to distract me from the necessity of asking the next question, “So what’s up? Is this a wedding dress?”

    Beth retracted and sat down. As I sat across from her I took in the view. She really did look as beautiful as ever.

    “Yes,” she said, “I don’t know what’s going on but when you called I had to come.”

    “Why? What do you mean?” I calmly leaned forward.

    “Well, I’m supposed to be getting married today.”

    “I can see that. Are you okay?”

    “Yeah. It’s just that I woke up today with cold feet, which is perfectly natural I guess.” her eyes drifted as she spoke.

    “Sure,” I smiled, “what time is the wedding?”

    Beth dodged the question, “I was going over it in my mind. My bridesmaids were putting me together and I told myself that if there was any sign that I was making a mistake I would listen to it. And then you called.”

    I was stunned, “No way.”

    “Yes!” she smiled beautifully.

    “I know we didn’t get along in the end, but, I feel it was because we didn’t know where to take our relationship. We were happy together, remember?”

    “Beth,” I interrupted then paused, my feet iced over.

    “You still have feelings for me, right” she asked.

    “Always, but…” I said

    “I know in my heart this is right.”

    I was instantly inspired. Beth was following her heart and I had to do the same. I called her up for a reason. I had to be a man.

    “Beth,” I started, “I knew you were dating this guy, but I have to admit I didn’t know you were engaged.”
    Beth smiled and nodded.

    “What I wanted to say is this,” I put my hands on the table. It was now or never, “What has Rebecca been up to?”

    Beth straightened up, “What?”

    “Is she single?” I asked

    “You mean my sister?”

    “Yeah. I figured you were dating so I thought I’d see what she was up to.”

    A few seconds later, as I nursed the side of my face that she punched, I watched Beth storm off towards the door. Now I remembered why we broke up. She was never mature enough to communicate like an adult.

    And she didn’t even invite me to the wedding.

  13. PGS

    One week from now Bryon and I would be married. I should feel wedding jitters, stressed, at the very least excited. I don’t feel any of that. I just feel comfortable, and safe for the first time in a very long time. I first met Bryon about ten years ago, just out of high school. (He remembers the exact date, place and time, I pretend I remember.) In-between life happened. Back then I had told Bryan “no” when he asked me to marry him. I told him I was “protecting my future.” (Apparently that statement had made sense.) Bryon promptly told me to go f*** myself.

    Going our separate ways we created successful careers for ourselves.

    After college I started a real estate company and partnered with George, a successful land developer. The company quickly succeeded, with shopping malls along the East Coast, and other commercial properties. The day our accountant told us we hit a million dollars, George proposed, I accepted, then we returned to the office.

    The wedding would be the day after breaking ground on Appleton East Shopping Mall. George and the wedding planner arranged everything, including press announcements. I told him “that was not my thing”. Truth is I actually found myself thinking more and more about Bryon and that long ago day. I Googled him, finding him on LinkedIn. I even called his old number, hanging up immediately when his voice answered. He still had that number! A week later, after a few more hang ups, I left a message. “…ran across your name the other day, just called to say hi.” Later that day he called back. After a somewhat awkward start, we chatted like old friends! I apologized for acting like a jerk all those years ago. (He did not apologize for telling me to f*** off, I figured he was justified.) I told him about the successes of the company. He told me about his divorce and opening the new chain of Mexican restaurants. It was easy talking to him. We talked for over an hour chatting about the past, things we had discovered over the years and just stuff. Hanging up we promised to keep in touch and get together soon. I never mentioned my upcoming wedding! (I never thought about it!)

    Three days later I left George at the altar. Yes, literally at the altar. The church filled with guests, reporters and the Priest repeating, “…and you Sandra…”. Through my vale, I looked up at George, “I can’t do this.” “We make great business partners, marrying is just wrong.” Expecting him to be shocked, or angry he just looked at me. “Thank you” he whispered. I remember the Priest’s horrified expression. Hiking up my dress I ran back down the aisle, out the church doors past the reporters and cameras.

    From the car I phoned Bryon. “How about I come over for lunch?” Entering El Poncho’s, wedding vale still attached, Bryon met me at the door. “…is that a yes?”

  14. vinsweg

    “But?” I repeated, edging her to go on.
    I still couldn’t believe that she was here. Two hours ago, I’d been sipping bitter coffee and staring out the small, dirt-scraped window of my new apartment, wondering if I’d ever be able to work again. And now, she was here, her hair disheveled, her wedding dress caked with leaves and nettles and brown stains, as though a sunken maiden had emerged from the swamps.
    “I…I can’t.” Her voice still so soft, her words like sweet wine on the edge of imagination, leaving a shadow of taste. “Not when—” Her eyes were red from the ghost of tears less than ten minutes dead, and her fingers fidgeted each other with unnerving speed. “Got a call this morning…from his mom and she said—” She couldn’t go on, and she walked closer.
    I was still trying to put the pieces together. St. Paul’s, where she was supposed to be, crying and spraying flowers on bridesmaids and screaming for joy, was an hour away by bus. After the last stop, my shit-hole apartment was a five-minute walking distance. The roads leading up here were grim. It had a been a rainy month, so brown puddles broke the untarred surfaces of their paths, paths flanked by walls heavy on spray paint and graffiti. But nothing about those could explain her cloying smell of nectar, her gold-sequined wedding dress that looked like something rolled through the jungle. And then there were her incoherent phrases, only making the puzzle even denser—someone’s mom calling to say something and her being afraid and threatening messages someone had texted her…
    She had sent a meandering novel’s worth of text messages that morning, the words jumbled and incoherent, reading like the last words of a mad man. And I knew all about madness, didn’t I? The daily internal struggle with myself…the constant moving, the lust, black and bitter, feverish, all-consuming, bloating my heart, infesting my genitals and my muscled hands and—
    And none of it mattered. What mattered now was Gloria. Hadn’t seen her in years, hadn’t heard from her in years. Until I moved here, saw the wedding news on a local paper, tried her old number which somehow still worked. Last night, we had spoken briefly, and she had been excited. What had changed?
    Now, tears were leaking out of her face, and she was hugging me before I could stop her, her hair brushing my hands, her sobs shaking my chest. Her touch…so sweet, so delicate. I felt it rising, a tendril of longing, growing without control, like cancer—
    “No,” I whispered. And that was it.
    I was someone else. I pulled her head backward, reached for her lips. She recoiled in horror and disgust.
    “Daniel!” she cried, amid her tears, her voice suddenly sickening.
    And I wasn’t Daniel anymore. Daniel wasn’t here anymore. I grabbed her arm and pulled her close, and began to choke and kiss. I saw her face turn purple just before my lips met hers. She tried to fight, vigorously, more vigorously, but it was no use. She flailed and whimpered and tried to bite, but I was faster.
    There was a crack, the sound of snapping neck.
    And now, with her utterly powerless to fight, with one more utterly powerless to fight, I took off my pants, breathing lustily, and placed her motionless body on a cold, dirty floor.

  15. Mahi

    Hey this is my first attempt at a prompt. Hope you like it

    It was a relatively breezy day for winters. My heart pounded loudly. Mike Royce was about to enter. I couldn’t believe i had to call him after all these years. Yes, he was my very first love. The feelings on an unrequited love are hard to let go. Even though we dated for a while but it was never a sparks flying love that i had always imagined for myself. Sure, i wasn’t the most popular girl in school but all i wanted was for a man to love me back. Then one day i saw him cheating on me with a skank from our school. I was unaffected by his apologies. To be true, i wasn’t really surprised but it created a deep void inside me that was hard to fill.

    And there he is, looking as handsome as he did back then. Infact even more, if it was even possible. The same shiny locks of hair, the crooked smile and the perfect blue eyes. I tried to suppress all those resurfacing emotions that i had buried inside from years.

    “Hey Lizzie.”

    I loved it when he called me by my nickname. Even though hardly anyone called my Elizabeth but somehow my heart always skipped a beat when i heard it from his mouth.

    I notice he is wearing a full black tuxedo, i was about to ask but he answered himself.

    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but …then i got your call and you said it was urgent so i came to you. So how’ve you been?”

    Soon the waiter came and he ordered his usual Scotch on the rocks with a twist.

    “Mike, i know this isn’t the right time or the right place and you’re about to get married but i just had to tell you. I still love you…”

    “Oh lizzie, don’t…”

    “No, you have to know. I know it had been rough. But i know somewhere deep inside you had feelings for me but you never really explored them.”

    He gulped down his drink in one sip. The waiter took his empty glass and he ordered for another.

    I continued, ” Come one Mike. You know we had a chance but you threw it. You were too scared of commitment. So here’s your chance…”

    He finally spoke, “You know what you’re right. We deserve another chance. I can’t believe i let you go. God, you were so hot! And now i’m marrying this chick who i met only few months back. I don’t even love her.”

    “So you really want us to get back together?”

    “Of course. It’s worth a shot.”

    Suddenly my phone rang. I picked it up and the voice said, “It’s a match. He’s our guy.”

    I put the phone the phone down, grab his hands from the back and handcuff him. “Mike Royce, you are under arrest for the murder of Michael Allen.”

    Soon my team arrives with their guns pointing at him and he stood there in front me being held by them. He looks too shocked specially when he sees the waiter in police uniform.

    “Wha…Lizzie! What the hell is going on? Who are these people?”

    “You’re about to know. Don’t worry i’ll inform your to be wife and you might have to postpone the wedding…oh, and thanks for the fingerprints, jackass.”

    “But-t-t….this is all a big mistake and you will pay for it Elizabeth Saunders.”

    And my team took him inside the van.

    “That was one helluva speech you made, Liz,” My friend said, “you almost made me believe…”

    “All part of the act, Joe.”

    I walked out the door. The breeze had become chilly. I shivered.

    And a tear rolled down my cheek.

    Memories keep floating

    Feelings cannot be suppressed

    And emotions are hard to let go.

  16. theduke192

    Sorry for the length, but this is my first time writing a prompt. Hope you enjoy.

    ===================================
    The Undying

    “I’m not calling her,” Tim said staring out at the city from his penthouse.

    His friend sighed on the phone and said, “You asked for closure and here it is and probably your last chance. It can’t hurt to talk to your old friend.”

    “Fine,” Tim said and hung up the phone.

    Looking out over the city, he remembered everything the good, the bad, and everything in-between. It had been four years since she had spoken to him and he never knew why. When the talking stopped, he could not hold his feelings in any longer and wrote her a letter, confessing everything. He had given it to her friend on his behalf and that was the end.

    “I don’t need this,” he said looking at his apartment.

    Living on the upper side of New York City with a promising career in engineering and four book publications on the best sellers list, but then he looked deeper. Since her departure from his life, everything felt hollow and pointless.

    He opened her contact information and stared at the call button, “I’m going to regret this.”

    He pushed the button and it began to connect. He waited. The first ring, no response. His heart started to beat like it had a long time ago when the second ring finished. He wanted her to answer and then another part wanted it all to just go away after the third. Tensing as the fourth ring ended when her voice message kicked in.

    Her voice was still heavenly and could still melt the defenses of his heart to nothing. He waited until it was over and said, “It’s just me. Just wanted to see one last time. Goodbye.”

    He threw the phone down in frustration and now he thought he pushed the best friend he ever had even further away. However, he turned his back for only a minute when the phone vibrated.

    Snatching the phone up he read, “Noon tomorrow. O’Grady’s. :)”

    The message stopped him in his tracks. He knew what tomorrow was and could not believe she wanted to see him and he did not care. She wanted to meet at the bar he took her to for the first time.

    “Here goes nothing,” he whispered into the night that was growing.

    Tim arrived early the next day, almost as soon as the doors had opened. It was empty and dark as most of the patrons were recovering from the night before. He wore his usual attire of a black suit and white shirt, but this was Saturday meaning no tie. Tim leaned back nursing his dark beer watching the door. The TV behind him caught his attention for only a second when he heard the bell above the door ring.

    He looked back and there she was. His anger and fear evaporated at the sight of her walking through the bar. Even the bartender said hello as he remembered her. She wore a wedding dress that was not the average dress. It was tight and white, nothing more nothing less, but her eyes still shined as bright as they did before.

    Tim stood when she reached his table and said, “Thank you Ashley.”

    “It’s good to see you Tim,” she said giving him the smile that melt his heart the first time.

    “Please have a seat,” Tim said as the two of them sat.

    By now, some patrons had crawled out of their beds and were now at the bar for their afternoon beer and some glanced at the two out of place people, but no one said a word. He stared into her eyes with a mix of words going through his head when she asked, “Why did you want to see me?”

    “I wanted to say congratulations for you,” Tim said lying through his teeth, “How long do you have?”

    “Three hours,” she said and leaned forward, “You told me once that you would lie to me.”

    “Yes,” Tim said remembering those exact words, “I will never lie to my best friend.”

    “Then why are you not happy for me?”

    He hesitated and remembered their times together, “Because he is the same idiot that you dated before me.”

    “He is a good man,” Ashley said defending her future husband, “You were the one who left without a word.”

    “What?” Tim asked loud enough to get a few looks, “I did everything to try to talk to you! You were the one that ignored me.”

    “I got nothing, except,” she said reaching into the white purse Tim never saw, “Except this.” She placed a letter on the table. Her name written cursive and Tim knew what was on the other side the crimson wax that he melted before placing his family’s crest in the center.

    Tim looked down as a wave of different emotions took over him. He did not know if this was good or bad that she had kept it. Standing up as he realized she was gone to him, he walked next to and said, “He doesn’t deserve you and I won’t stand in your way of happiness. I will always have your back until the day I die.”

    He started for the door when she stood and said, “I read it yesterday.”

    Tim stopped and said without turning to her, “Ok you probably read it hundred times in the last four years for all I know.”

    “I read it for the first time yesterday,” she said catching Tim off guard.

    He glanced back and asked, “What?”

    “You gave it to Eve, right?” she asked and continued after Ashley received a nod, “She gave to my mother.
    My mother hid it from me because she didn’t believe in you and didn’t see what I saw. She saw what I’m
    marrying and gave me the letter yesterday and almost by fate, you called and wanted to talk.”

    “Sadly,” Tim said with a tear rolling down his cheek, “It changes nothing.”

    “Why do you think I went back to Ryan?” she asked, “He wanted me. After you left, there was no one, my heart was broken and I thought I had done something to offend my best friend.”

    Tim looked down and said, “I’m sorry, that part of me is dead.”

    “I don’t think so,” Ashley said snatching up the letter, “If that were true, a true man would never have admitted to the words written on this paper. You spoke of undying love. Love so strong that it would survive the test of time. You once told me I saved your life, will you save me from making a mistake that will forever destroy my life?”

    “I don’t love you,” Tim said clenching his jaw from the tears and turned to go.

    “Tim!” she said stopping him in the doorway, “If you don’t love me, you won’t know the answer to this question. What was I wearing the first day we met?”

    Tim stood silent, his head down, and he looked broken. Between Tim’s words on paper and in voice she was ready to throw away her wedding for her best friend she had lost, but Tim was silent. A tear started to work its way into her eye when he said, “Blue jeans and a ‘I Love New York’ shirt. Your hair was in a ponytail only because your friend suggested it. You wore aviator glasses walking to your first day of class freshman year.”

    He turned around just in time for her arms to wrap around him. She pressed her lips against his and they stood there in the eyes of four men applauding them. One even was crying to the words of a young couple.

    After the wedding was cancelled, Tim started write again. It was not long before his new book was published with special thanks to his best friend who became his wife and wrote the foreword. In those words, she put the letter for all the world to see. It was a statement of a love that was true and undying that would and did survive the test of time.

    1. Tannai

      TheDuke192,

      You’re story was interesting, but…if i must say a bit too confusing. Your story begins by talking about a young man (Tim) who’s advised by a friend to call up his old ‘best friend’ (a term I believe was a bit overplayed) He starts off longing for the girl he was once so desperately loved and still appeared to love . This leads him to call her up and meet her at the bar. Certain details in your story were considerably useless or took away from the story rather than making it better.
      For instance you said “She wore a wedding dress that was not the average dress. It was tight and white, nothing more nothing less, but her eyes still shined as bright as they did before.” This threw me off because it lacked meaning. It seemed like you just threw that in there without taking in consideration to what the characters wardrobe would signify.
      Later the story gets more confusing when he says he doesn’t love her, but the reason he called was because he loves her…?
      I do like that couple end up together and that their was a misunderstanding because she never received the letter. However i would love to read this story again with a little more detail and a structured characters. This was a great start for a new writer! Continue to write!
      -Be blessed

  17. theduke192

    The Undying

    “I’m not calling her,” Tim said staring out at the city from his penthouse.

    His friend sighed on the phone and said, “You asked for closure and here it is and probably your last chance. It can’t hurt to talk to your old friend.”

    “Fine,” Tim said and hung up the phone.

    Looking out over the city, he remembered everything, the good, the bad, and everything in-between. It had been four years since she had spoken to him and he never knew why. When the talking stopped, he could not hold his feelings in any longer and wrote her a letter, confessing everything. He had given it to her friend on his behalf and that was the end.

    “I don’t need this,” he said looking at his apartment.

    Living on the upper side of New York City with a promising career in engineering and four book publications on the best sellers list, but then he looked deeper. Since her departure from his life, everything felt hollow and pointless.

    He opened her contact information and stared at the call button, “I’m going to regret this.”

    He pushed the button and it began to connect. He waited. The first ring held no response. His heart started to beat like it had a long time ago when the second ring finished. He wanted her to answer and then another part wanted it all too just go away after the third. Tensing as the fourth ring ended when her voice message kicked in.

    Her voice was still heavenly and could still melt the defenses of his heart to nothing. He waited until it was over and said, “It’s just me. Just wanted to see you one last time. Goodbye.”

    He threw the phone down in frustration and now he thought he pushed the best friend he ever had even further away. However, he turned his back for only a minute when the phone vibrated. Snatching the phone up he read, “Noon tomorrow. O’Grady’s. :)”

    The message stopped him in his tracks. He knew what tomorrow was and could not believe she wanted to see him, but he did not care. She wanted to meet at the bar he took her to for the first time.

    “Here goes nothing,” he whispered into the growing night.

    Tim arrived early the next day, almost as soon as the doors had opened. It was empty and dark as most of the patrons were recovering from the night before. He wore his usual attire of a black suit and white shirt, but this was Saturday meaning no tie. Tim leaned back nursing his dark beer watching the door. The TV behind him caught his attention for only a second when he heard the bell above the door jingle.

    He looked back and there she was. His anger and fear evaporated at the sight of her walking through the bar. Even the bartender said hello as he remembered her. She wore a wedding dress that was not the average dress. It was tight and white, nothing more, nothing less, but her eyes still shined as bright as they did before.

    Tim stood when she reached his table and said, “Thank you Ashley.”

    “It’s good to see you Tim,” she said giving him the smile that had melted his heart the first time.

    “Please have a seat,” Tim said as the two of them sat.

    By now, some patrons had crawled out of their beds and were now at the bar for their afternoon beer and some glanced at the two out of place people, but no one said a word. He stared into her eyes with a mix of words going through his head when she asked, “Why did you want to see me?”

    “I wanted to say congratulations,” Tim said lying through his teeth, “How long do you have?”

    “Three hours,” she said and leaned forward, “You told me once that you would never lie to me.”

    “Yes,” Tim said remembering those exact words, “I will never lie to my best friend.”

    “Then why are you not happy for me?”

    He hesitated and remembered their times together, “Because he is the same idiot that you dated before me.”

    “He is a good man,” Ashley said defending her future husband, “You were the one who left without a word.”

    “What?” Tim asked loud enough to get a few looks, “I did everything to try to talk to you! You were the one that ignored me.”

    “I got nothing, except,” she said reaching into the white purse Tim never saw, “Except this.” She placed a letter on the table. Her name written cursive and Tim knew what was on the other side of the crimson wax that he melted before placing his family’s crest in the center.

    Tim looked down as a wave of different emotions took over him. He did not know if this was good or bad that she had kept it. He realized she was gone to him and got up. He walked next to her and said, “He doesn’t deserve you and I won’t stand in your way of happiness. I will watch from the shadows as your silent protector as I promised so many years ago.”

    He started for the door when she stood and said, “I read it yesterday.”

    Tim stopped and said without turning to her, “Ok you probably read it hundred times in the last four years for all I know.”

    “I read it for the first time yesterday,” she said catching Tim off guard.

    He glanced back and asked, “What?”

    “You gave it to Eve, right?” she asked and continued after Tim nodded, “She gave it to my mother. My mother hid it from me because she didn’t believe in you and didn’t see what I saw. She saw what I’m marrying and gave me the letter yesterday and almost by fate, you called and wanted to talk.”

    “Sadly,” Tim said with a tear rolling down his cheek, “It changes nothing.”

    “Why do you think I went back to Ryan?” she asked, “He wanted me. After you left, there was no one, my heart was broken and I thought I had done something to offend the one person who believed in me.”

    Tim looked down and said, “I’m sorry, that part of me is dead.”

    “I don’t think so,” Ashley said snatching up the letter, “If that were true, a true man would never have admitted to the words written on this paper. You spoke of undying love. Love so strong that it would survive the test of time. You once told me I saved your life, will you save me from making a mistake that end my own life?”

    “I don’t love you,” Tim said clenching his jaw from the tears and turned to go.

    “Tim!” she said stopping him in the doorway, “If you don’t love me, you won’t know the answer to this question. What was I wearing the first day we met?”

    Tim stood silent, his head down, and he looked broken. Between Tim’s words on paper and in voice she was ready to throw away her wedding for her best friend she had lost, but Tim was silent. A tear started to work its way into her eye when he said, “Blue jeans and a blue shirt that read ‘I Love New York.’ Your hair was in a ponytail only because your friend suggested it. You wore aviator sunglasses walking to your first day of class freshman year.”

    He turned around just in time for her arms to wrap around him. She pressed her lips against his and they stood there in the eyes of four men applauding them. One even was crying to the words of a young couple.
    After the wedding was cancelled, Tim started to write again. It was not long before his new book was published with special thanks to his best friend who became his wife and wrote the foreword where she put the letter he wrote her as a statement that true love is undying and will survive anything.

  18. RachelRae

    Empty Eyes by Rae:
    (sorry for going over 500 words! It’s about 700…aaand this isn’t edited, just wrote.. stuff..) [:
    I couldn’t feel my fingers.
    Literally.
    The knuckles were turning white from gripping the bar counter and I think they’d already been numb for a while now.
    I think something is wrong with me. I can’t come to a bar and meet with an old ex of mine. That’s, like, the first thing on the No-No list. It’s the thing your best friend would tell you is stupid and make you stop. They’d hog tie you or chain you up in their basement—because that’s what good friends would do, to save you the embarrassment of showing up and then realizing that your ex was made an ex for a reason and that they were never going to show up.
    I sighed and spun back around on the barstool.
    “I think I’ll take that beer now.”
    The bartender eyed me. “Gotta have ID, missy.”
    “A root beer,” I replied. Like I don’t know my own age, thank you. The music was a little too slow for my taste—plus it was some rock n roll ballad that I vaguely remembered hearing on the Oldies station the day before. Nothing wrong with it. It just annoyed me when I couldn’t remember lyrics. It was a weird little quirk about me…
    “Heather?” A deep voice asked. I froze, not wanting to turn around for fear of who I knew it would be. Don’t be silly, he called you and you agreed. Of course you know who it is.
    “Here’s your ‘beer’.” The bartender glanced at me and gave a wink. I grinned and thanked him before taking the bottle in my hands and turning slowly, using only my feet to whirl the seat into motion. I took a sip and studied the man standing before me. He wore a white tuxedo and I eyed it warily. My ex wasn’t known for being discrete; he was known for his parties and friends.
    He looked exactly like I had remembered. Sure, that was only two years ago, but still, two years.
    “Hello, Spencer. How are you?” I said calmly. Yes, I cheered myself on, My little five hours of rehearsing that one greeting over and over in my head since he had emailed me went just as planned. Now for the rest of this conversation…
    “I’m surprised that you came.” He looked away. “I figured you would stand me up.”
    I answered with a casual shrug even though my insides were playing bowling with the damn butterflies. “Well, you said it was urgent.”
    “I should be getting married today, but I had to see you first.”
    “Me? Wait…married?” I stared. Okay, marriage was still at the far reaches of my mind. I was still nineteen for goodness sake! I had school, work…life to think about. I turned to the bartender, plopped down several bills and said, “I’ll be back when I’m twenty-one for a real one.” He laughed and gave me a little salute before I grabbed my purse and stood.
    “Where are you going?” Spencer asked, following me as I stormed out into the back alleyway of the pub.
    “Tell me the truth, Spencer,” I demanded. “Did you get a girl pregnant and need out? Did you do a drunk proposal? Why did you come to me? I know my dad’s a lawyer, but he won’t help my ex, especially if you don’t have any money. Because seriously, Spence, you—.”
    “Heather,” Spencer sighed, closing his eyes. I stopped and glared at him. I was tempted to chuck my soda bottle at his thick-head of curly blonde hair. His blue eyes opened and stared at me.
    “What?” I snapped, “I have class in—.”
    “I knew something like this might happen. My brother told me it would be tricky messing with memories, but I didn’t believe him. You didn’t either.”
    “John? What does this have to—?” I started.
    “You have to remember! You were testing your powers and your mind’s strength and then how well you could read minds and alter thoughts—.”
    “Powers? Are you high? I don’t have powers? That sort of thing is in freaking fairy tales and fiction crap!” I blurted, freaking out. “I don’t have powers.” My mind blanked and I couldn’t think. What’s happening?
    “You were testing your own memories and you must have altered something when I wasn’t there. Maybe at home, but I know—.”
    “No. That’s not possible,” I said after a pause. “Are you jerking my leg? That’s not funny, Spence—.”
    “Heather,” he said. He looked pained as if there were a knife sticking in his side. I looked down, just to make sure. Nope. No knife.
    “You were supposed to marry me today, but you disappeared.”

  19. theduke192

    This is my first attempt at a prompt and yes I know its way over, but please enjoy.
    ===============================

    The Undying

    “I’m not calling her,” Tim said staring out at the city from his penthouse.

    His friend sighed on the phone and said, “You asked for closure and here it is and probably your last chance. It can’t hurt to talk to your old friend.”

    “Fine,” Tim said and hung up the phone.

    Looking out over the city, he remembered everything, the good, the bad, and everything in-between. It had been four years since she had spoken to him and he never knew why. When the talking stopped, he could not hold his feelings in any longer and wrote her a letter, confessing everything. He had given it to her friend on his behalf and that was the end.

    “I don’t need this,” he said looking at his apartment.

    Living on the upper side of New York City with a promising career in engineering and four book publications on the best sellers list, but then he looked deeper. Since her departure from his life, everything felt hollow and pointless.

    He opened her contact information and stared at the call button, “I’m going to regret this.”

    He pushed the button and it began to connect. He waited. The first ring held no response. His heart started to beat like it had a long time ago when the second ring finished. He wanted her to answer and then another part wanted it all too just go away after the third. Tensing as the fourth ring ended when her voice message kicked in.

    Her voice was still heavenly and could still melt the defenses of his heart to nothing. He waited until it was over and said, “It’s just me. Just wanted to see you one last time. Goodbye.”

    He threw the phone down in frustration and now he thought he pushed the best friend he ever had even further away. However, he turned his back for only a minute when the phone vibrated. Snatching the phone up he read, “Noon tomorrow. O’Grady’s. :)”

    The message stopped him in his tracks. He knew what tomorrow was and could not believe she wanted to see him, but he did not care. She wanted to meet at the bar he took her to for the first time.

    “Here goes nothing,” he whispered into the growing night.

    Tim arrived early the next day, almost as soon as the doors had opened. It was empty and dark as most of the patrons were recovering from the night before. He wore his usual attire of a black suit and white shirt, but this was Saturday meaning no tie. Tim leaned back nursing his dark beer watching the door. The TV behind him caught his attention for only a second when he heard the bell above the door jingle.

    He looked back and there she was. His anger and fear evaporated at the sight of her walking through the bar. Even the bartender said hello as he remembered her. She wore a wedding dress that was not the average dress. It was tight and white, nothing more, nothing less, but her eyes still shined as bright as they did before.

    Tim stood when she reached his table and said, “Thank you Ashley.”

    “It’s good to see you Tim,” she said giving him the smile that had melted his heart the first time.

    “Please have a seat,” Tim said as the two of them sat.

    By now, some patrons had crawled out of their beds and were now at the bar for their afternoon beer and some glanced at the two out of place people, but no one said a word. He stared into her eyes with a mix of words going through his head when she asked, “Why did you want to see me?”

    “I wanted to say congratulations,” Tim said lying through his teeth, “How long do you have?”

    “Three hours,” she said and leaned forward, “You told me once that you would never lie to me.”

    “Yes,” Tim said remembering those exact words, “I will never lie to my best friend.”

    “Then why are you not happy for me?”

    He hesitated and remembered their times together, “Because he is the same idiot that you dated before me.”

    “He is a good man,” Ashley said defending her future husband, “You were the one who left without a word.”

    “What?” Tim asked loud enough to get a few looks, “I did everything to try to talk to you! You were the one that ignored me.”

    “I got nothing, except,” she said reaching into the white purse Tim never saw, “Except this.” She placed a letter on the table. Her name written cursive and Tim knew what was on the other side of the crimson wax that he melted before placing his family’s crest in the center.

    Tim looked down as a wave of different emotions took over him. He did not know if this was good or bad that she had kept it. He realized she was gone to him and got up. He walked next to her and said, “He doesn’t deserve you and I won’t stand in your way of happiness. I will watch from the shadows as your silent protector as I promised so many years ago.”

    He started for the door when she stood and said, “I read it yesterday.”

    Tim stopped and said without turning to her, “Ok you probably read it hundred times in the last four years for all I know.”

    “I read it for the first time yesterday,” she said catching Tim off guard.

    He glanced back and asked, “What?”

    “You gave it to Eve, right?” she asked and continued after Tim nodded, “She gave it to my mother. My mother hid it from me because she didn’t believe in you and didn’t see what I saw. She saw what I’m marrying and gave me the letter yesterday and almost by fate, you called and wanted to talk.”

    “Sadly,” Tim said with a tear rolling down his cheek, “It changes nothing.”

    “Why do you think I went back to Ryan?” she asked, “He wanted me. After you left, there was no one, my heart was broken and I thought I had done something to offend the one person who believed in me.”

    Tim looked down and said, “I’m sorry, that part of me is dead.”

    “I don’t think so,” Ashley said snatching up the letter, “If that were true, a true man would never have admitted to the words written on this paper. You spoke of undying love. Love so strong that it would survive the test of time. You once told me I saved your life, will you save me from making a mistake that end my own life?”

    “I don’t love you,” Tim said clenching his jaw from the tears and turned to go.

    “Tim!” she said stopping him in the doorway, “If you don’t love me, you won’t know the answer to this question. What was I wearing the first day we met?”

    Tim stood silent, his head down, and he looked broken. Between Tim’s words on paper and in voice she was ready to throw away her wedding for her best friend she had lost, but Tim was silent. A tear started to work its way into her eye when he said, “Blue jeans and a blue shirt that read ‘I Love New York.’ Your hair was in a ponytail only because your friend suggested it. You wore aviator sunglasses walking to your first day of class freshman year.”

    He turned around just in time for her arms to wrap around him. She pressed her lips against his and they stood there in the eyes of four men applauding them. One even was crying to the words of a young couple.

    After the wedding was cancelled, Tim started write again. It was not long before his new book was published with special thanks to his best friend who became his wife and wrote the foreword where she put the letter he wrote her as a statement that true love is undying and will survive anything.

  20. Doug Langille

    SECOND CHANCES
    ================

    Archie winced and swallowed. The beer tasted watery and flat. Ever since Pop died, this place wasn’t the same. Jug tried hard, but he didn’t have the mind for business.

    “Sorry ’bout that, Arch. Listen, this one is on the house.”
    Jughead set a tumbler reeking of bad rum in front of him, the wedge of wrinkled lime completed the desperate picture. He looked at it suspiciously; it suited his mood to a tee.

    “Thanks, man. You really know how to cheer a fella up.”

    Archie’s long-suffering friend smacked him on the back. “Anytime, pal. Anytime.” He nodded his chin. “You should really lose the monkey-suit. She ain’t coming back. Ronnie’s gone.”

    “I know,” said Archie, swallowing angrily. “Bitch.”

    He thumped the glass on the counter and pointed to its emptiness. Jughead topped it up and kept his peace for a change. The door chimes jingled and the air filled with the scent of cherries. It’d been years, but he didn’t have to turn around to know who entered. He fought the urge to turn around.

    “Hi, Betty. I guess you heard. Come to gloat?”

    “Nope,” she said. “I came to drink. Vodka and OJ, Jugs.”

    “This is the right place,” said the gangly barman, giddy with reaching his peak customer count so early in the day. “You look beautiful, Betty.”

    “Thanks,” she said as she gulped her drink. “Too bad this dress is wasted on the likes of Reginald Mantle.” She frowned at the back of Archie’s head. “What’s the matter with you, Ginger? Too good to face the old ghoul-fiend?”

    Archie spun around in his stool. “Don’t call me that.” He stopped at the sight of her. She was breathtaking in her wedding dress. “What happened?”

    “Don’t you know? You’re partly to blame.”

    “What the Hell are you going on about, Blondie?”

    “I hate that name.”

    “Fair’s fair.”

    She shrugged. “Reggie dumped me at the alter. Again. He answered a text from your fiancee, for Christ’s sake! During the vows.”

    “Veronica texted him?”

    “Right after the firetrucks left your fiasco, apparently,” said Betty as she pounded back her third.

    “Well, that explains the note.”

    “No shit, Sherlock.”

    Jughead piped up. “Dude, you did burn down your own wedding gazebo. I’m surprised no one was killed.”

    “It’s not my fault. I tripped. Mister Lodge always makes me nervous.”

    “You’re thirty years old, Red. Grow a pair,” said Betty. “They took off to Vegas. It’s over. They deserve each other.”

    “So here we are, two schmucks dressed in our finest gladrags, getting sauced on bad booze. Cheers, Betty.”

    She clicked glasses with him. Cheers, Archie.”

    Jughead sauntered over, grasping the necks of both bottles. A wry grin crept into the corners of his mouth as he refilled his friends’ cups of solace.

    “Ya know,” he said. “I could just give Dilton a call. He’s ordained. It’d be a shame to let the moment pass.”

    Archie looked at Betty. Her blue eyes sparkled as she smiled.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Oh, Wow!, Doug.

      Talk about creative, You’ve nailed it. Wonderful story you have here. Dialogue is as tight as it gets. The mood you set for the bar and the MC, Archie, is gritty, realistic, especially your description of the drinks, laid before Archie. Damn it, I could taste the wedge of wrinkled lime because desperation sets in when I want a gin and tonic and the only lime I can locate, sits at the bottom of the vegetable bin in the frig, and it’s wrinkled and nasty but I pinch it anyway for a nasty drop of lime juice.

      Do you think I got carried away with your story? Well I did. Congrat’s Doug.

  21. lionetravail

    “I’m supposed be getting married today, ” Jasmine said, and paused, looking at me. “But…”

    “Yeah,” I interrupted, “it’s like that line from ‘History of the World, Part 1′, right? ‘No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!'”

    She laughed, despite herself. “Except it’s not the Spanish Inquisition, it’s a freaking zombie apocalypse!”

    It was my turn to laugh. The media had been using that phrase for 2 days now, ever since the craziness at Mercy emergency. It was flu season, and a couple of people waiting there went berserk, attacking other patients and staff. Simple math, it turns out: flu plus PCP yields extraordinarily cranky sick people who don’t fall over when they’re supposed to. That little equation did not deter the media, though, so ‘zombie apocalypse’ it was until they’d gotten all the mileage they could it.

    “So, bearing in mind that your fiance is probably not a card-carrying, brain-gobbling undead, why are you here, now?” I said.

    “Well, obviously, because you’d called me,” she said with a smile. “I haven’t heard from you in years. In fact, it had seemed like you’d dropped off the planet, but there you were and I felt like I owed it to you since you asked me to come meet you.”

    I nodded.

    She turned to face me. “There’s something you’re not telling me.”

    I nodded, feeling miserable. “I hate putting this on you,” I said.

    Small concern lines formed at the corners of her eyes. “What?”

    I swallowed. “The reason why I haven’t been in touch in the last few years is that I’ve only just gotten back to town.”

    “Where the hell were you?” she said.

    I looked down at my drink, still untouched on the bar top. “Afghanistan,” I said quietly.

    Her eyes went wide. “Holy …! You joined the Army?”

    I nodded. “Special forces, 5th group, 4th battalion.”

    “Are you, like, okay?” she said.

    “No, not really,” I said. I hated that my voice shook.

    “Damn,” she said, wonderingly.

    I nodded.

    “You can tell me what’s wrong.”

    I shook my head.

    She shifted her weight on the bar stool, and waited for me.

    “It’s just that they only let me out of the VA about a week ago, and… and I…”

    “The VA?” she said, aghast.

    In answer, I rapped my knuckles against my right thigh, and the hollow thudding told the whole story.

    The horror on her face was the most eloquent thing I had seen since waking up in the aid station, and I couldn’t speak past the lump in my throat.

    “Oh my god,” she breathed out. “And here I thought you…! I am such a selfish jerk!” she swore out loud.

    “I’m, well, I’m trying to put it all back together,” I said, struggling.

    “You have anyone?” she said quietly.

    I shook my head.

    “Well,” she said, and then more firmly: “You have me. You’re coming to my wedding.”

    I blinked, shocked. “I can’t go to your wedding!”

    “Why the hell not?” she said.

    “I… I’m not dressed for it!”

    “That’s no excuse,” she said, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. “You were never all that great a dresser back in school, and I won’t let you hide behind that now.”

    I couldn’t say anything, but felt tears start.

    She leaned close, and hugged me. “We were always friends, weren’t we?” she said in a low voice.

    I nodded, my chin against the back of her shoulder.

    “So you’re my long lost friend, back from serving his country,” she said softly. “I couldn’t be happier to know you’re alive, and in my life again- you could show up at my wedding in a bikini, and it’d be cool with me.”

    And just like that, one small piece at the center of me was okay. It would take time to put the rest of me back together, but at least it was a start.

    1. Tannai

      I’m supposed to be getting married today but…

      “I’m getting married today.” He paused then released a shaken breath before proceeding. “We’ll, I’m supposed to be.”
      He stood in front of me, the distance between closest in five years. Every last inch of the perfect man I remembered and so desperately craved since our break up hovered once again near me. My lust and longing for him had never left the prescience of my heart and made themselves more evident now.
      “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but,”
      His words stretched in the air, echoing loud in my ears. He spoke as though the words were for me to catch and throw back to him.
      I began to trail the neatly pressed outline of his dark tuxedo. It fit in all the right places; tightly around the arms, but a bit more puffed out against his chest. He was a lot more built than before.
      My eyes caught the attention of his pearl shoes. Fine white stitched lines surrounded their exterior. His pants were long almost draping the floor. I followed the clean apparel up until a large bulge in his pants proved to distracting to skip over.
      “I’m supposed to get married today, but”
      My hand reached into his pants and curled their fingers around its warm hard exterior. I pulled the box from his pocket, opening a large ring. The ring was for someone else. Not me.
      “You’re supposed to be getting married.”
      I placed the box in his hand and brushed past my past .

    2. agnesjack

      Loved the line, “And just like that, one small piece at the center of me was okay.” You’ve captured the struggle of veterans with PTSD so well. Yet, this was a lovely story about compassion and friendship.

  22. mrowlands23

    Froth clung to Dana’s bristly salt and pepper mustache, and the tip of his nose, as he washed last night’s hangover down with a cold lager. He was already halfway through his third pint and had finally started to dull the drumming throb that tamped against his temples, when Anastasia pushed the heavy tavern door wide open, a bath of pale afternoon sunlight streaming into the dark room. She stood eclipsed in the doorway, her thin body blotted out like a ghostly shadow, before it shut with a thud.

    Right on cue, The Rolling Stones’ “Spider and the Fly” kicked onto the jukebox, its changing records clacking like chalk erasers from somewhere inside the old machine.

    Without a word, she bunched up her bouffant of a wedding dress and slid onto a lacquered barstool.

    “Jim Beam, two fingers, neat.” She let out a sign, looked over at Dana. “So. What’s up, asshole?”

    He took her in, his old flame. Her sandy hair whipped up into a confectionary delight of baby’s breath and Aqua Net. Her long eyelashes, shiny like dewy blades of grass, which perfectly framed her grey eyes, caked with too much Kohl liner. She looked sad, unnatural.

    “Me?” Dana chuckled, his broad shoulders quavering. “I think you’ve got the more exciting story right now, honey.”

    He had been the one to call her after midnight last night, half-crocked. He always called when he was in town on a job. Their relationship had officially ended six years ago, but they had plenty of contact since then. Together for 14 years, right out of high school, their on again/off again relationship was like a wild storm that never completely let up. Riddled with accusations, affairs, restraining orders and an abortion, their love was never comfortable, but it was insanely passionate. Dana was an intense guy whose love could move mountains, good or bad. Every so often, Anastasia would drift into his mind like a warm front, tempting but never permanent.

    She glanced sideways at him. The whiskey warmed her insides like melted honey. A tingle began to swell across her stomach and down between her legs.

    “What do you want me to say? I’m getting married.”

    “Runaway with me. It’ll be like old times. Only better.”

    “Nah, I got a good thing going. And you’re a dick.”

    “Then why are you here?” He brushed a tendril from her face with the back of his hand. That beautiful face with its high cheekbones and full lips.

    “I’m here so you can buy me one last drink.”

    “You sure?” A thick magnetism wavered between them, the infallible connection of two people who knew each other so completely. Dana looked away first. “So, who’s the lucky guy?”

    “You don’t know him. But he’s got money and a million-dollar life insurance policy.”

    Anastacia traced her blood-red nails across the bulge in Dana’s denim jeans, and slipped a piece of paper into his front pocket.

    Dana pulled back and smirked. Some things would never change.

  23. Mahi

    Hey, this is my first attempt at a prompt. I just got this idea so i had to write it down. Hope you like it.

    It was a relatively breezy day for winters. My heart pounded loudly. Mike Royce was about to enter. I couldn’t believe i had to call him after all these years. Yes, he was my very first love. The feelings on an unrequited love are hard to let go. Even though we dated for a while but it was never a sparks flying love that i had always imagined for myself. Then one day i saw him cheating on me with a skank from our school. I was unaffected by his apologies. To be true, i wasn’t really surprised but it created a deep void inside me that was hard to fill.
    And there he is, looking as handsome as he did back then. Infact even more, if it was even possible. The same shiny locks of hair, the crooked smile and the perfect blue eyes. I tried to suppress all those resurfacing emotions that i had buried inside from years.
    “Hey Lizzie.”
    I loved it when he called me by my nickname. Even though hardly anyone called my Elizabeth but somehow my heart always skipped a beat when i heard it from his mouth.
    I notice he is wearing a full black tuxedo, i was about to ask but he answered himself.
    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but …then i got your call and you said it was urgent so i came to you. So how’ve you been?”
    Soon the waiter came and he ordered his usual Scotch on the rocks with a twist.
    “Mike, i know this isn’t the right time or the right place and you’re about to get married but i just had to tell you. I still love you…”
    “Oh lizzie, don’t…”
    “No, you have to know. I know it had been rough. But i know somewhere deep inside you had feelings for me but you never really explored them.”
    He gulped down his drink in one sip. The waiter took his empty glass and he ordered for another.
    I continued, ” Come one Mike. You know we had a chance but you threw it. You were too scared of commitment. So here’s your chance…”
    He finally spoke, “You know what you’re right. We deserve another chance. I can’t believe i let you go. God, you were so hot! And now i’m marrying this chick who i met only few months back. I don’t even love her.”
    “So you really want us to get back together?”
    “Of course. It’s worth a shot.”
    Suddenly my phone rang. I picked it up and the voice said, “It’s a match. He’s our guy.”
    I put the phone the phone down, grab his hands from the back and handcuff him. “Mike Royce, you are under arrest for the murder of Michael Allen.”
    Soon my team arrives with their guns pointing at him and he stood there in front me being held by them. He looks too shocked specially when he sees the waiter in police uniform.
    “Wha…Lizzie! What the hell is going on? Who are these people?”
    “You’re about to know. Don’t worry i’ll inform your to be wife and you might have to postpone the wedding…oh, and thanks for the fingerprints, jackass.”
    “But-t-t….this is all a big mistake and you will pay for it Elizabeth Saunders.”
    And my team took him inside the van.
    “That was one helluva speech you made, Liz,” My friend said, “you almost made me believe…”
    “All part of the act, Joe.”
    I walked out the door. The breeze had become chilly. I shivered.
    And a tear rolled down my cheek.
    Memories keep floating
    Feelings cannot be suppressed
    And emotions are hard to let go.

  24. Mahi

    It was a relatively breezy day for winters. My heart pounded loudly. Mike Royce was about to enter. I couldn’t believe i had to call him after all these years. Yes, he was my very first love. The feelings on an unrequited love are hard to let go. Even though we dated for a while but it was never a sparks flying love that i had always imagined for myself. Then one day i saw him cheating on me with a skank from our school. I was unaffected by his apologies. To be true, i wasn’t really surprised but it created a deep void inside me that was hard to fill.
    And there he is, looking as handsome as he did back then. Infact even more, if it was even possible. The same shiny locks of hair, the crooked smile and the perfect blue eyes. I tried to suppress all those resurfacing emotions that i had buried inside from years.
    “Hey Lizzie.”
    I loved it when he called me by my nickname. Even though hardly anyone called my Elizabeth but somehow my heart always skipped a beat when i heard it from his mouth.
    I notice he is wearing a full black tuxedo, i was about to ask but he answered himself.
    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but …then i got your call and you said it was urgent so i came to you. So how’ve you been?”
    Soon the waiter came and he ordered his usual Scotch on the rocks with a twist.
    “Mike, i know this isn’t the right time or the right place and you’re about to get married but i just had to tell you. I still love you…”
    “Oh lizzie, don’t…”
    “No, you have to know. I know it had been rough. But i know somewhere deep inside you had feelings for me but you never really explored them.”
    He gulped down his drink in one sip. The waiter took his empty glass and he ordered for another.
    I continued, ” Come one Mike. You know we had a chance but you threw it. You were too scared of commitment. So here’s your chance…”
    He finally spoke, “You know what you’re right. We deserve another chance. I can’t believe i let you go. God, you were so hot! And now i’m marrying this chick who i met only few months back. I don’t even love her.”
    “So you really want us to get back together?”
    “Of course. It’s worth a shot.”
    Suddenly my phone rang. I picked it up and the voice said, “It’s a match. He’s our guy.”
    I put the phone the phone down, grab his hands from the back and handcuff him. “Mike Royce, you are under arrest for the murder of Michael Allen.”
    Soon my team arrives with their guns pointing at him and he stood there in front me being held by them. He looks too shocked specially when he sees the waiter in police uniform.
    “Wha…Lizzie! What the hell is going on? Who are these people?”
    “You’re about to know. Don’t worry i’ll inform your to be wife and you might have to postpone the wedding…oh, and thanks for the fingerprints, jackass.”
    “But-t-t….this is all a big mistake and you will pay for it Elizabeth Saunders.”
    And my team took him inside the van.
    “That was one helluva speech you made, Liz,” My friend said, “you almost made me believe…”
    “All part of the act, Joe.”
    I walked out the door. The breeze had become chilly. I shivered.
    And a tear rolled down my cheek.
    Memories keep floating
    Feelings cannot be suppressed
    And emotions are hard to let go.

  25. frankd1100

    A splash of moonlight pierced the dark of his study marking a circle on the wall across from his seat on the couch. A once callous Lothario, disarmed by the unscrupulous betrayal of time.
    He took a long pull from his third, vodka heavy drink of the evening. ‘Carolyn, it’s Ron,’ he said when she answered.
    ‘Ron? … Oh, Ron! I’m sorry, it’s been a while…Are you okay? ’
    ‘Yes, I’m well,’ he said, and took another sip to ease his nerves.
    ‘I was visiting the old campus for a meeting and heard about your divorce. I’m sorry it didn’t work out.’
    ‘The marriage ended four years ago,’ she said. ‘I was over it three years before that.
    He paused, remembering their college days together.
    ‘Ron, are you there…I hope you don’t ’…
    ‘Carolyn,’ he said, interrupting her, ‘I was stupid to have walked away from what we had.’
    On his desk lay her final note from those many years ago. She’d ended it with, ‘Ron, I guess I’ll always love you.”
    ‘I’ve been thinking of you and of you and me, Carolyn. Would you meet me for a drink to honor old times? You pick the spot.’
    ***********
    From a table by the window he watched her step from a dark blue Lincoln and turn toward the entrance of the cafe.
    Carolyn had aged well. She seemed unaware of the stolen glances admiring her elegant features as she weaved between seated couples toward his corner table. His confidence waned.
    She kissed his cheek as he stood, avoided an awkward embrace, and slid into the booth. Was she staring at his thinning hair? He took his seat across from her and pulled his blazer together to hide an expanding waistline.
    ‘Well, finally we’re together after all these years,‘ he said. ‘My God, Carolyn, that’s a beautiful dress just for drinks with me. I’m flattered!’
    ‘Ron, I’m glad we have this chance to talk. I’m…’
    ‘Carolyn, before you say anything, I want to apologize again for my immaturity… I was…’
    ‘I don’t know what you mean, Ron,’ she said, startling him with a flash of impatience.
    ‘The dress is for a celebration,’ she said, ‘and, being in the area, a quick meeting with you seemed appropriate.’
    Puzzled, he forced a smile and said, ‘Wonderful, Carolyn… What are we celebrating?’
    ‘You remember Dennis Kennedy?’ she asked.
    ‘Of course. Dennis was in my class…we were friends,’ he said.
    She smiled across the table looking into his eyes and said, ‘Dennis and I are to be married in an hour.’
    ‘Ah!’ he said, reading the strong set of her jaw. ‘So, Carolyn, after all this time…the worm has turned.’
    She stood looking down at him in a way that made him aware of his every blemish. She said, ‘Get in shape Ron. You’re heading for heart problems with that gut hanging over your belt.’
    He watched until she slid behind the wheel of the Lincoln and without looking back, drove off to meet Dennis Kennedy.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Don’t worry about the paragraphs blanks, Frank. Your story is powerful, descriptive and actually heartbreaking in the end. By reflection, she stll carries a deep resentmernt for their breakup and I think it’s better for him at least, it ended this way. I enjoyed the roller coaster emotions your MC went through. Quite an emotional ride, at that.

    2. agnesjack

      What I liked about this story, frankd, was how real it seemed. His assumption that she was still pining for him would have been sad if he hadn’t come across as completely self-involved. I’m glad she had the last word.

      1. Tannai

        Good story frankd100. I love how the table had turned and Caroline seemed to be on top. I got the sense that Ron must have been full of himself back in the day and now sort of lost a bit of his nerve in the pit of his growing belly. Caroline was cool, collected and confident. Great job! -Be Blessed.

  26. Mallory Terry

    I looked down at the phone in my lap. 12:00 shows bright and clear. My heart starts pounding faster with each passing second until it feels like it’s about to explode as he walks in. The old door swings open and I see his silhouette against the sun; the features of his face completely hidden by the blinding sun.

    He walks up to me. My heart racing…..

    thud…..
    thud…..
    thud…..

    He walks over so he is standing next to me. I can see him clearly now. His hair still cut the same way from high school. It’s only been two years but his face has matured more. There are bags under his eyes that I never remember him having. But concealed behind those same long eyelashes are those same green eyes that I fell for the first time. And the second time. And still, now, here in this little pub down the road from my apartment.

    He sits down in front of me. He adjusts his neck tie so that it’s just hanging around his neck now. He is wearing a full tuxedo. I was too “in the moment” to even comment on his attire but that is was okay because he started telling me anyways.

    “I know it’s been so long. Two years.” He fumbled around with something in his hand under the table. I took in a deep breath and tried to calm myself down. All the old feelings were coming back. The long summer days, the even longer summer nights, the stars in the sky, his truck by the lake. It was too much to contain. I wanted nothing more than to cross the distance between us with one long stride and fall into his arms again. The only place I had ever considered home.

    I lowered my gaze, trying to conceal the look of love, pain and loneliness that were etched in my eyes. He knew me well enough to know I wasn’t over “us”. It had all ended too suddenly. He went off the college in the west and I stayed in the east. He found someone there, a girl. Broke us off because “I deserved more”. The tears had went away but the whole in my heart hadn’t.

    Seeing him again rekindled the fire but also brought back the pain, flooding me in surges. He always had that special way of capturing my heart and caressing it until I was nothing more than apart of him and him of me.

    He started talking again, “I was supposed to get married today.” He comically used his hand to point out his tuxedo as if I hadn’t already noticed. “But,” his voice trailed off. I met his eyes. “I just couldn’t. I’ve never stopped loving YOU.”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      I enjoyed the read very much. I knew where you headed almost from the beginning. The gentle, descriptive prose, rich with emotion drew me to boith and then I knew you woruldn’t disappoint. Glad to see you back, Mallory

  27. stoked

    She bursts through the side entrance and I immediately regret calling her. She’s wearing a wedding gown, the very gown she wore while telling me she couldn’t possibly marry me because she didn’t love me and in fact she had never loved me.

    The crowd in the pub is curiously looking her over, it’s not every day a woman comes bursting into a neighborhood bar wearing a wedding dress.

    She spots me slinking down in the corner booth and with a big smile screams “There you are!” Every eye is now glued to her as she gallops across the pub. Between the gown and the crazed look on her face they know they have front row seats to an unfolding drama that can’t be missed.

    “Well aren’t you going to hug me?” She demands as she reaches the table.

    Slowly I stand up and give her an awkward hug. “Hey it’s good to see you, um whats with the dress?”

    She slides down into the seat across from me, reeling in the five feet of dress that has been dragging behind her.

    “I’m getting married today, well I was anyway.”

    “Isn’t that the same dress you bought for our wedding?”

    “Yes it is but there really was no sense in buying a new dress when I had a perfectly fine dress hanging in my closet. Besides I was never technically married in it so it’s not like its bad luck or anything”

    The crowd eases closer attempting to hear every word we say. There is a low murmur as the important parts of our conversation are relayed back to the poor saps that are out of earshot.

    “I suppose thats true but it’s still kind of odd don’t you think”

    “It’s just a dress it doesn’t mean anything, it’s no different than wearing a pair of shoes more than once besides is that what you really wanted to talk about, this silly dress? At a time like this when destiny is bringing us back together?”

    “Destiny? I was just calling to see how you’ve been, I haven’t talked to you since our wedding which was two months ago. You certainly didn’t waste any time rushing back down the aisle did you?”

    “Well of course it’s destiny, you don’t think calling me out of the blue just moments before I’m about to marry another man is purely coincidence do you silly? It’s obviously a sign from the universe!”

    I’m at a loss for words and at that moment it hits me, I had almost married a crazy person. Well maybe not crazy but at least slightly schizophrenic.

    “I have to use the restroom, could you excuse me for a second?”

    “Sure I guess but hurry we have so much to talk about.”

    I quickly make my way towards the bathroom which is conveniently located just steps away from the backdoor. Stepping out into the sunshine I hear someone in the crowd shouting “run, run like hell!”

      1. stoked

        Thank you! I wanted to write something fun and different.

        I love zany people, they keep things interesting in an world that gets a little boring at times.

  28. lionetravail

    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but…”

    She stopped abruptly, and scooped my drink from off the bar in front of me and slammed it back.

    I sat, mildly shocked. The happy-go-lucky Cyndi (her name still came replete with the heart over the ‘i’, just like she had all through high school) I knew had been one of the ‘good girls’, and she’d just tossed back a double Old Knob like a steelworker.

    She slapped the glass down on the bar and waved one lace sleeve in the direction of the bartender. “Another,” she said, and looked at me. “What? Never seen a girl drink before?”

    Two or three choice rejoinders came and went unsaid as the balding thirty-something behind the bar queued up another for her while we made eye contact. I was still taking in the fact that she was here, in what looked like a wedding gown, and was having whiskey with a whiskey chaser. I motioned for another one for myself, as well.

    I settled for the mildest of the replies which came to me. “Sure, I just never had an old girlfriend come into a bar, on her wedding day, no less, and take my Old Knob down her throat without so much as a how’d’ya’do,” I said mildly.

    My timing had always been good. The second shot was already at her lips, and she inhaled whiskey and promptly coughed it out her nose. Toffee colored drops appeared on the white satin front of her dress as she made a keening noise, her hand going to the bridge of her nose. It took her a minute or so before she could speak.

    “You bastard,” she said weakly, and coughed to clear her throat.

    I chuckled, and took a safe sip of mine.

    “Jeez, Cyndi,” I said. “It’s just like old times!”

    She gave me a dirty look. The bartender interrupted her glare with an appropriately timed “Club soda, Miss?”. She took the glass, and a napkin from him, and started to work on the dress.

    Re-introductions apparently out of the way, I decided on a somewhat more tempered conversational gambit. “Okay, I’m sorry about that, but I just couldn’t resist. But Cyndi… why the hell are you here in a pub if you’re getting married today?”

    She looked up from her gown and took a few more napkins to clean her mouth and nose. “Because, you idiot, I needed someone to talk to and you’re it.”

    “Oh.” We hadn’t spoken for at least 10 years, though we had parted amicably. I’d gotten her number a few weeks ago from Debbie, also a mutual friend from school days, but had only called earlier today. “How’d I get to be the lucky one?”

    “You and your damned ‘sense of timing’,” she said. “I’m having second thoughts, and there you were on the voice mail, and everyone else is too close to the situation for me to trust. Right time, right person, that kind of thing.” She motioned to the bartender for another whiskey, and when it came looked at me. “Don’t screw me up anymore, I really need a friend right now.”

    I nodded. We’d had decent chemistry once; when we were kids, anyway. Theoretically, I was more mature now and I impulsively decided to act it.

    She took a sip this time, and leaned her elbows forward on the bar. I waited.

    “So, I’m supposed to be getting married today,” she said, and stopped.

    “Uh, when?” I said.

    “Around 4, almost two hours from now.”

    “Uh huh, and, I guess, how do you feel about that?” I said.

    “Nervous as all hell,” she said. “I didn’t think it’d weird me out so much.”

    That was an interesting choice of words. “What exactly is ‘weirding you out’ about someone you want to marry?”

    “Because,” she said, and stopped again.

    I waited. We sipped whiskey together in the relative quiet.

    “Because,” she said again, “I’m not sure I want to be married.”

    I thought about that for a minute, forgoing the obvious “Then why were you getting married in the first place?” in favor of something which might actually be helpful. “Is it being married? Monogamous? The guy?”

    She blinked, and in profile I saw a tear track down the cheek closest to me.

    “Hey, um, hey,” I said, struggling for something comforting and supportive. That was what you were supposed to do when a girl was crying, right? And we had history together, but, this seemed awful intense for someone I hadn’t seen or even much talked to in a decade. I put a hand onto her shoulder, and she leaned in against me, and in short order I had my arm around her shoulder as she dripped hot tears onto my chest.

    She mumbled something indistinct.

    “Um, what was that exactly?” I said, striving for lightness.

    “There is no guy, you jerk,” she said.

    I felt stupid. “No… guy?”

    She shook her head, sniffed, and raised her head to look at me. Makeup had run, and she looked like an attractive goth girl who’d gotten caught in an unlucky thunderstorm. I looked down, and saw that my shirt had not escaped either, and mentally wrote it off. “I haven’t dated a guy in nearly 8 years, David. I’m supposed to be marrying this girl I’ve been with for the last 2 years, Laurie.”

    The realization hit me like a stealth fighter moving at mach 2. “Wait, you mean you’re a …?”

    “Yes, you idiot,” she spat, “that’s exactly what it means!” And she began crying again.

    Well. This little meeting of old flames had taken a sudden left turn into surreal territory for me. For a moment, I wasn’t sure what to say, but the look of conflicted misery on her face resonated strongly. I’d never wanted anyone to feel as awful as she looked, and, little revelation over, I felt myself grow up a bit, suddenly.

    I sat up straight, got her a couple of napkins and handed them over. “Okay,” I said. I looked over to the far right wall and noted the time: it was 2:14 pm. “Okay,” I repeated, and found my mental gear as she dabbed at her eyes.

    “Chris,” I said to the thirty-something, “two ice waters here, okay?” I looked over at Cyndi and smiled, and started over. “Well, we are both here, and it may not be just like old times, but, you know that sense of timing of mine?” She sniffed, nodded, and hiccuped. I chuckled, but this time with the pleasure that I could be here, for her.

    “Well,” I said, “we have a couple of hours to talk about things. Why don’t you tell me about Laurie, what you like about her, and about what’s making you nervous today…?”

    1. gamingtheblues

      Wow. That was very very good. I liked how natural and real the entire story flowed. I could see the scene in my eyes and only good writing does that. A couple tiny nit picks in the dialogue but it did not detract from the flow. Infinitely better dialogue than I can come up with. Made me a little jealous to be honest 😉 And the best part is that believed both characters. Kudos

      1. lionetravail

        You are very kind- many thanks for the praise. I used to feel like my dialogue was my weak point, but use 3 basic principles: 1) how does it sound?, 2) keep it simple, 3) keep it natural.

        Two things have hugely helped me with dialogue- one is pretty much every Robert B. Parker novel (huge fan of Spenser series), and his dialogue just zips, crisp and awesome. The second is reading to my wife: we’ve worked our way through probably 15-20 novels over the past 10 years or so, and it’s always helped me with sounding out how a dialogue flows.

        But again, thank you so so much.

        David

  29. lhsousa

    Martha struggled to push open the thick, heavy wood door. The smell of stale beer and sour dishrags was all she could sense as she stood in the doorway waiting for her eyes to adjust to the dim lighting.
    She wasn’t sure why Frank asked to meet her here. This wasn’t his bar, all though it was playing his kind of music, Dean Martin murmured sotto voce from a jukebox in the corner. The bartender’s eyes followed her as she hobbled across to a booth and eased herself in to the seat. She made sure to choose the bench facing the door so Frank could find her right away.
    Time stretched to twenty then thirty minutes past the requested meeting time. But Martha knew Frank. Always late and never apologized. Maybe because they had been married fifty-two years and only divorced three she waited.
    Martha was scooting towards the edge of the bench to stand up and leave when the door swung open revealing bright sunlight backlighting a hunched man with little hair and bowlegs. Frank didn’t wait for his eyes to get used to the darkness but tottered in towards the bar blinking furiously, his cane thudding softly, rhythmically, against the stained linoleum.
    Martha watched her husband… No, that wasn’t right, ex-husband. Yes, ex-husband. She watched her ex-husband at the bar, one delicate hand resting on the wood edge, the other on his cane, as he searched the bar for her.
    “Ahh, Martha, there you are.” His voice was still deep, the bass of their church choir from when they joined until the divorce.
    She tried to stand to meet him but felt weak. Martha’s seamstress eyes took in the high quality midnight black tuxedo. The beautiful, deep dark material of the jacket sucked in the weak light of the bar and then it stole her breath. Could Janie have been right? Janie and her father didn’t speak anymore more so Martha hadn’t believed her. She’d dismissed it as gossip.
    Suddenly he was right in front of her. She shut her eyes as he leaned over and kissed her on the top of her head, the way he always did, a gesture that made it seem as if it hadn’t been three years, two weeks, and four days since they’d last spoken. That rainy day in the attorney’s office, that last day of a long negotiation to divide lives.
    “How are you? You look good.” He didn’t seem nervous. Frank had always been so sure of himself. Except now he wasn’t looking her in the eye.
    Martha couldn’t bring herself to speak, to ask how he was, how was his life. The tuxedo silenced her; as if the darkness would absorb any sound waves she could muster. So she didn’t even try, just watched and waited, unable to stop what was coming.
    “The thing is I, well, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but, um… well, I’m getting married. Today, actually. And I really need my grandmother’s ring back.” His eyes shifted from her forehead to the diamond ring on her left hand and then he offered a sheepish grin.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      The ending was a soft touch finale to your story. The MC still missed her ex-husband, you described that well. But maybe after he asked for the ring back after 52 years, the spell was finally broken and she could continue with her own life. A very unusual touch and extremely poignant story. You did a beautiful job on this prompt. I can’t wait to read more of your voice.

  30. slowlikethesouth

    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but…”

    “But what,” I ask.

    “Well, it’s complicated,” she says.

    It always is, isn’t it? It’s complicated from the moment the doctor slaps your ass, but that doesn’t mean you play hookie on your wedding day.

    “I didn’t walk out, exactly,” she tells me.

    What a cunt. Where are your morals, your self-respect, and… your shoes? Where on earth are your shoes?

    “I ran out. I lost my heels running out the back steps of the church. My mother was chasing me, and a heel snapped. And my father-in-law was yelling at my fiancée to just ‘let the bitch go!’ so I kicked them off, and threw them in the river. Besides, your feet swell up when you are pregnant, anyway.”

    Complicated, indeed. Threw the shoes in the river along with the rest of your life, did you? Swollen feet, in-laws chasing and cursing, little baby on the way, and you acting like a spoiled child, wanting to meet me in a pub of all places? What kind of pregnant woman offers up a pub?

    “I’m not keeping it. I can’t afford it anyway. Babies are expensive. Doctors are expensive. Beer is cheap–One pint, and a shot of whiskey please!—what do you want?”

    I want the exclusive rights to punch a pregnant bride on her wedding day. “Shot of Jack, please.” Please. Please have mercy on us all and quit whatever it is you are doing. Just stop now, for the sake of humanity.

    She transitions into interrogation mode. “Why did you call me up, anyway?”

    Because I was lonely. Because I needed company. Because I stalked you on Facebook, saw you were still pretty, still thin; and now that you are a waitress and I am a lawyer, and we’ve traded places on the social ladder, I figured I would finally get to fuck the girl who wouldn’t give me the time of day at Senior Prom. But now I am just appalled at the train wreck you have become in less than 24 hours. God only knows what rusting wreckage lies beneath those high rosy cheekbones, inviting smile, and perky tits.

    “So are you going to get me out of here, or what? Are we going to have to wait for the wedding party to show up and drag us out? I’m sure they’ll have some questions for you!”

    What a question. Am I going to ‘get her out of here?’ What kind of fool would look for a survivor in this carnage? I don’t have time for games, lady. “Pay the tab, and meet me in the parking lot. I’ll pull my Jaguar up to the door.”

    “Jaguar?” she asked, with a smile creeping across her shimmering little face.

    “Hurry up, I know a hotel that charges by the hour, and then I’m taking you back to your wedding,” I directed.

    “I’ve never been in a Jaguar before,” she mused.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      You’ve written a story of the ultimate shallow woman and the Mc’s not far behind her. A set of wheels and she throws her heels to the ceiling. Very clever and bouncy response to the prompt. The only thing missing is the hillbillys and the ever- loaded 12 guage. A romp of a sex dream. If he doesn’t throw her the keys, she’ll never darken his door again. Good riddence to her.

      1. jmcody

        This is excellent — Crisp and lively, keeps you in the moment. I loved the part about throwing the shoe away along with her life — that was inspired. I could almost see this being the beginning of a novel. Most people would have walked away from this train wreck of a girl, but he decides to leave with her, for the most shallow and base of reasons — a fateful decision that starts him down the road to.. what? Ruin? Redemption? Maybe both? Of course you’d have to plant a few seeds showing the underlying humanity of these two deeply flawed people, because right now they’re just a pair of high-strung lowlifes.

  31. babydoll_y2g

    Something Blue.

    He walked in and it was as if the room came to a lull. Maybe it was just me. His dark lashes hung over his dark eyes, his black curly hair was still perfect , but there was something off putting about him. Considering the fact that he looked like someone ran over his dog, he looked gorgeous. His marroon cummerbund looked like it was hanging lower than it should. The flower in his lapel wilted like his head. His bronze skin, somehow more pale. It could have been the lighting.

    I raised my hand to get his attention, although he wasn’t even looking at me. His head lifted and he trotted over like a zombie. He was almost a robot. He plopped in the seat.

    “Scotch please.” he said barely above a whisper.

    I gave the bartender a nod signaling that it would be on my tab, he looked like he needed it.

    Moments later, the bartender slid the drink in front of him. We still hadn’t said anything. I figured he’d be more talkative when he had some alcohol in him. Alcohol makes everyone more talkative. He tilted his head backward and I watched the amber fluid disappear and then the glass crash against the bar. Made a coughing noise with a wince face. “Keep ’em coming.”

    I wasn’t planning to get him drunk but I figure what the hell. This was Gavin.

    “Um…wow! You had some night.” I started.

    He said nothing. The bartender slid him another glass and he chugged that one too. Is that why he called me, to feed his drinking habit?

    “You come from wedding or something?” I asked.

    “Yup!” He said and chugged another glass.

    “Who’s” I asked. I didn’t realize until after what a dumb question it was. I was ashamed that we dated, I considered him one of my great loves and I knew almost nothing about him. I was young and stupid.

    “Mine.” He said in between another gulp.

    I nearly choked on my drink. He called me, I didn’t have high hopes, for anything. I had always cared for him, and hate the way we parted. We did promise that we’d be friends after the fact. It didn’t work out that way. He broke that promise when he disappeared. “Congrats.” I forced a smile.

    He looked at me like, I am the biggest idiot on the planet. He turns to the bartender. “Make it a double.”

    “Ah!” I pulled the glass away. My heart skipped a beat as out fingers brush against but I need to get to the bottom of what happened today. “What happened?”

    He reached for the drink again, but I pull it further away. His eyes jerked up into mine.

    “What’s going on? Why did you call me?”

    “I thought you wanted to have a drink. You’re here aren’t you.” He grumbled.

    “You haven’t called me in four years, Gavin.” I fuss. “I was beginning to think you didn’t give a shit.”

    “Well, I do. Can have my drink.”

    I chug it and let the hot acid sting my throat. “Ahh!”

    “Two doubles.” He says.

  32. HandHeldWriter

    As Monica, my old high school flame, walks through the door of the pub, I become utterly speechless. Not only is she as gorgeous as ever, but she is beautifully adorned in a stunning wedding gown. Before I can say a word, Monica sashays up to me and says, “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but getting your call on the way to the church earlier… I knew I needed to see you, Andrew.”

    “Monica, I… I had no idea today was your wedding. Otherwise, I never would’ve called—“

    “No, no…” she cuts in. “I’m glad you called. I’ve actually been having second thoughts… you know, if I was doing the right thing by marrying David. I mean, he’s a good guy and all, but…” she pauses and just smiles at me.

    “But Monica, this is your wedding day! I don’t want to ruin your wedding day.” Despite my words, I can’t help but feel selfish. After all these years, I still want Monica for myself.

    “No, you see,” she takes my hand in hers, “you probably saved me from making a huge mistake today.” She slides onto the barstool in front of me. “Everything happens for a reason, Andrew. And your call today, of all days, is no accident. Maybe I’m not suppose to marry David.”

    I don’t want you to marry David, I think to myself.

    “Maybe all these emotions and feelings that I’m experiencing with you now is telling me something else… like I should be with someone else… like I should be with you.” Her smile freezes time as we lean in and kiss our very first kiss.

    “Andrew! Andrew, wake up, dude!”

    When I open my eyes, I find myself stretched out on a couch. My best friend is standing beside me in a tuxedo with a whimsical expression on his face.

    “Dude, did you forget? You’re getting married in like two hours!”

    I look down at my clothes and notice the classic cutaway tuxedo I’m decked out in. The hangover from last night is beginning to subside and I remember that today is my wedding day. I’m marrying Michelle whom I met a year ago.

    “Bryan, man, I just had the weirdest dream. You remember Monica, from high school?” I say, sitting up on the couch.

    “The one you had the crush on all those years?” He hands me a glass of fizzing water. “Drink this. It’ll help.”

    “Yeah. She… uh….”

    “Dude, I hope it was a good dream,” he says with a devilish grin, “because you better not be dreaming of any other women after today!” He belts out a laugh.

    A cell phone rings, and I see that it’s mine and point to it on the desk. As I drink my fizzing water, I motion to Bryan to answer it.

    “Hello?… Yeah, he’s right here… Okay, who’s this?… Oh wow, we were just talking about you. Weird. Alright, hold on.”

    He hands me the phone and says, “Dude, it’s Monica.”

  33. gamingtheblues

    When loneliness and silence settle on your brain; the squeezing, dizzying pressure won’t stop no matter how long you stand, forehead rocking against the dark whitewall. It is in these moments that you reach out desperately for anything, some sort of hope. I knew she was single again.

    Kelly…

    So I called her, leaving a short message. Asking her to meet me next Saturday. The sound of her on my voice mail, the guilt rising up. I want to sleep with her, I feel sick. How do you describe the feeling of losing your best friend. The room spins and I sink, head to the carpet.

    I knew it was her coming through the door without turning around. She always had a habit of stabbing the tip of her shoes twice to dislodge anything unpleasant. I looked down, I could not turn to her. She was here, for me, I was light-headed, and could not turn around. Footsteps approached, a chair shifted, dragging across the floor.

    “Hi kel.” Silence. I looked up. She was still beautiful and wearing white. White. I closed my eyes, running a hand across my face.

    “What do you want Chris? I almost didn’t come. It’s our wedding day, but Adam told me…”

    I didn’t hear what Adam had told her. Her mouth moved silently, my ears filled with that rush of buzzing white roar.

    I remember holding her hand, driving so slow down the back country road. The world a whispering wall of falling white. The trees passing stood silent vigil. On her doorstep I had brushed the snow from her hair and kissed her for the first time. I loved her, and tears came into my eyes as I kissed her. She gently pushes me away. “Chris.. you are my best friend, I do not want to lose you.”

    It fades, then, we are swimming in my pool. I try to be a gentleman but she looks too good in her bathing suit and my eyes wander. Kelly giggles. “Keep your eyes to yourself!”

    At her apartment, years later. Her new boyfriend sits on the couch. I hate him. She has told me the story about him and her. I am drinking too much. Jager. Gold flecks in the bottle. He stutters when he talks, one of those guys that can’t get the goddamn words off of his tongue. I’m drinking, laughing, in the silence I am mocking him. “Hey g…g ..g.. guys…I’m Adam.”

    The trees overhead are whipping in the fall breeze. The leaves, gold and pink stream all around me. The phone in my hand is heavy, so heavy and hard to hold. I lie down in my driveway and try to scream but only tears come. “I’m sorry Chris. What you said and did was disgusting. This has gone on long enough. I do not want to see you ever again.”

    I will never forget the warm sun, streaming through those leaves.

    I blink. She is still wearing white and still talking. “… invite you.”

    “I’m sorry, what?”

    Her eyes are so green. She…

    “Adam said that we should invite you to our wedding. He says fourteen years is too long to hold onto something so childish. What was it you wanted though?”

    I can’t help it, I am losing myself. My arms are starting to get cold, they always do when I’m scared. Tears begin falling. “I..I wanted to apologize. I lost my best friend… I loved you, I never told you but I loved you and then you were with him…and… I am so sorry.”

    I can’t bear to look at her anymore and lower my head to the table. There is a long silence, then her lips at near and she kisses me on the cheek, silky white brushes my ear. A whisper,

    “I am sorry as well. But maybe I am the wrong person to be apologizing to.”

    And then she is gone.

    Sorry its a little longer than 500 but I tried to edit it down.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Your writing shows intense emotions and they drive your story well. I also liked the style you use, internal dialogue. I especially liked the ending. Your description of unrequited love is dead on. Very realistic and the reader empathizes directly with the MC’s emotional stress. Lastly, you leave the writer to ponder to whom he should apologize to and answer his own questions.

      1. gamingtheblues

        Thank you very much. I like to use real emotions when writing pieces like this, instead of ones that I have to imagine. Its not always easy pulling words out to describe what certain things feel like. I am relieved I was at least somewhat successful. I appreciate the response. It is very motivating.

  34. KurtC

    While waiting at the pub, your flame walks in—wearing a wedding dress.The flame looks at you and says, “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but you never asked me.”

    Startled, and turned off by her shocking reverse-proposal, you reply, “I’m sorry, do I know you?”

      1. KurtC

        Thanks! I’m playing with a “much-less-is-much-more” format right now, so I kept it simple on purpose. I felt it played better with a punch line, rather than a conclusion. This is my first time sharing any piece of writing at all in over a decade, so thank you much for the comment!

  35. soochybee

    It was just like the first episode of friends. She’d breezed into the coffee shop, looking slightly disheveled, but just as beautiful as ever Most importantly, she was in full bridal attire. With her usual poise, she ordered a small coffee, shrugging off the curious stares as though she were standing there in jeans and a sweatshirt. She plopped down next to me and held up one finger in answer to the question forming on my already moving lips. She dug her fingers into her scalp, extracting a bedazzled bobby pin and shoved it into her pocket. “God, that was killing me.”

    This was definitely not what I’d been expecting when I’d come across my old high school sweetheart, Megan, while on one of my sleepless facebook trawls late last night. When I’d messaged her, she’d initially ignored my message. But twenty minutes ago my phone had pinged with a message from her asking if we could meet up. I’d told her the address of the coffee shop I was working at, and here she was, presumably on her way to or from the altar. I crossed my arms and stared at her, waiting for a forthcoming explanation. She tried to play dumb. “What?” She asked, all too innocently. “Oh, the dress. well, I was at the altar and I couldn’t stop thinking about you and how it was such perfect when you messaged me last night just when I was having all these doubts…” She turned her face towards me, pleading, and covered my hand with hers. “Come with me somewhere, anywhere. We can start over, together. Just like it used to be. But better. Don’t you remember?”

    I raised my eyes and gazed into hers for a long moment before I grabbed her hand and pulled her along behind me. She let me pull her up, squealing with surprise and delight. We got in the car and, with a screech of the tires, we were off. “Where are we going?” She asked over the hum of the engine accelerating. “Who cares??” I replied jubilantly. I turned onto the highway and accelerated to 90, much to Megan’s delight.

    We had been driving like this for 20 minutes when I slowed and stopped at a gas station. Megan hopped out to use the bathroom and change into and old sweatshirt and jeans I had in the back seat. I sat in the car and locked the door. When she came out and couldn’t get in the car, she came around to my side and banged on the window. I opened it a crack. “Danny, open the damn door!! She screeched at me, very unladylike. I stared at her calmly.

    “Megan, remember when you asked me if I remember how it used to be between us? Well, I do remember. Except it’s not the good times that stand out. And if I leave you with anything, I want it to be this. My gift to you. This, Megan, is how it feels to be utterly and completely betrayed.”

    I closed the window and drove off, and in my side view mirror I could see her figure growing smaller and smaller, frozen in shock and paralyzing realization. Finally I had my closure.

  36. Snow Write

    “It’s great for getting reacquainted with yourself,” Jessica told me, a dear friend who had been out of touch for years, recommending that I follow in her footsteps of rediscovering past relationships. I was skeptical but realized she and I reconnected because of her journey, so maybe other friendships would come of my own exploration.

    I looked at my list of names of people from my past. Jessica said to start with the one that pops out from the page first. I saw Dominic. Dom. Before I could talk myself out of it, I jotted a quick message to him, something I haven’t done in years. I suddenly remembered how anxiously I had always waited for his replies when there had been replies to anticipate. I was surprised to see he responded immediately. “Tomorrow, noon, Mogie’s.” I breathed a sigh of relief. Only one night of losing sleep, a brief meeting, and then I could get on with my life. I hadn’t realized how anxious I would be.

    I arrived early after fighting with my nerves, only to realize he was already there. The profile view of his face flooded my brain with memories. Then I saw the rest of him and realized he was dressed up, breaking my heart. He looked up at me just as this registered, so I can only imagine the look he saw.

    “Hello pretty lady,” he welcomed me. I blushed; he always had this effect on me. How did I forget these things? I thought I had convinced myself long ago that he calls all women “pretty lady.”

    “You never dress up, unless there is a very special occasion. Or have you changed that much?” I couldn’t help myself.

    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but – ”

    “Congratulations!” I said a bit too quickly, not wanting to hear what might come next. He smiled at me patiently. Without thinking, I asked, “What number is this?”

    It was his turn to blush. “My third,” he admitted. “What’s your secret? Obviously I haven’t gotten it quite right. You know me better than anyone. How do I make marriage work?”

    I was taken aback. “You want marriage advice from me, the day of your wedding?”

    “Yes please. If you could also tell me why we didn’t work, I would appreciate that too.”

    “Dom, you are a wonderful, giving man. You were always on a mission to find someone to save. I never wanted a hero, I wanted a teammate, and that’s what I found. As much as a project might make you happy in the moment, when you fix it, you will be done with it. Or if you realize the problem can’t be fixed, you will want to walk away.”

    “You just described my first two marriages!” he admitted.

    “Make her your teammate. Good luck!” I walked out, hoping to leave him with the advice and none of the underlying feelings or memories that were flooding my mind, closing the door between us.

  37. Jamie Kline

    Ok, I’m sorry in advance. This is my first time attempting this and I went over the 500 word limit. I contemplated not posting it, but I didn’t want it to go to waste either. I hope that’s ok! I love how one prompt can spark so many different stories; I’m really enjoying reading all of them.

    Closure

    “What am I doing here?” I muttered to myself. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and instead of enjoying the weather, I was sitting in this dive of a bar. I had no one but myself to blame for this. Well, maybe he was a little to blame as well. I shouldn’t have called him, but he shouldn’t have been so agreeable about meeting up with me.

    “He” was Travis Flynn. Our two-year relationship had more ups and downs than a roller coaster, and I’d be the first to admit that we were both at fault. When we started dating, I cheated on him. That should have been a big clue to both of us that we shouldn’t be together. For his part, Travis was verbally abusive and told me often, “You’ll never do better than me.” Despite all of that, there were many fun times and fond memories. No matter what happened between us, we always seemed to gravitate towards each other again. Everyone has that one love that’s hard to let go of, and he was mine.

    It had been three years since I last saw Travis; we broke up just after high school graduation. He went away to a university, while I chose to stay and attend a local community college. For some reason, the past few months I found myself thinking about him more and more. When one of our mutual friends mentioned that he would be in town, I made an impulsive decision to get his number and make that fateful call. I was thinking of bolting out of the door and escaping this mistake when I felt someone standing behind me.

    “Hey. It’s been a long time.” I turned around and Travis stood before me, looking more handsome than I could ever remember. He was wearing a gorgeous tux and his bright green eyes were focused on me.

    “It has been,” I agreed. “Do you want to sit down?” I could feel my cheeks burning, wondering what he thought of me. Here he was, looking like he stepped out of GQ, while I was in an old t-shirt, jeans, and my Chuck Taylors.

    He took a seat beside me at the bar and we sat there silently for a moment. He was mere inches from me and I had no idea what to say. Luckily, he spoke first.

    “I can only stay for a minute. There’s something I need to say to you.” He looked into my eyes and for a moment, I thought he was going to say he still had feelings for me. What came out of his mouth instead surprised me.

    “I’m supposed to be getting married today,” he admitted. “In a few hours, actually. First though, I wanted to apologize. I know I was an ass to you while we were dating, and you deserved better. Before I walk down the aisle, I wanted to ask for forgiveness from you. I don’t feel like I can be a good husband to her until I try and atone for the way I treated you.”

    I could feel my jaw drop. Never in a million years did I expect this; I knew then that I needed to say something to him as well. “Thank you,” I choked out, tears threatening to flow. “You don’t know how much that means to me. I accept your apology. I want you to know that I’m sorry too. I didn’t treat you well either; we both deserved better.”

    I immediately felt as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. From the grin on Travis’s face, I knew he felt the same way. He pushed back his chair and stood up.

    “Apology accepted. I’m sorry to run out, but I have a wedding to finish getting ready for.” He turned to look at me one last time. “I wish you nothing but happiness.” With a quick smile, he walked towards the door before I even had a chance to respond.

    As I watched him walk out, I knew I’d never see him again. We may have had a rocky past, but Travis gave me a wonderful gift in the end: closure. It was something I didn’t know I needed, yet now that I had it I felt completely at peace. I walked out of the bar feeling lighter than I had in a very long time, finally ready to move on.

    1. jmcody

      Hey Jamie, I’m another newbie. This is exactly my second attempt at this. First time I went WAYYY over and no one even commented. That was a year ago. I’m kind of just testing the waters to see if I have any ability or inclination to write fiction. Yours was a sweet story, and well written. I am certainly not qualified to give advice, but one thing that occurred to me is perhaps to start with more action and less backstory. Work the backstory in as you go. Again, I’m no expert — that’s just my impression. Overall, a very nice job. Congrats on your first prompt — hope to see more from you!

      1. Jamie Kline

        Thank you! You made an excellent point; I reread my story and see exactly how I could incorporate that back story into the main action. That definitely would have helped it flow better. I will keep that in mind when I write my next one!

    2. jhowe

      That was good Jamie. Welcome to the site. The story was fun to read and moved along well. Your dialog was crisp and natural. I agree with jmcody about the backstory. It is definitely needed but jm gave you good advice about working it in with the action. Easier said than done, I know. Good job.

      1. Jamie Kline

        Thanks! Working the back story in is a little tricky, at least while I was writing it. Now that I look back at it, I can see how I could have worked the background info into the action. Live and learn I guess! Thanks guys for your awesome feedback! It will definitely help make my writing stronger.

    3. bilbobaggins321

      Welcome, Jamie, to our wonderful little place. I am fairly new myself compared to some of these other guys, I’ve only written eight so far. This story flowed nicely, and Travis’s turn from a bad to good guy was unexpected for sure, mainly because it pretty much never happens. I also have to agree with jmcody about the backstory thing, even though I almost never follow the word limit myself.

  38. PeterW

    I almost couldn’t write this prompt. It seemed all too implausible… and verisimilitude is oh so important. Furthermore, the ‘old flame’s’ answer seemed to be already set up: that answer being, “I really loved you (narrator) instead,” and after reading a lot of responses, I think a lot of people resisted writing that obvious, almost determined response. Here it is anyhow… (hurrah for long sentences!)

    Old Flame

    Tanya Richardson skipped out on her wedding, and met James at the Midday Pub. She was dressed in all white. Why she didn’t change clothes, I don’t know… but she was stunning. Tanya Richardson had always been stunning, especially in high-school, when she had a pristine air of innocence and youth, which let her eyes search and roll, and her voice bubble with excitement and joy. And how James had loved her then. She still had the beauty. Damn, you could still feel that youthful energy.

    James was shocked by the wedding dress, of course. I saw his face. I was there. Tanya appeared like a resplendent star, in the shutter-light, the murkiness, the smudge and dreg of Midday Pub down off Brisinger Ave. Not just James, but all of us day-drinkers were shocked.

    James had called her the night before in a moment of vulnerability, most likely driven by alcohol and the siren voices of all his failures. After all, in high-school he had been the loser who had somehow gotten Tanya Richardson, (tongue her name again), thee Tanya Richardson to date him. So in that moment of weakness and longing, remembering all the years of self-pity, he had found her phone number on a social network site, and he had called her, and in agonies of shame, he had said he was depressed and low, and asked her to meet him at Midday. He had not known about the wedding. But she came anyways… in her wedding dress.

    She approached his table, almost shy, but smiling. With tact she maneuvered speechless James back into his seat; then she ordered two whiskeys. Then she explained that she had always loved him, and that in high-school, because of socially and peer pressure, she had had to break their dates off after three, but she hadn’t wanted to. She said she remembered that night when he had first clumsily kissed her, and even though she had been kissed before she had recognized that his kiss held true emotion, while the other boys, more popular, athletic, etc. they kissed out of lust: their motions were practiced and mechanical, but when James had kissed her, under covers on the beige couch of her parent’s house in the dim light of TV screen credits for an old war movie, she, Tanya Richardson, the sexy, the supple, the girl w/ glorious blue eyes, the girl w/ a voice sweet yet sassy, the girl w/ such a body that boys did not need pornographics, only an image of her to masturbate themselves to sleep, she, her, Tanya had felt that that moment under the beige covers after the movie when they had been celibately watched, that in the light of credits, in that moment when James’ head leaned in towards her’s, she had suddenly felt faint, light-headed, not in control and it was so unusual and perfect and as their lips touched, she had felt true love, true love. But she had left him… And here she slammed her whiskey down… she had left him because her father had laughed at his physically tepidity, because her friends had wanted to know sexual details of their relationship, sneering , because the 6’5’’ hockey player, Daniel Callahan, had been pressing closer and closer, flirting harder and harder, and he, Daniel, knew what he was doing, knew how to pick up a girl; so young and stupid, she had left him, but now on the day she was supposed to marry Daniel, yes, Daniel (they had been on and off for years), she had realized that he was just a social construction of what a girl should want— big, strong, boisterous, confident, a lawyer, still tall, still handsome— and that Daniel was such a perfect construction of status, symbol, male that she had originally brushed off James’ late-night call, but that morning, sitting there in the church, surrounded by a whirl of people tightening the dress, brushing make-up, curling her hair, she had realized that she had once felt love and had forgotten… you ask what … forgotten love, love, love, love, love … and so she had left the church and got into the SUV, cans already attached, and had driven to Midday to rediscover love, love, love…

    Tanya and James sat staring into each other eyes. They drank another round of whiskeys. Then they left the bar hand in hand, got into the SUV and drove off, the cans all a-rattle. And we day-drinkers looked at each other and set down your drinks and walked out into the sun to watch them drive off and enjoyed the sun’s warmth for first time in a long time.

    The End.

    P.S. Do you think that actually happened? Or maybe a drunk James at Midday told me a certain day-dream. Maybe he tore out the hairs of his unkempt beard when he related that night at her house after the movie when he knew he should kiss her and he knew that she wanted him to kiss her, but he had been too scared… he had gotten a date w/ the most beautiful girl and he had fucked it up…in the credit-twilight he fucked it up…fucked it up…fucked it up… fucking fucked it… fuck, fuck, fuck. Get me another whiskey.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      I’m totally speechless, awed, in wonderment and proud of you at the same time, Peter, for under the mask of your previous writing, beats a heart that is true to life, tender in moments, realistic at most beats and romantic along the way. Way to go, PeterW!

      Keep it up PeterW and you may turn into another mushpot, as I am. Kerry

    2. don potter

      A ‘day-drinkers bar’ tells me everything about the place and the people who frequent it. James is locked into a life of fantasy — what could have been and what he hopes might be. The poor bastard is stuck in a rut; and, short of a miracle, he’ll never get out. Your postscript about his day dream is my take on what happened to this lost soul. Nicely told story of what is conjured up in the foggy, distorted mind of a hopeless alcoholic.

      1. jmcody

        I agree completely with everything Don Potter said — and he said it better than I would have so I’ll just leave it at that. Also, I love the “smudge and dreg of midday pub.” That might be the best line here. I’ve never even heard that expression (I’m betting we’re from different countries), but it is so atmospheric and so perfectly describes the desolation of the pub and of the MC’s existence.

    3. snuzcook

      Nice creation, PeterW! I handed in my the ticket and rode it all the way through the loops and heights and dips to the slow, anticlimactic end. I think you nailed the fantasies and the self-consuming remorse of what might have been seen through the bottom of a shot glass. PS: Loved the image of the Midday’s day-drinkers standing out in the street like the townsfolk in a Western watching the hero ride off with his gal.

  39. alpal1621

    Last Love

    I sat there. Two vodka and tonics later, he walked in…wearing a tuxedo. I felt my eyebrows furrow with confusion. He greeted me first with his eyes then approached me. I could feel my body temperature increasing with nerves. We hugged.
    “I’m feeling a tad underdressed,” I clenched my skirt and laughed.
    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but,” he scratched his head.
    “But what?”
    “But,” his eyes began to water. We both sat down.
    “I caught her with the priest.”
    “What? Priests aren’t allowed to do that.”
    He laughed at me.
    “Only you can manage to make me laugh during a time like this.”
    I smiled and laughed along.
    “Let me get you a drink,” I offered. “Can we have two whiskey sours?”
    The bartender handed us our drinks a moment later. We clinked our glasses together and drank.
    “To be honest, I wasn’t going to come today,” he admitted.
    “Why?”
    “Come on, Aly. Let’s be real with each other. Some people aren’t capable of being just friends.”
    I looked down at my drink, not sure of how to respond.
    “I still love you,” he said.
    I looked up, now really at a loss for words.
    “I still love you too, Mikey.”
    “Why did you want to see me today?”
    I looked at him. I looked at the ceiling. I looked at Ed, the bartender. I looked at him again. I chugged my drink, until there wasn’t a drop left.
    “Do you remember that night you and I went to Misha Harrington’s seventeenth birthday party? We got super drunk and woke up the next day in her parents bed.”
    Mikey laughed with a look of sadness as if he was recalling it all.
    “Yes. How could I forget?”
    “Do you remember what you said to me when you woke up?”
    He looked at me. He looked up at the ceiling. He looked at Ed, the bartender. He looked at me again. He chugged his drink, until there wasn’t a drop left.
    “You remember,” I said as he searched for more distractions.
    “Yeah.”
    “Say it.”
    “Say what?”
    “What you said to me that morning.”
    His tongue traced his lips full circle. He looked down and cleared his throat.
    “Can I have another whiskey sour?” he asked Ed.
    “Say it.”
    “Alright,” he cleared his throat again. “I said I hoped that one day I would be able to wake up to you every morning until we were old and senile.”
    “Yeah. What else?”
    He gave me a look. I shot him one back. Ed handed him his drink. He chugged it down before proceeding.
    “And I’m not talking out of a drunk teenage guy’s mouth. I love you Aly Lou.”
    I smiled with satisfaction.
    “What is this all about? What is the point of all this?” he asked sounding somewhat aggravated.
    I closed the distance between us.
    “I still want to grow old and senile with you.”
    I kissed him before he could answer. When I pulled back his eyes were still closed. He looked confused. Scared. Vulnerable. His eyes opened.
    “And for the record, I would never leave you for a priest.”
    He laughed and shook his head.
    “It’s just not that easy, Aly.”
    “If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.”
    His phone interrupted the moment.
    “I’m sorry, hold on.”
    He walked away to answer. He shook his head a few times. He talked with his hands like he did when we were sixteen. He tilted his head and quietly yelled into the phone then hung up. He walked back over to me.
    “Who was that?” I asked.
    “Molly.”
    “Who’s Molly?”
    He just looked down at his phone.
    “Oh. The cheater.”
    “She’s not that bad, Aly. It’s just- she’s very insecure. Her father was an alcoholic and-”
    “Of course.”
    “Sarcasm hasn’t changed either.”
    “Here we go again.”
    “This is why we could never be together.”
    “Then why did you come?”
    I took another sip of my drink.
    “What does it matter? I’m here.”
    “It matters a lot. Did you come because you wanted to? Or because your bride-to-be left you for chronic masturbating hypocrite?”
    He looked into my eyes.
    “Answer the question.”
    “I came because you were always the person I went to when something was wrong.”
    “So I’m your shrink.”
    “No-”
    “Then what am I?”
    “My first love.”
    I nodded my head, understanding now.
    “But not your last.”
    He took in a deep breath and mumbled an unfortunate, “No.”
    “Take a shot with me, Mikey,” I looked at him. Through him.
    “I don’t now-”
    “Like old times.”
    Ed handed us two shots.
    I chugged mine while Mikey observed me.
    “What?”
    “I have to go, Aly.”
    He stood up and left. I drank his shot. I looked at Ed. He shrugged at me. I was just his first love. But never his last. He was my first kiss. My first slow dance. My first bring-home-to-dad kind of date. My first drunk adventure. My first love. My first breakup. And he was my last drink.

    1. jmcody

      Well done. Very readable — the dialogue sweeps you right into the story without a lot of description. The way you tied the whole thing together at the end was very satisfying.

  40. Amanda

    Chills crept down my spine as I felt the hot breath whisper “Jules” on the back of my neck. Smiling, I whipped my chair around, “Bradley,” I gasped as my arms extended upwards and wrapped around his broad neck. His embrace was tight and felt like it had just fourteen years ago whenever he squeezed me on graduation day. When we finally separated, I noticed that he seemed much more built than the last time I had seen him, and strangely enough, he was wearing a black tuxedo with a crimson colored tie and pocket square.

    “You’re a little dressed up for Barney’s aren’t you?” I questioned teasingly.

    He sighed deeply before speaking, “Julie,” he frowned and directed his gaze towards his black shoes. In the five years that we had dated, it wasn’t often that he used my real name. Nervously, I reached up and touched his face, “Hey, you know you can tell me anything. What’s wrong?” I smiled.

    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but when you called me a few days ago, everything changed. You know that I never wanted us to end, but your dad…” he paused as tears welled in his blue eyes, “more than your dad, your family, just didn’t approve.” He chose his next words carefully, “Jules, I need you to know that I’m not that guy anymore. I’ve changed. Everything that I’ve done: undergrad, law school, passing the Barr Exam, making partner has been for you. I just want to be good enough, Jules. Please tell me that’s why you wanted to meet.”

    Shocked, I wiped a tear from his cheek and then my own, but before I could lower my hand from my face, he wrapped his fingers around mine, and I knew he could feel it. He pulled my hand down and gazed at the single, solitaire diamond and matching wedding band. Showing a look of defeat, he slid his hands up my arms to pull me into him, but at my flinch, he stopped and apologized. Embarrassed, I looked away and my hair brushed from my shoulder revealing a hand sized bruise.

    With one finger, he gently traced the bruise on my arm. “Jules, what’s going on?” he asked concerned.

    “Bradley, I need your help. Three years ago, I married John Addams. My parents had introduced us and basically tailored John for me. After about a year of marriage,” I paused as Bradley gently pulled me into him and finished my sentence for me, “he started hitting you. That bastard.”

    I looked down, “That’s not all,” I added touching my stomach, “I’m 6 weeks pregnant. Bradley, please help.” I begged.

    His face matched the red color on his tux, and anger raged in his eyes while his jaw became tense. “Come on, we need to get out of here,” he demanded as he took my hand and led me out of Barney’s Pub.

    “That was the last day I was Julie Addams,” I said to my 18-year-old daughter. “Although your older brother didn’t survive, daddy saved my life.”

  41. jmcody

    Jordan sat at the bar, nursing her chardonnay. She wouldn’t have to nurse it for long, she knew. Nick would be here soon. Of this she was certain.
    “You know I’m getting married,” Nick had told her on the phone the night before.
    “I know. And that’s why I need to see you. Right away.” It was true. Ever since she learned of Nick’s engagement, Jordan had been unable to think of anything except the insatiable hunger that had stalked her for as long as she could remember. If she could just get one more fix, one more big score, it might carry her through the vast emptiness that lay ahead of her.
    “You’re the one who broke up with me, Jordan,” Nick reminded her. This much was true too. But no matter. That was before Nick got engaged.
    Jordan shifted on her bar stool, crossing and uncrossing her denim-clad legs. She hadn’t even bothered to dress up, not much anyway. She didn’t need to. She knew she would look good to him. She liked the way she looked in his eyes, the way her own reflection shimmered back at her.
    Right on time, Nick arrived, and suddenly Jordan felt underdressed.
    “My, don’t you look handsome,” she purred at the tuxedoed Nick. “Going somewhere special?”
    “Yeah, you could say that,” Nick said, pulling up a barstool. “Jordan, you know what today is….”
    Jordan looked at him blankly.
    “It’s my wedding day, Jordan. You knew that.”
    “You said you were getting married. You didn’t say it was today!” Could he really have failed to mention this small detail? Or could she really have failed to hear it?
    “Well, because you called me up and asked…. No, demanded to see me…”
    “So you came, to see me, your old girlfriend, on your wedding day…”
    They stared at each other for a long moment, until finally she saw it – the thing she had come for. That familiar spark in his eyes, and then the life-sustaining warmth. The adoration.
    “I just thought…” he faltered, running his hand through his no longer camera-ready hair.
    “You thought what?”
    “I just thought that maybe… that you and I… that maybe it’s not too late.”
    But it was so very far past late. Jordan remembered now why she had dumped him. It was for the same reason that she had needed him so desperately, right up until this moment. Because he adored her. Because he would do anything for her and asked nothing in return. Like a bad drug, it simultaneously sickened and thrilled her, this slavish adoration. And she knew there would never be anyone else on earth who would worship her the way Nick did. And she needed it, because without it, she was… she was…. nothing.
    The rush of pleasure and power that she craved exacted its price, and she felt it rising in the back of her throat — pity and loathing, for Nick, for his wife-to-be, and for herself.
    “Go.” She waved him off. “Go back to your little wedding and your little wife.”
    “You really are a piece of work, you know that?” Nick looked baffled, as always.
    “And what about you,” she said, “sneaking around on your wedding day?”
    “Only you, Jordan…” Nick, said, shaking his head. This much was most certainly true.
    “Goodbye, Nick,” she said, rising from her bar stool. As she walked out the door, a satisfied smile crept across her face. She knew she would see him again.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Great response you’ve written. A hopeless situation exists. Jordan is develish seductive and she wants a play toy to punish. Me thinks she doesn’t even like Nick let alone any other man. She lives for power only over another mark on her hunting rifle.

        There are both men and women like this and you describe them perfectly.

    1. frankd1100

      It’s rare that both parties to a relationship step away from the game and risk it all on the old fashioned ideas of love and committment. I’m afraid your story is more real than not.

      Left me uncomfortable, being reminded that taking scalps and keeping score is closer to the norm these days.

      Affective…very well written..

    2. jmcody

      Thanks to all who commented. I am just starting to try my hand at fiction, and this feels like a very helpful, free writing class! I don’t know where this dark character came from. (I promise it’s not even a tiny bit autobiographical!) I actually meant her to be a little pitiful, an empty shell of a person who needs adoration because she is incapable of loving or being loved. But then I guess that’s what makes a narcissist a narcissist.

      1. Tannai

        Your story was seriously Amazing! It was really good. I’m also trying my hand at fiction. Can you explain to me where i can post my weekly writing prompt? Hopefully you’ll be able to critic mine too. I’d really like to hear your imput. I can be reached at NobleLaureate@yahoo.com. I’m not sure how to work my writers digest profile yet so any help would be much appreciated. Keep writing! Be blessed.

  42. Loneanimewolf

    My whole body was shaking, my stomach tight with anxiety, God, Why had i called her? It’s been more than 7 years since our raging hormones had exploded one night, ending with us hot and sweaty, humping each other like dogs. My mouth was suddenly overflowing with saliva, choking i gulped loudly, glancing around nervously to see if anyone had heard. The elderly couple next to me continued to stare lovingly at each other, touching each other here and there, a brush on the shoulder, a hand squeeze. It was the kind of affection you only get after being together through the beauty of life, and through its horrors and still going strong. I felt myself relax just looking at them. My eyes jerked to the door when the it jingled. Eve walked in. Shit. The tension was back, three times as intense. She was still as gorgeous as the day she told me she loved me, but not in the way i did, and she’d found a boyfriend, she would keep in touch. She didn’t. On their six month anniversary. Wild red hair loose down her back, touching mid-thigh, and those long, silken legs, my brain flashed to when those legs were wrapped around my waist, tugging me tight against her. Her tall athletic body arching…suddenly i was staring into her blue-green eyes. Yelping loudly i jumped, yanked violently from my fantasy. Then i shrunk, my shoulders hunching my face tomato red. I could feel the sweet elderly’s curious eyes on me. “What were you thinking about with that lustful expression?” Eve teased, grinning. “No-nothing!” i squeaked. She threw her head back as laughter rocked her. Mesmerized i watched her, feeling desire shoot through me. Desperate to distract myself, i ran my eyes over outfit, and what i saw made my blood freeze. It was a simple white dress, running down her body in straight line, the silk faintly outlining her curves, halting at her ankles. The only flashy thing about it was diamond the trim on the modest neckline. Diamond. It screamed BRIDE TO BE HERE!! Pain made my heart clench and suddenly i couldn’t breathe, Eve had stopped laughing and was ordering a drink. Shakily, I leaned on the bar, struggling to get my breathing back to normal before she got her beer and noticed she nearly killed me. “You want anything Mae?” Just as she turned i straightened and put those nights acting in front of the mirror to use. “I’ll have the thing that has the most caffeine you have please!” I said to the bartender , who, of course looked at me like i just asked for the devil’s autograph. From the Pope. Eve frowned. “You still don’t drink?!” I gritted my teeth and nodded. Her eyes softened, and she put her hand over mine and squeezed. I froze, but she was already talking to the bartender, her hand linger for a second more, then it was gone. I sagged, my heart pounding violently. “Look, can you just get her a goddamn coffee?!” The man jumped as Eve’s voice suddenly got louder, scurrying to comply. She plopped back down, and turned to me, her expression suddenly sad. “Why did you call me, Mea? As you’ve probably guessed, i’m getting married. Today.” My pulse jerked, but i kept my face composed. “Why did you come. As you said, your getting married, you could’ve just ignored my call” I could feel my shoulders hunching, so i straitened and crossed my legs, feeling the slap of rejection when her eyes didn’t follow the movement. She sighed. “I wanted to see how you were doing, Mae. Are you dating anyone? HAVE you dated anyone since we split?” My face burned as i everted my eyes, I barely saw the bartender set my coffee down. She swore “Fuck? Really?! I told you i wasn’t into it anymore, Darlin’. Shit, i’m getting MARRIED. TODAY.” All the hope i didn’t even know i’d had crumbled. My eyes wanted to fill, i wanted to cry, sob at my stupidity. My hand reached for my nose and pinched it, struggling not to give in. “Honey…” Those soft words made me hunch my shoulders, trying to shield myself from the intense agony. When a hand reached for me, i jerked back, a sob escaping before i bit my lip. Hard. I put my hands over my face opening my mouth in a silent scream as my body shakes violently. I feel a soft touch, I jump up, turning to flee when i see the little old lady from the happy couple looking worried, hovering next to me. “Are you alright sweetie? Your friend just left, do you need a hankie?” My eyes darted to where Eve has just been sitting. It was true, she was gone. Gone. The word echoed through me, ripping at my bleeding heart. Eve was GONE. I hiccuped. “Thank you, but no, i’m fine.” I winced, i sounded like i’d swallow nails. She looked like she wanted to protest, she opened and closed her mouth, then sighed and headed back to her table. My eyes went back to where Eve had been sitting, and i just stared. Who knows how long, but when i looked back at the couples table, it was empty. Turning back to the bar I sip the ice-cold coffee Eve had ordered for me, tears dripping down my face.

  43. Observer Tim

    After being haunted by this prompt for several days, I had to write this down.

    ———-

    He sat in the bar alone, nursing a Diet Coke. The echo of the phone call lingered in his head. “Noon, at Joey’s pub,” and “There’s something I have to tell you.” After almost ten years of not seeing her, it all came back. The joy of seeing her smile, the hugs and the kisses (oh, the kisses), the sheer joy of being in her company. The pain of the breakup, such as it was; there were no fireworks, only the dark silence of the embers cooling. He had no idea what had possessed him to call her after all those years.

    He’d carried the torch for years, told himself that somehow they’d get back together. When a common friend ran into her he’d ask how she was, hoping to hear that she’d mentioned him or asked after him, but nothing. The problem with “I love you forever” is that it doesn’t go away, even if that makes it inconvenient.

    Other patrons came and went. Noon came and went. He continued to drink, watching the door and waiting. She walked in wearing a flowing white wedding dress, looking just like she had fifteen years before. But it wasn’t her; she ran over the man next to him at the bar and took his hands.

    “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but…”

    He tuned out, deliberately directing his attention anywhere else. They talked for a couple of minutes and then left hand in hand.

    And he waited. Noon passed unnoticed, then one, two, and three. He wished he could drink to wash away the feelings passing over him. After what seemed like eternity, a raven-haired beauty came up and smiled at him. It was just like old times.

    “Excuse me sir, we’re closing to set up for the evening rush.”

    He set down the glass and went home. About 8 o’clock he got up the courage to call; she’d probably got busy doing something else, or had been too disorganized to call him back. A girl, about half drunk, answered the phone. The told him he’d just missed her, and that she and Mark had just left for their honeymoon.

    He thanked her, hung up the phone, and sat staring at it while the room slowly grew dark. Just like old times.

    1. snuzcook

      So sad, O.Tim, and thoroughly engaging. I found myself with several different ways to understand this story. Were his illusions of the woman he had built up in his mind over the past 15 years so pliable that he saw her face in every woman who approached him? If so, had she really said she would be there, or had he convinced himself that she had. Had she tried to tell him over the phone and he had refused to hear her?

      Nice touch with the wedding dress woman going to the other man in the bar!

    2. don potter

      A man caught in the past. Seems as if nothing will alleviate his pain, because he does not use alcohol to suppress it rather he lives in his self-made hell. Is suicide the ultimate relief?

    3. calicocat88

      This story hurts. The MC’s pain, frustration, and hopefulness oozes between the words. His heart broke throughout the entire story and it was tragically beautiful. Lovely story about lost love and heartbreak. I may just have to go have a good cry, lol!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        A desperate call for help from the MC, but nobody listens. It is tragic. Our world today is so consumed with the ‘me’ generation, his furure doesn’t appear anywhere. And yet a broken heart can be repaired if he is willing to give of himself and help orhers like himself. Turning to listen to other hesrtbeats beside his own, sometimes creates small miracles. Life’s irony is, When you don’t ask for yourself, it will be given to you, such as a new love in his life.

        The Mushpot

    4. agnesjack

      This is so sad, Tim. The line, “there were no fireworks, only the dark silence of the embers cooling” was so spot on for the end of some relationships.

      I, too, wonder what the reality is, though. Was she actually so cruel as to tell him she’d meet him on her wedding day when she never intended to? If so, good riddance. If not… if he imagined that she said she’d be there, it would be terribly tragic — and the woman in the wedding dress who went to the man next to him at the bar could have been a kind of symbolic illusion, too.

      1. Observer Tim

        From what I understand, on several occasions she panicked at the thought of giving bad news and avoided the situation. This generally made things worse. Later she would claim she’d forgotten and apologize. He would obsess and make himself miserable waiting, which also made things worse.

        Totally dysfunctional from both sides.

    5. Observer Tim

      Thanks for the comments, folks. So you know, the characters are real, the relationship is real; the scenario never happened, but is very plausible if you know the him and her. They were (are) just two broken people each trying to do what they’re able to get by. I haven’t heard from her in over 15 years; I see him pretty-much every day.

      Not every story has a happy ending; the romance part of this story is over (has been for years). The getting by part is a work in progress.

      1. agnesjack

        Tim – the getting by part is forever a work in progress, whether the loss is by sad circumstance or by death. I am truly sorry for your loss, but I know that when we focus on what we have, rather than what we have lost, we have a much better chance at peace. At least that’s how I look at life now, and it is a comfort.

  44. AnandG

    I wanted to write a good one, but I have 3 versions of the same prompt, one is good but not perfect for this prompt. Confused, I have pasted here a random pick of all and I guess this is the worst one of all the three, with no proper intro and characterization, but keeping a count of words was what I concentrated this time.

    Jack couldn’t think of anything better than give a call to Maggie and beg her apology for what he did ten years ago. And he surely did call.

    “Hello..”, a sweet voice he heard and he recognized that it was Maggie’s.

    “Hi Maggie”

    “Jack…my God! How are you?”

    Jack was all emotional. He wanted to release all the flood of feelings, the pain that he went through all the years missing Maggie. But he did not. It would not be wise to talk everything on phone he thought.

    “I am good. Listen, I am in town. Would you like to meet me tonight at the same Irish pub?”

    “Ah! Jack. Seven years later, you want to make a move?”

    “Better late than never Maggie. It’s been seven years but there is no day that I did not think of you”

    “You must be having so many girlfriends Jack. It’s better you find them instead of me. You would be benefited.”

    “I do not need any benefits Maggie. I need love, and the void that is there because of you cannot be filled by anyone other than you.”

    “Jack…I………..” Maggie hesitated.

    “Oh C’mon Maggie love. Please, would you meet me tonight at the pub?”

    “Ok Jack, tonight. Be there at sharp 9pm. I may not meet you if you are not on time”

    “I will be in advance there. Love you”

    Maggie did not say anything.

    Jack sat on the bar stool, waiting for Maggie. Jack wore a tuxedo, the similar one that Maggie had a wished for him when in school. It was already 9:30pm and Maggie was not there.

    “You are a fool Jack. You thought that Maggie would still love you, but you forgot that things would change with time.” Jack was talking to himself.

    And then the door opened. Maggie walked in hurriedly, but in her wedding dress. She looked beautiful in her strapless white wedding gown. Jack was mesmerized looking at that pretty body. But as soon as she walked in she slapped Jack.

    “Idiot, what on Earth made you to walk into this town and call me during this time. But thanks that you have, else I would have got almost married today.” Maggie said.

    “What?” Jack was out of his mind. He did not understand a thing.

    “What do you mean by what?” Maggie said in frustration, “I said I would’ve almost got married. Don’t you see, I am in a wedding dress right now, probably the worst outfit that someone would wear to a pub, but I have because I am a runaway bride. I have my marriage in some time. Now if you love me, take me out of here, else leave me there at the marriage and I will marry the one who is ready waiting for me there.”

    “What if I say I would leave you at the church to get married?”

    Maggie was stunned.

    “You don’t love me, do you?”

    “Of course I love you dear, that’s why I have called you.”

    “Liar! It took you seven years to know that”

    “Better late than never. Would you marry me?

    “I will, but not now. Get me out of here”

    Jack was being selfish, but he thought that this is the second chance that he got and he knew that this is the final one. If he does not listen to Maggie now, then he would never be of hers.

    “Ok, let’s go.”

    And they started running.

    “By the way, who was the poor groom waiting for you there?’

    Maggie stopped and slapped Jack again. There was a pause and then she kissed him tight.

    “The groom ran away with his old flame, leaving me. I did not even reach the church and I got the news. I thought may be this is a second chance and may be the last one to be with the one I loved and still love.”

    “Is it?” Jack was surprised, “then why did you say all the crap that your marriage is in some time?”

    “I wanted to be affirmed of your love.”

    “Ah! You did not change at all”, Jack said and kissed Maggie.

    1. Observer Tim

      This was a captivating story, AnandG. I enjoyed the tale.

      As usual it was a bit of effort getting past the language issue. The hardest part of learning to write in a foreign language is word choice; I have three suggestions that may help.

      1. Once you’ve created your English, use a program like Google Translate to translate it back into your native tongue. That serves as a check that you’ve used the correct words.

      2. Practice sentences with a sympathetic ‘native speaker’ when you can. I’ll offer my services in that area; you can reach me at observer @ telus planet . net (take out the extra spaces to create a real e-mail address).

      3. Don’t lose heart. Learning a language is work, and taking the step from basic communication to storytelling is hard work. Keep on writing.

  45. swatchcat

    “The girl walks into the bar, wedding dress of course, and scans the joint for the first poor sap to look her direction. Then, this poor guy looks up doesn’t know what hit him as she swoops down and crunches his throat.” Tom explains his scenario excited with the idea.

    “No, you didn’t think about the other side, the caller in the bar. What or where is he?” Cynthia picked the idea apart. “Anyone else?”

    “Doctor Who phone booth,” John blurted.

    “Excuse me?” Cynthia was intrigued.

    “Okay, yadda yadda, phone call. Lady shows up at bar dedicated to Dr. Who fanatics. Blue stuff all around, geek mania, okay, yah, well. Her dress is all blue, Like a Virginish. There eyes meet, they both see the phone booth and run in for sex romp.” John grinned from ear to ear, he was pretty happy with himself.

    The whole think tank resounded in one loud, “Ugh.”

    “Come on people, deadline, and deadline!” Cynthia had about had it. Sappy, typically happily ever after, and vampires abound, even time travel but, nothing original, nothing that hadn’t been heard of before.

    Tess chirped, “Um, what if the guy was where the dress? Or gays and lesbians, whose the minority nowadays? Let’s appeal to them.”

    “No, still too typical and this is light hearted. Fun. Go again!” Cynthia ran her hand through her hair. “I don’t want Pygmalion or Shakespearian irony.

    From the end of the conference table Jen speaks up. “You call an old flame from high school whom you still have feelings for and ask to meet up. Or that’s what you think at first. The flame says, “Sure, how about noon at the pub by your house.” While waiting at the pub, your flame walks in—wearing a wedding dress. It makes for mystery.” She pauses and thinks as she scrolls her tablet. “The flame looks at you and says, “I’m supposed to be getting married today.” The table knows this part but she has their attention.

    She continues, “He says, the guy starring forward at the mirrored shelf of liqueur. “Congratulations.” She turns away without a flinch and pulls a gun from the folds of her dress and blows the brains out of the bartender and just stands there gun smoking. The guy in fluid motion scopes his hand around her waist and runs the both of them out to a car waiting in the street. As he pulls away he looks in the rear mirror and two men are aiming guns in his direction. He hears the popping of guns as he skids away. The adventure begins.”

    They all look at her in amazement.

    “Well, do you have more? You need 1500 words at least.” Cynthia smiles as Jen nods yes. “That’s a wrap. Jen, you have till tomorrow at print.” They all shuffle to their desks.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Oh, swatchcat, my heart goes out to you. I’ve been there. There isn’t much worse. But your prompt is so unusual and creative. Story within a story, and maybe within a third story. I think the dialogue rocks.

          You know what would really be fun here, is to throw the story to the fouum and let them finish it. Rules would be 1. No more than fifty words per writer otherwise they’re disqualified. 2. No repeats, one shot per writer.

          What do you think?

    1. agnesjack

      I liked this, swatchcat. It was fun. I’m stuck with an image of Dr. Who walking out of his phone booth and into the bar wearing a wedding dress… :)

      (Quick recovery to you!)

    2. frankd1100

      I look forward to getting to your writing, Cat, because you always provide a jolt… I like the way your brain works… just a little bit out there. A wonderful trait for a writer.

      (I recently watched my first Dr. Who with David Tennant so I’m not so out of it.)

  46. RiversandRoads

    I nervously tapped my fingers against the side of my beer mug, staring at the foamy bubbles at the bottom. Two pints down and I didn’t feel any better. Ellie was twenty minutes late now, my watch indicated. “She’s not coming,” I accidentally said aloud. “Stupid of me to even thing she’d show up,” I grumbled while gathering my things. I trudged to the trashcan to throw away the tulips I’d brought for her (she always said they were her favorite back in high school) and bumped into someone on the way. I mumbled a half-hearted apology without looking up from the dingy tile floor.
    “Leo?!”
    I looked up to see a wild-eyed woman wearing what appeared to be a dirty wedding dress smiling at me. I must have had a look of utter confusion on my face, because she repeated my name and said, “It’s Ellie! You called me last week, remember? To meet here for drinks?”
    “Oh, my God! Ellie!” I proclaimed, barely recognizing my old friend. The years had carved wrinkles into the skin around mouth, and her once sparkling blue eyes lacked the luster that had once bewitched me. She was shaking slightly, and looked a little crazy. I wondered if she had been taking drugs. She wrapped me in a too-tight hug, denying me the explanation of her outfit I so badly wanted to know but was too embarrassed to ask. We walked back to the bar together and she ordered two shots of tequila –both for herself- before she began to talk.
    “I have to tell you something, Leo. I’m supposed to be getting married today, but…” she paused, looking down at the floor and concealing a guilty smile. “I was supposed to be getting married today, to Colton, remember him? From high school? But I couldn’t do it. I’ve been in love with you since we were kids!”
    “Wow, Ellie… um, I really don’t think you should’ve done that. I mean maybe ten years ago it would’ve worked between us, but-“
    “But what?” she interrupted, “Come on! Let’s run away together. Today! I know you love me, Leo.”
    Before I had a chance to rebut the door of the pub was thrown open and a team of several policemen entered the room. Ellie tugged at my hands, urging me to leave, and when I wouldn’t comply she let go and bolted towards the back door. In a state of confusion and panic, I thrust my hands into the air to proclaim my innocence. One of the policemen was holding a gun. Ellie was tackled to the ground in what seemed like an instant.
    “Ellie Shields, you are under arrest for the murder of Colton Braxton!” Ellie laughed maniacally, looking directly at me.

  47. Violet Hayes

    REASONS WHY

    “I-I’m supposed to be getting married today, but—”

    Luke never finished the rest of his sentence. By the word “married” I had already choked on my drink, coughing the beer down the front of my shirt, the one I’d specifically picked as the one to make me the most appealing. Well, screw that. My face burned (very unattractively, I might add) with humiliation as he thumped me on the back to get my coughing to cease. When I finally caught my breath, I looked up at his face. Concern was written all over it.

    “S-Sammie?” he asked tentatively, his nervous stammer coming through. He’d had that stammer since I’d met him. I swallowed, my eyes taking in tux he was wearing. It looked expensive. Not his style.

    “Sammie?” he asked again.

    “I’m fine,” I said. I tried a small smile. “I’m fine. I just…made a fool of myself, didn’t I?” I laughed. It was so fake, but it was the best I could do under the circumstances.

    Luke shook his head. Paused a moment. Then nodded. “Maybe just a little,” he said, and he started to smile. “I’ve never seen beer come out of someone’s nose before.”

    Immediately my hand went to my face, and he smiled a little more. “Liar,” I accused him, swiping my sleeve over my face anyway—just in case. A stretch of awkward silence came next, me turning my gaze back down into my drink, him uncertainly fiddling with the buttons of his tux. What was I supposed to say, anyway? Was I supposed to congratulate him? Tell him I was happy for him? I settled for a different, brusquer approach.

    “Why did you even come, then?” I demanded of my drink.

    Luke shifted feet, letting a few seconds of silence drag on as my question hung in the air. Eventually I saw him gesture at the empty barstool beside me. “Mind if I sit?” I shrugged noncommittally, and he sat. He turned one way, then the other, half-spinning on the stool.

    After a moment, I snapped, “Are you going to answer me?”

    He frowned, his gaze falling down onto my drink, and suddenly we were both addressing the alcohol. “I don’t know,” he sighed. “I-I just…I s-saw you’re number, and I…”

    “You what?”

    “Answered the phone. Impulse, I guess.”

    It stung. I was, against my better judgment, hoping he’d say he’d felt it. Felt what we once had. I grabbed the drink and took a long swig, putting off responding. When I set it back on the table, I still didn’t know what to say. But he jumped in again.

    “I think,” he said, “I just wanted you to know. I wanted to invite you—”

    I grabbed the lapels of his tuxedo, pulled him close, and kissed him. And maybe it was my imagination, but, for just a second, it felt like he kissed me back. Then I pulled away and said softly, “That’s why I can’t go.”

    And he left.

  48. snuzcook

    This inspiration struck as I was reading these fabulous responses. I have not gotten through very many of them, so I can only apologize if I have duplicated anyone else.

    HONOR

    The pub was quiet at noon. I watched a couple seat themselves at a booth. Henry walked over with a basket of chips and took their order.

    “Refill?” he asked as he stepped back behind the bar to get their drinks. I had been wool-gathering and neglecting my coffee. It was sure to be cold by now.

    “Please.”

    Henry topped off my cup before delivering beers to the couple behind me. I glanced at the clock above the bar. 12:08. I wondered if she had decided not to come.

    Laura. It seemed a lifetime ago. I had loved her with all I had to give. But it hadn’t been enough, not for her, not for me. Now, I was seeing her again alone for the first time. I imagined listening as Laura poured out her anxieties about her new fiance. How easy it would be to feed her fears of the future, to ever so gently disengage her from her romantic dreams. I was worried that she was not ready to marry this David of hers. He was a stranger to me, an unknown quantity. I wanted her to be safe and happy, even though she had broken my heart. I would rather have her be alone, I thought selfishly, than unhappy with another man.

    Henry was stacking glasses when someone opened the door. A glance at his face told me without turning around that she had arrived.

    Laura stood just inside the door, filling the narrow entry with a wedding dress of white lace and satin. She had never looked more beautiful.

    She saw me and I realized I was standing. She held out both her hands and I took them, pulling her to the bar stool next to me.

    “Oh, Rick.” She let go both my hands, and put her own hands to her face, pressing carefully manicured fingers along the lower lid to catch the tears that threatened to spill out.

    “Do you love him?” I asked, my voice striving for a paternal and neutral tone, my bitter fantasies evaporating.

    “Oh, yes.”

    “Then that’s all that matters.”

    “I just wanted to see you and make sure you are okay with this I was so afraid it would be too much to ask, that it might be…to painful.”

    “No. It’s an honor. Besides, I want you to be happy.” I turned away, put some money on the bar. I offered a hand to Laura. “Are you ready?”

    She sniffed and smiled, smoothing her veil. “Yes. Let’s do this.”

    I took Laura’s elbow as we walked out of the bar. I could feel the eyes of the handful of patrons following curiously.

    At the door one of the regulars stepped back to let us pass. “Got a wedding today, Father?”

    I nodded.

    “I’m getting married!” Laura added, unnecessarily.

    “Well, congratulations,” Walt said, touching his baseball cap.

    From St. Anthony’s on the corner, I could already hear the organist warming up as we hurried in that direction.

    1. calicocat88

      Oh, this took me through so many emotions. First the MC reminded me so much of a friend of mine that I was beginning to think you wrote this about him, lol! Then when I found out he was a priest! My heart sank for him, that this woman he loved so much was going to be with someone else, and be happy. Heart jerking story! Great job!

      1. snuzcook

        In another life and another time, before his calling, he had been in love with Laura. Loving is a hard habit to break, even when it isn’t forever. How natural for Laura to trust someone she had once known so well to officiate at her wedding–until the realization hit that maybe, just maybe, Father Rick was human after all.

      1. swatchcat

        Half my face/head is numb with meds. fighting the Shingles but still enjoyed reading this. Oblivious to typos except my own after the fact. Your MC was interesting but the bartender was more for a moment as I was going for him being the MC. It’s not unheard of the preacher falling in love thinking of Thornbirds. I was reading maybe MC was marrying the lady not a more harsh possibility that he is officiating. Nice job

        1. snuzcook

          Poor Swatchcat! Not a fun place to have the shingles! A dear friend once had them in scalp and face and I know how nasty that can be. Hang in there!
          Thanks for reading despite it all!

    2. abhijit jiwa

      Surprise ending was lovely! Wasn’t ready for that.:) I liked the way the MC looks into a future conversation :> ” I imagined listening as Laura poured out her anxieties about her new fiance” . That brings forth his anticipation of the meeting pretty nicely.

      1. snuzcook

        Thanks abhijit jiwa,
        Don’t we all imagine those nasty little, self-serving scenes in our heads about how a conversation might go? But no one needs to know those selfish conversations that take place before our higher selves step up and take action.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Snuzcook, the story overwhelmed me and caused so many emotions. I wanted the priest to rip off his collar, gather her in his arms and slowly walk through the front door, oblivious to soul, religion or moralistic rules. So there, I said it.

    3. don potter

      Nice twist. Some commitments are stronger than love. Sorry about the Shingles; guess it’s too late for a shot. Keep writing it may take your mind off the pain. I did that after the effects of oral surgery and it worked. Come to think of it, this worked with your post because it was a terrific tale.

    4. agnesjack

      The line “I had loved her with all I had to give. But it hadn’t been enough, not for her, not for me,” said a lot. It made it seem that he did not join the priesthood because of her, but because it was something that also had always been in his heart. Do I have that right?

      I liked this story because of that. Very nice, snuzcook.

      1. snuzcook

        Yes, agnesjack, that’s the author’s intent. It was not enough. She did not jilt him; he did not carry a torch. He had a different path to follow and a different vacancy in his heart to be filled. But still, letting go of what once might have been, what had been imprinted long ago, was hard.

    5. Observer Tim

      This is a beautiful take on the prompt, snuzcook. I’m sure it happens, which is why so many priests are posted to parishes away from where they grew up. It would be a sore temptation, and I’m glad Rick managed to resist.

    6. frankd1100

      So well written! Not a wasted word and all the ‘right’ words. Excellent flow… The bartender’s eyes bring her into the story… Rick’s attempt to be caring in a legitimate way… A double twist; he can’t have her because she loves another man; he can’t have her because of his job…

      Simple and elegant with a twist. Most enjoyable Snuzcook..

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