[Fiction] Friday: Gargoyles Revenge

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[Fiction] Friday Challenge for August 21st, 2009:

Start your story with a game of hide and seek.

“Like a moth to a flame burnt by the fire. My love it blind can’t you see my desire.” ~ Janet Jackson

“Josh I’m not playing hide and seek.” There was no answer.

I shuddered and tried not to look up at the gargoyles, their jowls ravenous and unforgiving. I knew they were leering down at me. From where I sheltered I could hear the base bleeding up the hill through the bitter midnight air and I wished I’d made a better decision. Stayed down there in the night club and lost myself on the dance floor to Shaggy or Janet Jackson rather than up here.

“Josh c’mon,” I yelled, rubbing my freezing arms and pressing myself further into the alcove created by the wall and a stone column of some description to avoid the wind. “How long does it take to piss? ”

I had been comfortable down the hill in Hot Gossip, which had once been Chapter House – owned by the Catholic Church. Up here among the other Church buildings still owned by the Dioceses the good will trip to the autoteller with my best friend’s boyfriend seemed a bad idea. She was imagining two plus one was something it could never be. Not in this circumstance

“I’m not coming looking for you. Josh?”

It was cold – probably edging somewhere towards zero and I gave a fuck about it. There wasn’t enough alcohol in me to voluntarily wander up the street scantily clad with him. There had been no mention of a pitstop when we left, despite the fact the deal was brokered outside the toilet in the foyer.

I didn’t want to be up here with Josh. But I couldn’t leave. I was scared of the dark but at 18 it was no longer acceptable to admit to fearing dark places. I didn’t want to admit I was terrified. Thoughts of dares to go down into the convent from the music room at high school were darting through my head now. All the nefarious things which lurk in the places we don’t want to go. Next thing Freddie Kruger would step out of the shadows – to slice and dice me. He’d already made short work of Josh and that’s why he wouldn’t call back.

Heart thundering I stepped out of the alcove, staring hard into the darkness and wishing the street lighting penetrated further than the foot path. I kept a hand on the stone wall.

“Josh? If you don’t come out I’m going back down to the hill. I don’t care if I don’t have any more money.” There was a definite hysterical pitch to my voice now.

The wind howled and I felt the needle prick of goosebumps break out over my bare arms. The base transitioned into faster rhythm like the DJ had pressed the throttle forward. I knew the base line – it was Lenny Kravitz, are you gonna go my way?

I inched forward into the nothingness between the two buildings in the direction Josh had gone to relieve himself. A moment of bravery, inspired by the beat.

“Josh?”

I stumbled back a few steps when his body knocked into me. He came from nowhere and his lips were crushing mine as my back hit the wall my hand had been tracing seconds earlier. His hands were on either side of my head, sandwiching me bewteen the heat of his body and the frigidness of the stone.

My first thought was to push him away and slap him. Remind him he was my best friend’s boyfriend. Remind myself. But he had been mine before he had been hers. And it was all to familiar. His aftershave. The shape of his body. The way he kissed. My mouth melded and moved with his.

“I thought you hated me,” I gasped when he finally pulled away from me.

“You think too much,” he said, moving back in close.

“No. Not here.” I gathered myself. The chasm between the right thing and the right thing for me was rapidly closing.  “Come back to my place.”

He considered it for a moment and agreed.

And between the confessions was we walked and the two hours shared between the front of the gas heater and beneath my doona I unknowingly descended to a place I could never escape intact from. I was forever playing hide and seek with the truth. No one would win.

The rumours of Josh’s infidelity had inevitably found their way back to my best friend well before that evening.  She’d pressed me to sure up his position. Josh loved her didn’t he? He wouldn’t do that to her? It was easy to hide the truth from her but much harder for me to seek peace with the revenge which had played me straight into his well laid web of lies.

[Fiction] Friday: A Lovers’ Tryst

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[Fiction] Friday Challenge for August 14th, 2009:

End your story with “Hello Jones!”

A breeze picked up from the south, shaking down the cherry blossom tree, showering him in soft pink confetti.Behind him cheers and whoops erupted as he brushed the fragrant petals from his shoulders and thighs. In a tiny green velvet box, a square cut diamond winked conspiratorially at him, as one of the facets caught the sunlight. Looking up, wispy clouds danced across the sky, taking it in turns to kiss the face of the sun before moving onwards. The ring on his finger was scratched, slightly bent out of shape from years of continual wear and it made his finger itch now, as it had been doing ever since he first met her. One last round of cheers messed with his nerves, as the sweaty young boys behind him gave away the touch football to return to their bottles of cold beer.

His heart beat faster as he flipped open the box to stare once more at the two thousand dollar gamble, reminding himself diamonds were a girl’s best friends and diamonds were forever. He hoped so as he tugged at the ring on his finger, trying to pull the band over the knuckle, cursing under his breathe that he hadn’t thought to do it before he left home.

As she approached the tree where he sat waiting, she noticed for the first time how vulnerable he looked with his long legs drawn up to his chest, his fingers playing with the slightly too long sideburns at his ear.He fought the urge to turn when he heard her approach but thrill turned to horror when he heard his wife say, “Hello Jones?”

This vignette was based on a writing exercise we completed in critiquing class on Friday.  I’ll be sharing more in my Write Anything column this coming Monday.

Fiction Friday Hiatus

books on mobileIt has been more than six weeks since I participated in Write Anything’s Fiction Friday.  It has been an unofficial break to date – with my son’s birthday party cutting in the first week, a trip to the Bunya’s the second, a prompt I couldn’t make work the third, then two weeks away on holidays.

The break has made me realise I need to take an official break from writing new fiction and concentrate on the overfollowing folders of old work which needs revising, editing, critiquing and writing.

All of a sudden I seem to have a bee in my bonnet about getting some work published.

It seems as if the start of the year was about starting and the end of the year is about finishing.  There seems to be a balance in it.

The Griffith review is publishing a special summer edition of fiction this year. The deadline is the 5th August and the premise is to show something new about ourselves beyond the political and market rhetoric.

The My Sandals story (which I’m thinking of retitling something like “Perspectives from the Sand” or “Perspectives of Sand”) is a potential starter. It was entered it in  EditorUnleashed/Smash Words flash fiction competition with no luck – but I think it is suitable for the Griffith Review. The hard message beneath the veneer tells us we’re often wrong as parents and subject our children to pain and anguish in our quest to keep them safe. I just need to check the word count for GR.

I’m also working on the fourth and final section of Graceville. I had considered putting it up for critting for my QWC course but the time frames don’t merge in a good way. So will ask some friends to look over it for comment and submit it as well. I”m aware it is a highly experimental piece and may not be to everyone’s liking. And thus – need to find something of an ‘alternate’ publishing outlet for it.

Once those have been submitted – I’ll be looking at rewriting Light Years and also the unnamed long short story which I guess I should just refer to as Lea and Jude’s story for ease of mention.

I have the fun of putting up the Fiction Friday prompts in August – meaning I will possibly return to writing some Fiction Friday entries in September or October – or earlier… if the back log of rewriting and editing goes faster than expected.

I’ll be back later on with some ideas on the Blog-a-thon and Hartog.

Image from  Blog @lla tua biblioteca

Musings on Fiction Friday for this Week

fiction fridayIt is Thursday.  This time last week I had a clear vision in my head of what I was going to write for Fiction Friday.  This week I’m struggling – not with having no idea, but too many ideas.  The prompt:

Include this line in your story – The piano accordian player slumped forward.

Annie who is providing the prompts for [Fiction] Friday in the month of June, told me when I got a sneak peak a few weeks ago of the prompts, she wanted me to write about Celia … who I graced the very first FF this year.  I keep meaning to get back to her story, but as luck would have it, this year has been fertile ideas and lots of new characters have coming knocking on my door to share their stories.

Celia is patient though.  Her story has been in a holding pattern since 2000 when I first ventured to a short story writing class and a rather awful backstory came out.  After Googling “air raids Germany” I’ve come up with the final pieces of Celia’s story, the problem is however, I would love to do a little more research before I start writing. Even when I remind myself, first draft, no editing, blood on the paper.  The research will be simply filling in the details after all.  So Celia’s story it will be this week, if I can find the time among the birthday party preparations.

Which leaves Dirk Hartog one very unhappy character.  I tried really hard to wind an accordian player into Hartog’s world … I really did.  I even came up with a Gary Larson kind of take, where by criminals were forced to make and carry piano accordians for their punishment .. but it was just a little bit silly.  However, remove the piano accordian and I *do* have Hartog’s story for this week.

It is just a matter of trying to make Hartog understand he’s not number one dog around here … I have a small man who is so excited about his first ever birthday party, a holiday to pack and plan for, a kindy disco to go to tomorrow night, flights to book for later this month, a sponge bob squarepants cake to make … oh and the list goes on. At least you get where I am coming from.  Hartog will understand sooner or later – he has to share!