(Author’s statement: My apologies. Last week’s miss of the Friday Fictioneers was due to having back to back medical treatments and getting home VERY late. So I will try to make up for it this week. Anyhow, here’s today’s fictioneers:)
(Author’s note: Heyo! Classes are a bit hectic, but I may actually have some real stories up this week, depending on how things go. I realize that writing a bit longer-form may actually help me with my classes [especially my short fiction class], so be ready for some experimentation to come. Anyhow, here’s the latest Fictioneers offering.)
I feel as thought my heart has been pulled from its place, but I know it is still there. Despite what might have been, I still am able to continue on. I am confused as to why you had to go that route, though. Why would you submit yourself to all of that dreck?
I am not sure which direction to go now, as my path has been shaken up. I still hear your voice in the dark night, telling me the things that I want to hear.
But I hear a different voice now, one that says “time to move on.”
Author’s note: Since classes will soon be starting up again, I will likely be updating with mostly Friday Fictioneers stuff and short writings that result from my “argle-bargle” sessions of getting frustrated with being a grad student. At the very least, enjoy today’s selection for Friday Fictioneers.
“Why did we travel an hour to this place for food?!”
Chandra Barker was not a happy person, and her fiancee, Mark, knew it. He sat her down on a bench and looked her in the eye.
“When I was 9, my teenaged sister and I came here for fun. We had these cinnamon flat disks for a snack, before we went onto the ice. It was the last thing that we ate together before the day she fell through the ice. Coming here is a reminder of what we used to do.”
She looked at him, and a tear fell.
“And you wanted to share this memory with me?”
She planted her lips firmly on his cheek, appreciating the gesture.
I remember the day that Travis was called to duty. It was going to be a 6 month tour in Jordan.
He looked at me, a lowly young lady from the wrong side of the tracks, and gave me the most heartfelt kiss that a fiancee could give.
We stood by an old stump as we said our goodbyes. I told him, “I don’t care how you get back here, just get back here if you can.”
He was returning from Jordan as the frost on the fields was slowly retreating. I would never see him again, though.
His C-130 got caught in a downdraft, and crashed at the base. No survivors.
He did get back here, I just can’t hold him anymore.
– From the diary of Charlene MacGinnis
(Story behind the song: During the first Gulf War, the song “Get Here” by Oleta Adams, a remake of a similar song by Brenda Russell, was often played as a call to servicemen from their wives and kids.)
Even with success, the specter of loss hung around his head like a bad cold.
Patrick Dumont was not an unhappy man, by any means. He was charming with all the folks, a man of character and integrity, and even fairly successful with his new business ventures. In all, he should be celebrating his life in great ways.
Yet, alone in his apartment, his head between his knees, he wasn’t even celebrating.
It started earlier in the day. Looking through his finance books, he knew that everything was going alright and that there were not going to be problems for the next couple months. But that nagging feeling was there, telling him “Hey, you’re finances are not as stable as they should be.”
As the day wore on, he got more and more worried. As the worries built, the memories of old days came flooding forth like a raging flood breaching an earthen dam. The more the worries piled on top, the more depressed he became. He took off from work early, and just went straight home.
As he sat in that apartment, head between knees and tears falling down his face, he remembered the many times of worry he had in the past. He heard the words of people telling him that if he didn’t plan for his future, he’d have nothing. That if he wasn’t paying attention, everything would fall around him.
He remembered his family as it came apart in pieces, like a car losing it’s parts as it drove along. His family splitting apart from divorce, his father becoming despondent after losing his job, his younger brother jumping off a high bridge to end his life after getting a failing score on his final test. He even remembered his own loss of the first business he started, a hedge clipping business.
Then there was Hannah. The girl that gave him so much passion, and so much life. He wanted to keep her in his heart always, always having that chance of being able to see her again. That is, until he heard the phone call.
“Patrick, I’m pregnant.”
“Who’s the father?”
He screamed out, cried, and put himself into fits while dealing with all of these things that came forth from his head. For 4 straight hours, he was in agony. Four hours of crying, sobbing, screaming into his sweatshirt. It seemed as though he would be crying for many more hours.
Suddenly, he sat up. He dried his eyes, and looked around. He blinked a few times, looking at the fluorescent lights reflecting from the outside window into his apartment, casting glow over shadows. His eyes, even in the dark, cleared up.
“I have no need to remember this.”
His words had steel behind them. It was the sound of determination. Whatever he had just went through was done, and he finally stood up. He smiled, as he put his jacket on.
He was free to enjoy life again. He was free from his pain, his grief, and that feeling of holding onto something.
Tina Greene looked out from the cliffside at the ocean’s tantrum. She felt the winds as they blew sea spray into her face. The sea and the spray were very well reflective of her current situation and mood.
She was in the center of a storm in her heart, and the center of a storm in her life.
Her heart felt like it was ripped out of her chest, the crimson effluence pounding out what was left of the life she used to have with her husband, or rather, her former husband. The initial rip came from the delivery of the divorce papers at the summer cottage that they once shared, the site where Tina was currently staying. As she kept reading the papers, she noticed that he left her many things that would keep her pacified, but that the majority of what they made together would be left in his care.
Including their 12-year old daughter, Karin.
A fact that, upon reading, caused her to weep bitterly for hours.
She didn’t care about the summer cottage, or the 1.2 million in money that her husband was willing to part with. She didn’t even care about the half of the pension money her husband would have to give up after he retired. None of that mattered to her, none of it was important.
Her daughter was the most important person in her life at that moment in time, and there was no way she could fight her husband to get full custody. She would lose Karin forever.
It broke her heart.
She looked upon the seas again, seeing the swirling waves crash against the rocks below. She spotted a small dinghy as it crashed into the jetty a little ways off. The cracking and breaking of the wooden hull made a cacophonous echo that reverberated through Tina’s ears.
She looked down at the papers in her hand, the divorce papers that she long agonized over. As she sighed and shook her head, she pulled the pen out of her skirt pocket and signed the bottom. Putting them back into the envelope, she turned and walked away from the cliff, back towards the summer cottage which would now serve as her permanent home. Her new home.
She slowly walked to the back door, taking what old men called a “widow’s walk”, the walk of someone who lost someone or something very important and dear. While she didn’t lose a physical person to death, divorce was just as bad as widowhood.
And it would be something Tina would have to feel for a long long time.
– A tribute to all parents who ended up in divorce, and what they have had to go through in those times.
Changing Tides (aka Mayumi’s Story, Part II) by Miles Rost
The old pangs were just like torture.
The old desires, the old needs, all of them were trying to drop Mayumi in her tracks. And damn if she was going to let it.
It had been nearly three weeks since her ex-boyfriend was sent packing across the Outback on his motorcycle, with her hoping he’d never return. She examined herself fully to see how she was, and for the first couple of weeks, it seemed to be alright. She was getting by on her work at the radio station, spending lots of time working radio traffic during the week and hitting up the 7-10 shift at Shine FM on the weekends. With one day off on Mondays, it was a nice job to have, especially dealing with all the stuff she had to deal with.
What she didn’t expect was those old pangs coming back. The feelings that she had still stuck around, the residual mess that was left to be cleaned up.
The pangs were slow to creep up on her. Just a little reminder of the way her boyfriend used to hold her, at a time when she was vulnerable; or a little reminder of the gentle kiss that he’d give her while they watched wrestling on TV. Small things like these kept popping into her mind as the days progressed.
It was a Friday afternoon, and as she got home, that she felt the old feeling of loneliness and desire pop back into her life. The indicators were there before, however.
The papers were all stacked up on her desk. Inputs for commercials and liners were ready to be processed. She picked up one of the requests and started to write on the page. As the pen ran across the sheet of wood pulp, her knuckle started to ache. It was a small ache at first. As she processed each request, the ache got worse and her emotions started to run a bit higher. After a half an hour, she sat back and rubbed her hands across her face, ending with one going through her sandy-gray hair.
“Hey, Mayumi. You okay?”
Mayumi looked at her deskmate, Kelsey. A fresh-faced Sydney graduate, buxom and smart, Kelsey seemed to have a second sense to when problems were about to start.
“Yeah, Kel. Ah just have a lot on m’plate. That’s all.”
Kelsey looked at her through strands of her dark chocolate brown hair, and squinted.
“I don’t believe that for a second. In a half an hour, you can get through a stack like that on your desk. You’ve only gotten through half. What’s going on?”
Mayumi sighed, as she continued to process the paperwork.
“Ah’m just still dealing with my ex.”
“I see. Still haven’t been able to let him go, have ya?”
“Ah let him go. It’s just hard to let the memories fade, y’know.”
Kelsey pursed her lips, as she thought carefully. The brunette scratched her hair with a pencil, while she thought.
“It was two weeks ago, right? And how long were you together.”
“Yeah. And we were “together” for over 8 years. High school sweethearts and all that junk.”
“Ow,” Kelsey grimaced, a slight twinge of pain going through her face.
Mayumi sighed and looked at her friend.
“What’s bad is that ah know when my emotions are overwhelming me. The aching in my knuckle tells me.”
“Yeah, ever since ah had this depressive episode back in ’06. Whenever ah have too much emotion, and ah’m about ready to cry or needing to release, it screams at me.”
“Maybe you should take the rest of the day off. I mean, you haven’t taken a day in the year I’ve been here, and you are probably going through some major league withdrawal if it was that bad.”
Mayumi thought about it for a few moments, and looked at her paperwork. She did get part of it done already, but she didn’t want to leave until she finished her work.
Kelsey looked at her again, and sighing audibly, she put her hands out. She told her, without words, ‘Give them to me. You need rest’.
After a few moments of writing the last page on her desk, she gave the stack of papers to her sympathetic comrade and registered her sick leave request with the manager. Getting it approved. she popped into her vehicle and raced home.
She was already into the apartment when she dropped her keys on the floor. She didn’t even notice them, as she stumbled into her ornately decorated bedroom. Falling upon the bed, she grabbed a full length pillow and hugged it tightly. Tears started to flow down her face, dropping it’s salty emotion onto the sleeve of her light silk blouse. She held onto the pillow for dear life, as her mind raced through the emotions that were bombarding her from all direction.
She cried as she recounted the feeling of his touch on her skin, the longing of wanting that touch on her body. The warmth of his hands on each of her shoulders was still firm in her mind.
Mayumi’s mind was in agony as she went through all sorts of memories. She didn’t know what to do with all of them, with all the extra energy that she had without directing so much of it toward her idiot ex. The “good memories” were the ones that caused her the grief she was experiencing, though at times the bad memories came surging upward, forcing a scream into her pillow as she recounted the numerous numbers of abusive barbs.
You’re not worth the time, Yumi.
That was the one that hurt the most for her. It was one of the last things that the idiot said to her the night before he left for parts unknown. 8 long years, and she had her time wasted.
She screamed out curses at his name, at the memories as the tears poured down her face like a mini-waterfall. Her blouse was becoming soaked with her tears, just like the pillow she held onto.
All of the desire that she had, the lust of her heart, the pain and memories, flowed out of her. The pain in her finger throbbed at all the emotion coming from her.
The culmination of the three weeks of stress and all the old feelings had burst forth from it’s prison. As she sank into what would be called a deep sleep, in the last vestige of her consciousness, she saw a vision of an old tree chopped into firewood, and a hole filled with dirt.
Finally, she was facing all those emotions head on. And the healing would begin in earnest.