Friday Fictioneers – Harden My Heart

(Author’s Note: This song has been sticking around in my head for the last 5 days. It’s an earworm of a song, one that I head first when I was a little guy riding my bike around my neighborhood in Minnesota. And as a bonus, the band is from my adopted hometown of Portland, Oregon. So I hope you enjoy “Harden My Heart”. )

phone-booth-jhc

© J. Hardy Carroll

Harden My Heart

by Miles H. Rost

(100 words)

Jane Metzger stood next to the phone, waiting. It was 45 minutes after her boyfriend, Mike, was supposed to pick her up. She picked up the phone, and slid her calling card.

*ring*

“Hello?” a relaxed voice answered.
“Mike! Where the hell are you?!”
“Wha…?” the voice panicked, shuffling in the background confirming what Jane had already knew.

Jane made a quick decision.

“Mike, you don’t need to come and pick me up. One of my friends will bring me home.”
“Uh…okay?”
“I’ll see you when I get back.”
“Okay,” Mike said, pausing, “Bye.”

*click*

She never did go home.

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Don’t Answer Me

Don’t Answer Me
by Miles Rost

The screech of a car horn right outside the window barely made Daisy flinch.

In the small ground level apartment, she sat on a bed. With her arms around her legs, she sighed with hesitation. She didn’t look up from her pajama-covered legs, focusing only on all the feelings she held inside of her.

All of the feelings she had bubbled up from the reserves that were stuck in her system over the last week. Combine that with a combination of heat, losing people she loved, and a new job that was incredibly laborious, the cocktail of stress caused her to break.

She pulled her legs closer, feeling the weight of her loneliness and isolation. She wanted to go and meet people, but she was in an isolated area of the city, far from the other people like her. The feeling made her turn inward, thinking of what she lost when she left her old location.

As her long, apple-colored hair touched her knees, she saw her cell phone light up on the counter. The telltale sound of her ringtone chimed through the largely empty apartment.

Don’t answer me
Don’t break the silence, Don’t let me win
Don’t answer me
Stay on your island, Don’t let me in
Run away and hide from everyone
Can you change the things we’ve said and done…

It repeated, one of her favorite songs suddenly turning into her biggest tormentor. She felt a tear fall down her face as the words hit her hard. One right after another, like the start of a waterfall as winter becomes spring. She let it ring, as she felt those emotions build up even more with each tear that fell.

The phone rang again, the same lyrics resounding around her head.

Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!, she cried in her head, trying to block out the sound. Finally, after the third time the phone rang, she picked it up.

“Hello?” she said, stifling a sniffle.

“Hey! Daisy! It’s Barb. You okay, child?” her friend Barb replied. A southern belle through and through, and her genteel nature was one of the reasons her and Daisy were able to be good friends.

“I’m living.”

“And I can tell that you’re not doing very well. Your sadness is showing. Care to have a friend to talk to here?”

It was no use. Daisy couldn’t hold it in any longer. Through wracked sobs and screams, she relayed everything she felt at that time. She laid out all the fear, the feelings of isolation, the disappointment, and all of the other feelings. For 30 long minutes, she talked to her, putting it out there for one of her long-time friends.

After a few moments of silence and breathing, Daisy gave a long sigh.

“Felt good to get that out, didn’t it, child?”

“Yeah, it felt good. I just don’t have people down here to deal with, that would share experiences with me.”

“Aw, sugah, do you remember when you met me? Remember how you thought I was a bit weird cause I was from the south?”

Daisy put her palm to her forehead, as she remembered the first thing she said to Barb.

“Anyhow, child, remember something. No matter how far we may be from each other, you can always talk to me. And don’t forget your other friends back here, too. The pastor, Jimmy, and even Pele the gardener are always here to talk with ya.”

Daisy smiled, the first smile she had shown to people in a week. As she kept talking, the tears of pain and sadness, hurt and all other feelings, turned to happiness, relief, and joy. She was very thankful for her friend, and she was incredibly grateful that she was there…even if she was going to be going home soon.

(for David Stewart, one of my great friends who has helped me on one of the biggest transitions I’ve had to deal with. Ever.)

Friday Fictioneers – Smoky Mountain Rain

Make sure to read Fool’s Gold, if at all possible. It’s a good story! Anyhow, on with the show!

 

copyright Erin Leary

Smoky Mountain Rain

“Chelsea, I don’t think I’m coming back.”

Chelsea Jacobs looked out over the gully in the early morning, as she talked to her brother in Taiwan

“But, what about Dad? He’s dying!”

“I return to the states, I lose what I’ve gained over here. I know Dad would say that I should continue to live my life, even after he’s gone.”

I can’t live without you here.”

“Then come with me, we can do great things together.”

“I don’t have the money!”

“Leave that rain behind, I’ll take care of it.”

Friday Fictioneers – Pearly Whites

As per normal again, Friday Fictioneers! Here’s my contribution, after nearly 3 long months of rest and agonizing over grad school applications:

copyright - Douglas MacIlroy

copyright – Douglas MacIlroy

Pearly Whites

Bright lights shone across the sky.

The beam blasted from the tower into the room of one Marc Lavagneur, paparazzi extraordinaire and general pain in the butt.

“Gah! Can’t they just stop with the light already? I get the picture!” he yelled out the window.

He walked over to his phone and dialed up a number he never wanted to call.

“Hello? Creative Arts Agency? This is Marc Lavagneur. I give up. I’m done.”

The light stayed on.

“AND TELL LONI ANDERSON TO CLOSE HER MOUTH! IT’S BLINDING ME!”

The light suddenly went off.

Everywhere That I’m Not

by Miles Rost

A small green light popped on. A buzzing sound rattled urgently across the dresser.

An arm reached up from the bed, thrashing around while trying to grab the buzzing phone that was going insane. After a few seconds, and a vase knocked onto the floor, the hand and arm grabbed the phone and pulled back under the covers.

“mmmmfrla…Hello?”
“Hi, honey!”

Paul sat up in his bed, hearing the voice of his insanely beautiful fiancee, her voice waking him up like a shot of espresso to the veins.

“Anna! I…I miss you!”
“I know, honey! I do, too.”
“Where are you today?”
“I’m  sitting on a beach, looking out over the tides in the Bay of Fundy.

Paul just shook his head, and chuckled.

“I thought you were in New York?”
“Not today. I was two weeks ago, remember? I had to deal with a mugger that day.”
“That’s right. I remember now…did he recover from his injuries?”
“Hey! I didn’t kick him in the nuts that hard.”

Paul winced a bit, in sympathy.

“So where were you last week?”
“I had to go to Tokyo. They needed my services taking care of a negotiation between Culture Japan and the Aomori city government for promotions.”
“I find it fascinating where you go, but I feel very…lost without you.”
“Why do you say that?”

Paul sighed, as he pulled on his pair of long sweatpants.

“Well, let’s see. You call from New York, where I’m not.”
“Yes?”
You go over to Tokyo, where I’m not…
“Yes?”
You’re in Nova Scotia, but I’m not.
“And what are you saying?”
Yeah, you’re everywhere that I’m not. And I feel lost. I want to be everywhere with you.”

A giggle resonated through Paul’s ear, as Paul’s face twisted in frustration.

“What’s so funny about that?”
“I think it’s very cute that you want to join me on my adventures, even though your job doesn’t allow you to go anywhere.”
“I wish I could get a job where that would be the case.”
“You never know, you may actually get one soon.”

His eyebrows furrowed, as his twisted into one of confusion. This was unusual, not Anna’s normal words that he was hearing in his head.

“What do you mean?”
“Why don’t you look out the window?”

He ambled over to the window. Looking out, he saw the snow-covered ground of his rural Pierce County home, the lights of his neighbor’s Christmas lights, a Tacoma power truck. He was about to tell Anna that he didn’t see anything important, when he noticed someone waving. He blinked again, and saw a person standing on his front lawn.

It was his lovely Anna, holding up her phone in her hand.

“Anna!”

He ran out of his bedroom and bounded down the stairs like a boy at Christmas time. He opened the door, nearly ripping it off it’s hinges as he ran out into the cool air and the snow. He bounded over to Anna, and just as she opened her arms, he pounced on her. They fell, in a mass of tumbling brown and auburn hair and pasty, while legs.

“Anna! I missed you so much!”
“And for a second there you actually thought I would be sent to Nova Scotia.”
“It’s because you’ve been gone so…”

A look of shock rang across his face.

“Are you wearing my favorite outfit of yours?”
“You mean the dark green turtleneck and short black miniskirt that you bought for me on our trip to Vancouver last year?”
“That’s the one!”
“Then the answer is yes!”

Paul smiled as his beautiful fiancee beamed her relief at being home.

“How about we go upstairs and crash for the day. I’ll call into work and take a sick day.”
“I think we can do that, so that you can be where I am.”

Anna smiled at him, as he lifted her up and carried her from the frozen lawn into their house.