Friday Fictioneers – I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me

(Author’s Note: None. Fictioneers Ahoy!)

smallpox-hospital-roger-bultot

© Roger Bultot

by Miles H. Rost

 

Serenity.

It’s what Holly Blankenship always wanted.

She understood there was a price to be paid for having that serenity, and she was willing to pay it. For a while. The old ruins of the science building on campus gave it to her, and no one around to say anything.

But she didn’t want to be alone. She wanted serenity, without the loneliness.

“Excuse me. Is this ruin taken?” she heard from behind.

She whipped her head around at the male voice behind her. His eyes widened and he started to run away.

She sighed, turning around again.

Alone again.

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Friday Fictioneers – Let Me Go Home

(Author’s note: After having 2 and a half of the toughest weeks that I’ve ever had, including fighting off illness and dealing with a crapton of stress that just wouldn’t quit, I’m largely doing okay. Here’s Today’s fictioneers.)

dale-rogerson-pizza

©Dale Rogerson

by Miles H. Rost

The couch was the point of no return.

Harvey sat, his legs curled up underneath, exhaustion seeping from every pore of his body.

It was so bad, he couldn’t eat properly. The gourmet pizza, and bottle of expensive wine, sat barely touched on a counter. He could eat it later, but by that time, the wine might have turned to vinegar.

He sat, staring at the blank wall in front of him, the couch being his place of refuge.

He wanted out of his life, but had to return to the 9 to 5 the next morning.

In his exhaustion, he cried.

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Friday Fictioneers – Snow On The Sahara

(Author’s Note: First week of new job doing fine. Hope to be back to mini-story writing next week. Here’s tonight’s fictioneers, with a song from my own personal deep cuts collection!)

january-snowfall-nighttime

© Sarah Potter

Snow On The Sahara

by Miles H. Rost

The expedition was lost.

First, it was Mina. Then Charles. Packi, the Tunisian warlord. Finally, Julian.

The faces of the two that remained were covered in sand, fine particles of silica that stung their eyes.

“So, where do we go from here, O great navigator?” Marisa said, changing the towel on the back of her cap.

“Well, we should be heading close to the Chott al Djerid, but…”

Marisa let out a whoop as she felt cold hit her skin. She looked up, and saw dark grey clouds and white flakes falling.

“Can you believe it? Snow! We are close!”

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Friday Fictioneers – Piano In The Dark

(Author’s Note: I promise stuff is coming. I’m getting distracted by all sorts of stuff at work. The job gets in the way sometimes…But, here’s another Fictioneers post to whet your appetite!)

 

© John Nixon

Piano In The Dark

by Miles H. Rost

Shirley plopped her bag on the table.

Coming home from a hard day of learning at school, she was going to be happy when she finally could watch “Sailor Moon”. It had been a while since she had a day to herself.

The sky grew dark all day, and it was nearly pitch black outside. She turned on the TV and not even a minute in, she heard the familiar buzz of klaxons and red screens.

She buzzed into the basement and took shelter and waited.

And waited.

The lights went out.

A steady roar sounded.

Plink. Plink.

Cacophony.

Friday Fictioneers – Lonely Town

(Author’s note: Sorry for the lateness. That’s what happens when you become more social. More writing coming soon.)

© Marie Gail Stratford

Lonely Town

by Miles H. Rost

The Diary of Cliff Jenkins, competent company worker:

Not exactly sure why the company wanted to have their meeting here. It’s the Korean thanksgiving holiday called Chuseok, and they scheduled the meeting in Busan.

Looking out my hotel window, it’s barren. Very few people here. Haeundae Beach has no people. The streets have nothing.

I’m waiting here for my compadres. They were supposed to show up 4 hours ago. I wonder if they got lost. I know that it can be a bit of a run down from Incheon.

And now the text from the boss, “Meeting cancelled. See you tomorrow at work.”

Well. That confirms it. It’s a lonely town tonight.

We All Sleep Alone

(Author’s Note: If you’re interested in reading the previous five stories of Mayumi, please use the tag “Mayumi” to find her stories.)

Mayumi’s Story (part VI)
(aka “We All Sleep Alone”)
by Miles H. Rost

The months passed by, and things finally stabilized for Mayumi Shiomi. After dealing with more ups and downs at her job, things finally were able to get to some semblance of “normal”. She had just a little over 4 months left on her contract, and could not wait to leave.

The intervening months since her letter to her dad had not been too kind. She went through many relationships and one night stands, feeling the loneliness and emptiness in her heart that she was left with for such a long time. She finally got in with a counselor to talk about it, to come clean and to rebuild the shattered pieces of her heart and deal with the remnants of the old relationship that so wrecked her personal life.

As she sat in her apartment, looking out at the Sydney landscape, she couldn’t help but think about how she got where she was. She thought about the God she served, and how she was being led even in her weaknesses.

“Y’know, God. Ah’ve been such a fool,” she said, out loud, “I’ve spent so much time grousing about my job, not doing what I’m  supposed to do. Ah know I need to do better, I just don’t know why I’m so weak.”

She sighed, as she looked at the cloudy skies that unfolded over the city like a scroll. It was a day that matched her feelings, and as she got up to do a small bit of cleaning, she gave a small sigh and a weak smile.

“Sooner or later, Lord, we all sleep alone. Ahm glad it’s happening now, instead of when I’m an old maid.”

Looking at the calendar, she had the date circled. Just over 4 months, and she could finish her contract and get out. She already had prospects at a new job, and a new life in Melbourne. But, she wouldn’t be able to start for at least a month after due to non-compete clauses. She knew that this would be a perfect time to find out about places to live there.

She had life to look forward to. But she had to survive the next months. That would be a challenge, as long as she was dealing with all the anxiety issues and the health problems that came with it. Worry, anxiety, and all sorts of other things pulled at Mayumi’s neck like a gremlin on an airplane. It was not something she enjoyed, and her sleep sometimes suffered because of it.

She would pray for at least one vacation in between, just to make things go faster.

She grabbed her pillow, and proceeded to her bedroom to take a nap. Why not let time pass her by with something she wanted to do.

Sleeping was one way to get away from the everyday. And she took to it like a champion.

Diamond Girls

(With thanks to Jamie Cross for inspiration)

Chelsea Paragovian, known to the rest of the world as Chelly Price, looked out the window at the brilliant lights of New York City. The twinkle of the skyline would be incredibly mesmerizing for a first-time girl in the big city. For someone who was there, it was a fading light that reflected the fading spark in her spirit.

Chelly Price was the main attraction for the new millennial musical movement, up there with the Demi Lovatos, Victoria Justices, and others of their ilk. Her first album, made when she was just 17 and a newbie in New York City, had gone platinum within 6 months. She was a hot commodity, and the various backing bands loved having her up front to bring the numbers in. After the concerts, she would swing through the party circuit. Sleep through the day, party all the night, press the flesh at music signings and celebrity appearances on TV shows.  Her second album didn’t do as well, but did hit gold within 9 months.

As she looked at herself in the mirror, as the sun came up on that September morning, she finally caught the realization of everything she had been doing. The lines on her face, the premature worry-lines, the stress and the wear of the road was finally getting to her. She had success, she had the money, but she had nothing else.

She had one person left who could bring her back to earth.

She held onto the cell-phone, the flat phone that kept only the most important numbers. She clicked through the hundreds of contacts until she found the one that she was looking for, listed under the letter Z. It had the name “Zero Hour” on it, and she knew that when she called the number, things would never be the same. She clicked the entry, and waited.

One ring. Two rings. Three rings.  *Click*

“Hello?”

“It’s me.”

“Chelsea? Sweetie? Is that you?”

“Yeah, Daddy. It’s me. I’m sorry for calling you so early. I know that it’s probably the middle of the night over there…”

She heard a big yawn from the other side of the phone, and started to yawn as well.

“No, no, sweetie. It’s alright. I haven’t heard from you, it’s been so long. So, how is New York treating you?”

“It’s…it’s…it’s alright, I guess.”

“Is there something wrong, sweetie?”

Chelsea hesitated. She knew that if she said the wrong thing, it could doom her future. She believed that if she said something, that it could come to fruition in ways that were never meant to be.

“I looked in the mirror.”

“What did you see?”

“I saw lines. I saw myself as tired.”

“How long have you been doing this stuff that you’ve been doing?”

“2 years. I am due to go into the studios here in the next month to record the third record.”

“What do you think? Do you think you have enough for another one?”

“They keep supplying me with songs, but they’re not really that good. I really want to expand my horizons.”

“Do you remember what I told you when you first left on that midnight plane to New York?”

“You told me that diamond girls aren’t made to grow old.”

“Do you feel old?”

“I look old. I feel tired. But, I know that there’s a spark still in my heart. I just don’t think it’s here.”

She chuckled, thinking that it was silly she was having this discussion with her dad, who was a simple wood-mill worker, not a big entertainment man.

“Maybe what they’re asking of you is not what you want. Have you thought much about what you want to do?”

Chelsea paused. Have I really thought about it? she asked herself, in her mind.

“I am not sure. I am thinking about leaving the parties and the other stuff behind. Maybe refocusing my music, in a way?”

“Honey, whatever you plan to do, I’m behind you 100 percent. Did you hear about Bernie Griffin?”

“Big Bernie? The guy who slung the slats?”

“Yeah. He got drafted by the Dodgers. He’s heading to Florida, I think. He’s gonna be in the minors now.”

“How did he get into baseball?”

“When you saw him last, he was on the high school team. He was at a company baseball gathering, and some guy saw him. Put his name in with a scout, who saw him work, and signed him almost on the spot.”

“Wow. Who would have thought?”

“People thought the same thing about you, Chelsea. They didn’t realize that you were being picked up for a recording contract. A 3 record deal was a big thing for the people around here.”

Chelsea thought about that for a moment, seeing herself like Bernie, and chuckling to herself.

“What I’m trying to say to you, Chelsea, is that you need to do what you think is right. Diamond girls aren’t made to grow old, and you’re my diamond girl. If you think that going a different direction will be a good thing, then trust in what your heart is saying.”

“Daddy, I just need time away from this city. I want to come home for a while.”

“Your bed is ready when you need it. We love you and support you, and if you want to come back at any time, just give us a heads up so we can pick you up at the airport.”

Chelsea started crying right there, on the phone. She knew what she was going to do, and it may have to mean paying the price of her soul with her career.