What we sacrifice, what we promise…

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Pure fiction.

When I think back about all those people I let down I feel a myriad of odd feelings. I feel guilty that I have not said goodbye. I feel sad that it is too late to say it now. I feel disappointed that cowardice took over and pushed me to flee the offensive atmosphere of these last summer days.

I used to hold you dear and dream that the world is ours and we can do everything, be everyone, reach the stars… We promised each other eternity together, we promised forever.

Now I know that forever does not exist. Not when one is as young as a new born fowl, with shaky legs and bright eyes, just learning to make first steps, testing the ground, falling down and getting up again. First love is like that isn’t it?

It’s a first taste of an amazing feeling that spreads through our hearts with warmth and messes with our heads so efficiently. It’s the first drunken feeling of emotion. It’s seeing the whole world mirrored in the eyes of a loved one. Love is like a drug that intoxicates in that sweet way that wants you to stay addicted. To feed on the feeling. To thrive with only love.

Love pushes you to your limit, elevates you higher and higher. That makes the fall so much more painful and so much more startling. You learn the hard way that you cannot live on love alone. That this fresh new feeling that you thought would last forever is like a water well on a desert. It will go dry someday. And there will be nothing, no monument to remember it, no trace to follow and find it. And the same song goes on and on , from ages we love and suffer. We get hurt.  And yet we eagerly look for this feeling. We seek love.

Lessons in love are never learned. The teacher always changes and has new things to teach us. We think we get smarter with each passing feeling, each meaningful relationship. Do we really? Where is the Wiseman who will tell us what true love really is, how to fix a broken heart, how to love forever unchangeably, unconditionally, unceasingly.

We sacrifice our hearts when we love but we never keep the promises we make.  To love forever the same way we loved in the first minutes when this new feeling was born. In those seconds that decided about our fate together. That electrifying feeling happens only once and the current goes weaker and weaker with every passing year. A promise that could never be kept, a sacrifice that will never be made.

Daily prompt from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=627067727320552&set=a.599260846767907.1073741825.175634409130555&type=1&relevant_count=1.

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Daily Prompt: Elevator

Fiction writers: You’re stuck in an elevator with an intriguing stranger. Write this scene.

Non-fiction writers: You’re stuck in an elevator with a person from your past. Write this scene.

Pure fiction.

The coffee stain on my white blouse was getting larger and larger. I looked at it mortified and thought that not only I was running late, as always, but now I faced the prospect of returning to my apartment and changing the shirt. I looked at the plastic cup with a leaky top – the root of all evil, and sighed. I was just about to step outside the elevator when another person came running.

– Hold the elevator – The man managed to gasp as he almost jumped into the metal cubicle.

– Oh, I’m just getting out so if you could just.. – I said trying to go past him, but he was so preoccupied with getting in that he simply pushed the close button on the board and leaned on the wall with a sigh of relief. I of course was outraged.

– Excuse me did you not hear me saying that I wanted to get out? – He looked at me as if seeing me for the first time. I could see that he was just registering what I said and what I implied he did. He was a young man in his mid twenties, smartly dressed with an expensive looking briefcase.

– Oh I’m so sorry, I was in such a rush that I wasn’t thinking. You could just go back up, couldn’t you?

– Well, I suppose but that is not the point. – I answered briskly, irritated that I was wasting precious time.

– I’m sorry ok, I don’t know what more I can do.  – he answered rather snappishly. I was just about to open my mouth and snap back at him but suddenly the elevator churned and shook dangerously. The lights flickered and the machine stopped.

– What the…? – I asked no one in particular.

– We are stuck – he said flatly. He pushed the emergency button and slid down to the floor with a  loud sigh. – Great, this day couldn’t get any better . – He ran a hand through his short, slightly curling, sandy blond hair.

Ok, how can you be so calm? I’m freaking out here! What happens with elevators that get suspended between floors? Do they fall?

– Oh my God, is this thing going to fall? – The moment the words left my mouth I understood how stupid I sounded. The man looked at me with a mixture of disbelief and concern. He apparently thought that he was now locked in a very limited space with a completely crazy woman.

[to be continued someday]

Inspiration #2

A picture is worth 1000 words. This safe has been through a lot. Tell its story. Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

When it came out of the manufacture line it was one out of many. There were hundreds of them. Identical safes, waiting for its owner and for a purpose. However, this safe had a special mission to fulfill. Out of all, it was singled out and picked by an ordinary man in his mid forties. The man, despite looking puny, had the strength to veer our safe out of the magazine and move it towards the exit. Our safe was put on the back of a dirty, yellow pickup truck by the same man. It was a shaky ride, with bumps and sudden stops, but at the end of it waited a new home for our lucky safe.

When the truck finally came to a stop, our safe was clumsily taken out and put on a soiled pavement. A centimeter to the left and once bright pink and now grayish chewing gum, would get stuck onto our safe’s bottom.

Next our safe was carried by a bell boy into an imposing looking hotel lobby, alive with quickly pacing people. It was put on a trolley and steered towards large elevator with a rectangular mirror. During the ride up to the top floor, the bell boy was making silly faces at the mirror and admiring his slightly crooked teeth. When the doors opened our safe was taken through long corridor layered with beige tapestry and lit by grand lamps.

Passing all the other modest looking entrances, the bell boy stopped in front of an dark, impressive, mahogany doors and knocked two times. When the doors opened out safe was introduced to an entirely different world full of dazzling luxury, cheerful laughter, bright lights, and dreams.

The new owner seemed very pleased with our safe. He praised the model and the workmanship. The owner tipped the bell boy and asked him to put our safe in the master bedroom. The bell boy did just that, but not before he nearly crashed a priceless vase. He was so overwhelmed by the vivid atmosphere of the place that he nearly collided with the artifact. Luckily nobody saw anything. Nobody but our safe that is.

When our safe was finally put into the room, it was the best place possible. Our safe was now facing the enormous window that took up one whole wall of the bedroom. The view outside was magnificent. The lights of the city sparkled with life and hope. The roofs of high skyscrapers  were littered with antennas and birds. And of course there was the sky – vast, inky space dotted with stars.

Yes, now our safe was content. It could spend its life here. Observe the world from here. Be silent, be still, be reliable and be a part of a history of this place. Our safe would see it all and tell no tales. Always in its spot. Taking it all in, like a sponge. Observing, seeing, listening, just being…

Weekly Writing Challenge: Through the Door

The door to your house/flat/apartment/abode has come unstuck in time. The next time you walk through it, you find yourself in the same place, but a different time entirely. Where are you, and what happens next?

I was beat. Dead tired actually. Mauled after the whole day at the office. The only thing I dreamed of was to get into the shower and crawl into bed. I bet I would be asleep in three seconds.

Unfortunately my doors had other ideas. They simply wouldn’t budge. Not even an inch. I turned and turned my key but it seemed like the problem was with the door itself. They seemed glued to the doorframe.

Oh, no, nothing will beat me to my bed. I pushed angrily at the door and suddenly the wood gave in. I fell through the entrance and landed on something soft, green and grassy? What the…? Did I break a plant at home? Wait a minute I have no plants. What is going on? I raised my head and stumbled to my feet. The sun blinded me. Under my feet was indeed, a grass. I could hear birds and raised my head to see a few black spots on otherwise clear, baby blue sky. Before my eyes there was vast, green field with only few boulder blocks scattered. On the horizon I could see some big shape rising in the distance, menacing, sinister, the big unknown.

I turned around disoriented, wanting to go back to my apartment, only to find out that there was no door anymore. My door was gone and only a shaky, half rotten frame remained. There was no way back.

I was literally in the middle of nowhere. What is going on? I must be dreaming. I bumped my head or fainted from the exhaustion. Yes that must be it. I felt that dreadful feeling of insecurity, fright and complete lose set in.

I was all alone, in a strange place, in a different time… And to think that I thought this day couldn’t get any worse…

 

Weekly Writing Challenge: Through the Door

The smell of summer…

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Summer smells of the sun and warm rays that caress my face.

Summer smells of flowers that bow heads in the gardens around my grandparents home.

Summer is the linden that scratches my window panes when moved by the soft gust of wind.

Summer is the smell of freshly baked cake by my grandmother’s the loving hands.

Summer is the smell of grease from my grandfather’s workshop.

Summer is the warm surface of the balcony I lay on dreaming.

Summer is the laughter of my childhood friend’s, the games and first stolen kisses.

Summer smells of friendship, love and my favorite time of the year – vacation at my grandparent’s country cottage.

Daily prompt from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=619484078078917&set=a.599260846767907.1073741825.175634409130555&type=1&relevant_count=1.

Who loved more?

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A.’s mother was a very distant person. Not only from her daughter but also from her husband, parents, relatives. The only thing she seemed to care about were pretty clothes, jewelry, furs, make up kits, and of course reputation. Reputation was everything to her. She wanted to be admired, she wanted to shine, to stand out and absorb everyone’s attention. She was sure she was worth more than being a mere mother hen and a stay at home wife.

She and A. never saw eye to eye. Where her daughter was more relaxed she was tensed, where A. couldn’t care less, her mother was on her toes trying to look the best. It was always quite a wonder, how two such different personalities could be related. Let alone be a mother and a daughter.

It wasn’t any better with A.’s father. An overachiever if you ever so one. Workaholic, alcoholic and occasional gambler. He locked himself in his studies more nights than not, working, drinking, thinking… Barred from his family by a wall he built himself. And he was content with it. As long as A. didn’t get into trouble and he didn’t have to be ashamed of her, she could do whatever she wanted. He simply didn’t care enough. His work was his baby. He devoted himself to it unconditionally.

So the answer to the prompt is: neither of her parents loved A. the most. But that is not where the family ends, right? It does not even end with blood. There are people in this world that care for us gratuitously, not because they are tied to us by etiquette or blood.

A. had lots of people who cared for her and showed her love. She grew up good. She grew up strong. And despite being left alone by her parents, she was never in fact lonely.

Daily prompt from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=619013948125930&set=a.599260846767907.1073741825.175634409130555&type=1&relevant_count=1.

Antagonist’s favourite pet…

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It’s a hound. An enormous, ugly, terrifying, ferocious dog. His name is Asgar. The legend has it that his teeth were soaked in the blood of thousands snakes and thus are poisonous. His nose has no match. Once he knows your scent he can find you everywhere, even in the most remote places. You cannot hide from this hound.

Asgar’s claws are sharp and lethal, always ready to strike his masters enemies. His master is not a cuddling type but when Asgar does please him, the dog gets a comfortable scratch behind the ear. When you take a look at the hound, for a moment you think that it is only a giant shadow that approaches you. A shadow with two sinisterly shining points of sickly yellow light. Asgar’s eyes can see far, far away. There is no point in running, he can spot you from miles away.

They say it cannot be killed…And frankly it might be the truth. The fact is no one came close enough to even try.

A fitting pet for such a merciless master, whose mere name resonates terror. An ideal weapon, sweeper, hunter, all wrapped up in one neat package of black fur, four paws and a tail.

Daily prompt from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=618598448167480&set=a.599260846767907.1073741825.175634409130555&type=1&relevant_count=1.

The first book…

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I don’t think I can name only one book that compelled me to write. Nor can I name the first book that I read and thought to myself “Wow this writer is amazing”. I always admired the story, the characters, the style of written word.

Honestly in the beginning I was thinking more along the lines of being a professional literature translator. I was completely satisfied by seeing my name written underneath the author and the title. I wanted to open a book and see my name there in small print, nearly nonexistent but still there. And then I wanted more.

If I have to name one book I cannot do so, but maybe I should write about the author of my favorite books from the childhood period. Lucy Maud Montgomery and her Anne of Green Gables sage as well as Emily and New Moon made up my childhood. This was my bedtime story. I read the books so many times that the covers became worn out and pages were nearly falling apart. I loved the characters and the style. I admired the little girls who in spite of everything grew up to be respected and successful women.

Writing a story, making someone stop and identify with your characters, to follow the intricate plot lines, the yearning for more… It is a powerful thing – writing, being a writer. Wielding such power is the greatest gift of all. Reaching for this power is very human. Being good at it is hard work and practice.

Daily prompt from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=618222398205085&set=a.599260846767907.1073741825.175634409130555&type=1&relevant_count=1.

Inspiration #1

Italo Calvino said: The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts. Describe the ghosts that live in this house: Image credit: “love Don’t live here anymore…” – © 2009 Robb North – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

Helen Reed was a house wife and proud of it. She used to bake apple pie and make rhubarb compote. She liked the smell of fresh linen and laundry so she did it quite often, even when all the linens were pristine clean. Helen liked the house to be neat. No dust on the shelves, no bundles of  filth in the corners and definitely no item should be put out of its place.

It is a wonder how she managed to put up with George. Ah George where to even begin talking about dear, sweet, mellow George. George Reed was a history professor. He liked his job, he enjoyed teaching young minds about the value of past. He particularly took pleasure in reenacting the Civil War. Every year he would take his class out into the field and set up a battle between South and North.

How this two came to be a couple and later even more – a marriage? Well, George likes to think that it was done the right way. That as a man he dropped to one knee and eloquently proposed to his future fiancé. Helen sees it differently. The moment she saw young, tall, pale boy with dreamy eyes  and a bright future ahead of him, she knew he was the one for her. Helen steered the young man in right direction and “pop” there goes the ring. Either way both Mr and Mrs Reed are fond of each other very much and enjoy life together.

Helen is not bothered by the fact that she has to pick the stray socks, parchments, pencils and pens from various strange places around the house. George calmly listens to his wife’s tirades about keeping order and being more organized. They both seem at peace with each other. And why shouldn’t they? After all the years they have learned each other’s vices and virtues. One foresees every little move before the other makes it. They complement each other’s shortcomings. They truly became two half of one piece.

Moreover it took them only 234 years to come to terms with all of their little quirks. Oh didn’t I tell you? The Reeds are no longer walking among the living. Instead of crossing to the other side they decided to stay in their little home and work on their relationship. Now they live here peacefully tending to their garden. Wasn’t it Voltaire who said “we must cultivate our garden?”

Monsters under the bed…

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“Good night, sleep tight,
Don’t let the bedbugs bite,”

This nursery rhyme always rubbed me the wrong way. I never believed in monsters living under my bed, but when I was a child…Well, that is an entirely different story. I was a child with a vivid imagination who often escaped the reality and come up with various worlds, creatures and stories. The first monsters that I imagined threatened my world where… orcs, goblins and the evil forces of Mordor. Believe it or not but my father would tell me stories from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”.

Obviously I was too little to read the book by myself but my father used to tell me bits and pieces of the plot. He used to tell me that underneath our house there were mines and vast caves where orcs and goblins lived. However we were protected by a white flower with a power to repel evil creatures. The name of the flower? Spathiphyllum, more commonly known as Spath or Peace Lilies. One of those plants was placed in our living room. A guardian of the home.

So, no I was never afraid of monsters living under my bed. After all I had the Peace Lily to protect me. This and my vast imagination which choose to see the world in rainbow rather than in dark colors.

Daily prompt from: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=617325341628124&set=a.599260846767907.1073741825.175634409130555&type=1&relevant_count=1.