You’re Still Here?

Inspiration Monday XXII

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Uneven footsteps click against concrete and echo in my ears still hot and fuzzy from the loud music. There’s not a soul around. Oh yeah, there’s a girl on my arm. She’s hanging on, heavy like a bowling ball in my hand dragging me to the ground. I straighten to take my arm back. Jeez. That was my head. I look behind us. Did we run into that pole? I laugh and rub my temple. That’s going to hurt tomorrow.

Eureka it’s the car. Abrupt red in a maze of gray. All these levels look the same. They do it on purpose just to mess us up when all we want to do is go home. It’s so far away. We’ll never make it.

Two beeps greet us. I open her door, drop her into the seat. Her hair sprays across the head rest. Why did I pick the blonde? The brunette was cuter. I grab the door handle. Wait, that’s not right. I put her leg inside. Slam the door. Oh, seat belt. Open the door, wrestle her seat belt over her and click it. She tries to kiss me but misses, hits my ear instead. My feet drag through mud to my door. But there’s no mud here.

I push the ignition. What’s that sound? I squint at the blinking words in the dash. “Check tire pressure,” I say, but my lips won’t move. She giggles in her sleep.

My forehead hits the steering wheel, and I force myself back outside. Four flat tires shit this is the boss’s car. Shit shit shit. Two hundred fifty fucking thousand dollar supercar and some jerk has to flatten the tires because I have one and he doesn’t. Drive on the rims. Wouldn’t be the first time. I already owe him four tires why not throw in some rims.

It takes a year to get back in the car. I hit the button again. No engine. Again. Nothing. Something blinks at me, but it’s a cartoon. A picture of a foot. How am I supposed to know what that means?

A crash on the roof wakes me. I wipe the drool off my chin. Black wings span the hood. Red eyes stare. And fangs? I get out.

He leaps off the car. A demon of some sort. “You’re still here?” he asks.

“Can’t get the car started.”

He looks at his nails. Not nails. Talons. “Did you push in the clutch?”

Oh. Guess not. But he’s the asshole. I’m not stupid. I shove him. He hisses and spins, slicing my shirt in four places.

“What do you want?” I yell.

“I need a soul. You, or her. Your choice.”

I want to go home. And I would kill for some fish tacos. “That’s easy. Her.”

He grabs my throat. “Wrong answer.”

He’s almost dragged me to the elevator when the car’s other door opens. “You’re leaving? You pig!” Suddenly she’s wide awake. “I can’t drive in these shoes!”

The demon gives me a knowing look. “Okay. I’ll take her.”

Rearrange Me ‘Til I’m Sane

Inspiration Monday XX. One more X, and I would have had to have added much more detail. :O

“would have had to have”? Jeez. Is there a better way to say that? It’s painful.

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The shade of night offers no relief from the heat. I swelter against him, boil in his arms, melt into the bed of dusty earth and dead grass. Any more of this, and he’ll have to reform my body in the morning. Rearrange me ’til I’m sane.

His mouth is dry and so is mine. We’ve sweated all our moisture out. We both know there’s no water for miles, but in this moment, we could both dehydrate and die and it would all be worth it. Our bodies would return to the earth together, fertilizing the soil, this union creating life in a different way.

He pushes up on straight, stiff arms to look at me. His chest heaves. The air floods between us, pushing him an ocean away from me. A vibration tickles the back of my head, and I turn my ear to the ground. It’s just a hint. It could be anything. He puts his ear against the ground beside me. His eyes are mirrors of mine. The vibration builds into something we both recognize and we sit up simultaneously. Orange twinkles through the forest toward us.

He takes my hand and we run. We’re too dehydrated. We’re too far from water. Sound laps at the backs of my legs, stealing my death in bliss and handing out a death in fear.

“No!” I stop so abruptly I fall to my knees. He stops a few yards ahead and turns. I sit back on my heels. “No.”

He puts his hands on his knees, bows his head. Breathes. When he looks up, all I see is a wicked smile. “We face it,” he says.

“Yes.”

“No one’s ever faced it.”

I stand. “We face it.”

He comes to my side. We watch it coming toward us. Our breath slows. Our hearts calm. And we welcome our death in freedom.

I’m The Only One Who Can’t

For this week’s Inspiration Monday, I’ve continued the story from last week. They each stand alone, but if you want the whole story, read last week’s “I Dreamed This” first.

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This new room is all wrong. I want to go back home. Your pupils are still dilated, your eyes are still bloodshot. The glare of these lights make it so obvious. Don’t you know what will happen as soon as they put it all together?

My awareness is a shadow on the ceiling, anchored by the body in the bed. Witnessing everything, participating in nothing. Unable to be with you, yet unable to leave. You’re looking into eyes that aren’t attached to me anymore. You’re holding the hand I can no longer feel. I see your lips move, I hear your words, but my response steams the glass in front of my face and bounces around inside this prison.

This dream of ours stinks of reality. We did this together, but I know you will take the blame. And I’m the only one who can’t tell you I’ve forgiven you.

I Dreamed This

I missed a week of Inspiration Monday, but I’m back.

I’ve been busy writing draft one of my third book, which is actually the prequel in the series. I’m about one hundred pages in. My manuscripts usually end up being 500-600, but I have a lot of ground to cover in this prequel and I’m starting to wonder if it’s going to turn into two novels. Or three. I’m also procrastinating working on the synopsis for book one so I can start querying. It’s written, but needs major tweaking.

So here’s my attempt at this week’s Inspiration Monday.

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I dreamed this. Wind so violent, tearing at my hair, my clothes. The ground rumbles underfoot, and the city falls before my eyes. The dust becomes a new entity, rising up, higher than the top of the once highest building, yet suddenly the wind cuts off and I’m shielded inside a clean, soundless space, like an insect caught in an upside down glass.

You dreamed this, from the other side. Your distance flavored your terror with helplessness. You didn’t know I was inside that glass.

And when I woke up, you were there, but I was not. I was still inside that glass, watching you try to wake me.