Wednesday, December 30, 2015
I feebly shook his sweaty hand. "Sophia Bandell. My friend's usually here with me but had some errands to run."
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Mandy pulled up a lounge chair and sank down with her towel. “Dibs …just kidding …he is kind of a creeper isn’t he? Sure doesn’t take the hint well.” Matt sat down next to her. “He does have cute sneakers and glasses, though.” She giggled and put her finger in her mouth as if to gag herself.
Something hard and obtrusive forced its way inside, taking refuge, making its home in the depths of Taylor’s stomach. She clutched at it for an instant, hoping the maggot-infested pain that was causing it to be upset would just go away. But it wouldn’t.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
I walked farther into the room and advanced toward the dresser. The music got louder, reaching higher crescendos. My face wrinkled in confusion, and I inched closer, trying to make sense of it. Sad and melancholy notes sifted the room—heartbroken, bereaved. Perplexed at what could be creating this, I opened up the top drawer of the dresser—careful—not disturbing it.
The drawer was dark and empty so I closed it, stepping back, listening. A delicate breeze tickled my ear—like the feel of someone’s breath—making me grin. I glanced to the locked window. Nothing could have come through there.
The feel of tenacious arms cradled, pulled me in, holding me prisoner inside a satiny caress. It mesmerized me—captured in a trance-like state. An arousal stirred deep, nerve endings tingled.
Everything was unbelievably good in this moment, I never wanted it to end. I stood there with my arms wrapped around myself, eyes closed, swaying back and forth; this wonderful feeling of pure, undeniable love surrounding me.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Ray looked down at the table, turning his double chin into a triple, his round face reddening, trying to hold in a laugh.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
We found three beach chairs and threw our towels and sunscreen on them, then ran for the water. Mandy and Matt didn’t waste any time plunging in. I ran fast, but screeched to a halt at the water’s edge as the familiar quiver grabbed ahold. It started at the top of my tummy and worked its way down to the pit—my chicken-self taking over.
Gathering a small amount of courage, I squeezed my eyes shut and dipped the tips of my toes in. Hundreds of schools of colored fish darted around in the water and headed right for me. My imagination ran rampant. Did I really just see the yellow fish’s teeth gnashing and snarling at me?
I jerked my feet out like a spazoid on steroids. “Eek!” Arms spinning like a windmill, I over-dramatized the move and flailed back on my heels, butt-planting into the wet sand, leaving the sassy imprint of two round butt cheeks.
My hands shook, and I clutched my stomach, cussing myself for drinking so much water earlier. I got back up again, and my head jerked to the right, then the left—looking for the millions of people who had seen me commit that horrid mistake.
I crept back to the water’s edge, forcing myself to stand and watch them. Maybe the fish weren’t as vicious as I first thought. In fact, they were beautiful. My heart slowed down and took its place back in my chest. I edged my toes back in again and, after taking a deep breath, inched in a little farther.
“Get in here, Sophia, you’re missing out on all the fun.” Mandy waved at me from the waist-high water her and Matt were standing in.
My lips trembled and my voice shook. “I will …just trying to savor the moment. Take it all in.” Truth is, it wasn’t just the fish I was afraid of. It was the vastness. The ocean was so big and unforgiving—water overwhelming. Seagulls screeched overhead, but I got braver, slinking my way farther into the deep.
Matt and Mandy splashed one another, laughing. There was no mistaking they were lovers, and I waded toward them slowly and reluctantly, my feet dragging—pushing the heavy water. An intruder in their world of water.
I squinted into the sun, the water swooshing around my legs. “Comin’ in hot.”
When she finally drifted off to sleep, she tripped and stumbled over the raised sidewalk, falling to her knees, ripping the skin into a large, raw gash. The hot blood gushed and ran down her bare legs.
She was standing outside the door of eight-twenty-one Downer Street, her skin hot and feverish, nauseous at the thought of having to step inside.
The door opened with a sinister creak, and her father was there, beckoning her inside with his crooked half-finger and demonic grin.
She recognized her things—her broken tricycle with the bent handlebars, her doll with the missing arm, and her toy pony with his mangled mane. They were all there, and they smiled at her.
Her mother was turned toward the sink, paying no attention to Daddy pulling her down the dark hallway.
“Mommy, help me, don’t let him take me there,” her weak, child-voice pleaded.
When her mother turned around to look at her, her face was a grim skeleton, a fierce, open mouth baring black teeth; a spider crawling out.