I never thought two best friends could turn into something more. That those sideways glances would turn into afternoon kisses.
I never wanted you more than after I knew you.
All of those conversations a rehearsal for what would happen later.
Time stood still as our clothes came off, the room smelling of sweat and sex, my lipstick on your neck.
I can barely look at you in the eye, but when I close my eyes, my mind conjures up the very images that are taking place. I can’t fight it. My body and my brain are focused on never letting you go.
I crumple beneath the passion. The longing so deep, I can barely breathe. Tiny puffs of air escape between my lips before your mouth is on mine again.
Your weight on me reminding me that this is not a dream. That sometimes you don’t even have to ask. That things just happen like a movie. It wasn’t written in the original script, but a few rewrites later and here we are now.
I’m exhausted. Smiling. My body tingling with pleasure. We look into each other’s eyes and it’s not awkward. It’s just time standing still.
You put your arms around me and pull me in close to you. Still warm and sweaty, but I don’t mind. I feel your heart steadying.
This tender embrace, much more than a friendly hug, reminds me why I liked you so much in the first place.
When I write, I write for you.
The you changes sometimes, but it’s always you. You know who you are. You, not you, but you.
The beautiful one. The ugly one. The plain one. The hurt one. The confident one. The sad one. The happy one. The boring one.
I write for you.
Did you notice?
I wrote about that inside joke once. Did you get it?
Did it turn you on? That one part. The sexy part. I wrote it for you.
Did you get excited?
I get excited when I write.
Sometimes I’m sad and lonely, but then I write for you and cheer myself up. I write for you because you’re not here.
I write to you as you sit next to me on the sofa.
Did you notice the click-clack of my keyboard as I wrote for you? Did it keep you up at night? I like to write at night.
And in the morning.
And in the evening.
And in libraries and cafes and in the shower and on the bus.
I write for you.
I hope you liked it.
The ghosts lived inside her head.
It wasn’t the TV, her computer monitor or a dripping faucet. The silence brought the whooos and aaaahs of an ethereal entity. Her doctor could not explain it.
“There’s nothing wrong with you.”
“Can you look again?”
“I can look again and again, but I’ll find nothing.”
She huffed and felt thankful for health insurance.
At night, she couldn’t sleep. The moaning kept her awake. Every time she turned on the TV the noises would compensate — louder and louder — till she reached for a bottle of ibuprofen.
“Please stop!” she shouted at the voices.
“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?” They moaned in return.
“Oh, hello…” she said, shocked. “Why are you haunting my head?”
“We’re not. We’re alive. We live here.”
“We like you, my dear.”
“Oh, it’s ever so comfortable.”
“I can’t think with all of that noise going on in there. Can you stop?”
“Oh dear, it’ll be a couple more weeks. We’re doing a few repairs.”
“Yes, this house is old.”
“Have you had your ears checked recently? Yes, this is our old ancestral home that’s been sitting vacant for years.”
“So all of those moans were just machines?”
“Some of them, yes. Some of them are the ghosts that haunt this house.”
“So what are you gonna do?”
Then all at once the voices said, “Ghostbusters…”
In line at the grocery store, the beep-beep-beep lulls me into a daydream. My feet shuffle from side to side because I want to be anywhere but in this line, but I need butter, cheese and bread. Need. What do I really need? I think about just walking away, but then I start thinking about the grilled cheese I wanted to make, so I stick it out. I wait-wait-wait and listen to that headache-inducing beep-beep-beep. I shuffle. I sing along to the pop hits of 2002 while the cashier calls for a price check. I look at the woman behind me and we share a sympathetic smile with each other and shrug our shoulders.
It’s too late to change lines.
Every single one moving faster than this one.
But I think of that buttery bread toasted just right and the ooey-gooey cheese burning my tongue. The sting of painful pleasure. How, if only this line would move, I could be home making the sandwich of my dreams.
Finally, finally, it’s my turn.
Change exchanged, canvas tote filled and I get to my car and realize I forgot the pickles.
You are beautiful. I don’t say it enough, but you are beautiful. Every night when I’m in that quiet place that exists in my head — I close my eyes and your face is there reminding me that the world isn’t that bad. It’s not bad because you make it glow with your kind words, encouragement and gentle nature.
And even though I am reckless and mean and want to spit fire, you console me with your blue eyes and hold my hand, even though I’m throwing hadoukens at your stomach. You calm that spirit in me. You look past the person I pretend to be — to the very center of my heart and you rip it out and hold it in front of me.
You show me how to live.
You tug me along and whisper sweet nothings. You make me such a girl for you. You make me feel strong instead of sour. You make me feel like I belong in this world instead of me versus them. It is us and no one else matters.
It’s not a video game.
There is no them.
There is only us.
And each time I look in your eyes. Those beautiful, kind eyes, I know that I have fallen for the right person. The person that will accept me for who I am and make me better even when I’m the most rotten, lousy and terrible person on the planet.
And for that — you are a superhero.
And for that — I’m the villain.
And together — we’re love.
It arrived on my doorstep a little after noon. I wasn’t expecting anything, but packages hardly hold the same value they did when I was in college. It was probably some stale cookies from my grandmother. She was always trying to send me things to make me feel bad for not calling her more often.
No return address.
My first instinct was to call the police. Unfortunately, we lived in a world where anything out of the ordinary was suspicious. Sometimes a package was just a package or a bucket just a bucket.
I shrugged my shoulders and figured at 40, I had lived long enough to take a little risk. My will had been written long ago and if someone wished ill will towards me, I’d give them props for making the ultimate effort.
The opening didn’t come easy to me.
I decided to have a last meal.
The ultimate guilty pleasure meal, so if my face was ripped apart by the mystery package, I wouldn’t be too depressed by my lack of lips.
I decided to swing by my favorite fast food places. I got a personal pan from Pizza Hut, some chicken McNuggets, a whopper and 12 tacos from Taco Bell. I was too sick to finish my cherry limeade, but I figured just showing up was enough for me. I always appreciated the neon sign more than the food anyways.
Too bloated and nauseated to deal with the package, I took a nap.
Four hours later, I awoke, rested and greasy with a fever.
I cursed my bad luck and flipped off the package.
“It’s your fault. Look what you’ve done.”
I couldn’t procrastinate much longer, so I took to unwrapping the brown paper, cutting the tape with my house key and dumping an incredible amount of Styrofoam peanuts on the floor.
Out dropped a plastic-packaged pair of jeans and a packing slip.
Then it hit me, I’d made a late night order on eBay for a pair of vintage jeans.
I laughed, sloshing the food around in my stomach, and cried as I remembered what I’d done.
So much for growing wiser.
(inspired by this writing prompt)
His face appeared to me in a dream. Long and weeping like the moon. I wanted to console him, but instead I wake up sobbing.
There’s nothing in my room but shadows.
I close my eyes but behind my eyelids is his face. I can’t shake him. The butterflies dance in my stomach. The sweet relief when I open my eyes and he’s gone again.
Night after night, he’s there waiting for me.
He sings to me a haunting tune about cookies and the moon. I can’t get away from this furry monster. His guilt-stricken voice echoing out his remorse for eating the moon.
How can I tell him that it wasn’t the moon at all?
It really was a cookie.
A giant space cookie.
Thank you, Monster, you saved us all from certain doom.
You whisper secrets to the trees, held tightly in their trunks,
rooting into the ground till they mingle with the moles. They dance
among the carrots, turnips and groundhogs.
But nothing is safe in the dark.
Blood oaths exchanged, the moles sell your deepest thoughts to the
snakes and rabbits. Burrowing deep into their hidey-holes but having
too much to drink, speak a little too loudly to their spouses.
Mischievous and tipsy, the alpacas overhear something they
shouldn’t, spreading the news into the wind. The kangaroos make a fast
buck selling your story to an obnoxious celebrity gossip news source.
The spiders add a bit of flare before letting it out onto the Web. By
the time it gets back to you, unrecognizable and misconstrued, you’re
He looked up into the sunless sky and cursed the clouds for the darkness that shadowed his morning. He kicked an empty soda can down the street, hands in pockets and muttered nonsensical words under his breath.
Weeks of planning ruined by the weather. There was nothing he could do now, because the wheels were already in motion. His legs were eager to get there, but his guts danced with nervousness.
He looked into the sky again, whistling a jolly tune that he didn’t know the name of, smiled at the neighborhood kids and the clouds parted as he began to dance.
The butterflies flying out of his stomach like musical notes.
The blue sky dotted with fluffy white clouds like a painting worthy of a museum wall.
His frown nothing more than a wisp of stress long forgotten and as he arrived at the train station twenty minutes early for her arrival, he thanked Mother Nature for holding out a bit longer.
Till he mustered the courage to finally say hello to the girl that made his coffee every morning.
She smiled, dismissed his dollars and took his number.
He knew today was going to be a very good day.
Karen sat at her computer, watching the birds fly by her window. She had something to do, but no matter how hard she tried, the something wasn’t happening.
The something was due tomorrow at 9am. Too early for her but everyone else seemed to make it there on time.
Her retinas burned thinking of the bright sunshine of the early morning hours. Tired and groggy, she cursed the California sunshine and wanted nothing more than to live in a sleepy New England cabin.
She typed a few words knowing they made no sense, but as the afternoon turned to evening, she knew she’d have to turn in something or face flunking her senior year.
Her teacher’s nearly purple complexion yelling at her face, pieces of food flying out of her lips, sticking to her glasses. There was no way she could risk repeating it all over again.
Her words nothing more than nonsense connected by periods and commas. She was citing total bullshit. She started to describe the scene outside her window. The eerie silence, the one star that she could see that was obscured by her favorite creepy tree and the man clawing at her window.
Her heart raced as his face appeared out of nowhere, withered and worn, he looked like her favorite dog-eared comic book. She kept typing and the more she did, the more he came alive. Watching her but nothing more.
She wanted to yell, but her mother would scold her for waking up the baby and her father would hit her for no other reason than she wasn’t his favorite.
He fogged up the window with his breath.
She wrote about his yellow teeth, long fingers and balding scalp.
She blinked but he was still there. She closed her eyes, wishing him away and just like that, she awoke in a puddle of drool with an empty white screen and no reason to even bother anymore.
So she walked to school forty-five minutes later with a typed version of last night.
Crossing her fingers that it would be enough to save her from him.