Journalism 101?

courtyard

“She’d taken the world by storm; this thin, auburn-haired transplant from the north. Everybody said so, but that was before Tuesday. Before someone smashed in her skull with a saber saw. Before flecks of brain matter painted the walls of her Myrtle Beach bungalow pink. Before her mottled brown boxer had tracked blood through the house and down the steps to the courtyard left open by her escaping assailant. Now, all that remained of her once brilliantly millennial majesty was coffin flies and a rotting corpse. How was Elizabeth to cover this disaster that had occurred in her own back yard? Nothing she’d learned in journalism 101 could ever have prepared her for this, or what was about to happen.”

I think this would make a great lead-in to a book proposal. What say you?

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The Bus Stop

bus stop

He showed up at the bus stop every day. Sat inches away from her, every day. Smiled pleasingly every day, but she was leery. She hadn’t trusted a man in a long time; not for affection, not for protection, not for any kind of emotional support or feelings of belonging. He was on her mind as she sat on the sidewalk having coffee with Susan.

“I just can’t get him out of my head,” she said.

“And why do you think that is?” Susan replied.

“I suppose I’m obsessed with the idea of him,” she said. “But ideas about men have gotten me into dark alleys and unending trouble in the past.”

“Doesn’t mean this one is a bad guy.”

“No, but it does mean I need to tread lightly, wherever men are concerned. I’ve learned my lesson with them.”

They both fell silent for a minute, Lisa tapping her acrylic fingernails against the table first, then her paper coffee cup, and finally her spoon. She was deep in thought when Susan spoke again.

“Tell me again what he looks like.”

Dreamy-eyed, Lisa explained, “He’s tall. Salt and pepper on top with lots of hair. It’s swept to the side. He always has a rain coat with him, though it never rains here. He has a tan-colored brief case, too. No wedding ring; no hint of shadow on his ring finger either, like he’s removed the ring before he approached the bench. He looks like your average, moderately successful businessman on the outside, but when he looks my way and smiles, I can see something else underneath. Like a second guy, someone who is full of light and, I don’t know, glowing. Not really glowing, but radiant, ya know?”

“What does he say?” Susan asked.

“Small talk. ‘How are you? It’s sunny this morning, isn’t it? Are you ready for another week of changing the world?’ He always asks me that on Mondays, without fail. ‘Are you ready for another week of changing the world?’”

“Well, are you?” Susan asked.

“Tell you what, he almost makes me think I could. Almost, but then reality seeps back in as soon as I get on the bus, and another plain, ordinary, uneventful, I-did-not-change-the-world type of week begins.”

“Maybe next time he says it, you should say, ‘I just might believe I could, if I had someone like you in my life.’”

“Be serious!” Lisa replied!

Friday Fiction-The Bruise

He moved his index finger down the side of her cheek. It was hard to believe he’d left the bruise. It wasn’t really him, he rationalized. He wouldn’t hurt her like that. He wouldn’t wound her heart in that way. He loved her.  The monster inside might do something like this, he’d mused, but he was convinced and had been for years, that he was not that monster.

She smiled up at him, at the touch of his warm hand against her blackened skin. She knew he was sorry; knew he wouldn’t do that in his sober hours. She’d already cleaned the slate of her mind regarding the offense. It would take longer for the bruise to be wiped clean.

Stuck!

old trunk

The large trunk was old but roomy and neither the dark interior, nor the peeling wallpaper from years gone by bothered him at all. He was rather, fascinated. How could he know that once he’d crawled inside and let the lid fall, the latch would trip and he’d be stuck? He was only seven, for goodness sake.

He screamed as the dog howled, growled, and snarled, biting the corners of the trunk in response to his shrieking. An hour later they found him, asleep in a puddle of his own pee. He never went near the trunk again, and from that day forward whenever he passed the master suite and saw it, he moved away quickly and shuddered a little inside.