Category Archives: Writing Ideas

How It Could Be

“Do you ever wonder if you made the right choice?” Sarah asked.  Her grey eyes were downcast, intent on another scoop out of the ice cream carton.  Her dark curls fell in her face and tumbled down her back.  Her hand trembled slightly, though I couldn’t tell if it was from the question or the hard ice cream.

“What do you mean?” I asked, evading the question.  I looked passed her to the wedding photos on the wall.  She looked beautiful, as I always knew she would, dressed in her gown with her hair pinned up and veil failing to cover the bright smile she wore.  A smile that, once upon a time, was a shadow of the one she would give to me.

“Nothing.  Forget it.”  She gave a soft smirk and scooped another bite.

I shifted closer on the couch, close enough that my leg touched hers.  I hesitated, then reached my hand around her shoulders and pulled her in close to my side.  Her tiny frame started to shake and the ice cream container slipped from her fingers.  I caught it, moved it to the other side me, and wrapped my other arm around her.

“Hey.  Hey, sugar, it’s ok.  Let it out.  Cry if you need to.  I’m here.”  Even as I said them, I knew the words were inadequate.  I felt ashamed.  I had seen the signs, had voiced quiet concerns, yet never had I pressed the issue and now I was kicking myself for not.  “Is it…is it worse?”

Sarah sniffed again, hiding her face in my side, arms flung around my waist, grabbing at my shirt.  I felt her nod, the slight movement almost unrecognizable from her quiet shudders.  “I just…I’m not myself anymore.  I can’t be what he…I’m not…I just wonder…,” she took a deep breath, “I wonder if we would have been so bad.  What could have been.  Should it have been?”

I had no answer, so I pulled her close, my eyes falling upon my own wedding ring.

Pumpkin Pickin’

“Look over there!” Ella said.  Not waiting for the others, she took off towards the mounds of pumpkins piled high, already climbing towards the top as Sue joined her.  Laughing, the two girls crawled over and up, Dad snapping photos as they went.  Ella smiled, reached for the next pumpkin handhold, Sue close on her heels now.  As Sue stepped on the pumpkin next to Ella, the precarious pile shifted.

The laughter died away as Ella’s scream pierced the air. Ella took a breath and looked down.  Under several pumpkins, her ankle throbbed, twisted at an odd angle.  Time slowed.  She saw her Dad drop his camera and close the gap between them in three bounds.  She saw Sue’s face turn from laughing to crying.  She felt the other kids look over at her and back away, causing more of the pumpkins to shift.

She sensed something in her snap, a wave of light shiver through her body.  Her arms stretched out, her body seemed to float up, pulled from the pile and the pressure on her ankle.  The warm feeling spread, pushing down towards the pain in her ankle and causing her to scream again.

Then warm hands grabbed her and pulled her close.  Dad.  Tentatively, she moved her damaged ankle.  Surprised, she looked down.  Even though blood seeped out of her sock, her ankle moved without any pain.

She closed her eyes, blacking out.

Christmas Story (intro)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

The snowflake lazily floating down, the clouds grey and swollen. Storefronts hasten to decorate, putting up mini pine trees with tiny colored lights.  The tinsel hanging from every available surface and then some.

The lights, the glitter, the music wafting out of everywhere, homes and businesses alike.  The toys, the cries of children as they make their lists and check them twice.  People calling hellos as they shovel their walks, thick jackets and thoughts of fresh coffee to keep them warm.

The lights, inside and out, spiraling up towards the tip-top of the tallest and smallest trees, blinking secret codes or steadily glowing in the night.  Candles and fireplaces blaze, lighting the way home and sheltering from the cold.  Headlights bursting from the darkness, guiding the way like an albino Rudolph.  The warmth and cheer of people around a table, laughing, smiling.

It’s the happiest season of all.

So why is it I’m so sad?

Knifepoint

A tear trailed down her cheek, trembled at her chin, and fell.  “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.  I wasn’t supposed to love you.”

She felt Lucas stiffen, his hold on the knife faltering, but he stayed silent.  Her body trembled, her breathing ragged, she fought for control.  I deserve this, she thought, and closed her eyes.

Lucas slowly lowered the knife, not trusting his hand to be still any longer, and tucked it away in his belt.  He watched Ari’s face.  Normally so expressive, now it gave nothing away except her tears, which continued down her flushed cheeks.  He had expected a lot of things when he’d thought about this, but not love.  Not her loving him, at least.  His heart fluttered and before he could steel himself, he reached up to cup her cheek and wiped her tears away with his hands.

Arabelle’s eyes snapped open, searching Lucas’s face for a hint of his thoughts.  His body loosened, the tension visibly leaving his shoulders and face, and a hesitant smile appeared.  Still looking in her eyes, he leaned in to brush her lips with his.

“I had to know for sure.”

Husher

He stepped out of the shadows, dark cloak hiding his face and hands.  He walked slowly towards the little girl, her blonde curls still springy in the summer heat.  She began to tremble, backing as far away from the man as her tiny hiding place in the store room would let her, pressing her back to the women behind her.

Kinley took the young girls’ head, stroking her blonde curls back from her face.  She didn’t know the girls’ name.  She would have liked to know, to mentally be able to keep track of every such instance such as this.  Such beautiful curls, such a calm face, to know such suffering.

Kinley looked up at the man in the dark robe.  No, she couldn’t let this man take this child.  Couldn’t bear the pain of this small girl growing up to be used by this withered man, no matter how much potential she had shown.

Kinley stated to chant under her breath, hoping the old man was too intent on his apparent capture of his new ‘apprentice’ to pay attention to his old one.  As he reached forward, the girl screamed, Kinley stood and gripped the old man’s arm, and his memory was gone.

Secrets

She ran her finger slowly over the dark stubble on his face, tracing
the jagged white scar down to his chin.  He kept his eyes shut,
enjoying the feel of her soft fingertips on his face.  He sighed,
content as he hadn’t been in a long time.

Placing her hand on his muscled chest, she leaned in close, barely
touching his lips with hers.  His heartbeat quickened under her palm
as his body responded to her nearness.  Timidly, she kissed him, eyes
still studying his face under dark lashes.  When he returned her kiss,
she closed her eyes, relishing the feel of him.  Pulling back, his
head following to maintain their kiss, she saw his eyes open.
Beautiful silver-grey eyes stared back at her, traces of puzzlement
visible but quickly vanished, replaced with warmth that threatened to
still her heart.

He reached up to her and hesitated, unsure even then if his touch
would be welcomed.  When she didn’t back away, he placed his rough
fingers on the smooth, pale skin of her face, lightly cupping her
cheek.  She closed her eyes, her hand reaching up to touch the one on
her face.

Her other hand went behind her back, fumbling awkwardly, then
reappeared holding a knife.

Cassie

“Run, Cassie!”

Feet already in motion, Cassie spared her friend a glance over her shoulder as she ran through the banquet hall.  Arrows pierced the air,
the tapestries burst into flames.  The crowd burst into motion,scattering in an attempt to find shelter from the attack.  Dishes
clanged to the floor, people screamed, but none of it registered in Cassie’s mind.

All that mattered was escape.

Spinning around a fallen Lady, Cassie careened into a hard body.  She bit back a scream, slapping at the wall of chest with her left hand
while digging for her dagger with her right.  Before she could get her dagger free she felt a strong grip on her wrist pulling her towards
the shadowed wall of the room.  She strained to pull away, her mind not registering the hooded figure as familiar.  Fingers closed over
her mouth.

“Shh.”  Hot breath spilled down her neck as her captor whispered into her ear.  “Stop fighting, Cass, we don’t have time.”

Nodding, she turned to see the Prince’s eyes looking out from the cloak’s hood.

At The Ball

She kept her eyes downcast, but that didn’t stop him from noticing
her.  Her dark hair tumbled in curls down her back, tiny springs
coiled and ready to be pulled upon.  Her tanned skin accented by the
deep blue of her gown and the white lace of the trim, a style that had
come and gone yet looked fresh and new on her.  Her hands fidgeted at
her sides, drawing his attention to her flared hips outlined in her
skirts.

He had to know her.

Breaking away from his group of nobles, he strode towards her.

“Highness? A word?”

Damn.  Not now, he thought, though he almost said it aloud also.  “Sir
Isaac, I was just about to…”

The tall man took his arm, steering him away from his goal towards the
man’s own daughter.  “Never mind, Highness.  I saw you coming and I
knew you’d want to meet my Katherine.  Ah, here she is!”

He spared a glance over his shoulder to see grey eyes looking back at him.

Encounter

She paused, wiping the sweat from her head with the back of her hand.  The sun beat down on her small clearing, melting the dusting of snow that had fallen overnight.  The need to keep her mind from wandering rather than a need for firewood had driven her out of her bed early, the songbirds greeting the daybreak with an enthusiasm that she lacked.

Now that she’d stopped chopping the firewood, she noticed how quiet it was around her.  Hefting her axe, she slowly turned around, searching for the cause of the tension.  Her corner of the woods was typically left alone, too far from any roads to get to easily and too out of the way for anyone to stumble passed.

Not that anyone knew she was there.

I hope, she thought.  Glancing at her hut, she shifted her stance, not quite able to shake the feeling that someone was watching her.  The hair on her neck prickled up, increasing her unease.  Her head spun around at a cry from her horse gave her the direction she needed.

She only got to take three steps before they were upon her.

Arabelle

Arabelle.

Her name whispered through his head, seeking out the hidden corners he had abandoned years ago.  Her figure danced behind his eyes, taunting him as she walked away.  Her auburn hair fell in loose curls to hug her figure as she swayed her hips, her sword moving in time with her strong stride.  She didn’t look back.

You sent her away, remember?  Right, the less distractions, the better.  He fingered his sword hilt, trying to banish her from his thoughts and turn them to the task at hand.  Soon, his troop would be leaving, and he would need all the concentration he could muster.  Instead, all he could think of was running his hands up her curves, her muscled body leaning into his…

“Highness?  Are you even listening?”  His squire shook his head.  “Forgive me, Highness, but shouldn’t we be preparing for war?  Not mooning over some nobody.”

Sighing, Lucas refocused on the maps in front of him.