Friday 13th Prompt – Omelette for One

OMELETTE

Susie got to the house, turned off the engine and tilted her head back against the head rest. She closed her eyes and let the silence seep in and ease the ache in her head. A few seconds of peace before chaos kicked in. She’d been distracted all day, though if truth be told probably for a while. Nothing she could put her finger on but something wasn’t right. There had been the phone calls where nobody spoke, just dead air that crackled on the other end. The jewellery that had been moved and some of it she couldn’t find or some had turned up in odd places. The letters she’d seen the postman bring but never saw, not even opened envelopes thrown in the bin. John must be laughing at her, saying she was being daft, perhaps she was.

When she’d struggled to get up this morning, she’d vowed to be in bed by ten.  It was already eight when she’d got home. A late night office meeting and the Chambers account that needed typing up before tomorrow had kept her in the office far longer than she intended. She stopped for take out on the way home. She really couldn’t face cooking this late. She opened her eyes but stayed sat in the car. A faint smell of barbecued ribs hit her nose and she glanced at the brown steaming bag on the seat. Then her eyes drifted to the dim light filtering underneath the garage door. John must be still working she thought. He’d be starving.

Susie still had a thick ache in her head as she rubbed at her temples and her mouth involuntary opened and stretched into a yawn.  Then snapped shut suddenly when she remembered the near accident she’d had earlier. A wagon had skidded to a stop at the corner of Remmington, only just missing her. She’d been tampering with the radio, somehow the station had moved from classical to rock. She never listened to rock. She was a one station kind of girl, always had been. Suddenly a screech of brakes and a thunder roll of steel had slammed to a stop just in front of the driver’s side window.  Susie had slammed her foot on the brakes and instinct had her throwing her hands up over her head and bringing it down between her knees. That’s what they do on planes!

She really had to move. The light was starting to fade and the cool evening air was weaving a chill through her unbuttoned jacket. She could feel the crunch of the pebbled driveway under her pumps as she walked to the front door. She saw shadows of feet under the garage door but the light still stayed on. When he was busy John wouldn’t even hear a hurricane hitting she thought to herself as she fumbled in her bag for her house keys. She blindly rummaged around with her one free hand, then lent on the door and it opened. He’s forgot to lock it again, she sighed. How many times had she told him to lock the front door when he was working, anyone could get in and he’d never know a bloody thing.

She put the bag on the kitchen counter and tried the light switch, the bulb must have gone. She shouted through the connecting door to the garage in the kitchen. He didn’t answer. She shouted louder. He’ll be through in a minute I’ll get the plates out she thought, as she reached for the cupboard door above the sink. He’s been moving stuff again. “More room for his home brew I bet” as she tried a few more cupboard doors looking for her mother’s crockery, the ones she always used. “When did we get these blue plates?” she asked herself tracing her fingers over a patterned rim. They must have been in the garage, she thought.

She ran upstairs for a quick wee before they ate. The bathroom light bulb must have gone as well. She quickly peed and washed her hands at the sink. Where had her toothbrush gone? He better not have been cleaning the grout with it again. It was always hers that needed replacing, his was about 4 years old but it still stood straight and tall in the bevelled glass by the mirror. She was chuntering to herself and drying her hands on the dirty towel she must have forgot to pick up this morning when she heard the connecting door in the kitchen open. She shouted down the stairs “Be down in a minute Pet”.

John went to the sink and squirted a drop of liquid soap onto his hands. The house seemed quite now, that was why he spent so much time in the garage. He flicked on the light switch and the kitchen lit up. He went to the fridge; he really wasn’t hungry but couldn’t remember the last time he’d eaten. He supposed he should force something down. It was two years since Susie had died, but he still missed her every day. It was weird, sometimes he thought he could hear her calling his name, he even caught a scent every now and then of barbecued ribs, her favourite. She’d been bringing them home when it happened. The accident team said she must have fallen asleep at the wheel. How many times had he told her to take it easy, to get some more rest? He grabbed for some eggs, an omelette would do!

Lucy Green – Part 2

Part 1 & Intro here 

Lucy didn’t make it into the bathroom before there was a thundering rap on the door.  Her eyes squinted, her head ached and she gripped the neck of her T-shirt to see if she could still smell the vomit.

“You, awake, Baby Doll?” a familiar shrill filtered through the tiny gaps in the door frame.

She relaxed a bit, turned the key and held the door ajar. Then set her forehead against the door casing letting the cool painted surface ease the heat in head, just enough to stop her from gipping again.

Kevin’s flat was on the floor below, “Whoa, Baby, you look like shit and…” his voice trailed off as he caught a whiff of something bad and put two fingers under his nose and pressed. “Good night, then?” he asked rhetorically, pushing his glasses back up along his long thin nose.

Lucy shrugged, lifted her head from the paintwork and walked back into the room. Kevin followed her in and closed the door.

“You shower and I’ll get the coffee on” he threw out over his shoulder as he walked to the kitchen top and flipped on the kettle.

Lucy mumbled something about ‘Diva’ and ‘Bitch’ as she lifted her T-Shirt and dropped it on the floor, then stood out of her knickers and trudged naked to the bathroom. Kevin took no notice.

He picked up a cloth on the counter and ran it under the tap. As much as he loved Lucy she really was a dirty bitch when it came to housework. His OCD hit fever pitch when he was in her flat. That touch of vulnerability she tried to hide always sent his stress levels off at a kilter and he’d follow her round with a damp cloth and a bin bag. He picked her T-shirt up off the floor and with a discusted humph and barely a touch he also lifted her discarded knickers and put them both in the already overflowing wash basket.

“Madonna will be chafing in her corset” he shouted through the bathroom door.

The kettle popped and he walked back over and reached into the cupboard for two cups and the jar of Nescafe, humming ‘Like a virgin’ as he moved round the familiar kitchen.

Lucy lent forward just a touch and steadied herself with her palms flat against the tiles. The steaming jets of water beating at her back. She lifted her head and arched into the flow.  She let the steam blanket her body and fell into it, soothing the pressure in her head. Ten minutes later she pushed back on her palms and lent her back against the glass. The headache had eased but there was still a fog around what happened last night. Was it really him? Maybe she’d imagined it. It could have been the shock of the shooting. Maybe it just brought back the stuff she’d kept buried in her head, but she wouldn’t go there, she couldn’t go there.

In a darkened hotel room across town, Jason Stone was lying on his back, a twisted Egyptian cotton sheet tangled round his legs. He hadn’t slept. His left arm was raised and loosely draped across his forehead and his right hand was stroking the growing appendage that was jutting out between his thighs. He’d fallen into bed with a hard on and the damn thing had never left. In fact he’d been achingly hard ever since he’d seen her walk in the club. He knew he couldn’t go there. He couldn’t go back. He had no past. They had seen to that.

His mind flew to Jasmin, her face twisted in pain, a hole in her chest. His cock tilted slightly to the side and he felt it soften in his hand. He let go. He lifted his arm to the other and ran both hands through his tousled hair. He tried to end it weeks ago, she just wouldn’t accept it. Where ever he went she was there, every fucking premier, every fucking after show party. His guys knew not to let her near, but somehow she always was. Only last week she had cornered him in the male toilets at the MTV awards. She was wearing nothing but a taupe mac and a pair of killer red heels. What could he say, he was human! He’d fucked her up against the wall, without even opening her mac. He called it goodbye, she called it proof.

Fucking was fucking, it meant nothing. His childhood taught him that. It was just an act, a function that needed taking care of.  He thought of Lucy. He hadn’t fucked Lucy Green. No, that had been something new, something he’d never tasted before. It was pure and it was good and it was something he knew he could never have again. He shivered in the cold and reached for his mobile. He flipped it open, hesitated, and then slammed it shut. What could he do? She must have been as shocked as him. Hell, she’d gone down like a sack of potatoes.

 The security guys had gone through her bag looking for I.D. She hadn’t been carrying much, just a half packet of tobacco, some rolling papers and a battered black leather purse. Pete, Head of Security and nearest thing to a best mate Jason had, emptied her stuff onto a table and spotted the small silver chain and locket. Jason lunged, snatching the locket out of Pete’s hand and almost wrestled him to the floor. Then buried it in a fisted hand and swallowed sharply. Pete said nothing, just raised a thick set of eyebrows skyward. The locket burned in his hand, scorching his skin and he swore it was branding his palm. He shoved it into his pocket.

 The bands manager, Steve McMahon, a greasy haired sickaphant with Hollywood veneers said he’d take care of it. Said he’d throw her in a taxi and get rid of her quietly but something jarred in Jason’s chest, he couldn’t let her go. He’d come close to physically punching the guy when Steve had tried to stop him leaving. It was only Pete holding his arm back that stopped him. Steve had nearly pissed himself on the spot. A quick convo between security and the blacked out SUV was brought round back. Jason carried Lucy out and got in the back. He put her across his lap and signalled Pete to drive. He could almost taste the scent of her wrapped in his arms. He lowered his head to her hair and drew in the Apple Blossom shampoo; he recognised the smell and nearly came in his pants.

“Fuck, she still smells the same” as he lifted an inky black curl and rubbed it between his thumb and finger.

Pete caught Jason’s eye in the rear view mirror “You sure you know what you’re doing, mate? this could turn into a whole load of shit, know what I mean?”

Jason answered with just a slow, drawn out “Yeah” and turned his head to the blackened window. Ten minutes later the SUV pulled up outside the address on her Driver’s licence. Pete came round and opened the side door,

“You want me to carry her” he asked reaching out to grab the curled up bundle still asleep. “I can fucking manage, just give me 5 minutes and keep the gas running” Jason growled.

He carried her out of the van and still she never stirred. As he got to the front door, somebody else was already there. A 6ft blonde in a diamanté dress let him in and Lucy had nestled in closer, wrapping her legs tightly around his waist.  He’d shuddered. His cock had twitched and ‘Diamond Dave’ had shot him a curious look. Then he’d pointed to the stairway and followed them upstairs. He’d laid her down on her bed and stood back. The guy in the dress started talking to her, Jason still stood back. He had left her with the drag queen once he knew she was ok. He didn’t want to go, but there was nothing he could do about it. He turned and walked away. He didn’t glance back. He’d taken the stairs from her flat to the hallway, two at time and kept his head down. He didn’t notice the tiny shaft of light from a partially opened door, or the darkened pair of eyes that followed him out and then flicked back up at Lucy’s door.

“Jesus, I’m a nut job” Lucy thought as she turned off the shower and stepped out. She reached for yesterday’s still damp towel thrown over the rail. Gingerly, she ran it over her hair. The ache in her head was still hanging in there.  She reached for the robe on the door, wrapped herself in it and tied off the belt. Bracing her hands on each side of the sink she tentively eyed her reflection in the mirror. “Shit”. She didn’t say anything else.

Lucy scanned the mass of curls haloing her head and the deep red veins that threaded her eye whites. Her eyes had sunk back into her head and were way too small for her face.

Kevin opened the bathroom door, “You back with us now?” he asked and gestured an eyebrow towards a cup of coffee on the table. Lucy gave him a tensed smile through the mirror but didn’t move.

“So, who was the hunk who carried you in last night?  She froze. Then turned quickly, catching the back of his head through the door.

“What the fuck do you mean, who brought me home?” she screamed louder than she meant to as she rushed after him. Kevin raised an eyebrow, cocking his head and lowering himself onto the bar stool by the island.

“I mean the gorgeous hunk of meat that carried you last night, the one with the ‘Fuck me’ stupid eyes” he held her stare across the room.

On a weekday, Kevin’s language always seemed out of place with his dress code. The pinstripe tailored three piece, the stiffly starched white shirt and dull grey tie were standard bank manager issue. They were a perfect counter balance for his weekend persona of ‘Candy Labra’ the dirtiest, cattiest Diva this side of the Northern hemisphere.

“When…what… Oh my God Kevin, I can’t remember a damn thing” she stuttered over her words and put her hand to her mouth as it gaped open, she couldn’t shut it.

“I’d just got in, Oh babes, you were right those new heels were killers, my bunions were on…….” Lucy cut him off mid flow,

“Screw your bunions, tell me what you saw” Kevin raised a pissed off eyebrow and traced the pleat down his trouser leg.

“Okay, Okay, keep you bloody knickers on” then glanced across at the used pair he’d picked up earlier and grimaced.

“Sorry, I just need to know what happened” she shot back at him, her big dewy eyes soothing his feathers slightly.

“Erm, right, where was I?” and he fell back into his enhanced tale of last night’s visitor, or she hoped to God it was enhanced. For some reason Kevin’s tales always seemed to edge towards pornography. He loved to shock. He told her about the hunk that had carried her in. About the smut that had come out of her mouth and how she had wrapped her legs around the hunks middle and rode him like a rodeo horse, still fully clothed. She said a silent prayer that he was exaggerating the last part.

“When did he write on my arm?”

“Write what? Who wrote on your arm?”

“The hunk….. Jason.. Jimmy” she stalled over his name, not sure which to use.

“You had no marks when I left Baby Doll” he looked at her questioningly.

Lucy looked down at the newly scrubbed arm, then jumped up and ran to the post- it note. She ripped it off the wall and threw it back at Kevin. He eyed it, studying the numbers.

He raised his head “Looks like a phone number”

“That’s what I said. See, he wrote it on my arm” and she threw the underside of her arm up to his face.

“Umm, you’ve been using that lavender haven’t you? You’re going to get thrush again”

Guilt made her pull her arm back quickly.

Swiftly changing back to the subject in hand she screamed “If he didn’t write it, then who bloody did?”

Silence followed, they looked at each other. Lucy was too afraid to say it out loud. Kevin beat her to it, “Nobody could have got in after I left, I had my spare key and I locked the door, I swear.”

Ring Ring, Ring Ring

Lucy flinched, Kevin screamed. She scuttled around looking for her mobile; once he’d calmed, Kevin just raised a finely plucked eyebrow in exasperation.

Ring Ring, Ring Ring

Got it” she looked at the screen, number unidentified. Hang on those last digits look familiar. She ripped the post-it note back off Kevin and scanned the number.

“Shit” 

 

Part 3 to follow………………..

The Goblin Door – A photo prompt

img_20130906_000734

I watched you leave and say goodbye, a thousand times before.

In waking thoughts and sleepless dreams I’d seen it all and more.

It was the way you held my hand, yet barely brushed my skin,

And in the way you kissed my lips, the bitter taste of sin.

In the way your eyes held mine, before your mask would fall,

And then you’d turn and leave me there. You did not hear me call.

I saw the pictures on your phone, a thousand times before.

Images that flashed on screen, you wouldn’t say what for.

You came in late and smelt of her and still we did not talk.

You waited till I went to sleep and left before I woke.

The loneliness that swallowed me, seeped in my very soul,

And still I could not ask you if,  there was ever love at all.

I closed the door to pain and loss, a thousand times before,

In broken dreams and promises that hold a shape and form.

I keep them under lock and key and bury them inside,

But sometimes when the pain is strong, I’ve nowhere left to hide.

It’s then I let the Goblins out to feed my yearning lust,

Each one a pain I cannot bare but survival means I must.

Lucy Green – Part 1

This is something I’m working on and hoping to make it into a much longer piece, perhaps…………….(Excuse the language but I’m looking at a different voice and audience than I usually aim for)

Part time heir hunter Lucy Green is haunted by the one family she can never find, her own. Growing up in care had left its mark. Unable to trust, never able to let anybody close she lives in fear of anybody finding out her shocking secret. A secret so dark, so terrible that the devil had risen up from hell and stolen her soul. But the devil wouldn’t rest and he was coming back for more.

Throw in two eccentric 80 year olds, a drag queen, a mysterious foreigner and an agoraphobic chemist and Lucy Green is hurled back into dangerous territory. A murder in a club, a dead man walking and a mysterious bundle of letters slams the door wide open and lets the devil walk back in……

The sun hit a trail of nylon that was draped across the rug. Threadbare swirls of green and gold had a temporary revival in the morning sunlight as a gentle wisp of breeze caught a curtain off guard, making it dance against the glass. Under a duvet a wild mop of darkly tinted curls were splayed across a white cotton sheet.

Lucy tried to open one eye, then the other.  Nothing happened. “Shit, shit, I’ve gone blind” screaming she frantically kicked at the duvet and kneeled up on the bed.

“Ow,  Ow, Ow, shit, shit, shit” then something flickered, a tiny spec of light. She rubbed again, “yes, yes, come on”, another spec of light. She kept rubbing. Until wide eyed and panting she fell back against the bed.

Cursing last night’s ‘permanent ‘ mascara she put her hands to her temples and braced herself for the mother of all hangovers that hit right on cue.

Last night came hammering at the door. Disjointed memories hit like a rolling flash of tin hitting the central reservation. A kaleidoscope of fleeting images that flickered like a strobe light in her head.  A pounding rhythm, on-off, on-off, on-off.

Lucy got a picture of the crowd. She tried to focus. She remembered them ten-fold against the security barriers; a rabid mass of sweat and alcohol and tits and testosterone fighting for the stage. The band just feeding the frenzy.  There was a pretty blonde with a knicker high skirt; her arms in the air, head thrown back and tits out front. Then the blonde’s chest suddenly covered in paint!

Reality hit. Lucy shivered. Last night came flooding back in all its techno coloured glory. She’d seen the girl’s hand move across the darkening stain, she watched her turn it, raise it, and bring it up. She’d watched the girl’s colour drain and her baby blues darken and sink back into her head; then watched her free fall to the floor as an echo of gunshot faded into the base.

“MOVE, GET OUT OF THE BLOODY WAY”

She’d ramrodded the jeering crowd. Elbowing a huge mound of flesh to her right and a hairy arm with a crudely penned tattoo had lashed out, nearly knocking her over. Falling forward she’d knocked a drink out of someone’s hand, soaking a tiny red head stood in front. The leprechaun had turned, flicked Lucy the bird and called her seven different types of prostitute.

“FOR FUCK’S SAKE” Lucy shouted, “Somebody’s been shot, MOVE OUT OF THE BLOODY WAY”.

She remembered dropping to her knees. The red head and the hairy guy missed it. She’d crawled through swinging legs, getting a couple of kicks to the ribs and a boot in her thigh as she pushed through. The crowd didn’t stop. Lucy had grabbed the girl and felt for a pulse. She’d screamed again, straining her throat making tears sting in her eyes.

“SHE’S BEEN SHOT, SHE’S BEEN SHOT” she’d shouted as she cradled the limp girl in her arms.

The crowd seemed to hush. Moving backwards, stumbling over feet. Some fell sideways knocking others further back. Somebody knelt down and reached for the young girl. A voice, quiet and edgy, cracked with emotion, making it raspy and uneven.

“Oh god Jasmine, it’s my fault, it’s my fucking fault”

Lucy looked up. Their eyes locked. Electricity buzzed. Lights had flickered overhead.  The breath had caught in her chest. She’d tasted sick at the back of her throat and a swirling chasm of pain had hit just above her pelvis. Then the pain hit harder. This time IN her pelvis, she’d shivered.

Jason Stone stared back. Lucy saw his thick dark lashes, too long and lush for any man, flicker just a touch. There was a second of recognition and then just as quickly a mask came down and the moment went.

Parting the crowd like a knife through butter a medic arrived and dropped to his knees,

“What’s her name”? Without facing him, she’d mumbled “I don’t know” “I don’t know”.

She’d tried to explain that she’d just seen the girl fall and heard the shot. The medic felt for a pulse, nothing. He felt again. Lucy sensed somebody behind her and a strong pair of arms circled her waist and hoisted her up. She tried to struggle but he tightened his grip. The stubble of day old whiskers brushed her face and a whisper skimmed her ear,

“Leave him, Let him work on her”.

She remembered being sat at the bar gripping a half empty glass of brandy. Her hands shaking, she’d put it back down on the counter before she dropped it. She’d looked to her right, Jason Stone; lead singer of ‘Raising Cain’ the hottest man-band this side of the equator was in a corner booth.

His features blank as the two plain clothed detectives quizzed him,  jotting notes into a little black ringed notepad. Lucy had edged over on the stool to hear. Skimming her eyes to the left, then the right, nobody looking, she’d edged a bit more. Wedging her elbow on the bar and wrapping an ankle round the base of the stool she leaned in. She heard Stone saying he didn’t know the girl, that he’d never seen her before. Lucy stilled.

Why did he lie? He’d called her Jasmine, he knew who she was!

She edged a little bit more and felt a burn at the side of her face. Looking at the booth she’d seen him glaring. Hard, unreadable and was that fury?  It was definitely something!

His eyes went to her chest, “the bastard is eyeing me up, of all the sick, twisted……” her thoughts had trailed off as she’d looked down at the mottled blood stain still marking her top.

Then the floor had risen up to meet her as she stumbled off the stool and fell in a glorious heap of stupid at the feet of Jason Stone. The first guy she had ever slept with. Only he wasn’t called Jason Stone then!

********************

The weirdest, most amazing day of his life, the day that had changed his world had started like all the others. He’d woken up to normal but had gone to sleep with euphoria. Lucy Green had made him gaze into the deep, senseless black that came in the night. Lucy Green had never fallen on her knees and screamed in terror. When he’d seen her walk into the club, it was if the lights had just gone on. The hairs on the back of his neck had stood on end. His blood went cold and his cock had twitched in reconition. He’d missed the first beat but caught the second. Both hands gripped the mic anchoring him in place and for a second he’d froze.

She still looked the same. Her hair was shorter, still inky black and smooth as hell. Little waves of mischief that did their own thing; delicate curls of silk that flittered around her alabaster neck. God, she hated those curls. She never saw how cute she looked bouncing down the street with a wild mop of ringlets dancing round her face.

“What the hell happened to cute, tonight’s curls were fucking sexy. Too damn sexy!” His cock agreed and twitched again.

It was like he’d stepped out of his body. The room had gone quiet. The crowd had stilled. He’d watched her move to the left, spotting a gap. She’d squeezed through. As she did, her sheer, cotton shirt had pulled tighter, skimming her breasts. She’d lifted an arm touching someone’s shoulder and it notched up a couple of inches exposing her skin. He’d gulped. His knuckles nearly breaking through the skin as his hands fisted at his sides.

********************

Lucy had been glued to the ground. Her forehead was perilously close to the toe of a scuffed brown loafer and her eyes level with a bobbled white sock and a chunky mottled ankle. She’d been mortified. After taking a few deep breaths she’d moved her arms, putting both palms face down locking her elbows, but someone had grabbed her from behind and roughly hoisted her up before she could do it herself.

“Will people stop bloody grabbing me” she’d seethed fighting the hold.

Her feet had stumbled forward, knocking the table. She’d tensed. The table rocked. Everybody waited. She’d tried to grab for the steaming cup of coffee balancing on the edge. Too Late! Stone had fallen back against the seat flinching in pain as molten lava soaked his crotch. Lucy spotted a tiny muscle jerk in his cheek, he was seething.

“I hope it hurt” Damn, she hadn’t meant to say that out loud.

He stood up. “IT DIDN’T HURT A BIT, Lucy Lou” his voice had slightly lowered on the Lucy Lou. She’d shuddered.

Shooting a glance above her, he gestured his head to the back of the stage.

“Get her out of here, NOW” he balled to the security guy stood behind her.

A wall of muscle had pulled her away. Too stunned to protest, she’d let him. Her thoughts spinning, re-hashing what he’d said.

He’d called her Lucy Lou. She hadn’t been called that since they were kids. Nobody had called her that, only Jimmy. But he was dead. She’d watched him die. The best part of her had died with him. The air left her lungs, the room started to spin and everything went black……..

The strobbing flicker of images stopped and Lucy couldn’t remember anything past blacking out last night. She couldn’t remember leaving the club, or even how she got home. She looked down at the over-sized Madonna T-shirt she’d woken up wearing,

“I can’t remember getting home, but obviously not too drunk to go searching for Madge” she thought, shooting a worrying glance at the neatly folded pile of last night’s clothes on a chair in the corner.

Instinct told her to check her underwear. Still on. “Thank God”

She scrambled off the bed flinching then rubbed at a large purple foot print near her hip. Her feet hit the floor, she flinched again. The ache hit her head with a hammer. She needed to pee and she needed to throw up, but didn’t know which first. Acrid bile hit the back of her throat and her mouth filled with water. She gipped and swallowed something awful back down. Her bladder won, only just.

Twisting awkwardly at her knickers she sat on the bowl to pee and twisted the top half of her body over the bath to throw up. Spit drooled down her chin. She wrapped an arm round her stomach and heaved into the cast iron bath. She reached for the taps and the pipework shuddered and argued its way into use. A loud gush of water hit the bottom of the tub, reverberating in her skull; jolting her backwards against the icy metal cistern tank.

“What the hell happened?” she thought, rubbing at the congealed mascara still clogging chunks of her eyelashes together.

“What happened to the blonde? Why would someone shoot her? This was bloody Leeds for god’s sake not LA”. She gulped in air and stayed where she was.

‘HIS’ face flashed into her conscious again. She tried to shift it. Put it back in the darkness. It had taken years to bury the pain; deep enough that it didn’t control who she was or what she did every hour of every day. She twisted her body back to the bath and started throwing up all over again. There was nothing left to throw up but still she kept going. Tears stung at her eyes, her throat was on fire and her stomach coiled. She put out an arm steadying herself against the dry heaves and saw the writing on her arm.

“No, not writing, it was numbers.” She blinked rapidly, trying to focus on the pen marks.

She turned her arm, brought it closer. Written across the underside, from her wrist to just below her elbow was a number in thick black marker. No name, just a number!

Grabbing a handful of toilet paper she wiped her mouth and ran to the bedroom. She swiped across the desk, sending papers flying to the floor. Nothing.

“I need a bloody pen, why is there no bloody pen” she screamed as she pulled a half opened drawer completely off its runners.

She blindly felt around a pack of tobacco and stuck her fingers in something wet and sticky. She pulled out her hand; three fingers were covered in blood,

“Arghhh, what the hell”. Then smelt it and realised it was pesto!

She spotted a half chewed biro on the floor by the bin. Grabbing it, she dropped the drawer on the floor and whipped a post-it note off the pad on the desk.  Sitting on the edge of the bed she stuck the post- it to her knee. Turning her right arm over she tried to write.  She stared at the figures jumping off the paper, a phone number.

“It looks like a mobile number! Whose is it? Shit,” she didn’t have a clue.

Lucy squeezed her eyes, rubbed her temples, tried to remember. Nothing. A sudden waft of sick hit her nose and she nearly threw up all over again.

“I need a shower” she thought as she stood, pulled some photos off the wall and stuck the newly written post-it in the centre.

“Wash first, it will help me think”

She didn’t make it into the bathroom before there was a thundering rap on the door.  Lucy’s eyes squinted, her head ached and she gripped the neck of her T-shirt to see if she could still smell the vomit.

“You, awake, Baby Doll?” a familiar shrill filtered through the tiny gaps in the door frame.

She relaxed a bit, turned the key and held the door ajar. Then set her forehead against the door casing letting the cool surface ease the heat in head, just enough to stop her from gipping again.

Kevin’s flat was on the floor below, “Whoa, Baby, you look like shit and…” his voice trailed off as he caught a whiff of something bad and put two fingers under his nose and pressed. “Good night, then?” he asked rhetorically, pushing his glasses back up along his nose.

She shrugged, lifted her head from the paintwork and walked back into the room. Kevin followed her in.

“You shower and I’ll get the coffee on” he threw out over his shoulder as he walked to the kitchen top and flipped on the kettle.

Lucy mumbled something about ‘Diva’ and ‘Bitch’ as she lifted her T-Shirt and dropped it on the floor, then stood out of her knickers and trudged naked to the bathroom. Kevin took no notice.

He picked up a cloth on the counter and ran it under the tap. As much as he loved Lucy his OCD hit fever pitch when he was in her flat. That touch of vulnerability she tried to hide along with her aversion to housework always sent his stress levels off at a kilter. He often followed her round with a damp cloth and a bin bag. He picked her T-shirt up off the floor and with barely a touch he lifted her discarded knickers putting them both in the already overflowing wash basket.

“Madonna will be chafing in her corset” he shouted through the bathroom door.

The kettle popped and he walked back over to the kitchen, humming ‘Like a Virgin’ as he reached into the cupboard for two cups and a jar of Nescafe.

Lucy lent forward just a touch and steadied herself with her palms flat against the tiles. The steaming jets of water beating at her back. She lifted her head and arched into the flow.  She let the steam blanket her body and fell into it, soothing the pressure in her head. Ten minutes later she pushed back on her palms and lent back against the glass. The headache had eased but there was still a fog around what happened last night. Was it really him? Maybe she’d imagined it. It could have been the shock of the shooting. Maybe it just brought back the stuff she’d kept buried in her head, but she wouldn’t go there, she couldn’t go there.

********************

In a darkened hotel room across town, Jason Stone was lying on his back, a twisted cotton sheet tangled round his legs. He hadn’t slept. His left arm was raised and loosely draped across his forehead and his right hand was stroking the growing appendage jutting out between his thighs. He’d fallen into bed with a hard on and the damn thing had never left. In fact he’d been achingly hard ever since he’d seen her walk in the club. He knew he couldn’t go there. He couldn’t go back. He had no past. They had seen to that.

His mind flew to Jasmin, her face twisted in pain, a hole in her chest. He felt his cock soften in his hand. He let go. He lifted his arm and ran both hands through his hair. He tried to end it weeks ago, she just wouldn’t accept it. Where ever he went she was there, every premier, every after show party. His guys knew not to let her near, but somehow she always was. Only last week she had cornered him in the gents toilets at the MTV awards. She was wearing nothing but a taupe mac and a pair of killer red heels. What could he say, he was human! He’d fucked her up against the wall, without even opening her mac. He called it goodbye, she called it proof.

Fucking was fucking, it meant nothing. His childhood taught him that. It was just an act, a function that needed taking care of.  He thought of Lucy. He hadn’t fucked Lucy Green. No, that had been something new, something he’d never tasted before. It was pure and it was good and it was something he knew he could never have again. He shivered in the cold and reached for his mobile. He flipped it open, hesitated, and then slammed it shut. What could he do? She must have been as shocked as him. Hell, she’d gone down like a sack of potatoes.

The security guys had gone through her bag looking for I.D. She hadn’t been carrying much. Pete, Head of Security and nearest thing to a best mate Jason had, emptied her stuff onto a table and spotted the small silver chain and locket. Jason lunged at Pete’s hand and almost wrestled him to the floor. He grabbed the chain and buried it in his fist. Pete said nothing, just raised a thick eyebrow. The locket burned in his hand, scorching his skin, branding his palm. He shoved it into his pocket.

The bands manager, Steve McMahon (Mac), a greasy haired sickaphant with Hollywood veneers said he’d take care of it. Said he’d throw her in a taxi and get rid of her quietly but something jarred in Jason’s chest, he couldn’t let her go. He’d come close to physically punching the guy when he’d tried to stop him leaving. It was only Pete holding his arm back that stopped him. Mac had nearly pissed himself on the spot. A quick convo between security and the blacked out SUV was brought round back. Jason carried Lucy out and got in the back. He put her across his lap and signalled Pete to drive. He could almost taste the scent of her wrapped in his arms. He lowered his head to her hair and drew in the Apple Blossom shampoo; he recognised the smell and nearly came in his pants.

“Fuck, she still smells the same” and he lifted an inky black curl rubbing in between his thumb and finger.

Pete caught Jason’s eye in the rear view mirror “You sure you know what you’re doing, mate? this could turn into a whole load of shit, know what I mean?”

Jason just answered with a slow, drawn out “Yeah” and turned his head to the blackened window. Ten minutes later the SUV pulled up outside the address on her driver’s licence. Pete came round and opened the side door,

“You want me to carry her” he asked reaching out to grab the curled up bundle still asleep. “I can manage, just give me 5 minutes and keep the gas running” Jason growled.

He carried her out of the van and still she never stirred. As he got to the front door, somebody else was already there. A 6ft blonde in a diamanté dress let him in and Lucy had nestled in closer, wrapping her legs around his waist.  He’d shuddered. ‘Diamond Dave’ had shot him a curious look. Then he’d pointed to the stairway and followed them upstairs. Jason laid her down on her bed and stood back. The guy in the dress immediately started fussing, so Jason moved back. Once he knew she was ok her left. He didn’t want to, but there was nothing he could do. Jason walked away forcing himself not to look back. He’d taken the stairs from her flat, two at time keeping his head down. He didn’t notice the tiny shaft of light from a partially opened door, or the darkened pair of eyes that followed him out before flicking back up at Lucy’s door.

********************

“Jesus, I’m a nut job” Lucy thought as she turned off the shower and stepped out.

She reached for a towel and rubbed it over her hair. The ache in her head was hanging in there.  She reached for the robe on the door, put it on and tied off the belt. Bracing her hands on each side of the sink she eyed her reflection in the mirror.

“Shit”. She didn’t say anything else.

Lucy scanned the mass of curls haloing her head and the deep red veins that threaded her eye whites. Her eyes had sunk back into her head and were way too small for her face.

Kevin opened the bathroom door, “You back with us now?”  gesturing an eyebrow towards a cup of coffee on the table. She gave him a tensed smile through the mirror but didn’t move.

“So, who was the hunk who carried you in last night?  She froze. Then quickly turned, catching the back of his head through the door.

“What do you mean, who brought me home?” shouting louder than she meant to as she rushed after him. Kevin cocked his head and lowered himself into a chair.

“I mean the gorgeous hunk of meat that carried you in last night, the one with the ‘Fuck me’ stupid eyes” he held her stare across the room.

On a weekday, Kevin’s language always seemed out of place with his dress code. The pinstripe tailored three piece, the stiffly starched white shirt and dull grey tie were standard bank manager issue. They were a perfect counter balance for his weekend persona of ‘Candy Labra’ the dirtiest, cattiest Diva this side of the Northern hemisphere.

“When…what… Oh my God Kevin, I can’t remember a damn thing” she stuttered over her words and put her hand to her mouth as it gaped open.

“I’d just got in, Oh babes, you were right those new heels were killers, my bunions were on…….” Lucy cut him off mid flow,

“Screw your bunions, tell me what you saw” Kevin raised a pissed off eyebrow and traced the pleat down his trouser leg.

“Okay, Okay, keep you bloody knickers on” then glanced across at the used pair he’d picked up earlier and gave an overacting grimace.

“Sorry, I just need to know what happened”  her big dewy eyes soothing his feathers slightly.

“Erm, right, where was I?” and he fell back into his enhanced tale of last night’s visitor, or she hoped to God it was enhanced. For some reason Kevin’s tales always seemed to edge towards pornography. He told her about the hunk that had carried her in. About the smut that had come out of her mouth and how she had wrapped her legs around his middle and rode him like a rodeo horse. She said a silent prayer that he was exaggerating the last part.

“When did he write on my arm?”

“Write what? Who wrote on your arm?”

“The hunk….. Jason.. Jimmy” she stalled over his name, not sure which to use.

“You had no marks when I left Baby Doll” he looked at her questioningly.

Lucy looked down at the newly scrubbed arm, then jumped up and ran to the post- it note. She ripped it off the wall and threw it back at Kevin. He eyed it, studying the numbers.

He raised his head “Looks like a phone number”

“That’s what I said. See, he wrote it on my arm” and she threw the underside of her arm up to his face.

“Umm, you’ve been using that lavender again haven’t you? You’re going to get thrush again” he scolded.

Guilt made her pull her arm back swiftly.

Quickly changing back to the subject in hand,  “If he didn’t write it, then who bloody did?”

Silence followed, they looked at each other. Lucy was too afraid to say it out loud. Kevin beat her to it, “Nobody could have got in after I left, I had my spare key and I locked the door, I swear.”

Ring Ring, Ring Ring

Lucy flinched, Kevin screamed. She scuttled around looking for her mobile.

Ring Ring, Ring Ring

“Got it” she looked at the screen, number unidentified. Hang on those last digits look familiar. She ripped the post-it note back off Kevin and scanned the number.

“Shit” she looked at Kevin and gulped.

The led dial dipped, then died. The phone went black.

“Charger, where’s my charger” she flew off towards the kitchen.  Kevin sat back, crossed one discreetly shaved leg over the other and eyed Lucy frantically searching for the last place she left it. His OCD went into over drive.

 

Chapter 2 …………

SQUIRRELS: THIS TIME IT’S PERSONAL (PART 4 OF THE CSB CHAIN STORY EVENT)

Here’s my part for the fabulous Community Storyboard’s first ever chain story event. You can follow the story through the links below –

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 

Gosling anchored his fedora slightly forward, just enough to cover his eyes, giving him another chance to scan the three goons by the pool table. He kept one eye on McAdam and the other on the painfully crap game of pool going on in the corner. His never been wrong sixth sense, told him something wasn’t right. He’d had an ache in his head all morning, a thumping jack hammer that that was still running on a full tank of gas.  He didn’t know if it was the visit from Aragorn last night or the shit infested squirrel thieves chomping their way through his case load that had him wrapped like a coiled spring.

“You ok babe?” McAdam asked raising a beautifully sculptured eyebrow and stubbing out her cigar in the green metallic ashtray.

“Yeah, sure thing Doll”

“Do you think there’s any connection to the Ted Needham case?” she asked, waiting for any change or flicker in his eyes that would tell her he was holding back. Nothing.

“Nah, no connection, you can let go of that bone now, Sweetheart”

Gosling kept his voice steady and focused on those lethal red lips of hers. He was too long in this game not to know when he was being probed.  He finger walked round the platter he’d ordered, picked up a juicy looking shrimp and put it in his mouth.  He still focused on those lips, damn she was hot. Those lips had nearly made him combust this morning. A trickle of sweat slid down his brow and the uncomfortable bulge in his crotch had him adjusting his seat.  Him and McAdam had been an item for ever, or it felt like it anyway, but it was the on-again, off- again variety. It was love, he recognised it, but knew it was the type that sooner or later would blow up in your face and he didn’t know if his one remaining kidney would survive. They carried on eating in silence.

The biggest of the three goons beckoned Darlene back over. She was tired, irritable and not in the mood to play nicely. She picked up her tray and snatched the empty glasses off Gosling and McAdam’s table as she went past.  She had her pencil in her hand, instinct told her to go slow. She pushed the tip further down into her gripped fist, so it was hidden from the front.

“What can I get you guys?” she asked without dropping her glare.

The largest of the three suddenly lunged forward. A grizzly arm tightened around her neck and she gasped as the air was strangled from her chest.

“We got a party to go to and you’re the entertainment, sweet cakes” he whispered in her ear and the stench of week old sweat and stale pistachios made her nearly puke, or she would of done if his arm wasn’t so tight round her throat.

A second goon stepped in and wrapped an arm around her middle. “The Goddess has a craving for cute little cupcakes” he cackled hideously, sounding like a giant fur ball was lodged in his windpipe.

“Bang”

An almighty explosion tore through the building. The arm around Darlene’s middle fell back. She had no time to think, she just moved on impulse. Retrieving the pencil she jammed into the grizzly’s arm as far as she could. He screamed like a baby and loosened his grip just enough that she could push herself free. Then she dropped to the floor, out cold.

“What the hell” Gosling said as he wiped plaster debris and several over-cooked prawns off his coat. The sudden explosion had ripped a hole the size of a tanker through the back wall of the Burgundy Herring and tables and chairs had gone flying through the front windows.

“God damn it, these shoes were new” McAdam cursed standing unsteadily with only one heel still attached.

“You all there?” she shot a worried glance at Gosling.

“Yeah, but I think my hat didn’t make it” raising one side of his mouth in a reassuring grin.

They both glanced to the Herring’s newly made back entrance. Just in time to see Darlene being hoisted into the back of a blacked out SUV by two burly squirrels and a giant the size of a bear. They caught the banner on the side of the SUV that read ‘Needhams Party Supplies’.  McAdam and Gosling both swallowed and didn’t say a word…….

To be continued by S. K. Nicholls

Little Chest of Memories

It’s time again for the fabulous Friday Fictioneers. A 100 word photo prompt hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields, who has also provided the photo this week.

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If memories were little things, that you and I could touch,

I’d build a case to put them in and fill up every box.

Little bits of this and that and souvenirs and such,

Every one a stepping stone or a cherished building block.

Cycle rides and party games, monopoly and tiles.

Driving tips and theatre trips and TV shows and boys,

Shells that sing of seas you swam, and all those blessed smiles.

Every one a part of you and I’d see them through your eyes.

If memories were little things that you and I could touch.

Where Did All Those Summers Go?

Where did all those summers go, the ones we left behind.

Daisy chains and apple trees and lemonade with limes.

Honey bees and fireflies and hidden treasures of every kind,

From pirate ships to fairy glens, we shared them all those happy times.

Summers came around anew and we soon forgot those childhood things.

Broken hearts and painted nails and lemonade with wine.

High heeled shoes and rah-rah skirts and teenage boys were kings,

From classroom winks to bike shed flings, we shared them all those happy times.

Summers came and went each year; we kept in touch by mail or phone.

Late night meetings and office drinks and lemonade with gin.

Pinstripe suits and perfect hair and lines to show the years had flown.

From CEO to Chief of Staff, we shared them all those happy times.

Where did all those summers go, the ones I long to find.

Lonely tears and silent pain and lemonade not touched.

A graveyard stone and flowers new are all I now can leave behind,

You’ll always mean the world to me; we shared them all those happy times.

csb-featured-post

I Can Only See You Now..

I can only see you now,

As just a thought or touch.

It even seems that on some days,

The pain it feels too much.

Its seeps within the despair I sense,

 And fuels the ache I feel,

It’s in the smell of coffee beans,

Or a tune that seems so real.

*

I can only see you now,

When I close my eyes to sleep,

Your face appears within my dreams,

The ones I cannot keep.

Where bodies join and passions spend,

A sheen of sated bliss,

Your tongue it steals across my lips,

 And seals a whispered kiss.

*

I can only see you now,

When time stands fast and still,

Tiny pockets of emptiness,

That I let your darkness fill

Postcard written memories,

 Of all the times we shared,

Of endless possibilities,

And times when you had cared.

*

I can only see you now,

Across a crowded street,

A tap of quickened footsteps,

But still we do not meet.

I call your name, you do not hear,

And then you fade away,

I knew I should have listened,

When you said you couldn’t stay.

*

I can only see you now,

As a memento of my sorrow,

I loved you then, I love you still,

I’ll love you on the morrow.