The Perfect Shoes

One of my favorite parts of summer is THE SHOES. So for your prompt this week I’d like you to write about your character (or yourself) and a pair of his or her shoes.

Those shoes can be real or symbolic, they can hurt or be super comfy but I want to see what they say about the life of the person wearing them. It’s a chance to use all those descriptive words I love reading.

She had the dress. She had the jewelry. She had the headpiece, the flowers, the something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. What she didn’t have was the shoes. Shoes… she’d look at damn near a hundred pair and still nothing stuck out as the right ones.

Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Ferragamo, Vivienne Westwood…. She’d looked at those and didn’t like any of them. She went to Payless…the shoe store in the mall, and Macy’s but couldn’t find the perfect pair.

Why? Why was it so difficult to find something stylish, comfortable, and fit her personality? Everything else was perfect except for the shoes. They… were missing.

Until one day Becca was wandering through the city and stumbled upon a small, out of the way shop and something about the quaint window displays beckoned her to come in.

As she walked in the old fashioned bell chimed signaling to the clerk that someone had entered. She started looking around at the unique and odd mix of stuff that was in the store… books, home décor, clothing, jewelry, and shoes. Some new, some vintage but all very beautiful.

A small old woman entered curtained doorway that came from the back of the store. She was adorable, very much like a fairie godmother sort of way. She was short and round with silver gray hair that was curled around her cheery face.

She smiled at Becca and it filled her with warmth. “Is there something I can help you with, my dear?” She asked as she walked towards Becca.

“No,” she said returning her smile. “I’m just looking right now.”

“Ah ha.” The woman said like she knew something. “You’re missing something… looking for something special. Aren’t you?

Becca stopped and looked at her with confusion. “Umm.. no… well, yes. Yes, I am.”

Again the woman smiled at her and moved towards the curtained doorway. “I have exactly what you’re looking for.” And she disappeared into the back.

Becca felt like a giddy schoolgirl and had no idea why. She knew that something special was about to happen and that she had made a smart choice walking into the shop.

Almost as quickly as she went through the curtain the woman returned with two unmarked boxes.

“Sit…sit. My dear,” she said as she motioned towards a large, upholstered chair against the far wall. Becca did as she was asked and the woman came close and sat the boxes down on the table near.

“Here,” she said handing her the first box. “I think this is exactly what you want.”

Hesitantly, Becca took the box from the woman and set it on her lap. Slowly she opened it to see what was inside. Shoes. The most perfect, beautiful shoes she’d ever seen. Shoes the color of the water. They were the shoes.

The shoes were a smooth & shiny patent leather with a stacked heel that wasn’t too high but wasn’t to low either and a buckle at the peep toe. Perfect to show off her new pedicure. Perfect as a stunning addition to her dress.

“How?” She stammered looking at the woman. “How did you know?”

A warm smile again. “Ah… I always know.”

Peering down into the box Becca wondered if they’d fit and gently she lifted one out and it easily slipped onto her foot as if they were made just for her. In no time she had the both on and was admiring them with her legs stretched out in front of her. Perfect, she thought, absolutely perfect!

“Aren’t you going to check the other box, my dear?” The woman asked her.

As if coming out of a dream Becca looked at the other box. “Oh, yes. But I think these are the ones.” She opened the box and looked inside and there was another pair of shoes. This time they were a snowy, white satin gathered at the toe with a pretty organza flower. Again they were perfect.

“You’re feet may get tired of being in heels all day,” the woman explained. “These are as comfortable as walking on a cloud.”

And they were. Becca was overjoyed and couldn’t believe her luck.

She put her old shoes back on and moved towards the counter with the boxes. “How can I ever thank you?” She asked.

“Be happy. Love your husband. Cherish the time you have together.”

Becca walked out the door having paid very little for her wedding shoes but couldn’t have been happier no matter what the cost.

 

Want to read more on Becca & Jake’s story? Click here.

A Memoir: Part One

The most frequent advice I come across for amateur writers is, “Write what you know.”

“What you know” doesn’t necessarily always mean “your comfort zone.” For this week, take what you know out of your comfort zone. Try a new genre, a new time period, a geography you’ve only dreamed of, fantasy or historical instead of contemporary fiction, try the male POV if you usually write women. Or vice versa.

Switch it up. See where it takes you.

I figure that since I have some time on my hands now I’d try to write the journey I’ve made to where I’m at now. It’s been a long road full of pit stops and holes, but there have been some sweet spots as well. It’s probably best to start out when I ran away in 1898 since that’s when life for me really started. Let’s just hope that my memory doesn’t fail me!

I rode fast & hard down the long, winding dirt road, although thinking about it now it wasn’t much of a road. It was more like a trail that cut through the deep woods and being in the shade of those trees was the only thing that helped keep my horse and me from heat exhaustion. I ‘member it was so hot and sticky out that I had to hold on tight or I’d slip off the horse ‘cause of all the sweat.

As I road on into the night I kept thinking will they miss me? Will they even know that I’m gone? The answers didn’t matter to me anymore because the only thing that mattered was my freedom.

Freedom. It sure did mean a lot to me. It was something that I had never experienced in my life… I bet that it had a taste so sweet that nothing could compare to it. Not even one of mama’s prize pies!

The only thing I knew was hard work and the back of my daddy’s hand and while I can work hard and sometimes didn’t mind it I hated my daddy. He’s a mean son of a bitch that couldn’t handle his whisky. He drank every day, even on Sunday as soon as we got back from church.

My mama was gone. She’d been gone for a couple of years seeing as she died while trying to give birth to my baby brother. It was hard on me and I think it was on daddy too because it was the only time I’d seen him show some sort of emotion, but he got more mean after that. It’s sad to say but it was a happy time for me because daddy didn’t come after me with the belt all that much for a while.

I think that if it weren’t for my mama he’d a killed me. I miss her a lot.

He got over mama fast & started bringing women ‘round. Not the good kind either and he drank more and beat me more. You can only take so much, right? So I took off on my horse with everything that I could and left our farm in Mississippi. North. That’s where I was gonna go… somewhere I could get lost in the crowd, where people didn’t know me, and where I could find freedom.

I never got lost since I didn’t know where I was most of the time and nobody seemed to pay attention to me. Guess it wasn’t odd to see a boy my age riding alone. I was happy though and eventually stopped looking over my shoulder.

I think it took me damn near two weeks to get outta the south and by time I made it to Michigan I knew I’d be safe.

That first week there was one I can’t forget. There was a huge lake… bigger than the Mississippi River and cold as all get out. Man… it was beautiful I just sat there in the warm sand for hours staring out at that water and all the different shades of blue.

It wasn’t long before I knew I was home.

The Letter

You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life–whether good or bad. What does it say? How does it affect you or your character? What is done with it?

red writing hood

Becca had finally brought the last box into her new apartment and fell into the couch with a sigh.

She looked around at her new home and the four walls seemed a lot closer and emptier than the house she left recently. The windows overlooked the vast city where she decided to settle… far from the water. Far from the memories.

It was a new start and exactly what she needed. Looking over at the last couple of boxes she decided that she may as well unpack them before exhaustion set in.

The boxes were small and wouldn’t take much time at all. The first one was full of some silly knick knacks that she had started collecting when she was a little girl, but they were all special reminders of the places she’d visited with her grandparents and couldn’t stand to let them go.

By the time she got half way through the second box she had finished her first glass of wine and was about to grab another until she saw the envelope with her name on it.

She knew the handwriting immediately and her heart fluttered slightly as she picked up the sealed envelope. She was confused and curious since she had never seen it before and wasn’t sure how it got in the box.

She held it for a several long moments before opening it slowly. It was Jake’s writing and it looked like he had written some, erased, and then wrote some more several times throughout the letter as she glanced over it.

She finally read it.

Becca,

I’ve gone over this in my head time and time again and I’ve wanted to tell you so many times but the time was never right or I was to scared.
I wish that it never happened but at the same time I’m happy.
I wish that it were you.
I wish that I could take back the mistake I made.
I wish that stop the hurt that you will feel.
I wish that you will find it in your heart to forgive me.
This isn’t how I planned to tell you. Actually, this letter is like a practice round before I actually tell you.
I have a son and he is 2 years old.

Becca put the letter down. She could barely breath but picked it back up to finish.

I made a mistake and had an affair and out of that brief encounter he came. I’m sorry. I don’t know what else I can say. He’s beautiful and looks like me. Please forgive me and know that you hold my heart.

Jake

She dropped the letter in her lap not know what to think or what to do. She was confused… she just found out that her late husband had an affair with another woman and a child.

The tears threatened to fall but didn’t. The shock was to strong as thoughts flew through her mind… all the times he seemed to have something to say… the times he was late coming home from work… the weekends he had to work….. the look on his face when they talked of starting their own family.

The tears fell slowly leaving spots on the letter.

Want to know more about the story? Go here!

The Funeral

Flash Fiction can be fun and a real challenge. This week focus on the words and the strength of each to contribute to your story. Write a 300 word piece using the following word for inspiration: LIFE.

 

It was the day that Becca had been dreading since she heard that echoing knock on her front door. It seemed like that was ages ago when in all reality it was less than a week. It’s funny how time passes when something significant in your life happens.

Was it really only 5 days ago?,  she thought to herself as she sat in the front pew. Emotions once again took hold and she fought the tears that seemed endless, but they burned her eyes and she finally gave in and let them stream down her cheeks again.

This wasn’t how their life was supposed to be. They had made so many plans together for their future and they had only recently able to check one of the items off of their list.

The house. It was their love of the water & that little house that led her to where she was now. She couldn’t go back there. Ever.

The music stopped and there was shuffling of feet, a cough here and there, and the rustling of paper. The sounds seemed so loud in her head until he started to speak and then they dimmed as his voice rose and carried through the sanctuary.

The words were meaningless to her and she barely heard them. She didn’t want to hear them because it meant that he was really gone and she wasn’t ready to accept that yet.

Her sister squeezed her hand as she wiped her eyes again with a damp, mascara-covered tissue. She took a slow, deep breath and forced herself to look up towards the minister and at her husbands’ coffin.

She felt her heart clutch at the site of the dark wood with the white, fragrant flowers on top and she kept hoping that she’d wake up from this nightmare and turn to see his face on the pillow next to her again.

The music started again and her sister helped her walk out of the church.

There is more to the story of Becca and Jake! Read it here.

The tables turned

Physical beauty.

It can open doors – and can also shut them.

Write a scene in which a physically beautiful character is somehow impacted by that trait. If you are doing non-fiction, you can write about yourself or someone you know.

She was beautiful. She knew it and she used to get ahead in life no matter whom she stepped on along the way. Hers was the kind of beauty that caused people from all walks of life to stop and look… classic, elegant, and timeless all at once.

She was ugly. On the inside she was manipulative, conniving, cold, and calculating. It was the kind of ugliness that was well hidden or masked by the fake laughter & smiles that she handed out like it was nothing at all. But every thing done was well thought out.

She was two sides of the same coin. Good and bad. Night and day. Ying and Yang.

She was able to get any man that she wanted and of course she used her looks to that advantage. She had set her sights on a specific man and wasn’t going to let him slip through her clutches. Her sights were set much higher than she’d ever had them before, but this time it was for life… or until she got bored with being married.

She had her work cut out for him since he had just recently broken up with a long time girlfriend and didn’t want to be a rebound girlfriend or a one-night stand. To her that would be the ultimate insult after all the work she was planning. Yes, she had done her homework and she’d done it well. She knew exactly what to do and how to get it done.

She joined various groups in the city and went to charity functions that his mother & sister attended. She made friends with the right people (the ones he knew of course) and his family. It wasn’t all that difficult for her given beauty and charm.

Eventually, his mother introduced her to him in an official manner. She was sweet, charming, and more than beautiful and he was enamored with her.

Time passed quickly and she was able to wrap him around her finger without any trouble at all and almost in the same amount of time she was able to piss off his sister and show her true colors.
She became jealous. Worried. Because like her he was an incredibly good-looking man and was able to garner the attention of many women and he used his looks in many of the same ways she did.

It didn’t take long for her to realize that his feelings for her were just as shallow as hers once were, but it was to late because she was truly in love with him.

The tables had turned. She found herself in a position that she was unprepared for and it was a position that she usually left her boyfriend of the moment in. She had to create a new plan, one that would cement her place in life by his side. Something more than just a pretty girl on his arm.

The situation pissed her off and more than that his attitude towards her in recent weeks. He’d started acting aloof, distant, and often flirting back with the women who caught his attention.

The day finally came when he dumped her and she felt her world crash down around her in a million pieces. This is what they felt like… this is what she did… this is when she knew that she had to change.

Alone

Som e of us show it easily, hugging relatives each time we meet. Wrapping our arms around friends.

Some of us are more reserved, rarely touching other people.

And then a few of us hang out somewhere in the middle. Hugging our children, but limiting our affection to handshakes with others.

This week we would like you to write about how the show of affection has played a part in your memory.

Choose a time when either the abundance or lack of affection (either by you or someone else) stands out, and show us. Bring us to that time. Help us feel what you felt.

It was a cold day in early December and the snow wasn’t slowing down at all and where we lived that meant that if the plow trucks couldn’t keep up that they would just stop until the snow quit falling.

With this in mind the decision to stay was made. It was to risky to drive home and then have to turn around within 45 minutes at the earliest and go back.

Babies are unpredictable and you never know when they will make their grand entrance into this great, wide world.

My midwife assured me that everything would be fine and we decided to induce labor since I was already in the early stages and the baby was ready to be welcomed into the world.

I made all the phone calls to my family to let them know that their first grandchild would soon be born. But my words were heard by nobody. The answering machine took my message and would relay it to them.

The evening was passing and the my labor was progressing quickly…. to quickly for me and it hurt like hell.

I was alone. Well mostly alone. My boyfriend was there (not much help) and his mother (more helpful) was there too and my labor was hard & I hadn’t gotten that breathing thing down very well since I never finished my childbirth classes. I think that if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t have done very well.

I wanted to sleep so badly. Rest. That is what I wanted most of all next to seeing my beautiful baby.

Just after 1am I welcomed my first child into this world on a chilly December morning. She was the most beautiful & healthy baby I had ever seen.

Sleep came and all too soon the new day was upon us and I was snuggling with my baby in bed. Holding her close to me was the most wonderful feeling and one that can never be replaced. Even by another child as each child is special and unique in their own way.

Holding your baby is the most amazing feeling. Warm. Comforting. Safe. Love. Pure love. There are so many words to explain the feeling and at the same time it’s indescribable.

But I was still alone. Yes, my boyfriend and his family was still there with me to share in my joy and to marvel at the new life we all took turns holding in our arms. But my mom, my dad, my step mom, brother, sister… not there.

My family wasn’t there to hold & cuddle that pretty baby girl. They weren’t there to hug me. They weren’t there to congratulate me on a job well done and tell me how proud they were.

This left an empty feeling in me…. a hole in my heart. I wanted my family to be there with me for that special moment. A moment in our lives that can never be relived.

 

The Ball

We want to know what, from your childhood, do you still know by heart?

Is it a story? A jump-roping song? The number of rungs on the ladder to your treehouse? How much money you had to save to buy something you really wanted?

There are times in my life where I look back at my childhood and try to remember things. Games, specific events, holidays, and that sort of things but I usually end up drawing a blank.

I have a block on most of my memories and I’m not sure why. I think that it stems from my parents divorce… there was a lot of fighting and arguing when I was younger. But that is not what this post is about.

A memory. One that a I hold near and dear to my heart. A memory that I do remember vividly. One that I randomly play over and over in my head.

Three. I was almost three years old and we were living in town in a house that my parents were renting and to me it was huge. The house had large rooms with big windows that let in the light from outside. It was an old house too, where the living room was in the front, dining in the middle, and then the kitchen towards the back of the house.

It was sunny out, but it must have been cold since we were playing inside that day. My dad was at work and it was just my mom and I at home. I was still an only child and never had to share my toys or my time with my mom. Little did I know that would change.

The Ball

 

The ball was blue I think. We sat on the hardwood floor facing one another with our legs spread out as we rolled the ball back and forth to one another. Occasionally it would bounce outside of the wall that our legs made.

 

Giggles. Smiles. Pure fun. That is what I remember.

Special time spent with my mom.

Time where I had her undivided attention.

A moment in time that has always stuck with me.

A memory of love.

Yahtzee!!

This week, we want you to recall the games you played when you were young.
Did you love Monopoly, Yahtzee, or Uno? Or did you prefer backgammon, Trouble, or Scrabble?
Write a piece that explores one of your memories.

I’ve been missing for a while from TRDC prompts and really have no reason why, but I’m jumping back in today.

Many years ago when I was just a little girl my family and I used to take long weekends and go up north to St. Helen, Michigan to visit my grandparents on my moms side. I loved going up there for so many reasons, but most of all I got to spend some time with my grandparents and usually got away with a lot more than if I were at home.

Every evening after dinner (often polenta, sausage, and a marinara sauce) I would take a bath and use the Irish Spring soap, the traditional green and white marbled bar. Even today the smell brings back all sorts of fond memories of my grandparents house and the times that I spent with them. After my bath my grandma would french braid my hair into two long and really tight braids on either side of my head. I’m amazed at how tight she was able to get them! Seriously… sometimes it hurt. But I endured it because I loved the way they looked so much and my mom couldn’t braid.

Yahtzee

Image via Wikipedia

Once all of us kids were in bed the adults would all gather in the kitchen with their snacks and wine to play Yahtzee.

They would all take their seats at the table, passing out the score sheets, pencils, and gathering the cup and dice at first. And this is when the fun started. They’d shake the cup letting the dice rattle around a few times before letting them roll out of the cup and on to the table all in hopes of getting that elusive Yahtzee. Again and again the dice would be tossed into the cup, rattle around, and then fall onto the table.

So many times I would get up and tell them that I couldn’t sleep because of the dice, but really I just wanted to watch or even to play with them. Of course I was always sent back to bed where I would lay and listen to the fun.

As the night progressed they would laugh, talk, and carry on. Always having a great time and yelling out “Yahtzee!!” in a gleeful manner when someone managed to get the five dice to all have the same number showing. They would play well into the night it seemed or probably something closer to 10 or 11pm.

During the day my grandma would pull out that old Yahtzee box and play with us kids. I remember the box, it was worn very much use throughout the years and held shut by a single rubber band. We would have so much fun playing with my grandma.

As I think back of all the times that they played I can still hear the sound of the dice rattling and my mom laughing. Looking back things were much simpler then.

I remember this so well and it’s such a fond memory that even today my sister and I love to play it when we get together.

High School Jealousy

She went to school everyday but before she left she was up early to get ready. There was hair to curl & spray, make up to be put on, and the perfect outfit to be selected. Why? Because it was high school and no matter who you were you were judged.

Judged on the way you looked, the clothes you wore, the friends you hung out with, the activities you were involved in at school as well outside of school, the way you walk, talked, and carried yourself. There was nothing that was untouchable when it came to being judged in high school

How could she not be jealous of some of the other girls? How could she not want the long pretty straight hair, perfect skin, name brand clothes, been friends with the same people since the 1st grade, be as smart, or as athletic.

She wanted it. She wanted more. She wanted to be just like them.

But she had the friends, the right friends. The friends who were in the “popular” crowd. She was invited to the same parties as all the others, went to all the football games with the “in” crowd, and all the dances but she still felt like there was something missing.

What she didn’t know ore realize was that she was pretty too, had nice clothes, a car, the right friends, good grades, and more. What she didn’t see was that she had nothing to be jealous about.

What she didn’t see was that some of the others were jealous of her. And in her mind thoughts like that were ludicrous. Why would they be jealous of her? Why, when they already had everything and then some.

Many years passed and life carried on for everyone. Friendships faded and she soon realized many of them weren’t true friends. She learned that she really had no reason to be jealous. She learned to be happy with what she had and that what she had was enough.

And through modern technology she was able to reconnect with some of those friends. She was able to realize that their lives aren’t much different from hers now and that they’re really all the same.

What she realized was there is no reason to be jealous. Just be yourself and you’ll be happy.

red writing hood

I am perfect

Is there someone who drives you crazy?

Someone who really gets under your skin.

It doesn’t have to be someone you know (although it certainly can be). It could be someone famous. Or even a character in a book.

Now, write a first-person piece – as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you. For instance, maybe there’s a good reason why they eat with their mouths open, or why they use sarcasm as a weapon.

I’ve been told that I can be annoying at times. I have no idea what people are talking about though because from what I see I’m doing things pretty damn well.

I’m still wondering what it was that caused my co-workers to speak with my boss. He seems to think that my work is pretty good. He doesn’t complain.

My work is better quality than my colleague if I say so myself. Obviously they don’t see that.

I realize that my boss might have spoken me to on occasion about my behavior, how I seem to act superior with my co-workers, how I think that everything I do is perfect, and can’t take constructive criticism. I listened to what he had to say, responded that I was sorry for my behavior and would work on it, and then carried on with my day. But seriously, I am right! It’s them who need to change.

I went to college and have a degree so I know a lot. I’ve worked in different places around the country (unlike most of my co-workers who have never left the state). I have met a lot of people and learned a great deal. I know what I’m talking about people. So I have no idea why you even question me or the work that I do.

I meet with people who are professionals in my line of work on a regular basis, yea they don’t see the work I produce but that doesn’t matter. What does is that I can talk the talk, right? Of course, I can walk the walk too…. It’s just a curvy line sometimes.

All that doesn’t matter really because when it comes down to it I’m right and I know that I am. My work is perfect and there is absolutely no reason to question it because it’s me in this position not you.

I know… I know. It annoys people that I’m perfect damn near perfect. I am sort of starting to see that I have a couple flaws. I’ll work on it. I promise.

I love comments and constructive criticism. What do you think?

This is a work of fiction!