Category Archives: Writing

Weird Angle [901]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Kevin and Lexi were driving south in hopes of locating Dan, who had disappeared while driving toward Otter Village. Along the way, Kevin tells Lexi why he left Chicago.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?
Entanglement
Dan Drives North
Geolocation
Lexi Needs A Ride

Kevin’s Tangled Saga]

Brown bunny rabbit

It was a strange dream, with voices from faraway. He knew better than to answer them, for he was a small thing, curled up next to a tree, and did not want to end up on a dinner plate. His nose twitched like a rabbit’s. A wascally wabbit! Outsmarting Elmer Fudd once again. He smiled and went back to sleep.

But he was cold, so cold. The tree was cold. He huddled closer to it and realized it was made of metal. A metal tree? He opened his eyes, which made his head hurt. Then he realized he wasn’t next to a tree at all but a pole. He grabbed it with his paws that were not paws but human hands. Sticky hands.

“Dan! Dan!” someone kept shouting. The voice of a woman. A memory floated up. A woman in restaurant eating fries from his plate. Smiling, laughing, pretty. Then she was in his car. Oh! He had a car. That was good. He should find where he parked.

Pretty blue-eyed blonde

He tried to pull himself up and pain shot up his spine, and spiked through his shoulder, leaving him out of breath. His hands were throbbing. Had he been in a fistfight? What the hell? He lay back down on the lumpy cold ground, dizzy and panting. Everything hurt, he realized now. He tried to roll onto his left side as he did in the morning when getting out of bed and screamed.

“Dan!” the voice was a man’s now, closer.

They’d come back for him, to finish it. He understood now. Angela and that beast, the supposed rotten boyfriend who’d stranded her, but in fact had been tailing them until Angela pretended to be sick and made him pull off the freeway. Then the boyfriend had beaten him up, and they’d stolen his car, but now they’d decided to kill him so he couldn’t identify them.

He would die here in the dirt at the hands of criminals, and his brother was dead too, and that would be the end of the Mitchells.

Dark deserted road

“Dan? Is that you?” Lexi bent down over the dark shape next to the utility pole, shining her flashlight on the person’s face. “Oh, my God, Kevin. It’s him, but he’s all bruised… his face… and his leg is at a weird angle.” She put her fingers on his throat and felt a weak pulse.

“We can’t move him,” Kevin said. He called 911 and asked for an ambulance ASAP, telling them there might be spinal injuries. He gave their exact location from the GPS.

“Nick was pretty accurate,” Lexi said. “But what happened here? Where’s his car?”

Dan moaned and she held his hand. It was like a chunk of ice. “Shh. It’s all right. We’ve called for an ambulance. Just lie still for another couple minutes.”

“Looks like… well, I don’t know. Maybe he stopped to take a pee and someone bashed him up, stole his car?” Kevin paced around them, but stayed close, Lexi noted, and was very grateful for it. Even though they were close to the road, it was almost pitch black, and who knew what lurked in the trees behind them? More car-stealing bashers?

“Angela,” Dan whispered.

“What?” Lexi said. He repeated it and she heard him. “He’s saying ‘Angela.'”

Kevin shrugged. “Does that mean anything to you?”

“No, but I don’t know much about his life. Dan,” she said close to his ear. “It’s Lexi, Alexandra. Not Angela. I’m here with my friend Kevin and we’ve called for help. Just hang tight.”

“Maybe this Angela stole his car,” Kevin suggested as sirens faintly wailed in the distance. “Maybe it wasn’t random.”

“I think he’s just confused about my name because he’s hurt,” Lexi said. “I see lights. That was fast.”

“Hi!” Dan said, waving to the emergency personnel. “Over here. We don’t know what happened to him.”

Two male paramedics ran to them. “Please step back,” one said to Lexi.

She scrambled out of the way as they began to work on Dan, taking his blood pressure, and loading him onto a stretcher.

Next, two police officers approached them. Lexi had been so engrossed in watching the paramedics she hadn’t noticed a second vehicle pull up.

“How did you happen to find this man?” A female officer asked.

“Well, I…”

Silhouette cop surrounded by blue light

Then she realized the cop wasn’t talking to her, but to Kevin. And a second police car had pulled up. Two more officers strode toward them. It occurred to Lexi that it might appear to someone who didn’t know what was going on that she and Kevin had somehow hurt Dan, which was of course ridiculous!

“We were actually looking for him,” Kevin said. “He was coming up to visit Lexi and stopped communicating, so we began to worry about him.”

Lexi thought that this was too brief of an explanation and wanted to begin at the beginning so the cops would have a full picture of the Dan situation and why she and Kevin had received GPS info from Nick–and it would probably be a neat idea to mention that a fellow cop had helped them–

“Okay, sir,” the officer replied to Kevin. “May I see some identification please?”

As the paramedics lifted Dan into the ambulance, Lexi had one second to decide whether to jump in after them or to stay here and help Kevin explain everything…

[to be continued]

~*~

Images from Pexels and Pixabay

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Dada’s Game

Surreal chess

The day was made of squares,
Newbright and melting gold,
Like crowns straight from the fire.
I thought I saw you there;
My breath turned into mist.
But knight came with a plot twist:
Ice blue squares adorned this board,
Glowing like a cheap motel.
The gold softened into quicksand;
My castles sank as the snow fell.
I watched your bishop’s mask slip,
Revealing the demon dog beneath;
It gobbled up my last three pawns.
Checkmate, you said,
Leaving me with a bill in hand,
And ghosting off to Forest Lawn.

~*~

Written for Dverse Surrealism.

Image credit to Pixabay.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Blogging and Licorice

Dr Tanya continues her series of blogging about blogging by asking today:

“How do you write fresh content when everything that is worth saying has already been said?”

Water cooler bitmoji

First, I would like to note that Dr. Tanya asks us to leave a link in her comments when we respond to this question, but her comments appear to be disabled (again).

Second, my specific answer to the question is that it’s easy to write fresh content when we stay in the realms of fiction, poetry, and personal experiences. As we respond to the prompts using our imagination to create a piece of flash fiction or a poem, we will end up with something new. That’s what I love about the prompts ~ the various ways we each react to the same picture. Fascinating! Personal stories are fun to read too; usually we can relate to some element in another blogger’s peeve or smile.

Where we get in trouble imo, where things slide into boringness, is when people turn their blogs into link machines. I don’t want to see posts full of clicks to CNN or to items to purchase, nor do I want to read yawny advice on finance or health or any other thing. Am I telling people what to write? Of course not. Write whatever the hell you want! I’m simply answering the question: what’s fresh content vs dull content in my opinion. (In another blog’s comments, I was accused of telling people what to write when giving this opinion.)

Third, what happens when you write the kind of stuff someone doesn’t care for? Say you’re a person who loves to post product reviews on your blog… and you read this post of mine. What happens now? Should you get infuriated and crab at me? Well, that is one option. Or you could think hmm she doesn’t want to read blogs that are mainly product reviews, oh well… I guess I’ll go focus on people who do.

I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve read/heard someone saying they hate romance novels or poetry. I get it. It’s not your cup of tea. That’s not a problem for me… I will continue writing romance and poetry just the same because I enjoy it. And I don’t crab at the folks who think poetry is boring or romance writing is stupid; they have every right to their tastes. I’m not sure why there’s this persistent percentage of peeps who think it’s important that nothing ever be criticized.

It’s okay to have preferences. It really is. And there’s nothing more annoying than someone trying to talk you out of them. I ran into this guy once who seemed upset that I didn’t like black licorice and wanted to prove to me that I had never actually tasted “real” licorice. But what if it’s true that I go my whole life believing I don’t like licorice without actually knowing the real taste of real licorice…

What difference does it make?

Bitmoji shrug

~*~

Images from the Bitmoji app.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

A New Life [flash 201]

When she was a child, she played in a magic garden with a sparkling unicorn and a rainbow of butterflies. One day, she jumped in a glittering aqua pool and was pulled out by rough hands. Scared, she stared into an unfamiliar face.

“Foolish girl,” the old man said. “That river is dirty. Don’t go in there again.”

“What about my white horse?” she cried.

He laughed but not unkindly and returned her to the orphanage, where they punished her for escaping again. A few years later, they sent her out to work for a wealthy family to earn her keep. She cleaned their floors and sometimes was allowed to help in the kitchen, where she might stir a pot of sauce or cut up vegetables.

One day, she was in the driveway helping the chauffeur wax the white limo when the old man appeared, the one who pulled her from the river. He didn’t seem to recognize her however.

But when he walked past he commented, “When you’re eighteen you can get your license and learn to drive my limo. Maybe a car can replace the white horse you left behind and you can create a new life for yourself.”

~*~

BrewNSpew Cafe

Image credit to lovethispic.com

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Betrayal [880]

[This is a multi-part story. We previously read that Liana, Sura, and Nami were traveling through the dangerous monkey jungle in hopes of reaching the Royal Hall before Miko’s funeral.

If you’d like to read the chapters in order, please follow this list. Thanks!

The Murmuration
Liana’s Journey Continues
Captured
The Shark’s Tooth
An Honored Guest
Miko’s Plan
A Cup of Tea?
Liana’s House
Strange News
Waves
The Monkey Jungle]

Tropical island garden

Liana stood straight and proud, willing her face into a calm pool of serenity, as the Queen examined Kenju. Inside, however, Liana quaked with fear. Her stomach curled with eels of terror. Her legs, under the brightly flowered dress Sura had somehow found for her, trembled like saplings in a windstorm.

“Look how he smiles,” Sura whispered. “It’s a good sign.”

Liana shook her head slightly. “I think he just has a tummy bubble.”

The Queen opened Kenju’s blanket, turned him around, and handed him back to Sura. “The baby has the mark of the Storm God,” the Queen announced.

Her ladies peered at Kenju as Sura pushed his swaddling down so they could see the tiny dark crescent on his shoulder.

Liana had noticed it, of course. It hadn’t meant anything to her. But the Queen was pleased, which calmed her nerves. The servants began to pile the wooden tables high with platters of breads, fruits, meats, and salads, in preparation for the funeral feast. Sura had told her that everyone would come to pray for Miko’s spirit to have a safe journey to the land beyond. And then they would celebrate and dance.

Colorful fruit platter

“She is a witch!” a woman screamed. “And her son is a demon who will bring rains of fire and plagues of scorpions to our people. Your Majesty, I beg you not to be deceived by this treacherous sorcery. She murdered my nephew!”

“It’s Adoka!” Sura gasped, pointing to the back. “She’s gone mad!”

Quickly, Liana took Kenju in her arms and tucked him back into his pouch, nestling him close to her body. She pulled another blanket around him, obscuring him from view. She would not allow any harm to come to him! Sura patted her shoulder reassuringly.

The Queen rose from her throne. “Who dares to speak curses on this day? Bring her!”

Liana watched the royal guards drag Adoka before the Queen. “Please,” Adoka cried. “Do not trust this evil Liana! She poisoned my nephew Miko, your best commander, which is why he is no longer gathering treasure for you and instead waits for the flames.”

Everyone remained silent in the face of this outrageous accusation. The Queen laughed. “Are you saying that this little girl, who just gave birth, somehow managed to kill my fiercest and most powerful warrior?”

The room erupted in laughter and chatter. “Quiet!” the Queen demanded. “Surely, you brought proof, aunt of Miko. If not, I will consider you a madwoman and have you fed to the pigs.”

“I found the deadly blackberry growing in her garden,” Adoka said. “Miko went there to propose marriage and was never seen alive again.”

Blackberry

A man stepped forward, another pirate, Liana guessed, from his powerful build and painted skull. The Queen’s guard were on immediate alert, six brawny men stepping forward between them, spears out, ready to kill the new man on the spot, it appeared to Liana. What a brutal people, so unlike her true homeland. But she was one of them now, and would behave the same to protect what she held dear.

“It’s true!” he shouted. “I am Vuo, brother of Miko the warrior. He told me of the strange happenings since this witch appeared. She murdered even more men, men who first rescued her from the sea. Ando and Ray.”

The Queen raised an eyebrow and sat back down, giving a signal to her guard to move back as well. “Now that is an interesting story. Miko himself testified to me that those men killed each other. Are you now calling him a liar, brother of Miko?”

Vuo clasped his hands behind his back, which made his muscles bulge. “I believe he was protecting the witch because she had put a spell on him. He wanted to marry her from the start.”

“She’s a demon!” Adoka hissed, pointing at Liana. “Kill her at once! Her and the babe! Burn them alive!”

Fire

The chattering from the crowd became louder and Liana huddled against Sura as people stared and pointed at them. Some faces were merely curious, while others were clearly hostile. Obviously the pirate warriors had many fans in this hall, plus no one liked witches and demons.

The Queen held up her hand in a gesture for silence and turned her glittering gaze on Liana. She smiled, obviously enjoying the unexpected drama. “What have you to say for yourself against this accusation of murder? There are three good warriors gone, to be replaced by only one breeding woman and a helpless baby.”

As Liana tried to formulate a defense, Kenju began to cry. “My baby needs…” she said as she awkwardly positioned him to nurse while standing up.

While Liana was engaged with the baby, Sura spoke up. “Your Majesty, it is true that Miko was poisoned at Liana’s home…”

Liana stared in shock at Sura, horrified at this crushing betrayal, but she could do nothing, say nothing, simply stand there as her life was destroyed once again and now taking her innocent baby’s along with it. She wished she had perished in the volcano with her beloved family and had never come to this wretched place. Why had Benji sent her off in the boat only to be met with this infinitely worse fate? Why?

[to be continued]

~*~

Images from Pexels and Pixabay.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Sun in the Fun

Bitmoji in shades

A lovely new follower I suggest you check out, Chaotic Blonde (what a fabulous name!), has gifted me the Sunshine Award! Thank you so much, CB! 😍

These days, I’m not much into posting awards and tagging others, but I will still answer questions people have taken the time to compose (when I have the time).

1. What made you want to create a blog?

This blog was created in March 2011 as an outlet to post song lyrics, poetry, etc. that related to my emotional distress at the time. It changed as my circumstances did.

2. Do you prefer writing at night, or in the day?

Whenever the mood strikes, but mostly at home, at night. 🌙

3. What was the last film that made you cry?

Hmm, I can’t remember. It’s been a while since I’ve seen anything good/moving.

4. What’s an interest that not many people know you have?

People were surprised recently when I expressed interest in going to a reptile farm, but snakes are fascinating. 🐍

5. Describe yourself in three words.

Funny, reliable, neat.

6. If you were a cocktail, what would you be?

Irish coffee. ☘️

7. Do you believe in astrology?

No.

8. Name three things on your bucket list.

Travel by train; finish all my WIPs; learn to crochet.

9. Do you think happiness comes from within, or that it’s something to be shared?

Within.

10. To you, what is love?

Chemicals.

11. What’s changed the most about your writing style since you first started out?

I quit writing “poast” because it annoyed Fandango.

~*~

Image credit to the Bitmoji app.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

PFF24: Cold Feet?

Ephemeral time

Welcome to my Friday Flashback! This is a post from a little over 2 years ago. I stripped out the prompt links because some of the bloggers have 404’d.

Selling Points

“This is a very special property,” Bob the broker told the prospective buyers. “You’re basically sequestered with lots of privacy. Only a tiny percentage of homes have such a large back yard.”

Henry the husband nodded enthusiastically. “I can definitely imagine taking a snooze back here by the tranquil koi pond. Why does the owner want to sell?”

Bob made a sad face. “She decided to move back to Japan. Her husband died suddenly and she wants to be with her family.”

“I love it!” Wendy the wife exclaimed. She walked around the back yard and stopped at the pond to peer into it. “Oh look, Henry. Their Halloween display must have fallen in. It’s a man with a knife in his back.”

~*~

Image credit to Pexels.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Kevin’s Tangled Saga [fiction 1721]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Lexi was trying to figure out how to get a ride to find Dan, who might have become stranded or injured on the way to Otter Village.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?
Entanglement
Dan Drives North
Geolocation
Lexi Needs A Ride]

Coffee shop

“Please stop thanking me.” Kevin smiled at Lexi as they waited for the to-go coffees she insisted on paying for. “This is what friends do. And…” he whispered in her ear, “I hope by now we’re more than just friends.”

Blushing, Lexi felt the warmth of his words permeate across all her nerve endings. “We definitely are. At least I’m not asking you to help me bury a body.”

He rolled his eyes and hugged her. “Not yet! With you, there’s never a dull moment.”

The java jockey yelled out Lexi’s name even though they were the only customers in the downtown Coffee Shop at 9pm. Kevin and Lexi fixed up their coffees and returned to his car. After buckling up, Lexi unlocked her phone and showed him the coordinates that Nick had texted to her earlier.

Kevin plugged them into his GPS. “One hundred eighty-eight miles. Three hours and thirty-five minutes. Let’s crank up the tunes!” He handed her his phone with the music app open.

“Ugh, what’s all this Rush and Metallica?” Lexi frowned as she scrolled through his playlists. Who knew sweet Kevin had such horrible taste in music?

“Sorry. Those are my workout jams.” He pulled onto the freeway. “Keep going. There are some mellow oldies in there.”

Lexi selected a Beatles mix. “This is nice. Takes me way back. My dad is a huge fan.”

“Mine too. Though my mom is more of a country fan.”

“I love country!” Lexi said. “Vicky and I saw Blake Shelton last year in Dallas on his Freaks tour and he was incredible!”

Kevin looked at her. “Country music, huh? I have a feeling we’re going to learn a lot of interesting things about each other tonight.”

Lexi picked up her coffee and sipped it. “Yeah… and speaking of that, weren’t you going to tell me more about yourself, Mr. Mysterious?”

“I was, but I thought we agreed that would happen tomorrow on our beach picnic.”

“We’ve got three hours to kill now.”

“True.” Kevin grinned at her in the dark. “I will confess my last name isn’t Mysterious. It’s actually Caruso.”

“I already knew that! It’s on the business card you gave me the day we met.” She put her coffee back in the cup-holder. “You were going to tell me why you left Chicago.”

He sighed. “All right. Let’s start at the beginning then. I come from a big Italian family, just like in the movies. Not a mob movie!”

Big family

Lexie laughed. “I hope not!”

“Just big and close and in each other’s face all the time.” Kevin drank some coffee. “I have three older sisters. Then my dad was excited to have a son he could mold into a mini-him. I always knew I was destined to major in business and take over his property management company. He made that clear. He was always proud of my achievements as long as they aligned with his goals.”

“I bet. Not so great for you though?” Lexi only had the one sister, whom she loved dearly, but even they’d had their tense moments. She watched the expressions on Kevin’s face as he talked about his past and saw both love and pain as he discussed his family.

“It had positives. I knew there were always people around to care about me and support me.” Kevin glanced at her. “Like you and Vicky, I imagine, just a lot more of them.”

“Right. But we were always free to pursue our own interests. Our parents didn’t pressure us.” Lexi knew she’d led a relatively charmed life until her marriage fell apart. “It’s hard to accept heartbreak when you’ve only seen people acting good and loving.”

“True. Isn’t that ironic? A stable, happy life doesn’t necessarily prepare us for adversity.” Kevin hummed along to the next song for a minute. Then he said, “I never questioned this system though. I was a sheep, baaaa.”

Sheep

Lexi laughed. “Until…?”

“Until Emily.” He grimaced. “Need a rest stop?”

“No.” She checked the time. “Maybe in an hour, when we’re closer. Who is Emily?”

“My ex-fiancée. And now married to my former best friend.”

“Yikes.” Impulsively, Lexi reached for his hand. “I’m sorry.”

“Thanks. It really sucks. And there’s a lot more to it. She’s a family friend, naturally. From the neighborhood. Her parents owned a store there. Everyone was so happy for us, and then her parents got killed in a car wreck. A kid lost control on the ice and slammed into them. That was almost two years ago now. Emily blamed herself because they were on their way to pick her up from the airport. I should have canceled my meeting and gone to get her. It was a bad day, even for a Chicago winter.”

“Oh no! Oh, my God. How horrible.”

“It was. Devastating. We were all in shock. Emily took it the worst, of course. She got more and more depressed as the months passed. We put off the wedding because she didn’t feel like planning anything. She never returned to work and watched TV at her grandparents’ house all day and night. Then she told me she didn’t want kids because she couldn’t bear it if something happened to them. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. She accused me of not being supportive, of only wanting her to, quote, pop out babies, unquote. Which is not true.”

“Of course not!” Lexi rushed to his defense. “But that’s a big commitment to make for a lifetime when you’re grieving…”

Kevin nodded. “The thing was… after that big fight, I began to question if I did love her or was just doing what was expected of me. Being a good boy. Majoring in business. Working for my dad. Dating the nice girl from the neighborhood. On and on. Did I even want this life that had been mapped out for me by other people?”

Lexi squeezed his hand, so sad for his pain, yet so glad he was with her right now. She made a mental note to tell him that later.

“Anyway,” he continued. “Before I had a chance to sort that all out in my own head, Emily slept with my best friend. She didn’t make a secret of it either. Everyone saw her drunk and throwing herself at him at a local bar.”

Lexi shook her head. “Not much of a best friend if he couldn’t say no. She might have been acting crazy with grief and despair, finally coming back to the world. She might have hoped he’d say no.”

“Maybe.” Kevin shrugged. “But he didn’t. I ended it with her the next day and felt relief, until my family began hounding me nonstop. They were angry with me. With me! They thought I should forgive her. Just pretend it didn’t happen and keep going with the wedding plans.”

“Okay, now that’s crazy,” Lexi said, annoyed with these people she’d never met.

“Right?” He laughed. “What a joy to get an amen on that. Thank you! I thought I was going out of my mind. But the real truth was… I wasn’t even that angry with Emily for sleeping with Scott. It only made me see I didn’t care enough. But I couldn’t say that.”

“Haha, what a dilemma!” Lexi finished her coffee. “I can’t marry her, but not because I’m mad that she cheated on me, but because her cheating made me realize I don’t love her.”

“Shouldn’t I have been at least a little jealous?”

“At least!”

“If you slept with someone else, I’d really be pissed off, and we haven’t even had a real first date yet!”

Lexi turned to gape at him. “Wait, what?”

“Well, I would.” He looked at her. “Why? Are you planning to?”

“No.” She felt all warm and smiley from his strange comment. “Not at all.”

Sexy redhead

“Good.” Kevin kissed her hand. “Oh, to finish the sad saga… Emily stayed with Scott, got pregnant, and married him. I attended their wedding as did everyone I knew since I was born.”

“Eek, awkward.”

“The awkwardness was only beginning. My sisters badgered me constantly about how that could have been me, and they told me so, I should have waited, forgiven her, on and on… one of them literally told me I had deprived our parents of a grandchild with Emily.” Kevin glanced at Lexi. “Can you believe this insanity?”

She blew out a breath, trying to see it from their point of view. “From all that you’ve said, I have to think that they were just being honest. They probably assumed you loved Emily and had given up without a fight, and in their annoying way were counseling you not to do that again. You didn’t actually tell them you never loved her and were just going along with other people’s dreams, did you?”

“You’re right. I didn’t say that. I wouldn’t have.”

“It seems unnecessarily hurtful.”

“Yes. Let them believe I’m an idiot instead.” They both laughed.

“Siblings tend to think they know best for us,” Lexi said. “I am guilty of a bit of this.”

That’s very kind and diplomatic of you.” He nodded. “I’m going to try to look at it that way. I haven’t broken off all contact with them, but it’s minimal, and I know they’re hurt by my abrupt departure. And to be fair, all three of them apologized in a group chat recently for being so hard on me, begging me to come home this Christmas.”

“Aww, see… they still love and care about you!” Lexi was glad the sisters finally came around for Kevin, even if late.

“Yeah, though I could have used their support at the time.” He shook his head. “I hung around for a while after the wedding and baby, but then I… found a headhunter and she got me the hotel manager job out here.”

“I can’t say I’m sorry about that,” Lexi said softly. “I don’t know what I would have done without you tonight. I’m so glad you’re here.”

“Me too.” Kevin checked the map. “We’re getting close. There’s a rest stop in five miles. It’s almost midnight.”

“I hope… I don’t know what I’m hoping,” she confessed. “That we find him or not.”

“I know what you mean.”

Dark deserted road

[to be continued]

~*~

Image credit Pexels and Pixabay.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Thursday Inspiration 30

Welcome to Thursday Inspiration! This is my weekly prompt post and hopefully it will inspire you to write something creative, perhaps a poem or a piece of flash fiction. If you’d like to share your writing with the community, please indulge me and tag your post with #p0eticlicense and/or #lightm0tifs, and of course link back if you wish. I will try to visit everyone who participates. 🙂

This week’s theme is river and the picture is below. Here is the song snippet from “The River Cried” recorded by Patty Smyth in 1987:

And the river cried ’cause I lost your love
The river cried, oh
The river cried for my lonely soul
The river cried

Raccoon on a branch in the river

~*~

Image credit to the Happy Color app.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Lexi Needs A Ride [fiction 1195]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Vicky informed Lexi of Dan’s intent to drive to Otter Village and how he seemed to have disappeared along the way.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Falling
Sisterly Chat
Smoothies
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Moonlight
Who Needs Drama?
Entanglement
Dan Drives North
Geolocation]

For the first time since she’d moved to Otter Village, Lexi regretted giving up her car. She’d had a cool metallic blue Mazda with the personalized plate BLUWAVE. It had not been her intent to be political, only whimsical, and after Jim’s infamous death, the plate made her easily recognizable to those who liked to snap her picture. As soon as she’d arranged for accommodation here, she sold the car and her furniture, booked a flight, and ubered to Carolyn’s. When she needed a ride, there were Uber drivers here, though you could wait a half-hour or more, unlike the city where one would pop up two seconds after you texted.

Uber app

Tonight, after Vicky’s call informing her that Dan had apparently disappeared en route to Otter Village, Lexi really wished she had her own car available. She felt trapped, having to rely on Ubers or the kindness of people like Carolyn to drop her off when she wasn’t feeling well. She paced across the porch, trying to decide what to do.

Her first impulse was to call Kevin, but no. Their romance was only just starting and it wasn’t right to impose upon him. They had already planned a fun event tomorrow and she didn’t want to ruin everything with a Saturday night drama. This ongoing Dan problem had nothing to do with Kevin. She needed to deal with Dan and make him understand that she’d tried to help Jim, but he hadn’t wanted help. She’d already told Dan that at the funeral, but he’d tuned her out that afternoon. She didn’t blame him; grief did strange things to your brain. Yet, she hadn’t wanted to restart the discussion again either.

Cemetery flowers

Lexi stayed outside a few minutes longer, worrying about Dan… stranded? Hurt? The victim of a crime? Where was he now? What had happened to him? Finally the cold was too much and Lexi went inside, grateful for the warmth of the boarding house. She hadn’t eaten dinner yet, so she wandered into the kitchen.

Peering into the fridge, she wished Carolyn hadn’t left for the weekend. Her landlady would probably be willing to help look for Dan. She was a very kind person. Lexi shut the fridge, deciding she wasn’t hungry after all. She went into the great room where the TV droned… an old James Bond movie was playing.

“Hey Lexi,” said a guy on the sofa. It was Mike, the newest resident. “Whassup?”

Lexi forced herself to sit on the opposite end of the sofa, even though her nerves were still jumping. “Mm nothing. Was wondering if maybe I could get a ride…”

“Now? I’m a bit wasted.” He grinned. “How about in the morning? In the meantime, I’ve got a fine selection of party favors in my room, if you’d like to join me. When the landlady’s away, the cats will play. Isn’t that what they say?”

Ugh! That’s not what they said! Lexi felt utterly disgusted, though she usually didn’t care what the other housemates did. Calm down, she admonished herself, this isn’t Mike’s fault. “I’ll pass,” she said. “I have to go out.”

“Bummer,” he said, turning his attention back to the screen, where Bond had begun to play cards with a bad guy.

Lexi left the room and went upstairs to her own. She pulled up her Uber app and was just about to request a ride to the airport, in hopes of renting a car and abandoning her promise to Vicky and Nick, when her phone buzzed with a call from Kevin.

“Hi! How are you?” Too late, she realized her voice was jittery and over-bright.

Kevin laughed. “Good! You sure sound peppy for having worked all day. I’m tired, I confess, but I did sneak in a five-mile run before sunset.”

“Nice! I should do that.”

“We’ll get plenty of exercise tomorrow on our beach walk,” he said. “It’s supposed to be another gorgeous day. Cool but sunny. We could have a picnic…”

“Sounds fantastic!”

“Lexi, is everything okay? You seem a little on edge.”

She didn’t want to lie. “Oh, the usual. Haha, you know. My sister! All that.”

“Hmm.” Kevin paused, the silence making Lexi more nervous. Finally, he continued, “Did your sister call with more news about Dan today?”

“Yes.” Lexi sighed and picked up the otter beanie baby on her night table. It was still as adorable as the day Kevin gave it to her at the festival, back when they were friends “light,” before their kiss, before she’d begun confiding in him.

Beanie baby otter

“And?” Kevin prompted. “You can tell me, Lexi. I really will understand. I know it’s not your fault this stuff happened. I too have had…”

“What?” She eagerly seized on that morsel. “What brought you here, Kevin? Why did you leave Chicago?”

“Whoa,” he said. “Actually, I’d like to tell you about all that, even though I won’t be doing myself any favors. It’s not a pretty picture of me, but fair is fair, since you’ve been honest with me. How about tomorrow though, in person?”

“Sure.” Lexi sat on the edge of her bed, still holding the otter. “But for now, I have to go. Want to meet here at noon?”

“Sounds good, but… what happened with Dan?”

“You’re so persistent! Are you sure you’re not a reporter?”

“Just tell me. I’m starting to imagine awful things.”

“It is awful.” She stood up and began pacing again. “He was driving up here and, well, vanished.”

“What do you mean vanished?”

“Vicky said he called her Friday, implying he was coming up here to talk to me. Then in the middle of the night she got a missed call from him with a garbled message like he was in trouble. He won’t pick up now or return texts from her or Nick. Nick traced the last call to coordinates about two hundred miles south of here, but his car GPS was still moving back to the city.”

“He could have changed his mind.”

“Right, but that message…” Lexi shook her head. “No, I think he got in some kind of trouble.”

“I can see why you’re concerned, but isn’t it more logical to assume he lost his phone and turned around?” Kevin sounded so sensible and comforting.

Lexi didn’t want to argue. “Yes, Kevin, that would be more logical.”

“Soooo, you’re going to get a good night’s sleep and I’ll see you at noon? We can stop at the market for picnic goodies on the way to the beach.”

“I’m going to get an Uber to the airport and rent a car to go look for Dan,” she told him. “But the rest of your plan sounds perfect.”

“You can’t do that, Lexi.”

Immediately irritated at being told what she couldn’t do, Lexi said, “And why not?”

“Because rental car places are all closed by now.”

Tears welled up in her eyes. How could she possibly sleep tonight or enjoy herself with Kevin tomorrow when Dan might be lying injured on the road somewhere? “Okay, thanks.”

“I’ll be there in ten minutes to help you go look for that idiot,” Kevin said and clicked off.

Dark deserted road

[to be continued]

~*~

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