She never removed it

It was when the leaves on the bushes outside began to change color that she knew.

“Mother, where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise, my darling.”

The smile felt more real than fake and it took everything Mary had not to let the tears in the back of her throat reach her eyes. She’d always been very good at lying and anyone who was as good at it as she was knew that the art in lying is in having just enough of the truth in it to make it real.

“Are we going to have to finish our homework?” her youngest asks, eager for a reason to not finish the packet sent home for the fall break.

“We’ll see, Matt.” She shares a grin with her eldest at the boy’s groan. What she doesn’t say and what her eldest likely already knows is that they will likely never return to this house that had almost become their home.

Matt didn’t remember living anywhere but here, he’d been so young when her husband had left and only a little older when his father had died. She still wore her wedding ring even though it was on the wrong hand. It was a plain enough band that many wouldn’t know that it had ever been a wedding ring in the first place. Her husband’s name was only clear on the ring once the band had been removed.

Mary never removed it.

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Healing Love

Hurts amass over time,
I‘d like to think that I more sturdy than most.
Don’t forget that you will always carry
Disaster hiding in plain sight.
Everything has to begin somewhere.
Now will you ignore your scars, or respect them?
 
How is it that you come along
Even when my pains not gone
And hold me safe inside your arms
Letting love heal all my harms.
Even when I shout and cry
Really you are my favorite guy.
 

She wasn’t quite sure how to feel so she just sat there, tears streaming silently down her face. The ring that had held a place of pride on her hand now sat in her hand, the cold of the metal seeming to dull the gem that had previously shined in delight.

The door to her room opened and the pitter-patter of feet moving softly over the carpet came to a halt by her bedside. A plate was placed gently on the end table and the bed dipped as an arm came up and around her shoulders.

She said nothing as a hand gently guided her face onto a stronger shoulder and she cried out her sorrows on the shoulder of her brother.

The pie on the plate sat a silent testament to how well he knew her heart.


Both parts inspired in equal parts from Light and Shade Challenge from yesterday and the Dungeon Prompt from last Thursday.

Contract

Mary held the man’s hand in her own and slipped a simple golden ring onto one finger before kissing him on the forehead. She stood up and stepped away from his crumpled body. She took a step towards the man in front of her.

He watched her take several more steps forward, his yellow eyes watchful.

“I know you, sir, and I would like to buy your contract.”

The man didn’t say anything, merely nodded his head in the direction of another man, this one blonde and looking more slight than he.

Mary nodded, “I will buy his contract as well, if that is what you wish.”

The man in front of her smiled.

“I admire your audacity in trying to hire my men away from me while I’m right here.”

Mary simply turned and looked at the new man in front of her. The other men stopped moving, the first one, the one she’d spoken to, had a flash of something in his eyes before it was hidden away behind his stoic facade.

The new comer wore a three piece suit, his hair neatly combed back from his face. He looked confident, unconcerned with what his lackeys and his mark had been conversing about. Like there was no way his men could turn on him, not because they were loyal but because they had much more to lose should they turn on him.

“I have much more than simple audacity.” Mary whispered as a wind started to slowly tug at her hair and clothing, slowly growing in intensity.

A quick glance from those standing around Mary or behind her showed that no one was really certain where it was coming from. The skies were clear and no one else were making any kind of gestures that would bring about the surge of power, pure unadulterated power that was growing.

“Oh this is too precious,” the cultured man smiled mockingly, “You truly think you have the ability to stop me.”

“I don’t think anything.”Mary continued to whisper, but everyone present could hear her voice as if she were whispering it directly in their ears. “I know it.”


I had started this installment last week, actually, but I couldn’t find the ending until I read the Friday prompt from Light and Shade Challenge today. Unfortunately, I didn’t quite make the word limit requirements, but i’m going to keep it as is anyway.

Box of Memories

Anna smiled as she rooted through the small box in front of her. It had been years since she’d thought about any of this and even longer since she’d actually seen it, but as her hands picked up every item, fingers caressing certain points, her memories drifted to the front of her mind easily enough.

A small candle, half melted down, the wick blackened by both use and age.

She’d been barely a teen, her friends deciding she needed an abundance of candles, regardless of the fact that no one in their right minds let her use matches. (Trying to use an arts and crafts project where you carefully edged a picture with burnt paper hadn’t ended well, but thankfully, the fire had been contained before it really damaged anything.)

A small red and white box with the names “Meier & Frank” stamped on it, opened up to show a small necklace, earrings and bracelet set.

They’d been lovingly crafted by her grandmother with plastic pearls, silver beads and both large and small chain links. She’d worn them several times, but had actually lost the large pendant from the necklace the first time she’d ever put them on and had never found it. The set still was beautiful after all these years.

A folder filled with notes and small pamphlets on various houses, colors and different floor designs.

After several years in college, she’d finally found her major: Interior Design. Something that no one in her family, no matter how far out you searched, had ever gone into. It was completely new to her and yet also came slightly more easily than she had hoped. Her years of helping her mother rearrange the house once or twice a month, something that had annoyed her as a teen and amused her as a child, had finally gained an appreciation within her.

An old packet of photos in a card-stock packet that had been taken as a roll of film to the store to be developed and returned with little imperfections like fingers around the edges and heads cut off from inexperienced hands handling the old film-stocked camera.

The camera had been a gift from her elder sister, a hand-me-down that had been  carefully fixed before given with a small packet of four rolls of film for the excited would-be photographer: aged 13. She’d loved that camera and mourned its loss after flooding in the house had broken it beyond repair.

A small gold ring with a strange pale pink gem set into it.

It had been a small gift from her favorite aunt and had fit her little ring finger perfectly at age 7. It had no real gems or costly metal in it, but it was her first piece of jewelry and she’d worn it until it wouldn’t fit on her ring finger anymore. It barely fit on her pinkie finger now.

A scuffed and breaking red binder with childish scrawl across it stating “Anna’s Folder.”

She’d watched her eldest sister as she’d drawn with her fine pencils and pastel crayons a beautiful sunset. Anna had a hard time drawing stick figures, but with patient hands (and some frustration…a lot of frustration) her sister, Mary, helped her to draw on several pieces of paper and then grabbed an unused red binder from her desk. Carefully using a hole-punch along one side of the paper, Mary eventually had a little book for Anna to collect her drawings in it. On the second page was the sunset that Mary had drawn right next the clumsy attempt a five year old Anna had tried to draw as well.

There were more things within the broken little box of memories and Anna smiled, tears glinting in her eyes at times, as she carefully lifted everything and placed it to her side in a newer, plastic box.

“Almost done, honey?” a male voice called from the front of the garage.

Anna turned to her husband, Ivan, and nodded, “Just about, give me another five minutes and I’ll be through.”

“Don’t forget to wash up, we’re going out to eat after we’re finished cleaning the garage.” he reminded her before grunting as he lifted his second to last tote up onto the shelves they’d set up over an hour ago.

Anna looked around her at the small pile of boxes they’d gone through, together and separately throughout the last month. It had been slow progress going through the single garage, but at the beginning of spring they’d decided they wanted to actually use the garage to store the car instead of leaving it full of boxes from their move. Now, half a month later, they were almost finished.

Their first house still had a lot of work (they had barely touched the backyard and Ivan was certain that there was something wrong with the heating), but it was their’s.


Written for this week’s Dungeon Prompt: http://theseekersdungeon.com/2014/03/06/dungeon-prompts-season-2-week-10-dreaming-big/

This was supposed to end differently, but I think I kind of like it. This Anna is a little older than she was the last time I wrote about her (and originally was going to be a different person altogether, but she demanded screen time.)

(Also, I’ve been rooting through our garage for the last month, but have mostly been working alone due to work schedules. I am nowhere near as done as Ivan and Anna are, but my sister has helped me install the shelves and promises me new boxes as soon as she gets back from work.)