Posts Tagged ‘drama’

She Told Him That She Loved Only Him

Posted: October 16, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
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cleaning up the attic

Post #7 of the “She told him that she loved him” series. How many others were there? Who cares.

Felicia nearly walked right into the attic stairs, pulled down from the trap door in the third floor hall ceiling. She put the bin down. Hair fell into her eyes. She poofed it back. “Hello up there,” she called.

“Hi. Oh, sorry about the stairs.”

“Finding anything we can give to Goodwill?”

“A few things. I’m putting another bin together.”

Felicia checked the hall. She couldn’t walk through it with her bin with the stairs in the way, and the air became suffocating in the attic if you left the trap door closed too long. She sighed. Might as well see what Liam was so fascinated over.

On second thought, the attic could be stifling even with the door open. She coughed. Next to the stairs, Liam had piled four boxes and a trunk. He shuffled over to her. With their peaked roof, it was only high enough for someone to stand right in the middle of the attic.

“It’s mostly high school stuff. Records, comic books, board games, and shirts.”

“Oh my God. Look at all the fluorescents.”

“I looked damned good in it at the time.”

“I’ll bet you did, honey.” A fifth box was still in the corner. The lid was open, but he’d left it there. “What’s that one?”

Liam smiled a half smile. “I was going to tell you about that one. I opened it by mistake.”

She frowned. “What do you mean?”

Liam dragged it over. “It’s all your lost loves.”

Felicia put her hand over her face. That’s what she actually called it, too. A picture of a crying doll was taped to the inside of the lid, with the words “lost loves” written in red pen. She saw what happened. She’d put the box all the way in the back so that no one would see it, and wrapped it in twine. After 20 years, two moves, and who knew how many times rearranging the attic, the twine had frayed and fallen away.

“Oh. Look at this. I should just throw it all away.”

“It’s up to you. Your memories are important to you.”

“Teen Beat magazines and love letters to boys who never knew me?”

“I saw some from when you were in college.”

“Yeah, that’s true too. I stopped collecting after I graduated.” Felicia flipped through them. Tom. Kenny. David. Her heart skipped a beat on some of them. Sometimes you found the right person at the wrong time. She’d had to find herself first. “Do guys keep things like this?”

“Not a box of pictures. I made a list once.”

“How long was it?”

“Not enough for a box. But they were good memories, too.”

Felicia kissed him. “You know what they say. You’re not the first man I loved. Just my last.”

He caressed her hand, still resting on the box. “I know.”

Photo credit: “Cleaning the Attic” by Joe Shlabotnik at Flickr
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She Told Him That She Only Loved Him

Posted: October 15, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
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tea and biscuits

Post #6 of the “She told him that she loved him” series. So when is love not enough? When someone wants more than the other person can give, or wants to give… or when said someone won’t give that much themselves.

“I love you. Of course I love you, John. That’s just not enough.”

“What are you saying?”

“I have a career. I have a family. An entire life. You’re asking me to move across the ocean to the other side of the world to leave everything I’ve ever known.”

“I’m offering you true love.”

“John, please. This is reality.”

“This is the age of the internet. You’ll be in touch with your family, all your friends…”

“Not my clients, not my home. Los Angeles isn’t Lancashire.”

“What’s so great about Lancashire?”

Amelia folded her arms. “It’s my home.”

John saw that he’d touched a nerve. How to fix this? He thought about different values he could approach. Family. Friends. Not money. Not travel. Amelia liked being her own boss. She’d already seen the world during her army days and was happy to be home. Adventure?

“I just meant that there’s so much more to the world that you haven’t seen. That we could see together.”

Amelia looked like a chill breeze passed through her. Rollerbladers wearing sunscreen and tanning oil were what really passed by, along with dog walkers and joggers.

“Dearie, ‘A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.’”

John tried not to make a face. That was her quoting Zen again. John respected philosophy, but not when people let it make their decisions for them. “I don’t understand. We met when we were traveling.”

“It means to be patient. I like my world. I’ll see the rest of it when it’s time.”

“You’re asking me to come with you. I want our relationship to move forward.”

Amelia sighed. “I didn’t ask you anything. But I think I need to say something. I love you, but not enough to leave my life. I’m sorry.”

John turned and looked at the ocean. Amelia gently put her fingers on his arm. There had been a time when that touch had comforted him, but this was just… stupid!

“Let’s not say goodbye like this, okay?”

John chuckled. Not looking at her, he said, “I love you, too.”

They hugged. It wasn’t as nice of hug as he had hoped for, but it was better than nothing. He’d imagined hugging her with a glass of wine in her hand, walking off a red carpet. Instead, her hair smelled like tea and fresh-baked biscuits. Maybe she never would have fit in.

Photo credit: “Three cups of tea and biscuits” by Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay at Flickr
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She Told Him That Only She Loved Him

Posted: October 14, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
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rock star

Post #5 of the “She told him that she loved him” series. My first thought was that the “only” sounded menacing in this one. Stalkerish. It didn’t sound like fun to me. Maybe I should have written it as a step outside my comfort zone. As it is, I wrote a scene where everyone tells him that they love him, but her love is true.

Justin and Beverly ran from the limousine into the hotel while hotel security held back the crowd. Justin laughed. He took off his sunglasses and held out his arms, basking in the applause. The rest of the band waved. Some signed autographs. Beverly looked like an ant under a magnifying glass stared at by dozens of eyes, begging to be left alone, before security hurried her inside.

“We love you, Justin!”

“Sing ‘Another Night’!”

“I named my son ‘Justin!’ for you!”

Justin jogged to catch up. He waved one last time at the door. Cameras flashed everywhere. He hoped his new laser-whitened teeth were looking good.

The lobby was cleared. “It sounds like a church in here!” He looked around. Beverly stood out of the way with her arms held tight to her body. Justin hurried over to her. “Sorry about that.”

“Is it always like that?”

“Yeah. Is that crazy or what?”

“Crazy.”

He rubbed her arms. “Hey. You all right?”

“It’s just a lot.” She peered at him. “I’m making sure you’re still in there.”

He grinned. “It’s me. It’s just a long way from Nebraska.”

“Yeah.” Justin’s publicist and his agent came over. Beverly sighed. Before they talked, Justin turned to them and said, “What’s up, guys?”

“You have an interview with the local news at 5:30.”

“And the venue says that we can’t do the pyrotechnics.”

He checked the time. “It’s 12:30. We’ll leave at 3:30. That leaves us plenty of time to get there and do the interview. Handle the pyro. If it’s a safety thing we’ll go without. I’m—”

“Justin, we can’t—”

“I. Am. Going. Upstairs. To. Chill. Out. Handle it!” Justin stated.

His agent straightened his tie. “All right, J. Love you, man.”

“Love, J,” his publicist said.

Justin held out his hand for Beverly. “Want to go hang out?” he asked. Beverly’s face lit up. That was the line he used the first time he asked her out on a date.

He had the largest suite in the hotel to himself. Normally he took a swig from the complimentary champagne or ate a tropical fruit that he couldn’t identify. He ran a bubble bath or he turned on every TV in the suite. With Beverly here, he took her coat, hung it up, and only grabbed a bottle of water.

“Can I get you anything? Water? Juice? There’s a bar, but you don’t drink this early.”

“Give me something they don’t have back home.” Justin found a bottle of papaya juice and handed it to her. Beverly smiled at it. “Were you mad?” she asked.

“I’m sorry about that. Those two bug me sometimes,” Justin said.

“Everyone says they love you.”

“That they do. It’s nice when the fans say it. Some of the others, it’s just a catch phrase. It doesn’t mean anything.”

“I said it first.”

He took her hand. Out of habit, Justin started to put on his stage persona. He forced it away. “I…” Just say it. He repeated the words. “‘Justie, if you’re ever not sure who your friends are, remember that I loved your first, all right?’”

“Oh my God! I sounded like a greeting card.”

“When it gets too crazy, that’s what I think about to clear things up.” Beverly drew her breath. “I really miss you. Y’know, the travel’s not so bad. People screaming your name, that’s amazing. I miss real life, though. I think about Wednesday night roller skating. Walking the dog and meeting you at the corner.”

“My dog misses you too. He barked when I said I was going to see you. He kept looking out the window, then looking at me. ‘Where is he?’”

“Oh, don’t tell me that! Now I’m sorry I didn’t see him!”

“Come down and see him, then!”

“I can’t. We haven’t got time.”

Beverly tilted her head, giving him the look she gave him back in high school when he knew he was bullshitting her.

He couldn’t even try. “All right. Tomorrow morning. Before we leave town.”

Photo credit: “Day 283 / 365” by Jason Rogers at Flickr
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She Told Him Only That She Loved Him

Posted: October 13, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama, Fun Stuff
Tags: , , , , ,

cold man

Post #4 of the “She told him that she loved him” series. So what didn’t she tell him? Is she pregnant? Is there someone else? Nah… time to have fun with it.

The same green Volvo was parked outside her house today. Gabby got ready. She moaned as she took the groceries out of her trunk. “I hate these heels,” she said as she came up the front walk. She reached the front door, but couldn’t open it with her arms full of groceries. “Damn it!”

Gabby put one of the bags down and dug her keys out of her purse. She opened the door, put her keys back in the purse, then picked the groceries back up. A quick scan through the crack showed that the living room was clear. Probably inside the bathroom. No more than four.

She pushed the front door open with her foot, walked in, then closed it with her butt. “I’m late, I’m late, I’m so fucking late, Chuck is going to kill me…” She hurried through the living room. The bathroom door was half closed and the kitchen had darker shadows than it would normally have at this hour.

When she passed the bathroom someone lunged out and grabbed her hair from behind. Gabby screamed. She fought every instinct she had and grabbed for his hands. The man shoved her against the near wall. She dropped her gaze down—sneakers. He wrapped one arm around her waist, then she heard a click. A knife pressed against her cheek. “Don’t move, honey. Don’t move.”

Flat blade. Serrated at the bottom, edged at the top. A military switchblade.

She nodded. “Please… please…” She spoke faster. “Just take anything you want. I-I-I-have jewelry, money, take my car—”

“Shut up!” He turned her around.

Another blonde-haired man stood behind the fridge. He smiled at her fear. A third walked out of the bedroom. The others had swagger, but this one had an economy in the way he walked. Coldly aloof.

Gabby imagined horrors, evil monsters in the room, to make her eyes widen even more. She trembled. She breathed shallow, chilly breaths. It made her a little dizzy but it put on a good show.

“I won’t hurt you if I don’t have to, young lady, but we don’t have time. Where is your friend Charles?”

On his way to their dinner reservations, with two gigs of classified data in his phone that he didn’t know he had.

“Wh… what… what are you going to do to him?”

The cold man didn’t waste any time. He walked over slapped her with a hand in a rubber glove. Gabby cried out. As her hair covered her face, she bit down on her tongue to make some tears.

She gasped. Gabby curled her lips down into a mask of terror. He had fast hands. Good to know. Was he a sadist, or were the gloves there for theater?

“That depends on you.”

“Will he still love you if I cut the skin off your face?” the man holding her asked.

“No… no… please don’t hurt me.” If he made a mark she would cut parts of him off for sure. She needed this cover.

“Where is he?”

“He could be at the office. Or at the gym. He works late, odd hours, I never know until I hear from him.”

“Cut her,” the cold man said.

“I can call him! Let me call him!” She forced a horrible smile, with her chin quivering. “I can sound sweet for him. Just like this. See? Just… you won’t hurt him?”

The cold man nodded to the blonde. The blonde took the phone off the cradle. “It’s—”

“We know.”

The blonde man hit the memory dial for Charles’ cell phone. He held the phone awkwardly toward her face. He stepped forward with his left foot. Leftie. The thug moved the knife away. The blonde man pressed the send button.

Gabby stomped on the thug’s foot with one of her work heels, shattering his second and third metatarsals. She punched the blonde in the throat with her left, then dropped as the cold man lunged. He was the real threat. His eyes widened as he overextended with Gabby underneath him. He stabbed the thug in the ribs – Gabby heard the tearing meat. Gabby punched the cold man in the groin, then heaved him over and dropped him to the ground.

Gabby bell-clapped the thug. He fell, still holding the knife in his belly.

Gabby picked up the phone. She stood on the cold man’s neck, deliberately positioning her heel over his jugular vein, then put her finger over his lips to be quiet. Charles finally picked up. “Hello?”

“Hey Chuck! We still on for dinner tonight?”

“Absolutely. Am I picking you up at your place?”

“No, it’s a mess. I have to call the cleaners.” She winked at the cold man. “Why don’t I meet you there?”

“Perfect. See you soon.”

“All right. Love you.”

“Love you!”

Gabby hung up. She smiled sweetly at the cold man. “I love him. You don’t need to know anything else.”

Photo credit: “Kyk noir” by Kyknoord at Flickr
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Everyone Needs Some Laughter

Posted: October 7, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
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paper finger puppetHerve Escobedo held up little finger puppets to his three-year-old son Philip. “Look here, Mr. Football, who’s this? Why, it’s little miss Goal Posts! How are you today?”

Philip laughed. Herve wondered why. It was a stupid, cheesy story, but it was all Herve could think of to keep him entertained. They sat in the middle of an abandoned soccer field, in the middle of what used to be Los Angeles. One of the Red Cross workers shone a flashlight on their play. “Can you keep it down, please? We have sick people who need rest.”

Herve touched the young woman’s arm with his fingertips. He leaned close. “Please. He hasn’t laughed in days,” Herve said.

The girl sighed. “Who has?” She looked like she hadn’t slept, either.

“Please.”

“I didn’t say stop. Just keep it down. Or…” She turned off the flashlight to conserve the batteries. “You can go over by the fire pits. Most people over there are still awake.”

“Thank you, young lady.”

“No problem.”

He made his squeaky puppet voice and waved them at her. “Thank you, thank you!” She laughed. Herve nodded. “See? Everyone needs some laughter.”

Herve picked up Philip and carried him over to the fire pits. The woman led the way, stepping around tents and huddled refugees using the flashlight. Herve wasn’t thankful that the Big One had struck, but he was thankful that God had chosen for it to happen in summer. The nights were cool but not unbearable.

Around the fire, a little girl sat in her mother’s arms as her mother read to her. Her mother used a magnifying glass instead of glasses. A bookish-looking elderly man was sharpening wicked-looking arrows using a stone. A man in a Red Cross uniform was teaching someone twice his age how to do first aid. They sat on an air mattress, and nudged over to invite them to sit.

The woman shook Herve’s hand and pat Philip on the head. “You two have a good night.”

“Won’t you join us?” Herve said.

“There’s a whole story,” Philip finally said. Herve covered his mouth. His heart sang. Philip would laugh, but he had barely spoken to anyone besides his father since the earthquake.

The woman noticed the look on Herve’s face. She crouched down and looked Philip in the eyes. “I’ll stay for a quick story. Then I need to go see if other people are okay, too. How’s that?”

Philip nodded. Herve’s eyes sparkled as he began the play.

Tonight’s post came from a roll of Rory’s story cubes: a mask (Herve’s trying to hold it all together), comedy and tragedy (the play), a flashlight, a tree (wood, the fire pits), a magnifying glass, an arrow, a sheep (I imagined a big, white, soft cushion, which led to the air mattress), and then two that I didn’t use: a bridge and a shooting star.

Photo credit: “Paper Finger Puppets” from Scribbled. Used without permission.

Duel

Posted: August 18, 2014 by writingsprint in Science fiction
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wine corks

Raffa had his favorite gun – he called it Final Echo – pointed at general Kathal. He wanted to kill him, but he was only worth 100,000 dead. He was worth a cool million alive.

An explosion near the palace lit the window, casting Kathal’s face in shades of red. Kathal stared him down. He undid the catch on his holster, then curled his fingers around the grip of his sidearm. He drew the weapon. Raffa waited. The general raised it to point at Raffa.

The corner of Raffa’s mouth curled up. “Well. Now we have a situation. Wanna play catch?”

“Shoot, captain.”

“As much as I’d like to, I want you in one piece. I can probably squeeze a bonus if you’re not even scratched.”

Kathal didn’t move. He knew that if his fingers fluttered or a muscle twitched, Raffa would fire. And he would probably kill him.

“Have you ever been to Alzarius?” Kathal asked.

“I do good shipping with wine there,” Raffa said.

“I consider it my second home. We have a vineyard on one of the southern continents.”

Raffa chuckled, without moving Echo. “You know, I think I’ve bought some of your wine. Is there a chardonnay called Autumn?”

Kathal tried not to smile, but a grin cracked his face. “We do. I particularly enjoyed coming up with that blend. It was challenging mix of apples and fall scents. Did you like the cinnamon?” His sidearm moved a touch down. Raffa saw a muscle tremor in his shoulder.

“I don’t drink wine, myself. Some of my friends enjoy it.”

“A pity that you haven’t tried it. I think you would enjoy it.”

Raffa saw tremors in Kathal’s tricep and elbow. They didn’t buckle, yet. It was like watching a breeze blow through his torso. Another artillery strike hit the ground nearby, rolling the ground under their feet. Raffa’s arm held steady. His eyes did, too.

“Ever been to Dantooine in the spring?”

“I’ve gone hunting there. And you?”

“Camping. I like the Acadia hills. Once I saw a herd of wild horses on a migration. It was one of the most beautiful things I’d ever seen.”

Kathal’s chest lifted up and down as he breathed. “I can only imagine. We have red eagles on Nordena that fly magnificent circles with their mates in the spring.

Raffa saw a twitch in his cheek. He was a tough son of a bitch. Raffa gave him that much credit. The twitching spread.

Kathal lowered his sidearm. He slowly flipped the weapon in his hand and lifted it again toward Raffa. “I’m your prisoner, captain.”

“Thanks very much, general. I hoped it wouldn’t get ugly.” Raffa kept his blaster aimed at the general and took his sidearm with his free hand. He gestured toward the door.

“I admire your willpower,” Kathal said. He began walking toward the door, his back still straight. He looked like a man prepared to face his fate.

“You know how it is. It’s for more than card games.”

A little something to get back into the groove. This was based on a scene from the science fiction cartoon Star Blazers, also called Space Battleship Yamato. The hero and a bad guy finally come face to face while battle rages outside.

I have a hard drive and I have MS Office again, but some of my applications still need to be reloaded. Remote backups are good for saving files but they’re not perfect. I think I’ll buy an external hard drive and start using Mac’s “Time Machine” application.

Photo credit: “Wine Corks!” by peddhapati at Flickr
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Rustle

Posted: August 2, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
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Another gem from Mads. This one’s thoughtful and romantic.

The Sheriff of Ladies Room Four

Posted: August 1, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
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gate

Gang fights still raged in the cafeteria, the library, and the parking lot. Teachers had locked the doors to their classrooms to keep them from spreading. Dianna leaned out of the ladies’ room to look down the hall. To her right, a folding steel security gate cut off this hall from the rest of the building. To her left, at the far end of the hall, the cafeteria fight was too close for comfort. She thought she heard radio chatter and the clanging sound of fists and chairs on riot shields.

Behind her, a raspy girl’s voice asked, “What’s going on?”

Dianna turned. The girl was half a head taller than Dianna, thin, with a good makeup and hands less clean than they should have been. She had a green and white bandanna tied to her sleeve, which made her the girlfriend of one of the gang members fighting outside. Her brown eyes narrowed as Dianna blocked the door.

“Sounds like the cops are here.”

“Let me by.”

“No one goes by until the cops get here. Go sit down.”

The girl stepped toward her. “You think you can take me?”

“I can snap you in half with my pinky toe. Sit down.” Dianna voice had the stillness of a mountain lake. She played soccer and boxed with her brothers. One girl didn’t scare her. The gang fight did.

The girl tried to shove her way past. Dianna snapped a quick heel strike to her nose. It was more of an attention-getter than a real hit. The girl stumbled back.

“Ow! Jesus Christ, that hurts! What’s the matter with you?”

And she wanted to go fight? Really?

The gate on her right cranked upward. A group of four officers in their regular blues peered under the gate. Dianna waved. “Hey, guys.”

“Hi, Dianna,” one of them said. It was Donnie, the traffic cop from near her house. “How many do you have this time?”

She looked over her shoulder. She counted heads of the teens sitting on the floor, the counter and the toilets behind her. “About 12.”

The officers lifted the gate the rest of the way up. Two more officers stood behind them. Dianna had seen it before. They were doing a sweep of the building to make sure they knew where all the fights were.

Dianna stepped aside and let Donnie push open the door. “Everybody okay in here?” he asked.

“I’m not!” the girl holding her nose protested.

Dianna started to respond, but Donnie held up his hand. He said, “Don’t say it. I don’t want to know.” One of the other officers tried to get his attention. “Sit tight. Thanks for your help, Di.”

“You know me. Any time.”

Dianna watched them go. She folded her arms, leaning against the doorway like she owned the place. For now, she supposed she did. She was the sheriff of ladies room four.

Photo credit: “Untitled” by Anthony Fine
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Wring Me Out Like a Wash Cloth

Posted: July 29, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
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At first you feel like you're dying, then you feel reborn.

Terry’s legs felt like jello as he stepped off the elliptical machine. He took a swig of Gatorade, then started wiping down the machine with the antiseptic towels that the gym kept nearby. He’d always been sweaty when he worked out, even as a teenager. It looked less flattering on him now.

His trainer, Felicia, grinned at him. “How do you feel?”

“Better. Still crappy.”

“That was 45 minutes. You must have had one hell of a week.”

“The worst.”

“Well, now you’re nice and warmed up. What would you rather do, power yoga or boxing?”

Terry gave Felicia a cockeyed look. Her smile grew wider. He said, “You know, you really could be a movie star with that smile of yours, if you’d stop killing people.”

“Come on, wuss. Pick one.”

“How about Zumba?”

“I’m really not trying to kill you, Terry. Let’s bring your heart rate down a bit.”

It wasn’t a great choice. Terry had the balance of a whale on land, but he didn’t want to box. He’d spent his entire week fighting office battles. He wanted to flush that energy out of his system. “Power yoga. With weights.”

Felicia clapped. “Now you’re speaking my language!”

Normally Felicia would join in and do the workout with him, but this time she kept her full attention on making sure he did the poses safely. He worked out to hip hop music that she liked. He’d never really liked it until today.

Thirty minutes into the workout, the one-kilo hand weight felt like it weight five. Terry moved from front plank to side plank. He lifted up the weight. He thought he could feel each muscle moving separately. Terry closed his eyes. A drop of sweat ran over his eyelid. It felt cool. He felt exhausted. Finally.

“How are we doing, sport?” Felicia asked.

Terry nodded. “Good.”

“That’s what I want to hear. Return to plank, and do the other side.”

Terry did as she said. It felt like he had thirty minutes to go. He loved the contrast of his cool breath with the heat in his body. He moved from side plank back to regular plank, then into down dog. Felicia started wrapping an exercise band around his foot. He wondered what kind of mischief she had in mind next.

Terry smiled. He didn’t care. She could have walked him into a gym machine store and made him demonstrate every function of every machine. It would all feel good to him now.

Today’s post was inspired by the Daily Prompt “Back to Life“: After an especially long and exhausting drive or flight, a grueling week at work, or a mind-numbing exam period — what’s the one thing you do to feel human again? Myself, I like to exercise myself silly, preferably something fun. Either that or play with dogs.

Medicine Woman

Posted: July 26, 2014 by writingsprint in Drama
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Grace Potter

“Grace Potter” by Brittney Bush Bollay at Flickr

Paul and Tasha had one last thing to do before they left town. Tasha had a farewell gig with Smoky Burn at the Barn. The Burn mostly played covers of chick rock – Melissa Etheridge, Joan Jett, Grace Potter, stuff like that – and tonight would be Tasha’s last hurrah.

Paul watched her take the stage. Tasha Reynolds, the sweet girl from west Texas, and Paul Grange, the truck driver from Oklahoma. Who would have thought they’d be rolling out of here with a hundred thousand dollars of stolen money.

The band started up with a pounding beat. Tasha shook her head, white locks flipping left and right. She sure knew it. The band did too. The guitarist grinned as he watched Tasha fire up the crowd. They loved her here.

Policy woman got a hold on my baby
Since she come around, he ain’t been the same
She look at him with her dark brown eyes
She tell him things that would make a grown man cry

Paul smiled. “Medicine,” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. It could have been their theme song. A con artist had had Paul wrapped around her finger. She bled him dry, a little at a time, asking him to help her through rehab and nursing school that were all bullshit. Tasha knew a thing or two about how to spot a long con. Paul had saved her life in the Gulf War, and she made it her personal mission to make him better than even. Now they were partners.

You like the way she makes you feel
She got you spinning on her medicine wheel

He checked the audience. Everyone had their eyes on Tasha. The pit, the pool players, and the bartenders. Even the bouncers. The brown-eyed girl could weave one hell of a story, but Tasha shot straight. She sang to the crowd like they were her best friends. They all knew it.

Tasha had found all the saps caught in the girl’s web. Two other truckers. Three social workers. Two nurses. She’d made a fine living for herself.

Deep in the night, when no one’s around
I’ve got a plan to take that woman down

Between Tasha’s horse sense and Paul’s shared grief, they’d turned all of them against the brown-eyed girl within a day. She’d found them standing in her house, counting the money she’d hidden in the basement. They had their money back. The surplus had been his and Tasha’s finder’s fee.

Paul winced as he remembered the end. On his word, barely, they’d given her a five-minute head start. Paul hoped she’d had enough gas to outrun the people who’d chased her out of town. He didn’t want to have one more death on his conscience. The others hadn’t felt that way.

Now he and Tasha were sitting pretty, ready to start with a blank slate somewhere else. Tasha glanced at him as she rounded out the song. She gave him a secret smile.

Now I
I got the medicine that everybody wants
I got the medicine that everybody wants
I got the medicine that everybody wants
I got the medicine that everybody wants

I got the medicine…
I got the medicine…
I got the medicine…
I got the mediciiiiiine…

Paul’s heart pounded as Tasha drew out the note. Her voice rose. Paul thought it sounded like a guitar string strumming so loud and pure that everyone in the bar hung from it. He couldn’t take his eyes off her. Tasha screamed. The guitar burned like fire.

Paul felt like he let go of the string. He felt like he was falling.

Tasha looked at him. She looked right at him through the crowd. Solo, she sang, “I got the medicine that everbody wants.”

The crowd went wild. She held his eyes for one more second. Tasha closed hers, dropped her head to bow, then smiled and waved to the audience. “Thank you! Thanks, everybody!” It was going to be a great show tonight.

Paul didn’t hear them. All he could think was one thing.

Yes. She did.

Grace Potter rocks!

Photo credit: “Grace Potter” by Brittney Bush Bollay at Flickr
Photo is unmodified
Shared under Creative Commons license
Lyrics to “Medicine” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals used without permission