Oh, did you like that one? I thought for sure it would just be a random throw-away scene, but I’m starting to think that might add an interesting angle…
I’m loving this NaNoWriMo #5MinuteFiction. I think even once we go back to the standard prompts, I’m going to try to apply them to my WIP while it’s still IP.
There are some fantastic entries this week. I hope they’re going in the novels for many of you, because they’re too good to leave out.
Give their entries a read and then vote for the winner in the poll at the bottom. (I figured out that fancy trick. Aren’t you impressed?) Come back at 9:30 to see who’s won it.
Aries and Amanda looked at each other across the table. Aries smiled. He couldn’t help it, he’d been smiling since the ceremony. He wondered if the two of them looked like the newlyweds they were. He realized then that he hoped they did. She smiled back. He looked around the room briefly, just to pull himself away from her deep blue eyes and his desire to just hold and kiss her. The Lunar Lounge was a hot spot for vacationers, and Aries could see why. It was only his second time off Mars, and the Moon was far more like he was used to than Earth was. Still, this place offered an unparallel view. The whole roof was open to the dome, and thus everyone in the restaurant could get a view of Earth. It truly was beautiful, blue and green. From here, Aries could almost think it was innocent.
Aries took a few bites of his food. The pasta was made from a locally grown wheat, and a light flavor that he enjoyed. Amanda ate a chicken breast covered in a tomato sauce of some kind that looked amazing. He looked in her eyes again and started feeling dizzy. He smiled, but the look on her face was concerned.
“What’s the matter?” he said, but the words came out in a slur. “What’s going on?” came out as more slurs.
He tried to stand, but the dizziness was worse. His stomach lurched. He fell to his knees, grasping the table. Amanda was smelling his plate and hunched over him. He couldn’t get a solid look at her, but he could hear her.
“Aries,” she said. “Aries, can you hear me? We need to get you to a hospital. I think you’ve been poisoned.”
I lay on my back panting, arms outstretched as if I had been crucified to the floor. She stood above me, one foot on my chest, pinning me down. My gaze crawled up the length of her nylons, her skirt split either side of her leg, revealing a tantalising glimpse of caramel-cream flesh at the top of her stocking. I yearned to reach out and touch the soft skin of her thigh, to explore her secret places, feel comfort and exhilaration from the warm moistness. But I daren’t move.
My eyes wandered up over the curve of her hip, across her heavy breasts that threatened to spill from her low cut top, to the dark curls cascading over her shoulder, her full red lips parted in a sneer, into her round, brown eyes, so full of contempt. How I hated her… how I loved her.
No, not love, how could I love someone who despised me so. Lust. I wanted to fuck her, I wanted to rip her clothes from her, to push her naked body over a table and hear her scream my name as I rammed her from behind, I wanted to be the dominant one. To hear her beg. Beg for what? For me to stop? For me not to stop?
I realised then she had a gun gripped tightly in both hands, how had I not noticed that before? Because I was like a fly trapped in a spider web, already intoxicated by her venom, poisoned by my passion.
‘Don’t,’ I pleaded. I didn’t want to die, I couldn’t die, not before I had sampled the forbidden fruit. I imagined her skin would taste of butterscotch, that would melt on my tongue. She pulled the hammer back with her right thumb. I squeezed my eyes shut. I flinched when she pulled the trigger, I counted, one second… two seconds… three seconds, nothing, no boom, no excruciating agony. I opened my eyes and she was laughing.
She spat once, I watched it fall, felt it land on my face, could feel the wetness dribble down my cheek. She turned her back on me then, the ultimate sign of contempt. She knew even if or when I came at her again she would put me down, beat me into submission one more time. Maybe it was love after all.
God help me.
The juice tasted funny. Vyvyan hoisted the glass into the air, looking at the color of the orange juice. Had it gone bad? She couldn’t see one of the kitchen staff sending up spoiled juice. Maybe they switched to a different type of oranges.
Something swirled in the bottom of the small glass. With a frown, she lifted the glass higher. A small pill fizzled away in the sea of orange.
Her body guard was in the room within nanoseconds. He was never far off. Never. Thank God for that.
“What is it?” He loomed, a whole lot of pissed off marring his handsome features.
“I think I’ve been poisoned.” Shaking hands held out the glass.
Vyvyan went to work analyzing her body’s reactions while William glared up at the base of the cup. Her heartbeat, normally sluggish when she hadn’t fed on blood, was elevated. Breaths came in short gasps. Sweat broke out on her brow. But those were all normal signs of distress. What if the poison killed her without symptoms? Was that possible?
A laugh cut off the litany in her head. Green eyes snapped to William. “This isn’t a laughing matter. I’m going to die!”
“Its a vitamin, Vyv. Your father ordered everyone on them last week. The new batch of donor blood isn’t up to his usual standards.” He handed the glass back to her.
Of course. Her father always pulled crap like this without telling her, as though she were not allowed to make decisions about her own body.
“You can go now.” She needed a moment to sit with her shame.
I stared in the mirror, holding my own gaze for the first time in years. When had the last time been, honestly, that I’d done so? I couldn’t remember. I’d developed, by virtue of self-preservation, the ability to comb my hair, brush my teeth, and other such necessary activities without actually looking into the portals to my own mind.
I left him six weeks and four days ago. Broken and battered to a point where I’d given up, only to remember there was one, tiny little soul reliant on my survival. And I couldn’t abandon her to him. So I packed everything up and took Niki and my poisoned mind away.
Now I needed to put myself together. How do you do that when you’ve not only been broken but shattered then ground into dust?
You start by looking in the mirror.
And finding something familiar. A glimmer. A flicker. Some shadowed reflection of something you once were before his words slid into your heart and mind and soul like arsenic and turned you into some faded, withered thing.
My eyes were the same color.
Lashes still long and thick.
The tiny scar over my left brow still there, though pale white.
And a smear of color, vibrant purple, marred my cheekbone.
Not a bruise.
Just oil and pigment.
Just . . . proof.
They say bitterness is like a poison, filtering through your veins, crippling you emotionally. They say it shuts you down, rendering your heart useless. My mother told me to release my anger, to let it out. She said if I held it inside, bottling it up, that one day it would get the best of me, and, like a snake coiling around my legs, it would squeeze the life from me.
When I was four, I went in search of good, but only found the pornography my father kept under his bed.
The poison of jadedness staunches the flow of happiness. Cynics the world over know exactly what I’m talking about. And the defeatists hold their noses in the air and say, “I’m a realist.” The misanthropes move past, harbouring their disdain for human kind, and snuffing out the good intentions they once possessed.
And last week I realized, there is nothing humane about humans.
They say resentment will freeze your growth. That it’s like cyanide shutting down your vital organs, slaughtering your reasons for living. And the animosity blooms in your chest like the blood red flower of hate, consuming everything you thought you were, until when you look in the mirror you don’t recognize the reflection fazing back at you. I cannot confirm whether this is fact or fiction.
The facts are far bleaker than the fiction anyhow.
What I can confirm is the pain shredding my dignity into tiny pieces. Doubled over on the bathroom floor, I shove my fingers down my throat, trying to discharge the tiny pellets from my stomach. I said I wouldn’t cry. I promised the person I used to be that no matter how hard it is to breathe I wouldn’t beg the Grim not to take me.
This morning when I awoke, I realized I’ve always been sad.
Do you know how rat poison works? It’s a blood thinner. It thins the blood and they bleed to death. It works the same for humans, you just need a bigger dosage.
I don’t know what I thought. But as the pain ebbs and a numbing void takes it place, I feel…