Three Word Wednesday, 2/16/2011

Blink, Kind, Occasion

“So since when is loving one person any excuse for not being kind to someone else?”

Luke blinked at me in bemusement, but didn’t answer. Then: “I’m really not sure what you’re talking about.”

“No?” I swung a chair around, and sat on it bassackwards, facing him. “We used to be able to talk, really converse. Now the minute you see me come in the room, you leave. Or if I’m already there, you don’t stay. I do notice these things, mon chum.”

“Oh, that.”

“Yes, that.”

“You know what’s really important to me. I won’t let my relationship with anyone else threaten that.”

“And on what occasion, exactly, did I threaten that? Have I ever said or done anything that would indicate that I even wanted to?”

His head rose, and he looked at me steadily. “You know what you did.”

I blushed.  My one mistake and I didn’t even realize it when I made it.  “That was a compliment.  It was a statement of fact, not a declaration of intent to take possession. And even if I loved you — really loved you — the way you think I do, the last thing I would do is interfere in your life the way you seem to be afraid I will.”

“I talked to you about the game the other night.”

“Yep.  Three whole words.”

“I give you something and you still complain. Maybe –”

“Don’t.” I held up my hand, wanting to forestall what I knew he was about to say, words that couldn’t be taken back. “Please.  We may not have much now, but it’s better than nothing.  I’m sorry for being snarky.”

“Fine.” He glanced at me, eyes twinkling.  “So how about those Habs?”

Three Word Wednesday, 12/8/2010

Judge nightfall safety

“I wish you’d let me walk you home.”

Mary looked at him, irritated. “I’m sure you mean well, ” she said, trying to conciliate him despite what she considered his over-solicitous behavior. “But I don’t turn into a helpless damsel just because it’s nightfall.”

“I don’t know that you’re the best judge of that.” James tried to convince her. “I’m only concerned about your safety.”

She ended the argument by closing the door.

* * *

Her heeltaps echoed off the walls of the deserted street. The rhythm changed, became syncopated, as another set of steps joined in, someone moving faster than she. Determining the direction was difficult, as the echoes made the steps sound as though they were behind her, in front of her, all around.

Mary slowed, listening, then paused, then began to run. She came to an abrupt halt when she catapulted into the man on the sidewalk in front of her.

“You should have let me walk with you,” James smiled, cutting off her scream as the knife descended, the first time of many. “I told you it wasn’t safe.”

And Then There Were Four …

DocB sat on the side of the hill. Whew! That was one long November. I wasn’t even sure I was going to have time for this and look at me now. The brightly colored banner that said “Winner” with this year on it flew on the staff over her head. She turned as she heard footsteps.

Thompson Girl came over the ridge. She stabbed her flag-post into the ground beside Doc’s and sat down next to her. She was a veteran and knew how to pace herself. Still, she knew as well as anyone that it was awfully easy to get caught by real life on the way up the hill. She’d seen discarded novels and ideas along the way, and passed many a dispirited writer who’d started out with high hopes only to give up in discouragement.

“Have you seen WQ or TEC?” Doc asked.

“WQ was pretty close behind me,” TG responded, pausing for a drink of water from the canteen on her hip. “TEC’s farther back, but she declares she’ll be done tonight.”

“Good.” They enjoyed the rarefied air on the top of the hill and let the breeze cool them off.

A rattle of small pebbles announced WQ. She pushed her flagpole into the loose earth, stopped to pull a shoe off and dumped dust and gravel from it. “Boy, I didn’t think I’d make it, a couple of times, but here I am.”

The other two applauded her.

“I love doing Nano, but I’ll be glad to get back to real life.”

TG smiled. “I know what you mean.”

They waited for the last Nano squaddie, as the light began to die. “Well, there is tomorrow,” Doc shrugged. “She said she had to kill off a character she liked. That can make it harder.”

“Not as hard as I thought,” grinned TEC4. She brushed the dirt off her jeans, leaned on her staff and stretched to loosen her calf muscles. “Those last few words, boy, they were tough. Although I figure I’ll wind up dumping a lot of in rewrite.”

The other three groaned in sympathy. Each of them mentally reviewed her WIP and knew they were on the same route.

“So we’re done for now. What next?” WQ inquired.

“I think we need a story challenge. Anyone bring one with them?”

“Nope.” “Uh-uh.” “Not me.”

“Well, we’ll come up with something. The guys are getting soft. We need to get ’em on and off and out on patrol. Or something.”

They all stood, took their hard-earned staffs and headed back down the track. Down was a lot easier than coming up, and there were lights and letters and companionship to be had. They’d always remember November 2010.