The Tall Brunette

This week’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ challenge is to write between 33 and 333 words, including the word ‘brand’, using the definition ‘a mark made by burning with a hot iron to designate ownership’.

There are men all over this city who share a secret. You wouldn’t know it on first looking at them, and they sure as hell would never speak of it.

Some of them are bankers, some waiters, some fathers, and some of the worst ones even have wives.

You’ll find them in cinemas, coffee shops, casinos, courts, chemistry labs. And they’ve all been through something terrible.

I know them all. In fact, I’ve dated them all. Most just once, but some seemed to find the pain ‘fun’, and came back for more.

All the men had a penchant for tall brunettes and a flash of cleavage. They all had very different ideas of what made a good first date. I’ve been to endless cocktail bars, and ‘hip new restaurants’, and seen so many independent films.

Some of them were more imaginative, taking me to an aquarium, or wine tasting, or even rock climbing.

They all have one thing in common though. They all wanted to sleep with me on the first date. I’d let them come up to my flat, and they never speak of what happened next.

But there are dozens of men all over this city and beyond, all with a brand. My brand. A small x-shaped burn scar just below their right ear.

Sometimes these men spot another of my victims, in a queue, or passing in the street. They share a nod as any light left in their eyes dies away at the memory of what happened at the hands of the tall brunette.

Hopefully they’ll have learnt now. And maybe next time they’ll go for a blonde instead.

Blossom

This weekend’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ task is to think about the progression of light and seasons in a photograph of the same trees at different times of year. They want us to ponder nature, and time, and growth, and rebirth, and then write 33 words inspired by this.

Spring sunlight crept through my window. I looked out into the world and saw beautiful blossom, where just weeks ago there were bare branches.

In that moment, I knew everything would be okay.

Cake and Confusion

This week’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ challenge is to write 33-333 words including the word ‘grasp’, using the definition ‘to lay hold of with the mind – comprehend’.

‘I want some cake.’

‘I would like a piece of cake please.’

‘May I have some cake?’

I’ve been waiting all day for a piece of cake, but the man who says his name is Eddie seems very forgetful. When he eventually brings it, it’s slightly stale, and he claims I haven’t been waiting all day, only five minutes. I look up at the man and frown, it had been longer than that surely. And who was he anyway? What was his name again?

I get like this sometimes now. I can’t always put names to faces. And I fail to grasp time. Days can go by in seconds. Minutes can feel like hours.

That man who says his name is Eddie comes to see me a lot. Sometimes he reads to me. Sometimes he just sits and smiles, and holds my hand. Once I caught him crying. I’m not surprised really, it wasn’t a good day, I had to ask for my cake five times that day, and had to shout before they brought it.

I do remember some things though. I remember being very small in a garden full of lavender. I remember a dog called Buster, and wearing a green school uniform. I remember getting married, wearing an ivory dress. I vaguely remember a man named Edward. I remember the pain of childbirth, and I remember getting my first grey hair. I remember the doctor asking me lots of confusing questions, and a young woman who looked startlingly like the man who says his name is Eddie, squeezing my hand.

I remember wanting cake. Where is my cake? The man is still sat there. He has cake, and all I have is a plate of crumbs. He must have eaten mine too.

‘Can I have a slice of cake please?’

The Rich Man’s Wife

This week’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ is to include the word ‘weak’ in a 33-333 word piece, using the definition ‘not factually grounded or logically presented, e.g. a weak argument’.

My husband’s rich. Filthy, stinking, flashing the cash in your face, rich. He keeps tens of thousands of pounds under his mattress for God’s sake. 

I’m not going to lie, it was his expensive looking suit and the extravagant bottle of champagne he bought on our first date that made me fall for him. 

The same extravagance and charm made countless other women fall for him too it seemed. I’d noticed the signs. The ‘working late’, the mysterious scratch on his chest, the lack of sex. 

I remember the first time we made love. I was in total awe of his house, it was like a palace to a terraced house girl like me. We made passionate love in his bed, on top of all those hundred pound notes. I was literally ‘rolling in it’.

Our wedding was ridiculous. The guests were practically swimming in champagne, I could barely lift my hand due to the enormous diamond on my finger, and I had the most beautiful dress money could buy. 

We never had kids. ‘Who needs kids when you can have a yacht?’ he used to say. We never had a yacht. All money, and no action.

Well, he had action with these other women. I’ve had enough. Yes, he’s rich, but I’ve decided that’s a weak argument for staying. I’m no longer the poor little girl I was when I met him, he can no longer impress me. I’m no longer in awe of him. He’s a pathetic little cheat.

I’m getting out. And I’m taking what’s under the mattress with me.

 

The New Husband

This week http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ are asking for a piece that includes the word ‘band’ with the definition ‘to gather together/unite’.

I’d spent the entire morning at work thinking about you. And about the amazing sex we’d had the night before. I couldn’t wait to get home to you.

My wife.

I couldn’t believe we were finally married. I was floating on clouds of happiness.

On my lunch break, I had to go into town to pick up our wedding album from the photographer’s studio. We couldn’t wait to see the pictures.

But now you never will.

The afternoon back at the office dragged, and I noticed my honeymoon tan was starting to fade.

We hadn’t had much sleep the night before, and I was shattered. A glum afternoon.

As soon as the big hand on the clock signalled 5pm, I logged out of my computer, packed my things up, and left to get home to you.

I was so looking forward to giving you a ‘hello’ kiss, smelling that wonderful smell of your hair, and looking at our wedding photos together.

When I got home, you weren’t there. I went into the bedroom, your clothes were gone. Your toothbrush was gone from the bathroom.

I racked my brains to try and think if I’d forgotten you were going away. I went into the kitchen to get the phone, and that’s when I saw it, glinting in the early evening sun.

Your wedding ring. The ring that was supposed to band us together for all of eternity. Just lying there on the window ledge. Next to the washing up liquid. Looking distinctly out of place.

This Charming Man

Haven’t done one of these in a while! This week’s http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ is to include the word ‘charm’ in a 33-333 word piece, using the definition ‘to control an animal, typically by charms’. 

I first met him in the East.

I travelled a lot when I was younger. I saw temples, and jungles, and great rivers, and many a paradise. I adored animals, and got to feed chimpanzees, ride an elephant, and swim with dolphins (and lots of plankton).

That’s what first drew me to him. The beautiful snake wrapped around his shoulders. I’d seen men like him before, with an upturned hat by the dusty roadside. But this was different. We were in a bar, for one. He was stood there, leaning against the wall, pint in one hand, snake in the other. It was certainly an ice breaker. We got chatting, I stroked the snake – Giles, it was called – and we danced to The Smiths. I’d known a few charmers in my time (ha), but never one quite like him.

He treated me like royalty. We travelled together for six months. He bought me exquisite shawls, treated me to delicious meals in India, and Morocco, and Monte Carlo. We saw the world together. He loved animals too, and we rode camels together across the desert. He was my perfect man. My Prince Charming. As my mother used to say, he could charm the birds from the trees.

We returned to England together, one rainy autumn day. We checked into a hotel, exhausted, but happy, and excited to start our new life together.

When I woke up the next morning, he was gone.

I never saw him again.