Random Snippets

April looked at her calendar and realized she’d been working for the last twenty-three days straight. Her boss David was a workaholic father and when his wife walked out, he commandeered her into taking care of his daughters. The girls were six and so adorable, but she needed a break. Grabbing her phone, she sent him a quick email explaining that she had food poisoning and would be laid up next to the toilet for most of the day. David White hated sickness so she knew he would tell her to stay home and as far away from him as possible.

After a leisurely breakfast of bacon and pancakes from a box, she decided to do something fun with her day off. The annual Huronia Flower Show was happening and this year she was determined to grow and keep flowers alive on her rooftop terrace. She rode her Schwinn that she had spray painted rose gold and after locking her up, she bought a ticket and walked around looking at the abundance of blooms.

April was reading an information card about a yellow orchid with lilac striations, when she heard a voice she knew all too well. The deep rumbling of his voice sent a shiver down her back and she looked around to see where he was and how she could hide. He was at a booth on her right and luckily there were enough people around that he probably hadn’t seen her. He was about six foot four with long black hair that reached his waist when he let it down and chocolate brown eyes that had flecks of gold. His beard was thick and highlighted his full lips that in moments of extreme weakness she dreamed about. In jeans, dark brown work boots and an evergreen t-shirt that showed off arms that could lift anything, he was the type of man who she wished would look twice at her. April turned away and decided to go to the far back section that had all types of roses. In such a high traffic area he’d never notice her.

As she looked at some soft peach tea roses she noticed that a group of elderly women and their grandkids surrounded her, so she was able to relax. April had just picked up two small planters with peach and cream tea roses, when she heard his voice. She turned and he was right behind her.

“Oh hey, April. How are you?” His expression was mocking.

“Oh Joseph, hey. I’m good. What are you doing here?”

“I’m glad you’re feeling better. My brother said something about you having food poisoning, so I’m glad to see you’re quite alright.” He said dryly as he looked her up and down. It felt like his gaze lingered on the small bit of cleavage her cream sweater was revealing.

“Please Joseph, don’t tell him you saw me today.”

“It’s just Joe, April.”

“Please Joe. I just needed a day. I’ll be back tomorrow, promise.”

“David really needs help right now April. Pretending to be sick is kind of juvenile and I thought you knew better.” He sounded disappointed and April felt defensive and a bit angry.

“Do you think I don’t know that. I’ve been working for weeks with no days off. My days start at five and don’t end before midnight mostly. Last night was the first night I slept in my own bed since his wife dumped the girls on him. When was the last time you watched your nieces? Don’t lecture me, when you’re an invisible uncle.” She abruptly turned around but Joe reached out and cupped her elbow. April felt goosebumps all over her arms and tried to take a deep breath, but all she could smell was him, a mixture of sea spray and pine.

“April, wait.” Her name on his lips caused flutters in her stomach and for a moment she wished they were in her bedroom, completely alone. She looked back at him and got lost in his eyes. He said something but she couldn’t hear him over the roar in her ears. Her gaze dropped down to his lips and the ache to feel them grew. He tipped her chin up and searched her gaze and April saw the heat banked and her breath caught. The moment might have lasted forever but a young boy running from his friend slammed into Joe by accident and he crashed into her. He managed to keep them upright by wrapping an arm around her waist and pulling her into his side, but the moment was broken.

 

©Esther Valencia

Everyday Hustle

The bus pulls up to the stop and everyone clambers on. Most of the blue seats are filled with a mixture of young kids going to the elementary school by the bridge, teenagers possibly skipping class and adults on their way to work and other responsibilities. The light turns red and the driver leaves the door open for any stragglers. A small boy with curly black hair, no older than seven drives a red toy convertible up and down his legs while the older man with a thick gray beard next to him taps his foot in frustration. The light turns green but the doors stay open. Two minutes that feel like ten pass and the bus still hasn’t moved. The bearded man begins to mutter under his breath. A young woman with a bright red mohawk sitting on the other side of the boy taps her fingers on the pole. One more minute trickles by and a teenage boy with a canary yellow bomber jacket yells “what’s the goddamn holdup?” The doors start to close like a four person crew of three inch high people are pulling levers and pulleys to bring them together. The bus slowly eases away from the curb as the light turns yellow and the bearded man sighs in relief. The small boy keeps making vroom vroom sounds. The hustle continues.

 

©Esther Valencia

An Unlikely Dad

     Cruz Glass had just finished giving Hawk his morning run when he saw Elías coming out of the stone ranch house his great-great-grandfather had built. This was the first time the boy had been outside since he’d been dropped off by his mother a week ago. He watched tv and asked when his mom was coming back. Looking at him, Cruz could see his father in the shape of his eyes and nose but the rest was all his mother. Cruz still couldn’t believe that Melanie, Elías’ mother had dumped him at his ranch because her new husband wasn’t a “fan of children”. 

     As the boy walked towards the stables Cruz could only wonder what his best friend had ever seen in Melanie. Isaiah had been crazy about her and so excited to be a father. He’d only had a few months with his son. They’d been deployed for a covert mission targeting a high ranking terrorist leader in Yemen. It should have been easy in and out op for their team. Too bad the intel had been compromised. The terrorists had been waiting for them. Isaiah was gone along with three other brothers in arms and Cruz had a limp and limited use of his left arm. Now he had to figure out how to help Elías. 

     Entering the stable with Hawk nickering, Cruz looked for the boy and found him in front of Pixie’s stall. The boy was petting the two year old filly that had a smattering of white spots on her back legs while the rest of her body was a dark rust color. He was talking about his room in Brooklyn. 

“Hey Elías how are you today?”

“Hi Mr. Cruz, I’m-”

“You can just call me Cruz.”

“Oh, okay. I, don’t want to umm get in uh the way so I’ll…”

Elías started to turn away but Cruz called his name.

“I want to enjoy your time here. You don’t have to leave right now. I was also thinking you could learn how to ride. What do you think?”

Elías just looked at his feet without saying anything. Cruz sighed and decided to give the boy more time. 

“I’m going to feed and rubdown Hawk if you want to watch.”

He moved past the boy to Hawk’s grooming area and noticed the boy hadn’t left. As he removed the bridle and noticed him watching from a distance an idea came to him. He started narrating what he was doing out loud.

“After removing the bridle, I take off the saddle, girth, and saddle pad. I place them on the saddle rack. Then it’s time to brush him. Elías can you go inside the tack house and grab the brush case that has Hawk’s name on it?” Cruz watched the boy go to the tack house and come back with the brush set. He took out the combs and picked up the curry comb. 

“We use this comb first. Do you want to try it?”

The boy nodded and took the comb. Cruz slowly walked him through the whole process and together they walked Hawk to his stall. This was a beginning of sorts and Cruz would always remember that morning fondly as the start of the boy becoming his son.

©Esther Valencia 

Veiled Tribe

Late again, just like my birth 😉

 

The sky was awash with colors. Pinks, purples, deep oranges all seeping into indigo. A cold wind swept through the oak trees, rustling the leaves and bending the grass. A few feet away stood a woman. She looked out at the field in front of her and watched the land become darker as the sun slipped away. This was the time when her people walked and she could guide them on their journey. Steam curled up from her Sailor Moon travel mug, filled with cider and bourbon. As the stars became more visible, she took a deep breath, rolled her shoulders back and grounded herself. In the distance, the first of many rose.

 

©Esther Moreira

Support InstaWriters August Prompts hosted by @journee_nicole and @t.alva

 

 

The Rising
by @corvina.de.obsidiana @poetry_goddess88 @trvp3zoid @open_journal @fictionvixen11 @kris_johnston_author Devon West and Erica Harris

Remains

I wake up and look over and the space she filled is empty. The pillow is cold, my arm isn’t numb and I can’t smell the lemon vanilla scent she always wore. Evelina is no longer here. Not physically, not spiritually, she’s gone and I’m left behind. The distant echo of Beethoven’s fifth reminds me I need to get up and get ready, that work and life are waiting. But what if I looked for her? What if I followed in her path, hoping to stumble across her smile? What if I ended up in her arms and she never let go? My eyes close and for a moment I imagine our reunion, touching her lips, her face, nuzzling her neck, finally feeling like I’ve come home. Staying buried deep within her and never letting go. I squeeze my eyes tighter but her image dissipates and rage rolls underneath the surface of my skin. I’ve forgotten how soft her skin was and the exact number of freckles on her shoulders. I’ve forgotten the feel of her nails on my skin. I’ve forgotten the sway of her hips when she walks in front of me. We didn’t deserve this. We were robbed. It shouldn’t have been her. Anyone else but her.

©Esther Moreira

Support InstaWriters August Prompts hosted by @journee_nicole and @t.alva

Chasing Eve by @tina_m_courtney

Sultry Glimpse

The sunlight glints off the just washed cherry red Honda Civic next door. The glare from the specialty rims in chrome blind the eye and if you look closely enough there are tendrils of steam from the water evaporating. The sidewalk is damp and the air is heavy with moisture that oozes into the recesses of your lungs. The sweet smell of a spring air freshener coupled with the sour tang of garbage juice gives this part of the sidewalk a specific aroma that signals home in a way that nothing else can. The kids next door are running around in cutoff jean shorts and thin white tanks with faded Animaniacs characters. They have old water bottles that they’re spraying each other with. Their gleeful shouts float above the deep bass line of the current rap song that is blasting from the electric neon orange portable speaker. A few brown sparrows bathe in a pool of water in a lip on the curb just down from the Civic, splashing and shaking their feathers and chirping. A soft breeze moves through and leaves behind a hint of raindrops.

©Esther Moreira

Todd – Part Five

Todd squeezed Lila’s hand as they waited for the train. She smiled up at him and he felt a flip in his stomach. He was still shocked at his forwardness and how comfortable he felt with her. He didn’t want to rush things because he didn’t want to mess things up. It usually took him a few dates to warm up to a someone but with Lila, from the moment he’d seen her face when she opened her door, he’d imagined what kissing her might be like and it was better than his daydreams. They were seated at a corner table and the soft lighting barely reached them. This made him braver than usual and after their mojitos were delivered he rested his hand on her thigh. She glanced at him but didn’t try to move his hand so as they ate, his hand traced a path from her knee to the top of her thigh, sometimes quickly, sometimes quite slowly. He noticed that Lila’s breath got shorter as he got closer to her waist and her skin looked slightly flushed even in the dim lighting. As he watched her eat tres leches, he had to adjust his pants because watching her tongue flick out made him think about seeing her tongue on his body.
“Do you want to try some Todd?”
“Only if you want to share. Don’t want to deprive you.”
Lila grinned and just held out the spoon for him to have a taste. As he leaned into the spoon he noticed her watching him intently and he flicked out his tongue and slowly lapped up the cake, while seeing her eyes widen and darken. He moved the spoon out of the way, cupped her face and brushed his mouth over hers softly. The soft kiss grew deeper and more insistent by the second as he thrust his tongue deep into her mouth and wrapped his arms around her. The sounds of the other diners and staff fell away as Lila kissed him back with the same intensity. “Lila” he breathed as he tried to catch his breath. “So sweet.”

 

© Esther Moreira


Want to start at the beginning? Read Part One, Part Two, Part Three and Part Four.

Solstice 

The sky darkens quickly. Goes from bright blue, cloudless to a cool gray in a blink and then as almost black clouds dash by it becomes a sickly greenish gray that you imagine is the precursor for the end of the world. 

The air is heavy, oppressive and sits in your lungs making it difficult to breathe. The tree branches sway like flower power, beaded teens at a rave. The wind stings your eyes.

You hear a loud crack and see a bolt of lightning a few meters away and for that brief second the clouds glow purplish white. The loud rumble of thunder engulfs you stifling the sound of your heartbeat. 

A drop lands on your shoulder and then it’s followed by a deluge. Lightning strikes again and again, the air oozes ozone and the rumbles of thunder are all you hear. 

The downpour cocoons you and frees you from all your burdens leaving you unbound as the longest day of the year comes to a close.

© Esther Moreira
#DailyPrompt

The Collector

Behind the teak door carved with a relief of an open book, there was a room where the souls that Libretto had snared were kept. Each soul was held inside a box made of copper from Bingham Canyon and the front was inlaid with a miniature cameo of its rightful owner in black sapphire. The boxes rested on shelves made of black marble with veins of gold and silver running through them. Down the middle of the room, there were waist high islands of the same color marble with three bowls per island. The bowls were graduated in size from small to large and were made of smooth crystal with gold edging. All souls differed in size depending on the age of the person when they had been taken. A copper canister next to the bowls was filled with flakes of crushed carbon mixed with alexandrite and it’s serving spoon hanged from its curved handle. To see the souls in their entirety, Libretto always placed them in the correct bowl and added one spoonful of the carbon alexandrite mixture. He then swirled the bowl seven times clockwise and four times counter-clockwise. When swirled correctly a cloud formed above the bowl and everything inside played out like a video recording. When the last moment had played, the cloud then exploded into raindrops that fell back into the bowl. He poured the water that glistened red, blue, purple and green like an oil slick back into the copper box and it always transformed into a dense mist. Depending on the innocence of the soul at its capture, the mist could be as white as freshly fallen snow or as dark tarnished gold. The newest addition to the shelves was pure white. It had belonged to a sweet baby girl with fat ginger curls, dimples, blue-green eyes, freckles across the bridge of her nose, skin the color of cream laced coffee and a very sunny disposition. Libretto had been collecting an elderly man’s soul in the house next door, when he’d spied her through a large bay window and her smile had entranced him. He couldn’t leave without her so he slipped in and offered her a teddy bear made of lace and bubbles. By accepting his gift, she gave away her soul and he quickly took it before anyone could interrupt. Back in his room of souls, he poured the mist into the small bowl and swirled it so he could see her again. Her smile was the first thing that struck him and as he stared, his mouth formed a name, Tomia.
© Esther Moreira


for #MayBookPrompts

White Noise

Sound comes into my ear and swirls into my chest down my spine exploding across my back and even though I try to block it I’m not able the gunshot
is loud so are the sirens there’s so much blood and it’s not bright red like in the movies I don’t know him I’m relieved and horrified he’s someone’s son, brother, father but he’s not one of mine the sound of something popping like the bubbles

of champagne or ginger ale won’t leave me it’s not my fault I tried to save him I tried to be what he wanted I don’t understand why he didn’t choose me I gave him

EVERYTHING and still he left me he left dammit how could he just walk away how the face looking back at me is not the face he fell in love with this new face is gray and gaunt and so sad who is she and why is she in my house

© Esther Moreira


for #MayBookPrompts – May 7