Fiction Friday: 20 Years

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After ordering a Cosmo, Sarah chose a corner booth in a small bar on the fringes of the French Quarter. It was dark, not too crowded. Perfect. Perched on a torn seat, she finished her cocktail in several swift gulps, but still it took four tries to get her cigarette glowing. 20 years. As she dragged deeply she scanned the room for Sam, but he wasn’t there yet. 20 years since they’d… She yanked a mini lint roller out of her purse and ran it over her black pencil skirt, grateful she’d splurged on her first pair of Louboutin pumps. Then she stubbed out her cigarette and swiped on a fresh layer of lipstick. That’s better, she thought.

Sarah caught the waitress’ eye and ordered another pink drink. Just then, Sam strode into the bar making her choke on her own saliva. His familiar athletic frame clad in a t-shirt and jeans made her tingle all over. Although it had been 20 years since they’d last seen one another, his eyes found and locked on hers in that same old way and Sarah hopped up to tackle him in a hug. The heady scent of him made her tremble. As his goatee grazed her cheek in a sideways sort of kiss, Sarah’s body came alive and she caught herself pressing against him for a moment longer than was necessary.

Where the hell is my drink? Sarah thought as she pulled away. I have to shake this shit off.

Tell me everything,” Sam said, sliding into the booth. “Now that you’re divorced too, we have lots to talk about,” he said with a wink. Underneath the table, his knee bumped hers. Twice. A trickle of sweat began its journey down into her bra.

Sarah spilled the sordid details of her husband’s indiscretions as her drink arrived along with two beers for Sam. She didn’t remember hearing him order them. Her words tumbled all over each other, mindless chatter, hiding the fact that inside she was burning, like bare feet hitting sun-baked sidewalk in August. Somewhere between telling him about the hotel charges on the credit card bills and all the “business” calls late at night she started unraveling, loosening. Her ex’s lies and years of deceit began to fan the flames she felt inside. She leaned in closer, lowered her voice, and the liquid courage allowed her to hold Sam’s gaze as she continued talking.

His eyes were impossible, burning into every bit of her. Underneath her blouse and skirt, she felt herself bursting, blooming. Hues of red, orange and yellow rose up inside her. He was asking her a question, something about her job, only the words weren’t registering. In one sweeping motion she grabbed Sam’s wrist, arched her body across the table and pressed her hot mouth to his, stopping him mid-sentence. His fingertips traced the edges of her face, then cupped it in his hands. She wanted him. Desperately. Every bone in her body ached to have him.

Melting into him, memories washed over her in warm waves: long handwritten letters she ripped into, shared secrets, hushed phone conversations in her dorm room. And now, on fire here in the booth, wondering what could be, after 20 years.

I linked up today with The Red Dress Club prompt (I’m attempting fiction again, so BE GENTLE!):

Let’s get all steamy up in here and write about sex.

But there’s a twist.

You can’t write about the act. I don’t want to read about any heaving bosoms or girded manhood (please tell me someone else giggled besides me).

Limit is 600 words, fiction or non-fiction.

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  • http://unintentionallybrilliant.blogspot.com Roxanne Piskel

    Can I just say that I loved this? I want to know more about the background of these characters, but also it works well on its own. I love when she grabs his wrist and goes in for the kiss. So strong and passionate!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Roxanne—maybe more of their background will come to me? I am such a fiction novice/newbie. I definitely feel like a fish out of water when I write it….

  • Miami

    old passions, simmering like a dish left on low heat, are often the strongest. . .yet most volitile. . .passions of all.

    • Anonymous

      Miami,
      I am not good at fiction. Then again? I don’t practice it very much. But agree with your sentiments! Thanks for coming by!

  • DycheDesigns

    Great way with words, you had me captivated.

    • Anonymous

      DycheDesigns,

      Thanks so much! Glad this held your interest despite my rocky/lengthy start!

  • http://www.scriptinghappiness.com Jeena Cho

    Steamy! Great job. You do fiction well. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Jeena! Still a lot of work to do. The first paragraphs kind of weighed it down at the beginning, I think. SO hard!

  • http://misadventuresofmrsb.com Mrs. Jen B

    Yes! Great job! Love the language you used.  Feeling herself bursting, blooming.  The colors rising inside her.  Gorgeous.

    • Anonymous

      Jen,

      Thanks, darling! Appreciate your sweet comments. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend! ;-)

  • AwayWeGoNancy

    You do a nice job with the nonverbals….choking on spit, and all that gorgeous color imagery. Very intense and with a hint of desperation for her to feel got/not hurt for once. Well done, my dear.

    • Anonymous

      Nancy,

      Thanks. That’s my trouble—I am terrible w/ dialogue. It doesn’t come easily, so I avoid it. Too much. Maybe that’s why I’m good w/ the nonverbals, LOL?!?! Your piece is still on my mind. ;-)

  • http://www.for-the-love-of-pete.blogspot.com Valerie

    “As his goatee grazed her cheek in a sideways sort of kiss, Sarah’s body
    came alive and she caught herself pressing against him for a moment
    longer than was necessary.”

    Oh lordy!  A goatee can do that to a woman!
    This piece, and your writing, is hot!

    • Anonymous

      Valerie,

      THANK YOU!! lol. I’m not really a goatee gal, but somehow it seemed to fit here, and Sarah definitely appreciates some facial hair—LOL!

  • http://viewsfromnature.com Carrie

    I love that she is the one who is forward, the one making the initial move.

    Great piece. I hope there is more to Sarah and Sam rekindling their romance :)

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Carrie! I wanted a bold female character. Unlike myself, LOL! I’d like to do more with this, but I struggle w/ fiction and I need to think about where it could go from here.

  • Kpiccini

    I love a woman who doesn’t even try to make small talk. I saw a lot of a young Kirsten in her ;)
    There were so many lines I thought just flowed , the whole piece is tight and fluid, taking us from one place to another with the thrill of what is to come.

    The “angst” was just right, the want not bothering to disguise itself. Great job.

    • Anonymous

      Kirsten,

      Really? I was so reluctant to finally hit publish b/c i felt like it was choppy and didn’t flow well, like i didn’t convey everything i wanted to w/in the word limit. argh.

      The funny part is that this girl is almost NOTHING like me! lol. although i confess i’ve always wanted to own a pair of Louboutins….w/ the red bottoms? so awesome. le sigh.

  • http://www.thingsicantsay.com shellthings

    Great job, girl! Her hurt and desperation for touch really comes through. 

    • Anonymous

      Thanks so much, SHell! Your piece was fun too, even though you didn’t link up! ;-)
      xoxo

  • http://www.twobearsfarm.com Two Bears Farm

    Oh gosh.  I hope he doesn’t hurt her.

    • Anonymous

      Lisa,

      I was just thinking maybe I could do more with this….I dunno. I’ve never really continued a story before. Because fiction isn’t my forte, you know? But maybe worth a try. We’ll see….

  • http://www.theumbels.com Evonne

    Erin, I love this!  I can feel her anticipation through your words.  You attention to detail amazes me.  The line, “hiding the fact that inside she was burning, like bare feet hitting sun-baked sidewalk in August” – love it!

    I would love if there was more to this story.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Evonne! Have actually been thinking about a part II of this, though I’ve never done that before. Fiction is so intimidating to me, and the idea of making something into a short story, i.e. something beyond a short blog post? is SCARY!

  • http://goodgirlgoneredneck.blogspot.com Andrea B.

    This line is my favorite of the whole piece: “The heady scent of him made her tremble.” And I also feel like it’s when the story, the emotion, the need and wanting kicked in. I loved it from there on down, and loved how she took his wrist, stopped him with a kiss. Loved it. Loved where it could all go.

    The stuff in the beginning was losing me. I didn’t care about her shoes, her skirt or the cigarette — no offense, just trying to give the best detail on where you grabbed me and pulled me in. Made me relate and wanting to know more. It may have been (I saw your remarks in response to someone’s  comment, but was thinking that this might have been what threw me off at first) that the earlier stuff felt too choppy for me.

    The other line I loved was the sweat dripping into her bra. Totally made me flash to about a hundred times I’ve been somewhere and had that same feeling and all I could think of was what was happening. I think you did a good job, mama! You’re too hard on yourself and although you have a talent beyond words for non-fiction, you write fiction really well, as well. (And that was one too many well-s!) ;)

    • Anonymous

      Andrea,

      Thanks, babe! I wanted to set the stage—I didn’t know how I could start things w/ the two of them just being together? Also wanted to show how nervous she was about seeing him after all that time had passed, how much effort she put into her appearance, etc? I dunno. I thought about cutting out that first chunk, but like I said—I was at a loss as to how to begin the piece without them meeting. Which is why I struggle w/ fiction so much…maybe I make it too hard?

  • Cheryl

    I liked it Erin. You could possibly make the first graph a little shorter. Or you could start the story with “Sarah caught the waitresses eye and ordered another pink drink. She’d gulped the first one down easily but it took her four tries to light her cigarette.

    Twenty years. Twenty years since they’d..

    Just then, Sam strode into the bar making her etc. etc.

    It gets you to the action quicker, but still sets the scene.

    I don’t know why you are so nervous about fiction – the times you’ve done it it’s been really good!

    xo

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much, Cheryl—your input is incredibly valuable and much appreciated.

      I need to go w/ my gut more. I knew the beginning was slow, but I felt the need to kind of set the stage somehow—before jumping in? Otherwise I was worried about confusing people. Ack.

      Loved the prompt and your comments/concrit. THANK YOU! xoxoxo

  • http://tiaras-and-trucks.blogspot.com Angela

    Erin, the imagery and mood of this piece are both really strong.  I feel so nervous for her at the beginning, with the build-up of tension and release of her inhibitions all tumbling together.

    I agree with Cheryl that the first paragraph could be edited a little.  You have a lot of numbers in there, so maybe you could have shorter sentences including those, almost like a list, since the title also contains an amount?  “She finished her drink in three swift gulps.  Four attempts later, her cigarette was finally aflame.  One red sole of her first pair of Louboutin pumps was visible beneath the table.”  I don’t know, just an idea.

    I LOVED this:
    Underneath her blouse and skirt, she felt herself bursting, blooming. Hues of red, orange and yellow rose up inside her.

    and this:
    hiding the fact that inside she was burning, like bare feet hitting sun-baked sidewalk in August.

    It’s as if all that passion has been lying dormant for so long, just waiting to ignite.

    (Do more fiction; it was great!!)

    • Anonymous

      Angela,

      Love your idea about the numbers—hadn’t even realized/though about that! So appreciative of your kind comments. Fiction makes me nervous, so I don’t attempt it often. I need to throw caution to the wind and try it more!

  • Anonymous

    OK first I have to ask where is you ahem naughty blog and why have you been keeping it from us? I love the imagery that you used with this. I kind of like the first paragraph, that anticipation makes it powerful. I can see her lunging across the booth at him, the control of his wrist , the stepping up and taking charge, something I feel she was missing in the previous 20 years and her marriage gone wrong.
    I love that they said they didn’t want girded manhood and heaving bosoms. I don’t think I have ever used those words on my adult blog at all , but it made me giggle

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Angel! I do think I could have shortened the  first paragraphs…I think it’s hard at first b/c while I’m setting the stage for some things, I also need to get to some “action,” you know? Ahhh, I struggle!

  • Christopher Cole

    Erin, I love everything about this teasing story you’ve given us.  I didn’t mind the first two paragraphs and feel they are definitely needed to set the stage.  Gotta have some sort of beginning before the lust comes out.  I can’t wait for you to “finish” this episode.  I’m wondering right now which of them will make a “first move” towards the back of the bar, perhaps outside in the back alley, maybe even some “fingers do the walking” underneath the table.  Whatever the next scene, I think you have us all waiting with extreme anticipation just like Sarah and Sam.  Thanks for your vision.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, Christopher!
      I’m no porn writer for shizzle, and I have no clue what happens next. Debating writing more about it, but this on its own was hard enough and I definitely fumbled in the beginning. Several people pointed out I should’ve gotten to the “Action” sooner, and I tend to agree. I could’ve shortened up the first graphs somewhat. But I’m a sucker for details and setting the stage….

  • LisaOntheLoose

    I’m wishing you would have kept going! What did he say/do after she pulled away? Did he say “Let’s get out of here?” Or “I’ve actually just come out of the closet?” Or “I’m running away to join the priesthood and wanted to tell you in person but damn, that kiss just made me change my mind.” What happens next! :-)

    • Anonymous

      Lisa,

      You crack me up! He definitely isn’t gay b/c that’s a plot line that already happened in my family, in real life (my dad came out when I was 15). Short answer? I have no idea what happens next, but am debating trying to write more about it. I’m so happy you found me and came by—made my day! Thank you!  ;-)

  • Terri Sonoda

    I actually liked that you ended it there. I think effective writing nurtures the readers’ imagination.  And I was imagining all kinds of juicy stuff upon reading your story.  Very nicely done!

    • Anonymous

      Terri,

      Thank you! I just sometimes wonder what it would be like to continue a piece—and maybe end up with a short story or something, you know? Something that would amount to more than just a single random blog post. Then again? I had so much trouble with just this? Dreaming about a short story seems a little silly! ;-) xoxoxo

  • http://twitter.com/galitbreen Galit Breen

    Love it Erin! Who hasn’t wondered about an old flame- so relatable! I love her nerves, her inner dialogue, the poignant details like her shoes, pink drink, saying shit. :)

    And the ending? Perfectly hawt. XO

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Galit! What about the beginning? I rambled a lot. Shoulda cut it down. But I wanted to set the scene a little bit. Writing fiction is HARD! ;-) xoxoxo

  • http://moveovermarypoppins.com/ CDG

    Oh, Erin. No more complaining about fiction, okay? And no more complaining about the sexy. You handle both with your usual grace.

    And Sam? He sounds delish.

    • Anonymous

      Cameron,

      You flatter me. You are the one who needs a book deal. And Sam? Did he come across as delish? I later felt like I didn’t write enough about him. Hmmmm.

  • Helene1108

    I just love your writing, Erin!  You had me hooked immediately and I found myself disappointed at the end because there was no more to read!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Helene,

      You are a doll! Such sweet comments! I’m disappointed too b/c right now? There’s no more to write about it…have been thinking about trying to continue it, but my brain is empty. Too full of kindergarten stuff right now, maybe?!?!

  • http://www.misselaineouslife.com/ Elaine

    Oh that was Goooood!  Definitely steamy.  And your descriptions of how she was feeling make me want to know how HE was feeling.  

    This is really good.  You can do fiction just as well as the rest my friend! xo

    • Anonymous

      Elaine,

      I know! I was kind of torn and wasn’t sure how much to reveal about how he was feeling—and honestly, I got so focused on Sarah’s POV that maybe I left out Sam’s? then again, that would’ve been confusing. I haven’t got a clue about this stuff!

  • http://www.fromtracie.com From Tracie

    You definitely hit the prompt right on. I was getting the thought of sex all over that without you having to say the word or describe the moment after they left the booth.

    You spin good fiction! 

    • Anonymous

      Thank you, my sweet Tracie!

      I should mix it up and do fiction more. I’m too easily intimidated, methinks!

  • http://twitter.com/ByWordsMusings Nicole Morgan

    Look at you all hot and steamy!
    Sadly, the cynic in me was wondering why he was divorced … did he rack up a load of bills for illicit nights spent in hotels … and then there was the next chapter … right?

    • Anonymous

      Nicole,

      You mean Sam? I dunno, I hadn’t thought that far. I’d only figured out why Sarah was divorced and about her ex…I need to think about a next chapter, but have never done that before on the blog! Scary!