In for the Rain: Short Stories, A Garden for Us

Did you know that behind their beauty there is also sadness. Marigolds are simple but for me they mean a lot. In my most saddest moments a friend picks one for me. I asked why not give me something more pretty to which she answered:

“I chose it to be sincere. In your sadness you should express it properly. Marigolds symbolizes grief. Remember your feelings well and you will see that should you ever return to grief you see a familiar place and returning to light should be less daunting.”

Those words moved me.

I stared at her as her tears fell. She wait so long for her birthday. She was going to fly overseas with her mother. I’ve never seen her smile so brightly in my life. Yet before the trip her mother passed away. I was shocked. But these tears she shed are so vexing. I wanted so much to dry them for her.

“Sharron, I’m not sure how I could help… Even so let’s figure this out together.”

She nodded as she cried. She remained silent as she did so.

“Here, let’s go for a walk.”

We walked as far as the sidewalk took us. As we walked around town, I tried to make small talk. It worked only for a little at first but as we went along: I noticed she was trying to talk to feel better. It wasn’t long before we approached a bench.

“Can we stop here, Khari?”

“Sure.”

“Tell me more about the language of flowers.” I began.

Sharron loved flowers so much. She spoke on the language of many flowers including the marigolds she always brought me. I felt like she lifted as she did so. But there was one flower in particular that she spoke of that made me think.

“This is all very interesting.”

Clapping my hands, I had an idea.

“Let’s go to the flower shop together!”

Sharron perked at this.

“Sure, that would help me feel better.”

We walked through town slowly. We took our time walking in silence with words in between. The sun beamed over our heads. Its warmth bathed us in good spirits.

“The sun is smiling for us so brightly, today.” Sharron smiled teary eyed. “Mother must love it up there.”

“Yeah…” I said as I smiled.

Shortly after we approached the flower shop.

“What are you looking for, Khari?”

“These.” I said as I pointed.

“The Hibiscus?”

“Yes, I want to plant some for you. And in time we could watch them grow together for our love.”

Sharron teared up.

“Our love!?”

“Yeah.” I motioned for her to help me pick the seeds.

“Wow. Then can I pick something, too?”

“Sure , what did you have in mind?”

“yellow tulips for our smiles, daisies for our me and you-“

“And Hibiscus for your delicate beauty.” I said as I kissed her cheek.

She stifled tears as she picked up the seeds.

“These may take a while.” She said. “But if it is with you a can wait forever.”

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In for the Rain: Short Stories, The Colorful Mask

The Colorful Mask

I watch as they cheer. The applause ringing throughout the room defended my ears. I smile at them as sincere as I can. I watch them blow kisses I don’t desire to blow back. A void in my heart makes me wish I could leave. Where did it go the love for this stage? Why have I fallen victim to this sea of lust? Give me my name instead of this blind fame.

She walked of the stage. Her manager headed er a bottle of water.

“Good job out there again today.”

She looked up as she took the bottle and put on a brave face.

“Yeah I rocked it!”

“You sure did. Now we have to make sure you are ready for what is next. You have two more gigs coming up.”

“Yeah…”

“Don’t worry if you keep up this level of performance you are sure to keep shining.”

“…”

“Kay?”

“Oh yeah. I understand. I’m just a bit tired.”

“Alright well how about we celebrate with barbeque, then.”

“Alright, thanks mom.”

As they drove her mom yakked on her phone about gigs. Every time she hung up, she dialed another number. It was vexing. “Talk to me” Kay thought. She sped through a light so distracted by the phone. Kay felt it would serve them right if the crashed.

Shortly after her mom hung up again.

“We’re here! Now let’s celebrate!”

“This place looks expensive…”

“Don’t worry your gig paid well.”

As the got to their seats people stopped them a lot and asked for pictures. Her mom eagerly let them take a few. She placed the most colorful smile on as she stood with them one by one.

“Sorry guys but can you take this outside?” A waiter said as he approached them.

“Sorry guys! This will have to do it!” She beamed.

After the commotion ended, she and her mom took their seats. She was waited on immediately by the same waiter. Her mom eagerly piled up her order. She asked many questions about all the expensive food. By the time she finished Kay who had zoned out noticed the waiter leaving.

“Wait my order-“

“Don’t worry, hun. I ordered for you too.”

Kay sighed.

“Ma’am is that okay?”

She put on a colorful smile.

“Yeah sure!”

The food arrived after some time. It smelled delicious. Her mom immediately began to divvy it out. She immediately noticed the portions were off.

I knew it… She thought. She not only got her favorites; she’s eating the most.

She formed up as much energy as she could and put on a face of fun.

“Well let’s dig in!”

They ate in silence. She felt the food was what she needed. It was long after the meal started her mom’s phone began to ring.  But to Kay’s surprise she didn’t pick it up. Her stomach lurched at this.

As her face fell, her mom looked up. She put on a smile before eating into a rib.

“Is everything okay here?” The waiter said as he returned.

“Yes. However, I would like a to go plate.”

Kay’s heart panged.

Her mom asked for a check as well. Kay didn’t like that she had to tip with her on cash as well as the cash her mom was using. Every bit of those funds were hers and she knew it. Her mom always talked responsibility but never let her practice beyond her selfish reasons. When does a 16-year-old get her freedom?

They drove down the road to shortly after leaving. It didn’t look like they were going home.

“Where are we going?” Kay asked.

“To talk to about another gig.”

“Wait another!?”

“That’s not a problem.”

“You’re right it’s not.” She said as she forced a smile.

It took hours for the meeting to end but as she left her mom signed a deal for some gigs at parties. She couldn’t stand it.

The next few days were hectic. She wanted to rest so bad, but her mom made her prepare so much, it was hell.

The day of the next gig hit so fast she thought she would die.

As she waited backstage she nearly cried at her exhaustion. At least her mom could try to understand. She was jolted from her thoughts as she heard her introduction. She ran on to stage but as she did a photographer flashed a light directly into her eyes. She got so disoriented by this and before she knew it she had stumbled over a chord on stage. She landed with such a thud as the mic hit her on the head. A screech filled the room so viscously as the mic blared.

Her mom rushed on stage as Kay clenched her leg.

“What on earth!?” Mom said angrily.

“My leg!” She cried.

She cringed in pain but what scared more than the pain in her leg was the crowd. Their stares crushed her. She fell back as she wanted to disappear. In her despair she listened as the crowd was told the show is over. The words echoed in her mind mercilessly. Her mask fell and she began to cry.

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In for the Rain: Short Stories, The Stray

It always sat in one spot. A cat with white fur and brown spots. When I meet its eyes, it would stare so curiously. I always wondered what it saw when it looked at me. I often tried to sit in a spot far away from it. However, one day I sat at a bench close to it and It meowed at me. I looked around.

“Are you talking to me?”

It perked at my voice. As it did it stood and began to approach me.

It jumped in my lap so suddenly. A soft purr escaped its mouth as it rubbed against me. It was such a sweet cat. I couldn’t help but tear up.

Many thoughts came to mind.  Is it lost? Does it have a home? It seemed so fond of me already. I wonder if it watches me on purpose.

Hesitantly, I began to stoke it. It had such a sweet meow.

“Oh, is that your cat?”

I looked up to see a woman standing in front of me. She was eyeing the cat with a cooing look.

“No, It’s a stray.”

“A stray?” She looked at the cat with an expression of sympathy. “You poor thing. You must be lonely.”

I never thought of it that way. Yet at the same time it seemed to be free. It seemed to be looking for its own. As far as that curious stare goes it was still strong.

“Do you have any ideas of what to do with it” she asked as she looked at me.

“I don’t.”

I looked down to see it eying me. It looked at me with such honest eyes.

“I kinda want to keep it. It has been here for a while. So, I assume it has no home.”

“That would be lovely. After all it seems to like you a lot.”

The cat meowed as I pat its head again.

“Hmm, Well then!” She said as she clapped her hands together. “Let’ starts making you a new parent.”

A smile formed on my face  faster than I could imagine.

“Well, Kitty. Do you want a home?”

It purred as I pat it.

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

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In for the Rain: Short Stories, The Distant Reaper

She stared blankly at the one who laid in front of her. A deep crimson leaked from their head. She watched as a man ran from the site.

“It’s not fair…” She said.

“It’s not fair!”  She cried.

She watched the for on the ground limp as the crimson wouldn’t stop. She floated around waiting for any signs of movement.

“I want to go back in.” She floated close to the one who lay still.

“I want to go back to my body.”

No answer from her form. She mourned out loud. A fear of her passing sunk in. A deep pain burned all over. She looked around frantic cursing the life of the man she last saw.

“Where is he!?”

She floated far into a direction she didn’t know what to do. She glanced many time over looking for any clue.

She stopped at a park and froze in silence.

“Him!”

He sat on a bench panting. His face was pale as he counted what he found in a purse. She couldn’t stand it. A fury ranged over her.

“You have to pay…” She raged.

“You have to die!” she yelled before a man suddenly ran up to him.

“Where did you get that?” A policeman said.

The man immediately started to lie. All at once she raged and lunged at him. He immediately felt a chill that rose suspicion to the man in front of him.

“Do you know what happened just down the block?”

All at once the man dropped the purse and ran in fright. His fear piercing.

“Stop him now! We got him”

He was chased by many policemen now.

He ran as fast as he could as the woman shouted many things in his head.

“Liar! Tell them you killed me!”

“Quit running! Die!”

He didn’t know where he was going all he could hear was her voice.

He ran so far before he fell with a thud. He looked back and saw her laying there.

“Look at her as they take you.” She said.

“They always return to the scene of the crime.” An officer said as the grabbed him.

She watched as place had been taped off. So many where there leaving the place mourning.

She closed her eyes as she watched them drive him off.

“What peace do I have? I still can’t get in?”

“Fear not and come with me then.”

She turned to see a man with his hand outreached. She teared up but in faith she grabbed it.

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A Book for Me and A Ring for You: Chapter Three

Chapter Three: For the Sake of My Smile

As I wake from my dreams a remember yesterday. The steak I had put a cap on my most wonderful day. Evie is so great, I love when she reads my stories.

I got up to fix breakfast. Something a bit heavier today would suit. In my mind I find myself saying open I love her. I make my eggs with a tune in my head. I hum it steadily as I make my sausage patties too. The house filled with an aroma I haven’t smelled in a while. My coffee is a special blend Evie talked about.

Finishing up, I decide to sit awhile. My mind began to swim with wonderful thoughts. A sudden urge to write one down became a sudden urge for story. I pick up a pad and pen and begin to write story. I go to the depths of an ocean. I find a wrecked ship. The sharks give me danger. The mermaids chase them away. Then I go to space and drift for what seem for eternity. I see a secret meeting. A new planet is found.

So many words are written. Many are my best ideas yet. Before a I knew what was happening my story count was six.

My phone rang jolting me from my thoughts. I look to see Kevin and pick it up a bit disappointed.

“Dawn? Hello. I want to give you some news. We are pushing into an evaluation. If we get good word your book is going through. We might be able to publish soon.”

I leaped in joy.

Really? That’s amazing. Is there any more for me to do?

“No, it’s all on our end. Have a great day and kick your feet up.”

The news rang in my head a thousand time over and over. Excitement filled me so much I wanted to dance. Calling Evie was next on my mind.

As I reached for my phone my heart began to flutter as I realized this would be my first time calling. Even so I dial her number jitters and all.

It didn’t ring long before she answered. The news made her scream for joy.

“You so close! Let’s go take Kevin up on his offer and have lunch together.”

An explosion of thoughts raced throughout my head as I managed to get out yes.

We sat and chat excitedly. She steered the conversation around for many detail. However many seemed to be about me as a person than a writer. I wanted to talk with her for an eternity. I wanted to watch her as she ate. It was something new. I felt on high as a I sat with her.

“But you said you wrote more short stories?”

I did.

“By the way what will you do with them? Besides let me read them.”

I haven’t thought about it as more than practice.

“Hmm…”

I watched her warily but her face returned. She brought more questions but the moment returned.

“Hey. Let’s stay for one more refill.” She said with a wink.

My heart jumped high into my throat. It sounded nice.

Sure.

A laid back in my bathtub reliving the lunch meeting. Evie is so wonderful. I love talking to her.

As I exit the tub I hummed to myself. It was such a dream. My mind soared high into the sky.

Before I knew it, the afternoon was almost over. My phone rang again. Kevin’s name showed up making my head light.

“Dawn? I will just be honest. You book was a no go.”

What!?

I couldn’t believe it. My heart panged as if it was struck by a dagger.

What do you mean!? I worked so hard… With you.

“I know we evaluated time and overall quality and it just wasn’t there.”

Tears made my voice hoarse. I could tell he could hear.

“Sorry Dawn, It just wasn’t time yet. Take care.”

I wanted to throw my phone. It was such a dagger. My tears hollowed my chest. I immediately dialed Evie.

She was stunned to her my voice. I could tell she was worried.

“Try to call down.” She wept,” You have to keep yourself together. I’m here. Just come to the park.”

No, not now.

It felt awful hanging up after she cried too. I didn’t mean to lift her so high. I didn’t mean for my pain to hurt her. Tears shouldn’t have left her eyes. I am pathetic. I lost my time.

My phone rang again. I didn’t look at it this time I went to my room and laid down and continued to weep until I shut my eyes.