Chicky, drama, Heavenly, love

Darling

darling

The redolence of centuries old inks and dust rose to my face as I opened the aged, leather-covered grimoire that had been handed down by my ancestors for eternities. I took in the essence of all the women before me, as I turned the thick hand-made pages until I reached the first blank page. Flattening the book open with the pressure of my hands, I took in a deep breath and focused on Mother before inking the quill. The golden glow of the bricked firepit along with the candle nearby gave off enough light to begin my message.

   Mother,
                           I miss you. Today, of all days, I wish you were here.
                          It did not work. And so, today, I will be setting him free.

I placed my hand over the written message, cleared my mind, blocked the echo of the dripping water behind me, and allowed the written thoughts to go to Mother, wherever her spirit may have been at the moment. I hoped, sitting with me.

The scent of roses drifted up from the book. The message was received.

I softly closed the book, said thank you, and stood to tuck it into the cellar wall amongst the rest of the tools I use to practice my craft, hidden from view for reasons of forbidden witchery. I ran my finger down the empty bottle that just yesterday housed my newest possession, one very expensive cinnamon stick. My head lowered to mimic my heart, for I used it to create a potion yesterday to make myself beautiful for he who did not show.

Accepting my fate to never find love, I begrudgingly made my way up the cellar stairs and into my bedroom. I pulled the box from under my bed, sat on the floor and opened it for the first time in twenty-nine years. Inside it was a folded sheet of parchment paper that instantly brought me back to this very room where I sat with my mother on a smaller, child-sized bed…to write my very first ever spell.

Mother sat next to me holding the candle above the paper that sat upon my lap.

“What do you want your husband to be, dear?” she asked six-year-old me with an excited smile.

The embarrassment came up and out of me with an uncontrollable giggle.

“Handsome,” I said, which came out more like a growling troll saying “Hnsm”.

“Write it down, Dear.”

As I sat with my memory, next to my bed, I opened the paper to reveal the five words needed to complete the spell. All in red crayon:

HANSUM
TALL
MAJICAL
KIND
DARLING

It was the last one that tugged at my chest.

“Darling?” Mother asked with a sly smile. “You want someone to call you Darling?”

“Yeees,” I said looking at the paper so I wouldn’t have to look at her.

“Why would you want that?”

“You know!”

“Because your father calls you Darling?”

“Ye-heh-es,” I said, the word separated by uncomfortable giggles.

“Well, then, Margery, write that in there!” Her arm around my shoulders gripped tighter for a moment. “Now,” she said, “repeat after me.” She paused until I looked at her. “And, so it is done.”

“And, so it is done.”

“Fold it up, put it in this box that has been handed down from my mother and her mother and so on. You will meet your husband on your thirty-fifth birthday.”

The name Darling always brings the memory of my father forward in my heart.

*****

I stood, looking over the bridge to the calm water below. It was my duty to release this man to whomever he had chosen over me. Life had intervened and given him to someone else, and in order for them to be happy, I had to release the spell to the river. This act would break the energy chord that had quietly connected us for twenty-nine years. My heart hurt as I released the paper and turned to walk away.

Despite the reason I was there, Heritage Park was quite beautiful that day. As I walked the trail, the breeze gently cleared the saddened energy I had carried with me since midnight, sixteen hours ago. Birds sang their own love songs. A song that I had accepted would not be mine. I looked up at the full trees as their leaves danced back and forth. The wind picked up with a large gust going one way and then another and then yet another, causing something to float past my face and to the ground. I lowered myself, adjusting my long skirt, to pick it up. It was a folded sheet of parchment paper. I began to open it and saw five childish words in red crayon, but they weren’t mine. Then a set of black boots and tanned breeches stood before me.

“I apologize, Darling, but the wind seems to have taken my note and passed it to you.”

My heart skipped. Could it be? I thought to myself. I slowly lifted my face to look to his. The arch in my neck confirmed that he was certainly tall.

“My goodness. You are quite lovely, aren’t you?” He said as he offered his hand. Once I stood, the most handsome man I had ever seen handed me a note. “I believe I got your note as well.”

“Thank you,” I said, feeling the heat fill my cheeks.

“Cheeks like roses and eyes as blue as the ocean,” he said, gently touching my face.

I shied my head down. Realizing I still held his note, I offered it to him.

“Please, read it,” he insisted.

I looked at the words written by a child that read:

BEUTIFULL
BLU
NICE
ROZE
LUVLEE

“It would seem, Darling, that our love spells have crossed paths,” he said with a smile. “Is today your birthday, Lovely?”

“It was yesterday,” I said as I swam in his deep brown eyes.

“Happy belated birthday, Darling. My birthday is today,” he said with a smile as he took my hand and we continued our walk together for the rest of our years.

….end…

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drama, love, Uncategorized

About Time – flash fiction-drama

Jerry was the quiet neighbor. The one who never had a television blaring, music playing, or kids yelling. He was that neighbor. The good neighbor. At least that was the case until one week ago at 2:00 am. Yes, 2:00 am…on a work night.

I met Jerry six years ago. It was noon and the summer sun had clearly turned its hot focus directly on me as I was moving items into my new home. I’m pretty sure he took pity on all one hundred pounds of me as I tried for ten minutes to push my sofa through the front door all by myself.

“You need some help, Beautiful?” he asked as he walked up the pathway that divided my yard of weeds into two.

“The name is Katie,” I said being sure to make eye contact. “Katie.” I walked into the house and grabbed the end of the sofa that refused to enter its new home. “Sure, I could use some help.”

As he walked closer to the couch, I could smell my Grandpa. It was a scent I sadly hadn’t smelled in years. Freshly burned, sweet pipe tobacco. “I’m Jerry,” he said. “I live right there.” He pointed to the green-vinyl home to the left of mine.

It took an hour to finish. My clothes were sticking to me and Jerry’s tank was no longer dry.

“I wish I could thank you with something cold to drink, but I don’t have anything other than tap water.” I looked toward the kitchen. “Or glasses.”

“Don’t worry, Beautiful,” he said. “I have lemonade. Why don’t you come over for a drink.”

“Katie,” I said a little more firmly as I followed him to his house.

I felt like I was walking into a home in one of those outdoor historical museums set in the early 1900’s, except this home, thankfully, had air conditioning. The wood floor had a large oriental rug covering most of it, the far wall contained multiple wooden book shelves that were stuffed full with antique books, the curtains were off-white with mini red flowers all over them, and the sofas were dressed in red velvet. Most interesting, though was the record player to my right that was built into a wooden display case. “It’s beautiful,” I said. “Does it still work?”

Jerry ignored my question and made his way into the kitchen. “Come have a seat,” he called from the kitchen.

I sat at a tiny wood table that was covered in a thick table cloth lined with plastic. He placed a glass of iced lemonade in front of me. The ice clinked while he used the table as leverage to lower himself to the chair.

“I haven’t played it for ten years,” he said, looking at me through his glasses. “Not since Barbara passed away.”

I looked back into the living room at the record player and was surprised at all of the pictures that I missed. They covered the wall above and on both sides of the player. I excused myself to take a closer look at them. There were black and white photos from their younger years which transitioned to brown tinted photos and then to color photos over the years. They looked like a very happy couple. They were beautiful.

Jerry joined me in front of the pictures. “That’s my beautiful Barbara. When she was here, we would play that record player every night and dance at least one song together. Every single night. You see that mirror up there with the pictures?”

I did. It blended in with them. Same shape and frame, just a little larger. It was directly in front of me.

“Barbara liked to watch us dance in that mirror. She would comment that out of all the couples dancing, those two right there were the best.” He chuckled. “She made me smile every day.”

Barbara passed away at seventy-two in her sleep. It was peaceful. They never had children. Jerry said they tried for years, but it just wasn’t meant to be. He still had some nieces and nephews that came around on occasion, but he would have loved to have had his own children, especially since they would have been pieces of his Barbara still with him after she left. He explained that the saying that time flies when you get older is only true until the love of your life dies. Then time goes slower than it did when you were a child impatiently waiting to become an adult. Every morning was a reminder to him that he would have to wait at least one more day to be with her.

Over the years, Jerry continued to call me “beautiful” rather than Katie. I came to learn that every time he was able to call someone “beautiful”, it was his way of remembering Barbara, and if I could be any comfort to the old man, I decided it wouldn’t hurt.

***

A week ago, Sunday, I was awoken. Before I fully pulled myself from whatever dream I may have been having it was already quiet again. Some faint noise, somewhere in the night. I drifted back to my slumber.

The next night, it happened again. That time I woke up soon enough to hear the clarinets and saxophones playing to the blackness outside. Swing. It was a swing-styled song. And then, it was over.

By Friday night, it became a ritual. 2:00am, Glenn Miller – Moonlight Serenade, and then it was over. The odd thing was that it seemed to be coming from Jerry’s house. Quiet, Jerry’s house.

By Saturday I had had enough. 2:00 am hit, the song began, and within the thirty seconds it took for me to painfully assault my eyes with my 100 watt lamp, blindly put my slippers on, and angrily whip on my robe, I was in my driveway playing sound detective. Jerry. I stomped over to his house and knocked. Loudly. The music continued. In fact, the song oddly started over a second time. I knocked again, with no answer. I tried the door knob, and it turned.

“Jerry?” I said over the music as I opened the door. There was no answer. When I stepped into the room my lungs momentarily stopped as I was greeted with what smelled like garbage that missed last month’s trash pick-up. I covered my nose and continued to breathe at a bare minimum. The room was dark aside from a glow traveling in from the oven light in the kitchen. “Jerry,” I said again. Then, I saw him. He was sitting on his red velvet sofa with is head tilted back, mouth open. The song stopped.

“Jerry!” I ran to him. He was cold and firm. The song started for a third time. It wasn’t as loud this time. It was quite pleasant, but I thought I should turn off the record player anyway. I walked over, but as I approached, the record wasn’t moving. In fact, the needle was at rest in its slot. Movement in the mirror above the record player caught my attention. There was a soft glow in the room’s reflection. And I saw Jerry dancing in the image with his beautiful Barbara. He looked happy. Much happier than I had ever seen him in the six years I had known him. I looked behind me half expecting both of them to be dancing behind me yelling “Got ya!”, but there was only Jerry, firmly attached to the sofa. The music faded and when I turned around, the only person I saw in the mirror was me.

***

The ambulance technicians said it looked as though Jerry had been dead for about a week.

It was a week ago when I had begun to hear the music. One song every night. Every single night.

It’s about time, Beautiful Barbara, I thought. He has been waiting sixteen long years for that dance.

AUDIO VERSION HERE
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Written by Sheryl Marasi (pen name)

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love, thriller

Thomas – flash fiction-drama

It’s dark in here. The smell is musty. Cellars usually are… dark and musty. The desk holds only one piece of paper, a bottle of ink, the quill pen I hold in my hand, and the melted remains of the many candles that barely lit the room before the one that flickers now. Pink, white, and yellow waxes are melded into some form of artwork that I never intended to create. I have been down here for two days now. My body is numb. I do not hunger or thirst, yet I know I should. I do not cry, though I did…for hours. I merely wait.

“Thomas.” I whisper out knowing a response will not be returned.

Three days ago, I saw him. Thomas. He was with Georgina. They were kissing in an alley behind Johnny’s Liquor Store. Never mind that three years ago, he and I kissed beautifully at the chapel on Fifth Street as we both said “I do”.

I didn’t know what to do when I saw them, so I ran. I know they saw me. I heard him yell my name when I turned to run. “Helen!” he yelled. But only once, and there were no running footsteps that followed. Just my name, and only once.

So, I came here. To the cellar of the home we have lived in for three years. This is where I will continue to wait for Thomas to return to me. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Two days is nothing compared to the lifetime we promised each other. I will not eat nor drink until he returns to me. “Thomas.” A tear rolls down my chin as I pick up the quill pen and ink it.
*****
Cole and Haley both sit quietly in their family room while scrolling their latest social media aps on their phones.

“Did you hear that?” asks Cole.

Haley smiles, “Do you think?”

They both jump from the sofa, run to the kitchen and slowly push the creaking cellar door open. “I love old houses!” Haley attempts to hold in a giggle of excitement, but Cole hears the squeak and smiles.

“Built in the 1800s and full of character…aka a death.”

“Helen Martin,” states Haley.

As they reach the bottom of the stairs, a candle that they did not light is burning at an empty desk with a note made of wet ink that they did not write.  It reads:

My Dearest Thomas,
Forever, I will wait. Please come back to me soon.

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Written by Sheryl Marasi (pen name)

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AUDIO version

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