It’s late. I’m terribly sorry, but life is spanking us in a big way lately, so I’m a bit behind in most everything. Plus, I’m having terrible font issues with this blog, so please be patient with me. I’m having to work on each post for very long periods of time to get them to publish with legible fonts.
Elaine, it simply will not publish your piece with the correct breaks. Every single time I believe it’s right, it moves the breaks again. So, readers of the snark, you can see Elaine’s piece in its proper format here.
Here are the results of the SFAP from last month. For details on exactly what the SFAP is, click on the tab above. (Or here.) I was excited to see the entries and want to thank you guys so much for sharing your wonderful writing with us. 🙂
Sharon from Organization in Progress wrote:
Diane loved it here in the Pacific Northwest. She lived down a dirt road outside of Anacortes, Washington. Even though it was wet or damp most of the time, she felt comfortable here – at home, safe. Even though it was so wet, that the glass in the windows of her rented cabin was almost always fogged over. She had moved to a small rural community about a year and a half ago with nothing but the clothes on her back. She had left her life in the heat of central Oklahoma one day without telling anyone that she was leaving or where she was going. She even left most of the money in her bank account, so as not to raise any suspicions. She had planned the move for months however, and had been putting aside a few dollars each week. Money she could account for by saying she had spent it on groceries. She left because her husband had become controlling and physically and mentally abusive and she saw no other way out. They had been so in love when they married ten years ago. He was a young up and coming lawyer at the time, from a wealthy family. They had met at college and although they ran in different circles, somehow their paths crossed and he swept her off her feet. She had had a very middle class upbringing and her parents couldn’t afford a fancy wedding. His parents would not hear of a simple wedding however, thought it would embarrass them, so they hired a wedding planner and gave Diane and John the most beautiful wedding that money could buy at the local country club.
As the years when on, John became less and less attentive and more controlling. He wanted her to look just right, talk about “approved” subjects and reflect well on his family whenever they went to family or company functions. He started belittling her the minute they got home from an evening out. It was especially bad if he had heard her express an opinion that he did not approve of. Then he started pulling her hair and hitting her. He only hit her where it wouldn’t show. When she told him she wanted a divorce, he put his arm around her neck and told her he would kill her before he ever let her leave him. That evening, she saw such hatred in his eyes, that she knew he was fully capable of killing her. It took her months of planning, and she had to dig down deep into her soul to summon the courage to leave without telling anyone, and without raising any suspicion. She told the housekeeper that she was going to Balliett’s, and drove away in her car with only the clothes on her back. Then she took a taxi to the bus station, and took buses until she got to western Washington state. She took an assumed name so that he wouldn’t find her.
She had been in Anacortes, Washington for over a year now and made a good life for herself. She was grateful that she and John had never had children once she found out the type of man he was, the man that was so cleverly hidden from everyone but her. She worked as a waitress at a local restaurant. Even though she had previously worked as a CPA, she purposefully chose a job that would not require anyone to check on her education. She loved it in Anacortes, a coastal town that was so different from her roots in Oklahoma. It was on Fidalgo Island, a location of the state ferry terminal where tourists and locals alike boarded the ferry to travel through the American San Juan Islands to Vancouver Island. She had immersed herself in a culture that was so different from anything she had ever known, and she was just now getting comfortable, knowing that she was so far away from her previous life and that John would never think to look for her here. She rented a nice little cabin and could walk to work at the restaurant. She was home and she was finally happy. It was dusk and she was getting ready to go to bed early. She hadn’t worked that day. And then, she saw the shadowy figure outside the fogged up window with his hand raised and she knew he had found her. Her heart stood still, she felt nauseous and she felt a sinking feeling deep in her gut. How had he found her?
Elaine from Mississhippi Madness writes:
Face at the Door His T-shirt read ‘Trust Me.’ The words grabbed my attention as soon as I opened the door. Bright red letters stretched across a broad, firm chest. I clenched my fingers around the doorknob to prevent them reaching out to touch, and then I looked at his face.
It was an ordinary face – you know, eyes, nose, mouth and the rest – but it was different, like I couldn’t focus on his features properly. My eyes looked into his and then slipped away as if unable to hold their position like a new skier on a steep slope.
I mumbled “Hello?” as I repeatedly blinked to clear the disturbance to my vision.“I would like to speak to the owner.”
“That would be me.” I grimaced and blinked again. Surely he noticed my discomfort.
“I need to retrieve something from your backyard.” His voice was warm, soft, easy on the ears. He had no accent; I couldn’t place him at all and I usually can. “Sure. Is it a ball or something?”
He paused. “Or something.”
“Oh. Okay. There is a gate around the side you can go through.” “Thank you.”He turned and began to walk down the steps. His taut rear-end captured my attention. My eyes stayed put this time.“Wait. I’ll show you.” I ran swiftly down the steps, brushing against him in my haste to prolong the meeting. Warm. Solid.“Thank you.”Polite. My list of his assets was growing. I wonder if he knew he was being catalogued?“Are you a local? I haven’t seen you around here before. Are you working at one of my neighbours’? Are you a relative?” I felt the heat of a blush rush up my throat. I pressed my lips together to stop my runaway curiosity. Or should I say mouth?“No, no, no.”“Huh?” I stopped and turned to face him.
“I answered your questions.” He smiled. I smiled back. Couldn’t help myself. He had the smile. You know, the smile that floors you, stops you dead in your tracks and turns you into a wilting flower. The smile.
I stood motionless as he walked past me, through the gate, into my backyard. And continued to impersonate a statue as he strode back out again a short while later. At least I think it was a short while: time has no meaning for a woman entranced.
He was carrying something. He stopped as he reached me and smiled again.
And he walked away.
Jennifer found me two hours later. Still standing there mooning after him. She had to slap me across the face to get my attention. Good thing she’s my best friend.
Later, sipping my coffee, I looked out at the hole in the middle of my lawn. What had been in it? Where had it come from? Did he have my phone number?
Next SFAP writing is due on October 25th and I’m giving you something that is kind of Halloweenish and uh, kind of strange. LOL! Click on it to bring it up large.. if you dare…