Poll

Please Vote For The One You Like Best.

Up and Down on a Country Road
8 (53.3%)
Two Different People
4 (26.7%)
Ellie
0 (0%)
L'amore davanti a un caffč
3 (20%)
Victoria
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Voting closed: February 18, 2012, 03:50:52 PM

Author Topic: Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting Results  (Read 1184 times)

Offline Kowboy

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Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting Results
« on: February 08, 2012, 02:59:18 PM »
  Well here they are, but I have no clue how to make the voting thingie. Hopefully a mod can fix that for us soon. Thanks everyone!:

Up and Down on a Country Road

Barclay Simmons clutched his Bible and prayed the impure thoughts he had about Rebecca Carson might blow away. Blood ran to every extremity and he wished he had time for a cold shower. He had to rush if he wanted to get a seat near the young widow and so, for now he took a deep breath and covered his discomfort with the holy book and his derby strategically positioned in front of his lap. The picnic planned, with a charabanc trip to the seaside, might provide opportunity to ease his desire if he got a chance to get her alone. He thanked St Matthew for giving his name to the village church and the chance to celebrate his feast day.

The vicar’s words held little fascination for Barclay Simmons as he snuck another glance at the angel standing in the pew across the aisle. With every seat filled, the temperature inside the small building climbed high. A wasp buzzed through the congregation, disturbing the sermon. Several of the young women fidgeted with their bonnets. Hands rose up all round, fluttering and swatting. In the heat, as a lazy September sun irritated churchgoers and insects alike, Barclay tugged at his starched collar. His face, still florid, broke into a smile when he noticed Rebecca Carson. Her dress clung to her curves. The thin fabric, sweat-moistened and almost transparent, strained over her bosom as she lifted her arm. Oh, to be held in her soft embrace, clasped close enough to hear her beating heart and feel the softness of her magnificent, womanly promise. She brushed her hands along her sides to smooth the muslin back down. Barclay removed his glasses. He wiped the steam off the lenses with a monogrammed handkerchief and blotted the perspiration on his upper lip.

“ . . . When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?’” The vicar paused and scanned the attentive gathering, lingering his gaze over the front pew. “When we assemble for our picnic, we will all break bread together and . . .”

Barclay’s mind diverted his own thoughts to what he might do at the picnic. He would offer Rebecca his fortune if she would be his wife. His heart swelled. The feelings she stirred within him had never been fulfilled by an unpaid encounter, but he knew what to do, and with Rebecca Carson it would be a visit to paradise. He entertained a fantasy where soft, springy grass moulded underneath their bodies as they stretched out and watched the ocean rise and fall, each undulation matching their exhausted breaths. They would lie together beside the fields, ploughed and furrowed waiting to take seed for the next crop. The ploughshare, under his direction, was a formidable tool. A caress of her milky thighs under his calloused hands would draw a gasp. She would pull him close and beg he take her. Her bright eyes would glint with hunger. Desire glistened on her skin and sat on her plump, pink lips when she pouted knowingly at him. A widow for a year now, she must have urges only he could satisfy. He had heard her talk of wanting children. She had lain in a marital bed and would be no stranger to rapture.

While waves crashed and roared with rhythmic passion, unable to resist the cries of their senses, they would communicate with hot whispers and thrilling touches. Her hemline, lifted to allow him a view of her most intimate parts, would further his desire to reach beyond the lace trim of her bodice and explore the ridge and mound of her femininity.

Barclay snapped from his reverie when the collection plate nudged his elbow. He fumbled in his pocket self-consciously past the tell-tale heat at his crotch and grabbed a handful of coins. Too flustered to check if they were silver or copper, he dropped them in the plate and passed it along. The clang of the coins drew looks from those nearby, including the fine young widow. She smiled at him and his ears burned. Her smile grew larger, as did part of him most inappropriately.

By the time the service had ended, Barclay’s dream needed realisation. He tucked the Bible under his arm, popped his hat on and plunged his hands deep into his pockets as he strolled past the vicar.

The charabanc filled quickly. Giggling girls squeezed past their beaus and courted attention as they lifted their skirts above their knees when they stepped up. Coy smiles and flirtatious glances flitted between ardent youngsters. Barclay took an aisle seat and sat beside Rebecca. When another parishioner searched for a seat, and found none, Barclay offered his and stood up. Rebecca took his hand and insisted they could all sit down if he didn’t mind her sitting on his knee. A spontaneous outburst of the Halleluiah chorus trilled through his mind.

“It is a long journey,” she purred, “and you’re such a gentleman.”

Barclay cleared his throat and stared into her dangerous, green eyes. “Well, if madam insists, how could I refuse?”

Rebecca squeezed unnecessarily close to him when she stood up to swap the seating arrangement. Her perfume, musky and floral, left him dizzy. He sat down and patted his knee, inviting her to sit down. She placed her hand on the rail of the seat in front, perched on his knees then rose again, pushed out her round bottom and hovered above him, tantalisingly. She looked back over her shoulder to gauge the distance to his lap and after lowering her gaze, locked eyes with him in a smouldering look. Fussing at her skirt, she swept it under her thighs and brushed her hands against his leg and let them rest there a moment. Barclay gasped. As she sank down and moulded her rump to the part of his body he could no longer disguise, he closed his eyes.

She wriggled and sighed and as the journey continued over the bumpy roads, Barclay clasped her close – so she might not fall, of course – as each bounce made her squeal and squirm with delight.



*****    

Two Different People

Two hundred and forty soldiers got off the plane today and after the disembarking-ceremony, friends and relatives greeted, kissed and welcomed home two hundred and thirty eight. I was one of the two left standing there with my thumb – well, alone. Admittedly, I was envious of those who had someone waiting, someone, in whom their presence, legitimized the hardships and sacrifices we made. Or someone who could make it all go away.

About thirty feet away, Lieutenant Rebecca Waters stood there looking as though she was as uncomfortable and out of place as I felt. I had been in the CO’s office the day she opened her divorce papers from that ass on Wall Street so I didn’t wonder when she stopped wearing her wedding ring. After that, Lieutenant Waters pretty much kept to herself. Hell, even before that she wasn’t one to socialize with anyone. Don’t get me wrong, she knew her shit and nobody stepped out of line around her. She was all business, twenty-four-seven. I should know I lost two stripes because of her. That’s not really a fair statement. I lost those stripes on my own, she was just the one forced to file the reports.

Some civilians might wonder why I hadn’t approached her before and believe me it wasn’t because I hadn’t thought about it. But in the military, there’s an age-old class-divide. Uncle Sam frowns on officers and noncoms fraternizing. If they’re in the same unit, the brass gets downright nasty about that sort of thing. But there is an upside to having rules of conduct preached to you day and night for seven years, and there in was the key and clause to what I was about to do.

“Lt. Waters?”

“Yes Sergeant.”

“Ma’am, I was wondering if you would do me the honor of having dinner with me this evening.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said-”

“I heard you. I’m wondering if you realize how inappropriate this is.”

“Well Ma’am, at first glance, one could interpret this as inappropriate. However, if you’ll permit me, to explain.”

“By all means sergeant, I’d like to hear what you have to say.”

“Ma’am, you and I just spent the last year in the sandbox together. I happen to know you got your orders a week ago, so technically, the moment the ceremony concluded, you are no longer in my chain of command.” The crowd was filing for the exits so I lowered my voice a little. “So unless you took offence, no real regulation has been breached.”

She looked around and I wasn’t sure, if she wanted a witness before she locked my heels, or if she was looking for someone with a gun, or if she was looking for the nearest exit. “Why me?”

“I just thought our first day back and neither of us-”

“No. If that’s your reason, the answer is no. Good-day to you, sergeant.” The look on her face was that of insult, embarrassment and hurt all rolled into one. She wasn’t wasting time getting away.

“Lieutenant, wait.” She slowed for a moment so there might still be a chance to apologies but she wasn’t making it easy. She still had about five more steps before she hit the door and I knew if she did it was over, so I pressed my luck. “Lieutenant Rebecca Waters, stand your ground this instant.” That got her attention. It probably won me an insubordination charge depending on how mad she was. She spun around. Now the look in her eye told me I’d just made private so I went for broke.

“Rebecca Waters, you are . . . the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. I don’t know anything about you other than you’re smart, a good officer, divorced, which means he’s stupid or crazy, and you have the prettiest, deepest, kindest, brownest eyes I have ever seen. If we were ordinary people I’d have been able to tell you seven months ago and every time I see you, every time you walk into the room, I get knotted up inside.

“The one thing I’ve wanted more than anything in this world is to simply have dinner with you, listen to you talk, maybe share some wine or take a walk as ordinary people. And since I’ve already burned what’s left of my stripes, knowing you’ll always remember me as that cloddish, insulting bore, I’ve also fantasied about holding hands and kissing you.”

“Sergeant Dean.”

“Yes Ma’am.”

“Don’t-no. We’re beyond that now. Give me your phone.”

For a minute I thought she was going to call the MP’s

“Edward, do you go to the beach?”

“Are you going to be there?”

“Call me at this number in two hours and I’ll tell you where to come pick me up.” She handed my phone back. “What are you smiling about?”

“Becky Waters at the beach with me, has a ring to it wouldn’t you say? Should I bring coco-butter and maybe one of those not so large towels for us?”

“Yes, and Ed, don’t be late.”

******



« Last Edit: February 19, 2012, 10:08:06 AM by Skip Slocum »

Offline Kowboy

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Re: Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 02:59:45 PM »
Ellie

A story set in the mid-1895 period, late Victorian Period, the year of the bank panic.
* * * *

Ellie Branford stared out the kitchen window past the line of trees that bordered the small back yard of her house on the out skirts of Randall, Indiana. Just beyond the tree line and the road that ran past her house were the railroad tracks of the Nickel Plate Railroad: the New York, Chicago, Saint Louis Railroad.

There it was again, that familiar wet sound of the engine’s steam whistle as the train gained the grade from Kilmer Valley to Randall. It was the 3 o’clock freight, the Brownsville Junction Turn. She glanced back at the clock on the shelf near the stove.

“Running behind again; wonder what happened this time?”

The train began to pick up speed as it passed her house. That was one item in Ellie’s well-ordered life that she could count on: The 3 o’clock freight from Fort Wayne to Brownsville. Sighing she returned her attention to the small meal she would be preparing for herself again that evening.

Drawing water from the wet sink she was interrupted by a knock on the back door. For the moment she thought it was a neighbor boy until she looked out at an ill-kempt man in a dirty dark suit, beard that was past the need of shaving, hair dirty and stringy, old worn carpet bag set beside the stoop. He held his rumpled cloth hat in his hands as he met her startled gaze; the moment of recognition:

“Oh! Dan!”

In that moment visions of a past were reflected in her inner mind that she thought she’d hidden away.

“Hello, Ellie.”

Ellie stared at Dan Silver through the screen door before she dared open it letting him inside.

Dan stepped inside the kitchen. “I suppose I am a sight after all these years?”

“Yes, but what brings you back?” Ellie had to think for a moment as she backed away from him. Four years ago he walked out on her. She did not think she’d ever see again. “I thought you were gone.”

Dan Silver had just ridden the freight in to Randall from Fort Wayne jumping from the open door boxcar before it reached the small freight yard and possibly the sheriff’s deputy waiting to run him and any of his fellow hobos out of town. He looked at the comely beauty in front of him; his quick gaze took in her slight stature, her fair complexion, light brown eyes and long silken brown hair. He liked what he saw.

Clearing his throat of the dust and hot humid air of the late day he looked around then Ellie offered him a chair. She took the chair on the other side of the table.

Dan looked down holding his rumpled hat in his hand. Drawing in a deep breath, he said: “Make amends, Ellie. I suppose it’s too late for that but … well, I am sorry, sorry for what I did, walking out on you the way I did.”

Ellie finally looked away from the haggard features of Dan Silver sitting in front of her. She looked past him to the back yard. Ellie wanted to tell him she was sorry too but held back on the words. Did he really mean it and deserve forgiveness?

Dan pressed on: “We’re too much alike, Ellie. But – but, I love you even now, Ellie.”

Ellie looked at the man seated across from her. He in turn looked at her with an expectant gaze.

“Are we, Dan? Are we so much alike that we cannot be apart?”

Dan looked at himself a moment. He wished he did not look as he did; a hobo. He was once proud and dignified, but four years living in hobo villages and riding the rails had changed him.

“Yes and no.” He lifted his eyes to meet hers. “Can we ever be apart again – and find happiness?”

Ellie lowered her eyes to her hands. She shook her head. “No.”
Dan dropped to his knees in front of her. “The love of my life. Ellie, I – I, I am yours and your mine. I love you, Ellie.”

Ellie looked down on a once proud man who had humbled himself before her. Her mind was saying “no”, her heart was saying “yes”; she felt confused as she stared in to those baleful eyes staring up at her.

Suddenly she dropped to her knees in front of him throwing her arms about his neck. “Yes!”

******
L'amore davanti a un caffč (Love with Coffee)

Natalie was lonely. It had been almost a year since she had broken with her long-term previous partner after finding him cheating on her. Since then, she had been on a number of first dates, but none had gone anywhere. Some had been arranged by well-meaning friends, some from people she knew at work or the gym. All of the men had been nice, but none were special enough to warrant a second date. Maybe it had all been too soon, she thought. Still, there’s always next time.

The sharp smell of espresso coffee filled her nostrils and snapped her out of her reverie. Every Saturday and Sunday morning she wandered down to ‘Luigi’s Coffee’, bought a double espresso and a skinny muffin, sat and read the paper or just watched the world go by. It was an easy way to spend an hour or two. Unlike most coffee shops, this one wasn’t a chain and was actually owned by Luigi, a slim, good-looking Italian. He was always very polite and chatted to her, but lately he had seemed to be more intense. Or maybe she was showing different outward signs now that she was ready to be involved again.

“Buongiorno,” he said. “What can I geta the beautiful lady? The usual?”

“Hmmm, please, Luigi. Busy as always, I see.”

“Si, alwaysa busy. But thatsa good. So what did you do lasta weekend? Parties, I athink?”

“No, not this time. I did get invited to one, but had no one to go with.”

“Cio che! You’a bella signorna sexy… I mean you are a beautiful lady all alone on a Saturday night? Mama mia! These English men are idioti. It is my a sister’s birthday today and there is a bigga party tonight. You come with me as my special guest? You will be my ospite belle, my ‘beautiful guest’? Si?”

What the heck, she thought. “OK, Luigi, I will. Pick me up at seven.” She said, whilst covering her mouth with her hand to stifle her giggles as she walked away, thinking, Umm, sexy eyes. Not bad!

Promptly at seven her doorbell chimed. There, waiting for her, was Luigi. He always looked good, even when working, but tonight he looked fantastic. He wore cream cotton chinos, a pale yellow shirt, and tan loafers with no socks. His jet black hair glistened with a thin layer of gel and his white teeth contrasted sharply with his tan. Looking into his eyes she felt herself melt. In his hand he held one white rose.

“Per la bella signora. For the beautiful lady,” he said. “You looka mozzafiato. Uh, you looka stunning, Natalie.”

“Well, it is your sister’s birthday party,” she replied, inwardly thanking herself that she had chosen the black one-piece with her pearls.

The party was a great success. Family and friends made her welcome and the typical Italian food was excellent. Luigi was the perfect host, keeping her glass topped up and being always attentive. Even Luigi’s mother commented on how pleased she was that he had found a friend at last having spent so many months in getting the coffee shop up and running.

“Natalie,” she said, “He always a talking about you. How you a come every weekend and how a pretty you are. He’sa been a wanting to aska you out for a longa time, but wassa too shy.”


Walking her to her door later that night, he held her hand.

“Natalie. You were meraviglioso... Uh, wonderful tonight. May I a see you tomorrow?”

“Mmm, well you are persistent, so perhaps,” answered Natalie slowly, looking again into his dark eyes. Fighting the urge to invite him in, they kissed and embraced, with him also holding back his desire to push too much and ruin the evening. Her breathing was in short, sharp gasps. Her nipples taut. Her body tense and desiring. His arousal too was obvious, but no, not tonight.

As she gently closed the door, he said, “Fino a dimani – until tomorrow, il mio amore.”

As his footsteps receded she heard him whisper, “Ti amo.” She smiled and thought to herself, Hmm, me too. I wonder what our children will look like?

*****

Title: Victoria

Victoria was lost.

She closed her eyes to the landscape, and visions of him filled the darkness behind her eyes. His dark hair tied at the nape of his neck, his fierce green eyes boring into her as he covered her body with his. The heat of him coursed through her veins, igniting something primal in her.

Fear.

A feral need to satisfy him.

He stilled her mind, freeing her of pain and emptiness that threatened to consume her. The reprieve from her past could not offer her peace, for Victoria was cursed, and the cursed knew no peace.

Hearing movement to her left, she turned from the edge of the precipice towards the tree-line where a tall figure stood: him.

His hair was plastered to his sweat drenched face. His body shimmered in the sliver of light that streamed through the canopy of trees. His eyes locked on hers and Victoria felt her betrayal drowning him. He had trusted her and she ran from him.

Yet, there was something more, it brimmed to the surface of his thoughts. A translucent image reached for her like a tendril of black shadow, filling the space between them. She had been gone too long to remember the feel of his touch, to remember the connection they shared.

He made no effort to move. His breathing slowed, his hands clenched into fists. Victoria took a step back, closer to the edge of the precipice. Could the end be better than this, than him?

His dark eyes threatened to break her resolve.

He took a step closer. The shadows that played between them burst into specks of white light that danced around them.

“Don’t.” His deep voice laden with pain held her steady.

“What are you?” she asked.

He reached out his hand to her. “Come, I will give you a glimpse of what you seek.”

She hesitated. Her heart raced in her chest sending liquid heat through her veins. Could she allow herself a glimpse of him? Could she trust herself?

Before she could answer, he was already drawing her in his arms. The mere presence of him offered her hope.

“I have nothing to offer you.” The words burned in her throat, raw and real.

“I need you because I love you.” He leaned into her and brushed his lips against hers.

Those words were all that mattered to her, and she found them floating from her lips. “I love you, too.”

*****


   





Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting Booth
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 03:42:59 PM »
Kowboy, I set 10 days for voting. I hope that's okay with you.




« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 03:46:14 PM by Alice, a Country Gal »
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Offline Kowboy

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Re: Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting Booth
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012, 07:44:10 PM »
Kowboy, I set 10 days for voting. I hope that's okay with you.

Alice:

Fine by me and thanks.

Kowboy

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Re: Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting Booth
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 08:41:59 PM »
Alice:

Fine by me and thanks.

Kowboy

 :D

It was only a tiny problem. I had never tried to put the poll atop an existing post before. Was both surprised and pleased when it worked.

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Offline Kowboy

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Re: Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2012, 07:53:25 AM »
5io:

Congratulations! Your story won the most votes so take it away please. I'll let the others identify themselves if they so choose.

Thanks everyone,

Kowboy

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2012, 08:19:36 AM »
Whee haw Good for you Sio. Make it a good one.  ;D ;D ;D

I came in second place.
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Offline Laura H

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Re: Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2012, 08:28:50 AM »
Great job Sio & Skip!  Both great stories   :D
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Re: Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2012, 08:50:44 AM »
Congrats Sio.

Time to cool down those keys and place your challenge.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Flash Fiction Forty-One Voting
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2012, 09:11:51 AM »
 :D :D :D :D :D Thank you everyone for your votes and your congratulations -- I shall put up the new challenge now.
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