Poem # 4

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You throw open the window, letting the night shine in
I wait, skin soft and creamy in the moon glow
Your fingers trace my curves
I close my eyes and sigh
Lips replace fingers, moving…slowly…down…
Breath catches in my throat; exhale – your name
Your lips smile against my thigh
Teeth nip, quick, bringing blood to be suckled
Just a sip of my life before
Tongue tracing, teasing, torture of the most delicious kind
Fingers, lips, teeth join the attack
Again…again…and again…until…the flood…

Poem # 3

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You stand over me, eyes roaming my bare form, your blank canvas – tonight and every night
I ache to ask what you’re thinking, why your eyes are getting darker
My lips part, and quick, your hand is there, a silent command I heed without question
A small smile quirks your lips; I shiver, feel that unspoken “Good girl” caress my skin
You lean in, teeth bared, and I close my eyes, surrender to your darkness
Lips, hands, teeth, skin on skin, breath raspy, catching in our throats
After, you stand over me, eyes roaming, admiring the perfect pearls left behind, the art of love

Poem # 2

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I wake, stretch, one arm first
Lazy morning after good sex stretch
Soft sunlight filtered through curtains stretch
I shift, ooo, tender there, bruise there, mmmm
Footsteps in the hall, door swings open
Bed head, sleepy eyes, two warm cups, no shirt
I take one, you climb back in, we take a sip, and smile
Tea for you, coffee for me, and plenty of…creamy kisses for we

Blood Diamond

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            Natalia held her left hand out in front of her, admiring the way the light caught the center stone of the large ring on her middle finger. It glowed, deep red, sultry and somehow ominous. Clustered around it were countless black diamond chips, accentuating the contrast between the cold platinum band and the searing heat of the crimson jewel.

            When she arrived that night on the arm of her latest paramour, she made no attempt to avoid the stares or comments aimed at her. Her affairs were legendary in certain circles, and they were in the middle of one such circle – an exclusive, invitation only fundraiser for a local hospital, held at the former residence of one of the town’s founding families. One of the more brazen wives pulled her aside and stage whispered, “You’ve outdone yourself tonight, honey. Who is that delicious creature, and where did you ever find him?”

            She smiled archly, and looked down, allowing her eyelashes to shield the gleam in her eyes. “Oh, Catherine, you’re so bad!”

            Catherine laughed, a bit too loudly, and moved back to stand with the other wives, all muttering to each other about Natalia and her “plus one”.

            “Well, I’ve certainly never seen him at any of our functions before and…”

            “I can’t believe she brought a new one, when her husband is home, sick…”

            “I’m not surprised, after the last time, when poor James…”

            Natalia allowed their whispers to wash over her as she maneuvered through the room, making sure everyone in attendance saw her with her companion at least once before they sat down to await the multi-course dinner and inevitable boring speeches, full of pathetic attempts at humor and insipid personal stories of how the hospital had been there for them and their families in times of crisis (never mind the fact that said crises were typically of the pounds gained and wrinkles discovered variety).

            While they ate their way through seven courses of decadent food and drank their way through too many glasses of wine, she used her left hand more than usual so her ring would remain on full display. When the last board member stood and wobbled his way to the podium to give the final fundraising pitch, Natalia glanced around the table to make sure everyone saw her lift her freshly refilled wineglass and bring it to her lips before losing her grip, sending red wine cascading across the pristine white linen tablecloth and into the laps of every woman there.

            A tiny smile played across her lips as she stood, gasping, “Oh, ladies, I am so sorry. I can’t believe it. Oh, this is just awful. Here, here, come with me. We’ll go straight to the ladies’, I’m sure someone here can find us some club soda, we’ll work on those stains before they can set. I’ll pay for the dry cleaning, any damages, oh, I’m so sorry,” all the while herding them away from the table and deeper into the bowels of the mansion.

            Before exiting the ballroom, Natalia gathered an armful of bottled club soda and clean towels at the bar, holding them up so the women would know she was true to her word. Small public restrooms had been added to the foyer of the mansion when it was opened to the public as a museum, but when the group turned that direction, Natalia said, “Let’s go upstairs. There are bigger bathrooms up there, and we can all go in and work on cleaning up together. That way no one will have to wait and risk the stains getting any more set.”

            “Oh, yes, good idea, Natty, dear,” Catherine twittered, lifting her dress off the floor and making her way quickly up the grand staircase.

            The other wives followed, lemmings, all of them, content to follow whoever made the most noise at any given time. Natalia trailed along behind, anticipation coursing through her body, flushing her skin pink as she climbed. Even with her arms full, she could see light sparking off her ring every few steps, as though it, too, were eagerly awaiting what was to come at the top of the stairs.

            The last of the wives vanished through the doorway to the large bathroom, and Natalia followed, making sure to push the lock in the doorknob in all the way as she nudged it closed with her hip.

            “Don’t want our talking to disturb the speeches,” she explained when Catherine shot her a questioning look.

            Catherine nodded and began handing bottles and towels around to the women. As focus shifted to stain removal, Natalia surreptitiously slipped her ring off her finger, and folded it inside her fist. As she squeezed slowly, the diamond chips began to pierce her skin, and tiny beads of blood began to dot the band around the center stone.

            The stone itself began to pulse and she could feel it undulating against her flesh as the blood seeped along the edges. With one more determined squeeze, she felt a faint pop against her palm and smiled. Turning her hand over and opening her fingers, she saw a large crack along the center of the red stone, widening as her blood continued flowing over the band. She lifted the ring, closed her eyes in ecstasy, and drank the viscous liquid contained in the stone, stopping only when the last drop slid down her aching throat.

            She opened her eyes to see all the women staring and allowed a true smile to spread across her face.

            “Sorry, ladies. It’s empty. But if you’ll be so kind, you can help me refill it.”

The wives moved in a wave of terror and disgust, but before any could reach the door, Natalia was standing before them, blocking their path. Their knees buckling, they sank to the floor, watching as Natalia gently, so gently, ran her unnaturally sharp thumbnail across their throats, catching the precious ruby droplets that ran down their throats and decolletage in her ring.

Probably Just

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Earlier this month, I finally got brave enough to submit something for publication. I submitted the following piece of flash fiction, with the requirements of a theme using “home alone”, must be scary or dark, and 1,000 words or less. I’m disappointed to say that I was not chosen to continue on to the next round, but I’m still very proud of what I wrote and of the fact that I actually submitted something. I would love it if you read my story, and as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, good or bad. Without further ado, I give you, “Probably Just”.

Hands on her hips, she stood in the middle of the den, quietly surveying the room, satisfied with the work she had put in that day. After a long, hard month, it finally felt like home. The last stack of broken down boxes had been moved to the garage, the carpet had been vacuumed one last time. It was time to relax.

She went to the kitchen, more than ready for a glass of iced tea and her leftover pasta from the night before. A gentle ticking sound reached her ears, seeming to come from the skylight over the large island in the center of the room.

“Probably just a dead branch,” she muttered to herself, and jotted herself a quick reminder to check the tree for overhanging branches on the notepad she kept on the fridge.

Sustenance acquired, she decided to eat in front of the TV and watch the news. With any luck, the weather forecast would be good and she could start finalizing her plans for the yard. She forked a big bite of hot, cheesy pasta into her mouth and closed her eyes in satisfaction. The perfect comfort food after a long day. Her eyes snapped open when she heard a slow and steady skritching on the outside wall of the house.

“Probably just those rose bushes,” she muttered, making a mental note to trim and shape them the first chance she had. And to buy trimmers, for that matter.

Late night dinner finished and favorable weather report watched, she gathered her phone and chose a book from the stack on the end table and, after washing her dishes and making sure the doors were locked, headed down the hall to enjoy a long soak in the claw foot tub before going to bed – the perfect way to end her day. She let the water heat to an almost unbearable level before adding some vanilla and lavender scented bath beads, and climbed in, easing down until just her head was above the water. Saying a silent thank you to her mom for the gift of a fancy bath pillow, she leaned back and felt the ache in her muscles begin to loosen and slip away. After a few minutes, a rhythmic thumping interrupted her peace.

“Probably just the shutters,” she sighed, making yet another mental note to check for loose screws and tighten or replace any that needed it.

When the water finally cooled to an uncomfortable degree, she begrudgingly put down her book, drained the water, and clambered out, doing a little internal happy dance at the utter perfection of fluff and warmth that she wrapped around herself. Splurging on a towel warmer had been a great idea, as had the plush slippers she stepped into before leaving the bathroom. She firmly believed a girl could never have too many comfort items.

She brushed her teeth and left the bathroom, turning on the small nightlight near the door on her way out, just in case she had to get up in the middle of the night. She walked down the hall to her bedroom, briefly flinching when she heard a quick scampering above her head.

“Probably just a mouse in the attic,” she murmured, thankful she had brought the few traps left over from a mouse hunt at the house she leased before purchasing her dream home. But traps could wait until the next day, she figured. The mouse could have one last night of attic adventures before he shuffled off this mortal coil.

Before climbing into bed, she took a moment to just look again at her bedroom. She had managed to create the perfect sanctuary for herself, every detail carefully chosen to provide serenity and comfort regardless of what was happening outside the four walls of the room. She curled up on her bed, almost exactly in the middle, and burrowed under the soft blankets. It was warm and safe, and she felt truly happy. She decided to check her phone one last time before going to sleep, in case anyone had tried to reach her while she was busy. Typing in the passcode, she noticed a soft whooshing she hadn’t noticed earlier in the day.

“Probably just the wind,” she told herself, thinking maybe the attractive weatherman hadn’t been quite as right as he thought he was with his forecast. She reassured herself that even if the weather took a turn for the worse, she would surely still be able to do something outside, even if it was just a small project.

She locked her phone, set it on the nightstand within easy reach, and settled herself more deeply into the mattress. Within a few minutes, she was almost sleep. Her muscles had totally relaxed, her breathing had slowed and deepened, and her eyelids had stopped flickering open.

Click! Shoooosh…

Her eyes flew open.

There was no mistaking the sound of a closet door, sliding along its track.

A Nanny for Lily

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The ad jumped out from the others surrounding it as Tiffany skimmed the page, forcing her to put down her cup of coffee and focus on it.

For hire: Nanny, college-aged female, studying child development,extensive child care experience, able to start immediately. (803) 555-3248

                Trying to find someone trustworthy to watch Lily, her 8-month old, was proving impossible, and her new job was set to start in less than a week. She sent off a quick text, asking the girl in the ad if she was available to meet for a quick coffee and chat about a possible job, almost but not quite daring to hope that it would prove to be the right choice.

                Ding!

                She sent up a silent prayer that it would be good news before reading the message.

                Of course; I have a little time now, if you’re available. 

                “Aha”, Tiffany chuckled, before typing out her response.

                Absolutely! I’m actually at Book & Bean now, if you’re anywhere nearby.

                Ding!

               Right down the street! I’ll be there in about ten minutes! 

                Tiffany smiled down at the sleeping Lily, and whispered, “Things are finally turning around, babygirl. You’ll have someone to watch you, and I’ll finally be able to start working. It’s all going to be okay,” before stepping over to the counter to ask the barista to top off her cup with fresh coffee. She came in frequently enough and was always so nice that all of the employees bent the rules for her a little.

                A few minutes later, the bell above the door jangled and a petite brunette darted in, eyes rapidly searching the room. When they fell on Tiffany and the stroller, she immediately smiled and headed over, hand outstretched.

                “Hello! I’m guessing you’re the person I’m supposed to meet; if not, I’m so sorry!”

                Tiffany laughed, “No, you’re right. I’m Tiffany Henderson, and this sleepy little bundle is Lily.”

                “She’s gorgeous! I’m Ramona Davis. Would you mind if I grabbed a quick cup before our chat?”

                “No, go right ahead. We’ll be here.”

                Ramona smiled another dazzling smile, and walked to the counter, quickly ordering a cup of home brew with vanilla creamer. Tiffany was pleased to see she waited off to the side for it to be ready instead of expecting it to be delivered to the table. It was a considerate gesture she appreciated seeing.

                Tiffany smiled at Ramona as she walked back to them. “Thank you so much for dashing over here. I’ve been trying to find someone to watch Lily while I’m at work, and nothing has worked out so far. I have less than a week before my start date, and I’m getting a little panicky.”

                “I completely understand. It’s so hard to trust a stranger with your child; I can’t even imagine how stressful the entire process must be. I’m hoping I can make it a little easier for you. I’m happy to answer any questions you have, and I brought copies of my resume and a few reference letters as well, if you’d like to see them.”

                “Yes, please, but first, I have to get this out of the way. What do you charge? My budget is pretty tight right now, and I would hate to waste your time if there’s no way I can afford you.”

                “Oh, of course. I’m actually not looking for monetary payment. I would like to use the job as a way to complete an extra credit assignment for one of my child development classes. Nothing would be different from what a nanny typically does, other than I would have a time sheet for you to sign each week, and I would like your permission to use the curriculum I’m working on with Lily, to see what works and what doesn’t at each stage of her development.”

                “Are you serious? That would be amazing,” Tiffany said. “I would love for Lily to be learning even as young as she is, to give her every opportunity I can.”

                The two women smiled across the table at each other, each sensing that the other liked her and was on board with the arrangement.

                Tiffany continued, “I know your ad said you were available to start immediately. Is that immediately as in, tomorrow, immediately, or would that be too soon?”

                “No, not at all. My classes, with the exception of one, are evening classes, so I’m free any morning or afternoon you would like me to start. The one that isn’t is primarily an online course, with occasional meetings with my professor that I can easily schedule around my time with Lily. Or, again with your permission, take her with me.”

                “That all sounds fine. My hours will be the normal work week, Monday through Friday, 8 to 5, with very rare times I need to work later. If you can start tomorrow, that would be great; it will give you and Lily a few days to get to know each other before I’m at work.”

                Ramona beamed, gushing, “That would be perfect. I’m so excited to start working with you both. Would it be okay if I call you later this evening to hash out all of the details for tomorrow? I have a meeting with the professor I was talking about that I scheduled last week and I would hate to be late.”

                “That’s absolutely fine! Any time tonight will be great.”

                After a few more exchanged pleasantries, Ramona left for her meeting, after grabbing another coffee, and Tiffany cleared off her table and began gathering her things to take Lily home. While she was putting her phone away in her bag, Lily began to wiggle and fuss a bit. Tiffany leaned down into the stroller and smiled when Lily opened her big beautiful yellow eyes, being careful to block the stroller with her body so no one could see the sharp little teeth peeking from the baby’s mouth.

“Don’t worry, my little Lilith love…you’ll have everything you need tomorrow.”

The Youngest Member

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It’s been a minute since I posted BUT I’m still alive! If you’re still with me, after all this time, thank you so much for sticking around. And if you’re reading my work for the first time, welcome! I hope you find something worth sticking around for! I will be attempting the 12 Short Stories in 12 Months challenge again this year, and as always, please give me your feedback. I read it all and try to apply it appropriately. And now, without further ado, I give you my short story for January – The Youngest Member:



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