This week the folks over at Trifecta Writing Challenge have given us TOOTH as our one-word prompt, which is actually pretty àpropos as I just came from the dentist.
Michael hit face first.
“Dude! Awesome!” Jacob said.
“You look like shit.” said Peter
Michael spat out blood and a tooth maybe two. “Ground shit is more like it, when my mom sees.”
Here’s a little personal story. Going to the dentist causes a whole lot of . . . well, just look at the picture. Enough said. Right?
This is me after I leave the dentist. Halle’freakin’lujah!
Obviously my mother knew what she was doing when she named me Erica. There really isn’t much to why she decided on Erica other than the year I was born “All My Children” made its infamous debut and good ole Erica Kane entered households. My mom thought it was a good strong name and she liked the ring of it. But I’m definitely not the drama queen Erica Kane was.
Well my name truly fits my personality when you go back and look at its meaning. It’s pronounced AIR-a-ka and is Old Norse name meaning noble, alone, ruler, forever strong. It is the feminine of the Scandanavian Eric.
I am typically a loner, which I definitely enjoy and I’m definitely bossy — hence the ruler definition and my mom has often said I am perhaps one of the strongest people she knows. When I was an infant I almost died a couple of times as a result of severe asthma attacks. I was in a car accident and technically should have been a goner, but came out with only minor cuts and a broken leg. I’ve been knocked down and have gotten back up, dusted myself off, and got back in the fight. I don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Watch out there now.
Another personality trait that folks have put on us Erica’s is that we’re quick-tempered. I can only speak for myself. I am not slow to anger. I can go from 0 to Pissed Off in about .2 seconds. Belive it not my temper has gotten better. It’s kinda like the Incredible Hulk — you don’t want to make me angry. You won’t like me when I’m angry. But there is always one person who has to test it out.
I used to want to change it to Bobbie or Alexandra (Alex), but it’s grown on me over the years.
Over the weekend it appears that a good number of my pet peeves surfaced. Most of them on Saturday as that’s when I ran most of my errands. Usually these things happen gradually over the course of the week making it easier for me handle and digest, but for some reason it all culminated into two days.
- Tardiness — I am perpetually on time. I hate being late and if I’m running even 5 minutes late I call and let someone know. I value my time and others as well and I find it rather difficult and irritating when people don’t value other people’s time
- Rudeness — Not really going to go into this one because there are so many things that fall into this category
- People that don’t say “Excuse Me” — I was in Whole Foods on Saturday and was leaning over to pick up some yogurt and this woman reaches in front and clear across me to get some Activia. She doesn’t say excuse me or pardon me. Nothin. So, I in all my irritated state say, “Excuse me, sorry am I in your way?” And she looks at me, turns red as a beet and only then says, “Excuse me.” WTF.
- Sunday drivers Monday thru Saturday — Enough said on this one.
The curtains were drawn, which is not unusual, as they have been drawn for the last two years. Ever since Jared died.
Karen flopped down in the recliner she used when rocking him to sleep, as if the pockets of her oversized terry cloth bathrobe were weighted down with rocks.
She poured herself a glass of wine and brought Tchaikovsky up in iTunes on her laptop. Karen sank into the recliner, sipped her wine and closed her eyes.
“Tonight,” she whispered.
She picked up Jared’s baby book and blanket that lay on the table beside her. “Yes. Tonight,” she hissed.
“No hesitation,” she thought. “Clean. Straight through,” she said as she reached for the knife under the mattress. She briefly remembered how her husband, Michael, taught her how to defend herself using the same knife she planned to use to take her life.
She reclined, finished the wine and let Tchaikovsky sink into her soul. She opened Jared’s baby book to his first picture — her holding him and Michael cutting the cord. She held his baby blanket up to her nose and inhaled deeply. The scent of Jared had left the blanket long ago, but for her it was still there.
Karen folded the blanket again and placed it back on the table. Closed the baby book and put it next to the blanket. She picked up the knife, rolled up her bathrobe sleeve, and held the knife tightly in her left hand. “Clean and straight through. Tonight is the night.” She draws an imaginary line from the base of her right thumb on her wrist up to the middle of her forearm.
She hesitates. “No hesitation,” she says to herself. She bears the knife down and winces in pain. Karen smiles in relief. She knows this time she’s successful. She hit the artery. “Won’t be long now, Jared.”
She sits back in the recliner holding the knife in her left hand. She closes her eyes and lets the blood flow freely and quickly from her wrist as she continues to listen to Tchaikovsky play in the background.
Karen smiles as she remembers each milestone in Jared’s short life. The day he was born. His first step. His first tooth. His first word, which was not mommy or daddy. It was “No.” A very loud and vehement “no.” His first haircut. His first Christmas. His first birthday. His death.
Tchaikovsky is fading in the background and she could feel herself getting weaker. She tried to open her eyes, but her eyelids felt heavy. She could feel the warmth of the blood sliding down her wrist and her hand and her fingertips. “Not long now.” She opened her eyes, but could only see darkness. “Yes. Not long now.”
For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, kgwaite gave me this prompt: Have someone select one object at random from each of the rooms in your house. Now, write a story using each of those objects..
I gave Talia this prompt: In 100 words or less, describe (in as much detail as possible) the worst vacation you or your character has ever had.
Day 3 of the Blogging A t0 Z Challenge is C = Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke. Click HERE and HERE to learn how I came up with this. This is one of my all time favorite songs. Changes come. They may not come when you want them or they may not be the change you want, but they do come. I hope you enjoy and please feel free to let me know what you think. Justin stands atop the narrow rocky summit of Challenger Point with his arms outstretched. Sandra always felt protective of him. “Be careful,” she says from below. “I’ll be fine,” he said tilting his head back a little. Every Saturday Justin and Sandra climb one of Colorado’s 14ers, mostly for Justin. He has lived in a fog for as long as he could remember and for some reason climbing helped to clear the fog. Even though he was ascending into the clouds with every new step. He took long slow deep breaths and exhaled each one slowly. “I wonder what it’s like up there,” he said to Sandra. “Up where?” “Up there,” he said with his arms still outstretched, bending further back, and opening his eyes. “Beyond the sky.” More often than not Justin felt it’s hard living but at the same time suicide is not an option. Not because he’s religious because he’s not and not because he didn’t know how he was going to carry out, but because he didn’t know what it was like beyond the sky. And he has absolutely no desire to go from one hate filled world to another. This time he felt something different. Some peace. A tranquility he had never felt before. He leaned back even further. He sat down and looked at Sandra. “You’ve known me a long time Sands.” “Yup, since we were kids.” “And you know I’ve never been really happy except for when I’m up here? Right?” “Yes,” Sandra says looking at him with concern on her face. “It’s been a long time Sands. It’s been a long time coming,” he said as he stood outstretching his arms again. Sandra stands along with several other hikers with worried looks. Justin looks at Sandra and smiles, “I know what’s beyond the sky now.” He falls to his knees clutching his chest and says with shallow breaths, “A change has finally come. It’s been a long time coming.”
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For six years Judith has had a love/hate relationship with Thursday’s, but more specifically Thursday evenings. She volunteers at the church where her father is a priest.
She hates it because it’s the day her dad’s church hosts the homeless and anyone else that needs a hot a meal, a shower, a warm bed, someone to talk, or a shoulder to cry on. “I hate seeing these men and women come in. It just breaks my heart,” Judith said. “And the children,” she said choking back tears. This was her lament every Thursday evening for six years.
But she loves it because she know she’s doing something good. She would say, “I love doing this because it’s God’s work, but I wish I could do more.”
She wants to build a housing complex for the homeless and the poor, so they don’t have to sleep on the street or even wonder where their next meal is coming from. She wants a place where they can get skills training, education, and whatever else they need to survive on their own again.
One morning she made that her prayer and she prayed that prayer every morning for months.
Judith and her father walked to the church on Thursday’s. It was an opportunity for them to catch up on the days events and prepare themselves for what was to come. “Daddy, that’s the perfect place for the complex,” she said pointing to a couple of abandoned apartment buildings.
“Yes, it is,” her father said smiling at her. “We’ll have to pray for this, too.”
She stopped in front of the gate surrounding the buildings, clasped her hands together, lifted her head toward the heavens and began to pray. After her prayer, she and her father continued on to the church. When they got there there was a man standing on the steps
A man met him on the steps. “Are you Father Crane?”
“Yes. And who are you?”
“My name is Blair Owens.
“Oh my God,” Judith said. “He’s one of the richest men in the world.”
“I’ve heard a lot about you and what you do here and I had to stop by and see for myself. I like what I see and I want you to have this,” he says handing a check to Father Crane.
“Write it for whatever you want.”
“Daddy,” Judith says tugging on her father’s coat. “The apartment buildings.”
“What apartment buildings?” Blair asks.
“The abandoned ones on Tisdale,” Judith says.
“Why do you want those?” asks Blair.
“To help the homeless and poor get on their feet.” She explains her idea to Blair and his smile gets wider and wider.
“That’s a fantastic idea. I wish I thought of it,” he says. “They’re yours for $1.00.”
“What?” Judith says.
“For $1.00 they’re yours. Do you have a $1.00?”
“Really? You’re not playing a joke?”
“Nope. You can have them.”
Judith pinched herself to make sure that this was real and not a fantasy. She looked up to the skies, opened her arms, and fell to her knees. “Thank you, God!” she said. “I always knew you would answer my prayer. The prayer’s of these people.”
It’s been years now. The apartments are refurbished and people have gotten skills that have helped them get back on their feet. And now and then Judith asks, ” Is this real life or is this just a fantasy?”
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