Category Archives: Love

Upon Waking by Monica Brinkman

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The first thing I recall was the sensation of floating, my body so light it seemed nonexistent. I took a large breath, held it for a few seconds and exhaled, noticing the coolness against my parted lips. My eyes fluttered from the glare of light and I peered between thin slits to take in my surroundings. Tears streamed from each corner as my baby blues grew accustomed to the brightness. I instinctively brushed the moisture away, squirmed in place, stretched my arms out and relaxed against the pillow of softness. So peaceful a morning, I sighed with contentment and wished I could hold this moment, this second, this instance for eternity. I glowed with the joy of being alive.

A voice interrupted my meditation, followed by a deep baritone chuckle. Memories of yesterday filled my brain. It was one of those rare occurrences when you recognized a smell, a thought or in this case, a voice and it flooded your entire soul with remembrance. You could taste it, feel it, relive each sensation until its brief appointment left you melancholy, wanting more.

“Michelle”. Wait, there it was again, calling my name, the voice drawing nearer. Why did it sound so familiar? “Michelle” rang out once more.  So identifiable was the utterance, yet I could not match a character to the tone.  I rose from my waist and scanned the perimeter. Wait. There in the distance was a movement. Though blurred I could see it progress, coming closer, calling out my name, “Michelle.  It echoed through the air and brought me tranquility of which I’ve never known.  My body automatically fell back into a prone position and I stretched each limb, curled each toe. This was magnificence beyond belief and I adored the feeling. I did not wish it to cease and sobbed with happiness.

The sensation of a firm grip upon my shoulders startled me, yet I was not afraid. I turned to one side and fingertips played a sweet song of endearment on my arm and brushed the hair from my face. I snuggled,

spooning against maleness without hesitation; it felt so perfect, so right. This was utter bliss as I’d never experienced and I was lost in pleasure.

Strong arms held me tight. “Michelle, I’ve waited for you”.

Pain, fear, horror rushed into my mind and body. I trembled against his grasp. No, make it go away, please, no, not this, not me. The visions came as flashbacks, one after the other, each more horrifying, all so terrifying.  I cried out from the memory, still fresh in my mind. There lay my body on the cold pavement, once gray, now full of crimson blood.

I shuddered in his arms, tears flowing swiftly down my face, hitting his hands.  Where am I?

He pulled me to face him. We kissed as we had done so many years ago, before the head-on collision. I held him tight and knew that my first love, Chet, was now my eternity.

 

Monica M Brinkman believes in ‘giving it forward’; reflected by her writing and radio show. A firm believer open communication is the most powerful tool to make positive change in the world; she expresses this in her books, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel, The Wheels Final Turn and in her weekly broadcast of It Matters Radio.

An avid writer, named a true storyteller, she has been published in several anthologies and wrote a weekly column for over two years at Authorsinfo. Her works can be found at various sites throughout the internet. Visit her blog @ http://itmattersradio.wix.com/on-the-brink

Monica resides in the Midwest with her husband, two dogs and five cats.

Dear Mommy By Cynthia B. Ainsworthe

 

This very short story is a tribute to my furry grandson and my lovely daughter, Cindy. Fur animals and feathered friends have always been part of my daughter’s upbringing. She has a natural love for animals which illustrates her gentle and loving nature. I like to think I had something to do with that influence, but realize her true and giving heart guides her positive outlook and kind deeds.

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Dear Mommy,

One night in September, at four weeks old, I found myself tossed out like a forgotten food wrapper. My left eye hurt from an injury. I don’t remember how I was hurt. I remember feeling cold, hungry, frightened, and wet. The rain poured down, drenching my fur and causing it to stick to my skin in wet mats. I couldn’t stop shaking. I felt weak, and only wanted to be safe and loved.

I traveled from bush to bush. Every noise caused me to jump. Where was my birth mother and my siblings? I missed them and didn’t know how to return to my home. I didn’t recognize a sound or smell. I knew I had to be strong or a mean person, cat, or dog would hurt me. Though I was young, I’ll never forget those feelings of being rejected. I was on my own and only want to survive the night.

I crept close to houses. I cried as loud as I could. I was desperate to be rescued, but no one turned on a light or peeked through a window.

I’m strong. I won’t give up.

Another home is ahead. Again I cry loudly and mournfully. What is that? A door is opening from that house. Someone is coming near. I sense kindness. Your warm hands pick me up and embrace my heart. I’m too weak and young to know how to purr. But I can kiss. Even though my throat is dry from incredible thirst, I manage to kiss your finger to express my thanks.

You bring me in from the cold, dry my fur, and give me food. You say my eyes are a vivid blue, though I don’t understand that. From the first, your voice makes me joyful and feel secure. I curl up in your lap and snuggle close to you in that warm towel. The sound of your heartbeat comforts me and allows me to release my fear. My only thought is, I have a mommy and she loves me. Peaceful dreams come to me that night. It’s been so very long since I dared to sleep more than a few minutes at a time.

You take me to the doctor for a checkup and to have my eye fixed. I’m scared, but won’t let that kind man know it. He seems nice and is gentle. I’m glad to have my eye feel better. I had almost gotten used to the pain.

You take such good care of me and pet me so gently that I forget my fearful beginnings. Every now and then all those fears and bad images flash in front of my eyes, and I lash out—not to be mean, but because of the trauma of being rejected so cruelly and I’m again scared.

I love your kisses and cuddles. You give me treats, toys, and gentle words. I couldn’t want for a better home or for a nicer mom. Be patient with me. I’m still learning how to belong to you and the rules that I must now live by. Every day, I’m doing my best.

I will always love you,

Draper xxoo, meow with purrs and kisses

© 2016 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe

 

Cynthia B. Ainsworthe writes suspenseful romance. She has won multiple writing awards. Though she writes mostly romance, her short stories cross many genres. She loves animals and is a parent of five poodle children. Ms. Ainsworthe is currently finalizing Forbidden Footsteps book 3, and writing Dangerous Reach book 4 in her Forbidden Series. A lover of culinary arts, Passion in the Kitchen, is a whimsical approach to French cuisine with delicious recipes, a romantic story thread, and luscious photos of shirtless men.

http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-B.-Ainsworthe/e/B00KYRE1Q8

and

http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/?p=3372

 

Culture Clash

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This story is part of a longer piece about the misunderstandings when people or beings of different cultures and abilities must work together.

 

Characters:

Miss. Elizabeth – the president’s daughter who is working on her doctorate promoting education in primitive rural areas.

Miss Emily – one of the younger students recently moved to the mountains.

T’VN – a local youth from the mountains. He is illiterate and has little experience with outsiders.

Ophelia and Lizzy – sisters born to a white standard poodle and a Samoyed dog. Ophelia is Miss. Elizabeth’s companion. Lizzy is now living in the mountains with Emily.

 

Culture Clash

Miss Elizabeth stayed three days in the mountains. Emily tagged after her whenever she could. Miss Elizabeth even allowed the child to ride in the van to visit two other settlements that did not have schools. While Miss Elizabeth felt happy to have Emily with her, she did not appreciate the adolescent T’VN tagging along. His father had puffed himself up and insisted that as the most prominent family in the region, his son should represent them so the villagers would know the family consented to Elizabeth’s plan. To Elizabeth who had grown up witnessing the conflict between her father and the oligarchs who thought they should control the country, this decision irritated her. She understood that taking a local person with her would be a good idea and had planned to take Hannah or N’RA. She sighed, “Perhaps the arrogant lad would learn something.”

After making arrangements for the van to pick up students in each village twice a week for lessons, Elizabeth’s party drove toward home. Elizabeth put her arm around Emily.   “Sweetheart, I’m so glad you came today. You did a great job reading your story to the other children. I think you helped the parents see the advantage of educating girls and showed that our school staff takes good care of our children.”

Emily melted with happiness. The praise gave her the courage to voice something that troubled her. “I don’t like T’VN. Martha says he only flirted with her because he loves our truck.   Now he is flirting with you when Mr. Thomas is your husband.”

Miss Elizabeth laughed and whispered back, “Don’t worry about him. I don’t think he will try to touch me. If he does, I will teach him his mistake, if Ophelia,” she smiled at her large dog, “doesn’t get to him first.” The woman and child shared a giggle before Elizabeth added, “I think you need a room for a gym in your house so you can all practice your moves.” They giggled again.

As the situation played out, it proved that Emily had some wisdom for her age. Elizabeth took only one bodyguard, Lt. Chun, when she visited High Valley that evening to talk about the students needing someplace to study and read. She finally concluded, “Just a battery light by their bed will help. I will add providing one battery powered light per household to my list of things rural children need in order to keep up in school. Perhaps the Ministry of Education can provide that.”

Elizabeth needed to walk from the meeting place at the spring back to the truck waiting on the other side of the pass. She had Ophelia with her. Lizzy joined them just as Elizabeth stood to leave and the two dogs greeted each other joyfully. Delighted with a chance to play together, the dogs danced twenty feet in front of Elizabeth. One of the village elders trailed after her asking Lt. Chun questions about the army. Thus, Lt. Chun dropped behind Elizabeth for a few seconds at the top of the pass.

Things could not have worked out better for T’VN, or so he thought. He had convinced himself that Miss Elizabeth loved him.   Never in his life had a woman treated him so sweetly. Visions of her wealth and beauty danced in his head. He knew that the minute he kissed her she would fall into his arms and pledge her undying love. He’d imagined this so many times that he came to believe that every time she smiled at a child, or her dog, or one of her friends, she was secretly smiling at him, encouraging him.

He lurked in the dark by the trunk of a Scrubnut bush. He’d prepared a bed of ferns under the bush where they would consummate their love. Under his starry eyed fantasies, he nurtured a firm resolve to make this woman his, now.

Elizabeth reached the top of the pass and turned to say something to LT. Chun. T’VN saw Elizabeth pause to look behind her.   He knew she waited for him.   He stepped forward to wrap his arms around her. “My love.”

Elizabeth chose a move that involved elbows, feet and knees. Her master called it Dancing Goat.

All hell broke loose, or so T’VN thought. Something whirled into his chest at the same moment his leg flew up from under him. While he was off balance white demons attacked, throwing him into the Scrubnut. He woke up an hour or so later in the bed he’d made to share with his love. His nose bled, and he hurt in places no man should hurt. His clothes felt damp and smelled of pee.

Poor T’VN couldn’t imagine what had gone wrong. The idea that a girl had beat him up could never gain entrance into his head.   He thought about the problem for three days before confiding to his papa and grandpapa. “I have thought and thought about the attack on me. I think we have evil spirits at the top of the pass.   Perhaps they came for the president’s daughter, and I got in their way. Should we talk with the priest?”

As the next full moon started its descent from the sky, the shaman and High Valley elders crept silently to the top of the pass. Each man carried a smoking sheaf of grain for protection. The shaman had a small bell and each elder carried an instrument made of two pieces of wood that clacked when shook. At the top of the pass, T’VN pointed out the place of the attack. Searching the area by moonlight, one elder found the demon’s nest of ferns under the Scrubnut. The Shaman sniffed the air in every direction and affirmed that the demons lurked in this place and indeed evil spirits surrounded them.

With faces set in concentrated scowls the men began their ceremony. They walked slowly in a circle clockwise blowing on their smoking grain to spread the smoke. At the end of the first circuit, the shaman rang his bell, and the elders clacked their sticks three times. Next, the elders walked their circle counterclockwise while the shaman chanted. At the end of the circle, the Shaman rang his bell and the elders clacked their sticks three times.   After seven circles clockwise and seven counter clockwise had been completed the Shaman stood in the middle of the circle sniffed toward the four points of the compass and pronounced the evil demons gone. The men continued to chant quietly while they marched back to their homes.

 

Bio:  Delinda McCann is a social scientist with a background in working with at-risk youth. She has published 6 novels that focus on the foibles of the human race and their furry friends. http://delindalmccann.weebly.com/

Seasons By Cynthia B Ainsworthe

 

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Sitting in the hotel’s lounge, dressed in my finest, waiting for him. Another afternoon to relive my youth, as I will gaze upon his. My mind brushes away my past years and dreams, and live only in the present. The future has lost its brilliance—what might be a new adventure around a worn corner, and only presents with the sameness of routine.

He enters in a well-tailored suit—a diversion from the autumn of my life. I look at his trim physique and smooth skin over firm muscles and high cheekbones. Eyes that are filled with hope as he lives his spring—a spring he must feel is eternal. Laugh lines have yet to make their mark. His quick, energized steps bring him closer as he reaches out his hand and a broad smile emerges. Oh, to be in that devil-may-care season that is his home.

I stand as he approaches and discreetly hand him the room cardkey that I secured an hour earlier. My stilettos click on the marble as we walk to the elevator. If Charles had lived, would this same situation be my refuge. I chuckle to myself at such a silly thought. Charles and I had been married for twenty-five years before that terrible car crash that put him into a never-ending coma. The hardest last gift from me to him was to give permission for cessation of life-support measures.

In the elevator, he holds my hand and smiles. I smile back, knowing that for a brief afternoon I will whisk away all the pain and loneliness that has become my existence. As prescribed by such an arrangement, he kisses me with passion—a passion that he has honed from many such assignations with others. He knows his part and plays it well.

He slips the card into the door-key slot. The familiar buzzer rings, and then opens the door. I enter first. Opening my purse, I retrieve crisp bills and place them on the dresser. The money is new and is as untainted as possible from the bank, as if this small detail will erase all seemliness from what is about to be. He takes no notice of the payment and proceeds to unzip my dress.

I shut my eyes as his lips caress mine in passion. It is Charles kissing me—not this young stallion marketing on his youth and the loneliness of an older woman. My husband whispers in my hungry ear that he loves me. My heart cries out, “Forgive me Charles. I never wanted to let you go. Be with me again, even if only briefly, through this young man.”

Afterwards, he lies next to me in a light slumber. I look at him and wonder if my body and lined face repulses him. Does my sagging jaw line remind him of his mother? As we make love, does his fantasies create a beautiful young lady to replace the older woman who paid for his attention? I have no idea why these questions come to my mind. They shouldn’t. He gives me time with Charles and that is what keeps me sane in this dark pool of grief.

I slip out of the bed, lean over and kiss his temple as I once did to Charles. He doesn’t open his eyes, merely smiles.

Having dressed, I quietly leave and look forward to another day in my autumn. I shudder to think of my winter. When winter comes, I fear I will no longer be able to taste the sweetness of spring.

© 2015 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe

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Author Bio

http://www.amazon.com/Cynthia-B.-Ainsworthe/e/B00KYRE1Q8

and http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/?p=3142

Cynthia B. Ainsworthe is a multiple award-winning author. She started writing seriously in the autumn of her life after having raised a family. Her epic length novel, “Front Row Center”, earned the IPPY Award in romance. She has also gleaned the Excellence in Writing Award by It Matters Radio for the short story It Ain’t Fittin’, and shares the Reader’s Favorite Award with other authors for the horror anthology, “The Speed of Dark”, where her two short stories, When Midnight Comes and Characters, are featured. Ms. Ainsworthe has received many 5-star reviews for her novels. She has recently released book 2 in the Forbidden Series titled “Remember?” and is writing the third book in that series. Cynthia is also working with known Hollywood producer, screenwriter, and director, Scott C. Brown on adapting Front Row Center to screen. She is actively honing her screenwriting talent.

Such A Loving Pair by Monica Brinkman

 

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The couple sat at the kitchen table. The red and white checkered curtains flailed away from the window, orchestrated by the cool breeze of the night.

He touched the small boned knuckles of her tiny hand, turned it over, drew the open palm to his face and brushed his lips against each smooth fingertip. It was still a thrill of pleasure after all these years, and his heart quickened as he felt the surge of love fill his body.

Annabelle coyly cast her eyes downward, a demure smile upon her face. Then she looked up into Gerard’s’ face. Their eyes locked as they experienced a moment of intense emotion, so much more than mere love, nothing less than consummate completion.

“You look ravishing tonight my darling.”

Her cheeks pinked with the blush of a much younger woman. “Thank you, and if not too bold of me, I say that you my husband appear quite striking yourself.”

Gerard’s’ face opened to a large grin. “Why woman, I would accept nothing less than the truth, be it bold or not.”

He noticed her eyebrow arch and a frown take over the smile.

“What is it Annabelle? Have I offended you in some way?”

She sighed softly, rose from her seat and walked to the window and pushed the curtain to one side, holding it against the wall.  “It is exceptionally beautiful, this night. The moon so near, brilliantly white and clear. I feel if I reached out my hand I could almost touch it. Silly of me acting so childishly.”

Annabelle turned toward Gerard. He knew that look upon her face, the sadness, the despair, the hopelessness. How he wished he could alter her situation and knew, no matter how much she sought escape, there would be none. Not from the house, not this night.

He walked to her side, took her hand in his and pulled her away from the window and the nights’ hypnotic trance. It drove him mad to see her in such pain, yet he knew he must do what was best for her well-being, her sanity.

“Shall we go to the terrace? You said the moon is very beautiful and the night air should be refreshing.”

Her eyes glowed with anticipation, excitement and joy. “Oh yes my dear husband, may we?”

Her steps quickened to a fast trot as they passed through the living room and approached the sliding door within the entertainment room. The bright blue walls displeased her, how garish and bold. She would have preferred a more subtle off-white or beige design yet realized her opinion on this matter was meaningless. As Gerard slowly slid open the door, taking precaution to remain as silent as possible, she cast one look backward at the despicable decor, now eager to feel the coolness of the night upon her body.

After exiting the room, with circumspection, he slid the door back into place, leaving a tiny gap between the lock and latch, assuring re-entrance would be safe and silent. Lord knows he did not need the others discovering their presence. He never knew how Annabelle would react to their interference. Though timid by nature, when confronted, she could become quite a handful and create havoc within the home. Gerard preferred to treat any intrusion into their life with understanding. After all, this was not their house; he and Annabelle were only residents.

“Look Darling.” Annabelle pointed to the nearby lake. The water bristled with activity from the wind’s caress. She held back a giggle as she watched the moonlight reveal a raft of ducks paddling toward land. The hen proudly led the ducklings who followed in quacking chorus.

He loved the delight upon Annabelle’s face. He wished he could actually lead her to the waters edge and together toss bits of oats or vegetables their way. Again, he realized the futility in this line of thought. Better to enjoy what was granted than to daydream on what would never be.

God, he loved this woman with his entire being. Their partnership was eternal, filled with adoration and youthful passion. He could not foresee a future without his beloved. Her welfare meant everything to him. He was her protector, her security.

Gerard neared her, bowed and extended his hand. Annabelle laughed softly, took his hand and they embraced in a dance, careful to be on tiptoe and not arouse discovery. Each glide across the terrace brought them freedom of space, the moonlight glistened upon the two silver clips which held her auburn tresses in place. All that mattered was the now, the moment, the experience. They danced and pranced. Time ceased to exist, each cast in the magical spell of love. Husband and wife. Partner and mate. Protector and protectee.

Annabelle halted her step, cocked her head, the frown returned to her face. In the silence of the early morning she thought she heard footsteps. Were they coming? The others? It wasn’t fair this life forced upon her. She wanted to scream, lash out and confront the vile family who had taken over her home. They now made the rules, they now called the shots, they now controlled her surroundings. How dare they?

He could see the anger and hatred rising within his dearest wife. Yes, they were prisoners, doomed to exist within the confinement of the home, the rules set by the others, never able to leave its door, to venture outside. They were forced to live in harmony beside the others and were regulated by the restraints of the residence.

They watched through the large pane of glass, knowing their presence would not be detected. They were safe, if silent.

The male child appeared and wiped his sleepy eyes before padding to the contraption the others called a TV. Gerard detested the noise it projected yet pondered how remarkable an object to have the ability to see a variety of people and hear their voices. It did seem rather cold and offensive for surely anyone would prefer the company of friends rather than watching them remotely.

The next other to enter was a blonde-haired young girl. She chatted with the male child and settled down beside him on the burnt-umber carpeted floor. Gerard glanced at Annabelle and saw the rage growing within her. He had to stop her before she allowed her rage to cause distress.

It was too late, she had slid the door open and entered the room. Annabelle walked behind the seated children and flicked their hair. She had to stifle a giggle when they reached up to shoo away the presence of her touch. Gerard looked on in disappointment. It was all a game to Annabelle. A game he wanted no part of, a game his beautiful wife embraced.

She became bolder and pushed the male child into the lap of the young girl.

Oh how she delighted when she heard, “Stop it stupid. Yuck. Get off of me.”

The male child seemed baffled and responded,  “Somebody pushed me, I didn’t do it on purpose.”

“Not that again Bobby. Nobody pushed you. Mom and Dad said it was just our imagination, remember?”

“Magination doesn’t push you Sabrina. I don’t care what they say. I was pushed.”

The young girl shook her head and went back to watching the TV program.

Gerard entered the room and arms crossed, stood next to Annabelle. “Okay, that’s enough. You’ve had your jollies for the day. Let’s go to our room.”

Annabelle turned to him, a broad smile on her face. He knew that mischievous smile well. Her eyes took on the glow of madness. She drew every ounce of energy from within the room into her body and walked silently to stand in front of the others. Her form appeared gradually, from a small orb to a bit of mist to a solid mass. Annabelle extended her hand and in a loud roaring voice said, “Hello children.”

It was hilarious. These others shrieked and screamed, simultaneously jumping to their feet and scurrying out of the room at lightening speed. Let them explain that to their parents.

Gerard shook his head in disapproval. Yet he couldn’t help but smile a bit when Annabelle brushed her hands against each other and shook her finger.

“How dare anyone take over my house, my home. Well there’s plenty more where that came from.”

The loving couple who’d existed since 1892 within the walls of the house they’d built, clasped hands and walked toward the attic door. Just another day within eternity.

 

Monica M Brinkman believes in ‘giving it forward.’ This is reflected by her writing and radio show. A firm believer that open communication is the most powerful tool to make positive change in the world; she expresses this in her book, The Turn of the Karmic Wheel and It Matters Radio.  Look for her book, The Wheel’s Final Turn, to be release in 2015.

Monica resides in the Midwest with her husband, two dogs and five cats.

Visit her web sites:

www.itmattersradio.com

http://theturnofthekarmicwheel.blogspot.com/

Beloved by D. M. Pirrone

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Until she saw him, she never believed in love at first sight.

Everything about him draws her, makes her heart expand to the size of a harvest moon. There was just such a moon in the sky a year ago, the night before they met. A good-luck omen, and ever since, she rarely sees him without remembering that huge, golden orb against the midnight blue. The beauty of it echoes the beauty he’s brought to her life. Who knew mere existence could turn to such joy so quickly?

She loves everything about him. The way his hair slants across his forehead. The merry mischief in his wide, dark eyes. The wonder with which he approaches everything. She loves that most of all. Through sharing the world with him, familiar things are made new. The taste of chocolate ice cream. The darting grace of a butterfly around the backyard roses. Songs he makes her sing, that she’d thought forgotten long ago. All this and heaven too, she thinks now as she sits with him, his head resting against her shoulder.

She’s humming an old favorite: “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Unlike Dorothy, she doesn’t have to go looking for her heart’s desire. After years of trying, of slowly losing hope with every failure, she’s finally found it. Not quite in her own backyard, but close enough.

He’s almost asleep now. She shifts in the rocking chair and begins the first verse, moving gently back and forth as she sings her adopted son a lullaby.

 

Author Bio

  1. D. M. Pirrone  is the nom de plume of Diane Piron-Gelman, who works as an editor and audiobook narrator when she isn’t writing. Her latest novel, Shall We Not Revenge (Allium Press of Chicago), was a 2014 Kirkus Prize nominee and a Notable Page-Turner in the 2014 Shelf Unbound Indie Novel competition. She is also the author of No Less In Blood (Five Star, 2011) and various horror and cyberpunk-themed short fiction. A Chicago native and history buff, she is a longtime member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Website link: www.dmpirrone.net