Before and After

Author’s note: The following letter is from Herman, the heroine of my novel, The Magician’s Curse, to Stephen, the hero. It fits into the book about a week into her stay in his mansion. This letter is written completely stream of consciousness style and is unedited.

Dear Stephen,

Where do I start? I’m sitting here in my room–in the guest room in your house, I should say–waiting impatiently for you to get home from your trip. I can’t really say I’ve been bored–Margaret has been great at keeping me busy. And wow, the lifestyle you two lead. Having our pick of which car to take when we go out to buy props and stuff for your show, going to fancy restaurants all the time … it’s like nothing I ever dreamed my life would be like before I got on that train, what, days ago? It feels like weeks.

Not that I’m used to it or anything, and I’m not sure I’ll ever be, completely. Or will I?

So now the decision: should I write what I’m thinking, which will make this letter something I have to crumple up? Or do I keep it to myself and show you this when you get home? Ugh, it would be nice to have someone to talk to about how I feel. I guess I could talk to Margaret, but I’m sure she tells you everything. Have I given away what I want to say, just by rambling about it?

I think … Okay, I’m gonna say it and be damned, as my mother would say. I think I might be falling in love with you. Isn’t that crazy? I’ve known you all of a week, and … well let’s face it. You’re the first guy who’s stuck with me for a week and not gone running away. Why is that? And maybe you will too, which is why I probably (definitely) shouldn’t show you this letter. If that weird dream hadn’t happened two nights ago, maybe I wouldn’t even be worried.

Unlike the before and after of my real life–poor girl finds a rich boyfriend and never looks back … Yeah, unlike that, my dream made me feel like all this–THIS–is a dream. A dream within a dream. How strange is that?

Hardy-har-har … I’m asking if THAT’s strange, but that’s kind of relative, isn’t it? After you performed ACTUAL magic on me. So, like what is this new life I’ve moved into all about? Are you a true illusionist, and none of this is real? Is it any wonder I’m scared to say those three precious words that I’ve never said to anyone but my family before?

Oh Stephen. I just wish you’d hurry up and come home so we can spend some time together. Some REAL time together. Alone, even. I have no idea why you asked Margaret to chaperone us all the time. We are adults, after all. At least you are, and I will be in a couple of weeks. Officially. Not that I’m going to suddenly “mature” like toast popping up. DING! You’re done. You’re officially old enough to do stuff like vote. Old enough to have an opinion and have sex, south of the Canadian border.

Which brings me to …

Nah. I don’t even want to contemplate it. If you are some kind of illusion, starting to obsess over an intimate relationship is only going to disappoint me more when I find out I’ve been living in a rundown shack for a week and you’re actually a raccoon. Which is how my life has normally gone up until now.

So I guess now I have to crumple up this letter and eat it or something. Which is TOTALLY going to ruin my dinner. Apparently we’re eating at home tonight. Probably surf and turf on golden plates … Do I sound unappreciative? I’m not. I really do appreciate you taking me in and giving me a job. Even if nothing else ever comes of our employer/employee relationship, at least I have your beautiful face to look at.

I can’t wait to see you onstage. And I can’t wait for you to come back home.

I can’t wait to kiss you again, and hold you in my arms … so I can make sure you’re real.

With all my love,

Herman

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Click the following link to find the prompt, and read all the other entries: https://lindaghill.com/2017/12/15/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-16-17/

 

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#JusJoJan 8/17 – Mongrel

Like a mongrel, kicked to the curb
that’s how broken I feel.

Tomorrow there be hope.

Though I’ll never be purebred,
maybe the curb will be softer
or the foot more gentle.

jjj-2017

Thanks so much, Geoff, for the prompt today! You can find him here, at TanGental.

And a special thank you to Dan for hosting today’s Just Jot It January! Dan can be found at No Facilities.

This post is part of JusJoJan: https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/08/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-8th17/

Power outage

I’m riting this as fast as I can. I can hear him outside the door there’s a storm outside and i’ afraid the power will go out This is my last chance. I know he has a knife. I’m scared please come help me. I can’t .. the door. he’s rattleing the knob what can I do? my phoen won’t work if the power goes ou

#SoCS – Vacuum

Technology is such that I have become lost in it, it seems. At times I see myself as a brain, floating above a chair, bodiless fingers upon a keyboard, in the vacuum of the Internet. My friends are other, bodiless brains and fingers and sometimes hands grasping appendages as they watch whatever excites them.

Do we become solid only when we get up out of our chairs? Away from our screens with images and words reduced to pixels and ones and zeros the moment they leave our floating minds? Do we ever long for smells, taste and the feel of anything but the nubs on the ‘f’ and the ‘j’?

socs-badge-2015

Find Stream of Consciousness Saturday here and join in today!

Barman

A man walks into a bar. He goes up to the bartender and says, “I’m the guy.”

“What guy?” Asks the bartender.

“The guy who walked into the bar.”

“Huh. You got a horse?”

“Nope.”

“A dog?”

“No, I don’t have one of those either.”

“So what’s so special about you?”

The man widens his stance and puts his hands on his hips, and says, “I’m self-aware.”

The bartender stares, speechless. He stares for so long that the man begins to feel uncomfortable.

“What?” says the man eventually.

The bartender points past the man to the door. The man turns and sees every character that has ever walked into the bar. As one, they kneel down and chant, “WE’RE NOT WORTHY!”

And then the bar falls down and turns to dust.

***

A man walks into a bar. Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

Honey

22:30 Honey! Are you coming to bed?

Yeah! I’ll be there in a minute!

22:36 Honey! Are you coming to bed yet?

On my way, dear!

22:40 Honey! Are you…

I’m here.

Oh good. But before you get into bed, can you let the dog out?

22:54 Honey! Are you coming to bed soon?

The dog’s still outside!

Well get him in! I wanna snuggle!

Be there soon, dear!

23:01 Honey! Are you…

Yes.

Good. Get into bed.

… Honey, did you lock the front door?

No, didn’t you?

No.

23:09 Honey! Are you coming back to bed soon?

Be there in a minute!

What’s taking you so long?

Cat wanted in!

We don’t have a cat!

You sure?

Of course I am!

Okay! I gotta find the cat now and let him back out!

23:44 Honey! Are you coming…

I’m here.

What the hell happened to you? Where’d all those scratches come from?

The cat. It didn’t want to go out.

…Wait, what colour was the cat?

Black.

Maybe it was Blackie! I haven’t seen her since before we met! You’ve gotta go let her back in!

1:03 Honey! Did you find her yet?

… Honey? Honey where’d you go?

Honey?

Ugh. Men!

How Misunderstood – 100 words

“Dino?”

“Yes Dad?”

“Where’s my trailer?”

“It’s at the bottom of the hill.”

“I thought I told you to put blocks under the wheels.”

“Yeah but…”

“I was going to go get the truck to hook it up.”

“I know, Dad, but…”

“You let my trailer go down the hill by itself. Now I’ve got to go down there and dig it out of the ditch.”

“Yeah, I know, but…

“What the hell were you thinking?!”

“Well it’s what you said!”

“What I said? What did I say?”

“You told me you wanted everything today to go down without a hitch!”

Good night

Scene
Two dark rooms, split screen: Julien lay on his bed, on his back, with the phone to his left ear. Maisy lay on her bed, on her back, with the phone to her right ear.

Maisy: Good night darling.

Julien: Are we hanging up now?

Maisy: (sighs) I have to get up early to go to work.

Julien: I guess you need your beauty sleep.

Maisy: (frowns) Are you saying I’m ugly if I don’t get enough sleep?

Julien: NO! No baby, calm… I mean I didn’t mean that at all.

Maisy: (snorts)

Julien: I’ll let you get your sleep. I love you, baby.

Maisy: I love you too.

Julien: Good night.

Maisy: Good night then.

Julien: Don’t let the bed bugs bite.

Maisy: (sits up) Bed bugs! Are you saying you left bed bugs here last time you stayed over?!?

Julien: NO! No way, baby! You gotta calm…

Maisy: Don’t you freakin’ tell me to calm down, asshole!

Julien: NO! I didn’t mean calm down, I meant…

Maisy: ‘Coz you KNOW how I hate it when you tell me to calm down!

Julien: (trying to get in a word edgewise) Baby…

Maisy: Calm down? I have bed bugs in my bed and you’re telling me to calm down?

Julien: No, baby…

Maisy: (standing beside her bed) What kind of crazy freakin’ asshole are you anyways?

Julien: Baby…

Maisy: (nostrils flaring, breathing heavy)

Julien: Baby? Are you still there?

Maisy: What!?

Julien: Baby there’s no bed bugs. No bed bugs. It’s just a saying.

Maisy: …

Julien: (timidly) Are you okay?

Maisy: (plops down on the bed, nostrils still flaring. Speaks sharply) I guess.

Julien: I… gotta go. I’ve gotta get up early too.

Maisy: Oh, now you gotta get up early and I’m probably going to me up all night.

Julien: …sorry. Can I have a little kiss?

Maisy: (snorts)

Julien: Just a little bitty kiss from my hunny bun?

Maisy: (relaxes) Okay. (makes kissing noise)

Julien: I love you hunny bun.

Maisy: (giggles)

Julien: (like he’s speaking to a child) I love you my hunny bunny baby.

Maisy: I love you too.

Julien: Okay. Good night then.

Maisy: Good night.

Julien: Sleep tight.

Maisy: I beg your pardon?

Julien: I said… sleep tight?

Maisy: (angry) Are you calling me a loose woman?!

Julien: (holds phone away from his ear and looks at it. Hangs up.)

JusJoJan the 29th – Ghost, a 50-word story

Your ghost haunts me, even now. I lay here searching the stars for the one that might be you, the cold ground beneath me, surrounding me; I know you are beside me. The first shovelful of dirt hits my chest and I wonder, why are they burying me at night?

 

JJJ 2016

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JusJoJan the 25th – It’s Magic!, a 50-word story

“And for my next sleight of hand,” said the prestidigitator, “I will turn this potato into a magician!”

The magician bends, knife in hand, and carves the spud into the shape of a number one.

He opens his palms to present his work of art and says:

“Presto! Digit tater!”

JJJ 2016

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