Tag Archives: Short story

The murder of Caroline

Well, well, well … I haven’t blogged for so long that I almost forgot my WordPress password! Thanks to a writing workshop I recently attended (a gift from Mr Teatart), I have officially broken the writing drought.  So here is my edited short story assignment that depicts a part of the story telling process where the stasis is broken.  I call it:  The murder of Caroline.

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The first time Caroline met Joe at work, she knew she would be his wife.  Her life had always gone to plan, and now, Joe was no exception.  With just one look in his eyes, she foresaw children of her own, a dream home – the whole proverbial picket fence experience.  What Caroline didn’t know, couldn’t know really, was that Joe had secrets:  dark, festering, carefully guarded secrets.

You see, Joe had a type and Caroline was that type.  He would set his sights on winning her over and unwittingly, she would fall for him.  She would believe their first meeting to be a serendipitous event.  He would bump into her in the corridor with just enough force to send her papers and cell phone tumbling to the ground.  Apologising profusely, they would simultaneously stoop to collect her belongings, bump heads, and with his hand grazing hers, he would unleash his disarming charm.  The rest would be history.  Thanks to Hollywood, Joe believed his job would be done.  So many women were too eager to be loved, to be swooped up in a fast-paced, picture-perfect romance.  That’s exactly what Caroline got.

The day the wedding bells chimed and Caroline walked down the aisle beaming at him with love and adoration, Joe beamed back – a smile that nearly consumed his entire face, squinting his eyes into slits and lifting his eyebrows almost into his hairline.  Expect Joe wasn’t smiling in loving reciprocation. He was smiling at the thought of what he would do to Caroline in just a few hours.  Finally, he would be happy again, able to relive his twisted fantasies.   Joe then began to fidget with anticipation.  She would be his now to do with as he pleased.  Just a few more hours … just a few more hours.

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My personal Adonis (a short story)

I shouldn’t be doing this. But here I am – rifling through his bathroom cabinet. They say you can tell a lot about a man from his choice of pharmaceuticals, but I’m not sure that’s really the scenario in my case. Besides hair gel, a toothbrush, toothpaste and two deodorant cans, I’ve actually learnt nothing new. That should teach me.

I place everything back as I found it and close the cabinet door. A quick peek out the bathroom door confirms that he is still sound asleep. The rumpled duvet covers lie half on the floor, half on the bed and my Adonis is lying on his back, spread-eagled. A sliver of the sheet covers his waist. It actually reminds me of the children’s bible story illustrations of Adam and Eve with a fig leaf over their private parts. That makes me smirk a little as I admire him from my bathroom door vantage point. He really is magnificent: sandy blonde tousled hair, tanned skin, a surfer’s physique.

The thing is, other than how he looks (and now the contents of his bathroom cabinet), I actually know nothing about him. What I do know is that a rowdy girls’ night out last night has, given my current precarious situation, not ended quite as planned.

It’s easier to blame someone other than yourself, so I blame Brendon, my long-time boyfriend of seven years. I conclude that his cheating shenanigans are directly responsible for where I am right now. We are – were – high-school sweethearts; the cliqued perfect couple. After being together for so long, I wanted a ring on my finger to seal the deal.  Yet Brendon was hesitant. Evasive even. I just didn’t understand why. We loved each other, had a stable relationship – so why then? I got the answer I didn’t want when Brendon’s recent activities were uncovered. He had met some girl at work and had been out with her several times. Apparently enough times to have moved the relationship to the bedroom! His explanation included a feeble excuse that because we had met so young, both of us had never really ‘experienced’ different relationships. He begged my forgiveness, but now it was my turn to be hesitant.

A night out on the town was determined by my girlfriends as the best therapy for a philandering boyfriend. Led by our one and only single friend, I allowed myself to be dragged out instead of comfort eating in my pyjamas in front of the TV. Not that I would’ve admitted it, but it was actually quite fun to dress up and act like a single, carefree woman again. My red party heels were pulled out from the back of my cupboard and my favourite fitted jeans donned. Topped with a splash of red colour on my lips and nails, I felt exciting and daring. Alas, the last thing I can confidently recall was swigging down the umpteenth shooter in some smoky club. Where I am right now, how I got here and with whom, I regrettably have no recollection of.

I decide to brazenly do the only thing a girl can do in this circumstance: I mentally channel the image of a stealthy ninja and make a grab for Adonis’ cell phone. Thankfully, no password and I’m in. A perusal of his text messages conclude that, while he is affectionately termed ‘Bud’ by his friends, I’m positive it’s not his name. Another bust it seems.

There’s something to be said of the cruel light of day, and now, as my bravado wanes and the Nancy Drew in me withers, I start to panic. Its morning. I want to go home. Now.

I scramble to gather my clothes, my cell phone and purse and head straight for the exit. I admit that I’m prone to acting first without thinking it through. True to form, only once I’m out the front door do I stop to contemplate my next move. I have one plausible option: phone my BFF Tina. Damn, my cell phone is turned off. Fumbling, I power it up again and, ignoring the flashing red light that signals my battery is about to die, I dial Tina’s number. She answers on the first ring. No pleasantries. Her first words are a half concerned, half irritated question: “Maddie, what the hell happened?”

I feel a big lump rising in my throat and the last of my composure crumbles. I manage to whimper, “Geez Tina, you tell me! I woke up in some strange guy’s bed. I feel …”. I let the words slide. Nothing can accurately describe how I feel right now. She mutters some profanity under her breath. “Ok, ok. Where are you? I’ll come pick you up”.

Another thing I don’t know it seems. I walk a bit further from the spot I’m standing in, turn the corner and see the main gate to the street. A car is driving out the complex and I make an ungainly dash for the gate. I silently thank the municipality for erecting a large street sign about 200 metres up the road. I tell Tina the street name. As the resourceful heroine she always is, she orders me to stay put and wait for her. “You can’t be far, I’ll plug the street name into my GPS. I’m on my way.”

Barefoot, holding my shoes in one hand, my hair dishevelled and my eye make-up smudged, I conclude that I must be a glorious sight to behold! I’m sure Tina thinks the same thing as I climb into her trusty Polo fifteen minutes later. During the animated ride home she manages to fill in a few of my self-inflicted memory gaps and tells me that she left before me last night as she had to get up early this morning. When she tried to phone me and her calls went straight to voicemail, Tina phoned one of our other friends to find out how things went. She found out that the girls had left me at the club with a friendly guy – hopefully the same one I woke up to this morning – when I insisted I didn’t want to go home and they should leave without me. It explains some of what has transpired, but not who my Adonis is and what happened after their departure. Perhaps this is one event I should really try to forget instead of trying to remember.

With much cursing and consoling, Tina finally drops me at home and leaves me alone on condition that I promise to phone her later on in the day. My first point of business is to make a cup of my favourite tea and take a hot shower.

I charge up my phone to check my text and voice messages. In addition to the harried messages from Tina, I have a long-winded message from Brendon. He says he loves me and asks if we can meet to talk things through. He also states emphatically that he believes it would be a huge mistake if I just end our relationship so easily after one foolish indiscretion. Characteristically Brendon – always trying to control the state of affairs and minimise the damage.

I’m contemplating whether I want to call Brendon back after so much has transpired, when my phone rings. I don’t recognise the number but I answer anyway.

“Maddie?” an unfamiliar voice asks.
“Yes.”
“Maddie, my name is Jeff.  We met at the club last night?”
I remain silent.
“You left your watch at my place.”
I balk. Oh boy, this must be my Adonis. Did I really give him my number?
He clears his throat, “You could’ve woken me up. I would’ve taken you home you know.” Now I hear a soft rumble as he tries to contain a chuckle. I’m not sure whether to be embarrassed or angry.
“Why don’t I take you out for lunch today? I like you and we seem to have tons of stuff in common. Based on your quick escape this morning though, I think I might’ve scared you off. How about we start over?”
I think about it and after a short pause, I hear myself say “Ok”. Surprisingly, I am ok with it.
“Oh, and by the way Maddie, we didn’t sleep together if that’s what you were wondering. You were a little wasted and I couldn’t get your address out of you. So I took you back to my place to sleep it off.”
“But you were naked!” I blurt out.
He laughs. “I sleep in the buff.  See you in an hour.”

I’m smiling now – a big goofy grin that crinkles the corners of my eyes. He sounds like a ‘nice guy’ and I sure could do with a ‘nice guy’ around about now. Maybe there is a life after Brendon?  I’m sure I’ll figure it out, but it’s one step at time. This is my first step – and it’s out the door to meet my personal Adonis. Adios Brendon.

~ A short story by Sherrie Dyer-Bracher

Are New Year’s resolutions dead or dying?

New Year’s resolutions are apparently so “yesteryear”, yet somehow I can’t help treating the start of a new year as an opportunity to clean the slate and start afresh.

new-years-resolutionsHonestly, despite getting re-married last year, 2012 was a tough year for me.  My emotional and mental disposition was taxed to its capacity and I fear I suffered much more than just a sense of humour failure.

Thankfully the year passed quickly and now I foster great hopes for the next twelve months. This year is going to be a good one – I can feel it in my bones.  Furthermore, given my daring frame of mind, I decided that setting some ambitious personal goals would kick my year off on the right footing.

Maybe I speak for myself, but the problem with setting goals and resolutions is that the temptation to backtrack or conveniently forget what I am striving for is all too easy. I want to make 100% positive that by the end of the year I am able to measure my progress; to do this I plan to document exactly what I want to achieve by sharing my goals with you.  Here goes:

Goal 1
Focus on my dream to have my poetry published one day
Measurement: Start my own dedicated poetry blog

Goal 2
I want to try to start a family this year.
Measurement:  Er … this would go without saying LOL

Goal 3
I want to focus more time on my writing:  this blog, poetry and short stories. 
Measurement:  I need to have entered at least one writing competition by the end of the year.

Goal 4
Get fit and eat healthier.
Measurement:  Join a gym, gym at least four times a month and map out an eating plan. I have set the target weight of 69 kg by mid-year as my first major measurement point.

Goal 5
Spend more quality time with my husband.
Measurement:  At least once a month, participate in one activity/pastime/hobby that my husband wants to do.

new-years-resolutionI’m so pleased that already I’ve made great progress on my goals.  On my first goal, my new poetry blog (http://poetizing.com) is now up and running. Please check it out and let me know what you think.  On my second goal, we’ve actively started trying (big smile).  Lastly, by joining our local Virgin Active gym, I’m making steady progress on my fourth goal and at the same time I am doing something my husband loves to do with me.  So my fifth goal gets a tick in the progress check box there too!

I would love to know if I’m the only old-fashioned person who has set New Year’s goals?  Hopefully not! :)

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