Creative Writing Exercise: Why is She Fleeing?

    creative writing exercise

    Why is she fleeing?

    Can you come up with a mini-story of not more than 350 words?

    In case you’re not familiar with our Creative Writing Exercises, here’s how it works:

    • We set the scene
    • You make it your own, and
    • Share your creation in the comments section of this post

     Now for the ground rules:

    • Your story must be 350 words or less.
    • Your work must be original and not previously published.
    • WTD provides an encouraging and safe environment for writers to grow and learn from each other. We’d love you to comment on other people’s submissions in a friendly and supportive manner.

    This month’s writing prompt is designed to develop your storytelling skills. Normally, we use words to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Here, your prompt is an image. Can you weave an interesting story around this image in 350 words or less?

     We can’t wait to read what you come up with, so please copy your story into the comments section of this post.

    About the author:
    Mary Jaksch is Editor-in-Chief at Write to Done. Grab her FREE report How to Write Like an A-List Blogger. Mary has helped thousands of students successfully create outstanding and profitable blogs at  A-List Blogging and is the blogger behind Goodlife ZEN.

    Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com. Grab a copy of her free report, How to Create an Irresistible Lead Magnet in Less Than 5 Hours. In her “spare” time, Mary’s also the brains behind AlistBlogging.net. and GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • Liz says:

      She labored for breath, her boots creating a steady staccato as they slammed to the ground with each step. Despite her fatigue, Anya couldn’t keep the smile from her face as she raced toward the decrepit warehouse. She knew he would be there. Waiting.

      Impatient, Anya stooped to sweep the long white skirt of the dress she wore into her arms. She had pulled the dress off a clothing line in the back yard of one of the homes she ran past and it wasn’t exactly conducive to running though a train yard. At least it was a lot less conspicuous than the orange jumpsuit she had traded for it. She heard a train pulling into the yard and she began to run again, desperate to reach the relative safety of their meeting point.

      She slowed as she approached the rusting door. Cautious, Anya pressed her ear to the flaking metal but couldn’t hear anything within. She wiped the sweat from her face and nervously ran her fingers through her hair. The door protested as she opened it and she paused, again, to listen. Hearing nothing, she stepped into the cool darkness of the building.

      Before her eyes adjusted to the low light she heard a voice. Him.

      “Is that it?”

      “It is,” Anya adjusted her sweaty grip on the handle of the suitcase she had risked her newfound freedom to deliver. “I missed you,” she breathed as he came closer.

      His dark eyes traveled over her. “I know you did,” he said. “Give me the case.”

      Anya’s heart stuttered at the coldness of his voice. And then it broke, just moments before the gun he pointed at her face went off.

    • that was awesome to read all thanks to all participate and make it large

    • “Just leave! I never want to see you again!”
      Rebecca could still remember the expression on Michael’s face as she’d hurled those words at him. Shock. Hurt. Sadness. She was furious at him for doing the one thing he knew would hurt her most. He cheated on her. But no, it wasn’t simply cheating. It had to be in grand Michael fashion. He boffed her little sister, Alison.

      “Becca, we didn’t know what we were doing…we were so drunk. Michael was there and we were talking one minute, then-”
      She cut Alison off. She didn’t want to hear any lurid details of their disgusting tryst. Just knowing it happened was enough. Her heart was breaking. She’d had everything planned out. They would date for six months to a year. Become engaged and hold their wedding within one year. But Michael bulldozed all her careful planning for a one off with her baby sister. All her dreams of marrying her first love…her best friend…and the hottest guy in Dallas weren’t merely dashed. They were disintegrated.
      She didn’t blame Alison. Her sister had always been a little wild, but she’d never tried to steal her boyfriends. No, Alison was an innocent in all this. Until Rebecca accidentally intercepted a text she’d sent to Michael.

      Our night meant everything to me.
      I know you were passed out, but I
      could tell how much you wanted me.

      “Alison, why would you do this to me? To Michael?!”
      Rebecca thought finding out Michael had sex with Alison was the worst feeling in the world. No, this was the worst. Betrayal twice over by her own sister. Life seemed surreal in that moment. Michael hadn’t done anything wrong after all. She’d tossed him out before giving him a chance to explain. She’d been blinded by rage. Now Michael was off living in California, hundreds of miles away. She’d lost her true love forever.

      Or had she?

      Rebecca packed a small suitcase and headed for the station. She grabbed a ticket and ran to meet the incoming train…the last train to California.

    • Roberta says:

      What had she been thinking? I mean, really, who agrees to marry after knowing someone for only 3 weeks?

      Yes, she’d been exploring the world to find herself. And, yes, she’d found, at her center, that she craved the adventurous life. And again, yes, she’d thought she’d met her perfect match in the tall, dark, and handsome stranger she’d bumped into in Italy, and again in France. He was adventurous, fun, intelligent, cultured, and a bit old-fashioned. But really… what had she been thinking?

      Nearing the train platform Natalie noticed the other passengers starting to board. Gripping the handle of her suitcase tightly, and lifting the hem of her dress she broke into a run. The heavy hiking boots she’d changed into at the church slapping the concrete as she went.

      Reaching the train in time to board Natalie found a seat in an empty car and plopped into it. Slowly removing her sunglasses, and turning to stare out the window, she again recounted in her head all that she had overheard. All that showed her beyond a doubt that Alex didn’t know her at all. That he saw nothing other than some image he held of her from the first night they had met. The night she’d been down, and introspective. That wasn’t her! She rarely was down, and she was only introspective when faced with a life altering decision that required her to look at all the angles, all the problems, all the possible solutions. As she had done while dressing for her wedding. Boy, that had been a close one. Next time, if there ever was a next time, a long engagement was definitely in order!

      No sweep her off her feet. No whirlwind romance. No rush to the alter. Guess the trip was worth it. She had learned something vital about herself. Adventurous she may be, but for her, caution was her co-pilot.

      Settling back into the seat, Natalie prepared for the long ride home.

    • Mohini says:

      Yes, she is flying, spreading her wings and flying to the destination she has always wanted to….

      Today, she was about to put a step forward, a step into the world she never belonged,
      almost crumbling the wish she has lived for, she knew and always knew what her heart desired.
      And today she is watching her pious hope come true, the fantasy, dream, ambition she lived every single day.
      Her love has been boundless, her heart is beating like never before, leaving the world of qualm behind she is running into new horizon of happiness.
      She is happy, she is smiling, riding over the feeling of joy! Only she could understand the enormity of it!

      “I love you”, Jon told her few days before, Annie has been spending sleepless nights since then. Jon has been her definition of love. The affection Annie had for him never faded, even when she was on the verge of marrying Adam. But today, she had a decision to make and she chose her love. Never having the courage to tell Jon about her feelings, Annie spent 7 years wondering, “Will he ever love me?” She couldn’t repress herself from following her heart today, it was always with Jon. “Go, stay happy”, said her father. Adam saw her off with a smile on his face and heavy heart, dressed in a white gown Annie was looking beautiful. Her happiness was all that Adam ever wanted! Putting on the shoes, Annie ran to catch the train of destiny, on the platform of fortune, towards eternity!

    • Pooja Navetia says:

      “Oh Darling! You will have to change out of those scruffy Denims and Hippy Tees to look the part of my elegant, well groomed daughter. And while you are at it, I ll send up some pearls for you. Those trinkets around your neck, they don’t suit you” said her father.

      Kiara had come here a month ago all eager to learn and love her father with her fierce passion burning and spirits held high. Since forever, she had wanted to show her father all the “love you” cards she had designed and heart shaped trinkets she had bought for him. But in her bid to please her father, on the night of her 21st Birthday, she stood in front of mirror not recognising herself in the virginal white gown and high delicate heels with her, otherwise messy, shabby hair, pulled into a classic bun tied in chiffon. She descended the stairs in all magnificence and poise. She whirled and twirled the whole night, her feet were sore and her jaw ached because of pretentious smiles, and to top it all, champagne she just drank made her tipsy. It was a much celebrated ball, so continued till wee hours in the morning. But enough was enough.
      She went to her suite, changed into her worn out runners, packed all her love and the two sets of clothes she had brought in a rugged suitcase and came down.
      “Kiara, what are you doing making a fool out of me. Apologise for this clownish act and go get changed into something smart” said her father.
      “I won’t get changed into anything, Father, except into myself. This status, the fake smiles and back stabbing attitudes, you can take all of it. I am off for a life of wonder, edginess, travel and adventure. Just don’t forget to credit my account with $ 1,000,000 like every month. Good bye Papa”.
      And she ran wild smiling into unknown free of all “could have beens” or “if onlys”. The villa in the hills looked forlorn as the only sunshine that warmed it had run off….

    • “Oh Darling! You will have to change out of those scruffy Denims and Hippy Tees to look the part of my elegant, well groomed daughter. And while you are at it, I ll send up some pearls for you. Those trinkets around your neck, they don’t suit you” said her father.

      Kiara had come here a month ago all eager to learn and love her father with her fierce passion burning and spirits held high. Since forever, she had wanted to show her father all the “love you” cards she had designed and heart shaped trinkets she had bought for him. But in her bid to please her father, on the night of her 21st Birthday, she stood in front of mirror not recognising herself in the virginal white gown and high delicate heels with her, otherwise messy, shabby hair, pulled into a classic bun tied in chiffon. She descended the stairs in all magnificence and poise. She whirled and twirled the whole night, her feet were sore and her jaw ached because of pretentious smiles, and to top it all, champagne she just drank made her tipsy. It was a much celebrated ball, so continued till wee hours in the morning. But enough was enough.

      She went to her suite, changed into her worn out runners, packed all her love and the two sets of clothes she had brought in a rugged suitcase and came down.

      “Kiara, what are you doing making a fool out of me. Apologise for this clownish act and go get changed into something smart” said her father.

      “I won’t get changed into anything, Father, except into myself. This status, the fake smiles and back stabbing attitudes, you can take all of it. I am off for a life of wonder, edginess, travel and adventure. Just don’t forget to credit my account with $ 1,000,000 like every month. Good bye Papa”.

      And she ran wild smiling into unknown free of all “could have beens” or “if onlys”. The villa in the hills looked forlorn as the only sunshine that warmed it had run off….

    • why is she fleeing? That’s the thought which came in my mind while i was enjoying a fag, sitting on my new Night Rod Special, 500cc black state of the art Harley Davidson, which
      was a gift from one of the American client, whom I have given my service whenever they have faced any problem with the software of their computers. I was en route to rekong peo
      & took a halt on that ancient iron bridge as i was mesmerized by the breathtaking beauty of the water gushing under the bridge. All of a sudden i was distracted by the sight of
      this beautiful angle just like Cameron Diaz in Charles Angles with whom i have wondered around the world in my dreams.

      At that moment it was like a dream comes true. she was running to wards the end of the bridge where I was stationed on my byce. she was looking like a diva running
      towards you with the little brown suitcase in her hand, em blazed in a white wedding gown giving an impression that she is coming running straight from the church without taking an oath
      of being married as she is madly in love with the person waiting on the other end of the bridge with the new Harley Davidson ready to take the bride away.

      I was so lost in the dreamland along with the aesthetic beauty, relishing the experience, to which i can only refer as pleasurable to the senses.
      All of a sudden a sound of the gunshot shattered my dream and i was still on the same bridge & she was passing me with the briefcase in her hand. in just few
      second i took a long trip to the wonderland with that beautiful girl but now in real world it seems she is in great danger as i saw three man chasing the
      girl with the deadly weapons in their hand, which clearly indicates that they belong to an organized group. they all have the appearance of a bouncer or
      a body guard, wrapped in black suits laced with automatic machine guns and the expressions on their faces clearly gives the idea of being cruel and some how
      giving the perception of being a members of an organized crime $ moreover they were not wearing any ID or flashing badges.The other people disappeared or took
      cover in a flash, I also slide myself behind the motorcycle & as being Harley’s byce its massive body was big enough to cover me.

      The thing which caught me more was the way the girl was reacting to the situation. she had no sign of being worried about the danger luring behind her instead
      of that the way she dodged the bullets like a master performing the skills mastered over the ages, gives clear indication that they are no match for her. while
      she was busy dodging bullets, i was not able to stop myself from getting caught with the charm of her beautiful face & on top of that the curves of her
      figure wrapped in a silky white wedding gown, giving fuel to my horses ready to be lost once again with the imagination full of pleasure. One thing which was
      adding to the beauty of her face was the Ray Ban style sun glasses but to me it was something which was stopping me from getting the sight of her eyes & as I
      being the person always trying to look straight in to the eyes of the other person to get hold of the inner sense did not like being stopped by the sunglasses.

      As she was about to disappear from the sight when I saw a white land rover charging straight towards her from the same direction she was running towards & it
      was loaded with people with exactly the same appearance as the people hunting her down. Now it seems to me that she is trapped but exactly the same moment, she
      took off her sunglasses and looked toward my Harley. Sensing her intention, I poped up & now i was directly looking in her eyes. something was there which
      was asking me if i am ready to take the challenge and jump in to the situation for helping her. I was thrilled and excited about being her partner in adventure
      of the life time & as i am a person always ready to take the challenge from the front was ready to jump in to the action. That was the moment when I heard
      someone yelling cut cut cut….. & then I realized what it was & the girl was actually Cameron Diaz herself, shooting for M.I.7.

    • Doris Shaw says:

      Why is she fleeing?

      Della grabbed at the hem of her long white dress, ran out of the church and up the hill. Her feet carrying her forward running from the sound of Justin’s voice, “Della Mae,” his voice trying to catch up to her. “What are you doing? You can’t leave me like this. Della Mae, you come back. Please come back.”
      Faster she ran trying to outrun the sound. Her foot found a hole and she fell to her knees. “Oh God, don’t let me be too late,” she bunched up the dress and struggled to her feet only to land back on her knees as the heel of her white dress shoe gave way. Brushing the dirt from her bruised palms, she sat down and pulled the shoe off casting it from her. Starting to rise, she kicked the other shoe off and bunched up the dress that impeded her progress.
      The road rose sharply and Della slowed her pace. She brushed her hand across her face and dropped her hold on the dress. The mass drug her down. Pushing herself forward, she ran her hands down her arms as Manuel had the night before. “Come go with me Della,” Manuel said steeping closer and whispering in her ear. “We shall explore the world together. Imagine sailing into a new port and dropping anchor,” he stepped back and gazed sky ward. “At night we can make love under the stars and…”
      “Don’t,” Della stepped back. “You know I can’t. I promised. We made plans already.” She turned and stepped on to the dock. “Della Mae,” his voice bounced off the water, “come back, please.” She reached the narrow bridge across the gorge and climbed on the wide rock rail. Jerking the veil from her head she waved it about. A tear streamed down her cheek as across the bay the familiar sail dipped a farewell. Della slumped own on the rail, gathered her dress about her as the sound of the mowing machine reached her ears. With blade tied up still there was no room, she closed her eyes and waited.

    • Juan says:

      Settling. She was never settled. Long had she suffered with an uneasy feeling of restlessness. Often she wondered why she was like this. Was there something wrong? Something wrong with her? She knew she should be happy with her life and everything she had. There were so many happy memories shared and of her own, her life had direction, was finally with purpose. Yet once again this feeling overcame her, crashing over her like a wave. She didn’t want to drown, didn’t want to stay, couldn’t for fear of doing so. Did they know? Could they see the struggle within her? Would they understand? Did she for that matter. In that moment she decided what she would do as she left, not worrying what was being left behind. She wasn’t worried now. She had purpose again, finally she felt settled.

    • Jeffrey says:

      My nose was twitching, the way it did when i was nervous, or about to do something I knew deep down wasn’t right.
      When I awoke at 4am, barely sleeping three hours, i put on my wedding dress, re-packed my suitcase, checked my bank account balance, poured, and gulped a glass of scotch on the rocks, a double in fact, and made my way to the church.
      I walked in, placed my suitcase near the door, and gasped at the standing room only church, and my husband to be standing in the front patiently waiting. I made my family and fatherless walk down the center isle toward my soon to be husband, and could feel my throat closing up with each step i took.my mind asked the same question over and over. What was I doing? A question I had no answer to, no matter I asked myself. What was i suppose to do after being in a long term relationship with a man I tried so desperate to fall in love with.
      I made it two thirds of the way down, i turned and ran out of the church, leaving my heels behind like Cinderella fleeing the ball. I slipped into my boots, grabbed my suitcase, and as fast I could in my wedding dress and boots ran as fast I could away from the church, never looking back. I was going to need every penny of the million in my bank account, destination unknown!

    • “Ah that was easy” she thought. “God, he’s a dumb ass.”

      Caroline was running for her new freedom. A freedom that contained large amounts of tax free cash.

      “I feel bad.” She felt a pang of guilt. “Damn. But if I didn’t promise to re-marry him, I would have been screwed for sure. Karma has to be with me. ”

      Caroline ran with a suitcase holding her new life’s possessions; a suit, jeans, underwear and $400,000 in bearer bonds. Bonds her and her ex-husband managed to purchase with funds they stole during their short marriage. They were both exceptionally smart and she originally thought they were destined for a dreamy life of wine and song in an early retired life in St. Barts.

      It’s an old story.

      “He cheated and I got pissed” she thought “so screw him.”

      She felt sheepish trying to comprehend what might have been if she had just hung in there with the loser.

      “End of story! Who’s going to put up with that crap?” she thought as her boots crunched on the gravel.

      “I left the prick at the altar and it serves him right. I should have left him there the first time around.”

      The process though, was long and involved; too much acting for Caroline’s liking.
      She was not made for the long con. In the end, all she took was half. It made her feel better. One hundred per cent more than she was going to get out of the divorce.

      “He’ll hate me for a while. I didn’t bust him though. I took just enough for me to set up shop in Argentina’s version of Hooterville.” She wondered why she gave a rat’s ass what he thought of her.

      “I did love him,” she answered. And that was the crux. Love among crooks makes for strange ethics but they never saw themselves as thieves. Just an aggressive financial planning.

      He brought the bonds to open accounts in St. Barts on the honeymoon. She drove as far as she could in his freshly reported “stolen car.”

      “Now if I could just find a cab.”

    • Jasmine Gonzalez says:

      The young woman ran down the streets of the small town with a briefcase in hand. She worried she wouldn’t get to the train tracks in time. She could already fell her lungs burning. She cursed the stupid dress and her hair for being too long.
      The civilians of the town looked at her with baffled expressions. It wasn’t every day a woman was seen running with a briefcase and in a wedding dress. She was unrecognizable until Hank Brown shouted, “Daisy! Is that you? Where’re you running to?” She ran faster to avoid further questions.
      Everyone yelled to her after that, “Daisy Hall? Where are you going? Isn’t today your wedding?” She wanted to run away from everyone. She wanted to run away from her parents for forcing her into that marriage, and Jason Peters for wanting to marry her.
      Her lungs were giving out, and her legs were numb. She could see the train station. Her heart fluttered with hope again. Then she heard that horrible New York accent scream, “Where do you think you’re going to?”
      Daisy quickly turned around to see her fiancé in a truck that was speeding towards her. She turned again and ran with all the energy she had left towards the train tracks. The last bit of hope she had died as she heard the roar of the truck right behind her. A cry was stuck in her throat. She wasn’t going to make it. She turned to see her own brother driving the truck. Jason jumped out of the truck as well as her brother and gave her one last ugly grin. He reached out for her when her brother, Jack, tackled him to the floor. Daisy was confused. “Run, Daisy!” He told her with a smile.
      She gave her brother one last glance of gratitude and ran. She was at the train tracks and a small smile spread over her face when she saw her ride who would take her far away from there. Her run slowed to a jog and she hopped into the car. She had escaped.

    • Ronnie Lee says:

      “Tell us the picture story!”

      “When I saw that photograph I wanted to marry your Mommy.”

      “Tell us! Tell us!”

      “Your Mom and I worked for the same movie company. We knew each other’s names but not much more. I was the lowly set photographer, but your Mom worked for the Assistant Producer . . .”
      “Who does whatever it takes.”

      “ . . . as her executive assistant.”

      “Who gets blamed when whatever is not enough.”

      “It was Saturday and we were filming behind an abandoned building. Your Mom somehow got the day off to serve as a bride’s maid. After the wedding your Mom realized she had a dozen text messages from her boss.

      “The director had decided to film an extra scene but needed his notated script from the briefcase in his office. The office was too far for a round trip from the set but the church was close by.

      “Your Mom ditched the reception, switched into the running shoes she wore to the church, went to the office and retrieved the briefcase. From there to the set she committed half of the moving violations listed in the California traffic code and picked up a trailing escort of motorcycle cops.

      “I heard sirens nearby as your Mom abandoned her car in the front parking lot and ran through a gap between the back fence and the building. I saw her round the corner in the bride’s maid dress with police in pursuit. I started taking pictures.

      The cops grabbed your Mom as she handed the briefcase to the director. I don’t know what all was promised but the director returned to filming, your Mom avoided arrest but received several traffic tickets which the studio paid, had her license suspended for a year, and a police-escorted motorcade was added to the movie.

      “What about the picture.”

      “Look at your Mom’s feet – that’s how angels run, never touching the ground. And she was running toward me. That picture gave the courage . . .”

      “To marry her?”

      “No.”

      “To ask her on a date?”

      “No . . . to volunteer to drive her wherever she needed to go.”

    • Kari Grace says:

      She smiled, looked deeply into his eyes, and, without another word, took off running. All those years of high school track suddenly came in handy, in a way she had never anticipated.
      With the mountains behind her and railway tracks to her right, she thanked God for not having time to change shoes; her brother’s old boots served her well. She had left the wedding party far behind before she paused for breath.
      As she thought back over the last 9 years she saw the signs. They were all there, yet she’d been to blind, too in love, to pay attention. First loves never truly die, she guessed, and she refused to be second choice. Marriage to him would have meant security, something she longed for desperately… but at what price? Knowing there would always be a piece of his heart belonging to another, what kind of foundation was that to build a marriage upon? If he could not let go of his first love then he surely did not need her in his life. And vice versa.
      She took off running, her small suitcase banging against her right thigh. Her night would not turn out how she had been planning for the last year, in the arms of a man she thought she loved, with a small gold band on her finger, but how can one love someone they have never truly known? It was unfortunate she had discovered this outside the church, and it took one more heated argument to do so, but there it was. Better late than never, she supposed.
      What would become of her? Where would she go? She had no idea. Her heart pounded. She ran.
      Her future was uncertain, but one thing she did know – it would be one of her own choosing.

    • Run Lola Run!

      Every Which Way You Can, Far From The Madding Crowd.

      Enemy At The Gates, The Conversation, The French Connection. The Spectre of the Godfather.

      12 Years A Slave, For a Few Dollars More, The Wages of Fear.

      It Happened One Night, Memories of Murder, Infernal Affairs, The Grapes of Wrath, There Will Be Blood.

      The Great Escape, Spirited Away, Taxi Driver. Strangers on a Train, Gone with the Wind

      Laughter in Paradise

      A Fistful of Dollars, The Night of the Hunter, Stalker, The Search, Taken, The Terminator, The 400 blows, The Big Sleep.

    • Brett C. says:

      This caper of mine was nutz: Was it not?

      I audition for a part as a Runaway Bride??

      I mean, really! What sort of experience am I supposed to have for such a part?

      “You don’t neeeeed to have been a Runaway Bride to play one!” the Director tells me, almost condescendingly, after I blurt out my anxiety…

      “Who says so? Didn’t DeNiro gain 5O pounds to play Jake LaMotta?”

      Know what happens next?…I hightail it outta there!: In costume, with suitcase.

      “CUT!” The Director shrieks. “Where the hell….?”

      Where the Hell?, yourself, I sez to myself–and there I go, with my personal aerobics best, running to the Train depot, maybe a 1/4 mile from the Screen Test.

      Out of insane desperation, I pick out the most eligible-looking bachelor I could find, who stands there, in the station, innocently. .

      “Hey, look…my name’s Eunice, what’s yours?”

      The man, an elegant face, really, of GQ looks; maybe, a Rob Lowe clone, wearing casual, designer clothing, like an executive Techie on dressed-down Friday….

      “Ned…?” he responds with some understandable amazement. But, what the Hey! I know some guys find me appealing–so I figure he ain’t necessarily going to call the cops…

      “Will you marry me? I’ll explain later.”

      “No problemo!”

      “Hey, you catch on fast.”

      “I’m a quick study! What are you doing dressed up as a bride? Am I playing second fiddle of something?” Ned asks facetiously, as if he’s willing to go along with a gag….

      Ok, so I’m half-way there!: Apparently, this guy has spent enough time in his life, programming himself on how NOT to become uptight when confronted with strange or unorthodox situations!

      Is this My Bad or His??

      I ignored my own question. “We’ll have to elope!”

      And, as soon as I inform him of this plan, I take off, down the platform to track 8.

      “Hey!” he yells and he chases after.

      After 100 yards, I’m–Crazily!–about to embark, until the Director yells,

      “CUT!…That was great! You’re Hired!”

    • D Bellenghi says:

      Today was the most glorious day of Mary’s short life. Her heart beat wildly with joy as she ran toward the train station. She had not felt this happy in years. Not since her early childhood before her parents had died. Happiness had become a distant memory until today. Her life as an orphan had no resemblance to the musical versions created by Hollywood. She endured numerous foster homes. Her childhood became a series of strangers and strange places. She was always on shifting sands, last child in and first out. Mary learned quickly not to draw attention to herself and to maintain a low profile. These protective measures worked well for her most of the time but translated to her guardians as a sullen, secretive loner. She didn’t participate in activities but withdrew instead to sit in corners scribbling in her notebooks. The foster home system had basically performed its purpose keeping her fed, clothed and educated in the tougher side of life.
      As she ran, Mary tightened her grip on the battered brief case in her hand. The brief case was the only keep sake from her past. It belonged to her father. Through the years, it was never out of her possession, always a constant companion. All her secrets locked away by the key around her neck. The key to her future. Glorious day! Glorious day! The single thought circled round and round her brain, matching the pace at which she ran. Glorious day! Glorious day! The call had come this morning. The call Mary thought would never come. Mary had taken the phone sure it was a mistake. A man’s voice on the other end of the phone assured Mary that the call was indeed for her. He received her manuscript and had been searching for her for some time. He was an editor and was interested in publishing her novel. Someone was finally validating her dreams, making them worthy to be dreamed, all on her eighteenth birthday. She was free, at last and the world waited for her. Happy Birthday to me, Mary thought, smiling.

    • Forever fleeing, I awake in the morning. Usually surprised by the unusual sound of an alarm. Honestly years have past since I routinely used such a thing. The vibrate mode is more than enough. Mornings, like this one, I usually wonder why such a thing would ever go off at such an hour, when it’s still so dark, it takes more than a moment to reconfigure time and space.

      Forever fleeing, I go about my normal day, once it all comes together. There are potential appointments to make me feel optimal. There are work hours to pad the bank account. Padding it for what, the mind has no limit. However, I generally enjoy going along for the daydream infused ride.

      Forever fleeing, I rationalize the day. I breathe deeply through general transgressions. I wade in the waters of how long I have spent in one place and I try my hardest to be honest about how long I can tread. I realize time is subjective and experience holds more power. I appreciate the fleeting notion of what is and what will be, by the acknowledgement of what has been. In its entirety: beauty and sorrow.

      Forever fleeting. I am more of a runner than anything. I know the glory of transition. I embrace the thrill of the unknown. I relish in the sanctity of movement linked with breath. I ground down at the notion f what may be. What can be. My chest constricts when others talk of settling. I will open up every door as I approach no matter of the impending end date.

      Forever fleeing, I am aware of the allure of the person gone. Please do not miss me more as I walk away. I have been presently absent for some time. I have known for a while that the appeal of novelty is not real, and the appeal lost its luster. By fleeing, I am not running away, I am moving forward, moving on, just moving.

    • D. Thomas says:

      Why is She fleeing?
      She’s running to catch the train. After last night, when her true love, whom she thought was dead, showed up after ten years she knew she couldn’t get married the next day. She woke up surrounded by family and friends as she put on her wedding dress but all she could think about was he. Kendal. She started down the isle and saw the man she was suppose to marry, wondering if she could go on with it knowing the one person who has kept her heart for so many years was alive. “ Do You, Lindsey, take this man to be…” the preacher started off saying. “NO, I’m so sorry.” she screamed running out the chapel, grabbing the things she’d brought with her and changing out of her heels. Almost as if knowing she didn’t want to get married. She called Kendal, over and over again but he didn’t answer. He himself didn’t want to speak to her knowing today was her wedding day and he couldn’t be the one marrying her. She looked at the giant clock resting at the top of the Elizabeth Tower. She caught a cab but it only took her half way to her destination. Getting out she ran as fast as she could. Watching the train start to pass her, she knew what she had to do. And do it should would to be with the one she loved. So then, she jumped, barely making it but smiling to be with Kendal at last. The next step was getting to him, and then happiness would be returned to them both.

    • Gabby says:

      Just in front of me, there are tall metal poles reaching up into the sky, carrying the Union’s electricity to the few the are privileged enough to receive it. I continue to run, aware that those who follow me are some of the best bounty hunters and are fully equipped to handle any of my usual traps. Although I would say that I’ve caught a few unnoticed simply because they didn’t notice me. I’m not exactly what you would call ‘attention-grabbing’. Everything about me is average: my hair, my face, my height. Except for my eyes. Those are a startling blue-green pair that seem to unnerve the few people that get close enough to see them. Not that there have been many since I first got caught on the wrong side of the Wall. That one action caused my father to realize that maybe I wasn’t the perfect daughter he had imagined. So he decided to arrange a marriage for me, to one of the officials that run our city. But, I escaped with the help of my caregiver and am now on the run.

    • Katie Yost says:

      I was going to get married. I was going to have my happily ever. I didn’t know that he was a criminal, a terrorist. And I definitely didn’t know that the only reason he proposed to me was because I worked for the government and he needed information from me. At our wedding, the FBI broke into the chapel before I could even say I do. They were so focused on trying to capture my now ex-fiancé that I was able to escape before they caught me and made the assumption that I was his accomplice. As I ran away from the chapel I took off the puffy outer layer of my dress to reveal a simple and sliming white dress. I ran until I arrived at my house and started to pack. I decided against leaving my high heels on and just putting on a pair of boots. It was a good thing that I had planned to go on our honeymoon right after the wedding so I could have a plane ticket to leave this country, and probably never return. I made the hard decision of leaving my car behind knowing that it would only make it easier for the FBI to find me. as soon as I finished packing I started my long run to the airport. At first I cried because of how horribly my life had turned out so suddenly, but then a smile found it’s way to my face as I thought of the upsides. I was single and ready to mingle again.

    • Sharvonne says:

      Finally, I’m free.They thought they could just stop me from living my dreams. They thought they could keep me trapped in their little bubble like a caged bird. Well, look at me now. The wind is crashing on my face, feeling like a cold slap. With every step, starts my new life. I hope they don’t miss me. When I say they I mean my family, of course. Out of all the people in the world, you would have expect your parents to have your back and support you. Sure, they do support you, but not in the way you really want. How I really want them to say do whatever makes you happy. But no, they just have to be those stereotypical “you have to be a doctor or lawyer” parents. Didn’t they see me trying on mom’s clothes and trying on her makeup? When I was in school, I did not… I still do not care for Pythagorean theorem or quadratic formulas. I don’t plan on using those ever again in my life. I look down at my brown, leather shoes and snow, white dress and you know what I see? Freedom. I won’t wear those dreadful khakis and polo shirts and more. I won’t fake a smile and pretend everything is okay. With every step, my new life begins. It is about time I throw away what they wanted me to be and pursue my real dream. I am a dove that has her cage left open. Nothing will stop my wings from flapping now. I will be a fashion model.

    • Jennifer Woodard says:

      ” I don’t know why I put on this wedding dress, I knew I wasn’t going to marry him.” Camila thought as she ran down the train tracks in her wedding dress, combat boots and carrying her suitcase.

      “Damn, running would have been so easier without this dress on and a pair of gym shoes, what was I thinking?

      Thinking.

      That was the Camilla’s problem, she never gave much thoughts to her actions. She just acted.

      If she had given more thought in the first place she would never have accepted the proposal from a man that she had only known for five weeks.

      But he was oh so gorgeous, everything about him seems so perfect.

      “Is it really so abnormal for a man to propose after only two weeks? She thought as she ran along the tracks hoping a train would not come and run her over.

      His tall muscular body, black silken hair and beautiful skin. His accent intoxicated her making her melt like ice cream when she listened to him. But she never really listened to his words, just the sound of them and that was the problem.

      If she had listened to the words she made have heard him, really heard him at the time when she heard him tell someone on the phone how man holes to dig. She really should have paid more attention when she listened to him do money transfers over the phone, but she didn’t listen to the words, she only listened to the sound of his beautiful words.

      Yes, she heard some words he said, “how beautiful she was,” but someone she missed the part when the thought out loud how much value she could be to him, she though he vaiued her, she glossed pass the numbers he was calculating out loud but i his head as if she was not sitting there.

      She knew she wouldn’t go through with it so why did she put on this dress, she wondered. She knew when she heard him making travel arrangements to leave directing after the wedding to a place in middle east she guessed, a place she didn’t know. A place that woke her up from the dream she had allowed herself to bask. A dream that she knew that if she didn’t flee would turn into a nightmare.

    • Brianna Brooks says:

      Forgotten
      ~My life was perfect. I had a wonderful job, wonderful Fiancé, and awesome friends. Today was my wedding day and everything has gone wrong. ~
      “Hurry Clare!” I yelled as I fixed my hair.
      “Coming dear.” She said as she frantically put the veil on my head.
      “You look so pretty. Will is a lucky guy.” Amy said I had forgotten she was there.
      “Thanks guys. I’m just so nervous!” I said as I looked at my reflection. Not just for my wedding day but for strange letters and messages I had been receiving. I just assumed someone was jealous and tossed it to the side.
      “Well we’ll give you some time to prepare yourself.” Clare said as her and Amy left the room.
      “Me, Shi Thorn, finally getting married. I never tho-” My outer thoughts were interrupted when I saw a piece of paper stuck to the wall. I took it off and read it.
      Dear Shi,
      Think you can run off so soon my lovely? I know you have got my messages.. No one’s past is buried forever Shi. If you don’t follow my commands then you will die.
      ~with love X
      I crumbled the note and threw it in the trash. “This isn’t real.” I said out loud trying to assure myself. I soon heard my cue to get going. I gathered my courage and walked out with the flower girl behind me. What we saw was horrific. A few bodies were splattered on the floor and blood everywhere. Then I heard a thud behind me. The flower girl had died and a note was on her back.
      Didn’t I tell you? Meet me at the train station in an hour or the rest of your guest will die.
      ~X
      I ran out of the church to my hotel, packed a few things, and ran to the train station.
      They say you can burry your past and forget about it, but you can’t. It will always come back.

    • Trisha says:

      I don’t understand how this could’ve happened. He loved me, at least he told me so. I thought I could trust him. Both of us, standing there, hand in hand, priest behind. Do you Joe… And that’s where my life stopped. My wedding ended there. He ran off, He ran away. My heart skipped a beat, then shattered. The day that should’ve been the best day of my life ended in tragedy. How could I be so dumb. He used his sneaky little keys to break into my heart. I should’ve know he or wouldn’t last. After the shock died down, a wave of anger washed over me. I packed my belongings in the smallest of cases, in order to ensure Joe wouldn’t find me, crying and running from disappointment. I should’ve known. I’m starting a new life now. One where my heart is guarded. No one understands my pain. The hurt is too real right now. My eyes were covered by a thick layer of tears, flowing down to the ground. He said he loved me. I should’ve known.

    • Angela says:

      A smile tweaked at her lips at the irony of this escapade. Now she knew what an escaped fugitive felt like. Or as close to that as she could get. She had a different purpose in mind after all. She could hear sirens in the background. Half the neighbourhood was on the lookout for the missing woman. And here she was, running in her old leather boots and a white lace dress. Well, it didn’t matter. She was going to end it soon anyway.

      Panting, she tugged in irritation at the dress. It was damn hard to run in this. At least she’d made the better choice of grabbing her boots instead of her heels. Slowing to a jog, she reached down and grabbed a handful of dress. There. It was slightly damp at the ends where it’d dragged along the wet pavement. She turned a corner. Suddenly, several police cars were lined up on the street. All just to stop her.

      A police chief held up a speaker and bellowed, “Ma’am. We’d like you to put. The briefcase. Down.” Three officers were crouched near him, ready to fire if she were to do something stupid.
      Which she was.

      She backed into a brick wall, looking around wildly for an opening. But they’d blocked every route.

      “Ma’am!”

      Hah. What was she hesitating for? She would do it in front of their eyes. To show them how helpless they really were in this world. Without a second thought, she opened the suitcase, dumping the thick, ice cold contents on herself. The crude oil gave off a rather unpleasant odour – but that was the least of her worries.

      Then she heard a shot. Pain exploded in her right arm. She cursed under her breath and grit her teeth, clutching her arm. Warmth dripped through her fingers. She let go. What did it matter. All sounds faded into a slur of words. Ignoring the frantic warnings from the police chief – something about taking another shot at her – she took the lighter from her pocket…

      And let

      The

      Lighter

      Fall…

    • E Wright says:

      Sarah loved the movie, “Runaway Bride,” starring Julie Roberts and Richard Gere, the first time she saw it. She saw it in 1999, with her best gal pals, the night it opened in their town. She could not recall when the idea first entered her mind. Did the idea surface as she watched “Runaway Bride” for the 6th time or was it the 8th, repeating most of the dialogue verbatim from memory? Whatever the number, at some point during one viewing, a bowl of butter pecan ice cream in hand, she moved from howling with laughter, to wondering, “What would it be like to run in a full length wedding dress, in sneakers, along a railway track?” She moved beyond wondering to adding doing so to her bucket list. Now, here she is, running full tilt, near the rail road track, suitcase in hand, her husband laughing so hard, he could barely hold the camera still, their two children jumping and screaming at the top of their lungs, “Run, Mommy! Run,” in their best imitation of Jenny, from the movie, “Forest Gump.” Nothing like fulfilling a dream with the support of those you love beyond imagining.

    • Jerry Pogue says:

      Run
      March 10th 2015. Not so perfect day, for a wedding; After, Valerie slipped into her white wedding dress. She looked up and out through the train window, it had stopped raining. Her refection in the glass caught her attention, and for the first time she saw her true self. Her eyes widen and her hands rose to her face covering an open mouth, Who’s that looking back at me? She thought. “Just a reflection,” She mumbled.
      “Am I,” a voice whispered. She turned and looked around, no one was there. She began to tremble. She looked towards the window again; her reflection seemed more transparent, it lacked details. Panic struck. She screamed. “Who are you?”
      Her thoughts changed from marriage to a journey into the unknown. A choice she had to make.
      She’d known ‘West,’ all her of life, if he was the man, she knew him to be; he would understand and move on with his life.
      As the guest arrived she heard there laughter coming through the walls of the train. She looked through the window and saw her mother and father standing on the concrete boarding station shaking hands with their minister.
      It was time for her to leave, she thought. Then there was a knocked at her door. As she stepped back from the window, she noticed a note on the floor, “No time to read it,” she mumbled. She picked it up, turned around and tossed it into her suit case and closed it. Then quickly, she pulled on the pair of hiking boots, she had purchased earlier in the day, stuffing the boot strings down inside the boots, she left the train through the back door of the rail car running.
      Don’t look back, Valerie thought as she ran down the corridor of the rail way track, carrying a small suite case, and running from her past. Then she remembered the note, and hearing the heavy footsteps of a man walking away.

    • Moraine says:

      Arranged marriages made it all too easy.

      The groom’s family doesn’t know your face, and the bride’s family’s running late (heh). Just show up in an old white dress and a new pair of sunglasses, with an “oh, I’m so excited” and a “happiest day of my life” and you’re in. Nobody thinks it’s odd if the you want to check on the catering just one more time. You’re a blushing bride, after all, aren’t you, and today’s your big day.

      Oh, yeah. Today’s your big day, all right.

      And speaking of going big: who sets the reception tables with antique china and crystal champagne flutes ($150 apiece, if you use the right fence), and then leaves it unattended? It’s just asking for someone – hypothetically – to roll them all up in a tablecloth, stuff them in a suitcase, and walk right out.

      Good thing your slick blue sneakers are so quiet against the polished hardwood floor.

      The venue really is lovely, you think as you stroll down the steps, as you trot down the access road, as you sprint towards your getaway car. The shouting fades into the distance behind you, and all you hear now is the rush of crisp mountain air. Maybe you’ll return, someday. After Vegas, of course.

      Did it count as “something borrowed” if you never gave it back?

    • dsanjoy says:

      I have tried to post several times. It is showing posted but cant see it here

    • dsanjoy says:

      Nancy shouted from the basement, “There are a bunch of old pictures in Dad’s dark room!”
      “Show them to me!” Scarlet shouted back.
      After Richard passed away Nancy and Scarlet decided that Nancy move in with Scarlet. The basement was once a Richards dark room.
      Later, Nancy and Scarlet go through the old photos. Nancy pick’s up a picture and looks amazing and surprised, “Hey mom! Why were you running on your wedding day?”
      Scarlet looked at the picture, and remained quiet.
      “But it is your’s mom?” Nancy looked curiously at Scarlet.
      “First time Richard clicked me, it reminded me my horrified past, so he always kept it away ” Scarlet’s voice trembled eyes almost wet, as she stared at the floor, gasping for words.
      Nancy held her mother’s hand, softly, “Tell me momma.”
      Scarlet took a deep breath, “My father died when I was ten. My mother remarried. My step father convinced my mother to quit her job and move to Washington, our miseries started. My mother would send me to bed before my father returned drunk and beat up my mother. Every night I woke up to my father’s shouting and my mother weeping. I lay quietly on the bed trembling in fear.”
      “Why didn’t grandma go to the cops?” Nancy sounded angry.
      “She was afraid that he would harm us. Mom constantly coughed and had fever. The day she could not get up from the bed, he took her to the hospital. Mother died on the way. I had nobody to help me. I did as he said, in the fear of getting beaten. He lost his job and was forcefully getting me married to a pub owner almost his age, to get his free liquor. It was 18th May1980, Mt. Helen irrupted. The earthquake panicked everyone inside the church, people screaming and running. I ran out and kept running. Richard, a news reporter, clicked me for his story, which he never submitted to the paper. Rest is our story together.” Tears rolling down Scarlet’s cheeks as she stared at their photo together, whispering, “Miss you love!”

    • BB MacKenna says:

      Lucy nervously twisted the bag in her muddy hand. There was the faintest sound of glass moving. But the stop cost her. She saw something spark off the metal train tracks and raced from the silenced bullets. She had careened off the rear of the stopping train and would have made it back to the station in time if the long dress hadn’t caught in the railing throwing her onto the rocks. The slight mist had coated everything with slippery shine.
      Another whining shard had her race hobbling down the tracks. She could already see Dan’s car waiting near the gate — engine running, trunk open. The engine changed sound, and one glance showed her it was backing up to the station. Workmen were running toward her waving at the train.
      A tattered piece of her dress caught in a rail gap pitching her sideways down the short, steep embankment. Even the hiking boots were barely any help but she forced herself to move. The station workers were too focussed on the moving train to notice her.
      As she hopped along the fence to the gate Dan got out of the car. She heard Antonio’s voice yell from the train. “I WILL find you my sweet, fear not.”
      Once on the station grounds she became aware of the suitcase, now a pealing mass of shattered glass. When she got to the car she threw the case into the trunk, then slammed the passenger door behind her. Once Dan got back in he drove placidly to the exit. “So, how’d it go?”
      She spent a few seconds smoothly arranging the tatters around her legs and smiled. “I believe that’s it. I’m finished. Tapped out.” Dan was not happy. “I don’t want to call my husband anymore at work and ask him to pick up bandages along with the milk.”

    • BB MacKenna says:

      Posted a story the afternoon of the 25th but it still hasn’t shown up. Is there some type of vetting process that only allows some stories to come through?

    • C.L. Liedekev says:

      All she did was run. Black guy’s shit-beat boots on her feet. The smacking of the soles on the rain smashed side tracks as she went over the railing and down onto the precipice below. She was smiling, beaming, she could feel the arc of her cheeks pushing up into her eyes and she gripped fingernails into her palm. The tightness of the briefcase handle released after a few more steps. Her breath welling up in her mouth, pushing it out and moving at the same pace. In the mountains behind her, she could hear the bellows, echoing thunder of men who had lost everything. She could imagine them holding each other, their tears merging on cheeks, raining down on the remnants of tossed shovels and dirty shirts.

      They had decided to build miracles – miracles out of magic and her disgrace. So, after the gown went on and the shoes came off — how the forest welled up around them. Singing like a trapped animal, like world dying, no she thought, a world begging for death. Her hands slid into the leather and before the last one could be sealed, the inherited muscles from her father and the eyes of her mother, found the knees of the tallest man. He went down onto the table, his chin on wood like a broken church bell. Her other hand found soft flesh and agony that would last months. The long white of the gown was flashed up and undid her straps to find the black man and the old man in front of her.

      From the black man, she pulled the boots and the glasses. She watched the hourglass fall with a single push of her finger and everything for them ended. Smash. She had no vantage point for their loss, but the death of her childhood cat. They crawled at her, some with both hands, all with no reason anymore. They watched as she took the briefcase and stepped into the smell of trees and rain.

      Her phone was gone and all she could do was get paper and plan the end of the world. It was the only hope she had.

    • Aksu says:

      Annie’s Escape

      It was the breakthrough she needed. All that she ever wanted from modeling, the big contract with huge brand. Now her dream was crumbling to pieces.

      Annie had been modeling for years in small magazines and local advertisements. Many of the jobs didn’t credit her or give her a lot of pay and sometimes she cried after the job was done. It was not the glamorous life she had been expecting. Flashing cameras capturing her beauty in galas and red carpet shows. Instead she mostly worked as a bartender in a shady nightclub. Late nights, constant rude notes and working conditions resembling Second World War bombings made her regret her life. What had gone wrong, she was thinking in the bed after a hard day at the club.

      It was a sunny morning when the phone woke her up. The caller was marketing manager of the successful women’s clothes brand. They were looking for a local face for the new wedding dress line launch and Annie was the perfect candidate. They wanted her to come for a photo-shoot. They pay was really generous and future contracts were guaranteed. This was it, thought Annie while collapsing to the floor from happiness. She was trembling like a small baby lamb.
      The photo-shoot took place in a beautiful forest clearing. Birds were singing and flowers waved easily in the small wind gusts. The photographer had her pose like any other and she felt dull as usual. The pay was better and still she felt nothing special.

      The day passed fast and it was time for discussion. The manager came and suggested a deal for her. Offering shiny pen and paper contract for her to sign. It was the dream. Fear and confusion overcame her. She thought about the future, locked in with the company and her dream. All that she had ever wanted was this and now once she had it, it seemed pointless. It was nothing special after all. White wedding dress and her belongings bouncing around she ran away, never to come back to her old life.

    • Katsandrya says:

      Run and keep running, that’s all I can think of. I must escape, this dress is more a burden than anything else, at least I had time to change my shoes. I’m on tracks, but where do they will lead me?
      I don’t know yet, I just know I have to keep running. Far, as far as I can get.
      The luggage is heavy in my hand, but it’s my future in it. The only chance I get to survive in this world, the ticket for my life.
      I have to run.
      Maybe it’s the last time, the last mission.
      Yesterday was full of champaign and bubbles, false happiness and deceiving games. Some say the whole life is a game. If you win, you live, if you lose, then, Death is your new best friend.
      But I don’t want to meet my end just now, so I keep running.
      The frontier is near, soon, I’ll be ok. I’ll be safe. Funny like lines can make the difference, uh?
      Did I tell you that I’m a double agent spy?
      Hope they won’t notice, on the other side of that fine line.
      I keep running.

    • Ted Alby says:

      Sometimes the worst of decisions can result in unexpectedly good outcomes. I shouldn’t have accepted John’s invitation to the concert, but he had good tickets, and I had wanted to see Maroon Five in, like, forever.
      I didn’t think too much about how a graduate student could afford the Porsche 911 he picked me up in. We went, and I had an unexpectedly good time. The next day, he called, and told me what a great time he had, and we hadn’t even made out.
      A week later, he had tickets to Taylor Swift. He was nothing if not smooth. That time, I spent the night with him.
      Things went that way for six more months. We became lovers, but I didn’t believe either of us thought of this as a forever thing. I was surprised when he asked me to marry him. He told me that he would be very disappointed with me if I didn’t think about it. Just what I needed to hear. A week later, I consented. He suggested a visit to his family at their home at Martha’s Vineyard.
      It was like something out of a magazine. We were greeted by John’s handsome, perfectly groomed father. He was every bit as smooth as his son. Then we met his mousy, timid mother. His sister was a pretty girl, but even more retiring than her mother. Alarm bells.
      We came back home, and before we knew it, it was our wedding day. I was almost ready to walk into the church when there was a knock on the door. It was John’s father.
      “I want to get to the point quickly,” he said. “I know you’re a smart girl. I know you have a master’s in biochemistry. I know you’ve made your own way for some time. My son must be the star of this marriage, not you. Can you do that?”
      My mouth hung open.
      “If not, this suitcase has four hundred thousand dollars in it. Take it, and walk away. The train will be by in four minutes.”
      I suppose I’ll miss John.

    • Jonathan Scott says:

      IT IS EASY to see how the illusion took everyone in, including Gaspar—especially Gaspar. There he was, the Duke of Sevillus, a title that should have accrued all good things to its bearer. In fact, had he been born earlier, his royal status would be that of Prince, so it was no surprise Alexis did not thwart his advances when they met at the dinner party of the Marquis de Valencia. Alexis was nearly half the age of the duke, a fact that deterred neither of them, least of all Alexis. Gaspar, whose very name means ‘treasure,’ was rich! Exceedingly so. Alexis’ stately beauty and statuesque figure turned every head in every room. Essentially, it was the perfect match.
      Now, it is true the duke was past his prime in one sense, but he maintained his acumen for recognizing exceptional opportunities, and he could not contain his satisfaction when Alexis agreed to his marriage proposal. Always the perfect gentleman, he exuded a glorious radiance and confidence whenever in the company of Alexis.
      Of course, such unions between the outrageously wealthy and others always come with a catch. In the case of Alexis and the duke, however, the duke believed that Alexis was the prize. For this, he denied his future bride nothing. He allowed a generous allowance and access to all he owned. Even the prenuptial agreement operated to transfer half the duke’s interest in the dukedom to Alexis. The duke’s family approved. After all, it was only half.
      Alexis, however, did not wish for so much as half the dukedom. It was far too much, and so, on the morning of the wedding, with all the guests and dignitaries gathered, the duke waited for his bride, who put the final touches on the bridal gown and all the duke’s cash and jewels in a suitcase. Then, Alexis ran like hell to the waiting boat. A few more steps and off flew the wig. Into the boat jumped Alexis, whose real name was Alex. The ruse gave an entirely new meaning to the adage “Take the money and run!”

    • Katsandrya says:

      I’ve managed to post my story twice… but nonethless, like Wataya, didn’t seem to please the moderation team.

      Why ?

    • Katsandrya says:

      Run and keep running, that’s all I can think of. I must escape, this dress is more a burden than anything else, at least I had time to change my shoes. I’m on tracks, but where do they will lead me?
      I don’t know yet, I just know I have to keep running. Far, as far as I can get.
      The luggage is heavy in my hand, but it’s also my future in it. The only chance I get to survive in this world, the ticket for my life.
      I have to run.
      Maybe it’s the last time, the last mission.
      Yesterday was full of champaign and bubbles, false happiness and deceiving games. Some say the whole life is a game. If you win, you live, if you lose, then, Death is your new best friend.
      But I don’t want to meet my end just now, so I keep running.
      The frontier is near, soon, I’ll be ok. I’ll be safe. Funny like lines can make the difference, uh?
      Did I tell you that I’m a double agent spy?
      Hope they won’t notice, on the other side of that fine line.
      I keep running….

    • Wataya says:

      Why are the comments not showing, even if they are registered (I tried to repost mine for the third time, and I was said it was a duplicate) ?

      • Wataya says:

        Is my story too gloom for the moderation team ?

    • dsanjoy says:

      Having a hard time submitting my comments

    • tracey says:

      “I am free” she laughed to herself, “free”. She had delivered the kids to summer camp, hubby was still in China on business and she had a whole week to herself. In four hours she would be at the cabin on the lake. “No laundry, no cooking, no cleaning” she thought gleefully. No hearing “mom” every five minutes, no “honey could you…” She could wear impractical white dresses every day.
      Her suitcase was heavy with books but she didn’t mind. The first thing she was going to do when she got there was dig out the hammock and set it up. Then she was going for a swim. She would eat dinner on the small porch at sunset, a banana split and a bottle of red wine. Tomorrow she would sleep as late as she wanted and then spend the rest of the day reading. Six whole days, she was giddy with the lightness of freedom.

    • dsanjoy says:

      Nancy shouted from the basement, “There are a bunch of old pictures in Dad’s dark room!”
      “Show them to me!” Scarlet shouted back.
      After Richard passed away Nancy and Scarlet decided that Nancy move in with Scarlet. The basement was once a Richards dark room.
      Later, Nancy and Scarlet go through the old photos. Nancy pick’s up a picture and looks amazing and surprised, “Hey mom! Why were you running on your wedding day?”
      Scarlet looked at the picture, and remained quiet.
      “But it is your’s mom?” Nancy looked curiously at Scarlet.
      “First time Richard clicked me, it reminded me my horrified past, so he always kept it away ” Scarlet’s voice trembled eyes almost wet, as she stared at the floor, gasping for words.
      Nancy held her mother’s hand, softly, “Tell me momma.”
      Scarlet took a deep breath, “My father died when I was ten. My mother remarried. My step father convinced my mother to quit her job and move to Washington, our miseries started. My mother would send me to bed before my father returned drunk and beat up my mother. Every night I woke up to my father’s shouting and my mother weeping. I lay quietly on the bed trembling in fear.”
      “Why didn’t grandma go to the cops?” Nancy sounded angry.
      “She was afraid that he would harm us. Mom constantly coughed and had fever. The day she could not get up from the bed, he took her to the hospital. Mother died on the way. I had nobody to help me. I did as he said, in the fear of getting beaten. He lost his job and was forcefully getting me married to a pub owner almost his age, to get his free liquor. It was 18th May1980, Mt. Helen irrupted. The earthquake panicked everyone inside the church, people screaming and running. I ran out and kept running. Richard, a news reporter, clicked me for his story, which he never submitted to the paper. Rest is our story together.” Tears rolling down Scarlet’s cheeks as Nancy embraced her, “Oh Mom! love you!”

    • Dave says:

      She Runs

      Maria was born in Bogotá to a mother she had never known. Her father died before she was born. Her brother’s identity remained a secret—until her wedding day. That special day for her and for her lover, Juan. That special day that became a bizarre nightmare.

      Now she runs. She always runs.

      Intent on honoring a pact made years ago with her best friend, Consuela, Maria searched her fiancé’s closet for a pair of work boots to wear to her wedding. While searching, she also discovered a well-worn suitcase containing a very strange journal, the contents of which Maria would never reveal.

      The wedding was to be a colossal affair, the ceremony to take place in the courtyard of Juan’s family villa in the beautiful Colombian mountains south of Medellin. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, hundreds of friends and relatives attended—including, unbeknownst to Maria, her mother and her long-lost brother.

      Hundreds of people enjoyed their last day. Their last day on Earth. Food and drink were plenty. The children played, the musicians played, the families prayed. Nobody could have foreseen the horror.

      Maria has never stopped running. She has never removed Juan’s boots. They have become a living part of her, the leather growing ever deeper into her flesh, invading her thoughts.

      Maria has never revealed her secret. Nobody would believe her. She and Juan’s daughter run. They run from the family that searches for them—the alien changelings that relentlessly chase them. They will run from Juan, her lover Juan. They will run from Juan, her brother Juan.

      They will run from Juan—her mother Juan.

    • Mike Scott says:

      She ain’t fleeing! She is fleecing! Fleecing the other gal who stole her man. She’s got her wedding dress and his briefcase with tickets to Acapulco for their honeymoon. Run sister run.

    • Wataya says:

      Second time trying to post, hope it will work this time.

      “That place, in the forest, that’s where she was heading. She had been wandering around for hours. She’d left the car in the parking lot of a Target, and gone on foot, not knowing where she was going. What she was doing.
      Ache, in the ear, like something has been hammered in it. The Thing, in the suitcase, heavy on her fingers, on her wrist. She could feel it, burning up to the shoulder blade.
      She didn’t remember choosing to go to the old tracks. Dirty grass sprawling through the ballast, elongated shadows seeping between the peebles. She looked up to the sun, already long past halfway trough its course to the west. It would take her hours to go back to her car. She would be late for diner. Late when Pete would come home. He would have questions, and she would have nothing to say. She never had.
      She had to do away with the Thing.
      Heavy on her wrist. She could not leave it in the peebles. A dog would dig it, and bring it back to town. Maybe it would be able to find me, she thought. Then she realized she had spoken. Words have past between her dry lips. Heavy.
      She had a chicken on the kitchen table. A frozen chicken, left to melt. She would not make it on time. She lost most of the morning sweeping the blood on the tiled floor of the bathroom. On the usually spotless white ceramic of the tube. Last time was not so bloody.
      Last time, they were still in New York and the Thing, she put it in the furnace of the condominium. She always found it easier in New York. Maybe it wasn’t. She was not so sure, now. Pete said she would be better in a little town, pretty house.
      There was this little place, the clearing where they picnicked on their first week-end here. Never did it again. Pete never had the time. She could dig here. The Thing would be good in the earth. Like in a belly again.
      She started running.”

    • BB MacKenna says:

      Lucy nervously twisted the bag in her muddy hand. There was the faintest sound of glass moving. But the stop cost her. She saw something spark off the metal train tracks and raced from the silenced bullets. She had careened off the rear of the stopping train and would have made it back to the station in time if the long dress hadn’t caught in the railing throwing her onto the rocks. The slight mist had coated everything with slippery shine.
      Another whining shard had her race hobbling down the tracks. She could already see Dan’s car waiting near the gate — engine running, trunk open. The engine changed sound, and one glance showed her it was backing up to the station. Workmen were running toward her waving at the train.
      A tattered piece of her dress caught in a rail gap pitching her sideways down the short, steep embankment. Even the hiking boots were barely any help but she forced herself to move. The station workers were too focussed on the moving train to notice her.
      As she hopped along the fence to the gate Dan got out of the car. She heard Antonio’s voice yell from the train. “I WILL find you my sweet, fear not.”
      Once on the station grounds she became aware of the suitcase, now a pealing mass of shattered glass. When she got to the car she threw the case into the trunk, then slammed the passenger door behind her. Once Dan got back in he drove placidly to the exit. “So, how’d it go?”
      She spent a few seconds smoothly arranging the tatters around her legs and smiled. “I believe that’s it. I’m finished. Tapped out.” Dan was not happy. “I don’t want to call my husband anymore at work and ask him to pick up bandages along with the milk.”

    • Nancy shouted from the basement, “There are a bunch of old pictures in Dad’s dark room!”
      “Show them to me!” Scarlet shouted back.
      After Richard passed away Nancy and Scarlet decided that Nancy move in with Scarlet. The basement was once a Richards dark room.
      Later, Nancy and Scarlet go through the old photos. Nancy pick’s up a picture and looks amazing and surprised, “Hey mom! Why were you running on your wedding day?”
      Scarlet looked at the picture, and remained quiet.
      “But it is your’s mom?” Nancy looked curiously at Scarlet.
      “First time Richard clicked me, it reminded me my horrified past, so he always kept it away ” Scarlet’s voice trembled eyes almost wet, as she stared at the floor, gasping for words.
      Nancy held her mother’s hand, softly, “Tell me momma.”
      Scarlet took a deep breath, “My father died when I was ten. My mother remarried. My step father convinced my mother to quit her job and move to Washington, our miseries started. My mother would send me to bed before my father returned drunk and beat up my mother. Every night I woke up to my father’s shouting and my mother weeping. I lay quietly on the bed trembling in fear.”
      “Why didn’t grandma go to the cops?” Nancy sounded angry.
      “She was afraid that he would harm us. Mom constantly coughed and had fever. The day she could not get up from the bed, he took her to the hospital. Mother died on the way. I had nobody to help me. I did as he said, in the fear of getting beaten. He lost his job and was forcefully getting me married to a pub owner almost his age, to get his free liquor. It was 18th May1980, Mt. Helen irrupted. The earthquake panicked everyone inside the church, people screaming and running. I ran out and kept running. Richard, a news reporter, clicked me for his story, which he never submitted to the paper. Rest is our story together.” Tears rolling down Scarlet’s cheeks as Nancy embraced her, “Oh Mom! I love you!”

    • Nick says:

      It was a good thing she had told them she was wearing flats at the wedding.
      The dress had hidden the boots ok she thought, jogging as fast as she could down the empty track. Good thing I planned to wear them in case it all kicked off like this she thought.
      She could not explain. She’d have been tarred and feathered or just run out of town. She had to keep her thoughts to herself if this were to come off without payback.
      The situation though was time-critical as the woman’s partner was waiting in a car the other side of the bridge. They just had not expected it to be today.
      Every situation had to be planned with care if it was going to come off. Training was all. That’s what they’d told her and tried to instil. Sergeant had been the only oddball telling her to fake it until she made it. Most of the time it’s like taking candy from a baby one of the more starry pros had put it to her, gurgling with smug laughter to himself.
      Since then she’d moved around as they had suggested. Though she had ducked and dived a bit too much she admitted. A loner yes I am she thought, but I always listened, not just to the better women around but even to some of the arrogant men that loved to call their world a ‘bootcamp’and a ‘matter of fieldcraft’.
      That felt like a long time ago . Now she was racing down a train track on a bridge in a long white dress and boots. She wondered if anyone of the little homesteads on the foothills could see her. Most has been at the wedding and hadn’t seen her slip out with the case.
      But here she was nearly at the end of the bridge and she could see the car waiting for her .She smiled. The planning ahead had been worth it ; it was part of why she had become a doctor.
      But performing abortions was dangerous work in this part of the world.

    • Nick B says:

      It was a good thing she had told them she was wearing flats at the wedding. The dress had hidden the boots ok she thought, jogging as fast as she could down the empty track. Good thing I planned to wear them in case it all kicked off like this she thought.
      She could not explain. She’d have been tarred and feathered or just run out of town. She had to keep her thoughts to herself if this were to come off without payback.
      The situation though was time-critical as the woman’s partner was waiting in a car the other side of the bridge. They just had not expected it to be today.
      Every situation had to be planned with care if it was going to come off. Training was all. That’s what they’d told her and tried to instil. Sergeant had been the only oddball telling her to fake it until she made it. Most of the time it’s like taking candy from a baby one of the more starry pros had put it to her, gurgling with smug laughter to himself.
      Since then she’d moved around as they had suggested. Though she had ducked and dived a bit too much she admitted. A loner yes I am she thought, but I always listened, not just to the better women around but even to some of the arrogant men that loved to call their world a ‘bootcamp’and a ‘matter of fieldcraft’.
      That felt like a long time ago . Now she was racing down a train track on a bridge in a long white dress and boots. She wondered if anyone of the little homesteads on the foothills could see her. Most has been at the wedding and hadn’t seen her slip out with the case.
      But here she was nearly at the end of the bridge and she could see the car waiting for her .She smiled. The planning ahead had been worth it ; it was part of why she had become a doctor.
      But performing abortions was dangerous work in this part of the world.

    • Mary says:

      The Bride Maid’s Escape
      By Mary James

      I can’t believe it! That was too easy!

      While the rest of the wedding party and guests were toasting Dorina and her new husband, Major General Dimitri Chisca of the Romanian Air Force, I walked pass the military guards into the groom’s dressing room to acquire the Major General’s briefcase. The guards did not think anything was amiss when I answered their challenge. I told them Major General Chisca sent me to retrieve a towel from his room. The man sweats like he just stepped out of a sauna. The guards didn’t notice that I turned to the right instead of to the left at the hallway junction. Stealthily exiting through the side door, pulling my boots from under the thick poplar hedge, I changed footwear while scanning the area. The security patrol already swept the area around the church and community hall. I timed my escape when the patrol made its second circuit from the far side of the church.
      The railway station was a quarter of a mile from the church. The majority of the town residents were in attendance at the wedding either as guests or working with the catering service. The trains were not running today because Major General Chisca wanted tranquility on his wedding day.

      Running down the vacant railway toward the train depot I smiled when I saw my ride out of town waiting for me. Samuel, my partner in this mission and the chauffeur of the wedding party’s limousine, was standing next to a sleek silver BMW roadster parked in the shadow of the depot building. Samuel gave me his bad-boy grin as he opened the passenger door.

      “Let’s blow this place before sweaty Dimitri wonders where I am and discovers his briefcase containing the plans of the rebels’ surprise coup is gone,” I said sliding into the passenger seat.

      (word count: 311)

      • dsanjoy says:

        Nancy shouted from the basement, “There are a bunch of old pictures in Dad’s dark room!”
        “Show them to me!” Scarlet shouted back.
        After Richard passed away Nancy and Scarlet decided that Nancy move in with Scarlet. The basement was once a Richards dark room.
        Later, Nancy and Scarlet go through the old photos. Nancy pick’s up a picture and looks amazing and surprised, “Hey mom! Why were you running on your wedding day?”
        Scarlet looked at the picture, and remained quiet.
        “But it is your’s mom?” Nancy looked curiously at Scarlet.
        “First time Richard clicked me, it reminded me my horrified past, so he always kept it away ” Scarlet’s voice trembled eyes almost wet, as she stared at the floor, gasping for words.
        Nancy held her mother’s hand, softly, “Tell me momma.”
        Scarlet took a deep breath, “My father died when I was ten. My mother remarried. My step father convinced my mother to quit her job and move to Washington, our miseries started. My mother would send me to bed before my father returned drunk and beat up my mother. Every night I woke up to my father’s shouting and my mother weeping. I lay quietly on the bed trembling in fear.”
        “Why didn’t grandma go to the cops?” Nancy sounded angry.
        “She was afraid that he would harm us. Mom constantly coughed and had fever. The day she could not get up from the bed, he took her to the hospital. Mother died on the way. I had nobody to help me. I did as he said, in the fear of getting beaten. He lost his job and was forcefully getting me married to a pub owner almost his age, to get his free liquor. It was 18th May1980, Mt. Helen irrupted. The earthquake panicked everyone inside the church, people screaming and running. I ran out and kept running. Richard, a news reporter, clicked me for his story, which he never submitted to the paper. Rest is our story together.” Tears rolling down Scarlet’s cheeks as Nancy embraced her, “Oh Mom! love you!”

    • Jo Lee says:

      It took six weeks to realize I was in love with Michael, two weeks to convince him I had the gall to leave North Carolina for London, a week to assemble the dress personally and four weeks to acquire all the remaining essentials to realize my wish. On the morning of, I rose before Mother, before the sun, my eyes stretching over the sprawling court ahead of me. I had shrunk so many desires to fit in here that I’m afraid the newly expanded version of me would be far too bold, vivacious and free to ever return. I slid into my dress, the juxtaposing symbol of my freedom and eternal union with Michael. There would never be an ocean wide enough to keep me away.

    • Jolie says:

      Mother never quite got around to liking me as Father would much favor my company to hers. In fact, she would often comment that he spent far too much time entertaining a daughter when he should be out there, setting me up with interested suitors. But Daddy liked the fireball in me, respected that I had a backbone and cherished that at 29, officially considered an old girl, I was still dawdling about a commitment such as marriage. Perhaps rather Jane Austen of me, I still viewed the binding act traditionally, aching to settle for real love and nothing less.

      • Jolie says:

        It took six weeks to realize I was in love with Michael, two weeks to convince him I had the gall to leave North Carolina for London, a week to assemble the dress personally and four weeks to acquire all the remaining essentials to realize my wish. On the morning of, I rose before Mother, before the sun, my eyes stretching over the sprawling court ahead of me. I had shrunk so many desires to fit in here that I’m afraid the newly expanded version of me would be far too bold, vivacious and free to ever return. I slid into my dress, the juxtaposing symbol of my freedom and eternal union with Michael. There would never be an ocean wide enough to keep me away.

    • Jolie says:

      Mother never quite got around to liking me as Father would much favor my company to hers. In fact, she would often comment that he spent far too much time entertaining a daughter when he should be out there, setting me up with interested suitors. But Daddy liked the fireball in me, respected that I had a backbone and cherished that at 29, officially considered an old girl, I was still dawdling about a commitment such as marriage. Perhaps rather Jane Austen of me, I still viewed the binding act traditionally, aching to settle for real love and nothing less.

      It took six weeks to realize I was in love with Michael, two weeks to convince him I had the gall to leave North Carolina for London, a week to assemble the dress personally and four weeks to acquire all the remaining essentials to realize my wish. On the morning of, I rose before Mother, before the sun, my eyes stretching over the sprawling court ahead of me. I had shrunk so many desires to fit in here that I’m afraid the newly expanded version of me would be far too bold, vivacious and free to ever return. I slid into my dress, the juxtaposing symbol of my freedom and eternal union with Michael. There would never be an ocean wide enough to keep me away.

    • Jolie says:

      95 days. 3600 miles. 2 trains and a plane.

      I had thought this thoroughly, wanted this ardently, feared it none and waited for it long enough. My family won’t notice my disappearance for exactly 6 hours, until half past noon when my mother will burst in haranguing about proper waking hours for a lady. In a rather redundant manner, she will draw the blinds, pacing about my room, pausing by the window for a moment to admire the view of the estate from the attic with a small tinge of envy. She would briefly recite all the reasons a girl like me should be ever so grateful to rise out of bed each morning with gumption and a spark of energy in my belly.

    • Jolie says:

      I am having such a hard type submitting my comment. It submits but I don’t see it posted :S

    • Jo Lee says:

      95 days. 3600 miles. 2 trains and a plane.

      I had thought this thoroughly, wanted this ardently, feared it none and waited for it long enough. My family won’t notice my disappearance for exactly 6 hours, until half past noon when my mother will burst in haranguing about proper waking hours for a lady. In a rather redundant manner, she will draw the blinds, pacing about my room, pausing by the window for a moment to admire the view of the estate from the attic with a small tinge of envy. She would briefly recite all the reasons a girl like me should be ever so grateful to rise out of bed each morning with gumption and a spark of energy in my belly.

      Mother never quite got around to liking me as Father would much favor my company to hers. In fact, she would often comment that he spent far too much time entertaining a daughter when he should be out there, setting me up with interested suitors. But Daddy liked the fireball in me, respected that I had a backbone and cherished that at 29, officially considered an old girl, I was still dawdling about a commitment such as marriage. Perhaps rather Jane Austen of me, I still viewed the binding act traditionally, aching to settle for real love and nothing less.

      It took six weeks to realize I was in love with Michael, two weeks to convince him I had the gall to leave North Carolina for London, a week to assemble the dress personally and four weeks to acquire all the remaining essentials to realize my wish. On the morning of, I rose before Mother, before the sun, my eyes stretching over the sprawling court ahead of me. I had shrunk so many desires to fit in here that I’m afraid the newly expanded version of me would be far too bold, vivacious and free to ever return. I slid into my dress, the juxtaposing symbol of my freedom and eternal union with Michael. There would never be an ocean wide enough to keep me away.

    • Heygirlhey says:

      Run away from me baby, run away…run away from me baby.

    • Jeanette says:

      She was pressure to get married by her parent that the bridegroom has everything while her love of her life has none. She was in tears while walking in the Church. She never loved this man but to please her parent. She thought No and had no choice but flee to find her love of her life from childhood.

    • Sudi says:

      He parked his truck and approached the cabin. The shots had definitely come from there. As he walked towards the door, he saw the lady in white, hysterical, frantic, but absolutely beautiful even in that state. Through sobs and gasps, she explained that her boyfriend had rented the cabin as an anniversary surprise. They were seemingly in for a quiet weekend at the foot of the hills, until intruders broke in and robbed them. Her boyfriend resisted, and was shot. She mentioned that most of their money was gone, as was their car. He offered to drive them back into town. She said that her boyfriend was too injured to move. She mentioned that she had called the paramedics who would respond shortly, and wondered if he would stay and protect her in case the intruders decided to return. Of course he would. It was the way he was raised. He walked into the house to see her boyfriend slumped, and lying in a pool of blood. As he turned around, she handed him a gun. “Better you hold it than me,” she said. He didn’t argue. He was probably a better shot anyway. He heard sirens at a distance. The paramedics were closing in. As he walked towards the boyfriend, he noticed that he was still conscious. As he walked closer, he noticed that blood was flowing freely. “She got you too, didn’t she,” the boyfriend whispered, spluttering and choking on blood. He turned around, and she was gone. The police stormed in. As he was dragged away, he was wondering what the hell happened.
      She ran, suitcase in tow. $250,000 would do nicely. Her idiot boyfriend had botched up the robbery, and unmasked himself. She wasn’t about to go down with him. Fate almost played a cruel twist when the truck arrived, but turned out to be a godsend. He willingly took the gun, his prints were all over it, and he was the accomplice. No one had seen her, no one would know. She laughed, and ran towards the train. Not far now, not far at all.

    • Wataya says:

      That place, in the forest, that’s where she was heading. She had been wandering around for hours. She’d left the car in the parking lot of a Target, and gone on foot, not knowing where she was going. What she was doing.
      Ache, in the ear, like something has been hammered in it. The Thing, in the suitcase, heavy on her fingers, on her wrist. She could feel it, burning up to the shoulder blade.
      She didn’t remember choosing to go to the old tracks. Dirty grass sprawling through the ballast, elongated shadows seeping between the peebles. She looked up to the sun, already long past halfway trough its course to the west. It would take her hours to go back to her car. She would be late for diner. Late when Pete would come home. He would have questions, and she would have nothing to say. She never had.
      She had to do away with the Thing.
      Heavy on her wrist. She could not leave it in the peebles. A dog would dig it, and bring it back to town. Maybe it would be able to find me, she thought. Then she realized she had spoken. Words have past between her dry lips. Heavy.
      She had a chicken on the kitchen table. A frozen chicken, left to melt. She would not make it on time. She lost most of the morning sweeping the blood on the tiled floor of the bathroom. On the usually spotless white ceramic of the tube. Last time was not so bloody.
      Last time, they were still in New York and the Thing, she put it in the furnace of the condominium. She always found it easier in New York. Maybe it wasn’t. She was not so sure, now. Pete said she would be better in a little town, pretty house.
      There was this little place, the clearing where they picnicked on their first week-end here. Never did it again. Pete never had the time. She could dig here. The Thing would be good in the earth. Like in a belly again.
      She started running.

    • Katsandrya says:

      Run and keep running, that’s all I can think of. I must escape, this dress is more a burden than anything else, at least I had time to change my shoes. I’m on tracks, but where do they will lead me?
      I don’t know yet, I just know I have to keep running. Far, as far as I can get.
      The luggage is heavy in my hand, but it’s also my future in it. The only chance I get to survive in this world, the ticket for my life.
      I have to run.
      Maybe it’s the last time, the last mission.
      Yesterday was full of champaign and bubbles, false happiness and deceiving games. Some say the whole life is a game. If you win, you live, if you lose, then, Death is your new best friend.
      But I don’t want to meet my end just now, so I keep running.
      The frontier is near, soon, I’ll be ok. I’ll be safe. Funny like lines can make the difference, uh?
      Did I tell you that I’m a double agent spy?
      Hope they won’t notice, on the other side of that fine line.
      I keep running.

    • Despite the labored breaths and the sound of her boots hitting the wet concrete, she could still hear it. She glanced down at the brief case. Tick. Tick. Tick.

      Up ahead tourists had gathered along the edge of the gorge, oblivious to what was coming. “Damn,” she gasped between breaths. None of her training had prepared her for this.

      Tick-tick-tick. Was it speeding up?

      She was almost upon them now. They looked at her with wide-eyes and bemusement, taking in this beautiful vision in a wedding dress as she climbed the steps up to the platform. The tourists gave her a wide birth as she rushed to the edge and hurled the briefcase into the gorge.

      “Everybody get down,” she yelled, backing away and hunching down to the ground.

      She covered her ears and waited. The gorge was deep. Perhaps it would be deep enough.

      There was a rumbling from below and the platform shuddered. And then nothing. She waited a few moments. Still nothing. Was that it?

      She stood up and walked back to the edge. Most of the tourists had scattered, but a curious few remained, joining her at the railing. Down below, perhaps 300 feet, there was some black scarring on the rocks, but nothing more.

      She grasped tightly at the railing. None of it made any sense. Had she missed something? Then she felt it. The metal rung at her fingertips was vibrating. Then it spread to ground, where she could feel it even through the thick soles of her boots. 

      “Oh shit.” She felt the heat quickly growing at her back. She launched herself over the railing and grabbed the bottom rung as she fell, letting her body hang down into the gorge. She closed eyes, wondering how she could have missed the other bomb.

    • Test says:

      Test

    • Zaina says:

      She stared for a long time at her shakey bloody hands, Joann couldn’t belive that she finally did it, she killed him…
      In the bathroom her hand traced the black and blue marks on her chest, Richard was smart he never hit her on the face, it was important for him to keep this dark side of him a secret.
      Quickly she Packed a leather suitcase, put on a white dress and a pair of running shoes. When she went outside Joann was surprised to see that the rain stopped and the sun was coming out from behind the black clouds, she didn’t bother to lock the door behind her as she started running towards the train station, leaving behind her five years of pain and misery.

    • Elvis says:

      Despite the labored breaths and the sound of her boots hitting the wet concrete, she could still hear it. She glanced down at the briefcase. Tick. Tick. Tick.

      Up ahead tourists had gathered along the edge of the gorge, oblivious to what was coming. “Damn,” she gasped between breaths. None of her training had prepared her for this.

      Tick-tick-tick. Was it speeding up?

      She was almost upon them now. They looked at her with wide-eyes and bemusement, taking in this beautiful vision in a wedding dress as she climbed the steps up to the platform. The tourists gave her a wide birth as she rushed to the edge and hurled the briefcase into the gorge.

      “Everybody get down,” she yelled, backing away and hunching down to the ground.

      She covered her ears and waited. The gorge was deep. Perhaps it would be deep enough.

      There was a rumbling from below and the platform shuddered. And then nothing. She waited a few moments. Still nothing. Was that it?

      She stood up and walked back to the edge. Most of the tourists had scattered, but a curious few remained, joining her at the railing. Down below, perhaps 300 feet, there was some black scarring on the rocks, but nothing more.

      She grasped tightly at the railing. None of it made any sense. Had she missed something? Then she felt it. The metal rung at her fingertips was vibrating. Then it spread to ground, where she could feel it even through the thick soles of her boots. 

      “Oh shit.” She felt the heat quickly growing at her back. She launched herself over the railing and grabbed the bottom rung as she fell, letting her body hang down into the gorge. She closed eyes, wondering how she could have missed the other bomb.

    • Glenn Brown says:

      Like breathing, like feeling the rain on your cheeks, like smelling freshly cut grass, she ran for no other reason than it was what she had to do. Thought had no place, or meaning for that moment. Although the past had brought her to this place, she knew nothing could change what has been done, and the future, full of possibility, would only consist of “what ifs,”or “shoulds” or “…maybes. ” The moment however, was something she could touch, or go to task; a place of consequence.

      With bag in hand and morning sun glistening through what had been a morning rain, she felt the significance of her action and this gave her strength. The wet pavement reflected the world around her, bright yet full of wavering and shimmering images, mirroring that which surrounded her without clarity and yet vivid in color and tones. With her initial steps, her breath quickened, but she kept it deep and fulfilling. Her nostrils flared as she could smell, as if for the first time, the scent of blossoms in the humidity. As her steps quickened, she began to feel the strength of her legs and heart, and the exhilaration that rose with this lightened the valise that only moments earlier had seemed a burden.

      She had thought leaving him would be a burden, a horrific pain, like losing a limb. Instead, as they spoke, she realized that they each had been things to one another; expectations, disappointments, and irritations. They were not the things they had thought they wanted. Neither was what the other was supposed to be, and that was her epiphany. The “supposed to be,” had nothing to do with the moment. It doesn’t change or adapt, or even care. What is “supposed to be,”isn’t real at all. To accept what is, to truly care about him or even herself was not about possession, but possibility, the unexpected, and a faith that it will all be okay because there is care. He didn’t understand and she found she had no tears. So she ran. She ran for love.

    • The contents of her suitcase rattled as she ran.

      Less than five minutes elapsed from the time her phone rang until she was pulling on her boots and thumping down the back stairs of her building, having forgot what she was wearing. She paused for a second after ending the call, and then grabbed what was within arm’s reach: her cell phone charger, her toothbrush, a more appropriate change of clothes, and the box.

      The box was where this all began. The box was why she was running along railroad tracks in a damn dress, the laces to her untied boots whipping her shins with every step. The box was why she was smiling despite being the most scared she had ever been in her life. It was the box, and it was what the box being in her possession meant.

      The phone call. The man on the other end said only five words. “Exodus,” he said. “Exodus has begun. Confirm.”

      “Exodus,” she answered. She knew what it meant, but never thought she’d hear it. She also knew how fast she had to move. She ended the call and bugged out.

      Her lungs burned. She thought about the box, bouncing around inside her thrift store suitcase. She didn’t know what was inside the box, only that it was hugely important. World-impacting. She glanced at her watch.

      In that moment of distraction, her feet became tangled in her dress and she tripped. Self-preservation kicked in, and she let go of the suitcase to catch herself. She hit the ground, rolled, and sprang back to her feet in time to see the suitcase hit the ground and burst open.

      She heard footfalls behind her and turned. A man, moving fast, put a shoulder into her chest. She flew backwards and struck her head on the ground. Pain exploded in her skull, but she rolled again and got to her feet.

      The man was holding the box in his hands. The woman reached for the pistol holstered on her right ankle, but was too slow.

      “Exodus,” the man whispered, and opened the box.

    • Anya S. says:

      Runaway Bride
      By Anya Simons

      “Go faster,” she panted. “Come on, Dana. Hurry!”
      The folds of her wedding gown tripped her up. Cursing feminism, she picked up the skirts and put them in her teeth. One hand swung freely to balance her, the other clutched a suitcase.
      Ignoring gasps at the sight of her near naked legs, Dana raced down the streets and away from the church. She risked a glance behind her–
      “Crap!” The skirts fell from her teeth and she ran faster at the sight of a man in a tuxedo chasing after her.
      “How,” she thought through gasps, “is he so fast?”
      She’d gotten a head start; she had the element of surprise. How had he managed to catch up to her?
      Abruptly she turned, skidding down an alley and almost falling down it as her skirts caught under her legs. With a hop and a curse, she managed to right herself in time to turn again.
      She could hear the man’s footsteps behind her.
      She made three sharp turns before she hit the dead end. She started to curse, and then her phone buzzed in her suitcase. Digging it out, she opened the text as the man came upon her.
      Mission accomplished.
      Dana smiled, all the tension gone from her body. Turning, still smiling, she put down the empty suitcase. Kicking her skirts away from her combat boots, she pulled a gun from the hidden pocket in her dress.
      The real bride was long gone, and the wedding crasher chasing her was in for a surprise when he found his target.
      Cocking her gun, Dana pointed it down the alley.

    • Ellen says:

      She knew she had to run as far as she could before stopping somewhere to rest. Anywhere near the house would be too obvious and easy for him to find her. Charlene didn’t know what she was going to do next, but she definitely knew this: she would never go back to him.

      It was unfortunate that she hadn’t had this revelation two months ago, before her car was totaled. His car was the only one between them, and she knew tonight it would be at his favorite bar for at least three hours before he finally decided it was time to come home.

      When choosing what to take with her, she had struggled with deciding what was most important. Her favorite dress…the one she had worn to multiple parties and family gatherings, before the days of being forbidden to leave the house for events he did not approve of…this dress had so many good memories, and she recently had so few.

      It pained her to leave the matching shoes behind, but she would never make it running in heels, so her sneakers were her only choice. The briefcase was the most important part; the one part of her escape that was awkward to bring but yet absolutely necessary.

      The railroad tracks guided Charlene to the small diner on the opposite side of town from the bar. It was a place she would never have stepped foot in before, but now it was a safe haven, because it was a place he would least expect her to go.

      She settled into a back corner booth, one that provided a view of the front door and an easy exit out the back door should he choose to look for her here. Once her order was placed, she popped open the briefcase and smiled at its contents. Her birth certificate, all of the money that she had been collecting for six months, and the prepaid cell phone that she had purchased two days ago were safely tucked inside. Charlene smiled as she dialed the familiar number that would bring her rescue.

    • tracey says:

      “I am free” she laughed to herself, “free”. She had delivered the kids to summer camp, hubby was still in China on business and she had a whole week to herself. In four hours she would be at the cabin on the lake. “No laundry, no cooking, no cleaning” she thought gleefully. No hearing “mom” every five minutes, no “honey could you…”

      Her suitcase was heavy with books but she didn’t mind. The first thing she was going to do when she got there was dig out the hammock and set it up. Then she was going for a swim. She would eat dinner on the small porch at sunset, a banana split and a bottle of red wine. Tomorrow she would sleep as late as she wanted and then spend the rest of the day reading. Six whole days, she was giddy with the lightness of freedom.

      • Kaia Jules says:

        Hi Tracey,

        I loved your story. A much needed break all moms need. Well done 🙂

    • Celeste says:

      Stupid shortcut. Why did I listen to him? Jenna huffs to an intersection, the moldy case bouncing against her thigh.

      Suddenly she noticed a red-faced woman in a lacy white gown coiming up the street.

      Margie! Jenna bunches her skirt in one hand and pounds around the corner. Margie’s eyes bulge as she sees Jenna suddenly dart out ahead of her.

      How did she-? But before Margie can finish her thought, the race is over.

      “The winning bride-to-be everybody!” The emcee leads Jenna up the platform, her face shining with sweat and triumph. Some of the other girls look disappointed but Margie glares up at the stage.

      “And now let’s hear about the wonderful prizes she won today!”

      Margie kicks at an empty soda cup on the ground, she doesn’t want to hear about that trip to Fiji she and Trey won’t be taking. The cup hits someone’s shoe.

      “Sorry,” she says when he turns around.

      “Wait, do I know you?” She asks.

      He shakes his head. “Probably from around here.” He points to where it says Bridal Battles on his uniform.

      Later, Margie is at her car when she sees Jenna kissing some guy. No, not some guy. The guy from the audience.

      And it comes back to Margie how she knows him.

      He put a band aid on Jenna’s knee when she fell! The fall that had supposedly put Jenna in last place. Until she wasn’t.

      “The honeymoon passes.” The pair jump apart at the sound of Margie’s voice. They hadn’t heard her come up behind them.

      “What?” The guy looks confused.

      “I said, the honeymoon passes. You are going to give to me. I saw you two. From over there.” Margie points to the van blocking her car from view.

      Now the guy looks scared, but Jenna juts her chin out.

      “So what?”

      “I also took a few pictures. I’m on my way to show them off. Unless, you want to come with me?”

      Stupid shortcut, Jenna thinks as she follows Margie.

    • It was ridiculous, really. But she couldn’t stop giggling.

      She grabbed a handful of her wedding dress and heisted it up and as far away as possible from the three-sizes-too-big shoes of her loving big brother.

      That brother who had held up his hand when the minister posed the familiar, “if anyone has a reason” question, the brother who could no more “forever hold his peace” than forever hold his breath.

      He knew his little sister like the back of his own hand. Eight years her senior, he had practically raised her from age three when their family fell apart. Taking care of her was his job and his joy. Today was no different.

      Though she had never uttered a word, her brother knew she loved another and that her soul would eternally ache if she settled for anything less than the man of her heart’s dreams. He could see it in the sadness in her eyes, on this day that was supposed to be her happiest yet. The thought of her having anything but the joy she so deserved put a lump in his throat, too big to ignore.

      Stopping the wedding wasn’t an option. It was a life-saving event.

      As the gasps of the roomful of onlookers wafted through the room, she saw him leave his seat and make his way to the front. He knelt down next to her, and sweetly pulled the beautiful, but cramping high heels from her feet and replaced them with the only alternative he had – his own gigantic, comfortable shoes.

      “Go find him,” he said as he brushed the grateful tears from her astonished face.

      She giggled again, remembering every crazy detail as she ran and tripped her way through the rails that seemed to be pointing her in the way she should go…

    • It would not be long now. Selena must get away from this place. All her best laid plans were falling into place, except that she was running late.

      She left a crowd of people waiting for her. She was the guest of honor. This was her day. Rodney’s family and friends would now be sitting in pews with eyes wide with anticipation, the wedding song they had chosen, all details they had been planning together for the last few months.

      So, why was she clearly running from what should be a glorious moment to share with loved ones? People who loved her and wished her nothing but happiness were standing by just to watch her tie the knot to one of the richest, most successful, and truly loving men she could ever hope to meet.

      The truth was she was not that type of person. Those folks never really knew her, they knew what she wanted them to know. A happy woman who laughed with them. An extraordinary personality, generous, fun-loving who had charmed each and every one of them. She was their shining star that they all looked upon for lighting up their lives.

      What they didn’t know was that she was quite a successful con artist. She had performed this scenario on many occasions. She picked a mark who was rich and sweet, a true gentleman. Someone who couldn’t possibly suspect that the woman who won his heart was anything but genuine.

      But, while an audience of just about everyone he knew was standing by with anticipation allowing her to make a beeline for the door. She had planned this down to the details and now she was moments away from making her exit with a suitcase full of cash and jewels.

      So now, when she should be entering the church congregation to begin her ascension down the aisle. She was seconds away from descending down a slip gangway and onto the boat that would take her to onto her next adventure, a sunny destination and her next mark. This was the life of Selena D’Angelo.

    • Hurriedly she threw some clothes – just enough to last her- into a suitcase and fled. The voice, emanating from her computer was haunting her again.
      “If you marry Gil I’ll find a way to kill him,” the threatening male voice warned. “I may be dead but you are still mine.
      Doreen pleaded for understanding but he ordered her to shut up or he’d kill her too. “What do you want from me?” She pleaded. I did everything I could to make you happy.”
      “Oh yeah?” He snarled. “By taking my beer away, by snooping in my phone, by breaking into my password and reading my emails. That was supposed to make me happy?”
      “B-but I only did it for your own good. You were drinking too much and strange women and women were calling day and night. I had to protect you.”
      “You’re just a whining, sniveling snoop and you did not make me happy. You’ll pay for the rest of your life and maybe beyond. You know I’m right.” Suddenly, his hand reached out from her monitor and tried to grab her.
      Doreen pulled back in horror, screamed, and stood up, knocking her chair to the floor and tore out of the room. She was shaking so bad she thought she might faint. I have to get out of here she told herself as she tore around her room and started throwing her clothes in her suitcase. “You better not call Gil either,” she kept hearing her ex’s voice in her head.
      Just then the phone rang and she looked at the caller ID wondering if it was her fiancé, but to her horror she saw 666-666-6666. Devil Numbers! She felt like she was going to faint but somehow managed to grab her cell, her purse and her suitcase. Doreen dashed out the door, down the street running as fast as she could toward the nearest train station!

    • Hurriedly she threw some clothes – just enough to last her- into a suitcase and fled. The voice, emanating from her computer was haunting her again.
      “If you marry Gil I’ll find a way to kill him,” the threatening male voice warned. “I may be dead but you are still mine.
      Doreen pleaded for understanding but Gil ordered her to shut up or he’d kill her too. “What do you want from me?” She pleaded. I did everything I could to make you happy.”
      “Oh yeah?” He snarled. “By taking my beer away, by snooping in my phone, by breaking into my password and reading my emails. That was supposed to make me happy?”
      “B-but I only did it for your own good. You were drinking too much and strange women and women were calling day and night. I had to protect you.”
      “You’re just a whining, sniveling snoop and you did not make me happy. You’ll pay for the rest of your life and maybe beyond. You know I’m right.” Suddenly, his hand reached out from her monitor and tried to grab her.
      Doreen pulled back in horror, screamed, and stood up, knocking her chair to the floor and tore out of the room. She was shaking so bad she thought she might faint. I have to get out of here she told herself as she tore around her room and started throwing her clothes in her suitcase. “You better not call Gil either,” she kept hearing her ex’s voice in her head.
      Just then the phone rang and she looked at the caller ID wondering if it was her fiancé, but to her horror she saw 666-666-6666. Devil Numbers! She felt like she was going to faint but somehow managed to grab her cell, her purse and her suitcase. Doreen dashed out the door, down the street running as fast as she could toward the nearest train station!

    • Jim Marcotte says:

      She had taken one look at the stupid briefcase, sunglasses and those awful boots and ignored him, but he managed to slip some clever words past her defenses and soon the walls cracked. She was negotiating a precarious recovery; the last time had been oh-so perfect and then… not. Emotions were raw, she was angry and not just a little scared that her mantra of “never again” was rapidly losing ground to his wit and charm. As the weeks turned to months they became close, and eventually she forgot her resolution that there would be no more projects plucked from the indie fringe.

      They had grown, together. For the first time a path rose in front of him, a reason to care, a chance to build a future. It probably wasn’t fair that he laid that burden upon her, of course he never spoke of it. But at some level she knew which made it all the more dangerous. For her part she had grown calm, her fears quieted and heart healed. Mostly. Their lives continued to merge and one day were surprised to find themselves talking about marriage.

      The rain washed the air clean for the mountaintop wedding. It was just the two of them, they needed no trappings of state to seal their union, and as they climbed the slippery trail to the overlook he announced he had a surprise. She waited, uneasy because she hated surprises, and soon he popped out from behind the bushes – wearing those boots, sunglasses and proudly carrying the briefcase.

      It all came apart for her as memories flooded back, every doubt, every fear. “Take those off!” she screamed. “Off!” She began sobbing as he struggled to remove the boots, and as the second one popped off she hit him in the chest with both fists, sending him flailing over the edge. She heard him sliding and crashing down the slope as she donned the boots and glasses. He would be OK, and she would too once she had some distance between them.

      She laughed as she raced away. Never again!

    • REVENGE
      Terry P. Rizzuti, 2015

      George never should have called Julie fat in 2nd grade, especially in front of all the other kids. He never should have pulled her pony tale every day at lunch in the cafeteria either. And he certainly shouldn’t have purposefully stepped on her new shoes on her birthday in the hallway in front of her only friend who squealed with delight thinking it was funny.

      No, George shouldn’t have done those things. But then, Julie shouldn’t have spent her life in anger, either, shouldn’t have sought revenge, shouldn’t have sulked into deep depression that lasted years. So it seemed good when Julie pulled out of her funk and transformed herself into a raving beauty whose image would grace the covers of many magazines. And it was good, to her at least, that by the time she was 30, George wouldn’t even recognize her when they “accidentally” met, good and perhaps inevitable that he’d fall in love with her and propose.

      And it was a hoot, thought Julie, to stroll down the church aisle, whisper her real name along with a reminder in George’s ear, then skip back up the aisle past staring faces to her travel bag, the one with her trail-running shoes inside. “I’m healed,” yelled Julie, “and free.” Out the door she ran, down the steps, faster and farther, the wind blowing in her face, her hair billowing, her mind on fire and her grin all that remained of sweet revenge.

    • Hannah says:

      It was time for the finale. Cindy’s hands clasped tightly around the familiar cold cylinder as she seductively held his gaze once more. She’d seen him before and knew exactly how to exploit his weakness.

      The room raced around as her strong physique sparkled under the lights. Her graceful long limbs so expertly exhibited.

      As she slowly slid down to the ground, their eyes met again, beads of sweat on his brow, mouth slightly open and a disorientated look in his eyes. It was time to collect her prize.

      “Every time darling” he hollered as he rose to his feet beckoning her over to him.

      “Something for my favourite girl” he breathed, stuffing a fat bundle of notes into her palm. The telling aroma of whisky and stale cigarettes repelling Cindy just a fraction.

      “Thanks a lot Joe” she said quickly pecking him on the cheek in hope of avoiding conversation.
      “Y’know mother always said I was with the wrong twin” he slurred, “Casey was always so conservative and you’re the wild version of her, how is she anyway? Is she still with that musician dope? She could have had it all as my wife, he has nothing to offer!” He slumped back into his chair defeated.

      “Don’t worry about it Joe” Cindy said softly, now feeling a hint of compassion for the heart broken man. She glanced at his gold Rolex and gulped with horror.

      “You’ll meet someone special to spoil but in the meantime, I’ll see you here next Friday”

      Another abrupt peck on the cheek and she shimmered off towards the dressing room.

      Cindy knew she was cutting it fine and she really didn’t want to disappoint anyone, especially Casey.

      There was no time to waste. Everyone would be waiting for her. She had to get that train, even though it meant running the whole mile to the station.

      Pulling the long creased dress from her bag, she sighed, “Maid of honour” she smiled to herself.
      She hadn’t the faintest idea why Casey was marrying the musician dope anyway.

      • Carole says:

        Hannah this is great. You drew me in and I could almost smell the smoke and alcohol coming off the guy. Descriptive and gave power to the female. Loved the end!

    • The rain was coming down harder now. “How far are you going to push this?”

      “What, you don’t want to shoot in the rain? You look so beautiful wet.”

      She cocked her head quizzically, knowing he had to be kidding. “What kind of producer are you? Look at me. My gown is getting soaked and the hair is becoming unsalvageable.

      “No, I’m not kidding. Pick up your prop case and run down the track. It will be a great shot for the video.”

      “I can’t Evan. I am becoming overwhelmed by it all.” Katrina spoke through the salty aftertaste of her tears now in the corners of her mouth, her gaze half-clouded as was the late afternoon sky, ruining a day she had looked forward to for over a year.

      Evan put the pencil back in his mouth. The cold annealed steel of the disempowered rail and the low to ground viaduct laced with security fencing added to the indifference he was feeling. “You said you were ready. Why would you bait me into this relationship if you weren’t sure? Do you have any idea what this is costing me, how much money I’ve put into your career or what I had to go through to make this happen? There is a Grand Piano in the field which is going to suffer more damage than your dress.”

      Rather than staying in the negative depressed state she felt, she searched her mind for recall of running in the rain as a small girl and followed his lead. Her beauty merged with industry pulled the flaw in the day into workable textures: sun glasses in the rain, a wet white gown in the middle of an industrial yard, vintage case and boots as a contrast. He had vision. She ran without reservation, not looking back.

      “Katrina,” he yelled. “You can come back now.”

      • Hannah says:

        Pure genius Iyana. Powerful. I loved it! Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • tope says:

      Why does it have to be so sunny every Tuesday morning. Jill thought to herself. Well, I’m glad its Tuesday again, a day to hang with the ladies. There’s never an end to the fun time we share together. Ever since Dave left, the ladies have been there for me. Jill took a quick shower, picked her sun glasses and off she went.

      While waiting for the ladies on the deck, she felt a tap on her shoulder. Looking back, she could not believe her eyes, right before her stood Dave…her fiance who had disappeared a month before the wedding with almost all she had.

      Still looking charming as ever she thought to herself…come on Jill, snap out of it. Dave spoke first, Jill I’m really sorry, I can explain. I really need you to hear me out. Jill looked at Dave wondering what he had to say. She found her voice and said alright, lets sit over there. But Dave insisted he had a room closeby where they could talk. She could not believe her ears but she really wanted to hear what he had to say. As they went, she sent a quick text to the ladies.

      Everyday, I chide myself for leaving without really explaining. Jill, I had this deal I needed to seal up sharply, that was why I left with the money. After the deal, my intention was to come back. He brought out boxes filled with money, explaining there was just one deal left to be sealed and he will be back. She gave him a reassuring smile that she understood all he said. Dave drew close to her and gave her hug, inhaling the cool strawberry scent from her hair…Jill I have missed you so much

      She broke free from his embrace and said I know. Please can you get me a drink while I use the rest room. Dave took that as a good sign and dashed out. Jill quickly picked one of the boxes, put on her shades and went out through the back stairs, running as fast as she could.

    • Kaia Jules says:

      “After several years of suffering and dealing with a horrible realization that her life was barely an out of the ordinary one, Anna tried her luck at the university. Teaching became her obsession for a while. She saw herself in a new role that brought authoritative benefits for her already broken ego. This teaching of the opera singing completed her for a handful of years but it undeniably killed her enthusiasm after seeing all of her talented students form an incredible atmosphere on stage without putting any effort into it. But she, poor Santuzza, was not even able to make the audience shout or simply fall in love with her character. And this was something that she always knew how to do. She was a diva — a powerful mezzo-soprano that once filled New York theatres.
      And now there was nothing left of her. Nothing. She was just a tiny soul with a great desire for former success — living in the past and secretly hoping that someday she would gain the same amount of love from all levels of society as she once did.
      Instead, her life became a majestic academic amphitheater, surrounded by four grandiose walls, each morning, each part of the day, forever. Buried in papers, unhappy faces, and too much violence of modern day, she decided to pack her little world and disappear for an indefinite period of time. Her life had to be more than just seamlessly paved streets, giant skyscrapers and white walls of that grand classroom. She was curious enough to find her realm and she was out of control with desire. She did not fear the consequences, as her life as such, was not worth living. Her talent was seduced away from her, leaving her soul in famine, and she had to escape.”

    • Emily says:

      “Geez, what IS wrong with you, Alyssa? Do you think you could get away with it?” Alyssa’s mind was racing with thoughts of Katrina’s threats playing through her head like a tape recorder. But she was determined to leave the church and run away from them as far away as she could. She didn’t know where she was going but she knew she had to go somewhere safe. Or else she’d go crazy with everyone buzzing around with what had happened in church.

      She couldn’t bear to see the man at the altar marrying her best friend. She was the bridesmaid after all. But things weren’t like the way they used to be. She has fond memories of Leonard, the groom. They would walk in the park, go to a café and just sit around, teasing each other. Or he’d go to her house and made silly stuff like get some ice cream and make milkshakes or he would help her cook dinner. It was only last year that they became really close friends and she thought they were made for each other.

      Until one day, he just stopped doing those things with her. She was wondering what had happened all this time. His absence made her really lonely.

      This went on and on until that day came and made her realize that he wasn’t really serious about her, that all of the things they did together were nothing but friendship. That was all he could offer her. She saw on her desk a very dainty-looking envelope that smelled like a special perfume used on paper. She opened it and read that Leonard was tying the knot with Katrina. And she was to be the bridesmaid. She couldn’t back out because her name was written on it and people were expecting her to attend.

      On their wedding day, after the priest said, “If anyone objects to this marriage, let them speak now or forever hold your piece.” Feeling uneasy, Alyssa stood up but didn’t say a word and just walked out of the church, smiling, carrying her bag with her.

    • Grace says:

      A smile spread across Colleen’s face as she raced down the rail tracks, suitcase in hand and holding her dress away from the ground still wet from the rain of the night before. She hadn’t slept, but she had made her decision and now she was going to go see the love of her life, Robert. Nothing was going to stop her. The past few months had been so uncertain and now she finally realized that she couldn’t live without him. Before Colleen had left her house she had even taken the moment to grab the sunglasses he had left behind and put them on before running to the train station. She was wearing the dress that she had put on for the evening that did not turn out how she expected, the shoes she had changed into when the heels that she was not at all used to, and Robert’s sunglasses. She didn’t care, she just had to go tell her love just how much she loved him… Oh, and accept his marriage proposal of course.

    • Greg King says:

      OK. So I’m late. It’s not like I didn’t have a good excuse. Running’s important to me and I trained really so hard for the Sri Lankan Marathon. It may not be the best-known race in the world, but the competition was really soft, so I thought I might win the women’s race. It didn’t work out as planned, but I’m sure Jeff will understand. I should have told him about the race date being so close to our wedding, but I would have made it if my marathon time was just a little faster. He knows I adore him and will be totally dedicated to being his wife and the mother of his children.

    • Agira says:

      “Men can be maddening with their petty demands, and petty wishes” , were the thoughts that ran through Ava’s mind as she ran across the bridge. But they are still to be loved .
      Ava had wished only for one thing , that she would like to get married in Italy and she had asked for it from her fiancee Laur, her heart throb and her life’s troubles.
      He had accepted readily but he made a counter demand, that they would get married in one of his friends old family castle. She had readily accepted she couldn’t think of many girls who wouldn’t . Who wouldn’t love to get married in a castle that doesn’t exist..
      She hadn’t known that the particular friend he was referring to was Tito Canino, who has an uncle with a supposedly big castle. It wasn’t until they reached Galipoli, that they had found the castle to be an old guard towers, which had been converted into a mill for the wine farm.
      She had been disappointed but she could have been happy with a wedding at the local church. But Laur, Tito and Marco had gone missing on the day before the wedding after their supposedly controlled bachelor party.
      And then then on the midnight when the clock had struck two Tito had called. Laur was hell bend on getting a castle for wedding and had travelled to Trieste with out a warning after drinking wine with something rather suspicious in it. She hadn’t heard the explaination in detail. She hadn’t waited to hear it. She had packed her bags and had driven away in her Pagani with the wedding party in tow . until the car had classically broken down in the bridge a seven hundred yards from the castle.
      She could see him standing in the grass field talking on the phone. She had forgotten her mobile but had her suitcase. She wondered what she had packed in it.. It felt light. She smiled and hoped that her boots would prevent her from falling on her ass in the wet grass .

    • Agira says:

      “Men can be maddening with their petty demands, and petty wishes” , were the thoughts that ran through Ava’s mind as she ran across the bridge. But they are still to be loved .

      Ava had wished only for one thing , that she would like to get married in Italy and she had asked for it from her fiancee Laur, her heart throb and her life’s troubles.

      He had accepted readily but he made a counter demand, that they would get married in one of his friends old family castle. She had readily accepted she couldn’t think of many girls who wouldn’t . Who wouldn’t love to get married in a castle that doesn’t exist..

      She hadn’t known that the particular friend he was referring to was Tito Canino, who has an uncle with a supposedly big castle. It wasn’t until they reached Galipoli, that they had found the castle to be an old guard towers, which had been converted into a mill for the wine farm.

      She had been disappointed but she could have been happy with a wedding at the local church. But Laur, Tito and Marco had gone missing on the day before the wedding after their supposedly controlled bachelor party.

      And then then on the midnight when the clock had struck two Tito had called. Laur was hell bend on getting a castle for wedding and had travelled to Trieste with out a warning after drinking wine with something rather suspicious in it. She hadn’t heard the explaination in detail. She hadn’t waited to hear it. She had packed her bags and had driven away in her Pagani with the wedding party in tow . until the car had classically broken down in the bridge a seven hundred yards from the castle.

      She could see him standing in the grass field talking on the phone. She had forgotten her mobile but had her suitcase. She wondered what she had packed in it.. It felt light. She smiled and hoped that her boots would prevent her from falling on her ass in the wet grass .

    • Moments before dad walks her down the aisle, a flustered friend tells her that a bomb was found under one of the back pews of the church. The wedding party panics, while the groomsmen are unaware of the situation.

      As a former spy she still thinks quickly on her feet. It has been over five years since her last assignment, yet her skills and intuitiveness are very much intact.

      She decides to proceed with the ceremony. As the music begins for the wedding party to enter, the officiator makes the announcement; she sneaks in the back, grabs the bomb and heads out the building.

      Running down the hallway incoming guests assumed she got “cold feet” and decided to run for her life. This was not something she would worry about just yet.

      Right before she exist the church, she slips on a pair of boots she managed to find in the janitor’s closet. Out the door she runs toward the river across the street where she’ll drop the bomb successfully, protecting everyone’s life.

      Shortly she returns to the church to continue with the wedding as normal. Those who saw her in the hallway were rather perplexed. Hopefully she will discover that it was an old jealous friend who placed the bomb for her demise.

      Upon her return, hair blown and make up smeared by the sweat on her face, panting like she ran a marathon, enters the auditorium and meets her man. While ignorantly thinking that she was overly excited about getting married, little did he know that his life was just spared.

      Even former spies never stop having strange adventures. Thankfully the ceremony resumed completing the vows. At the reception she told them the full story of her fleeing. After all, a bride doesn’t usually wear boots with her wedding gown, does she? They all toasted and and they were “happily ever after”

    • Hope says:

      Her lips curved into a smug smile as she ran towards the waiting car.

      She wanted to scream for joy, but she had to stay focussed. This was not the time for celebration. Her plan was only half way through. She had managed to “escape” with the exquisite engagement ring and cash from the vault downstairs. Now she had to escape the country before word spread that the “Runaway Bride” had struck another unsuspecting tycoon.

      This time, it was harder for her to leave. She had actually allowed herself to develop feelings for Jason. He was everything she ever wanted; good looking, wealthy and yet so normal. He trusted her with everything. He had made it so easy for her to study his every move and weave her way in and out of his life and all in eight months.

      She glanced back fleetingly.

      A part of her hoped that he would be behind her, begging her to stay. Another part just wanted to get as far away as possible to enjoy her new found wealth.

    • Eric says:

      After having drugged her partner and left him unconscious in the car, Anika finds herself running down the train tracks with a suitcase full of money. With the morning sun glistening off the tracks, she can see the train station on the horizon and she knows that freedom is mere minutes away.
      “I have done it yet again. Another successful con job,” she thinks to herself and smiles and her mind’s eye visualizes all the successful con jobs she has ever done. “And I’ll never be caught.”
      The exhilaration of running, the scenic natural beauty surrounding her, and suddenly in that moment she hits upon a great idea.
      “Why don’t I write a book about my experience? With a story like mine, I could probably even sell the book rights to have a movie made.” She feels at peace just then. She jumps forward in happiness, knowing that she has her life all figured out.

      Blurry eyed, she looks at the sun. “It’s too red” she thinks to herself, as she finds herself lying on the tracks. She sees someone walking towards her. She can’t speak nor move herself, and she waits patiently for this stranger to come closer. There’s something familiar about him, but she can’t put her finger to it. The man comes kneels down, takes the suitcase and starts walking away without a second glance. She sees him walk away until he suddenly drops sideways.
      Her eyes drop down to the ground and she sees some oil in the middle of the track. Out of the corner of her eyes she can make out her sunglasses lying just below her face, the lenses all cracked. She suddenly sees a glint in the distance. She feels something suddenly hit her chest. As she feels herself losing consciousness, her last thought is “I should have used contraceptives.”

    • Janet says:

      They stared at her. She stared back, suitcase in hand, her rain-soaked gown clinging to her legs.

      “Come, come!” A weather-beaten old woman motioned to her. She hunched over and scurried up the sloped cement pad to the flat underside of the graffiti-covered metal posts and slid down beside the huddled group, two boys, a man and young woman, and the old woman.

      The old woman pointed at the boys, “Sammy, Tyler”, then the man, “Bolo.” “I’m Louisa”, the young woman said, brushing her dark hair back from her eyes.

      “My name’s Dicra…thank you.”, she said, taking the towel offered by the man. Bolo nodded at her, and Sammy and Tyler smiled shyly. “And what is your name?”, Dicra asked the old woman. “Busara,” the old woman chuckled beating her hand against her chest, “everyone’s Busara.”

      Are ya gett’n married young lady?” Busara asked, pointing at her gown.

      She smiled weakly. “I don’t know. I…he, he may not be there, I don’t know.”

      “Why you say that?”

      “Well,” Dicra hesitated, feeling strange at telling total strangers why she found herself here, now, “we had a fight, and, it was his fault, well, a bit my fault too, maybe more my fault, and I left, I just left, which was a stupid thing to do I know.” Dicra laughed at herself, as the words poured out. “I just grabbed a few things and left.”

      “Ah” Busara laughed, “yes, yes, wedding gown and sneakers don’t usually go together.” She looked down at her high tops and smiled.

      Tears welling up Dicra asked, “What do I do now?” Busara took her hands in her own, rubbing warmth back into them. “The bridge is still here, yes, so there is still a way home, yes?” Her eyes twinkled.

      It had stopped raining. Dicra waved goodbye.

      The sun was hot on her face as she made her way back up the track. He would be waiting for her, she was sure of it. He loved her. She would tell him how wrong she had been. They would laugh and hug. They would make love. She hurried.

    • Janet says:

      They stared at her. She stared back, suitcase in hand, her rain-soaked gown clinging to her legs.

      “Come, come!” A weather-beaten old woman motioned to her. She hunched over and scurried up the sloped cement pad to the flat underside of the graffiti-covered metal posts and slid down beside the huddled group, two boys, a man and young woman, and the old woman.

      The old woman pointed at the boys, “Sammy, Tyler”, then the man, “Bolo.” “I’m Louisa”, the young woman said, brushing her dark hair back from her eyes. “My name’s Dicra…thank you.”, she said, taking the towel offered by the man. Bolo nodded at her, and Sammy and Tyler smiled shyly. “And what is your name?”, Dicra asked the old woman. “Busara,” the old woman chuckled beating her hand against her chest, “everyone’s Busara.”

      Are ya gett’n married young lady?” Busara asked, pointing at her gown.

      She smiled weakly. “I don’t know. I…he, he may not be there, I don’t know.”

      “Why you say that?”

      “Well,” Dicra hesitated, feeling strange at telling total strangers why she found herself here, now, “we had a fight, and, it was his fault, well, a bit my fault too, maybe more my fault, and I left, I just left, which was a stupid thing to do I know.” Dicra laughed at herself, as the words poured out. “I just grabbed a few things and left.”

      “Ah” Busara laughed, “yes, yes, wedding gown and sneakers don’t usually go together.” She looked down at her high tops and smiled. Dicra looked again at Busara, tears welling up, “What do I do now?” Busara took her hands in her own, rubbing warmth back into them. “the bridge is still here, yes, so there is still a way home, yes?” Her eyes twinkled.

      It had stopped raining. Dicra waved goodbye.

      The sun was hot on her face as she made her way up the track. He would be waiting for her, she was sure of it. He loved her. She would tell him how wrong she had been. They would laugh and hug. They would make love. She hurried.

    • Eric Joyce says:

      Three months of planning had finally paid off.

      Chloe met Aiden at the same church where they were to marry. She could have had her pick of anyone in the church, but she didn’t want to raise a lot of attention. Aiden was a kind man; she could have done worse…

      She drove to the church daily, sat in the parking lot and watched. She loved the Architecture the early nineteenth century church presented. She loved the trees that surrounded it on three sides. She noticed the relative isolation except for the train tracks at the edge of the trees. Everyone would be out of the church just as the last train passed through, so no one would be disturbed.

      She chuckled at the proximity of the Diamond Emporium to the church. Aiden took her there just before church three Wednesdays ago to buy her engagement ring.

      The guests filed into the church for this fairy tale ending to a whirlwind romance. Everything was perfect. The caterer was set up for the reception, The flowers were exquisite, the dress was royal, The shoes were the most comfortable she’d worn since high school.

      She didn’t love Aiden. She hardly liked him very much, but that didn’t affect this wedding in the least. She just needed everyone to believe―She’d even believed from time to time.

      It was a quiet, Monday morning. Nothing was happening except for the delivery at the Diamond Emporium.

      “I was supposed to pick up the rings yesterday!”

      Chloe slipped out the side door, across the courtyard, and into the building almost knocking down the guards. Out of breath, she approached the clerk. He glanced at her and held up a finger. The guards left and the clerk placed the wedding set on the counter.

      “If you’ll put them in the case with the rest of the diamonds that were just dropped off, I’ll be on my way.”

      She raised her hand to the clerk to make sure he saw the gun. He calmly complied, was locked in the vault and Chloe bolted for her train. Four million richer.

    • Lakshmi Murthy says:

      For Reima, WHY she was fleeing was not important! It never was. That she WAS fleeing brought a smile to her face! She knew she was a good writer. Her friends believed her conviction more than her writing. Didn’t Paul call her writing “Childish! That’s what my polite mind says, R! You need to value the comments of the man of the house!!”
      She sometimes wondered if he was making sense.
      He reminded her almost each day.
      “Don’t waste my dreams of you becoming a successful and wealthy writer that can support the family so that I can concentrate on being the thinker.”
      As she stepped out of the house, she called up her sister.
      “Betsy, if anyone can understand, it is you. I’m sorry I’m ruining your wedding. Post your pics. I’m waiting to see how a bride-in-red will look like! Ravishing, no doubt! Surrounded by all the bridesmaids in white! You’ll hear from me, Bets. You’ll hear about me. Take care, little”.
      She had packed her writings; a handful of pounds, a change of clothes. Well, she would survive.
      As she nearly ran to catch a bus to London, she was sure of one thing. She would be a great mother. She would be a writer that the world would sit up and notice. She, Reima, would be a phenomenon. And, her creation, the young boy Potter, would be a greater phenomenon.

    • He loved me, he has always loved me and he was supposed to love me for the rest my life. It’s was supposed to be our big day, the day we were going to commit to each other in from of a priest, our friends and family, and in front the law when he didn’t show up. I have to admit, nothing hurt me as much. I cried myself to sleep every night. I just didn’t know why would my “soulmate” leave without even an excuse. But today, i woke up smiling. I knew that there’s happinesss for me somewhere else, the only thing I had to do was leave this stupid town and never look behind. I had to leave the place where everywhere I go people look at me with sad eyes. And guess what I decided to wear? My wedding dress. Today I’m committing to Me, to my happiness.

    • Elliot says:

      It will be hours before they notice their missing bag. That’s what they get for sleeping late. A stolen bag and the embarrassment of knowing they were duped by a teenager. Stupid tourists.

      Throughout my life, my puppy dog eyes and girl next door smile have given me the advantage of easily earning people’s trust. My resemblance to a child keeps their guard down, and my southern girl charm intoxicates their better judgement.

      I was born to do this, to scam tourists. I have never been better at anything in my life.

      For the first few years after I ran away from home, the unparalleled thrill of travelling the world was enough for me. It was magnificently better than the peach farm I grew up on. My foster family there only took kids in for free labor. ‘Earn your keep!’ they’d say.

      I was never meant to do forced labor. Not that I minded the physical strain. In fact, I liked the callouses on my hands and a swim in the creek after a long day. But the authority over me, the “parents” who took me in, they were too much.

      I escaped the peach farm with the mastery of seasoned criminal, and each day, as I disappear with another tourist’s suitcase, I smile because I’m free.

      Of course, I could just walk away. The tourists won’t wake up for hours. But each time I run. I run from her, Adalaide, my “sister” from the farm. She hadn’t cried or given away my hiding spot, even as I waved to her from underneath the tarp on the bed of the peach truck. She believed I was coming back for her.

      As I run away now, I can’t escape her. My footsteps cry in rhythm: Ad-a-laide. Ad-a-laide. I can’t outrun her, no matter how fast or far I run.

    • Carrie searched Dylan’s eyes as the pastor read the vows, “Carrie, Do you promise to love….?”

      Her maid of honor, Sherri, just warned her before she started up the aisle. “Carrie, you can’t go through with this! I overheard Dylan telling that willowy blonde with the Lauren Bacall eyes, ‘This won’t take long. Carrie will never know what hit her.’ Then he pulled a bottle of liquid from inside his jacket and said, ‘Just a few drops in her champagne and Carrie will be history. Then you and I can can take a vacation on the insurance money. How does Hawaii sound?'”

      Carrie had refused to believe Sherri, but as they repeated the vows, she caught a passing glance from Dylan to the willowy blonde.

      “I can’t go through with this!” Carrie dashed down the aisle and outside the church where she stopped a passerby and paid him for his boots, leaving him barefoot. Good thing this was summer. She grabbed the boots then ran behind the church to change into them. Now all she needed was Dylan’s briefcase which held the insurance papers. She had a key to what was suppose to be their house. If she hurried he wouldn’t catch up to her.

      Carrie opened the door, ran to the study then snatched his briefcase and hers. Her credit card and enough cash to get her by a few days was in hers. Maybe Dylan’s briefcase contained incriminating evidence. She hurried down the sidewalk, the briefcases in her grasp. Which way to go? The train station was only blocks away.

    • Sunni says:

      Five long grueling hours posing in this god-awful wedding dress better be worth it, Sandra thought. The photographer clicked one final picture and turned to speak to his assistant. With the agility of a sprinter, she backed out of the room leaving her heels behind like Cinderella.

      The halls of her fiancé’s mansion were empty, ghostly quiet for a place where a wedding would supposedly happen tomorrow. Sandra let out a snort as she jogged down to the study and glanced around, looking for the case her father gave Grant this morning.

      Sandra never believed in fate until last night when she overhead the two men talking. One man would rid himself of a troublesome daughter while paying off the other man’s extensive debts. How she ever thought the weasel loved her made her question her judgment in men.

      She’d show the two bastards. Her escape in sight, Sandra grabbed the case off the desk. She hesitated and with an evil chuckle snatched Grant’s beloved sunglasses, the ones he bought in Rome, thinking they made him look like a movie star. She slipped out the open french doors and snuck around the back of the building wincing at the path’s stones cutting into her bare feet. A pair of workmen’s boots sat by the back door and she slipped them on, not taking the time to tie the laces.

      Her father and Grant’s yelling could be heard in the study and she bolted behind the garage and down over the back hill. If she could make it to the railroad tracks, running would be easier.

      After a half hour of clomping along, a grin played across her face. The train station came into view, the old town sign swung in the gentle breeze above the platform—Freedom, Massachusetts. What could be a more perfect place to begin her new adventure?

    • She turned around and only then did she realise that the person who was screaming was him. but she could not help him, could she!.
      That morning Ebla’s husband stayed home later than usual as he knew something was going to happen. While they were having a breakfast on the patio she said to him, “Guled, why have you stayed home and are not going to work?”
      “They came closer last night,” he said anxiously.“Their aim is to take over the city,” he added.
      Suddenly, a light, a huge light, lit up over them. Her husband shouted, “Watch out! ” ” Run, I promise I’ll come after you” he added. She was so shocked that she could not move or act quickly.
      “Get into the shelter, take the documents with you!” he screamed, “They are targeting us!” But how quickly the light exploded! A huge explosion lit up the sky over them. It was a bomb which had hit their house.
      The fierce flames were huge, the explosions were unceasing, neighbours were desperately looking for cover, but they did not know where to go for shelter.
      She grasped an old case and ran to the backyard . While she was hiding there she saw a blinding flash of light and debris went flying over her and also in other directions. She could hardly see anyone because of the smoke, so she clutched her case tightly with all her strength.
      Ebla could hear her neighbours’ voices rising up in the sky. They were yelling and crying, and running for their lives to join her in the shelter in her garden where she was taking refuge.
      By the grace of God the bombing stopped, and then it was deathly silent. She thought that she was the only one left in the world. She looked around the outside of their house, wounded people were everywhere. One of them was wounded badly and screaming. She started searching for her husband. She looked around, and only then she did realise that the person who was screaming was him but she could not help him, could she!

    • Oh, happy day! So glad I found this old suitcase and these heavy chunky shoes. They’ll help me make it over to the Roman Theater over at New Brunswick before the scenes are set before the play starts tonight. I’m glad I’m in good shape so I can make this two mile run. (Gotta wonder why I didn’t take up the offer that they’d pick me up but I thought Dad would let me take the old Dodge pickup.) Doin’ all that work on Dad’s farm is my reason for havin’ all this stamina. Milkin’ the cows,sloppin’ the hogs, runnin’ the baler on the tractor to make hay, and unloadin’ the bales on the elevator to put up in the barn. Now I’m kinda’ wishin’ I would have just “borrowed” the tractor to drive it to the Theater.
      I still can’t believe that I’ve signed a contract with the “Pan Players” to be in the new production
      at the Roman Theater. If I hadn’t really met Bill Murray as he was drivin’ along our county road just enjoying himself, this wouldn’t be happening. He taped my voice as he heard me singing on the tractor as I was mowin’ the road ditch. He called it a heavenly voice. I couldn’t believe it was really Bill Murray until Mayor Roberts just happened along when he was visiting with me and wanted me to sign this contract. The mayor, who’s a lawyer, told me to go ahead and sign
      the contract, verifying that everything was real. He wished me lots of luck and told me that I should be sure to make it to the Roman Theater tonight and sing my heart out and he’d be there to listen.
      I can’t help but wonder about the dress that I’m wearin’. I found it in the attic in an old chest where Mom’s stuff was put away when she died years ago. I’m gonna’ consider it more of my good luck day!

    • One more week, she kept telling herself. One more week, one more week. Then she would be outta this hick town, away from prying eyes and wagging tongues. Away from instant judgement by looks. She was tired of the stares. In the grocery store, of the looks in her basket, when seeing no meats, no candy, only fresh vegetables, only range free eggs, only juice from the in-store juicer, the disapproving tsk tsks. Health nut. Either that or just too plain lazy to fix a hot dog, a hamburger. Well, from the looks of her, she wasn’t missing any meals.
      Finally, the day. She raised her recliner into a sitting position and slid out. She walked into the bathroom and washed her face. She went into the kitchen and ate the remainder of food there, an apple and some carrot sticks. Back to the bathroom for hygiene rituals. Looking at herself, making sure she looked presentable this one last time.
      Out the door, locked. Key left on the doormat in plain view, per instructions.
      She slung her backpack onto her back and started down the sidewalk. Again the stares. Get your eyes full one last time.
      She had her ticket out and ready for the mere seconds she waited for the bus. It pulled up; half a dozen people got off. She did not know a one of them.
      Then it was her turn to get on the bus. She gladly handed over her ticket. She got on and went to the back of the bus for the long ride away, away, away.
      In days to come the local newspaper seemed to breathe its own sigh of relief:
      “Two different color eyed woman leaves town.”
      “Our eyes rest easy with monochromes all present.”
      “One olive green, one cobalt blue, together scary, always.”
      “Judged not, liked not, stayed not.”

    • Paul: Your posting was creatively humorous. I especially loved the mention of a daughter named Spaulding! I think this writing is the beginning of a short story or novel. Keep writing! I look forward to more responses to this visual prompt and the comments.

    • My leg muscles are aching, running in this rainy weather in a long dress down a railroad track. What possessed me. I’m so foolish thinking I was going to make it home in time for my daughter’s, Joie’s, sixteenth birthday party.
      I stayed far too long in the mountains. It was so relaxing, sitting by the stream watching the water roll over the stones making frothy water that rushes to the edges of the sand. The cool breeze brushing across my face and blowing my hair making me laugh.
      Now I’m frazzled, breathlessly running down the railroad tracks in combat boots carrying this heavy suitcase full of presents. I wore my best summer dress for the party, but my hair is windblown. I will not have time to change. Excitement fills my whole inner being. At the same time I am overrun with guilt of not having been home to help prepare for the party. My heart is racing thinking of the disappointment I probably caused by not being there. My mind is overactive thinking about my selfishness of wanting time by myself. I smile though at the thought of seeing my family soon and determined that this is going to be a killer party, one Joie will never forget.
      Almost home, I can’t wait to see how beautiful Joie looks as she greets her guests. I feel tingling in my chest, my head is swimming with the love I have for my daughter and family. Being away for just a few days gave me time to reminisce about the times of laughter and joy we have as a family. The love I have for my family is beyond what I could have ever imagined and I am blessed every day of my life.

    • She opened her eyes and stretched. She should have felt light-hearted and excited to fly out of bed, but she wasn’t. A feeling of uncertainty and dread prevailed. It was her wedding day and as she proceeded to pull on her gown, she became more and more agitated. Suddenly, she knew it wasn’t going to happen. She pulled on her most comfortable shoes, a sweater and flew out the door, knowing she could still catch the 9-11 to Denver. This man wasn’t right for her and now she knew it. The sense of adventure ahead fueled her physically and emotionally. She would be responsible for her own happiness. Some things you just know, and soon everyone else would, also.

    • Mark McLinden says:

      Amber’s choice of footwear seemed illogical at the time of their application, and as she sunk her feet into each worn and tired shoe, thereby rendering her prearranged diamond-encrusted wedding shoes redundant, she figured it was simply a carryover from her rebellious past. Besides, her dress would more than cover them meaning their presence and her rebellion would be kept concealed.

      Yes, she now stood 3 inches shorter without the heels but the only people close enough to notice would be the priest, who was practically blind; and her fiancé, who would be too preoccupied with getting back to his office or back on his mistress to notice the minor detail of a shrinking bride.

      Not that this would be the first time she had shrunk – from the very beginning she felt her stature reduce: first it was her voice, softer and less certain after each of his retorts. Then it was her posture, from confident and open, to timid and closed in a matter of months. Then came the shrinking of her social circle as Donnie culled one friend after another until only the least objectionable remained.

      Her hope was the last to go, though that didn’t shrink so much as vanish, as if during one inhale it existed then on the subsequent exhale it did not. She had breathed it out and was unable to breathe it back in, until, well, until she found herself sitting on her bedroom floor an hour before her wedding with worn and tired shoes on her feet.

      She felt her lungs fill with air, her shoulders relax, and this time, when she exhaled, the hope remained. Her shoe choice wasn’t merely a carryover from a rebellious past, it was a statement of a rebellious present and more than that, it would facilitate a speedy escape.

      She grabbed only those items she couldn’t live without: a picture of her mother, a necklace from her father, enough money for a train ticket; and left behind only those items she couldn’t live with: her engagement ring, her continued compliance.

    • Dawn says:

      Morning sun, glorious, brilliant and promising poured through the open door. The distant hum of the wrong city bit her nerves. Too late for regrets. Too late for today. Too late for her one last chance. Stacey pulled the leather briefcase off the top rack in the overnight carriage and leaped out onto the platform. She gathered her gown and ran.

      Two steps at a time up the old station stairs, across the over bridge, down onto the underpass. She had promised she would be there. On time. Respectable and reliable. Punctual and presentable.

      She ran across the crossing, lifted her skirt and headed toward the B Track. The Huffington slowed and ground to a halt. People poured off. The stationmaster’s muffled voice crackled through the PA. All aboard. She jumped. Doors clouted shut.

      Stacey watched through the black iron bars of the turnstile grill as her last chance to do good shunted north without her.

      And she cried as she imagined her only sister without a father to give her away nor a bridesmaid at her side.

    • Tope says:

      Why does it have to be so sunny every Tuesday morning. Jill thought to herself. Well, I’m glad its Tuesday again, a day to hang with the ladies. There’s never an end to the fun time we share together. Ever since Dave left, the ladies have been there for me. Jill took a quick shower, picked her sun glasses and off she went.

      While waiting for the ladies on the deck, she felt a tap on her shoulder. Looking back, she could not believe her eyes, right before her stood Dave…her fiance who had disappeared a month before the wedding with almost all she had.

      Still looking charming as ever she thought to herself…come on Jill, snap out of it. Dave spoke first, Jill I’m really sorry, I can explain. I really need you to hear me out. Jill looked at Dave wondering what he had to say. She found her voice and said alright, lets sit over there. But Dave insisted he had a room closeby where they could talk. She could not believe her ears but she really wanted to hear what he had to say. As they went, she sent a quick text to the ladies.

      Everyday, I chide myself for leaving without really explaining. Jill, I had this deal I needed to seal up sharply, that was why I left with the money. After the deal, my intention was to come back. He brought out boxes filled with money, explaining there was just one deal left to be sealed and he will be back. She gave him a reassuring smile that she understood all he had said. Dave drew close to her and gave her hug, inhaling the cool strawberry scent from her hair…Jill I have missed you so much

      She broke free from his embrace and said I know. Please can you get me a drink while I use the rest room. Dave took that as a good sign and dashed out. Jill quickly picked one of the boxes, put on her shades and went out through the stairs behind, running as fast as she could.

    • His heart feels as though it had been ripped from his chest by the hands of God. He desperately tries to spare himself from the abundant tears he has already shed. Every morning with the new sun he is reminded that the place beside him is empty. In the dark he simulates she is still there. Gathering her pillows in his arms, he slowly breathes in through his nose the fresh linen scent of the pillowcases mixed with the vanilla lavender she caressed her body with every night before bed. He can essentially feel her and hear her breathing as he drifts off to sleep. Nevertheless, the light abruptly takes him back to the reality she is gone. He only wished that he had had more time.

    • Awakened from a deep sleep, she heard him call out her name as she felt the sensation of his voice travel softly into her ear. Startled with her heart racing, she sat up in her bed and began searching the dark room for his presence. She called out to him but he did not answer. She searched every corner and looked down the narrow hallway hoping to see his eyes illuminating in the dark. It was in this moment she became confused due to the authenticity of hearing him call out to her. Sadly and disappointingly, she then realized she was only dreaming of him. The moon must have settled in, comfortably hanging in the darkness among the stars while she slept.

    • She rose to her feet from the hillcrest, completely unaware of the impact she was given through her decision to forgive. Wiping the tears rolling down her cheeks with her trembling hands she smiles toward the sun. As she breathed in deeply the eagle came to her mind once again so she decided to close her eyes and watch him fly overhead. In her mindsight, he took flight and spread his wings bringing a chill to the air. Her dark long hair twisted and blew to one side when a low, deep monotone voice whispered into her exposed ear, “You are courageous and need to stretch your limits. Do not accept the status quo, but rather reach higher and become more than you believe you are capable of. Look at things from a new, higher perspective as though you are soaring above the world with me. Be patient with the present; know that the future holds possibilities that you may not yet be able to see. You are about to take flight and become one with me. Heed what I tell you to be careful of how you feel and what you think for as your thoughts and emotions exist in you so shall you bring the same to your life” Chills ran down her neck and travelled down her spine to vibrate the bottom of her feet. The voice ceased, the winds died down and her vision of the eagle disappeared. She opened her eyes to the brightness of the sun. She was graciously given the spirit of the Eagle who symbolized great strength, leadership and vision by her Native Indian ancestors of long ago. She stood taller, pushed her shoulders back as she turned away from the hillcrest. She became acutely attuned to the sounds, the movements, and the smells of the earth below her. She was walking towards her new life.

    • Robert Keil says:

      Is she fleeing? No! she is running to catch the train.

      Last night , Alonzo, her fiancé had come home on special pass to ask her to marry him. They had talked for hours. Him pleading and her saying no, no, no. She had to stay home to take care of her aged parents. She could not just run off to some strange place and be by his side when her parents might be dying without her care and cooking. It was early morning, and he finally left because he had to catch the train to go back to the camp. He was going up to the front lines the following day.

      Her parents woke up shortly after he left and she told them about what her betrothed said and her answer. They quickly said that was wrong. They could take care of themselves and she had her whole life to consider. They said Run! Run! catch that train and be happy. We Love you and only what what’s best for you.

      So she is running to catch the train, not even taking time to change her clothes but rushing to catch her Alonzo, so she can be happy again!

    • Sarah looked over her shoulder again. Good. No one was following her. If things went well she just might get away without anyone even knowing about her involvement. Of course that depended on whether she could get away from the scene of the crime in a timely manner. Not that it was really a crime. Stealing something stolen didn’t really count, did it?

      She could picture the whole scene in her mind: The four bank robbers crouched behind that huge Humvee in front of the Royal National Bank. Just beyond that several police cars were arrayed in a semi-circle around their makeshift barricade. She could still hear the incessant barrage of demands from the police: “Put down your weapons! We have you surrounded!”

      But from her vantage point inside the bank it was something else that held her attention. 6 briefcases were haphazardly strewn on the pavement behind the bank robbers’s position and their attention was fully focused on the police presence. Without really thinking about it, she carefully pushed herself up off the floor, into a crouch. Slowly but surely she made her way to the door and awkwardly pushed her way through the revolving door.

      So far so good. She inched her way to the nearest suitcase. As she was reaching for it, she remembered there were cameras in front of the bank Looking up at the camera, she smiled in relief. Turning her head away from where the camera was focused, she reached out and quietly grasped the case. At best they would see her arm and how much can you tell from that?

      She almost shrieked out loud when a shot from the police ricocheted off the Humvee and hit the bank a few feet from where she was crouched. Luckily this resulted in a renewed barrage from the bank robbers. Using the distraction, she ran for the alleyway leading to the back of the bank and carefully made her way all the way to the far side of the block.

      Looking across the street she saw a bridge and headed for it.

    • Bob Keil says:

      No! she is not fleeing, She is to catch the train. Last night, when her boy friend Alonzo came to tell her loved her and they would leave to get married, she had old him…No.

      He had gotten a pass to marry her from the Swiss army post he was stationed before going to war. She had told him no, she had her family to consider. They were both old and needed her to care for them . she could not just leave, they needed her. He begged and pleaded but she was torn and he could not change her mind. As much as he needed her, she felt her loyalty to her aged parents were stronger. She could not accept his proposal.

      However this morning , when she explained what she had told him last night to her parents, they encouraged her to run and catch him. they could manage without her. She had her own future to consider.

      So she is running to catch the train he is on, so they can be together and happy again.

    • Paul says:

      “What was I thinking? I need to get to the airport!”

      Lisa’s heart was pumping, her mind was racing, but she knew she was making the right decision. It didn’t matter she left the church full of friends and family, her dad with a huge bill, her fiance standing at the altar, she had to get to Cancun.

      She never felt “right” about marrying Wilson, after all who names their kid after a volleyball? No one in their right mind. Is this the family she wanted to be a part of for the rest of her life? A son named Wilson and a daughter named Spaulding would just be too much.

      No, she knew she couldn’t marry him, instead she was going to fly to Cancun and hook up with that pool boy she met two years ago on spring break.

      • Sheilah says:

        Paul, I really enjoyed the references to volleyballs and kids’ names! I enjoyed how you expressed what she was thinking. I’d like to read more.


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