The Marking of Marks

This was for the final week of The Writer’s Mess challenge, odd celebrations. I chose the picture prompt below, and melded it a little with some good old fashioned parental bribery. Where a mother makes up a special celebration to make sure her daughter succeeds where she did not.

There was never a lot of money at their house. She had enough to eat of course, and a roof over her head. Most people thought they had more than they did, because her grandparents liked to spoil her with toys and clothes bearing labels they could never afforded. She learned young to save her money, and to really think about what she wanted. She had been thinking about this shopping trip for months.

This was the time for her favorite celebration, what her mother called “The Marking of Marks”, and the destination was the local used bookstore. While she lived at the library there were always limits to what she could find. Books though, like all magic, came at a price, especially when you were buying them Her mother wanted her to do well in school, and so it was agreed for each of her 8 classes, she would get 2 books for an A, 1 book for a B, nothing for a C, and lose 2 books for every failing grade. She was proud to say she had never lost a book.

This year was 15 books, with the only blemish on her record the B she received in Gym. They had gone to the bookstore every week since Christmas, and she already knew exactly which books she wanted. This was going to be the best Marking of Marks ever!


A Tranquil Journey

Today’s six sentence prompt, provided by girlontheedge, was train. My personal challenge was to try and make a happy six, and I am not sure I actually nailed it. What I will say is that its not dark, scary, or sad, so I guess not a complete disaster. On another note, it’s my birthday! However in the world did I make it to 35….

She smiled as she sat down in her assigned seat on the train, it really was her favorite way to travel and business class was especially lovely. She hasn’t been sitting a minute when someone comes by and offers a choice of wine, and she spends the next three hours becoming increasingly soused on the free white.

She landed the client, signing a bonus that meant she could afford to buy a much better bottle than she was drinking at the moment, but it was the principle of the thing.  Tomorrow she would have to go home to her husband, and children, and be the perfect, wife, mother, boss, but tonight it was just her alone in an empty business section.

She ate her meal, surprisingly good fare for travel, put her headphones on, and leaned her chair back as far as it would go.  She let the music mixed with the rhythmic sound of the train running down the rails lull her to sleep, and for once let herself completely relax.

Too Good to Be True…

You guys are going to have to be a little patient with me tonight, I am doing something a little different this week for the birthday theme event on The Writer’s Mess. I wrote the story of a girl at a bar based on the picture below, and its a choose your own ending type story. The first one happy, and the second one dark and creepy. Choose wisely. Or read both.

“What’ll it be?”  The bartender asked, and she was frozen with indecision.  

It hadn’t been her idea to go out drinking, and this place was so outside her price range that she thought the bouncer was going to toss her on that alone.  Her outfit was similar to those around her in appearance, but to someone with a keen eye it was a mimicry at best, lacking in the designer labels that everyone else was wearing.

Really, if Kelly hadn’t pulled out her little 3000$ purse and tried to bribe the man, Ariana didn’t think she would have been let in.   The bouncer hadn’t taken the money, but when Kelly explained that it was Ariana’s birthday, and they were taking her out on the town, and please let them in, the bouncer wavered.

The look he gave Ariana was embarrassing, laden with the understanding that she was there on their charity.  What was worse is that Kelly didn’t even catch it.  She legitimately thought that the trouble was the fact they were being so “rowdy” in line. 

Ariana took a deep breath and tried to put that behind her.   She was here now, and she might as well enjoy it.  Kelly and Anna had opened them a tab and made it clear to the bartender that Ariana was not to pay for her own drinks, and then flounced off to the dance floor where pretty boys had seemingly materialized from nowhere and were no doubt offering to buy them drinks.

That kind of thing had never happened to Ari, until it did.  “I will have a pina colada, and one for the lady, unless she wants something different?” She flushed, nodding at the bartender’s raised eyebrow and turned to look at her saviour.  She wanted to gape, but hoped he didn’t notice.

This man was gorgeous.  He was every girlhood fantasy she had ever had and more.  His brown curls framed his face perfectly, as he stood there a few inches taller than her, and filled out his ridiculously expensive clothing in a way that showed her he was fit, but not a gym rat.

“Thanks,” she said awkwardly, fighting the urge to cross her arms over her own cheap shirt.

He smiled, and oh, God, it only got better. “Always happy to rescue a damsel in distress.  I will admit the first time I came here I was bit overwhelmed myself.”  Fuck, he his Australian accent was amazing, and she knew how this was ending. 

Shit, it was her turn to talk. “Uh, ya.  Having the slogan ‘We will make anything your heart desire’s’ is on theme, but I don’t think anyone realized the downsides to having no menu.”  She babbled, where was her drink?

He laughed, and it was smooth, and fuck was this man perfect or what.  The drinks arrived, huge, bearing actual fruit and brightly colored umbrellas like they were at a tropical resort, and as she leaned forward taking a tiny sip she almost moaned.  It was perfect, everything here was absolutely perfect. It was all too good to be true.

Ending One- All’s Well that Ends Well: Content Warnings – None

Ending Two- End of the Line : Content Warnings – Dark, Disturbing, Crime

Too Much Fun

This one is an ode to those of us who loved the idea of a party, but had issues with the actual practice. Written for this weeks event on The Writer’s Mess, which is Birthday/Birth/Adoption/Death. For prompts I used the picture below, and this week no additional prompts.

Evelyn was not having a good day, which was sad, because it was her birthday. Her mother had made the party perfect, and forced Evelyn into a beautiful dress that a thousand little girls would die for. All Evelyn noticed was that the elastic in the arms was too tight, it was scratchy on her legs when she sat, and when she spun it did not twirl.

It was also overly warm, and was making Evelyn increasingly cranky as the day wore on. By the time the platter of cupcakes came out, Evelyn was done with this whole birthday thing. As the lights lowered and the voices raised Evelyn wanted to cry. All the voices began to scream for her to blow out the candles, and when the balloon popped, Evelyn screamed too.

Notes: FYI, I can practically feel that dress, and turning 35 this week I still will not buy a dress that doesn’t twirl. I do not see the point in it.