Expert reader, novice writer. I have been chasing ideas around my head for years and finally decided to put pen to paper... or fingers to keyboard.
452 B.C. I chose a beautiful day to end my life. The sun was shining brightly in the sky, warming my skin as a gentle breeze caressed my face. The dirt path was lined with early spring blooms, their petals spread wide, as if they couldn’t resist the pull of the sun. The grass was swaying in the wind on the rolling hills as I winded my way up to the rocky cliff. In the distance, a donkey lazily pulled a cart filled with a merchant’s wares.
The Damsel in Distress
I couldn’t take it anymore. This date had gone from bad to worse. In fact, it may go down in the record books as the worst first date in modern history. Maybe of all time. The only thing that could possibly top it would be for it to end in death or dismemberment. Thank god I was only a witness to this travesty, not an actual participant. Still, I couldn’t help but feel bad for the petite blonde.
I’m sorry but something came up at work and I can’t make it to- Tina deleted the text and threw her phone down on the bed. I can do this, I can do this, she chanted to herself in her head. She was being silly, really. It was just a date. So what if it had been 15 years since she had gone on a first date.
The scrape of silverware and muted conversation filled Layla’s ears as she walked through the restaurant and took a seat at the bar. In the corner, a beautiful baby grand piano sat with a tuxedoed man playing soft classical music. The wooden floors were polished to a high shine and the bar looked hand carved. The high-end restaurant was far nicer than any other she had ever been in. Sitting on the plush, velvet covered barstool, Layla sipped her drink, nervously twisting a cocktail napkin in her hand. She was a few minutes early, but her date should be arriving soon. Layla watched as a pretty brunette excused herself from the bar and headed towards the ladies’ room. The man she was with locked eyes with Layla and gave her an unctuous smile. Rolling her eyes in return, she shifted so her back was to the man and gave her drink her full attention. She was determinedly ignoring that end of the bar and was startled when she felt a hand rest gently on her shoulder.
4 Sayings You've Been Told Don't Mean What You Think They Mean, But They Do
We’ve all seen those clickbait stories on Facebook. You know the ones; big, bold headlines telling you you’ve been misusing common phrases your whole life. In each instance, they claim that most people are only familiar with an abbreviated version of a popular idiom, and that the whole, extended version of the saying actually means the opposite of what is commonly thought.
Harry pushed through the heavy wooden door and shuffled into Hair of the Dog, his favorite dive. Dragging his feet across the chipped linoleum floor, he collapsed into one of the worn fake leather stools at the end of the bar. Harry took a deep breath. The faint smell of cigarettes and stale beer clung to the air, and the din of country music and pool balls cracking filled his ears, but they were a welcome distraction from his thoughts.
How a Stranger Restored My Faith in Humanity
I am 36 years old and an attorney, to say that I’m a bit jaded would be an understatement. Hell, anyone who made it through the last year probably didn’t come out of it without their outlook on life a little tarnished. Based on my professional and personal experiences, I have become very cynical regarding other people’s motivations. However, I recently had an experience that thawed a portion of my frozen heart.
The Rebel Belle
Adelaide felt like her arms were about to fall off. She had been standing on the platform in the boutique for over an hour. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could hold her arms out from her sides as the seamstress flitted around her, tucking the dress, sticking pins here and there. Finally, she put one final pin in place and pronounced herself satisfied. Adelaide looked at the mirror, staring at her reflection in the full-length white gown. The sweetheart neckline was enhanced with beading and lace while the pins held it firmly against her body down to her waist, where the dress expanded into a ball gown that flowed down to her feet. She hated it.
The shrill sound of the alarm shattered the silence and jolted Michael awake. Slamming his hand on the clock, he groaned and rolled over, throwing his arm over his head. He squeezed his eyes shut and tried to remember the details from his dream, but it was no use, like trying to hold water in his hands. He’d been having the same dream for years, but whenever he woke up, the only thing he could remember was the woman’s face smiling down on him. She was beauty incarnate, Aphrodite herself. That was the one detail he could always hold onto. He had never seen her equal. Her heart shaped face was framed by auburn hair that cascaded in soft waves down her back. It was a sharp contrast to her alabaster skin that looked as though she were made of porcelain. Her eyes were the oddest shade of blue, light like the sky. He had began referring to her as “Sky” to himself whenever he thought about her, which lately was more and more often.
Songs to Hate
I have a confession to make... I've been happily married for over 11 years. We met at an all day concert in St. Louis that neither of us had planned on attending. My mom surprised me with a ticket the day before so I could go with my friends; Scott's buddy called him an hour before the concert started and offered him an extra ticket. We were both kids, I was almost 17 and he was 19 years old. He noticed me checking him out and hollered at me to come talk to him. We ended watching the rest of the concert together, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Recipe for Life
Gia sighed as she unlocked the front door of Inoltrare and walked into the office. She grew up in this restaurant, the stainless-steel appliances and steaming pots like a second home, watching the line cooks complete the mise en place before the dinner rush began. She was chopping vegetables and deglazing pans for sauces before she even learned her times tables. She had loved the busy pace and high energy atmosphere that filled the kitchen every night. But nothing compared to watching her father, the executive chef and owner, while he made his masterpieces come to life on the stove. Gia could only classify the way he cooked as organized chaos, a flurry of action that was almost manic, yet resulted in dishes that were unrivaled. Lorenzo was a visionary in the kitchen. He was able to take traditional recipes and give them a modern twist, giving the diner the comfort of the familiar and the excitement of the new in one bite. He was one of the most celebrated chefs in the city and Inoltrare was one of the best restaurants around. Gia knew from a young age that she wanted to follow her father’s footsteps and one day take over the restaurant from him. Lorenzo offered for her to continue to learn at the restaurant and forgo formal training, but she insisted on attending culinary school. She wanted to earn her position at Inoltrare and even after her return from graduating at the top of her class at the Culinary Institute of America, she started on the line. She worked hard and made her way up the ranks until she earned the position of sous chef, working directly under her father. Her and Lorenzo worked side by side for two years; it was the happiest time of her life.
The early morning mountain air was cool against my skin as I cut through the trees lining the path. The trail was still covered with a light dew from the night before, but my well-worn hiking boots made easy work of the rough terrain. Growing up in the town at the foot of these mountains, I was basically raised on these trails. In the beginning, I loved the feeling of adventure that coursed through me every time I spent hours exploring. The feeling of being in the wilderness, untouched by humans always filled me with wander. But as the years passed, and visitors became more frequent, I longed for a new challenge. As the saying goes, you can find anything on the internet. So, after some searching, I found a local online group that created geocaching challenges in my mountains. At first, I was disappointed by how easy the posted challenges were. The geocaches were always located somewhere by the most popular trails. However, a subgroup formed of those who were wanting to take it to the next level. We would try to outdo each other in finding harder locations to hide the geocache, going further and further into the wilderness. One of the members, “MountainMan82,” and I quickly became fierce competitors, always trying to be the first to complete the latest challenge. This competition soon developed into a sense of kindred spirits and we shifted our focus into challenging each other.