Bad Man Comes (Part 3)

Bad Man Comes (Part 1)

Bad Man Comes (Part 2)

The early morning was gray, dreary. Daylight was just beginning to throw shadows over Wooster. The heat and mugginess oozed onto the new day like thick syrup on a stack of pancakes. The motel door stood open. A black sports bag sat unzipped at the foot of the double bed. A black t-shirt and dark navy jeans, folded to perfection, lay on the bedspread next to the bag. Black socks were positioned atop, followed by a pair of brightly striped, boxer briefs.

red victory judge motorcycleA brief case rested open on top of the dresser, showing a laptop, a stack of photos, and a couple of power cords. Tucked in the pocket was an unopened packet of Wrigley’s spearmint gum, two pens, and an inexpensive journal. An iphone rested in darkness along side the case. A worn, brown, leather wallet had been tossed onto one of the pillows. It was stuffed so full that dollar bills had pushed their edges and corners out. On the small table next to the window, a box with two almond granola bars, and two bottles, one orange juice and one water, lay in wait. On the chair was a red helmet to match the red Victory Judge parked outside.

He rode into Wooster one week ago so that he would have a chance to look around, prepare himself for today. This was going to be a special day, one he’s waited years for. The excitement was almost too much, sleep was not an option last night. Turning that thought in his mind, he felt his muscles tense. No matter, it had to be done today.

Grunting, he moved to close the door, as there was no relief from the stagnancy. Taking a deep, cleansing breath, his thoughts turned to Silvia. “Dear, sweet, vile, bitch,” he said. Humming a verse from the song, ‘The Last Carnival’, he turned the shower on cold and began to undress, folding each item before placing it neatly on the counter. A quick intake of air, goose flesh instantly visible; he embraces the cold shower.

*******

Sitting on my bed, unable to sleep, I pick up the envelope from my nightstand. I haven’t opened it yet, but I’m sure I know what’s inside. He’s sent these before, pictures of me at grocery stores, at my job, and once coming out of my house. I wonder why he watches me instead of approaching me. It’s like a game of cat and mouse. As soon as I see the photos, I pack up and leave. He taunts me, allows me to get away, just so he can chase me again. “Sick bastard,” I said, shaking my head and wondering what I ever saw in him in the first place.

I use the very sharp letter opener, that I keep in the nightstand drawer, to slice open the envelope. A picture of me walking to work, and a picture of Bruce and I sitting together at the front desk of the warehouse. I sensed his arrival, my refined intuition has been working overtime. I don’t know why I wait for confirmation. In the beginning, nearly twenty years ago, the moment I had any inkling he was near me, I would take off. Maybe I’ve grown accustomed to his ways. Maybe I’ve become too comfortable, playing his game. I’m not sure how ready I am if he decided to full on attack me. I’m tired, completely worn out from all the running, the looking over my shoulder.

I turn my alarm to off before it has the chance to ring. This is the first time that I haven’t known what to do, or instinctively done it. My brain is foggy, yet I am aware of impending doom. It feels like the end. I head to the bathroom. It looks like the top of my head is sliding off to the right, some kind of monster staring back at me.

Today is my day off. I put on my one and only summer dress, an attempt to feel a little girly and of course to assist in alleviating the heat. My hair is still damp from the shower, and I decide to wear it loose today.

On my way out the front door, the cab pulls up to the sidewalk. Once inside, I direct the driver to take me downtown. Carefree and happy, I’m not, yet the temptation to go to the mall and do some shopping has taken over. This is unlike me, but I go with it anyways. Ten minutes in and the traffic is slowing, finally coming to a halt. I’m grateful for the air conditioned vehicle. We inch forward little by little. There are flashing lights up ahead crossing to the other side of the highway. An ambulance and a couple patrol cars block oncoming traffic. I peer out the window as we gradually come up to the scene.

“Oh my god,” I whispered at the horror of it. A red motorbike and a truck pulling a trailer looked to be the vehicles involved. The paramedics were expanding an occupied stretcher in order to roll it to the ambulance. Like in a lagging video, I craned my neck to glimpse the face of the victim. Breathless moments passed, my mouth drooped, my eyes unblinking. The thunderous sound, I discovered once passed the accident, was the rapid beating of my heart. The back of the cab, once cool and welcoming, was now a barren and icy, cramped space. I was puffing out short little breaths, and I caught the cabby’s eyes in the rear view mirror. “Are you alright, miss?” he asked with a furrowed brow and a gentle tone.

“Yes,” I said. Not willing to spurt out anything incoherent, I kept silent. I let him drive me to the mall, where I unloaded myself, heavy and slow, to the sidewalk. A half turn faced me in the direction from which we came. “It couldn’t be him,” I said, suddenly aware that I needed to sit down. I was so hot, perspiring enough for it to drip from my face. One good reason for keeping kleenex in my purse; without too much thought I dab at my forehead, cheeks, and neck. “Oh god, I need a drink.” Slightly more composed with the passing of a few minutes, I retrieve a water bottle from a vending machine just inside the doors. It’s almost gone with the first guzzle. Returning to the same bench, I sat upright and stiff. Thoughts careening one another in my mind. I couldn’t seem to keep anything straight or think a complete sentence. According to my phone, I’d been sitting there for one and a half hours. Not in the mood for shopping anymore, I called another cab, and went home.

With no television, I use my laptop for updating myself on current events. It was in the local paper later that day, a description of the accident and the one dead victim. They showed his picture, his name below it. Joshua Galli; he had joked about only having two names. Catatonic would be the descriptive word used by doctors, if they were to fetch me in that three hour period. Then the floodgates opened letting loose a storm of tears, drool and snot mixing in rivers down my face, interrupted by gasps and grunts in an attempt to breath. Exhaustion finally overtook me.

Waking with a pounding headache and a bloated face is not my idea of a good time, but this was different, leaving me lighter, loosening the ring that gripped my insides for years. I am free. My family is free. Anyone I had come into contact with was free. In such a weird and wonderful twist of fate, I was free.

The End

Hope you enjoyed this! Comments are always welcomed. Let me know what you think!

 

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Road Trip (Part 2)

Road Trip (Part 1)

“Helen,” Lucas said.

“What,” I said, snapping like a turtle unable to retreat into it’s shell.

“Get in here. This is really cool.” Standing on the front landing, I turned my back to the open door. I hate this place already, and I’m loath to appease my brother.

“Helen, you are going to love this,” He says, making his way back to the front door. “Helen, did you hear me?” Abruptly turning to face him, I avoid eye contact and push past him into the foyer. Startled by the simplicity and beauty, a rush of air inflates my lungs, making a small sound.

“Nice eh?” Lucas said. I could tell he was grinning from ear to ear. Another irritating quality of his.

“Whatever,” I said, moving myself forward to avoid more conversation. Turning to the left, the kitchen, dining room, and family room, flowed from one to the next seamlessly. Pale blue was the predominant colour, with some splashes of gray, green, darker blue. Spacious but not too big. Windows, lining all three walls, were currently closed off with pale blue, blinds. The light of day still able to push through to the room. “Jesus,” I said, not able to mute myself.

“It’s really nice, isn’t it,” Lukas chimed in. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, grinning, his eyes so wide. An intermittent ache had started in my gut. Moving about ten feet to the right of the kitchen island, I use my fingers to push at a door. A half-bath separated by a pocket door, opened onto a state-of-the-art laundry room. I kept moving forward, trying not to lose my terse composure. Through the final door, a long hallway, obviously the other half of the house.

“I guess it has electricity,” I said.

“And a flush toilet,” Lukas joined in.

“Yeah, I guess it does.” The length of hallway showed three more doors. Lukas bumped past me and entered the first one. The same colour scheme, only slightly darker, was pulled together on the king sized bed spread. Sliding glass doors to the left and a window of glass tiles adorned the wall above the bed. So much light, I almost let go a smile. A walk-in closet to the right next to a full ensuite.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, and shrunk back into the bedroom. The ache in my stomach returned with a vengeance. I needed some air, so I held the blinds to one side while I fiddled with the lock on the glass door. “Jesus,” I said, under my breath. Panic was setting in. Finally, the lock gave way and the door slid open. I took some deep breaths, the air was warm, I could feel the sun on my face. No one knew of my anxiety. No one knew what really happened, and I planned on keeping it that way. One family member left to alienate, and I was sure to manage that in three weeks.

Peering out from under my eyelids, I saw a massive deck that ran the full length of the house. A large, sunken, hot tub sat in the center. My thoughts were interrupted by Lukas, as he came around from the right side of the house. “There is another deck around the corner. There’s another bedroom, just like this one.” He taps the glass with his long fingers. “So what do you think, Sis?” He asked, and leaned his back against the glass.

“I guess it’s alright,” I said. “We’re only here for three weeks.”

“What is your problem?” Lukas raised his voice. I had finally inched my way under his skin. “You are being such a bitch,” He said. “I can’t figure you out. Ever since Eleanor, or whatever her name was, you’ve changed. No one can say anything to you, without getting a nasty look thrown at them or having you jump down their throat. I don’t know what happened to you,” He finished with a puff of air, and turned to go back inside, attempting to slam the sliding door after himself. He couldn’t even slam a door right.

“I don’t give a crap what you think,” I shouted after him, wiping at my eyes. He didn’t stop. I walked past the hot tub to the railing, and peered over the edge. “Oh my god, there’s a creek down there. That’s so beautiful.” One or two more tears ran down my face, an impossible side effect of the deep-rooted sadness.

“There is no cell service,” Lukas called out to me. “I’m going to drive back to the main road and try there.” I barely heard him. The creek was a long way down, and I was beginning to feel dizzy, and if the railing were to give way, “Oh,” I yelped, as I pushed off the railing and fell back on my ass. “Why can’t I stop? I want this to stop,” I blurted out into the open air. I could feel the comfort and familiarity of my anger, restore itself inside my gut, stoking the ache.

© Gerri Leathley 2014

Feel free to pick it apart, or not, but do leave a comment!

 So, I used the writing helper, ‘copy a post’. Now I have the comments and the likes from the original post stuck on this one. Don’t quite know how that works. Just so you know.

 

Gray Follow-up; Two Months Down

To start, I have to comment on how remarkably slow this going gray is. Everything else seems to speed by and sometimes, even without me noticing. Why the difference? I suppose my anticipation of having it complete, hangs out in the forefront of my thoughts. I also want to note, that it has been more than two months. I was about six weeks in, when I made the decision.

gray hair

 

 

So far, so good. It’s definitely spreading! I only ever hear comments from the mirror herself; they are generally good, depending on her mood. When I’m away from the mirror, I don’t think about it at all. When I go into a store and walk down the hair dye aisle, it doesn’t enter my head. It’s such a relief to not have that six-eight week mark, in your brain at all times, so that if you are in a store, you can pick up a box. DONE WITH THAT!

 

gray hairI don’t think I look any older, I certainly don’t look any younger, but how young do I want to look? I’d be content with looking my age. It’s taken me quite a few years to get here, and yes, I’ve earned those years, along with the wisdom that came with them. I’ve no desire to use a semi-permanent yet, but as it grows out, that is an option I will keep open. Apparently you can get clear coats, which add moisture and nutrients, without any colour. Don’t need those yet, but again, I will keep as an option.

I think I’ll go a little shorter, maybe another inch off the bottom. I do like to be able to pull it back from my face, but the shorter it is, the more wave I have. We’ll see.

I still haven’t heard from any one else who would like to join me. To anyone listening: I feel freer, more authentic, the further along I am. I actually find this fun; watching the changes in the mirror, and then sharing it with the world. Well, maybe not the world, but a world bigger than mine was before. Anyone??

You can read about my decision to go gray, here.

More good, gray, reads!

25 “Gray Hair” Bloggers Who Rock

Intuition

tiny flowers snowy intuitionDear Intuition,

It is with some concern that I write to you today. I’ve been worried, you have not shown yourself in a while. There have been some difficult choices, burdensome decisions, that I have had to make, of my own accord. I could have used you, I needed you.

I know I’ve not always believed in you, cast you aside many times, thinking I was in control, had some control. Those were foolish thoughts, and I know that now. We are so good together, and I feel safe when you are with me, when I open myself up to you, follow your instruction. You have never failed me, although I might have given you that impression, a time or two. I’m sorry. I am weak, scattered, struggling, when I’m not in your presence. You have the strength and character, to pull me through anything, despite the sometimes overwhelming, adversity.

Thank you for your reliability and protection. Please find it within you to return to me. My faith in you is much stronger now, and I will never let you down again.

Yours truly,

The Host

As always comments are welcomed and encouraged!

Writing 101

Bad Man Comes (Part 2)

Bad Man Comes (Part 1)

The dampness hangs, heavy and listless, in the air. As I move through it, I feel its slickness, gumming my hair and my oversized t-shirt, tickling my flesh. Movement is slow, after a storm. It feels as though I’m trying to breath underwater. The house is old and offers minimal protection from the elements. It lacks double-paned windows, decent weather stripping, and most of all, a dehumidifier. My stress-induced asthma doesn’t help much. I didn’t move here with the intention of fixing up the place. It merely lends itself to being an out of the way, sort of hidden, shelter.

Everything is damp, the windows are covered in condensation, the mould has commenced climbing the sides of the window panes from its usual place at the bottom. I even see it coming through the wall in places. All the linen, comforter, towels, anything that is out, is slightly wettish. The classic mildewy scent fills the air. It’s May, in Northeast, Ohio. There have been a few thunder storms lately, adding greatly, to the mugginess. “You do know how to pick em,” I say out loud to the broken, reflection in the bathroom mirror. “You’ve really outdone yourself this time.”

My funds were running short, a bus ticket and some rent money, was all I had access to on short notice. I lucked out, Wooster had a job opening for a UPS Package Handler, something I’ve done before. A bachelor’s degree in museum studies, was near completion seventeen years ago, when my good intentions strayed. The boyfriend, the charming bad boy, swept me off my feet, at a time when I longed for adventure. However, it was the third bad boy, in the series, that sent me spiralling. That seemed so long ago now. My life, along with anyone I cared about, was turned upside down two years after I broke it off with Joshua. My assumption–psychopath. So I take what I can get now, preferably behind the scenes. I’m still hopeful, that I might one day finish my degree.

blue house wooster ohioThe house I ended up in this time, is old, not much to look at, and located in the sketchier part of the city. This is not unusual. Minus several coats of paint, a newer stove and fridge, and I imagine a few half-assed, patch-up jobs to the outside, was all that this house had seen in lots of years. Rent was cheap, it was furnished, sort of, and I was in need. The first thing I do, is put in a security system. Not just any security system. I consider myself a DIY artist, after years of practice. No one is getting in easily, and not without my knowledge.

A quick shower, a semi-dry towelling off, and I pull my hair back into a ponytail. Dressing in the lovely shade of brown, that is the uniform, I’m off to work. Since I don’t own a vehicle, I’m grateful for the short fifteen minute walk. “Hey Bruce!” I said as I walked through the office door.

“Good morning to you Silvie!” He greets me with a big grin and a wink. “How are you this wet morning?” He is such a nice, happy, man. I do find solace in the people I’ve met over the years. Those people who work behind the scenes, keep life moving forward for everyone else, my temporary families. I flash my best, teethy grin at him, followed by a long, eye-roll. “There is an envelope for you Silvie. Just got through the last bag. It’s over there on the desk,” He points to it without looking up from his task.

“Thanks Bruce.” My heart beats faster, my breath shortens, and I can feel the perspiration sliding over my lip. My back to Bruce, I turn the envelope over and over in my hands.

© Gerri Leathley 2014

Comments are always welcomed. Let me know what you think!

Writing 101

 

Park

I’ve never doubted my love for her, right from the start. She came into my life eight months ago, like a whirlwind of change, and it’s never been the same. Life seems easier now, far away from a turbulent past. Folding up the blanket, I watch her as she secures the picnic lunch, and follows through with her cleanliness routine. She is the brightest star in my life. I smile to myself, knowing she will not be satisfied until every blade of grass appears undisturbed. I guess you can say that is one of her cutest traits, and one of her annoying traits. She spots me watching her, hands on hips, crinkles her nose at me, and breaks into a half smile. What would I do without her?

picnic basket food drinkHe does that a lot, watches me. It might be nice if he lent a hand a little more often. I am a bit of a neat freak, something he doesn’t understand, so he just watches me instead. It has been like this for, hmmm, eight months now. I do love him, pretty much from first sight, so I let it go. I do appreciate having a man in my life, that loves me the way he does, completely. I’m happy we moved here, smaller town, quiet, far from anything bustling. We both have simple jobs, money in the bank, and some time to spend together. A simpler life. “There. That should be good,” I stand back to survey my work. “Let’s walk up the trail, back to the car. I like going that way.” I do secretly love that he watches me.

Oh my. He looks startled. Poor dear. I glance back to my knitting and then up again, at the couple as they pass by. He’ll know what the red yarn means. Are those tears? Good lord. Where do they find these guys. He’s got to know by now, that he can’t hide from us . It wasn’t even that difficult to find him this time. I guess his tears come from a sudden knowledge, of the loss of his new girlfriend.

      Are these challenges getting harder and harder? Feel free to leave a comment below, whatever you are thinking.

Writing 101