If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has many meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.
A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.
My word would be Phantasmagoric. ~Summer Ross

Saturday, August 7, 2010

HighDrama Blogfest Story

By Summer Ross
You cannot redistribute or use this or any piece of this story without my permission

Childhood tastes like stale cigarettes and warm beer on a hot summer night. The small coals from the fire shimmer, beckoning with red embers the wandering eye. The waves on Alcova’s beach slide over rocks and sand in the light from the half moon. Stars are shattered across the cloudless sky. In the delusions of the romantic evening, her decision remains.

The rush of tears stopped years before this moment, but the relentless nag of fear charged forth with every intimate relationship. Fear of needing a man. It rakes heavy claws through self-reliance using money as a hook to catch its prey. Fear of being alone, abandoned like a piece of rotten meat thrown out to the wild dogs. Fear of the shadows restlessly waiting in the dark to take advantage of the little girl sleeping soundly on a bright orange beanbag while her father tends to his party guests. Tired eyes watch as three men enter the doorway blocking the small light from the hall, then nothing but the nightmares of a frightened child remain in the obstructed memories of the adult woman.

The sand slinks over small delicate fingers clenching into a fist. The breeze from the shoreline invades thought patterns bringing wisps of dead fish to scent the past. The moon hangs its heavy burden over dark waters, and goose bumps remind the body the fire will die. Another sawed off log from the pile of dead trees thrown into the pit and the coals glow hot. The memories invade like splinters sinking into flesh. A tool shed built out in grandma’s yard stands tall, foreboding, with old dried lumber hanging from tarnished weather worn nails. The door creaks open and slams abruptly shut behind the uncle setting the six year old on a stiff bench.

“We need to get a screwdriver,” uncle says unbuttoning the small denim shorts on the girl.

The fire is bright as her hands rub together embracing the warmth. The flames lap at the log with uneven strokes. Strokes like those felt in the hand of a ten year old dreaming of a thick straw as she lay half-asleep on the supple couch. She never opens her eyes as she hears the hushed grunts of a father kneeled beside her. Instead pretends to be asleep and lets go as she folds her arms crisscrossed underneath her chest.

Thirteen, the girl starts puberty and then losses virginity to her brother, who sneaks past the parents’ radar into a dark room shuffling blankets with shaky callused hands.  Fingers crept silently along legs meant to be asleep. Her heart slammed into her ribcage every middle of the night for years until its left bruised. She climbed out of bed at seventeen to lock the bedroom door when the parental consequence of being grounded was overtaken by the need to break free.

In the end, despite the memories and touch that left an imprint on skin like branding a bull, the decision was found. The memories may haunt until death, her past will not vandalize her future.

28 comments:

Francine said...

Hi,

Goodness me, so much going on in the mind as memories are flushed uncleansed tormenting!

Beautiful prose but chilling all the same, and touching.
best
F

DL Hammons said...

This is HIGH DRAMA to the extreme. So many visions of awful deeds. Beautifully written with a tender touch...conflicting with the terrible content it unfolds.

Thank you for offering this for my blogfest!

Lola Sharp said...

Whoa. That was HIGH DRAMA, indeed. Chilling. Love that last line.

Thanks for sharing.
Lola

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. So much happening in such a short piece - very dramatic indeed! I'm so glad I hopped over to read your entry. :-)

Elliot Grace said...

...love your "voice." The kind one finds difficult to stop thinking about after reading...hours after reading.

Nicely done:)

Charles Forgues said...

I liked it! I'll be following your blog.

Justin W. Parente said...

WOW this is a piece worthy of the drama title. You may be DL's winner, if he had been judging on drama. I definitely enjoyed the piece and the way you are able to convey so much so quickly is what I admired. Your opening line rings of a true hook, so revel in that!

Thanks for the read and for stopping by my entry! See you around.

Elle Strauss said...

Dark and moody--and frightening. Thanks for sharing.

Will Burke said...

What a flowery/dark contrast! It's the friction that makes it haunting!
Thanks for the feedback on my entry -- duly noted!

Nicole Murray said...

Definitely drama. Hard to read, but it should be. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Jemi Fraser said...

Very chilling - my heart breaks for her. Well written - you really pulled me in.

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

This is one of those pieces that will stay with me for some time. Your dramatic voice and heartbreaking imagery had a powerful emotional impact on me. Thanks for sharing!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I think I may have just read the winner of D.L.'s contest. Harsh memories told tastefully though the deeds were distasteful beyond uttering.

Perhaps we can write down the death of innocence easier that speaking it, for sometimes speaking it lends it a deeper horror than we can contain. Roland

February Grace said...

Whoa.

That felt entirely too real...unsettling. No denying your gift with words- heartbreaking.

bru

Erin Kane Spock said...

That was beautifully written and disturbing as all get out.

Amanda Sablan said...

Tender and sensual, yet dark at the same time. I loved reading this!

Stephanie Thornton said...

Wow- very dramatic and dark. Excellent imagery too!

aspiring_x said...

very, very sad.

J.C. Martin @ Fighter Writer said...

Apt title, beautiful description of horrific events, I too love the last line! Great work!

Donna Hole said...

You write excellent narrative prose. That was done with such sensitivity, yet the drama of her life was well developed.

Good work.

..........dhole

Sharde(Shar-day) said...

I like how the memories fuse and run into each other , and how you bring us back to the present only to sink us deeper into her troubled past. Good job! Thanks for posting this.

Sharde

Stephanie said...

Wow...so powerful and so sad.

Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday!

j.leigh.bailey said...

I love that your entry was both lyrical and dark. Sort of set a mood that is hard to shake off. Very cool. :D

Falen (Sarah) said...

love the darkness of this piece, very chilling. I feel so bad for her

Michele Emrath said...

Wonderfully written. Haunting.

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Jen said...

Wow, you know HIGH DRAMA. This was fantastic and I'm really enjoying all the blog hopping to see all the amazing pieces, but you my friend have a knack for some intense drama!

Portia said...

Powerful scene, beautifully constructed. This must have been tough to write, but it's so filled with emotion.

—Portia

Summer Ross said...

Everyone- I appreciate all of your comments, I was shocked to see so many. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. :)

I heart comments~~ You all Rock my world!

Make your own