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Posts tagged ‘Story a Day September’

Story a Day: Day 3 – Dazzling Sunset

*Yes, I wrote Day 3 on the 4th of September because I’m skipping Sundays this month.

Today I used the “the sunsets were dazzling…” prompt combined with a sensory writing prompt from a patreon account I follow. This month’s was to use thunder, flannel, and $2 bills somehow. For this one, I used characters who showed up in a couple of my May Story a Day pieces.

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I reached the ledge and pulled myself up over it, settling myself against the rock while Aidan finished the climb. It had taken us a while before we’d been able to come back here. First I’d almost lost him to a slippery grip. Then, he’d thought he’d lost me to a madman. Is it any wonder climbing had lost its appeal for a while there?
Thunder rumbled in the distance, and I cast a quick glance toward the sky. The sunsets were dazzling from up here, but with those clouds rolling in, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
A hand reached up over the ledge, and I grasped it, helping Aidan pull himself the rest of the way up. He dropped back against the rock with me, and we watched the sky streak with orange and pink and even some dark purple.
The thunder boomed again, and it sounded closer this time. “We’d better get back to camp,” he said.
I wouldn’t mind staying here and watch the storm roll through, but I knew he was right. If we didn’t move, we’d be soaked. And sleeping in a tent while already drenched was not quite my idea of fun. Of course, we could always dry each other off and warm up together. And that was my idea of fun.
We packed the equipment back into our bags, and started off down the trail. Neither of us spoke, but we held hands and kept pace with each other. Once we were back in the tent, warm and dry, there would be plenty of time to talk. And anything else.
Rain drops hit us as we walked into the campsite. They fell harder, and we raced to the tent. Aidan unzipped the flap, and we both stepped inside. He zipped it back up and turned to me. A moment later, the skies completely opened up. He was shivering, so I dropped in front of my pack we’d left behind and pulled out a flannel shirt. It was a little long in the sleeve but it would work to get him warm.
“You don’t think I packed my own warm stuff?” he asked me.
I grinned at him. “You are the optimistic thinker of us. I prefer to be prepared.”
He laughed and wrapped the shirt around him, the sleeves hanging past his hands. I dug another shirt out for myself. And watched a $2 bill fall out of the pack. I could have sworn I’d left that at home. I’d thought it was lucky until the last time I brought it on a hike.
And Aidan had almost fallen off the cliff face we’d just climbed.
“It doesn’t have good or bad luck,” he said now. “We make our own luck, Ian.”
After a moment, I nodded. Then, I stepped into his arms. I wouldn’t need the sweatshirt I’d pulled out. He kept me plenty warm, especially when we climbed into the sleeping bad together.

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SOCS/Story a Day September: Day 2 – “Birth”

“When I was born, my mother had been clean for less than four years. Before that she had struggled for nearly twenty years with addiction. She abandoned my oldest sister when she couldn’t take care of her. My brother was taken from her custody several times, and by the time she finally started getting clean, he had started down his own bad path. She was in and out of rehab for the next few years, but she was trying her best to stay clean.”
Jonas felt like such a fraud right now. This wasn’t even his story to tell. But, it was important back story to his own story, as Carisa would tell him.
“I didn’t know that mother,” he said. “Not the one my sister came to resent even though she never really knew her. Or the one my brother always loved despite how rough his earlier life was. I knew the mother who put us first from the moment of my birth. The one who worked hard at her office job and loved my father until the day he died. And well after that as well.” In fact, a dozen and a half years after his death, he was pretty sure she was still in love with him. “But, she also never kept that other life a secret. So, there was always the fear it might be what was in store for me as well.”
Now, they came to it. The whole damn reason he was here. Why wasn’t this any easier to talk about it now? “I thought I was good. I made it through high school without ever trying anything, even alcohol. I joined the Army. I was on the right path.” He took a deep breath. “Then, the helicopter I was in got shot down. I was the only one who survived the crash.” He had to stop again. Make sure he didn’t flash back to that moment, like he usually did when he spoke of this. “I lost my best friend in that crash. And even more than that.” He lifted his pant leg up so the people in front of him could see the metal that had become his new leg. “For a while I thought I’d lost everything. And it was a close thing because I was so sure I could face everything on my own. It took almost losing the person who matters the most to me, for me to see that wasn’t the case.”
He looked around at the faces in front of him, all of them looking so young, though he was sure some had been through even more than he had. “I obviously don’t know each of your life stories or who you have in your life to support you. It’s important you find those people, though. Let them help you when you’re struggling. Trust me, it’s worth it.”
He turned and headed toward the edge of the room, where Isaac sat, an empty chair beside him. He dropped into it and Isaac wrapped an arm around his shoulders. “Quite inspirational, that speech.”
Jonas groaned and dropped his head into his hands. “It was cheesy, wasn’t it. I suck.”
Isaac chuckled and brushed his lips over Jonas’ cheek. “You didn’t. You can later if you’d like, though.”
Jonas laughed and twined his fingers through his husband’s. “Thanks for the offer. I’ll keep it in mind.”
Isaac laughed and rested his head on Jonas’ shoulder while Carisa and Jayla took over the floor. He’d almost lost all this once, but he wouldn’t trade anything that had brought him here. Not if it meant giving this up.

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Today’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was to use “birth/berth” in the post somehow. This fit with one of the prompts for the first week of Story a Day September, too. So, I combined them. This will take place a while after Jonas & Isaac’s story, so I guess you’ll figure how that ends(I write Romance. How would you think it ended?) 😉

Story a Day September: Day One – “Changing History”

This is the first of this month’s Story a Day posts. I won’t be writing every single day, though I’m planning for each weekday, and one story over the weekends(may correspond with my weekly SOCS post). I also may post some of them to my Patreon instead of here on the blog. And I’m choosing one of the prompts at random each day instead of going in order.

Note: This is pretty rough, since I just wrote it today. Just a quick proofread for obvious typos. So, here you go:

The problem with going through life one day at a time, each in order is that it leaves too many questions unanswered. Just why did that event happen, what was the other side thinking, what would have happened if that one person had been standing in a different spot.
Thankfully, I’ve never had to worry about living that way.
I stepped out from behind the building where I had come into this place. It wasn’t the first time I’d been here, and I knew this was a safe time to suddenly appear. Mostly because there was no one else around.
I adjusted the bowler hat on my head and fixed the way my string tie sat. I could pull this look off better than that of a cowboy or miner. No one would question a slightly fairer looking gambler. But, it would get me into more places than if I’d traveled here as a woman.
On my last trip, I’d managed to listen in on a meeting of a couple members of the Vigilance Committee. I knew exactly what they had planned. I just hadn’t been able to make it to the boat in time to stop it. I wouldn’t waste the opportunity this time.
I’d grown up listening to stories of the bravery of my great-great-great-great-great grandfather and could never believe the stories the history books told of him simply getting drunk and tripping over the side of the boat into the river. I was determined to prove exactly what happened to Old Tommy. I had been from the moment Uncle Thomas, a name that had apparently been passed down through the generations, had shown me what we could do.
‘It is a serious responsibility,’ he’d told me that day. And I’d always taken it seriously. You couldn’t just change history at your whim. But what had been done to my all those greats grandpa was wrong. And that was something I would rectify, whether it made it into the history books or not.
No one stopped me as I walked down the street or when I rented a horse from the livery stable. If I’d come here as a woman, that never would have been the case. Uncle Thomas had been right when he’d said to go in whatever guise would get me where I needed to go.
I rode as fast as I could. Now, all that time Uncle Thomas had spent teaching me to ride, shoot, and play cards—I think he spent more time with me than my own father did—made a lot more sense. I’d always wondered why he’d taken so much more interest in me than my brothers.
When Fort Benton came into view, I slowed the horse but kept to the other side of the river, glad for lights from the steamboats on the river, providing enough light to read the names on the sides of them. When I came to the G.A. Thompson I slid down from the saddle, leaving the reins trailing on the ground. I didn’t know if the horse would stay or not, but if not, he’d likely return to town and the stable he called home. No harm would be done.
I could already see a figure standing at the railing of the ship. Was that him? It had to be.
He started to turn away, but another figure came up behind him, swinging something toward his head. I opened my mouth to call out a warning, but it was too late even for that. I watched as the first figure scrabbled for the railing but then he shot straight down for the churning water of the river.
A moment later I moved. The horse hadn’t moved, so I tied one end of a length of rope around the saddle horn and the other around my waist. Then, I moved closer to shore and dove in. Falling into that water would likely mean instant death, but I couldn’t fail now.
The current carried me until I caught up to the body that had caught on a log. I tugged him free and started swimming toward the shore. The rope must have almost uncoiled all the way. I was surprised I hadn’t reached the end of it before I found him. I never would have made it back to shore without it.
It felt like I was being pulled the last few feet, then I was on solid ground and dragging a historical figure up with me. Once I’d cleared the water out of his lungs, and he was breathing, I sat back on my heels. His eyes finally opened, and he looked up at me. “Who are ye?” he asked, his voice hoarse.
“Today I’m your guardian angel, Thomas Francis Meagher.”

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This one was inspired by a biography of Meagher I listened to earlier this year. Since his body was never found in the river, it made me wonder if he actually died(probably yes, but my writer’s mind ran away from me).

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