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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “-ic/-ical”

“How was traffic?”

Wyatt barely spared his father a glance. He was still smarting from the last argument they’d had. “I live two streets over, Dad. Are you counting the whole two cars I passed?”

His dad barked out a laugh. “Right. Everything okay?”

“Fine.”

“Wyatt…”

Wyatt just kept moving through the house. He couldn’t stand to even be close to his father right now. It was dramatic, he knew that. But, he needed to sort through his thoughts before he could handle it.

He walked into the kitchen and his mom turned from the sink. He leaned over and kissed her cheek. “Hey, Mama.”

She took one look at his face, then sighed and shook her head. “You are still fighting with your father. Why must you?”

“I’m not doing anything. He made his opinion very clear, and I made it equally as clear that I do not appreciate it. There’s not really anywhere to go from there.”

“I hate when you two fight. Even when neither of you are right.”

“Mom…”

She shook her head. “I know love isn’t quite logical, but he’s just worried about you. He may not have handled it well, but it’s because he does care about you.”

“I don’t need him to protect me. Kaden isn’t going to do anything to hurt me. Dad would realize that if he even got to know him at all. He didn’t get protective with Andres.”

“You were sixteen when you were with him, and had already been friends for several years. And if you didn’t think he worried, especially when you both joined the Army, you’re wrong. He just doesn’t always show it the best way.”

Wyatt wasn’t quite sure he believed that, but he let it go for now. Nothing he could do about his father’s feelings, especially not when he was just barely managing his own.

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This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use words ending with -ic or -ical. I have more with Wyatt and Kaden, well Wyatt. I have a feeling this isn’t the first time he and his father have butted heads.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Call”

“It’s your call to make,” Tereza said. “Not anyone else’s. if you like him, that should be what matters.”

Wyatt shook his head. “‘Should be’s don’t rule this world. Otherwise the man I loved for nearly a decade would still be alive, and this wouldn’t be an issue. If he’d still been alive, I wouldn’t have ever even been drawn to a former criminal. Trust me, I’ve heard plenty of that ‘shouldn’t be’ from my father.”

“Well, like I said, Wyatt, it’s your call to make. Not your father’s or anyone else’s. As for the former criminal part, I’m married to one of them as well. And he’s one of the best men I know. Kaden was born into a hard life, and no one took the effort to show him the way out for a long time. He helped put a worse man behind bars and served his own time. And now he’s trying to live a better life. That’s not nothing, Wyatt, even if it wasn’t for him also saving my sister-in-law’s life.” She took a deep breath and smiled again. “But, it’s not my call to make for you, either.”

Wyatt rubbed his fingers over his eyes. He’d never been as black and white in his thinking as his father. And yet he’d let his opinion on this steer him. He opened his eyes and saw Kaden standing in the doorway to the kitchen, watching him back. His call. It was one he just might have to make.

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More Wyatt and Kaden for you for this Stream of Consciousness Saturday, which had the prompt of “call”, either the word itself or a word that contains those letters in that order. Some context to this: Wyatt and his longtime boyfriend were both soldiers, his boyfriend was killed about two years before this, and this is the first time he’s really been attracted to someone else. His father is a cop, as is Wyatt at the moment. And yes, Kaden has committed crimes in the past(and not just petty ones). Carlos own the restaurant and often gives those with that kind of troubled past a second chance(like he was given at one time).

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Tea/Tee/T”

Wyatt stepped into the restaurant and looked around, cataloging everyone there, their positions, and where all the exits were. He’d been here before, so that last was a simple one. It was automatic for him, just a thing he did every time he entered a place. The sign was turned to ‘Please Seat Yourself.’ He’d only been here for dinner before, obviously they treated lunch differently. He found a table along the wall and had a seat.

And he grinned at the woman who headed over to him, a menu in hand and a glass of what he hoped was the iced tea he liked. “I hope you have the same drink for lunch as you always do for dinner, Wyatt.”

He laughed and grinned at her. “Yes, Tee. I love your tea.”

Her grin widened. “You’re a goof, Wyatt Hellerman. Since you seem to change up your food order more than your drink, I’ll leave this with you,” she said, handing him the menu.

“Thanks, Tereza. I’m sure whatever Carlos’ special is today will be perfect.”

“Well, he’s training a new cook, so we’ll see. But, he’s showing some promise.”

“I’ll take the risk.”

“All right. I was just visiting and saw you out here, but I have to get Luis home, so someone else will bring it out for you.”

He settled back in his chair, sipping at the tea while he waited. He hadn’t been sure about this place the first time he’d come here, but the food certainly made up for any of his doubts. He should know better than to judge by an outside appearance.

“Here’s your salad,” a deep voice said from beside him, bringing him out of his thoughts. he glanced over and his heart, his traitorous heart, gave a hard thump. Two years, he reminded himself. It had been nearly two years. He was allowed to move on, had been trying to do that the last six months. But no one he had gone out with had made him feel what one sight of this young man did to him.

“My name’s Kaden,” the guy said. “I’m supposed to be cooking your food, but Tereza said to bring this out to you. It’s what you wanted, right?”

He didn’t even glance at the salad but said, “It’s fine. Thanks.”

Kaden turned and headed back to the kitchen, and Wyatt couldn’t tear his gaze off him. He groaned when the kitchen door finally separated him. Damn, Tereza. What was she trying to do to him?

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I’ve been missing for a couple weeks, I know. Saturdays were ‘early leaving the house and being gone all day’ days, so I decided to just skip the post those days. But, today, we’ll actually be home most of the day. And Wyatt likes to pop up, like he did when I started writing Nowhere to Run at the beginning of the month. This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt of tea, tee, or t apparently appealed to him because he wouldn’t shut up about it until I started writing. 😉

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Sup”

“I suppose you’re going to say you planned to come to the hospital.”

Isaac turned to look at Arcelia. He didn’t say anything, though. He wasn’t sure what to say, if he could say anything through the way it felt like his throat was closing up.

“You know he could use your support right now.”

That finally got his throat working again. “And what about what I need? Do you know what it’s like? To walk into a house, and think the person you love the most is dead? I’ve gone through it twice now. And the first time, my mom didn’t survive. My dad made it clear I was at fault for that, too. That I wasn’t worth enough for her to stick around. I can’t wait around for Jonas to come to the same conclusion.”

Arcelia didn’t get angry, like he’d thought she would. She always came to Jonas’ defense, whether he was in the right or not. They might fight  with each other, but neither let the other fight anyone else alone. Instead her face fell, and she stepped forward, her arms going around him. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m sorry you had to go through that. Again. You know he didn’t mean for that to happen.”

He wiped tears away from his face. “I can’t do it again,” he said. “It almost killed me the last time. I just can’t, Arcelia.”

He knew she’d never seen his scars, but that didn’t mean she didn’t know they were there. That she didn’t know exactly what he meant. “I’m sorry,” she said softly. “he’s not going to do it again. We’re going to be there to get him through this. I know it would help if you were, too, but I understand if that’s not something you can do.”

She finally pulled back from him and turned to walk away. The ache that had been in his chest since finding Jonas on the kitchen floor only spread wider. He just wished he knew what to do.

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This week’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday was to use “sup” either on its own or as part of another word. I got a couple words in. So, what is Isaac going to do? Are him and Jonas ever going to be okay again? I’m still working on that part.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Cheers”

Jonas walked into the youth center among a round of cheers. He stopped and looked around. Then, he spotted the sign that read “Glad you’re not dead, Coach Jonas.”

He let out a little laugh then his gaze fell on Konner. “This your idea?”

He shook his head. “The kids wanted to do this. All I did was get you here.”

“I hadn’t even thought you wanted to talk to me.”

“I’m upset for Isaac’s sake. I know what it’s like to find someone the way he found you. My mom and my sister. And I lost my mom. So, I know how he felt.”

Jonas looked away from him. “I didn’t mean for it to happen. I just wanted the pain to stop for a little bit. I didn’t mean for that to happen.”

“You can’t do it again.”

Jonas smiled at him. “Trust me. I do not plan to. Now, about all this,” he said, waving a hand around them. “Since when am I a coach? All I did was help run some drills a couple days. Hard for me to do more than that.”

“You know, Isaac’s right. You don’t give yourself nearly enough credit. You can do more than you think, and you mean a lot more to these kids, and to Isaac, than you can imagine.”

Jonas couldn’t understand why. He couldn’t seem to do anything right. He was just going to let them down.

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Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “cheers” in any way you want. This comes some time after last week’s.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Bug”

Today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use “bug”. This happens during my Jonas & Isaac story, though it may not appear on the page, though what comes after probably will. And before you read, I’ll leave you with a warning. There is a mention of suicide here, so if you need to skip it, I completely understand.

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“I hope I’m not bugging you.”

Konner looked up and smiled at Arcelia. He did have a nice smile, but she didn’t really care about that. Especially not now. “Not at all. What can I do for you?”

“I was hoping you’d tell me where Isaac has been hiding himself.”

The smile fell away at that. “What makes you think he’s doing that? Maybe he’s just been busy.”

Arcelia scoffed. “Yeah, I know better than that.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“He’s avoiding me. He’s avoiding everything. He hasn’t come back to see Jonas. He claimed he loved my brother, yet at the first bump, he’s taking off and hiding away. So much for standing by him through everything.”

“Ever think maybe he needs to protect himself? Have you forgotten he found his mother much the same way he found Jonas. He’s got to take care of himself before he can take care of your brother. He should have known what it would do to Isaac to try to kill himself.”

“He didn’t!” Arcelia insisted. “He didn’t mean to take so many pills. He was in a lot of pain and doesn’t react well to them anyway. He wasn’t thinking about what he was doing.” At least that’s what Jonas kept insisting, and Arcelia wanted to believe him so much.

“If he was having problems with them, why didn’t they put him on something else?”

“Seriously,” Arcelia said, “have you met my twin brother? He’s got to be the most stubborn idiot I know. He thought it’s just the way it was, and that he could handle it. Like I said, stubborn idiot.”

Konner burst out with a laugh at that. “That doesn’t seem like a nice thing to say about your own brother.”

“Well, it’s the truth. As long as no one else says it. Now where can I find Isaac?”

“He’s over at the shelter. I’d warn him, but I doubt there’s any armor that would protect him.”

“I don’t want to hurt him, just knock some sense into his fool head.”

“Well, good luck with that. I’ve never had any luck.”

She couldn’t help laughing as she headed for the door. Wasn’t that the truth? Jonas and Isaac were the perfect match for each other. If only they would see it.

 

 

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Reservation”

“When did they let you off the reservation?”

Christopher didn’t bother rolling his eyes or turning to the kid who had come up behind him. He’d been born in a suburb, not even on a reservation. Hadn’t even set foot on one. but, some people thought they were so funny. He’d dealt with it through elementary and high school, but he’d thought college might be different.

The kid said more as he continued to follow Christopher out of the building, but he ignored him. He’d gotten good at blocking things out over the years. If he’d let every taunt lead to him throwing a punch, his mom would’ve…well, he wasn’t even sure. He’ couldn’t even lightly say she’d kill him. There’d been too much death in their family for him to joke about that.

“Seriously, man, just leave him alone. Do you even realize how ignorant those comments make you seem?”

Christopher smiled at the way John thought he need to swoop in to the rescue. The smile fell away at the name the boy called his friend, but John put a hand on his shoulder. “Just leave it. My face is scarred, everyone knows it. It’s not even a good insult because he doesn’t know how I got them. And we’ve got more important things to do. Arlene is waiting for us at the library.”

That brought back his smile. Spending time with those two always managed to do that.

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This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use ‘reservation’ any way you like. Christopher is a side character in Flames of Renewal, which I just sent to my proofreader yesterday. He’s only fifteen in that one, which is when he meets John. There’s a story for them and Arlene forming in my head. I thought it would be the next one in my ‘The Rileys’ series(which is a spin-off from the Flames series, and Arlene is the Riley connection here), but it looks like they’ll wait one more.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Flowers”

“Flowers.”

Carolyne didn’t even look away from the invoice she was compiling on her computer. “Yes. That’s what I sell here. It is a flower shop.”

The man who had just stepped into the shop let out a weak laugh. “Right. Of course.”

She looked up at the man, then. He was tall, and wide. She could picture him thundering down the football field. She had seen it, too, back during high school. “Chris. What can I do for you?”

“Flowers. I really think I need some flowers.”

She watched as he scrubbed a hand over his face then ran it up into his thick dark hair. And she couldn’t help but smile and lean against her side of the counter. “How bad did you screw up?”

“Bad,” he said. “I think really, really bad. Roses aren’t going to cut it. Not with those two.”

Carolyne didn’t react to that last part. She’d seen him around with both Reagen and her girlfriend. And their relationship was none of her business. Except when he’d apparently screwed things up. “Roses never cut it. Not when it’s really important. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.”

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This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to start with a noun. I will be writing Chris’ story sometime soon. It’s not the next one on my list in the series, but I think it will be the one after that. And this might be how I introduce Carolyn into the series. I wrote about her in a Story a Day piece last month, Flower Shop, as well as a couple others that month.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Favorite Word”

“You are absolutely beguiling.”

Neil let out a snort of laughter. “Really? What kind of word is that?”

“One of my favorite ones. I like the way it sounds. It can mean to deceive, but I don’t think about it like that. I like the ‘to charm’ definition better. That’s what you do to me.”

“You sound like Corrin when you talk like that.” But, his sister was the last person he wanted to think about as Lin ran fingers through his hair.

“She’s not a bad person to be compared to.”

No, she wasn’t. He loved his little sister, but again, she wasn’t what he wanted to think about right now. So, he pulled Lin until they straddled him. “There’s no comparison,” he said. “You have no comparison.”

Lin smiled down at him. “Well, aren’t you the sweetest man ever.”

He highly doubted that. But, as Lin pressed their lips to his, he didn’t really care where he fell on the sweetness meter. He had them, and that was what mattered for now.

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This week’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was to use your favorite word in some way or just write about the concept of having one. Beguile isn’t really my favorite one, not sure I really have one, but it popped into my head. Lin showed up in Flames of Knowledge, and these two have informed me they had a story to tell together. I don’t know exactly what it’ll be yet.

SOCS/Story a Day: Day 26 – “Grill/Sale”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write about one character trying to sell something to another. That could be an idea or something more literal. I combined this with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt of using ‘grill’ somehow in the post. I have Jonas here, trying to convince his family(particularly his older brother here) that he really is fine. But, will they actually buy it?

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“I don’t know why you have to keep grilling me.” Jonas slumped down in the chair at the table.
“I don’t know why you think that’s what I’m doing.”
“That act might work with criminals, Toby, but I’ve known you for more than two decades. You don’t have me fooled. You’re trying to get a confession out of me.”
“We just want to make sure you’re okay.”
“I told you I am. You and Mom both stood there and watched me take all my pills. Obviously I’m fine.”
Toby snorted. “Brother, you are so far from fine. You’ve been trying to act like you are for days, and we bought it because we wanted to believe it. Things wouldn’t have gotten so bad if you’d told us how you were feeling. But, no, you thought you had to act all tough.”
“I wasn’t acting,” Jonas grumbled.
Toby laughed softly. “You also didn’t tell us how you were reacting to those pain pills. Otherwise we might have realized it wasn’t typical, and you could have gotten them changed up sooner. How long will it take you to learn that if you have a problem, you can come to us?”
“I thought it was just the way it was.”
“You little fool,” Toby said, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “Now, tell me how these ones are making you feel. If there’s a problem, we’d rather be able to know it before we find you passed out on the floor again.”
Jonas snorted out a bitter laugh. Yeah, he’d rather avoid that too. And be treated like an addict, when all he’d been trying to do was make the pain stop for a little while.
“Better,” he admitted. It helped that his brain wasn’t trying to convince him that the pain was about ten times worse than it actually was. “They don’t make me nearly as foggy as the others did, so I actually remember what I do after taking them.”
Toby stepped back and looked satisfied. “Good.”
“So you actually buy that I’m fine finally.”
Toby snorted. “Nope. You can sell that one as hard as you want, baby brother, but I’ll never buy it. And it’s okay. You don’t have to be fine all the time.”
“Why not? You are.”
Toby shook his head. “No, I just finally learned it’s okay to lean on someone else. I understand you’ve always been the one to help others. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with letting others help you now. It took me three decades and a wonderful woman to teach me that. But, I always figured you were smarter than me.”
“Well, at least I was able to sell you something.”
Toby chuckled and hugged his shoulders tight. “I’m so glad you’re still here.”
Jonas was, too. He was really glad his mistake hadn’t been fatal.

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