#1MinFiction: Make love by the campfire

#1MinFiction photo prompt from Cyranny’s Cove

I don’t doubt that he will set the forest on fire, so I send him to gather firewood while I fan the flames.

When he returns, he suggests I take all my clothes off.

“Hot innit?”

I’m not amused, but he has a way of loosening me up, especially when he changes into his gray sweatpants.

© Nortina Simmons 

The Black Gatsbys

Reese removes her shades, sits them atop her head, and scans the one-acre plot of land she just bought after signing her book deal.

It’s not forty, and her mule is a six-foot painter with freeform locs, but she feels she’s finally arrived.

This is where we’ll build our dream house,” she tells Matthew.

There’ll be a library, an office where she’ll pen her next bestseller, an art gallery to display all of Matthew’s paintings, and they’ll host showings every weekend, inviting the public and art critics from across the country.

He slaps her ass, “We’ll be the Black Gatsbys.”

© Nortina Simmons

Patience

“Do you remember what happened?” the officer pressed.

It was their wedding anniversary. He’d worked late the night before and overslept. She spent the day seething while he lay in bed blissfully asleep.

The knife was already in his heart when the doorbell rang, the delivery boy apologizing profusely for being late.

“The flower food will bring them right back, promise,” he said, flapping the square packet.

When the police arrived, the vase the bouquet came in was shattered on the floor. The roses were as dead as he was.

The officer placed her in handcuffs. “Guess you should’ve waited.”

© Nortina Simmons 

Insane asylum patient #13

She liked to set things on fire. The final victim, a young poet, secret admirer.

He wrote her a poem on parchment, slipped it under her door.

roses are red, like
the polish on your nails, like
the blood in my veins—
my heart beats for you as I
muster the courage to say...

“I love you,” he finished. He couldn’t help it, had to invite himself in to see her reaction.

“Would you like to burn?” she asked.

His pulse quickened. “Yes!”

She crumpled the paper, stuffed it in his mouth, struck a match, watched him light with passion.

© Nortina Simmons

Duplicitous lover

I lie back and sprinkle tiny flower petals on my neck and shoulder.

I tell him they are edible. “Come have a taste.”

He licks them off of me, planting a trail of quick wet kisses until he reaches my mouth. I bite down on my bottom lip.

“Don’t stop,” I say, but he’s convulsing, his eyes bulging, veins in his neck popping. He stumbles backward, gasping for air, and then I remember.

Aren’t oleanders poisonous?”

I’m laughing as his mouth struggles to form an answer. I close it, and his eyes too, as his body starts to go still.

© Nortina Simmons 

The undertaker

It was too soon after my husband’s death to be kissing another man, especially not in the bathroom of the funeral home where his wake was being held.

When we briefly broke for air, he asked, “Are you a loud lover or a quiet one?”

It took me a few seconds to recognize what he was asking.

“We can’t,” I pleaded.

“It’s fine. I locked the door.”

“My husband—”

“Resting in peace.” He would know. He embalmed him.

He kissed me again, and my legs jiggled like Jell-O.

His pants dropped to his ankles, and I dropped to my knees.

© Nortina Simmons

Something about the bride…

The wedding was perfect. Her dress fit perfectly. Her mascara didn’t run when she cried reading her vows. There were no objections—she feared there might be at least one—and the caterer was on time.

Now as they waltz their first dance together as man and wife in the center of the reception hall, surrounded by adoring family and loving friends, she whispers in his ear, “I’m gonna eat you up.”

He chuckles. He doesn’t know.

 Later that night, in their honeymoon suite, she mounts him and bares her fangs, drawing first blood with a nibble on the neck.

© Nortina Simmons

Murder in the basement

I haven’t slept in days. I keep thinking about what he said.

“If you love me, you’ll accept this part of me.”

Mama warned me about men who begin sentences with “If you love me…”

If Mama were here, she would’ve never let me marry him. Mama had this sixth sense about her. She could smell the evil on people.

I unluckily inherited my father’s desperation to appease. It’s why I lie in this bed alone, unable to ignore the screams from the basement below.

“Just hurry up and finish,” I find myself saying, “so I can get some rest.”

© Nortina Simmons 

A familiar motel

Bates Motel "Vacancy" neon sign

If not for the echo of pelting rain on the metal roof, I wouldn’t have heard her knocking. When I open the door, I first see the bright red umbrella. She slowly raises it to reveal lips just as red.

Do you have a vacancy?” She speaks softly, seductively.

“Oh, we have 12 vacancies—12 cabins, 12 vacancies,” I say, but given that she’s a woman alone and I do run this motel with my mother, she may not find that humorous.

“Norman, who’s at the door?” my mother calls from the office.

“Just a customer.” I guide her inside.

—Nortina


Does this scene sound familiar?

The drive home

Driving through the downpour, I think about the last night I saw my husband alive.

We’d just had a fight, and I had finally accepted that he will never want children.

“I need some air,” he said.

“If you leave, don’t even think about coming back!”

He ignored my threat and slammed the door behind him as a crack of thunder pierced the silence that remained.

Hours later, the police came knocking. His car was caught in the storm.

He was gone.

Inside me the little one turns and flips.

“Easy does it.” I pat my stomach. “We’re almost home.”

© Nortina Simmons