Spawning

The thunderous roar of the rushing water captures everyone’s attention. Waterfalls have a knack for drawing in large crowds.

No one bothers to look upstream, where the salmon spawn. Where Rick and I undress, neatly fold our clothes and lie them on the dampened boulders that line the banks.

The water is warmer than I expect. But then I’m burning with impatience, and I’m numb below my waist, eager only for his touch.

He slowly approaches, and I drop to me knees, as gracefully as I can, splashing the shallow water, sinking into the sediment and broken-up rocks, hoping not to disturb the female laying her eggs next to me.

His everything in my face, I open my mouth and let him in, and it’s as if everything in this dense Alaskan rainforest—one hundred years ago buried under sheets of ice—goes silent. Watching.

A drop on my forehead, and then a drizzle. We hear the patter of feet as waterfall spectators race back to the shelter. No one veering off the path, where the shrubs part, to climb down the steep hill and catch a glimpse of mother nature doing her best work.

The ripples in the water multiple as we lie midstream, the surface barely covering his back. The rain picks up, urging him on, and with each draw back and thrust forward, he creates tiny waves that crash against the back of my thighs as we copulate alongside the salmon in a place reserved for wildlife, letting our primal instincts loose.

—Nortina

Fight

Vein City. That wasn’t its true name, but that’s how he felt about it. From there the very lifeblood of the world seemed to flow. He flexed his hands and watched his own veins pulse. It had cost him nearly everything within him to get there…

Please note the following story will be in present tense.


But he won’t let fear dissuade him now. He’s come too far. He walks out of the Greyhound station and heads east, to the outskirts of the city, dodging moving bodies that seem to be drawn by an outside force.

It reminds him why he prefers the suburbs. Every metropolis is the same, but here someone can really disappear. It’s probably why they chose it.

But he was smart too. Hired a PI specifically skilled at finding people who want to erase their very existence.

He finds an out of service cab parked at the entrance of an alley way. He slips into the backseat, quiets the complaints of the driver with one hundred dollars folded inside a clip, and directs him to the address written on the map in his hand.

It’s a twenty minute drive. Giving him enough time to think. Practice what he will say when he sees her. Explain why he’ll give up the game. He just wants her, nothing else. All the money and chronic in the world won’t keep him away.

When the cab pulls up to the three-story brownstone, he gets out of the car, walks up the paved pathway, and knocks on the door, all while holding his breath. Her husband answered within seconds.

Damn.

“You’re not wanted here,” he says.

“I think she would say differently.”

“You’re wrong.”

It’s possible. All of those things she said while he held her in his arms—lies, emotions, confessions she wished to take back? But he can’t let this man see his doubt, refuses to give him the satisfaction of thinking he’s won. He’s come all this way. No money left to go back. He can’t go back anyway. Dean and the boys will be after him.

“Do you really think she would leave the safety and stability of her home for a thug like you?”

The husband starts to close the door, but he blocks it with his foot, pushes his hand against the peep hole.

“Try to get rid of me all you want, but deep down inside, you’ll know that baby will never be yours.”

He catches a wince before the man finally slams the door, and he knows he’s gotten to him. Good. Plant the seed, give it life, a current to run through his veins, to prickle under his skin every time he lies down next to her, reaches toward her stomach to feel a kick.

He should know he’ll never stop fighting.

—Nortina


Written for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt, hosted by Candice Coates over at I came for the soup… The objective is to create a story in 20 minutes using the above line in bold and the picture provided.

#1MinFiction: Fireweed

When I saw the seeds in the tramway gift shop, I had to buy them. They said no food, plants, or natural products off the ship, but nothing about what we could bring back on.

Safely tucked away in a hidden pocket of my purse through customs, when I get home I plant them in the red clay and sparse grass of my backyard.

I never knew how fast this stuff could grow.

Nortina


Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a story in one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided. For the next several weeks our prompts will be Alaska themed. Check out this week’s one-word prompt is fireweed, which is EVERYWHERE in Alaska!

Total Eclipse

She stares afar off, as if in a trance.

“Tell me what you’re thinking,” he says, curls a lock of hair behind her ear.

She tries, but doesn’t know. Thinks, but her mind is empty. She likes it when everything is blank. When the anger and the hatred of the world can’t touch her. When all she has is the blue in the sky, the green in the grass, as she imagines them. And him, lightly pecking the bone of her shoulders with his soft butter lips.

“I love you,” he whispers. She’s waited thirty years to hear those words, since the last time she’s looked at the sun. Though she can’t see his eyes, she pictures them as they were at fifteen, pools of aquamarine, dripping with affection.

She turns her head and finds his mouth. Sends her tongue searching as the silence descends, as the air cools.

“Look up,” she breathes, kissing the lids of his bare eyes. “Look up and see me.”

—Nortina

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Red Sky, Ghost Cries

I glance out the window at the red sky. It’s just the way the setting sun hits the cumulonimbus clouds, I tell myself. But when a sudden clap of thunder rattles the legs of my bed against the hardwood floor, I wait for it to rain blood.

Suiting for the time we live in. A live-action horror film. When cars speed through crowds, crush the skulls of babies. When aged statues are brought down on their worshipers’ heads.

I plug in my ear buds, play a track from my deceased father’s rock band. Lately I’ve had the desire to listen to his ghost. Sing to me about the power of love. Overcoming political corruption, separation by race, pointless fighting in streets. When the world will know peace.

I play it over the thunder, nearly deaf after three repeats. When the song ends, I turn everything off. The house silent, the storm passed. I hide under the covers, knowing I’m alone. But my bedroom door is slightly ajar, and after lying still for over an hour, unable to fall asleep, I hear a light tapping on the other side.

Now I know the dead have done more than turn over in their graves. Our callousness has brought them back, absorbing energy from the uncanny storm to manifest.

I only pray this one sings to me.

—Nortina

#1MinFiction: Ice River

It’s hard to believe that glaciers are massive rivers of ice, that you can trace the current in how they curve around the mountainside.

“About 300 feet melted off last year, so it’s a rapidly retreating glacier,” the tour guide is saying.

I nudge Jon with the end of my paddle, “Still think global warming is a hoax?”

He only rolls his eyes. “We’re on vacation.”

—Nortina


Monday’s One-Minute Fiction challenges you to write a story in one minute, no more, no less, based on the prompt provided. For the next serval weeks our prompts will be Alaska themed. Check out this week’s photo prompt of the Davidson Glacier in Haines, Alaska (not too far from Skagway)!

#ThrowbackThursday Fiction: A Cold, Gray August

It’s Thursday—you know what that means. Time for another throwback! This story, published in January but set in August, holds much sentimental value for me. Why? Because it was my very first blog post ever! Written way back when, January 9, 2014. Have I really only been blogging for 3 years? It feels much longer! Well, here’s to three more years and much more cold, gray Augusts to come! Enjoy. 🙂


A Cold, Gray August

It was a strange day. Cold—the temperature at least forty degrees—and a steady rain, in the middle of August. The entire town was gray, both from the ominous clouds and the mist that rose from the ground due to the sudden drop in temperature with the rain. The stone buildings disappeared in the skyline, and as the clouds lowered to meet the mist below, a dense fog enclosed the city, making visibility less than arm’s length.

The change in weather was a sign for Anita. An omen, that something bad was going to happen. She decided to stay indoors, refused to step outside of her apartment, not even to walk to her mailbox. She kept the curtains shut so that the view wouldn’t lure her to a window, where she could trip over a cord or one of her son’s misplaced toys and crash through the glass, falling seven stories to a splattered death onto the wet concrete below.

Anita sat curled in a corner of the couch, between the arm and cushion, in her dark living room watching The Weather Channel. She pulled her knees to her chest and rested her chin on top of them as she listened to reporters talk endlessly of the unseasonal weather.

Beside her, lying on his side, was her three-year-old son, Aiden. She ran her fingers through his hair as he rested his head on her thigh. She studied his positioning on the couch. Head on her thigh, body on the couch, neck suspended between the two with no support, vulnerable to being snapped from the application of any type of pressure, whether from an inadvertent elbow or something falling from above.

She immediately scooped him into her arms, sat him in her lap, and cradled his head and fragile neck against her bosom. She kissed his forehead repeatedly, telling him how much she loved him and that she would never let anything bad happen to him as long as he stayed in her arms.

“I love you, sweetheart.”

“More than the world is round?”

“Yes, baby.”

“More than the sky is blue?”

“Uh-huh.”

“More than cookies taste yummy?”

“Even more than that.”

There was a knock on the door, and Anita hesitantly rose to answer it, still clutching Aiden to her body. She opened the door and saw no one right away, but when she tried to shut the door, quickly so as not to let the evil in the weather enter her home, Aiden shook himself from her grasp and slipped outside onto the balcony just as the door closed behind him.

She heard him scream, “Mr. Huggy!” The name of the teddy bear he thought he’d lost a week ago. Remembering that she’d accidentally thrown Huggy away, along with other old toys she assumed he’d outgrown, Anita knew there was no way he could have seen him on the balcony, but when she swung open the door to save her son from the allusion, she found only clouds, mist, and gray.

—Nortina

Bar-A-Thon: Caught in the Wind (Conclusion)

Continued from Sunset Motel

I still want a baby.

As we lie in bed, day three of our weekend romp, I think to ask for his sperm, for both our sakes, but my voice is caught in the wind blowing through the open window.

He rolls to his side. “I think I love you.”

We both know it’s a lie, but it feels right for the moment.

I lean in, kiss him, and he inserts himself inside me one last time.

word count: 77

—Nortina


The challenge is to blog every other day June 17 through June 30, using the theme or prompts as inspiration.

The theme is seven, so I’m posting a series of seven stories at seventy-seven words each. Each day also has a prompt based on a famous book title, and while I’ve unfortunately never read any of the books listed, I think I can work with the funny play on words.

Today’s prompt is: The Call of the Wind

I hope you enjoyed this series of short-shorts! I truly had fun writing and sharing them with you. While this ending doesn’t feel final, when it comes to fiction, is there ever truly and “ending” anyway? I just might bring these characters back one day, maybe even for the next Bar-A-Thon challenge. 😉

If you’re just coming in at the end, read all seven shorts from the beginning here.

3LineTales: Detention

The short skirt worked—little does he know I’m right where I want to be.

I curl my feet around the front legs of my chair—spreading my knees wide, hoping he can see I’m not wearing underwear—and the draft from the air conditioning unit under the window blows my mating-call scent to his nose.

He looks over the rim of his glasses, then his eyes drift down; we sit like this for several minutes, and I wonder which of us will rise first, and whose clothing will drop to the floor next, and from the playground behind the elementary school next door, how many innocent eyes will gaze up and unknowingly watch the show.

—Nortina


Written for 3LineTales, hosted by Sonya (Only 100 Words). A picture is worth three lines. What tale can you draw?

Bar-A-Thon: Sunset Motel (Part 6)

Continued from Marriage Counseling

It was never my house; I suppose I don’t miss it. But to be locked out with only the clothes on my back, the change in my purse, seems cruel.

Group therapy at one; I tell them my husband and I have separated. They promise me reconciliation, but across the refreshments table, I meet his gaze.

Sunset Motel, where lovers rendezvous in secret, is a block away from the church basement.

I’m already naked when he arrives.

 

word count: 77
Up Next: Part 7 (Conclusion) – Caught in the Wind

—Nortina


The challenge is to blog every other day June 17 through June 30, using the theme or prompts as inspiration.

The theme is seven, so I’m posting a series of seven stories at seventy-seven words each. Each day also has a prompt based on a famous book title, and while I’ve unfortunately never read any of the books listed, I think I can work with the funny play on words.

Today’s prompt is: Suns and Lovers

I hope you enjoyed this quick short-short, and be sure to come back on Friday for the final chapter!