Unpredictable Tomorrows


She sits quietly reading a magazine.  She is pretending to read.  There is nothing in the magazine that interests her.  She despises the very thing the magazine is toting… perfectionism and beauty.

She stares down at her lap, grubby jeans and her old shoulder bag.  She is far from beautiful.  She is a bit gangly, damp from the rain, rank from the effort to exist, and marred by the scars of life.  Nothing about her shouts to the world, “Look at me!”  She does her best to become one with the chair and simply disappear.

Her world is abruptly tilted when he walks in.  He comes in every day at the same time, 4:27 pm, on the dot, 6 days a week.  He walks up to the counter and orders a latte, soy, and smiles at the girl behind the counter.  She grins back at him as she flirts, filling his order as if he is the only patron in the place.

Putting her hand over her chest, she squeezes further back, willing her heart to slow and quiet.  At exactly 4:35 he will head over to the far corner window seat and open his laptop.  She silently waits for his latte to be finished so he will walk by her so she can catch the essence of him.  It lingers behind him, drifting lazily, filling her soul.  She can find a way to get through the next day if she can carry with her his signature.  She’ll climb aboard the next bus at 4:49 and travel back to the crowded street that harbors her until the next tomorrow.

He turns toward her and suddenly her foot does something of it’s own will.  It stretches out and makes contact with his.  His latte slurps forward and he lunges to catch it.  She is horrified watching him stager, trying to recover, catching himself with his hand to her outstretched arm.  When did she reach for him?

He suddenly sees her.  His eyes look deeply into hers for only a moment before he opens his mouth and grins at her.  He shrugs and holds a hand up in apology, as if he were the offender.  She finds herself smiling back at him and waving off his apology.

Standing she looks after him in awe as he moves to the window seat with his name on it.  The tomorrows are forever changed, unwritten, and life is now unpredictable.  Tomorrow holds promise, hope, and a future worth dreaming over.

 

Within A.R.M.M.’s Reach


She turned over, wincing as she buried her face deeper into the pillow. Suffocation would be welcome. She tried to lift her head. A deep and slamming blow came from nowhere, rendering her a withering, and screeching mess.

He was hovering and waiting. If she so much as moved an inch, he’d crack her skull.

The room spun sickly, though her eyes were not even open. She willed the throbbing to stop by gently reciting the only formula that eased the horrific thudding in her skull.

It was a survival game. He might move on to somewhere, or someone else. Don’t breathe – he might think you’re dead, yes, that was it. Don’t breathe…

Thoughts were murder. Keep the endless noise of her mind quiet or DIE.

“What time is it, how long has it been,” her brain taunted, stabbing a knife into her brain with reality like sharpness.

Her prison warden whipped around. His name tag read “Senior A.R.M.M” and make no mistake, his arm was hulking and wicked with a Skull Cracker in it’s fist.

His breed, the Angry Red Manic Monster’s, could not be stopped once they possessed your DNA in their data banks. Senior A.R.M.M. sneered at her, reading her thoughts. Lips curling back he grinned wickedly. His arm raised up and gained a greater grip on his sickening weapon.

Wumph –

NOOOOOOO… she screamed in pain, withering, hands clawing at her face, digging into her own eye sockets. A sickening liquid began to ooze from the fissures in the cracks.

She could get free if only she could find a way to take the head off her body.

Die you say? She’d die if she did that? Why would that be a bad thing? Death and the peace of painlessness were far more appealing than lying and waiting for the next searing crack to the skull.

Play the game.

PLAY IT!

She could win if she outlasted him…

She was nauseous instantly as she felt the static charge of air change with his movements. He was moving towards her.

Play dead! Play DEAD!

Nothing…

The stale air stirred around her and a light breeze floated over her skin. Did he leave?

She took a full breath in and filled her lungs with new life. Yes, he was gone. His putrid acidic smell was fading.

Excitement built but she continued to play dead. Rejoicing would bring him back. She was his favorite prisoner to torture. She did not second-guess anything. She lay there for hours longer, barely breathing. He was the worst – the best of his kind.

Her warden, “Senior A.R.M.M,” was leader of the strongest battalion in the Migraine Army. He was ALWAYS back!

 

Background:  Written to put a visual to the torture that can be living with chronic migraines…used as a flash piece for a contest on another writing site.