Audrey’s No Rules Friday

Pillow Talk

a poem inspired by Julie’s story Sleeper

Come, lie in my arms

Love

Kiss me until you know

Hope

In shared breath

Dreams

I will give you rest

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for Jen’s No Rules Friday next week.

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Anne’s No Rules Friday 10

This is a companion piece for In Repair. You don’t have to have read that one to read this one. 😀

Motorbike "Indian Scout" (1929) © Copyright Joachim Köhler, 2006. Used by permission of the Creative Commons License

Motorbike “Indian Scout” (1929) © Copyright, Joachim Köhler 2006. Used with permission. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

Back to You

Five months ago, I tricked Rosa into kissing me. I’ve been lying to her ever since. That’s not entirely true. They’re not lies. They’re omissions. I omit pieces of the truth because she hunts creatures like me. So far she doesn’t know what I am, so well rehearsed are my stories. I kill hunters like her, but none of them ever caused my pulse to thrum at the base of my wrists. None of them had salted caramel taffy skin, sun-warmed, and soft. Soft in the way only a fawn’s coat should be soft.

“C’mere.”

We sit shoulder to shoulder at the edge of a neighbor’s pool, water laps against our knees, passing a cigarette back and forth. Sunlight glints off the water, off the drops running down her bare arms. Over the sharp chlorine and cloves, she smells like a field of sunflowers and coconut sunscreen. Rose kicks a leg and water sparkles in an arc. The splash silences the hum of cicadas for a split second.

It’s taken five months to convince her to break into backyards with me. The danger didn’t keep her away, no. She stayed out because she respected the people that live here. She hid her Scout motorcycle along the side of the house. Rosa relaxes against me. Like she’s home.

“Ever been skinny-dipping?”

Rosa laughs in that deep throaty way that’s only for me. I kiss her neck, drag a canine along the tender skin at her throat. Her laughter catches between my teeth.

continue reading …

Audrey’s Cimmerian Tales Book Club

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Just so you know, Anne has a great taste in books. Occasionally, she has great tastes in other things, but I’ll save that for another post. Anywho, a million years ago she gave me a stack of books that I’m just getting around to reading. I had to stop after reading Lips Touch: Three Times by Laini Taylor because it was so good I didn’t want to read anything that would distract me from how good this book is. It’s like jumping-up-and-down-while-hugging-the-book good.

Lips Touch: Three Times is a novella collection (Goblin Fruit, Spicy Little Curses Such as These, Hatchling) and features beautiful illustrations by Jim Di Bartolo for each story.

Summary from Amazon:

A National Book Award Finalist, now in paperback!

Everyone dreams of getting the kiss of a lifetime… but what if that kiss carried some unexpected consequences? A girl who’s always been in the shadows finds herself pursued by the unbelievably attractive new boy at school, who may or may not be the death of her. Another girl grows up mute because of a curse placed on her by a vindictive spirit, and later must decide whether to utter her first words to the boy she loves and risk killing everyone who hears her if the curse is real. And a third girl discovers that the real reason for her transient life with her mother has to do with belonging — literally belonging — to anther world entirely, full of dreaded creatures who can transform into animals, and whose queen keeps little girls as personal pets until they grow to child-bearing age.

From a writer of unparalleled imagination and emotional insight, three stories about the deliciousness of wanting and waiting for that moment when lips touch.

My Thoughts:

From the opening lines of Goblin Fruit, “There is a certain kind of girl the goblins crave. You could walk across a high school campus and point them out: not her, her,” I knew Laini Taylor was my brand of storyteller. The stories are original, the characters are real, and (you might have guessed this) there is kissing. There is something fun about the language and the pacing is perfection. My favorite is Spicy Little Curses Such as These because I love Anamique’s struggle. Is her curse real? Who should she believe? Anne’s favorite is Hatchling because “her writing is lush and her imagery is like watching a movie. Secondly, she takes Zoroastrianism and flips it into this unique and beautiful fantasy.” Totes.

If you haven’t read this, then you should. If you have read it, let me know what you thought. And if you have a friend who loans you the best books ever, give them a hug.

Anne’s No Rules Friday 08

The companion piece, Back to You, is now live!

Motorbike "Indian Scout" (1929) © Copyright Joachim Köhler, 2006. Used by permission of the Creative Commons License

Motorbike “Indian Scout” (1929) © Copyright, Joachim Köhler 2006. Used with permission. Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States License.

In Repair

An undiscovered back road stretches out in front of me. Dead leaves and melting piles of snow outline my twisting route leading me deeper into the woods. The Scout’s tires eat up the cracked and neglected asphalt. My helmet’s sitting on the back of the bike. I should be wearing it. I know I should, but I want to feel the wind’s fingers in my hair, want to smell the gasoline off the bike.

The first warm day in weeks woke me up to all the possibilities of spring. My leather jacket isn’t zipped up, and the wind whooshes in and around my body. In its holster, my gun tap tap taps against my ribcage, as I shift into second gear. The bike flies past the aspen and pine trees. I want more than a taste of spring. I need this weather to last all week.

The bike shudders when I shift into third. I ignore it, give it more gas, and curse under my breath as the bike coasts to a stop. The forest goes quiet around me, as if the creatures living in it hold a collective breath. I get off the bike, thinking twice before kicking it hard. The whole thing topples over into the dirt.

“Sure, Rosa, make it worse.”

For an hour, I vacillate between walking up and down the road trying to get a signal on my phone and tinkering with the bike’s metal parts. Rust and grime cover my hands, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got streaks of the stuff across my forehead. Elías will kill me for taking the bike out before we finished restoring it, but living through another of Papi’s benders wasn’t gonna happen.

continue reading …

“Human” by Ethel Veva King Inspires Audrey

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Part 1

“Mama?” His small voice tip-toed out of the darkness.

“Yes, Jackson?” Her response was pillow-muffled and crackly.

“Mama, I saw something outside.” Georgia sat-up and looked toward the window, a cold fear roping around her spine.

“Come here, baby,” she said slow and hushed, reaching for Jackson and sliding off her bed. The young boy eagerly curled into his mama’s embrace and pressed a drippy nose into her neck. “What did you see?”

Jackson turned his head and held a chubby palm up to the window, “In the sky, Mama.”

Georgia creaked along the aged hardwoods in the attic room they rented from Mrs. Press. It was a large room, big enough for two beds, a dresser, and trunk. The walls were white-washed, but in the night only a thin crust of light came in through the only window. Georgia traced the light to keep from stumbling in the obsidian shadows.

She stretched out a thin, tanned finger to peek out the polyester lace. Georgia studied the stretching lawn below first, just until her heart quit hiccuping against her ribs. Two years had passed since she escaped her husband with Jackson, but that kinda haunting is hard to banish. Jackson swiped drool-coated fingers down her cheek to get her attention. Georgia peered into his heavily lashed eyes, all glassy and dark.

“What did you see, Jackson?”

continue reading …

Jen’s No Rules Friday

Friday Fluff!

The cold is intense, to my bones, but I’ve never been happier freezing to death. Her breath hangs front of me, solid as everything I know, soft as everything I need. Waves rake the shore with something like determination and the sand is tiny shards of ice under my bare feet. The winter sea wants to swallow us, and I’m keen to let it.
Heavy music blares from the glowing phone in her coat pocket, electric and wild. She dances to it, looking for all the world like the sun in the middle of a December night, and I want her. My mouth cracks into a half-smile, and I have to look away as heat colors my cheeks.
We dance together. Not with hips and hands, but with smiles and running and catching and running again. She brings my face to hers with fingertips under my chin, and presses her lips to mine. Before I can even think that this is crazy, my hands find their way to her slender neck, gently pulling her closer. She rakes her fingers through my hair, and her lips move against mine, soft and warm, all nectar. Her hand trails down my spine, clutching at my hip, sparking heat on ice. I sigh into her mouth, leaning in with wanting, wanting, wanting. I’m freezing cold, but I’ve never ever been warmer.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Stay tuned for Audrey’s response to this month’s prompt on Monday and extra content from Anne next week!

Julie’s No Rules Friday: Fear of Falling

Fear of Falling

We lay down on the grass together to read the stars. It was the end of August, and our arms prickled with goosebumps. You said, “I can’t believe summer’s nearly over.” We’d just celebrated my sixteenth birthday.

Above, the band of the Milky Way wound across our vision. If we stared straight up, we couldn’t see anything but sky.

You were inches from me, and the blanket billowed in the spaces between us where the grass didn’t lay flat.

“Will you show me Lyra?” I asked.

When you moved your hand, our fingers bumped.

“Well, there’s Vega,” you said, and your deepening voice leapt. You gestured to one of the brighter stars, and as your hand moved I followed its sweep from the broken neck to the diamond box of the lyre’s body.

You dropped your hand and it landed close enough to mine that I felt heat from your fingers. I hooked my pinky over yours, and the sky lurched. Air rushed out of your mouth. The liquid in my stomach shifted. Our bodies were rising.

Your hand gathered mine into it, and you looked at me. My hair waved like the tentacles of a sea anemone, crowning my face, and I smiled at you. Your blue eyes were wide. The loose sleeves and body of your shirt were raised above your skin, buoyed by empty air. The laces on our shoes tangled.

“What’s happening?” you asked.

Beyond your ear, the high meadow grass stood on end. A cricket was floating above your shoulder.

I looked back at the stars, which increased in my eyes.

“The end of the world?” I asked, breathless.

You gulped and your eyes glistened.

“It’s too soon,” you said.

I nodded, memorizing the curl of your eyelashes and the solemn bend of your cheek.

You drew my hand in, my arm bent so I came to you, and kissed me softly. We hung, eyes closed, hearts bursting, then fell back to earth with a soft thud.

The stars I saw in your eyes no longer grew. You squeezed my palm and sat up, patting the ground beneath you. I placed my hands to my racing heart.

“Not the end yet,” I murmured.

“Hm?” you asked, and I sat up with you.

I shook my head and smiled, reaching for your cheek. This time when we kissed, the stars stayed in place.

~*~*~*~

Author’s Note: This piece was inspired by a real fear of a friend of mine, with my own spin on it.

Stay tuned for Audrey’s No Rules Friday next week.