Friday, September 08, 2006

Where I Write

Did you read this Motherhood Uncensored post? It was really good, huh? Well, I figured, what kind of a writer of a blog about writer's block would I be if I didn't use one of these writing prompts to get inspired to write? So, here you go:

Debra slammed the champagne glass down so hard on the dresser that it broke. Fizzy droplets splattered onto her shirt.

“You’ve been having me followed?” She demanded, staring her husband in the eye.

Roger ran his hands through his shock of silver hair. “With good reason, obviously!” He exploded. “I’ve been made a cuckold!”

“Oh, quit being so dramatic,” Debra snapped. “Maybe if you weren’t such a self-centered bastard I wouldn’t have had to go elsewhere.”

Roger fell to his knees in front of his wife. “Debra, please.” His tone had taken on a begging quality that Debra found quite unattractive. “I’ll do anything to have you back. I love you. Please, just end it with him, and we’ll forget about this whole thing. We’ll vacation somewhere, anywhere, wherever you want. Please be my wife once again.”

Debra stormed out of the room, kicking aside the glossy black and white photos Roger had confronted her with on her way out. Throwing them all over the floor had been a nice touch, because it allowed her to make one more dramatic movement as she left. Yes, look at the photos, Roger. Look how much younger the man is. Look at his artistic hands and warm smile. He’s not rich, like you. He’s not cold, like you. Where was all this ‘I love you’ stuff coming from anyway? All Roger had been to her for the past eight months was a silent curmudgeon, grumping about the house since his retirement.

She had felt guilty about the affair, at first. But it had been the kind of guilt that made her heart race and her adrenaline rush, only contributing to those budding feelings of excitement she had over Trey. He was an irresistible twenty five year old bartender, attentive, sexually adventuresome, and everything she wished Roger would be but never was. She quickly learned to ignore the guilt, to sneak around, to lie, to enjoy every second with Trey and push Roger out of her mind, but somehow-some way-he figured it out. It wouldn’t have taken a private detective long to discover what she had been up to.

The first place Debra went was Trey’s apartment. “He’s found out,” she whispered as she looked into his blue eyes. Tears formed in hers unexpectedly. “What are we going to do?” What had begun as a curious fling had certainly become much more than that, Debra knew as she stood here with Trey. She couldn’t give him up. She wouldn’t. But what could they do? She had no money, and an affair surely violated the terms of the pre-nup. When Roger divorced her, she would be left with nothing. A twenty five year old bartender and a forty three year old divorcee, living in a studio apartment Trey could barely afford as it was, even without any furniture.

“Don’t worry,” Trey said soothingly, brushing a stray hair from Debra’s face. “I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’re going to get out of here.”

“And go where?” Debra suddenly had a horrific vision of sharing a house with Trey’s parents in the suburbs, her nubile young fling sitting in the kitchen in his underwear, eating Frosted Flakes out of his mother’s every day dishes.

Trey shrugged. “The desert.”

The desert. Their what-if-we-could fantasy of isolation and constant lovemaking, camping in the hauntingly beautiful New Mexico landscape.

Debra began to pace the room. “Well, that’s not, you know, a permanent solution…”

Trey interrupted her. “Of course it’s not. But nothing about this can be permanent.”

Debra stopped pacing at looked at Trey in surprise. “You don’t mean…”

Trey shrugged. “We both knew this was going to end someday, right? I mean, look at our lives. Look at your life. Look at who your husband is. We had a good time while it lasted, but we both knew it had to end sometime. We both knew that…right?”

Debra wouldn’t look into his eyes. “Of course,” she lied, realizing maybe nothing was ever certain after all. “I just thought…well, like you said, a last rendezvous…”

“Exactly,” Trey said as he put his arms around her. “What about the old man? I’m guessing he still wants to be with you.”

“Well, yes,” Debra agreed. “He wants us to fix the marriage.”

“Then fix it,” Trey said, walking towards the hall closet. “Come to the desert with me for a few days, make me crazy with all those things you know how to do to me,” with that he looked over his shoulder and winked, “then, come back to your husband.” He reached into the closet and pulled out a backpack. “I can be ready in about five minutes. You?”

*

Inside the tent Debra could see bugs dancing on its outer skin. Trey slept beside her. The morning light was dull and misty, and filtered through the hole in the tent where the zipper hung open a little. They had been there for two days, making love over and over again, drinking wine, keeping no track of time, no apologies for lack of manners or decorum. They were two people, naked, sweaty, passionate, and tomorrow, it would be over. They would pack up Trey’s old station wagon and drive back into town, and they would get on with their lives. Debra would go back to Roger, apologize, tell him she loved him but she couldn’t go on with the way things were between them anymore and maybe he’d change, and they’d go on that vacation. Trey would go back to the bar and the twenty year old girls he usually slept with. Life would continue.

Debra pushed aside the tent flap and stood in the quickly emerging sunshine. She was naked, and a breeze caressed her body. The desert stood before her, empty and full at the same time. She turned and began walking around the tent to find the bush they had designated as the bathroom, when suddenly she stopped. What was that in the distance? A huge, deflated red balloon sat in the sand a mile off. A hot air balloon? What…

With a panic, Debra rushed back into the tent and began shaking Trey. “Get up, get up now, Trey,” she hissed in his ear. “Get dressed!”

“Get dressed?” Trey said sleepily. “I don’t think so! Come here…”

“No, no, not now,” Debra pushed him off of her and began pulling on a pair of jeans. “We’ve got to get moving. It’s probably already too late…”

With that, she fell silent. The distant sound of a horse galloping filled her ears. Trey heard it too.

“What’s going on?” He asked, sober now, pulling on his own jeans.

“It’s Roger.”

“Roger’s coming here…on a horse?”

And at once, Debra felt the most regret about her affair than she had since the beginning. Roger hadn’t always been a bored, ill-tempered old man. Ten years ago when they married, he acted youthful, free spirited, and content. On their honeymoon he had insisted on taking a hot air balloon ride. At first, Debra was hesitant.

“I’m afraid of heights,” she had said. “What if something goes wrong?”

“Just trust me,” Roger had told her, “you’ll be fine.”

And the horse. That was another thing she had been resistant about, and Roger insistent. “You’ve never ridden a horse before?” He asked incredulously.

“They’re huge!” Debra had protested. “It could roll over and kill me!” Finally, he had convinced her, and they had a lovely time.

Now, here he was, again, with a horse and a hot air balloon. The regret sank to the bottom of her stomach. What had gone wrong? How had they gone from being so in love to being so distant towards each other? Ten years ago, Debra would never have believed she would have an affair. What had driven her to another man’s bed? Trey had seduced her, had made her feel special. Had made her feel things her husband couldn’t, or wouldn’t, anymore. But it wasn’t just Roger’s fault. They had both made mistakes, many mistakes. And now? What on earth was going to happen now? Roger was going to play the night in shining armor and ride up on his white steed and steal her heart back?

Trey pushed his way out of the tent as the hoof claps reached the camp and stopped.

“Shit,” Debra whispered to herself as she pulled the flap aside. “Ok, guys, let’s calm down here a moment…” She became silent when she approached the scene outside.

It was indeed Roger on a horse. Debra would have laughed at the sight if he wasn’t holding a gun out and pointing it right at Trey.

“Calm down, ok?” Trey said, backing away from Roger. “I’ll leave, ok? It’s over between us, man. You can have her.”

“Roger, this is ridiculous,” Debra protested, but she couldn’t hear her own voice, only the sound of a gunshot.

“Trey!” Debra screamed, and turned to her lover. He was, however, not shot. He was holding a gun, and it was pointed at Roger. “What the…where did you…”

Debra whipped around to see the horse, unmoving, on top of Roger. She quickly rushed to his side. “Are you ok?” He moaned from beneath the weight. And to Trey: “Where did that gun come from? How did you…what’s going on?”

But Trey was already leaving, ripping the tent up, shoving it into his station wagon, driving off.

Debra mentally dismissed him and focused on Roger. “Honey, are you ok? We have to get this off of you.”

Still moaning, Roger groaned, “push.” Debra got on her knees next to her fallen husband and pushed against the horse will all her strength. It didn’t move, only pushed her into the sand.

“Try again,” Roger demanded. “I’ll push, you push, I just have to get my leg out.”

Debra pushed again, and again, and her arms were going numb and this horse was just not moving, and she thought of her marriage, and her honeymoon ten years ago, and she knew if she could just get this horse off her husband, maybe everything would be ok.

Finally, the horse budged a little, and Roger withdrew his leg with a grunt, rolling backwards away from the carcass.

Debra began to sob and laugh at the same time. “You’re alright! Roger! Is your leg broken? Are you ok? Can you breathe? Can you walk?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s broken,” he told her, laying on his back in the sand. “You’re going to have to help me to that balloon.”

“Yes, of course,” Debra agreed. “I’ll help you. Roger, I love you. I don’t know how this all happened, I really don’t. I…”

“Don’t talk,” Roger commanded. “Just don’t. So much for my night in shining armor routine, huh?”

“Were you going to kill him?” Debra whispered. “Were you going to kill Trey?”

Roger shook his head, still panting heavily. “I don’t know. I was so angry. I love you so much, and he…it’s been hard for me lately, retiring. I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t mean to take it out on you. But when I found out you were having an affair, I just…I don’t know. My heart couldn’t bear it.”

“Oh Roger, will you ever forgive me?” Debra begged.

“Let’s just get out of here,” Roger said, propping himself up on one elbow. “Help me out.”

Debra pulled her husband to his feet, being careful of his leg. “We’re going to make it, right?”

Roger nodded. “It’s not more than a mile away.”

Debra nodded. “Yes, and, we’re going to make it, right?”

Roger held onto her shoulder. “Let’s just take this one step at a time. I was willing to kill a man for you, though.”

With that, Debra brushed the sand from her blouse, took a last, wistful look at the now putrefying horse, and began to walk towards the hot-air balloon.

I used prompt #4. If you look closely, you can see I cheated a bit, because I wrote "and began to walk towards" instead of "and stepped into" the hot air balloon. But rules are made to be broken, right?

12 Comments:

At 9:18 PM, Blogger one smarmy mama said...

oooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

that's GOOD!

and you're such a sweet lady. thanks for your kind words. *hug*

 
At 10:11 AM, Anonymous Jenny said...

Ha! Love it!

And you totally picked the hardest writing prompt too!

 
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