Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Life of Vincent



I took Creative Writing: Fiction this semester (big stretch, I know hehe) to fill in some elective slots for my major, and I did one short story that someone asked me to share. I don't suppose it's the best thing I've ever written, but it's entertaining at least.

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The Life of Vincent


     I live a very comfortable life, but that has not always been so. Like many others, I have had some bumps in the road. However, my bumps were all nearly catastrophic disasters. If it weren’t for the people who came into and out of my life, I would not be sitting here today.
     Personally, I have always liked myself. I accepted myself for what I am. Not many could say that, so I believed knowing that gave me a leg up on others around me.
     In the home of Mr. Chesterfield, I lived a rather sedentary lifestyle. I also resided with a dignified individual named Adelaide. I didn’t believe she liked me very much. She was much older than I, and visitors seemed to prefer me to her. I couldn’t tell you why this was. I rather liked her too in addition to myself. Perhaps people were simply more comfortable with me. She shouldn’t have taken offense, however. She had several amiable talents. For example, when given the chance, she had the ability to entertain three times the number of visitors than I could. Still, I often wondered that if she could say it, she would say, “Vincent, you’re overstuffed and full of yourself. Why, just look at you! Sitting there in the corner looking pleased as punch, you’d think you were worthy of a throne room!”
     That wasn’t fair. Depending on the throne room, Adelaide could have fit in quite well. I’d always admired her Victorian curves. She would have been beautiful set along the aisle, a welcome site to all who would come upon her. Just the mere comfort she would exude would be enough to cause even the most skeptical of courtiers to alight upon her presence, grateful for the small break from the everyday.
     As for my own possible privilege in being worthy of a throne room: Nothing could have been further from the truth. Sadly, my life had left me looking disheveled and tattered. I would have no more place in a throne room than a hat box left forgotten in a field before becoming a home for bees.
     Alas, she never knew my opinion—for we did not speak. Even if, by some miracle, I could have spoken, I doubt she would have listened. Each of us lacked proper communicative abilities. That couldn’t be helped, so we tried to make do with what little we had.
     How, do you ask, then did I know that she didn’t like me? It was the little things. As I’d heard said “the Devil is in the details” after all. For example, once, a little dog visited the Chesterfield home, and it left some hairs from its fur on her side. Quick as a wink, she dispatched those hairs so that they would come to rest upon me. Smelling the little bits of fur, the little dog then proceeded to relieve itself upon my leg. Oh, it stank for ages! I know Adelaide was fraught with merriment in regards to my embarrassing predicament. I couldn’t get the smell out of the fabric for what felt like months but was actually a few weeks.
     Then, there was the episode with the cat. The vicious monster decided to sharpen its claws up Adelaide’s sides, doing some very minor damage before Mrs. Chesterfield scolded it into submission. The cat left Adelaide alone, but the same could not then be said for me. Just like with the dog, the cat decided it would turn to me when no one was looking, and it used me for all its future claw-sharpening activities. All my efforts to dissuade the feline came to nothing. It was a stubborn brute, and its talons did quite a bit of damage along my back before it was at last sent away. Afterwards, I never experienced a single day when I missed it.
     For employment, I considered myself a counselor of sorts. People came to me when they wanted to unload their troubles into my lap. I didn’t mind. In fact, I rather enjoyed the sense of fulfillment it gave me that I could help. I could, at least, say that I did a better job at this than my neighbor. Adelaide groaned when, for example, a woman came along and collapsed against her from losing her latest beau. She distressed over the mess tears could leave upon her vestments. Also, I believed her advanced, antique age had made it so that she couldn’t handle the stress that she once could. Her creaking skeletal structure and groaning only added to the fact that people preferred me to her, and that wasn’t precisely my fault.
     I have always been rather fond of my most faithful patient, not to mention owner of the house in which I resided, Mr. Chesterfield. He was an older gentleman, older than I. Every evening, he would visit me and smoke his pipe. The odor was not unpleasant. I actually grew rather fond of it. I was sure he appreciated it that I didn’t ask him not to smoke. I knew for certain that Adelaide would have taken offense, but then, that only cemented the reasoning behind others’ preference for me.
     However, one morning, I heard the most distressing news. Mr. Chesterfield and his wife had an argument—about me. Mrs. Chesterfield claimed that her husband needed to quit me. She said that she had grown tired of the way I looked. She even had the audacity to say she was repulsed by my smell! They spoke about me as if I weren’t even there.
     I have to say, for his sake, that I admired Mr. Chesterfield for trying to stand up to his wife. After all, it was from her that he would often escape to me. He tried to convince her that he needed my companionship, that it was the best part of his day when he could come home and spend time with me, but she would hear nothing of it.
     Sadly, they kicked me to the curb, leaving me at the mercy of the cruel, cold world. It rained upon my bare head, reminding me of the short amount of time when Mrs. Chesterfield placed a crocheted mantle across my shoulders. How I longed for the garment that, sadly, later got destroyed by the aforementioned cat.
     I wondered to myself if the Chesterfields had replaced me. Did Mr. Chesterfield have anyone he could confide in the way he once so happily did with me? Would Mrs. Chesterfield crochet something new for someone else? And how did my Adelaide fare without me? Granted, she never thought much of me to begin with. She probably didn’t miss me. I hoped my replacement, if one had been attained, better suited her. Perhaps Mrs. Chesterfield had managed to find someone to better match her temperament.
    Sometimes, trucks would pass by me much too quickly, sending a spray of filthy water pouring down upon me. The deluge of water engulfed me before dripping from my sides like weeping tears. I wished I could cry for I felt so lost, so useless, so ill-used. I often pondered how anyone could want me in such a rotten condition.
     ‘I suppose it’s just as well,’ I thought at the time. If I had happened to have the ability to cry, I wouldn’t have been able to wipe my tears, just as I couldn’t wipe away the spray of water every time a truck drove past. You see, I couldn’t move my arms. They have always been stuck in the same position as they were the day the carpenter made my frame.
     I found it hard to believe that I only spent one night on the curb, for it felt like a slow eternity in my own personal purgatory, worried what was to become of my future.
     The following morning, the sun shone brightly, drying my ragged upholstery. I prayed that mold did not set in for my chances of being reclaimed would have lessened dramatically. No one would want a moldy old armchair.
     To my everlasting delight, I was lifted from the curb and placed in the back of a truck! At first, I worried I was headed to the dump, but no! The driver of the truck went to a house full of young people.
     For years, I stayed in my ragged condition, witnessing the comings and goings of different young adults. They typically stuck around for four or so years before moving on with their life, going who knows where. I tried to content myself with the thought that at least I was still useful, even though I was not as handsome as I once was. I tried not to yearn for the days when Mr. Chesterfield would come home from work and seek solace in my lap.
     Sadly, my days in the house of the young people were numbered. During one rowdy evening, my arm got painfully broken, and not even the members of the youthful household could find any use for me anymore. Once again, I was placed upon the curb, next to bags of trash and a ripped bean bag chair.
     My life had never known such a low moment. Surely now, my next step was utter desolation at the city dump, where I would spend the rest of my days until I fell apart completely.
     A few days later, when I felt myself lifted into the air, I didn’t even stop to wonder where it was that I would go this time. I already knew. This was the end of my usefulness. I was nothing but garbage, no better than what filled the cans that were next to me.
     The rattling of the truck upon which I rode filled me with dread as I pondered what lay ahead of me now. Would I be infested with mice? Would birds come and rip out my innards to use to line their nests? Would I be simply and cruelly dismembered and burned? I could barely look when the truck stopped, having reached its destination.
     “It’ll do,” I heard a woman’s voice say. Peering cautiously out at my surroundings, I found myself in a cluttered garage. A light layer of sawdust covered everything, filling up the corners and any crevice it could find.
     I could not see the owner of the voice because I had been placed facing the garage door, and she stood at the door to what I assume was their kitchen. I remembered a similar layout the day I first arrived at the Chesterfields’.
     “I think so. It’s in great condition. Well, once we strip off that upholstery, fix the arm, and clean out the rest of it,” the man replied, and the door closed.
     I spent a night in the dark garage, once or twice experiencing a great fright at the squeak of a small mouse. ‘What would become of me now?’
     The following morning, the man came out and stripped me bare to my frame. My dog-peed, cat-scratched clothing left me forever. I wouldn’t miss it. I heard the whizzing sound of a buzz saw. How I wished I could see!
     If I could have screamed, I would have with the next thing that happened. The man from yesterday painfully ripped away my broken arm. I only had one arm! What good is an armchair with only one arm!
     Suddenly, I had a new, strange sensation. Aged wood got attached to where my arm once was. I once again wished I could cry, but this time, they would have been tears of joy. My arm was repaired! Of course, I was only but a skeleton of my former self, but if this man could repair my arm, I hoped he could repair the rest of me as well.
     Over the next few days, I experienced nothing but stuffing and pushing and pulling and stretching as I was carefully rebuilt. I didn’t mind. In fact, my new upholstery closely matched the original. This master craftsman had saved me from a depressing fate and wished to use me in his house.
     Imagine my surprise that when he finished that I was not placed into his own living room but once again carefully lifted into the back of a truck. With an affectionate pat, I was sent on my way to destination unknown.
     If I had a heart, it would have surely been racing with the anticipation of what lay ahead. Was I going to a furniture store? Another house? A museum?
     I was placed in a sitting room of a nursing home. I liked the rest of the furniture in that room. There was a large sofa, a coffee table, a few floor lamps, some potted silk flowers, and a small chandelier over the coffee table. We all suited one another, and I got the nicest reception from them. It was like they told me that they were only waiting for an armchair like me to complete the friendly, homey atmosphere the room had.
     Over the next few months, I became rather attached to the floor lamp next to me. Lucille was the light of my new life. With her help, I would many times be the perfect place upon which to sit and read a book. Sometimes, residents would scoot the two of us over to the nearby coffee table so that they could put together a puzzle or play a game. We made a great pair, she and I, certainly much better than my previous, spiteful relationship with Adelaide. With Lucille’s help, I settled happily into my new role, never forgetting what might’ve become my fate.
     I had several visitors during that time, and I learned much of the residents in the nursing home. My favorite times were when family members would come to visit. I would sit and listen to stories of the outside world. To my delight, one visitor was a woman I remembered as having been in the house of young adults. Oh, but, of course, she didn’t recognize me.
     “Here we are, sir, this is the sitting room I spoke of,” a nurse told a patient.
     “I remember having a chair just like this one before my wife passed,” the old man said, and he settled comfortably between my arms like he had returned to the place he’d always belonged.
     “Will you be needing anything else, Mr. Chesterfield?”

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Next Step

The last blog post I made was very sad. My dad died, and I didn't have the drive to create a new post until now. Why, you ask? I suppose there are a multitude of reasons, but I won't get into them.

I have been continuing to write. In particular, I'm working on an enormous project. I finally finished the first draft of it recently. Next, of course, the massive edit then vetting of the piece comes.

Before I published Guardian Angel, I took it upon myself to get out my Writer's Resource that I'd acquired in college and re-learn all the comma laws, etc. Since then, my knowledge has done nothing but increase, and I find myself finding mistakes and wanting to correct them in my day-to-day life. (Don't get me started on some of the things I see on Facebook!)

Then I thought, Wouldn't it be cool to have this as an actual job?

I'm going back to college! This is my third stab at it, actually. Many moons ago after I graduated high school, I was a piano performance major. I love playing the piano, but eight hours a day for the rest of my life? No thank you. Next, I decided I wanted to become a Spanish teacher; however, the longer I spent in that study the more I realized that although I would be able to handle it just fine, it wasn't for me. So, I quit college, stayed at home, and had another child.

Staying at home, I would play The Sims, and the way I would play would have me write out the story to go along with pictures. Hey! I like writing! I thought to myself. Now THIS is something I could do TEN hours a day for the rest of my life and only want more!

They say "third time's the charm," so here I go again! I'm going to major in communications. Would I love to work in the literary world? As I used to say as a teenager, "Duh." However, I am a realist and know that I'd love to work in any field in which a degree in communications would be beneficial.

I started this post mentioning my dad. Before he died, he asked my step-mother to give me his college ring in hopes to remind me to finish my degree. Last February, I opened my jewelry drawer. There sat Dad's ring. Without letting myself come up with excuses as to why I couldn't, I walked downstairs, got on the computer, and reapplied. I return to college this week. I will finish this time because, well, I just put out this blog post saying I would. I'm making this my contract to myself.

Wish me luck and good grades!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Treasure Every Moment

...of time you have with your loved ones. They too quickly vanish before all you have left are memories. Don't let petty things get in the way. Keep in touch. One day, you could reach for your phone only to realize you can't call them, can't text them, or even chat on Facebook.

When I put on my shoes this morning, my dad was alive. Tonight, I go to bed missing a parent.

I'll miss you, Daddy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fearless Foray into Fantastic Foolhardiness

Hello, world!

I haven't posted in absolutely ages, so I thought I would tonight.
Before I get started up again, pardon me for my what-might-seem-random-to-some, um, ness. Some-ness. I'd like to blame it on a bit of insomnia, but it's probably just me.

First of all, I'm working on getting the fourth book in my A Story With No Title series out. I don't publish them until the blog version of the story is done. For those of you that are interested/hate waiting/curious/etc, the books are actually a blog story that I write, but I change the books a wee bit to make them more...book-y. If you've read this far into the paragraph, then I'm going to guess you might be interested. Go here. <---that's a link. 'Holy nuts, Erin! Why didn't you mention this already?' Because it's been a while since the last book got out. (Why does that make it sound like it escaped?)

Here's a little story about what's on my mind tonight:

When I was little and had spent several hours on the road headed to my first family camping trip, a mysterious odor drifted from the front seat back to my sister and me in the family's tiny Chevrolet. I think I was seven and she was four, so, naturally, we couldn't help but comment upon the smell (in the typical way children do). My little sister blamed my dad (probably accurately), but he denied having anything to do with it. He blamed it on a squirrel, that surely the odor got into the car when we passed a squirrel that had recently "fluffed." My sister, in a fit of giggles, said, "Squirrels don't toot!"

Oh, how my parents loved that. I remember how my mom had looked over at Dad with a grin on her face, knowing he was about to take what my little sister said and run with it. He asked, "They don't toot? Then what do they do? Explode?" She only giggled harder at this, and I couldn't help but join her. They had a hard time calming us down after that, and The Legend of the Exploding Squirrels was born that very night.

Another thing born that night was Dad figuring out that there actually is a point when you can put too much lighter fluid on a campfire...but that's another story.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Fiendish by Meka James


Calida Alexander enters into a relationship with Seth Jokobi and learns that the man she thought would be her prince charming is actually her worst nightmare. 

Fiendish is a dark and twisted take on Beauty and The Beast. This story contains mature themes meant for readers 18+.

So what would you do if your prince charming turned out to be the worst kind of monster?

Calida Alexander moves from Charlotte to Atlanta after a painful break up. She faced some harsh realities about herself during that breakup and desperately wants to change who she perceives herself to be. When she meets Seth, she is drawn in by his sexy good looks and is won over by his gentlemanly demeanor. On the surface, he's her dream come true.

Seth Jokobi is sexy and charming, the kind of man that women dream of being with. As a master manipulator, he uses his charm and good looks as a lure. His prey never suspect that lurking behind those piercing blue eyes and million dollar smile, lies a sadistic monster. When he meets Calida, her shy nature tempts him into playing a game where the stakes end up being higher than he could have imagined.

Can love really conquer all or is it sometimes just not enough?

Warning: This e-book contains sexually explicit scenes some that may contain dubious and non-consent, adult language, and graphic violence and may be considered offensive to some readers.  

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This thrilling novel is currently available at Smashwords and will be available at other online retailers very soon!
Check back as I will be updating this post with links to the other retailers as they become available!

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Story With No Title series book 3: Learning to Love is out!


Currently, it's available at Smashwords here, and again, it's absolutely free!
Be sure to check back later and click on the link on the side bar for links to other retailers when it becomes available at those online stores.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Read An eBook Week at Smashwords




Until March 8th 2014, Guardian Angel is FREE! at Smashwords as part of the "Read an eBook week."

Simply go HERE and enter the code RW100, read it, and leave me a nice review! (no pressure hehe)

Enjoy!

(the link again ------> ) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/387715