Musical Romance (Short Story)

Your best friend, Beth, invites you to an open mic night at a local coffee house. It the first time Beth is going to sing one of her original songs in front of people, besides you and her cat, Meowers.

You are thrilled to go and support your friend.

After your shift is done at the call center for a tech company you rush home to get ready. You change your clothes and redo your hair. You do this in record time and meet Beth at the cosy coffee house.

You can smell the beans roasting and the coffee brewing from outside the door. As you enter the coffee house you look around the warmly decorated room. It has two large couches facing a makeshift stage area and wood tables that are only large enough to sit four people each. 

Beth finds you and greets you with a great big hug, the way she does when she is nervous. As she is still squeezing you Beth stated, “You made it.” She lets go and tells you, “The first person is about to start. I’m fifth in line.” She straightens her red and brown floral dress that flows over her slender body.

“Of course, I made it. I wouldn’t miss this.” You look at your friend and ask, “How are you doing? Nervous?”

Beth tried to smile. “Nah, no, no. I’m fine.”

You look blankly at her and her face drops, fully revealing her nerves. “Yes, I am. I shouldn’t be, the crowd isn’t that big, but it’s my song. What if they hate it? What if I mess up? What if I can’t really sing?”

“Don’t be silly. You’ll do great. Meowers and I love the song. Plus you’ve sung in front of bigger crowds than this.”

Confused Beth asked, “When?”

“Our middle school recitals and more recently karaoke.”

Beth shakes her head as she states, “Those don’t count. Karaoke isn’t really performing and middle school ended like half a lifetime ago.”

“Still, you’ll do great.”

Just then the first performer takes the stage and taps on the mic. He is a large round man with little hair on the top of his head, but plenty white hair coming from his chin. He starts to sing an old blues song as he strums on a guitar. He is good and the crowd applauds him when he finishes. The next performer is a woman with pigtails and a banjo. She can’t seem to play and sing at the same time, but struggles through the full song anyways. The following two performers get progressively worse and the audience hardly even claps for the last man, who leave almost in tears. It is obvious that his nerves won.

It is Beth’s turn. She is nervous and starts by fumbling the first notes on her simple acoustic guitar.

You mouth “Breathe,” to her. She closes her eyes for a moment and takes a deep breath. She starts again and plays her song perfectly. It is beautiful. The crowd cheers for her at the end. They are very thankful that she was a wonderful singer and the song was beautiful.

Beth makes her way back to the table where you are sitting with a giant smile on her face.

As she sits the next act gets on stage. He has perfectly curly brown hair and sits on the stool, but keeps one leg on the ground. He smiles a nervous yet cute smile as he places his guitar on his lap. He clears his throat and say, “This is my first time here too, and I also have an original song.”

He starts singing and your eyes meet his sparking hazel eyes. You hold eye contact with him and smile. It feels as though the room melts away and he is singing only to you. Towards the end of his song he looks down to make sure he is playing the right notes, but is grinning widely.

At the end of the song he thanks the audience, but is looking at you when he does so. The crowd applauds him as he leaves the little platform that makes up the stage.

He walks directly to you. “Hi, I’m Matt.” He says with his hand out.

You shake his hand as you tell him, “Hi Matt, I’m Lucy. You were great.”

“Thanks. I don’t mean to be too forward, but can I join you two lovely ladies?”

Before you can answer Beth does. “Of course, we would love that.”

The conversation quickly dies down as the last performer takes the stage. She resembles an jazz singer with her hair pined in curls and a black fit and flare dress on. She sings a slow and soft song. It is a very loving sweet  jazz song. After she finishes the audience claps, but starts to leave.

Matt, Beth, and you continue to talk. After half an hour Matt buys both of you teas and you help him carry them over to the table.

You do not realize the time passing. As the coffee house closes Matt asks for your number. Smiling you give him your phone number and he sends you a quick smiley text, so that you have his.

You can tell that this is the start of something new, but after a long day at work you are ready for bed.

You say goodnight to Matt at the coffee house and walk with Beth to your car, which is outside of Beth’s apartment. You say goodnight to your best friend and get in your car.

When you get home you see that you have an unread text message from Matt. It says, “I’m really glad I went to the open mic night, tonight.”

You smile as you respond with, “Me too. Goodnight.”

As you get ready for bed another text from Matt pops up on your phone. “Goodnight.”

Pig Pen (Journey To Me)

From my birth to age 10 I grew up across the street from a pig farm. It was my family’s fame and my uncles ran it.

My sisters and I would run an play up on the farm. I remember climbing up on the stacked hay and talking with my sisters. We would pet the goats and watch the pigs. When my uncles, dad, or another adult was around they would pick up the little piglets to let us hold them.

Even after my family moved a town over we would visit my memere and the farm. We would still play and pet the pigs whenever we visited. We had farm shoes over my memere’s house that we would wear when the farm was muddy.

One day, when I was in middle school I brought a friend over to the farm and we played in the pen with the pigs. Most of the pigs stayed away from us. We still had fun in the slippery pen. We slid and fell many times, which to a child is a fun time.

By the time we had enough fun we were both covered in what we though was mud. We cheerfully went back down the hill to my memere’s home. She informed us that it was not just mud and she hosed us off before we could enter her house to fully get cleaned. Typically, we just had to take off our farm shoes. This time was different we were too messy to be allowed in the house.

I smile at the memory still. My memere still reminds me about the time my friend and I got covered in pig manure.

Swan Attack (Journey To Me)

It should be known that I hate birds. It is partly out of fear and partly is because I think at least fowl and larger birds are evil. I can handle smaller birds and can stand pet birds, like cockatiels. Roosters, swans, and geese are not okay in my book.

I have had a few negative run-ins with birds in my life. The first one I remember is the swan that attacked me and my now step-sister.

Until I was 10 I lived across the street from my uncles’ pig farm. They also had goats and chickens. I would always go over there and one day I went with my step-sister.

We went into the goat’s area. It was a fenced in patch of land that was a bit rocky, but grass still grew.

I did not realize that a swan made a nest and laid eggs in the grass, until I got too close. The swan chased my step-sister and me. We scrambled up some rocks, since we could not get back to the gate. There was a thorny bush on the other side of the fence. There was a short argument about leaping the fence, since we would be jumping into the thorns. The evil swan was ready to attack, but no major injuries occurred. I believe we jumped the fence or one of my uncles came to chase the bird away.

I want to say my uncle chased away the massive bird with a shovel in hand, but I can only remember the terror of the swan’s attack with its flapping wings and the feeling of being trapped.

Left On The Bus (Journey To Me)

On this journey I must look at where I’ve been and the stories that shaped my life. I believe it is important to look in the rear view mirror every so often to see the path you are on a little more clearer. The first story I’m reflecting on while on this journey of self discovery happened when I was a child.

When I was 5 I would ride the bus to kindergarten. One day the bus driver dropped all the kids off at school, but did not check the seats. She left the school and parked the bus in her normal bus parking lot, but was in a rush. She had to take her grandson to the doctors or meet him at the hospital. Again she did not check the seats on the bus.

I stress this point, because little 5 year old me was asleep in one of the seats. At that time I could sleep anywhere and apparently through anything.

I snapped to consciousness in an empty bus parked in an unfamiliar location. I still remember the location. It was a packed dirt parking lot filled with buses somewhat close to the town’s blue water tower. It was almost a sky blue and looked like a mechanical ellipsoid.

After leaving the bus I made it to the road. I did not know where to go. I was only 5 and did not know where I was.

The only thing that I could do was sit on the curb and cry. I’m not sure how long after my tears started that a lady, in what I remember as, a brown boxy sedan pulled up. I only remember that she did and offered me a ride to the police station.

At first I did not want to go with this stranger, but she seemed nice and there were car seats in the back of her car. To 5 year old me that meant she was a mom and safe.

She did bring me to the police station.

I cannot tell you what questions were asked once I was there. I’m not sure many people could understand me well, since I had a speech impediment. That did not inhibit them in finding where I belonged.

Soon I was asked if I wanted to ride in the sergeant’s car or a cruiser. After they explained the difference I picked one. I honestly cannot remember which one I actually picked. I do remember that I didn’t really care. I just wanted to be somewhere familiar.

I was brought back to school where I believe my mom picked me up.

From that day on I have been a lighter sleeper, especially while in a moving vehicle.

I Am A Soggy Bagel

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Today I got dressed up. I felt like I needed to look good. I wanted to take extra time for myself, so in the morning I woke up early. I put on my new cream cheese spread and wore heels. I even did my make-up. I was looking amazing if I do say so myself.

I started my car and went to work. I was on the highway when it started to rain and then I got a flat tire. I pulled over to change the tire. As soon as my car was safely on the side of the highway the clouds fully opened up. Have you ever seen a bagel in high heels changing a tire when it was raining buckets? I am sure I was amusing the drivers with all four tires intact that drove by. I just know it was not fun changing that tire and I was almost instantly soggy. After a few nice people did stop to help I finally had my tire changed to the spare.

I stopped, soaking wet, at a tire store. They changed the spare out for a new regular tire and I was off to work, again. The only real different was that I was no longer fancy or looking amazing. I was simply a soggy bagel in heels.

I Am A Hurt Bagel

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The other day I woke up and my body was a bit stale. I thought nothing of it until later in the day. I started to workout with Baguette. I stretched and then ran. I was fine until we started to do the floor exercises. I should restate that. It was not until I tried to do the floor exercises that I started to feel real pain. I was falling ungracefully as Baguette showed me what to do. Yes, she did the floor exercises and I flopped around. I wound up getting unnaturally twisted up and my staleness turned into real pain. It was so bad that I could not fall asleep that night.

Thankfully us Bagels heal fast with a little wet heat. I was back to my non-exercising self within a day.

 

 

Black clad Assassin

black Clad Assassin

 

The perimeter of his little camp must have been weaker than he thought because he was awakened by the nose of a black horse with black eyes and black reigns. Everything about this horse was black including the rider who sat on the horse’s black saddle. The only thing that was not black was the whites of the rider’s eyes.

The rider stared at William, the now frightened man, as the black leather clad rider dismounted the black horse. William could see the crest of the deadly assassin clan pressed into the leather right where the heart should be. No one knew if this clan had hearts or if they were monsters sent to kill the poor mortals that got in their way. Not much was known about them. Only two things were known for sure, their crest had five stars and a bird, and a single assassin could kill entire villages.

Slowly the rider, who wore 2 swords, walked over to William. Only when the black clad rider was looming over William were words spoken. “Do you have food?” The words came from behind the black clothe mask, however they were surprisingly feminine. William could tell that the low register of the voice was forced and it was softer than he was expecting.

“You’re a lady.” A shocked William stated.

Before William could answer the question or even think another thought there was a dagger pressed against his throat. “I will slice your throat either way.”

William, a simple monk who was only out of the monastery due to a change in assignment was silent until the assassin asked the question again, “Do you have food or will I have to slit your throat?”

“I have food. I have bread.” A shaky voiced William answered. He stayed still until the dagger was lowered.

He went into his satchel and took out his 2 loaves of bread and offered them to the one clad in black. She took one ripped it in half and gave the other half back to William.

When William gave a confused look at the woman who was supposed to be a ruthless killed she answered the look by sitting down and stating, “I will not repay generosity with greed. You are not my target, so you will be safe.”

Neither one of them spoke as they ate the bread. William simply sat cross-legged as he at and watched the assassin. She had pulled her mask up to eat and William saw that her skin was only black because of the black grease makeup she wore where her mask did not cover. She was actually quite pale, especially compared to his heavily tanned skin. He also watched how she sat. The assassin sat with only one leg on the ground. The other was bent with the foot on the grounds as if she needed to be ready to spring to her feet at any moment. She also kept her dagger in one hand and the bread in the other.

They both sat and watched the other eat uncertain what would happen if either one of them spoke.

When the assassin was done with her bread, she stood and stated, “Tell no one of this meeting or you will become a target for my clan.”

She mounted her horse before William could confirm that he would not tell a soul. She did not need to wait for the confirmation though, she knew her clan’s reputation and knew he would heed her command.

 

Guarding The Ladder.

Otis 004Do not let the picture above fool you. Otis is not an ordinary cat.  He is a fierce feline focused on protecting the one who feeds him. He bravely takes on this role every night. What is this hero of a cat protecting me from? Well, I am actually not entirely sure, but it may be from falling off my bed, or it could be the window. Whatever the danger he protects me from it every single night.

Let me explain how he protects me. His heroism primarily entails walking the perimeter of my bed, making sure that the only exit from the loft bed is still the ladder. He then makes sure that I am safe by sniffing my face. Finally he is ready to buckle down in his post. He stretches out as he lies down right at the opening for the ladder. He will bravely stay at his post keeping watch, unless he falls asleep, until my morning alarm goes off. Most days he will even stay pass the alarm going off and it will take me nearly throwing him down the ladder for him to move.

Now, since I am the one being protected I cannot be the first one out of the bed. He cannot and will not simply move aside. He needs to clear the area or at least the ladder. He makes his safety check by climbing down part way, stopping at the window for  a moment, and then going out the window onto the roof.

His reward for being brave and protecting me all night is his breakfast that I pour him usually while I am still asleep.

At least, that is what I am telling myself. In all honesty he most likely is just being a butt and blocking the ladder, because he knows it annoys me. I will keep trying to convince myself that he is protecting me, because murdering a cat is frowned upon.

 

I am a Dancing Bagel

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I was convinced by Cupcake that I should try hanging out with other baked goods. It should be easy to find things in common, since we at least have some sort of the same make up. After I agreed, he introduced me to Croissant, Muffin, and Doughnut.  Doughnut and I did bond right away, since we found we had similar interests. She just seemed sweeter and more energized than I was. I found that Muffin was also pretty sweet and had her own flavor for life. Croissant did not seem to mix well with us, but that was mostly because there was a bit of a language barrier.

It was Croissant’s idea that we go out dancing just the girls. I wasn’t sure about excluding Cupcake, but he wanted me to bond with the girls. That night the girls all went to the loud night club and immediately felt out-of-place. There was not a baked good in sight. Instead the club was filled with vegetables and meats. We decided that it was okay that we did not exactly fit in with the other people, we were still going to have a good time. We went to the bar and ordered our drinks.

A minute had not even passed before a thick steak bumped my arm which made me spill my drink all over myself. I was fine though and was able to still enjoy myself. I just was not able to enjoy that drink.

The night quickly went from bad to worst. The place was hot and humid which Doughnut did not like at all. It seemed none of the meat had any brains and kept trying to dance with Croissant who was not enjoying getting their sweat on her. She wasn’t even near the dance floor or dancing, but the meat kept coming over to her. Muffin tried her hardest to dance on the dance floor, but was getting agitated by the vegetables vibrating their bodies into her instead of actually dancing.

We finally called it a night after only an hour at the club. We walked out of the club a little sticky and very disgusted. None of us wanted to socialize any more after that, so we decided to all head our separate ways and meet up for a quiet lunch after a couple of days.

What I learned from that experience was that it is nice to hang out with other baked goods, but you should always do some research into the night club you are going to.

Otis, The Hunter.

 

 

 Otis, The Hunter.
roof otis 004

Otis, the fat grayish-tan feline with thick black stripes, almost sat down next to me as if he wanted to be near the comfort of a human. Before his bum touched the blanket I had brought out onto the roof, Otis heard a noise. It was the famed climbing of a squirrel, that needed to be hunted. There was no time to cuddle the squirrel invader had to be stopped. Only the heroic house cat could hunt and stop this beast, so Otis crouched down and very slightly crept to the skylight, that since it was raised gave a littler cover for his sneak attack. Then since time was of the essence he bolted towards the wild beast, which actually gave the squirrel enough time to see the house cat and climb back to the top of the tree yelling at the cat as it climbed. Otis, who thought himself brave and a great hunter,continued to stalked the frightened and angry sounding squirrel to another higher tree.

Unfortunately the hunt had to end since Otis is a fat house cat who could not even get onto one of the trees. After a minute or less Otis came back to the blanket wanting the petting he ran away from a few moments earlier.