Those judging biddies

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Sofie secured her hat with one hand, lifted her skirt with the other and continued running toward Sunset Station. Her legs burned and her black-laced boots were too small, crimping her toes. There was no choice. She had to get to there before the train left.

Beatrice was making a terrible mistake and needed to be stopped. Gullible prostitutes like Beatrice think it possible to leave for love, that the man will be honest and sincere, wooing her to a better place. But no matter how many gifts he had given her, over time they would mean nothing. Beatrice would learn. He would leave her heart when the sex got old. He would stray and what kindness he had would leave just after the matrimonial words passed over stupid lips.

Turning right on West Commerce street, the women at Milam market stared as she ran past. Their eyes, the ones glaring at the whore running for her life, would not distract her. The young maidens and the old mares would stare anyway. Running, dancing, strolling or even walking made no difference. People talked. Even in this large city, gossip spread like influenza.

Excerpt from Naked, She Lies, a historical novel by C. Dennis-Willingham

 

Glaring– daily word prompt

The Bullied Newsboy

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Giovanni spit a honker on Houston Street. Damn that Western Union boy. The only gold he ever saw, his precious tobacco, half spilled on the ground. Giovanni tried to look casual as he plucked himself up off the dusty street and replaced his cap. Why was he always picked on? The rolling of a cigarette would take his mind off the embarrassment.

He sat down outside Sommers corner drugstore, his preferred spot. Here he could watch the comings and goings from all directions. San Antonio was his for the taking. The biggest city in Texas just didn’t know it yet.

The fur nudging against his back made him jump. Damn, he was jittery. Turning around, he patted the head of the scruffy dog. Even the coarse fur of a flea infested mutt felt good after a little bullying and a long day’s work. Rising early, collecting papers from the office and bundling them into stacks to haul to his corner meant the day started at four-thirty in the morning. Now mid-afternoon, his workday had come and gone.

“Hey, buddy, don’t you have somebody looking for you?” he said, the dog settling down next to him.

The drawstring of his cloth tobacco sack hanging from the side of his mouth, Giovanni sprinkled part of what was left onto the rolling paper. Sometimes he would break the rule and, instead of accepting money for his newspapers, he’d bargain for tobacco and rolling papers.

Packing the tobacco neatly onto the paper was easy. Rolling it with one hand was the hard part.

Porca miseria!” he said, loud enough to scare off the poor mutt, his rolling papers torn. The Italian words came out before he could stop them. He’d had enough of bullies the first part of the day, and being called a “wop” wouldn’t be a good way to end one.

Excerpt from Naked, She Lies by C. Dennis-Willingham

Casual– Daily Word Prompt

A Poisoned Past

The door, closed, Sofie could hear Meta resuming the piano, another ragtime piece, people clapping. Pacing the room a few times, she downed a glass of whiskey, the whiskey she had taken from the shining closet when no one was looking. Her mind was foggy. Thoughts separated themselves into tiny bubbles on the murky, poisoned pond of what she assumed was her mind. Sofie lay on her bed and stared at the clock. Tick Tock. Tick Tock, the pendulum pacing like her mother had so long ago across their small family room.

Sofie, what are you doing! Her mother’s voice.

Sofie, what a stupid mistake you’ve made. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Do you think money is easy to come by? Do you, Sofie? Sometimes you have to make hard choices just to survive. I told you not to sing, and look, you’ve gone and made a fool of yourself! A fool!

Sofie looked down at the shattered clock on the floor before her. She vaguely remembered throwing it there.

Excerpt from Naked, She Lies, by C. Dennis-Willingham

Foggy– Daily word prompt

Tick forward

Papa’s hands, so stiff and cold I could feel my guilt when I touched them.

I could not go with him beneath our Texas soil. Instead, I had to swallow the bitter taste of a life void of his teachings and wisdom.

Hands of a clock that have ticked forward four years.

Emil. Funny how knowing a man since childhood, before the development of my breasts or his facial hair, could lead us in a direction of … What is the word exactly? Love seems too strong yet Lust seems tawdry. What I do know is that Emil Eckhardt is slowing squeezing my heart and expanding it at the same time. Leaving him, even for three months, seems unfathomable to me. How do I go about asking him to help me?

Hands. My own forming into fists, as I figuratively spit on the transplanted shoes of the man who swindled his way into my family and tries to take Papa’s place.

A change of course is overdue.

Excerpt from Naked, She Lies, a novel by C. Dennis-Willingham

 

Lust- daily word prompt

The color of blood

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Sofie pulled up the two loose floorboards and reached below into the Shallow crevice. The journal in her hands, the clock’s pendulum lay on the red-velvet front cover. Now it made sense to her, how Meta had scurried around the dark bedroom the night before she left. The traitor had been looking for her journal after all.

Sofie didn’t bother replacing the floorboards but went directly to sit down at the vanity. She stroked the red velvet. Red, the color of blood, seemed everywhere.

Excerpt from Naked, She Lies, by C. D-Willigham

 

Shallow

The Stench of Betrayal

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Goodbye Beatrice and take the smell of betrayal with you.

Why was it the people who left were the ones Sofie truly cared about? First her own father, then Kat and her brother Timothy. Now Beatrice. If her mother were the one who’d left, she would have danced a jig on top of the Clower Building, looking down from ten-story roof top at the peons on Houston Street.

Sofie took her time walking back to the bordello. Spring, the time of renewal, was now another season of betrayal. The beauty of the pink Mexican Buckeyes and the White Hog Plum trees on her route home were gone. Even the usual Fragrance of Mount Laurel smelled like hot tar beneath revengeful feathers.

Excerpt from my novel, Naked, She Lies

Fragrance– Daily word prompt