Saturday, July 11, 2009

Entry #62

Fate’s Impatience
by J.C. Montgomery

“It looks like real crystal.”

“Would you expect anything less?”

Setting the glass down on the table between them, he looks directly at her, crooking the corner of his mouth in that familiar way, the one that tells her another long night lay ahead.

“You know, in the right light, I barely notice how dark those circles are beneath your eyes.”

“If you didn’t keep me up at all hours playing these games, there wouldn’t be any.”

She reaches out and pulls the glass closer, swirling it gently, feeling the weight of the liquid shift in her hand.

“Is this the last of it?”

“It was all I could salvage. I’m not sure what you hoped to gain. This changes nothing.”

He grabs her wrist firmly, just above the bandage, causing several drops to escape and land on her thumb. They both watch as the viscous fluid makes it way slowly down the back of her hand and soak into the gauze. She lets go of the glass, but his grip tightens.

Eyes lock as each waits to see whose weakness shows first.

“Tell me. Tell me why.”

“The truth . . . the truth is . . .”

“The truth is a sword dangling dangerously over our lives and you’d rather not be underneath when it falls. No one controls their own destiny. You should know better.”

He releases her and sits back in his chair.

“Drink up. The night is young, and fate is waiting.”

[J.C. Montgomery patiently waits for her muse to return. Until then, she spends her days in a latte-induced stupor reciting Vonnegut’s rules for short stories, trying to commit them to memory so she can break them as well as O’Connor did.]


Laurel said...

I'm not sure what's going on there but it sounds like a troubled relationship! I liked the sense of conflict in the body language and dialogue and the visual of the red wine soaking onto the gauze was effective.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Nice build-up with the suspense, but I'm with Laurel on this one. I'm wondering what fate might bring. You had me on the edge of my seat.

Karen said...

The edge of the seat is a great place to be - great suspense!

Chris Eldin said...

Suspenseful indeed! I love the dialogue, and though I'm left with questions, I think that was your intent. Very nice!

Catvibe said...

The truth is you better not know the truth! Leave us wondering and with an ominous sensation. Good one.

Aniket said...

I'm hungry!

I'm hungry for more. I like leaving stuff to readers imagination, but this is just too much suspense.

laughingwolf said...

very nicely done, jc :)

Sarah Laurenson said...

So much hinted at. I love how the picture is drawn in bits and pieces. Awesome.

Hoodie said...

So well written I'm completely unbothered by the vagueness. Perfect just the way it is.

BernardL said...

I guessed she tried to kill herself, hence the gauze on her wrist. A tense tale.

pjd said...

I do like the description and dialog, the way you zoom in on the drops and then pan back to them smoothly. Yes, I get that she attempted suicide, possibly as an escape from whatever "games" he keeps her up late with. That's the part I don't really get.

B. Nagel said...

I seesawed between sex-slave and suicide. And why is the liquid "all he could salvage?" I have no doubt this will be niggling away at me for a while.

Aerin said...

Wow, JC - powerful writing

JaneyV said...

JC - very compelling and leaves the reader baying for more. I would like to know what the games are. I think your Muse is back - please write the story and end this wonderful suspense. ;0)

J.C. Montgomery said...

I thought about posting this comment earlier, but didn't. Not sure it would help or over-explain.

The man is fate personified, driving his poor victim to the point of doing the one thing she feels she has control over: whether she lives or dies.

As we can see, she failed. Fate intervened. The wine is the blood she attempted to spill, but he was able to salvage enough-enough to let her live.

Fate and control over one's life is a concept I constantly muse about. How much we really have, how much is out of our hands. And when we attempt suicide, is this an act of desperation, arrogance...I dunno.

My character is tired of all that fate has thrown her way, and is looking for a way to take back control.

I am thinking she can; especially after all these supportive comments. Hmmm.

Peter said...

I don't know why I missed this, but very glad I eventually found it. Yes, I think your muse has returned, this is fine and absorbing writing!

Jade L Blackwater said...

Great tension and conflict. I especially like:

“The truth is a sword dangling dangerously over our lives and you’d rather not be underneath when it falls. No one controls their own destiny. You should know better.”

jason evans said...

I'm actually a bit relieved that we get to leave them to their night. That sword is going to fall, I think. And someone is going to be under it.

Welcome to The Forties Club!!