FINAL POST: The Temporary Insanity of Our Empty Streets… April and May WIP Writing Challenge! #RomCom #flashfiction #romance #amwriting

Feels like a dream, this can’t be real. We know how it got this far, we can’t pretend like we don’t. As if it does any good to try and make sense of that awkward reflection of hindsight; when people analyze every mistake that was ever made, adding them up, questioning their lives in general along with the lives of everyone around them… plus some. It’s exhausting, really. Allowing oneself to do that is enough to drive a person batty, I refuse.

Our world is what it is right now because viruses spread (despite their origins), people panic and lose all sense of common sense, and because not only does everyone have a voice, but they choose to shove that voice down the throat of everyone around them. Like each person’s opinion is better than everyone else’s opinion, and the next thing you know there are so many ‘professional opinions’ around that the people listening to them don’t know their lips from their ass holes.

Luckily for me, I chose to house-sit a beachside condo for the summer on a year that there happened to be a worldwide pandemic. Also… unluckily for me, I chose to house-sit a beachside condo for the summer on a year that there happened to be a worldwide pandemic. Sounds like a double standard, I know, but if there’s one thing I’ve earned as a middle aged single woman is that I have the right to allow myself those every once in a while. Double standards let me be moody and choosy, everyday can present something new, and the way I see it, there’s nothing wrong with that. I agreed to stay here, and the owners skipped town before the virus actually hit. Now here I am, stuck in a gorgeous place, with a beautiful view… alone. I miss my two grown children so badly that I could puke. We promised to visit often.

I planned to go home every couple weeks, they planned to come here in between. We had quite the rotation system worked out, and now we’re all on lockdown in completely different cities. I’m living an isolation, away from my twins. The two humans that I’ve spent the last 21 years of my life clinging to, living for, giving every ounce of myself to. Even through divorce, and summer camps, we’ve never been apart like this. What’s a real kick to the face is that a large part of why I even agreed to stay here was to gear myself up, a slow transition into a life without them living under my roof. They’ll be graduating college next year and who knows where they’ll go! I’m missing the final summer with them, grown or not, and I’m spending day in and day out sitting on a beach chair all by myself… trying my damdest to avoid giving myself to him.

He keeps saying that I shouldn’t fight it, that he’s healthy and isolated too, so there’s no reason that I shouldn’t cave into him. He’s also warned me that he’s demanding, possessive, and obsessive, and I know he’s telling the truth because I can feel it. That’s not to mention the fact that he’s fifteen years younger than me. Seriously, he’s barely twenty six, which is only a few years older than my own kids, it’s awkward. Every time I think about it, it weirds me out. He laughs at me, thinks it funny that I care so much about age. He’s a foot taller than me with the body of a man, a real man. Trust me, he’s no child, and he’s been dragged through enough coals that he actually has more life experience than myself.

Normally I would have laughed such a youngster away for even the thought of pursuing me, but not with him. For some reason beyond my comprehension, Blake is different. He’s all I think about. All day every day, and in the quiet of town, the quiet of shopping, the quiet of the beach, amidst the deafening sound of my padding feet as I run down the sidewalk to exercise each night, I think about Blake. I think about that one night, the first time we actually spoke, when I let my guard down. I had far too much to drink, and as everyone petered away from the neighborhood barbeque and went home, Blake and I mozied to the beach. Eventually, after a few more drinks, a long easy-flowing chat, and star gazing, we wound up naked. Don’t worry, I didn’t sleep with him, still haven’t so much as kissed him, but we skinny dipped and I still can’t decide if I regret it or not.

A knock on the front door pulls me from my overthinking mind, that has wondered back to Blake himself, as usual. The sharp curves of his jaw, the width of his shoulders and length of his toned back. My stomach sinks, what if it’s him at the door? No, it can’t be, he comes to the back patio. It’s probably a package, I ignore it and bury my nose back in the book that I keep getting distracted from, thinking of his touch, and that night.

We walked into the water and he softly brushed his finger over my mouth. One finger, then moved it to my collar bone and blazed a firey trail with the softest of touches down my chest, between my breasts, and stopped just below my navel. He took a step closer to me in waist deep water. Close enough that I could feel his breath and the heat of his body despite the chilly waves lapping around us. Close enough that my nipples touched his skin, but only my nipples and my knees nearly buckled to the feel of it. At forty one years old, I didn’t even know my body could have that kind of reaction to a man, I can only imagine what more touches would do. It’s tempting, so tempting, but I can’t. He’s too young, I just can’t.

knock. knock. knock.

Damnit, someone is actually here! Not a package after all. I set down the book that I keep forgetting I’m trying to read, and skip to the door. I check out the peephole before opening it. Marsha and Dean, my kids are standing on the porch grinning from ear to ear, wholy proud of themselves for the surprise. Instinctively I want to be angry at their risk, but I can’t, I’m too damn excited to see their faces. I swing the door open and the three of us squeal. I throw my arms around them, this lockdown has been going on for far too long. Marsha reaches over to the wicker chair on the porch and picks up a bouquet of roses.

“Did you know this was here?” She smiles and cocks her head to the side, rising an eyebrow in my direction. “Looks like you have an admirer!”

Dean snatches it from her hands and marches past us both to the kitchen. “It’s him isn’t it? That Blake guy from the barbeque. It’s been over a month, are you dating him? He better not get you sick.”

Marsha and I follow him, nearly clipping his heels on the way. I grab the flowers the second he sets them down on the counter. It doesn’t feel like a month, it feels longer. The lockdown order went into effect a mere two days after our close encounter, I was still avoiding him, and I hoped he’d forget all about it and move along. He hasn’t though. I think we watches for me. It seems like everytime I sit out back on my lawn chair, he pops up out of nowhere.

His condo is only a few down from the one I’m temporarily staying at, so he has a clear view. The first time he showed up, I was startled by him. He put his own chair a good six feet away, and picked up his own book, completely ignoring me, but reading next to me as if it was normal. When I tried to talk to him, he shushed me. Seriously, put his put a finger in the air and everything. We read for over an hour and he left. Didn’t even talk. Since then, his visits have become regular and I think its safe to say I know everything there is to know about the man. Everything except what his kiss tastes like, and how compatible we are in the sack.

Dean fetches a couple waters from the fridge and hands one to Marsha. They each take a guzzle and I chuckle at them, “Thirsty?” I tease.

Marsha tilts her head back and gives a satisfactory groan, “Awwww. We left our drinks at home and didn’t dare get anything from gas stations. So we just drove on through with nothing but the gum and candy bar that I had stashed in my purse.”

“Glad you’re being safe,” I say. “Still though, I thought we agreed to be patient, and wait to see each other. Is the risk really worth it?”

Dean leans across the counter, with his chin resting on his fist. “We’re careful, Mom. Probably too careful, actually. The two of us have taken our classes online, and haven’t seen anyone in person besides each other for over a month. Talk about a buzzkill on turning twenty one, when your twin sister is the only person you see.”

“Diddo!” Marsha shouts and cuts him a glare before turning her attention to me. I fetch a vase to put my flowers in. “We’re going to start hanging out with our friends soon. It’s getting hotter outside, and the numbers are on the decline. We’re clean and careful, but nonetheless we wanted to visit you before we take any risks. The last thing we want to do is bring the virus to you without meaning to.”

“Yeah,” Dean chimes in with a grin. “Surprise!”

As I pull the flowers out of their wrapping a note falls out. The three of us scrabble for it, each one trying to snatch it up before the other. We’re all giggles and elbows for about three seconds. Of course, I win. Dean slams a fist of defeat on the counter and mumbles, “Damnit.” Marsha folds her arms over her chest and pouts.

“Well,” she says. “Are you going to read it out loud, or what?”

I look down and read it to myself first, throwing an open palm in the air to stop Dean and he tries to walk around me and read it over my shoulder. It says: 

Carla,

I’ve decided to stop visiting you. I need more. Meet me afterdark on the shoreline so I can pick up where I left off. So I can do all the things I havn’t stopped thinking about since I saw you naked. I’ll wait every night, for as long as it takes. 

– Yours, Blake

I can feel my cheeks darken, and the space between my upper thighs stir.

“Well?” Marsha demands, arms still folded across herself.

“It’s none of your business.” I say precisely, before walking to the garbage and ripping the note into a million tiny pieces so that my nosy kids can’t find and read it later. “It doesn’t really matter anyway. We’re not dating, I haven’t been with him, and he’s too young.”

Both of my kids stare at me, like statues holding their breath. I stare back for a moment. “What?!” I finally shout, well aware of the still ever-darkening shade of my cheeks and ears. To that, they both double over in laughter. Marsha dumps her head into her folded arms on the counter, and an adorable snort sounds from within. Dean pretends to wipe a funny tear from his eyes.

“Whatever, Mom.” They both say in unison, reading me like an open book.

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I hope you enjoyed the scene! I wrote it using the characters from a Romantic Comedy that I’ve been working on. The progress is slow but sure, and I’m obsessed with it!! I think I’m going to skip a month or two of my WIP Writing prompt challenge. This summer is panning out to be quite a busy one!  To see how the challenge works kick HERE, or read on below, I’ll paste the ‘how it works’ at the bottom of the post. BUT FIRST, let’s check out the participants in this particular challenge!!  There are some great ones, give them a read!

https://cosistories.wordpress.com/2020/04/08/a-vampire-out-on-the-empty-streets/

https://lifelessonsaroundthedinnertable.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/april-writing-challenge-finding-love-on-the-streets-of-chaos/

https://hotshotheadlines.wordpress.com/2020/05/16/writing-prompt-248-april-and-may-wip-writing-prompt-challenge-extended-the-temporary-insanity-of-our-empty-streets-continued/comment-page-1/#comment-6692

THANK YOU WRITERS WHO PARTICIPATED WITH A WIP PROMPT SCENE!!  I love them all so much, you guys are amazing at what you do!!

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HOW IT WORKS

As the initiator: Every month I’ll give a real time circumstance, hang out spot, or every day situation. I’ll post the exact scene/challenge the first week of every month.

As an Author/challenge joiner: All you need to do is use the characters from your WIP (work in progress), or even a published works, and plug them into the given scene for a short story style post. It can be funny, serious, deadly, really just whatever you want as long as it’s true to your characters (as in, what they would actually do in this situation)!! It’s a fun way to be creative with those personalities that you as their creator love so much. It’s also a fun way to introduce them to the world and your blogs, without giving away your plots and twists… Just pure ‘meet my characters, and get to know their personalities’ separate from their book.

How we work together as Authors and the Initiator:  I’ll do my own scene/challenge post on the very last day of the month (that way I can be sure to link in every joiner, and you can do your posts at your own leisure). Write your scenes anytime you wish, at any point of the month. All that I need is your final challenge post link.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. kristianw84 says:

    Didi!!!! This is amazing!!!! I want more!!! Lol. I guess I’ll just have to patiently (I’ll try my best) wait for the book. I can’t wait!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! It’s been such a fun one to write! So much different than my usual thriller genre, but I’m loving it so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura Beth says:

    Didi, I totally lost myself in your scene. Woooooo. I want more!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! 🤩❤🤩❤

      Like

  3. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    WELL—WE’LL MISS YOU, GIRL! HURRY BACK NOW—AND GIVE OUR REGARDS TO BLAKE—REAL OR NOT

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ❤❤ thanks, and thanks for sharing!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. WE MISS YOU—ALREADY! 😦 SOB…!

        Liked by 1 person

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