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Monthly Archives: March 2017

Fiction: Legal Theft Project–Grandma’s Loom (503 words)

The first slide of her hand was effortless, easy, done before she had thought through just how to begin. It was a reflex after her grandmother sat Angela down on the little stool in front of the giant wooden machine, the muscle memory of many days coming home after school and being put right to work. And once that first slide was made, she couldn’t just stop. She followed through the remaining motions until it was back to a state of rest, and she could step away without damaging all the other work her grandmother had done earlier. Then she jumped up off the stool like it had burned her.

“See, a natural,” her grandmother crowed, wrapping an arm around Angela and preventing her escape, talking to no one. “She hasn’t touched the loom in years.  She swears she’ll make more of her life than fabrics. But—she gets right to it, like a duck to water.”

Angela groaned, shrugging the arm off her shoulder, and taking two hurried steps away from the loom and her grandmother. “This isn’t what I want, Nini,” she whined, “I don’t want to be a natural.”

“It’s in our blood, Ang. It’s in your blood. It’s the way the world works.” Nini beckoned with her hand, trying to ease Angela back to the loom. “I don’t understand you, Angela. Most people would kill to have something come to them so naturally, be talented in something practical that will also be able to set them up financially for the rest of their life’s. People who only dream they could sit down and make what you just started to make.”

“I don’t want to die hunched in front of a loom!” The words were out of Angela’s mouth before she could stop them. That didn’t prevent her from clasping both hands over her mouth after they were out, though.

Nini stiffened—her face now expressionless. She was no longer reaching out for Angela, her arms now straight at her sides. “We weren’t talking about your mother, now were we?” Nini answered in a quiet, emotionless voice.

“Nini, I am so sorry,” Angela took a step forward as if to embrace her grandmother, but was stopped short by one dark glare.

“You don’t want to be here,” Nini cut quietly, “Then get out.”  Angela felt rooted to the spot, unsure of what the best course of action would be. The silence dragged on for a while before Nini broke it with a scream. “Get out!” Angela gave a little jump at her grandmother’s outburst, but Nini wasn’t done. “Leave! You can’t be bothered with your true talent, then I can’t be bothered with you. Go!”

Angela all but fled from the room. When she’d put some distance between her and the loom, she stopped to rest against the wall and try to catch her breath and process what had just happened.  She’d gotten what she wanted, freedom from her Nini’s loom…but it felt like a loss all the same.

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

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Fiction: Needing Answers (520 words)

Cindy woke up in James’s bed, and it took her a little while to remember why. It all came back to her along with the pounding the back of her skull. She should be dead. No one knew why she wasn’t dead. She was in James’ room because he didn’t trust her right now—and his room was the only place in the house where he could guard the exit in case she tried to make a run for it. Everywhere else had second exits or windows that opened. Except of course for the basement, but Matthew’s lab was down there, which would have given Cindy a dozen different ways to arm herself. That only left James’ room but, this was never the way she imagined spending the night in here.

But Cindy wasn’t going to run, even if she had been given the chance. She didn’t understand why a fire ax to the base of her neck didn’t kill her. The only two immortal people she knew were James and Matthew. If she had any hope of figuring out what was happing to her, it was going to be by staying with them, not running away. And she did want to figure it out.

As she sat up, Cindy noticed that the door was ajar, and James was sitting on a fold-out chair with a book in hand just past the doorframe. He looked up as she moved. “Good. You’re awake. Matthew has been growing a list of tests he wants to run.” James’ voice was harsh, cold. He had never talked to her like that. Not ever.

“I didn’t do it on purpose,” Cindy couldn’t help the anger rising in her voice, “I have no idea why I’m not dead, but to be honest, I’m kind of glad I’m not. I’m sorry that you wish I was.”

For just the shortest of seconds, James’ stony face softened, and she thought he might apologize. But then his face went hard again. “Are you going to consent to Matthew’s tests or not?”

Cindy let out a huffy breath, trying to get her anger back under control. It wouldn’t do her any favors to lose her temper at the moment. “Yes, I consent to Matthew’s tests. Let’s figure out what this is.”

James looked her up and down, narrowing his eyes as if he was trying to figure out how this might be a trap.  Cindy wondered which would break her first—not knowing what was going on with her—or James’ mistrust of her. Because she was almost positive she wasn’t going to get through without breaking.

“Okay, he’s waiting. Let’s go.” James stood up without giving her another moment to ponder her inevitable breakdown.  Cindy climbed out of the bed to follow him but got distracted by the giant red splotch left behind on the pillow.  That was all her blood. She definitely shouldn’t be alive.

“Come on, Cindy,” James called, and Cindy blinked away the tears that had come to her eyes.  She had to do the tests. It would be the first step to figuring anything out.

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Stay Still (509 words)

When he woke up, he didn’t dare open his eyes, not yet.  He could still feel the angle of the bed, the gentle weight against his side that meant that Marjorie was in bed next to him, but he had no idea if she was awake or still asleep. He waited for it to hit him, that weight in his stomach, the regret they had discussed last night, the dread that they’d just ruined their friendship, that nothing between them could be the same. He waited for the sinking feeling that meant he’d just ruined the best thing in his life thus far.

It didn’t come.  He didn’t feel the dread that he’d made a mistake.  He just felt–safe. Comfortable.  Happy.  He hadn’t felt that in almost a year.  It was nice. It was accompanied with that nervous vulnerability because he knew that Marjorie could destroy his happiness with only a few well-placed words, but in a way, that made the whole thing better.  He had to suppress a little giggle as he realized what this meant. He had a crush on Marjorie. A proper schoolboy crush. How hadn’t he seen it earlier?

Clark finally cracked his eyes open, blinking against the brightness of the room, careful not to move too much in case Marjorie was still asleep. She was.  It was strange for him to tip his head to look down at her, a sight so familiar, yet so strange.  They’d known each other so long that this definitely wasn’t the first time they’d woken up alone in bed together, Marjorie was a cuddly drunk, and more than once Clark woke up with his arms wrapped around her as she slept it off, because if he tried to leave while she still had alcohol in her system, she would whine and cling to him more.

But those times they had always been full dressed. This was the first time with this kind of weight, that they woke up together, naked, satisfied. It was so different, and almost exactly the same. It was reassuring to see that Marjorie hadn’t changed in the night, she still felt as comfortable in her spot as ever.

Marjorie always turned herself in the night, curling herself into his side, her nose buried into his chest, one arm tucked under herself, the other arm stretched across his waist. He remembered laying like that back in high school, how somehow it managed to make him feel like she was holding him at the same time that it felt like he was holding her.  And now, skin on skin, it was amplified a thousand-fold.

Clark wasn’t going to move. He was going to stay there, perfectly still, until Marjorie woke up. There was always the chance that she would feel the dread and/or regret when she woke up, so if this was going to be the only time that he was going to lay here like this, feeling her skin on his, he was going to take every second of it for what it was worth.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2017 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Legal Theft–Anson Woods (99 words)

Deep within the yew and cottonwoods, the beast waited.  His red eyes began to glow as the sun set, and the darkness overtook the woods.  If you listen carefully, you can hear his nails scrape against the bark of the trees, just waiting for someone to get close enough to strike. And if he strikes, if he gets you, then all they will ever find is a single lock of hair. Nothing more, nothing less, no matter how long they search.

That’s what they say of Anson Woods, anyways. Not even the tourists dare to go. It’s that spooky.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

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Fiction: Legal Theft–Running Away (507 words)

When mountain ranges cut across the horizon before and behind her and the blue Toyota still hovered in her rearview mirror, Terrin’s better judgment gave way to curiosity. She turned all the way around in her seat, staring out the back window. “Do you think they think they are being sneaky?” She asked Alec in the driver’s seat, “Or do they want us to know we’re being followed?”

“I don’t know, to be honest, but I’m not sure which is worse,” Alec answered, glancing back up to the rearview again, “Because if they think they are being sneaky, I’m disappointed that they would send such tragic amateurs after us.” Alec swerved into another lane, going through the motions of trying to lose the Toyota. “And if they want us to know we’re being followed, then they are confident in their ability to take us—and it’s not like we’re easy to subdue.” Alec cut off a silver Subaru who laid on the horn for a solid thirty seconds.

“Hmph, you’re right,” Terrin groaned, turning back and around and falling heavily in her seat again with her arms crossed over her chest, “Disappointing.”

Alec held out his outstretched hand, wiggling his fingers until Terrin interlaced her fingers in his, squeezing his hand. “Are you starting to regret running away with me?” he asked.

“No, God no. Definitely not in a hundred years.” Terrin answered immediately, “I just wish we’d run away a little more effectively.  We’re better than this, you know. If we’d given it twenty minutes more thought…” Terrin trailed off with a vague little gesture of their interlocked hands.

“Ah, but if we’d given it twenty minutes more thought, then we would have lost that whole spur of the moment spontaneous act of rebellion due to love thing we had going for us,” Alec countered.  He could practically feel Terrin rolling her eyes, so he pulled their joined hands to his lips and kissed the back of her hand.  “I’m not wrong.”

“You’re not wrong,” Terrin agreed, pulling their hands back towards her to kiss the back of his hand.  “But the spontaneous act of rebellion due to love thing is definitely going to make our lives a little bit harder in the short term, that’s all I’m saying.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right,” Alec sighed, glancing at the blue Toyota again. “What do you say, Ter? Want to make it a proper high-speed chase? See how desperate they are to catch us again?  I bet I could get up to a hundred ten on this street.”

Terrin turned to glance behind them again, then gave Alec a huge grin. “Gun it, Love. Let’s see what this baby can do.”

“Oh, I love you,” Alec laughed, leaning forward in the seat as he stepped on the accelerator.  Terrin laughed, rolled down her window, and waved to the blue Toyota as they put distance between them, before showing them a rude hand gesture.   “Let’s show them what spontaneous acts of rebellion due to love are capable of.”

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2017 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

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#1 Most Viewed Fiction: Threesome (99 words)

This is easily the best night of my life. They are friends. They both think I’m attractive. They are sober at the moment. They are asking me if I’m busy tonight because they would like to hang out and get wasted in their hotel room. They have informed me of the color of their underwear and asked me to guess who is wearing what.  They are saying that this has been a lot of fun, and maybe we could make this a more regular thing if that’s okay with me.

This is easily the best night of my life.

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2017 in Bekah Beth's Best Of

 

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#2 Most Viewed Fiction: Beauty (105 words)

“God, it’s beautiful,” Amelia sighed, looking out over the railing of the dock at the bay spread out in front of them.

“I suppose,” Luke shrugged, “When you grow up near it, it doesn’t seem as impressive.”

“Oh come on.”  Amelia put an arm around Luke and made him stand up at the railing with her.  “Don’t become desensitized to beauty.  That way leads to a sad and miserable life.”

Luke laughed, letting himself be pulled forward easily.  “I guess it is pretty nice.” He leaned against the railing.  “The sunset is quite amazing.”

“That’s the spirit,” Amelia laughed, “Not too hard, was it?”

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2017 in Bekah Beth's Best Of

 

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#3 Most Viewed Fiction: Storms Coming (197 words)

The first crack of thunder set everything into motion.  No matter where they were, Nathan and his son jumped into motion. Storms required work.

Nathan went outside to square away the yard. The shed had to be locked up. The pool had to be covered.  The cloth canopy had to be rolled back in so that it didn’t get soaked and mildew.

Alexander handled the inside of the house. Windows and doors had to be fastened and locked.  The dog had to be wrapped up in his special thunder blanket so that he didn’t whimper all the way through the storm. The grate had to be closed in the fireplace to help prevent it from raining into the house.

Whoever finished first (which often depended on what time of year it was) headed to the kitchen and put on the kettle.  After cookies were pulled out of the pantry and hot chocolate was poured into mugs, they both headed up to the converted attic, the only room in the house that had windows looking out in every direction. After that, nothing happened for however long the storm raged.    It was the best way to ride out a storm.

 

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2017 in Bekah Beth's Best Of

 

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#4 Most Viewed Fiction: Legal Theft: Legends (206 words)

“The story says that she was created by a smile from the Gods upon her mother. She was born without pain to her mother, and because of that she was blessed to lead a strong and powerful life.” Jasmine added some mystical finger wagging to add some weight to the legend.

“And you believe that?” Gretchen asked, wide eyed.

Jasmine let her hands fall to her side and scoffed.  “No. She was created because her mother was a randy woman with old fashioned ideas of how to prevent a pregnancy.  If she was born without pain to her mother, it’s because her mother was drugged up at the time of her birth.  I knew that family too well to believe any of that nonsense. She’s a strong warrior, yes, and she’s worked very hard to get where she is now.  But she’s not magical. And she shouldn’t be a legend.”

Gretchen narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms over her chest. “Jazzy, you are just determined to suck all the magic and the wonder out of everything, aren’t you?”

Jasmine shrugged and turned back to the papers she had been reading earlier.  “Show me something deserving of magic and wonder, and we can discuss it then.”

 

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Bekah Beth's Best Of

 

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#5 Most Viewed Fiction: And What Brings You Here? (570 words)

I was always grateful to Micah for being the big brother I never had. I mean, I did have older half-sisters on either side of my families, and Micah was technically my cousin–But he had something that neither of my sisters did. He had something special that I needed when I was growing up, that my sisters couldn’t quite pull off.  My Mom said it was an attitude. My Dad, Micah’s uncle, said it was regrets.  But I just called it “The Micah Factor.” He got through to me in a way that a lot of people couldn’t, but I wasn’t sure why.

He was my best friend. I know that sounds weird, but he was. When good things happened—Well, I called my mom first because she was my mom and I’d never hear the end of it if I called someone before her. But after my mom had been debriefed, I called Micah. He was always excited for me or angry on my behalf, depending on what the situation called for.  Lizzie, my half-sister on my mom’s side, would get so angry when she learned something new about my life, only to then find out that Micah had known for weeks (sometimes months).

So—it was really hard to watch him get sick.  It changed him—messed with his mind and turned him into someone I didn’t know. And there were days that we went in to see him, and he didn’t know us either. To see a man who once knew everything about you—to have him look at you and extend a hand and introduce himself like you’d never met—that was hard.

He did know us, though. When we told him who we were he recognized the names, and you could watch him struggle to get to the memories and understanding that he had with us. I think that was worse than him not knowing us at all. I mean, I know it would hurt for him to not know me, but watching him struggle—I don’t know. Maybe if it were the other way, I would wish it were this way. The grass is always greener and all that nonsense.

Relief is the wrong word. But—release maybe? I don’t know. But I definitely felt something—happier than I thought I should have when I heard that he’d passed.  This was my best friend, my cousin, the closest thing I’d ever had to a brother. And I felt lighter at the news that he was gone. That can’t be right, can it?  I mean—I was heartbroken, don’t get me wrong. I cried for days straight. Even now, something will catch me off guard and I’ll want to call him and it kills me to know I can’t.

But I’m glad—and I know it sounds terrible—but I am glad I don’t have to walk into that hospital room anymore and watch him try to associate me with the girl he knows in his head and watch the two of them not line up. I’m glad I don’t have to watch my Dad’s face fall every time we leave, his heart shattering again. And I know I shouldn’t be because Micah is dead and I should not be glad.

So, I guess, to answer your question, I’m here because Micah died, and something in me broke. And I’ve realized that I cannot fix it alone.

 
 

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