Tag: Reckless

RECKLESS: Wreck Redeemed B.A. Sarvey   

Word: Reckless

499 words

Wreck Redeemed

B.A. Sarvey   

 

Marla had married Carl Carland because she liked the sound of her name with his. And because he could dance. My, how he could dance.

On their first date, Carl told a pensive, wispy Marla, “Penny for your thoughts.” At first, hoping Carl would ask her to marry him someday, she kept the penny as a lucky talisman. “Mrs. Marla Carland. Mrs. Marla Carland,” over and over. The mantra made her weak-kneed.  Later, it became a reminder to never again share intimacies with a man.

When he gave her the penny, she hadn’t told him what she was actually thinking. How could she admit to thinking she forgot to shave under her arms and what if she ended up in bed with Carl…? So, coyly palming the penny, she sighed, “I was thinking, ‘why me?’  I’m not as pretty or…experienced, as most of the girls you’ve been out with.”  Marla came to regret this statement. Mostly because it wasn’t a lie—just not what she was thinking then. Carl had given that slow smile. “You let me be the judge of that.” She needn’t have worried about shaving. With the practiced grace of the dance floor, he had slipped her skirt up and her panties off. “But Carl, I’ve never…” “Don’t worry. I’ll teach you,” he’d grunted. The seatbelt buckle poked into her back. Her head kept banging the door handle. Still, she felt so special. Reckless. He left her sweater on.  

“Marla Finkle,” Carl breathed into her ear five months later, “let’s get married.” Marla had squeezed the penny’s smooth surface, and cooed, “Oh, Carl. I’ve always wanted to be Mrs. Marla Carland!”

“Let’s celebrate, Marla. Let’s go dancing.”

“Promise me we’ll always go dancing. Promise me we’ll always love each other.”

“I promise, Marla Carland.”

That was before Carl got tired of her.  

Carl was still out dancing when she was sitting home with swollen ankles and an aching back in her eighth month of pregnancy. He drank too much, came home too late, smelled of other women’s perfume. “Melba-toast-Mar-la,” Carl slurred. “Don’t leave me home,” she’d pleaded. “Cryin’ all the time—you can’t dance. You waddle. You’re fat.” Why had she let him goad her? “I can dance. Please take me.” That heaving pain. The blood. So much blood. How could she be so reckless? Little Carl—so still. They didn’t let her hold him.  Marla stopped dancing.

Pressing back into the Greyhound bus seat, Marla envisioned Carl stumbling up the stairs. Swaying against the apartment door. Fumbling for keys. The ghost of his voice shouted, “Marla! Damn you! Lemme in!” Unconsciously rubbing the sore spot on her arm, she wrestled around, trying to get comfortable. Carl’s face mocked her from the window reflection. “Nobody’s home, Carl.”  All that penny-rubbing.  “I’m done, Carl. Done being reckless. Done being a wreck.” Marla’s face came into focus. The bus pulled into the station. She stood. “Goodbye, Carl. I’m done blaming myself.” She left the penny on the seat.

RECKLESS: A Reckless Moment By G. Ackman

Word :RECKLESS

Word Count 499

A Reckless Moment

By G. Ackman

“I do, your Honor.”  

 

Marshall stood beside his lawyer and looked the judge directly in the eye.  

 

“All right, then.  I sentence you to eighteen months in jail, with credit for the eight weeks you have already served.”

 

Marshall grasped the edge of the table to steady himself and willed his eyes not to water.  He could hear his mother’s soft crying behind him but dared not look at her.  His lawyer had assured them that he would only get community service.  He was a straight-A student, a starter on the football team, had his whole life ahead of him.  But now…

 

It had been a stupid thing to do.  Marshall knew it at the time, but did it anyway.  Isn’t that the definition of a teenager?  It was harmless, they all said.  No one will ever know, they said.  Everybody does it, they said.  Fueled by the beers that he didn’t usually drink, Marshall had given in to their urgings and gone along with it.  “Yeah,” he had drawled.  “Let’s scare her a little.”

 

After all, she was threatening to give him a failing grade on his research paper, just because she thought it was a “little too much like the websites.”  It’s not like those words were patented or anything, and what if he had relied on some copy and paste.  It was her fault.  She had assigned the paper over the same time as the All-Star Game.  If she gave him a zero, it would mean the end of his 4.0 average and her allegation of his cheating would jeopardize his scholarship to the state university in Champaign.  He had no intention of harming anyone.  Just a little fun.

 

They drove out to her house that night after drinking around the campfire in Clayton’s backyard.  The talk had turned to Ms. Johnson and what she was doing to Marshall.  Somebody suggested they make her think what happened when she messed with the football team, and from there it just got out of hand.

 

One reckless action, one shot fired at her house.  It was just supposed to make a loud noise, maybe ding the siding a bit.  But with the accurate aim of one who is not intending to hit anything, the bullet found a window, shattered the glass, and grazed Ms. Johnson’s forehead as she bent over her nightstand to pick up her book to read before bed.  Thank god the window had slowed the velocity down or she could have been killed.

 

That’s what the judge had asked him.  If he knew what could have happened.  Marshall did, and he also knew it wasn’t his teammates fault.  It was his.  He caused this by reacting instead of thinking.  Now he wouldn’t graduate with his class.  College was probably not going to happen because getting a scholarship was unlikely.  One stupid mistake and his whole life turned upside down.  Reckless? No, it wasn’t reckless.  It was vengeful, spiteful, and mean – and it wrecked his life.  

RECKLESS: Love Finds a Way By Peg Scarano

Word:  Reckless

Word Count: 502

 

Love Finds a Way

By Peg Scarano

 

Remember when we were young and foolish – the simple high school pranks; ironing your hair; lying on your back on the bed to zip up your jeans; reading adult books under the blankets with a flashlight; telling your parents you were going to a girlfriend’s house when you were really meeting a boy at the movies; sneaking a beer or a cigarette?  – All relatively harmless adolescent activities back in our day, right?

 

I don’t think I purposely tried to do things to upset the adults in my life.  I think I probably ran the consequences of my actions through my immature mind before I actually acted upon a scathingly brilliant idea.

 

It was a chilly fall weekend of my sophomore year in college.  I had plans to catch a ride home to Little Falls from Brockport with a friend of mine so I could visit my boyfriend.  At noon on Friday, my friend called to tell me she had a change of plans and was not going home.  The bottom dropped out of my world.  I hadn’t seen him in a month and was so looking forward to going home.   My mind took over.

 

I got a ride to the gas station on the outskirts of town on the way to the Thruway.  I gingerly set my bag down and bravely put my thumb up.  After what seemed like an eternity, a man in a pickup truck stopped and asked me which way I was headed.  I boldly murmured, “East.”  He told me he was going as far as Syracuse.  I quietly said, “That would be great, but before I get in your truck, I need to make a phone call to let my boyfriend know I’m on my way and about what time we’ll arrive in Syracuse.”  He agreed and waited.

 

There were no cell phones in 1972.  I went into the phone booth, made a collect call to my boyfriend’s house where his younger sister accepted the charges and told me Rock was working and would be home around three.  I told her I was hitching home with a man in a gray truck.  I gave her the license number and told her I was having him drop me off at Rock’s uncle’s liquor store in Syracuse and that we should be there around 5:30 – please have him pick me up there.  And then I prayed.

 

I prayed she would get the message to Rock and that he was free to drive to Syracuse and that his old clunk of a car would not break down and that this nice guy in the truck was truly a nice guy and not a serial killer.

 

My prayers were answered.  The gentleman was a true gentleman.  I was lucky.  My reckless act got me to Syracuse safely.  Rock was at his uncle’s liquor store waiting, as was his aunt, who read me the riot act.  I was relieved until it dawned on me…..How was I going to get back on Sunday?

RECKLESS: Unwanted Guests By Sally Madison

Word: RECKLESS

Words Count: 425

Unwanted Guests

By Sally Madison

 

They had heard the bad news.  The Turks were coming down the valley, with Silesian Ostrava Castle as their next destination.  They would be here by mid-afternoon.  Natalia and Alexandria had only a few more hours to prepare.

 

Alexandria had already instructed Alma in the kitchen beginning the preparation of dolma, baked pastries filled with vegetables, stuffed cabbage pastries, twisted bagels with seeds, baklava, and sesame cookies.  She would go back down to continue the preparations, as soon as the upstairs was staged.  Natalia had moved all the most valuable paintings to the attic and hid them under the floor boards. All the silver and other valuable possessions had been stored in the loft of the barn, beneath the hay.

 

The bedrooms were next. Alexandria had sorted her jewels.  Natalia was sewing the precious ones into the hems of Alexandria’s day dresses.    The bag of black pearls was next, “which dress should I sew the pearls into?” Natalia asked.

 

“The blue day dress,” Alexandria decided.  “I will wear that one upon their arrival. Do what they may, they will not find my precious pearls.”

 

“The garnet and the ruby rings are still in the jewel box. How should we hide them?” We can hide them in the kitchen or attic”, suggested Natalia.

 

“No, that won’t do.  They need to find them.  They will search the wardrobe take the most ornate of the gowns for their mistresses. Put the jewel box with the garnet and ruby rings in the wardrobe under the slippers.  They will search everywhere, but they will stop, if they think they have all the treasure, and end the search.  This needs to be staged correctly. We need to let them find some things,” explained Alexandria,

 

“It’s too bad to have to sacrifice the rings.” Natalia replied, disappointed. “I don’t see what the point is. They will probably kill us, anyway.”

 

“Yes, it is unfortunate, but better to sacrifice the rings, then our lives,” theorized Alexandria.

 

Her grandmother had told her that, over a hundred years ago, during one of the first invasions of the Turks, it was their faith and rosary that had protected them.  Since then, the rosary has been strung of peas, beans, or beads, for everyone in the church. Alexandria tucked the rosary in the folds and waist band of her skirt. She wanted it as close to her heart as possible.  She knew her scheme was reckless, but what were her choices? It was too late to run, and they were too weak to fight. Therefore, we must out smart them.

RECKLESS: Summon the Heroes By Nan Ressue

Word: RECKLESS

Word Count 376

SUMMON THE HEROES

By Nan Ressue

Our thirst for territory in a busy place gave birth to the skyscraper world.  If the horizontal space is absorbed, we shall reach for the vertical.  The resulting forest of building spires created dark canyons and blocked vistas only overcome by the architect’s plethora of windows.

Summon the Navahos, the fearless high steel builders who tread the narrow paths of construction high above the pavement below to complete the soaring window filled designs. All those windows, punished daily with grit laden breezes driven off the ocean and by the exhaust and grime forced aloft by the endless traffic below require endless attention creating a job that is never finished.

Summon the reckless window washers, scaling the sheer walls like insects, washing miles of glass from bottom to top from a dangling platform high above the admiring crowd, waving to the office workers trapped inside, accepting coffee or beer according to the temperature .What could go wrong?

The peace of the day is shattered as Facebook spreads the word. There is a desperate situation in Westside Manhattan as the window washing scaffold has started to swing like a pendulum for some reason.  What in the world could have set it off? Gusts of wind at those heights can be a dangerous surprise.

Summon the firemen with their extension ladders.  911 hurry!   Left…, right,…. Left…, right…, and then a hideous snap as the far cable broke and the workers slide downward toward each other, clinging together as they dangle off the lower end while the platform swings in slow motion agony. Hang on!  Hang on!

The trucks are here thank God.  The firemen back their trucks as close to the building as possible, run to get into position and fearlessly ascend the nearly vertical ladder.  Hurry!  Hurry! The swinging scaffold is finally captured with ropes and the first worker now held in the fireman’s arms. And now the second.

The crowd bursts into applause and cheers of relief, marveling once again that there are those who choose reckless occupations for the good of us all.

“Go back to work”, orders the fire marshal over his bull horn which supersedes every voice.

“Everybody is O.K.”.

 

RECKLESS: Epiphany By Sharon Collins

Word: RECKLESS

Word Count 518

 

Epiphany

By Sharon Collins

The trek back is an agony of pain and dread. Pain from tooth and claw pulses with each step. Dread of First-Wife’s anger when she sees me living still, mounts with every breath. I know she thought to have me dead. Her Judgement will be worse than the one I leave behind. I shiver at the memory of the She-Wolf’s death-throes, clamped in the fangs of the Forest Cat with Mother’s amber eyes. I see the bloody shard in the Headsman’s fingers and touch the wet warmth where he has marked my forehead.   I stumble. Two Watchers walking beside steady me, as the Headsman hurries us at a furious pace. Behind me, four Watchers struggle, dragging the carcass of the enormous beast back to the cave.  It will be my privilege to take her fur.  I will fashion boots and perhaps a cape. There will certainly be hide enough.

The other six Watchers carry, each, a wolf pup. The She-Wolf’s children will be welcomed by the Clan.  Our Wise-Man has spoken with Men of the Ice and has learned that wolf-pups can be trained to help in the hunt.  These six will be tried once they learn to stop snarling and biting.  I do not envy the unlucky Watchers carrying them any more than I envy the unlucky pups that now share my orphan-grief.  Their brindled fur bristles and their yellow eyes glare; they are both brave and foolish…like me.

As we near the mouth of the cave, I hear them.  Riding the wind, unearthly echoes clog my ears and set my teeth on edge. The pups cease squirming and begin to whimper.  They too recognize the anguish of Death-Keening. The Watchers drop them in their rush forward . Too weary and hurt to stand, I sink to the ground beside their dead mother. They clamber over me and nuzzle her.  Foolish girl that I am, I want to sob for their loss despite my survival. Unable to resist further, I give in and close my eyes.

A sunset and sunrise later, I wake to the drumming of Death-Rites and the taste of fish broth spooned by the Headsman’s Second-Wife.  She tells me how it happened, how the Headsman’s First-Wife boasted the night of my Judgement; how she gleefully feasted on roast fowl; how she snapped its bones and sucked the marrow; how a sharp shard lodged in her throat and choked her to death. Unfortunately, Second-Wife also tells the Headsman how I laugh until I cry when I hear this. She tells how I call out to Mother’s Spirit, thanking her for saving me from both She-Wolves.

Too late I realize my mistake. My reckless words curse me. Only the Wise-Man may speak with Spirits and even he may not command them. Shunned and forbidden to return, I am outcast.  Barely healed, wearing my wolf-cape, I retrace my steps to the foot of the rock ledge where Mother’s Spirit fought for my life.  Kneeling in the soft pine needles to bury her Necklace, stolen from the Headsman’s pouch, I feel her amber gaze upon me once again.

RECKLESS: The Recklessness of an Ordinary Life By Maggie Robertson

Word: RECKLESS

Word Count:  380

 

The Recklessness of an Ordinary Life

By Maggie Robertson

 

Doris and Virgil were childhood sweethearts.  They grew up on the same street in a small town in the Midwest.  They had the same babysitter, a teenager from the next block over.  They were in kindergarten together, then together again in second, third, and fifth grades.

In High School, Virgil played football in the autumn, basketball in the winter months, and baseball in the spring. Doris joined the cheerleading squad and never missed a game.  They went to the school dances, were Homecoming King and Queen, voted “cutest couple” at the Prom and in the yearbook.  Warm summer evenings they could be found at the local drive-in.

Doris and Virgil both graduated in the top third of their class.  Doris went on to get a secretary job at the bank, Virgil started full-time at the Variety Store, where he had worked summers during high school.

They married when they were sandwiching 21, and children were not long in coming.  Two boys and a girl blessed their home, a modest 3-bedroom house on an average lot in the same neighborhood in which they were raised.  Doris left her job at the bank to raise the children.  Virgil became manager at the Variety Store, and Doris had supper on the table every night at 5:30 when he arrived home.

Their children all did well in school; Doris and Virgil never missed a game or a concert.  All three went on to college, one for business management, one for engineering, and the youngest for paleontology.  Doris joined the Garden Club and the Ladies Auxiliary; Virgil became a partner at the Variety Store.  Every summer they rented a house to spend a week at the Outer Banks with their children and grandchildren.

When Virgil retired at age 65, the whole family was in attendance.  It was a fine dinner, with heartfelt words from his co-workers.  He was presented with a find gold watch.   Doris was honored for her years of community involvement.

Doris and Virgil spent their retirement years tending their garden, doing crossword puzzles, and looking forward to visits from their grandchildren.  They cherished their comfortable secure life together.  They took no risks, they took no chances, they had no extraordinary adventures.

So rare, and so reckless, to live such an ordinary life.