Thursday, June 23, 2011

Eternal Dreams

**Per special request, here is another short story.

Eternal Dreams

He came to me in a dream. He wasn't a handsome fellow, but there was something about his personality that drew me to him. Surely, I must be crazy to have fallen in love with this, a figment of my imagination. I was obsessed -- fixated on the idea of him. His name was Daniel.

"But he's only a dream, Claudia," I told myself, trying to reason.

I had dreamt of this boy, now a man, for the major part of my thirty years of life. I never knew another male in the way I knew him. He was my life and my everything. I rejected every suitor that ever showed the least bit of interest in me, but things would be changing and soon.

I was, against my will, betrothed to a gentleman of the age of fourty some odd years, previously widowed. His name was Pascual Leumas. He owned a debauchery store in the upper west side of Manhattan. He was a man of good wit, pleasant, and handsome. Pascual had but one child, already a young woman; I would become her mother.

But what was I to do with the man in my dreams? I was in love with him. I had the hope that one day Daniel would come into my life, that we would marry, and have a family -- be a normal couple.

Tonight, as I dressed for a chaperoned dinner with Father and my new fiancée, I could think of nothing more, but how heart broken Daniel would feel if he knew I was to be wed in three day's time.

As I viewed myself in the full-length mirror, I could swear that I saw Daniel standing behind me, observing me as I pinned up my hair. I instinctively drew my neck back to view him, but there was no one there. Oh, how I wished that he would come for me at haste before the wedding.

In the dinning room, my father was present with Pascual and his daughter, Sophia, awaiting me to begin the dinner. I was nervous and slightly shook as Pascual kissed my hand. Sophia's smile was wide with enthusiasm.

This was the first time I had met Sofia. She was blonde and had brown eyes, like myself. There would be no misinterpretation that I was not her mother. That set my nerves at ease, somewhat.

Through the dining room window, I saw a tall figure standing, looking in at me. I gasped in surprised fright and held my hands to my mouth. My father asked what had taken my breath. I told him it was nothing, but indeed it was something.

Daniel was standing there in a suit with a wool coat on his arm. He pointed to the front door. I quickly excused myself and scurried to foyer. He gave two knocks to the door before I could reach it. I ran across the anteroom and swung the door open. Finally he was here! My love had arrived!

"Daniel," I said to him. "How I've longed for you! Take me from here. Let us be as we are in my dreams."

"Yes, my dear, Claudia," he replied, taking me by the waist and laying his cold lips on mine. "Let us go, now."

As I looked back to close the door behind me, I saw my lifeless body on the ground. My father, Pascual and one of the servants huddled over it.

"What has happened?" I asked Daniel.

"We are eternal lovers, now, my Claudia. Nothing shall keep us apart -- not even death."

We walked hand in hand, into the night and into that eternity of love.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Crazy in Love

**Occasionally, I write short stories. This particular one is not for the faint at heart. For those of you wondering, the book is nothing like this.

Crazy in Love 

"I loved her," I said. "She was the one I was meant to be with forever." That was the only plea I could think of.

April was a brunette with a wonderful sense of humor. She was a fine cook and a beautiful woman. She held the greatest attributes that a man could ask.
One summer day, she said she was leaving me. I knew we had our ups and downs, but this didn't mean it had to end. I could change. I could be whatever she wanted me to be. She said I hadn't failed her, that she was just not in love with me anymore. 
I had never cried in front of her, but this time, I couldn’t contain myself. I felt torn, frantic, and lost.
Holding her by the arms, I pled with her to stay.
"No," she said that single syllable word that crushed me.
I hugged her and pled with her some more.
"Please, April!" I was desperate to find a way to keep her, but she was intransigent.
There I sat, on the kitchen table, staring into the nothingness that my life had become in but one moment.
"Have you thought about the children, April? Have you given thought to what you're doing to them?" I wondered.
"I'm not taking the children, Ed. I don't have any means to support them," she replied.
Could she be seeing another man? I stood from my seat and shook her. "Who is he?!" I demanded.
"It's not a he…" she pushed me away, “it’s a she.”
I was in disbelief. What on earth had this woman, who I had been married to for seven years, turned into? I felt belittled. The pain of betrayal consumed me.
"You're insane!" I turned her around and slapped her. "You're not leaving me or the children. Do you understand?"
April tightened her fist and took a right hook at my face. I stopped her fist before it struck me. I tensed my grip on her small hand with such force that she fell to her knees. I grabbed her by the face and kissed her against her will. She bit my lip so deep, that I felt her teeth cut into the skin. The bitter taste of blood spread through my mouth.
I grabbed her by the hair and pulled her away from me. She slapped me, repeatedly, with all her might.
"Bastard!" She wept as she wiped my blood off her chin. "I detest you for making me into a wife and a mother. I detest you for making me cook and clean. I curse you for being a man."
April stood in the middle of the room, her loathing stare burning through me. 
My ego was in shreds. I had never heard her voice such wicked and hurtful things about the life I had prided myself to give her.
I walked to her slowly. I extended one arm and clenched her by the neck. She gasped and tried eagerly to pry my fingers from her throat. I saw her eyes redden and glisten with moisture. Her face turned red; then, slowly, it became pallid.
She fought hard to escape my grip, but I couldn't make myself release her. Her body slightly jerked, before her eyes rolled back into her sockets. Finally, she stopped breathing. Her body was limp. I let it fall onto the kitchen floor, next to the table.
I heard laughter coming from the backyard. Our two children had been playing outside the whole time.
My eyes glanced between the backdoor and April’s body.
What had I done? I had murdered the love of my life and mother of my children.
Nervously, I took April’s body to our bedroom and lay her on the bed. She looked as if she were fast asleep, aside from the discoloration in her face.
I went downstairs and prepared some chocolate milk for the children, along with a very strong dose of sleeping medication.
“Kids!” I called them into the house.
I handed them each a glass to drink, making sure they consumed every drop. Then, I sent them to play in their rooms.    
 Tormented and drowning in guilt, I wept in the bathroom awaiting silence to take the place of my children's innocent voices.
Within fifteen minutes they were both asleep on the floor of their bedrooms. I placed them beside their mother on our matrimonial bed and rummaged through the night table drawer. There,I found my gun.
Loading the handgun,I stood before my three little angels knowing exactly what I had to do to be together forever.
My hand trembled each time I pulled the trigger, shooting each of us in the head.
Suddenly, I felt myself rising and hovering over our four dead bodies.
They came for me quickly. 
I was taken to a place of darkness and despair. A place where there was only cold and gloom. It was a place where no one looked into the other’s eyes, and no one spoke.
I was taken to trial and asked only one question:
"What have you to say on your behalf, man?"
"I loved her,” I said. “She was the one I was meant to be with forever." That was the only plea I could think of.

Monday, June 20, 2011

"It was not for Hunger of Worship or Conceit..."

It's only been three days since "Creatura" was officially released for sale, and I'm ready to have an anxiety attack awaiting the first review from non-bias readers (no offense friends and family).

The people I know have begun to purchase the novel on Amazon from the very day it became available on the website. The sales rating at which it has fluctuated has surprised me.
  • A big "THANK YOU" goes out to all of you for promoting the book on your Facebook walls and through word of mouth. I appreciate your support more than you realize. 

It's very scary to put one's own writing out there for people to judge. I knew I was going to have to brave the world when I decided to publish, but I didn't know it would be my own written words that would mock and intimidate me, making me doubt myself. 

Being only human, I have come to realize that it's okay to fear. What isn't okay is to fear not. It's when we don't fear that we walk overly confident and ignorant of the hidden crevices and cliffs on the roads we, ourselves, pave. That's when we tend to fall the hardest. I can only hope that I haven't walked blindly.

Today, I started tiding up my dining room table which is where I can write without being distracted. I had unconsciously created a fort around my laptop surrounding it with boxes, floral wire-cutters, copies of manuscripts, make-up -- you name it, it was there. As I picked up the final copy of the manuscript, I decided to glance at the first chapter, and that's when the nerves began to stir.

I decided I didn't like Chapter One, so I went on to Chapter Two. Chapters Two through Seven were okay. Chapter Eight made me wonder why I didn't write more in Chapters Two through Six. I skipped back to Chapter One and hated it. I jumped to Chapter Nine and fell in love with it again. I skipped to Chapter Eleven, where I found some very enticing details, but  I worried it wouldn't fit in with Chapter Seventeen, which then prompted me to look over Chapters Fifteen and Sixteen, which gave the story some flare. Finally, I read the last chapter of the novel, closed it, and set it aside. 

For seven hours, I criticized my writing. I was on the verge of tears by that point because I just didn't know what to think of it anymore. What if my audience found it ridiculous and boring? What if it was terrible?

Usually, I'm very proud to create something, and I'm a positive person as far as the reaction I expect from others. Today, however, I wasn't that person. 

I sent my sister a text telling her the book sucked, and that I was ready to confess my sins and die. She said, "It's done, and you did it all by yourself. You should be proud." That didn't help this time. 

I stared at the book cover wondering what had made me think I could write and publish a novel. I pulled the binder that contained the manuscript toward me and opened it to a random page to continue my silent self-pity rant. Upset at myself, I glanced at the page I had opened it to, and I found something to which I didn't pay attention while I was obsessing:
It was not for hunger of worship or conceit from which he placed this..."

I'm hand painting these butterflies for the book launch
After reading those words, I remembered this:
I didn't write my book for vanity. I wrote it to entertain two people -- my sister and me. I didn't even want to put my picture on the back cover, now that I think about it. 

I admit that having it sell and go up in the sales rating list does feel good, but it doesn't mean anyone will be impressed once they're done reading. That's okay though, because you know what?  Both of the people it was meant for do like it, and that's worth the two years it took to write. 

So, if you read it, and like it,  I'm happy; and, if you read it, and don't like it, I'm happy too. 

From now it's nothing but happy thoughts of colorful rainbows and glittery unicorns. And, in the famous words of Forest Gump: "That's all I have to say about that," because, "my momma thinks I'm special," and that's good enough for me.

 I thank you, I thank you, and I thank you for visiting and reading my blog.

 Ciao, bellas creaturas!