She Never Wanted it Anyway by Cinthia Albers

Prompt: She never wanted it anyway. | Word count: 300 | Genre: Mainstream

She never wanted it anyway. That’s what she kept telling herself and the bridesmaids and the maid of honor, her parents, his parents, the distant cousins and anyone else who came up to her and acted shocked and dismayed and disappointed.

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Cutting the Strings by Cinthia Albers

Prompt: Cutting the Strings | Word count:1000 | Genre: Mainstream

She stood apart.
She watched her father, surrounded by his best friends. He was so animated, talking about her husband’s art, about their daughter and how unique she was. He had become a small old man, a mere ghost figure of who she remembered. She pretended there was no hurt in listening to him. How the admiration was directed at the people she loved most, but the adoration never seemed to fall on her.
She shrugged it off. The small girl she had been, the one standing by the driveway on her scooter, wearing the soft sundress. Her long blond hair struggled with its pony tail ring, had never forgotten.

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Mastermind by Cinthia Albers

Prompt: Mastermind | Word count: 1000 | Genre: Mainstream

He woke up, just before his alarm was set to go off. He brushed his teeth, showered, put on the suit he had laid out the night before. He ate the breakfast, the same identical breakfast he had for years. He drove to work taking the same route he always did, avoiding high traffic and the scenic route. He was a mastermind. A mastermind of his own life, of his own destiny.

Years before he had been one to take that scenic route. Maybe stop for coffee or a pastry. He had loved and embraced change. But now, he found solace in sameness, in thinking the same thoughts, making the same decisions. He wanted his life simple, easy. There would be no more drama for him. No more women, no more shiny objects to try to grasp. Just simple day in, day out routine. He knew where he was, where he was going and if each day looked the same, that was fine with him.

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The Club by Cinthia Albers

Prompt: The Club | Word count: 750 | Genre: Mainstream

I walked thru the doors and immediately the throb of the music and the flashing colored lights overwhelmed me. This was not where I wanted to be. I hadn’t been out in forever and it was my friend Heather’s birthday and she had begged. My eyes got used to the dark and I began searching the crowd. Everyone seemed so young. The girls wore skimpy dresses, long lashes, colored hair. The men were attractive, casually dressed watching the girls.

I had been like they had, 20 years earlier. A Meat Market we had called it. We would doll up and go to the club hoping to find the best-looking man that would fall madly in love with us. At very least we would have a fun evening, maybe get laid and go back the next weekend.
I spotted Heather at last, a table of youth against a back wall. I counted 8, two guys, the rest girls.

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Coming Undone by Cinthia Albers

Prompt: Coming Undone | Word Count: 1200 | Genre: Mainstream

*Some disturbing images

Luckily the parking lot was almost deserted. She sat, her car off, her window up, the heat smothering. She held her binoculars tight against her eyes, watching his door. No sense trying to figure out why she was there, what crazy circumstances brought her to the moment of playing private eye, personal spy. She just knew she had to watch him. And his whore too. She puffed on her cigarette, the sharp smoke filling her lungs, unused to abuse, she coughed it out. But it didn’t stop her. She puffed again. First cigarettes in ten years and she was already through seven. She had alcohol too, a nice big bottle of whiskey. Yes, she hated it, but she needed to end the pain. The pain of her broken heart, her splintered self-esteem, her lost life, her lost beliefs in vows and marriage and family and future. She watched, sipping her whiskey, smoking her cigarettes and trying to remain clandestine.

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A New Life by Cinthia Albers

Prompt 3: A New Life | Word count:1000 Words | Genre:

The Pilot made his announcement. Time to get ready to land. Tray tables up, carry-ons stowed, put your heart away and if you fear landing, hold on tight. The cabin was almost full, just a couple open seats. I sat by the window, smashed in beside a very happy couple, newlyweds I believed, who made a nauseating spectacle of themselves. Maybe any other day in my life, I wouldn’t have cared, but today, this day, I hated it. I no longer believed in love, or even like. I hated the world. Mostly I hated him.

I could remember when he and I had been like that, kissing in public, holding hands, he would touch my leg or I would lean against his shoulder. We were picture perfect. I had loved him so much, believed in him, dreamed about him. And now I was on a cold, crowded airplane, starting my ‘New Life” a life I did not want, did not care to even contemplate. My boxes packed and shipped, my suitcases filled in every corner and every secret pouch. My purse held every personal paper I had ever owned, and right on top was the separation papers. I had bought a one-way ticket “home,” although the city I had just left and the apartment I had cleared out, was my home. Where I was headed, back to the familiar, family, old friends, was strange to me. I could not imagine myself there again, but I had nowhere else to go.

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The List by Cinthia Albers

Prompt 1: The List | Word count: 1500 words | Genre:

She woke up with a start. The sheets were wrapped around her ankles. The house was cold. She turned over. The empty space. She had almost forgotten. His pillow was undisturbed. It was real. She didn’t want to believe it. She hoped it was just a bad dream.

He was gone.

She sat up and put on her slippers and robe, pulling the robe around her. It was so cold. The house was colder than she could ever remember. She turned up the heat. She slowly made her way to the bathroom. She brushed her teeth. It was strange not having to wait for the bathroom. She knocked his razor to the floor on accident. She picked it up and held it for a moment, then slowly lofted it into the waste can. She followed it with the can of shaving cream. A million times she had knocked that razor to the floor. She thought about retrieving it, holding onto it. She let it lay.

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Waiting by Cinthia Albers

Prompt 2: Conversation with my Spouse | Word count: 1200 Words | Genre:

WAITING

The front desk directed me. Follow the blue lines and I would be where I needed to go. The hospital smells and sounds felt foreign and frightening. I reached the intensive care waiting area. My husband stood up and held me close.

“They just took her for tests.” He said. His voice cracking with the weight. “She is ready to go, but the baby is turned. Grace is fighting with everything she has, she is weak, very weak. Erik is with her.”

“ What will they do? C section?”

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Going Home by Cinthia Albers

Prompt: Going Home | Wordcount: 500 | Genre: Mainstream

The dreaded phone call.
I sped to my Mother’s house, a million emotions, a million thoughts. I ran to the door. My father had passed, I was the only sibling within a thousand miles. Mother and I had leaned on each other, cared for one another. And now it was her time to say goodbye.
The hospice nurse, Chris greeted me. He hugged me, his big burly self, comforting me. “She’s begun her transition,” he said softly. “It won’t be long now.” I walked to her bed. We had set up a hospital bed in the living room, moved the couch to the dining room. Easier for everyone. She lay motionless, her soft breath barely noticeable.
“I gave her morphine, she isn’t feeling any pain. “
“What should we do?”

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