Today we’re in for a real treat. As her guest post, Annie has shared her short story Brooklyn Rose. I’m posting a portion of the story today and will post the remainder tomorrow, so be sure to check back and see how Rose’s and Henry’s story ends!!
The year was 1959. Sixteen-year-old Henry Walsh walked into the crowded gymnasium holding the manicured hand of his date, Erica Astor. He pasted on a bright smile and did his best to look like he was having fun. Erica smiled back at him, showing that he had fooled her. Henry took a small flask out of the pocket of his blazer. Erica frowned at him.
“I wish you wouldn’t drink,” she said, her tone icy.
Henry shrugged. “I’ll take my fun while I can get it,” He thought. “By this time next year, I will be enrolled in NYU business school and embark on the life my father chose for me. Which includes you,”
He glanced at the beautiful blond Erica at his side. Her hair was platinum blond, and she had light blue eyes, giving her an icy, untouchable appearance. Erica reminded Henry of an expensive vase, made to be admired but brittle and uninviting to touch.
She batted her long eyelashes at him. Henry let none of his thoughts show on his face, only allowing Erica to see the aloof aristocrat that she wanted to see.
“My father has arranged my entire life for me, even choosing my future wife. I don’t love Erica, but my father has assured me that I will grow to love her.”
“Henry, you made it!” A voice called his name. He looked around to see his friend Charles approaching. Henry gave him a friendly slap on the back. Charles attended the same private school, and they both had the emblem of the school embroidered on each of their blazers. “This is my date, Erica Astor,” Henry said.
“Charmed,” Erica said, gripping Charles’s hand with her fingertips.
“Nice to meet you, Erica. This is my date, Rosanna.”
Henry’s false smile faded. Beautiful was too weak of a word for her.
But strong. Rose’s eyes were green, like the ocean. Her high cheekbones and sculpted face gave her an exotic appearance. Henry had always thought Erica was beautiful, but suddenly she faded to spun sugar’s insignificance, lovely in form but with no substance.
“Nice to meet you, Rosanna,” Henry said, his voice roughened by the lump in his throat. He brought her offered hand to his lips and kissed it. Rosanna smiled and blushed prettily. It seemed to Henry like time had slowed down, and it was just the two of them in the world.
“Well, it was nice seeing you, Henry,” Charles said with an edge to his tone. “The music is starting.” Charles wrapped Rosanna’s arm in his possessively and turned to walk away.
“Save me a dance, dear Rose,” Henry called, ignoring Erica’s outraged gasp. Rose turned to look back at him with eyes sparkling and graced him with a dimpled grin that made Henry’s heart soar.
She nodded, and then she and Charles vanished into the crowd of dancers.
Later, after a few dances with Erica, Henry found the other couple and cut in just as the band was beginning to play the song ‘Mack the Knife’ by Bobby Darin. As Henry led her through the swing steps, he was pleased to see that she was a skilled dancer. Rose was close to his height, so they were well matched. Erica was several inches shorter than him, so it wasn’t as fun to dance with her. Henry and Rose danced several more dances before they were breathless.
“That was so much fun,” Henry said. “Are you ready for a break and some punch?”
“Yes. I had fun, though; you are a wonderful dancer, Henry.”
Henry admired how her cheeks were flushed, and her eyes sparkled. Her red hair was cut short in a trendy bob that had swirled around her head as they danced, glinting with the reflected lights in the ceiling.
“Your hair is gorgeous. Not every girl is good looking enough to wear it short, but it suits you,”
“Thank you,” Rose replied.
It seemed like the most natural action in the world for him to slip his arm around Rose, pulling her closer as they made their way to the refreshment table. Until he caught sight of his friend Charles, Erica, right beside him, they were watching him with eyes as hard as wet stones.
Later that night, Henry whispered in Rose’s ear, “I want to see you again. May I have your phone number?” Rose gave it to him.
The night of their first date, Henry stood in front of the mirror in his bathroom, taking extra care with his appearance. He added a little extra pomade to make his wavy blonde hair glossy. Henry hadn’t slept well the night before, and his blue eyes looked slightly bloodshot, so he put a couple of drops of Visine in each one.
Henry picked up Rose on his motorcycle, where they could both wear helmets and be unrecognizable. When Henry walked into his home after dropping Rose off after their second date, his father Phillip was sitting on the couch waiting for him.
[TO BE COTNIED TOMORROW, APRIL 3rd]
Book #2 of The Tales of OriGen series
A modern and beautiful Frankenstein’s Monster fights for the right to carve her destiny in New York City’s human world.
A talented young dancer tired of witnessing violent crimes against women go unpunished and takes matters into her own hands.
A young woman tries to escape her past in New York’s anonymity but finds out that she cannot escape the scars on her soul, which drives her to shocking acts of violence.
Excerpt from Forging Monsters
“Sometimes human places create inhuman monsters.”
–Stephen King, The Shining
The path through the park wound around to a footbridge spanning a little pond. She stopped to gaze into the water; the lilacs were in full bloom, and they perfumed the air. A light breeze created small ripples on the water, which had a green shade, but it was not scummy. A tiny frog let out a surprised ribbet and splashed into the water, causing Zee to smile.
She recalled how she never saw frogs, grass, or trees as a child–suddenly, her memory returned to OriGen Research Facility. In her mind, Zee again saw the room that had been her prison for most of her early life. She mentally shook herself, pushing those memories away.
That is in the past, and I’m free now, she reminded herself. She leaned her head back and savored the wind on her face. Not entirely free, though, she thought.
She turned away from the pond and continued along the path. She heard pounding footsteps approaching rapidly from behind. She hadn’t realized she was being followed. Before she could fully react, a muscular arm was locked around her throat and dragged under the bridge. The shoes fell from her fingers as she grabbed the arm around her neck, struggling to get free.
He threw her down at the edge of the pond, the impact knocking her breath from her lungs. She was partially in the water, and it seeped into her dress while sharp, cold rocks cut her back. She could see his face and recognized him as the guy from outside the club. He used his shoulders and his body weight to pin her legs against her body as he unzipped his pants.
“NO! Please don’t do this!” She struggled, but he just laughed, spewing beer-laden breath in her face. Under the alcohol smell on his breath was another, more elusive scent: a mixture of salt, metal, and rotting vegetables; it made her nauseous and angry.
“Get off me!”
He slapped her.
Her lip split, and she tasted blood.
“Shut up bitch!”
He continued to try raping her as she struggled. Her pulse quickened with rage. He didn’t stop.
Enough, she thought–becoming eerily calm. He thought she had given up. He laughed again.
She bared her teeth. “My name isn’t bitch. It’s Ze’Eva.”
She flung him off quickly, flipped him on his back, and slammed him to the ground. He lay there for a couple of seconds, shocked at the sudden turn-off events. He jumped up and reached to grab her again, thinking she just got lucky in throwing him off. He froze as he saw her teeth elongate into fangs, and her eyes turn from green to amber.
I am a mom, cat mom, grandma, wife, writer, coffee drinker.
I currently live in Kentucky with my husband and two fun-loving cats who inspired Dirtbag and Scumbucket’s feline characters. (Those are just nicknames, we do love them!)
Write what you know! I was born and raised in Upstate New York, so that area and New York City are the settings for most of my stories.
I have an Administrative Assistant degree from Fingerlakes Community College in Upstate NY; I majored in writing and business administration.
I love cooking, especially Cajun food, and I’ve had several people tell me I should open a restaurant, but that is ton of work, and I would rather spend my time writing.