Monday, September 23, 2013

Hearts of Steel: Chapter Sixteen

I didn’t want to go, but Mother insisted as only mothers could. Insisted was just a nice way of saying threatened. As I sat in the living room with my feet propped on the table, the remote to the satellite dish permanently attached to one hand while my other hand burrowed into a bowl of heavily buttered popcorn, she said in crisp, unarguable tones, “Get up, Priye.”

Hearts of Steel: Chapter Fifteen

I hated football. I absolutely despised it. It was idiotic and barbaric. I couldn’t find a single socially redeeming quality whatsoever in the game.

So when I found myself, two weeks later sitting five rows back from the fifty-yard line screaming my head off. I could only justify my behaviour conceding that I must be certifiably insane.

And each time I leaped to my feet, threw my hands in the air and shouted, ‘Goooaaal!” along with the other enthusiastic participants of the ‘wave’ I imagined that I could feel my little gray brain cells dying off – one by one.

Hearts of Steel: Chapter Fourteen

“Stop that!” Mother slapped my hand away as I reached to pinch off one of the cakes that she’d left cooling. “Those are for the meeting.”

“I can’t help it, Mother. They smell sooo good.”

With my elbows on the counter, I stuck my face over the pan. The light steam rose, swirled around my face, and tickled my nostrils. Those cakes had my name all over them.

I cupped my hand to my ear. “What did you say, little cake? You say that you’re all alone? I’ll save you. I’ve got a special home for you right in the middle of my stomach. Plenty of room for you.” My fingers reached for a golden, sticky-sweet corner.

Hearts of Steel: Chapter Thirteen

"Whose idea was this anyway?" I grumbled.

"I believe it was your grandmother's," Mother reminded me. "There, I think that's all of it."

She compared the items crammed into the boot of her car to the items on her list. Coolers filled with ice, chairs, first-aid kits, poles, tie-downs. How in the world did she get all of that in there?

"Are you sure that's all? I don't think we've hit critical mass yet. There's still a centimeter of space remaining in the far left corner of the trunk."

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hearts of Steel: Chapter Twelve

I hated to leave him like that, but what else could I do? Somewhere, in the great, unwritten parenting handbook, it has been decreed that parents will forever have that power over their children. I could be a hundred years old, blind, deaf, and toothless. It didn't matter.

Whenever that porch light went on, I'd better run toward it as if it were the light showing the way to heaven. I'd better hear my parents when they call my name loud enough to rival the final trumpet blast, and answer for my sins if they had to flash the porch light more than twice to get my attention.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hearts of Steel: Chapter Eleven

Mind over matter. Mental telepathy. Or some sort of sleight-of-hand parlor trick. It had to be. Otherwise, how could I at one instant be this close to giving Jack the brush-off, and in the next, be in his arms?

Not just holding him, or hugging him, but pressing myself against him as if he could absorb me into his skin. How did it happen? What did he do to me? Wave a magic pendant in front of me to put me into a trance?

Hearts of Steel - Chapter Ten

"Take me home, Jack."

She might as well have said, "Take me to the moon," for all of the effort that it cost me to walk out of there. I couldn't leave for several reasons, only one of which was the desire to knock in the mouth the knucklehead who'd thrown that drink at us.

Just as Priye had not wanted to end our date at the emergency room, I didn't want it to end on that note, either. The look on her face when the drink had splattered against her got to me. She was angry, disgusted, and a little frightened. Not of the knuckleheads at the other table, but of me. Of my reaction. She'd taken one look at my expression and bolted for the door. I'd run her off.