Little Ones of Holda In ~ Short Story

“There’s trouble coming, son. Take your sister and hide in the basement. Remember, always survive. Live to survive.”

Solemn brown eyes in thin oval face were bright with fear and determination. The sharp edges of his nose, cheeks and jawline become prominently displayed as every muscle in the young boy’s body coils close to act. His only answer was to give his Father a single nod of understanding and then he was off to gather his sister and minor provisions.

A tiny little girl with lopsided pigtail braids, bright smile and tattered boys clothes sat at a chipped wooden desk. Homemade ink splattered across her right hand as she tried to draw a lizard on an old magazine. Igwa the lizard was a present that her Father had given to her as a birthday present that year. She loved it! Her older brother called it a lazy animal but she didn’t care. She loved the way it scampers across the floor and flicks its tongue out to eat bugs. She was just about to finish drawing the spines on the back when her brother tapped her shoulder.

She looked over her shoulder and beamed at her brother. “Guguh! Look, I’m drawing Igwa!”

The boy’s sharp features softened as he looked at his sister. “That looks great! We have to go and play the hiding game. You ready to play?”

“Yes! I remember. We have to be quiet, take our bag and go hide.”

“That’s right. Go get your bag and be ready to go in one minute. Ok?”

“Ok, Guguh!”

As the youngest Park scootched off her seat and ran to get her backpack, the young boy moved to grab a water filter, a large bottle of water and the flat cakes that their Father had made for breakfast. He threw everything into a bag that already held a change of clothes for each of them and zipped it closed. He swung it onto his back and met his sister by the main door to their suite of rooms. He put a finger against his lips and she nodded. He opened the door slowly and listened hard.

Nothing.

Nothing but the rush of blood pumping hard in his chest. The angry hiss of him trying to breathe sounded too loud. So loud that anyone could hear it. He knew it was nothing but fear spiking into paranoia but he couldn’t strangle it silent. Taking a big breath, the young boy that has yet to see his teen years, took his baby sister’s hand and they ran down the shadowed hallway, past the stairwell, rusting metal doors, and stopped at the maintenance closet just long enough to open the door and closet themselves inside.

His heart pounded louder than their soft footfalls on the carpet when they ran in the hallway. He put one hand on the wall and held onto the little one with the other. Uneven texture of pitted and paint peeling wall turned into a cold rusted metal. He pulled the chute open and whispered, “Remember to keep your arms and legs together and roll once you get to the bottom. Ok?”

“Ok,” she whispered back. She felt him pick her up, and she gave him a quick hug and kiss on his chin before he placed her into the chute. There was a moment where nothing happened at all and then she was off! She almost gave out a whoop of glee before she remembered that they were playing the hiding game.

The little girl loved the way the world seem to pass by in a hissing whoosh. She knew she was falling but it felt more like an adventure ride that ends in a pile of old pillows. She couldn’t help but giggle when she landed with a whumph and a cloud of dust danced into the air. She was about to jump up and down on the pillows but remembered to roll away instead and hide behind the large grey laundry cart. She tucked into herself, became as small as she could be and waited. She started to count to a hundred the way her Father taught her to.

One one thousand.

Two one thousand.

Three one thousand.

Her bubbly joy began to fade as she reached the thirties without a sign of her brother and started to count into the forties. A ping of unease wove into her heart and the palms of her little hands became moist. The feeling of foreboding crept over her slowly with the passing of each thousand and she was ready to give up on the game when a hissing noise tempered the silence and a darker figure flew into the air to land with a whumph! She didn’t wait like she’s suppose to. She ran fast as lightning, threw herself on her brother and hugged him tight.

“I was scared, Guguh.” she whispered into his side. Her eyes closed tight. She felt him hug her back awkwardly, patting her thin shoulder.

“Shh– shhh. It’s ok. Don’t forget the rules. We have to be very quiet and hide. Let’s go hide in the basement storage room. We’ll hide until Father finds us.”

The little girl nodded. One of her pigtails loosened and wavy little locks of blue black hair bounced as she moved her head. This time, she grabbed her brother’s hand and held tight. Her small, heart shaped face no longer held a bright smile.

They moved quickly in an almost jog. He lead her in a maze of turns that they both knew well. The whole building was their home, haven and playground. They knew every inch of it. Though, he had a better grasp of it than she did. The darkness didn’t frighten them. It never did. It would be hard to live in the desolate wastelands if one is afraid of the dark. Yet, the tension in the young boy’s frame only coiled tighter and the littlest Park could feel it. She didn’t understand why but she could feel that there’s something wrong.

It didn’t take long for them to reach the small storage room. He was careful to lift the door slightly and then open it. Otherwise, it would make a screeching squeal of worn and rusting metal. He tapped her on the back to let her know to go in. She felt for the edge of the door frame and walked in slowly with her hands held up in front of her. She only took seven steps into the room before turning around. She listened hard.

A noise of cloth moving against cloth. A huff of breathe. A ting-cked of metal and a definite click of the door setting into the place.

“Guguh?” she whispered.

“Go to the corner. We’ll wait on the little couch.” he whispered back.

They settled down onto the old, lumpy couch. He unrolled a blanket that their Father had left down there and pulled it over them. “We may be here for a while. Why don’t you try and take a nap?”

He felt her nod her head against his narrow chest and she snuggled in closer. It was a while before her breathing evened out in sleep. He tried to keep himself occupied by going over the plans for surviving in the desert. What to do if their Father didn’t come for them by nightfall. What he would have to do to keep them both safe until they reached Dodge City. It wasn’t safe for kids to be out in the desert alone.

Trouble was the code for raiders. Raiders came to toss Holda once every few years. Different ones for different reasons. The world’s gone to hell in a hurry when the bombs were let loose. Now everything is a wasteland and life is far from normal. Survival wasn’t for the smartest or the most fit. It was for whoever was strong enough to fight for life and smart enough to keep it going after victory.

Disjointed memories flooded his mind. He couldn’t just sit there and think about plans. No matter how many times he went over it all, it may not matter one whit. It could have been a false alarm. The Holda people may fight off the raiders. Their Father may die in the fight. Memories of the last big raid pushed over his denials and clogged his brain.

Screams.

The sharp Hai of fighting turned into harsh denials that turned into screams of fear and pain.

Dark red.
Everywhere.
It flowed quickly like a creature with a mind of its own. Searching for him. It came so close. Within inches of his face before stopping. A thin flow of red that grew thicker and darker. The rounded edges bloomed and made a lake of red out of the thin flow.

It grew each time Mother screamed.
Her screams grew hoarse and weak.
Wet sounds and masculine grunts took over.

He doesn’t remember when she stopped screaming.
When she stopped making any noise at all.
But the grunting and cursed filled satisfaction of the strangers didn’t stop.

He woke up in the darkness with a jerk and a whimpering scream clawing his throat dry. A rush of fear driven adrenaline and heat flooded his system. The cold quickly ate away the jagged warmth from his uncovered face as knowledge of where he was took root. An uncomfortable weight pushed down in his tummy. It didn’t help that the little one was snuggled tight against his side. He needed to go but he didn’t want to do it in the room.

He froze.

A loud clank and the sound of people moving. Muffled voices. He shook his little sister awake with a hand over her mouth. It muffled her questions. Her sleepy confusion. He put his lips near her ear and whispered fiercely, “Keep quiet and stand up with me. People are coming. They may find us. If it’s not Father, we have to run. Ok? Just nod your head.”

She nodded.

They stood up. He reached into the cushions of the couch and pulled out a metal rod. He rolled his shoulders and loosened his muscles. They were light from sleep but sore and tingling from were the littlest Park slept on him. He put her hand on edge of the back of his shirt. She knew to stand there. To be out of the way if he had to fight. To run.

Only minutes passed as the noises and voices grew louder but it felt like eons to the children. They waited. Growing more tense as time edged by. They didn’t have to wait too long before the heavy metal door was thrown open with a screaming metallic clash.

The shadowed outlines of a large man filled the doorway and wetness quickly puddled in the young boy’s pants as his bladder let go. The sharp smell of fresh urine filled the air and his body shook in shame wrapped fear.

With a roar of defiance, he tore away from his sister and rushed the enemy.

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Yours (Short Story)

The shreds of my clothes from last night litter the path of our feral abandonment. The signs left in the yard, on the front door, the glasses left to shatter in our need, fine scratches left by my nails on the corner wall and countless other small to large points to loudly declare the steps we passed.

But none of them compare to the marks left on my body. I can’t even remember exactly when or how each was made. Yet finding each one is like a personal treasure trove of passion and I smile.

Because I am yours.

~VS

PS – I took another shirt for my collection.
XOXOX

Tasty Places of Note in NYC

I’m a foodie. I’ve been cooking as long as I can remember and there’s very little I won’t eat. In some ways, I was a more adventurous eater when I was a kid but I feel that my taste buds have developed more as I’ve gotten older, and I tried out new recipes and dishes. New York City has many friends that I love to visit and a ton of food that I adore exploring. Here are some of my notes of places that I really liked during my NYC trips in 2012.

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Sidecar – 550 5th Ave, Brooklyn 

I had soup of the day, chicken soup, to start and fried chicken with kale & mashed potatoes. It all tasted great! It tasted just like home cooking, everything was super fresh and wholesome. The flavors were distinct, rich, and pleasing combination. The chicken soup was very tasty! Rich stock, perfect amount of fresh slivers of veggies and a raw egg that cooked as it was delivered to me. I really enjoyed the combination of flavors and textures. I loved the way the kale was prepared. Delicious! I wasn’t able to figure out exactly what they did to make it so tasty. I’d go back to eat something else and get kale on the side. The batter for the fried chicken was light, crispy-crunch and not greasy at all. The chicken was very tender, well fried and totally mouthwatering goodness. I also had Mint Lemonade. Very refreshing drink! A little on the sweet side, tart, and clean burst of fresh mint! I think I’ll make this at home.

Rodeo Bar & Grill – 375 3rd Ave, Manhattan

A cowboy bar with rustic decor, interesting lighting and fun props–like a bull crashing through the wall! The best thing I ate there was not the steak. Though it was prepared well and a perfectly even medium rare. The dessert was killer! We got the chocolate souffle which came with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and fudge drizzled magically on top. Anyone who likes chocolate will love this dessert. It was amazing! I believe it was a special for the night. If you can get it, you should definitely get it.

Tomoe Sushi – 172 Thomspon St, Manhattan

Audrey set up a dinner outing for Elizabeth & I (joined by Shorty George) at Tomoe. It’s one of her favorite sushi restaurants in town. The quality of the fish was great! Very fresh, awesome cuts and melt in your mouth goodness without the fishy after taste. I hardly used washabi, soy sauce or ginger to eat my combo platter. The rice was a little hard and not quite fluffy enough but fish was divine! Elizabeth had the clam soup and loved it. I ordered another soup and it was very tasty. The matcha green tea was just right and served religiously. We had a bonus appetizer: sushi salad. We devoured it in minutes! So good! I loved eating in this little restaurant and definitely plan on to go back there!

Grom – 233 Bleecher St, Manhattan

Tasty gelato! My second trip to this corner ice cream parlor. I bought a small cup of two gelatos: Mint Chocolate Chip & Expresso. The light, minty mint choco was a great compliment to the very rich expresso gelato. I had a sample of everyone else’s flavors & I’m impressed by the smooth, lip smacking quality of the flavors served there.

Fette Sau – 354 Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg

One of my favorite BBQ places to eat at in NYC! I’ve gone there almost every time I’m in NY. The selection is always a little different. I recommend getting the brisket. It’s great! My favorite from this trip was the lamb shank! Juicy, tender and full of flavor without being too gamey or woodsy. Roasted potatoes are one of my favorite sides from there. The key lime tart was a nice topping to a meal of meat and very little veggies.

Toshi’s Living Room at Flatiron Hotel – 9 W. 26th St, Manhattan

The Ponzu sliders are delicious and made to order. We usually get them medium rare and they’re delicious! Great mini beef burgers on brioche bread with Ponzu sauce, caramelized onions & chipotle mayo. All of the cocktails are strong but some are more tasty than others.

M Shanghai Bistro & Garden – 292 Grand St, Williamsburg

Baby BBQ Rib with spinach noodles was terrific way to revive ourselves from a long day. Spicy pork soup dumplings come out steaming hot, the soup is a little salty but mixes really well once you chow down into the pork and dumpling skin. The sticky rice pork shumai was a new treat. Presentation is great, the taste is okay and blend of textures with flavors was good. It could have used a sweet-tart sauce to compliment it. I don’t recommend eating shumai or soup dumplings as leftovers. It’s just not the same!

Good Stuff Diner – 109 W. 14th St, Manhattan

Elizabeth & I LOVE this diner! This is our favorite diner out of all the ones we’ve tried in NYC! The service is great, the food is well made and desserts are adorable! We ordered a rich devil’s chocolate cake. It had a chocolate mouse on top and the waiter drew flowers in syrup to accompany it. I haven’t had anything there that I don’t like.

Schmackary’s – 45th St & 9th Ave, Manhattan

Cute little bakery that makes maple bacon cookies! It was VERY tasty and the bacon bits were just enough to add a light meat, salty flavor without overpowering the whole. They had lots of other yummy goodies to eat there. I’ll try out more next time.

Bar Tabac – 128 Smith St, Brooklyn

My favorite bartender at Bar Tabac is Marco! He’s funny and makes great drinks. The food is really great and I loved everything I’ve had here. The first time, I liked the food so much, I kept ordering stuff to try because we were there for three hours hanging out, listening to live jazz and dancing. The drinks are very tasty and Marco enjoys interacting with the customers. On top of the great food and drinks, the Blue Vipers of Jazz played great music to accompany our meal and general shenanigans.

Radegast Hall & Beer Garden – 113 N. 3rd, Williamsburg

I am not a beer person but everyone I know who likes beer likes the beer served there. I enjoy the sorbets & pretzels. Mallory treated me to a drink called the Greenside. That was freakin’ delicious! And maybe a little evil. I’m pretty sure if I had a few of those drinks, I would have been very toasted. Good food, good drinks, live music and generally great company at the Radegast!

Salt & Fat – 41-16 Queens Blvd, Queens

This place is awesome!!! Totally worth going up to Queens to hang with friends and chow down on a really great meal! We did it in a haphazard family style. It was hard to do because there were 10 of us there. Our waitress welcomed us with the greeting, “Hi! I was hoping we’d get a large group today!” Good thing to note about the menu going from top to bottom: smaller to bigger portions & prices. The food is an interesting mix of Asian, American & European styles of cooking techniques. Very interesting!

Oh! Popcorn. It’s a simple snack right? Have you had popcorn made in bacon fat? If you haven’t, you should definitely try it! That’s the greeting snack that’s placed on the table as we poured over the menu and tried to figure out what to eat.

I had fun trying to figure out some of the dishes. The foie gras was like airy candy melting on my tongue. The pork belly sliders were tasty munchies of lip smacking goodness. The fried chicken are golden crispy on the outside and juicy tender meat inside. Ox tail plate was dubbed “beefcake” by Elizabeth and ordered twice! It was grilled crisp on the outside and flavorfully tender on the inside! A decorative array of cooked & blended onions and sauteed mushrooms edged the beefcake. The steak salad isn’t really a salad but the slices come out nice and medium rare. It’s not chewy at all! Just good beef ready to chow down and be devoured! There’s more stuff to add but I can’t recall it all right this moment. I will when I post the pictures though. Basically, go eat at the Salt & Fat. You will like it. You will eat till you’re stuffed. You will come back for more!

Intensity (A Poem)

Kaleidoscope of senses vying for singular attendance,
A convergence of tangential thoughts and actions focusing on one.
The world fades as the senses fill with sharp, poignant wonderment:
a husky scent, tinted with a tang of greenery, tantalizes fleeting memory,
the soothing warmth emanating, growing steadily
between bodies moving in rhythmic, close embrace,
darting tongue over lower lip, laving a glistening
path and tasting one’s exertion firsthand,
a glance upwards caught by dark eyes
gazing downwards in questioning intensity, seeking—
music’s pulse soaring, entwining with dueling heartbeats,
faint catch of breathe, soft laughter brimming with dawning joy.

A Moment in the Dance

 

Dear Sparks (Bribing My Muse)

Dear Sparks,

I’m glad that you haven’t completely abandoned me. I know because I can still tap out funny comments that have friends laughing for most of the day, and the creative juices are still working out new ideas to fire up my imagination. So… are we playing a game of cat and mouse? Did you feel neglected because I’ve been busy this week with other matters?

The past few months have been great! It’s been a while since we’ve combined our powers and cranked out new work on a daily basis. It’s been a joy to rediscover my love of words and dust off the cobwebs from my misplaced vocabulary.

Let’s make a pack, shall we? That regardless of what life has in store for me, we shall remain fiercely loyal to one another and never stave off the inspirational flow of stories, observations and poetry.

Writing words without a spark feels empty and lusterless. If I wanted to just write, I can. I’d rather write words that have some oomph to them. Meaty passages that tickle the imagination and unveil interesting layers. Be it simple or divine, words that strike home to the heart of the matter or outline the shadows of that which has yet to come.

I miss ya, Sparks. Come back to me. Stop playing outside and come back to warm the vast caverns of my mental castle and grounds.

Love,

Moi, grantanter

Pretty please? (Short Story)

A steamy short story with mature content.

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Note to Readers:  This is an interactive short story. Two songs were chosen to accompany the following story. To get the full effect, you may want to listen to the songs as you read. Enjoy!

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Beep-Beep

Text:  I’ll be home in 10 min. I have a surprise for you. wicked grin

The sound of the door unlocking catches his attention and he turns his head to see her walk in the front door. Her long dark hair is in a fancy twist and held in place by two silver bejeweled sticks. A rich black mantle hides her body from neck to ankles. Leaving only her shining silver heels and dainty feet in view.

“Here catch.” She’s turns to face him, a mischievous smile quirking up the side of her dark pink lips and she throws something at him. A small blur of motion that he catches with ease. It’s her smartphone. He raise his dark brow questioningly. She laughs softly and her smile blooms wickedly. “I have it on the music program. Push play.”

She waits.
Laughs softly, a purr rising from her throat.
Lashes fall to hover over dark eyes, she pleads sweetly, “Pretty please?”

He activates the screen and pushes play.

A simple intro plays and fills in depth as a female vocalist begins to croon. As the music starts, her confident carriage flows into a sensuous line that hints at the curves hidden by the mantle. Pulsing with the slow deep beat, she draws the black velvety material apart by lifting her hands up by her sides. One slim leg steps into view as the vocalist croons and a slow circular thrust of her hip gives a flash of red inside.

Dancing to the sultry melody, she turns in a circle with a flare of black cloth. Looking over her shoulder, she teasingly draws down the mantle to reveal a delicate red ruffle and shoulder. Rolling a shoulder with the throbbing beat, she shows a flash of bare skin as she uses the mantle like a overlarge scarf that caresses her petite body and hides whatever is beneath. A secret smile whispers on her lips as she shows off one shoulder, the next, a graceful toned arm and then leg. Hips swinging side to side with a twisting flare, her torso flows in sensuous rolls as she bends down until all he could see are her cloaked round ass flowing and grinding to the music.

Slowly the mantle rises up and her muscular sculpted legs are revealed inch by inch until a fanciful red, ruffled lace panties are put on display. A clinging, sheer frame over her small curvy round behind and hint at the secret heat between those slightly parted thighs. A hand appears between the tender legs with a middle finger leading the rest, reaching back to land in the valley of two pale cheeks and circles over a hidden star to the song and caresses down towards her moist entrance.

Isolating core muscles, she undulates her body as she stands up and drops the mantle with a twist of her shoulders when the siren vocalist raises her voice. Her hands flow up to her neck, caressing down along her sides and turns with a gyration of hips to face him. He sees the sexy ruffled red lingerie that he’s only caught glimpses of thus far. The silken half cup wire bra displays two tempting mounds. The lace ruffles lining the shoulders and hips change the delicate lingerie into a miniscule halter and skirt.

Now there is nothing to hinder his view of her lithe body’s flowing limbs, staggered stretch and flex of toned abs, circular isolations of her torso and graceful hip bumping circles as she dances for him and comes closer with each sultry bump and grind step.

Her only desire is to perform for him. To please him with her body, her come hither dance and entice his powerful masculine desires. Though she dances alone, his eyes blaze over every part of her and sends the tempered flames of her need into a blazing passion that she cannot deny. A sheen of perspiration coats the shallow dip of her throat, glimmers from the shadow valley between her breasts and along the curving lines of her belly.

With flirting brown eyes and a wicked dance, she makes her way across the room to him as the guitar solo riffs and refrains fill the heightened air of tantalizing expectations. Another song heats the air with a burst of drums and guitar. She straddles his lap with one knee tucked on either side of his thighs and starts a wanton lap dance. When his hands raise to touch her, she raises one index finger and waves a denial before dragging a nail across his lower lip. Her hips gyrate on his groin as the female vocalist declares her love. Small fingers weave his into his hair and massages his scalp, down to his neck, dragging nails over the long muscle laying over his shoulders and play over his body as she undulates her form on him.

She can feel his raging, engorged length pushing up to meet her teasing and dripping wet center. Now that she was where she wanted to be, dancing on the man she desires more than anything else. She can’t help the little whimpers and breathy moans that sing out of her and winds with the music. Even as she hopes to bring him to a fever pitch of arousal, she knows she is willing captive in the same web she weaves. Grinding on the taunt steel flesh beneath her, she gives into the need to take and lays her soft lips over his to kiss him with all of her pent up passion.

The song draws to an end with quick fingered guitar riffs and tempered clashing percussion. Breathing heavily, she pulls away from his addictive kiss. A small hand caresses his rough, bristled cheek and she smiles into his eyes.

“Did you like it? Your surprise?”

***