Tag Archives: Envy

We Have A Winner!

English: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four La...

English: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch, completed in 1485. The painting is oil on wood panels. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Congratulations to Lorna for her prize winning entry in the Envy round of the Seven Deadly Sins contest.  Her entry received the most votes in the poll and as such, her story “The Mask” will be entered into the final “Best of Show” round against the other round winners.

The next round will be my personal favorite “Sloth”.  As soon as my head stops hurting, my nose stops running, and my ear stops feeling like it will implode – I’ll get the submission box up.  No reason you can’t start on that entry now, though.  Just because the hostess is languishing on the couch, sipping Nyquil and sneezing her darned fool head off is no reason for you to be sloth-like.

Again – congratulations, Lorna.  Nice work.

 

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Envy – What Hard Feelings?

Syringe 5 with drops.

Photo credit: Wikipedia.

I realized I hadn’t posted my non-contest entry for Envy (well, I had, but half of that post disappeared, along with my designation of the drink of the month  – The Hurricane).  Well, here it is.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 What Hard Feelings?

 I didn’t want to take the patient in 311. I’d known Cherry Sullivan since nursing school – we’d been inseparable as nursing students – even working together after graduation at the same plastic surgeon’s office. But a lot had happened since then. Not all of it good.

“Cherry, I’m going to be your nurse tonight,” I said, closing her chart. Her paperwork told me she had been admitted after a routine cosmetic surgery. Liposuction – yet another in a long list of “enhancements” including breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, lip remodeling, chin implant, and cheek implants. Patients routinely went home – or to a nearby hotel after this type of surgery but, apparently, a cosmetic surgeon with some pull could get his wife admitted to a private room on demand.

“Oh, Laura, I’m so glad. Maybe we can get caught up”. She reached for my hand with her perfectly manicured one, her huge diamond engagement ring glinting. I pulled my hand away, suddenly ashamed of my chewed fingernails and stubby fingers, and punched some buttons on the bedside monitor. I turned back and looked into her turquoise eyes – colored contacts being yet another enhancement – I remembered her eyes being blue, but not this shade. Her sculpted face, perfectly symmetrical and flawless, looked hopeful.

I thought, “Fat chance.  I’ve got five other patients who are actually either sick or in need of care. I’ve got meds to give, dressings to change, and paperwork up the wazoo. Fat chance I’m going to have time to sit with you and catch up.”

“Um, I’ve got a pretty heavy patient load tonight,” I said. “I’ll be back in a bit”.  I turned to leave.

As I reached the door Cherry said “Laura, I hope there are no hard feelings about the job”.

I stopped but did not turn around. The job. When we both had been employed by the same cosmetic surgeon’s office after graduation, we were elated. Two years later Cherry had married the good doctor and I, four months pregnant, had been replaced by a medical assistant. Make that two medical assistants – after all, they were much more economical to employ than Registered Nurses. I had gone from a dream job working 9 to 5 to 12 hour shifts at the hospital, working nights, holidays and weekends. I went from peaceful nights to trying to sleep during the day with my three children romping in the next room of the crowded apartment under the less-than-watchful eye of my chronically underemployed, perpetually sullen, and habitually lazy husband. She had a successful husband, a McMansion, a nanny, and didn’t work outside the home. What hard feelings?

“I’ve got to go, Cherry. I’ll be back in a bit”, I said ignoring the subject. I felt the atmosphere change.

“Bring me a ginger ale and something for pain, right away, could you?” she asked, her voice petulant.

“Sure,” I muttered, “Right away”.

Not even a “please”. Not “when you have time”.

“What am I, some sort of waitress?” I mumbled on the way to the medication room. I prepared syringes and slipped them into my scrubs pocket.

“Right away, my ass” I said out loud.

I stopped and prepared the requested soft drink, and headed back to her room, getting interrupted multiple times in the process.

“Finally”, she moaned. “I’ve got a lot of pain.”

I attached a syringe to her IV and pushed in a small amount of pain medication.

“This should help”, I said.

“What took you so long?” she whined.

I slammed the plunger down, twisted the syringe off and attached another.

“This should help a lot”.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I also realized that I hadn’t designated a prize for this round.  I thought about making the cookies offered last round, which Dave graciously declined in favor of a donation.  But it’s roughly 100 degrees here and I’m too cranky to bake.

So I asked my dog Shelby what I should do.  Shelby told me that she is the envy of all the dogs at the shelter, having won the rescue and adoption lottery and going to a forever home where she is not only pampered, but loved unconditionally.  Shelby also loves children so much, she thought any organization that helps grant wishes to children would be appropriate.  I have to agree with her.

The winner will be able to designate a charitable organization, which helps alleviate the envy by granting wishes of children or animals,  to receive a $40 donation.  In addition, Lenore Diane has graciously agreed to donate funds to an organization chosen from a list supplied by her.  So get your buddies to vote here, and figure out which organization will receive the money WHEN YOU WIN!!!

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Envy – The Finalists

Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution

Ready 2 Rumble: Revolution (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Well, it’s finally time to vote!!!  Thanks to my small, but stalwart, panel of judges – and with the assistance of the very talented writers of the Envy entries, the field has been narrowed to 5 finalists.  These top vote-getters are very worthy, indeed.

To make it easier for readers, I am going to repeat the top 5 entries here, followed by the poll which will determine the Winner.  That way you won’t have to keep jumping around to find the entries.  If you haven’t done so, please visit the blogs of these talented writers.

Voting will take place until midnight Tuesday, June 12, 2012.  You may vote once per day (if I have it set right this time – I’m a work in progress – the more I screw up, the more I learn!!)

Without further ado, I present to you – the finalists of the Envy round of the Seven Deadly Sins Contest.

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From Pegoleg:

New Car

Frank pulled into the club lot and headed for his usual parking space.  Bob was always there first, but today the adjacent spot was empty.

“Damn!” Frank thought sourly.  Wasn’t it just like that SOB to be late today?

Bob was his oldest friend.  At least that’s how Frank would have described the relationship.  It would be more accurate to say the two men were competitive, slightly antagonistic business acquaintances who cheated at golf against one another every Saturday.  Frank lacked the mental subtlety to understand the distinction,

He brought the Lexus SUV to a stop and sat for a moment, enjoying the custom-fitted leather bucket seat.  He mopped his beefy, sweating face and breathed in the distinctive new car smell.  The temperature gauge read 71, but to Frank it felt like 90.  His stomach clenched and he popped a couple of Tums – hell, he’d been eating them like candy lately.

The car purred; damn it was a fine automobile.

It aught to be.  An icy finger stroked his spine at the thought of the $90,000+ price tag.  The total bill, presented 3 days ago along with the keys, had caused him to swallow – hard.  His monthly payment, added to his mortgage and his wife’s unrelenting spending; well, it was enough to give any man indigestion.  The burning feeling in his gut intensified.

He needed this car.  He deserved this car.  It was practically a business necessity.  Who wanted financial advice from a guy who drove a junker?  Certainly not Bob.  He was Frank’s biggest client.  That man was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  He always had the best and had no idea what someone like Frank went through just to keep up.

A sharp stab in the solar plexus doubled him over for a moment.  The pain passed, leaving him gasping for air and sweating even more profusely.   It might be time to go back to that doctor, though he knew just what he’d say.  He’d give Frank the same old line: too much rich food, too much liquor, and too much stress.

Frank got out of the car and wiped an imaginary smudge off the Black Onyx hood.  He’d really wanted old Bob to be standing here when he drove up.  That bastard would be impressed for sure.

A sharp blast on a horn a few feet away made Frank jump.  He spun around as an unfamiliar vehicle nosed into the space.

“Sorry I’m late.  I had to stop at the dealership on the way over to pick up my latest toy.  I wanted you to be the first to see it, old friend.”  Bob had to raise his voice to be heard over the thrum of the powerful engine.  He hopped out of the sports car and made his way around to the front where Frank stood, frozen to the spot.

“Yup, I says to myself, Frankie boy would want to be the FIRST to see this.  I ordered it months ago…” Bob’s laughing, mocking voice went on and on, but Frank couldn’t hear it over the roaring in his ears.  Searing pain in his chest squeezed like an anaconda as a lifetime of “too much” caught up with him.

Frank pitched forward onto the gleaming, Serpent Green hood.  His senses were shutting down.  Now he could feel his bare arms sliding down the warm, smooth metal.   Now his vision narrowed to a pinprick as he crumpled to the pavement.  Frank’s last sight on this earth was the distinctive emblem on the front of the car’s hood – the Lamborghini bull.

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From Dave at 1pointperspective:

Nick Valenti – Swim Club Gigolo

Nicky V. hustled.  He went to community college and worked at the bowling alley.  He’d been there long enough to be able to run the whole show.  He sprayed disinfectant in the rental shoes when he had to, but where he really shined was shmoozing the moms who came in to have birthday parties for their little brats.  He’d make sure the bumpers were up and that they kept off the hardwood with the pizza and soda.  Nick couldn’t help but look at those moms with their shiny SUV’s and wish he had some better wheels.

In the summer months, business fell off at the alley and Nicky worked over at the Delcrest Swim Club.  His cousin Jimmy “One Thumb” Valenti was officially the manager, but Nicky did the work.  Jimmy just picked up a check – nine fingers or not, he had no problem with that skill.  Nicky should be so lucky.

Nick was a bit of a player with the lovely young ladies at the pool.  This summer was different.  Nicky was tired of the teenagers, he had his eye on bigger game.

Nicky figured the woman was in her 30′s, and she had him in some kind of trance.  She was built like a centerfold.  Strippers should have studied the way she moved.  Her name was Crystal Light, just like the diet drink mix.  Funny, because her old man looked like he’d never been within a mile of lo-cal anything.  Nicky looked at that fat slob and dreamed of having his life.  As if having a knockout like Crystal wasn’t enough, the round man owned a classic Caddy.  It drove Nicky crazy that this guy had it all, and more chins than a Chinese phonebook.

When Crystal started chatting with Nicky down by the diving well, he thought maybe she was going to hit him up to work on the Caddy.  The trunk lock had been popped and it was held closed with clothesline.  He couldn’t believe that tub of Beefaroni would drive a number like Crystal around a classic car rigged like that.  Where was the justice?

He was trying so hard to look cool that he wasn’t sure he heard her right.  She smiled, then turned and walked away to find her husband at the snack bar.  Nicky tried to recall her exact words, but the sight of her walking away wasn’t helping his thought process.  He was convinced that she wanted Mr. Light turned off for good.

Nick was no murderer, but he kept imagining driving the Caddy with Crystal snuggled up against him.  He pictured himself pulling into the driveway of the Light’s split level over on Belmont Terrace.  He deserved that life.  He’d do it.

That’s how he found himself crouching in a cluster of  rhododendrons at the edge of Light’s property, his fingers sweating as his grip tightened on the handle of the gun he’d lifted from One Thumb’s desk at the swim club.  That 500-pounder-with-cheese was bound to come out of his house eventually, and Nicky would be waiting, swatting mosquitoes.

Nick felt the presence but didn’t even have a chance to turn around before the bowling pin cracked across the back of his skull and knocked him into dreamland.

The man stood over Nick, wearing torn jeans and a badly scuffed leather jacket, scrapes on his hands and face.

He said, “Sorry kid, but there’s already a line formed for guys who want to kill that fat bastard.”

Willie Prader pulled out a Lucky and leaned back down into the shadows of the bushes to light it without being seen.

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From Audrey

Adrenaline junkie, that’s what they called her.  They didn’t understand it wasn’t the thrills that kept her coming back.  It had morphed into so much more.  And now this poser stepped in.  A glory hound and experience fiend wrapped in one – just like her.  And he had stolen her spotlight.

Her green eyes flashed at the thought.  If he was good, she would just do better.  Jealously coursed through her veins as she watched him basking in the adoration of the capricious mob.  Not for long…  Not long.  Frustration brimmed to the surface while she watched them fawn over him.  The sheep, stupid sheep in adulation, always looking for the next best thing.  He was nothing!  A copy-cat.   A cad.  The sinewy vines of envy wrapped around her heart, choking like ivy until her chest ached.  But she would do what it took to surpass him, she would become unforgettable.

It was her turn.  The crowd, that fickle and spineless following – she needed and loathed them at once –thronged behind.  She stepped onto the platform and the world went silent.  Suddenly one of the more astute piped up, “Where’s her bungee cord?”  She smiled.  Unforgettable.  Let him try and beat this.  She jumped, screams of the horde following her over the edge and then the falling, surrendering to the blackness in an elegant swan dive.  Her last thought was smug satisfaction.  Unforgettable.  And him?  He would fade into oblivion now.

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 From Darla at She’s a Maineiac:

Darling’s Cupcakes

When it comes right down to it, I guess I just didn’t want to come out. Who would? My mother never fails to tell my sisters how I howled as the doctor clamped down and yanked me from her uterus, a lifeless ragdoll. “You came out and lawd have mercy, you were bluer ‘n your Daddy’s eyes! We thought you were dead!” But I wasn’t. Not yet. Course, I always knew the real reason I didn’t want to enter this world–my older sisters.

But time marched on and I had to come out eventually. And for us Darling girls, timing was everything–it defined us for all eternity.  First out of my mom’s womb at 12:32 am was Stacy, flushed a rosy pink from her hearty cries. Then along came Tracy at 12:38, Stacy’s identical in every way with her perfectly round head, long feathery lashes and dewy soft skin. Me? I was the odd one from the start. And they always made sure I knew it.

My sisters were shining stars in our little town.  Boys always coming around, pacing on the front porch with flowers for one or the other. I sat in my room, watching from the window. “Tootle-loo, Lexy!” they’d sing.  I can still hear their fake laughs and the door slamming as they ran off to another party without me.

That all changed with my mom’s new cupcake business. If there was one thing she could do in life, it was bake a good cupcake. She started whipping up exotic flavors one afternoon, key lime pie with buttercream, red velvet with a dab of cream cheese in the middle and topped with dark chocolate fondant.

Soon my two sisters were standing by her side in the kitchen, the three of them wearing matching aprons dusted with flour, giggling and singing and making them damn cupcakes. They sold out the first few batches at the local flea market and not long after that Darling’s Cupcakes was born.

I let them have their cupcakes. I never liked to bake anyway. But the day I walked by the Royal River and caught a glimpse of Stacy on her tiptoes reaching up to kiss Jacob’s cheek my feelings about cupcakes changed.

Over dinner one night she told Mama that my sweet Jacob was going to marry her. She needed 200 vanilla buttercream cupcakes for the wedding guests. I offered to help. Mama was shocked and more than a little pleased with me. I spent hours melting that butter in the pot, stirring and stirring to get it just right for the frosting. Mama loved my idea of creating two extra special cupcakes for the bride and groom. I fixed them up real nice, added food coloring to make them pink and topped them with tiny hearts cut from raspberry fondant.

It was supposed to just scare her. Make her a little sick is all. I wanted to see her face as she threw up pink cupcake all over Jacob as they kissed.  I measured just the right amount into her cupcake, or so I thought at the time.  I served the happy couple my creations with the biggest grin I could manage. How was I to know how strong that rat poison would be?

By the time I noticed them feedin’ each other and the wrong cupcake crossing Jacob’s lips it was too late. I did my best to try and stop him. By the time I knocked the cupcake out of his hands he was choking and turning purple.

They say I’ll get a chance for parole in 12 years.

I’ll never have Jacob.

But neither will Stacy.

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From Lorna at Lorna’s Voice

“Behind the Mask”

She could see it in their eyes. That’s why she never looked at them directly; well, at least not at the women. Men’s eyes revealed the kind of poison she knew how to swallow, but not the women’s eyes. She had no antidote for what they injected straight into her heart.

She’d seen that look many times before.

“Don’t stare at me. I told you it ain’t polite to stare at people,” her mother said to her reflection as she watched in little-girl wonder at how powder, mascara, and lipstick created a mask, transforming her mother’s sallow, withered face into something close to radiant.

“You’re so pretty now, Ma. Can you teach me how to put that stuff on?” she said.

“Not on your life, Missy. God knows where you got your looks and you sure as hell ain’t gonna whore yourself up under my roof. Now get yourself outta here. I got a friend comin’ over and I don’t want you gettin’ in the way.”

She was nine. Or was she eight when this happened? Maybe it didn’t happen. She often lived in a fantasy world. That’s what her mother said with a disdain that suggested she needed a cure for this unfortunate condition. She liked to think she had a vivid imagination, but what she thought didn’t matter.

She knew about her mother’s “friends” and how they looked at her. She also remembered her mother’s narrow-eyed glare at her when she caught them looking. It was a hard look that said, “Why do you have to be so damn young and pretty?”

If only she could make a mask like her mother made, maybe she could become someone radiant like the sun—someone her mother could love; but that didn’t happen.

She learned how to make her own mask, though; and she became someone else she never could be without the mask. Behind the mask, she didn’t care that women envied her for her beauty and sensuality or that men only loved her for what—not who—they  saw. The mask and her imagination took her places she never expected. Then again, she never expected much.

She made a career out of being the woman behind the mask. Most men fell to their knees in her presence. She learned how to make them hers when the mask was in place. Most women were drawn to her and some emulated her as best they could. There was magic in the mask and these women wanted it badly. Imitation wasn’t, she found, only a form a flattery; it was a form of premeditated murder. Women wanted her gone. And so the acerbic stares continued, as if their stinging rays could pierce and dismantle the mask and the woman behind it.

When she was alone in her bathroom and all that remained of the mask was smeared colors on so many tissues scattered around her, she was naked and bewildered. Without the mask to define her, who was she? Adored goddess? Bitch?

She glared at the remnants of mask as if she was one of those plain women, her eyes muddled with the same odd concoction of adoration and hatred she had seen all of her life, and said, “I want to be just like you. You have it all.”

The mask stared back from the bits and pieces around her. It whispered, “And I wish I could be just like you. You are the one who has it all.”

She grabbed a marble soap dish and threw it at the mirror.

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Envy – Post 5

Hey, sorry to keep you waiting – I’ve been battling a migraine for several days and well, it is hard to read, write, type or function with your head under a pillow.  I know it is a holiday, so raise a glass of the drink of the month (tequila!!  What? Cinco De Mayo can be celebrated all month, right?  Right?) and offer a toast in honor those brave men and women who lost their lives trying to finish what politicians and world leaders had started.  Then refill that glass – hell, bring the pitcher – and enjoy these latest offerings.

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 From Miss Demure Restraint  (who is back by the way, please stop by and say hello, maybe offer a hug – ’cause that’s how we roll):

The room was filled with the souvenirs gathered throughout a life of adventure.  The bullroarer collected in the Outback lay on the shelf next to the Tumi knife picked up in Cuzco.  The Tibetan Thangka hung near the window opposite a Baule mask from the Ivory Coast.  The Xianpgi set bartered for in the Pangiayan Market and bone china tea set acquired in Edinburgh graced the top of the Kotatsu table radiating warmth from the corner.  Numerous bits and pieces amassed wandering the world vied with one another for attention in the small hospice room dominated by the hospital bed which had only recently dwarfed its fragile occupant.

A man well-traveled had just died here . . . alone.  For all his exploits, he had never had the time to make the human connection.  Never did he experience the greatest of all adventures.    Never did he wait with baited breath for the birth of a child.  Never did he work a job he hated to provide for a family he loved more than himself.  Never did he return to the loving arms of a woman graying and past her prime.   Never did he stand proud at the graduation of a son or the wedding of a daughter.  Never did he cry silent in the night not knowing how he would be everything needed by those in his charge.   Never did he hear the words “I love you” from one he had given up his dreams for.

The young orderly stood surveying the mess he was packing up for disposal.  He searched for a picture, or a letter, or indication of any kind there was someone that would want to know a lost and lonely soul had left this world . . . anyone that would want something here to remember the sad, miserable man that had spent the last days of his life in this forlorn place.  The youth closed and taped each box of the now worthless hoard of memories unshared, feeling a sorrow for the adventurer once envied.

The cell phone in his pocket rang.  It was his wife.  The baby was colicky.  His son’s soccer team had lost.  The electric bill was past due. She was frustrated and exhausted.  She waited for him to respond, but he was only now understanding the treasures of his own adventures.   All he could say as he choked back tears was “I love you.”

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 From Anne Schilde:

Her

 I hate her. I just hate her. There aren’t words for the depth of the hatred that wrenches my gut every single time I see her face.

Life is so unfair.

If life was fair, she would wear my face for a day. Feel what it’s like to walk in my shoes, to not be such a goddess. I should be the goddess, a real goddess. I would curse her to suffer my fate. She would feel the agony of being plain like me. If life was fair, I wouldn’t have to stare at her every miserable day.

Everything about her is so perfect. Why does she have to be so perfect? Not a mark blemishes her skin. Mirrored brows that have never seen tweezers a day in their life drape eyes of crystal blue. The slender elegance of her nose, the kissable sweetness in her Barbie doll lips… I wish she was a picture, a perfect little picture, so I could tear her to shreds.

She knows she has it all. I can see it in her face. Her absolutely flawless, even-the-angels-would-be-jealous face. Rubbing my nose in her beauty gives her such sickening satisfaction. I want to kill her. I’d rake out her mocking eyes, if I could only touch her.

I remember when she was little. God, I hated her then too. Her pretty blonde hair and her adorable pink cheeks stole everyone’s attention and she always had to be first. First at everything. She was first to get her ears pierced, first to wear makeup, first to wear the glow of a boy’s first kiss.

She thinks I want to be like her, to be her. Her smug smile teases me when she thinks it. But she’s wrong. I don’t want to be her. I don’t. I hate for even thinking it. I hate her self-righteous looks. I hate her just for being her, for not being me.

If life was fair, I’d make her take my place. I would make her stare at my framed beauty in envy. I would be the one with the smug smile, and the taunting, reproachful eyes of sapphire. If life was fair, I could bring myself to smash her.

Life is so unfair.

I’ll probably have to stare at her for the rest of my days. I wouldn’t have to if I died, if I killed myself. She’d have no one to torment anymore. It would serve her right. I’d hate myself to Hell for giving her the satisfaction, but I’d be first.

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 And from MJ at breakingchase:

The day couldn’t possibly get any longer as the nurse nears the counter to sign out, at least that’s what she is thinking.  “Hey, Bailey,” the head nurse calls from behind her as her fingers grasp the clipboard in one hand and a pen in the other, “I hate to do this to you, but we need you to stay for another hour.”

Incredible!  Didn’t they realize she was only human?  “Please, I really need to get some sleep,” she begins, “I’ve been on the clock for over twelve hours and I came to work straight from picking up my daughter at the airport–spring break, you know.”

“Yeah, I know all about it,” she shakes her head, “but we really need you here.  Sorry.”  Her superior doesn’t sound sorry, and doesn’t even pause before walking away.  The feelings she’s having are irrational, but that doesn’t matter now.  Nothing matters but her job, she reminds herself.

The ER doors fly open and the paramedics pull in a loaded gurney and rush past her, down the hall.  “Bailey, follow them down there and make sure we’ve got everything ready in the OR.  The medics can fill you in on the specifics.”

She rushes to the OR where the men are moving things aside to make room for the gurney. The patient is lying on the bed with bleeding and open wounds amidst purple and red tissue.  Where the mouth belongs is a hole where an air tube squeezes inside to keep the esophagus from closing off.

Another nurse pokes her head in the door and one of the men approaches her.  They whisper for a bit before he turns around to say, “They say they it’s a streetwalker from the subway.  Apparently, she lost her footing–probably drunk or on drugs, I’d say.”

“Thanks for bringing her in,” is her cold response, “There’s nothing more to do until the surgeon gets here than keep her calm and find a vein for the IV.”  She begins to search the flesh on the right arm and then the left, with no luck.  “Damn waste of life, anyway,” she murmurs, forcing the IV into her arm.

As if in answer to her, the one good eye pops open to reveal a pool of blue, surrounded by the grotesque parasite who owns it.  The eye widens and stares at her, as if trying to speak because the only audible noise is the moist gasping of the air hose in her trachea.

“It’s because of vermin like you that my sweet Margo is sitting home alone tonight.”  She steps toward the bed, looking directly into the eye that’s watching her when the door pops open.

“All prepped?” the surgeon asks, heading back to the sink, “The anesthesiologist is due any minute.  Let’s get this show on the road, kids!”

Approaching the patient again, her hands reach out and grasp the tube supplying the junky with life.  She tips it to the side so it sucks against the interior of her throat, cutting off her air.  Panic strikes the patient, unable to move due to the straps and her eye grows large in fear.  Finally, the singular eyeball quits moving, and stares into nothing. The wheezing stops.

“They found her wallet,” the doctor says approaching the table, “Turns out she isn’t a hooker after all, but some college girl taking the subway to meet her mom for lunch.  License says Margo Bailey.  Hey, isn’t that your last name?”

Lifting the damaged hand, she can see her daughter’s class ring with her initials surrounding the sapphire, MRB.

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Envy – Post 2

English: Table of the Mortal Sins Invidia (env...

English: Table of the Mortal Sins Invidia (envy). Nederlands: De zeven hoofdzonden Invidia (afgunst). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grab the beverage of your choice and sip your way through these mighty offerings:

Lisa from Lisa Wields Words: (Lisa your paragraphs did not come through so I popped them in where I thought appropriate.  Let me know if you want anything changed).

Happy Ever After Not Guaranteed:  Edith

When Edith arrived, I had high hopes that finally we would be welcoming someone who would truly appreciate all we had to offer her. Her disheveled, hand-me-down appearance at the portal in the woods suggested that she was seeking access to a better life. Edith blinked and looked around.

“Where am I? Who are you? Where are the others? They ditched me, didn’t they? I knew it.”

Once I could get a word in, I answered, “You are home. My name is Mrs. Dalrymple, and I am here to make your every wish come true. The only other people here are my fairy helpers.  I’m sure your friends were simply not deserving of life here at the Manor,” I pointed to the lovely house and gardens a short walk away.

Her face glowed as it transitioned from confusion and suspicion to awe and delight. Edith had the best reaction ever, which gave me hope that she was indeed the one. “That looks like my dream home,” she whispered as if afraid that speaking would destroy the illusion.

“Welcome home, my dear! Allow me to show you around.” Her excitement grew as she saw each aspect of the manor, from the beautiful gardens containing all her favorite flowers to each room especially her bedroom up in the turret.

“It’s like you broke into my hidden dream box and gave me everything I’ve ever wanted,” she said as she twirled around in the turret. “How do I thank you? Who do I thank?”

“No need to thank us, dear,” I said. “We are here to fulfill your dreams.”

For a timeless moment, everything was perfect. The fairies and I surpassed ourselves providing her with the best of everything her heart could desire. We threw her parties filled with handsome fairy folk, where she became the belle of the ball. We built her decadent baths and created clothing made of sensuous material. She ate whatever she desired. Any dream she ever had, we provided.

I should have known things were changing when she began saying things like, “Where are my friends? I bet they are together dancing with princes and having fabulous adventures. Are they wealthier than me? Do they have bigger houses? Are they thinner, more beautiful?”

“I don’t know anything about them,” I explained. “Besides, this is the home of your dreams. This is the life of your dreams.”

“Why didn’t they come with me if this is the place of dreams? That was the whole point, to go to a land where our dreams could come true together. They just used me, didn’t they? They needed a seventh person for the spell to work, and they tricked me into thinking that I was finally part of their group.” She began looking out towards the dark woods surrounding our home.

“How do I get through the woods? I must find them. I have to prove I am as good as they are.”

“The Woods of Discontent are dangerous,” I warned. “Only those with true self-confidence and sense of purpose survive.”

Her eyes flashed green as she snapped, “I think that I am as good as they are, and I intend to prove it.”

I knew we had lost Edith then.

“This place is falling apart,” she said, and of course the Manor, sensitive to her thoughts, suddenly looked old and tired.

“Mrs. Dalrymple,” she ordered, “pack my bag. I will not let them win.”

“This isn’t enough!” Her final words as she strode into the looming darkness. The silence built to a scream.

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Next, from Audrey

 Adrenaline junkie, that’s what they called her.  They didn’t understand it wasn’t the thrills that kept her coming back.  It had morphed into so much more.  And now this poser stepped in.  A glory hound and experience fiend wrapped in one – just like her.  And he had stolen her spotlight.

Her green eyes flashed at the thought.  If he was good, she would just do better.  Jealously coursed through her veins as she watched him basking in the adoration of the capricious mob.  Not for long…  Not long.  Frustration brimmed to the surface while she watched them fawn over him.  The sheep, stupid sheep in adulation, always looking for the next best thing.  He was nothing!  A copy-cat.   A cad.  The sinewy vines of envy wrapped around her heart, choking like ivy until her chest ached.  But she would do what it took to surpass him, she would become unforgettable.

It was her turn.  The crowd, that fickle and spineless following – she needed and loathed them at once –thronged behind.  She stepped onto the platform and the world went silent.  Suddenly one of the more astute piped up, “Where’s her bungee cord?”  She smiled.  Unforgettable.  Let him try and beat this.  She jumped, screams of the horde following her over the edge and then the falling, surrendering to the blackness in an elegant swan dive.  Her last thought was smug satisfaction.  Unforgettable.  And him?  He would fade into oblivion now.

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And an offering from Katie at frametale.wordpress.com (Katie your paragraphs also did not come through so let me know if you wish them to appear other than as I put them).

 Breaking Down

She was the pinnacle of what a human being could achieve, and I had never realized how far I fell short until she was there to show me where the bar was. When she spoke, her words were insightful, articulate, effortless, and those listening would latch on with affirmation and praise.

When I spoke, the ideas fled from my head halfway through and I’d forget the point I was making, or realize it was inapplicable, and anyone who was actually paying attention would remain silent, hoping the event of my blunder would fade along with the sound of the words.

We never spoke. I think she smiled at me once, so innately friendly. But she wouldn’t remember me. She was mean to stand out, to excel. And I fade into the background.

Just as she was, the man she chose was tall, clean, and shining. I could not help but still when I saw him or caught his voice nearby. As glorious as I found him, a simple question scuttled in the depths of my thoughts. The origins of my feelings for him rival that of the chicken or the egg. Did I admire him for who he was, or because he was with her?

I doomed myself by following her, buy securing myself in the misery of the consciousness of our differences.. In my choice of career, in my wardrobe of carefully gathered pieces, in my attempts at being outgoing; all predetermined to fall short as long as I had her to compare myself to.

I remained alone. Not knowing who I was or how to be her, I could never have seemed a stable person to anyone. And I was busy. She, too, was busy; she and her husband were succeeding, buying a big house, having a baby.

What a gorgeous baby. I’d never seen one that so completely fascinated me. With her as a mother and her husband as its father, the baby was guaranteed the kind of life we all dream of, with loving and encouraging parents.

Then there came a day when that cradle was open to me. She had turned away. The buckle parted before my pinching fingers and I lifted that child into my arms as smooth as if I’d practiced a thousand thousand times. For once, I was a natural at something. I could not take her beauty, her intelligence, her natural grace for life. But I could take this.

It was hard not to look back, to see her reaction. But I can imagine it. She turns to her stroller, leans down into the bowl to smile at her little one. The time of day escapes me but I paint sunlight on her gentle face, watching it deepen to alarm. She moves the blankets, but already knows there is not enough mass in there.

She stands, she whirls, she screams.

She shatters.

And I fade into the background.

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Remember, you have until May 31 to enter this round, “Envy”.

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