Monday, August 15, 2011

Magpie Tales: Wet Paint



Darkness succumbs to light, her eyes open slowly trying to filter the morning. The sheets wrapping her body are course on her skin, unlike the bed in her room. Reaching a hand across the mattress, she finds an already cool depression. Heart rate rising, her eyes search the room. By the window, a man sits on a wood stool in front of an easel. His hair is pulled back in a pony tail that reaches the middle of his bare back. Following the firm contours of his shoulders down the hard ridges of his spine, she realises he is naked.

She admires him, letting memories of the previous night settle in the crease of her smile. Warmth spreads through out her body, but she remains silent enjoying the moment.
_____

When she purchased the house, Sarah knew it needed work. The previous owners for some reason, unknown to her, had painted the master bedroom olive with mustard trim. While this may work in some rooms, it gave the bedroom an odd contrast that turned her stomach. She had no one to share the decisions with, so she could dream it to whatever she desired.

It was not that she would have minded having someone to help make the decisions, even argue with before they came to compromise. She had dated several men, off and on, since leaving college five years ago. One of them, Jeff, had even lasted six months, move in together and seemed to be headed in a more serious direction, when she found a pair of lace underwear in the wash that was not hers.

"What do you expect. You are never here when I need you. When you are here, you are answering phone calls. Your life is your work Sarah," his words were an open wound that continued to ooze on lonely nights.
What made it hurt all the more was that it was true. All her relationships ended in homicide, evidence pointing a nasty finger at her job.

Growing up with a single mother, Sarah had watched her move slave away in dead end jobs just to keep food on their table. There were many nights they ate peanut butter crackers washed down with water. Her mother, when not working, tried to find men to help care for them. They were all dead beats. Many nights she lay on her bed, the grunts of their rutting creeping through the walls. Those were good nights. Others she hid her head under the pillow to block out her mother's screams or the wet sound of flesh on flesh that ended in deep purple bruises at the breakfast table.

Her mother died, Sarah's second year of community college. Sarah came home from a night class to find her in the bathroom beside an empty pill bottle. Life had become too much and Sarah determined that would never be her. She transferred to a four year college, maximizing student loans and assistance she received for children without families.

Upon graduating she began working for a large financial services company and found that she could sell money better than most. She had a way with customers, that eluded her completely in her personal life. She would not trust her stability to someone else, nor give up her successful career for something as trivial as love. She made enough to live comfortably and now own her own home, with one very ugly bedroom.
_____

Sarah asked several of her mortgage customers about painters that had they used to fix up their homes. Mrs Florenso, who Sarah had helped purchase a ten thousand square foot home in a gated community, recommended Jason Dail.

"He is your typical house painter," Mrs. Florenso explained, "He is a real painter, who also happens to paint homes. He is not cheap, but he paints in ways that brings rooms alive."

Intrigued, Sarah called him, arranging for him to meet her at the new home and look at the room.
_____

"Good morning," Jason's voice, thick as honey, spills over his shoulder as he remains focused on the canvas before him.

Sarah continues to watch as he adds one more touch with a brush then stands, turning to her, comfortable in his nakedness. She takes him all in, as he crosses the room, feet padding softly on the hard wood floors. He sits on the edge of the bed, raising a hand to her face in the silence.

His fingers trace the line where her hair meets her forehead, down across the ridge of her eyes, along her lips. Hardened ridges of paint, leavings of his morning, give texture as it glides along, measuring her. She never leaves his eyes.

"Come, you must see what I have been working on," gentle but firm, he pulls her from the bed, exposing her own nakedness.

Sarah follows willingly, the floor cool on the pads of her feet, raising goose flesh up the backs of her legs. Standing her in front of the canvas, Jason wraps her body, from behind, in his arms. Staring at the painting, she feels the world grow small, tightening around her. Suddenly uncomfortable, she tries to breathe but finds herself unable to force even a gasp, as darkness once more over takes the day.

To be continued....

written for Magpie Tales, and I will finish the story next monday with whatever picture prompt Willow decides to give us.

81 comments:

Daniel said...

Gulp! This is like one of those dang "to be continued" messages at the end of my T.V. show. Curse you for making me wait.

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

WHOA! HEY! I feel cheated! Will look forward to next week!

Pat Hatt said...

Pulling out the old cliff
That just leaves one in a tiff
But keeps them coming back for more
Not like that's a problem at your shore
Wonderful descriptive write
Will be back to finish next monday morning or night

kaykuala said...

A suspenseful short write with a deprivation story-line. It can go in any direction next week. Looking forward to it. Great piece!

David Allen Waters said...

dude no one does it llike you...amazing. I love a good cliff hanger...

AmyLK said...

I'm with Jill! You cheated us! lol I can't wait to see where you take this. And I can't wait to see the picture.

Madhulika said...

This is not done.. :( :(
this "to be continued" stuff is something that keeps me waiting for the next episode.. :( :(
Hope the next part would come shortly :)

Evelyn said...

darn you!!
a whole week??
grrrrr

Mighty M said...

I hate waiting!! :)

Heaven said...

I do so love this romantic tale you painted this morning. Painting and love are wonderful colours to mix together, producing a beautiful canvas (which we have to wait for next week).

Her character is indeed intriguing given her history of relationships.

Maybe edit: are "coarse" on her skin.

Looking forward to another chapter then next week~

lori said...

Well, shoot. What if we don't want to wait until Monday, lol...

I think I lost a little bit of my own breath at the end :)

Helen said...

Full body chills here .... you drew me in, all the way. To be continued ~~ masterful teasing, Brian!

Ren said...

Oh yeah...I'll be back :)
I like that!

Brian Miller said...

i know...sorry to leave you hanging for a week...i know where i would love for it to go i just did not want to rush it...now i am at willows whim with the prompt but can probably work it in...

Brigid said...

Great suspense, Brian, I look forward to reading the next installment. I like your Sarah character, sassy and real.

Eva Gallant said...

Waiting on the edge of my chair for Monday to come again!

Fred said...

Nice write Brian, really engages the reader as it makes them want to hear more. The cliffhanger, well yeah, it works well. Really look forward to the conclusion or continuance, whichever you have planned. It will be especially interesting what shall come of this story if the prompt is something ways afar from the direction the story is, of course making it all the more difficult for you to pre-plan. Again, excellent write

JJ Roa Rodriguez said...

The 5th paragraph is where I am now. Painful! I can hear the voice clearly telling me those lines.

Wish this would pass fast!

Nicely done sir!

JJRod'z

Reflections said...

You definitely do those cliffs well! Wonderfully intriguing piece... what with her background and all. Could feel the gasp of breath fading there in the end. Well done as always.

Nanka said...

A lot of suspense and eager to know how it will end!! I usually read the last pages first, which I couldn't do here :(

Mama Zen said...

Wow! I can't wait to see where this goes!

hedgewitch said...

Fascinating, and full of great detail that makes the characters very real and immediate. Curse you for the cliffhanger ending--but I guess I can wait till next week to see what your nefarious mind hatches.

trisha said...

sounds like a very interesting story. tightly written brian. enjoyed it this far, will be waiting for the concluding part.

Claudia said...

noooooooooo - don't stop just now....this reminds me of this mean tv series when i was a child and there was no dvd player....so you had to wait A WEEK until you knew how it would continue...and they always stopped at the tightest moment....like you did...excellent write bri...and i'm so curious...

thingy said...

What!? I've got to know what happened!

martine said...

really enjoyed this
thanks for sharing
martine

Ed Pilolla said...

yes, i want to see what's being worked on...

Janice said...

Oh! I am eager to see where this one is going.

Daydreamertoo said...

Damn, I hate cliffhangers~!
Fabulous, sensual read, Brian. :)

Sue said...

Okay, now that you've sucked me in like an industrial vacuum, that sequel had better be forthcoming soon!

=D

Susannah said...

Oooh, very good. Now I can't wait to see where next week takes it. :-)

By the way, I loved. . . "his words were an open wound that continued to ooze on lonely nights."

Sheila Moore said...

oh, my - my heart is racing and I can't wait to read the next part. nice cliff-hanger, bri

izzy said...

Well that will make us wonder ! sometimes I like being grabbed tight, sometimes not; I do hate it when memory doesn't serve me well-thanks

signed...bkm said...

I wonder if was listed on Angie's list...I think I will stick to painting my own rooms....all this Brian from some used rollers...quit an imagination..will await chapter 2...bkm

Lena said...

That's a double whammy wait, now!

The Bug said...

Oh man I guess I can wait. I mean, I don't really have any choice do I? Sigh.

Joanna Jenkins said...

What? To be continued when.....? That is a fabulous story. I'll be watching for more.
jj

5thsister said...

Oh it better continue Mr. Miller...it better!

Kristen Haskell said...

A cliffhanger! I really enjoyed it and found myself totally getting into the fantasy. I can't help but wonder what it was that he painted.

jen revved said...

You have an unlimited imagination, Brian-- this with its evocative detail and twists and turns is a great gift for your readers. Write on! xxxj

Donna B said...

CRAP! Please, don't do this to me...wonderful, wonderful writing...did he paint her and shake her fear of intimacy? WHEN will it be continued?????

Pastor Sharon said...

GREAT! Now, I am hooked on a story! It's like a Romance Novel with pages missing! Monday?

You are a teaser! Oh well, I will wait with the others. While we are waiting, I just think it is pretty awesome you have us all reeled in so close to the canvas like this!

Mystic_Mom said...

Waiting is such sweet sorrow...yeah that was BAD but making us wait is BAD too! :-) I'll be patient...

ayala said...

This was captivating....can't wait to see where you go with this.....hate to wait ....sigh :)

kkrige said...

hmm, a cliff hanger! It should be interesting how you unravel it next week with a new prompt Brian. Just as an aside, you should give this a quick once over. There were a few spots that need attention

"The previous owners(,) for some reason( )unBEknownST to her, had painted the master bedroom olive with mustard trim"

Also the next sentence should be "might" vs "may"

Sorry, just me putting on the editor's cap.

Tara Miller said...

Your writing always has a way of luring us in and this one is no different. I alway like reading your longer stories. Interested to see how these lovers' lives play out....

Slamdunk said...

The Dukes of Hazzard used to leave me hanging like this. Ok, well your content is of much higher quality.

adeeyoyo said...

Ah NO Brian, not fair to make us wait... Oh well, no choice I suppose. Brilliant story so far, nice build up of tension...

Margie said...

Brian, I'm very intrigued by this story and will be waiting (a whole week, too long!) for the ending!

Sarah has had a sad life and I'm hoping for a happy ending but alas, life does not always end that way.

You are such a talented writer!
Always so enjoy my visits here!
I was telling my husband a few nights ago about you and he read a few of your posts and he thinks you are very a great writer!

Margie :)

Tumblewords: said...

I'll wait right here. Please hurry!

henry clemmons said...

Very well written FOR A STORY I HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE ENDING :-)m<ulti-talented. Great job.

Zuzana said...

Wow Brian!! this is clearly one of my favorites.;))) I was savouring every word, my goodness, can not wait for the next part.
Mm, what a sensual and suspenseful read.;)) Maybe it just speaks volumes to my current state of mind, hehe.;)
Have a great day dear friend,
xoxo

Valerie said...

There I was, lost in the story, when... bang... I find I have to wait until Monday for more. That, Brian, is true wickedness!

Lorraine said...

wow you're actually writing a short story lol

Eternally Distracted said...

I am soooo impatient, don't make us wait!!

annell said...

I like it and will be looking forward to what is next?

Pat said...

Wow! You got me waiting....with bated breath!

Mijayami said...

Dang! I was starting to like him, but now I don't know if I should. Can't wait for next week!

Lyn said...

This is what I call good story telling..enough suspense for me to say, please hurry up with part 2..whew!

Ann Grenier said...

Oh my God, what a surprise from you Brian! I can't believe the work Ive been reading that has come out of some old paint rollers... Gotta go make my meatloaf for dinner-I'm shaking like a leaf :-)

Glenn Buttkus said...

Wow, Brian, the story is great,
and the queue to leave a comment
is around the block. You pull in
comments like Tess does, by
the dozen; well deserved I say.
My take on the dangling ending
is that this eccentric painter has
created something abstract,
illustrating the darker side of
this lass.

Steve Isaak said...

Immediately involving, superb piece.

Baino said...

Ooh I like. Well you know I like your prose but this one feels like you took your time. Nice descriptions, good visuals . . .bring on part 2

rel said...

Brian you paint a vivid story that can continue in a variety of pallets; can't wait to see where this goes.
rel

Mary said...

A very powerful tale ... a great storyteller ...will be back next week. Well done on creating such intrigue to a Magpie prompt!

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Brilliant stuff - I can't wait for part two!

Anna :o]

Trellissimo said...

Looking forward to the continuation already.

Jehanne's doodles said...

I'd be back :)

Margaret said...

Ha. What could it be... I'm going to think of you first thing when I see the new prompt. How fun!

Syd said...

A good tale--I wonder what will be on that canvas. You have me thinking of all kinds of possibilities.

Who Is Afraid Of Miss Lovett? No, Mrs.Lovett... said...

"Wet Paint"
Hi! Brian...
So far, So good, what a very well-written, descriptive, short story.
Just like the previous commenter I will be waiting [on "pins and needles" a clich├ęs I know, but true!] for the conclusion.

[postscript: Brian, I must admit that I use to just read your titles, but after other commenter mentioned your titles I now absorb them...lol]
Thanks, for sharing!
deedee ;-D

Tess Kincaid said...

Nice write, Brian...totally unfair to leave us hanging.

Lydia said...

I was late, but I returned to read your Magpie that tempted me when I did not have adequate time earlier in the week.

This is amazing, Brian. I felt one with the character (for many reasons) and cannot wait for next week. You are really challenging yourself when you do not know what in the heck the image will be!

Goofball said...

....it's almost Monday on this side of the world!

Carrie Burtt said...

You have me hanging.....you have such a wonderful talent Brian! :-)

chiccoreal said...

Dear Brian: Love the pace of this wonderfully erotic piece; it does so feel like a warm carress of the sensual kind. All seems to smooth out; especially the rough spots. The strength of calming love does do these little miracles as I get this impression here.One must make these concessions for love never fails if it is true.

Laurie Kolp said...

I think more was wet than just paint...

Kathe W. said...

Brian- you are very talented and have a wonderful way of telling a story. Bravo!

Shari Sunday said...

WHAT???? Don't Stop.

robkistner said...

engaging, and begging for continuation...

Linda said...

Absolutely intriguing. Looking forward to the rest of the story.