Wednesday, November 30, 2011

THE RIPPLES OF DECEIT...a short story by L.J. Holmes's my challenge to self, between now and my birthday I will create and post a new short story a day. I've done three so far, one for 11/27 , 28 and 29. Let the 4th come on down.
Background, ripples, water, backgrounds, computer
                             L.J. Holmes

The rage!

His shoulders bowed.

He'd never thought he'd see such hatred in the eyes of his son. How could he ever hope to make things right?

He thought back over the events of the past three hours. He hadn't bothered to go home after work. There was nothing unusual about that. How long had it been since his wife had wanted him" Six months, a decade? It was hard to remember.

Betheny didn't want him, not as a man, but oh how she wanted the spoils of his paycheck, and the place his power gave her in society. So many names spewed with her hatred of him from those lips he once thought delicious. When had the deliciousness stopped?

The birth of their youngest child...the one thing he wanted above all else...a child of his own seed. 

The other woman!

Ah God, he'd never expected to have another woman, but she became a vibrant dream come true, and he in need of the quenching elixir of what lived between them could not keep himself from drinking deeply and consistently.

The other woman...she stepped into a void of love gone bad and took his passion to places he'd quickly grown addicted to.

Every week, like precision clockwork, they'd meet and spirit off to some private little hideaway where he'd lose himself in the flames her love emblazoned in him. He'd never cheated before, but truly thought he'd been smart and cunning.

No one was ever going to catch him or know this other woman whom he coveted. She became his secret, elemental sorceress; even now with the memory of the rage chipping away at his devastation, the blood in his heart pumped that much harder...just from the thought of her.

He'd tried to walk away, briefly, shortly after their first baptism within the pulsating burn of their time together. He really did try, but the memory of her lips blazing a path up and down his scalding body had been his undoing, his calling, and yes, his unrelenting need.

Liquid red lips, breasts made for the curve of his hands, the long silken fall of her wheat-gold hair, the fit of his body within the depths of hers were so unspeakably perfect, and so hard to resist. How do you resist your perfect fit?

Dear God, even now, with the burning fury of his son's hatred glaring back at him, accusing him, and rightly so, the thought of her made his body tighten and his blood begin to brew.

What was it that made her so special, so vital to him? She certainly was not the most strikingly beautiful woman he'd ever beheld, and although her figure was not repugnant, she was not movie star slender either.

A smile threatened to tug his lips, his thoughts focusing on her chosen attire. Not in the least fantically fashionable, she often showed up wearing tattered jeans...tattered not from design, but actual wear and tear...and a blouse he thought big enough to hold them both and still have plenty room for an army of others. Yet to him, she was gorgeous.

In his mind's eye, he saw again the sultry, steamy, hotter than hot seductiveness in the hungry glint she always wore when they were together. In the simplest of words, she made him feel like a sex god. She made him feel wanted, desirable...she made him feel like he was the only lover, the only man, the only partner she'd ever want. Heady stuff...very heady indeed.

Hell, she made him feel like he was the only man alive in the entire universe, and just happened also to be the sexiest man alive. What testosterone infused man could resist such a combination?

Had he not found her...he shuddered against such a thought. Where would his soul be today?

His marriage, little more than a charade was still one he could ill afford to free himself from.

Why not?

Well, this ill-tempered son that he loved from the core of his being, though not born of his seed, was one. So too, he admitted, his heart swelling with immense pride, was his young son born of  the marriage. Both held his heart, nay, his very soul in their grasp.

But so does she and until tonight, he'd managed to jockey the three of them, perhaps not honorably, but effectively. Having his cake and eating it too?

His teenaged son, suspecting something long ago, deemed it his duty to play Sam Spade, stalking his unknown prey...his dad...his stealth finally hitting pay dirt on this dark, and turbulent night.

He didn't understand why his inner spirit had allowed his son to slip through all his eleaborately constructed defenses against getting caught. Shouldn't he have sensed  his nearness?

Once they'd spent those delightful hours locked in the flames of their passion, within the motel's conveniently located closeby, they'd come out to drive home, but tonight...tonight his son had lain in wait.

Parked next to her car, his son leapt from the shadows, burning fury searing from his eyes...eyes so like his mother's, the woman they both feared. He supposed he could have blustered and claimed foul, but he'd dishonored them all long enough. He was truly and inexorably caught in the web of his own construct.

He'd been kissing her good-nght, when the voice of his son, scratchy from emotion and dripping with scorn, spat out a mockingly cold, "Hell-oooh Daaaddd!"

She...ah but remembering the look on her face hurt.

The poor cherished thing, jumped back, her skin void of all color, her eyes wide, her lips swollen from his kiss, now rounded with surprise. Dread spread the length of her and something else looked back at him he would dissect and regret much later. "Dad?" she asked in a voice weak with hurt and bewilderment.

All this time he'd let her believe he was a traveling semi-conductor salesman in and out of her fair city once or twice a month, but now, the game, as they say, was truly up.

He could do nothing now but admit his sins and try to negotiate through the minefield of his son's betrayed confusion and the pain still reaching out to him when she drove away.

Hours later, his emotions in a scramble, he admitted defeat. His son, wanting to strike out from the depths of his rage, was eager to report back to his mother, knowing she would make his father pay.

Stepping into his car, his eyes wacthing the increasing dimness of his son's retreating tailights, his shoulders stooped and bent, he prepared himself for the battlefield; the war he was going home to.

Lowering his head to the steering wheel, his whole body began shaking; all strength fled. He felt so incredibly old.

His son's words rained down on his depleted spirit. He'd been called every vile thing his son could think of, and more, but beneath the acid tongue, and the stark bitterness, the hurt little boy, the son who'd held his dad up on the pedestal, broke beneath the evidence of his fall from grace.

If he lived through the confrontation at home, he'd never forget, till his dying day, that look, that fractured look beneath his son's animonsity.

What was he going to do? In all honesty, he could not claim remorse for the love he'd found with her. But he probably should have ended his marriage long ago. At the very least he should have told her the truth. Why hadn't he?

It hadn't been fair to her, loving her this much, but hiding her like a criminal in the night, behind the shame of closed doors? He'd been such a selfish coward.

How often had he caught the faint glimmer of was it hurt...had she her eyes, quickly masked as she moved into his waiting arms? He'd always thought it a sign she hated parting from him as much as he'd hated parting from her...but maybe it was more?

He loved her...loved what she could make him feel. The complexity of their affair had only been compounded by his unspoken fears...fears of losing her, and fears of losing his boys.

Wouldn't that be the ultimate irony, if after the dust settles, he ends up losing them all? He shuddered again. God help him, he felt so cold.

No good could come from this tragic night, that he could blame on no one but himself. All roads through this mess would lead to broken despair...for all of them.

His sons will suffer something he'd hoped with all his heart to avoid, but all he could do now is try to be there and pick up the scattered pieces...if they'd let him.

And there's the rub. How to explain to a seventeen year old who only sees the world in shades of black and mitigating hues of gray? 

His only hope, as they all moved into the court system, was for physical custody and time...a long shot...of his youngest, and a total, and irrevocable divorce from his venegeful wife.

Maybe in the years ahead, when his son could see the world through the grays of reality, he would learn, if not forgiveness, tolerance of emotions he could not fully understand right now.

Inserting the key, he engaged the engine, stiffened his spine, and thrust the gear shift into drive. It was going to be a long night, a very long night indeed.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


From the convoluted

mind of me comes another really, REALLY short, short. I hope you enjoy.

L.J. Holmes

As I sit here, my heart in a struggle, I can't help but wonder what would you think, if you but knew, that I am angry with you? Not just a flickering ember that escapes from a larger flame. No!This anger is born deep, in the center of my soul. It claws at my vitals with a fury of an enraged beast, and bleeds me in places too many to count.

Dammit to hell, in the genesis of this anger, I suddenly knew...

I'd fallen in love with you.

Monday, November 28, 2011

THE RAVAGES OF TIME....a FREE short story by L.J. Holmes

by L.J.Holmes

An angry sea, crashing waves, breakers touch the sky, and there she stands, a lone sentinel, on a distant finger of land, illuminating the way through the moisture-laden fog. She has a purpose, an important purpose to bring the travel weary sailors safely through the night...yet again.

Upon seeing her flash, the sailor is ecstatic, and sings her praises for all to hear. She is proof that life, especially his, has not come to an end, yet, in the watery morass and dark denizens of the angry sea waiting to snatch the unsuspecting down into its grave of snarling whitecaps.

Ah, but once the ships have docked and the sailors safely moved from the misty fogs of night, they quickly forget her, the deserted beacon of life, still standing out there, upon that finger of land, to await the needs of the next generation of sailors lost.

But time does not stand still, even if the lone lighthouse does. With the passage of month, day, year, she begins to fade, oblivion waiting to claim her. How long can a light shine, when it is not replenished, not attended to, not cared for? A goddess of safety so quickly forgotten?

Each passing sailor has claimed just a bit of the finite luminescence that nourishes her battered strength, keeping the beacon glowing, and calling out to those disoriented and frightened men of the sea.

As with all things, there comes a time, when the beacon, that bright beam of loving sanctity, encased in the shell of a landmark, taller than life, cannot spread her light far enough for the next era of lost seafarer to see.

A beacon, like love itself, needs to be nourished, tended to, or it fades from wretched neglect. Each wailing sailor took from her internal heartbeat as relentlessly as the waves took from her frame.

After time, there is nothing left but a smoldering wisp, buried deeply beneath the ashes of the ages. A mere glimmer of the beacon she used to be.

It grows harder and harder, as she stands out there all alone, to transmute the pain of her isolation and neglect into fodder for yet another twinkle of light. The waves crash, the sea grows angry, and mists enshroud the endless blanket of night while she shrinks before them.

The battles she has conquered have left her spirit in withering tatters. The erosion of the cresting waves of love gone amiss, have diminished the foundation upon which she rests.

None come forward, sad thing to tell, to save the beacon and shore up her abrading foundation. Where is the love? Where is the commitment? We need not be told what transpires when foundations weaken, but wrathful waves continue their relentless thrashings.

And all she has ever needed...was love.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A CRY IN THE NIGHT...and L.J. Holmes Original Short

A Cry In the Night

Stars twinkled, the moon glittered, and everything seemed to be where it was meant to be. Still something, some ephemeral wisp of knowingness, nudged her from the depths of slumber's embrace.

The weight of despair was unlike any she'd faced before...a despair that did not dramatically reach inside and tear her soul to shreds. No. This was more like an anvil made of iron bearing down upon her spirit...relentlessly. He's coming, she knew it in her bones, in her marrow. He's coming!

Rising from the warmth that was her bed, her movements mechanical, without design, she slipped through the cavernous darkness, that was her haven from all that lurked outside. Until tonight. Now there'd be no haven, she felt darkness creeping in.

Once outside, upon her patio, the star studded sky stretching far above her lonely stance, she spoke a silent entreaty, a heartfelt prayer, wishing for that missing wishing star up there, and praying she was wrong.

'Please God,' she silenty plead, 'Let me be wrong!'

She did not remain alone for long, for that was not the purpose of this night's call. From the endless shadows of silent night, he moved, and the dread that awakened in her, grew.

As he neared, she hungrily memorized every familiar line, the distinctive arch and contractions of lean muscle, the beloved slash and dash that framed the fullness of his form...and her soul wept.

In the growing heartbreak taking on a life of its own, far beneath her quivering breast, she knew what was coming. It was there in the slump of his shoulders, the sadness in his eyes, and the movements of his normally agile body.

Her mind roiled, her gut curdled, and spewed upward until it burst from her in just one choked word. "No!"

His eyes, for just that interminable moment, caught in time's own fracture, closed. His body trembled, like a man who's just taken a full body blow from a boxer in the ring.

His breathing shallowed, his bones stiffened against what he knew he must now do, his pain evident as he looked directly into her imploring eyes.

"There's nothing left for me here," he said, in a voice she knew so well.

The anguish, the pain, the grief that swept through her...never could she have known that one person could contain so much hurt within them and still continue to breathe.

"How will I go on without you here, "she cried, her voice shaky, as shaky as the fronds of the distant willows dancing on the subtle autumnal breeze. "Please don't go?"

His eyes reached out begging her for understanding; begging that she not make the inevitable parting, harder, so much harder than it already was.

"I cannot stay," he quietly explained. "I have tried to make it work. You know I have."

He spoke the harsh truth, still she wanted...

"I know this is hurting you, and that is the last thing I ever wanted to do."

Her eyes filled with an ocean of searing tears. A lump formed in the delicate curve of her throat, as she reached out to pull him close, as close as her shattered body could, till not even a heartbeat separated them...She held on for dear life.

Absorbing every texture, composition, the scent of him, the flex of muscle and the hardness of bone, the staccato rhythm of his thundering heart, she felt her world splinter. All that made him, him she inhaled into herself, consigning every atom of his unique fabric to the eternal repository of her senses.

For both their sakes she knew she had to be strong. Later, after he'd long disappeared into the yawning infinity of nights ahead, she could collapse into the heap of endless despair clawing at her all the way down to her soul. Now she had to be a slate of blank indifference. She had to let go of that final link.

Stoically she found her smile, or something somewhat similar and hugged him hard, one more time. Reaching into her well of hidden torment somehow she managed to find the courage to say what must be said; Good bye.

The words came out of frigid lips, death knells in this darkest of nights.

He looked at her and she looked at him, the moment frozen in time, and then he turned, beginning his last retreat.

She leaned heavily into the railing's posts, her teeth draining the blood from the strain not to scream. Her heart stampeded and her mind swirled with the enormity of the strength she was exerting to keep her tormented body from sinking to the cold ground beneath her.

Through the trembling pain, a part of her railed anyway. She wanted to turn tail and run back into the emptiness of her lonely home...and die, but she knew this might very well be the last time she saw him in life, so she stayed, her back pressed tightly against the support of the railing's post.

Long after the night shadows had swallowed him, she was still there. Her knuckles a bloodless white, and her shaking body were oblivious to the bite of the night air. Her heart was bleeding out from wounds no else would see.

Finally she turned, the weight of her anguish heavier on her fragile shoulders.

Retracing her steps, she tried not to think, or feel; she turned into a robot, with emotions locked so deep within her she doubted she'd ever find them...or maybe hoped she'd never find them.

Her slender body seemed to have aged making the climb up the steps slow and endless.

At last she regained her bedroom and crawled back into her ice cold bed, where she huddled in a tight ball against a cold that wasn't out there.

Her heart and mind replayed the events of this night, her whimpers becoming pathetic mewls. Over and over, a video on loop with no stop switch, it replayed the pain she hadn't let herself feel when she watched her beloved son, a man who would always be her baby, walk, not ride, nor fly, out of her life.

No one ever told her how much it would hurt when your adult child leaves for good. No one ever told her being a wise mother could leave you broken inside.

Her last conscious thought, many tormented hours later, before the blessed numbness of exhaustion and hopelessness released her, was for God to please watch over the son she no longer could and help him find the pride of self and success he was looking for.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


This has been an amazing year for this author. I won my very first award for my very first published book.

I found myself surrounded by some of the finest angels here on earth.

To be honest, I would never have guessed so many winged ones walk among us. Okay I can hear you all stammering..."WINGS?" "WALKING?" What goes here?

I've discovered the winged ones among us don't like to call attention to their true radiance,

so they hide their wings beneath the mudane trappings of human existence...but that's okay.

Deeds reveal their inner glow much better than their wings would anyway.

Thanks to Lea, Kat has discovered a talent for courting new reviewers to take up the banner of Muse Publishing and join our growing list of those willing to give Muse their attention....and what reviews we at Muse have been garnering!
 To all who have given Kat and I reason to add to our list of thanks on this day for celebrating such gifts, you know who you are, why your wings glow no matter how well you try to conceal them, and how much your love and acceptance of us means.

Have a Glorious Thanksgiving,

and know you truly are blessings in our lives, but we are not alone in seeing the wings tucked beneath your outer shell.

animation angel bear hugs.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Kitty-Kat Blues

Authors are parents too.

Three months...that's a long time for a Kitty-Kat to be so ill. You would think four days in ICU getting fed IV antibiotics would have knocked the dark stuff out of even the most persistent germ...but Kat's nostrils, throat, and ear canals look like shredded raw meat.

Her temperature is hovering between...barely acceptable, to seriously dangerous.

She went for a CT scan on Friday. (Because of her seizures she cannot tolerate the clicking of MRI machines.)

It looks bleak.

Here's what the doctor is now saying...Kat has been upgraded from a frequent sufferer of sinusitis to a CHRONIC sufferer.

The uber antibiotics are not working...the doctor now suspects case scenario...worst case scenario...sinus cancer...brain swelling, etc., etc. In other words, it's serious.

Today she is so worn out she's actually staying in bed and only coming online via her Netbook...(thank you Karen).

New Jersey is not the best place for anyone with respiratory problems. We have friends who never had any allergy issues until they moved to NJ.

Once Kat regains her health...please God...moving is becoming more and more a necessity rather than a luxury. (Thank you, Steph.)

We,who adore you, miss you happy, healthy and playful, Sweetie.

Kat, you and I are cat lovers, so I dedicate this blog to cheering you up.

Love You Daughter of Mine.

To inspire you on the specifics of chilling, here are some experts with sage advice on how to laugh when the going is tough.

While, you My Precious Daughter, battle for your ability to breathe, swallow, and hear, may you find a few smiles and some ahhh's here for you to enjoy.

Get Better My Angel...we miss you.