This is my response to this weeks Prompted over at Tipsy Lit. To see the original prompt, follow this link: http://tipsylit.com/2013/10/21/prompted-paranormally-oriented/
Joe woke into The Dreaming, Dana curled naked beside him.
He looked for You, surprised when he didn’t find him.
A stranger sat on the edge of the bed that was floating in the air. The sky around them graduated in vertical pastel stripes of green, blue, yellow, pink, orange, and purple.
Joe adjusted the blanket over them to cover Dana’s generously curved body.
“No need, friend. I’ve seen her before. I was her first.”
A jealousy Joe had never guessed he was capable of reared forward at the stranger’s words.
“She never could get enough. I think I ended up disappointing her.”
Seeing the man’s contrition relaxed Joe. “I’m Joe.” He offered a hand in greeting.
Ever the diplomat, Ben shook his hand.
The name didn’t surprise Joe. He’d figured as much.
“You know the reason she got so good at cooking healthy food was because of my hypertension and cholesterol. I was only 38 when my ticker gave out on me. She really tried, you know.” He brushed an affectionate hand over her hair.
She didn’t stir.
Joe’s possessive streak rose again, and fell. Technically she was married to this man.
Dana nuzzled her sleepy lips to his neck, smiling. “I love you, Joe.” She murmured in her sleep.
“I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t satisfy her like that. Make her smile like that.”
Dana stirred, opening an eye at the voice she thought she’d never hear again.
You appeared instantly beside the bed.
“Ben?” She checked to be sure that the sheet covered her. “Is that really you?”
“Are you asking me?” You asked.
She had to laugh at his expressionless question under the circumstances. “No, it was more rhetorical.”
“It’s me. This guy, Father Time, is granting my dying wish.” Ben looked away from Joe, focusing on Dana. “I didn’t know you’d have a, what are you, exactly, to my wife?”
Joe shifted uncomfortably, never thinking he’d hear someone else call Dana “his” wife.
“No offense, Ben,” Dana spoke in the silence, “but we’re not married anymore. Our vows said ’til death do us part. You’re not, well, alive, anymore.”
“We’ll be leaving those out of our vows,” Joe declared, understanding for the first time what those words really meant.
“So you’re her fiancé?”
Ben was still dynamic, Dana thought, even in death. Commanding. He wore the suit they had buried him in, navy blue, perfectly tailored, shoes shined to a gleaming black.
“We’re in love,” Dana said at the same time that Joe answered, “We’re soul mates.”
“Goodbye, Dana,” Ben sobbed the words, fading even as he turned away to hide his tears.
13 thoughts on “Tipsy Lit Prompted – Paranormally Oriented”
Such a bittersweet story. It makes me wonder how much time elapsed between the burial and this dreaming, but I liked how Joe knew exactly what was going on from the beginning. I felt bad for Ben, but you can’t choose your soul mate.
Ben wasn’t a very nice guy when he was alive. He redeems himself by asking Father Time/You to deliver his dying wish to Dana. It took about four years for the message to be delivered to Dana. The timing wasn’t right before then.
I had the timing pretty near exact, so well done with this. I really didn’t like the Ben character, which is what you intended, but it’s clear how Dana might have been in love with him, despite the fact he was clearly a bad lot. Nicely sparse, very atmospheric.
Thank you. Dana was indeed married to Ben for many years and wasn’t seriously compelled to leave.
I pretty much like the story, but have to admit I find it a bit confusing in the beginning and therefore hard to dive into it.
I appreciate your feedback. I knew I was taking a gamble but I wanted to see how the scene stood on its own.
I did what I always do in those circumstances. I just dive in, assume it will resolve itself. I do see Hanni’s point, but know what? I carried on anyway.
I appreciate that you stuck with me!
Well of course. It”s over till it’s over
Lovely writing as always.
Thank you kindly!
High praise indeed!