Grow S&*t, Write S*+t

Until the day I die, I’ll never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes. Sizing up my hips and breasts with the look of remembrance where his experienced hands had been hours before.

Each time had me tasting the bitter good-bye in his hello kiss. His tongue telegraphed the warning message and I ignored it. As in the beginning, he flashed me the smile that never reached his eyes–eyes that always said so much and so little at the same time.

For the countless time in the last two years, he let me walk away and followed up with a text message the following morning while I was weeding my garden.

I always have a hangover after being with you

His words triggered the itch even though I was determined to stop the cycle. He was like nettle and I was tired of the prick.

Me, too. I’m going to disappear for awhile

Me, too
We can’t keep doing this

Augh. Really, bastard? You’re gonna say it again? But I hardened and resolved.

I’m just going to grow shit and write shit. You won’t hear from me

The conversation continued like it typically did. Both of us confessing remorse and promising to be better. All the while, I weeded and snatched and pulled and plowed the earth to make it whole. I took off my gloves only long enough to reply to each and every last nail he put in the coffin.

He finally ended it with a promise to love me forever (rain or shine) and said he prayed that I’d have a beautiful garden. I prayed that he’d have a beautiful life and meant it. He could always pull that last bit of harshness away and find my soft truth.

The garden that summer was a complete disaster. I nurtured, teased and tried to tickle life to the surface. The result was lifeless, pale-green and lackluster. Storms demolished the heirloom tomatoes, drought sucked the nutrients from the soil, and over-zealous weeding plucked out seedlings before they had a chance to grow.

Typical me. Fluttering, fixing and fucking up. Making mountains while they were still mole-hills. His memory continued to plague me though the vision of his cruel eyes were buried deep in my darkest places.

Places that only he had been.

ALBREC~1

How different would life be had I not glanced his way? Had I not reached out when his eyes spoke to me. Had I recognized the emptiness behind his allure. He didn’t even see it himself until we were too far in.

I never meant to hurt you

You are my one true love

The view of my gardens both sickened and delighted me. Flower and vegetable beds each bore a tribute to our “last” times together. Roses for the first sweet good-bye and pink peonies for an encore the following week. Daisies for a resolve to do better and an entire bed of zinnias when I caved again. We were each consumed by cocaine-laced kisses that devoured us and left a path of pain and regret in its wake.

Grow shit. Write shit.

It was all shit.  No words to feed the craving in my body and nothing that would grow in the wasteland I’d created.

Except for one patch.

A small section in the woodland where I’d carelessly thrown seeds of peppermint. Neglected and forgotten, the mint spread and flourished filling the air with a faint scent of recognition. Just as Hades intended when he created the persistent little plant.

In a flurry, I yanked out stems by the root hoping to contain the infiltration and keep it out of my failing corn patch. Each morning, new life appeared with more vigor until I couldn’t kill it any longer. I surrendered and laid in its bed of invasion. Wisps of peppermint circled my halo of hair and the cool, sticky leaves clung to my thighs. It was then that the phone vibrated and rang the tone reserved just for him.

Are you growing shit?

My fingers sketched the same expanse that his hands had navigated on my body the months before. Lines of regret, scars of passion and the memory of being full right before he emptied me again.

 

44 thoughts on “Grow S&*t, Write S*+t

    • Oh thank you! This is the first piece of fiction I’ve ever written and was a complete mess when I hit “publish.”
      I’m much more at home in my other two blogs about kids and life…this little space is certainly my guilty little pleasure. Thanks for stopping by new friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I know it’s not the point of the story really, but I could relate to the mint infiltration – I’ve killed (or wildlife has eaten) everything in my garden except the *%#$&* mint πŸ™‚

    I like the tone and voice of the story. I think many of us have been drawn to a flame even though we knew we’d get burned.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all, welcome to the speakeasy! Second, I can’t believe this is your first attempt at fiction. Your narrator’s voice is fantastic and believable – and I love that her only interaction with him is through text messages. Great take on the prompts! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Suzanne,
      Thank you so much for the warm welcome! I’ve been keeping a ‘stalker view’ of the Speakeasy since late last year when I noticed my blogger buddies writing for it. The talent you attract is amazing and I’ll admit to being a bit of a groupie πŸ™‚
      Thank you, as well, for your kind words about my story. Dialogue is difficult for me which is why I’ve only been writing non-fiction (on my “real” blog) and decided to observe and learn before jumping. It’s also the first time I’ve used profanity to any extent, so this can be considered a complete jumping off the ledge.
      Thanks for providing a safe space to do so. xo

      Like

  3. Excellently done! I laughed out loud at the double meaning in “He was like nettle and I was tired of the prick.” That just amused me to no end!

    I loved the whole thing, now go write another Li’l Hummingbird, fiction suits you as well as poetry and photography! πŸ™‚ xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh dear, Jennie! Of course, you would pick that up!
      “nettle” was a complete serendipitous accident. I was in the middle of writing this when my “daily dictionary” app dinged on my phone with the word of the day–nettle! The sentence vomited out and seemed to fit. Tee! Hee! This was devilish fun to write…and for the record, I haven’t planted any peppermint since 1991 πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m happy then that the word of the day was “nettle”! Isn’t it funny the odd places you can get a line from? I think it’s my favorite part of writing πŸ™‚

        I planted mint once, praying mantis came and ate it all LOL Apparently I can’t grow something that most people have to destroy so it won’t overtake everything else!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t believe this is your first piece of fiction. Judging by your successful start, you must have so much just waiting to get out! What a great story, and a great voice. I really enjoyed this and could completely see it all happening before me. Nicely done!

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    • Wow! Thank you so much! This is a huge compliment coming from you πŸ™‚
      Just one of those lucky things…it took me less than 20 minutes to write. I’ve been learning and listening to the Speakeasy space for awhile πŸ™‚
      I so appreciate your comments. Hope you are having a great week!

      Like

  5. This: the bitter good-bye in his hello kiss
    Wow. Such a great phrase. And the rest is really well done, too — just had to point out that phrase because it popped out at me. Garden as metaphor is one of my favorites and one that I think a lot of people relate to, You do the metaphor proud!

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    • Thank you so much! Seriously, I debated on that sentence for a bit and hoped it wasn’t too cheesy. Thank you so much for extracting that little bit out of there.
      I like the garden metaphor, too and it seemed to work. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting!

      Like

  6. Ah,that vicious cycle-can so relate to it!Excellent debut to this great writing challenge:-)Though I still cringe at profanity,the rest of it felt like sinfully decadent chocolate cake topped with delicious cool peppermint balls πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to reading more from you and I won’t be surprised if you win-am sure going to vote for this πŸ˜€

    Atreyee

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    • Thank you so much! You are a gem and am completely honored (and now hungry) to be associated with chocolate cake.
      Thank you so much for the note on profanity, too. If only you knew me…you’d understand the angst behind using those words. I even took them out (especially in the title) because it was so uncomfortable. That said, I knew they needed to stay. The person this story was channeled after was the only person who could ever bring a 4-letter word forth from my lips and knew it fit the character. I’m completely touched that you picked up on it. Thank you again…your words mean more than you know!
      Michelle

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      • Aww,you are so kind hearted-am glad to make your acquaintance Michelle πŸ™‚ I am old school and in out times even men mouthing 4 letter words was considered low class but I sure get your pov-sometimes a character in the story needs to speak in a particular way or authenticity would be lost and here it fit in your piece:-) Looking forward to seeing more of your writing πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  7. And, I’m looking forward to seeing more of yours! The first piece was delicious!
    And, if you want ever want a profanity free zone, feel free to visit my “real” blog where I keep it to a minimum πŸ™‚
    So glad our paths crossed dear friend. Have a fantastic day!

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  8. I can’t believe this is your first attempt at fiction. This really is very good, Michelle. I love the narrator’s voice you have, and I also love your word selection.

    Like

    • Oh my goodness!! Really?!?
      It took me all of 20 minutes to write and about that long to edit. One of those stories that popped up and matched the challenge prompt. Thanks for stopping by dear friend. You are a gem! xo

      Like

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