Tag Archives: Opening Pandora

A New Start Opening Pandora

That incredibly emotive paragraph I wrote for the last blog post got me thinking again about Opening Pandora--a story I’ve been wanting to write but one that has lacked any kind of structure or focus. My biggest obstacle has been that I’ve had no idea how Stephanie’s journey begins. I’ve known where I want to take her, at least in part, but how to start… again, the complaint of pantsing your way through a manuscript. In fact, there have been several false starts, a few of them punished to this blog, actually. None of them worked, otherwise I would have been able to continue  her tale. But I like this one… it resonates a truth to me. Setting up her ordinary world, before everything changes.  What do you think?

Emptiness is like a plague, robbing life of light and color, stealing the innocence of beauty and the hope of joy, leaving only the shades of memory and longing. And I’d been living in the shadows far too long. I raised my glass. “Happy Anniversary.”

As usual, he didn’t answer back, merely smiled from beneath the glass pane, his likeness forever captured, his essence forever lost.

Right on schedule, my laptop sprang to life, calling me away from the past, and I clicked to answer.

“Hey, beautiful. How’s Durham?” A shinning, persistently optimistic face beamed back at me.

“Good evening, Dr. Monroe. How’s life in Boston?”

Joe swept his hand to the view behind him, a bank of floor to ceiling windows reflecting a cityscape lit up like a Christmas tree. “Effervescent.”

I shook my head. “You’re too damn cheerful.”

“Only around you, which begs the question. When are you coming back from that godforsaken place? Chatting but once a week is becoming tortuous. I miss you.” Joe was an urban socialite. The idea of leaving the seat of all that is modern and convenient for a small town, despite its natural beauty, surrounded as it was by lakes and forests, was heresy.

“I miss you too.” I sipped my wine.

“You’re avoiding the question.” He crossed his arms.

“I know this is hard for you to grasp, but it’s very peaceful here. I needed the break.”

“Well, surely you’re done traipsing about with the fairies and wee folk of the bogs and glens by now. It’s been a month.” He moved closer to the screen on his computer. “You’re chewing your fingernails. Oh, God. What are you not telling me?”

I dropped my hand as if I’d been caught reaching for a hot pot on the stove.

“Stephanie. What is it?”

“I found a job.” I came out as a whoosh, the urge to finish chewing my nail chasing quick on its heels.

“A job? You mean to stay then?” His voice screamed incredulous, but his eyes searched me across the miles, crestfallen.

“I can’t come back Joe. There’s nothing there for me now.”

“I know it was hard losing Jason, but you have friends here, a career…”

“And I’m grateful to you for both, but I need a mulligan, a clean start. I can’t do that in Boston where every café, every restaurant, every street I walk down reminds me of him.”

“It’s been over a year, Steph.”

“I know, that’s why I’m here. I have to do this.”

He leaned back, neatly manicured eyebrows drawn together in consternation. “There’s no budging you?”

“I’m not saying this is a permanent solution; it’s just a right-now solution.”

He regarded me, like a chess player assessing his next move. “Fine. Then Christopher and I are coming for a holiday.”

“Better bring goulashes—gets pretty mucky on all the dirt roads.”

The look of horror on his face made me spit out some of my wine. “Jesus, Joe.” I dabbed at my eyes and the mess with tissue. “It’s not that bad. I promise.”

He put a hand over his heart. “I’m only considering this because I love you. Christopher, however, might have my balls.”

“Well, it’s a good thing he’s been taking such good care of them all these years then isn’t it. He’s not likely to damage them now.”

“You don’t know how much he hates mud.” He grimaced.

“Well, let me know if and when you two decide to come down. I’ve got plenty of room.”

“I’ll clear it with the hospital and get back to you.” He paused. “You sure you’re okay?”

“I’m good. Honest. It’s been a rough day, but I start at the pub tomorrow. I’m actually excited.”

“The pub? What on earth have you gotten yourself into?”

“I’m the new bartender.”

Opening Pandora Take 100

Maybe a scene later in the book, or maybe nothing at all.  😛 The joys of pantsing your way through a manuscript means you have no idea what’s happening, lol. Each chapter you write is like both you and the reader discovering your words for the first time.

“You know when you love someone to the point of the dissolution of your own skin, your body disappearing into the hallowed embrace of their arms, when their breath becomes the only thing keeping you from drowning, when their eyes are the only light you see guiding you from the darkness of your own soul, when you can’t imagine an existence without their smile, their laugh, their touch. And you know when that love gets severed from you like a limb torn from your body, ripped from your very sinew and bone, pulled apart and scattered like bitter carnage for the wolves of betrayal and misery to ravage and destroy.” I stared at Dr. Monroe, willing him to challenge me. I needed a fight. Someone to yell at, rail against. But he merely uncrossed and then crossed his legs and tapped his pencil against his chin, as his cool expresso eyes studied me.

I leaned back, the energy drained from me. “Well then, you’ll know what it was like to lose her.”

Opening Pandora: A New Beginning

Trying out a new beginning I wrote last night. What do you guys think?

I was thirteen the first time I tried to kill myself. The knife was very different from the one I currently held. I swiveled the blade, watching more lime juice soak into the maple cutting board.

I placed the freshly sliced fruit into a plastic container, grabbing another victim from the grocer’s box. I wasn’t sure what made me think of that long-ago day. It might have been the song playing over the satellite radio, speakers tumbling out the tinny tune. Could have been the fact that I’d almost severed my thumb, the dull paring knife skidding off the peel and missing my digit by a hair’s breadth.

I dropped another handful of lime garnishes into the container and eyed up my stockpile. I grabbed the box of lemons and extricated a few of the lesser bruised choices, placing them on the counter top. It was probably more likely that today was the second anniversary of my divorce.

I turned over a lemon, neatly clipped off the ends, and cut it into halves, quarters, and then eighths. I scored each section with a horizontal gash, making it easier to wedge onto the top of a glass, then dropped the pieces beside the cut limes.

The first anniversary had landed me in the hospital, a blood alcohol level five times the legal limit. I hadn’t consciously been trying to kill myself. Though, I’d never driven drunk before. The night was a bit of a blur. It involved confronting Ron, a screaming match with his current conquest, several bars, and too many shots to remember. I thought I’d been lonely in my disaster of a marriage. It’s amazing how low you can sink when there’s no distractions, and it’s just you and your thoughts.

That’s where I was eighteen years ago, hiding in that closet, rubbing the switchblade across my wrist. Lost in thought. It wasn’t like I’d had a terrible childhood. I had friends who’d had it much worse. My brain just tended toward the melancholy, and my parents were emotionally unavailable. I’d had all the creature comforts in life, but none of the love and connection to go with them. I was a piece of litter adrift in a bleak, infinite ocean. In my opinion, there hadn’t been much to live for.

I glanced at the flawless, porcelain skin of my forearm. I’d been too terrified to do it, but I had craved the silence that I knew would come with a swift, deep cut. My blood would have flowed with suppressed tears. I’d have finally gotten their attention.

I shook my head. Jesus, that was morose. I finished cutting the lemons and carried both boxes back to the walk-in fridge in the basement. I’d come a long way since my accident, and I wasn’t that sad little girl anymore. I glanced at my watch and took a deep, cleansing breath.

I had five minutes until the doors opened, six until Jake and Adam sat across from me, each seeking solace, a friendly ear, and a pint of Guinness, and thirty seconds or less until Lisa accosted me about last night. I shoved the shroud of memories back into the closet with the rest of my skeletons and found my smile. It was show time.

Opening Pandora: Emma’s Dance

Trying something COMPLETELY new here…

What do you think?

Music pulsed. Strobes flashed. Sweat dripped between my breasts and down my sides as I gave over to the bass, letting it move my hips, orchestrating my arms and legs to its hypnotic siren’s call. Drunk as fuck, I wandered lost in my racing heart beat, watching Emma move.

She took control of the song, wrapping it around her tight curves, bending and drawing my attention to every inch of her. She teased the edge of impropriety, flirting with sensuality, her dance provocative and addictive to watch.

She drove me insane. I couldn’t get enough. She occupied my dreams and filled my days with visions of tanned skin and a radiant smile that made me yearn for another taste of her. She drove me to distraction until I couldn’t focus on anything or anyone else.

She sidled up to me. Her chest pressed against mine, her groin grinding into my thigh as she straddled my leg. She glanced at me from beneath long dark lashes, a playful smirk flitting across her full lips. I knew that look well—a blazing image portending the promise of requited passion—and my stomach tightened. My hands ached to touch her bear arms, to run my fingernails through her raven black hair. The air sparked and crackled between us, an electrical current, raising the hair on my arms, snapping every nerve on edge.

She pulled away, a twist and turn manipulated by the rhythm. My eyes followed, drawing me forward. She controlled the string, a line invisible to all, but it pulled and lured me in until I had her pinned against the railing, my body a shield from the amorphous, grinding, pulsing crowd. She smelled like tropical islands and chocolate, and I leaned in close, inhaling her scent deep into my lungs, kissing the slender curve of her neck.

She held my waist, fingers tucking into the back pocket of my jeans. Her hips moved, enchanting me further, keeping me under her spell. I stroked the back of her neck, my hands fanning out, weaving their way through her hair. Her gaze locked with mine, and she smiled, melting my restraint, every muscle tumbling toward her.

Our lips met, a chaste encounter. Need coursed through my veins, and I cupped her face, holding her captive as I deepened the kiss, reveling in her taste, relishing her tongue teasing mine.

A million people ebbed around us, but I only saw her. The music slowed, a heavy beat throbbed from the speakers as her fingers slid down the front of my pants, inching their way between my legs. I gasped, losing my balance, as a finger slipped inside me.

“I want you,” she purred in my ear, her teeth grazing the edges.

Lightening fried my thoughts, leaving only a haze of desire in its wake. I gripped the railing, steadying myself as her fingers moved, slow and tortuous in time with the maddening tempo of the song. If we stayed there much longer, I was going to come in the middle of the dance floor.

Breath raged, I bit her lower lip, desperate. “Take me home.” It wasn’t a question or a statement, it escaped as a plea—a reverent prayer. She held the power. She controlled my heart, my body, and my soul completely. There was no going back from this. Everything ordinary would forever seem dull and colourless. Her presence in my life had brought me to the peak of something extraordinary, and I never wanted to come down.

She withdrew her fingers, hooking one around a belt loop, pitching my hips against hers. “Chicken.”

Gauntlet thrown, I snuck my hand down the front of her jeans. Surging moisture greeted me, and my pussy clenched in response. She leaned her head back and moaned, loud enough for others to hear, her brazenness fueling my need. I found her clit and circled the engorged nub, rubbing, pressing, knowing it would be her undoing. She fisted my hair and kissed me with urgency, her body bucking against mine.

Everyone must have known what we were doing, but in that moment, I didn’t care. I couldn’t stop. I could feel her climax building, and my body responded. Like a match to kerosene, my blood caught fire. Her nails bore into my neck, and she held me tight, her legs weakening as her orgasm built. I watched enthralled as her eyes softened and her cheeks flushed.

“Come for me.” I panted.

She let out a gentle cry, her body shattering beneath my touch. I held her there, shoring her up against the waves of people crashing against us. No one seemed to notice our dalliance. The crowd flowed with the strobes, swaying to the rhythm, allowing Emma and I to remain invisible, allowing me to take her to the heights of passion.

Hooded eyes, sexy and heavy with the weight of her release, caught my gaze and smiled. “Your turn.”

 

In gratitude,

Marissa xo

Opening Pandora: A Prologue

 After that sexy musings blurb (see previous post) I decided to keep writing to see where it took me. The result was a prologue. I have no idea if it will stay a prologue, or if I will cut it, dissect it and mine it for gems, relocate it, or scrap it all together. Such is the uncertainty of first drafts, but I do like it. 😀 So, here for your edification, I give you the prologue to Opening Pandora a new creative vision.  <3

Prologue

I shouldn’t be here. I leaned my head against the steering wheel and closed my eyes, fisting the warm leather, knowing even as I thought it, even as I hesitated, there was no turning back. At any point during the drive, I could have turned around, but I kept going, sight fixed on the road ahead, the specters of doubt and recrimination chasing me like street racers. But they’d lost. I’d made it. Pandora’s box parked hidden within a concrete jungle of normalcy and mediocrity.

I scanned the sea of humanity, focused on staying invisible while I lifted my ass off the leather seat and slid my hands underneath my skirt. Two fingers hooked around the band of my thong, and I slid the fabric down my legs, the cool flush of exposure trailing in its wake. Part of the lace caught on the stiletto of my shoe, and I struggled to set it free, desperate to avoid drawing attention to myself. Just a random person in a car. No need to look. Nothing untoward or salacious here.

I fisted the panties and stuffed them in my purse, heart pounding. All I had to do now was open the door and step out. I gauged the distance from the parking lot to the mall entrance. Maybe twenty-five feet separated them, yet it seemed like a chasm hundreds of yards wide, each crack and chip in the pavement defined by the brilliance of a million spotlights, their beams focused, waiting.

I gripped the door handle, and a band of gold caught the sunlight. Stomach tight,. I glanced over my shoulder and slipped the ring off my finger, dropping it in the drink holder of the console. It fell without a sound. The receipt from my son’s new soccer cleats stuffed in the plastic cavern muffled the finality. I covered it all with a take-out napkin and opened the door.

Heat rose in waves off hoods and roofs, echoing the wobble of shaking legs as I stood, back to the metal. A cool breeze played with the hem of my dress, and I tugged it lower, a disconcerting dampness spreading between my legs. I craved the security a tiny strip of cotton could provide, but my instructions had been to come without underwear. I swallowed the urge to slink back into the car.

I didn’t have time for a pep talk. Those days had long past. I needed to open the box and let the world deal with the consequences. I was beyond saving. I glanced at the glass doors, watching shoppers mill in and out, oblivious to the turmoil around them.

I found a steadying breath and pushed off, taking my first tentative, tenuous step toward the man who wanted to fuck me.