3TC · Fandango's One Word Challenge (FOWC) · fiction · Story Starter Challenge · Word of the Day Challenge


tigers eyes

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Fandango’s FOWC is prime, the Word of the Day Challenge is ferry, Paula’s 3 Things Challenge words are sauce, diamond, lynx, and Teresa’s Story Starter Challenge phrase is “Sitting on the front porch.”

Petty’s fear of commitment led him to be a bachelor at 50 years of age. He lived on a small vacation island that was isolated most of the year. He had watched both of his parents go through serial relationships with others, where chaos reigned. If Petty were to look beyond the surface of things, he could reach the reality that he didn’t have a clue on how to commit — which was the core of his fear.

Petty had had a string of short-term “relationships” with the vacationers who visited Mackinac Island. Most stayed a week or two, which was long enough to find, meet, and have a whirlwind romance with, then say fond farewells and keep in touch.

Petty loved the ones with sauce, the ones wearing diamonds, the ones who moved like a lynx. As a prime romance-generating machine, Perry liked them because they were the most challenging to capture. He was, after all, under a deadline of sorts. If it took too long, the goodbyes came too soon.

He was riding his bicycle, on his way to the rented cottage of the stunning widow, Mrs. McClure. They had a plan to tour the island on bicycles, then, with luck, a little afternoon delight. Then he saw her, sitting on the front porch of a Queen Anne gingerbread bed and breakfast, reading Chuck Palahniuk’s book, “Diary.”

It was the book that actually captured Petty’s attention. In the off season, which was nine months of the year, when the island became ice-bound and remote, Petty loved reading. Palahniuk was one of his favorite authors, and “Diary” was one of his favorite Palahniuk novels, probably because it was set on a vacation island.

Petty’s eyes traveled from the book to the reader. At this point, his abrupt stopping and then prolonged staring caused the woman to look up. Her eyes were tiger’s eyes, brown and gold, and she held him there, transfixed. She released him, then, and he felt a pounding in his chest he had never known before.

Petty and the widow did their tour, and yes, there was afternoon delight, but as he shared pleasure with the stunning widow, it was the tiger’s eyes he was lost in.

He saw the widow off to the ferry the next morning –she’d been one of his more challenging conquests– then rode his bike towards his cottage, nestled on a steep hill and surrounded by lilac bushes. As he pedaled into the front yard, out of breath, he looked up to see the woman with the tiger’s eyes sitting on his front step, book in hand.

With a voice as dark as tinted glass*, she purred, “Let’s talk about Chuck, shall we?”

*lyric from, “Cake’s”, “Long Skirt, Short Jacket”


6 thoughts on “Deep

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