EIGHT

Hearts Bled

3 January, 2016—Sunday

4:30 a.m.

Decimation was nigh. Two hearts bled. What a pitiful sight. Imagine parallel trails of iron scented crimson staining the flooring as the lovers navigated the airport terminal, hand gripping hand.

Rowena mutely rehearsed a sendoff while fighting back the acid rising in her esophagus. Lucas blinked, and bit back tears, chewing open his bottom lip. The airport was practically a ghost town, and the calmness only added to their feelings of desolation.

At the top of the escalator, Lucas freed his hand from Rowena’s, and placed it at the small of her back, guiding her to a vacant bench. There they sat, looking at the weekend pictures Lucas had snapped with his mobile phone. Rowena felt a pang in her chest because she hadn’t bothered to take any pictures—she couldn’t have evidence for Adrian to find, of course.

“I like this one, here, of you in my shades. They suit your face.” Then Lucas placed the sunglasses in Rowena’s lap. “They do look better on you, baby.”

Rowena puckered her lips, and leaned in for a kiss. “Thank you. Now I need to give you something.”

“Oh, I have something,” he smirked. “I’d taken it upon myself to pack your pink panties into my luggage. I’ll not wash them. Ever. I’ll sleep with them under my pillow.” And they both laughed. The raucous turned the few sleepy heads.

“Lucas, I want you to know that we’re in this thing together. I am absolutely in love with you. I want you. Remember what I told you. I require you.”

“Do you? Really? Because I’m in too deep, Lady. Please don’t let me leave you thinking we have a future together if we don’t.”

“I’ll prove it to you.”

“Damn the gods! I don’t wanna go home without you.” His mouth squirmed in pain.

They held one another and cried until time tore them apart. One last kiss; the dive was bottomless and brief. It was as though she’d blinked, and found herself alone. Her flame flickered through security, dejected. The further away he moved, the dimmer he grew. Rowena watched him until he was no more, totally snuffed.

*

Concrete feet carried her as she wept all the way to the parking garage. She unlocked her car and opened the driver’s side door. The scent of his cologne, spiced citrus, clung to the interior. Lucas had made Rowena promise not to drive until she’d stopped crying. But she was never going to stop, so she slid in behind the wheel, and jabbed her key into the ignition switch.

I should have stopped him. I should have…

6 a.m.

Take off. Lucas watched from his reclined window seat as everything below abandoned all detail, lost beneath unforgiving dumpling clouds.

A layover at Dulles International afforded him the opportunity to catch a nap at a Holiday Inn. But Lucas couldn’t help but notice the fine looking bar off the lobby, so he spent four of his six free hours imbibing on bourbon, neat. The bartender pitied Lucas, and slipped him a few tumblers now and again, on the house.

“What’s your lady’s name?” the bartender asked. Nice fellow.

“Rowena Fanning.” Lucas Davies slugged back the last of his drink. “I’m working on correcting her surname.”

*

“Rowena Davies.” She said the name aloud, speaking over the radio volume as she drove north. The airport was miles away. “Preach, Janis, preach.”

Little Girl Blue was a song best heard in a car speeding toward Hell, and with an aching heart. Rowena hit repeat, and increased the volume. “Tell me, Janis. How the fuck did things end up this way?”

Yes. How does a woman find herself naked and drunk, holed up in a shoddy motel room with a sensitive Englishman?

Easily enough.

*

Rowena was mostly unhappy with her home life, married to a man she’d long stopped loving when she and Lucas first met online. No one in her real life circle knew of this Lucas, or the mutual friend through whom these two fell into a chasm of desperate love.

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In eighteen days, I release my third book, a novella titled, For You, Rowena. I’m honored to announce that Allane Sinclair has yet again created a cover that encompasses a universe I’ve imagined and put to paper. I couldn’t ask for a better collaborator than Allane. As always, I hope my words serve justice to the emotions that scream from her artwork. Allane Sinclair is the real deal, folks. She pours every bit of her soul into her work, and it shows.

For You, Rowena, at its core, is about self-preservation, true love, and the road a person might travel to claim that love as their own, despite the obstacles; it’s about abusive relationships, self-exploration, redemption, and revenge.

For You, Rowena is not written in the narrative style of Magpie in August. Though two different animals, I hope that those who’ve read Magpie will recognize both the strengths and vulnerabilities I’ve instilled into the main women characters of Rowena.

For You, Rowena is scheduled for release on 31 August, 2018 in paperback and Kindle format via Amazon.  Pre-sale to be announced.

 

 

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Herald Saw Her Ending  

11 June, 2017—Saturday

Herald was lounging in the grand bay window that overlooked the flower garden when the end came calling. Curled up on the yellow seat cushions amongst a few magazines, he’d been surveying the backyard through drowsy eyes. He was a keen hunter once, ages ago in his youth. Still, olden as he’d grown, Herald could sometimes sense a warm-blooded body stirring someplace it oughtn’t be, or catch the glimpse of something flitting, and his heart would beat with familiar eagerness.

On this day, it was a peculiar scent drifting into the kitchen that perked his attention; he squinted in aversion, and noticed the glint of sunbeams bouncing off serrated steel. Herald maneuvered his arthritic body into a crouch, and stared wildly through the window screen. The woman he loved was outside in the garden barely three feet away from him, and she smelled like the earth she’d been digging. Down upon her hands and knees, she was overshadowed by someone Herald had not long forgotten.

He couldn’t comprehend what it was that he was watching; his woman and the caller struggled against one another for just a moment. Then the tang of her escaping blood filled Herald’s nostrils, provoking a rumble that emerged from the pit of his chest. His growling went unnoticed, and all was still in the garden for an immeasurable space of time. He remained in the window seat, round-eyed, and vibrating with tension. When at last the backyard   darkened, and the bats began to fly, the killer rose up from the rose bed, and kicked the face that had been made silent. Herald cussed through the window screen like a sentry willing to defend his castle. But when the sound of frenetic footfall entered the house, grey Herald fled from the window seat, and took refuge inside a kitchen cupboard—the one that stored his food.

Click, clack! Click, clack! Click, clack! Herald recognized the sound. Click, clack! Click, clack!

“I can never unknow you,” the intruder mocked.

Those hollow words were the last human noises that Herald would hear for two desolate days. And then, the screaming would begin.

© Kindra M. Austin

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I’ll never forget the sight of you, dead in the garden; I couldn’t look away from your body. The blood, and the bugs crawling all over you. The blackbirds eating you up. My only love, carrion. You were the one person on this earth who knew where I lived and breathed. What am I supposed to do without you?

Never have I ever believed in Heaven, but just now, I’m wishing Heaven were real, if only to know the memories of our life together don’t belong to me alone.

But does an unbound soul even keep memories? Silly to believe so, isn’t it?

I remember our first date—a picnic out at the gravel pits. It was my sixteenth birthday. You kissed me at sunset with sticky lips underneath the pink June sky—my first French kiss. Your tongue tasted like golden wine coolers and cheap menthol cigarettes. You kissed me, and it was the beginning of everything.

© Kindra M. Austin

My words are my lifeblood spilt, splattered across pages, and dispersed over the internet in hopes of making connections with hearts that beat in time with mine. I’m a cheerful malcontent—by that I mean I’m a fucking mess of optimism and white hot rebellion. I write about my aversion to organized religion and the corrupt state of American government, and the beauty of being a mother who has raised an independent-minded daughter. I also write poetry that mentions death, decomposition, and post mortem fluids leaking all over a kitchen floor. Six months ago, my mother died, and was found on her kitchen floor several days after she’d died. So yeah, I’m not in a rainbow place at the moment. A lot of people are sick of reading about my mother, but I don’t give a fuck. I write my heart out, whether anyone likes it or not, because it is my therapy.

There are a lot of people who are tired of reading my ‘sad’ posts. To those people, I say, “Follow the rest who left me if you can’t stand my truth.” I write my truth, above all else. I know what I’m all about, believe me—I’m not a fucking fad.

I will never conform to the rules. I’m not a writer because I seek commercial success. I’m a writer because I’m a fucking writer. I don’t conform to fads—in fact, people conform to me, and writers like me. But conformists always flee, eventually…

You’re the real deal, or you’re not.

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My face is lined with volumes you’ve never read; and yet my eyes speak to you? Trust me, they belie what lies beneath my wine cellar. Just ask him, the one who has actually pored over this flesh, and subsequently survived the fire expelled from these lungs. I was not fashioned for the pleasure of man; I am no honeycomb waiting to be tasted, and these eyes of mine are not the bedroom kind. Look harder if you must, but you’ll only leave perplexed. I am not a piece, but an entire book, epic, and you cannot fathom me.

© Kindra M. Austin

(image: Pinterest)

Today is Poems & Paragraphs’ 2nd birthday.

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Oh, my Glob! Thank you, David Bowie! You’re awesome, too. Almost as awesome as my readers, friends, and partners in crime. I’ve met some terrific talent and beautiful souls here on WordPress–people who I look forward to crossing paths with every day. Rather than celebrate the birth of P&P, I celebrate my community, and give my deepest thanks.

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I promise to continue writing my truths, and supporting the collectives I’m so fortunate to call friends and family. And I will never stop advocating for those who need to borrow my voice. I’m looking forward to another year of challenges and growth. It makes my heart smile knowing that I have all of you–I hope you know you have me, too. FOREVER.

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P.S. expect tantrums.

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