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Bitches and Sad Ladies -- short stories from members

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posted on Aug, 15 2016 @ 07:35 PM
To understand the thinking and motivation behind these stories, read here:

The idea comes from a book entitled Bitches and Sad Ladies edited by Ann Rotter.


Karen remembered the time the man she loved most in the world, pulled her up on his lap, and whispered "of my six grandchildren, you are the only one I truly love",. She threw her arms around his neck, smiling with joy. "I love you the most too, Papa".

Now she stood in a hotel room in Singapore, a place she came with him, because he had a work project to attend to there. She listened to her husband as he spoke to her.

She stood stunned, dazed, as she heard the man she cared about most in the world say to her "Getting to know you so thoroughly and completely has caused me to despise women. I see women now, and I wonder if they are like you. I will never take that chance again".

Karen ran to the bathroom and locked the door behind her. She wanted to be alone. To think. She sat on the bench inside the shower stall, and cried. She listened for the hotel room door to slam or shut. It didn't.

She lost track of time as she laid in the fetal position on the shower floor. "What have I done to him?" "What have I done?" she sobbed.
When she met and fell in love with John she felt she had met the most wonderful man in the world. Kind and generous. Successful and adventuresome. She was so happy when he proposed, knowing she would always be loved. She would always be there for him, and he for her.

She remembered that young man, then turned her thoughts to him today, in the here and now. He was angry and upset. Bitter and discouraged. She had done this to him. He had said so. She had ruined his life, and probably her own. What the hell was wrong with her that she had ruined her own husband? One she had vowed to love and honor. Still, she thought, she hadn't deserved the wrath he'd brought down on her. It was cruel. She didn't deserve it.

She heard his cell phone ring, John talking, and then he came to the bathroom door. Although it was locked, she didn't hear him try the handle. He had gotten a call from work; there was an emergency. He was leaving and he said they would talk when he got back. She muttered "okay" with a voice that didn't even sound like hers. She heard the door shut softly.

When she woke up she was still on the bathroom floor. Light was beginning to come through the window, and she realized she had slept all night. Stiff and chilled, she put on her robe and went to the bedroom. He wasn't there. It appeared he hadn't been there all night.
She ordered coffee, showered and dressed, waiting for John to come back for the inevitable confrontation, trying to think what she would say to him. And he to her.

But he didn't come back, and he didn't call. She again spent the night alone in the hotel room.

The next morning she turned on the news, and there it was. An American petroleum engineer had been hired to construct an oil rig in the sea, and it had failed. There were pictures of the rig sinking into the ocean. Fortunately it was sinking slowly, and the workers had all been rescued by boat. There were no injuries and no fatalities. But it had failed. The mechanisms designed to support the rig had failed.

John would take this hard. She tried calling him on his cell phone but he didn't answer, and the message box was full and not taking new messages.
The news report called John by name, and showed a brief interview with him. He said he was uncertain as to what had caused the collapse. He had sent the design and pertinent information back to his home office in Texas so they could try to ascertain what had gone wrong. He had resigned after efforts to save the rig had been unsuccessful. They showed a picture of him leaving the worksite by boat, the sinking rig in the distance. He looked tired and distraught.

The following morning, there was still no word from him. She called the office in Singapore, and they didn't know where he was, so she called the office in Texas who said as far as they knew he was still in Singapore. They had been apprised of what had happened, and talked to him shortly afterwards.

Two more days passed without any word from John. Karen was starting to get seriously worried and was preparing to go to the police. She was in fact, getting ready to call a cab and go to the police station when he called.


posted on Aug, 15 2016 @ 07:44 PM
He was in the hospital. He was alright, he said, but had started drinking when he left the sinking oil rig,, and contiued drinking for a couple more days. . It had made him ill. Someone from the bar had called for help when he collapsed, and they took him to the hospital. Emotionally, he was a wreck. His voice broke a few times as he spoke to her, and she realized he was trying not to cry. Most everybody at his office had had failures and mistakes of one kind or another with this type of work, but this was John's first. She knew he would take it hard.
Karen took a cab to the hospital, and John was being discharged the next morning. He had apparently poisoned himself with alcolhol through drinking too much, too fast. He still had an IV, and they wanted more bloodwork to make sure everything was functioning properly before he left.
Although he resigned from the job in Singapore, he had not been fired from the firm in Houston. They had given him a new assignment in fact, in the Phillipines. He would be leaving day after tomorrow.

Neither of them mentioned the fight they'd had, except only in a roundabout way, when John asked "what are you going to do? She told him she didn't know. She waited for him to ask her to come with him, not knowing what her answer would be, but instead he said "You can come with me if you want to." Karen knew this meant he didn't really want her to come, but he would tolerate her going if she insisted.

She said she was thinking of going back home, and he nodded with understanding.

When her plane landed in Denver, she took the super shuttle to Boulder. She went by Diane's house to pick up Jake and Jazz, their two Weimaraners. It was good to see them, and they were so happy to be home. It didn't take them long to get back into their routine, running to see if their beds were still there, and then to the kitchen for treats, which they received amidst all manner of excited doggy celebrations, including dancing. (They danced.)

She noticed the ingredients to make Singapore Slings were still there on the countertop. They'd made them the night before they left, to celebrate the new job. She stared at the mess feeling tired, and grabbed a beer from the refrigerator.

Sitting on the back deck she watched the dogs chase squirrels and play. They were so happy to be home. If she left, she would take them with her. It would cause a problem, because John would object. Too bad, she thought.

Looking around her, she acknowledged what a wonderful lifestyle it had been. A wonderful happy husband and home, the travel, the excitement. They both knew what they had and they nurtured it. Treasured it for many years. But then there was a faint feeling that it was ending. And then the feeling came to her that it was over. A fight like the one they had in Singapore, even a year ago, would have resulted in a day in the sack making up. But this time, she didn't want that. And she knew John didn't either.

During the evening one beer turned to six, as she watched the stars and tried desperately not to think anymore. She wanted to be a blank slate. Tabula rasa. Nothing there but the stars, her home, and her dogs. She thought about her Papa, and wondered what he would advise. He would tell her he never expected her to have a cookie-cutter life, and she should do as she pleases. Of course. Good advice. Thanks Papa.

John finally called a few days later to let her to know he was in the Philippines and he was okay. The project looked interesting, and he was working with good people. He wanted to make sure she had gotten home okay, and that the dogs were okay.

"I am not leaving my home". she blurted out, wondering where that had come from. John sort of laughed, and said he didn't expect her to.



posted on Aug, 15 2016 @ 07:47 PM
That was four years ago. The last time she talked to John he was in NYC at a conference. He had an office in the firm by that time, and spent most of his time there. He'd bought a condo in Houston, and a Rat Terrier named Max. ( Karen thought that was interesting, as she was the one who often spoke of wanting a rat terrier.)

She remembered John saying he would never take a chance again with another woman, and she realized she felt the same way. She didn't want another relationship. Why do people think they have to be in a relationshiop to be happy and whole, she thought?

But they had stayed married. It wasn't planned. She had simply never filed for divorce, and neither had he. They didn't talk about it. It seemed irrelevant.

They talk on the phone a couple of times a month. She tells him about her job, and he tells her about his. They laugh and exchange the dog's antics. John "talks" to Jazz and Jake on the phone, and she talks to "Max". He calls Max to the phone and she hears him say "come talk to your mama". He sent her a few pictures of the condo and Max, and she noticed he wasn't wearing his wedding ring.

But she hasn't laid eyes on him since that day in the hospital room in Singapore.

And she doesn't care. My life is what it is, she thinks. She knows she could change it, but she doesn't want to. She's fine. Karen is just fine. She reaches to her throat to finger the diamond from her engagement ring, now made into a pendant. It's like she has it, but she doesn't. It is where it belongs.


edit on 8/15/2016 by ladyinwaiting because: spelling

posted on Aug, 15 2016 @ 09:31 PM
It was a dark and stormy night.

Ladyinwaiting went to her bedroom and snapped the curtains shut, hoping it would prevent the lightning from ziz-zagging through the windows, striking her as she laid across the bed. She had never heard of curtains being a deterrent to lightning, but it was possible, she supposed. Snap! Snap snap snap!

She took the ipad from the bedside table, and powered it up.

"DAMN! I should have put that thread in short stories, rather than collaborative writing."
But optimism keeps creeping in.
In the meantime, she will get in the closet and try to save herself from almost certain death. EEEK!

posted on Aug, 15 2016 @ 11:10 PM
Woman in the Lake

It had been one of those cloudless Western Washington Augusts, the kind they classify as a drought because of three whole weeks in a row without rain. Burn bans in effect. Labor Day came around; sky still blue, nice warm gentle breeze. Good day for a bit of fishing.

As I drove down the dirt road toward Sandy Shore Lake, about 10 mile Northwest of the Hood Canal Bridge, I noticed a decent parking spot over by the bamboo stand. There were three or four trucks and a couple of cars parked, some right up close to the water. Children splashed in the shallows to the left of the boat launch ramp. Adults lounged drinking beer and telling jokes. One couple had a small fire burning in a pit, cooking hamburgers on a wire grill.

I backed my station wagon up to the boat launch ramp, and left the engine running, planning to unstrap my short row boat from the roof rack, then park at the spot I'd picked earlier. I got out, leaving the door open and stepped over to release the first strap hook. Through the trees to the right I noticed a woman in a small inflatable boat about 30 yards out from shore. I let go the strap and walked around the back of the car to the passenger side to get an unobstructed view.

As I reached one hand up toward the strap, I casually noticed she was approximately 27 years old, long dark brown hair with dark red highlights, about 5 foot 6, 125 lbs, muted orange-yellow bikini.

I turned my attention back to the task at hand. No sooner was the first strap unhooked, there was a splash from the lake and a cry for help. Two steps toward the water and I noticed that three men were already in the water swimming out toward her.

Along with the 15 other people watching, I saw as the first rescuer got close and reached out toward her. She grabbed his hand, climbed up his arm then onto his shoulders. Her head was well above water, not so for the rescuer. The second rescuer stopped swimming about eight feet away. She jumped forward off the first toward the second. He was back paddling away when she grabbed his hand. Meanwhile, the first rescuer broke surface coughing out water and gasping for breath.

The second rescuer was now under, while the first started a listless side stroke toward the shore. The third rescuer didn't look inclined to get involved, but just as he turned over in the water and started a crawl stroke toward shore, she leaped toward him and started her pursuit. He reached wading depth just about the time the second rescuer broke surface coughing out water and gasping for air.

The third rescuer reached the fire pit that he'd started his rescue from at about the same time that the woman reached the proper depth and started wading out. All eyes were focused on her as she swung her head, flinging her hair over her left shoulder, and wrung the water out with both hands, then brushed the water off each arm from shoulder to wrist. She then bent forward, and with both hands squeegeed the water first from her left thigh to ankle, then the right.

She stood up straight, glanced right, then left, and addressed all, "Men! They're so useless! I always end up taking care of myself." She was standing not 12 feet away when she spotted me and started a slow stride toward me. "You going out on the lake? Would you take me out with you?"

"Um", I said, quickly refastening the strap, "No, sorry. I just realized that I really need to be somewhere else."

I quick timed it around the back of my car, got in, closed the door and pulled forward toward the dirt road. In the rearview I saw her standing, left hand on hip, right extended middle finger raised. I'm pretty sure that I hadn't stepped on the gas hard enough to have spun dust up on her, not much anyway.

Well, I thought, as I drove up the road, I can always throw my line in off a pier. Plenty of fish in the sea I've heard.

edit on 15-8-2016 by pthena because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 16 2016 @ 06:10 PM
a reply to: pthena

Wow! What a bi-otch!
Just goes to show, some people can't be rescued without personal peril!
(..or... some people can't be rescued at all. )

Also too dumb to realize what she had done.

Good story. I enjoyed it, thanks!

posted on Aug, 16 2016 @ 07:49 PM
a reply to: ladyinwaiting

Also too dumb to realize what she had done

Insensitivity can do that.

In the original, she actually did need to be saved, but then I thought of how funny it would be for her to be pursuing the third rescuer. So rather than mix sad lady/bitch she turned out pure bitch. Plus, in the revision no one died.

About Karen:

She's fine. Karen is just fine.

Yes, I agree.
I like Karen.

"DAMN! I should have put that thread in short stories, rather than collaborative writing."

The Short Story section sure gives more time to edit for correction. Time limit here is ridiculously short.
edit on 16-8-2016 by pthena because: (no reason given)

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