Category Archives: Stories

Chocolate Croissants

Like any hopeful beauty, she dreamed day and night. But what she saw was not just a happy ending. No, it was much more than that. She saw what she wanted and needed with all her heart. It wasn’t to make or add to her happiness but to enhance it.

At night, amongst the many paintings and countless stories, she laid in bed. She didn’t see the white picket fence with flowers blooming all around. She didn’t see kids running across the yard or hear a baby crying through the window. She didn’t even see her own fame and glory. What she saw was not what everyone told her to dream.

There was a dog though. He slept on an old worn out leather chair he had claimed when he was a puppy. They tried to throw it out but he had hopped up on it and sat there like a royal king being carried around by his loyal subjects. The picture is hanging on a wall if you don’t believe it.

There was a man too. He didn’t claim a chair, instead he slept in the bed beside her holding her close. Yet, throughout the night, he would toss and turn either curling up in a ball, lying on his belly or submerged in the sea of blankets. It wouldn’t be for long though.

Because in the morning, he would wake up, stretch out and glance down to see her curled up in the crook of his arm. He was checking if she was awake or still drooling along his chest.

Of course she felt his subtle movement and stirred in her sleep. A dampness would reach her attention and as she moved to wipe her mouth, he would chuckle softly.

Embarrassed, she quickly tried to hide the evidence but it would always be too late. He caught her and even though it was a hassle to wash his shirt every day, he didn’t really mind. But, he never would admit it. He took too much pleasure teasing her about it as she tried to hide her actions by rubbing her eyes or pulling the covers up to hide her beautiful face.

Still, the top of her head would peak out tempting him to lightly tussle her hair. And as his chest rose and fell, she brushed her face against him purring all along.

Once he would stop, she would climb atop his waist and peer down at him. A smile would brighten her eyes and the final rays of the early morning sun would push through the blinds. He would check the time and the dog would begin his morning stretch before clumsily walking over to poke his nose between the sheets.

The man would jump away from the cold wet nose only to pat him on the head. She then would rub his ears just the way he liked it.

The satisfied pup would then curl up on the rug just below them and patiently wait as the man taunted her out of bed with the idea of coffee and sweets. It sounded good to her but it wasn’t until he said the magic phrase that would finally pull her out of bed. Chocolate croissants were always a weak point of hers and he knew her well.

They shared one final kiss in the misty morning air and that would always be the moment her eyes would flutter.

It wasn’t just a dream any more.

© 2016 Jessica Santos

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Hide and Seek

“Ready or not here I come!” he shouted as he opened his eyes and found me patiently sitting beside him.

Confused, he asked, “Aren’t you suppose to be hiding?”

Shrugging, I curled up beside him and pushed my back against his chest making him fall on to the bed and wrap his arms around me.

“I am hiding,” I said resting my head against his beating heart.

I heard the thunderous booming of his chuckling as he playfully teased, “I think you’ve forgotten how to play the game then.”

I shook my head, “When I was little, I was so tiny that I could fit inside the smallest space and hide away from the world…”

He lightly kissed the top of my head momentarily distracting me before I continued, “But now, with you, I feel like I shine brighter than the sun. So the greatest spot to hide would be right here in your arms.”

Kissing me softly on the lips, he looked at me curiously then covered my eyes and whispered, “Your turn.”

I sighed and closed my eyes. As he left the room, I began to count in my own darkness. I listened intently to hear his footsteps but not a sound was made. When I finally finished, I opened my eyes and searched the house.

I entered every room looking behind curtains, under beds, behind doors where I checked closets and hundreds of boxes holding our new furniture.

But, I couldn’t find him.

We only recently bought the house so there wasn’t much to hide around. So where could he be?

After searching and searching I returned to our room where my eyes rested on our orchid that sat on the windowsill. I smiled and walked over to its delicate resting place. Touching the sturdy leaves, I looked out into the street and giggled.

Dashing down the stairs and out the front door, I saw him sitting on a bench across the street in front of our neighbor’s yard.

He must have felt my gaze and looked up at me causing our eyes to momentarily meet. He smiled and beckoned me to join him.

Quickly, I snatched the keys we had left on top of an unopened box in the yard and joined him. He stood up and hugged me tight kissing my forehead before grabbing my hand and leading me down the street saying, “There is no best hiding spot as long as one is always looking.”

© 2016 Jessica Santos

Their Bitch

See her there? She spins and twirls with no rhythm but that of torture. Haunted by her own demons, she rears. Crashing down on her own two feet, she stands. Unaware of whether she is safe or endangered, she thrusts herself again. Eyes darting like a wild child, she is lost.

Shackles clink at her wrists. Her eyes follow the chains to the cold barren wall. Like lightning, she suddenly jerks her arms up to have them clash against the cement floor. Sparks shatter the darkened room littered with blood, her blood.

A pen drop is heard in the distance. She perks up. Listening intently, her bright brown eyes narrow on the details.

Staying low to the ground, she crouches. Lips lightly brush the battered floor smearing red upon her even more. Looking feral, she watches the door as it creaks open.

Out of the shadows, a figure dressed in a tux confidently strides in, not fearing her untrimmed nails. She cares not for his fear or confidence though and strikes anyways. Yet, just as she begins to pounce, he effortlessly steps aside and jabs her in the ribs. Screeching, she falls to where he once stood moments before.

Whipping her head up, she quickly regains composure. He hardly inflicted any pain; he merely angered her further. But instead of striking once more, she patiently rests upon her haunches. A good hunter waits for the kill. Yet, he makes no further movement other than to toss a box upon her bed before turning to leave.

Once he disappears, she creeps to her straw mattress on the floor and glares at the cardboard container. Jumping into her nest, she raises one hand and swats it off her place of comfort. As it lands, it jingles.

The sound catches her attention and she quickly moves towards it. Knocking it once more, she listens for the ringing. Reaching down, she tears at the seams unleashing it’s contents.

A black smoke slithers into existence. Choking the poor girl until she stumbles against the wall. Held by invisible hands, she fights his plague. And just when eyes begin to fail, she hears the familiar creak of the door and jingle of the box. But she would never know what was next to surprise her.

© 2015 Jessica Santos

The Beginning of Something

Eyes open to a dreary summer’s day. Clouds cover the sky and a hint of rain is carried through the winds. A storm is definitely brewing. But that’s not the only gloomy image at play.

Inside a quiet house is a woman who awoke and saw the sunless skies. Her face showed no expression but her eyes revealed the truth.

The night before had been filled with turmoil. The enemy had used weaponry that blasted her walls apart. She had left for bed knowing that she had survived another day but only so that she can fight again. For no one had released her of the baggage that weighed heavily upon her shoulders.

Rolling out of bed, she sighs and slowly goes about her morning preparations for the day ahead. Walking by her full length mirror, she glances at the image. There is a frail woman with wrinkled skin, greying hair and pained eyes staring back following her every move.

Heaving forward, she continues her routine and makes herself a cup of tea. Maybe that’s what she needs, a cup of hot green tea? But when she takes a sip, it does little to relieve the cold in her bones.

Like the floor boards that creak beneath her feet as she shuffles around, the cold has settled upon her. It has shriveled up her being leaving a hollowness throughout the majority of her body. Deep within, one can feel the woman she once was curled up and crying for help as her body does what little it can to rescue itself.

Through the window, a chilly breeze sweeps in and rushes about her. She use to run out and play with the storms elements but now she stands in her kitchen where she looks out the window and watches the little sprites prance in glee.

She does want to join them.There is no doubt that she wishes to dance to the thunder claps, splash in the water and search through life with lightning guiding her way.

But she makes no move to do so.

She continues to stand in her kitchen, only this time she has looked away from the window and rested her gaze on a picture. A picture that was taken not too long ago of a woman whose eyes glisten with cheer as a man with loving eyes gaze down at her child-like being.

Reaching out, she brushes a finger against the image as if her touch could bring it to life and replay the memory. And indeed it does.

Her mind is filled with the memory of walking along a beach and holding the man’s hand with a smile on her rosy cheeks. She shrieks in delight as the water washes up and covers their feet. He takes the opportunity to pick her up and carry her even further out into the ocean. Like kids, they tease and play with no worry as to the consequences.

Just as he leans in to kiss her soft delicate lips, the image begins to distort and she is brought back to the present. Living in her memories is no way to live but she can’t help but wish for such an outcome.

Picking up her mug, she holds it close to her heart as she walks back to her bedroom. Passing by the mirror, she sees the old lady still but she cares not for the image that it displays.

Her bed beckons her to return to its soft clutches and she is completely willing to oblige. Once she is back in its arms, she places her mug upon the bedside table just as a young man’s arms wrap around her and pull her close to his heart.

As if by magic, her heart senses his beating rhythms and matches them perfectly. Slowly, the tides of pain ebb away at his strong force but she wants to conquer her own battles and she knows of only one way to do so.

Moving out of his grasp, she stretches out to grab her laptop. And as the little mechanism roars to life, the storms begin.

© 2015 Jessica Santos

A Life for A Life

She knew not of the many secrets that he held but she did know of hers. True to herself and her heart, she held him close to her bosom. Afraid to lose and afraid to be lost are two simple things that can throw a woman behind bars.

Sadly, she was beginning to go down that path. He had left in fear of his own mistakes. But, what he hadn’t known was that by allowing fear to wash over, he was creating the biggest mistake he had yet to make.

Now, hanging from the branch before her was a noose. She had taken all afternoon to ensure its perfection. Braiding the rope with tears of sadness and pain, it became a powerful weapon. It held her hope, her love, and hopefully soon her very life.

Taking a naked step through the dead Fall leaves that littered the floor around the tree, she made her way to the stool that rested below death’s door. With eyes dried, she calmly looked out from behind the stool, admiring the soft glow as the sun began its descent.

Certain that none would hear nor see her helpless body traverse from this life to the next, she stepped up onto the stool where the rope dangled before her. The breeze softly blew the rough threads in the air to brush against her delicate salty skin.

She trembled.

Then, a bird called out singing a gentle sweet song. Listening to the delicate melody, she attempted to cry again but nothing left her eyes.

Now was the time.

Reaching out, she grabbed hold of the noose. With one last look through death’s door, she took a ragged breath.

Upon closing her eyes, a single tear in both eyes clouded her last sight of the world around her as she leapt up to plunge her head through the ropes choking grasp.

Crack!

Thud!

A dull pain spread throughout her body. The noose didn’t catch her; instead, she landed face first on the grass below.

Looking up, she saw the wind lift the leaf litter around her and swirl it about like a tornado with her as the eye of its chaos. Confused, she searched around her for an answer. And there, lying beside her, was the branch that held the noose. It had broken off from the tree as she jumped to meet her untimely death.

Scrambling to where it lay, she picked it up and when her eyes looked through the circle of the noose, she bore an incredible sight:

There he was alive and well. Drinking away his life, he cared not for a single soul, not even his own. Then, the image changed and there she was alive and well. Raising two kids with another man, she cared for her one true secret. And as if the woman in the noose knew of her own curious eyes, she looked up at her despaired self and raised a glass in honor of her as she patted a pocket that rested atop her heart.

With one swig from her glass, the image was gone, and, once again, she was alone under the tree. The leaves had stopped and the sun was gone. All was still but her beating heart. As the night grew colder, the rhythm began to steady. Soon, she stood and in the moonlight, she went home to where a familiar stranger awaited her swift arrival.

© 2015 Jessica Santos