Monday, July 02, 2012


This week's challenge: Using between 33 and 333, compose something that includes the third definition of the following word:

3: plural
a: display of temper or intense conflict 
b: a spectacular display 

The fireworks weren’t anything new. She experienced them in every relationship. She was, after all, passionate. About many things. About most things. And when her energy rises and the air becomes electric, sparks just naturally ignite.

What's different this time, with him, is that when the fireworks display is done, it’s over. She isn’t oppressed by dread. She’s not worrying about the aftershocks. Because there won’t be any. They disagree, they argue, they reach resolution, they move on. Amazing!

When emotion overtakes her and her thinking is ruled more by passion than logic, he challenges her. And she gets her back up. But his umbrage never rises to meet hers. Instead he reminds her, “I’m not saying you’re wrong, I’m saying you’re not clear.” Amazing!

She had grown up in a household where her father could not be questioned. He was inviolate, resolute and right. Anyone who disagreed with him could depend on being ridiculed. Demeaned. It happened to her, it happened to her mother. She fought unsuccessfully to protect her baby sister. She always felt bad about leaving home and abandoning the kid to that.

Then she wasted a decade with Stephen. With him, an explosion was always preceded by the tinkling of ice cubes. Then the tension escalated, inexorably leading to an eruption of verbal and physical violence. Followed by much sorrow, many regrets, romantic kindnesses and even gifts. She couldn’t relax  and enjoy these good times because it was difficult to predict when those dangerous aftershocks would hit. Along with the blame. This was all always her fault. She made him do it. If only she were more feminine, more acquiescent, none of this would happen.

There was none of that with this amazing man. He says with a smile that he wishes he was as passionate about anything as she is about everything.

They disagree, they argue, they reach resolution, and they move on … Amazing!

She loves this man.


  1. Anonymous12:10 AM

    This was a lovely piece of writing. I particularly liked the line: "With him, an explosion was always preceded by the tinkling of ice cubes." The dark mood of it was wonderful.

    Really well done. :)

  2. Anonymous12:10 AM

    I love the line about the explosion preceded by tinkling of ice cubes. Nice way to say he drank without actually saying that!

  3. We're on the same wavelength here! I like your version much better than mine.

  4. Anonymous11:28 AM

    I know that dread of the aftershocks so well! Nicely done.

  5. Wonderful piece! Loved it!

  6. Anonymous12:52 PM

    What Janna said.

    Very nice imagery and choice of words.

  7. What a wonderful place to get to after such a long time spent repeating the patterns of youth.
    And I love the use of the word inviolate. I've always loved that word.
    Thanks for linking up. Be sure to check back Friday for the new prompt.

  8. Anonymous7:54 PM

    Wonderful write. I understand the feeling of emotion overtaking logic...I love when you say, "But his umbrage never rises to meet hers...." Excellent. That's my favorite paragraph.

  9. Anonymous9:04 AM

    I love the way she has broken free of the cycle of violence here. I particularly like the way you show the role alcohol played in her previous relationship "With him, an explosion was always preceded by the tinkling of ice cubes." I did notice a couple of tense shifts. They may have been deliberate, but I couldn't be sure? Anyway, I liked the way you outlined the arc of her life in such a short space!

  10. Anonymous1:05 PM

    i love the metaphor you used throughout this. it really defined the tension that can exist in a volatile relationship. i'm glad she found someone who can accept and contend with her passionate (and perhaps somewhat fiery) nature.
    great use of the prompt.

  11. Anonymous11:45 PM

    I love this line: "He was inviolate, resolute and right." It has a great rhythm to it. The bit about the tinkling of ice cubes was fantastic as well.

  12. Anonymous5:21 AM

    Excellent piece of short fiction!