Bloganuary Day 19

Today’s Bloganuary prompt is all about colors, particularly which one best describes your personality.

Honestly, I have no idea. My favorite color is red, but red represents boldness, passion, being boisterous—the typical qualities of an extrovert.

That doesn’t describe me at all.

I’m shy, quiet, reserved…

Does that make me yellow? Blue? A combination of the two (green)?

Should I pick navy blue because THE DALLAS COWBOYS ARE GOING TO WIN THE SUPERBOWL?!

Honestly, my response to color personality tests is the same as my response to zodiac signs, vibrations, energies, etc. It’s all stupid.

Don’t limit yourself by trying to fit into a box someone else has drawn. We are who we are, whether we’re blue, yellow, purple, or green. We are who God created us to be in all His infinite wisdom and glory. So be proud of that. Be bold in that!

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Limbo

Photo by Yan Krukau on Pexels.com

I’ve spent so much of my life daydreaming, I can’t distinguish fact from my infinite imagination…

I know he is a lover I conjured in my loneliness, but I can feel his breath inflate my lungs, his full body weight compress my chest.

I am awake, but I’m suspended above me, watching myself lie lifeless in the sand while the man I’ve loved only in dreams attempts to revive me.

I can’t help but question, is any of this real?

When next I open my eyes, I am in a hospital bed. Tubes of free-flowing oxygen invade my nostrils. He is slumped over in the chair next to me, and I reach out a trembling hand to touch his face. He jolts.

“Oh,” he breathes. “Thank God. I thought you were dead.” He leans forward and kisses me. His lips feel like a feather.

“I think I am,” I croak.

© 2023 Nortina Simmons

Bloganuary Day 10

Welcome, dear followers, to Bloganuary Day 10! We are into week 2 of the month-long challenge, and I can happily say that I’ve been able to keep up with all the posts so far! My determination to establish a morning writing routine is coming through!

…even if the posts sometimes don’t go live until after dinner…

Has a book changed your life?

Initially, I thought I would respond to today’s prompt by talking about how my love for reading books inspired me to be a writer…

But then something inside me said, “You talk about yourself and writing too much. We’re bored, darling. Switch it up. Talk about love!”

Yes, love.

L-O-V-E.

Romance.

I am a romance author after all. 😉

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Bloganuary Day 9

The Best Gift Ever: A Nano-Story

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“Christmas was two weeks ago,” I say to the glittery red gift bag he holds out to me.

“It’s Orthodox Christmas,” he says teasingly.

I assume he’s lying until he shows me the calendar in his phone.

“Open it.”

“Will I like it?” I ask, skeptical. He’s never been good at gift-giving. I could tell him exactly what I want, where to buy it, and how much it costs, and he would still get me the opposite.

“I think you’ll love it. Really love it.” The left corner of his mouth curls up into a half-grin.

My heart flutters in my chest, and I tear through layers of tissue paper to get to the bottom of the bag, where I find the small velvet box. Could it be? Is he about to ask me what I think he is? The question I’ve been aching to hear with each passing year as our relationship stagnates? Is he finally ready to make that life-long commitment? To death do us part?

He should be! It’s been seven years!

I snatch off the lid, expecting him to drop to one knee as the light reflecting off the two-carat diamond inside temporarily impairs my vision.

Instead, I find a pair of dull stud earrings.

“Do you like it?” he asks slyly.

“The best gift ever,” I say through clenched teeth.

© 2023 Nortina Simmons

Muse

I still hear Pete’s voice in my head when I knock on Carrie’s front door…

“Remember what happened to Ron?”

First of all, Ron can’t drive. Not a car—he’s totaled three. Not a bike—motored or pedaled. Even walking, he can’t drive. If you want my opinion, bruh was asking to get hit.

And yeah, I know they still haven’t caught the guy who did it and ran and that the description of the car fits Carrie’s Subaru almost exactly, even down to the first three letters on the license plate—Ron passed out before he could read the rest.

I look over my shoulder at her ride parked in the driveway. It does appear to have a sizable dent on the front fender, but that could also be how the shadow hits the hood from the porch light.

Truth is I couldn’t give a damn about Ron. If she did run him over, hey, that just means he’s out of the picture. Besides, she’s told me countless nights that I’m her muse. What has Ron done for her except get caught cheating?

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Bloganuary Day 2

How Are You Brave? A Short-Short Story

photo of person using treadmill
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The gym is packed, as it is every first of the year.

But I’m not one of those New Year’s resolutioners. I’ve been here as long as he has.

The man in the orange shorts.

He comes every morning at 5AM sharp and always picks the treadmill furthest from the door.

I’ve been working up the courage to talk to him, and the elliptical next to him has just opened up.

He’s already deep into mile two of his run. The rhythmic thud of his feet hitting the conveyer belt is intoxicating. I let it set the pace for my workout, but he’s much faster than I am. My arms and legs swing uncontrollably, pulled by an invisible force. My hair clings to the sweat on my forehead.

I’m gasping for air when he eventually slows, and I curse myself for futilely trying to keep up. This is not going how I envisioned. My arms feel like noodles and my legs have gone limp. I gingerly climb off the elliptical, hoping to sneak away quietly so he won’t notice how much I’ve just made a fool of myself, but something inside me compels me to look up, and he’s staring at me intensely.

“Hello, workout body.”

“Oh, no,” I breathe. “I could never keep up with you.”

“You’re better than half the people here.”

So he has noticed me. Now my heart is racing for a different reason, and my cheeks burn with embarrassment. He jumps off the treadmill right in front of me, his pecs jiggling under his shirt, and I nearly choke on my tongue.

“Well, see you tomorrow then?” he says after squirting half his water bottle into the back of his mouth.

I nod, suddenly having lost my voice, and watch his cheeks swish in his shorts as he walks to the locker room.

© 2023 Nortina Simmons

Lost in the Twilight Zone Marathon | S2 Ep 12 | Android Companionship

I read in an article online that by 2050, human-on-robot sex will be more common than human-on-human sex. So when I enroll in the Android Companionship Trial, I convince myself I’m only doing it for the advancement of science into the future.

Not because I’m desperate and alone.

“So how does it work?” my girlfriend, Ally, asks me as I complete the 50-question questionnaire. “Do you have to fuck it a specific number of times a day to get accurate data? Do they film you?”

“No, it’s a little more discreet than that.”

“So it’s a sex doll that can move?”

“They say it’ll look just as human as you and me.”

Ally shrugs and pops a stick of chewing gum in her mouth. “This sounds too much like a porno plot.” She snickers. “Mmm mmm, fucking a robot.”

“They prefer the term ‘android,'” I correct her.

“Hmm, robots have preferred pronouns now too.” She kicks her legs off the couch and sits up. “Babe, if you’re that desperate for some peen, I’ll hook you up with one of the assholes at my job. It’ll be all sex, no strings. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to date these guys.”

“It’s because the dating pool has pee in it that I’m signing up for this!” Thirty-five years with not so much as a broken engagement has taught me all I need to know about the crop of men available to me.

Why not try an artificial one instead?

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Lost in the Twilight Zone Marathon | S2 Ep 7 | The Woman Who Will Finally Reap

After Mr. Schwimmer retired, the firm delegated me the task of representing his last client, a Mr. Simon Polk, who died five years ago.

“It’s really an easy case,” one of the partners, Mr. Colby, said. “You simply have to check on the robot. Make sure she’s taking care of it.”

She’s taking care of it alright. I learned that on my first visit. I sat with the robot in the study, and she served us both hot chocolate.

“Thank you,” I said when she offered me the cup and saucer.

“It’s cold, you miserable cow!” the robot spat, throwing the glass back at her. I was taken aback by how much it sounded like a man of a formidable age.

“It’s Uncle Simon,” she told me after I followed her back to the kitchen and helped her to rub out the stains in her dress.

“He loaded his consciousness into it just before he died,” she said as she stared ahead at nothing. “It was his dying wish to torment me for the rest of my days.”

I gave my report to the partners. “The robot’s taken care of, but who’s taking care of her?” I asked.

“That’s not our concern,” said Mr. Colby. “What has she to complain about? As long as she stays in that house, everything is hers.”

Everything but her life, I feared. I decided then and there that I would free her.

“That’s kind of you,” she said on my second visit as the robot worked in the basement, “but there’s nothing left for me to reap. I’m old. I’m dried up.”

“You’re not,” I said, and then I kissed her. She was stiff at first, but then I saw a flash in her eyes, and it was the confirmation I needed that I could bring her back to the land of the living.

We just needed to get rid of the robot.

“I tried pushing him down the stairs. Now he just walks with a cane.”

“Then we will try something more permanent,” I said. Leaving the property wasn’t an option. She would lose her inheritance. Even if I covered for her, the robot could call someone else from the firm. So then how would one kill a robot?

Continue reading “Lost in the Twilight Zone Marathon | S2 Ep 7 | The Woman Who Will Finally Reap”

Cozy


Cool autumn rains,
cinnamon-scented candles,
spiced vanilla chai,
and your kiss to make it sweet.

© 2021 Nortina Simmons


Originally published December 9, 2021, in response to Morning Inspiration: Writing Prompt No. 13

I saw mommy blowing Santa Claus

Who spiked the eggnog? I’ll never tell. But it’s just what we need to liven the party, even if it’s only the two of us.

“You’re all I want anyway.” You slur your words, dancing loosely while holding the martini glass above your head.

“Is that so?”

You nod and curl your tongue around the straight end of a candy cane. Such a tease.

“I’ve been naughty.”

“You deserve a lump of coal.”

I slip out of my suspenders, and you drop to your knees, but then a tiny voice behind me says, “Mommy, what are you doing with Santa?”

© 2022 Nortina Simmons