Day 140 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a forbidden relationship.
Shannon: We talked through the fence. I pretended to read, back pressed against the wood and he’d pretend to be working on fixing up an old moped and other pieces of broke down junk that was never going to work. We were told never to speak to each other again, after our families got into a big fight. It’s not that we thought the fight was stupid, I mean it was both of their livelihoods that the other was jeopardizing, but fraternizing with the enemy’s child didn’t seem like such a big deal to either of us. We didn’t think we were doing anything wrong, and we didn’t understand how it would ever work for us to stop being friends.
I peaked through the hole in the fence nonchalantly to get a peak at him, in case anyone was watching from the window. As far as they would know this was just my favorite reading spot. “You still working on that moped,” I smirked, book blocking my mouth.
“You still reading the same book,” he responded with the other end of our own greeting to let the other know the coast was clear. We had our own secret language and code words. We made sure nobody else would ever know, and that’s what made our bond so strong, because we were the only two people who could keep it alive.
Erin: The problem that I had with the government genetic modifications was that they thought they knew too much. They thought they knew that I a girl of my status would never give a guy of his status a chance. But I did. Not only did I give him a chance, I fell in love with him. Our chemistry was toxic when mixed though. I didn’t care tough. I let him hold me and I held him. While we were comforting each other we were also killing each other. However, I would rather live a short passionate life than a long life of nothing.
Write about what you shouldn’t be allowing.
The candy-cane-striped package arrived on Chelsea’s childhood doorstep, neatly placed beside the ‘Season’s Greetings’ welcome mat, Christmas morning with no note or return address. No one had seen or heard anything happening on the deck since the family cat, Jinx, had decided to bring them a nice dead mouse. As far as anyone knew, the only reason Matt, Chelsea’s fiancé, had gone out was for a smoke break, but it was really because her parents were going to be the death of him, he was certain. But since he was out there, he admired the way the smoke curled under the roof and scattered a small roost of chickadees from their warm spot in the eaves and noticed the tiny, brightly-wrapped box.
When he swaggered back inside, inspecting and shaking the box like anyone would, he passed it quietly to Chelsea, who raised her eyebrows and narrowed her melted-caramel eyes. “No idea, hon, it was sitting on the mat when I was out there,” he answered her unasked question with a sniffle; man, it was freezing out there. The thin, plaid lumberjack jacket he wore back home wasn’t enough for the furious winters of Chelsea’s childhood, though he was more stylish than anyone for miles in their puffy winter coats. After a moment admiring the box, she placed it on the mantle and plucked her mother’s stocking down, putting on a brilliant smile that lit up the whole room, and passed it to her. Not another word was spoken of the mystery gift.
When her parents had gone to bed, after a few too many rum and eggnogs on top of the white wine Chelsea brought for them, she kissed Matt goodnight and he lingered for a moment before yawning on the way to bed. It took her a few moments staring into the dying embers in the hearth to buck up the courage to open it; she’d known all along who the present was from, and that was why she ignored it at first. Settling into the fabric armchair with her peppermint tea and the box, she stroked the perfectly-creased wrapping paper and thought about the giver; the memories tinted rosy with nostalgia and too much alcohol. It had been so long ago, another time in all their lives, when she was deciding on the direction her life was going to take and a relationship with him would have thrown a wrench in those lofty plans.
Gently ripping the tape and unfolding the package, Chelsea let the paper fall to her feet and stared at the tiny white box with scribbled notes written all around it like a note someone wrote to themselves. As she read the chaotic writing, she recognized the fast-thinking trains of thought and smiled inwardly at the giver. The inscriptions talked in broken sentences about broken hearts and soulmates and being alone for eternity; he’d always been a dramatic sort, hadn’t he?
Within the box was a bracelet she’d pointed out one day at the mall when they’d been together. She’d only talked about it that one day, citing the price as too much to splurge on herself, and had forgotten all about the sleek silvery scrollwork that wound around a simple band until it was staring at her. On top of it was a tiny, folded piece of paper that had her name written in slightly-neater handwriting. Inside was a small poem he’d obviously written for her and a note that just said, “I always meant to give you this; I knew it would match the part of my heart you took with you.”
An high squeaky sob fell from her lips as she read the line over and over to herself, unable to bring herself to even touch the shiny metal bangle. Their relationship had been a forbidden one of change meetings and longing, but it hadn’t left as big a scar on Chelsea as it had him.
Josh is driving home from his last lecture. He’s already working on the paper in his head, sifting through different possible topics. He arrives back at home and turns the tv on as background noise as he takes out a pencil.
“In other news, another missing person, a…” Josh turns down the volume, until he hears, “allegedly a gifted individual.” He turns it back up. “Police are looking for him, and the once disbanded SHIELD is now involved, but there are no clues to who the suspect is as of yet.”
‘Oh I know the suspect,’ Josh says. He abandons his homework and heads for the basement. He still has everyone’s costumes here, both the old and the new ones. He leaves the new additions of his in the room and dons the costume, presumably for the last time. He listens to the radio report as he does so. They found the man, but the suspect is not in sight.
Josh takes note of where they are and heads out.
Jade stops at the rooftop across from where all the police cars are positioned. He sees the gifted man with a blanket. Jade then scans the rooftops for her. She would never leave when things got hard.
He spots her. He heads for that rooftop. She takes out a knife and aims at the man. Jade pushes her to the ground before she can throw it. “Get off!”
“Stop this!” Jade says. Bronze tries to cut him with the knife, but he breaks it from her grip. It clatters a few feet away. “Stop,” Jade says, softer. He has her arms pinned to the rooftop, his legs straddling her waist. He looks her in the mask.
“Is gifted, I know,” Jade says, “Not all gifted people are bad, Denisa.”
She stares at him, like she was shocked, “…You know me.”
“I definitely do. For a while now.”
Bronze wrenches her wrists from his grip and pushes him away. Jade rolls to his knees and stands. Her mask is in his hand.
“You can’t just kill him, Denisa.”
“Watch me,” she says, grabbing the knife. She turns her back to him and aims.
‘Will I regret this?’ Jade asks himself.
But it’s now or never.
“They will kill you, Denisa. Or lock you up for life. This isn’t just the police, but SHIELD. I’ve seen them first hand, they won’t care if you aren’t gifted yourself. They’ll use your skills, or keep you from using them again.”
Denisa shakes her head to clear her thoughts and raises her hand higher. She only has a few more seconds before her target is out of sight.
“If you care about me and what you really do at all… If you care about your family, then please stop,” Jade pleads.
“You don’t know me.”
“I know you blame all gifted people for your aunt and uncle’s deaths, along with all the other dead on the ship, but Denisa… please…”
Her hand lowers. “…No,” she shakes her head.
“I know you recognize my voice,” he says. Denisa turns around, the knife limp in her hand. Her victim is already out of range. She looks at Jade, at Josh, with his mask off and his hood down.
“…Josh?” She asks. She then glares, “You-” she throws the knife at his head. He dodges, moving forward. “You played me!” She runs to meet him. She attacks him, and he only defends, never landing a blow on her. “You knew who I was!”
“No,” Josh catches her arms, “I didn’t. Believe me, I had no idea who you were when we first met.” Josh breathes heavily. Denisa is looking at him, trying to decide if he’s telling the truth. “I didn’t know. I learned soon after, yes. But…”
Josh pulls her closer.
“I knew who you were then. The girl, the woman, under the mask. And… As much as I don’t agree with what you do, I know that you can be better.”
“Josh,” Denisa shakes her head, “I can’t just… walk away.”
“I didn’t walk away because I…” Josh can’t put it to words. She’s just, so, close.
“Why did it have to be you?” Denisa says, her eyes flitting to look at his lips for a brief second.
“I’m just glad you weren’t flirting with another superhero,” Josh chuckles breathlessly against her skin.
She then moves closer and presses her lips to his. Josh lets go of her arms and tugs her hips closer. Denisa frames his face with her hands. Josh then angles his face down, his nose brushing hers. He stops when he feels her forehead against his.
“Nothing good will come from this path your on,” Josh says, “Please, if you value your freedom, if you care about whatever we have, because I know it’s real, please…”
Denisa listens to his words, watching them form on his lips. She subtly shakes her head, “That life… normality, I can’t…” She closes her eyes, “That’s not me. This is all I have.”
“You have me, Denisa. And I promise you won’t have to find normalcy alone. We all are trying.”
“What makes you think they can catch me when you couldn’t?” Denisa asks.
“These are professionals. My friends and I were nothing but a group of kids with tech, skills, and a little too much confidence in ourselves.”
They stay like that for a moment. Denisa leans away. Josh looks at her, his every being pleading with her to listen. She leans forward and gives him a ghosting of a kiss, before pulling out of his embrace. “You ask too much of me, Jade. Always the optimist.”
“No no, I get it, you’re trying a new tactic to make me turn over a new leaf. But maybe I like this life, and maybe,” she picks up her mask which he dropped earlier, “I don’t like you.”
Josh watches her with zero doubt, “You’re lying to yourself.”
Denisa hums. “Then it’s a beautiful lie to mask an ugly truth. That I’d need you.”
“You’ll never need me,” Josh says.
“You’re right about that.”
“But that doesn’t mean I don’t love you.”
Denisa is silent for a moment, before shaking her head, “Now who’s stuck in a lie.” She then takes off along the rooftops and Josh doesn’t have it in him to chase her. He puts his mask back on and flips up his hood. He turns to start home, then notices her knife, embedded between two bricks. He takes it out and slides it into his belt.