Literary Bears

For the Love of Books


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Destiny

Today’s prompt is: “On everybody’s 18th birthday, they wake up with a tattoo of what their soulmate will first say to them.”

If you asked Eliza to describe herself in one word, she would immediately respond, “bibliophile” She was the kind of girl who preferred to stay home with a good book while her friends were out at parties. She would much rather prefer the company of a good book to someone her own age any day.

She remembered reading in history books about how people used to celebrate their 18th birthday in the past. She read about many of them looking forward to owning a car, and going off to college; how bizarre that their future was not immediately known to them. In Eliza’s world, at 12, you already knew what your career would be and what colleges would accept you once you turned 14. Once you turned 18, you were already well on your way to starting in your field of work. People no longer had distractions stopping them from excelling in their careers or field of study, even soulmates were revealed. No one had to waste their time dating around, like grandparents did when they were young.

On the morning of a person’s 18th birthday, the person would wake up with a tattoo on their wrist detailing the exact first words their soulmate would speak to them. As Eliza’s 18th birthday approached, people would not let her forget that she would soon receive her tattoo, and possibly know who her soulmate was. Because of the excitement behind her 18th birthday, Eliza would often find herself imagining what her tattoo would say. Perhaps times hadn’t changed much after all, everyone would always look forward to their 18th birthday.

Eliza would often daydream about what her tattoo would say. Naturally, she imagined it would be someone who knew a little about her, he would walk up to her and say Mr.Darcy’s “You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” Or maybe he would ask Romeo’s “Did my heart love til now?” upon seeing her for the first time. She would often think of the very moment they might meet.

Nothing would have prepared her for what she found upon waking up on her 18th morning. She could not believe her eyes when she read her tattoo: “Reading is a waste of time, just watch the movie.” There was no way this could happen to her. Soulmates were assigned to be 100% scientifically compatible. It was scientific! There has never been a mistake, but surely this had to the first mistake ever. Who would she even talk to? Everyone who saw it thought it was hilarious and true. No one was horrified the way she was.

Eliza began to avoid places where she could meet non-readers. She hid in the library and in her room as much as possible. In order to transport in between locations, she would make sure to arrive at the shuttle spot right before it would take off in order to keep contact with non-readers to a minimum. She kept this lifestyle for years. She knew she was smart enough to beat the system. She would never be happy with someone who didn’t appreciate literature as much as she did. If anyone was determined enough to beat the system, it was her.

Years turned into decades, and Eliza lived alone with her thousands of books. Because of her old age, she had to hire someone to check on her daily. She made sure to only hire young people who could never fall in love with an old lady like her. She had replaced several aides, as they all moved on to bigger and better jobs. She had excellent judgment and never had a poor assistant. They were all punctual, and thank goodness for that. One day as she climbed the ladder to reach a long forgotten book, she lost her balance and fell. She thought to herself, something must be broken, but could not get up to call for help. She knew her assistant would be in soon, so all she had to do was hang tight. Within minutes, her assistant entered the room and immediately called for help.

At the hospital, she was told she needed surgery. At the thought of surgery, her old panic of meeting non-readers was quickly replaced by the panic of possibly dying of complications. Before she knew it, surgery was over and she woke up to a lovely young nurse asking if she would like ice chips for her thirst. The nurse was so lovely, she said yes and asked for a book to read. The nurse smiled and responded, “Of course. You’re assistant has brought them in and they’re waiting for you in your recovery room.”  She was relieved simply knowing that her books were waiting for her.

Once she was placed in a much bigger and brighter room, she was relieved to find that her roommate, Tim, was another book lover. They discussed the many books they were currently reading, and Eliza suddenly realized how much she had missed out on life by hiding from her soulmate. This sudden realization made her sad so she turned away from her new friend and turned to her old one, but she soon noticed that she had been reading the same line over and over again. A handsome doctor approached her and said “Reading is a waste of time, just watch the movie.” Eliza could not believe it. She responded, “Please tell me you’re joking.” The doctor laughed and apologized. He explained that he loved to annoy Tim by saying something negative about reading every day. That’s when Eliza noticed his tattoo, “Please tell me you’re joking.” She could not beat the system after all.

 


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Pockets

Today’s prompt: “Write about the contents of a coat pocket that could change someone’s life.”

Frank was in line at the church he knew gave food and clothing to people like him. He hoped no one grabbed the dark green coat before he got up to the front of the line. He had seen it the moment he walked in, but was scared to hope too much. Things usually didn’t work out in his favor.

Today was his lucky day, however. He was able to grab the dark green coat that no one had given a second glance to. He was surprised to see that it actually fit like a glove. He had forgotten what it felt like to own clothing that fit. He slipped his hands into the pockets of his new coat. He knew from experience that the previous owner usually left some change in the pockets, but this one only had a piece of paper.

Frank took out the paper to see what it was. He had seen many tickets like this in the trash, but had never seen a brand new one like this. He carefully read what it said:

“Match any of your numbers to any of the winning numbers, win prize shown for that number. Reveal a 10X symbol to win 10 times that prize”

Frank sat down and started dreaming with what he would do if he won serious money. The ticket claimed he could win cash for life, but that is not at all what he wanted. What he most wanted in the world was to get a job. He would no longer be humiliated by those words if he had money to clean himself up, and afford a home. “Get a job!” people would often yell at him when he asked for spare change, as if it were the easiest thing in the world, as if it wasn’t the only thing in life he truly wanted. He was scared to hope, things didn’t usually work out in his favor.

He began scratching at the top row: “Winning numbers: 25,62,35,11,48” Okay so if he got any of those numbers he would win. He had 15 chances. He scratched them all at once: “4,27,9,6,14,6,30,2,12,10,15,53,7,23,60” Nothing. He didn’t win. Despite himself, he scratched off the prizes to see what he could have won. That is when he noticed, he didn’t finish scratching off the 10. It said 10X!! He won!! The prize said, “$1,000” multiplied by 10… $10,000 dollars!! He could not believe his luck!! Things didn’t usually work out in his favor.

He gathered his things and made himself as presentable as possible to claim his prize.  He made his way to the bodega up the block, who’s owner always smiled at Frank. The owner was quick to offer Frank a smile as soon as he walked into the store. Frank showed him the ticket, and the owner could not contain his joy. He hugged him, and quickly made Frank sign the back. He walked Frank through the entire process and told him that if he had nowhere else to send the check, he could always have it delivered to the store. Frank really had no choice; he had no home, so he agreed that it could be sent to the store. The owner told Frank to come in about 3 weeks. He should have the check by then.

At the 3 week mark, Frank waited until 10am, the time the bodega usually opened, but it was still closed. He waited for what seemed like an hour, but the store was never opened. He felt robbed as he walked back to the church for food. He had dreamt of the new life he would start with that money, and now that it was taken from him, he felt worse than ever. He was so sad, he didn’t hear when someone kept yelling out “Frank! Frank!” Once he looked up, he saw the bodega owner running towards him with a huge smile. He pulled out of his pocket Frank’s check. He told him the whole family had gone to church for him and prayed that this money would change his life. Frank looked up at the man, and smiled gratefully. He was used to things not working out in his favor, but that era was now behind him.


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Decisions

Today’s prompt: “Outside the diner, a black pickup rolled to a stop.”

 

Outside the diner, a black pickup rolled to a stop. Beth had seen him do that every day for four years now.

It really was a sad story. Four years ago, on Beth’s first day at the diner, she served Adam, a regular. Adam knew the whole staff and realized she was new, so he explained that he was waiting for Leigh, his girlfriend, but was ready to order for both of them. He was very friendly and pleasant. She remembered thinking he had the kind of smile that could brighten up a room. It was one of those rare genuine smiles.

Beth was taking another order when Leigh walked over to Adam. Although she was too far to hear the conversation, she only had to see Adam’s body language and face full of sorrow to know what had transpired. Beth made her way to Adam after Leigh left to see if he needed anything. It broke her heart to see how hard he was trying not to fall apart. He paid the bill for both orders of uneaten food and left.

Beth’s co-workers were nearly as heartbroken as Adam. From them, she learned that Adam and Leigh had been high school sweethearts, and that he was working three jobs to buy her an engagement ring. They met every Thursday and Sunday for dinner; those were his only evenings off. Adam was a favorite among the staff, and they were all affected by his heartbreak.

After the break-up, Adam slowly stopped coming into  the diner. It was painful for him (and the staff) to be seen alone. Beth would often see him look into the diner in search of Leigh from his black pickup, but he never came in anymore. He would remain in his car, and look at all the diners hoping that he would get to see Leigh.

Leigh had stopped coming in as well. Beth was sure that if she did come in, she would receive free counseling from the entire staff. They would all try to make her see the errors of her ways. She was a sweet girl too. What went wrong? They had been together for so many years, and they were soulmates; everyone could see that. “If only Leigh came in” Beth would find herself thinking as she saw the black pickup approach. Adam hadn’t given up hope so neither would she.

Beth was cleaning a table one day when the unexpected happened: Leigh walked in. The entire diner seemed to hold their breath. Leigh looked nervous as she walked right up to her. She was visibly shaken as she asked if anyone had seen Adam, a regular diner. Beth assured her that she indeed knew who Adam was, but unfortunately, he no longer dined there. Leigh started to cry, she told her that she had just gotten back into town, and no one knew anything about Adam. No one had seen him in years, and she feared the worst. Beth knew he’d be back in his black pickup real soon for his daily stop. Beth wanted to make sure she wouldn’t hurt him again before revealing that she would see him soon.

“Why did you leave?” Beth asked. Leigh answered that at the time it was the best solution to her problem. She told her that she had made a life altering decision that would put her life in danger. She did not want him to follow her, because she knew he would follow her anywhere. She did not want to forcibly alter his life, and thought it would be best to let him go. If they were meant to be, she would survive and he would wait for her. As she finished her explanation, the black pickup approached the diner, and Beth had 30 seconds to decide whether she believed her or not. Before she could decide, Adam ran out of his car towards the diner. Leigh saw him and jumped out of her seat towards him. It was only then that Leigh noticed her clothing: a US Army uniform.

 


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First Date

Today’s prompt: “You only heard his side. You don’t know the truth” I’ve decided to tell the story through the narrator’s one-sided phone conversation.

 

“You only heard his side. You don’t know the truth”

Alyssa had called her to get all the juicy details on her first date with Robbie. Robbie was under the impression that they had hit it off, and told his sister Alyssa all about it.

“Uh huh..uh huh… Ok Alyssa I get it, but he definitely asked me if white lillies would work as centerpieces for our wedding! WHAT WEDDING?! This was a first date!”

“Ok Alyssa (eyeroll) If you really don’t see a problem with that, then I don’t know what to tell you.”

“OMG are you crazy?! NO! I will NOT go out with him on a second date! I don’t care if he thought it went well!”

“ALYSSA!! What if he takes me to a chapel!!”

“NO! I do NOT think I’m overreacting! I understand he’s your brother, but that does not mean I want to marry him. Especially not on a second date!!”

“I cannot believe you’re really getting mad at me for this.”

“FINE! Then I’m mad at YOU for setting me up with Robbie in the first place!”

“I’m a WHAT!?”

“Oh..okay. So everyone that doesn’t want to marry Robbie is a bitch? Or is this title exclusive to me?”

“Yeah? How about YOU grow up! And while you’re at it, tell Robbie to grow up too!”

“I hate you more!… Hello? HELLO!?”

She throws her phone against the wall, and the screen cracks. 8th grade was turning out to be worse than she expected.

 


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She’s Crazy that Way

Happy Saturday! Today’s post will be based on another prompt. Today’s prompt states, “She was crazy that way.”

 

I could not remember what my life was like without her in it. She is everything I am not, and I love her immensely for it. She’s the yin to my yang; she just completes me. I’m aware she’s not perfect, but who is? I’ve learned to live with her quirks and her craziness. It’s all endearing and makes me love her for who she truly is. There is nothing she has to hide from me. I love her just the way she is, and I know I always will.

My loyalty to her is everlasting. There is nothing in the world that would make me betray her. When a woman glances my way, I just ignore them. These loose women cannot distract me; they will not ruin my relationship. I know other women use the same shampoo as hers, yet no one’s hair will ever smell like hers. No other woman’s smile will ever make my heart skip a beat the way hers does. Despite all of our years together, I still get butterflies in my stomach right before seeing her. That’s how I know she’s the one.

No one will ever love her as much as me, and she knows it. I always make sure she never feels neglected or taken for granted. I often write her love letters. Throughout the years, I’ve had to be a bit more crafty to find original places for her to find them, but she always finds them. Men, take note: romance is key to a successful relationship like mine. Women love being on the receiving end of romantic gestures, even if they’re not the romantic type. Make sure you make her feel that she’s the only woman in the world, and I guarantee she will be yours forever.

I write this because today our lives will change forever. We are going to meet our friends for dinner. The ring in my pocket feels like it weighs a ton. I am just dying to see the ring on her finger. I can just imagine how envious I’m about to make her friends. She’s going to love it!! I’m going to do it right before dinner too, in order to ensure she can bask in all the attention from our friends and other diners for as long as possible.

 

As soon as I walk in, I spot all of our friends and it’s like there’s a spotlight exactly where she stands. God, she’s so beautiful! As soon as she spots me, she knows I’m up to something. She can see right through me. I’m so stupid to think I can pull a fast one on her. I’m the love of her life; of course she knows I’m onto something! Her eyes widen as I get down on one knee in front of her. She starts to frantically yell out to her friends to call 9-1-1. She says something about me violating the restraining order or something. She’s so funny! It’s another reason I love her so much, she has such a wonderful sense of humor. I’m still laughing as they put handcuffs on me and arrest me. She’s just crazy that way.


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An Answered Prayer

Today’s post will be based on a writing prompt. The prompt states: “A woman thinks she might be living next door to her grandson.” Ready…Set…GO!

Ava liked to sit outside and wait for Jim. Jim never failed to deliver her mail at 12:20 every day. He must have known how lonely she was and how much she counted on his punctuality. Ava never kept Jim from doing his job, but was always ready to walk up to him and chat on how his day was going. It was the one thing in her life she could count on; Jim delivering her mail at 12:20.

Ava would often sit and say a few prayers for her only daughter. She had forgiven Liz the moment “it” happened, but somehow she knew her daughter would never come back to her. She stopped seeing the people she knew; most of them had heard a version of what happened. They would look at her with pity when she attempted to defend Liz. She found that look unbearable. It was easier to live her life alone in silence than trying to justify why her daughter would have taken all her money and then abandoned her. What they didn’t know was that she would often think of how as a baby, Liz would run to her crying for protection from the neighborhood dogs. That was the daughter she remembered, and she hope that the money taken had helped her live a good life. Her mother would never stop trying to protect her. The money would have been hers anyway if she had asked.

Today started off like any other Tuesday. She woke up exactly at 6:30am, showered, got dressed, and sat down for breakfast. She would spend the entire morning counting down to 12:20.

Jim had taken the day off to help his friend move. He would be right next door to Ava, so he already planned on stopping by and having a few kind words with her. He knew she looked forward to it, and he would not let her down. Jim was a lot younger than Ava, but felt an attachment to her. He had seen the same loneliness in her eyes before. She reminded him of the loneliness always present on his grandmother’s face when he visited her at the senior home.Because of this, he made sure to always speak with Ava and ask her about her day. He would ensure that his friend Will treated her with the same courtesy and respect she deserved, once he moved in.

As 12:20 approached, Jim told Will he wanted to introduce him to a special lady who will serve as the grandmother he never had. Will eagerly followed as he never got to meet his grandmothers. His mother had explained that both grandmothers passed before he was even born.

Ava opened the door as Jim began walking up the path to her door. She smiled and began to ask about his day until she saw the young man behind Jim. He looked exactly like his mother. She knew it was him; the grandson she had always prayed for. She wiped her tears as she said, “Hello new neighbor. Welcome to the neighborhood.”

 

That’s all folks!!! If you hate it, don’t be mean to me! Until next time!


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Welcome!

..and we’re off! Thank you for visiting our page. We’re very excited to get started. We have yet to learn how everything works, but this is all a learning process anyway. Let me introduce myself: Hello (firm handshake) my name is Stephanie. My husband’s name is Ryan, and together we make The Literary Bears. We’re avid readers, not writers, but who says we can’t try? SO… Stay tuned for our writing experiments. We will be discussing books, life, and possibly make up our own stories. Follow us on our adventure, if you want. Who am I to tell you what to do?