Angela Amman

100 Word Challenge: Common

She leaned against Jack’s knee and ran her fingers over the legs of the couch. The intricate carving on the clawed feet roughed her fingers, and she sought out the sleek lines of her modern picks. Jack laughed for days at what she’d spent on the Wegner chair she’d snagged at an auction. He’d dragged his mother’s antique chaise into their living room as contrast, and neither of them could bear to let go of the effervescent inside joke. They’d begun with nothing in common but laughter, and they sank into that more often than either piece of furniture anyway.

writing prompts Inspiration: Common

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Better or Worse – 100 Word Challenge

100 word challenge

(this post brought to you by extra caffeine)

She cringed each time he grabbed the container. Viscous gold hit toast in swirls, but globs lingered on the counter, impervious to rag swipes. On days her patience waned, she considered leaving them for him to notice, but that strategy hadn’t bridged the daily gap between his socks and the hamper.

With every breath, she knew she loved him for better or worse. Still, she fervently wished the “for worse” didn’t include sticky kitchen counters. In the same moment, she exhaled gratitude for not knowing anything more terrible than kisses of honey fading into the stone pattern on the counter.

(This piece is in response to the 100 Word Challenge. Visit to learn more about the challenge and see other responses to this week’s word “honey”.)

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Holiday Detour – The conclusion

holiday fiction

Continued from Part Eleven — or start at the very beginning with Part One. Thank you for your patience this year!

Margot spread her hands on the table in front of her, eyes resting on her wedding with a goofy grin that wouldn’t leave her face. Vance followed her eyes and traced the band with his finger.

“I guess I should be glad you didn’t toss this in the Mississippi, huh?”

“Don’t be melodramatic,” Margot said, still smiling, “I would have sold it and traveled the world.”

“Speaking of,” Vance started, his brow furrowed as he clicked around the phone nestled in his palm, “I don’t think we’re going to be flying out of here tonight.”

Margot didn’t bother to confirm his words. Emotional whiplash should have rendered her exhausted, but Vance’s news held the promise of a future she hadn’t been sure she believed in any longer. Adrenaline and contentment battled in her brain, but though she couldn’t stifle her yawn, she couldn’t imagine falling asleep either.

“Christmas in Chicago?” she asked. They’d been to the city in another lifetime, back before they flew across the country more frequently than they spent time at home.

“Maybe,” Vance said.

Margot recognized the noncommittal tone. “Or?”

“Well, I know we’re expected home at some point,” Vance said.

“Some point like tomorrow,” Margot said. “Christmas Eve and then Christmas, remember?”

“I know,” Vance said.

“But?”

“Well, you asked what we were going to do, and I’ve actually been thinking about it a lot,” he said.

She wasn’t sure if she wanted to hear what he had planned.

“Do you remember Josh?” Vance asked.

“CPA Josh or cage fighter Josh?” Margot asked.

“CPA Josh,” Vance said. “Though I’m pretty sure cage fighter Josh gave that up about three years ago and went to the police academy in Atlanta.”

“So, why do I need to remember CPA Josh? Didn’t he disappear into some little town upstate?”

“Not exactly. Little town, yes. But it’s not too far from our place, actually. Drivable, for sure. On the water.”

The ease with which he spoke of their little apartment settled comfortably in her chest. “And Josh has something to do with what you want to do next?”

“He wants to open a finance firm. Small. Maybe firm isn’t even the right word. But he wants to help local businesses manage their money, and he needs help. He’s good with numbers, better than anyone I know, actually. But he’s helpless with all the rest of it, the tech, the promotion, the daily running of a business.”

“And we can do that,” Margot said. “We’re kind of fantastic at that.”

“We are, indeed, fantastic at that.”

“We’d have to leave Buffalo?”

“It’s an hour away, I think, we can map it out. Maybe we could commute for a while,” Vance said.

Margot thought about their apartment. She could barely picture what they’d put on the walls. The only thing she could conjure was the smell carried on Vance’s hair.

“Or maybe we could try something new,” she said, reaching to bury her face in his neck.

Vance’s eyes brightened. “I don’t want to make a decision without weighing all our options. But I had this idea that maybe we should ditch the return flight and just rent a car and drive over to this little town and see how they do Christmas.”

Surprising herself, Margot smiled and laced her fingers through Vance’s. “Let’s do it.”

“Really?” He asked, and for the first time in countless long months, she felt her stomach flip with excitement about the future.

“I think,” she said, slowly, “if we’re together, anywhere might feel like home.”

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Holiday Detour – Part 11

holiday fiction

Continued from Part 10 — or start at the very beginning with Part One!

Margot’s gut twisted at Vance’s exasperation. Ever since she’d seen his eyes, she hadn’t been able to keep up with her conflicting emotions, let alone the way his mood had bounced all over the place. His hands had warmed hers when he’d grabbed them, just like they had so many times since the first time they’d linked fingers in the chilly Buffalo air.

“I didn’t read through everything,” she said. “I was leaving for the airport by the time I got it, and then I just didn’t feel like dealing with them in public.”

She couldn’t understand why he was smiling.

“Well, could you take a minute and open them now?” he asked. “Maybe I should have done it this way in the first place, waited until we were together.”

“They’re in my bag. My checked bag,” she said.

He laughed. “Of course they are. Since when do you check a…? Never mind. I guess it doesn’t matter.”

“What do you mean it doesn’t matter?” Margot asked. “I think it matters! Our lives are completely changing.”

“Well, yes,” Vance said. “But not the way you…”

“Margs,” he started again, reaching for her hands. “I didn’t send you divorce papers. I sent you the papers for the sale of the company.”

Margot swore all of the blood in her entire body dropped into her chest and then climbed back into her face. Flaming red with embarrassment, she started to piece together what had happened. How could she have actually believed Vance would send over divorce papers by mail? She would have buried her face into her hands if they weren’t still clasped in her husband’s.

“The sale…” Her voice failed her.

“Yes! I finally found a buyer I thought made sense for us, and I had the papers drawn up as a kind of holiday surprise. You’ll need to sign off, of course, but since you’ve been talking about this for so long, I figured you’d be thrilled.”

“I would be… I am…”

“I also kind of figured you’d open the envelope and not assume I wanted to divorce you,” Vance said.

Margot felt her face get even hotter, though she hadn’t thought that was possible a moment before. “I can’t believe I thought that. Oh God, Vance, are you livid?”

She could see the combination of laughter and relief in his eyes as he pulled her off the chair and into his embrace. He held her face in his hands and kissed her, neither of them caring about the close quarters of the quickly crowding airport bar.

“I’m just still shocked that we could get tangled up in this kind of misunderstanding after everything else we’ve navigated together,” he said. “I mean, we run a pretty successful business.”

“Ran. We ran a very successful business,” she said.

“You haven’t signed anything yet,” he teased.

“I’d sign them right now if they weren’t buried in a plane somewhere,” she said. “Are you sure, though?”

“Of course,” he said, his lips pressing into her hair. “I let them know we’ll be available to consult for six months, but that anything they need from us has to be addressed in New York.”

Margot pressed her forehead against his chest and breathed him in for just a minute before leaning back to look into his face. She could see the certainty in his eyes, and she knew he was at peace with his decision.

“But what are we going to do?” She asked.

“I thought you’d have that planned,” Vance said, laughing.

“Part of me didn’t think you’d ever sell,” Margot admitted. “So I guess I didn’t have much of a plan.”

“Well,” Vance smiled. “I actually have a seed of an idea, but I’m not sure how you’re going to feel about it.”

to be continued

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