Prompt: “Let’s take a moment / I need to spoil who you are / I played your game once / You sold me out with no regard” ~”Yer Majesty” by Shinedown
Perspective: First Person
Genres: Drama, Secrets
Length: 803 words
-Possible cliché breaking?
Author Notes: I know that I promised the continuation of an older piece last time I was here, but it has been a horrible and hectic year that hasn’t seen me back or writing much of anything.
What I did start was a long set inspired by music from the band Shinedown. They don’t interconnect, though they do touch a few other in-progress pieces and go from gay to hetero in a few heartbeats. You should expect to see some of them pop up as I spend more time with my computer and the characters in my head.
I, however, tossed politeness aside for a long pull from the bottle. It wasn’t strong –it would take at least few more to properly loosen my tongue and slur my speech—yet it took the edge off the anxiety making my stomach some sort of playground. There were things I needed to say, words and memories to impart to this stranger that would make neither of us happy, and yet I couldn’t just close them in this time and watch this young man get caught the way I had been.
“He’s not what you need, kid, or even what you really want.” Sure, the words were vague, but a good mystery always intrigues people, right?
He frowned at that. “Who?”
“That guy you’re waiting on. He’ll get what he wants from you and then he’s done, gone faster than you can blink. Pretty much any other man here would be a better choice.” I shrugged. “You don’t deserve that. Hell, no one deserves that.”
“…And who are you, exactly?”
“Oh, just a ghost from his past. Trust me: if you play his game once, you’ll warn off others, too.” I shuddered against the onslaught of unpleasant memories. In the end, they had been the only ones left, even though there had been good times as well. For some reason, figuring out you’ve been manipulated seems to sour everything it touches, even things that have nothing to do with it. “He’s not worth your time.”
His new quarry was a sweet young thing, innocent enough to be flattered by the attentions of an older wiser man and sweet enough to have trouble figuring out how to get out. I hadn’t thought that pretty boys had been Mal’s type, but this new one just proved that his type wasn’t based in appearance, so long as they were attractive and young and easy for him to influence. Strawberry-blond hair curled against his ears and fell into clear sky eyes. Whatever else I could say about him, he looked so very innocent and way too young. How much younger was he than me? Maybe five years or so? It was no matter; he was good at twisting us all into cynical bastards within the clasp of his claws. And he went through prey fast, because there’s only so long he could work them before they wised up.
The young man’s face twisted in distress. “What does he do?”
‘He’ll flirt and flatter you, make you feel all kinds of special and important. Once he eases you into a relationship, he milks it for whatever he needs or wants or whatever he thinks he needs or wants. And when he’s done with you, he tosses you aside and moves on to the next person. And when he’s done with you, there’s nothing more in you to give and you have to find your own way back to normal. Trust me, kid: just opt out.”
Emotions warred on his face, disbelief because he could understand the how painful it would be and fear because he didn’t want to go through the situation himself. “What would be your advice, Mister…?”
“Lark. You can call me Lark,” I volunteered before taking another swig of my beer. With a half-smile, I pointed out a lonely-looking blond who seemed to be hiding in a dark corner. “Go chat that one up and see how Mal reacts. Then stick with the blond: he’s got a lot to give.”
The kid was cute, especially the way his emotions danced in his eyes and across his face. Confused and cute, but not my type. No way was I turning into that bastard. He was sneaking glances at the blond, even as he replied to me, “Thanks. I think.”
I saluted him with my bottle. “Glad I could help, kid.”
Watching him move toward the quiet blond who had been looking longingly at the bar like he wasn’t sure what to say to the young man warmed my heart a little. Paying the bartender and tipping him for his good service was done on autopilot as I watched the two young men hit it off.
And when Mal, tall distinguished Mal with his silver streaked hair and three-piece suits, came looking for the young pet he was grooming, I saluted him with my beer. Then I slammed the bottle down on the counter and walked out, wishing that someone had given me the same advice.
Although, after working this piece over again, I think I would like to do a piece with Lark and the youngling. Thoughts?
Love you guys :)