Promises – Speakeasy #148

Andy descended the steps into the dimly lit parking garage.  The heels of his Italian leather dress shoes clacked against the concrete, echoing around him.  A wave of foreboding rippled through his body.  He stopped and strained his senses to detect the presence that prickled his skin.  Nothing.  He continued to his car at a brisker pace.

He exhaled a relieved sigh once inside his car with the doors locked.  Before he could shift to reverse, he felt something press against the back of his neck.  Then he recognized the familiar scent of vanilla and citrus.

“I see you’re still counting dollars.  Always the workaholic.  Let’s go count some stars.”

Sophie McClaren.  He thought about running, but he didn’t know what she held against his neck.  It could’ve been a knife, a grenade, a lipstick tube, her finger.  She’d used it all before.

“What do you say, Andrew?”  She caressed his chest with her free hand and giggled when she felt him shiver beneath her touch.

“You need to leave.”

Sophie let out a bitter laugh.  “You tried to make sure that happened.”

“Look, we weren’t meant to be together.  I love Anabelle.”

“Ah, Anabelle Rockefeller.  The woman you killed for, whose wealth saved your family.”

His jaw tensed.  “My family had a fine standing.”


Andy hesitated, but still unsure of what jammed into his neck, he obeyed.

“Are you sorry?”

“For what?”

Sophie leaned forward, her breath tickling his ear.  “You proclaimed your love for me and asked me to marry you.  Then you sealed your promise with a diamond ring- your own design.  Two weeks later, the stock market crashed.  It became known as Black Tuesday, but Wednesday was darker.  Don’t you remember it?”

His grip tightened around the steering wheel, but he said nothing.

“Fine.  We’ll go over it again.”  She crawled into the front seat, revolver barrel pointed at him, but out of his reach.  “Turn right here.”

Andy caught a glimpse of the weapon.  He contemplated a move but decided against it.  He thought he could reach it in a stretch, but she was crazed enough to pull the trigger.

“You picked me up in your daddy’s Ford to take me to the river for a romantic evening picnic.  After caviar and wine, we kissed, and more.  I gave you everything.  I’ll never forget what you said before you shoved me into the frigid water knowing I couldn’t swim.”  Sophie’s lips pressed into a thin line and anger flushed her cheeks.  “You said, ‘no one could ever know what happened here’.”

“That was a lifetime ago, Sophie.”

“Four lifetimes, actually.”

“When are you going to give it up?” Andy shouted.  “You’ve killed me four times already.  No matter my incarnation, I find Anabelle.  I love Anabelle!”

“You overlook the fact we find each other as well.  Andrew, darling, I think I figured out what went wrong.  Oh, turn left here.”

Andy frowned.  “The lake.   I get it.  This time you watch me drown so I know how you felt.”

“I only seek your promise fulfilled.”

Andy parked near the lake shore.  “Let’s get this over with.”

Sophie led him to the edge of the water.

“What now?”

She lifted her gun and fired two shots; one to his left shoulder, and the other to his right leg.  She handcuffed their left wrists together before nudging him toward the water.  Writhing in pain, Andy stumbled forward.  Sophie pulled them toward the center, trembling as the water splayed icy fingers over her body.

“This time, my love, we go together.”


This is my response the Speakeasy weekly prompt, which is to write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is 594) using (1) “No one could ever know what happened here.” anywhere in the piece AND (2) some reference to the video prompt- OneRepublic’s song “Counting Stars.”

The challenge is open to anyone who wants to participate.  If you’re curious, click the badge below to view complete guidelines.  Thanks for reading!



60 thoughts on “Promises – Speakeasy #148

  1. mandyblake95 February 11, 2014 / 4:41 AM

    Oh Janna, I love your twisted little love triangle in this story. I wonder if she finally figured it out, or if they’ll come back again so he can find Anabelle.

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 9:09 AM

      I’m so glad you liked the story, Mandy! It is a crazy relationship those two have 🙂 Thanks for taking time to read the story!

  2. Valerie February 11, 2014 / 4:57 AM

    Revenge that spans lifetimes – I love it! Very well written as usual. Thank you for the great morning read!

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 9:10 AM

      Thanks, Valerie! I wasn’t sure if this story would be too ‘out there’ for a short piece, but I figured, “why not?” 🙂 Thanks for reading and sharing your opinion!

  3. suzicate February 11, 2014 / 5:39 AM

    Oh Janna, you have such writing talent! I love seeing your imagination!

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 9:11 AM

      Thanks for the compliment, Suzicate! You have no idea how much self-doubt swims around in my head. It’s a wonder I even bother writing at all sometimes 🙂

  4. Michael February 11, 2014 / 7:20 AM

    Oh, I like this. Brilliant premise. I’m wondering too if she broke the cycle, or if they come back and do it over again. And what happens to Anabelle if they both go? Hm.

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 9:13 AM

      Thanks, Michael! I woke up this morning with an idea to expand this story. I can’t wait until my work day is over and the kids are in bed so I can see what happens with it 🙂

      • Michael February 11, 2014 / 9:51 AM

        Maybe Anabelle becomes Darlene? 😀

        • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 11:27 PM

          Haha… THAT would be a twist 🙂

  5. Debbie February 11, 2014 / 9:19 AM

    What a deliciously dark piece of writing, Janna — thank you for sharing it! You had me on the edge of my seat wondering about the outcome. Love your description, too!

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 11:26 PM

      Thanks, Debbie! As always, I appreciate you taking time to read my stories and share your thoughts 🙂

  6. aishasoasis February 11, 2014 / 9:44 AM

    Awesome storytelling once again! Can’t wait for the ‘rerun!’

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 11:27 PM

      Thanks for reading, Aisha! I’m glad you stopped by 🙂

  7. znjavid February 11, 2014 / 10:11 AM

    What a gripping story! I wonder what happened next?

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 11:28 PM

      Thanks for reading, Znjavid. I can think of a few directions it could go 🙂

  8. Chris Plumb February 11, 2014 / 10:29 AM

    For the moon never beams, without bringing me dreams
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And the stars never rise, but I feel the bright eyes
    Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
    And so, all the night-tide, I lie down by the side
    Of my darling—my darling—my life and my bride,
    In her sepulchre there by the sea—
    In her tomb by the sounding sea. —Annabel Lee: Edgar Allen Poe

    The macabre nature and ghostly nature of this story reminded me of Poe (except during the early days of the depression).

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 11:30 PM

      I have to admit, I haven’t read Poe, other than the mandatory reading in high school. That was a haunting poem. Makes me wonder if I’d enjoy his work more now… you know, since I’m long since out of high school 🙂 Thanks for reading, Chris!

  9. Sean February 11, 2014 / 1:59 PM

    This was interesting and made me look at what was written. Had to reread the part when Sophia talked about four times to make sure I understood it correctly. Still think that you may enjoy this creepy side a bit too much 😛 It’s always interesting to see what you come up with in your writing and the way that you utilize each word. Thanks

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 11:40 PM

      Yeah, this was kind of a strange idea… but many of them are! I am enjoying the creepy. If I start doing real-life enactment as research, then everyone should be worried! Thanks for reading, Sean 🙂

  10. zeudytigre February 11, 2014 / 2:40 PM

    Loved the twist of the reincarnation. Nicely done.

  11. nrhatch February 11, 2014 / 4:44 PM

    I’m reading about a Scottish ghost right now ~ The Legend of MacKinnon. This is far darker. Well done.

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 11:48 PM

      Thanks, Nancy! I haven’t written a story like this before, so it was fun to give it a go 🙂

  12. Eric Alagan February 11, 2014 / 5:08 PM

    Loved the way you revealed the plot as the story unfolded – from a love-sick person (she used a grenade!) to something more ethereal. Drew me in at one level.

    At another level, this thought – about time she got a life!

    And I meant this at several levels 🙂

    I enjoyed this, Janna – well done again!

    • jannatwrites February 11, 2014 / 11:50 PM

      Hey, the grenade got his attention 🙂 Oh, and she’s working on getting a life- forever with him. Back in the 1920s, when their first relationship began, they took commitment very seriously! I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts, Eric. Your comment made me smile!

  13. diannegray February 12, 2014 / 12:10 AM

    Yikes – great story, Janna. This really drew me in and kept me on edge until the last line 😀

    • jannatwrites February 12, 2014 / 11:50 PM

      Thanks for hanging on til the end, Dianne!

  14. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156) February 12, 2014 / 7:58 AM

    This was intense and I loved every single word. I held my breath throughout and you kept me right there on the edge till the end! Splendid write. Simply brilliant!!! ♥

    • jannatwrites February 12, 2014 / 11:50 PM

      You are always so nice, Kathy – thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts on my story!

  15. Silverleaf February 12, 2014 / 11:31 AM

    I loved this story – just out there enough without being too out there. The twist was perfectly introduced, too. I’m looking forward to the next part; these are great characters.

    • jannatwrites February 12, 2014 / 11:52 PM

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Silverleaf! I’m glad the story held your interest.

  16. ranu802 February 12, 2014 / 4:28 PM

    Oh my God I didn’t think it would end the way it did.Nice story Janna.

    • jannatwrites February 12, 2014 / 11:57 PM

      Thanks, Ranu! It’s funny, but this time I had the final line first and wrote to that end. Good to know the progression wasn’t too obvious.

  17. Suzanne February 12, 2014 / 5:22 PM

    Ooh, this is so good! Love the suspense and the idea that they are all connected through time. Can’t wait to see what you do next. 🙂

    • jannatwrites February 12, 2014 / 11:59 PM

      Wow, I’m honored by your praise, Suzanne! I appreciate you reading and sharing your thoughts on the story.

  18. nabanita21 February 12, 2014 / 7:44 PM

    Ohh I loved the twist..this is so good..thanks for sharing

    • jannatwrites February 13, 2014 / 12:00 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Nabanita!

  19. atrm61 February 12, 2014 / 10:23 PM

    Wow Janna!You never cease to amaze me with your mastery over the written word!No wonder am such a fan of your ‘s :-)This was such a chilling story full of surprising twists and just loved the dialogues-loved the whole concept of the cycle of life and death repeating itself again and again.ooh!Kudos my friend xx

    • jannatwrites February 13, 2014 / 12:04 AM

      You make me blush, Atreyee! I wouldn’t say I have a mastery over the written word… I just get lucky once in a while with a story that seems to work. Some turn out better than others 🙂 I’m excited to see that you posted a response. I’m going to read it tomorrow with the other three I haven’t read yet… it’s been a long day and I’m so tired. Have to be up in six hours to do it all again! I’m going to step away from the computer now, in my attempt to move closer to my 7 hours of sleep a night goal…

      • atrm61 February 13, 2014 / 12:56 PM

        Hello,you are great -a wordsmith!And yes,i voted for you :-)No hurry-i know how it is-the mind and the eye both get tired after a while and these are longer stories-I just finished reading 71 FF and am now trying to catch up on the responses-hoping to get an idea for Write on edge prompt which has about 11 hrs remaining and it is already 1.30 a,,.m here-no time tomorrow morning for writing-ah!

        • jannatwrites February 13, 2014 / 11:57 PM

          Oh I read yours earlier today, Atreyee. Nicely done and very memorable. Your speakeasy and trifecta are both in the running for my vote this week. (I may sit out voting Trifecta if I can’t get through the entries. There are so many entries, it’s so hard.)

        • atrm61 February 14, 2014 / 12:47 AM

          Oh my God-you think they are worth voting?Now I really feel like a winner & it doesn’t matter if I don’t win cos if my friends and loved ones like it-am home free:D Yes,I may sit out voting for Trifecta too-no time this week to read all the entries and I too feel if I cannot read all the entries,its not fair to vote-(unlike many)-I left a comment about the same last week on Trifecta pg but obviously no response,lol!You have a wonderful VDay(u believe in love ,am sure)-in case you do not ,have a lovely weekend and see u Saturday late night(my time)((hugs))

        • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 7:10 AM

          You shouldn’t be surprised people would vote for you, Atreyee! I skipped the 333 word voting Trifecta because I knew I couldn’t commit to reading them all. I wonder if they’ll ever implement a link limit- like the Yeah Write grid, they have a 50 entry limit, so you know if you submit, 50 entries is the most you’ll read, but usually it’s less. Oh well, I think I’ve dwelled on that long enough!

          I hope you have a nice V-day as well! I do believe in love, but don’t celebrate the day (too commercial/contrived). We did get each other cards, but that’s about it. Tomorrow, I’ll take the kids to see if chocolate is on sale 🙂

        • atrm61 February 14, 2014 / 9:17 AM

          If there is to be voting,they should make the voting period longer so that everyone gets to read tho ofc 33 words are not really that bad-at speakeasy the limit is 750 and ramblers like me usually touch it,lol!Yes,I remember you telling me & i thot that was so fair on your part and commendable:-)

          Oh,I don’t celebrate it-my hubby has never been the romantic kinds,lol!That’s so sweet of you and so cool that u ppl get discounts on chocs the next day-i learnt that on FB today-here there is no such thg!Hope they get some good bargains:-)

        • jannatwrites February 17, 2014 / 9:16 PM

          Well, we did score some discount chocolate (like I need it!) I sampled a little of it tonight. Yum 🙂

        • atrm61 February 19, 2014 / 10:35 AM


  20. Bastet February 13, 2014 / 8:25 AM

    Wow…what a lovely re-incarnation thriller! A really great job.

    • jannatwrites February 13, 2014 / 11:52 PM

      Thanks so much, Bastet – I thought I’d try something a little different this time!

  21. Christina February 13, 2014 / 8:52 AM

    chilling piece. love how the dialogue moved this along so nicely.

    • jannatwrites February 13, 2014 / 11:53 PM

      Thanks, Christina. I appreciate you taking time to read and share your comment!

  22. agjorgenson February 13, 2014 / 7:02 PM

    Yikes, lifetimes coming back to haunt! Well done!!

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 12:00 AM

      It is a scary idea, right? Thanks for reading, Allen!

  23. EagleAye February 13, 2014 / 8:00 PM

    What an intriguing concept. I love this! I’ve never heard of anything remotely like this. You really captured my imagination with this. *applause applause*

    • jannatwrites February 14, 2014 / 12:00 AM

      I’m honored that this garnered applause from you, EagleAye! I can’t wait to play with the longer version of this story, but life simply isn’t cooperating right now.

      • EagleAye February 14, 2014 / 9:28 AM

        😉 I know the feeling.

        • jannatwrites February 17, 2014 / 9:19 PM

          Haha…I think many writers do, EagleAye!

  24. pattisj April 1, 2014 / 11:10 PM

    Talk about an albatross around one’s neck!

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