Jealous Distraction

This is a continuation of John and Madison’s (aka Mav) story. It picks up right where The Alley left off. Since this is the 4th prompt for these characters, if you would rather read them all in order, go HERE.


“That isn’t possible. I have it right here.” I fumbled for my purse, wondering why every light in the alleyway refused to work.

My purse vanished from my hands.

“Dammit, John! You can’t just-” I stopped as his shadow tossed something into the dumpster. “What did you just do?”

“Come on.” His warm hand gripped my forearm, dragging me toward the opposite end of the alleyway.

I yanked my arm away. “No. I want my purse. It was a gift.”

The hand returned, tighter this time. “Sorry, Mav.”

I dug the soles of my sneakers into the pavement as he pulled me again, my heels finally catching on a crack. Instead of stopping my movement, my upper body pitched forward as the ground threatened my face.

I flew into the air. The wind whooshed from my lungs as my stomach landed on something hard: John’s shoulder.

My body jiggled as he jogged – an unwieldy sack of potatoes.

“Put. Me. Down.” Each word exhaled like a grunt.

“In a minute.”

“Now. Or. I’ll. Scream.”

“I never slept with Elizabeth.”

“What?” We left the alleyway behind Guido’s and moved into another one across the street.

“Elizabeth Forsberg, senior year. You broke every damn window in my car because you thought I slept with her. I never did.”

My stomach twisted.

The wave of nausea breaking over me as I discovered them in his steamed up junker. Puking in one of the huge planters framing the school’s sidewalk. The flood of tears as I fled, stopping only to empty my stomach again. The dry heaves each time their embrace played in my mind.

The metal bat cool in my sweaty hands. Powered by betrayal, my fury rained upon the only outlet for my rage. The difficulty of knocking out the safety glass. The satisfaction as the back window shattered.

Running as the house’s lights flicked on.


“I saw you in the rear-view mirror. I kissed her to make you jealous.”

“Gonna. Be. Sick.”

The jarring motion ceased immediately as he lifted me off his shoulders and set me down. I turned away a split second before I emptied the few bites of salad onto the littered ground.

His hands caressed my neck, pulling my hair away from my face.

Bent over a toilet as he protected my hair.

“Someone can’t hold her liquor.”

Letting him believe the lie.

I whirled and knocked his hands away, praying my pyrotechnics were over even as my stomach danced. “Why would you bring up something from eight years ago?”

“It kept you from screaming for help.”

Stunned, I stared at him – my first good look in five years.

Even in the brighter alley, he blended into the shadows. His black leather jacket matched the rest of his clothing, out of place in the summer heat. A new scar graced his chin. His blue eyes were serious, free of the teasing I expected, with a few new lines creased around them. Power radiated from every muscle, like a jungle cat ready to spring.

Everything else heartbreakingly familiar.

“I need you to come with me.” He reached for me with his right hand. “Please Mav.”

The plea paired with my curiosity and obliterated any common sense. My hand met his and we raced to the end of the alley.

A motorcycle waited there, hiding between the buildings. He handed me a helmet as he straddled the bike. “Put it on.” The engine roared to life.

“John… what the hell is going on?” My voice shouted over the loud muffler.

“I received an email on an old account this morning, telling me to be here tonight.”

“From who?”



A Red Dress Club writing prompt

Aaah…jealousy. We all have it. We all feel it.

And now we’d like you to write about it. We’ll leave it open: you can write about something or someone you envy, or a time when your jealousy got you in trouble, or maybe how it makes you feel to be envious. Whatever you want.

And it can be fiction or non-fiction. Word limit is 600.

Constructive criticism, what you liked, what you didn’t, is most welcome!


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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45 Responses to Jealous Distraction

  1. Frelle says:


    Thank you for writing more about this story. more more more more please!!

  2. Trish Loye Elliott says:

    This is truly excellent writing. I’m soooo hooked. If this was a novel, I would stop working to hide somewhere to read it.
    The only thing that made me pause was this line: The nausea wave breaking over me…
    I had to reread it. But otherwise it was a great piece and I LOVE the twist in the middle. ‘Letting him believe the lie.’
    It’s amazing how you’re packing so much into such a short piece. LOVE IT! keep up the great work!

  3. angela says:

    I just love this story – the back and forth between the present and the past. This is my favorite line this week:

    Everything else heartbreakingly familiar.

    For me, it sums up so much about their relationship and the situation. I can’t wait to read more 🙂

    • The more I write about them, the more I’m curious to know.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

      I find the 600-700 word count keeps the writing a bit tighter, and the line you loved is an easy sum up of so much, while not stopping the action too long.

      Here’s hoping the Friday prompts cooperate.

  4. You’ve got me hooked. MORE PLEASE!!

  5. Bellymonster says:

    Where did this come from? This is awesome – please finish. Faster. Please finish FASTER.

    I wanna be Mav. Oh, so badly do I want to be her.


    • Really? You want to be Mav? Why?

      I’m very curious.

      Send over a babysitter and I could probably write faster. Otherwise you’ll have to wait for Friday prompts that fit into the story line..

      Thanks so much for the comment.

  6. Carrie says:

    Oooohhhh..the plot thickens. WHO could be sending these messages!!

    I’m really enjoying these brief glimpses into their world.

  7. Sara says:

    You did a great job of continuing the other prompt. I like your characters and you’ve me very curious about what will happen next. The ending was a clincher…

    I do hope you will continuing this?

    If there any “bumps in the road” as I read this story, I didn’t feel them. Well done:~)

  8. mypajamadays says:

    I have to admit that this is the first prompt I have read in this series…and now I am going to HAVE to go back and read the rest! The dialogue flows so smoothly. The characters have strong personality. Loved it.

  9. Nichole says:

    I am so happy that you are continuing this story!
    There’s so much mystery about each of these characters…so much that I want to know.
    I love that you’re offering hints to make us want to keep reading.
    Keep it coming, Kelly!

  10. What a great continuation! I too agree that you did a great job of weaving in hints of mystery to keep me wanting more.

  11. kir says:

    And the suspense continues..I really like these two, they are interesting and captivating. Your descriptions of them are spot on and you always leave us with a small detail, something little next to the Big stuff to figure out. I love the way you write.

  12. Ashley says:

    Sooooo good! Very exciting and great momentum. We want more!

  13. I had to go read #3, I missed it.
    This is good. I want a signed copy at publishing.

    • Yeah, number 3 is kinda key for the reveal… 🙂 It’s why I finally put a single page with all the prompts in order – Move over Mary Poppins gave me the idea – and the prompts can be written out of order.

      I would be amazing if this somehow turned into a coherent book. At least it will give me the outline of one, if nothing else. At the least, it shall hopefully be an entertaining weekly novella.

  14. Ilana says:

    I love this story- so glad you are continuing with them. So funny that it came out of something completely fictional as a prompt. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but I love that their story is just face paced and fun. It’s not laden with a lot of hidden meaning or personal baggage. Like candy! Really well-written candy:)

    • I am slightly unsure how to read the candy comment.

      Hopefully you like candy. If not.. well, gives it a whole other meaning.

      I would disagree on the personal baggage part – Mav has tons of it. I just try to reveal it in small snippets at opportune moments as opposed to one marathon information dump.

  15. Erin says:

    Love it! I know there must have been at least ONE time in my life I wanted to do that exact same thing to someone because of my jealousy!

  16. Galit Breen says:

    Love it girl! This story has legs and your readers have spoken- they want more!

  17. Love the continuation and of course want to hear more. I think old flames coming back are just so fascinating, you know?”

    A small thing: “…my heels finally catching on crack.” Was it a really bad alley? 😉

    • Yes. They had one of those constant freeze/thaw cycles last winter and now the ground is riddled with cracks. 🙂

      Old flames can be very interesting.

      Thanks for the prompt that started the whole thing.

  18. Wait… is Mav preggers? OMG. LOVE THIS!! More please. so well done my friend.

  19. YAY! I’m so happy you have more from the alley. I love this piece. It’s got a little mystery, a secret, excitement.

    This line confuses me, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to see here: “I dug the soft soles of my sneakers into the pavement, my heels finally catching on crack.”

    This line: “The satisfaction as the back window shattered. ” Word count aside, I would like to hear the window shatter, or see the glass falling, etc. Shattered is a pretty strong word, but there could be a little more imagery in this paragraph, if you wanted to.

    This line: “Power radiated from every muscle, like a jungle cat ready to spring.” WOW!! I love this line. It makes me want to reach out and caress his muscles. YUM.

    Overall, I enjoyed the story. The action moves along swiftly with just the right amount of drama/story in between. You’ve added mystery with the lie line, a little secret to tantalize my senses with. I’m so glad you are continuing this. I can’t wait to see where John and Mav take you next.

    • Thank you so much for the concrit!

      You’re right, I would’ve described more of the window shattering if it wasn’t for word count. 🙂 I’ll make a note to possibly expand it in a non TRDC version.

      The line that confused is where John dragged her again, through the alley. She digs in her heels, trying to stop, hits a crack, and pitches forward about to crash into the pavement because he’s still pulling on her upper body.

      I redid it a bit and hopefully it’s clearer now.

      Thanks again!

  20. Nancy C says:

    That last line….boy howdy that’s good. I’m so intrigued.

    You are the master of the throwaway but crucial details…”letting him believe the lie” comes to mind.

    I also appreciate how you use dialogue to show character and keep things peppy. Kudos.

    • I’m learning with writing less is often more.

      I also love to show things through dialogue – because I’m one of the crazy people characters “talk” to. It’s easiest to just put their words down.

      I had no idea about the “letting him believe the lie” until I typed it.

      Thanks for the feedback – much appreciated!

  21. I. Love. It. The details of the purse and John. (Did you just make puking sexy? Not to mention “straddling the bike”).

    More please. Make your own prompts if you need to. You may be going beyond TRDC on this one.

  22. Oh I like this. Great story and loved the pacing. And you did a great job of blending the scenes from her past with the present story line.

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