• Publisher’s Message
  • Contributors
  • Poetry
  • Fiction
  • Non-Fiction
  • Galleries
  • Archive
  • She Knew What She Wanted


    She knew what she wanted. She had decided to live her life in a robotic sense, going through the motions and smiling, even though she couldn’t feel the warmth of the smile on her face. Everything she had trudged through; all the trials and tribulations were done now. If she didn’t talk to any more men, and didn’t make eye contact, they wouldn’t notice her. They wouldn’t see her slipping into a happy, warm, brain buzz from her drink. They wouldn’t buy her another drink, puffing out their chests in over confidence from beer, walk their eyes all over her, undressing her with them, and assume she wanted to take it outside for a romp in the parking lot or some other undisclosed location. Why can’t they just have a normal conversation with her? Why does it always have to be a “come-on” and not just two humans communicating to distract the feelings of loneliness?

    Maybe, she decided, she would take up some hobbies at home. A reading club. Yes! Or a wine club, one that travels to each member’s homes trying new wines and commenting on the aromas and flavors bursting out of the glass. No, she remembered that she really disliked other people in general, so clubs were out. Regardless, she wasn’t picking up anymore “trash” in a bar, or at a club, or on a blind date from a friend, or meeting someone at a party. No, she was done with trying to find a soul mate in a sea full of oil spills. She had convinced herself he was not out there. Mr. Right had abandoned ship. He had died a long time ago and she was destined to stumble through life alone. After all, she was independent, strong willed, and stubborn. She really didn’t need a man in her life. They make four hundred different kinds of stimulation toys, there was no need for a penis yielding human, right?  She longed for companionship, but did not want the headache or let-down she was used to. All that was important now was herself, her family, and her cats. After all, they had about the same personality as a man anyway, without the talking back. She could feel the distaste she had in her mouth for men choking her, making her feel sick to her stomach. Things were starting to flow right, now was not the time to second guess and over think everything. Her anxiety engulfed her, and she decided to stop pondering about it for the moment.

    As the days passed, she focused all her time and energy on her career and keeping inner peace. She read a lot of books, kept her house neat as a pin, and was excelling in all aspects of her job. She was finally happy, despite the loss of both parents within the past year and a half. She did not focus on that too much. It would suck her back down into the black hole of depression, drinking, and anxiety she had worked so hard to crawl out of. She figured the only real thing missing in her life was fun. What was there to do in this town? Bars, churches and casinos were the only attractions here. This was the price she paid for never leaving her childhood home. She had never really traveled at all, never seen much more than a mountain top in Colorado once when she was 13, and the ocean in the Bahamas when she was 19, which was a trip ruined by boredom and wandering thoughts of what could be. Now at 33, those memories are nothing more than dust particles in her brain shuffled around by all the new memories and traumas of the past 20 years. She brainstormed with her kitties and a glass of wine on what kind of fun she could find laying around in this shithole she called home.

    As she lay in bed that night staring at her textured ceiling, she recalled all the mistakes she had made over the years. They seem to flood her brain like the rush of heroine an addict gets with the push of the syringe plunger. Why did these thoughts plague her? Who really cared anyway?  She was here, breathing and in good health and that should be all that mattered. She decided to crank her headphones up as loud as they would go and listen to her music, the only sanctuary she really had from the outside world. Eventually she would drift off into slumber and the raging thoughts of guilt, shame, and uselessness would go away and stop haunting her for the night. Sleep had been elusive for her lately. She really couldn’t remember the last time she slept well, or all night long.

    The next day, she woke up feeling refreshed and renewed for the first time in probably eight years. She made her coffee, fed her kitties, and went outside for a cigarette. The crisp September air hit her cup and made the liquid steam. She hated that first cigarette in the morning, but today was different. Today was a weird day. Today just felt different. The air smelled good, fallen leaves and dew filled her lungs with the cigarette smoke she was inhaling. What was she going to do today? She contemplated shopping, but she hated to shop, so there was no point in getting annoyed with people today. She decided she would just wing it, and go with the flow.

    After a shower, she stood in front of the closet searching for some light from the heavens to shine down on that perfect outfit, but all she could see was black, mainly because all she owned were black shirts. She chose a short sleeved top, with a semi-low cut neck line. Not too revealing, but enough to peak curiosity. She grabbed her favorite jeans off the shelf and her black heeled boots, and returned to the bathroom to apply her makeup and tousle her hair. Often she wondered why she went through this process every day. She had her routine down to 11.5 minutes from makeup to hairspray, but she still wondered why it consumed part of her day at all. She supposed it was to make herself feel good, a boost of confidence from within. She considered herself decent at makeup application, but not Cosmo material. She had a hairstyle that had changed over the years but was still the same. Lots of compliments on it no matter what, but she suspected that was due to it never really changing. It morphed with the times, but was actually manually styled the same way since she was 14. She spritzed her favorite perfume on, the one she only saved for special occasions. She left for the day, but had no idea her life was about to change. One innocent eye to eye gaze was going to touch her soul like never before.

    She walked in and smelled stale popcorn and spilled beer. Her favorite bar stool was taken, which made her ears a little hot (and usually when this happened someone was going to get an earful). Now she was forced to sit somewhere else in the bar, maybe even next to another human who would undoubtedly be annoying and get under her skin. She glanced down the bar and the only seat left was almost smack in the middle. Not wanting to stand and look anxious or like a weed in a rose garden, she took the empty stool. She didn’t even want to end up at this place, but it was like a second home to her and the atmosphere was amazing. She had gone to the library for a couple hours beforehand, and for a walk, and she was genuinely bored. She ordered a beer, and began to people watch. There was a couple in the corner trying to figure out the jukebox. The man looked at the woman with a devilish grin, like he was trying harder to devise a plan to get her out of her clothes than he was trying to resolve how the jukebox worked. There was an old man nodding off a few seats down. There was a cute gay couple to the other side of her, giggling and touching each other’s shoulders while they talked.


    This was her favorite place to pass time. She scrolled through a social media page boringly and decided she wanted a cigarette before ordering another beer. She had smoked her last one in the pack on the way here.  She asked the bartender to keep watch over that stool for her, and she walked out the door. Cigarettes could be purchased right across the street, so it was a quick in and out and back. She hurriedly purchased the cigarettes from a pimple-faced redhead kid, who barely looked 12, and opened the fresh pack. Stepping outside, she lit the little taste of heaven and puffed on it while crossing the street. She stood outside the establishment and reflected on why she had come here instead of just going home or visiting family. Nothing was registering as a good reason, so she just shrugged her shoulders and went back inside. She was taken aback by how much the bar had cleared out. Only a few people remained, sitting on their stools staring blankly at the mirror behind the bar. Then she saw him.

    Right next to the bar stool reserved for her was this man. She looked at him, trying to decide if she knew him from around town. He caught her looking at him and their eyes locked. She looked away shyly, blushing and walked to her stool. Should she move to another stool? No, she decided that would be rude, and he didn’t do anything to her, except look at her. He was still looking at her, she could feel it. She told herself to breathe, and just relax. She could handle this. No giving in to the come-on lines, no letting him buy her a drink, and absolutely no leaving with him. She looked at him again, he was still looking at her, and so she smiled at him, and then quickly looked at the floor. Why did she smile at him?  It was impulse, she had no control. What was going on? The most anyone of the male species ever got from her was a quick blow below the belt in some form of sarcasm.

    She glanced over at him again, and she then noticed how very attractive he was. He was tall, had dark hair, but with salt and pepper color sprinkled in through the temples. He had a neatly trimmed beard, also salt and pepper colored. His eyes were the clearest blue, but it wasn’t the color of them that sucked her in. It was the gaze. He possessed a mesmerizing, hypnotic gaze. She couldn’t look at him too long, for it pulled something out of her from very deep inside. Something she has never felt or experienced before. She sat down and something inside of her snapped. She began to talk to him. The impulses were too strong. She was losing control of herself, and she didn’t care. She said hi to him and asked him how long he had been there. He politely answered her, and asked her if she was waiting for someone, to which she replied no. He smiled at her, and she was done. Melted like a pat of butter in a frying pan turned on high. He struck up a conversation with her, and it required no effort for her to reply. There was no thinking of a response that would end the misery of talking to a male. The words came so easy, and he was intelligent, so she didn’t have to over explain so as to soften the IQ blow. It was just talking. He wasn’t from around here, but she already knew that. He didn’t fit the stereo-typical jerks that there seemed to be an endless supply of.

    They talked and talked and, much to her delight, he was a smoker as well, so they could continue their conversation outside as well as inside. She had arrived at the bar at 6:00 pm, and it was now going on midnight. Anxiety started to set in. She very much felt like Cinderella at the ball, and was afraid at the stroke of twelve, all goodness she was feeling would come crashing down and end, and she would find out some horrifying secret about him like he was married, or on the run from the law. However, it didn’t. It was actually the last call holler from the bar keep and the lights being turned up that jolted them both back into reality.

    He only lived a few blocks away and had walked down to avoid driving after a few cocktails. He invited her back to his place because she couldn’t, or at least shouldn’t, drive home. She knew it was a bad idea, but he didn’t strike her as a serial killer or kidnapper, and she was enjoying the company. He was too, and it was obvious he wasn’t ready for the night to end. They began the walk back to his house, laughing and still talking about everything under the sun and over the moon. They arrived at the door, and he suddenly decided he had to show her his motorcycle. She agreed, and they walked over to the detached garage. He opened the door, and a beautiful motorcycle greeted them. It was mostly black, with some blue pin-striping on the tank, and lots of chrome. She looked up to comment on how gorgeous it was, but before she could blink, he had grabbed a tuft of her short, spiked hair, and pulled her in for a long, deep kiss. She was overwhelmed with a feeling, but couldn’t put her finger on it. She was nervous, hot, overjoyed, and shocked all in one. He took her by the hand and led her back to the house. There was silence, but it was not awkward. So many thoughts were running through her head, but they were fogged by the alcohol she had consumed. Was this real? Was it a dream? Things like this didn’t happen to her. She only read about them.

    He unlocked the door and they went inside. He poured them both a drink, and they just stood there in the kitchen for a minute. She voiced her concern that maybe she should leave, to which he replied with another long, hot, passionate kiss. He then told her if that’s what she wanted, it was okay. That was NOT what she wanted. She wanted him. Right now. She gave him a seductive but cautious look. He took her hand and led her down a long dark hallway to the bedroom. When they entered, he kissed her and began to slowly touch her ever so gently. He was such a fantastic kisser and there was more to it than just a kiss. There was feeling in it. He was so forward, but she liked it. He lit a candle on the dresser. For a moment, she wondered how many other women had he done this too this week? She didn’t know him from Adam, and this might all be part of his game. She decided she

    About The Author

    Crysty Schultz aaduna spring summer 2018
    Crysty Schultz, born and raised in Iowa, currently lives in Dubuque, Iowa (a city located along the Mississippi River with an interesting riverboat history) with her husband and three children. (Two older children have moved out.). Over the past 20 years, Ms. Schultz’s children have kept her busy with sports, 4-H fair projects, and day to day activities. Currently working as a claims examiner, Crysty has an extensive medical background. She enjoys reading and learning about medicine and human anatomy since she regards the human body as an amazing machine! Schultz has loved writing and has been writing short stories since she was nine years old. She has recently started to focus more on writing in her free time especially as her children have gotten older. And her husband continues to be a huge supporter of her work. For fun, Crysty and hubby ride a Harley Davidson, and have taken many beautiful trips and explored a lot of neat places on their bike. Last year, they traveled to Niagara Falls on the motorcycle and then rode through the Allegheny National Forest. Crysty notes that the scenery was breathtaking. Presently, she is excited to continue writing and looks forward to publishing more work down the road. Ms. Schultz focuses her writing on relatable, passionate short stories, but she is always up for a challenge to try a new genre or style.