Only Women Bleed. Part 2./Never Surrender.

Submitted into Contest #166 in response to: Start your story with someone saying “I quit!” ... view prompt

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Lilith was furious. Furious and disgusted with her nemesis Ginny.

She put her hands up in the air, uttering the words that signalled her defeat.

“I give up, I just can’t take this anymore, I QUIT!”

Once again she’d found Ginny standing at the kitchen sink, weeping, paring knife in her hand, watching the rich, ruby red liquid pour into the sink,

Once again she had endured hearing Ginny begin to sing, “Only women bleed”.

The woman knew this wasn’t quite true and yet….she wept.

Thankfully, Lilith truly had given up.

Her decision to quit rescuing Ginny came after years and years of pulling her out of dank, dark places. She just had finally had enough and was determined to return to the place she’d begun. She decided that Ginny was a big girl, quite capable of looking after herself and that she, Lilith was due for a rest.

She and Ginny had recently met a rather interesting character. This character took the guise of a man. An interesting man, who seemed willing to take the two women to...interesting places.

The girls had a short dalliance with him. Lilith's more feral nature thoroughly enjoyed the thrill of pursuit. Her libido went on full alert and she leapt into the game with feline ferocity.

Ginny was a harder sell.

As much as she enjoyed the energy that the encounter generated, she also knew that caution was called for.

This rather unusual man had met Ginny first. From a generous spirit of fellowship, he had reached out a hand of help.

These two had much in common. They shared a mutual commitment to a program of recovery that at best offered a daily reprieve from a deadly affliction.

Upon exploration, they discovered that they had many more things in common. They shared a similar religious upbringing, similar cultural backgrounds and most important, a love of music.

They had a strong connection to the rhythms of life as played out in the musical realm. Though each approached this realm from different perspectives, their mutual passion was a strong tie.

They understood the dangers in relationship and yet believed a simple friendship was possible. That might have worked had it not been for Lilith.

She puzzled the man.

Though it appeared as though she and Ginny were joined at the hip, it didn't take long for him to realize that Lilith was a much freer spirit than the rather straight laced Gin.

At first he was intrigued and also jumped recklessly into a game that Lilith had much more experience playing than he did. 

It didn’t take him long to realize he’d bitten off more than he could chew. It was a harsh pill to swallow.

He wisely made a decision to pull up short, wave his own flag of surrender and ponder the error of his ways.

Lilith was a bit miffed. She decided to skip town, leaving Ginny holding the bag.

Once again, a war ravaged Ginny was left to pick up pieces from the shreds of fabric that drifted about the room.

As always Lilith withdrew to her secret hiding place, leaving Ginny defenseless. She trusted that if her day was meant to come again, it would. In the meantime, she was ready for the break.


She dealt with the situation quite well.

Oh, she had her moments of sadness and fear that she would never again in her life enjoy an intimate relationship with another human being.

Thankfully, those moments were few. 

More thankfully, when they came, they came with a soft gentleness that warmly washed over and through Ginny.

Unlike the crashing waves of past disappointment and unrequited angst that had plagued her life from a young age, these soothing waters were like a balm, both sweet and tangy at the same time.

Ginny had finally woken up. 

She began to stretch and in that movement, some pain arose.

This was not a crippling pain. She held memory of that kind of pain. Those were pains that had cut deep and held her hostage for years.

No, this pain was but a distant cousin to those cruel memories.

Ginny chose not to seek enlightenment. Against many odds, she was able to stop herself from probing too deeply. She arrived at a destination she'd sought for years...acceptance and a willingness to let go of expectations.

So, came the day when once again she wanted to call it quits. 

She was tired, her body hurt and she was sick of hearing herself complain.

“Why am I here?”

“Why can't I just be happy?”

“What the FUCK is wrong with me?”

Ginny retreated to her safe place - music.

She turned on her iTunes, sat back in her rocker, closed her eyes and let the shuffle selections send her messages.

Song after song,

“All You Need is Love”,

“Love Me Do”,

“I Love How You Love Me”

“Only Love Can Break a Heart”

“True Love Ways”

“My Heart Will Go On”

"My Heart is an Open Book."

“Do You Love Me?”

‘Never Quit Loving You.”

Love, love, love , ad nauseum.

She eventually grew tired of the repetition and fell sound asleep.

She woke up with a start. 

That Voice that often came to give her guidance and assurance was whispering in her ear.

It was a rather androgynous voice and yet contained both male and female overtures. 

This Voice, this Presence, it drew her in, it wrapped its invisible arms around her broken body and whispered more words,

“I love you as my own. You are mine and you belong to me”.

Ginny began to sob, “Really? Are you serious?”

The Voice replied, “I am…deadly so.”

Ginny cried harder. She heard the words but couldn’t bring herself to believe them.

She huddled lower into her chair, almost fell to the floor and begged for further guidance.

“How do I know that?”

“How do I make myself believe that?”

The Voice was silent. Then from the depths of…somewhere, came an answer.

“Read Galatians.”

Ginny sputtered, “WHAT?” That’s it? That’s the best you have to offer?”

The Voice replied, “Try it, see what you think.”

Sullenly, Ginny pulled a bible from her shelf, turned to Galatians and began reading.

It didn’t take long before she began to fume.

“What the fuck is this about?”

“God knows I’m NOT a christian and this whole thing is about trying to convince me I should try…or else.”

It wasn’t that she hated those Christians or anything like that, just that they mystified her. Often.

The Voice continued, “Ok, skip ahead to verse 15.”

Ginny obediently followed instructions and started to laugh.

“Really? People actually need to be told this?”

“You’re telling me that Christians are so stupid they need to be told not to bite each other? That they need to be further instructed not to devour one another?”

The Voice sighed, “Stop reading and listen to me carefully,”

“I created you, I gave you life, I will take that life from you when the time comes.”

“That time is not for you to determine, you don’t have that power, whatever the demons inside tell you.”

'And further I say this to you…I love you exactly as you are.’

“Do I wish for you to be happy?”


“Do I wish for you to understand how amazing you are?”


Ginny’s sobs became so violent, she stopped breathing. As she was about to pass out from lack of oxygen, a giant hand slapped her back. She gasped and drew air back into her lungs.

With the oxygen came…peace, serenity.

She was so exhausted that she could no longer fight the Voice. She listened and she heard THE TRUTH. Or at least the truth as she understood it.

She decided to give it another try. She decided that life just might be worth living and that perhaps she needed to give it another go round.

She returned to the kitchen sink, continued to peel the beets she’d just picked from her garden.

The water running down her hands turned a brilliant crimson. 

Though it indeed looked like blood, it was after all, only beet juice.

She smiled as she cupped the liquid. 

She raised her hands to her lips and drank deeply of the sacred elixir. It was good. 

Ginny knew, deeply, that life was good. That she was grateful beyond measure and that whatever the future brought, she had a constant Companion to turn to.  

She knew, deeply, that she was loved.

She knew deeply that it was her right to be loved and that as she loved herself, so would others love her.

She knew to the core of her being that the Voice, or whatever it was, loved her completely.

It was enough.

She began humming, "Time is all I'm asking for. I will stand my ground. I will never surrender. I said, I will NEVER ever surrender."

October 06, 2022 22:54

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00:08 Oct 07, 2022

I wish to acknowledge the following artists and the songs which in part, inspired this story. "Only Women Bleed." Alice Cooper “All You Need is Love”, The Beatles. “Love Me Do”, The Beatles. “I Love How You Love Me” Bobby Vinton “Only Love Can Break a Heart” Bobby Vinton “True Love Ways” Buddy Holly “My Heart Will Go On” Celine Dion "My Heart is an Open Book." Carl Dobkins, Jr. “Do You Love Me?” The Contours ‘Never Quit Loving You.” Jill Barber "Never Surrender." Corey Hart


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