Showing posts with label Creative Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Creative Writing. Show all posts

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Rose Garden: The Next Generation

"Gerry, it's time" shrieked Allison.

Gerald was going over some notes on his latest project in preparation for the presentation on Monday.  "What's that you said, dear?"


"Oh...OH, it's THAT time.  These were the words he had both been looking forward to and dreading for the last nine months.  He had mentally rehearsed each moment and memorized every turn to the hospital, including several alternate routes in case of traffic.

Now the time had come.

"Think" he mumbled to himself.  "Grab the car, put Allison in the, I gotta call the hospital. No, bring the car around and wait, I'll get it...just calm down...and breathe."

"Gerry, I'm the one whose supposed to breathe.  You call the hospital and tell them we're coming, take the bag to the car and bring it around to the front.  We'll call Mom on the way."

"Sheesh, there's no one more nervous than a new father-to-be" declared Allison.  "It will be all right."

Gerald brings the car up the front drive and helps Allison into the passenger's seat.  "Let me slide the seat back for you."   "Thank God this is it" she exclaimed. 

Allison's size had been an extreme source of frustration from being unable to tie her shoes to the shapeless dresses she'd had to wear for the last three months. While she embraced the thought of motherhood, she was a fashionable gal, and did not enjoy feeling frumpy.  Even Gerald's constant reassurance that she was indeed the most beautiful woman on earth did not help when every time she walked past a mirror she saw a blimp in maternity clothes.

They reached the hospital without incident, and Gerald promptly announced "I need a doctor...We're having a baby."

"Relax" replied the nurse, calling for an orderly.  "We'll take good care of your wife.  If you would just step over here and fill out these papers.  We'll take you to her as soon as she is situated in her room."

"Is this your first?"

"My first what?  Wife?  Yes, we were married last year.  No, you mean baby.  Yes, it's my first, how can you tell?"

"Well, under reason for hospitalization, you put "we're having a baby."

24 hours later...

"She's beautiful," cooed a jubilant Gerald.  "She looks just like my mother when she was a baby.  I have her old photo album, and there is a picture of her in my grandmother's arms.  She had beautiful blond curls, too.  I'll have to show it to you sometime.  Oh, I've been going on and on, and I bet you just want to sleep.  I'll get the nurse to take the baby back to the nursery, and go make those phone calls.  Wait, I've got to get a picture to send everyone,  I know I'll just email them instead of calling. 

"Gerry, I love you, but just go...please.  It's been a really long day-all 24 hours of it.  I'll see you tomorrow.

Back at home, Gerald revels in his new fatherhood status, and prepares to send a picture of who?  She doesn't even have a name yet.  He regroups and sends a picture of his lovely new TBA.

When Gerald arrived back at the hospital the next morning, he was so excited.  He knew what he wanted to call their daughter.  Upon entering Allison's room he blurted out "Her name is Abigail Christine!  For our mothers, that is if you like it."

"Good morning to you, too, Gerry.  Of course I like it.  It's perfect!  I just wish I could have met your mother."  She smiled a sad smile, remembering the yellow roses.  "We shall call her Abbey, and paint her room yellow - no pink for my daughter."

Gerald laughed at the thought.  For all her femininity, Allison hated pink, especially that pale, baby girl pink so many mothers dressed their little girls in.  Not for Abbey!

"The doctor said you can go home this afternoon, and everything is all ready so all you have to do is rest.  Janet even brought over a casserole and chocolate cake for our dinner."

"She's a sweetheart" replied Allison, "and such a good cook.  Oh, is my mother coming over?"

"Of course she is" said Gerald with a smile.  He truly liked his mother-in-law and welcomed her help.  He knew that most new mothers wanted their mothers nearby.  Since babies don't come with instructions, their experience is appreciated.

Once they got Allison and Abbey settled into the master bedroom where the crib had been set up, Gerald set about heating the casserole and setting the table.  He knew Allison wouldn't feel like sitting up too long, so everything was in place before he brought her to the table.  

"Put me down, please" she complained.  "Thank you for caring, but I can walk.  I just had a baby, not a broken leg."  Abbey was in a baby seat on the chair facing Allison.  Christine, Allison's mother, sat cooing at the baby, "you are such a beautiful baby.  I love that little yellow outfit.  It's perfect for you."

As they sat enjoying their dinner, they heard an odd sound coming from the side porch next to the kitchen.  Gerald went to investigate, but saw nothing and returned to the table.  There it was again.  It sounded like someone walking in the kitchen.  Again Gerald left the table.  What he saw when he walked into the kitchen filled him with great joy, and at the same time left him feeling most uneasy.  

There in her apron with her white hair neatly coiled atop her head stood his mother.  Well, not exactly in the flesh, but nevertheless, it was her, and in her hand was a bouquet of exquisite yellow roses.

"Hello Gerald" she whispered.  "These are for Allison.  I am so proud of you and your lovely family.  I loved her from the first time I saw her in the garden."

"Oh Mother, I knew you were here.  That I wasn't crazy or imagining things.  It is wonderful to see you now.  I have so many how...?"

"Would it be too much for an old woman to ask to see her grandchild?" interrupted Abigail.

Gerald was stunned, totally at a loss for words.  What would they think?  How could he possibly explain this?

"Gerry, who are you talking to", called Allison.  "Was someone at the door?"

"Be right there dear" he called back.  He was so used to talking to his mother in the garden he forgot to keep his voice down.

"Now what do I do" he whispered?

"Let me handle this.  After all it is my afterlife, right?" answered his mother with a smile.

With much trepidation, Gerald watched as his mother marched into the dining room to stand before Allison.

"Hello, I am Abigail, Gerald's mother.  I am so pleased to finally meet you."

Without blinking, Allison extended her hand toward Abigail and said "I am equally pleased to finally meet you as well."

Well, Gerald's jaw nearly dropped to the floor and Christine turned several shades of pale.  Although she believed in life beyond death, she had never actually encountered it herself.

"You mean you knew?  How..."

"First of all you spend an awful lot of time in the garden talking to yourself when you think no one notices" explained Allison.   "Then there was the appearance of the yellow rose on my plate after our first dinner together, and the brooch at our reception with no explanation for that either.  It was just too much to be a coincidence."

"At the hospital, when you told me what you wanted to name her, I almost said I wish I could meet your mother instead of I wish I could have met, your mother." 

"It helps, too, that I believe in the afterlife.  You see I had a 'visit' from my grandmother when I was about ten.  She had passed away a few years earlier."

Allison turned to her mother-in-law, "would you like to meet your granddaughter?"

She nodded. 

"Say hello to Abigail Christine."

For those of you who would like to catch up, here are the first 4 parts of the series.
The Rose Garden
The Restoration 
The Rose Garden:  Allison
The Rose Garden:  The Wedding

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Winged Woman

Written for Magpie Tales #184.  Click on the links below if you would like to read Eli's adventures up to this point.

The Princess
Eli and the Redhead

Remember Eli?  He's the guy who woke up in a giant bird nest.  As it turned out it was really a dream, but what had precipitated it?  His mother told him fairy tales about giant birds who lived in the enchanted forest.  They even raised a child among the tree tops and made her a princess of their family.
artwork by Jeanie Tomanek 

That was just a fairy tale, or so she said.  She never admitted any different or denied the possibility that it was more truth than fiction.

When we last saw Eli, he had just woken up with a substantial hangover after drinking himself into oblivion over a redheaded vixen named Judy in the Come As You Are Saloon.

With his head throbbing, he stumbled into the bathroom reaching for the alka-seltzer, or pepto or anything else that could slay the herd of elephants stampeding through his head. "Why?" he asked himself over and over again.  "Why do things like this always happen to me?"

He fell back on the couch and drifted off again.  Soon he was dreaming of tall trees and sunlight streaming through to the moss-covered ground.  On a branch just above his head he saw a woman.  She was beautiful with soft brown curls framing her face.  What he noticed then took him aback.  She had the most magnificent white wings.  Was she an angel?  Had he died?  Shortly before he had felt like it. 

"Who are you?" he asked, puzzled that there would be a winged woman in a tree.

"Fear not, Eli" she replied in a singsong voice, "for I am your mother.  You do not recognize me because to you this is a dream.  This is the only way I could tell you the truth.  I know you have wondered for a long time.  I know of your dreams.  I was part of those dreams.  It was my way of bringing you to the truth."

"Mother" he began, searching for words.  "All those fairy tales about the princess...that was really you after all wasn't it?  I felt it in my heart, but knew that logically it was impossible.  Birds are birds and people are people.  People don't fly or live in trees, well except for Tarzan, and he didn't fly." 

As he stood there silently staring up at the woman in the tree, he saw her begin to change.  Gradually her soft features became more angular and her curls changed into sleek white feathers.  The basket she had held in her hand fell to the ground.

"Good-bye Eli."

Suddenly there on the ledge appeared a white bird, and much to Eli's surprise he understood what was being said.  

"Come Princess, it's time to go. He knows the truth now and that knowledge will serve him well."

"Yes" replied his mother, "He will be all right now." 

The Quote of the Week will return next Monday!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is that all?

Welcome to the 28th and final day of the 30 minus 2 days of writing challenged hosted by Nicky and Mike of "We Work For Cheese".  Please visit Nicky's post for the cheesy wrap up. 

As we listen in we hear two friends dealing with the stress of the challenge.

Hey, you can't wear that, it's too cheesy.  You'll look like a tramp.

Now hold on a minute, I yelled back, and the next thing I knew we were arguing to test the bonds of friendship

You'd better put out the light before someone sees you in that.

Well my home is my haven and I'll do what I want.  Lemme see that.  Are you texting someone?  I read French you know.

Fifteen minutes later the mayor pulls up.  I just got back from my road trip and I heard the fighting.  I haven't heard anything like that since the day I met Abraham Lincoln.  I was being charged with an (unintended) misuse of campaign funds.  By the way, do you know where I can get a good blintz?  I'm starving.

Mr. Mayor, would you please shut up or else we'll have to ask you to leave. 

That music is awful, can you please change the station.

Oh, so now you're telling me what to listen to?  

I'm outta here.

Whatever, dude

Home at last, he pops open a beer while dialing the pizza shop.  A large everything, please.

As for me, I crash on the couch, flip on the TV and watch the shopping channel.  It's the little things, you know.

They are showing the latest fashion in footwear.  Where's the phone?  Wait, I liked the other shoe better.  Last Train to Clarksville is playing in the background.  

There's a noise coming from the back yard...dogs?   Compulsively, I check the door for the umpteenth time.  I know it's absurd, but I can't help it.  What's that Confusius says "Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated."

I don't know if that's fact or fiction, or if the outfit is cheesy, or if the shoes will match, and did the mayor ever get his blintz?

This has been a very weird day, and that's why I got drunk.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eli and the Redhead

Welcome to the 27th day of the 30 minus 2 days of writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of "We Work for Cheese".  Today's prompt is "And That's Why I Got Drunk".  My contribution today is a work of fiction and yet another adventure in the life of Eli.  Now go visit Nicky's post for more excuses.

It was in the wee hours of the morning when Eli stumbled up his steps.  He fumbled with his keys, then dropped them.  They went over the rail and into the bushes.  He stumbled back down the steps, missed the last one and landed in a pile of dog poop.  "Darn dog", he mumbled.  He scrounged for the keys, and jabbed a thorn into his thumb. "Sh..!" 

Eli rights himself, sucks on his injured thumb, and climbs back up the steps.  

Four hours earlier: 

Eli was sitting on his favorite stool at the Come As You Are Saloon.  He liked this place because he knew everyone, and they all knew him.  It reminded him of that old TV show from the 80s.  You know the one - where everyone knows your name.

Anyway, he was sitting there nursing a Stella, when in walked a woman.  Not just any woman, but the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.  She was a redhead, and he'd heard they could be feisty.  She was wearing 5-inch red stilettos and a black dress so tight it looked like she must have been born in it.  Her green eyes sent sparks flying when she looked his way.

Now Eli was an average dude, but he believed he sprang from Royalty.  He knew in his heart his mother was a Princess, and that made him special.

He left his stool and walked over to the gorgeous redhead. 

"What's your name, sweetheart?", he said, trying to be cool.

She just looked at him, then past him at his bar mate, Paul.  He tried again. 

"I said what's your name?  My name's Eli".

"Hmmm, that's nice.  What's his name?" indicating Paul who was watching this play out.  Poor Eli!  All the other women had turned him down.  They said he was just too weird...something about birds and he was constantly talking about his mother.

"Oh, that's Paul.  He's another regular here."

The redhead pushed past him and swayed over to where Paul was sitting.  "Hello there.  It's Paul, right?"

Not about to be left out Eli followed, then much to his embarrassment, he tripped on a loose floor board.  As he gyrated to try and stay upright he grabbed for the table, but got the redhead' instead. 

"Oh, sorry...I never did get your name," as he tried to recover.

As she swung and punched him in the nose, she said, "My. Name. Is. Judy."  Paul is now laughing openly at Eli's tortured look, not to mention his rapidly swelling nose.

"Bartender", called Paul, "another round on me, and an icepack for my friend, here." 

Eli slunk into a back booth, bemoaning his never ending stream of bad luck with women. About that time a man, another stranger to the bar, slid into the seat opposite him.  

"I saw what just happened.  That's a dang shame, too, she's quite a looker.  Had no right to treat you that way.  Women like that think they're too good for the likes of us, eh."

"Yeah, I guess you're right." Eli gulped down his beer.  "I gotta hit the john" he said and headed down the hall.  When he got back, the stranger was gone, and so was his jacket.  "Dang, everyone's a thief these days."  Then he remembered, when he had pulled out his ID earlier, he'd stuck his wallet in his jacket.  Now he had a fat nose, no girl and no wallet.  He pulled the last ten bucks out of his jeans and called the bartender.  "Bring me a bottle of bourbon and a glass."

The next thing he knew he was climbing the steps to his house.  "Why?" he wondered as he collapsed on his couch.  

Later, when the fog had lifted, he remembered.  "That was why I got drunk!  It was punch and Judy."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

To Dance Or Not To Dance?

Today is day 24 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. Today's prompt is "Confucius". Visit Nicky's post to see what else Confucius says.

Ann had wanted to take dance lessons for years, but Carl refused, stating he had two left feet.  That was just an excuse and she knew it, but she had a plan.

Image Source:  wisze's photostream
"Are you ready", he called, "we don't want miss our reservation".  They had these reservations for weeks.  Le Chateau was a hard restaurant to get into, but they wanted to do something special for Carl's birthday.

"I'm almost ready, you go start the car and I'll be right out."  She had to get his birthday card which contained his gift.

They arrived at the restaurant and were seated at corner table next to the window.  The view was gorgeous, overlooking the river, the multi-colored lights on the bridge twinkled, reflecting on the water. 

"A bottle of your best Champagne, please."  Carl beamed.  He had always wanted to say that.  It was his birthday and he was going all out.  "Two steaks, medium rare, too please."  

"Thank you, sir" said the waiter.  "I will be right back with your Champagne".  

"Carl" exclaimed Ann, "Do you have any idea how expensive that is?"  She really didn't care, though, she was happy just watching him enjoy himself.  God knows he works hard enough for it.

"This is fantastic.  This has to be the best meal I've ever had, except for your cooking, of course", Carl said, quickly correcting his faux paux.

"OK," said Ann, smiling "now for the rest of your gift."  She pulled a card from her purse and placed it in front of him.  

"I thought we agreed that this dinner would be my birthday gift."  He opened the card and he grinned from ear to ear.  Inside was a receipt for 6 weeks of fencing lessons.  "Oh Ann, this is so cool.  Thank you!"  Carl had been longing to learn fencing for years, ever since watching sword fight scenes in old movies. "Did you know I love you?" he asked teasingly.

Then he noticed something else in the card.  It was a second receipt, for 6 weeks of dance lessons.  Ann was very clever in her choice of fencing instructors.  This particular one required students to demonstrate dance skills, stating that one can't fence properly with two left feet.  Since Ann wanted to take dance lessons, and Carl wanted to learn fencing this was perfect.  "Still love me?" she teased back.

But seeing the look of dismay on his face, Ann explained their policy.  "Confucius say: Don't give sword to man who can't dance."

Thursday, February 21, 2013


 It is day 21 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. Today's prompt is "The Last Train".  Visit Nicky's post to see who else is participating in today's train ride.

Jeannie stared at the pile of papers littering her desk. The blank computer screen was agonizingly bright as she rubbed her tired eyes. The deadline loomed, and the old clock the wall went tick, tick, tick... The newspaper was an unforgiving beast and, like the mail, it too has a schedule to maintain.

Image Source:  bbusschots
She pulled a paper from the pile. "Dear Jean, my son is engaged to a lovely girl. She's smart, funny and well educated. The problem is that she is Jewish. Our family is Catholic..." We are okay with it, but her parents are threatening to cut her out of the family if she marries my son. How should we handle this? Signed Distressed in Duluth."

Another one reads " husband is planning an surprise 40th birthday party for me. I am not fond of surprise parties. My cousin let it slip the other day, and it is apparently an elaborate affair. I love my husband, and don't want to disappoint him. Should I say anything or try and act surprised and happy? Signed Party Pooper."

Jeannie ponders these and other letters, searching for the right mix for reader interest. She's been a columnist for 10 years, and had noticed that while the times have changed, technology has advanced, and life grows more complicated, people's problems remain the basically the same. Relationships blooming, relationships falling apart, children, bullies, money problems, he-said, she-said, and who's fault it is.

Finally she chooses two letters, one about a young man who finds out his fiance is actually his half sister, and the other about meddling grandparents.  She dishes out sound advice from her many years of experience, insight and imagination. Yes, columnists must be creative and imaginative to keep from giving out cookie-cutter advice. Each response must be fresh and individual.  Some days this is a struggle.  "Have I been doing this too long?" she wonders to herself.

The sun is now setting, glowing golden against the wall behind her. She finally taps out the last words, hits save and sends it to the Lifestyle department. Done!  It is Friday and the weekend has begun. She glances at the clock. If she hurries she'll have enough time to meet Seth at the bar for a drink before catching the last train out of the city. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Rose Garden: The Wedding

Six months earlier.  "She said yes, Mother!" Gerald shouted, ecstatically.  "Can you believe it?  She actually said yes."  Gerald knew his mother was lurking somewhere nearby.  She usually did when he was alone in the garden. 

Allison sat cross-legged on the floor in the living room amidst a mountain of catalogs and brochures.  Her blond hair hung in ringlets around her face as she bent over a cake catalog, murmuring "chocolate with vanilla icing, or butter cream with chocolate icing?  No, I'd rather have carrot cake."

Gerald had been watching from the next room, thinking she had never looked lovelier than she did now in her faded jeans and Bon Jovi T-shirt, representing Allison's favorite band.  They went to see them the month before in Atlanta when they had picked up her wedding dress.  She deemed "Thank You For Loving Me" as 'our song' and they danced in the aisle as the band played.

Spotting him she smiled.  "Gerry, have you talked to the photographer and videographer?"  "I want to make sure they can be here for the rehearsal dinner, too.  Did you mention that?"

"Yes, dear, we are on their schedule for Friday night, and they will be at the church at noon on Saturday," replied her future husband patiently.  "Everything is under control.  You have gone over every detail to the utmost and then some."

"Are you saying that I have obsessed over my perfect day?"

"Not at all, sweetheart, not at all."

"Well, I still have to choose the cake.  What do you think?  Chocolate or vanilla?  Traditional or carrot cake?  Maybe even carrot cake squares with little miniature candy carrots for decoration?  I like it!  It's settled."

"I love a woman who's not afraid to make a decision" said Gerald, laughing.

All brides have issues and obstacles to contend with to make it the perfect wedding, and there is seldom such a thing.  The food is overcooked or undercooked, or someone has one too many cocktails and causes a scene or botches the toast to the bride and groom.  And so after many months of planning, comparing prices, interviewing photographers, and sampling countless hors d'oeuvres, the big day finally arrives.  

As Gerald dons his rented tux, he fumbles with the tie.  Frustrated, he mumbled "how does this go again?"  Then he smiles, remembering their first lunch in the rose garden.  It is so fitting that they exchange their vows in that same garden.  That's why they planned a Spring wedding.  The vestiges of Winter have faded away, but the wrath of Summer was not yet upon them and Mother's yellow roses were in full bloom just as he knew they would be.  

Allison emerges as the music begins.  Dum dum de dum... Her bridesmaids lead the way, their matching pale blue dresses swaying as they walk.  The bride was a vision of loveliness in her gown of satin and lace, strolling down the aisle as if on air.  Her hands cradling a bouquet of beautiful yellow roses.  She chose to wear her hair down covered with a lacy veil dotted with seed pearls.

Allison's face was radiant as she turned to Gerald.  He, himself, beaming to rival the sun.  What a glorious day.  Gerald wishes his mother could be there, and yet, at the same time he knows she is.  After all it is her garden. 

The minister is speaking.  "Do you, Gerald, take this woman...?  Do you, Allison, take this man...?"

They recite the vows they wrote together to each other.  The minister pronounces them husband and wife..."you may kiss your bride" he said. 

"Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Mr. and Mrs. Gerald McLandon.  Congratulations!"

When they reached their table with their cake and champagne, Gerald notices a small box with a note at his place.  He opened the box and his eyes widened with a mixture of disbelief and amazement.  It was the diamond brooch that his father presented to his mother on their 25th anniversary.  The note said "For Allison".

Allison did, indeed, have the perfect wedding day.

If you haven't had a chance to read the first three parts here they are:
The Rose Garden
The Restoration
The Rose Garden:  Allison

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What's That They Say?

Image source:

Days of anger
Days of pain
What's that they say
That I'm insane
If that's true
Then who are you
Someone whose story
I wish I knew

Days of sadness
Lies and fear
What's that you say
Someone might hear
What has been hidden
From everyone's view
That mine is the story
I wish I knew

This poem was written for dVerse Poetry and is purely fictional and not reflective of my life.  Also see "The Voices are Silent".

Friday, September 14, 2012

Crooked Words

Image source:  gingerbeardman
Follow me back in time to the far away land of the wrinkled rhyme where the words were all crooked and walked with a limp.  Some letters were tattered and others torn.  Of better days they did now mourn. They were all a craggy lot who lived in a place that time had forgot.

Written for Friday Flash 55.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Got Doughnuts?

Picture this scenario.  Tina and Ryan are lounging in front of the TV watching a Food Network marathon when Tina yawns and says "you know what would be good right now?"  Ryan stands and stretches.  "Well, we just watched 3 hours of food shows, so I'd be surprised if you're not hungry."  

"You got that right!"  

"So, what do you want?  Are you having a Big Mac attack or is the piece de resistance a bucket of the Colonel's chicken?"

"Nope.  Do you remember where we used to go late at night after hours of old movies?  That last show reminded me."

"Let's see, the last show was about a family of immigrant bakers.  You want bread?"

"No, silly, doughnuts.  More specifically, Krispy Kreme doughnuts.  A chocolate covered, creme filled piece of pure deliciousness - and a large diet Coke, please.

Image source:  Steve Jurvetson
Now as I reside in the Krispy Kreme capital of the world, there is some measure of reality here.  

I remember as a teen going to a pajama party (I think the current term is sleepover) and the girl's dad worked 2nd shift.  When he got off work, he took a half dozen wound up teenage girls to Krispy Kreme for doughnuts at 2 a.m.  What a treat!

On another occasion, before we were married, hubby and I went and got a fresh hot dozen of the classic glazed doughnuts after some late night TV.  Now I think they close at 11:00.

This was written for Write on Edge.  This weeks prompt was to write a fiction or creative non-fiction piece in which a local or regional item or industry plays a role.  I chose to honor Krispy Kreme for 75 years of making the best in doughnuts and memories.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Beyond the Window

Big Room, 1948, by Andrew Wyeth
Beyond the window he could see her sitting in the garden.  A sad look clouded her sweet face.  He wanted so much for her...would give her the world if he could, but she did not want it.  She never wanted this.  The large house, the servants, the driver who would take her anywhere she wanted to go. Still she felt like a prisoner in her own home.  Long hours spent staring at the clock upon the mantle while she waited for him to return.  He knew she wasn't happy, and hadn't been for a long time.

If we can just make it through the next few years, he would tell her, then things will be different.  Ah, but she had heard that all before. 

As she sat on the bench beside the pond she felt him watching her as she watched the goldfish.  She turned toward the window and pasted a smile upon her face.  She knew he tried.  He knew he failed.  He knew she would be better off without him.  She knew she could never leave.

What happened next would free them both...

Written for Magpie Tales.

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Note

Kenny arrived home from work, late as usual.  These long hours were paying off, he thought, as he parked his shiny new Lexus in the garage.  Sharon would have dinner holding in the oven.  It was Friday night, so it was probably lasagna.  She would be waiting in family room, a glass of her favorite red wine on the table as she played bejeweled blitz or some other Facebook game, with the TV on in the background.
Kenny walks into the kitchen, the light is on, but there's no familiar smell of dinner waiting.  He calls to Sharon, "Hey, I'm home.  Did you want to order in tonight?"  No answer.

He goes to the family room, no Sharon.  He goes from room to room, but she's not there.  Wait a minute, her car was not in the garage.   How could I have not noticed that? he thought. 

Worried now, he headed to the bedroom.  He glanced around the room and then he saw it, there on his pillow.  "Good-bye" was all it said.

As Kenny sat and stared numbly at the note, it hit him.  There was so much he hadn't noticed.

Written for the prompt "Note" at One-Minute Writer - Friday Fiction.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Running Away

Mile after mile she sped down the highway, hoping with each passing town she would be further from the past that has haunted her every waking moment for nearly two decades.  She would be eighteen now, graduating from high school and starting life as an adult. Jenna hoped her daughter would make better choices than she had at that age as she reflected back on those days of drugs, booze and indiscretions which resulted in a life-altering moment as she gave up her first-born child.  

This current upheaval came about the week before when she received a phone that she had dreaded for eighteen years...Mom?

Knowing in her heart of hearts (albeit mistakenly) that this was the best thing she could do for the daughter she abandoned all those years ago, she did what she has always done when her life runs amok, she runs away.

Written for Five Sentence Fiction based on the prompt Distance.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Side of the Road

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is the 27th day of this challenging event, and we are approaching the finish line.  Today's prompt is Side of the Road.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to get on the right side of the road.

My apologies in advance to Katherine.  Her Intervention post inspired this poem. 

Katherine she got smashed
No, I mean she got crashed
Her car that is
I hope it's not trashed

She got smacked from behind
Were they out of their mind
I bet for this screw-up
They'll surely be fined

She came to a halt
From the slamming assault
At the side of the road
It wasn't her fault

Now her neck's in a twist
And her friends did insist
That to the doctor she go
And she did as they wished

With pills he did stuff her
No pain will she suffer
At home she must stay
Until she is tougher

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saving the Day: An Intervention

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is the 26th day of this challenging event, and we are approaching the finish line.  Today's prompt is An Intervention.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to get the inside scoop.


The headline read Saving the Day:  An Intervention.  "I was just doing my job" John told the reporter, after he was photographed being hugged by the little girl's mother.

It had started the day before when the FBI profilers had narrowed the search to one man, Hector Stimfield.  He was wanted in six states for kidnapping and murder.  He targeted blond-haired, blue eyed girls between the ages of 10 and 12.  They believed him to be a victim of abuse by his older sister when he was a child.  His sister was now in prison for dealing drugs and assault.

Hector moved from state to state, and job to job.  In his current location he worked as a furniture delivery man, which allowed him to gain entrance to people's homes.  That is how he searched for his victims.  His most recent kidnapping was 12 year-old Eliza Parker.  She had been missing for two days.

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Local authorities, working with the FBI, had a tip of a blond girl and a man fitting Hector's description in the warehouse district on the north side of town.  The FBI and SWAT were on the scene in minutes.  There was an old white delivery van parked outside an unoccupied warehouse.  Snipers set up on the roof tops of several nearby buildings.
They tried to negotiate with her kidnapper.  They knew what he was capable of and that the situation could become volatile at any moment.

This is where John came into the picture.  He was positioned with a direct line of sight into the warehouse through a broken window.  His rifle, an Intervention sniper rifle, was among the best and most accurate.

He was waiting for his cue.  The FBI wanted to give Hector the opportunity to surrender so he could be arrested, tried and hopefully convicted.  If he failed to comply, then they would allow John to take the shot when he had it.

Not grasping the reality of his situation, Hector refused, saying "If you come in here, the girl's dead."  That was it.  John took the shot and it was over.

After the child was returned to her, Mrs. Parker insisted on meeting John to thank him, and that's when the photograph was taken.  She hugged him and thanked him profusely.  "If not for your skillful intervention, my daughter might have been killed.  I cannot thank you enough."

"You're welcome, ma'am.  I was just doing my job."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Stilettos

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  It is Day 23 and the prompt is Stiletto Heels.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see who's still standing.

In the little town of Shewville lived Spike Stiletto, his wife, Hotstuff and their teenage daughter, Kitten.  They were new in the neighborhood having moved in during the Spring season.  Spike worked at the tannery and Hotstuff modeled during the Fall and Winter seasons while Kitten was in school.  Life is good in Shewville, and they visit occasionally with their neighbors, the Phlats and Lowfers.

That was until Spike stopped off on his way home from work for a drink at the Golden Spur.  Across the room, pounding on the bar was his cousin, Blade,  from across the tracks.  His tanned face was leathery from working in the sun.

Blade had always been a troublemaker, and there he was dissing Spike's friend Crock, saying that the new house he had built looked like it had been cobbled together out of scraps.

OK, thought Spike, that's enough, getting pumped up.  I'm going to teach that heel a lesson.  Grabbing his beer bottle, he strode toward Blade who barely noticed Spike until they were nearly toe to toe.  Blade, not being the sharpest knife in the drawer, started in on Spike.

"What's this cloak and dagger routine, cousin?" sneered Blade.  "Think just 'cause you're Italian you're better than me?"

"You need to learn to keep your mouth shut, cousin, as he raised his bottle.  Blade ducked just as Spike raised his bottle, successfully blocking the blow, and sending the bottle to the floor, shattering it.  Spike lunged, stepping on the broken glass, slicing his sole. 

Undaunted and still wanting to sock it to Blade, he grabbed him by the collar jerking him off his feet.  Blade was by no means a small man, but Spike was a half size bigger, and hauled him, kicking and flailing toward the door.

Spike then turned his cousin around and gave him the boot, sending him face down into the street.  Blade landed unceremoniously at the feet of none other than Sandal, the prettiest girl in town.  She laughed and said "you really stepped in it this time, Blade."

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stealing Away

Beneath the midnight desert sky
On his camel he did ride
Away to see his lady love
Beneath the silvery moon above

He went to sweep her off her feet
But her daddy he did meet
Because of this lovely damsel
He nevermore will ride his camel

You see the gal that he did seek
Was the daughter of a Sheik
She bid her daddy leave him be
Instead he hung him for all to see

The princess cried for days on end
Knowing her heart would never mend
How could her daddy be so cruel
She longed to escape his rule

Then one night to her surprise
She could not believe her eyes
Stood the man for whom she cried
The man she knew had surely died

The noose had slipped and he was free
He owed that to a friend you see
Who was handy with his knife
And owed this man his very life

Now the princess bride to be
Hopped on his camel and they did flee
Happy now with her intended
This is how the story ended

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today is the 19th day of madness fun, and the prompt is Camels.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more stories...will that be one hump or two?

Also posted for dVerse poetry.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Other One

Choices, changes
Life rearranges
He chooses
He loses
Should have chosen
The other one

Choices, changes
Life rearranges
Now he knows
And he chose
The other one

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is The Other One.  This is the 13th mind-numbing day of this challenge.  Check out the Linky at WWFC to see what everyone else chose

Also posted for dVerse Poetry.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In Excess?


There was a Canadian Princess
Who for now shall remain nameless
She loved her high-heeled shoes
Bought in varying hues
Some might say to excess

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is Excess.  This is the 7th day of this madness.  Check out the Linky at WWFC for more tales of excess.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mental Roadblock

Written for the 30-day creative writing challenge hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is A Roadblock.

There are all kinds of roadblocks.  The ones we see on the street are easily overcome by a detour directing us around the event that caused the blockage.  

Bloggers face roadblocks too.  We stare at blank screens until our eyes glaze over like the remnants of yesterday's donuts.  We mark out endless lines of slumber-inducing stories written after too much indulgence has turned our brains too mush.  Mental roadblocks are the worst because there are no detours, no signs and no one directing our mental traffic around the barricades.

Now let's check in with Bonnie Blogger to see what's on her mind.

Nothing.  That's what's on my mind.  It's blank!  My mind is a total blank.  I am supposed to write a post every day for 30 days and what have I got?  This is only day 2 and I am blanking out. I've got nothing here.  Geez, what was I thinking? 

What I thought was that having a goal would help me get back on track, get back to my blogging roots.  I mean you can only depend on picture posts for so long.  But no!  I have a list of 30 pre-selected topics and I totally freeze.  The cheese has already been devoured, and the next course food-related topic isn't until day 12.

I can probably use my cats for days 7 & 10.  Day 8 is easy, and 18 is probably good too.  Day 30 is a common saying around here. 

There should be a day devoted to wine.  Oh wait, I think that's day 26, and I don't know if I can hang on that long.  Who came up with these crazy prompts anyway?  I know, I know, they asked for suggestions, but did I offer any?  Noooo, I just sat back and waited to see what the powers that be decided we should write about.  

I could be writing about a tropical paradise, about lying in a hammock sipping exotic drinks from a pineapple with fancy little paper umbrellas and being fanned by handsome natives whose only English consists of "yes" and "would you like another"?

I could be writing about...well you get the idea.  But no, I had to wait and see.  Therefore, I am at the mercy of two insane creative folks and their equally insane creative list of topics.  All of which are barring my way to scoring the coveted 500 point post.  Major mental roadblock in progress.

Likely by the time this is over I'll need to get on the waiting list for therapy since I hear those who took part in the last challenge are still there.  

So, there sits Bonnie Blogger, gulping copious amounts of drinking wine and weeping over an crumb-covered plate once filled with cheese, desperately wishing she had two mildly amusing words to put together.


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