Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hot Chocolate

        The doorbell rang. Maudie was startled by the sound. How long had it been since any one had rung that bell?

It took a moment for her to pull herself from the chair. Stiff knees and aching hips slowed her progress. She shuffled painfully to the door, pulled the dusty curtain aside to peek out.

A boy of about ten or eleven, stood on the front stoop. His jeans were tucked into red vinyl boots. The collar of the puffy coat he wore framed cold reddened cheeks. He held a snow shovel.

Maudie sighed and opened the door slightly. “What you want, boy?”, she asked in a voice rough from disuse.

The boy looked up at her and smiled hopefully. “Shovel your walk ma’am? Only ten dollars.”

“I ain’t goin’ no where, boy. No need to shovel, it’ll just snow again anyway,” she started to shut the door.

“Please! How ‘bout if it snows again before Christmas , I’ll come back and shovel it again. For free.”

“And why would you do that?”

“Cause your’s is the only place left to shovel. And I only need ten more dollars to get my Ma’s Christmas present,” he flashed another hopeful grin.

Maudie hesitated, then gave in, “Alright boy, but it snows again, you better be here. And for ten dollars, I want you to shovel around to the back door too!”

“Yes ma’am! Thank you, an’ if it snows again, I’ll be back. Promise!” he jumped off the step and started shoveling.

Maudie shut the door and shivered from the cold. She looked back at her comfy chair, then decided to get something warm to drink. She shuffled to the kitchen to brew a cup of tea.

She peered out the kitchen window to see whether the young boy had given up yet. He’d cleared the walk in front of the house and was almost to the stoop again. His breath blowing out in frosty clouds.

She turned to the cupboard for her tea tin. But can of cocoa powder caught her eye.

She heated milk, cocoa, and sugar in an old pot, the spoon she stirred with scraping the bottom in time the the shovel scraping the walk. She poured the chocolate into a mug when the boy knocked on the back door.

She opened the door, “All done then, son?”

“Yes ma’am,” he puffed, “the whole walk. You wanna come look?”

“No, I’ll just have to trust you. Knock that snow off your boots and come in.” She started for the front room and her pocketbook, then stopped. She pulled a second mug from the cupboard and filled it with the rest of the hot chocolate. “Sit here and warm yourself, I’ll be right back with your pay.”

She came back and sat across from him, taking a sip from her own mug. “You got a good present picked out for your Ma?”

“Yes ma’am, a pretty scarf in her favorite color. With butterflies on it.”

“Sounds like a good choice.” She handed him three five dollar bills as he finished his cocoa.

“Ma’am, I only need ten dol…”

Maudie shook her head, “you just remember your promise, boy.” Then she shooed him out the door.

As ran excitedly toward the street, he turned and waved, “Thank you, ma’am!”
She watched him disappear from sight, a rare smile lifting the corners of her mouth.

Then the snow began to fall.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Party Shop Talk

Dottie Scribbles arrived at the Official Muse's Winter Solstice Party just a little late.  She hadn't been sure she wanted to join her peers this year.  Her assignment had put her in less than a joyous mood.  But she pasted a smile on her face and began to mingle.

She greeted warmly those she knew and nodded to those she only knew by reputation. After she had helped herself to some liquid holiday cheer, she found a quiet spot to observe and eavesdrop.

Inkly Noteson was in cheerful conversation with Pensy Paige.  "We are being published this year!  My charge has done such a wonderful job with my input.  He's been a true pleasure to work with!" Inkly said.

"My assignment was so awesome this year as well," replied Pensy.  "She never argued or wavered at all.  She was absolutely perfect.  I'm sure we'll get a contract soon."

Dottie sighed inwardly.  If only she had been so lucky.  She wasn't sure who she had pissed off, but she was sure someone was giggling hysterically at her misfortune.

"Dottie!  How are you honey?"  Great, Pensy had seen her.  "How's that "work in progress going?"

Dottie smiled bravely, "Not as well as I'd hoped by this time, Pensy.  The powers that be gave me a novice with her own ideas.  She whines about my lack of help, then pops about the page with crap totally outside the guidelines I give her."

"Oh dear, that is too bad."  Pensy was trying hard not to look pleased, she'd always felt Dottie had stolen one of her best shots at publication eons ago with that playwright, Shakespeare.

"Yeah, well I had to take some time off, she had me so stressed.  I came back and you wouldn't believe the hell I got."  Dottie grabbed another glass from a tray that floated by. "She has, like three different stories going.  None of 'em are worth a shit, and every time I give her a prompt, she scowls and bitches about my lack of understanding."

Pensy nodded with false sympathy.  "That must be just awful for you. Have you tried write blocking her?"

"Yeah, and then she wrote this whiny blog post about me leaving her abandoned."

"Wow, what a bitch."  Pensy was almost starting to feel true pity for Dottie.

"You wouldn't believe!"  Another glass had found it's way to Dottie's hand.

"Well, you could request reassignment, couldn't you?  I mean, you've proven yourself over the years." And then some, thought Pensy to herself.  Dottie had always come through with her past clients.

"I've asked more than once.  They just keep ign..."  Dottie was interrupted by a hand on her shoulder.  She turned to find herself face to face with Thalia, one of her bosses.

"Sometimes, Dottie, one must work a little harder.  Not all of your charges are Will Shakespeare or Stephanie Meyer,"  she said.

"But, Thalia, this one is never go..."  Dottie began.

Thalia looked at the young muse sadly.  When had they all become so obsessed with publicity.

"Dottie, and you too, Pensy.  Sometimes, it's not about being published, or being the next Mark Twain."  She sighed as she saw the confusion in their eyes.

"Sometimes it's just about the wish to Write."

I hope I didn't step to far out of the box with this one. 
"The holiday season is in full swing. Thanksgiving leftovers should be gone by now, and trees are lighting up houses all over the place (or will be soon). Chances are you have some holiday activities coming as well. Some you look forward to, some you do not. Thus the inspiration for this week’s prompt.
Take it either direction, but let’s have those holiday office party stories (outside the office is fine also.) There’s a certain level of cheer or disgust that comes with the conversations during these gatherings. Make us feel it."

Story Dam


Write on Edge: RemembeRED
Today we’re trying a little something different. Are you ready? Your word is below. Take the next ten minutes to write about the first single memory that word calls up. Focus on the emotions and the experience, spend ten minutes really exploring that memory. Then wrap it up, publish, and come back to link up.
RemembeRED, Write on Edge, Memoir writing prompt


I felt it in my stomach.

The two younger cats were showing undue curiosity about the space on the other side of my end table.  I got up to see what had grabbed their attention.

My oldest, Cat, Herself, Mistress of All She Surveys, was lying on the floor on her side.  Her front legs outstretched, claws scrabbling for purchase on the wood floor.  Her hind legs drawn against her body, not moving.

I touched her gently, she made no sound, didn't acknowledge my presence.  I carefully picked her up, something she despises.  I sat with her in my lap.  She finally looked at me, stood and leapt lightly to the floor again.

She stayed on her feet, though her backside swayed  with each step.  I followed her to the next room.  She jumped to the kitchen counter easily.

Crisis averted?

I don't know.  She is fifteen years old.  I know our time left is short.

I'll be watching her closely.

The next crash will be the breaking of my heart...

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Postcard

He stood in the rain watching the house. He’d been standing there for hours. She knew she should ask him inside. But, she could think of no reason to do so. They had nothing to say to each other.

She pulled the red and gold brocade drapes aside to look again. Still there. She shook her head, causing the golden bells woven into her hair to jingle softly. She absently reached up to still them. The drapery dropped back, and she went back to the postcard she’d been reading.

Dearest Miss MacClarren,
I got your letter last Thursday. As you know, I operate a small eating place, so I can’t see how that could be of any interest to you. You make no mention of needing recipes, so I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “my abilities”. I think you may have confused me with someone else.
When you were here last year you asked about dreams. I know I told you I sometimes have odd dreams, but then I’m just a silly country woman. You shouldn’t think anymore of it.
The weather here is very nice just now. Maybe if you visit come to America again, you can stop by. I’d like that. You were very nice to talk to. I hope you are doing well.
                                                                                                      Bertie Harrison, May 1902
                                                                                                       Renewal, Nebraska, United States

She  called for her aide, “Henri, I need you to make some travel arrangements for me. I wish to go to America again.” 

Henri was used to his employers whims, he simply asked, “and when should we expect your return, madame?”

“I don’t know this time, Henri. I think this will be a longer trip than usual. It may be several years. I will see to it you are all taken care of. And, of course, you will see to it my home is cared for as well, yes?
“Of course, madame. You can place your trust in me,” Henri lifted his chin in pride. “What about the young man outside? Shall I have him removed?”

                                         * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The housekeeper had let the rain soaked man into the foyer. As he stood dripping on the floor, Anne Marie MacClarren greeted him coolly.

“Michael, you are wet. Why do you do this?”

“I am wet because you have been ignoring me, Anne Marie. I have written. You do not answer my letters. I have knocked on your door. You leave me standing on your steps. I thought if I stood in front of your window in the rain, you might finally feel some pity and let me in. And it seems to have worked.” 

“I have no pity for you. If you wish to stand in the rain, that is your choice.” Anne Marie said. “I only let you in because I am leaving. You may dry yourself, and then go home.”

“Leaving? Off on another hunt? What mythical creature are you after now?” he asked. “Anne Marie, when will you stop this foolishness and see that you need to settle down?”

Anne Marie was sorry she’d let him in. She should just have left and waved on her way by. “Michael, I have told you, more than once, I have no interest in ‘settling down’. Not with you, not with anyone. I have my work, and my freedom.” His shoulders slumped, she took a breath and continued. “You are a nice boy, go find a nice girl. I’m not what you're looking for.” She walked away before he could say anything else.

                                        * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

It had been many years since she’d had such a determined suitor. She had chosen a good time to leave. He had become a nuisance and would be perpetually underfoot if she stayed much longer. She would miss this house, it was unlikely she would ever return to it. But, it wasn’t the first home she had left behind.

She packed the few things she would need for her trip to Renewal. After she found a place to stay there, she would write to Henri  with instructions for her belongings. Henri had been a faithful servant for a long time. He’d do as she asked. Perhaps she would just give the house to him. Her thoughts wandered in this way for a while before returning to the reason for her trip.

The postcard from America, with it’s hand painted picture of a mountain lake. She chuckled, there was no lake, or mountain near Renewal, Nebraska, United States. Only flat land and woods. And Bertie Harrison.

And Bertie Harrison had dreams. Strange dreams of monsters and magic. Bertie Harrison needed someone to protect her when the creatures of those dreams came to find her. Someone who had years of experience hunting those creatures.

                                  * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Written for the Puzzle Piece photo prompt for Story Dam.  I think i'm way over the word limit, the story just wanted to keep going.  This is a back story to one of my nano characters
Puzzle piece promptStory Dam

Saturday, November 19, 2011


This is a chapter of my Nanowrimo work.  It may or may not stay in the final story.  It's a bit of history of my main character, Katrina Crowe.  She has a special "gift", she counsels those with supernatural afflictions.

         Richard had been her first client, and her first failure. Maybe that had been for the best. There had been a few other failures over the years, but Richard had been the worst.

He’d come to see Gram of course, but she was too sick to try to help him at that time. So he had to settle for Katie. Fortunately, he knew enough about his condition to give Katie a head start.

He was a golem, a creation made of mud, conjured by a nice widow woman to be her house man. Her husband had died very young and she'd needed someone to look after the home repairs and yard work. She didn’t trust hired help. So after some unconventional research, she found an old book that described the perfect servant and explained how to ‘make’ one of her own.

She treated him well and taught him to love beautiful things. Not just material, but natural. He also learned to love living and people.

His problem was, fifty years after she had made him, she was dying. And according to all he could find out, at her death, he would cease to exist. Though he cared for her, he wasn’t excited about his impending demise. There were still things he wanted to see, things he wanted to learn.

Katie liked Richard, he was soft spoken and well educated. She felt he did deserve to have more life and asked Gram if there was anyway to help him. Gram had looked at her sadly, and shook her head. It was the way the conjure worked. No one else could redo it. In fact, she didn’t even know if the spell Richard’s widow woman had used still existed.

Katie spent weeks going through Gram’s notebooks. She scoured the library in the city. The Internet was in it’s infancy. Google didn’t exist. There were mentions of golems in one of the oldest notebooks, but nothing useful. There were books of myth or of the sci-fi/fantasy genre, they were useless as well.  Even Richard had no idea where his maker had found the spell for his creation.

Richard told her it was alright. She’d done everything she could. 

 It didn’t make her feel any better.

The day came when the woman was taking her final breaths. What family she had was at her bedside. Richard, only being ‘the help’ was allowed to make his final good bye, then was released from his duties. He sat with Katie the rest of that day
She watched as he took in as much of the world as he could. It was a beautiful summer day. Flowers in bloom, the sun shining, there was even a soft breeze.

They sat outside, close to the woods, away from the sight of people. Several times she saw him shudder, and seem to become fuzzy to her. Then he sort of pulled himself together and remarked on a bird song or falling leaf.

Suddenly, he grabbed both of her hands. He looked into her eyes and smiled sadly. “Thank you, thank you for your time.”

Seconds later, her hands held only dried mud.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ready at 8:00AM

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood

This week I want you to take me to your version of 8:00 -AM or PM, fiction or creative nonfiction- in 200 words or less.

It's 8:00 am. The percolator sits on the counter in the kitchen, proud in it's stainless steel-ness. It waits for her to come fill it with water and load the basket with the aromatic grounds.

She doesn't show up. It must not be 8:00 am on Monday or Wednesday. It must be 8:00 am on another day. On a day when she bypasses the kitchen counter and heads off to that fancy commercial coffee machine. The machine that produces endless cups. Quenching her need for coffee well before and after 8:00 am.

It slips sadly into semi-usefulness.  Dreams of perking a pot of perfection.  Dreams of tipping a stream of clear brown wake up into her pretty cup.  Dreams of watching in pride as she closes her eyes and inhales the flavor, smiling in anticipation of the first sip.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One Meal

Write on Edge: RemembeRED

This week, we’ve asked you to share with us a special recipe. But, we’ve asked you to do more than just list out ingredients.

We challenged you to take us back…to take us into your memory, in 500 words or less.

My mother shuffled out to the kitchen as I was cutting slits in the hot dogs. After she had broken her hip, she relied on the fancy walker we'd gotten for her rehab. She could walk without it, but she didn't want to.

She asked what I was making.  As I folded the slices of cheese into the slits I'd cut, I told her.  Her eyes lit up.  It wasn't often I could convince her to eat enough.  She watched as I opened the tube of crescent roll dough and wrapped the cheese filled hot dogs up.

"Pigs in a blanket!  I haven't had those for so long.  That sounds wonderful!"

We'd had them often when I was growing up.  They were easy and inexpensive.  With five kids, it was a good call for working parents.

I made them when my daughter was growing up.  They were easy and inexpensive.  I worked a lot of nights, it was a good call.

I think Mom ate three or four of them that night.  She ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.

During the year we lived with her, before she died, I believe this was the meal she enjoyed most.

It was a good call.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Write on Edge: RemembeRED

This week we asked you to take us back to a memorable Halloween costume, to show it to us and draw us into your emotions and memories in 400 words

Halloween was not a special holiday at our house.  More of an excuse to stay out past dark, because you could do that in the 60's without fear. And the candy of course, it was all about the candy.

Our costumes were not memorable, store bought in a hurry the day before. Plastic, face covering masks with a tiny mouth slit to suck air through, and eye holes that may be where your own eyes were. Just the act of walking caused a build up of sweat.  That, with the humidity of breathing, made them almost unbearable.

The flimsy, I'm sure not fire-proof, costumes didn't always last the night.  The seam stitching gave out at the least tug of arm or leg

We were five kids, but I don't think more than three of us at a time were of an age to go trick-or-treat together.  By the time my sisters were old enough, I was staying home passing out the candy.

That has always been my favorite part over the years.  Greeting little and not so little kids and drop candy bars in bags or pails or pillow cases.  Even when my daughter was growing up, I'd rather stay home and hand out goodies.  Her step-sister took her a couple times.  Most often she was at her grandparents' house.  Grandma made sure she got plenty of treats.

My husband and I have moved back to that house.  It sits back a long driveway from a busy street.  The neighborhood behind it is separated by a half acre field.  As long as I can remember it's been the scary house in the neighborhood. Especially on Halloween night.  Just because it's big and old.  And for years, the only light was from my Mother's bedroom, at the front, facing the busy street.  All other windows were dark.

The house is alive with light now. 
There are no little pirates or princesses at the door. 
I buy the candy every year. 
Just in case.


Thursday, October 20, 2011


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood
Compose a post in the form of a text–160 characters.

Your text must elicit or express fear.

where are you you said you'd be here voices they say bad things about you they're laughing and laughing closer and closer I see them they're coming please hurry

Monday, October 17, 2011

Falling Leaves

For you, what does autumn evoke?
Show us in 300 words or less

I'm in love with the fall. Cool mornings followed by warm afternoons.  The air smells clean, freshly laundered. Scented with hints of burnt leaf.  As much as I love that smell, we don't burn leaves here.

Those unburned leaves are colored in the shades of the fire from which they were spared. They  rush across the lawn, blown by playful gusts. Some take flight, reaching for the branches they recently left.  Some are content to somersault across the fading grass.

They migrate from our yard to the neighbor's, only to return in a day or so.  They'll pile themselves around the flowers and shrubs.  Protecting the tender roots from winter's cold.

 I hear them crackling whispers to each other of summer past. Before the rains pin them to the gardens. Before the colors of glory fade to brown. Before winter's snow buries them with icy weight.  They blanket the sleeping plants singing lullabies of spring.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Mist

This week, I want you to take me there.

Where is up to you: Someplace real? Imaginary? From your past? In your future? It can be fiction or creative non-fiction. But make your descriptions so rich that I can’t help but feel like I’m right there.

What do you see? What does the air feel like? Smell like? What are you stepping on? Who else is there with your character or you? Time? Weather?

Close your eyes, paint the picture in your mind, and then use your words to paint it for me.

You have 200 words. Go. For. It! Take me there, baby! Then come back Friday and link up!

If Naddnē closed her eyes, she could strip away the years. See the forest that framed her

The smell of trees pushing up from fertile earth.  Multiple greens gracing their boughs.  The promise of fruits, full of sticky sweetness dripping down chubby cheeks and chins.

A symphony of bird song, dadeedeedee, cheercheerprettyprettypretty, beebeebee,the melody underscored by the heavy drone of honey bees. Feathers fluttering in the in leaf tinted light.

Children playing games, hiding, chasing, their high pitched giggles filling the treetops and

She opened her eyes.

The trees were dull through the mist.  The dripdripdrip of moisture from leafless limbs.
Listless clack of broken branches against sodden trunks.

No birdsong, no nests in the empty trees. No buzz of bees, or fluttering wings.

No children running through the moldy leaves. The sweet, sickly smell of rot released with each squishing step.

Only Naddnē, trying to wish back the multiple green of the leaves.

Naddnē was first introduced here , she's a part of me, I think.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In the Pocket

This week Galit asked you to conjure something. An object, a person, a feeling, a color, a season- whatever you like.

But don’t tell us what it is, conjure it. In 100 words.

Fourteen pounds in my hand. 
One step for balance. 
Two, my arm pushes out, weight and gravity pulling it down. 
Three, it swings back in pendulum motion.
Four, my arm swings forward again.  
Five, my feet, arm, and ball at the line.  
My thumb leaves the hole drilled to fit. 
As the ball rolls from hand, my fingers create rotation. 
It hits the lane, sliding through the oil, then grips, and  begins to roll.  
At the end of the oil, it turns and accelerates, striking the rack between the headpin and the three-pin.  

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Færie Ball

This week’s assignment was to write a piece inspired by pictures. You could chose either one or even do both.
What did the images mean to you?
(I chose the spiral staircase)

Soft steps upon the gilded stairs
The færie spiral down
Translucent, jeweled wings 
Mirrored in silken gown

With shining eye and glittered breath
They tiptoe through the door
Their men-folk wait within
Standing breathless on the floor

The lute and pipes and ancient drum
Invite them to begin
The melody hypnotic
Soon they're swaying wing to wing

Slender hips move with the strings
Wings keep time with drum
Haunting  pipes weave magic
Færie blood begins to hum

One by one, then pair by pair
Enrapt, the dancers rise 
Touches gentle as a kiss
Promised in their eyes

One pair departs unnoticed
Two, then three and four
To share their music elsewhere 
Far from the crowded floor

One couple left within the space
Their faces lined with age
Wingbeats slow,  hands caress
Memories in their gaze

Hand in hand, they leave on foot
The music fades away
Wing to wing they close the door
And let the memories play

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Liar, Liar

Little spiderlings
Weaving fine deceitful webs
Too close together
They tangle and stick
Until none remember the truth

Flies buzz by compound eye-rolling
Not tempted by the snarl
As the little liars starve
Amidst their tales
They will soon devour each other

Monday, September 19, 2011

Three Textures

For this week’s memoir prompt, we’re going to let narrative take a backseat. Choose a moment from your personal history and mine it for sensory detail. Describe it to us in rich, evocative details. Let us breath the air, hear the heartbeat, the songs, feel the fabric and the touch of that moment.

Cat; Herself; Mistress of All She Surveys, at 14, the eldest of the three.  Steps into my lap with feather lightness.  She settles in before I know she's there. 
Black fur with bits of white now, smooth, sleek, and silky under my fingers.  As I move along her back, I feel the bones that have begun to protrude at her hips, showing her age. 
She rolls to her back in the crook of my arm for a belly rub.  Her purrs vibrate with pleasure, warm dampness against my arm where she's has drooled a bit.

Sir, my pretty boy, long haired silver tabby. Fifteen pounds of muscle and fur.  Fur so soft my work worn hands can hardly feel it.  I use my face to feel the cottony texture, he sniffs at my mouth, perhaps to make sure of who I am. 
His step is not light, he rocks the chair we share.  He revels in the scratching of my fingers.  Bites ever so gently with saber fangs when I rub his belly. 
Then he drops onto my lap.  He hides his head under his paws and heaves a sigh.  Soon he sleeps, his deep rumble of purrs dissolve into snores.  His weight puts my legs to sleep as well.  The warmth of his body transfers to my thighs as he gets heavier in sleep.

Wee, youngest, smallest, and most wary of the three.  Also black, but a deeper shade.  Fur that is full and coarser than the others. I bury my fingers in it, feeling the coolness of the fur against the heat of her small body.
She climbs full clawed to my lap.  Or leaps from somewhere, her speed and gravity making up for her lack of weight.  Insistent that her presence be known.  With needled feet she kneads my lap to her specifications. 
She sits tense, a bundle of action, looking for the next target.  She purrs and mews, stands to tap my face. Soft paws punctuated with claws.  Her nose to my nose, her sandpaper tongue scrapes my skin. 
As sudden and violently as she appears, so does she depart.  A parting mew, a loud thump as she uses speed and gravity once again.

The three takes their turns.  When one leaves, another soon takes their place.  I know each one with my eyes closed.  Their presence brings comfort, warmth, and the unconditional love that pets have in abundance. 

My cats grace both of my blogs.  Cat is on the button for Random Rants.  Sir and Wee share space on the button of this blog, Elsetime & Otherwhen.

Friday, September 16, 2011


This week we’d like you to explore romantic heartbreak. For you fiction writers, here’s a chance to really delve into the psyche of your character. For you non-fiction folk, well, maybe it’s into your psyche you must delve. We all remember that first love, just like we all remember when our hearts broke for the first time.

Write a piece – 600 word limit – about the first heartbreak your character or you experienced.

Alone in the night.  Next to the empty pillow. Pleading for the escape of sleep. 
Dreams of better times, fade to bitter times.
Eyes open to the empty dark.
Soaking the blanket as the heart bleeds through them.

Rise feeling broken in the soft pastel of dawn. Crawling from sheets never warmed.  Leaving behind the pieces of heart, too heavy to gather. 

Meeting the day as half of one. Pretending to smile with stiffened lips.  Weaving through spaces between everyday voices and routines.  The day a blur of aching, empty light. 

Finally free of the need to feign normalcy. Returning to the house that is no longer home.  The silence full of remembered words. The cold kitchen greets no one.  

Sitting on the edge of the bed. Trying to be tired. Trying not to see the empty pillow, the pieces of heartbreak staining the blanket. As the darkness lay waiting. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Has Anybody Seen Her?

If only I could find my Muse.  I used to have one.  She'd sneak up on me, force me to pick up a pen or pencil, even a crayon if that's all I could find.

She made me write stuff.  Dozens of silly poems, and several years of journals. Old words on paper as brittle as I feel , and faded as my dreams.

Old, because one day I finally ignored her.  Brittle, for I refused to write.  Faded, as I didn't have the time.  She kept putting words in my head, but I wouldn't make them solid anymore.

The thoughts, the characters, the stories.  They still ricochet around my brain.   They invade my dreams.  They try to breathe in the dark.  They beat at my forehead demanding to be freed. 

Suddenly I want to give them life.  I want to tell their stories.  I want others to know them.

I've forgotten how to make that happen.  I've lost the knowledge.  I doubt myself.  I can't do it.

I've lost my Muse.  I catch the occasional glimpse.  Under years of disuse.  Behind stacks of excuses. 

I traded the pens and pencils and crayons for a keyboard.  The paper has become a computer screen.  I wade through words and punctuation.  I try to remember how this is done.  I delete and backspace.  I walk away.  I come back.  I read my words out loud.  I delete.  Retype. 

Where is that Muse?  She knew how to paint with words.  Sprinkle punctuation like glitter.  She didn't need spell check.  Grammar was innate knowledge to her.  She knew how many words were enough and how to stack them.

I used to have a Muse, if only I could find her.

writers' week

My entry for  Writer's Week Writing Contest  I used prompt #15.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I Miss...

This week’s prompt is to use this image for your inspiration and begin your post with those words…”I miss my childhood…”

I miss my childhood.
I miss sultry summer days with nothing to do but soak up sunshine and fresh air.
I miss laughing hysterically for no reason.
I miss sleeping soundly all night and waking up with energy to spare.
I miss snow days that meant staying indoors snug in a blanket.
I miss bumps and bruises that went away overnight.
I miss when tomorrow seemed to take forever to come.

I miss whole days spent playing outdoors with no worry of being abducted.
I miss not knowing how hard it is to choose between wants and needs.
I miss being clueless about hunger and poverty.
I miss never hearing about the terrible things people do to each other.

I miss the ignorance of innocence.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Paths Meeting

This week, with Labor Day and the end of summer rapidly approaching, we asked you to write about a season of change for your character or you. It can be literal or metaphorical

(Another bit in the Paths of  Beth/Lyabet's family. The human and the elemental. I've added a page with all the snippets) 

Chuck sat in uncomfortable silence observing his companion. Graleon was dressed in light gray slacks and a sky blue polo shirt. His hair was the lightest shade of blonde almost white. Along with his icy blue eyes, he looked cold as a winter dawn.

Graleon only gave Chuck a cursory look. He didn't care about Chuck's faded blue jeans or black T-shirt. He did care that Chuck was uncomfortable, he wanted to put him at ease. He wanted to make clear that he was not here as an enemy, but to be a friend.

Finally, Graleon broke the silence, "I come to speak to you because of your relationship with my daughter. I only want her to be happy. I'm concerned that she cannot be happy while denying who she is."

Chuck raised an eyebrow, "I have never heard her deny who she is, or what she is. It is you that have denied her children. You who have tried to talk her into leaving us, tried to talk her into coming back to you and living in the world she left behind."

Graleon sighed, "I have changed my feelings. I don’t pretend to understand why she made the choices she did. Yet, I have taken time to observe her interactions with the children and how you care for her, I would like to play a part in her life again. In your lives.”

Chuck listened to the words, trying to read the intent. He wasn't sure he trusted this man. He heard little from Beth, and nothing good from their new house guest, her mother, Tam.

Chuck looked steadily at Graleon, “I’ll give Beth your message. If she wants to renew her relationship with you, she’ll let you know. If she doesn’t, that is her choice.”

Graleon nodded, “That is all I ask.” He rose from his seat , nodded once again, then walked away.

There was an uneasiness in Chuck that he couldn’t define. He took a deep breath, the meeting had unnerved him more than he wanted to admit. He replayed the short talk in his mind. The words were benign, but they weren’t reflected in those icy eyes. Things were about to change, Chuck could feel it

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gramma and Grandmother

Her name was Sylvia, she was my Mother's mother. I called her Gramma. We had a close bond while I was growing up. Many summers were spent with her, and Grampa, in their home in Tennessee.

Her name was Minne, she was my Father's mother. I never knew her. She died before my Father married. All I have are a few memories he shared.

Summers with Gramma always involved activities. She taught me to crochet one summer. That is a love I still have, a love for yarn. With the simple action of passing down a hobby, she started me on a life long love of fiber arts in all their forms.

I never got to know this other Grandmother. I grew up in the house she and my Grandfather finally settled into four years before her passing. Bits of her surrounded me there. Her rocking chair. Her cookbooks and kithchen utensils. I baked my first brownies with a recipe from one of her books.

My Gramma was always there when I needed her. After Grampa's retirement, they moved back to
Indiana. No more ten hour trips to Tennessee, she was practically around the corner. When I became pregnant at twenty-seven, and was looking at single motherhood, she offered which ever form of assistance I wanted. After I assured her I wanted this child, we dug out the crochet patterns for baby clothes. Giggling over the cute outfits we were going to make.

My other Grandmother didn't get the chance to meet her great-granddaughter. But that child also spent much time in the house where my Grandmother spent the end of her life. She baked her first cake from one of the old cookbooks.

My Gramma was full of fun and mischief. I still miss her, she passed away twenty three years ago. Looking back now, I realize how much more I could have learned.

I have moved back into the house that was my Grandmother's home. She left behind much more than a rocking chair and cookbooks. I have her collection of postcards, dated from the early 1900's until her death in 1952. I have books she read. I have letters from her family. I realize now how much more I can learn.

(This post covered two different prompts this week. WriteOnEdge and MamKat's Writers' Workshop.)

This week we asked you to write about a person from your past…but the story had to include YOU.

We gave you the starting point of “His/her name was _______, and looking back now, I realize….”

Mama’s Losin’ It the prompt I chose was to write my grandmother's story. I wrote little snippets of who they were

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Eventually Dawn

This week’s assignment will require the fewest number of words ever: we want you to write a story – your choice of topic – as a tweet.

Soft pastels, muted further by early morning fog, silhouette sleepy pines with the promise of light.
The loneliest night is finally over.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Selfish Pain

This week we asked you to explore your worst memory.

He'd been through so much. Arthritis in his rear legs and hips. His front legs were beginning to show signs also. A neurological problem in his hips made his front legs have to do most of the support. 

He had an ongoing antibiotic resistant ear infection. The odor was awful, sickly sweet and rotten all at once. Ear washes and cocktails of meds. The infection would finally go away, only to return in another month. Along with the ear infection were fleshy growths that bled if he scratched too hard. 

He was fourteen, not young for a dog. Most of his teeth were gone. The problems in his hips meant his tail couldn't speak for him anymore. . The arthritis meds were supplemented with pain pills. He slept more and more. 

One day he refused to take the pills. No matter how we tried to give them. He wasn't tricked by food around them. We couldn't force his jaws open to push them down. As pained and frail as he'd become, his stubborn streak was still strong. 

For two night we were awakened by his barking. I'd go into the other room to see what was bothering him. He'd be gazing past me at something I couldn't see. 

The second night I sat up with him until morning. At 7:30am I made the call. Choking through tears I explained that it was time.  The receptionist at the vet's office was sympathetic, asked if I was sure. I was. The appointment was made. 

It was fast and painless. For him. I knew it was the right thing to do. Selfishness had kept him in pain too long. 

I am a cat person.  But cats have their own agenda. They come and go as they please. 

Ari, my Shih Tzu was often underfoot.  Following me from room to room.  There is still, two years later an empty spot in my heart.  And an empty spot at my feet. 

                     * * * * * * *
It's been two years and i still miss him. We did adopt a troubled dog last year. I try not to compare. It's hard still. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

Parallel Paths

The trip home from the Circle of Seven Trees...

They had to leave immediately.  Every moment spent amid the seven trees meant about ten minutes passing in the human world. It seemed small, but became hours quickly.

"I'm going on ahead with Barry, Mother. We'll get home faster."  Lyabet was in a hurry now. "I'll look for you by the oak"

Tam laughed at her daughter, "I'll be waiting when you get there, 'Bet. Just because you slog through earth doesn't mean I do. I could teach you a few tricks there!"

"Another day I think. Right now I'll travel the way I know. And Barry needs to start learning the ways."  Lyabet began let her physical body "thin", she encouraged her young son to do the same.  She felt the air begin to flow through her as her body lightened. Barry followed his mother's example and they began to rise.

"Just stay within my space, Barry, I'll carry you home." She read the breezes like a roadmap. This one lead here, that one there. When a strong gust going her way came close, she melded herself to it.

She loved the air, the feel within her being. The freedom from weight and gravity. Her senses expanded as she became one with the breeze. She could see for miles, heard the musical voices of others of her kind. She felt the wind in her soul.

As she flowed from gust to cloud to summer breeze, she suddenly became aware of another presence in the air. Following her path, sharing her space.


Too late she recognized the presence with her. They were already home.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Your assignment this week was to write about a time when you knew something in your life had to change drastically. We asked you to describe the moment you realized you had to make the decision and to use this as an opportunity to work on “show not tell.”

I wasn't me anymore.  I had shed my likes, my humor, my friends.  I wriggled out of the skin I'd worn all my life to please someone else.  I adjusted my personality to fit what I thought was required.  I lost the most important pieces of myself.  The things that made me me.

When all of that wasn't enough, when the verbal and emotional attacks finally became physical, I knew things needed to change.  The necessary steps were taken, the counseling, the learning on both parts to understand the power and control monster.  Change began to happen. 

It has been an excruciatingly slow process.  Finding the bits and pieces of me that were cast aside, or shelved. Trying to put them back together the way they came out.  The new me, isn't the same as the original.  There are hairline cracks in the surface where some parts were glued in hastily.  A few chips here and there where all the shards weren't found.  Some pieces still linger on shelves, waiting for another step, a better time to be added.

Things have changed, but the scars are still visible.  The trust was broken, I think it will take a bit longer to finish the reassembly.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

turn it

talk talk talk
it's not all about you
imagined or not
do not give you the right
to close your mind
to regress
to cease to function
suck it up
get over it
move on
direct your emotions
into positive action
don't nurture the anger
spend it
on building beauty

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Prom

You were to write about a pair of shoes of yours or your character's. They can be real or symbolic

She was so excited!  He'd be here soon, and she was far from ready.  It was time to get a move on.

She pulled the dress on, viewed herself in the mirror, adjusted the top, straightened the skirt.  Frowned, then smiled.  Too late to hate it now. 

She brushed her hair carefully, pinned back the errant strands.  Makeup, just a touch of blush and lip color, he didn't care for a lot of "face paint".

Finally she opened the box that held them.  Her shoes, dancing shoes.  She was going to the prom, she was going to dance.  They were beige with little pearls sewed to them.  The soles flat for dancing.  She wasn't going to try to impress him stomping about on spiky little heels. These were the shoes, so soft, so perfect.

One last flash by the mirror, she smiled again, pleased with what she saw.  She was
as ready as she was going to be.

He knocked at the door, her mother led him to the living room where she waited.  He smiled at her and held out his hand.  She clasped it lightly and rose to her feet.  He put the precious corsage on her wrist.

"Are you ready to go dancing?" he asked.

"Oh yes!  I am ready!"


The call had come late in the evening.  They needed someone to come identify the body.  This was not a task she wished to do, but she was the one who lived closest.

"I'm sorry you have to do this, but rules and all.  The old lady in the next room was complaining about the music.  We knocked, but your grandmother didn't answer.  We used the passkey to get in."

Her grandmother was sitting on the sofa, dressed in her best old dress.  It looked like she was wearing some lipstick.  Her hair was carefully brushed back.  In her hands, a pressed flower, no more frail than the hands that held it.

On her feet were the shoes.  The shoes she had shown her granddaughter countless times.  Even long after Granddad had passed away, Grandma would still pull out those shoes.  They were wrinkled and pale as the serene face of her grandmother.  Missing many of the tiny pearls. Her dancing shoes, the ones that had helped her win Granddad's heart.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Midnight Snack

This week, CDG and Yuliya tasked you to push yourselves out of your comfort zone, to shake things up a bit.

It had followed her for some time, attracted by her smell. When it finally struck, her neck was broken with practiced ease. She was dead before her body dropped to the ground. 

It dragged her corpse into the brush, then knelt, savoring the smell of her. An intoxicating odor, it began to drool uncontrollably. 

The hand-like paws stroked her body, the claws cutting her clothing like it was tissue paper. Small gashes oozed blood, that new odor fueling the creature's excitement. 

It lay across her body, sniffing and licking. The paws pushing, groping at her flesh. Each fresh wound, each fresh odor heightening it's lust. 

A breast, freed of fabric was the first taste. Fat laden, succulent. It moaned at the flavor, it's head dipped for a second helping. 

Claws drew down her abdomen lightly at first, then with more urgency. Opening the way to feed on the still warm entrails. 

It fed slowly, delighting in the flavors. And always that intoxicating aroma that first drew it to her. It shivered in ecstasy, gorging on different parts. Stopping to stroke or lick another limb. Cracking bones as it went, even the skull to reach the tender matter there. 

Finally, it was satisfied. It scraped earth and leaves over her remains. It slept curled beside it's kill. 

Jonah awoke in the predawn, confusion at his surroundings.  He started violently as he realized he was naked, and covered in blood and gore.  As he moved, the pile beside him shifted. He recognized in horror the mutilated remains of a human corpse. 

His belly heaved, and the puking began. He tried to catch his breath. A glint in the vomit caught his eye. 

A scream that began in the remains of his soul tore through his body. He screamed again. And again. His eyes still seeing the piece of finger encircled by the engagement ring he had placed on it only two days before. 


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Once Upon a Purr

Flash Fiction can be fun and a real challenge. This week focus on the words and the strength of each to contribute to your story. Write a 300 word piece using the following word for inspiration: LIFE.

The door opened with only small sound. Six ears perked with curiosity. 
The intruder stepped carefully over the threshold. Twelve velvet paws padded silently from their naps.
The mini flashlight played over someone's belongings. Six incandescent eyes followed the beam. 
The stranger's hand turned the bedroom doorknob. Three tails became exclamation points of shock at the audacity. 
Three growling voices were the last thing the intruder heard before the uncountable talons and teeth began. 

She awoke the next morning to find the back door ajar. How odd.  But, everything seemed in order. 
She opened the cupboard and randomly chose a can. 
"Here kitties, time for breakfast!"
People made fun of her affection for her cats. They didn't get it.  Her cats were her life. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Calculated Path

This week we asked you to show us how physical beauty can open doors - or close them. How does it make an impact?

Graleon watched from outside the circle of trees. Lyabet was confronting her mother about the "theft" of her youngest child. He was surprised to learn of the boy's ability. He hadn't considered the possibility that these half humans might be more than pets. 

He remembered first meeting Tam.  He'd  been attracted by her beauty, the red highlights in her hair. Her face was lit from within, a rosy complexion. He almost mistook her for an element of Fire, until he saw her eyes.  They were the color of spring. Leaf green, a give away to her true nature.  When he looked into them he saw life.  She was of the Earth, solid and nurturing.

She'd make the perfect mother for his heir. 


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Paths Crossed

This week, we'd like you to write a scene that includes a happy ending

(If you haven't read here before, you may want to read this and then this ) 

Tamryn Leafeyes, Lady of Tree Cairn, tried to embrace her daughter. “Really, ‘Bet. Would it have been too much to say hello first?” Tam dropped her arms, she wasn’t entirely surprised by her daughter’s anger. She had far overstepped herself this time.

“How do you say hello to someone that has stolen your child, Mother.? Hi, hugs and kisses, can I have my boy back? Pretty please? Speaking of, where is Barry? I'm taking him home. Now." Lyabet had not seen her mother for literally ages. She hadn't changed, elementals, whether earth or air, didn't age at the same pace humans did.

“’Bet, I did not steal your son. I simply wanted to visit with my grandson.”

“You have two grandsons. The one you are visiting with, and the one you left behind. The one that thinks he’s not good enough to go with the, ahem, nice lady.”

Tam sighed , “I know. I have two grandsons. But, I couldn’t bring the other through the earth. And? Perhaps had you told me yourself of these grandchildren, instead of having to hear it from Graleon,” Tam shook herself in disbelief, “we could have set a much more pleasant visit.”

Lyabet remembered the last time she seen her father, Graleon. He’d told her how much he missed and loved her. In the same breath he’d called her babies animals. Her jaw tightened at the memory.

“You know how your father feels about humans, ‘Bet. You should have come to me. I understand. I had human babies. Once.” Tam turned away.  When she turned back, Lyabet could see traces of tears.

“Mother,” she reached out, almost shyly, laid her hand on the other woman’s shoulder, “ I know about them, I know about the trees. And, I know how this path may end.” Lyabet gently turned her mother to face her. “I know you understand, it’s just been so long since I’ve seen you. Father raised me, you didn’t seem interested…”

“I was interested! You were a child of my blood, the baby I wouldn’t have to plant a tree to remember. But, you were more the child of your father. Air, not Earth. I couldn’t teach you of the air. He could, he did. He did, and was so smug.” Tam waved a hand to dismiss the thoughts of Graleon. “’Bet, I have always loved you, always wanted to have you with me. It just didn’t happen the way I wished.”

Lyabet drew a breath, the anger receding as she made a quick decision. “Maybe it’s time we got to know each other. Perhaps we have some catching up to do. Get Barry, we need to go back now, time is different here.”

Tam looked at her daughter with raised brows,“We?”

“Yes, Mother. We. Three. Now” She could only hope her husband would understand.

Chuck wasn’t sure what woke him. A change in air temperature, a thump in the backyard, but he jumped from the sofa where he’d dozed off. “Beth? Beth is that you? “

A woman with leaf green eyes and brown hair that glinted with autumn highlights stepped into the room. “Yes! Yes Chuck, we are home!”

He jumped back, reaching for anything that might pass as a weapon, “Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house!”

He was answered by the patter of little feet, and a sweet voice calling, “Dadda! Dadda, I here! You miss me?”

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We Used to Sing

This week's memoir prompt asked you to dig deep to find what, from your childhood, you still know from heart.

"Chickery chick, cha-la, cha-la
Check-a-la romey in a bananika
Bollika, wollika, can't you see
Chickery chick is me?"

"Mairzy doats and dozy doats
And liddle lamzy divey
A kiddley divey too,
Wouldn't you?"

"Down in the meadow in a little bitty pool
Swam three baby fishies and a mama fishie too
"Swim" said the mama fishie, "Swim if you can"
And they swam and they swam right over the dam
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
Boop boop dit-tem dat-tem what-tem Chu!
And they swam and they swam right over the dam"

"I went to the Animal Fair
The birds and the beasts were there
The big baboon by the light of the moon
Was combing his auburn hair"

"Wintee Wee was painted on a saucer,
Song Fong Lo was on a fan.
Song Fong Lo, he came across her
On a dressing stand. 

Wee, please come with me,
And we'll go back to dreamy lotus land. 

You step off your saucer, I'll climb off my fan
And we'll go back to dreamy lotus land..."

These are songs my grandmother and my mother sang to us as we were growing up. 
We'd sing in the car on long trips. 
We'd start singing while playing cards. 

My grandmother had a very expressive face. During different songs, she'd roll her eyes or grin maniacally. 

My mother's version always had a swing or Big Band edge to them. 

Either way, I remember the words to them all. 

Except the last one. The words defy me to find them all. It's a sad love lost song. For Winty
Wee is made of china. She slips and falls from the dressing stand. 
(we had it wrong. Lyrics found: I posted them on RandomRants. The button is on the right.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Path Before

We'd like you to write about what your character wants most.
To read more of the story: The Paths of the Elementals

Tamryn Leafeyed, stood quietly, watching the two boys play. The older boy playing with plastic trucks and cars. The younger boy playing with whatever he found. Pebbles, sticks, blades of grass. Their father peeking out the back door regularly.

She remembered watching other children play. She and their father laughing at their antics.

Their father, a beautiful man, skin the color of rich earth. His eyes darkest brown.  She had hair of brown with hints of autumn red, eyes the color of spring leaves.  Her skin lighter, touched with the blush of ripe peach.  Together they had seven beautiful children.

She was happy, she had love. She gave and received love. Love from the beautiful man. Love from the seven beautiful children. She would be happy forever.

Except, they didn't have forever. Tamryn Leafeyed was an Earth Elemental, a force of nature. Yet, she had no power over time, and it went by more quickly than she had imagined it could. The beautiful man became old, though never less beautiful.  When his life ended, she was shocked even though she had known it would happen.

Her seven beautiful children grew to adulthood almost overnight. They had children of their own. Her beautiful grandchildren. 

Her beautiful children became old. When the first of them died of old age in her arms, her heart shredded.  She suddenly understood the consequence of the path she had chosen.

Tam planted the first of seven trees

She stood within the circle of the seven ancient trees, holding the hand of the little boy she had brought with her. Her youngest, newest grandchild. A grandchild that could hear and feel her presence, half human, half elemental.  A child that maybe had forever.

Tears rolled down her cheeks. She never should have hugged that other boy. The other grandchild. The one whose oh-so-human heartbeat still vibrated in her arms. The beats counting down to the end of his days. She wanted so much for him to hear her. To find that her blood was there.

She wanted so much to have them both...forever.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

For the Boy

Will you take the whisper
I put upon your ear
And carry it forever
As something that was dear

Or will you disregard it
And forget the love it meant
Then wonder someday later
Where all the memories went

Monday, May 9, 2011

Grains of Sand

So this week, we want you to write about sand.

"Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives"

This is the opening line of a soap opera I've never watched. But I love the line.  

I was enchanted with hourglasses when I was young. Watching the sand gently flow from top to bottom. It seemed to take a long time to build below. The grains bouncing on the empty glass.  Yet, as more sand flowed, the faster the top emptied.  A hill mounding, the grains of sand rolling down the sides.  Then suddenly, the last grain falls. Time has run out. 

Life is much like that. The first years, baby steps and potty training and losing baby teeth, barely cover the bottom. The memories bouncing about like a toddler's attention. 

Moving into teens and young adulthood, a hill begins to form. A woman begins grow.   Making choices, climbing uphill, sliding down. Climbing again. 

As the years pass, the sands flow quickly. I've reached that place where the bottom of the hourglass holds more than the top. The sand slipping away at an alarming pace.  I wouldn't want to return to the beginning, but if I could just turn the glass now, gain a little more sand.  A little more life. I still have so much to do. 

What will be left when the last grain falls?  A legacy of accomplishments? Or just a pile of sand?  

Thursday, May 5, 2011

No Special Path

The 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.

Mommy had given him hugs and told him he was special. She'd tucked him in tight and kissed him good night.

Then she left to find Barry and bring him home. Because, Barry really was special. Barry could hear Mommy when she was away. Barry could make the air move like Mommy did. Barry was special, like Mommy.

Darren couldn't do those things. He was just Darren, not special. So, Mommy put him to bed and went to find Barry.

Darren crawled out of bed and went to Barry's room. Mommy had given Barry some pinwheels to practice making the air move them. Darren stared at them, waved his arms like he'd seen his brother do. Nothing happened, they didn't even wiggle. He wasn't special at all.

He'd make them move anyway!  Swinging his arms wildly, he knocked them all to the floor. Then kicked them, making some of them come apart.

"Darren? Are you in bed?" He heard Daddy coming to the stairs. He shoved the broken toys under Barry's bed and scurried back to his room.

He was under the covers when Daddy checked on him, "Hey, buddy, you ok?," Daddy ruffled his his hair.  "It's not your fault Darren."

"I know Daddy. Is Mommy home yet?"

"No, buddy, she'll be back when she finds your brother"

"What if she can't find him, Daddy?"

Daddy gave him a hug and kissed the top of his head, "she'll find him," Daddy tucked the covers back around him. As he was leaving, Darren heard him whisper, "She has to."

Darren's tears fell quietly on his pillow. Because Daddy thought Barry was more special, too.

This is after Beth/Lyabet leaves to reclaim her youngest son. You can read about that here:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


This week's RemembeRED prompt was to write about a time something seemingly terrible happened, but looking back, it brought something wonderful.

"We're pregnant," she whispered. It was only three weeks and she didn't want to spread the news yet. But she was so excited, they were ready to add to their family. 

I smiled with her, asked all the appropriate questions, answered a few she had for me. 

Yet, I could feel little excitement. What felt was loss. My daughter had made that final step away from me. 
No more spontaneous lunches. No more just dropping by randomly. 

I was not ready to be a Grandmother. I wasn't old enough. I had little patience for babies and young children. It's the way I was made. 

As my daughter grew, we had become friends. Now, my friend wouldn't have time for me anymore. 

As she made plans and picked names and furniture and baby clothes, I kept my sadness hidden. 

Delivery came, I was proud of her. She did well. She had a healthy baby boy. 

Time passed, I saw little of her for several weeks. She called for advice now and then. She called to cry her frustrations. 

Then, she needed a babysitter. And I got to spend my first alone time with the baby. The first of many times. 

Now, I have a two year old grandson. A bundle of hugs and energy. Gramma's boy. And he is all boy. Trucks and fire engines. Running and giggling. 

There is a granddaughter now as well. It took some time for me to see the gifts I was receiving. I have two new little people to fill my life.  

And I still have my daughter, my friend. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

In Care of the Grim Reaper

The prompt: "write a formal complaint letter to your deepest, darkest fear."

Dear Death,

You don't know me. You never will. I'm an Elemental you see.  Immortal.

I know you have issues with my kind. You feel cheated.  I understand, I think. You have a job to do, and my kind don't contribute to your cause.

Nevertheless, I'm writing to ask a favor of you.

I have chosen to take a human husband. I know you will come for him one day. I have accepted that.

However, we have had two children. Beautiful babies of mixed heritage. They are growing up so quickly. I cherish each new milestone. Yet, I tremble at every new step.

Because they are half mortal, half human.  I fear you will try to take them one day.

You will come to call them away from me. It makes no difference how "old" they will be.  They will still be my babies.

However, they are also half immortal. I believe that should be enough to remove them from whatever list it is you keep.

If you do come for them, be aware, I will be there. I will fight you with every ounce of my energy. As an Element of Air, that energy is rather formidable.
It would be much better for both of us if you simply bypass my children.


Monday, April 18, 2011


“Give me a memory of the color red. Do not write the word 'red' but use words that engender the color red when you hear them. For example: a ruby, a tomato, fire, blood.

Iridescent in the sunlight. Zipping about on emerald wings. 
Flashing a throat patch of ruby sequins.
When he hovered in shadows, his patch sparkled still, so dark it was almost black.  Like patent leather, the lack of direct light not hampering his glow.
Then a stray sunbeam would strike him, igniting his candy apple calling card.

Monday, April 11, 2011


The Prompt: "This week, we're giving you a photo to take you back in time."

It's late June.  The spring rains have come and gone. The heat and humidity feel more like late July. The yard is scarred with cracked earth.

The flowers and vegetables, planted with hopes of summer color and fall bounty, are withering. The new fruit trees are trying desperately to force young roots deep enough to find water.

Every day, in the late afternoon, he pulls the hose behind him. He goes from garden to garden, sapling to sapling, soaking the soil.   Leaves that have sagged under the midday sun begin to rise with tentative hope.

He waters the new grass, but most of the precious liquid runs into deep fissures, never touching the young roots.  The only thing that keeps this spot green are old, established shade trees.

As the sun lowers in the sky I join him. We walk each garden together, assessing each plant.  We wish it would rain. We wish the stifling heat would ease. We wish for winter.