Sunday, September 30, 2012

Where They Come From

My entry for  Emily Suess' Writers Week 2012 writing contest 

Inside the notebook were the words that would revive her.  She gotten a few lines written during lunch.  Once at home she could get back to her real love.

 Dorothy climbed the last few stairs leading to her efficiency apartment. She spent the half hour walk home from her monotonous office job composing the next piece of her personal world.

By the time she opened the door, she had a crowd of characters following her. All telling their stories, and where they fit, and what place they lived, and how they dressed. She shooed them off for a moment as she went to the “almost a kitchen” and started her coffee pot.

After changing to sweats and pouring the fresh coffee into a mug, Dorothy headed to her cluttered desk. Several well used notebooks shared space with a sleeping laptop and plain lamp that she’d left on before she’d gone to work.

She settled into her chair and flipped though a few pages before deciding where to start. Before she picked up her pen, she lit a tall candle. Once the flame bloomed steadily, she switched the lamp off.

She began to write. From behind the candle holder a tiny gargoyle peeked out. He’d been in hiding since the harsh incandescence of the lamp had chased away the shadows. Dorothy smiled indulgently as the little creature played atop the piles of unpaid bills and grocery ads. She continued to write.

As a castle began to erect itself next to the silent laptop, the gargoyle found a scaly tail beneath an overdue notice for the electric. A small puff of smoky annoyance reminded Dorothy she needed to take care of that. Tomorrow.

Scratch and scribble, the pen picked up speed. The ink on paper barely keeping up with the flow of words from Dorothy’s world. The gargoyle, worn out with aggravating the dragon, curled up around a pencil holder and drifted off to sleep. A knight leaned on his broadsword, watching the tale grow over Dorothy’s shoulder. The castle completed its wardrobe with a colorful pennant on its uppermost tower.

There was one last flicker as the candle wick finally gave in to the puddle of wax at its base. Dorothy looked up, startled by the dark. The pen in her hand still on the page. The river of thoughts coming to a stop.

She flipped the lamp on sadly. The castle faded, the little gargoyle jumped up in a huff and climbed inside the pencil holder. The knight sheathed his sword and disappeared with the blade. Dorothy took time to grab a sandwich, then showered and headed to bed. Her dream peppered sleep bringing new characters and creatures to fill more notebooks.

As she readied to leave for work the next morning, Dorothy gazed longingly at her desk. The gargoyle braved a hopeful peek from the pencil holder, blinking in the glare. When Dorothy grabbed her purse and turned to the door, he slid back down in a pout.

She started her trip and let her mind slip into her other world. The shadow of the knight walked beside her. A bubbling cauldron rolled along behind, trying to catch her attention. A gaggle of fairies flitted around her head, giggling at some inside fairy joke.

Whether or not it was the knight, the cauldron, or the fairies that distracted Dorothy, she didn't see the light change. She stepped off the side-walk in front of the car.

The people gathered around didn't notice the crying knight kneeling next to her, or the fairies sitting in uncharacteristic silence on the lip of the cauldron. They were completely unaware of the grief-stricken gargoyle that had arrived within minutes on the back of miniature dragon.

Nor did they see the figure of a matronly woman in ancient robes reach gently to take Dorothy’s hand and pull her upright. The woman looked at her skeptically.

“I don’t know” she said.

“Don’t know what?” asked Dorothy. The gargoyle had perched protectively on her shoulder and was glaring at the other woman.

“This creature says you write. Is that so?”

Dorothy thought about the many notebooks full of half finished stories that covered her desk and filled its drawers. “Well, yes. Sort of. Mostly I guess I just scribble.” She thought sadly of her unfinished novels and the characters she’d be leaving behind.

“Scribbles, eh.” The woman reached over and scratched the little gargoyle’s ears. “Well, Dottie, I suppose you'll do.”

“Uh, my name is Dorothy. And I'll do what?”

“Your new job, Dottie Scribbles. I got your resume, you're hired.”


“On a probationary basis of course. But, yes, you are now a Muse.”

writers' week writing contest

Friday, September 28, 2012


the prompt: We want to know what your goals and ambitions are for your writing, in 300 words or less. 

A long time ago, I used to make up stories. Write them down and sometimes illustrate them.

I took creative writing in high school. Even a poetry class.  I wrote. I have little journal books of crappy teen angst poems. The stories I wrote?  I don't know where they are. Long decomposed in some landfill I expect.

It all got lost.  In growing up and boys and work. Then motherhood and marriage.  Yes the mommy part came first.

The stories were still there. Locked in my head. Told and retold to the invisible passenger as I drove my intergalactic fighter or horse drawn cart to work or the grocery.

Pieces of elsetime.  Glimpses of otherwhen.

I can remember my mother telling me long ago she could see me at a typewriter, mixed drink in one hand, cigarette in the other, cranking out books.

Didn't happen.


But I have taken a step. Sitting in front of a keyboard, coffee mug in one hand, cigarette in the other.  Learning how to pull  pieces and glimpses of elsetime and otherwhen out of my head and put them together.

Telling those stories.  Flying my magic carpet through the Internet, babbling away to You, my invisible passengers.

My Goal?


Don't stop.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

everybody knows

You were all mine once. There was none could come between us. My eyes were for you and yours for me. Smiles and tears were shared with each other.  Our lives intertwined, our hearts beat as one.


You leave me for another.  Denial overflows my eyes as I watch you go.  I keep my pain within my heart and wish you well because I know.

Everybody knows.

This day.

Your tiny feet fill grownup shoes. Your little hand outgrows my own and reaches for another.

Everybody knows you'll place your heart in that other's hand, and walk away together.

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Friday, September 21, 2012


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodThis week we asked you to use the words “candlestick”, “scarlet”, and “library”, inspired by one of my favorite movies (and games) Clue: The Movie.

The three boys stood in the center of the room. They supposed it could have been called a library once. There were books, though so heavy in dust they could barely make out the edges, much less the titles. Tattered wall hangings were mostly hidden by ropey cobweb drapes.

The room smelt damp and moldy. No air moved, yet dust motes danced about in the light of a flickering candle

The old man, who claimed to be a sorcerer stood behind a wooden lectern, his face eerily lit by the same candle. The four foot candlestick it sat atop was intricately carved with leaves and beasts that twitched with each flicker of the flame.

He looked the boys over. Young street toughs, more full of themselves than sense. They chuckled loudly with false bravado. Sadly they were all he had for the task at hand.

Finally he addressed them. “You believe you can take on this quest? You are certain you can complete this task I ask of you? You understand, once you accept, there is no failure.”

One of the boys stepped forward, “We’re here, ain’t we. You said we get paid up front for this.” He looked at his friends for support, their nods urged him on. “Well, show us the money, then we’ll get the job done.”

“Will you now. Then you won't object to signing an agreement?”

The boy rolled his eyes, “Whatever, yeah, we can sign ,you just pay up front, like you said.”

“Very well, we shall proceed.” The sorcerer opened the book that lay on the podium and read the details of the contract aloud.

When he finished, one by one the young toughs stepped forward to sign. Each surprised by the prick of the pen and the scarlet ink that forged the geas and bound them to their fate.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The New House

Katherina fell in love the minute she saw the house. A small bungalow tucked between two old oaks on a quiet cul-de-sac.  The living room had a dining nook at one end with a little bay window looking into the back yard flower garden. The kitchen was tiny but efficient. She chose the larger of the two smallish bedrooms for herself.  The other would be Sam's room.

The next month was a whirlwind of paper signing and packing. She'd acquired more than she had realized in her five years at the apartment.

Finally came moving day. Or days. Lugging boxes from her upstairs flat to the borrowed pick up, then up the long walk to the bungalow. Her best friend, Jesse was there to help.

Together they spent a weekend moving boxes from room to room. Katherina quickly discovered she wasn't nearly as organized as she had thought. Just as the friends believed they'd made progress, they found items out of place. Bath towels in the pantry or toothpaste in the fridge.

"Jesse, for real, are you getting enough rest?  You're putting stuff in the weirdest places, girl!"

"Not me, lady.  So its either you or you got spooks. I vote for the spooks." Jesse looked at her friend thoughtfully. "I'm serious. Haven't you noticed anything odd about this place. "

Katherina rolled her eyes, "The only odd thing I've noticed is where you store pasta."

"What?" Jesse found Katherina pulling a box of spaghetti out of her sock drawer. "See!! I so would not put spaghetti with socks.  But,something is. This place is starting to creep me out. I feel watched and I keep catching shadows out of the corner of my eye."

Katherina laughed at her friend, "I think you're just over tired and probably hungry.  I know I am, I'm starving!"

Jesse remained unconvinced, but jumped at a chance to get out of the little house. "Ok then, lets go out to to dinner and celebrate your new home. I'll even buy."

"I will certainly take you up on that offer. Besides, I think everything is good enough here to call it ready to live in.  And just in time, I turned my apartment keys in this morning."

Jesse asked, "Sam is at your mom's?"

"Yep. I'm going to pick him up tomorrow after work. I really miss him, but all the activity would've just been too much for him."


After dinner with Jesse, Katherina spent the rest of the evening hanging her clothes in the closet and setting up Sam's bed and toys in the second bedroom.

Finally about midnight she lay down in her new bedroom, the busy days catching up with her.

As she began to drift off to sleep a loud crash brought her upright and awake. "What the.." She turned on the beside lamp and slipped her feet into slippers. Cautiously she padded down the short hallway to the living room. She could find nothing to account for the sound.

"Must have been dreaming."  She headed back to bed making a mental note to thank Jesse for giving her the heebie jeebies. She didn't see the shadowy figures watching from the kitchen.

Bexel and Prigue watched her pad back to bed.  Two shadowy demonics in training.  They'd been excited for the chance to terrorize their assigned victim.

"Harumph!" said Bexel.  "This one's a skeptic.  We'll have to work harder to get a rise from her."

Prigue nodded, "That and she's so tired she's not even paying attention.  Just wait 'til she brings little "Sam" home, though.  Then the fun will start!"

When Katherina left for work the next morning, the pair of amateur evil-doers began plotting.


It was late by the time Katherina and Sam arrived at their new home.

"Good thing we ate at Gramma's, huh sweetie.  You can explore a little, then it's bedtime, I've got your bed all set up for you."

Sam had been settled into his room and Katherina was sound asleep when Bexel and Prigue decided it was time to introduce their presence.

They stepped boldly into Katherina's room.

"What d'ya wanna do first, Bexel?  Levitate her? Just throw stuff around?"

"Hang on a minute, there's something weird here..." Bexel eyed the figure lying under the covers.  "What's that shadow over her chest?"

Suddenly the room erupted with twin beams of angry green fire.

"OH NO!!! Don't look Prigue!!!"

Too late.  "Eeep!"  Pfssst.  A light dust of black ash floated gently to the carpet where the demonling had been.  Bexel retreated quickly to the hallway.

Sam yawned smugly as he stretched and flexed one long clawed paw.  He closed his eyes, twitched an ear toward the door and waited.

Bexel gathered his nerve and peeked around the doorjamb.  Sam simply opened one slit of an eye.

"Ack!"  Pfssst.  Another small pile of ash.

Katherina stirred, "Sam, sweetie, you miss Mommy?"  She ruffled his fur and scratched his ears as he curled into her.  "Making sure the house is free of vermin?"

Sam purred contentedly to himself.  "It is now."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Coffee Crew

Old men, retired. They sit at their favorite table, resigned to decaf. Chatting about fishing or gardening. Or wives, often in past tense.

Pieces of their lives shed in hour long visits.

They come every day, same time, same chair, same faces.  Until one moves on.  To hospice or nursing home or beyond.

A vacant chair waits patiently.

Another day a newly old man joins. The remnants of youth drifting off. New old faces chat. The cycle continues.

Younger men eye the table warily, and watch their children grow too soon.  Knowing a chair waits for them to come along.

My shot at the 100 word song

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ye Olde Shoppe

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodThis week, I offer you this photo.(the photo is a sky full of red, yellow, and blue umbrellas)
Go where ever it leads.
You have a generous 500 words.

The showroom was eerily quiet. She preferred shopping early to avoid being rushed and distracted from her quest, but this emptiness was unsettling.

She'd found the shop while surfing the web. Her favorite dealer had closed its doors for good shortly after her last purchase.  She should have upgraded several years ago, but she hated buying from strangers.

She wandered haphazardly from one model to another. They were all fairly similar. The only difference she could discern was in color.  And only three colors seemed to be available.  Primary colors.

She sighed audibly and cast her eyes over the display one more time. The blue was not the right shade for her eyes.  The yellow would be impossible to keep clean.  The red, well the red was just too risque. After all, one must keep up appearances.

She clutched her bag a bit closer and brushed a speck of barely visible dust from her long skirt. Habit made her pat the hat atop her tightly coiffed hair. Just as she turned toward the exit a voice called out.

"I'm so sorry Miss, I'd no idea anyone was here this early."  The salesman looked genuinely apologetic, flashing a hopeful smile. "Please, may I show you the new options we offer in our most popular models?"

"Options?  Really all I require is a smooth ride and low maintenance." She took another step toward the door. "And I was specifically looking for something in a dark grey, or at least midnight blue."

"Oh. I'm afraid we don't have anything darker than the red."  The young man looked around the showroom dejectedly.  His shoulders slumped as his eyes reassured him there was no other color than the bright primaries.

She looked at him a little closer.  He was very young. Not much older than some of her charges.

"How long have you been employed here...Peter?" She looked back to his face from his name tag.

"This is my first week. It's been very slow.  Not many looking for these anymore I guess."  He shrugged sadly.

She chuckled, "No, not many. But enough.  Alright, young man, show me those options."

His delighted grin lifted her earlier unease, "Oh, yes!  Right this way Miss..."

"Poppins, Mary Poppins."  She followed him back to the display.  Maybe that red wasn't so bad after all.