Saturday, December 12, 2015

The New Best Friend

I chose the "nefarious playmate" from Master Class Monday over at Our Write Side.
This one is longer (much) than my norm. 

Barbie was sick of it. 

“Hey, Hot Pockets! Can I git another hot kiss here?” The guffaws from the rest of the old men at the table finally pushed her over the edge.

She pasted a simpering smile on her face, grabbed the coffee pot, and sashayed to the table. “Sure you can, Joe.” She whispered next to his ear as she poured the contents into his lap.

Joe’s screams and the hollering of his cronies summoned Harley, the manager, into the dining room at the same time Barbie slammed the pot on the table. As glass shards flew into the midst of the men she untied her apron. It dropped to the floor scattering quarters and dollar bills underfoot. Before Harley could open his mouth she shoved her fist into it.

She took time to smile at the group before saying, “I quit!” as she flipped the bird at the now speechless men; excluding Joe who was still bawling in pain. Then she calmly walked out the front door.

She walked the three blocks to her  walk-up apartment unlocking the door just as an ambulance sped back toward the diner. Her roommate, Christie was sprawled on the stained couch eating chips. Looking up as Barbie slammed the door  she quickly wiped the greasy salt on the arm and sat upright. 

“You're home early.”

Barbie checked the opposite end of the couch for crumbs and bugs before she threw herself down. “Yeah. I am.”

Christie settled back with another handful of chips, “Dirty old man disrespect you again?”


“Did you tell him to knock it off?”


“So, your grease ball of a boss fire you?” Christie asked.

Barbie snorted, “I quit.”

“You quit? How you gonna pay your share of the rent?” Christie sat up again spilling chips on the filthy rug.

“My share? How about you get off your lazy ass and pay the rent for a change.” Barbie cast a scathing look at Christie. “Seems I’ve been paying more than my share for quite a while.”

Christie frowned, “you know I been lookin’!”

Well I know where you can get a waitress job today.” Barbie jumped from the couch and headed to the kitchenette. As she expected the cupboards were empty. “Thought you were going to the store today,” she yelled into the other room.

“Yeah, I am, but I need more cash than the ten I got.” Christie poked her head cautiously through the doorway. “You make good tips today?”

“Don’t know, I left them behind.” She settled for a warm can of soda and returned to her corner of the couch. “If anybody knocks don’t answer the door.”

“What?” Christie looked at the door then back to her roomie. “Who are you expecting?”


“Aw, shit, girl, what did you do?” Christie crossed to the door and peeked out the front window. The street in front of the walk-up was empty, for the moment.

“I mighta poured coffee on ol’ Joe’s hardware.” She grinned humorlessly as Christie’s eyes widened.

“Oh, lord.” After another peek out the window, Christie turned back to Barbie. “He was a good tipper, you sure it was worth it?”

Barbie replayed the multitude of sexually inappropriate remarks Joe had spewed regarding her butt and boobs over the past four months. Each time he spoke his fan club of wannabe perverts laughed at her blushes and stammered appeals to him to please stop. Her eyes narrowed as she answered Christie, “It damn sure was.”

The young women stared at each other for several minutes before bursting in fits of giggles. 

Christie grabbed Barbie’s soda and took a long gulp before clapping her on the back, “I’ll bet he hollered, wish I’d been there to see it.”

“He didn’t just holler, he screamed like a, a girl!” Barbie swiped the laughter induced tears from her eyes and yanked the drink can back and drained it in one swallow. 

Catching their breath after the fit of glee was over, they sat silently. Barbie knew getting another job would be tough, it had taken forever to find the one she’d just left. She knew Christie really had been looking, but the Podunk town they lived in didn’t have much to offer. And after her own stunt, it was unlikely any of the locals would hire her.

Christie considered going to the diner next morning and filling out an application, but the minute she wrote her address down, she was sure it would end up round-filed. 

“Maybe we oughta just leave this shit hole behind and go somewhere new,” Christie suggested.

Barbie rolled her eyes, “Like where?”

As Christie shrugged a rap on the door made both girls jump. “Shh, don’t answer!” Barbie whispered frantically.

Christie nodded as she sidled to the window and carefully peeked out. “It’s that grill cook from the diner!” she told Barbie quietly.

Barbie’s face screwed into a snarl, “That loser? What does he want?”

Christie cracked the door open, “What d’ya want?”  she asked the lanky boy on the steps.

“To see if Barbie is alright.” He craned his neck to look past Christie and seeing Barbie he waved and said, “Nice work back there! They hauled that old fart out on stretcher, he was still holdin’ his balls and cryin’ like a baby.”

Barbie joined Christie at the doorway, “Yeah, I'm fine, they really  called an ambulance? Hey, you  didn’t bring the cops, did you?”

“No, just me.”

Christie opened the door wider and let him in, “Well get in here before they show up.”

“They ain’t goin' to. I told 'em Joe was playin' grab ass and the coffee got spilt accidental. And then Barbie ran off embarrassed.” He grinned and told Barbie, “Those two old ladies that you hate was in there, they backed me up.”

“Why’d  they do that?” Barbie figured the old hags disliked her as much as she did them. 

“'Cause they don’t like Joe more than they don’t like you I guess.”

“Huh. Well, hey, thanks.” 

The three stood awkwardly looking at each other. Finally the boy said, “I’m Luke by the way, don’t know if you knew my name or not. You gotta beer or pop?”

“Uh, yeah, I knew your name, and we don’t have anything to drink, we just finished the last soda.” 

“Oh. Then let’s go get some! My truck’s down there, we’ll get a six pack or two and go celebrate.” 

Barbie noticed when he grinned he was better looking than she remembered. While Christie tried to think of an excuse to refuse Barbie smile at Luke, “Okay, let’s go!”

Soon the three were driving around on gravel roads outside the small town. Halfway through the case of brew they had decided on Luke made a suggestion. “I got keys to the diner, we can go raid the cooler…and maybe the till.” 

Christie yanked her gaze away from the scenery outside the passenger window, “Oh that sounds like a very bad idea…”

“I think it sounds great!” Barbie slurred. “Serve that scuz Harley right! I tol’ him Joe was a pervert and he never did nothin' ‘ bout it.”

“Yeah I know, and you know what else? I know where Joe lives. An’ he’s got money at his place too. He owes you girl!”

Barbie leaned into Luke’s shoulder, “Yeah, he does. He owes me.” 

Christy looked at the pair, “You guys are wasted, and crazy! Barbie, you didn’t want cops and this sure sounds like a good way to attract them. Let’s just go back home and watch TV, OK?”

Luke shot Christie a curious glance, “you wanna go home, fine. We’ll drop you off.”

Christy nodded, maybe she could talk them into the apartment once they got there. 

She let herself in as the truck’s tires squealed off carrying Barbie and her new nefarious playmate into the night. She hadn’t been able to convince them to give up on Luke’s plan. Christy curled into the corner of couch and waited for Barbie to come back.

A shove on her shoulder prodded her from sleep. Still on the couch she looked up expecting her roommate to be frantic about breaking into the diner. Instead Barbie and Luke were grinning at her. In the dim light she could see Barbie swaying,, a beer clutched in her hand. As her sight focused she could see both were covered in spatters of red. 

Luke swung the hammer nonchalantly, “You shoulda come with us. It was awesome.”

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Hazardous Record

A small teaser for the Nano project. Inspired by a prompt from Master Class Monday at Our Write Side

Trey listened to RJ’s plan with only half of his attention. The third of their cohorts, Clarence, was in the corner of the tent unconscious. 

Their captors had left them to stew for more time than he’d expected. Probably hoping one or another would cook up some escape plan and create an excuse to beat them up again.  Trey preferred not to go that route. 

“Dude, are you even listening to me?” RJ punched him in the arm.

“Yeah, and I’m thinking.” Trey muttered.

RJ rolled his eyes, “Your thinking is interfering with the listening.” He got up and paced the small confines of the tent.

“Well, whatever we decide, we should wait for Clarence to wake up.” Trey walked over to check on his friend for the tenth time in the last hour. “He seems to be breathing okay.” Trey prodded him gently, He was answered with a groan and shift in position, but nothing more.

RJ looked on, “are you sure you want his opinion? He has a hazardous record in the planning thing. That’s why were stuck in here instead of back home at dinner with our families.”

Trey shrugged, “we could have said no. We made our own decisions.”

“I would've made a different decision if I’d know it meant traveling to a different dimension full of demons and spider people.” RJ gave Trey a look that dared him to disagree.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fifteen Minutes...or so

Although I'm in the middle of the chaos that is Nanowrimo, I couldn't resist revisiting Joe and Charlie. I hope Amanda doesn't roll her eyes too much as I used her prompt "fifteen minutes of fame" from Coldly Calculating over at Our Write Side.  

Lily had several jobs for her enthralled demons. Joe and Charlie were starting to get desperate to escape.

“How’re we gonna get outta this, Joe?”

“Shut up! Let me think.”

“You been thinkin’ for weeks.”

“You been whinin’ for weeks!”

Charlie sighed heavily, “I don’t know how much more I can take, Joe.”

“I know, Charlie, I know. Ill figure it out, I promise.”

That evening Lily summoned them for another of her little tasks, as she called them. She gleefully spelled out the directions for this latest adventure then stood grinning as the star stud in her nose whirled wildly.

“You want us to rob a bank?!? Joe was incredulous.

Charlie was merely mortified, “No no no, this is not happening, it’s a dream. A very bad dream.”

“Yes, I want you to rob a bank.” Lily giggled. “And you'll do it, not like you have a choice or anything,”

Charlie continued to mumble, “Oh man oh man. This is so embarrassing.”

“Come along, pets, to the pentagram, I need to get you delivered.”

Several candles and an incantation later, the two found themselves materializing in the empty lobby of a nearby bank.

“Why didn’t she just put us in the vault, now we have to blast it open before we can get ‘poofed’ back to prison.” Another heavy sigh and slump of shoulder and Charlie headed toward the vault, tail dragging behind.

“Charlie, hold up!”

“What Joe? I just wanna get this ov…”

“No! I got it? Look up there Charlie.”

“What? Where?”

“Up there, security cameras!”

Charlie gave Joe a sidelong glance. “We don’t show up on tape, Joe.” Charlie shook his head, he’d never expected Joe to lose it first.

“We don’t, but dancing money bags will.” Joe rubbed his clawed hands together in anticipation.

“I still don’t get how that’ll help us.”

“”Think Charlie. Bank gets ripped off. Big headline. How long before someone leaks freaky security footage to the Internet and we get our fifteen minutes of fame?”

“So dancing money ends up on the webz.” 

“Remember that time He locked us in that dressing room mirror for doing the macarena at Wally’s?” Joe grinned.

“Oh man! Don’t remind me, my eyes still burn.”

“Well, we’re gonna macarena hundred dollar bills all over the lobby!”


Three weeks later in an opulent office, a minion interrupts his employers latest deal.

“Hey, boss?”

“Really? I’m kinda busy here, Dood.”

“I know boss, but I think you wanna see this. For real.”

“Alright, be right there.” Laying aside his golden pen, he cast a stern look at his guest, “Don’t go anywhere Donald, I’ll be right back.” He turned back to Dood, “This better be worth my time or you'll be the star of next years haunted playhouse.”

His flunky pointed to a wall of screens. Each one showed a grainy video being played on assorted venues. The leaked footage was trending on twitter. It had a Facebook fan page.  It was the number one hit for Google searches of banks, hauntings, or the macarena. The news channels played it over and over.

“I think it’s them boss. But it don’t tell us where they went.”

He watched the assorted screens for several minutes before pointing at one slightly better image, “Zoom in on that one.” Leaning closer he ordered the footage stopped. “Right there. Get my coat, tell Mr. T. It’s his lucky day, I’ll catch up with him later.”

“What’d ya see boss?”

“The middle dancer, it was a peace lily.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Final Farewell

Another prompted piece with Master Class Monday   at Our Write Side

We sat on the shore. No moon lit the night, as we nestled against each other shivering as the lake rippled in front of us. Its wavelets invisible in the dark.

There was no where left to run. 

Our arms bruised by scraping against the trees behind us. Knees bleeding through our jeans from multiple falls while tripping through the underbrush. 

Pursuers just steps behind away.

It had begun so routinely. A night out, no celebration, just a trip for something to eat. We hadn't reached our destination when we became aware of the footsteps behind us.

We stopped to look back, nothing to be seen. The steps stopped, just like in the movies.

We’re just imagining things, we said to each other. And started on our way again.

As did the steps.

We picked up our pace from a stroll to a fast walk. Finally to a run.

There was no traffic, the light from street lamps seemed dimmer than they should have been. They gave nothing away of the beasts behind us.

We pounded on doors. Though we heard movement inside, no one answered our screams for help.

So we continued to run.

The tiny woods enclosed us before we realized it. Initial panic was relieved by the thought we could lose them in the darkness. Until the branches cracked too close behind us. 

Then came the race to escape blindly through the maze of trees.

By the time we reached the lake we understood they had just been toying with us. They could have had us at any time. 

So we sat shivering on the shore. Holding each other, we whispered tearful goodbyes.

As we waited for the opulent sunrise to burn our flesh away.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


 This little bit of whimsy was prompted by the Coldly Calculating  prompt at Our Write Side.
I really enjoy the choices they offer! 

After their near damnation experience in the last house they’d infested, Joe and Charlie were relaxing in dubious comfort in a cluttered attic.

“Joe, what you want to do next? Scratching inside the walls or opening all the cabinet doors?”

“I wanna take a break, Charlie. We got plenty of time.”

“I’m bored Joe.”  

“Jeez Charlie. Let me catch my breath.” Joe sighed deeply. “By the way, dude, you still stink of sweet grass.”

“I do not!” Charlie sniffed his arm and down the length of his tail. “Well, maybe that witch singed my tail fork when she shoved that burning bundle up the chimney after me.”

Ignoring Charlie, Joe started poking through one of the many boxes and suitcases stashed around the cramped space. Pawing through one lightly damaged trunk, he pulled out a shiny black cape.

“Look, Charlie. Halloween costumes.” Charlie joined him, grabbing a piece of fabric  

“Wow, Joe! We can use these to scare the you know who outta the family here!” Charlie draped a yellowed toga over his head. “Booooo!”

“Look what you did! You snagged it on your horns, man.” Joe grabbed garment and threw it on the growing pile of clothing. “You need to take better care those, you don’t want to end up with a hang-horn.”

“Yeah, yeah, I could polish ‘em too.” Charlie stuck his head back into the nearly empty trunk. “Hey, what’s that?” Charlie reached for a small leather covered case at the bottom. 

Joe slapped his hand, “Gimme that. I was here first.”Joe lifted the lid, the rusty hinges on the side protested only mildly. A rectangle of black velvet covered the contents. Joe unceremoniously brushed it aside. 

“Augh!” Joe dropped the case and contents back to the bottom of the trunk.

“What man!  What’s wrong.” Charlie peeked over the edge, “Holy Hell!” eyes wide, he scuttled backwards. At the bottom of the trunk, a silver handled athame lay haphazardly atop its case.

“Of all places, we wander into a nest of Wiccans.” Joe started to pace, “We need to get outta here, they figure out we’re here and who knows what kind of three ring circus they'll stir up.”

“Joe, calm down, if they was practicing, this stuff wouldn’t be up here, now would it?” Charlie looked nervously over his shoulder despite his words.

“Okay, yeah, you're probably right. They wouldn’t put something like that up here.” Joe closed his eyes and took a few deep breaths to pull himself together. “We should move on anyway. Who knows what other…”

“Too late, boys.” The voice emanated form a dark shadow at the top of the attic stairs. “However you're right about the athame, there are no Wiccans practicing here. At least, not anymore. Their toys do come in handy though.” The speaker stepped forward revealing a teen-aged girl in full goth regalia. 

“It’s a great early warning system, and…led you right into our trap.” As she spoke the girl bent and poured salt before her feet.

“Trap? What trap?” Joe had been taking the measure of the youngster and was building energy for a powerful demonic counter attack.

“Look around silly. You were so interested in rummaging through the garbage you missed the pentagram.” She grinned in delight. “And I just closed it.”

Joe barely heard as he loosed a fireball. Which immediately bounced back. Charlie yelled as he ducked the blazing missile. “OhmySatanohmySatanohmySatan!”

Joe drooped, out of the frying pan into hell. “So, what now?”

“Glad you asked,” she said brightly, “I’m Lily by the way. My friends and I have a job for you. It needs done tonight, so enough with chit-chat, come along now.”

“Tonight? How did you know you'd catch a demon tonight?”

“Sillies. Who do you think called that ghost hunter to the last house.” She skipped out of the room, Joe and Charlie dragged along by her spell. “And one of you stinks.”

Charlie muttered, “I do not.” 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mission Canceled

This time I linked up with the Coldly Calculating prompt from Our Write Side.
I may have missed the "chilling" mark, just a little. 

Joe and Charlie huddled together in the corner. Ears tuned to the distant footsteps and mutterings of their pursuers.

It seemed they’d been slipping from one hiding spot to another for hours. Scurrying from room to room trying to stay one step ahead. 

“We need to move again soon, Joe!”

“I know, man. They’re closing in again. I can smell the stink of their torches.”

The pair looked around wildly, seeking another safe place to hunker down. They stifled gags induced by the overwhelming odor of the leader’s smoking brand. Their hearts lurched as she screeched to her minions, “They’re in there! We have them now!”

With moments before the hunting party cut off their retreat, Joe and Charlie darted across the floor to the door. 

“C’mon Charlie, down these stairs. We’ll lose them in the cellar.”

Coughing through the foul haze, the escapees stumbled down the steps.

“Where to now, Joe? We’re trapped!”

“Shut up! Here get under the stairs.”

The floor boards creaked overhead. Voices filtered down, “Where’d they go? Did they get out?”

“No, they’re still here. Up to the second floor! We’ll find them, they can’t hide from us forever.” Rushing footsteps faded farther into the house.

In the ensuing silence Joe and Charlie crept out from under the stairs. Listening intently for any movement they quietly climbed the steps and peered into the empty hall.

Joe whispered, “They're on the top floor now, Charlie. I think we lost them.”

“I don’t know Joe, it still reeks down here. I don’t think we’re outta the woods yet.”

“Shh, this way, c’mon.”

They stepped cautiously into a library. Over stuffed chairs cluttered the floor. Bookcases lined all but one wall filled by a  massive fireplace.

The pair jumped in unison at the scream outside the door, “Aha! We have you now!” Pounding feet filled the room.

Charlie shrieked, “Joe! What now?” 

Joe grabbed Charlie’s arm, dragging him to the hearth. He scattered ashes as he leapt into the flue, Charlie on his heels. Reaching the top, Joe pulled himself out the chimney and onto the roof.

“Hurry Charlie!”

“I’m stuck, Joe! I cant get through!”

“Give me your hand!” Joe pulled mightily, finally freeing his partner. Charlie’s release from the chimney resulted in an audible pop. The two slid down the roof and tumbled to the lawn.

“You could use to lose some fat there, Charlie.” Joe brushed himself off then sped ahead, Charlie right behind. As they ran for the street they heard the triumphant bellow of their hunter.


Joe paused to turn around and make an obscene gesture before trotting on down the road. 

Charlie puffed to keep up, almost tripping over his forked tail. “What now, Joe?”

“I don’t know yet, Charlie. Hey! Look over there, that place looks likely!”

Charlie sighed, “Back to square one.”

Friday, October 16, 2015

Moonlight Mime

My offering for Master Class Monday, from Our Write Side

Donna couldn’t sleep. Too much on her mind. Too many decisions left undecided.

After lying awake staring into darkness, she swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her toes rooted about the carpet seeking her fluffy gray slippers.

Feet embraced, she shrugged into her robe and shuffled to the kitchen. As she filled a glass of water from the tap, her gaze was drawn out the window.

The meadow behind the house was aglow with silvered moonlight. Enchanted, she let herself out the back door into the early fall night. The air was crisp, but not uncomfortably so. A light breeze carrying bits of leaf and pollen became a magical shower of light as the full moon reflected from countless surfaces.

She sipped her water, eyes captured by the meadow. There, a seductive sway of moonlit foxtails allowed to grow wild through the last lazy days of summer. Bowing into shadow with each gentle breeze, springing back to bathe in the sterling light.

Donna left the glass on the deck rail and tiptoed down the steps. She crossed the manicured back lawn and into the meadow.

The breeze wafted, grass swayed, silver and ebony. A dance of light and shadow. She unconsciously began to move with them in silent rhythm. Arms outstretched, she wove through the blades. Light and shadow. Her body responding, bowing to the shadow, lifting to the light.

Her eyes closed as she mimed the shush of leaves and whisper of foxtails.

She didn’t see them gather, wings spread to the caress of breeze. Iridescent spans reflecting the luster of the full moon.

They watched, timid of her presence. Then curious. When they discerned no threat, they joined.

Weaving and bowing. Swaying and bending. Silver to ebony, moon light to moon shadow.

As the dregs of wakefulness left her, she lay down amid the grasses and let sleep claim her. They covered her against the dew in blankets woven of spiderweb and thistledown. While she slept deeper than dreams, the Fae danced guard around her.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Writers Block

Just a bit of flotsam floating in my head today.

They've been quiet today.
Why today? 

So chatty the past few months. Telling me their stories. Making sure I understood everything.

They gave specific instructions so I could write each chapter exactly as they lived them.

Today though, today they have said nothing.

I keep thinking back, did I miss some important detail? Did I did I not strike the right mood?  

Are they mad? I feel like  are ignoring me they on purpose.

Yeah, they used to get pissed off when I joined my friends for lunch, or drinks on the weekend. But, that hasn't happened for a long time now. My friends don't call anymore.

I mean, it's not like they can just grab their phones and have a chat. 

I do kinda miss those spontaneous dates.

But they said it interfered too much with telling the stories. I had to get rid of those friends.

And truth be told, I don't miss them all that much. 

Most of the time.

Except for Ginny. Her I miss.

It's particularly hard to get rid of Ginny.

The others, not so much.

Becky was so wrapped up in her kids, she was making me crazy with all the pictures and bragging. Oh my God, the bragging! You'd have thought her kids were geniuses.

Your kids aren't so special now are they, Becky?

And Robbie, constantly off on some adventure where he was the best looking, smartest, funniest...blah blah blah. Of course, all the women just fell all over him, too.

Your last adventure wasn't quite what you expected, was it Robbie? 

So, they don't call anymore

But, that was alright. They were still here to talk to me. 

I do wish they would have accepted Ginny. 

Maybe that's why I'm being ignored. They are mad because I'm still holding on to Ginny.

I bet that's it. As soon as I let go of her, I'll be on the good list again.

I'm just not ready yet. Maybe I can appease them by spiffing up their stories. After all, they want people to read them, right? 

Who shall I start with? 

Regina. She'll want everyone to understand. She never, ever really meant to hurt her kids. She just wanted to give them baths. 

Becky's kids needed baths, too. It made Regina sad how dirty they were. Just like her kids. She could never keep them clean enough. She showed me how to clean such dirty kids. It was hard, but we got it done. Made it easier when we finally made Becky shut up.

Or I could work on Clyde's story. How he accidentally pushed his best friend off a mountain in Italy. Yeah, his best friend was screwing around with his fiance, but it was still an accident.

Robbie's last adventure was in California. There are mountains there, too. Not as special as Italy, but Clyde said the mechanics are the same.  

Marty won't let me tell his story yet. He asks how can I tell the story if it isn't finished? 

Marty's story is just so hard. I mean, I got the first part right. The kidnapping was easy. And describing the choking sounds took a little work, but I got through it. The last part though, that's holding me back.

I can feel Marty giving me the stink eye. 

That's why they aren't talking to me.


I suppose I'd better oil the chain saw and dig Ginny up. Just get it done.

Then I can get busy on Jack's story. Jack's is the best of all their stories. It'll be longer than the rest. The research is gonna be exhausting, but it'll be a best seller.

They just know it.

Monday, August 31, 2015

777 Challenge

I have been tagged by Amanda N. Butler for the 777 challenge! The challenge is to post seven lines found on the seventh page of your work in progress, and tag seven writers.

I'm always hesitant to do these things. Mostly because I'm going to annoy seven other people. goes.

The lines are from the story I'm trudging through on Wattpad.

"Jonah crept out of the ragged forest as the sun began peering through the trees behind him. He would have liked to have the cover of leaves, but autumn had set in, and the trees were all but naked. He looked back at the trees, soft pastels, muted further by early morning fog silhouetted the bare trunks with the promise of light.
In the encroaching dawn he saw the road leading to a cluster of buildings. The last thing he expected out here was a town. He stopped at the outskirts, indecisive. Hunger rejoiced at the thought of finding food."
And here is my list of seven victims.
Cameron Garriepy
Stephanie Ayers
Patricia Lynne
Rose Ketring
Of The Wilds
Thomas Marlowe
Lyssa Medana
Forgive me.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Hunt for the Red Wolf

My offering for Master Class Monday at EatSleepWrite I chose the prompt; Red Wolf Hunting.

Madaline raced across the meadow, her scarlet cape fluttering behind her. The thud of her heart made it difficult to keep track of the footfalls closing the distance between herself and her pursuers.

Her eyes fixed on the treeline only a few yards ahead. A desperate burst of speed propelled her through the brush. She kept up her pace while grabbing the edges of the cape to keep it from the tangled mass of branches and undergrowth as she scrambled deeper into the trees.

The pursuit slowed once she reached the forest. She knew it was only a mometary pause. Stepping behind a large trunk, she pulled the fabric from her shoulders. Had it been fall the bright color may have been an aid, however among the bright green growth of mid spring, she may as well stand and wave at her trackers.

Behind her, she could hear jays and squirrels angrily announcing the trespass of the group chasing her. Bundling cape as compactly as she could, she jogged farther into the dense forest. She no longer travelled a straight course, weaving first one direction, then another. She used the chatter of the wildlife to keep apprised of the position of the hunting party.

The light was dim under the canopy of leaves, she'd been moving through the forest since just after noon. She guessed it was close to evening. Winged residents were making their last forays before taking to nest, small creatures of the brush and treetops had already disappeared. Those that foraged at night would soon be stalking. 

Madeline ignore the growing exhaustion of her flight and kept her steady pace as twilight sucked the last light away. Tiny singers of night tuned their throats and stretched wings. It was with relief that she climbed a grassy hummock barely visible in the brush and dark. Sliding down the opposite side, she found the overgrown opening and crawled inside.

She laid her head on her bundled cape and immediately fell asleep.

She woke abruptly, momentarily disoriented by the darkness, she scrabbled in the dirt of her burrow. Finding the cape, she tamped down the panic and cautiously approached the exit. The singers of early night had finished their set, stillness enveloped the forest. She silently slid from her hiding place, ears alert for unnatural sounds. 

Climbing to the top of the hummock she strained to see through the darkness. Her breath caught as she spied the low glow of a campfire. They'd come much closer than she'd been expecting. Using the darkness, she carefully made her way toward the camp.

Close enough to smell the burning embers. she shook out the bundle, releasing the cape Madeline threw it across her shoulders and dropped to the ground. She then crept forward on all fours, stopping a few feet outside the circle around the banked fire. six bodies lay close to the fire, two more leaned against trees, their watch thwarted by snores and drooped heads.

Madeline smiled to herself. The weak glow from the camp's center reflected in her eyes. Lifting her muzzle high, she howled. The ensuing panic excited her.

Time for the red wolf's hunt to commence.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Seven Reasons Not to Camp Alone

My offbeat offering for  Coldy Calculating at Our Write Side where the Prompt was The Seven Dwarves.

What the hell happened? One minute I was peacefully relaxing in front of the campfire. Listening to the cicadas and tree frogs singing, entranced by the embers of the fire, lazy flames licking the remains of the logs I'd laid hours ago.

This little man meandered into view. Green shirt, yellow breeches, and the goofiest hat I'd ever seen. He introduce himself as Doc. He made himself comfortable, warming his chubby hands at my fire. Asked what I was doing out there all by myself.

I told him I wasn't by myself, my boyfriend would be back shortly. I may have lied. Even though I was pretty sure I could take him, I didn't think it wise to let him know I was alone.

He smiled knowingly. I felt a prick on my neck and poof, I woke up chained to a wall. 

I wondered how the little fella got me here all by himself, until I met the rest of the gang. His six cohorts were dressed just like him. Green and yellow, and goofy hats. They even looked alike, bulbous noses, squinty eyes, and greasy smiles.

I didn't meet them all at once. And it took me some time to tell them apart. They seemed to take turns checking up on me. Bringing food and water. Or emptying the chamber pot they provided. They even gave me a brush and brought a damp cloth to wash with daily. 

There was Happy, though Renfield might have been a better name, he giggled hysterically when I said anything, particularly if I asked him to let me go. So much for that.

Then Grouchy, what an understatement. He looked like he was just waiting for an excuse to beat the shit outta me. I chose not to test that theory.

The one that called himself Bashful was anything but. He had zero shyness with the hands. Constantly petting my hair, or touching my face. Made me shudder. Yuck.

I think Sneezy was worse though. Continually snotting and dripping all over. I didn't know what kind of plague he had, but I didn't want it. If he brought the food, I wouldn't eat it.

And Dopey, yeah. No explanation needed.

Sleepy, I couldn't figure out. He'd shuffled in, check my restraints. Yawn. Ask if I was thirsty. Yawn. No, he wouldn't let me go. Yawn. He head for the door, stretch and before he could muster up the energy to open it, drop to floor and catch a twenty minute nap. Not weird at all.

Today they haven't been here to bring food yet. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. The chains are still intact, and starving or dehydrating to death doesn't appeal to me. Also the pot is starting to stink.  

Uh oh. I hear them, all of them. This cannot bode well.

Doc is the first one in the door. He's got a hypodermic. Not good. Not good at all. The rest are piling in behind him. Sleepy comes over and undoes the chains from the wall, Grouchy and Bashful grab my arms. Doc says if I cooperate he won't need to dope me. Sure, no problem, I can behave.

They're walking me through the woods now. I don't know where we're going, but I bet letting me go is not the plan. 

What is that? The sunlight is glinting off something up ahead. 

As we get closer I can see a dozen or so glass boxes. 

Closer yet, I can see each box has a girl inside.

Oh hell no!

As I start to struggle, Happy starts his creepy high pitched giggling. Sleepy curls up snoring nearby as Dopey lights a joint. Sneezy has progressed to puking in the grass.

Grouchy is ready to clock me, and Bashful starts to rub my back. Yuck.

They drag me to the one empty box. Doc grins, and sticks the needle in my upper arm. 

I feel the drug working. As the lid comes down, I scream with the last of my energy.

"Someday! You wait! Someday my prince will come!"

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The New Maid

Linked with Master Class Monday at EatSleepWrite
I chose the prompt: Maid for Murder

"Here's your room, there's a bathroom room with shower. The bed sheets are fresh and the dresser's been emptied." Janice said while pointing out the specifics.

Carly nodded, the single room apartment was surprisingly roomy. Following Janice up the steep stairs, she'd expected a cramped space. Though the ceiling sloped dramatically on either side, the completely furnished area was arranged for minimal head bumping. 

The long room featured sitting and sleeping space, the bathroom centered on one side. Each area had a large window as well as a skylight. The sleeping area also held a desk pushed against a small door in a knee wall. Puzzled, she asked, "What's that for?"

"Attic access, we don't use it." Janice replied then quickly recited the terms of employment. "Room and board for regular housekeeping. You'll be expected to start your duties at eight. You're shift ends after the evening meal, about six. You are free to do what you wish after that." Janice continued, "We lock up at ten o'clock, if you're not home, you're not getting in until seven next morning."

Carly nodded her understanding.

The first week flew by in a flurry of activity; working, and shopping for necessities. Worn out she was in bed well before the ten o'clock lock up.

Several weeks later she woke to find her bed bathed in light. After a moment of disoriented panic, she realized the full moon was shining through the skylight. 

Mummbling to herself, Carly slid her feet into slippers and shuffled downstairs. Hopefully, Janice was still awake and had something she could use to cover the window. She was disturbed to find the door was locked. 

Irritated, she knocked, "Janice? It's Carly, I need a blind for the skylight." No sound came from the other side. "Janice! Open the door, Janice!" She pounded on the door.

As she considered screaming, she heard footsteps followed by the scrape of a key. Janice opened the door in her nightgown, sleep tousled hair, and an angry frown. 

Carly was confused, "Why is this door locked?"

"It is after ten, I told you, we lock up at ten."

"I didn't know I'd be locked in."

Janice glared at her. "It's the middle of the night. What is so important that it couldn't wait until morning?"

"I need a blind for the skylight, the moon is making it daylight up there." Carly said.

"Moonlight, this is about the moon? Go to bed. We'll discuss this in the morning." Janice waited for Carly to climb the steps.


"I said, in the morning!"

Janice slammed the door. Carly heard the scrape of the key, relocking her exit. She raised a fist, about to pound again. Reconsidering with a sigh of annoyance, she stomped, loudly, back upstairs. 

After several minutes of pacing, she finally returned the bed, rolling to the edge, she turned her back to the moonlight only to find its reflection on the wall. As she lay staring at the offending light a shadow slowly appeared. Carly spun around seeking the skylight. She caught a glimpse of something pass over the upper edge of the window. 

She leapt out of bed, hitting her head on the low cieling. Her thud was echoed by the sound of footsteps from beyond the skylight, crossing the roof and down the other side. After a short silence there was scratching behind the small attic door. 

Carly raced down the steps. Pounding on the door and rattling the knob, she screamed for her employer once again.

She realized Janice wasn't coming. She perched on the bottom step and huddled against the solid wood of the door. 

She heard something dragging across the carpet in the sleeping area. Padded footsteps approached the darkened stairwell.

Refusing to look, she pounded the door, begging for release.

Janice unlocked the door at precisely seven o'clock the next morning. When Carly didn't come down to attend her duties, Janice climbed the stairs. The room was tidy, though the bed was unmade. And a small can containing assorted pens and pencils lay scattered in front of the desk that stood against the attic door.

"Harumph, third one in six months. Afraid of a little work."

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Tempus Fugit

This week's offering for Master Class Monday at EatSleepWrite. I chose the prompt; Waylaid Mutterings.
I also took inspiration from The Light and Shade Challenge. The prompts were a photo of a grandfather's clock and the quotation; Tempus Fugit.

Christian lost his concentration, his muttered chanting waylaid by the three percussive chimes of the grandfather clock downstairs still reverberating in his ears. Blinking in confusion he unfolded his legs and pushed his aching muscles to stand. He stretched his shoulders as he shuffled across the room, heedless of the thin line of salt scattered by his feet.

He stumbled into the dark hallway and found his way to the bathroom. Flipping the switch, Christian sighed in annoyance at its refusal to shed light. Reaching for the cold water handle he was greeted not with water but a dry gurgle.

He stomped downstairs to the front window and yanked the drapes open. He scanned his neighbors' homes for signs of power. The street was in darkness, no porch lights, no street lamps. His attention was drawn to several junk yard worthy vehicles sitting randomly along the street. Christian's mood shifted slowly from anger to puzzlement. A power outage, not unheard of, but someone parking junk cars in a neighborhood was bizarre. 

With the power down the house was eerily silent. The only sound came from the clock, its pendulum whispering back and forth in the narrow space. How long had it been? He remembered sitting within the pentagram and lighting candles. He'd started the memorized chant, the one that promised to make the world a better place. 

He bounded back up the stairs. Entering the room he'd recently left, opened the curtain to let the sparse light from a waning moon into the room. The candles had burnt to the bottom. Christian huffed to himself, "Five day candles? Yeah, right!"

He returned to the lower floor, this time going into the kitchen. If there was no electricity, he ought to eat before everything spoiled. The refrigerator door took an extra tug to open, as it did Christian was greeted with a small dust cloud that reeked of mold.

"What the hell?" he cried. His limited vision couldn't determine the contents and he wasn't inclined to stick his hands into the unknown depths. Slamming the offending appliance shut, he wandered to the back door. Grabbing the knob, he stood a moment, an odd tingle of fear keeping his hand from turning it.

Pushing down the uncomfortable feeling, Christian threw the door open and stepped onto the small concrete stoop. The silence of the dark pressed against him. He held his breath as he listened for the sound of distant traffic, the scamper of a rodent, the creak of tree limbs. He heard nothing. No breeze moved, the air was sterile and tasteless. 

Paranoia won and Christian bolted back inside, locking the door behind him.

He paced the room, mumbling to himself, "Wait for daylight, ask the neighbors what's going on. Walk uptown, find a newspaper. Stop being a wuss!"

A chill filled the space, stopping Christian's internal rant. His heart pounding he closed his eyes and uttered a prayer that was ironic in its direct opposition to the chant he'd recited previously. 

A guttural laugh silenced him. "Too late to switch sides now, Christian. You've done well. The world is a much better place." The voice mocked him.

Christian dropped to his knees, "How long has it been? I have to know." he asked through chattering teeth. 

"Twenty years. It takes a lot of chanting to accomplish a change of this magnitude." A snide chuckle accompanied the startling statement. "Time flies when you're having fun, right?"