Thursday, December 31, 2009

Til Death do Us Part

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join this man and this woman in holy matrimony," the preacher intoned, gazing around the church, smiling at familiar faces.

Both families had been coming to services at the church for years so the preacher was overjoyed to be uniting them through the marriage of the two youngest members of each group. He remembered the night four years ago when he pronounced to his wife his certainty the two would wed. He had spied a smoldering glance from Tom and watched Irene's face flame red. He knew then it was only a matter of time.

Read more here...you might be surprised!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The First Time

“Here, let me help.”

“I can do it.”

“I can help hold it.”

“I said I can do it!”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes!”

“I don’t think you’re doing it right.”

“Hold on a minute, I’ll get it.”

“Ouch! That hurt!”

“Sorry, baby, I’m trying.”

“Haven’t you ever done this before?”

“No.”

“What!”

“I didn’t think it’d be this hard.”

“Maybe you should have asked someone how to do it.”

“I am not asking someone how to do this. I’ll figure it out.”

“How long will it take? I’m ready!”

“If you’d be still, it’d go a lot faster.”

“I’m trying to be still, but it hurts!”

“There, I think I’ve got it.”

“It’s crooked!”

“So?”

“Daddy! I can’t go to school with a crooked ponytail!”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Wishes

Ok, this is the last of the stories I needed to catch up on the Your Photo Story prompt blog. I hope y'all enjoy this one. Thought it was appropriate to do a seasonal piece.



Charlie stared at the Christmas tree, tears streaming down his cheeks. Carla watched him, not sure how to fix things. That no good bastard could have at least stopped by here on his way to visit The Whore, she thought, twisting the phone cord in her hand savagely. She had been trying to reach Steve for two hours with no luck.

“What was that you said, honey?” she asked Charlie, not catching his whisper.

Wiping a tear, he said, “Nothing, Mom, I was talking to Santa.”

Carla sighed, knowing he was asking Santa to send his dad home for Christmas again. He’d ask the same thing of every Santa they saw in the mall and on TV. She had found it was hard to explain to a six year old that Santa couldn’t always deliver what you wanted. He was insistent Santa would come through because he always got the gifts he wanted each year.

A terrific noise outside drew their attention. “What the hell?” Carla wondered, stepping in front of Charlie who was reaching to open the front door. “Let me go first, honey.”

Carla inched the door open slowly, peeking around the corner. “Shit!” she muttered, spying her ex-husband sprawled on the front porch, passed out cold.

“Dad!” Charlie shouted and rushed around her, stooping at his father’s side.

Carla knelt also, trying to figure out how she was going to get Steve inside, when Charlie spoke, mischief lighting his eyes. “I guess dad couldn’t handle riding in Santa’s sleigh.”

Horse Play

I'm cacthing up on the prompts for the Your Photo Story blog. Here is my second story of the day:


“Have you ever wondered what they’re thinking?” Terrie asked Barbra, looking deep into the horse’s eyes.

“I know what this one is thinking,” Barbra replied with authority.

“Yeah, sure, you think you know everything.”

“I’ll bet you ten dollars I know what this horse wants,” Barbra offered.

Terrie contemplated her friend. Barbra did have a habit of thinking she knew everything about everything, which was very annoying. Terrie didn’t want to part with ten dollars, but didn’t see how Barbra could possibly know what the horse wanted, and she would love to see her eat crow for once. Digging in her pocket, she pulled out the betting money and said, “you’re on.”

Barbra stepped around Terrie and said, “He wants a carrot.”

Terrie asked, “How could you possibly know that? Do you speak horse,” she teased, hearing the horse whinny at Barbra.

Pulling the hand she had concealed behind her back to the front, Barbra answered, “No, I just know he sure was eyeing this carrot hungrily before you got here,” before snatching the ten from Terrie’s hand, and laughing her head off.

Getting What is Least Expected

This is a story for the Your Photo Story prompt site. I hope y'all enjoy it.




“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this!” Sheila screamed over the roar of the engines. “Who jumps out of a perfectly good airplane?” She asked, fingers tightening on the edges of the door, holding on for dear life.

“People who want more out of life than the boring ordinary,” Clint replied, strapped into the tandem chute at her back. “Now relax and push off. I’m right here with you. It’s going to be fine.”

Sheila didn’t believe him for a minute. She had been tricked into this adventure. Well, not exactly tricked, she admitted, but it was definitely underhanded. When she gave him the ticket for one day of whatever he wanted for his birthday, she sure didn’t imagine it would be 2,000 feet in the air.

At Clint’s not -so-subtle nudge, she took a deep breath and pushed out of the plane.
Screaming at the top of her lungs, she shut her eyes tightly and waited for death.

“Open your eyes,” Clint ordered.

“No!”

“Come on,” he laughed, “you won’t regret it.”

Sheila peeked with one eye and what she saw took her breath away. Opening both eyes wide, she took in the vista laid out in patchwork below them.

“It’s beautiful,” she shouted.

“Now aren’t you glad you came?”

Even though she was glad, and wouldn’t have missed this for the world, Sheila wasn’t going to let him off the hook that easily. “I’ll let you know when my feet are safely on the ground again,” she quipped, relaxing and enjoying the rest of the journey.

The Price of Beauty

This is my contribution to this weeks Three Word Wednesday prompt.



It was a grave offence to all things good and decent that she had to forgo the decadent chocolate ├ęclair beckoning from the dessert tray, but offended or not, Gwyneth wanted to keep the lithe figure all the fashion magazines paid big bucks for so she squared her shoulders and ordered a bowl of strawberries instead.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Banquet for Three

This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt for the week. I haven't did the prompt in a while, but hope to get back into it. Hope y'all like this little micro-fiction piece.



Eric was enjoying a sumptuous feast of strawberries dipped in chocolate sauce, dribbling sauce in strategic places, stopping to fondle sweet tasting morsels, when a sudden kick reminded him of what happened the last time he partook of this particular feast.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Her Own Little World

Dear Mama,

I hope you’re doing better. I know the surgery was hard on you. Are they treating you ok there? I sure hope so. We are going to try to come see you this summer. I’m saving up a little money each week for the trip. I sure do miss you.

I hope you aren’t too bored there. Are you still doing arts and crafts? I loved the clay mug you sent me for Christmas. I have it sitting on the fireplace mantel for everyone to see. They all talk about how pretty it is, and how much talent you have. I told them you always loved working with your hands and making stuff. I remember the wood flower boxes we made when I was first married. I hated when they got tore up in the storm in ’93.

I hope you’re doing what the doctors say and staying off your feet. Your hip will never heal if you overdo it. If you’d quit chasing all those old guys around the halls you wouldn’t have accidents. Ha Ha I’m sure the men would be very disappointed though, if the most beautiful lady in the place stopped paying attention to them.

Everything is fine here. The kids are growing like weeds. Robbie is already as tall as I am, and Cassie is up to my chin. I’m glad they are taking height after their dad, but I do miss them being little. Before I know it, they will be grown and gone. I know what you meant now when you told me to cherish every moment so I can look back on them when the kids are gone. They have already changed so much. It about broke my heart when Robbie told me not to hug him in front of his friends anymore.

They are still enjoying school, thank goodness! I don’t know what we’d do if they hated going like some kids. Of course, they are still in grade school. I’m sure things will change once they reach high school.

Robbie was in a play last week. He was a tree. You should have seen him. He practiced standing still every day for a month. It paid off. He was the best tree ever!

Cassie wanted to water him every time he put the tree costume on. She was so cute, chasing him around the house with her little watering can. I had to break up quite a few fights…when I was able to stop laughing. Sorry, I didn’t think to take any pictures to send you.

Doug is still working at the plant. He signs up for overtime whenever they offer it, which isn’t often these days. Don’t worry though, because we are doing just fine. We have food on the table and a roof over our heads. You always taught me those were the most important things. I try to pass this along to the children when they want some new toy we can’t afford. I was worried I wasn’t getting through to them, until the other day when Cassie told me she was saving all the pennies she finds on the ground to help with the house payment. Although it broke my heart for her to know about our money problems, it made me proud to see her generosity.

You aren’t going to believe this, but I’ve started crocheting. Do you remember when I was a kid and you tried to teach me to crochet? I gave you such a hard time! I guess I just needed more patience before I could enjoy it. Now, my house is covered with things I’ve made. I’m sending you a doll. I hope you like it. I made her dress peach because I know how much you love the color. I’ve even sold a few things at the local craft fair. Any little extra bit helps.

Cassie swears she is going to learn how to do it with me. She wants to make clothes for her dolls, and for Snickers. She carries that dog around so much I’m surprised he knows he has feet! She treats him like a baby and he just eats it up. I have to admit, he looked cute in the little sunglasses she put on him the other day. She wants to dress him up like a hotdog for Halloween. I’m hoping I can talk her into something more original.

I saw Jack the other day. He only stopped by for a few minutes, but it was nice. Sherri and the kids are doing fine he said. They were all going to the mountains for the weekend. He looked good. I think being a salesman agrees with him. He said they were doing better than they have been in a long time. I sure was glad to hear it. For a while there, I thought him and Sherri weren’t going to make it. I’m glad they turned things around.

I told him he should write you more often. He promised he would. We’ll have to hold him to that promise, so you let me know if he writes or not.

He showed me pictures of Tammy and Heather. They are both so beautiful. He said he has to fight the boys off with a stick. Ha Ha He is such the proud papa when he talks about those girls. I can’t believe they’ll be graduating this year!

Time sure does fly, doesn’t it? I remember when the girls were in pigtails, rummaging in my closet to play dress up. Now, they wouldn’t be caught dead in anything I own. I’m not stylish enough for them anymore.

It seems I spend a lot of time thinking about the past these days, remembering good times we all had together. I hate we can’t all be together again. I guess that’s what happens when you get older.

Well, it’s almost suppertime, so guess I’ll end this letter. Write back soon. Take care of yourself.
I love you,
Joyce
***

“Are you writin’ your mama again, girl?”

“Yes.”

“Still makin’ up that fantasy life of yours for her?”

“Yes. I have too. Besides, it’s not all fantasy. Some of the stuff really happened,” Joyce replied.

“It ain’t right. Lyin’ to your mama that way.”

Joyce sighed. “I know it’s not right, but I can’t do anything else. She’s 85 years old. The truth would kill her. When she remembered it.”

“Maybe you ain’t givin’ her enough credit,” Betty said. “Us old broads can handle more than you youngin’s think we can.”

Joyce sighed, “Mama is nothing like you, Betty. My brother was having trouble a few years ago. He got into drugs. He was using the grocery money to buy the stuff, starving his kids. When mama found out, she went to his house and beat him with a stick broom! She chased him around that house for hours, until she passed out from her blood pressure going too high.” She smiled before continuing, “Mama always thought she could fix everything. But some things are beyond fixin’. Especially now that her health is failing and she has Alzheimer’s. She can’t even fix her own breakfast anymore, but she still thinks she’s superwoman.”

“But you didn’t do anything wrong. Your mama’s not gonna beat you with any broom for protecting yourself and them youngin’s,” Betty stated. “From the sounds of it, she’d be proud of you. Seems like you did some pretty good fixin’ of your own.”

“Well, it’s different with me. Mama is old school. She thinks a woman needs a man to take care of her. She thought Doug was the best thing since sliced bread. Once I married him, she didn’t have to worry about me anymore. I never told her things were bad. I was ashamed.”

She shook her head sadly, before continuing, “My stubborn pride is what got me into this mess. I didn’t want mama to know I made a mistake with Doug. I let her think things were perfect. She always had enough trouble with Jack. I didn’t want to add to it. I was the baby. Everything was supposed to be good for me.

“She bragged to all her friends about her son-in-law who took care of her baby girl. I don’t know how many times she told me I was lucky I didn’t have to raise my kids alone like she did.

“No, it would break her heart to hear Doug beat me every day, to find out he was a monster and she didn’t protect me,” Joyce said. “And to find out I killed him, and the kids were put in foster care. Well, her heart would plum stop beating then,” she assured Betty.

“Besides,” she shrugged. “What could she do about it anyway? She’s in a nursing home two thousand miles away. It’s not like she can come visit or anything.”

“If you told her, you could call her on the phone. They let you do collect calls here. Might help you get along better. You’re gonna be here a long time, girl. Time drags in here when you got somebody to talk to, let alone when you don’t.”

“She wouldn’t remember what I told her anyway. She lives in her own little world most of the time,” Joyce replied, wiping a tear off her cheek. “I couldn’t stand telling her what happened over and over again every time she called, tearing her world to pieces again and again,” she added.

Betty shook her head, “That Alzheimer’s is something awful, that’s for sure.”

“Yes it is,” Joyce agreed. “But in a way I’m thankful for it. Mama can go on being happy, living in her world where everything is good, not in the real world where everything is going to hell in a hand basket.”


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Foggy Failings

This is my latest contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt. Added a little humor this time.



Moisture settled in shiny droplets on Kerry’s hair. Searching the fog ahead, she listened for any signs of Trey. I can’t believe he left me out here by myself, she silently fumed. I’ll make him pay for this.

The crunch of a nearby branch drew Kerry’s attention. “Trey,” she whispered, “is that you?” Walking closer, she strained to see through the murky steam. “Trey,” she tried again to no avail.

“Damn,” she muttered, tripping over a fallen tree. Righting herself, she looked up into the gaping mouth of evil.

Screaming and thrashing backward, Kerry tried to run, but the huge beast grabbed her leg and pulled her against itself. “Grrrr,” he shouted in her ear.

Kerry screamed again and then stood dumbstruck when the beast released her and laughed. Looking closely, she saw the thing was naked from the neck down. Stepping closer, she watched while the furry, beastly head was removed to reveal Trey who was laughing so hard he was grasping for breath.

“You bastard,” she hissed, slapping him.

“Come on, Ker, you have to admit it was funny,” Trey replied.

Kerry composed herself and looked down. Smirking, she answered, “The only thing funny around here is that beanie weenie hanging between your legs,” before spinning on her heels and walking away.

Trey looked down and sputtered, “It’s the fog! The cold causes shrinkage, Damnit!” before running after her, following the sound of laughter into the woods.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Gates of Paradise

This is my story for the Your Photo Story prompt. Hope y'all like it.


Carrie saw the gates up ahead. She was sure she could push through the pain a little farther and make it to them and then someone would find her.

Stumbling, Carrie fell to one knee, winching in pain when the wound in her stomach reopened. Grabbing a nearby tree for support, she pushed to her feet and began walking toward the gates again.

I can’t believe I shot myself, she thought, holding her stomach, walking hunched over, one step at a time. Daddy would be so disappointed in me, she mused, tears rolling down her cheeks. Eyes blurring, she stopped to catch her breath before continuing. She was so tired. She wanted to sit and rest but knew that was out of the question. You have to keep going, she silently urged, you’ll die if you don’t.

The third time she fell, Carrie could not get back up. She lay there, dazed and motionless. “I’m sorry, Daddy,” she whispered with her last breath.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sacrifice

This is my contribution to one of the Your Photo Story prompts. It's a little different than my usual work, but not alot.


“Run, children, run!”

Maria hurried the children along, hoping to keep them out of harm’s way. She looked back and saw the death bringer getting closer. Pushing faster, she urged the children under the porch.

Hearing death come ever closer, Maria covered her last child, the only one not under the porch yet, with her body. Maria held the child close and whispered that she loved him with her last breath.

Charles crawled out from under his mother’s lifeless form and watched the death bringer walk away.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Woods

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for the week. Hope y'all like this one. Nobody dies at least...lol


Janet ran for all she was worth. Looking over her shoulder, she tried to find her pursuer. Not seeing him, she rested against an oak tree. Breathing deeply, she looked around for a weapon, anything she could use against the maniac following her.

“Damn,” she muttered, spotting only a small tree branch. “Better than nothing I guess,” she added, picking it up and heading out again.

Janet wasn’t sure which way the road was. She got turned around when the man chased her off the hiking trail. She thought if she ran toward the mountain she’d come upon the road. She only knew one thing for certain: she had to keep moving.

Pushing through the stitch in her side, Janet ran, keeping the mountain in sight the best she could. She stumbled when she noticed clouds gathering and the sun going down. Without the mountain for a guide, she wasn’t sure she would stay on track.

Stop, she silently ordered, you can do this! That bastard is not going to catch you!

“Come out; come out, wherever you are.”

Janet froze at the sound of his voice. She could tell he was only a short distance behind her. Walking quietly, placing each foot to avoid noise, she ducked into a thicket of undergrowth as silently as she could.

The man searched, whispering obscenities and menacing threats while he looked. Janet held her breath, hoping he would walk by her hiding spot. When he stopped right in front of her, she gasped.

“There you are!” he shouted, pushing his hand toward the noise and grabbing her by the hair.

What he failed to notice was the branch in Janet’s hand. While he was busy holding her and sneering into her face, Janet brought the branch up and hit him over the head. The blow only startled him, but that was enough for Janet. She took the opportunity to kick him in the left knee as hard as she could, and then brought her knee into his jaw when he bent over.

“Take that, Bastard,” she shouted, picking a rock up and hitting him in the head, “and that,” she added kicking him in the ribs a few times.

Catching her breath, Janet started running again. Ten minutes later, she found the road. Standing in the middle of the street, she flagged down a pickup truck. The man inside remarked on her disheveled appearance. Janet smiled and said, “You should see the other guy.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Inches

This is my contribution to last week's Your Photo Story prompt. Short one this time.


Sergeant Marks grimaced in pity, looking from the gash in her head and following the terror-stricken death gaze of Sandra Johnson. Crouched, he watched light wink off the keys lying a few feet under the car, just out of reach of her outstretched hand.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Predator

A story for the Your Photo Story blog. I hope y'all like it.


Clancy bared his teeth and howled into the night. Sniffing the air, he caught the scent of his prey and headed into the alley.

Elle watched from behind the dumpster, silently praying he would pass her by. Scrunched tightly into the crevice between the metal trash bin and the door facing of a condemned bakery, she held her breath.

Clancy crashed into a stack of boxes, sending them careening every which way before moving on. He knew she was close, he could smell her, fear permeating the air.

Two drunken revelers staggered into the mouth of the alley, stretching their necks forward, trying to figure out what they were seeing. “I think it’s time to stop drinking,” one commented to the other, dropping the bottle of whiskey he held.

Elle let out an involuntary cry, watching the two men back out of the alley. Clancy rushed toward the whimper.

Nose pushed into the opening between the dumpster and the wall, saliva dripping off his chin, Clancy stared into the eyes of his prey. Frozen in fear, Elle sat, transfixed while the beast pushed the dumpster aside like it weighed nothing.

Pushing backward on all fours, Elle tried futilely to escape. The first bite rendered her immobile. Ripping flesh from bone, Clancy savored his meal. Elle’s screams were drowned out by the merriment up and down Bourbon Street.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Playing with Fire

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for July 27th.



Nancy watched flames dance in the evening breeze. An eerie smile graced her face while she slowly poured a line of gasoline from the small campfire to the tent, making sure to douse the outside of the enclosure.

Silently, she circled around the tent and back to the campfire. Once there, she sat the can down and drew a book of matches she had stolen earlier from her pocket. Striking a match, she giggled and dropped it on the line of gas.

She stood, transfixed, watching fire leap from the small blaze and follow the trail she had made to the tent.

“What the hell!” a voice cried from inside the tent.

Nancy giggled once more when the tent zipper refused to open; happy the glue she had applied earlier was working long enough for the fire to catch.

“Nancy!” the man yelled. “Help me!”

“I don’t want to help you tonight, Daddy,” Nancy replied. “I helped you last night remember? You said you’d never felt anything so warm.” Tears running down her cheeks, she added, “I told you it hurt, Daddy. That it burned like fire. You said a little fire never hurt anyone.”

Daddy's Little Helper

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story photo prompt from July 15th. I'm playing catch up!


Daniel never saw Roy pick the hammer up. One minute he was pounding the last nail into the porch step, and the next he was holding his hand close to his chest, jumping around and howling in pain.

Sandra couldn’t help but laugh. “He was only trying to help,” she sputtered. “You’re always saying you wish he’d do more guy stuff with you,” she added, quickly picking Roy up and heading inside.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Self Sufficient

The words for Three Word Wednesday this week were: cradle, perfect and snare. Hope you like my offering.


Jacob cackled with glee at the bounty the perfect snare he’d set the night before held. Picking it up, he settled the rabbit in the cradle of his arms and headed home for supper.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Impatient Torture

Finally doing another Three Word Wednesday prompt. Hope y'all like this one.




“Wipe that sulk off your face,” Terrance teased Bruce, who was starring hypnotically at the man before them, pouting because of the wait. “You’ll get to kill him soon enough.”

“This waiting around shit is for the birds,” Bruce answered back. “This is supposed to be torture?” he added, watching the drip drip of water hit their prisoners face.

“Supposed to drive them crazy or something, and make them want to talk to stop it,” Terrance replied.

“I don’t know about him, but it’s driving me crazy.”

“You didn’t have far to go,” Terrance quipped, and then ducked the blow Bruce aimed at his head.

The two were locked in a combat embrace when the door burst open. “What the hell’s going on here?” their commander demanded.

“Sorry, Sir,” Bruce saluted.

“Won’t happen again,” Terrance added.

“See that it doesn’t,” the commander said, then ordered, “Kill him,” pointing at the prisoner. “We no longer need the information he possess.”

Bruce smiled, saluted again, and headed for the door.

“Bout time.” Terrance heard him mumble, before he slipped his revolver out of its holster and shot the man twice in the head.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The End

This is the last story I needed to do for the Your Photo Story prompt site to catch up.


Mark heard the rumble and looked up; not knowing it was already too late. He could only watch in horror as piles of boulders slammed down upon him. He tried to issue a warning to those below, but his scream was silenced by one well-placed rock landing on his head. In his last moments, Mark laid helpless, eyes focused on the house below, his wife and son silhouetted in living room window, tears streaming down their faces.

Lost

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for June 16. I am catching my stories up today.


Tyler stopped to catch his breath, resting against a slab of rock. Standing upright again, he slammed his fist against the granite surface after noticing the map. The same map he had stumbled upon earlier and followed to find his way out of the woods.

“Damnit!” he shouted. “I’ve been going in circles!”

He studied the map once more, trying to figure out where he went wrong. “I don’t understand it, I followed the map exactly,” he mumbled, unfolding the piece of paper he had copied the map onto.

Disgusted, he crumpled the paper and shoved it in his pack. “I’ll find my own way out of these God forsaken woods,” he stated, setting out.

What he failed to notice was a small piece of rock lying on the ground at the base of the granite map that stated: Due to recent erosion and storms, the trail map is no longer correct. A new map will be provided soon.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Release

Penelope was tired. She was tired of fighting, of trying to hang on. The pain was unbearable, excruciating. Every movement hurt, even blinking. It was time to end it.

Hearing his key in the lock, she braced herself.

“What the hell?” he screamed, sighting the mess in the floor. “Clean it up, bitch!”

Penelope spit in his face. “No.”

The blow was strong, but not strong enough.

“Is that all you’ve got?” she taunted.

His fists reigned down then. With the pain came release. Penelope smiled, being in control of her own fate for a change felt awesome.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Forbidden Swim

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for the week.


Amber watched the cool, clear water cascade over the rocks and splash into the stream below. She dipped her toes in the stream, testing the water temperature. Cold but bearable, she thought, scanning the tree line to see if anyone else was around.

Suppressing a girlish giggle, she started unbuttoning her blouse. By the time she was down to her knickers, she was shaking with anticipation. She knew the water was going to feel delicious.

“Aw, heaven,” she murmured, submerging up to her neck.

She swam and frolicked in the water for over an hour before the chill in the air caught her attention. Standing, she quickly covered her breasts and looked around, making sure she was still alone.

She slipped out of her knickers as fast as possible, and then donned her blouse and skirt. With one last, lingering glance at the falls and stream, she sighed and turned for home.

The man in the bushes wiped sweat from his brow. His hands were shaking he was so overworked from what he had just witnessed. “Heaven indeed,” he whispered, watching the woman disappear around the bend.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reap the Oats You Sow

This is my contribution for this week's Your Photo Story prompt.



Jeb sat on the porch in his rocker, shotgun across his lap. He squinted into the distance, waiting for the first sign of dust to signal Marybeth’s return.

“That girl’s gonna be sorry she was ever born,” he muttered, spitting tobacco in a spittoon by his side.

“Aw, don’t be too hard on her, Jeb,” Sarah said from the doorway. “She’s just sowing her oats.”

“Wild oats, no doubt,” Jeb spat. “With that Williams boy.”

“He’s not a bad boy,” Sarah assured Jeb.

“Never said he was,” Jeb replied. “He’s just not good enough for my little girl.”

“Nobody’s gonna be good enough for Marybeth in your eyes, Jeb.”

“Damn right!” Jeb agreed, and spit another wad into the spittoon.

“She’s grown, Jeb. You gotta let her live her own life.”

“She can live her own life when she has he own house.”

“You never change,” Sarah sighed.

Jeb shrugged, and went back to rocking. Sarah knew there was no talking to him once he made up his mind. She went back in the house, waiting for the fight to come. Because as stubborn as Jeb was, Marybeth had him beat.

A few minutes later, Sarah heard the rocker stop squeaking. She stopped washing dishes, took a deep breath, and waited to hear what happened.

“Where’ve you been, girl?” Jeb demanded as soon as Marybeth and Jacob stepped onto the porch.

“We got married, Pa,” Marybeth said, smile beaming.

“You what!” Jeb shouted, jumping up and engaging the shotgun. “I’m gonna kill you, boy. Say your prayers now.”

“Pa!” Marybeth yelled, stepping in front of Jacob. “Hear me out.”

“I don’t care what you got to say,” Jeb shouted.

“I’m pregnant, Pa,” Marybeth whispered, a tear rolling down her cheek. “You’re gonna be a grandpa.”

“I…what?” Jeb sputtered, falling hard into the rocker.

“Oh, baby,” Sarah said, rushing out the door and engulfing Marybeth in a hug. “Are you ok?”

“I’m fine, Ma,” Marybeth said. Pulling Jacob over, she added, “We’re both very happy about this baby.”

“That’s good.” Sarah offered, sliding a glance at Jeb.

“Well, you ain’t raising it here,” Jeb snapped.

“Jeb!” Sarah squealed. “Don’t be that way.”

“It’s ok, Ma. We don’t need to live here. Jacob rented us a place in town.”

Sarah couldn’t help herself. She poked Jeb in the ribs and said, “I guess she can live her own life then, huh?”

Truth by Mail

This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt.



Samantha learned the folly of her ways after a particularly hostile missive arrived in the mail.

“Now I know what a sexy man like him was doing with an ordinary woman like me,” she sighed, tearing the letter his wife had sent up and throwing it in the trash.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Orders

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for the week. It's very loosely based on truth about my dad.



Terry had stared into the camera, scared to death but trying hard not to show it. He had signed up to be a mechanic, but orders had come down and he was sent to Vietnam. Needless to say, his wife wasn’t happy with the arrangement either.

It turned out the deployment was more than his wife could take. She took the twins and left him, a dear John letter was the least of his worries. She took all his possessions and burned or sold them. She also kept the kids away from him when he came back. He hadn’t seen them since.

He sighed, crumpling the picture in his clinched fist. Looking back, Vietnam had been the best time of his life. People thought he was crazy for doing two tours, but he always asked them what he had to come home to.

Turns out, he was right. His life went straight to hell when he came back to the states. Protesters throwing tomatoes at disembarking soldiers, riots in the streets, and an empty house. If only that had been the worst of it.

Now, here he sat with lung cancer. They told him agent orange was responsible, which meant they’d pay the bills, but what good did that do him? He was still dying. Dying, in a one-room apartment, his only companion a floppy eared hound in dire need of a bath.

A knock at the door startled him. Hobbling over, he looked through the peephole, astonished he had company. He couldn’t remember the last time anyone had come by.

“I’ll be damned,” he uttered, grabbing he door handle.

Standing on the other side, smiling shyly, were two mirror images of the picture still clutched in his hand.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Two Sentence Stories

A while back, I entered some two-sentence stories for a contest site. I didn’t win, but I like my stories so thought I’d share them with y’all. Do any of you write micro-fiction?

Abandoned
A single tear slid down his cheek, uncomfortable emotions clogged his throat, and anger pulsed at the injustice of it all when the tiny, perfect hand clasped his finger. With a frustrated sigh, he hugged the baby close, stood, and cast a last look at the carnage that represented two ruined lives, before walking around the lifeless body and handing the precious bundle to the waiting social worker.

Dumping the Pain
I sat, agonizing, wishing I’d made a different choice, and hoping the pain would end soon. After one last, sharp twinge expelled the demon mass from my body, I sighed, flushed, and went to rejoin the party, grabbing a cheese ball on the way.

Fire Stoked
When first married, passion’s fire so hot, never the lovemaking did you scrimp.Twenty years later, the embers are cold, and poker limp.

Overcoming Temptation
Ruth stood, empty hands clenched, watching the truck disappear.
“Wish he’d peddle his damn ice cream on another street,” she fumed, heading back inside.

Regrets
Heart heavy, shoulders slumped, he opened the front door. After crossing the threshold, with the mistake he made tormenting his soul, he shut the door on his past and his future.

Carnal Dance
Sweat glistened on bodies joined in carnal dance, trickled over softly rounded landscapes, dipped into secret valleys, while the frenzy increased. After echoes of the last soaring crescendo diminished, the slickened bodies separated, heartbeats slowed, and passion cooled the weeping love had ignited.

Financial Woes
Frustrated, Ronald released a forlorn sigh. Hanging his head in defeat, he placed one more bill on the ever-growing pile.

Impatience Rewarded
Smiling glances traded by the aged couple sitting on the front row as cherished memories dance through their minds, whispered antidotes of childhood pranks and mishaps, and one fidgety dance of impatience all come to a halt when the gilded doors at the back of the room opened. Tony knew the wait was worth it, the extra few minutes time well spent, when his bride came through the doors and he watched his future walk toward him, one beautiful step at a time.

Pushing the Limits
Poised on the brink, muscles taut, back straight, Carol dives into history. Slicing the water cleanly, no ripples present, she emerges to eruptions from the crowd and the announcer proclaiming a new record set.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Spread Your Wings

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for the week.



Jake looked out over the horizon, waiting to catch his breath. The trek up the mountain had been hard on him, but he was determined to make it. A tear slipped down his cheek at the beauty nature laid out before him.

He knew people would think him selfish, but he just didn’t want to go on…not this way. The infection was slowly eating away at him from the inside out. The doctors can’t figure out how to stop it, so keep telling him to just take it easy and hope for the best. He knows there is no best though.

He could feel the end coming, and he knows it would not be pleasant, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

What better way to go out, he thought, gazing at the mountains and valleys surrounding his perch.

“You lose!” he shouted, stepping off the precipice into serenity.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cause and Effect

This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt. Hope you enjoy it!


Sean lined up, finding the perfect trajectory. With a last nervous look over his shoulder, he set the projectile on course, before ducking behind a concrete divider.

After hearing the first scream, Sean peeked around the divider. The chunks of red muck covering Casey William’s face brought a chuckle. The murderous look in her eye when she threw pudding at Sheila Brown added to his delight. At least now they have something to bicker about, he thought, slipping out the cafeteria doorway.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Garden Guests

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for the week.



John stood back and looked at the garden with satisfaction. The perfect rows of corn swaying in the breeze, the tomatoes red and juicy, ready for picking, and the cabbage leaves nice and green. He thought maybe this farming business wasn’t going to be as hard as he once expected.

He was turning to go back inside when movement under a cabbage leaf caught his eye. Stepping closer to investigate, he about jumped out of his skin when a rabbit poked its head out.

“Get out of there,” he yelled, flapping his hat at the animal.

The rabbit hopped away, into the surrounding fields. John decided he might need some fencing around the garden like others had suggested. He sure didn’t want rabbits eating up all his vegetables, so planned to go into town and get some fencing the next day.

The next morning, John was getting in his truck when he noticed something didn’t look right in the garden. On closer inspection, he saw that one whole row of cabbage was destroyed. He could see evidence of teeth marks on the remaining stubs left in the ground.

“Damn rabbits!”

John worked long into the evening installing his newly purchased fence, cursing rabbits the whole time. He was sure the garden was secure once he finished. Rubbing his aching back, he retreated to the comfort of home.

Late that night, a sound woke him from a deep sleep. Climbing unsteadily to his feet, he looked out the kitchen window.

“I’ll be damned,” he sputtered, watching rabbits hop all around the cabbage rows. “I don’t know how you got in there, you little bastards, but I’m gonna teach you a lesson,” he whispered, grabbing his shotgun.

Not even stopping to dress, John ran outside. He was in such a hurry, he forgot the front steps were lose and tumbled down them head over heels, landing on the left over fencing material he was going to get rid of the next morning.

After pushing to his feet, John shook his head to clear it. Seeing another cabbage leaf in the garden become rabbit food, his blood boiled. He let out a roar and started forward, entangling both feet in fence wire.

This time when he fell, his head hit the sledgehammer he had used to pound the fence posts into the ground, cracking his skull and ending his troubles.

The rabbits watched to see if the human would move again. Finally, they decided it was safe and resumed dinner.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Turn About is Fair Play

This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt. Short, but not so sweet!



It came to Sarah in a flash. No tiptoeing around or being cryptic, she went straight for the jugular.

Robin Johnson gave Gary Evans a blowjob last Saturday behind Jake’s BBQ.

Malign my character again, bitch, she thought, hitting send, and sitting back with a self-satisfied smile, watching the messages start popping up.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Daddy's Belt

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for the week. I bet this one is something alot of people can relate to in one way or another.


Amelia stares at the belt, goose bumps popping out on her arms. She doesn’t move though. She knows to run will bring worse consequences than standing and taking her punishment like a man.

She remembers the day she asked her father how she could take it like a man when she was a girl. She never made that mistake again. Rubbing her leg, she winces while thinking about the welt he had left that took three weeks to heal.

Cringing when the screen door slams, Amelia calmly walks to the belt. Pulling it off the hook, she carries it outside to her father who was waiting behind the barn. He takes the belt, sits down on the oak stump, and pats his lap. Amelia lies across his legs, waiting for the first stinging thwack.

Jerking, but being sure to make no noise, Amelia endures her punishment. She is confused when her father stops at three smacks, expecting the usual five. Suddenly, she finds herself in the dirt at her father’s feet. Looking up, she sees him clinch his chest and fall backward over the stump.

***

“Come along, Amelia.”

“I’m coming, Mama,” Amelia replies, stepping to her side. “Here,” she says, thrusting something into her mother’s hand. “I didn’t want them to forget daddy’s belt,” she smiles, and wonders at the tear running down her mother’s cheek.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

To Pay or Not to Pay

This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt for the week.

Brandon knew an opportunity when he saw one. The quarrel with his conscience didn’t last long.

“Wonderful service, old chap,” he informed the waiter, slapping him on the shoulder on his way out the door, leaving the check and payment in the little folder on the table.

“Damn,” cried the waiter, retrieving the money and noticing he had forgotten to add the entre to the bill. “What happened to all the honest people?”

Monday, April 27, 2009

Troll Under the Bridge

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt for the week. A new take on an old tale.


“We can’t cross it,” Sherrie whispered to Rachel. “He’ll get us if we do!”

“Don’t be silly, Sherrie. There is no troll under this bridge. That was just a fairy tale.”

Sherrie studied the old bridge, trying to see underneath without actually getting any closer. She knew Rachel thought she was being a baby, but that troll under the bridge story really scared her. This bridge looked old enough a troll would like it, so she was not crossing it first.

“You go first then,” she told Rachel, pushing her forward.

“Oh, alright!” Rachel said, throwing her hands up in frustration. “You’ll see there’s nothing under this old bridge.

Rachel stepped to the edge of the bridge and halted. She would never admit it to Sherrie, but the story got to her a little too. She didn’t really believe trolls lived under bridges, but this one was old and rotten looking.

Drawing a deep breath, Rachel made the first step onto the bridge. It creaked under her weight, but nothing jumped out, so she proceeded. Sherrie watched, warily eyeing the bushes under the bridge for any sign of movement.

Rachel made it half way across, when a terrible thrashing ensued under the bridge. She screamed, ran back to Sherrie, grabbed her hand, and led her back toward home.

Neither of them noticed the family of rabbits hop from under the bridge and flee into the woods.

Defeat

This is my contribution to the Shortest Short Story contest on the Washwords site. I hope y'all like it.




I bet Washington didn’t use words like this when talking to his troops, Private Ward thought, listening while the sergeant hurled obscenities at the men of C Company. Then again, his men won their battle.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shit Happens

I had a writing prompt the other day on the Accentuate Writers Forum. It wanted to know what you would do if you were on the toilet, had finished your business, and found yourself to be without toilet paper on the roll, or under the cabinet. This is the story I came up with...



Doug finished his business, put his guns and ammo magazine down, and reached for the toilet paper. Coming away with only a wispy torn scrap, he reached over to get a new roll from under the cabinet.

“Damn!” he snapped, finding an empty Angel Soft bag.

He looked around, hoping to spot some sort of paper, with no luck. Finally, he decided the only recourse left was to hobble over to the pantry and get a washcloth.

Doug pulled his pants up to right above his knees, let out a deep breath, and stood half way up. He held his pants scrunched tightly in both hands, hobbled toward the pantry, keeping his but poked in the air, and the cheeks spread.

Finally reaching the pantry, he pulled the door open, only to see bare shelves.

“Shit!”

After hitting the top shelf hard enough to knock it loose, where it in turn fell on the next two shelves, leaving the pantry a complete mess, Doug hobbled to the closet and snatched a shirt off its hanger.

Once he finished wiping, he buried the dirty shirt under the top layer of clothes in the hamper.

“That’ll teach the lazy bitch to keep the laundry done,” he quipped.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Blood Oath

This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt for the week. Hope y'all like it!


Carl pledged vengeance, an oath he reiterated each time he stuck his knife in a man whose ineptitude had played a part in his father’s death.

Employing a cunning deceit, he finally found the last of the group. Wanting to indulge his blood lust, he slowly withdrew the blade from the man’s side before plunging it in again, just a few inches closer to the bastard’s heart.

“Nothing like surgical precision is there, Doc?” he quipped, smiling into the dying eyes of his father’s killer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Terrorism

This is my contribution for the Your Photo Story prompt this week.



Michael offered a silent prayer while looking out over the valley below. The viewing platform was high enough for him to see across the entire town resting in the nook between mountains.

He saw the power plant nestled in the middle of everything; the town sprawled out around it. “If only you had not supplied power to our enemies,” he cried.

Taking the cap off the canister clinched in his hands, he sighed deeply, before pouring the powdery contents into the wind. Watching the cloud of death sink over the homes below, tears sliding down his cheeks, Michael stepped onto the railing of the platform.

Closing his eyes tightly, Michael whispered, “I’m sorry,” before leaping.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Looking on the Bright Side

I combined the Three Word Wednesday prompt and the Your Photo Story promtps again. The photo on the Your Photo Story site this week was of an old outhouse. I liked how the words from 3WW worked with the pictue. I hope y'all enjoy it!



The outhouse held no allure for Melody. She was spitting nails, cursing Nathan every step of the way, while trekking through the high grass across the backyard. She couldn’t believe Nathan actually thought she would find the rustic cabin with no indoor plumbing quaint and fun.

That’s what I get for dating a man raised on a farm, she thought, yanking the outhouse door roughly open.

Her scream filled the night at sight of the grizzled old man perched on the wooden seat in the outhouse, everything on vivid display.

Nathan ran to her side, scared she’d come across a snake or something. When he spied the old man, he let out a chuckle.

Melody snapped out of her frightened stupor at the sound. “What are you laughing at?” she snapped. “He scared me half to death.”

“Yeah, but you don’t have to use the outhouse anymore,” Nathan observed, noticing the wet spot on the ground between Melody’s feet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Beautiful End

It was midnight yet the sky was brilliant orange. Even the screams of her family and friends couldn’t make Joy look away. It was so very beautiful.

She lay down in the meadow, ignoring the cries of the others. Resting her head on her hands, she thought back over her life: all the people she loved, the places she’d been, the things she never got to do. None of it mattered now.

The news had come three days ago. The end was imminent. The sun, giver of life, was taking it away. Some people prayed, some hid in caves hoping to survive somehow, and others…others like Joy, just sit back to watch.

No one could deny the beauty death was bringing. Oranges, yellows, and reds were painting the sky more brightly each hour.

Joy felt something brush her arm. Looking over, she saw people lying down all across the meadow. A tear rolled down her cheek when they all joined hands.

Her fingers entwined with the woman beside her, Joy closed her eyes as the sun enveloped them.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Smooth Landing

I combined the Three Word Wednesday and Your Photo Story prompts again because the words seemed to work so well for both this week! I hope y'all enjoy my little story.




Mom always did say I loved to flirt with danger, Floyd thought, looking down and watching the ground grow larger and larger. I bet she never dreamed I’d take it this far though, he mused, running over the ploy once more, ensuring he remembered everything.

Checking below, marking the distance left, he pulled the ripcord. Drawing on years of experience, he glided smoothly toward the earth and his ultimate destination.

Landing softly, Floyd cut the parachute cords and disengaged himself. He then silently stepped around the corner of the house, stopping when in view of the two occupants in the hot tub.

“Floyd,” Samantha sputtered, dropping her champagne glass and grabbing her bikini top, trying to cover herself.

Floyd calmly pulled his gun, shot Samantha and her new boyfriend, and then retraced his steps. Packing the chute in a bag he’d brought along, he went around the back of the house to the cliff edge, whistling all the while.

Checking his equipment to make sure all was well, Floyd dropped off the face of the cliff into a stunning sunset. The second small chute worked wonderfully, allowing Floyd to descend quietly to the canyon floor.

After touching down, Floyd walked into the mouth of the canyon, dragging the parachute behind him to eradicate his tracks. He still had on the shoe slipcovers, but figured it was better to be safe than sorry.

Arriving at the river that ran through the canyon, Floyd gathered wood to make a fire on the bank. He took off the shoe covers, stepped into the river, and then threw the covers in the fire along with the parachute and all its accoutrements.

Once the fire went out, Floyd brushed all the evidence off into the river.

That went rather well, he thought, swimming to the boat he had left in the river the night before.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Murphy's Law for Mothers

This story is for the Three Word Wednesday and Your Photo Story prompts. Hope y'all enjoy it!



Sandy was caught in the crush as all the children tried to go down the stairs at the same time. Admonishments of slow down, watch your step, and don’t knock your sister over fell on deaf ears.

“Hey, watch it! I’m first!” and “Harry pinched me!” were some of the many varied complaints uttered while each child tried to beat the other to the front door, and the promised ice cream that waited in the truck at the end of the drive way.

Sandy started to warn Michael about pinching, when her heel caught on the stair runner, sending her sliding down the last few steps to land in a heap at the bottom.

“Mommy fell down the stairs,” Little Sarah giggled, pointing at Sandy.

She always did have a knack for stating the obvious, Sandy mused, pushing to her feet.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reacting

This is my story for the Three Word Wednesday prompt this week.



“You really do need to learn to be proactive instead of reactive, Aerial,” Shawn snapped. “You let people run all over you, claiming it’s in your best interest. By the time you figure out what they’re up to, it’s too late,” he finished with a sigh.

“There’s nothing wrong with trusting people,” Aerial replied earnestly. “You’d have more friends if you gave people a chance.”

“I don’t need more friends,” Shawn replied. “Especially not like yours.”

“I have very good friends,” Aerial huffed.

“Yeah, why aren’t they here helping?” he inquired.

Aerial looked at him, tears welling in her eyes, before turning her back. Seeing her shoulders slump, Shawn felt like a total cad. He started to apologize, but then remembered one of her ‘friends’ was the reason they were in their current predicament, and kept his mouth shut. He shook his head, not understanding how even Aerial could let someone paint a mural on their parent’s garage.

Aerial couldn’t handle the silence any longer, so asked Shawn if she could do anything to help.

Shawn handed her a rag, “start wiping,” he said, and resumed his own scrubbing. “I think I’m almost through the first layer.”

“I’m sorry you have to do this, Shawn,” Aerial whispered. “I thought it would be a cool surprise for mom and dad. I never dreamed he’d paint naked fairies!”

“It’s ok, Sis,” Shawn sighed. “If I’d been home like I was supposed to be it never would have happened.

Aerial giggled.

“I don’t see anything funny here.” Shawn grumped.

“If you’d stayed home instead of going out with Shirley, you wouldn’t be cleaning paint of the garage door with me,” Aerial told him.

“Yeah, so?”

“Looks like you’re doing a little reacting of your own,” Aerial smiled, ducking the rag he threw at her.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Retribution

This is my contribution for the Your Photo Story prompt this week. A little micro fiction piece I hope y'all enjoy.



Rain mingled with the tears cascading from Adrian’s eyes. She couldn’t believe he was gone.

Looking over her shoulder to make sure no one was around, she hissed, “I wish I’d been the one to put the bullet in your brain, you bastard,” before wiping away the tears, smiling, and heading home, safe at last.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Unlikely Hero

This is my story for the Three Word Wednesday prompt this week.



“Burdens are ubiquitous in this day and age,” the Red Cross representative proclaimed to the anxious crowd. “We want to thank all of you for offering your services to your fallen friends today; in light of the damages you all incurred yourselves.”

Clem looked around, studying his neighbors, what was left of them anyway. The tornado had devastated his small town overnight. Many were taken in their sleep.

Burt nudged Clancy, “Look over there,” he said, pointing at Clem. “What’s old man Gregory doing here? Like he ever cared about anybody,” he finished in disgust.

Clem felt them watching him, sneers on their faces.

“And now I’d like to take a moment to thank someone. A true hero among us.”

Everyone looked around, wondering whom the speaker was talking about. When she singled Clem Gregory out, a gasp went through the crowd.

“Mr. Gregory opened his root cellar to three of his neighbors last night. Without his generosity, all would have perished along with their homes.”

Clem smiled when applause broke out and enjoyed the rest of the speech in his honor.

After fighting his way through the crowd, who all wanted to personally thank him, Clem finally made it to his truck. He enjoyed the limelight during the speech, but didn’t cotton too well to people touching and talking to him. Next time we’re playing poker at George’s house, he grumbled to himself, pulling out of the parking lot.


If you liked this story,please check out my others on the Your Photo Story blog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Killing Tree

This is my story for the Your Photo Story prompt this week.


Anthony smiled broadly when the ax struck the tree for the first time. Not even getting the blade hung in one of the tree’s huge knots squelched his satisfaction at cutting the monstrosity down.

Each whack of the ax killed a grizzly memory. Memories of secret meetings his father called and he was forced to attend. Memories that had left scars on his soul no therapist had been able to erase.

Anthony swung a wide arc. The thwack of the ax resounded through the woods, and reminded him of other, more haunting, sounds the woods had endured over the years.

After the last cut, while he watched the great tree fall, Anthony searched his heart for even a shred of sadness over his father’s fate. He knew the therapist thought he should be sorry the state was executing his father, but the therapist didn’t know how many people his father had ordered executed under the killing tree, white hood hiding his identity, keeping his secrets.

The souls of many heard this tree fall in the woods, he mused sadly, listening to the sigh of the breeze through the trees, before he turned and headed to the penitentiary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tantrum

This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt this week.

Kimberly had to cajole and fuss to get Mark into the car so they could leave for dinner with her parents. He was throwing a temper tantrum of untold proportions. She was a nervous wreck, muscles tense, holding the steering wheel in a death grip when they stopped for a light on Martin and First.

“Who lives there, Mommy,” Mark whispered, staring wide-eyed at a dilapidated house, shutters falling off, with weeds covering the lawn.

“Recluse John lives there,” Kimberly replied.

“What’s a recluse,” Mark asked.

Kimberly sighed, not wanting to start a round of twenty questions. “A recluse is someone who stays to themselves, usually because nobody else wants to be around them.”

“Why don’t people want to be around them? Are they mean or something?”

Hearing this inspiration struck. “Nobody wants to be around them because they throw temper tantrums all the time.”

“Oh,” Mark said, turning to watch the house disappear behind them.

“Mommy.”

“Yes, Mark.”

“I’m sorry I threw a tantrum.”

Kimberly hid her smile.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Path

This is my contribution to the Your Photo Story prompt. I made the photo prompt site with hopes other writers will join the fun and make a story off the picture of the week.


Sharon saw the path up ahead. Being unfamiliar with these woods, she had no idea where it led. She did however know where, and to whom, the path behind her led.

One painful step at a time, she trekked through the woods. Her leg was throbbing, the knife wound seeping through the makeshift bandage she had made out of a torn piece of shirt. She checked the path to make sure no signs of blood were marking her direction. Seeing none, she continued.

Behind her, watching from atop an oak tree, the killer smiled. He had climbed the tree to get a better vantage point after spotting the drag marks left on the path from the woman favoring her injured leg. Now he knew exactly where his victim was heading.

Letting the woman get farther ahead, the killer then climbed down from the tree. Reaching in his pocket, he pulled out a small two-way radio.

“Dad,” he said, pressing the talk button.

“Come in,” a voice replied.

“She’s on the way,” the killer offered. “Make her comfortable until I get there.”

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Old Timer

This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt. Hope you enjoy it!


Marcus listened in fascination as the man rambled on, astounded at the old timer’s genuine ability in storytelling.

“And that’s when Bubba grabbed his shotgun and yelled, ‘You ain’t takin’ her back, Harold,’ before shooting him deader than a doornail right there on the courthouse steps,” the old timer said, finishing his tale.

I’m going to have to do something to avenge the English language before printing this, Marcus mused, shaking the man’s hand and thanking him for his time, before heading to the office to beat the morning edition deadline.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dead Silent

Silence shrouded the woods. Mist covered the forest floor, making each step an act of courage. Sheila knew one wrong move could lead to disaster. Unfortunately, she had to keep moving. Stopping would mean certain death, whereas moving left the option open.

Quietly emerging from behind the giant oak, she crept forward, one cautious step at a time. The sweat dripping into her eyes burned, nearly blinding her. Pausing to wipe her forehead, she sensed movement to her left. Panicked, she started running.

Her frantic dash ended when she tripped, smashing head first into a tree. Her last thought before passing out was she should have listened to her mother when she warned of picking up strangers.


***

Carl picked the fallen girl up, carrying her easily through the forest. She was very small, just the way he liked them. He’d been watching her all evening. There were many women at the party, but she stood out from all the rest. Her carrot red hair shone in the light, a beacon he couldn’t resist.

Laying her gently onto the cave floor, he ventured back into the forest. He had things to do before he could begin enjoying her. Everything had to be perfect. She deserved the best.


***

Sheila awoke, every limb shivering, with a pool of water under her cheek. Have I been drooling? She wondered, pushing herself upright. With tingles shooting from every nerve, she stood. Grabbing the cave wall for support, her head spinning, she looked around. How did I get here?

A faint light for her guide, she made her way to the mouth of the cave. Darkness cloaked the forest in a coat of black. “What am I going to do now,” she groaned to the darkness. “I’ll never find the road.”

Buck up, girl, she could hear her mom admonishing. You can do anything you put your mind to.


Gathering her courage, she pushed into the darkness. “Thanks, Mom,” she murmured.


***

Whistling, Carl made quick work of his task. He was in a hurry to return to the cave. Thinking about the girl lying there, hair spread out around her creamy face, was making it hard for him to concentrate. Shaking himself, he set about finishing.

He entered the cave quietly, not wanting to disturb her if she were still sleeping. Noticing she was missing, he dropped the firewood he had collected. He knew she couldn’t have gone far. The knot on her head was fresh. It would make moving painful. Cursing under his breath, he set out to find her once again.


***

Sheila was exhausted. Her head felt like it was going to split in two, her feet were swollen, but her worst problem was being lost. She knew the highway had to be close, but she couldn’t find it. Should have listened more when maps were taught in school, she thought, then maybe I’d know what to look for.

She’d lost track of the times she’d fallen down. Her knees were sore from the abuse. Pushing ahead was becoming harder with every passing moment. The only thing keeping her going was the knowledge he was out there. I don’t think he’s the giving up kind, she thought. Maybe that’s because the last thing you heard him yell was that he’d find you no matter what, she reminded herself.

“Why did he pick me, Lord?” she beseeched. “What did I do to deserve this?”

When no answer was forthcoming, she trudged on. The forest was even denser in this part. She could no longer see her hand in front of her face. It was early fall, so she didn’t think she’d freeze to death even though it was cold. Her biggest worry by far was the lunatic chasing her.

“What was that?” she asked the night, stopping dead still. “Cars! I hear cars!” she cried.

In her excitement, she didn’t hear Carl creep up behind her. Winded from his frantic run through the woods, Carl was quietly trying to catch his breath. Seeing the girl sprint into the distance, he cursed, “Shit,” then took off after her.


***

A car rounded the curve. Sheila was waving her arms trying to get the drivers attention when she felt a presence behind her. Turning, she saw Carl towering there. The look on his face terrified her into stillness, giving him the last advantage he needed.

Sheila snapped out of her stupor as Carl swung the limb above his head. Her scream reverberated through the forest, then silence filled the night once more.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Author Website

I would really appreciate if all of you would check out my new author website. Bookmark the site to keep abreast of important events in my writing career. I hope there will be a lot to report!

I am excited about the upcoming anthology in which two of my poems will be featured. Once the book is released, a link will be provided on the author website. The anthology is going to be sold in bookstores such as Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobel.com, and others.

Please let me know what you think of the author website. All suggestions are welcomed. I want to make it look professional, but keep “me” in it. Thanks to everyone who checks it out! Don't forget to sign the guest book.

Angel Sharum's Author Website

Friday, February 20, 2009

Pricision

“Hello, beautiful,” the man said as he walked into the room and turned the overhead light on.

“Go to hell!” Elizabeth spat as she pulled against the ropes binding her to the bed. She had been in total darkness for so long she thought she’d lose her mind, wishing someone would turn the light on. She wanted it back off now. What she saw literally stopped her heart.

“That’s not any way for a lady to talk,” he replied with a sneer.

The look made the scar stretch even more on his cheek. Elizabeth looked away with revulsion. The man saw her and smiled. Anything to add to their discomfort just made it all the more fun for him.

“If you aren’t going to act like a lady, I guess I don’t need to treat you like one, do I?” her captor said with a shake of his head as he turned to the table in the corner.

“What are you doing?” Elizabeth demanded. “No! Stay away!” She cried when the man picked up a butcher knife and walked slowly across the floor towards where she lay, captive and terrified.

***

The hospital was abuzz with the news of the latest of the ‘Barry County Butcher’s’ victims. The newspaper was saying the latest murder was the most gruesome of all. The victim, Elizabeth Connelly, was only twenty-seven years old. Her parents were devastated and police were no closer to catching the Butcher than before.

“How can there be no evidence?” the head nurse whispered to the orderly.

“It seems the killer knows what he’s doing. No finger prints, no semen, nothing for the cops to go on is ever left behind. He even washes the bodies before he burns them! He’s leaving nothing to chance,” replied the orderly with a shiver as he thought about the way the women died.

“He’ll slip up one day. Let’s just hope it’s before another woman dies,” said another nurse.

“I don’t know. The sheriff’s department is saying they’ve never saw anything like it. I’ve heard rumors they think it might even be a cop because of the lack of evidence,” the orderly offered.

“I haven’t heard that. Who told you they think it might be a cop?” the head nurse asked.

“Bob over in pathology. You know we’ve got every one of the bodies here for autopsy, right?” the orderly answered.

“Yes, I was aware of that. All the killings happened within ten miles of the hospital. Doesn’t exactly make me feel safe leaving here after dark, but what can I do about it?” The nurse shook her head. “I heard the hospital has performed more autopsies in the last three months than the rest of the year combined,” she informed the others.

“I hope it’s not a cop. You like to think you can trust the cops to protect you,” the other nurse said with a sigh.

“I wouldn’t trust a cop as far as I could throw him,” replied the orderly. He’d had some run-ins with the local cops in his younger days.

“It makes sense if you think about it,” he continued. “Who would know better than a cop how to destroy evidence and make it to where he’s never caught?”

“What do you think, Dr. Monroe? You think one of Barry County’s finest is the Butcher?” the orderly asked the only person standing at the nurses’ station yet to offer an opinion.

“Could be, Jackson. You never know what goes on in someone’s mind. It could even be someone here in the hospital,” he said with a frown.

The nurses all looked down. They respected Dr. Monroe, but it was hard to look at him. That scar put everyone off.



Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cow Patty Prank

“Hey, Elbert, watch this.” Dale whispered.

“What did you do this time?” Elbert inquired.

“Shhh, he’ll hear us.” Dale admonished.

Thomas was in a good mood. He was whistling when he walked into the barn. Until he stepped in the big glop of cow manure.

“Damnit!” he muttered, hopping on one foot toward the grass to clean his boot.

“Wait a minute,” he said, looking at the cows in the paddock behind the latched gate. “How the hell?” he continued, after cleaning his boot and walking over to make sure the latch was still secure.

He only had two cows in the small paddock. Since it wasn’t very big, he decided to check the fence for problems. After walking around the entire thing, and finding no breaks in the fence, he headed back into the barn, mumbling, “I just don’t get it. It’s not like the cows grew arms and opened the latch.”

“Actually I did,” Dale stated.

Thomas poked his head out the barn door. Great, now I’m hearing things too, he thought, after assuring himself that no one was there.

With a shrug, he turned back inside. Once he had the tool he’d came for, he made his way back to the house.

Dale was laughing so hard, milk was squirting from his utters. Elbert jumped when some hit him on the leg.

“Hey, watch it,” he snapped.

“Sorry, man, but that was great.”

“He’s going to figure it out one day and you’ll be sorry,” Elbert admonished.

“Nah, they never figure anything out,” Dale replied with a smirk. “They’re still trying to find the people of Roanoke.”

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Other Woman

Sally watched Jason kiss the “other woman.” She felt the hatred well up. Her stomach was rolling, the sight made her so sick. How can he touch the whore with the same hands he caressed me with this morning, she wondered.

“You had to bring her to our favorite restaurant, you rat bastard,” she whispered under her breath. “Never worrying one of our friends might walk in.”

When the woman laughed it made Sally seethe. Her hand clinched so tightly the metal bit into her skin. When their hands laced across the table, she moved forward.

The look on the woman’s face was enough to convince Sally she knew Jason was married. Her shocked, “Oh my God, your wife!” only cemented her fate.

Arriving at the table, Sally calmly removed the gun from her pocket, shot the woman, then turned to Jason who was sitting in stunned silence. “At least you only lied to one of us,” she proclaimed before shooting him in the crotch. “If you live, I doubt you will have to worry about cheating on another woman,” she continued before raising the gun to her own head then pulling the trigger.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Game of Cat and Mouse

Silently sneaking ever closer, Ebony kept his prey in sight. The muscles rippled underneath his shiny black coat with every step nearer his intended target. With ears laid back and eyes focused, he watched the unsuspecting mouse scurry back and forth under the rickety old porch.

Stopping suddenly, hackles raised, he stood motionless while a strong breeze ruffled his coat. Once the offending presence had subsided, he targeted in on his prey again and continued the quest.

Ebony watched the mouse grab a piece of cat food and quickly scamper beneath the porch. Tail twitching, back arched, he waited for the perfect time to pounce.

The next time the mouse emerged from under the porch, Ebony shot forward. The mouse quickly darted to the right, climbing a piece of wood that was propped against the deck of structure. Before Ebony knew what was happening, the other end of the board snapped up, hitting him under the chin.

Ebony lay in the dirt, dazed. He saw the mouse watching from the porch, nose twitching, little hands holding a piece of cat food up in triumph.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Road

This is my contribution to the Weekend Wordsmith prompt. It's short and sweet this time!



It stretched before him. The end nowhere in sight. Smooth, straight freedom his for the taking. All he had to do was make the first step. Set his feet in motion. Take the chance on a new life down the road.

With one backward glance, he took the first step toward his future. The past but a shadow, a shrouded eulogy of the life he wished to forget. With a new sense of optimism, he whistled, walking into the night, knowing the best was yet to come.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Loving Deception

This is my contribution to the Three Word Wednesday prompt for the week. Hope you enjoy it!

Vincent sat silently in the corner, observing the other patrons. He fought rising panic, keeping his mind focused on the objective. Total dedication was required to bring this scheme to fruition.

He remembered stammering when April asked why they were going to this particular restaurant, since he usually balked at the prices and glitz of the place. He couldn’t remember the reason he came up with, although he knows it must have been weak because she’d been casting suspicious glances his way since sitting down. He would be glad when the deception was over. He’d never been good at subterfuge.

He watched Armand cross the crowed restaurant, stopping to address guests here and there along the way. The closer Armand got to his table, the more nervous Vincent became. To hide this fact, he quickly began eating.

Thankfully, April was enjoying the harpist playing in the vestibule, completely unaware of Vincent’s agitation. When Armand slid to a stop at their table, April smiled, looking questioningly at Vincent.

Armand set a bottle of champagne and two glasses on the table, then placed a piece of chocolate cake in front of April, before retreating.

Vincent heard April gasp when she noticed the ring resting in a rose petal that was atop the cake. He quickly dropped to one knee, took her hand and pledged everlasting love if she would be his bride.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Passionate Mistake

My contribution for the Three Word Wednesday Prompt.

I only wish I had listened when my mother warned me about Bobby, Sandra thought. Then I wouldn’t be in this mess!

But he was so sexy and dangerous that she let her emotions lead her. She remembers how her heart would pound whenever he came near. Just the sight of him was enough to make her melt. He exuded passion and she wasn’t strong enough to resist.

“Sandra, get your ass in here,” he bellowed from the living room.

Sighing, she went to see what he wanted. The sight that greeted her made her stomach turn. Pizza boxes and empty beer cans littered the tables and floor, stains were apparent on every surface, and the man himself was wearing only a dirty pair of boxer shorts.

He scratched, and then commanded, “Bring me another beer and a sandwich. I don’t know what’s taking you so long in there.”

Sandra scrunched her nose in disgust, replying, “I’m cleaning the kitchen. Thankfully, you don’t spend much time in there so the damage isn’t too bad. It will take a decontamination team to clean this room!” she finished, flinging her arms to encompass the immediate area.

“A decomwhat?” he muttered.

“Nevermind,” she said, turning back to the kitchen.

She often wondered what happened to the stud she married. Not even a glimmer of him existed any longer. He was now a hulking brute.

I wonder how many I told you so’s I’d have to endure if I went home, she mused, spreading mayonnaise on a piece of bread.