Tag Archive: Short Stories


Today I came undone. It was an interesting feeling akin to screaming from a dream, pointless and jarring. My words were nothing more than pathetic echoes reverberating out of me, attached to nothing, devoid of meaning. Scales fell from my eyes, liquid fire, blinding me to the light. As I stood in the maelstrom, begging it to strike harder, I paid willingly in pounds of flesh. Eased by the warm rush of blood. Calmed by the whiring in my ears.

My masks lay at my feet strewn like flowers, representations of things I dare not name. They are my most and least honest appendage in one. The masks repel and call to me with the same voice. It’s familiar, and my fingers itch to pull them up, obedient as always.

An acrid taste upon my tongue sours my stomach. Perhaps this pill wasn’t meant for swallowing, but the hour is late and I’ve already decided. So while Fate looms chill and shadowy behind me, a shark, keen in bloody water, I drop my arms, stand firm, and adjust my posture. I am ready to continue because continue is what I do.

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Liebster Award: Thank you

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Littleonionwrites was kind enough to nominate me for this award, thank you for the virtual shout out.  If you haven’t found her blog yet let me assure you it is worth checking out; she’s got HP fanfic, book reviews, and music playlists…oh my 😀 !

This is an award to help bloggers discover new blogs as such it is given to those with less than 300 followers as an opportunity for readers to learn more about them.

Here are the rules should you choose to accept the award:

*List 11 facts about yourself.
*Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you.
*Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers with less than 300 followers.

~You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.
~Go to their blog and tell them that they have been nominated!

Factoids:

I) I am a huge fan of Halloween and homemade costumes!

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This is my house all decorated for trick'or'treaters

II) I am the oldest of three, but I completely idolize and adore my younger siblings. They are both living awesome lives that I am jealous over, at least twice a year, and they have character traits I hope to develop. 8D

III) I sing in the car with my windows down :/ Even though I am no where near pitch perfect 🙂

IV) I began my foray in to adult fiction with Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire. This caused my young adult obsession with horror fiction. Ah the good ol’ days when vampires didn’t sparkle 😉

V) My guilty pleasure reads are the H.P. Mallory book series, a New York best selling author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

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How can you not want to read these books with covers like those?

VI) I am absolutely addicted to musicals, currently I am obsessed with Sweeney Todd and Once:)

VII) I have a huge sweet tooth! When I travel I am all about dessert not drinks.

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Tart a la bouille

VIII) When I find the time I enjoy sewing. My next project is making boxer style shorts out of minky dots, perhaps the softest fabric ever 😀

IX) I love owls! I know weird right? They decorate my mugs, tote bags, and hang from my review mirror.

X) I want to go to a big convention and try Cos Play. My costume choice would be a keeper from Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Dark over series 🙂 Major kudos to those of you out there who actually know what that means!
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XI) If I should ever get to publish my stories it will be under a pseudonym.

Q&A:

1. Do you have a favorite decade for music? Do you enjoy today’s music?

Well, right now I’m really into the music of the 60s (think Beach Boys). I cannot really explain it but these songs just put me in the mood for summer 8D. Music right now is hit or miss in my opinion. I have a few current songs in my play list (Sara Bareilles, Green Day, Florence + the Machine), but I am completely head over heels for Pentatonix! If you haven’t heard of them check them out, they are an a Capella group that won season 3 of The SingOff.

2. What is the first electronic you received/bought?

Does my Playskool record player count? It was adjustable so I could play 45s or 78s, and had a speed switch which was fun to mess with as well.

3. What do you think is the best post you’ve written?

Hard one! Okay my choice is The Hunt. I love this post! The picture I found to go with it, the back and forth of the characters, and what I hope is a twist at the end. However, it is not the post which drew the most likes or views. If you get a chance check it out I hope you like it 🙂

4. What do you do when you feel overwhelmed with too much stuff to do?

Oooo…this is a good question, and my answer is sooo telling. I escape! I will clean, watch movies, read books, anything to stop me from starting, what I imagine to be an insurmountable, task list. I do however try to head that off by setting goals on a weekly bases. I don’t always reach them, but without the goal I wouldn’t even get close 😉

5. What are your favorite books/foods/music at the moment?

I am currently reading book 5 in the a song of ice and fire saga (A Dance with Dragons), and loving it though I wish I would have read it closer to finishing book 4. I am currently working on my first author journal articles, I am a PhD student studying autoimmune disease, so I live off chi tea lattes (for caffeine) and listen to 1000 times by Sara Bareilles. I love to bake though so the best thing I made recently was brioche french toast with sweetened whip cream and strawberries.
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6. Did you ever have a bad habit that you overcame? (Mine was biting my nails!)

I curse too much, but I haven’t fixed that yet :/

7. If time machines were created, what year would you travel to? Why?

1863, for the Gettysburg Address, and then 1920, for the 19th amendment. Though I would have also been intrigued by the shenanigans associated with prohibition 🙂

8. What was the first social networking site you joined?

Twitter, though I rarely tweet. I am also on LinkedIn for networking, and Pintrest for party and meal planning.

9. What is your biggest pet peeve?

I loathe bad drivers! Where I live right now, South Carolina, people are terrible at driving, ranked No 2 on CarInsuranceComparison.com’s list. Come on people turn signals are not just decorations! 😦

10. What book have you read that, upon finishing the book, you thought, “This had potential, but there were a lot of things I would change”?

Fifty shades darker! Every time I thought there was going to be an actual moment of plot development, it turned out to be just a transitional scene to more sex. Give it a rest already, someone’s got to be sore 😉

11. What is your favorite Internet radio app? (I’m in love with Spotify!)

I’m fairly old school I guess I just use Pandora. Though I hate the commercial breaks.

Nominated Blogs:

Brianne Writes

Jennifer Windram

Questions for nominated blogs:

A. What do you love/hate the most about blogging?
B. Which literary character do you resonate the most with, and why?
C. Which book would you love to see made into a film?
D. What hobbies do you enjoy, outside of blogging?
E. What is the most beautiful picture you have ever taken? Why do you like that one the most?
F. If forced, what song would you sing karaoke style?
G. What is your favorite rainy day activity? (Mine is baking cookies and reading)
H. What post do you wish more people would have read?
I. What book/movie/song could you read/watch/listen to over and over again?
J. How has blogging changed you or your day to day routines?
K. What is your favorite taboo topic of discussion? (Mine is religion, I always what to know what people believe and why :/ )

The book

I never knew the story of me, not really anyway, until it was my turn to carry the book.  The book was where my mother kept her secrets, and as it turns out they were numerous.  That large leather bound tome was the only thing we owned that never felt the lean times.  It seemed to constantly expand like mother’s sourdough rolls. 

That was how we survived, mother and I.  She baked and, as soon as I could carry the tray, I sold, but we never lingered any one place for very long.  There was never an explanation just, “Adette, my sweet, tis time,” and we would be off to the next town before dawn.  The worst was when we lived “in the heather” as mother would say.  To me the Black Forest was a terrifying place of hard dirt beds, green leaky roofs, and fear which ran off my mother in rivulets when the next town wasn’t an option and we had to hide to survive.  I never knew why we ran, what made us run, or who might follow, but I went with mother and her book without question.

When I got old enough I started to see the pattern.  While we sold sweet bread, hearty loaves, or flaky pastry we were fine.  I could count on a straw mattress, dinner simmering on the hearth, and a place to call home.  We still stole away in the night with no explanation, but it would just be to the next town.  The second I smelled gingerbread though I knew it was just a matter of time till we were back in the woods hugging the shadows. 

The last time I begged mother not to make me sell the child shaped gingerbread, but she wouldn’t listen.  For two days I came home to the spicy sweetness, but the third day it was emptiness that greeted me.  The door hung crooked on its broken hinges, spices and dark syrups coated the floor, and the hearth lay dark and cold.  I waited…afraid to light a fire.  Night fell full and heavy, its inky darkness a weighty thing in my heart and on my mind, but still my mother had not returned.  So I did what my mother taught me…I ran.

I grabbed what I could carry the most precious ingredients, her well used pans, and as I turned to leave I saw it.  The book lay open and only the moonlight on its pages made it visible.  Part of me wanted to run from that book, which had made gypsies of us and ultimately cost me my mother.  However, the bigger part of me wanted answers so it went into my flour sack with all I had left of her.

I fled into the night and into the forest I dreaded so much.  I didn’t stop for days sure that whatever had chased my mother through our lives was now after me.  Until I stumbled into a small clearing.  There was no telling how long the place had been abandoned.  Its wattle and daub roof had washed away and the few support boards which had framed the cottage crumbled at the slightest touch.  Only the stone hearth remained intact.  Habit had me building a fire and unpacking as if this was like any other time mother and I camped out beneath the stars, but reality washed over me in icy chills when my hand grazed leather. 

I realized for the first time how heavy it was as I brushed a slight dusting of flour from its cover.  Flipping through the pages I smiled sadly remembering the small conversations we had over pumpernickel and cherry cakes till I found the recipe.  I read it twice before the words meant anything.  I unpacked each remaining stoppered glass bottle reading their labels with care. Black Pudding was written on a bottle with less than a fingers width of sticky syrup left within it.  My stomach rolled but was too empty to oblige.  I now knew why we left in the dead of night why we hid in the Black Forest’s shadow, but not why mother couldn’t just have used molasses.

I had no other choice before me, I couldn’t return to any town I knew and there was no map or path to lead me forward, so I stayed.  I stayed and the forest, I had feared so much, provided.  There was wild wheat and nuts to grind for flour, honey and berries for sugar, and gathered eggs.  I used what skill I had to protect myself from harsh winter winds, hard brötchen bricks, sugar paned windows, and a thatched pretzel roof, but nothing could protect me from the book.  Every day I read more of it trying to understand any piece of the puzzle.  My only answers came from the inside of the front and back covers.  After numerous blank pages I found a family tree which, if vaguely, told me where I came from.  It was however, the simple inscription inside the front cover that guided me. 

Waste naught want naught.

I am Adette, and I will never be caught wanting for I make use of all that the forest provides me.

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Water color by Kay Nielsen all rights to owner

Closure

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     After two hours at her computer Ann still had no idea why Peter would be the target of grave robbery.  He had died in a car accident not even a month ago after a dinner meeting with then partner Daniel Strauffer.  The hour, after 9:00 pm, and location, The Flats, had made the hit and run a no contest drunk driver casualty, leaving the Widow Saunders with little to no closure.  The case was closed and on a shelf before it even opened, but in light of recent events Ann thought it might be time to talk with Strauffer.

Exhumed

    
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In the grey watery light Ann stood toe to toe with a dark chasm which reeked of two things fresh dirt, faint in the dew laden morning air, and decomp, a smell nearly impossible to miss.  Thinking of how the delicate wording of the dispatcher paled in comparison to the reality Ann radioed in, “Someone exhumed Peter Saunders.”  But why?

Note to Reader-

I am trying something new and hope you will help me along the way.  I am trying to build a story around a series if flash fiction episodes, however much more interesting to me is that I plan to do this one word at a time.  The title “exhumed” is the word I started with.  I am hoping for you, the readers, to provide my next word.  In this way writing the story will be as much of an adventure as I hope reading it will be.  Thank you in advance for participating, and as always please leave comments so I know if I’m still on the right path.

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Working on Cadaver Alley was many things, intriguing, almost always, entertaining, more than you might think, but never fun.  As an assistant M.E. Phil prided himself on on being un-shockable he had no queasy feelings when they rolled in, anymore, or shaky knees during autopsy.  Perhaps that was because Phil worked the third shift, to thoes in the know this shift was often reffered to as the graveyard shift, and as apropos as that seemed it fell a little short in his mind.  Phil had chosen third for three specific reasons; firstly he was a night owl always had been and he found that working at night relaxed him, secondly his sleep wake schedule gave him a built in reason to miss any family event he chose, and finally though most relevent was that crime happened at night.  What this most commonly meant was that said person would die at night, be found in the morning, catalouged by day shift, then processed by swing shift, and mearly watched by graveyard.  He often joked that he was a highly qualified baby sitter.

But that was before today.

Today at exactly 12 noon Esmerelda J. Wakefield had been struck by lightning from a clear sky and pronounced dead at the scene.  She had been catalouged by swing and now awaited processing.  Due to his so often avoiding processing it took Phil quite a while to A) remember what needed to be done, B) find the necessary tools for the task, and C) actually proccess poor Miss Wakefield.  However, by his first break he had finished prelim and was now well versed in who Esmerelda was from a statistics and measurement standpoint.

With her file in hand he walked out to the break room to warm his hands around a hot chocolate or coffee sludge which ever appeared fresher.  Sitting down on the threadbare couch he tapped off the t.v., a curiously uncharistic motion from Phil, and began going through it aloud.  Having read it cover to cover he was nothing if not confused.  “How does one go and get electrocuted to death by lightening without a storm, huh Esme,” he asked glancing over his shoulder towards the glass wall which separated the morgue from the break room.

His cup slipped from nerveless fingers as Phil shot into the air, “What the …”  Running to the employee entrance he continued to shake his head and swear, but when his hand reached for the key pad just inches from the panic/emergency button everything went still.  He took a deep breath, “What are you going to tell them, when they get here?  She was watching me!  Who the hell is going to believe that?  Just go in there man you probably set the block wrong.”  Three minutes later and with arms in a defensive position Phil entered the morgue once more.

Esmerelda would have been described as having piercing eyes he thought to himself as he once again meet her stare with eyes so deep set and dark green.  A shudder ran through Phil forcing him to step towards her table.  Sure enough her head had slipped.  So after a moment of silent thanks Phil went back to work.  Now Esme rested beneath a crisp white sheet, “You have no secrets from me now my dear,” he said as he walked to the faucet.  Phil knew it was silly and unnecessary but he still warmed the water against his wrist.  Satisfied with the temperature he turned back to Esmerelda in time to see her hand fall gracefully from under the sheet and seemingly point to the floor.  “Not…possible,” he yelled as he moved to garb her arm with one hand and to pull back the sheet with the other unawear that he came to rest where she pointed.

“Not out of secrets,” Esmerelda whispered as the sheet fell away and she grabbed Phil’s arm.

                                                                             ***

Beth screamed bloody murder as Mike grabbed her wrist.  Laughing he let go to protect himself from the barrage of blows Beth was attempting to land on his head.  He stopped laughing and held his hands up in surrender, “Fine, fine I deserve that…but I got you so good,” Mike said still smiling.

“You ass,” Beth said shooting Mike a withering look.  As they both quieted down the night sounds came back locust in the trees, bull frogs on the lake, and the crackel of logs in the fire. 

Then from the cloudless night sky a bolt of lightening.

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week#76

….beneath the surface…

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The link will be open until 11th February and rules are 100 word limit plus the three word phrase.  Best of luck!

A Box of Possibility

Paul sighed deeply and let his head fall back.  The sun kissed his eyelids and the wind whispered in his ear until his arms burned from holding up the wooden chest. 

He blinked the dots from his vision and sat down on the rickety porch swing.  His fingers traced the words hidden beneath the surface layer of dust, Together Forever. 

Paul’s laugh held no joy, the words had been a lie, a cruel trick, an empty promise. 

He had lost Dani, and his only consolation was a box filled with the moments when they had been together and forever had seemed a possibility.

I sit at group listening to all the confessions, some small others big but all painful truths,silent for the most part there but not present. So I am not surprised when all eyes find me.

“I am evil. Well,” I concede, “evil is within me.”

The room becomes heavy with silence, I receive none of the pained smiles reserved for small truths. No one will hurry me and very few are making eye contact, this is a big truth and it seems not everyone is prepared to share it with me. I train my eyes on the largest tree I can see out the tiny window.

“It was decided quite a while back, by the seven.” My eyes drop down, I’m done that’s as much as I can give. However, I have committed the cardinal sin of privacy I gave away enough to make them interested but not enough to satisfy them.

“Please continue,” the man with the clip board says searching his list for my name.

I shake my head slightly wishing he would let me alone. The lights start to fade around me, I feel the heat coursing through me, and the sound of voices rise ringing in my ears.

The girl, now sits with her elbows on her knees leaning forward eyes no longer downcast her mouth a hard line. “You, stop looking in that list of yours doc nothing in there is gonna help! She’s fine!”

After her final word the girl scans the room locking eyes with each person daring them to disagree.

The doctor stops fumbling and gives the girl his undecided attention pen poised, “Good, I’m glad to hear that miss…” he ends with an inflection in his voice which makes the statement a question.

“It’s Grea.” She says still angry but without her earlier fire. Her arms slip off her knees and as if she’s asleep her head droops and bobs back up.

“Grea’s a bore really,” she says as she crosses her legs and licks her lips, “I’m the one to talk to.” Even her voice has changed she seems sure of herself sultry even. “My friends call me Luts.” She smiles a slow smile tracing her lower lip with the edge of her finger tip. “I think I might be the one you want, mister,” she sighs leaning back forcing her chest forward and rubbing her legs against one another, “Grea might have appeared important what with her menacing looks and harsh words, but she burns out rather quickly. I on the other hand…”

“Enough…that’s show enough,” I say shaking my head. I pray for the spinning to stop making eye contact with no one begging for the hour session to be over, but like I said I’m evil and my prayers always go unanswered.

The doctor remembers himself and snaps his jaw shut. “Um, the seven, you did say seven…” he asks while continuing to frantically shuffle through his notes.

The girl’s head slips to the side before she’s pulled quickly upright like some pathetic doll on a string.

“Yeah, she did,” the voice is flat now but still so sure. “Stupid Gerde,” the woman says to herself looking up, “Was it the attention you were after? ‘Cuse they sure are looking now aren’t they?” Turning she says, “Well, I’m with her enough is enough, we’re done here,” addressing the man with the clip board once more.

“Sorry ma’am, but who might you be?”

“Me…I’m Perdi, I go before the fall.”

The statement hung in the air a tangible thing filled with menace, but not the girl. Instead she sat straight in her seat no self pity, rage, or sexuality empty now of what ever had made her share. Rather she just existed, completely in or under control once again.

I sit forgotten in the corner. 

Lonely, but more than that. 

I miss you.  Your touch, your deep thoughts, and intense looks all gone now. 

What do I have to remember you by, nothing, but the impressions of your feelings long since dried up?  Am I nothing without you, is it truly you who gives me purpose, for without you I feel thin and faded like so much kindling?  Where once we shared your dreams, fears, and secrets I now feel blank and incomplete. 

Yet here I’ll stay waiting for your caress silently begging for you to tell me … anything, to fill me up.

As the dust of so many years and untold stories mares the perfection of this clean page which yearns to bleed the red, blue, or black of your musings.

****************************Note********************************

This story came to me after coming across this poem called Trees By Joseph Sido check it out if you get the chance.

Leaving the Memories

Toby blinked in the gloom, as if awaking from a dream.  Even in the shifting light of the large wood burning oven the liquid pooling ever closer to his feet sparkled ruby red.  His head snapped back quickly at the sound of a tremendous amount of ash falling as the contents of the oven settled.  As the fire licked through the grill on the door light flashed from his closed fist.  Toby glanced down almost surprised to see that he still clutched the silver blade.

He opened his hand and really looked at it; it was the most decorative one he had ever seen, long though not as heavy as it looked, and warm.  As if the thought had burned him Toby gasped and let it clatter to the stone floor.  Shaking his head he started for the stairs his shoes squelching with every step.

Deep red marked his progress through the house where he snatched the coppers and gin he saw on the way to the shop.  Toby paused and debated going upstairs, but the thought made his stomach roll so he walked to the door instead. 

Toby crossed to the corner and glanced over his shoulder, “I thought the good Lord sent you to me,” he said to no one.  Looking straight ahead he walked brushing a tear from his eye, telling himself it was the stench in the smoke nothing else, as he put the memories of Fleet Street behind him.

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