Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

The Key

Phillis  cried as she packed up her great grandmothers things. She knew she shouldn’t be sad, as great-grandmother told her on her death-bed, she had lived a long and good life and it was time to move on now. Yet Phillis cried, in sadness that she wouldn’t be able to sit in the small parlor, sip tea, and learn from her wise great-grandmother Edith. She’ll miss those happy times. She’ll miss the warm hugs and sweet smiles. Phillis and Edith were all that was  left of a once strong family. Now there was only Phillis left.

Accidents, illness, and now  old age had left the family  with only  one member left.  Phillis felt  the sadness overwhelm her once more.  Edith had left the family home and a comfortable fortune to Phillis. All Edith asked of Phillis is that when the time came, to give a few personal belongings to friends, then get rid of what ever Phillis didn’t need.  Great Grandmother also gave Phillis  a key. It was an old-fashioned skeleton key. She handed it to Phillis just before she died and whispered that the key was the path to the family’s true heritage. Then she breathed her last breath and passed gently on.

The key now lay between Phillis’s breasts. Hung by a red ribbon around her neck, she felt the cold metal against her skin. For the thousandth time she wondered what it would open. She curled her hand around it, and felt the metal heat up. She had been on the look out for anything it might fit into while packing up a few of Edith’s things. She knew it was too small for a door. And she had lived in this house for most of her 25 years and she had never seen a door that this key might fit. So she looked for a box of some sort, but so far had come up with nothing. She had no idea what Edith meant when she said “it was the path to the family’s true heritage.” What did that mean?

Biting her lip she gave the large bedroom another look. She knew in her heart she would never be able to completely change  this room. To her  it will always be her great-grandmother Edith’s room. She  picked up the box full of the few things Edith wanted given to friends and walked out of the room. Edith was to be entombed today in the family cemetery. Afterwards there was to be an  informal get together with friends, and then  tomorrow morning there  would be a meeting with the old family lawyer Benjamin Wilkins, in the library. The formality of the reading of the will would be done then.

Phillis walked downstairs and turned left into the library. She set the box on the large dark desk so the lawyer could have them tomorrow. Sighing she knew she was just putting off what had to be done today. She hated funerals. She had gone to so many family funerals the last 10 years that she was just sick of them. Smiling ironically,  she thought that this was the last one she would have to go to. Since she was the last of the family, she only had one more left to attend, and since she would be the one dead it didn’t matter.

She gave a watery chuckle, and could almost hear the laugh that Edith would have given along with her.  That was one of many traits that the two had shared, their dark humor. Along with the red hair and pale skin, they could have been twins. Many people commented on how much  they were alike. In looks as well as in mannerisms. If they weren’t generations apart they could have been identical twins. But Phillis took this as a great compliment. Edith had been a very beautiful woman  in her youth and even at the ripe old age of 95 when she died, she still retained the grace and dignity that she had carried all her life.

Maybe Mr. Wilkins knew what  the key went to, thought Phillis as she gathered her coat and car keys from the small table in the front hall. She will have to remember to ask him. She put on the long black coat as she looked at herself in the mirror over the table.  She reached up and adjusted the tiny black hat atop her  red hair. Edith had always stated a lady never went to a funeral without a hat. Just as she always said a woman never left home without lipstick on, even if she was just going to the mailbox. Phillis sighed, as she looked at herself once more before leaving for the funeral. She could almost see her great-grandmother smile at her from behind the mirror. Turning, Phillis walked out the front door, locked it behind her and  climbed into her car. It was time for her last funeral. She just hoped she could carry it through with the same dignity and grace that Edith would have shown.

A few short hours later, Phillis was glad the funeral was over. Now she was making sure all her guests, her great-grandmother’s friends, had something to eat and drink.  She stopped here and there, giving a hug, a small kiss, or a kind word to all of Edith’s many friends and neighbors. She was so tired, but didn’t let it show. Soon she would have the house to herself once again.  Except for a dear friend of Edith’s who was staying the night in a guest bedroom.  Malcolm Gerroud was a very close friend of Edith’s . They had known each other for years. Malcolm was an elderly gentleman, handsome and intelligent. He had  silvery hair, blue eyes and a mischievous smile. Phillis loved Malcolm, she always thought him and Edith had a ‘thing’ going on, but never asked. He was probably a good 20 years younger than Edith was. But Phillis knew that with Edith one never thought in years, because Edith was beautiful up to the day she died.

Phillis walked up to Malcolm and gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I will be so glad when it is all over with Malcolm”.

“I  know my sweet, but soon the people will be gone and you can rest for a while” Malcolm said.

Malcolm gave the key that was laying on her chest a glance. “Have you found out yet what that opened?” he asked nodding towards  the key.

“No”  she sighed.  “Are you sure Edith never told you about the key?”

“Not a word, I’m afraid dear girl”  he stated.

“Here I thought you knew each other’s deepest, darkest secrets!” teased Phillis.

“Oh we did! So I’m surprised about the key” he said.

Phillis sighed, and watched her guests talking and remembering Edith in each their own way.  Malcolm’s voice interrupted  her  thoughts as she heard him say,  “Maybe I should stay and help you search dear.”

Surprised she glanced up at his handsome face. “I thought you had to fly to Europe tomorrow for business?”

“I can put that off for a while. It’s nothing that can’t wait.” Malcolm says.

One of the guests came up to say their goodbyes, so Phillis never had a chance to answer Malcolm. As she accepted condolences once more as each guest left, she thought maybe it would be a good idea if Malcolm did stay.  It was a big  house, and no one knew Edith better than Malcolm did. Together, they should be able to  figure out what the key opened.  As the last guest left Edith went to find Malcolm and accept his offer to stay. As she neared his bedroom she noticed the door was not quite closed.  She walked up and was just about to knock  and open  it when she heard her name. Malcolm was talking on the phone. She could just see his reflection in the dresser’s mirror through the slight door opening.

She never knew why she hesitated and listened. She was not by nature an eavesdropper.  This one time  she was. She heard her name again as Malcolm’s voice raised. “I’m telling you the truth! Phillis does NOT  know what the key opens!”

“No! I’ve told you before, Edith never told anyone what the key was for!”

Phillis held her breath as she watched Malcolm pace the bedroom floor. Who ever he was talking to obviously didn’t believe  Malcolm. “I offered to stay and help find what the key opened.”

“No, I don’t know yet, we got interrupted before she said anything more.”

“Yes, yes.  I will call you as soon as I know something.”

“I will make sure I’m here. I can convince her I’m sure. She loves me like a father.”

Phillis silently walked  back downstairs. Her mind was in a whirl. Who was Malcolm talking to? Why was the key so important? Could she trust him? What should she do? She grabbed the key in her hand as she walked into the parlor. She sat down in Edith’s favorite chair and wished she had her great-grandmother back to talk to. Phillis heard Malcolm come into the room. She dropped the hand that was holding onto  the key into her lap and waited for Malcolm  to speak.

“Well,  my dear, I am offering my services as a blood hound if you want the help.” he kidded with her.

Phillis looked up into that dear old face and all she saw was kindness and that wonderful smile of his. She drew in a breath and gave a slightly trembling smile  back. “I would be grateful if you would stay and help Malcolm.” She wasn’t sure, but she thought she saw relief in his face just as he turned to pour himself another drink.

“Then I am at your service dear girl” he stated quietly.

Phillis stood up and walked towards the stairs. “Thank you Malcolm, and with that I bid you good night. It’s been a very long day and I’m tired.”

“Good night sweetheart, see you bright and early in the morning and we shall start to look for what that key opens.” he smiled at her.

“Okay, see you in the morning” she said.

Phillis walked quickly to her bedroom and shut the door. Her hand found the lock and turned it. It would be the first time that she knew of that her door would be locked,  and she sighed  deeply. She sat  at the edge of her bed and once again held the key in her hand.

“What do you open?” she whispered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Uncategorized, writing

My Journey Into The Blogging World

Ah yes, my journey into the blogging world. It has been a whirlwind.  I started my first blog back in June of this year. It was my food blog http://changeforbetterme.wordpress.com and it started back then because I had found out I had a wheat intolerance. So I decided to start the blog with the idea in mind to find recipes that are gluten-free. I have had a blast doing that blog.  But it has somehow evolved into much more then a gluten-free recipe blog. It has become a world traveling food experience and I love it! Most of the recipes are still gluten-free, which has surprised me how you can travel the world and still eat well, by just eating what the natives are eating.

That blog has opened my eyes to so many wonderful places in this world, and so many wonderful different foods. I am having the time of my life writing that blog! And the people I have ‘met’ through it has been fantastic! I have made many new friends and I appreciate every comment and every “like” posted on it. I will continue to bring great recipes from different lands that you can still cook in your humble kitchen. I am having the most fun I have had in years! Thank you all for joining me!

This blog,  well this blog is special to me. I started “To Breath is to Write” just a couple of months ago. It was destined I believe.  I have always loved to write stories and after starting my food blog that love of writing came boiling to the surface once again. It was always there, just I had pushed it so far down through the years for various reasons. Now it has burst forth so strong that it has left me reeling. But I love it!

I never realized just how much I had missed writing.  I have so many stories inside of me that I have written something almost every single day since starting this blog. It has surprised the crap out of me!

I have learned so much on this journey. The ins and outs of blogging. I still have lots more to learn, but it’s going to be so much fun. Blogging has been easier because of the wonderful world here at WordPress. They make things easy to do. They answer questions I have, and the atmosphere here is just so encouraging. My fellow bloggers have been so very supportive and helpful also! You people out there are wonderful! You should give yourself a big pat on the back! I have been on the internet for too many years to count and I have never met a more patient, encouraging and just over all NICE group of people then here in blog world!

There are a few of you out there I wish I could meet in person and give a big hug to!  I consider you friends now, so beware! 🙂

This blogging thing has become so much a part of my life now. I feel so passionate about it. I look forward to getting out of bed  again. The stories going through my mind sometimes wake me up they are so strong and they want to be written so much. Some characters in my stories nag at me to write about them more. And that’s just fine with me!

But I will be truthful and tell you what has surprised me the most on this journey. It has amazed me so much that YOU enjoy what I write! When I wrote that first story, that first piece of fiction I was absolutely terrified!  Then I just closed my eyes and hit that publish button. And I keep hitting that publish button every single day afterwards. Now it doesn’t scare me anymore. Well okay that’s a lie. It still does, but not quite as much as that first time. You dear readers make it all worth while.

Since blogging I have renewed my love of writing fiction. I have thrown in some stories of my own life. I’m still not sure why, because basically I am a very private person. It has all been received so well though that I don’t regret a single word. I have gotten so brave in this writing world that I have even gone so far as to join the challenge at NaNoWriMo.org  this coming November. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it’s a challenge where you write a 50,000 word novel in a month. It’s not a pressure oriented challenge. You write what you feel comfortable writing  every day. I’m hoping I make the 50,000 word count if not more. Maybe I will be lucky enough to have an actual novel at the end! Well with a whole lot of editing afterwards I’m sure.

My journey into the blogging world has been an experience I wish I had done sooner.  But, I’m here now! And you are not getting rid of me! I’m here to stay. I just wanted to take the time to say thank you to all who have joined me in my journey! I cannot stress enough how much I appreciate you reading my posts and still come back for more. Here’s to all of us! We are a special breed of people and that’s okay with me!

 

Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

The Arsonist

She stood across the street, hidden in the shadows and watched the flames lick the building. She smiled, her eyes following the flickering of the orange, red and yellow lights. She thought it was beautiful, wild and free. She wanted to enjoy it before the sirens she heard in the background came and tried to douse her art. Yes, art. To her what she did was a special kind of art. It was beauty devouring ugliness. That she got paid for her ‘art’ was a big plus.

She was an arsonist. She loved what she did. But she had a practical side also. She knew she needed money to live the life she wanted. So she hired out her services to others who though they might not appreciate her art as she did, they understood what an artist she was. She stepped further back into the shadows as the first of several firetrucks stopped in front of the burning building. Quickly the men and women got out of the trucks and started their job of putting out the fire. She knew they wouldn’t save the building. She knew this because she was good at what she did.

Margot watched from the shadows for a few minutes more, then calmly walked away.  Margot was small, slender, and mousey. She had brown hair and brown eyes and people who talked to her for half an hour would forget her five minutes after she left. She just never left an impression. It took her years to develop that talent. She could blend in to her surroundings so well that people, even cops, overlooked  her. She never looked anyone in the eye for more then a few seconds. She never said or did anything that would draw attention to herself. She was a professional.

When Margot was a young girl, she would escape her horrific childhood by setting small fires where she could.  As she watched them she became happy. As she got older she set bigger fires, perfecting her art into what it was today. She ran away from home when she was 15. She managed to survive on the streets by becoming invisible. And every chance she got she practiced her art.  She never set anything on fire that would hurt anyone. They were empty buildings, storefronts,  or garbage containers. She always made sure not even a stray animal was inside before she set up her fires. Then she would stand back and gaze at the flames and be content.

Her first  paying job happened by accident. She was in an alley, hidden from  prying eyes when she overheard two men talking. They met in the alley and talked about hiring someone to torch an empty building one of them owned for the insurance money. It was cheaper the one man said then tearing it down. The other man agreed and said he would find someone to do the job. Margot got the brilliant idea of doing the job herself and getting paid for doing what she loved to do. So she followed the man who owned the building and on a deserted street confronted him.

 

She didn’t know where she got the courage from, but she knew she desperately needed the money. Margot wanted off the streets, she wanted  her own place to live and refused to do what a lot of other women and some men did and prostitute themselves. She didn’t believe in doing drugs or alcohol. Margot didn’t see  her starting fires as anything wrong. It was her art, her outlet, her sanity.

So on that deserted street she walked up to the big man and told him boldly she would do the job for him, for a price. She wondered if she made a grave mistake when the big man just stopped and stared at her for a full two minutes without saying a  word. Margot made sure she wasn’t within reach of those strong hands. She wasn’t that naive to think she wasn’t in danger. She had known danger in many forms through out her life, but she was determined to get this job. She held her head up and held herself still. She felt the man’s eyes on her and risked a look at his face. He wasn’t laughing, which to her was a good sign. His face didn’t give his thoughts away. Finally he asked her, “Why do you think you can do it? Cus all I see is a dirty kid from the streets.”

“I can do it. I can do it in such a way no one will suspect it was deliberately set” stated Margot.

“You got guts girl. So I’ll tell you what I’ll do. You do the job, you do it wrong and I’ll kill  you. You do it right and I’ll pay you.”

“Okay” Margot agreed. She wasn’t worried about not doing the job right.

The big man gave her the address of the building he wanted torched. He then gave her a card with a phone number on it. “You call this number when the job is done.”

Margot took the card and the big man walked away. That was 10 years ago. He was the only man who knew who she was and what she looked like. She got other  jobs through him, and when he died two years ago she had enough contacts that she was making a small fortune a year. She never even got close to being caught. She was happy in her own way. Tonight’s job was  the last for a while. She was going on a vacation. Getting out of the city for the next year and enjoying herself. Then she would see from there what she would do, for something was nagging her. Something kept bugging her and she had to figure out if she was going to continue what she was doing . She needed time to think. Maybe it was time for something else  in the form of art. Maybe she could  somehow go legit. She had to think on how she could do that. For now, she was tired. Tomorrow was a new day with new beginnings.

 

Posted in Blogging, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

A Few Questions Asked and Answered

I must be in a reflective mood today. Maybe its our weather here. Fall has arrived and the trees are colored in reds, golds, and yellows.  The air is crisp and the sky is that particular blue shade that happens in fall. I began to think of questions that should be asked and answered at this time  of my life. So I decided to share a few.

courtesy of Thought Questions

 

For me, it’s bitterness and anger.  That should be left in the past. My future has no place for it. It drains my energy and dulls my thought process. So for all who have hurt me in the past, I forgive you. I will no longer be bitter. I give that up as a time-consuming and fruitless endeavor.

 

 

No one can steal my memories. No one can steal my hopes and my dreams. I won’t let them. I’ve done that in the past, but refuse  to do it now or in the future.

 

 

 

I will always believe in myself. The love I have for people and the love I have for animals. I will always believe in the possibility of dreams and hope. I will always believe in the good of people as a whole and the understanding of passion.

 

courtesy of Thought Questions

 

I desire happiness, contentment and the pursuit of my dreams. I desire people to just believe that even though there are differences among us that we are all the same underneath. We have a heart, a brain, and the ability to be compassionate to each other.

 

 

 

My defense is positivity. I’m the eternal optimist,  I strongly believe in the power of positive thinking. I’ve used it through out my life and it has done some amazing things. I don’t like  negative people, they tend to drag me down too much. When I was in my early 30’s I had  almost 2 years of being constantly depressed. I was so far down into that black hole that I never left the house. I couldn’t. It was impossible for me to. I  couldn’t even make myself go to the mailbox. I lived  in a constant dark environment. I even at one time contemplated suicide. On that day something happened that changed my life, and my way of thinking. That’s when I became an optimist. I started thinking only positive thoughts and my life has never been dark  again. I refuse to go  down that black hole for anyone or anything.

 

courtesy of Thought Questions

 

The first thing my child would say is “We made it!!”. Because there was a few times  it was doubtful. Then my child that I was would think that I did an amazing job becoming the adult I am. There were plenty of obstacles and trials. But the child  in me would be proud.

 

courtesy of Thought Questions

 

What I look forward to everyday is just living. Plain and simple……….LIVING!

 

Posted in Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, stories, Stories of my life, writing

A Dream Begins with a Dreamer

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
Harriet Tubman

The Dreamer by Renoir

 

I love that quote by Harriet Tubman.  It says so much, with a few words. I am a self-proclaimed Dreamer. I even state that in my ‘About’ page. I am a dreamer of dreams. I always will be. I am proud to be a dreamer. Without us, where would the world be? To have great inventions, great ideals, great works of art, and yes great books. There must be a dreamer behind it.

I had a short conversation with a fellow blogger about being a dreamer the other day. It got me to thinking, which I do occasionally. My friend Managua Gunn over at A Pirate’s Haven (visit his wonderful blog, please)  is also a dreamer. We both have gotten into  trouble  over that. Some people don’t understand dreamers. I know I have been misunderstood all my life, because I dream.

I dream wide awake. I can sit for hours and look out a window and dream of far away places of mystery. Places I have never been,  except in my mind. I make  up stories of what happens in those mysterious places. The people, the culture, the beauty and the differences. I have people do  certain things in my dreams and sit back and see what happens afterwards. It’s fun to see how things turn out. Of course I was the only one who saw this. Then I started writing.

I’ve been writing for almost as long as I’ve been reading, but not for as long as I’ve been dreaming. When I discovered that I could write those dreams down, that I could write what happens to my characters in my dreams. Put them in certain situations and write how they sorted through  the mess  I put them in. It was then I found my love of writing. No one ever saw those writings. They were personal, they were mine. And quite frankly after being told all my life that a dreamer never amounted to anything, I was terrified of  putting my writings out there for people to read.

Are dreams and imagination the same? Well let’s see. The definition of a dreamer is;

1. a person who lives in or escapes to a world of fantasy or illusion; escapist. A person who is unpractical or idealistic.

An imagination is  defined as;

  1. The faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses: “a vivid imagination”.
  2. The ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.

Is there really a difference? A dreamer is a person who has the faculty of forming new ideas, images or concepts! So the difference between the two is,  the dreamer is the person,  the imagination is what drives a dreamer. So why is being a dreamer considered a bad thing by some people? One is a person, the other is an action. So therefore I consider myself a person of action!

I’m sure my mother, my ex, and a select few  others would disagree with me. And that’s okay. Now that I have found blogging (yeah I’m a late bloomer) I have found another outlet for my dreams. I am also a whole lot braver, because with this blog I put those stories out there for others to read and critique. But you know what? That doesn’t scare me anymore. Because Dreamers have that bravery. They are more then willing to put their dreams out there for others to see and hopefully we dreamers can fuel some others into becoming Dreamers  with us.

We can’t ever have enough dreamers. That is what is makes this world a beautiful place. Some dreamers might have similar ideas, but it’s how those ideas are dreamt that makes them all unique. And dreamers have passion and strength. We don’t give up on our dreams, we keep plugging at it.

My dream is  to become the best dreamer I can, and to have my imaginings out where others can enjoy them as much as I do. For people who love to read, to dream, to imagine with me. Thanks for reading my picture of words. Thanks for letting me dream a little for you.

Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

The Taxi Dancer

 

 

After  the music ended, Anita sat at her table and wished  she could take her shoes off and rub her tired, achy feet. But, she knew the music would start again in a few minutes and there would be another man holding out his 10 cent ticket to her. Then they would dance, maybe have a few snippets of conversation if he was talkative. If the man was on the shy side the dance would be quiet.

Sometimes if Anita liked the look of the man, she would try to get him to talk. Most times not though. It was a job. Times were tough, she had to help  with the family finances and this was better than nothing. She got this job because she could dance. She always loved to dance, even when she was little, Mama would catch her dancing all over their tiny  apartment. Now that Mama was sick, it was up to her to pay the bills. So she came to the Taxi Dance hall and got a job.

The job was tiring and she usually went home with sore feet and achy muscles, but it never stopped her from returning the next day.  The pay was fair, mostly because she was one of the most popular Taxi’s there. Men enjoyed dancing with her and she had her weekly regulars. She knew that some dancers working there did ‘side jobs’, but she wasn’t one of them. She was a good girl and she  wouldn’t shame Mama  that way.

Anita heard the band start another song, and just like she knew would happen, there was a man standing in front of  her with his 10 cent ticket in his hand. Without even glancing up at the man’s face she took his ticket and stuck it inside the small black purse dangling from her wrist. She stood up and took his outstretched hand, finally tilting her head up and see who it was. This one she didn’t know, he was a new face in the crowd. The handsome young man smiled at her and led her to the dance floor.

They glided smoothly across the oak  floor. Not speaking. Anita was okay with that, there didn’t seem to be a need to talk. She thought he was an excellent dancer, better than most of her ticket holders. She felt comfortable. As they twirled once more around, he finally spoke in a soft deep voice. “I’m glad my buddy talked me into coming here tonight.”

“Why is that?” Anita asked.

“Because I just met the most beautiful woman, who dances like an angel” he said with a small smile.

“I bet you say that to all the ladies” Anita joked.

“Only you”  he said. “Only you from now on” he whispered.

 

 

 

 

**I came across some information about Taxi Dancers while I was researching something else. It fascinated me. They were women who in the 1920’s and 30’s who got paid for dancing with men. The men would buy 10 cent tickets to be able to pay for dancing with them. The women received a commission on how many tickets they collected. This is a very short story that came out of that.**

Posted in Blogging, nonfiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

Imagination

courtesy of http://findfulfillflourish.wordpress.com/

 

 

As I was trolling researching the internet this morning I came across this picture. I fell in love with it. This picture is how I see my imagination. It comes from within, when I read something, when I see something in nature, my imagination has a tendency to take over.

The definition of imagination is according to Wikipedia,   also called the faculty of imagining, is the ability of forming new images and sensations when they are not perceived through sight, hearing, or other senses. It is accepted as the innate ability and process of inventing partial or complete personal realms within the mind from elements derived from sense perceptions of the shared world.

With me, my imagination is most times engaged  through sight and sound, not the absence of these abilities. It has gotten me  into trouble in the past also. When I would hear things at night my imagination would take  over and then I would scare the crap out of myself. 😉

Or I would see something on a walk or drive and my imagination would build a whole world out of that one brief glimpse. I could not live without my imagination, how boring would that be?  Also according to  Wikipedia, Imagination can also be expressed through stories such as fairy tales or fantasies. Now isn’t that the truth! Where would the world be without those that had or have an imagination? Where would our great  works of art be, or our books,  or any of our inventions?  This world would indeed be a sorry place without  it. So very boring too!

Personally I cannot see myself without my imagination. I could not write, or paint, or enjoy life without it. How could any of us? Could it be suddenly taken from us? Withdrawn or denied? Is that even possible? I don’t think it is. I thank the powers that be that this is true for me. I believe that my last thoughts on earth will be part imagination and that’s okay with me.

Now I think I will go put that wonderful ability to use, I will take my imagination and discover another world, another land, another dream and see if I can somehow in my humble way invite you in also to see what my imagination has bestowed upon me.

Posted in Blogging, Humor, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, Uncategorized, writing

A Conversation With Mom

My mom and I have had a relationship problem most of my life.  We never got along when I was younger. Truthfully we never got along until my father died 8 years ago. At different times in our lives we have gone years without  talking. The longest being 7 years when I was married to my ex. She never liked my ex, and well I was too stubborn to say she was right, till after my divorce. We are both very stubborn women. Looking back I think one reason we never got along is because we are two peas in a pod. According to her, when my dad was dying he told her to  make up with me and to surround herself with her kids, because life was too  damn short to keep fighting. I think she took those words to heart, because we have been friends ever since. My mother is sometimes so funny. You have to stay on your toes to keep up with her.  This is a typical phone conversation with her. I called her this morning and here is how it goes. (Mom is  83 years young)

Ring!  Ring! Ring!  (me calling mom)

“Hello? Hi!”

“Hey mom, how you feeling?”

“I’m doing good. I got a new gadget!”

“What you got now mom?”

“It’s for my blood pressure. It’s kind of  like my heart pacer machine. I take a reading of my blood pressure and it goes right to my Doctor’s office!”

“Wow, something else to play with”

“It’s really nice. Hey, your brother got a new job! He’s babysitting some kids.”

“That’s good.”

“Your sister’s been sick though. I’m thinking she had a small stroke, but she don’t believe me.”

“A stroke!!  You kidding??”

“Her doctor said she has a case of palsy, but I think he’s wrong and I told her to get a new doctor, but she never listens to me.”

“Mom you scared me!”

“I got a fox living under my front porch, and someone is stealing my apples!”

“You got a fox?”

“Yeah, he got rid of those hundreds of rabbits I had in the yard.”

“I guess that’s good?”

“Just wish he would get those damn squirrels! I hate those damn things.”

“I know you do mom.”

“If I find out who’s stealing my apples they are going to get their car windows shot out with my BB gun!”

“Um, mom I think that’s illegal.”

“So is stealing my apples! I  get hold of them they are going to wish I didn’t!”

“I’m not sure you should shoot at them mom.”

“I told your brother-in-law what I was going to do. He gossips with all the men in town. Word will get out, so it’ll stop!”

“That’s better than shooting them.”

“I told your brother I’m making an apple  pie  this afternoon. But  I need to go to the store to buy the apples, because my apples aren’t good this year.”

“I thought they were stolen anyway?”

“Not all of them, but they aren’t good for pies. But I like to feed the deer with them.”

“Okay, I got it now Mom.”

“I’m going to clean out my closet today. I got about 50 pairs of shoes and I need to re-arrange things.”

“50 pairs??”

“Yeah, I noticed I didn’t have any green shoes though. So I might have to buy some green ones, so I need room.”

“You going to give some away then?”

“No! I don’t want to give any away. I just need more room. ”

“You can only wear one pair at a time.”

How’s things in Canada?”

“Things are going pretty good here mom.”

“Hey, I’m going to have to hang up for now, I got to go to the bathroom.”

“Okay mom, I’ll call you later this week.”

“Okay, bye!”

 

My  mom might be old, but she is sharp as a tack. And she has no fear. She lives in a very small country town near a large lake, so she has all sorts of critters wander through her yard. She loves animals, except squirrels. Her and the neighborhood squirrels have a running feud. Sometimes they win, sometimes she wins. Most times it’s a draw. I have to laugh every time I talk to her because she is just so…….her! She 4 ft 11 inches of toughness. I love her dearly. And I hope to goodness if I am like her, that when (or if) I get to be her age I can age as gracefully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

The Dancer Who Didn’t Want To Be

Dani could  feel the sweat dripping down every inch of her body. She was so very tired, but knew she couldn’t stop. Didn’t dare stop. Her body screamed at her until  finally Dani had no choice. Exhausted she dropped down to the floor in a puddle of limp muscles. Her breathing was labored, she had been practicing for 2 hours straight. No breaks, and she just couldn’t do another minute.

“Get up!” she heard a voice yell. “Get up  this instant! Dani!!”

She raised her head  to glance at her least favorite relative. Dani came from five generations of dancers. Her family was world renown, the most famous dancing troupe in the world. And Dani  hated it. She loved dancing, but she hated dancing too. The endless training, the constant traveling, the different towns and cities. Faceless audiences that always demanded more and more. Down through the years dancing had been a way of life for her family. They married other dancers, had babies that grew up to be great dancers. Their whole world was  dancing and practicing and routines. She hated it all!

“Dani! You will never be a great dancer if you don’t continue practicing!” Dani winced at the loud voice  in her ear. Her great-Aunt Claudia nudged her with her cane. It was a bit more forceful than necessary. But Dani has always known Great Aunt Claudia disliked her.  She never knew why, but she certainly knew it was true.

“I cannot go another second, Madame,” Dani told  her. “My body refuses to do it.”

“Don’t be stupid child! It is not your body that is weak, it is your mind! Now get up and continue with the practice!” scolded Great Aunt Claudia.

Sighing, Dani pushed herself up to stand.  She knew her Great Aunt would not give in, and so  once again Dani would.  Even though  her body ached and her feet were bleeding she would continue with the practice she hated so much.  One day I will leave this,  I will run away and become what and who I want to be.  I  will be ME!  Thought Dani as she pushed through the pain and danced in front of the mirrored wall, with the critical eyes of Great Aunt Claudia following her.

“Again Dani! Do it again but with more grace!” yelled out Great Aunt Claudia. “You are moving like a clumsy elephant! Pick those feet up! Jump  higher!”

Dani could hear the thumping of Madame’s cane as it hit the floor behind her. She always referred to her Great Aunt as Madame, like the other students. She had never felt close to her Great Aunt even though she was brought up by her. Madame taught dance to young men and women, because Madame could not dance  herself. When she was 19 she fell down a flight of cement steps and broke her leg and back.  That was 40 years ago, since then she has had to walk with a cane and was never able to dance again. So she taught. Having generations of dancers behind her, Dani knew Madame was a great teacher, very sought after. But Madame was always tougher on Dani.

“I swear you are not Edward’s child! Edward was a fantastic dancer! The best in the family! Even that woman he married was a passable dancer.” commented Madame. “I often wonder if that woman did not cheat on Edward and have some other man’s baby. For you  are nothing compared to Edward!”

Dani sighed inwardly. This was not a new dialog with Madame. Dani had heard it many times before. But it never stopped hurting to listen to it. Madame never liked her mother and it was well-known in the family that Edward had always been Madame’s favorite person. Dani remembered her parents as loving parents. To her and to each other. She was ten years old when they died in a terrible car accident.  Dani’s parents and an older cousin named Amelia was in the car when it was hit by a truck.  They all died that terrible day. Amelia was another one of Madame’s favorites. Something else Dani was never able to forget.

“Why did Amelia have to die too!”  Madame cried. “Such a talent  that girl was. So beautiful and graceful. She was born to dance just like Edward! To die at the young age of 15 was too  cruel!”

Dani stopped dancing and watched Madame work herself up remembering that tragic accident. She wiped her face of sweat and waited for what she knew was coming next.  “Why was it not you in that car! Why were you left behind and Amelia wasn’t?!” Madame asked. “I will tell you why! It is because you were a sickly child, and your mother did not want to take care of you! So she left you with your nanny and took Amelia and my Edward for that fateful drive!” Dani remembered that day also. She  had caught a terrible cold. They were suppose to go Christmas shopping, but she was too sick to go. So her parents and Amelia  went, without her. They never returned.

“It just isn’t fair to take such talented and loved people and leave me with you!” Madame cruelly stated.

That was all Dani could listen to. She had heard the same things spew out of Madame’s mouth for years. The hateful words that stung so sharp. Dani had always tried to be what Madame wanted, but it was never enough. She could never be her father or her cousin Amelia. And she was reminded of that fact in every possible way. She had twelve years of being told this again and again. It gave her nightmares at night. It echoed in her heart every single day.  She was tired of hearing it! She might not be a great dancer but she didn’t want to be! She had never wanted to be.

Dani wanted to be an artist, a painter. Every moment she could she  painted her beautiful pictures.  That was  the only time she felt at peace. She loved the feel of a paintbrush in her hand, the colors flowing over canvas. Watching those colors become  something beautiful, full of life.

Dani had enough. She could not listen to another hateful word. She ran to the door and opened it.  As she ran down the hall and out the building she could still hear her Great Aunt’s words in her head.

“You should have died that day! You and that woman who gave birth to you! Not  my beautiful Edward and Amelia!! YOU!!”

 

Posted in Blogging, Humor, nonfiction, postaday, Stories of my life, writing

I’m Working on It

Ugh! I do have a story I am working on right now, but I don’t think it’s going to be done for a posting today. Hopefully tomorrow. I have promised myself that I would post something everyday this month! And I’m not breaking that promise!! I guess it would be cheating if I re-post something from a previous post huh? 😉

Okay, okay, something short and sweet! (like me!) haha!

My Dad died about 8 years ago. But there was always one thing that made me laugh that he used to say. We lived in Wisconsin, and it gets pretty cold there in the winter. This  particular winter it was really cold. My dad went out to do something, (I can’t remember why he was outside),  but he came in and hung his coat up. He was rubbing his hands together to warm them back up. I was sitting at the kitchen table  reading a magazine. He comes in  to get a hot cup of coffee. And he smiles this devilish smile at me and says…..(Please do NOT read further if certain words bother you 😉  )

“It’s colder than a witches tit out there!”

I of course have to put  my two cents in. “How do you know how cold a witches tit is?”

“I’m married to your mother remember!” And we both bust out laughing! Even mom used to laugh, then she’d say “Russell! You better watch it or you won’t ever know what it feels like again!”

It was a running joke with them. My mom took it in good grace. And my dad never tired of saying that every winter. I was his “straight guy” for his  jokes. My dad had a wicked sense of humor. But he never was mean-spirited.

I sure miss his laugh and his crazy jokes.

Posted in Blogging, Fiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

The Words Wouldn’t Come

She sat in front of her computer, staring at the blank page on her screen. Her mind was as blank as that screen. Nothing, zilch, nada. How can she become the great writer she wants to be if there is nothing there?  Has she run out of words all ready? Is this the end of a life long dream? She has several things in the works, several stories  started that she could add to. And yet nothing came to her.

Every time she would put down words, they never seemed the right words. So click, click, she would delete them. They offended her. They weren’t good enough to be added to what was all ready there.  Were the words that were all ready there perfect? No! Far from it, but they were so much better than the words she was adding today. That’s why they offended her. She was better than that! But her mind was foggy, it was not clear and concise like she wanted. She needed!

For a long time  the words wouldn’t stop coming! She had written stories every day for weeks! Short stories, longer stories, stories that could be added to later. Today it was not there. No matter what she did, she could not get her wandering mind to the task at hand. Dimly she felt the words inside of her, but feeling is not enough.  The words just wouldn’t come out of hiding. They peeked around the dark corners of her mind and then fled again. She tried to shine a light in those corners, but the light was dim and of no use. She sighed in frustration. She swore and paced around her room. But it was no use, today was half gone and still nothing.

She would not give up on her dream. She knew she had more in her. Lot’s more! Tons more! There was the next great novel in her, if she could just clear her mind. Life just does not seem to understand that she is destined for this. This writing of words, this dreaming of dreams. She had pushed her dreams aside too many times for other people’s dreams. For other people’s destiny. She was getting older, more tired. She wanted her time now. She has given enough. Now she is taking. Taking her dreams, her destiny and embracing them both. Today is gone, so she gives in  for today, because…….

The words wouldn’t come.

 

Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

Was It A Dream?

He wasn’t sure how much further he could run. His lungs hurt with the effort. Yet he ran on. It was either that or get caught by whatever was chasing him. He could hear the crashing of the undergrowth  behind him as he ran. His feet were bloody and cut up by the sticks, small stones and leaves underfoot. The trees overhead swayed with the wind. Otherwise the night was quiet, still, except for the pounding of his battered feet hitting the barely seen trail. And his labored breathing.

He was terrified because he couldn’t remember how he got to this place. He didn’t know what he was running from. He just knew that he needed to get away. He didn’t even know what was chasing him or why. Just glimpses of something not human, eyes glowing green. The sweat pours down his face as his eyes search for someplace to hide. He was desperate to stop and catch his breath. He was afraid if he didn’t he would collapse and that thing would be on him. His fear was pushing him on, his desire to live was driving him to keep breathing and to keep running.  He didn’t want to die.

It seemed to him that the sounds behind him were growing fainter. Maybe, just maybe he had finally out run it. Then he spies something off to the side that looks like a shack.  He makes a sudden turn without slowing down. A  hundred yards or more and he was at the run down building. His shoulder hits the door and it crashes open. He slides to a stop inside, turns and slams the door shut again. Quickly looking around he spots a wood chair and pulls it over to jam under the door knob. He collapses in the middle of the room, his breath ragged. He wipes his sweaty face with whats left of his shirt. He forces his breath to slow, his ears searching outside for any noise. He closes his eyes and listens. But there is nothing to hear. Not even insects. It was eerily calm.

Suddenly there was a loud crash against the door! A large body was slamming against  it, but the chair and door don’t give. His heart  pounding, he desperately searches the shack for some kind of weapon. Anything to  make him feel he might have a chance.  He notices a number of small windows  set high in the walls. No way for anything to crawl through.  A cot with rotted bedding sits against one wall. A large empty fireplace is on the back wall, he notices a heavy, hooked fire poker laying half in and half out of it. It could do some damage if necessary. As he holds it in his hands  he instantly feels better, for at least now has some weapon.

He surveys the rest of the shack. Shelves with unknown tins are on the wall opposite the rotting bed. A small round table sits in the middle of the room with the mate of the chair under the door knob laying on its side next to it. The table has a thick layer of dust on it. Doesn’t look like anyone has been inside for decades. He suddenly notices in the gloom another door next to the fireplace.  It was smaller than a normal door, maybe a closet he thinks. He remembers noticing as he ran to the shed, that it was built against a large mountain. So the small door  couldn’t lead to outside. That could be a lifesaver he thought, as that thing outside couldn’t surprise him from the back of the house. Or it could mean his death as he had no way out of the shed except through the front door.

Suddenly his nose picks up the smell of smoke. Smoke??! He turns around and sees smoke curling in around the front door. Damn! Whatever was out there was trying to smoke him out!  He was going to die! In desperation he looks around the shack. There has got to be another way out! He can’t die like this! He won’t die like this! Taking short shallow breaths as the smoke gets thicker he remembers the small closet door. He races over to it and pulls it open. Maybe by some miracle he thinks, there will be something inside that can save him. He pulls open the small door, and he gasps in hope! It wasn’t a closet. It was a door to the inside of the mountain! It was lit by strange crystals. He had never seen anything like it! Briefly he wonders if he was running from one danger into another. But, as he heard the wood behind him crackle with flame he knew he didn’t have a choice. He had to move forward. Behind him was certain death, in front was unknown.

door handle
door handle (Photo credit: mararie)

He closes the door behind him and walks forward. The crystals give off a glow as they light the way for him. He hopes that because of the fire, whatever is behind him can’t find that small closet door.  The path inside the mountain curves to the left,  his bare bleeding feet raise little clouds of dust. As he walks he notices the path heading downward,  he’s walking further into the heart of the mountain. He spies a bundle of what looks like rags ahead of him. As he gets nearer he sees the bones. Human bones. He can’t tell how old they are, not even from the rotted cloth. His heart skips a beat, but he knows he has no choice but to keep going forward. On he walks, he loses track of how long he has been walking. Seems like hours. He comes to the end of the path and into a large cavern.

The crystals cover the walls, lighting it up as if the sun shone inside. He stood in awe of  the beauty. The colors were clear and pure. The silence unbroken. He is so tired. He can’t resist sitting. Just for a minute he thinks. I have got to rest just for a second. He leans back against one of those crystals and feels a slight warmth. His hand still held tight to the poker. As his head begins to drop to his chest in much-needed sleep, his ears pick up a noise. It’s very slight, but in the quiet of the cavern it  echos against the walls. His head pops up, his eyes searching for the source of the noise. He scurries behind the crystal as he sees something that strikes terror in his heart. A creature floats inside, slowly coming right towards him! It has green glowing eyes, in a face that is hidden by a cowl. But the eyes, they glow as they fix on him. He saw no feet. Just a light-colored robe of some kind. It went from head to foot in a silvery type material. There was nowhere to run anymore! Just as the creature floats closer he feels himself fading, he slips down and his eyes close. His fingers relax and the poker slides away.

He gasps awake, sitting straight up, terror on his face. He glances around and can’t believe his eyes. He’s home! In his own bed! Was it a dream than?? Just a dream! Frantically, with his heart still beating hard he looks around his familiar room. Nothing is changed. Everything is as it should be. He sighs with relief. He swings  himself to the side of the bed. His feet hit the floor and he winces in pain. Glancing down he feels the blood drain from his face. His feet are dirty and bloody, and hurt like hell. Then he notices the smell, like smoke that drifts from his torn T-shirt. No! It had to have been a dream!! Right?? Just a dream………….