Posted in Fiction, postaday, stories, writing

The Talons Reach (A New Halloween Story)

I don’t put disclaimers on my stories. Until today. This story has some things in it that relate to domestic violence that might trigger some people. Do be warned. Thank you.

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The Talons Reach

I remember a night like this one, many years ago. The skeletal limbs of the trees were brushing the dark sky in a maniacal dance as the wind blew in small bursts of rage. The gray clouds scuttling in the night as everything was covered in a cold drizzle of rain.

A perfect night for Halloween that was, just like tonight. Exactly like tonight. I was married back then. Married…What a joke. More like imprisoned with a jailer who was both cruel and unrelenting. Cruel in words and deeds and unrelenting in heaping them upon my person.

I still hear his mocking words as he walked out the front door that last night. That Halloween that will be forever remembered as my night of freedom.

“Clean yourself up and straighten the house before I get back. I swear you can do nothing right. My dinner was five minutes late! And it was not hot enough. Why I married such a slovenly, slow, dim-witted and ugly woman as you I will never know. I will be back in a couple of hours and this house better be spotless.”

In silence I watched him as he left, slamming the front door. I heard the lock being turned and a few seconds later his car leaves the driveway. I remember the pain of the punches he left on my body before he left that night. The dinner plate upside down on the floor with the food splattered against the dining room wall. The slow drip of the spilled wine glass laying on its side on the table.

Just another night in my nightmare of a life. If you could call it a life. It was more a slow and agonizing death. As I knew he would kill me one day. He would kill me and somehow blame my death on myself and get away with it.

How I hated him. I hated him with a passion I thought he had beaten out of me. That passion burned bright and fierce that Halloween night as I got up off the floor and slowly walked to the bathroom. I turned on the light and took a good look in the mirror and my hate burned brighter.

As I wiped the drying blood off my face I didn’t shed a tear. Not a one. As the water in the sink turned pink I vowed that it would stop this night. The pain would stop. I would not, could not, take it anymore.

As I made that vow the lights flickered rapidly. I closed my eyes for a moment and then opened them as I heard a screech. It was a long spine-chilling screech like fingernails on a chalkboard in slow motion.

I don’t remember being scared. More curious than scared. I poked my head out the doorway, my pains nearly forgotten for the moment. The lights flickered again. Once. Twice. Thrice. Then I heard scrabbling coming from the living room. Like bird talons against the marble floor.

I walked into the room, not even hesitating. Looking back, I should have been terrified. Yet, I wasn’t. I had been living a life a terror for years, nothing much could compare to that.

I stopped inside the room and watched as an enormous black raven lifted its wings as it took a step towards me. I stood still, letting it approach. How did it get in? Then I felt a breeze and looked to my left and saw the patio doors open with the wind and rain blowing the curtains aside.

I heard that godawful screech again and jerked towards the raven. Its talon had left a long deep groove in the floor in front of it. It’s dark round eyes peered at me as it’s head tilted a bit to the side. I had never seen a raven that big before with eyes that were almost….human. Almost.

Do you know I never said a word? I saw that human-like bird and never said a thing. I just stared at it as it stared back at me. Then I could have sworn it smiled. Indeed, it wasn’t a pleasant smile but it did smile and then it slowly walked to the patio doors and left.

I closed the doors behind it and turned and walked away. I cleaned up the dining room and calmly got myself ready for bed. Then I waited. I waited for my jailer to arrive and I waited for something else. I waited for retribution.

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I heard the car arrive in the driveway and I knew he was home. I sat up in bed and my heart began to pound. I listened for the key in the door but the wind decided to pick up just then and all I heard was it howling through the trees.

Then I heard another sound. That scrabbling noise like I heard earlier that night. Even through the wind and the trees, I could hear it. Maybe I was looking for it. That noise of the raven. Maybe that’s why I heard it and not his key.

I knew he would stop in the living room and pour himself a Scotch. He always did. He was a monster but a monster who was a creature of habit.

The small lamp on the nightstand flickered just as I heard the crash of the patio doors opening. I thought I heard an oath quickly cut off just as a loud screeching noise made the hair on my arms stand on end. I knew that sound. The sound of a giant talon against the marble floor of the living room.

Then I heard him scream. A long scream that slowly dwindled down to a low moan. I heard something I never thought I would hear. I heard crying. I heard my jailer crying like a lost child.

I walked to my bedroom door and opened it. I looked down the hallway and listened. Nothing but the crying was heard. The wind had suddenly stopped and so did the rain. I put one slippered foot in front of another and walked to the living room. I was afraid.

I was afraid that my monster would be there and I would be his victim once more. I stepped inside the room and at first saw nothing but the open patio doors. My body stiffened as it heard a now familiar scrabbling noise. As I turned I was able to see him on the floor, sobbing with his hands over his head and curled in a fetal position.

The raven was next to him and staring at me. It’s head tilted once more in that questioning stance, his talons still and silent. His large black eyes watched me as I glanced from it to the man blubbering on the floor. The words coming out of his slobbering mouth not making any sense at all. Just mindless gibberish.

I smiled. I shouldn’t have I know but I did. I smiled at the raven and nodded once. The huge black soulless, almost human eyes just blinked once, twice, thrice and then it lifted it’s wings in one grand gesture and walked out the patio doors.

********************************************

That was years ago, of course. My jailer is now jailed. Not in prison, oh no, but jailed none the less. I had to commit him to the hospital for the mentally insane in the next town. The poor man thought he was being followed by a giant man-eating raven. He had to be medically institutionalized for his own good.

I visit him every now and then, especially on All Hallows Eve. He seems quite…restless that day.

I also started a group for people who have been abused mentally and physically by their spouses. It’s been active for years now. It’s very successful, although the members insist on staying anonymous. This Halloween I will be helping a very nice woman down the block who moved into the neighborhood a few months ago.

I wonder how her monster feels about ravens?

 

 

 

Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Fiction, postaday, stories, writing

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Here is another reblog of an earlier story that I wrote for Halloween. Tomorrow I hope to have a brand new one for your reading pleasure! Thank you and enjoy.

Yeah, I’m borrowing the title from Snoopy.  He said I could. We’re  close friends. Snoopy borrowed it from Sir Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton, and now there is a contest every year called

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

The contest uses the infamous phrase to showcase the worst extremes of this “purple prose”. It only uses one sentence, where I  thought it would be fun to write a story with that title. I kind of doubt it will be scary, but in honor of Halloween,  one of my favorite holidays, I thought I would borrow the phrase and see what happens.

I was home alone with my little dog Sam. The wind was howling through the trees, it almost sounded like moaning. Of course that was just my imagination. Usually storms don’t bother me. In fact I love them. But this one seemed different. There was a feeling in the air, it was…

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Posted in Blogging, postaday, writing

A Halloween Party ~ A Short Story

I’m reblogging one of my earliest Halloween stories. Tomorrow I will reblog another one and on Monday, I will have a brand new scary story for you! Stay tuned this weekend for some frightfully scary fun!

Halloween once more. Angela checked out the decorations one more time to make sure it all looked as she wanted. She gave a little dance around the room, her long dress swirling in the air. How she loved Halloween! The colors, the fun! She looked forward to this day every year!

She stopped her twirling in the middle of the room. She glanced over the long table that was set for the feast. It was her tradition to give a feast first, where her guests could eat and share stories and laughter. Then they would have dancing and drinks to cool them off from it all. The table was set perfectly, as always. The candles were lit and flickered merrily away. The food was looking good enough to be in one of those glossy magazines . The smells wafting upwards were tantalizing. Soon her guests would be coming in to…

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Posted in Fiction, Flash Fiction, postaday, stories, writing

The Prey (A very short story)

The Prey

She sits on the ridge overlooking the valley below. Still as silence, her ears pick up the tiniest rustling off to the left. Her nose twitches as she catches a slight smell of the nervous creature scuttling away from her.

Her ears twitch as she catches another sound, louder and less cautious than the small mouse she let get away. Her body tenses. Ready to leap or run, depending on whether the movement in front of her becomes prey or predator.

Crouching in the tall dry grass, she watches with intensity as a large shadow emerges from the bushes below. A human. She sniffs the air and catches a familiar scent. Her human. Is the human looking for her? Maybe.

She watches her human walk to a large rock and sits down. Suddenly she smells something heavenly. Food! Her human has food. How long has it been since she’s eaten? A long time. Her stomach gives off a small rumble. She is so hungry.

Cautiously she slinks toward the human, she doesn’t want to be spotted. Not yet. Not a sound she makes as she slowly gets nearer.

The human moves and she stops, shifting her body lower to the ground. Her muscles quiver with the effort to hold still. Her long tail behind her like a velvet rope, still.

Suddenly she hears a soft murmur. Her human, calling her name. She dares not move in case she’s spotted. Let the human call for her. She will respond when she’s ready, if at all. She hears her name once more, louder now. As if that will force her to move. No! She must be careful.

Once again she smells food, stronger now as she is closer. Ah, how nice it will be to eat once more. She must be strong. Slowly her foot moves forward. Then again. As if in slow motion her body slithers through the long grass toward the rock.

The human reaches down and places something on the rock next to them. A trick? To try to catch her unawares? Never! She is too smart for that. She stops and crouches down as the human moves slightly. The smell of whatever was left on the rock almost too much to bear.

She must have that food or she will perish! It’s been so long since she last ate! When was it? She tries to remember. She can’t think with that smell wafting down to her. She will have it. Now!

Her whole body starts to quiver. Her butt moving back and forth, her tail twitching. She must chance it. Human or no human she must have what smells so enticing! Her back-end moves faster, her legs tense, ready for the jump.

She springs! As she lands on the rock she has the piece of fish in her mouth within seconds. Ahhhh, such delicacy! Such flavors!

The human laughs.  “Slow down! You just ate this morning, silly cat.”

 

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Posted in Aunt Maime's Unsolicited Advice, Fiction, Humor, postaday

Aunt Maime’s Unsolicited Advice

Aunt Maime's

 

Good day to you, my pets! It’s been a while since this old girl got around to talking to you. I’ve been quite busy traveling and pester….um….I mean doing good deeds for friends.

Yes, indeed! I have been making myself useful. It’s always good to be of some use, don’t you think? I’m sure you agree with me.

Now I’m back for a short time to have a nice cozy visit with you all. Please, sit down and have a cup of coffee with an old woman. You all look delightful, my pets! Just delightful!

How have you all been doing? I’ve been doing great myself. Can’t keep me down I tell you! Do you want to know what keeps your old Aunt Maime going? Ah, my pets, it was a piece of advice I got many years ago. Let me give the same advice to you……

Live your life true to yourself, my pets. That’s my advice today. Don’t be afraid to live your life the way you want to. Stop worrying about other people’s opinions because what they think is not what will make you happy.

At the same time, don’t force your way of thinking onto someone else. We all have lives to live, experiences to experience and failures to fail at. My goodness, how boring a world this would be if we all lived to please others!

I have never fitted a form, my dears. Never! I have always been the odd woman out, which is fine. I loved being myself. I have almost zero regrets.

Has your Aunt Maime never failed? Of course I’ve failed! Goodness, darlings, remember that first piece of advice I ever gave you? About not hooking up with a Mama’s boy? There you go! One of my epic failures. But…..not a regret! Oh no, dearies, not a regret.

I learned my lesson without too much pain, so what was there to regret?

So, go out there and live your life the way you want to! Be honest with yourself, be fearless, don’t worry about other’s and live with few regrets.

Oh my! Look at the time! I must run, my pets! Until our next visit. Go live your life like no one is watching….because even if they are….at least make it memorable for them too!

 

 

 

 

Aunt Maimie is the relative we all have in our family tree. You know the one. She’s the one that’s a bit…eccentric. A bit weird. A bit loud. A bit outspoken. And all heart.

 

 

 

Posted in Cee's Share Your World, Mi Vida Loca, nonfiction

Share Your World – Week 41 2016

Today I’m going to share another session of Cee’s Share Your World. Why not visit Cee and see what it’s all about and read other bloggers great answers.

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Do you believe in love at first sight?

I’ve never experienced love at first sight, so I’m undecided. I know many people have said they believe as it has happened to them. I’ll keep an open mind about it.

Your first car?

My first car was bought when I was in my mid-twenties. It was a baby blue 1970 something Mustang. I paid two hundred dollars for it through my father-in-law at the time. He was an insurance adjuster in Texas and he got it because it was hail damaged. He wrote it off and I bought it. I loved that car. It looked like crap on the outside but that thing had a big engine in it and it would go!

Who taught you to ride a bike? How did it go?

I really don’t remember who taught me to ride a bike. Probably my sister or older kids in the neighborhood. I rode other kid’s bikes until my dad bought me my own when I was sixteen. It must have gone ok, as I managed to ride it and not crash it. Much…….

Ugly and rich or beautiful and poor?

I have never been materialistic and I’m used to being poor so I guess it’s probably ‘average looking and poor’. Ha!

What was the first dish you could cook?

I began cooking at a pretty young age, so I’m guessing it was eggs or something equally easy. I was cooking whole meals by the age of ten and as that was many, many moons ago, I don’t really remember. I also took cooking in Home Ec (when it was called that and when it was taught, again a long time ago!).

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Hope you enjoyed the questions and answers today. So tell me….what was the first dish YOU cooked and when?