Posted in Blogging, stories, Truth or Fiction, writing

Truth or Fiction

Welcome, everyone! Last week’s story seemed to be a mind game as only one person guessed right. It was FICTION. Yeah, I wish it had been true. I’ve always wanted to stay in a big fancy haunted house but I haven’t. One person, Bill, did pick up that the main character grew up in a place that was haunted, just as I did. So good on you, Bill! Unfortunately, that was the only truth in the whole story and really, I didn’t put it there intentionally. Just seemed a good addition to the story.

Now let’s get going on the next edition of Truth or Fiction. Is it true or a figment of my imagination?

 

Pixabay

 

Giving a Helping Hand

 

Her dog Molly kept pacing the living room and whining. She shushed her once but the pacing just got more frantic. What on earth was wrong with the dog? Molly was usually such a good companion and would lay quietly at her feet but not today. She’d never get those columns of numbers added right with Molly distracting her.

“What is it, Molly? What’s wrong?”

Molly faced the front door and whined. Maybe she needed to go out? Sighing heavily, she pushed herself out of her chair and opened the front door. The sunshine blinded her for a minute and the heat of the afternoon surrounded her, making her instantly regret leaving the air conditioning behind as the door closed behind her.

She hoped Molly wouldn’t take too long to finish her personal business as she needed to get those numbers added and the account books finished for her favorite client. Accounting paid the bills and playing with numbers was always fun.

She smiled as she looked around for Molly. The countryside was brown and dry but the trees still showed a bit of green. This summer had been unduly hot and dry and the usual beauty of the surrounding fields and trees were dulled with brown grasses slowly dying of thirst. She moved to the country after her divorce. It was just her and Molly, her German Shepherd and constant companion. She enjoyed the quiet of the country after the heartbreak she endured in the city last year. Here, she was able to heal and even grow happy again. Just her and Molly.

Thinking of Molly…where was she? Looking around her ears finally picked up the sound of a cow lowing. She knew a ranch owned the fields next to her and they ran cows on them. She had to teach Molly not to be afraid of the cows when she first moved here. Now Molly usually ignored them. They weren’t fun to play with. As she scanned the field for Molly the mooing of the cow seemed more frantic. Almost painful.

Under a large tree, she spotted Molly, once again frantically pacing back and forth in front of a large mound. No, wait, it wasn’t just a mound it was a heifer. She was laying down and making those awful, pain filled mooing sounds. She called for Molly but the dog refused to leave the cow’s side. Something must be wrong, she thought. Molly was acting frantic and the sounds coming from the cow were almost sounding like screams.

Scrabbling over the wooden fence dividing her front yard from the field she ran to where Molly and cow were. What she saw made her suck in her breath and widen her eyes. The cow was laying on her side, her belly swollen huge with pregnancy. She could see the distress in the cows’ eyes as she once again let out that distressing moo/scream. Even to her untrained eye, she could see the heifer was trying to deliver her calf but something was wrong.

She needed to call someone. Who? She couldn’t just leave the poor suffering animal to die. Something was wrong with the birth and she needed help desperately. When the cow gave another loud moo and turned her head to look at her, she could see the pleading in its eyes. She needed to do something fast. The cow didn’t have time to wait for someone. She needed help now!

“Think girl, think! What should I do?”

Then she remembered an article she read a long time ago. When she was much younger she thought about becoming a vet and so she read anything she could on animal care and what should be done if a dog was having a breech birth. She was certain this is what was happening to the cow. The calf needed to be turned so it could come out the right way.

She thought, “Well, a birth is a birth, it can’t be that different from a dog could it?” 

Racing back to the house she wondered what she could use as a lubricant. She needed to stick her hand inside the cow and turn the calf. It wasn’t going to be easy but she had to try. Coming to stop inside the kitchen she frantically looked around. Butter? She didn’t have enough. Her eye fell on the brand new bottle of dishwashing liquid. That would make her hand slippery! She grabbed the bottle and a spare bath towel she had left over the kitchen chair earlier that day and sped back to the cow and Molly.

Molly hadn’t left the cow’s side. It was as if she knew what was going on and knew the cow needed her. Molly laid next to the cow and whined comfort to it.

“Good girl Molly. You keep comforting her while I see what I can do on this end.”

Taking a deep breath she quickly opened the bottle of dishwashing soap and spread a thick layer over her arms and hands. She tried to ignore the large strong hoofs and the sticky puddle of blood as she slowly shoved one hand into the cow. She could feel the calf and yes she had guessed right. It was a breech birth. The calf needed to be turned. It should come out head and front feet first and this one was turned just enough it wasn’t coming out that way.

She was going to need both hands to turn the calf. She wasn’t strong enough one-armed to do it. The cow seemed to know she was trying to help as the mooing stopped and the cow lay still, only once lifting her head to look at her. As if saying, “You can do this.”

Slipping her other arm inside she managed to find the front legs and grasp them. She didn’t need to move them far just a few inches to the side to line them up to the opening so hopefully, the mother had enough energy to push it out.

She felt the head and the front legs and gave a tug on the legs. At first, she didn’t think it was going to work, but then with one great effort, the mother cow pushed while she tugged and suddenly she had a newborn calf in her lap. She took the bath towel and wiped the gunk from the calf’s eyes, nostrils and mouth so it could breathe. Normally, the mother did this but this mother was too tired and so appreciated the help.

She didn’t know she was crying until Molly came over and first licked her tears then started to lick the calf. Those had to have been the most intense, emotional minutes of her life. She dragged the calf who was laying on the towel over to the mother’s head to show her that her baby was alive and well. The mom started licking it and making snuffling sounds.

“Come on Molly. We still need to call the rancher and let him know what happened so he can check up on mother and baby. Plus I need a shower.” 

Later that day the rancher stopped by to thank her for helping the cow and to let her know that both were healthy and fit.

“Well, Molly. A good deed was done today. Let’s just hope there will be no repeat!”

 

 

 

 

Ok, folks. Was this based on truth? Or was it a complete piece of fiction? What would you have done if you came across an animal in need like in the story?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, stories, Truth or Fiction, writing

Truth or Fiction

Welcome to this week’s edition of Truth or Fiction. Last week it was kind of split. Some of you voted that the story was fiction, others said it was based on truth.

It was…..fiction! There might have been a teeny tiny bit of truth to it as I have turned down a couple of marriage proposals in my younger days but I never did it the way my story portrays. So it really was fiction.

Good guesses one and all!

Now onto this weeks story. Is it fiction or truth?

 

photo by Pixabay

 

 

Haunted Lottery

 

 

It was just for one night. That’s all the time they had to stay in the old house. They both believed in the supernatural, ghosts, spirits, whatever you wanted to call them. Both had actually seen ghosts too. She had lived in a house that had been haunted and her best friend had stayed at a cousin’s house that she said had been haunted. So yes, they were believers.

Now they had a chance to stay in a mansion. Not just any mansion, but one that was well-known for being haunted by several spirits. They even did a local TV show on the place. It was so exciting! The people who bought the mansion and opened it up to tours were running a lottery for someone to stay in the mansion overnight. She and her bestie thought it was a great idea so they both bought a lottery ticket. The lottery rules stated you had to stay in the mansion overnight and you were allowed to bring one other person with you. You had to stay in one of the supposedly haunted bedrooms and you weren’t allowed to leave the house for any purpose.

If the lottery winner wanted to forfeit the big prize of five thousand dollars they could call a number and just say, “I want out.” Then they could leave the mansion and give up the prize. If they stayed all night they won the prize! Her best friend won the lottery and here they were, inside the house with their overnight bags ready to stay the night. As they looked around while one of the owners explained the rules again to them they could see how beautiful the place was. Crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling while the dark wooden staircase that led to the bedrooms upstairs glistened under the light.

“You must stay from 7 pm to 7 am. There will be a dinner served in the dining room at eight and you may pick any of the bedrooms to sleep in.”

They thanked him and listened to him as he continued to explain the layout of the house.

“There are six bedrooms upstairs plus a sitting room and several bathrooms. The kitchen is off the dining room and the cook and server will be leaving the house by ten. At which time you will be on your own for the remainder of the night.”

The two women glanced at each other and grinned. It was really happening. They were going to stay in the house and hopefully see one of the spirits that supposedly dwelled here. A chance they might not ever get again. They were almost giddy with excitement.

Mr. Pedergras shook their hands and wished them luck and reminded them once more that if they wanted to leave they just had to call the number on the card he handed them, tell him they wanted out and the contest would end and they could leave.

They both assured him that he would receive no phone call and that they would see him in the morning. They just wanted him to leave so they could explore the house more fully on their own and decide which bedroom to sleep in if they indeed slept at all.

They had been told there were a few cameras set up to capture them as they stayed in the house but none in the bedrooms or bathrooms. Just as a safety measure Mr. Pedergras told them. For their own safety or for the safety of the mansion they weren’t clear on. The women just shrugged their shoulders and said they understood.

The owner finally left and they were on their own. Well, almost. They could hear faint sounds coming from the dining room and kitchen and knew it would be the cook and server doing whatever they did. They were more interested in going upstairs and seeing what was up there. They quickly walked up the grand staircase and started to open doors and peek inside the rooms. The friends had already decided beforehand that they would share a bedroom. That way if they do actually get lucky enough to see something they would see it together. There was also the secure feeling of not being completely on their own if they saw something. They would have each other.

Not that they were scared…well not really. Ok, maybe they were a little. Seeing something would be much more exciting together than alone. After all, the rules never said they couldn’t share a bedroom.

They dropped off their overnight bags in the biggest bedroom, that had two double beds in it and decided to explore the rest of the place before dinner time. At least they would know the layout of the house before dark. You know, just in case they heard something somewhere. They wanted to be prepared.

Grinning at each other they walked out of the door and down the long hallway arm in arm. Tonight was going to be a night they would both never forget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, once again was this fiction or truth? Would you stay in a place that was known to be haunted? Do you even believe in ghosts or spirits? Let me know!

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, stories, Truth or Fiction, writing

Truth or Fiction?

Welcome to this week’s edition of Truth or Fiction. I would also like to thank everyone who has participated in my stories so far. As you know (or maybe you don’t), I will be posting a short story every week that will be based on truth or it may be the writing of my imagination. As I stated in the first story, (you can read it here) the true stories may be MY stories or of someone I know. In other words, not all the true stories are about me.

For example, last weeks story (you can see it here) was a TRUE story but it wasn’t my story. It was my mothers.

My mom shared one of the very rare stories of her past with me a couple of times. How she learned to write so fancy. I always admired her handwriting. It was beautiful. She did indeed learn it from an employer. My mom and a girlfriend ran away from home when she was fourteen. They hitchhiked to Chicago and her first job there was as a maid in a fancy rich lady’s house. It was in the early 1940s. A time when the war was still raging overseas. My mom always spoke fondly of this rich lady and the kindness that was shown to her, a young and naive girl in the big city.

So, some of you got it right, some got it wrong. Thank you all once again for joining me here. Now let’s get going on the next story. Is it based on truth or fiction?

 

photo via Pixabay

 

 

The Proposal

 

The urge to interrupt him before he had finished was overwhelming. She tried several times but her words were drowned out by his proposal. How did things get to this? She didn’t want to marry him! She didn’t want to marry anyone right now. She was young and away from her family for the first time. She wanted to live life to the fullest, not settle down with a man. Not to mention he wanted children right away. Children? She wasn’t even sure she wanted kids. Ever.

She opened her mouth to interrupt him again but he wouldn’t stop. He just talked louder, explaining all the reasons she should marry him. It was horrifying and embarrassing. Her mind flew back to when they first met. It had only been a few months since that first date. It hadn’t even really been a date. She wasn’t sure what it had been.  A foursome with her girlfriend and the guy she picked up at the bar? The two of them just ended up together when her girlfriend hooked up with some guy and he had a friend with him. The man standing before her with a ring and a pleading look in his eyes.

Her girlfriend was no longer seeing the guy she hooked up with that night. Yet, here was Mike, with his greying hair and his earnest eyes and a damn ring explaining all the benefits of being married to him.

“I’ll treat you like a princess. You won’t want for anything.”

Does he really think money is what I want? she thought.  Maybe some women would but not her. She could earn her own money, in fact, she looked forward to it. What she didn’t want was to marry a man twice her age who wanted to put her on some pedestal. Pedestals were shaky things to be on. A person would always fall off at some point. No, she didn’t want that and she didn’t want to get married to Mike, or anyone. Not right now.

“MIKE!”

“Mike, please stop.”

Finally, her words were heard. Mike stopped talking over her and ground to a stop. His smile was still in place as was the earnest look in his brown eyes. She hated what she was about to do.

“Mike, I can’t marry you. I’m sorry.”

“Baby, don’t say that. Think about it. I know I’m moving fast but I also know I want you as my wife.”

“I’m sorry. I’m not going to marry you. Not now. Not ever. I don’t love you like that.”

“I’ll give you anything you want. I have money. You won’t have to work. I have a nice house for you to live in. I love you.”

“I can’t. I just can’t, Mike. I don’t want to get married. I want to live my life, right now.”

“Think about it, ok? Just take some time and think about it.”

“I don’t need time, Mike. The answer will still be no. You need to find someone who will love you like you need to be loved. That’s just not me.”

“Just take a day or two. That’s all. Think about it.”

She knew it was the coward’s way out but she agreed. She also knew she wasn’t going to change her mind but at least it got him to stop begging her. It was so sad to see him do that. She felt so bad for him.

When he tried calling her several days later she wouldn’t take the calls. Another cowardly episode on her part but she just didn’t know what else to do. Eventually, the phone calls stopped and she hoped that Mike found someone he could be happy with.

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever had someone ask something of you that you just couldn’t do? Or have someone propose and turn them down? How would you have handled this situation?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, stories, Truth or Fiction, writing

Bettering Oneself

Thank you to everyone who read last week’s story. I must have given something away in the story as everyone got it right! Yes…it was based on true events. I was working at a casino in Wisconsin at the time and the man really existed and the story of his murders and suicide are true. He was creepy and I always got bad vibes off of him but he insisted on standing at my cashier window every time he came in. He would just stare at me and never say a word.

So, when I heard of what he did, I was shocked. Not so much at what he did but because it came a bit too close to home as one of the men he killed was my brother-in-law’s brother. It was a strange experience in my life. Ok, another strange experience in my life. Seems I have had quite a few of them as my friend Marlene stated.

So, thank you again for participating last week and guessing correctly! Now, onto this weeks story.

Is it based on truth…or fiction? You tell me!

 

 

Bettering Oneself

 

She sat at a small, scarred wooden table which wobbled if she didn’t stick a magazine under one leg. A dim flickering light shined down on the paper she so studiously copied from. A short stub of a pencil was wrapped in her hand as she tried to copy the flowing letters on the piece of paper.

The lettering itself was of the alphabet. Beautiful flowing cursive letters of the ABC’s done in black ink that was a bit smudged and dirty from constant use. Her mouth pursed in concentration, her black curly hair falling in disarray around her hunched shoulders. Her brown intense eyes, usually seen with a sense of sadness behind them were focused on the letters she so diligently copied.

Behind her lay in darkness, as the dull flickering bulb was not strong enough to penetrate the shadows of the small room. A single small bed sat neatly made next to her and an even smaller window sat above it. Curtainless, the glass clean with a tiny porcelain figure of a woman sitting on its tiny ledge. The figure had been broken at one time and one could hardly see the lines of glue holding her together. A broken beauty in a stark bare world.

The woman, girl really, should have been in bed. Her workday started early in the mornings. She was up at 4 am every morning but Sunday. That was her one day off a week. Tomorrow was only Saturday. She promised herself a few more minutes of work with the stub of pencil, then she would crawl into her bed and go to sleep.

Her maid uniform was neatly hanging in her tiny closet. Pressed earlier in the night so that any errant wrinkles were ironed out of existence. Her employer, Mrs. Hightower, hated an unironed uniform. She said it was a slight towards her if any wrinkles should be present. The young woman didn’t want to slight Mrs. Hightower. She had a lot of respect towards her employer, if not outright love.

Mrs. Hightower hired the young woman six months ago over her better judgment. She knew in her heart the woman was more a girl, at least two or three years younger than the eighteen she stated. She was small, young and vulnerable. She was also quick, smart and willing to learn, Mrs. Hightower found out within the first few weeks. They quietly settled down to a routine.

The girl was fascinated with the flowery, flowing handwriting of Mrs. Hightower. In her mind, it was a symbol of wealth and breeding. She wanted to learn to write like that, so secretly she started copying the beautiful penmanship of her employer. She already copied her speech, her walk, her posture of shoulders back, spine straight. Young women didn’t sit with their legs crossed either. They kept their persons clean and neat along with their surroundings. It was lessons learned that would stick with her for a lifetime.

By chance, Mrs. Hightower caught the young woman picking an example of her handwriting out of the trash and asked her what she was about. The girl stammered out an answer. Embarrassed that Mrs. Hightower caught her stealing a piece of trash, she thought for sure she would be fired. Once it was explained why the girl wanted the castaway, unfinished letter to a friend, she stood a moment in silence than smiled.

She turned, sat at her writing desk and pulled a clean sheet of paper out of a drawer. That’s when she started to write out the alphabet for the girl stating that if she wanted to learn she can’t have her learning only half the alphabet when she could learn it all. With that, she handed her the paper with the letters on it and several blank sheets of paper as well.

“Never stop trying to better yourself, my dear.”

The girl with the big brown sad eyes and dark curly hair turned off the dim bulb, crawled into the small bed and closed her eyes to sleep. Four in the morning came quickly for young girls who were far from home and trying to better oneself.

 

 

 

So, what do you think? Is it truth or fiction? Have you ever had an employer you really admired? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Blogging, stories, Truth or Fiction, writing

A New Year, A New Start

Happy New Year, everyone!

Surprised to see me? I bet you are!

I’ve been wanting to start my blog up again and what better time then the new year? I’ve been warning a few people for quite some time now that I was going to start writing on my blog again. Now here I am!

There’s going to be a few changes to the blog. Nothing major. I’m just going to focus more on why I started this labor of love six years ago. Writing. Stories. Imagination. Fun.

As you might have noticed I’ve changed the title of the blog. It’s now “Stories to Tell”. That’s exactly what I want to do. Tell stories. The twist is this….well maybe not so much a twist as….well, ok, maybe it is a twist. For me, anyway.

The stories you will read here might actually be based on truth. Not all of them. Some of them. The others will be complete figments of my very vivid imagination. I will post one once a week, (day of the week still to be determined). What makes this idea a bit twisty is this…..

YOU, the reader, get to guess if the story I post is based on truth or fiction. In the comment section, you write whether you think the story has truth in it or is it a made up story. The following week I will post another story and tell you if the story the week before was truth or my imagination.

The true stories will not all be about me and my experiences. They could also be about people I know and their true experiences! I didn’t want to make it too easy for some of my readers who have followed me throughout my six or so years blogging. I gave out a lot of personal information through the years. This evens things out a bit for newer readers. Or…I’m just devious that way.

So, this is also a call out in a way. If anyone has a true story they want to share with me, so I can write a story based on your experience, get in contact with me through my contact page.

With all that said, let’s get to the first story! Is it true? Or not? You tell me!

 

Photo by Katya Austin on Unsplash

 

Stone Cold

 

She had only been on the job for a couple of weeks. She enjoyed it even if she had to work the night shift. Now that was something to get used to. Usually, the shift was from 5 pm until closing, which was usually around three or four in the morning. She had never had a job where she worked nights. If it hadn’t been for her co-workers she wasn’t sure she would have made it past the first week. They were a great bunch of ladies and gents. Always having a fun time even if they were on the clock.

The job dealt with the gambling community. Not the high rollers like in Vegas but the retired group that had nothing better to do with their time than spend a few hours putting coins in the slot machines. Usually, they were a quiet group, the coin droppers. Sometimes you might get the odd one but all in all unassuming.

Weekends or holidays were the big days. That’s when the working public came in to spend their paycheck or part of it. They’d get busloads of people from the big city farther south. She didn’t mind though, the busy weekends brought in bigger tips and new people to watch.

Her job was exchanging money for coins or paying out winnings. It was interesting. Every once in a while she might even see a big winner at her window. Sometimes she dreamed of winning big somewhere and what she would do with the money. Big dreams.

One weekend she was exchanging paper money for rolls of quarters to one of the regulars when she felt a strange prickling on the back of her neck. Like a cold draft of air brushed over her. She shivered a bit and looked around and found a stranger staring at her. He was behind a couple of excited older ladies, lined up at her window. She only glanced briefly at him and turned to ask the ladies what they needed.

That glance was enough to see he had stone cold eyes. They stared at her without blinking.

As the old ladies walked away the man took their place at her window, still staring coldly at her, and tossed a twenty down on the counter. He didn’t say a word. Just stared. After a brief hesitation where she waited for him to state what he wanted, she decided to ask him hoping that would make him go away quicker. He was giving her bad vibes.

“Would you like quarters?”

He only nodded his head in the affirmative. She slid a roll of quarters his way and picked up the twenty to put in her drawer. After picking up the quarters he turned and walked away all without saying a word or taking his eyes off her. She doesn’t think he even blinked. It was a busy night, so she just shrugged the encounter away thinking he was a bit odd but harmless.

She saw the man with the cold eyes once again that night as he stood in her window to collect his winnings. Once again he didn’t say a word, just stared at her. She counted out his money and pushed it across the counter to him. Picking it up he pulled a twenty out and threw it down on the counter in front of her. For a minute she was confused. Did he want more quarters? Smaller bills? What? Abruptly he turned and walked away. That’s when she deduced that the twenty he threw at her was a tip.

After that first night, he came every weekend and they went through the same routine. He stood at her window, staring with cold eyes, getting his quarters, then cashing out at the end of his night. A few times a co-worker would tell him that they could help him and he would shake his head no and stay where he was, even if he had to wait. He always tipped her twenty, no matter if he won big or not.

Once she asked her co-workers if they knew who he was. They informed her that he was the new owner of a small bar she was familiar with. She used to know the man who owned the bar before the strange man. Most of the people she worked with just said he was a bit on the weird side.

This routine went on until she left her job and moved on to something else. A few months later she had heard from a friend that the strange man, with the stone cold eyes, had committed three murders before he took his own life. He killed his ex-girlfriend and two men he disliked. She gasped when she was told that the man also had a ‘hit’ list of some sort.

She shivered and wondered what would have happened if she stayed at that job. Would she have become a name on his hit list?

That night as she lay in bed and tried to sleep, all she could see was a set of stone cold eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

So, is this story based on truth? Have you ever met a killer face to face? How would you feel if you found out you did?