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?

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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

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 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 Blog challenge, Fiction, Flash Fiction, postaday, stories, writing

Tuesday’s Challenge

Today’s challenge is going to be a little bit different. I’m going to give a line of dialog and then you can add to it. I think short and sweet should do. Use the line of dialog somewhere in your writings. Let’s keep it at 200 words or less. Have fun!

The line of dialog to use is: “I’m too old to start again.”

 

 

http://wprasek.com/
http://wprasek.com/

 

 

“Come on, Ruthie, it’ll be fun.”

“I don’t know Bertha, it might be too soon.”

“Now you know it’s been five long years since Albert’s death. You need to be livin’ a life again!”

“I’m too old to start again.”

“Nonsense! You’re only sixty-four years old, still a young woman.”

“Now who’s speakin’ nonsense, Bertha? Young woman! Don’t be tryin’ to talk me into something I’ll probably be sorry for later.”

“It’s only a dinner date. It’s not like you’re gonna marry the man.”

“Easy for you to say, you’ve still got your man. It’s not so easy to start over. I never did like datin’.”

“Don’t look at it as a ‘date’, look at it as a free dinner and one you don’t have to cook.”

Ruthie closed her eyes, leaned back into her chair and sighed. Bertha had been trying to get her to go out and have some fun for ages now. She was getting tired of fighting her best friend of forty years. Maybe she was right. It had been five years since Alfred passed from a sudden heart attack. She just felt that she was betraying Alfred’s memory going out with another man. Not that anything would come of it. She was ok with being a widow.

“Ok, Bertha, I’ll do it.” Ruthie just hoped it wasn’t a mistake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fiction, postaday, stories, Wednesday Whatever!, writing

Wednesday Whatever!

Today I thought I would do some actual creative writing. It’s been a long time since I’ve done that. I couldn’t think of what to write but then found this nifty page with a bunch of writing prompt generators. The one I’m using today is ‘Random First Line Generator‘.

I hope you enjoy my little flash fiction.

 

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There was something not quite right about the window. Nothing stood out odd but there was something ‘off’. Like it had some of that old glass in it that when you looked through it made things off-balance. Yet the realtor said it was a new house. Built about ten years ago. The reason Clair bought it was because of its location. It was in the middle of a small woodland area. Yet in the middle of a large city.

Clair fell in love with it as soon as she saw it. On the small size but just right for her. The woods surrounding it were full of birds and wildlife and Clair felt at home the first time she stepped foot inside. Which was odd as Clair was a city girl, born and raised. She loved the city with its bustle and hustle, people coming and going no matter what time of the day. Always something to do, something to see, people around. She never thought she would like a home like this one but she fell in love with it and bought it that same day.

Now that she was all moved in and pretty much settled she had time to think about that odd window. Clair sat on the sofa with a well-earned glass of red wine and looked at the window. Taking small sips of her wine she studied it. It looked like the other windows of the house. White trimmed, looking out the left side of the house. It didn’t have drapes on it nor window blinds. Which was kind of odd as all the other windows in the house had mini blinds on them and this one was bare.

Clair got up from the couch and walked in front of the window and looked out. Not having drapes or mini blinds wasn’t a problem as the window faced a rather dense thicket and she knew the sun never directly shown through this window. Now that she was thinking about the window, it was strange that this window was the only one on this side of the house. Walking closer to the window she saw her own reflection staring back at her. It was almost like she was looking in a mirror until she once again noticed the thicket behind her reflection. Standing close to the window she raised her hand and using just her index finger she put it close to the window pane, she didn’t touch it, just skimmed it as she watched a butterfly making its slow way through the thicket outside.

She always was fascinated by butterflies and her smile showed her joy in watching it. Once it disappeared she turned from the window and walked back to the couch. “Enough of these fanciful flights,” she muttered out loud.

She picked up her wine glass once more from the coffee table and glanced at the odd window. Something drew her to it so she slowly wandered over to stand in front of it again. Taking a small sip of wine she noticed a small smudge on the window pane. Clair thought she must have touched the pristine window after all. She drew a kleenex from her jeans pocket and stepping close to the window she wiped at the smudge her finger had left on the window.

Frowning she noticed the smudged fingerprint still there so she wiped harder. Clair’s eyes widened with sudden realization……the fingerprint was on the outside of the glass!

The glass slipped from her hand and the wine spilled over the floor like blood as Clair slowly moved her eyes from the fingerprint to her reflection. She drew in her breath as her reflection smiled and gave her a slight wave. She quickly stepped back when the reflection in the glass took a step closer to the window, pursed her lips and blew a fog onto the window. With her fingertip, Clair’s twin on the other side of the window slowly wrote out two words……..

‘Help Me’

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, postaday, stories, Uncategorized, writing

Author interview: Kara Jorgensen

Here is the first interview in the 2016 2K Indie Book Tour put on by Kate Evans and Kate M. Colby! I will be showcased on Friday the 12th! Come join us as we visit different genres and authors. It’s going to be loads of fun.

Scarborough Mysteries

It is time to kick off our 2K international indie book blog tour 2016 (hosted by Kate M Colby http://katemcolby.com http://katemcolby.com & me, Kate Evans). I am delighted to welcome our first indie author for interview, Kara Jorgensen.

KaraK picKara Jorgensen is an author of fiction and professional student from New Jersey who will probably die slumped over a Victorian novel. An anachronistic oddball from birth, she has always had an obsession with the Victorian era, especially the 1890s. Midway through a dissection in a college anatomy class, Kara realized her true passion was writing and decided to marry her love of literature and science through science fiction or, more specifically, steampunk. When she is not writing, she is watching period dramas, going to museums, or babying her beloved dogs.

Here she introduces her book,  The Earl and the Artificer (Ingenious Mechanical Devices #3), a historical fantasy novel.

What mysteries…

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Posted in Blog challenge, Fiction, NaBloPoMo, Nano Poblano, postaday, stories, writing

Nano Poblano ~ NaBloPoMo ~~ Day 5

I was becoming desperate in what to write today. Nothing came to mind and I was running out of time to get it done. Then I found a place with all sorts of writing prompts on it. Yay! Saved by some random words as I decided to use the Random Word generator. Makes the old gray matter work a bit for a change.

If you are stuck and want some prompts, go here. They will have all sorts of help for you.

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My words that came up were: herbs, arouse, spicy, scream, dodge, prickly, beer, tempt. Below I  have attempted to use all the words in a flash fiction piece. Hope you enjoy. 

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Bret raised the ice-cold beer to his lips and took a long pull from the bottle. It had been a long hard week. He was tired and hungry, but he didn’t want to cook his own meal tonight. As his thoughts turned to what restaurants were close by, his nose picked up the spicy smell of something delicious. Must be his neighbor across the hall cooking again. The smell was enough to tempt him to open up his door and get a better sense of the aroma.

His stomach rumbled when he stepped into the hallway and picked up the smell of herbs and spices with just a hint of garlic in the air. Whatever she was cooking this night had his mouth-watering and his brain turning. He wondered what excuse he could use to knock on her door and maybe, if the gods were smiling on him tonight, get invited to dinner.

Bret had been trying to get to know his neighbor since she moved in a couple of months ago. A quiet woman, a bit prickly when he tried to talk to her the first week she was here. After that, he didn’t see her very often as she seemed to keep odd hours. When she was home the same time he was, all sorts of wonderful smells drifted from her apartment to his. She seemed to cook a lot, and what she cooked always smelled divine.

He was definitely a man who was ruled by his stomach. Bret enjoyed a good meal when he could get one. Most of the women he knew and dated didn’t usually have cooking on their resume. He went for the beautiful model types, who always seemed to be watching their weight. His neighbor wasn’t exactly in that category as she was a bit on the plump side. It wasn’t that she wasn’t beautiful, Bret thought. In her way she was, if you went for red hair, green eyes and a slight dusting of freckles along her cheek bones.

Music started to play from the neighbor’s apartment. Soft sounds of something jazzy. The picture of his neighbor’s body close to his in a slow dance began to arouse Bret in ways that surprised him. Was he attracted to his neighbor? He knew he spent more weekends home smelling her cooking than was normal. He leaned his long body against his door jamb and smiled ruefully. Now all he had to do was think of a reason to knock on her door.

Just as he was poised to raise his fist and knock, her door swung open. Her green eyes widened as she gave a small scream.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” Bret said as he stepped back a pace.

“I wasn’t expecting someone to be at my door. Can I help you with something?”

“I’m your neighbor,” Bret smiled as he pointed to his open doorway across the hall. “I couldn’t help but smell the heavenly smells wafting from your apartment. Can I ask you what you are cooking?”

“It’s a new recipe I’m trying out for my restaurant. It doesn’t even have a name yet.”

“You own a restaurant? No wonder whatever you cook smells so damn good.”

She closed and locked her door, smiled at Bret and walked around him. “I need some spices that I ran out of. Was on my way to the store. Not that I’m trying to dodge you, but I really must run as my dish is simmering and I don’t want to leave it alone for long.”

Bret thought here is my chance to get to know his neighbor. “It’s getting late. How about I walk with you to the store and you can tell me all about what it’s like to own a restaurant?”

She hesitated, then held out her hand toward him, “My name is Monique. I’ll be happy for some company neighbor.”

Bret closed and locked his door after grabbing his jacket and keys and walked down the hall with Monique. His thoughts were happy as he started to talk about restaurants and food.

 

NaBloPoMo_2015

 

 

 

 

 

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

The Haunting of Home

Halloween is coming soon, so I thought I would repost one of my favorite TRUE stories today. Enjoy!

I’ve told all of you about my ghost friend Abe. I know many of you probably don’t believe in ghosts, hauntings, things that go bump in the night. I do, because I’ve seen and heard things that are not explained otherwise. I’ve seen way too many ghosts for anyone to tell me they don’t exist. Just because a person hasn’t seen a ghost, doesn’t win the argument that they are not real. I believe there are many things we do not see, but they still exist.

My childhood home My childhood home

This ghost that I’m going to tell you about was seen and felt in my childhood home along with Abe. It just wasn’t as nice as Abe. In fact, this ghost gave off a distinct aura of menace. It was quite scary, especially for a kid. As I stated in my story about Abe, there were 8 children that lived…

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Posted in Blogging, Fiction, Flash Back Friday, Humor, postaday, stories, writing

Flashback Friday

Hello, people!

I hope the start of your weekend is fantastic! I’m taking a small break from my edits to bring you this flash from the past.

Here’s a short story I wrote way back in October of 2012. I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

 

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

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.

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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 heavy, like a smelly wet blanket covering the whole house. We had lost the electricity an hour ago. But I had plenty of candles lit. I hate the dark, things happen in the dark that doesn’t happen in the light.

It wasn’t raining, not yet anyway. But the wind was blowing and the trees outside were hitting the side of the house. A steady bang, bang, bang. It was driving me crazy. I made a mental note to have the trees next to the house trimmed… soon.

The thunder could be heard rumbling over the wind. Every now and then the lightning would light up the house. Because of that and the candles, there were odd shadows flickering on the walls and ceilings. It would be a great night for Halloween. But that holiday was still a few weeks away.

I sat on the couch with Sam as close to my side as he could get. I liked the company, even if it was in the shape of a small dog. At least we had each other, and I wasn’t completely alone. I felt foolish. A grown woman afraid of the dark, but I couldn’t help myself. It was just that kind of night.

I heard a soft creak, like a footstep when the wind and thunder were silent for a few seconds.  It sounded like it was in the house! Sam and I just froze for a second, I felt the poor little guy shiver in fright. I have to admit it scared me too!

I gathered my courage together, picked up one of the candles and decided to take a look around the house. Yeah, stupid I know. I mean, in all the scary movies one sees, the girl always goes looking around the dark house on her own and meets up with the boogie man!

This wasn’t a movie. I would rather meet up with the boogie man on my terms then sit on the couch and await my doom. So off we went to search the house. Sam was close on my heels, I guess he wasn’t willing to be alone either.

We did a quick survey of the main floor and saw nothing unusual. So I decided to take a look upstairs. I slowly started to climb the stairs as the candle flickered at each step. I tried to listen to anything beyond the wind but heard nothing strange.

So step by slow step I continued upwards. We got to the landing and I stopped to give another listen. Nothing. I took a step forward and immediately heard a creak and I knew it wasn’t me that made it.

I decided to keep moving forward. I had to find out if someone else was in the house with me. It was either that or go hide somewhere and wait for the boogie man to find me! Neither option was the greatest. So taking my courage in hand once more I continued forward. I slowly walked down the hall. The first room I came to was the bathroom. Taking a quick look inside I knew no one was there, and yes, I looked in the shower too!

Poor little Sam was with me every step of the way. I made myself a promise that I would give Sam some extra special dog cookies once we were over this night! He deserved them for keeping me company on this scary night.

Taking a deep breath, I continued to the next room. My bedroom door was closed like usual.  I grabbed the door handle and slowly turned it. As I opened the bedroom door I heard it give a small screech, I never noticed that it needed oiling until now.

As I opened the door all the way and stepped inside the wind picked up in force and pushed the outside tree against the side of the house. The bang that followed made my heart jump and my hand holding the candle shake.

I walked into the room and took a quick look around as Sam stayed in the doorway.  I saw nothing out of the ordinary and even got enough courage to throw the closet door open and take a look. Nothing. Whew!

My heart slowed down just a bit and I left to check the last room. An extra bedroom. That door too is usually closed, but I noticed soon enough that it was open a crack. My heart started to beat fast once more.  I stood just outside the door wondering if I shouldn’t just turn and run. I took a deep silent breath as I put my hand against the door to push it open.

I gave it a slow push and took a quick look. I didn’t see anything so I took a step inside…then all hell broke loose!

There was an awful howl as two gray and white bodies streaked past me out the door. Sam gave a loud bark and took after them. Sam was yapping excitedly as I ran into the hallway just in time to see my two devil cats running hell-bent down the hall with Sam nipping at their tails!

Both cats raced toward the stairs and when the first one hit the curve before the stairs the second one almost ran him over. As their paws scrambled for footing they bounded down the stairs with the now brave Sam close on their butts!

I started running after Sam as fast as I could without putting out my candle. I heard a loud crash downstairs and wondered what piece of furniture was a victim of their flight.  Then I heard yapping and hissing and thought I better get down there quick!

Managing to get down the stairs without tripping in my haste, I entered the living room just as the lights came back on.

I stood in the middle of the room and surveyed the damage. I blew out my candle and yelled at Sam to hush! He had the two devil cats Notwen and Pouncer cornered on top of the TV stand. I just had to laugh. One, because I felt so relieved that there wasn’t a boogie man in the house! Two, because Sam was so much smaller than either cat and he acted so proud that he got them hissing and cornered!

It took me a few minutes to get the animals calmed. Afterward, I just sat on my couch and laughed at myself. But, after that day, I make sure I always have plenty of candles in every room in the house. You know, just in case.

 

 

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