A Challenge Accepted!

Two posts in one day for me! Wow, I must be in the zone. LOL

Frank over at A Frank Angle has issued a challenge to write a flash fiction piece on the picture below. It has to be 150 words or less. It’s been a while since I did a challenge like this, so I’m kind of rusty. Hope you all enjoy it and zip on over to Franks to read all the other great writings, including Franks!

 

Footprints in the Sand

 

He was told that he would be alone at this outpost. Then why is he seeing footprints that aren’t his?

Looking around he didn’t see anything for miles. Just sand. Lots of sand.

He radioed back to headquarters about the footprints and waited. No one did anything on their own. If it wasn’t an approved activity dire consequences would occur. He knew that. He’s seen it in action. He didn’t want to be the next person it happened to.

So, he waited.

When he didn’t hear back from headquarters the next morning he did his usual walk around the area. It was protocol. You didn’t go against protocol.

He saw new footprints. With strange holes next to them. Whoever it was, it was barefoot and fairly small. He couldn’t figure out the holes. A stick? Where would they get a stick in this godforsaken wasteland?

Hearing a sound behind him he spun around and gasped. A small woman holding an antique firearm was standing there. She was pointing it at his chest.

 

 

 

That’s where my imagination took me. Hope you enjoyed it and will go visit Franks blog to read more. 

 

 

 

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Hidden Pain ~~~ A Poem

Hidden Pain

 

She looks but doesn’t see

the hurt she dishes out with words

careless words spoken without thought

she doesn’t care

 

He agrees to everything

the anger stays hidden deep inside

words are not spoken for hours, days, weeks, years

Yet, he doesn’t miss the hurt the child receives

 

The small heart is broken, shattered, torn

words spoken so carelessly taken so far deep inside

tears fall silently, never seen by the woman who caused them

never-failing to try to make her change her mind

 

A woman hurting, even after a lifetime

wondering again as the hurt resurfaces countless times

tears falling inside to wet the damaged soul

asking the same old question that never got answered

 

Why did she dislike me so?

 

 

 

 

Questions and Answers

Hello, people! I do hope your weekend went well. On Mondays, I usually do Cee’s Share Your World post but unfortunately, Cee has been ill the last few days and will not be posting her famous Monday questions for us to answer.

So, I have decided to post some of my own questions with of course my answers to them. If anyone would like to answer the questions please feel free to do so!

Here we go……..

Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone?

No, not that I recall. If I have it wasn’t on purpose. I’m terrible at practical jokes or joke telling.

What is your most essential appliance?

I was going to say my refrigerator but then I thought, well I have gone without one for a while, it can be done.

For this house right now I would have to say the microwave. I use that thing every single day, several times a day. The husband uses it more than me. Or my coffee maker, although again I have made coffee on the stove before and can if I have to. It doesn’t make the best coffee, though.

Have you ever been in a newspaper? 

No. Probably the only time I will ever be in a newspaper is the obit section.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Free. No, really. I wanted to be free. I’m still not sure I made it. If you mean career wise, well, like most kids I had phases. I wanted to be in the Navy for the longest time but I couldn’t pass the physical (bad hearing). I also wanted at one time to be a vet but was afraid that all those hurting and abused animals would just tear me up too much.

Then I decided I wanted to be a secretary (that’s what we call administrative assistants back then. I’m not sure what they call them now.)

Was that for a few years, hated it…plus I refused to make coffee for the boss. He didn’t appreciate it.

I always wanted to be a writer but I knew even back then one very rarely makes enough money doing that but it didn’t stop me from dreaming.

Have you ever had a secret admirer?

Wouldn’t be much of a secret if I knew, now would it? I have no idea but I very much doubt it. I’m not the kind of woman who men (or women for that matter) fall for and are afraid to step forward and say so.

What’s the most unusual conversation you’ve ever had?

I have had lots of unusual conversations. I seem to draw that out in people. I’m open to discuss pretty much anything, unusual or not.

My most unusual? Hm, I think I would have to say the most unusual was when I was much younger and my best friend and roommate was in her mental breakdown and we discussed her hallucinations. We discussed what she saw and what they were saying to her. This was all while she was in the middle of her breakdown and I was trying my best to calm her down so she wouldn’t kill me.

Looking back I would have to say, yeah, that was the most unusual. It saved my life, though, I firmly believe that.

Are you a bad loser?

I don’t like to lose. Who does? I don’t think I’m a bad loser. I mean I don’t throw cards in card games or swear (much) or pout. I’m used to losing. Terrible thing to say, eh?

Do you have any superstitions?

I would love to say….no. But, if I’m being completely honest I am somewhat. I do believe that if you think negative thoughts it will come back on you. That might be karma.

I’m not superstitious about black cats or walking under ladders or any of that kind of stuff. I’m superstitious about universal things, like karma.

I don’t throw salt over my shoulder (my ex MIL used to do that). Or my grandmother always said not to put a hat on a bed as it would bring bad luck. I don’t own any hats so I don’t think I have to worry.

I do kind of believe in special numbers and what they mean. I don’t know if that qualifies as superstitious. Probably does.

Are you good at keeping secrets?

Yes, I am. Very good. Some I’ve been carrying around for too many years to count. Others are more new.

So, if you have a secret you are dying to tell someone, I’m your gal!

Have you ever used the yellow pages?

I’m old. Used to be the only way to find a business’s phone number. Now I just Google stuff.

So the answer would be ….yes, of course I have. Sometimes I still do.

 

 

 

How Was I Suppose to Know ~~~ A Poem

 

How Was I Suppose to Know

 

How was I suppose to know that time was not unlimited?

That the sands in my hourglass sifted through my fingers,

As I played with life, never living it as I should have.

 

How was I suppose to know that love was fleeting?

When that love was given time and again to the wrong people,

And never to be received back.

 

How was I suppose to know that looking back was a danger?

As it made me sad, depressed and ashamed in myself,

For not giving all I had to my life to save my soul.

 

How was I suppose to know that regrets are like knives in the heart?

It’s too late to make those moments count,

Not only to yourself but to others.

 

How was I suppose to know that dreams are made to happen?

Only if you keep them in sight as you walk toward them,

Not when you forget them as you drift through life.

 

How was I suppose to know that all these things would make me ponder?

So I will work towards those dreams and forget about regrets.

As I have some time left and I’m not dead yet.

 

 

 

Wednesday Whatever!

Have you ever gone through your search stats? I’m sure a lot of you have. That’s the stats that show you the searches people have made that landed them on a post of yours.

Just for the heck of it today I thought I would take a peek and see how people ended up on my blog. Some of it is interesting….some bizarre. Some I sit and wonder just like Sweden did with Trump…..”What were they smokin’?”

Here are just some of what I found ~~~

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Now the most searches I found had to do with an open letter I wrote to my sister. Seems a lot of people are trying to reconcile with their sisters. That is either very sad or very hopeful. If you have a sister, give her a call, write a letter, or give her a hug if you can. Wait! Do that after you read my post. ha!

Ok, here are some others I found…..

fucking brath….nine people did this search and reached my blog. WTH?? What does that even mean? Am I missing something? I don’t ever recall writing something with that in it. If anyone knows what this means let me know will ya?

rain…..Hm, I did once write a poem about rain. But, 52 people reached my blog doing this simple search. I don’t know whether to be proud or worried.

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http://www.write a letter to your sister .com……Close but no cigar. My blog is registered under http://www.tobreatheistowrite.com, I did write a couple of open letters to my sister but come on….I’m not an authority on it.

good day unicorn humor….I suppose anytime you see or hear a unicorn it would be a good day. Or a bad drug day…….but some used this search term to come visit me. I have no idea why.

two cup coffee.….First of all, good grammar would dictate that it should be “two cups of coffee”, but eh, I’m easy and I do love my coffee.

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an open letter to my brother to respect all the girls.….Now, this is a search I can get behind! Good for the people who are telling their brother to respect all the girls! Way to go!

silly groundhog….Yes, groundhogs can be silly but I don’t understand why you would come to my blog looking for them.

mandarin language…..It’s my understanding the Mandarin language is one, if not the hardest language to learn. Especially if you come to my blog looking for it!

how to write about a Halloween party…..I did happen to write about a Halloween party but I’m no expert at it. My advice……just sit down and write about the Halloween party that you’d love to go to. You can do it!

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how to write a memo for his making sister.….Well, first I don’t think YOU can make a sister, your parents have to do that. Second, I think your parents don’t need a memo for this….but one can’t be so sure I suppose.

my mom name is……Um, I don’t know. Don’t you know your mom’s name? Hint….it isn’t mom.

how the write 17 of april 2016 in words.…..I have to admit, this one made me laugh. Ok, let’s see if I can explain this one…..You almost have it all written. You just need to make 17 = seventeenth and 2016 into either two thousand and sixteen or twenty sixteen. See how easy that was? Now all together…..Seventeenth of April, two thousand and sixteen. Easy peasy. Hope this helps. (make sure April is capitalized)

 

Hope you have found these as amusing as I have. See you later!

 

 

Wednesday Whatever! ~~ A short story

Today I decided to do a little bit of writing. I went to *Random First Line Generator* and just decided to do a short story with whatever first line I happened to like.

Below is what I came up with for the first line of:

The footsteps were moving away.

 

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The footsteps were moving away. She took a deep breath, drew the hood over her head and turned to dart in the opposite direction when her ears picked up a slight sound. She froze, her nerves tingling. If she was caught they would kill her. No questions asked, no hesitation.

The sound of faint buzzing came from behind her. Damn. One of those mechanical tracking devices had caught her scent. If she didn’t move fast she was dead and she wasn’t ready to die today.

Reaching into her pocket she withdrew a small vial. After smashing the vial into the ground she ran down a flight of stairs barely visible in the darkness. Inside the vial was a concoction of her own making. A vile and long lingering scent that would confuse the tracking device long enough for her to make her escape.

Her lips curved up into a small sneer as she raced around the next building. It would take more than a few slow-moving guards and a bloodhound machine to stop her. She knew it had been a risk to come this close to her enemy but it was also the only way to get the information she needed.

Carson could make demands, yell and fret all he wanted. It didn’t make any difference. Sasha was always going to do what she wanted when she wanted. How else were they going to free her father from the prisons of Alazaban?

Her father was all the family she had left in this desolate wasteland of a world. She wasn’t going to lose him to a loathsome, ego-maniac like Drakon.

Drakon was a self-made lunatic. He had money, power, and men behind him. She had herself, Carson and a few rag-tailed friends. Sasha felt the odds were still in her favor. After all, Carson was the best mechanic around and could build things from almost nothing. Her strengths were that she was a genius with chemicals.

With the two of them and her few friends, she would make Drakon sorry he ever took notice of her that fateful day last year in the market. She wasn’t about to give in to Drakon’s demands.

Because she refused his advances, Drakon took her total dislike of him and made her the promise that she would pay for her stupidity. He called it stupid, she called it survival. It was well known what Drakon did to his former lovers when he got tired of them. She wasn’t going to suffer the same fate.

He kidnapped her father and told her she could trade herself for him. Wasn’t going to happen. Sasha was going to get her father back…or die trying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

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.

To Breathe is to Write

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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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!

To Breathe is to Write

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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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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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Tuesday, Another Challenge Day!

Hello, People. Hope your week is going well.

Today I thought I would give you a picture prompt. If you want to join me in this challenge you can take the picture and attach a story, poem, or whatever to it. Go crazy! Have fun! There is no word limit so go short or long.

I decided to write a poem. Well, what I consider a poem. Or something close to it. ha! Hope you enjoy.

 

birdcage

 

 

Paper bird in a cage dreaming to become real

To fly and soar and be free

To escape this cage of steel

Dreams are swirling like mist over a lake

Waiting to crystallize, to become wings

Feathered and light

Beautiful to behold

Up high it flies, no longer paper

No longer earth-bound

Dreams become reality, even for a paper bird in a steel cage

Instead of folded paper wings, feathers of magical dreams

 

 

 

 

It’s not much but it’s mine. Let me know if you join along!