The Party

Written for the prompt, the story must contain a witch, a ghost, and a skeleton.

   He looked around the strange room. Smoke obscured most of it but what he could see looked like the inside of a log cabin. He could tell it was dark due to the lack of sunlight coming through the only window he could see.  A light source near him played off the smoke and caused shadows to dance around the room. Movement on the other side of the room caught his attention. He froze and concentrated on the area he thought he saw something. A cough followed by low mumbling confirmed his suspicions.

   “Who’s there?” he asked through the swirling smoke.

   “What?” answered a disembodied voice through the gray veil.

   “I asked who’s there,” he replied.

  witch-1 Another cough and he could see someone walking toward him. In a matter of seconds he could make out a small woman dressed in what looked like a burlap sack with a belt. On her head she wore a crown made of flowers. The smoke began to clear and he could see she was older with gray streaks in her brown hair.

   “What took you so long?” she asked.

   “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I was,” he thought for a moment, “I don’t really know where I was but I know I wasn’t late. Where am I?”

   “You’re right where you should be.”

   “That really doesn’t answer my question. I was doing something, I can’t remember what. When suddenly I’m here, a smoke filled room with an older woman whom I’ve never seen. Are you going to a costume party? What are you supposed to be?”

   “Well, aren’t you full of questions? I’ll answer all of them in order. You’re in my cabin in the woods, Yes, I’m going to a costume party, and lastly I’m a witch.”

   “A witch?” he asked, taking a step backwards.

   “Easy, Sally. I’m not going to hurt you. I couldn’t even if I wanted to.”

   “Why couldn’t you hurt me?’

   “You’re dead. I conjured up a ghost and here you are.”

   “Dead, a ghost?” he thought for a moment. “That explains my see-through body. I thought I finally got x-ray vision.”

   The witch slapped her forehead and ran her hand down her face, “Of all the ghosts out there I get one that’s running on empty,” she mumbled.

   “Why am I here?” the ghost asked.

   “I needed a date to the costume party,” the witch answered. “My name is Debbie.”

   “Debbie,” the ghost repeated. “That’s not much of a witch name. Why not Millicent or Beatrix or Lucretia, heck, even Glenda would be better than Debbie.”

   “You have a pretty strong opinion about names for someone named Bocephus.”

   The name sounded right and then it struck him, “Everybody called me Bo so back off Debbie.”

   “We have to leave for the party so you need to get ready.”

   “I’m a ghost what do I have to do to get ready?”

   Debbie looked at him and shook her head, “You’re a ghost. Think scary.”

   Bo closed his eyes and concentrated on scary. He felt something change. When he opened his eyes and looked at his arms and legs, everything seemed the same. Then he saw it and at the same time he heard a long, loud scream that sounded like it was coming from a little girl. He then realized he was the one screaming. He quickly took a deep breath and looked at Debbie.

   “What’s wrong with you?” she asked. “Nothing’s changed.”

   He looked at her and cocked his head to the side in an effort to understand why she hadn’t seen it. Slowly, in an effort to not startle anyone, he stretched his hand toward her and held it there.

   “What?” she asked. “It’s your hand. I need a claw at the end of that arm.”

   Bo pointed with his other hand, “It’s a wedding ring,” he screamed, “A wedding ring.”

   “You numb skull, think of something that’s scary to people who are not you. Think claws and fangs; give that ghostly pallor of yours a green or white tinge. Do I have to do all the thinking for you?”

   She watched as Bo transformed into a large greenish monster with large fangs and appropriate claws, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”

   Suddenly a knock on the door reverberated through the cabin. Debbie crossed the room and looked out the peep hole. With a quick intake of breath she opened the door.

   A man in a green uniform stood in the open doorway, “Can I help you, handsome?” she asked.

   “I have a delivery for Debbie Poopnslaw.”

   “That’s me, good lookin’. What are you doing when you get off work?”

   The man quickly held an electronic pad in front of her and waited for a signature. When he had it he moved to the side of the door and pushed a long, wooden box into the room. With one fluid motion he turned and ran into the darkness. A gunning engine and squealing tires were Debbie’s only goodbye.

   She shrugged her shoulders and opened the box. When she saw what was inside she shrieked and slumped against the wall. Bo moved to where he could see the inside of the box. It was a dusty skeleton lying in repose. He looked at Debbie and back to the skeleton

   Suddenly the skeleton sat up and reached its hand out toward Bo, “Hi, I’m Tom, who are you?”

   Debbie ran toward Bo and Tom, “This is a first. I have two dates to a party.”

   “Shouldn’t we be leaving,” Bo asked. “I need a drink.”

   “Could I borrow a coat,” Tom asked. “This weather chills me to the bone.”

   Debbie found a coat for Tom and they walked out the door of the cabin. A full moon cast shadows throughout the surrounding forest and a cool breeze blew through the leafless trees. Their branches banged and scratched against each other sounding like something trying to scratch its way inside.

   Bo turned to Debbie, “Poopnslaw? How do you even get up in the morning?”

   With a twitch of her nose Bo became a white mouse. She bent and scooped him into her purse, snapping the clasped closed.

   “I only needed one date and now I have a treat for the party snake.”

   In the dark of the witch’s purse Bo heard Debbie’s remarks. He shrugged his tiny, white shoulders and went back to work trying to zero in on that cheese smell. With luck he would find it before the snake found him.

 

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Close Encounter

A short story.  Words – 1,135.

Marc Anthony sang “Love Is All” softly in the background. My fourth glass of Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve was a blurred memory, and we danced. Candlelight cast a soft glow around the room creating an almost dreamlike state. Butterflies, caged for longer than I can remember, now fluttered unshackled through my stomach. Della invited me to her place after work. I was hesitant but a tiny vice prodded me to accept. It was the same voice that cheered me on when I returned her smiles or winked at or stared at her during meetings. She usually caught me when I ogled. Now, here I was, too much wine and confused. She was hot and fiery, her passion only matched by her temperament. Cheek to cheek we brushed, exchanging heat, arousing that which has long been silent. Dormant since tragedy yanked it from my life. Fate, as we all know, can be cruel.

Lips pressed against mine, warm, soft, invading; a promise of things to come. My mind wandered, trying to hide feelings long suppressed. Camping was something I used to do quite often. I loved the smell of smoke from the fire. I learned that if you get too close, it was suffocating and it burned. It wasn’t exactly too much of a good thing; it was more or less something that could only be enjoyed from a distance.

The Latin beat picked up the pace as Marc sang “She’s Been Good to Me.” Graceful glides, bodies in rhythm turned suddenly to groping, thrusting, and exploring. Again I fought for control. I thought about how small puppies make wonderful gifts. My niece, an charcol-danceaspiring veterinarian, received a Lab puppy on her sixth birthday. She immediately named him Paco. Her love for Paco and her interest in being a vet kept the puppy on his toes. Every protrusion, every orifice was explored until she was sure he was operating at peak efficiency. Of course, poor Paco went into spasms if he couldn’t find a hiding place when she came around. I guess that can be the effect of too much unwanted attention. Guilt is an animal of a different color. It can make you jumpy, uneasy in your own skin. Guilt can also be a comforting friend always held at arm’s length to be trotted out just when you need it most. It was smiling at me now, guilt, my friend. I tried to use it like a scalpel to surgically remove the unwanted invasion that had seemingly become part of me.

“Remember Me” softly played and guilt tried to get closer than arm’s length. Friends and family said there was nothing to feel guilty about. All I could tell them was that my wife died. I tried to explain how I didn’t have enough time to let her know how much I loved her. We certainly didn’t have enough time to say goodbye. They all just shook their heads, not knowing what to say nor understanding. I couldn’t blame them. They all meant well. The only way they could know how I felt was if they had experienced the same loss. I didn’t wish that on anyone. As the dance continued I decided now was time for the hammer of truth. One of my best friends used to say, “When all else fails, lie.” Telling the truth seemed much easier.

“I’m still in love with my wife even though she’s been dead for five years. I still love her,” I blurted out quickly.

Easy enough to say, I thought. But hearing it out loud sounded a little crazy. Who am I kidding? It sounded a lot crazy, kind of like yelling fire while standing in a firehouse full of firemen or trying to pick the pocket of a uniformed police officer. In answer to your question, “No, I haven’t done either or even thought about it. As crazy as my statement was, I never expected the response from lovely Della’s mouth.

“You’re in love? She’s dead,” Della screamed. “I’m alive and here. She’s dead and gone.”

Her words stung. I felt flushed and one “kiss my ass” away from tears. How manly of me. Of course there was no new information in what she said. It was just the way she said it, with such conviction. Like a new mother extolling the virtues of her new born baby. She could never be convinced her baby wasn’t beautiful even though it had buckteeth, ears that would make Dumbo proud and a mole on its forehead the shape of Texas.

She continued with her sermonette, “You flirt with me and then accept my invitation. You knew what I wanted,” Della continued to scream, her voice stepping to a higher pitch than I thought possible. “You’re an idiot. A self-centered, selfish idiot,” she continued, pacing back and forth. “You lead me on and then you drop this on me? What’s wrong with you?”

This was a very good question. In answer to your question, yes, I did realize it was rhetorical. I didn’t answer.

“It’s been five years. She’s not coming back,” Della was breathing hard and it wasn’t from passion. Unless you’re talking about her being passionate about seeing me slowly tortured.

There are times when you look back and just can’t argue with the facts. This was one of those times. My dad used to say the only argument you’re never going to win is the one your heart really isn’t in. That’s where I was. I just didn’t care.

“You idiot,” Della spit out.

Those were the last words, along with the sound of breaking glass, I heard before the lights went out.

~

    Twenty-seven stitches, a few well-placed pain pills, and half a bottle of blended scotch later, I realized that in pain, lessons can be learned. The first of which is, don’t mix pain pills and liquor. Secondly, don’t stick your head in a campfire, don’t give a puppy to a six-year-old vet want-to-be, don’t wallow in guilt, and don’t ever, ever tell the truth unless you’re willing to accept the immediate consequences. Also, duck when a vase is tossed at your head. That’s one I’m hoping to always remember. Although I still haven’t found a way to fill the emptiness in my heart; I have learned to keep it to myself.

As an afterthought I guess you should know that Della has now hooked up with my boss. He’s married and has kids. I believe they deserve each other. I’m still waiting for the day he comes in with stitches, a black eye and a hangover. We’ll have something to bond over. He asked me the other day how well I knew Della. I knew the question wasn’t rhetorical but I still didn’t answer.

###

A Confounding Question

This story was written for a contest. The prompt was, opening line must be, “The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind,” last line must be, “the answer is somewhere in the wind.” Also, the story must be 1000 words or less and you have 24 hours to complete the story.

Word Count – 770

The answer, my friend, is blowin in the wind.”

“What? You’re telling me that’s what the perp said after he took this guy’s head off?”

“Yeah, that’s what he said. I was hiding behind that pile of crates over there,” the small, balding man said, his voice still shaking. “I was afraid he was going to see or hear me so I stayed quiet. After I didn’t hear anything for a while I peeked over the top of that crate.”

chalk-outline“You saw the guy do it, right?”

“Yeah,” the man answered. “He went at him like he was trying to hack a log in half.”

“Can you describe this guy?”

“He was big.”

“What do you mean by big? Was he tall, fat, broad shouldered, mascot like? You’ve got to be more specific.”

“What do you mean by mascot like?”

“Did he have a big head?”

“Yeah and he was tall, around 8 feet,” the man said. His voice began to quiver, “His shoulders had to be half as wide as he was tall. He was packed full of muscles. And I can tell you that wasn’t the first time he held a machete. I believe he could just as easily have pulled the guy in half with his bare hands.”

“Did you notice any distinguishing marks on him? Maybe he had a scar or a mole. Were his ears unusually big or did you notice if he had all his fingers?”

“His nose was turned up and he was really hairy.”

Dirk shook his head, “This is one for the books. If you think of anything else call me.” Dirk handed the man his card.

The man looked at Dirk for a moment then turned away. He watched him as he slowly shuffled toward what he said was his office. The man couldn’t be the perp. He was too small to do the kind of damage that was done to the victim. The perp had to be tall but 8 feet? This eyewitness had to have a broken measuring tape or something.

“Do you believe this?” Dirk asked his partner after the man was out of ear shot.

“I’ve heard stranger things, Dirk. Who knows what’s going on?”

“It’s not often our perp is Big Foot.”

“What do you mean?”

“Seriously, did you hear that description?”

“Come on, Perry. Why would a guy quote a Bob Dylan song and then use a machete to hack some poor dock worker’s head off? It doesn’t make sense.”

“I know. I could understand someone wanting to take their own head off after learning Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize in Literature. Blow that in the wind.”

Dirk knew Perry wrote in his spare time. What he didn’t know was how bad he took the news of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize, “Come on, Perry. It’s not like you were up for the same award.”

“That’s not the point. They awarded a stoned out hippy the same award that went to thebob-dylan likes of Camus, Faulkner, Elliot, and Kipling. I’ll bet these guys are crapping a brick in their graves.”

“Come on, didn’t Winston Churchill win one of those things? He wasn’t even a writer, was he?”

“He won it because he wrote biographies or something. That’s not a good example.”

“Perry, what’s the big deal? I’ll bet you can’t tell me who won this thing last year.”

“Svetlana something or other, she’s a Russian journalists.”

“Something or other doesn’t sound Russian,” Dirk shot back.

Perry gave him a halfhearted smile, “Listen, I’m not arguing Bob Dylan isn’t a great artist. Just tell me the last time an author won a Grammy? I can tell you, never. I can also tell you that Mark Twain, Henry James nor John Updike ever won a Nobel Prize in Literature. It really cheapens the award.”

“Kind of like Obama winning the peace prize back in ’09, right?”

“You just don’t get it, Dirk. This isn’t funny”

“No, I don’t, Perry but that was funny. You need to get your knickers unstuck and get your mind on your job and that’s not picking a Nobel Prize winner. We have a murder to solve.”

“I know,” Perry said, hanging his head. “It just irks me.”

“You need to follow the stiff to the morgue. When we get a positive ID then you can talk to any family members he might have. I’m going to snoop around this crime scene a while longer to see if I can turn up any more leads. As far as this Nobel Prize thing goes, I guess the answer is somewhere in the wind.”

Middle Aged Mutant Ninja Squirrels

This story was written for a contest with the writing prompt, Begin a story that contains the words Believe it or not. The story must contain 1500 words or less. My story contains 1100 words. This is the story:

 

This is the type of story that should begin with believe it or not. Up front I’ll let you know even my best friends don’t believe me, but it happened. I guess this would rank right up there with UFOs and Bigfoot. I know you’ll agree this story is as strange as either of those examples, it’s harder to believe.

I remember it like it was this morning. The sun was shining, the flowers were blooming, and the birds were singing. The back deck was in full sun and the table I sat at was getting warm. My coffee still steamed after fifteen minutes and I was beginning to sweat. This was the kind of morning when I could almost be convinced to buy a pool. As it was, I was thinking of running through the sprinkler. Suddenly the grinding of the garage door opening interrupted my thoughts. My wife was at work and I was the only other one with an opener which was currently located on the sun visor of my 1999 Corolla. I ran down the steps and around the house to the now open garage.

There was nothing out of the ordinary other than the door being open. Just as I was about to close the door and get back to my morning coffee, a push broom resting against the back wall of the garage fell over. I then saw movement out of the corner of my eye. It appeared to be a squirrel.

I ran to the back wall and yelled. This was meant to scare the squirrel and cause it to run squirrel-with-umbrella-1out the open garage door. It didn’t work. The squirrel charged me. I don’t know if you’ve ever been in front of a charging squirrel, this was my first time, but it’s not pleasant. My college biology class came to mind. The pictures of the squirrel’s anatomy were the first I remembered. It had a set of fangs that rivaled a rattlesnake’s. The squirrel used the fangs to break open nuts. I hoped this wasn’t what the squirrel had in mind as it charged. I did what any self-respecting man would do. I ran from the squirrel screaming like a little girl. I exited out the side door and circled around to the front of the open garage door, a safe twenty feet away.

As I stood there trying to figure out my next move I thought I heard laughter coming from the garage. Slowly I made my way forward. There, behind my tool box, I saw three squirrels grouped together. As one they turned toward me.

“What are you looking at?” one of the squirrels asked.

I stared back in disbelief. Then I began looking around the garage. This had to be some kind of joke.

“Hey, I’m talking to you big boy,” the squirrel said.

I looked back at the diminutive squirrels. Not only was one of the squirrels talking but he was also doing De Niro or Pesci. I couldn’t tell.

“Look, guys. Big boy can’t talk. You think he forgot how?” the squirrel said.

“I don’t think he’s ever seen squirrel’s wearing masks,” the taller one said.

“Maybe it’s the weapons. Maybe he’s never seen squirrels carrying weapons,” the short, plump one added.

Not only were the squirrels talking but they were now making fun of me. I didn’t know what to make of it.

“Who are you guys?” I asked.

“We are the Middle Aged Mutant Ninja Squirrels,” the plump one said.

“The MAMNS?” I asked.

“Hey, buddy. It’s not supposed to make sense. Okay?” the plump one said with a hint of a whine.

“I’m sorry, it sounds funny.”

“Funny how?” the first one asked.

All doubt was now gone. The little guy was doing Pesci. I resisted the urge to continue the bit so I asked one of the questions that was bouncing around in my head.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“We want your nuts,” the plump one said.

I involuntarily slammed my knees together and half turned away. My first fears were coming true.

“No, you idiot,” the tall one said. “We want the nuts in your front yard.”

“And if I say no?”

With that they vaulted into the air. Pesci landed on my head. The plump one hit me in the shin with his nunchucks and the tall one stabbed my left buttocks with his tiny sword. I spun quickly but Pesci reached down and grabbed two handfuls of my eyebrows. Dropping to my knees I again screamed like a little girl.

“I just asked you for a favor,” Pesci said.

“Okay,” I screamed. “Take the nuts.”

With that they jumped, did another somersault, and landed in front of me looking like three little stuffed animals.

“That’s all we wanted,” the tall one said.

“You couldn’t have said that earlier and saved us the trouble?” Pesci asked.

I was facing them when I glanced over their shoulder and saw my dog, Otis, looking in the side door with his head tilted to the side. As I watched he lowered his head. A low growl sounded and rose into a high-pitched bark. The three squirrels turned when Otis made his move. He charged toward them, teeth showing. Now, Otis is not a vicious dog. He wasn’t much bigger than the squirrels and probably thought they were something to play with. Pesci dove to the side then lunged toward Otis. In a matter of seconds Pesci was straddling the dog while he ran around the garage. The plump one threw a rope with balls attached to either end, I think it’s called a bolo. The balls wrapped around the dog’s legs and he fell to the floor then skidded against the back wall. Pesci rolled off and landed on his feet. The tall one stood next to the dog’s head with his tiny sword pressed against its nose.

“Now, I believe you owe us some nuts,” Pesci said.

With that said they strutted out to the front yard, the Middle Aged Mutant Ninja Squirrels. I knew no one would ever believe me yet I told everyone. You know what they say about hindsight being twenty-twenty, I should have kept quiet.

Now I stare out my bared window, hoping the Middle Aged Mutant Ninja Squirrels make a visit to the Greenlawn Sanitarium. It’s been a year and I haven’t seen them. I know they’ll show up. They have to. I keep telling my doctor they’ll be here soon because they need to gather their nuts for the winter. He just shakes his head and takes notes.

Myrtle: A Trip to the Holy Land or Hooray for Dollywood, Part 2

Douger is gone to the grocery store and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The other night I slipped him one of my sleeping pills. He didn’t know it and now he’s okay. We have learned, however, when he takes sleeping pills he likes to drive naked. Darndest thing I’ve ever seen. On top of that I’ve got some great pictures to blackmail him the next time I need it.

blugrass-band-1

I’ve got a few more things to tell you about my trip to Pigeon Forge with Hazel. She’s a friend of mine from church. Her husband didn’t pass like my Norman. He ran from Hazel like a cat with its tail on fire. He didn’t take anything but the clothes on his back. If you ask me, that’s a man who is afraid he might get his private parts clipped off in the middle of the night. I saw Hazel eating a German sausage the other night and I’ve got to tell you she’s good with a knife. I wouldn’t doubt that man was somewhere in witness protection. I know he saw Hazel wear’in that black dress that would’ve been too short for a woman half her age and size. Now that was a crime. I said all that to say this, Hazel is a church friend, not a real friend. She’s one of those people who put on airs sometimes and wants people to think she’s somebody she’s not. I ask her on this trip because my neighbor friend, Martha, was busy. This give me a chance to peel back some of Hazel’s layers. There’s a gold mine of quirks in there and I’m going to find most of them.

I think the last time I wrote this was shortly after Hazel stuck her yellow, cracked, and dusty toe nails in my dinner plate. Another shiver and my gag reflex just kicked in. Those things were awful. She needs some real podiatric help.

We made it to Dollywood and it was great. Almost everywhere we went in there we could hear God’s music, you know, Country. I discovered Hazel needs a leash. I lost her three times when she ran off to do God knows what. The first night we were on our way out of the park when we past these gentlemen playing bluegrass. It sounded real good and I was enjoying myself when Haze broke out into a dance. If she had a leash I would have yanked it and told her to stop. As it was I had to wait until she was finished, the second time. Those hillbilly jack wads applauded her and that self-righteous primp took a bow and started dancing again. If that Simon Cow from that talent show saw her he would have had a field day.

I’ve run out of time but I’ll write more later. Remember to keep your powder dry and if you have a friend on a leash remember to tie them up in the shade. Johnny Law doesn’t like it when you leave them in the sun. That’s another Dollywood memory I’ll share with you on a later date.

A Run in the Rain

This is a flash fiction piece I wrote for a contest. The prompt was to use the words rain, mud, coffee pot, and puddles. The story had to be less than 1000 words and had to be complete and entered into the contest within 24 hours. That means no time for a rewrite. Here it is in all its glory. Let me know what you think.

 

rain-1   Chris ran along the wet path through the field. The steady, light rain created shallow puddles which he jumped as he ran. Every now and then a spot where the grass was worn away revealed slick patches of mud. He knew if he was going to get home to his coffee pot and that perfect first cup of coffee he had to avoid those patches. A twisted or broken ankle out here would ruin his day.

Everything was damp. The rain had soaked through his clothes and he was pretty sure he would have several spots that would begin chafing before long. This thought caused him to push even harder and he picked up his pace. Chris chanced a glance over his shoulder, nothing there. A chill ran through him and he began to shiver. A fleeting thought ran through his mind, “Why am I running?” Another glance over his shoulder and he thought he saw a dark figure running toward him.

His heart pounded in his chest and he ran faster. “Someone or something is chasing me. Why? Without a second thought he veered off the path and into the unforgiving forest. Low hanging branches slapped against his face and shoulders while the lower brush grabbed at his legs. He jumped and slid and ran harder. He gave no thought to possible injuries he could suffer by running into the unknown.

“You’re going to pay,” a disembodied voice said, almost like a whisper in his ear.

He remembered a car accident he had while driving. He had been drinking and someone was killed. “Who was it?” he thought.

“You killed her. You killed Gena!”

The voice was in his ear again and everything came back at once. He was driving the car, his fiancée with him. They’d left a party where he had been drinking. Gena begged him to let her drive but in his drunken state he refused. Now she was dead and he was running. He looked toward his feet and realized he had no shoes. His pants were ragged and bloody. His arm was cut and blood oozed through his torn shirt. “Did I run from the accident?” he thought. “I’ve got to go back.” Chris opened his mouth to scream but nothing came out. He cried and fell to the ground.

“I give up,” he whispered. “I don’t deserve to live.”

 

The steady beep of a heart monitor sounded in the sterile room. Tubes ran from an IV bag to the arm of the man in the bed. Gauze covered his arms, one leg, and his head. In a chair next to the bed a man sat with his chin resting on his chest. Tears covered his cheeks and deep sobs racked his body.

 

“That’s a real shame,” a nurse in the hallway whispered as she looked through the door.

“What happened?” a lady passing by asked, pausing to look.

“He was in a car accident and it doesn’t look like he’s going to make it.”

“Who is that in the chair next to him?”

“I guessing that’s his father.”

 

In the room the man sobbed and wiped his eyes. He leaned forward and whispered into the ear of the patient, “You’re going to die if I have to kill you myself. You killed my daughter and you’re going to pay. You’re going to pay for Gena’s life.”

 

In the rain soaked forest Chris sat with his back against a large tree. Thoughts of Gena and what they had planned danced in his mind. The accident became clearer. He now remembered letting Gena drive. She was so convincing when she said she hadn’t had as much to drink as he had. When the car rolled she was thrown from the car and somehow he ended up on the driver’s side. He remembered calling for her when he regained consciousness. She didn’t answer. He later woke long enough to hear one of the medics mention the girl was dead. It was more than he could take. The voice told him he was as good as dead and that was fine with him. He didn’t want to live in a world without Gena.

Myrtle: My Trip to the Holy Land or Hooray for Dollywood

Once again my blog post has been hijacked. Myrtle has resorted to blackmail if I don’t let her write a post today. She has threatened to release some very unflattering photos of me at a pumpkin festival. Let’s just say I’ll never enter a giant corn maze again. Once I figured out I could make my own hole in the cornstalk walls I was out of there in a matter of minutes. Too bad my need was a restroom in a matter of seconds.

 

dolly-parton-at-dollywoodDouger graciously allowed me to write in his blob thingy today to tell you about my trip to Pigeon Forge and the holy land, Dollywood. I went with my friend from church, Hazel. This proved to be a huge mistake. First of all we shared a motel room. This was wrong on so many levels. My dear friend Hazel, whom I’ve only seen in her church garb, likes to prance around in the confines of the room nearly naked. This is only made worse by the fact that she is sporting some pretty impressive breasticles. Keep in mind she is a mere child of 82 so in her day I’m sure she had some back problems. Now they’re easier to carry because they hang a little lower than the belt area. It’s just not what you want to see while you’re trying to watch Pat Sajak and the wheel. He is a cutie.

We decided to save money by buying our food and eating in the motel room. I had a nice big ham sandwich on my plate along with some chips. I set my plate in the floor for a second while I located something to watch on the television. Hazel came over to ask me how I liked a photo on her phone. It was of a grand baby or great grand baby, I don’t remember, she has a gazillion family members. As I handed her phone back to her and bent to grab my plate I noticed several of my chips had spilled onto the floor. Reaching for them I realized in horror, they were attached to Hazel’s toes. Fighting my gag reflex I retrieved my plate from the floor and promptly threw it away. That image still haunts my dreams.

I’ll write more about my trip with Hazel later, when Douger turns his back or I can knock him out. Either way I’ll be back. Until then keep your powder dry and your food off the floor.

Wanted: New Writing Schedule

typewriter-1Have you ever tried to stick to a plan only to find it impossible at times? Well, I have. Now I’m working on another plan that will allow for those little items that pop up day after day and get in the way. I’m not sure of the details of the new writing schedule but I’m working on it. I need something that will accommodate a day where I write 4,722 words and come back the next day to write 0. That’s right, zip, zero, zilch, nada, nothing. So I need a schedule that will let me do that and not feel like a total failure.

On the bright side I’ve almost finished my “outline” for my next book. I’ve placed quotations around outline because it’s not a true outline but more of a list of things that will happen or maybe a list of scenes. Outline is so much shorter to write and say so I’ll continue to call it an outline. I also have the first chapter finished. So that project is moving forward.

On the other hand my rewrite of my first book is all but dead in the water. For some reason I’d rather chomp on glass than wade back into the rewrite. I’ve finished with the first four chapters with only 26 more to go. My assignment, should I chose to accept it, is to complete a new magical schedule that will incorporate my rewrite, my new novel, and those days when everything seems to work against me and I get nothing done. With hope in my heart and a song on my lips (not really but I’m also adopting a new positive attitude) I’m off to invent the new schedule.

Another Hair Raising Encounter

I shared in an earlier post about my fear and hatred of Stink Bugs. This morning I had another encounter with one of the little beasts. I’m not sure how they’re getting in but the house is 80 years old. There must be hundreds of places these insects can enter. This thought invoked an involuntary shiver.

In an effort to not bore you I’ll give the short definition of Entomophobia. It is the excessive or unrealistic fear of one or more classes of insect. My fear has a name and that name is Entomophobia. Okay, that doesn’t make it sound any manlier and I really don’t feel any better about it.stink-bug

Back to my earlier encounter. The little bugger was on the wall just outside the pantry. It was about eye level. My first reaction was to back up quickly. My dog, Otis, who was evidently on my heels, didn’t pick up on my abject terror. I tripped, he ran, but the bug, the instigator of this meeting, didn’t move. Once I caught my breath and finished my rant at Otis for following too close. I returned my attention to the offending insect.

As if realizing my full attention was now on it, the bug began to crawl up the wall. In a flash I ran to the nearest box of tissue. I quickly withdrew three of the tissues then paused and grabbed two more. This definitely warranted a five tissue attack. Back at the wall I reached for the Stink Bug with tissues in hand. When I made contact I dropped the tissue and Bug to the floor. With reflexes normally reserved for jungle cats and striking snakes I grabbed the entire bundle from the carpet and began to squeeze. With a Stink Bug there is no catch and release. Once you grab one they release a noxious odor that permeates skin, clothes, and, evidently, nostril hairs. The smell can last for hours.

Back to the squeezing of the bundle, I ran to the kitchen garbage hoping the creature had a quick death. If not I would have Stink Bug smell all over my hands, clothes, and nose hairs and the little devil could crawl out and strike again. Another involuntary shiver just ran down my spine. Against all odds it seems as though I won this battle. There was a minor stink that lasted mere minutes and I don’t think this guy will be escaping from the garbage.

Today was another victory in my war with the insect world. I’m just glad this Stink Bug didn’t have any backup from a spider or even worse, a Spider Cricket.

Myrtle: On Cats and Neighbors

I was threatened this morning, I mean persuaded, to let Myrtle write my entry for today. She’s in a mood so I’m not sure how this is going to go. Again, the threats continue. So without further delay, here’s Myrtle.

 

It’s about time that jackass got out of my way and let me at this keyboard. I’ve got stuff I need to get off my chest. First of all, my neighbor from hell, Willard Harvey, was doing his best last night to ruin my evening. I was sitting on the front porch in my rocking chair enjoying a nice chew of tobacco when Butt Hat Harvey came out on his front porch and decided to stand there and stare at me. Well, I tried to ignore him but it was just impossible. I finally gave him the one finger salute. Believe it or not, that did it. I heard an audible gasp, he then turned and went back inside. You’d think when it’s a nice, cool 65 degrees outside a woman could have her private time on the porch.

calico-catTom and Jerry are my calico cats. Tom is male and Jerry is female. They’re brother and sister. A friend gave them to me when they were kittens. I really love their orange, white, and black patches. Emma, my friend from church, told me that male calicos are rare. She said I could sell Tom for a pretty penny if I wanted to. I told her I would rather sell Nora, my daughter. I’m guess she would sell for quite a bit less. There’s a whole lot of upkeep that goes with that girl. Well hell’s bells, somebody’s at the door. If it’s another one of them Jehovah’s Witness people I’m gonna show ‘em how a good ole Baptist woman can punch. I’ll knock the witness plumb out of them. Interrupting an old woman in the early morning, they should be ashamed. I’ll be back.

 

That man, Willard Harvey, just came knocking on my door and interrupted my blogging’. By the time I got back to my seat my cigarette was almost gone. I hate wasting a good cigarette. To beat all he just wanted to tell me I needed to cut my grass. I guess you can imagine what I did. First of all I gave him the one finger salute, that’s twice in 24 hours. I then informed him he was trespassing and I would stick a knife in him and walk all the way around his sorry backside the next time he set foot on my property. I also told him where he could stick that long grass in my yard. I doubt he’ll be bothering me again today. Nora was going to have one of the neighbor kids cut that grass tomorrow but I think I’ll tell her to wait a week or so. Maybe I can cause ole Willard to stroke out or something.

Until the next time, keep your powder dry and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. I guess that kind of leaves things wide open.