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Category Archives: Bloggy Moms

Do As Mother Says


Everybody said the old Bosworth mansion was haunted. At this very moment, standing before the door, I’m inclined to believe the rumors I’ve heard throughout my childhood.

My phone rings, announcing ‘Mother is calling’. I look around nervously, half-expecting someone to hear it. I chide myself for such a silly thought. At most, I might be disturbing a ghost inside but other than that, I don’t think I have anything to worry about. My eyes scan the darkness as I put the receiver to my ear.

“Yes, Mother,” I hiss.

“Are  you in yet, dear? Have you made it inside? Oh, this is so exciting! I can’t wait to tell my friends how brave my daughter is!” her voice babbles in my ear.

“Exciting, Mother? I am breaking and entering. That is not exciting. I’m breaking the law and I don’t need you telling your gossiping cronies. Besides, isn’t Ingrid’s grandson on the police force?”

“Oh Ingrid smingrid. She isn’t going to tell her grandson one word. She’s mad at him for marrying that floozy. So, are you inside yet, dear?” her excitement bubbles over with each word.

“Not yet. I’m at the front door.”

“Well, what are you waiting for? Open the door!” she practically yells in my ear.

“Okay, Mother. I will call you when I get inside.” I hit the disconnect button with triumph. I shake my head and put the phone in my pocket. I still haven’t figured out how Mother has managed to talk me into checking out the Bosworth mansion.

I stare at the front door with its black paint peeling. I lean in closer and think to myself, even in ruins this house holds a certain standard of elegance. I reach to pull a paint chip from the door when it swings open by itself.

Run, run like hell, the common sense in me yells. Get out of here. Are  you crazy? If your mother wants to know about the haunted mansion, tell her to come here herself!

No, no, I promised Mother I would find out if the rumors are true. Surely they aren’t. Just a little town gossip embellished over the years, the more practical side of me counters.

Either way, I gulp, I have to go in.

I hesitate before pushing the heavy door open further. It does enter the back of my mind a door so sturdy and heavy shouldn’t open on its own. I turn to look behind me. The leaves in the trees aren’t moving from any type of wind. In fact, this is one of the more peaceful nights courtesy of mother nature. Pushing aside the fear mounting in my heart, I take a step forward.

“Hello?” I whisper. “Is someone here?”

I hold my breath, counting to twenty. My ears take on the uncanny ability, much like a dog, to pick up sound. The stillness echoes off my skull as I strain to catch any noise that might resemble a ghost or footsteps. Although, truth be told, I have no clue what a ghost sounds like. I exhale quietly, feeling light-headed. My heart is galloping at full speed and I feel it smashing against my chest. I look down expecting to see it trying to escape through my black jacket.

My phone rings again. I let loose with a full-fledge scream. Between the insistent ringing and the new location of my heart pounding in my ears, I can’t hear anything else. I reach for the phone, dropping it from my shaking hands. As I step forward to retrieve the phone, my left shoe kicks it out of reach. I stay put. I swear I can hear laughter muddled with whispering.

I review my two choices in bionic mode.

I can grab my phone and run out the door.

I can forget my phone and run out the door.

The phone stops ringing. Silence amplifies even more but I’m having a hard time distinguishing between my heart beat, my breathing and what I think is supposed to be silence. I nervously scan the entry way, straining my  near-sighted eyes for clues to run like hell. I make a mental note to call for an appointment for my over-due yearly eye exam.

As I grab my phone, it starts ringing. I click the on button to hear my mother yelling.

“Get out of the house now!”

The call drops as the front door slams shut.

I do what any sane person would do.

I faint.

SAM at BMWW has put a different spin on things this month. I like it. A Lot! We’re given 5 different prompts to link up for the month of October. This is the first prompt I picked out of the five.

Everybody said the old Bosworth mansion was haunted … is behind this short story. I don’t really have any plans to do anything further with this piece. I’ve been a little blah with writing lately so this is me dipping my toes into the writing pool.

 

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An End of Innocence

I shall always remember the first execution I attended. It was a day to be seared forever in my mind.

It was a time of turmoil and treason for the royal family. King Henry VIII left in his death much division between the Catholic and Protestant churches, resulting in a division between his own children; the theatrics playing out during my young childhood. I was unaware of  the seriousness of such matters as mother and father discussed the subject in hush tones, long after I fell asleep.

Upon the day of the execution, father woke me earlier than my usual time. I sat up in the bed I shared with my younger sister, Sara, and brother, Piers. Rubbing my eyes, I struggled to clear my sleep muddled mind. Father offered his hand to help me from the bed. I stood, shivering as my feet touched the cold dirt. Wrapping a blanket around my shoulders he guided me to the wooden kitchen table.

Mother had placed a freshly heated bowl of mutton on the table which served for meals and other household chores she and I performed together. I gathered the blanket tighter around my shoulders and sat staring at the bowl. Mother sat across the table, father following suit. Unsure of what I was to hear, I attempted to come up with my own conclusions. It was only three other times I’d been woken like this. Each time to share with me the coming of a sister or brother. Mother’s belly was already swelling against her threadbare dress, so it couldn’t be of that nature.

‘Eat, Margarett,’ Mother smiled, nodding at the bowl. ‘We’ve quite the day ahead of us. You’ll need your strength.’

Obediently, I picked up the spoon and began eating, tasting nothing. My heart began to do a skipping sort of race as I concentrated on my food. Mother and father remained silent, watching me.

‘Aren’t you eating if we’re to have a full day?’ I finally asked, becoming uncomfortable with the silence.

‘We’ve already had a bit to eat,’ father answered, taking mother’s hand in his. I stared at his calloused hand holding mother’s as if it were fragile. ‘There is something we need to explain to you.’

I nodded, placing my spoon on the table. My appetite, never fully awakened, had vanished. I stared, my eyes pleading for the announcement to be swift and to the point.

‘Queen Mary has ordered the execution of Lady Jane, I’m afraid.’ Mother spoke softly, tears moistening her blue eyes.

‘Why?’ I cried, standing. ‘Why would she do such a thing, Mother? Lady Jane didn’t want to be queen! Surely she knows this.’

‘Margarett, you know the royals have their own code of conduct,’ father explained gently. ‘Queen Mary believes Lady Jane to be guilty of treason. Therefore she has ordered her execution.’

I lifted my eyes to father’s face. Slowly, I realized why I was up so early; why they were telling me of this execution. I sat down, stunned. ‘The queen has ordered this to be a public execution to be witnessed by all in the kingdom, hasn’t she?’

‘That she has, Maggie,’ father answered, using his nickname for me. ‘It is to be carried out today in the walls of Queen Mary’s castle, I’m afraid.’

‘I don’t understand, Father. I thought royal executions were not meant to be for the commoners eyes.’

‘I’m afraid we have a bit of a different ruler in Queen Mary, Margarett. We will be seeing changes sweeping through our countryside.’

A slice of fear caused my body to shiver. I had a feeling mother and father would no longer keep their talks of the royals from my ears. A sense of doom settled over the table as we sat not speaking another word. I heard Piers begin his morning cries of hunger. Mother stood to tend to him before he woke Sara. Father and I remained at the table, both of us lost in our thoughts.

This week’s Bloggymoms Writing Workshop prompt  is to write what you DON’T know. Add a scene to a work in progress that requires you to do a little research. Write a story from a different genre than you are comfortable with. Step outside your comfort zone, think outside the box, and write something new. And since I know we are all busy, let’s keep it simple with no more than 700 words.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2012 in Bloggy Moms, fiction, writing prompts

 

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Dreams of Hope

I have been struggling to fit in a character for Dawson’s Mission. She has not been easy to weave into the story. Then I had a light bulb moment: I already introduced the character I needed. (Don’t you love those moments?) This is more about Carolyn.

Carolyn Kendall lovingly held the precious horse carousel globe. Her mind drifted dream-like through the past. She didn’t have many fond memories over the course of her marriage but this was one, if not bittersweet.

Marvin, her husband, had pursued her relentlessly, promising her a lifetime of love and happiness. Carolyn, shy and socially awkward, caved in easily to his flowing words of love. The first six months of marriage were pure heaven. She’d been giddy with the amount of intimacy her new husband craved.

On their six month anniversary, his true nature erupted. It had been six months of failing to fertilize her eggs. Her own mother had bore fifteen children. His mother slid in second place with ten children. Surely, between the two, they could repeat such odds. Every month, thereafter, when the home pregnancy test showed negative, his fists came to life.

Five years into the marriage of hell, the gods finally smiled down upon her. Two lines on the pregnancy test. Tears of joy and relief streamed down her face as she showed Kendall. Sipping a beer, he’d eyed her wearily. A barrage of accusations of infidelity, followed with a reluctant promise of controlled fists. Carolyn was elated. A baby on the way and no more beatings as her body swelled with life. She silently vowed she would become pregnant as soon as possible after the birth of each child.

Avery’s lone town doctor saw patients for simple matters such as colds or the flu. He might occasionally attempt to reset the random broken leg or arm. This would mean monthly trips into the city to see a baby doctor. On the first such trip, excitement and anticipation see-sawed through her body as the miles sped by. When they’d arrived, Marvin informed her he would be back when he was ready to get her. Carolyn watched as the rusted Ford sputtered out of sight. A moment of panic shot through her as she worried he meant to leave her there for good; followed by a sense of peace at the idea.

How exciting it was to be fussed over, to have the official result of her pregnancy test, the congratulations, and words of advice from the doctor and his staff. She’d walked out of the doctor’s office, on cloud nine, clutching the prenatal vitamins. She knew it could be hours before Kendall came back. Spotting a quaint gift shop across the street, she spent time browsing.

It was here she found her globe. Kendall would be furious if he knew she’d spent money on herself but she didn’t care. This was to be for her first child, a daughter she hoped. She would come to this very shop and buy each of her children a keepsake; a tradition of sorts. On the way home, her secret treasure tucked safely in her purse, she held on to the hope life might not be so bad after all.

The next month was a time of relief and little attention from Kendall. He preferred to spend his time with beer and Sadie, the woman who’d bore him a son three years prior. Carolyn didn’t mind. Maybe Kendall would get Sadie out of his system once their child came crying into the world. Maybe they could even raise his son, with their own growing family. Maybe the man she fell in love with so long ago, would come back to her.

These were the hopes and dreams which carried her through the next few weeks. Morning sickness rolled over but she didn’t mind. It was one such morning when the phone rang. Carolyn wiped her mouth on the beige hand towel as she went to answer. It was the doctor’s office.

We had 2 weeks to create a story from the picture. No word count. (whoo hoo)

 
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Posted by on June 9, 2012 in abuse, Bloggy Moms, fiction

 

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One For You, One For Me


This week prompt is about transformation. Sometimes our characters change for the better, for the worse. Sometimes its merely a lesson learned that changes the course of their life. Sometimes its a full transformation of body and soul through a religious awakening, supernatural phenomena, or otherwise. Whatever your character’s change is, you have 750 words to share it.

This is a part of Dawson’s story. Here’s the first part:  A Life’s Mission

Dawson sat on his front porch, sticky from the dripping cherry Popsicle clutched tightly in his right hand. He ignored the sweat forming on his forehead as he enjoyed his treat. His dark eyes followed the neighborhood kids playing in the summer heat. Sarah, the little girl who lived next door, waved at him before hopping on her bicycle. Dawson waved as her back retreated from his vision. Inside, he could hear his parents engaging in their daily fighting. He tuned them out. He’d heard the fights so many times it was like listening to a song skipping on a cd.

His oldest brother, Jason, came out of the house, slamming the screen door behind him. He gave Dawson a sharp kick in his back, laughing as he dodged Dawson’s retaliating fist. The attempted punch caused Dawson’s Popsicle to fall from his hand. Jumping up, he lunged at Jason, fury propelling his actions. Jason yelped in surprise as a fist connected with his jaw. Jason shoved Dawson backwards into the screen door before leaping off the porch. A quick flip of the bird, Jason strolled away to find trouble. Dawson remained on the ground, fuming. He’d pay his brother back later when he least expected it.

“What the hell are you doing, Dawson?” his dad demanded, standing on the other side of the screen door, tilting a beer can to his mouth.

“Nothing. Jason pushed me down,” Dawson replied, examining the fresh-cut on his elbow.

“Quit starting fights with your brother,” his dad slurred. He stood staring at Dawson through blurry eyes. Shaking his head, he closed the front door.

Dawson stood up, brushing his jeans off. Elbow throbbing, he watched as the cut began to ooze blood. He was tired of his brother getting him in trouble. One day he’d be bigger and have the upper hand for once.

The cold air felt good against his wet forehead as he walked through the front door. His parents paid no attention to him as he made his way through the living room to the bathroom. Always invisible, even to his own parents, he thought. Nobody but that no good for nothing Jason paid attention to him. And maybe Sarah. He thought she had a crush on him. Or maybe she just felt sorry for him. He hadn’t decided which one.

His cut freshly washed and doctored with a crooked band-aid, Dawson headed to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Making as little sound as possible, he clumsily filled the glass half full. Standing in the corner, out of his dad’s sight, he was surprised to hear his name. Dawson started for the living room. He stopped short when he realized his parents were still arguing.

“I’m getting tired of living this lie, Nadine. It’s been ten years and every day I look at him, I go right back to what happened.”

“You said you forgave me for that, Charles. My God, how many times do I have to apologize? Hell, how many times have I forgiven you for all the crap you put me through?” His mother’s voice replied through clenched teeth.

“Forgive me? You wouldn’t have to forgive me if I didn’t have to relive it every day. For ten years,” his father snorted. “You and your holier than thou attitude. Wonder what the boys would really think if they knew the truth about their perfect mother.”

“Oh shut up, Charles. Don’t think I don’t know about Nora. You don’t think I haven’t noticed how she avoids me anymore? Think I haven’t noticed her belly swelling?” her voice rising as if playing a scale. “Is this payback? I have one, you have one?” she demanded.

Dawson’s dad threw his head back laughing. Chills ran through Dawson’s body at the sound of his dad’s contorted laughter. He wondered what he had to do with their conversation as his heart began racing. He seemed to be in a lot of their conversations lately.

Dawson’s dad stood up. He stumbled his way to his wife. Dawson had to strain to hear as his father leaned into his mother’s face.

“That’s right, Nadine. Now we both have a child that isn’t ours. You have Dawson. And I have one on the way.”

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2012 in Bloggy Moms

 

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A Life’s Mission

Take the prompt provided and develop it into a story of no more than 750 words: 

It all started in an old, abandoned movie theater…

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Avery was a small, long forgotten town, nestled between two bustling cities on either side. Most folks stopped only long enough to fill their gas tanks, maybe grab a bite to eat at Mya’s Diner, if time permitted. Once they packed their tired kids into the car, pointing it in the direction of the highway, Avery would soon slip from their memory banks.

Avery towns-folks tried to mind their own business for the most part. Sure, they knew about the Kendall’s who resided on Birch Street. Marvin Kendall was known to partake in a bit of moonshine and lay into his wife Carolyn. Upon seeing her, folks were kind enough not to mention her blackened eyes, or the gradual progression of  teeth disappearing. It didn’t stop tongues from wagging after she left the diner or church functions. A man has the right to treat his wife the way he sees fit, they’d nod in agreement.

One might suppose the town-folks would have a different point of view due to the scandal, which rocked the town to its very core, some twenty years prior. The local pastor, still performing his duties years later, had been caught in an affair with a local married woman. The towns-folk were up in arms over the chain of events, steadfastly accusing the wayward woman of being Satan, tempting their powerless pastor into such seediness. It didn’t take long for the township to run her and her mortified husband out of Avery. That was the one subject you didn’t hear discussed in any circles, even now. It were as if the entire town had its collective memory wiped out.

Dawson Sanders liked this little fact. It helped him to fit right in with his life’s mission.

Most days, you find Dawson rocking on his freshly painted porch, coffee mug in one hand, cigarette in the other, staring across his vast field. He had a string of bad luck when it came to the women he choose to marry. The folks of Avery felt a little sorry for Dawson but he didn’t seem to mind losing the wives he met through the classified ads. He was fond of the city women, with their air of self-imposed sophistication. It was always the same. The first few weeks were met with a hint of quiet shock at the town’s uneventful happenings; the long, drawn out evenings. Eventually, the bickering would begin, boredom settling in. Then, they’d up and leave Dawson, declaring him to be a fool for staying in Avery.

No, Dawson didn’t seem to mind at all. He’d smile at the fretful women at church on Sunday’s as they’d cluck around him after each desertion. He’d wave their concerns away with nicotine stained fingers, accepting an invitation to dinner from one of the well-meaning wives.

No, Dawson figured this was his lot in life. But he never gave up looking for the right woman to settle down with him in Avery. For he had an important mission in life.

Dawson wasn’t a local by birth but more of a transplant in his early twenties. He’d spent a few years migrating with the seasonal workers. With the way of the economy, however, job opportunities began to dissipate, leaving Dawson virtually homeless, broke, and near starvation.

It was at the local diner, where Dawson had been dropped off by a passing trucker, that he befriended Mya. She took a shine to the young man, never having had children of her own. She offered him a job, along with the cramped storage room in the back of the diner. Dawson gratefully accepted. It wasn’t long before his skills as a handyman came to light and offers of odd jobs began trickling in. His big break came when the townsfolk took a vote and asked him to fix up the old abandoned theater, sitting in town square. It was a huge eyesore but some folks believed if they resurrected the old theater, maybe it would help to breathe some life into Avery.

Dawson humbly accepted the job offer, cautiously explaining it would take some time to restore the old theater to its original glory. Carefully explaining he wanted to repay Avery for the kindness and acceptance bestowed upon him during his first few years.

Yes, Dawson had a life’s mission, which oddly enough, it all started in an old, abandoned movie theater.

remembersingapore.wordpress.com

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Bloggy Moms, fiction, WIP, writing prompts

 

The Twisted Forked Road

moss.fm

Marcy padded through the kitchen, humming tunelessly. Stopping short in front of the refrigerator, she silently laughed at herself for forgetting her favorite wineglass. Retreating a few steps, she stretched on  tip toes, pulling the glass haphazardly from the shelf.

Red or white? she asked herself. Opting for red, she poured a healthy dose of ‘stimulating-the-blues’ liquid. Glass in hand, she stopped long enough to hit play and wait for the sultry voice of Joss Stone to ring through the apartment. Arriving at her place of destination, she set her glass upon the bathroom cabinet and began gathering her cleaning supplies. She concentrated on her task with a determination which would rival world peace negotiations.

Inhaling the citrus fragrance from her cleanser, she targeted the invisible dirt with the poise of a Green Beret accomplishing a mission. Scrubbing furiously, her mind milled around the subject which was closing in on her mind and spirit. Nausea choked up through her stomach, jaw tense, bile battling with her natural instinct to choke it back down.

Huh, she thought, leaning against the bath tub. Rotating her neck, her eyes caught sight of chipped nail polish on her toes. Guess it’s kinda like that, she surmised. It looks so pretty when it’s fresh and new but after time, it starts to wear off, leaving behind a mosaic mess.

I wonder why things can’t be as simple and easily defined as when you’re a child, she pondered.

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Scrub, scrub, scrub.

Back in the days when emotions didn’t make everything so damn complicated!

Furious scrubbing.

I wish I could just cleanse the uncertainty right out of my head. A good old fashion cleaning. Of my mind. And soul. And….furious with the path her thoughts were starting to stray, she exhaled loudly, attempting to refocus the course of her mind.

Once I get the bathroom sparkling clean, I’ll attack the mountain of laundry threatening to do a takeover in the extra bedroom.

The extra bedroom.

I hate how this is making me feel. One minute I’m so angry, the next, confused. Let’s not forget those freaking moments when I’m damn certain I know what I’m going to do.

Damn,

damn,

damn!

Each word accentuated with the hard push of the tooth-brush in the grooves of the tile.

Snap!

Marcy stopped, stunned. She’d just snapped her cleaning tooth-brush in half by the mere power of her thoughts. Bubbles of giggles erupted from her mouth.

“I am woman! Watch me snap!” she sang aloud. Smiling at her silliness, she turned to reach for her wineglass, catching a glimpse of her reflection. Her sight settled on crinkling blue eyes.

Such sadness I see when I really look at myself. Swallowing the fresh lump, she brushed her bangs from her eyes. I won’t do this! I. Will. Not. Fall. Apart! I can make this decision. I can make it. And I will come through it okay in the end. You watch, she glared at her reflection.

“You watch!”

weheartit.com

 

 

This week’s prompt: Write a scene in which a character does something while alone in a setting that is extremely significant to that character. Have the character doing something (dishes, laundry, filing taxes, playing a computer game, building a bird house) and make sure that YOU are aware that the character has a problem or issue to work out, but do NOT tell your reader what that is. 

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2012 in Bloggy Moms

 

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