Penning Fate

I made it! The last day of the Blogging A to Z challenge. Here it is, the letter Z. Even though this isn’t a genre or poem it’s more of a tool for writing it was still and added it to my theme this month. In rhetoric, zeugma from the Ancient Greek ζεῦγμα, zeûgma, lit. “a yoking together” and syllepsis, “a taking together” are figures of speech in which one single phrase or word joins different parts of a sentence.There are multiple and sometimes conflicting definitions for zeugma and syllepsis in current use but also other forms of zeugma.

She wrote her future and her novel.

She signed the will and her death warrant.

He scribbled his ideas and his masterpiece.


Guarding Blyss

Young adult fiction (YA) is a category of fiction published for readers in their youth. YA books are catered towards children from 12 to 18 years of age. While the genre is targeted to teenagers, approximately half of YA readers are adults. This ended up being longer than expected. There is so much more but decided that if it’s received well then I’ll post the rest later.


Did you know that we are all born to an assigned guardian angel? They guide us through life and protect us from harm. I once thought that this was all bull since people die, wars occurred, savagery, and so forth but there is a whole world of guardian angels and laws that we are not privy to. Here’s what I have learned. We have guardian angels because there is evil that is always trying to turn us, it’s always there. It’s like a huge cosmic game of chess where humanity is the board and the angels and demons are the pieces moved by God and the Devil. Our angels are not measured in successes they are measured by how we leave this world. They are not allowed to show themselves to us or intervene physically. They are also not allowed to fall in love with a mortal.The consequences of all of their actions and failures are both beautiful and brutal.

I just turned 16 when my mother surprised me with a used car the morning of my birthday. I know it was hard for her to make a large purchase being a single mom and working two jobs. ‘You can now drive to school, work, and all your volunteer projects. Happy birthday Blyss.’
‘Mom, this is too much. I can’t take this.’ I said through quivering lips.
‘Blyss, I know you were saving for a car, you maintain a 3.89 GPA for secretly hoping for a scholarship, you volunteer for everything, you go to work, and you help take care of your little brother. You need all the help you can get as you start to prepare to be an adult. Honey, it’s ok. You’re not the only one that has been saving. Now, it’s a good solid car I had your uncles look it over. Take the key and get to school.’ She kissed me on the forehead and I jumped in the car when she leaned down, ‘You may want to run in and put some clothes on and run a brush your hair.’

The day I turned 16 is the day that my life changed. I went to school, work, helped with my brother like I did for the past 3 years. I was a good daughter and citizen in my small town and loved my baby brother. Then I met Jasper. He was one of the high school guys that all the girls drooled over. I didn’t bother because I thought he didn’t even know my name considering I was a goody-goody.
‘Blyss?’ My mouth dropped open at the sound of his voice. He grinned this devilish grin knowing that he had me at that moment. Would you like to go out for coffee sometime? I need help with some trig homework. You can tutor, I can try to impress you with everything I don’t know, drink coffee and maybe go see a movie?’ I startled because my body was trying to tell me that it was my turn to speak. ‘I can tutor you but only for an hour. I have to go and volunteer at the animal shelter. They’re getting in a litter of puppies.’
‘Oh, ok. I can settle for that.’ He said but with this evil glint in his eyes.

We didn’t go to the coffee shop and instead I decided on the library. He didn’t even have his books. He looked over at my work and not following along on his own paper.
‘You’re not going to learn anything watching me do trigonometry. I’m sorry but my time is precious and I can’t afford to waste it on someone that doesn’t even want to try. I closed my book and started packing my bag when he gently grabbed my arm, ‘You’re wrong. I learned a lot by watching you. You’re careful about how you hold your pencil because it looks like you’ve got a broken nail down to the quick. You bite your lip when you’re nervous. Your red curly hair looks like fire in the light.’ I looked at his dark blue eyes and felt uneasy. Why was I feeling uneasy? I should be flattered and in awe of this beautiful guy that is taking interest in me.
‘I know you have to volunteer tonight but do you think afterward you would like to hang out? There is a party on the lake at my buddy’s house.’ I should’ve said yes but instead something in my soul told me not to and that it was a bad idea.
‘I’m sorry, I can’t. I have to take care of my little brother.’ I finished packing my bag and told him,
‘If you’re serious about getting help with your math grade meet me here tomorrow before school with your book and paper.’ I left, rather quickly not giving him the chance to say anything back to me.

I went to school the next morning and not surprising to me, Jasper was a no-show. The rest of the day was great. I made A’s in all my returned grades and just felt happy. I picked my brother up, took him to his afterschool program, and headed to work. I loved waitressing. I had regular customers that became like family. I had the occasional rude but it was few and far between and it was normally a regular having a bad day. I would get those customers a piece of ‘Grandma Whits’ famous triple chocolate cake paid for by my tips and listen to their problems. It’s amazing what a piece of cake and a friendly ear can do for a person. I had to work until close today because our other waitress was sick. I just got done with all my closing duties, Merle was getting his grill shut down and a group of boys walked in. I didn’t recognize any of them.

‘Hi guys, sorry we’re closed.’ I said gesturing to the empty dining area.
‘Your lights are on and the sign says open,’ said what must be the leader. I looked over at my shoulder towards Merle who could feel my uneasiness. Something told me to go back to the kitchen. ‘I’ll be right back,’ I said excusing myself to escape to the kitchen. I don’t know what Merle said but the boys left.
‘I’ll be walking you to your car tonight.’ Merle told me. I knew that there was no arguing with him and as he walked me out those boys were waiting by there car which was parked next to mine. How did Merle know?

There were instances like this over the next few months along with papers notifying our small town of robberies, assaults, and arson crimes. I soon formed a buddy system at work, took my little brother everywhere and locked every door and window. My mother even became extra protective of us and the house so much that we got our first family dog ever. Oscar was a German Shepard that my uncle gave to us. He was a trained protector for when mom was working the late shift and we were sleeping. My uncle said, ‘It’s the most vulnerable time for the kids and Blyss can’t stay awake 24/7. My mother accepted Oscar who seemed to fit in quite nicely with our little family. My little brother had a permanent sleepover mate because that’s the room that Oscar chooses to sleep in.

I was leaving work one night and the leader of the group of guys approached me. I froze. I could hear a voice in my head telling me to get in the car. ‘GET IN THE CAR NOW!’ it seemed to scream. I felt the force of something heavy on the back of my head as I turned to unlock my car.
‘Blyss. Blyss, I need you to open your eyes. Can you hear me? Blyss? These cloudy words swam around in my head.
‘The ambulance will be here shortly.’ I recognized that voice. It was Merle’s but he sounded less confident than normal. I opened my eyes to see a young man hovering over me.
‘Blyss, don’t move. You were struck in the back of the head and you may have a concussion.’
Of course, I didn’t listen and as I sat up the blinding pain ran down my spine. I cried out and as my body gave into the pain I could feel the strangers hand gently grasp the back of my head to gently rest on the pavement.

I woke up in the hospital with my mother holding my hand.
‘Mom, mom…where’s Caleb? I have to get him to school.’ I tried sitting up in a panic but felt a lesser version of the pain in my head.’
‘Blyss, your brother is fine. Your uncle is taking care of him. Blyss, can you sit up?’
Mom started to raise my hospital bed which I realized was a better way for me to sit up.
‘How are you feeling baby?’
‘I’m ok I guess, what happened?’
‘Do you remember anything from two nights ago?’ She asked.
‘I’ve been out for two days! I have to get to school, and I need to get a hold of the animal shelter. Ugh, mom, I missed my final!’
‘Shh…everything is taken care of Blyss. The shelter as arranged a therapy dog to come and visit you when you wake, the school will allow you to test when you get back, and of course, the diner said to return when you’re ready.’ I relaxed back into the bed.
‘The boy!’ I said out loud in realization.
‘The boy? Oh, you mean Zaq? My mom informed me and all I could think what kind of parents did this boy have to name him that?

My mother explained, ‘Zaq was pulling into the parking lot to change a flat tire when he saw a boy approaching you with a pipe hidden behind his back. He apologized that he couldn’t get to you in time but was able to wrestle the attacker to the ground and detain him until the officers arrived. The boy that hit you was also arrested for other assaults and robberies in town. His friends have all been arrested for their part as well. Zaq is a little small town hero. Would you like to talk to him? He hasn’t left the hospital waiting room wanting to make sure that you were ok.’
‘Mom, that’s a lot to take in but yes, I would like to meet my hero.’ I was more curious than feeling thankful.
Mom disappears just to reappear with this young blonde, green-eyed, somewhat muscular guy that smelled like lavender and chocolate.
‘I’ll leave you two alone.’ and with that, my mom was gone.
‘Hi. Umm…thank you for saving my life?’
‘I didn’t do that. I actually failed to keep you safe. I should’ve told you to have Merle walk you out that night. I’m not allowed to interfere or interact with you but I couldn’t stand to see you fall victim to the true evil and revenge that man had planned for you. I don’t know how to be anything but honest and I don’t know how to…sugar coat things. Is that the correct phrase?’ I nodded that it was.
‘I have been protecting you all your life. We helped guide your mom to the safest car available and Jasper just wanted to have his way with you. We are all so proud that you volunteer and help your mom. I’m your guardian angel Zag short for Tzaphqiel. I just couldn’t leave until I knew you were ok.’
‘I was hit harder in the head than the doctors realized.’ I said but wasn’t panicked for some reason and just rolled my eyes resting my head back on my pillow. In my hazy fog, it made sense. How else had I stayed safe all these years? Learning to walk, ride a bike, drive, there were so many times I could’ve been seriously hurt. Not to mention, my grades and the drive to volunteer and help.

‘There is something I don’t understand. If you’re my guardian angel then how come my mother and I struggle so much? How come you haven’t helped us win the lottery or me a full-blown scholarship or a rich boyfriend.’
His laugh was like a song that I heard as a lullaby when I was little.
‘I’m your guardian angel. I’m here to guide you through life not hand it to you on a materialistic silver platter.’
‘Fair enough. Can you tell me my future?’
‘I’m not a fortune teller.’
‘You physically interfered. Does that mean I’ll get a new angel?’
‘Yes, Blyss. I will be punished and your new angel will continue to guide you through life.’
My heart ached at the word ‘punished’.

‘Wait, punished? You saved me. You should get an angel medal!’ that’s when panic settled in and for some reason, I felt as if I was losing a loved one.
‘Blyss, guarding you was my greatest achievement. I have watched you grow and you made decisions where I didn’t even have to intervene. You are a kind and loving soul. Your new angel will be proud to guard you.


Parked Injustice

Xenophanic: The Greek originating adjective refers to poets who use satire and witticism. Xenophanes (6th c. bc ) was a native of Ionia and an itinerant poet who visited many parts of the Greek world. He was also a sillographer ( q.v. ). Thus ‘Xenophanic’ may be used to describe a wandering poet with a witty and satirical talent. The Goliards were Xenophanic. Oh goodness. I am not funny nor can I be witty on demand. This may prove to be my most difficult yet. Wait, haven’t I been saying this for a month straight?

Oh, my dear woman, you cry about injustice and horror
in the world to whoever would listen.
In this speech, you expressed the fundamental importance of order,
and how the world is changed.
You expressed that people need to change with it,
and the lack of their changing has caused you great despair.
My dear woman, the change you seek isn’t in the community.
The change needs to happen to you.
The kindness you sought after ended when
you lashed out crying of injustice.
There wasn’t a wolf at your door nor a monster under your bed.
It was clear to see,
that the parking spot next to yours was free.

I think I nailed it…because I even laughed. This was based on a Facebook post about a stolen parking spot.


April 26th, 2018 and Polls

My monthly A to Z challenge is starting to come to an end. I have read some great content from other bloggers like Ian and mine covering different letters under one theme and some have been a continuing series like the wonderful Tale Spinning (I recommend you start from the beginning). I will post a recap and some intentional plans and a question asking my fellow bloggers in our community that will hopefully satisfy the void that I will surely feel after my challenge is over. In the meantime, I have a poll. I will be hosting a giveaway. No purchase is required just a little thought.

For the writer in you, I propose a giveaway for a really short piece of flash fiction of 50 words covering a prompt. All posts would be published (it’s your writing so you get credit) but the winner gets the prize. Anyone can write. So input time:

For the artist, I wanted to also do a giveaway. A short prompt that you can doodle, paint, sketch etc…What I’m asking what would you like to draw for. All posts will be published (of course you get credit) but winner takes the prize.

I wanted to wait until I had 500 followers but I feel now would be a good time to start putting this together. I appreciate your poll answers and look forward to the hosting my first giveaway (eek!). I’ll compile my data and have a giveaway reveal. Please feel free to share.

Permelia’s Plan

Western fiction is a genre of literature set in the American Old West frontier and typically set from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century. The American frontier comprises the geography, history, folklore, and cultural expression of life in the forward wave of American expansion that began with English colonial settlements in the early 17th century and ended with the admission of the last mainland territories as states in 1912.


Just standing around all you see are buildings that are supposed to be destroyed by time but now under the care and protection of California. It’s now another trap for people to come and visit. The only difference is back in its gold mining days people lived and died by their hopes and dreams and now we are just memories for soda guzzling, an ill-behaved kid having, no sense of respect type of people come to gawk. Bodie was filthy, dangerous, exciting, freeing, incarcerating, a beautiful booming mining town. I didn’t want gold or a husband, I wanted the freedom of owning the town.

While you’re standing in the what’s left of my entertaining parlor let me tell you of a story about a dark curly-haired girl that wanted to be something more than a wife and mother. Traveling by a covered wagon to a place that my husband deems fit and we wait years to have the perfect cabin built only to be attacked by natives or die due to the elements or disease. I wanted more. I wanted to be my own woman and only depend on myself. I was the type of girl that didn’t need to be kept or owned.

It was the season between the season of winter and spring. My family expected me to either become the teacher for our small town or marry.They preferred the latter since they wanted to make sure that I was not only taken care of, a mommy, but also protected from heathens. I was never going to be able to leave these shackles unless I was going towards other shackles. I found several advertisements for teachers wanted in California.
‘Papa, I’m going to be ok. The stagecoach will have men to protect the women on their long journeys not to mention husbands of other women. I won’t be alone and I’ll have a greater chance of meeting a more suitable husband.’
‘Permelia, stagecoaches get robbed, lost, or savaged.’ My father would stress but it was my mother that was the voice of reason. I kiss my parents’ goodbye, packed trunks, and a basket full of food I was off to California. The only problem was the facade of which they let me go. When they thought I was going to be a teacher I was actually heading towards the small remote mining town of Bodie, California.

The stagecoach ride was absolutely miserable. It was uncomfortable after the first few hours, not to mention the dust, the cold nights, and only stopping to take care of the ponies or the drivers needed a full night’s rest. After 6 weeks I was a new resident of Bodie, California. The town was mostly men and the women that were there were either the wives of miners or entertainers. I wasn’t going to be neither. I was going to be the owner of a business. I’m not going to be a wife, mining for gold, or entertain. My father and mother sent me with a dowry of sorts. I basically had enough money to rent for a year or I can go and double that playing cards. I had been playing poker with the schoolyard kids since I was old enough to count. After procuring a hotel room, shower, clean clothes, and food I set off to the saloon across the way. After turning down several propositions and courting promises I was able to slip in on a poker game. Six hours later I had quadrupled my money.

The next morning I woke, had a belly-warming breakfast, and started asking about the large 3 story building that was up for sale. It was a boarding house but there weren’t enough people to fill the rooms and the hotel was cheaper than the house’s prices so the owner closed the doors and left town. I purchased the property at a steal since I was paying in cash on that day. I really got a deal because the place was entirely furnished and all I needed to do was figure out what to do with my new home. After a few months of preparing the rooms and waiting for supplies to arrive, I noticed that other women were showing up but were only settling for what they had or could do. Entertain with their bodies. What if I could teach them to read, write, and become successful on their own terms. Men were looking for wife material and since the town was full of men and woman would do but what if I could prepare them to stand out from the rest? This was my business. Permilia’s School of Homestead Domestics was born.

Signs went up and women started to arrive a few at a time. I held classes on etiquette, cooking, sewing, reading, writing, cleaning, and economics. If they did decide to go the entertaining avenue then they would have a good head on their shoulders. Slowly word got out about what and who I was teaching and the gentleman callers came knocking. They needed my permission to court and I made sure that every date had a chaperone. The girls actually dated before marriage and there was a mandatory dating period. My girls were not for abusing or using. We held parties in the main parlor so everyone had a chance to socialize. Don’t get me wrong there were many times that a knife or gun was pulled or someone tried robbing me but I was quicker on the draw. I soon gained a reputation for a woman not to be trifled with. I had many proposals but after everything that I built, I was more than content with the family I have created within my school.

After a while, men married their one and only gals of their lives and moved to better places after other booming towns were said to be better. As the men left the need for my type of services became obsolete. I then turned my domestics school into a boarding house for the weary travelers that needed a good night’s sleep and hot food. I even taught school to the younger children until their families have moved away as well. I could have left but it wasn’t in me to give up. The gentleman that owned the mercantile asked me to marry him and I accepted. I was older and content with my life. We both needed company. Howard died shortly after and I was to follow a year later.

As you’re standing in my now dusty silent parlor, close your eyes and imagine red velvet, laughter, glasses clinking, the bustling of women’s dresses, the smell of cigar smoke, dirt, perfume and the piano playing in the background. It was a majestic site to see. It was a magnolia in the middle of a mining town.

Ghost Town
Western Mining Town-Bodie, California
Women During Gold Rush

Lenore’s Energy

Vampire fiction covers the spectrum of literary work concerned principally with the subject of vampires. After doing a little research I thought I would write about a Psi. Intentional Psychic Vampires are humans who possess great telepathic abilities. They use these abilities to knowingly draw the life force from others. Then there is the unintentional psychic vampire as well. Throw in a little love and evil and I have an outline for a longer story! But here is my letter V topic for the A to Z Challenge.

When you think of ‘vampire’ you probably go to a blood-sucking monster that preys on humans during the night or how about the ones that are vegan and glitter in sunlight? There are many categories of vampires but the ones that everyone thinks about are the bloodsuckers. No, I was neither and did love a good picnic at the beach or a hike in the woods. I don’t have fangs, I looked great in a mirror, and died a mortal death. Yes, now I’m immortal just not in human form. I’m something called an earthbound spirit and no that’s not a ghost.

When I was alive, I was told that I was a Psi either because I was abused as a child, lost my way with God, or was extremely ill as a child. I never lost my way with God because my mother drugs me to mass every Sunday, Wednesday confession, and any other church activity she thought I needed. I wasn’t abused when I was little. Hell, my father would’ve killed anyone that put their hands on me. Nope, I was extremely ill when I was two until the age of five. This ultimately was my ending but also part of the reason why I did and can do what can do. For three years I was bedridden, ran fevers, lived off of bone broths and mashed potatoes that my mother and grandmother would cook. My father would take me to a special park in the middle of the woods that he had built just so I could play away from other children. I wasn’t lonely by any means. My father presented me with a Rottweiler puppy when I was two and were inseparable.

I didn’t live off of other people’s blood but needed energy. I had my own energy but I was drained so easily. That’s when my grandmother insisted that I have visitors and usually set up play dates with someone that was younger than me. ‘We don’t want her to get hurt with older children. This way they are more equal in health.’ Seemed like a legitimate argument. During our playdates, the children would wear out easily and that’s when we had lunch and then napped in separate rooms. The children would wake refreshed and they went home shortly after napping. As I got older I wasn’t forced to play with anyone and was able to choose my own friends. Over time I noticed that the teens that I would hang out with would get tired and start to doze off. I was already in several car wrecks because the drivers would fall asleep at the wheel. That’s when I learned to take public transportation or ride my bike.

It wasn’t until my grandmother had gotten old and frail and decided to tell me what she knew about my special ability.
‘Lenore, sweetheart, I need to tell you something about yourself that you didn’t know. Please keep an open mind. I’m telling you this because it will help you in the future. First and foremost, when I die do not mourn me being gone. I’m not going to be gone just in a different form. There are many of us in this world both human form and earthbound entities. We are what people call a Psi or energy vampire. We drain energies from people. It’s more of a curse than a gift and it only happens to people that have had something significant happen to them when they were young or something self-induced that changes how their energy flows.’

This all made sense to me considering I learned after my first serious relationship where I was intimate for the first time. Afterward, I felt like I could run two marathons but my boyfriend could barely move. I noticed that when I was around certain people they would start yawning and I felt more alive and creative. She explained that we can astral project ourselves while people sleep and gain energy that way. It’s the safest for the other individual because their energy replenishes as they sleep. They may be a little tired in the morning but are healthy. She assured me that what we do isn’t fatal and we are not like the ‘movie’ vampires everyone thinks off. ‘When we die, our energy survives this world and we continue to seek out energy. After some of us pass we become guides for spirits to pass onto the other side or we protect human life from evil entities. Whatever paths you choose remember to always feed off the sleeping.

My grandmother’s funeral was beautiful and I talked to her every night, learning about being a Psi. I have to admit my funeral was beautiful too. I didn’t have a family for fear of my body taking my children’s energy but had a great love in my life. He never seemed to age nor was I able to take his energy. I watch over him decade after decade and he hasn’t found another love since I left my physical body. But that’s for a different story about two different species of vampires falling in love. For now, my energy lives on as I protect the living from some of the evilest spirits anyone has ever come in contact with.


Tabitha’s Wards

Urban fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy in which the narrative has an urban setting.[1][2] Works of urban fantasy are set primarily in the real world and contain aspects of fantasy, such as the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence or conflict between humans and paranormal beings, and other changes to city life. The two share 90% of their genre DNA. However, the main differences are this: Urban fantasy focuses on an issue outside of a romantic relationship between two characters. Paranormal romance focuses on a romantic relationship between two characters and how outside forces affect that relationship. Trying to get out of the mindset of what has been done and examples can be difficult until I look at my son’s plant.

Our neighborhood in Magnolia Creek is every iconic family-friendly neighborhood street everyone paints. There is beautiful blooming trees and flowers during the spring and holiday decorations into the winter. There is a toy store that creates beautiful displays but has a special ‘display reveal’ just for Christmas. There’s the Ice Cream Parlor on the corner that serves remarkably creamy ice-cream-scoop cones and a Pizza Restaurant right next to it. The scent of marinara sauce and garlic will draw you right in the front door. There is the coffee shop/used bookstore next to an art supply store that has items from paint to photography. The pharmacy and grocery are not on the block but across the intersection tucked neatly behind large old oak trees as if it’s been there for centuries. Truth is, this small town has been around for centuries and the creatures within.

As you’re driving away from getting groceries, stopping for your favorite pizza, your going to drive towards the town’s nursery. This end of the main road leads into the town’s small plantation-inspired home neighborhoods complete with wrap around porches and iron gates. Past these homes, the road leads to farming lands and houses that are by themselves picture perfect on rolling hills. Before the neighborhood is my family’s Magnolia Creek Nursery, which is caddy-corner from the largest plantation style home which has been passed down through the family. The home came with the business or vice versa. Either way, I was born into this world, both worlds with a requirement of the name ‘Tabitha’ to always be in the family. I’m Tabitha but so is my mom and was my grandmother and her mother.

Our nursery grows and sells trees, shrubs, bushes, flowers, vegetable, fruit bushes, and herbs. We also have a beautiful assortment of stones and bricks. During Halloween, we sell some of the largest pumpkins in the tri-county area and bails of hay. At Christmas, we decorate the nursery, have snowman competitions, sell hot chocolate that features some of our greenhouse grown mint, and have the most magical looking trees for people to buy and decorate with their family’s ornaments. We even have a separate greenhouse for herbs. This was my specialty but not for reasons you would think. I do have a green thumb and can grow just about anything or help just about any dying plant. It’s my specialty because I can fill a certain order for certain customers due to my bilingual tongue. I was born with a rare gift that allowed me to speak to pixies. Our Nursery was home to the entire world’s population of these creatures. They do leave the safety of the nursery but it’s to help areas where there were wildfires or forestation that almost kill the wildlife.

A quick bit of information. THere are small towns all over the world that cater to the preservation of mythical creatures both small and large, winged and finned, dark and light. After the war on mythical creatures witches both good and bad have made a vow to protect what creatures are left. Have you ever drove through a picture-perfect town or the creepiest village as if you walked into a ghost story? If the town is too good to be true or to eerie that you wished wasn’t true, then it’s a foster town. Because both dark and light witches have vowed to take care of our world’s mythical creature there is an unspoken truce between us. There will be certain arguments from time to time but nothing that endangered our wards. Tabitha is a name that Pixies trust and is why the name must be passed down. In order to have a girl named Tabitha, I have 7 older brothers. They don’t have the gift of pixie speech which is Sylvan but they do have special jobs at the nursery to help take care of our wards from heavy lifting, being playful, to the protector.

The only danger to our mythical wards is each other. Some creatures are sworn enemies of others and some have an appetite that are like potato chips to them, you can’t eat just one. So our picture perfect or not so perfect towns are placed strategically around the world to keep mingling from occurring. It was a sunny morning when I went to the greenhouse to bid hello to the Pixies, bring them freshly baked bread and get ready for the day of filling herb orders for other witches when I noticed that the Pixies weren’t eating. I asked them what was wrong in their native tongue but all they did was prepare but for what I didn’t know. I went and asked my mom if there were any secret messages sent through flames but there was nothing. I tried to fill herbal orders but our herbs were luscious and green as usual.

We were all sitting down for dinner when my mother noticed that my brother Gunner was missing. My family went to look for my brother and I went to look after the pixies. When I got to the greenhouse they all swarmed over to me and hid under my apron, in my pockets, in my red curly tendrils, anywhere they could fit they were there. I could hear my brother hollering from the back of the nursery. The Pixies wouldn’t allow me to leave the greenhouse but I could see through the window that gunner was full of dirt and he was rubbing his wrists. My mother comes into the greenhouse,
‘Tabitha, I need you to do something that you would never do. I have prepared your room with all sorts of plants, potted trees and bushes, herbs, and some flowers. Essentially, I have turned your room into a greenhouse. Magnolia Creek is under attack.’ My mouth dropped open. I’m too young for a battle to protect the pixies. Who am I kidding, anyone is too young for this kind of battle. That’s when I realized this is because of an older witch. Before I could speak,
‘Tabitha listen to me. I need you to take the pixies to your room. You will have to make the walk alone. I need to stay behind and enchant the greenhouse and our nursery.’

I made sure all of my wards were with me and I didn’t walk. I ran and didn’t stop until I was in my room. The Pixies started to relax a little but the younger ones were still crying and upset. Usually, there is singing, playing, games, and helping plants grow but this time the younger ones stay close to my bed where my mother placed a large peace lily. I started to cast protection spells and incantations and the little ones worked on the peace lily. Gunnar was ok but he was the guard at my door. He’s one of the last lines of defense and I’m the last. My job is to keep these creatures safe because they have a job to do for future generations. I turned on the radio and learned that the entire town was started to turn dark and the greenery started to die. It was like the town was dying and without the pixies being able to go into the community to help ward off whatever this was attacking the town, it looked like every other town.

I could hear my mother yelling for Gunnar to stay put but to stay alert. THen I heard Gunnar outside my door, ‘Bram! What the hell are you…’ his question was stifled by what I wasn’t sure. Next thing I knew my door was pushed down by mud and the ugliest Goblin rode the mudslide into my room and after him, Bram entered. He was the warlock sworn to protect the goblin race from across the sea. The goblins do the opposite of what pixies do. Instead of helping things grow and live, they slowly torture and murder living things. Pixies and goblins will fight to the death if no one is there to intervene. More and more goblins came storming into my room and the Pixies were by my side in a matter of seconds. There was a flash and I thought I failed at my job. There were smoke and the scent of sulfur. When the air cleared I saw Bram on the floor with my mother and Gunnar standing over him with wands fashioned from herbs and apple branches. The goblins did seem to be affected any by Bram being unconscious and out of nowhere, I started speaking in a language that I didn’t even know. I looked at my mom as the Goblins started cowering and backing out of my room.

My mother stood beside me and said, ‘You are speaking Ghukliak. It’s the language of the Goblins. This means that you are both dark and light. This means you are the balance that is needed to maintain peace between all the mythical creature. THere is a lot to do!’ Her eyes were bright and her excitement was almost frightening. ‘Tabitha, first we are going to contact Bram’s family to work out a trade for the treacherous son. Then you will command these goblins to head home. Then we need to talk to the Mother Goddess and make arrangements for your future. The Pixies were back safely in their greenhouse feasting on honey wheat grain bread and Bram is the center of the arranged trade which came with him relinquishing his goblin wards over to me. I now have two mythical creature wards. I had spent some time with the goblins and they aren’t as bad as I thought. They just bring balance to life and view things differently.

The Mother Goddess was accepting of my dual abilities but informed me that I’m much more than I realize. My family and I were direct descendants of Brigid. It has taken many generations for both the light and dark to reside within one human form. It means that I have the heart that is needed to keep balance. I was then blessed with immortality. Whenever there is a threat of battles or an extinction of a creature I am there to keep balance.


Pixie Language


Defiling Innocence

True crime is a non-fiction literary and film genre in which the author examines an actual crime and details the actions of real people. Crime stories are separated into three areas: Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Half-Fiction. Half-Fictions are crime stories about something that really happened, but the characters (mostly the conversations) and the procedures regarding how the crime was committed are not really based on a definite source but simply just a theory. I’m going to try to write the True Crime Half-Fiction. Everyone involved in the crime and covering up another crime is either dead, dying, feeble-minded, or hiding from what they had done to a beautiful, innocent woman. I have purposely left some parts out because it was to difficult for me to write.

CONTENT WARNING: Content May Be Offensive or Disturbing to Some Audiences.This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about assault, suicide, abuse, violence or murder. Reader discretion is advised.

Carson was a man who did bad things but it didn’t necessarily mean he was a bad mad. That sounds like a contradiction but there’s a lesson in the crimes and the truth isn’t what you think it will be. Carson was a man with a family that he adored and loved. He had a daughter that was his pride and joy that he would do anything to protect. Even though he was a blue-collar working, Harley Davidson riding, family man he also held a past that both haunted and lived with him.

It was a hot southern summer of 1983 in a small town in Texas. I could hear my uncles’ motorcycles pulling into the driveway. I have come to fall in love with that sound of thunder. Carson kissed me, his little girl on the forehead, hugged his wife goodbye and said, ‘I’ll see y’all at supper. I ran off to play with my grandmother and our Rottweilers listening to my dad and extended family pull away. My grandmother left me to play outside to help host all my extended aunts showing up to the house and as they started showing up so did my playmates. Us kids screamed, played, make-believe, and ran as the women prepared food and the tables. My father’s house was large enough to host over 50 bikers and their significant others so that was never a problem.

Supper time came and the guys still weren’t back. Moms decided to go ahead and feed us little ones and after they would either head home and wait for their husband and boyfriends there or they would camp out with me in the backyard. It got dark enough for us to play with the fireflies and make s’mores and eventually we all started falling asleep. It was almost midnight when bikes were heard. I remember my mother asking where my father was along with other women asking where so and so was then when they were told what happened they all headed to the jail to try to post their guys bail.

One of the riders, Stacey, was always being pulled over for his past and the fact that he rode a motorcycle. Only this time when he was pulled over and his person was searched. Drug paraphernalia was found and on Carson too. Bad things don’t constitute a bad man. Stacey was also a possible suspect for drug and gun dealing as well the law enforcement just needed a reason to bring him in for questioning.  Bail was posted but Carson had to return for the next 12 weekends to serve as at the jail. He would do the custodial jobs and sleep there Friday and Saturday but made it home for Sunday dinners with me, his daughter. The cops had another agenda that they were pursuing after my father, Carson wouldn’t rat on his buddy. They went after Stacey’s wife, Amanda.

Unfortunately, she had many speeding tickets and it was the perfect opportunity to pull her over for felony speeding. She received the same deal as Carson, only to serve weekends because she had two children and the judge felt it was better for her to come during the days and go home at night. Stacey had asked Carson to watch over his wife Amanda in the jail. Carson and Amanda would run into each other every day because my father was allowed to go to the woman’s side of the jail to mop and scrub the floor and walls. A conversation that took place was when Carson told Stacey that the officers and the guards would taunt Amanda and ask her about her husband Stacey. She never ratted or said an unkind word about Stacey or even to the guards and officers. A moment worth noting: When Carson and Amanda arrived at the jail they were given the clothing uniform that all inmates wore. This included slip-on shoes, no belts, no ties of any kind.

One morning Carson arrived and throughout the day didn’t see Amanda. He ended up over at the women’s side to mop out the cells and scrub toilets when he finally saw Amanda. She was hung from the cell’s bars with shoelaces. Carson made note that the laces didn’t match her own. Carson started crying and wailing for help when he rushed to Amanda’s side. His fingers weren’t working as he tried to untie the laces. The guards tried pulling my father off of Amanda and for some reason, the questioning officers that had visited Amanda and Carson frequently, were there to beat him over the head to gain is compliance. Laying on the ground, bleeding, he saw that the laces were so tight that one of the officers had to use a knife to cut Amanda’s body down. No one tried to revive her and as they turned her over Carson saw bruises on her ribs and boot prints on her back before her shirt was pulled back down into place. My father didn’t complete his day. He didn’t go home either. Instead, he went straight to Stacey’s house.

When Carson pulled up on his bike Stacey was out in his driveway working on his bike. Obviously, no one has told Stacey about his wife. Carson was scared because he knew Stacey loved his wife fiercely and knew once the truth was out that the ‘good ‘ol boy system with the virtue of an eye for an eye’ commence. As Carson approached Stacey an unmarked car pulled up. The officers asked to speak to Stacey alone but he insisted that Carson can hear whatever they had to say. Carson’s eyes were red from crying because of what he witnessed. The officers began to tell Stacey that his wife had committed suicide in the jail cell this morning and that no note was left. Carson was disgusted by the mundane nature of the officers that clearly knew the truth but wouldn’t’ reveal the real villains.

Stacey was beside himself when Carson slowly told him what he had witnessed when he found Amanda. It killed him to find his best friends wife hung from the bars. The two men sat and talked about what could have possibly happened. The conclusion was that Amanda was questioned by the officers and it went too far because she chose to protect the love of her life. The officers knew what they had done was too brutal and to cover up their crime they decided to murder her and stage it as a suicide. The thin blue line protected the maliciousness of the officers while her young children mourn a mother. The funeral was beautiful but Stacey decided on a closed casket because he didn’t want his children to remember their mother lifeless.

Weeks later, when my uncles’ bikes pulled into my father Carson’s driveway I wasn’t allowed greet them. In fact, I was ushered away along with my mother and grandmother. We listened to music with a higher volume than usual. The plan that the men ultimately devised was to avenge Amanda’s death, protect all the other wives, and send a message. Stacey wasn’t going to turn himself in and he wasn’t going to allow this to happen again in our town. Corrupt officers and guards were their targets.

One by one the officers either met their fate or escaped it by Stacey’s decision. People died, people lived, but the one thing that was revealed through Stacey’s and Carson’s form of interrogation was the truth. Amanda arrived that morning and reported to the kitchen for her cooking duties. There a guard approached her to have her cell searched. Even though she didn’t sleep at the jail she was assigned a cell. While Amanda watched her cell being tossed she was shown a joint that was found in her mattress. From their 3 officers and 4 guards sat her down and began questioning her about the joint. Obviously, it wasn’t hers but it was the opportunity to question her and hopefully break her silence on her husband’s small criminal enterprise. The officers wanted to make a name for themselves and the guards wanted to move up in the ranks. They broke her silence when one of the officers punched her in the face and she fell to the ground. She screamed for help. From there every time she said that she didn’t know or wouldn’t answer she was kicked or punched and that was followed by her cries of pain and terror. After she was beaten unconscious, the guard took laces out of his boots and all 7 of the men involved tied her to the bars making it look like she killed herself. Sadly, Amanda was still alive when she was choked to death against the cold iron bars as the men stood and watched. All this happened when the prisoners were at breakfast. The slipped out of the cell like snakes and left her body to be found. Unfortunately, it was my father, Carson.

The guard learned before he was hung by Stacey, that Amanda had no knowledge of what Stacey was doing. He protected her and she thought that all the money earned was from his job in the oil field. Stacey took care of the finances so she had no reason to question it.  She was a devoted wife and mother and helped other’s whenever she could. Her friends were all of the women that were with the men that rode the bikes. The memories of these people live on in me. Amanda was a kind and gentle woman. My father, Carson helped Stacey in his need for revenge and justice. From day one to the last day, it took almost 2 years. Because Carson did bad things doesn’t make him a bad man. He did what needed to be done to bring decency to his friends’ wife, make it clear that the corrupt officers and guards need to be held accountable, and to protect his own family. Stacey never married again.


Friendship and Football

The school story is a fiction genre centering on older pre-adolescent and adolescent school life, at its most popular in the first half of the twentieth century. Plots involving sports events, bullies, secrets, rivalry, and bravery are often used to shape the school story. I think the worst part is that I know nothing about boarding school situations as I had attended public school. Harry Potter is often referred to as the reemergence of the genre…yeah like I can do anything like J.K. Rawling. I will attempt a short story of sorts.

Our schools were always rivals even from when our parents attended. Years and years of competitiveness and bragging rights after a game won, it just came naturally. It wasn’t something that was taught just something that was. So when my parents moved us to our rivals’ town I wasn’t the happiest kid on the planet. We pulled up to the house and all I felt were the new neighbor kids judging me for being their sworn enemy. ‘Dad, why did we move here? You could have found another job in our old town. You’re doing this just to punish me. I have no friends and won’t have any friends. Do you know what school I’ll have to go to?’ I could see my dad roll his eyes but he let me whine for a little bit before barking, ‘Get out and start taking your boxes to your room. We have the weekend to get this done because you have school on Monday. Might as well get it all over with now.’ That’s when I rolled my eyes.

All weekend we were stared at but Monday at school was even worse. I knew no one and thought I would be able to blend in as just a new student until my first-period teacher spoke, ‘Class, I would like you to welcome Megan to our school. She comes all the way from Tigerton.’ Only two people clapped. I’ve now been sentenced to middle school death. All through the day no one really talked to me and even had a delightful spitball thrown at me. Gym class is what I was great at. When I run or play any kind of sport I tend to relax and zone out all my problems. Today, was dodgeball day. My new classmates learned real fast I have excellent aim and since I don’t have friends I didn’t care about who I slammed with the ball.

Over the next few weeks, the bullying was at a minimum. I think it’s because they have seen I am a force to be reckoned with in gym class. I have managed to make a few friends but not the ones that are popular. They are just as much as outcasts as I am but we had so much fun together and a friendship of honesty, loyalty, and compassion. We enjoyed sleepovers, campouts, and showing each other our hobbies. We rode our bikes to the library to do research on local town legends and to see what kind of trouble we could get into. It was in the middle of fall that we decided to join the experimental all girls football team. There were no flags or touch football. No, we got to play football like the boys did. Later, we learned the only reason our school seemed to be moving forward is that our rival school or my old school were doing the experiment first. Does this make me a rival with my old friends? I haven’t heard from them since I moved.

At practices, my new friends and I were extremely good at the sport. We had no fear. Becuase I had grown close to the twins Sandra and Samantha, Melissa, Ashlee, and Kimber, we were unstoppable. The other girls on our team didn’t really want to hang out with us but that really didn’t matter. They only acknowledged that we existed when our scrimmage team would win. As he leaves began to change colors and the wind had a little more briskness it was the signal of our first game. Outside of all the bullying, outcasting, and ostracizing, we were ready. Ready to prove to the school that it was ok to be different. I was teased about our the first game was at my old school, my new school’s rival. Girls on my own team expressed concerns that I wouldn’t play so the other team would win.

The night before the game my friends and decided that we would have a sleepover to help get over the nervousness. We pigged out on pizza, ice cream, and fell asleep to the movie, ‘The Gate.’ We had watched it a million times so it was more background noise than anything. Before we all had fallen asleep we had made a pact that no matter what happened tomorrow that we would have each other’s back at the game. Both on the field and off the field.

We were sitting in the locker room getting the pep talk from our coach but the truth was no one was really paying any attention. Our nerves were louder than any Go Get Em’ speech. ‘Don’t blow it, Megan. If we lose we will all know where your real loyalty is,’ Stacey said pushing past me. She was one of the most popular girls which meant that she was also the meanest. As we ran onto the field I could hear a familiar voice. One that once brought me comfort and warmth. I looked across the field and seen my best friend Jules. We had grown up together and even had the chicken pox together. She hasn’t called me once since I moved. We made eye contact but sadly she never waved back. At that moment, I not only felt pain but more devoted to my new school and friends.

The first quarter we were down by 7 but it felt like a million. The second quarter we came back ahead by three. I had taken some really hard hits and I could feel it in my back. Sandra and Samantha were the first to tell me to sit the third quarter out after halftime but I really wanted to be in the game. I had to prove to myself that I am as much of a Woodchuck as my friends. I may not have grown up in this town but it is my new home and I’m as much a part of it as anyone else. I made it to the last five minutes of the fourth quarter. Jules and I were set to tackle each other in the next play. She whispered to me that I betrayed her. How in the hell did I betray her? It wasn’t my decision to moves and I couldn’t exactly help it. I groaned getting up off my back. Jules hit me so hard I was seeing spots. My friends were right there asking how many fingers did I see and if I could feel their hands on my legs. I sat up more angry than defeated. Jules smirked over her shoulder while her team was huddled.

‘Megan, sit this one out. You’re hurt. We can do this without you and you gave us a great advantage.’ At that moment it wasn’t my friends telling me all of this, it was my team. My family. This gave me the strength I needed and combine that with my new found devotion I was ready to win. The ball was passed to me and I took off to score the winning touchdown. The twins ran interference and there was great blocking but Jules got through and had me in her sights. I tucked the football in tight dug in deep. Just before I reached the line I could see Jules at my side so I did the only thing I could do. I took the leap for the goal line when I felt the punch to my side. She had rammed into me like a great white shark into its prey. Everything went white.

I woke up on the sidelines with my friends all around me. The first words out of my mouth were, ‘Did I get the touchdown?’ ‘Not only did you score the final touchdown, you got the points we needed to win the game.’ My coach said to me as I was loaded into the ambulance. In my hospital room, my friends didn’t leave my side. I had two broken ribs and a bruised hip. I was going to be released the next day. Jules walked in and my friends formed a wall between her and I. ‘I just wanted to see Megan. How are you doing?’ She asked shyly. ‘She’s fine.’ Kimber spoke with protective authority. ‘Why did you not call?’ I asked over my wall of friends. Jules stepped forward. ‘Guys, can you give us a minute?’ Jules left and my friends entered after she and I finished talking. ‘You ok?’ ‘I’m fine, but one question. Who are we playing next? We have to keep this momentum going.’


Prudence’s Heart

Regency romances are a subgenre of romance novels set during the period of the British Regency (1811–1820) or early 19th century. The distinction rests on the genre definition of Regency Romance: works in the tradition of Georgette Heyer, with an emphasis on the primary romance plot, are considered traditional. I spent many hours doing research and listed links below. I cried at the end of my own story. What I learned with this genre is that there is a lot of research that goes into these fictional stories and have found a new respect for individuals that write in this genre.

My older sister Lucy-Anne and I laid in bed after a long night of dancing and socializing at what was considered the event of the season. Lucy-Anne danced with her fiance and I was introduced to many handsome amiable bachelors. Several calling cards were left for my father, mother, and myself wishing to call upon us for a visit this morning. I was hoping for a card from Ezra. I know that my father didn’t approve of him simply because he didn’t have the same prestige as Lucy-Anne’s soon to be husband. However, I thought being a doctor was quite fascinating. To be able to heal the human body, preventing death, that was the closest relationship with God. What I tried to convey to my father is his hands were tools from God. He had a gift of compassion so he surely must be kind without wanting to impress. Not to mention his choice of employment would always be required. My father disagreed.

Day after day my father received gentlemen who were all of a high social stature and most were handsome. I was endlessly bored listening to how the weather faired or answering about one’s health, and who cared about their kin? I knew what they really hunting, my dowry. It was all a business to them and my family. I was nothing more than chattel. My parents hoped that I marry well, to be best matched with a husband that will further our household. I was handsome, or that’s what my parents would say but the hidden meaning was my female usefulness. I would breed attractive children. I couldn’t play the pianoforte, sing, or sew but I could draw. My family’s only hope for my survival was a proposal of marriage.

My father was approached by the very wealthy and might I add rude Mr. Pembroke. He was the most frequent of my callers and won my father over during their hunting trips. While my father away my mother fussed over my edema. It vexed her so heavily that she called upon my handsome doctor Ezra. The visits started out as once a week. He advised me about my diet, salt intake, and to get as much fresh air and rest as possible. I would confide in him that I had my good days and bad. I expressed that I wished he could see me on my well days. He understood that as seeing me as a patient whereas I wished for him to call upon for other than being my physician. During the course of three months, Ezra would come to see me as a patient whenever my mother called on him or sent a servant to fetch him. I thought we should invite him to stay on our estate so he wouldn’t have to travel so much.

It was close to Christmas when I wasn’t feeling particularly well and I was just betrothed to Mr. Pembroke and our two families were to spend the holidays together. I expressed my ill feeling and wanted to lay down but my father insisted I dress and receive Mr. Pembroke Sr, Mrs. Pembroke, Mr. Pembroke etc…It was as if the entire family line were waiting for the introduction of their soon to be a cash cow or daughter-in-law. We were all sitting in the drawing room when the next thing I remember was waking up on the floor on my back. Such a fuss was being made over me especially by my soon to be mother-in-law. My father gently picked me up and carried me to my room as my mother sent for Ezra.

I laid in bed sweating and feeling ill in my stomach. Ezra arrived when my mother was by my side and a quick introduction was made to the physician and Mr. Pembroke Jr. Ezra walked into the room commanding the room and diligence since my illness has escalated.
‘Am I going to die?’ I managed to whisper as Ezra listened to my heart.
‘Mrs. Worthington, could you please send for a basin was warm water and vinegar. We need to bring Prudence’s fever down. I thought she was suffering from dropsy but I can hear a faint murmur in her heart.’ My mother took off to the kitchen fetching what was needed as this was the hastiest way the ingredients could be attained.

Through the months Ezra and I were able to conversate without a chaperone so I was more intimately comfortable in his confidence than Mr. Pembroke.
‘Ezra, I have a confession.’
‘I know Prudence. My affections for you have always been present. I had asked your father’s permission for your hand in marriage before the ball. He kindly declined, making his intentions of a well-matched marriage known.’
I smiled as I could feel my energy starting to fade.
‘Ezra, say I do start to get well, I don’t want to marry Mr. Pembroke. If we elope my reputation and fortune would be gone. I can be a physician’s wife but could you be happy with someone like me? No fortune, no use other than my drawings.’

My mother came in around that time and began the task of wrapping my feet with vinegar bandages and cooling my body with water. After an hour Ezra sent for Foxglove. My mother went to get fresh water, Mr. Pembroke and my father set out for Foxglove and Ezra and I were alone again.

‘My dear Prudence. I would marry you because of my love for you not for what you can give me.’ He whispered and his warm breath on my ear made it all so real. I place my hand in his. My breaths were shallow now and I knew that I would be alive much longer. I accepted that I was going to die and knowing that he loved me made it both easy and difficult all at the same time. ‘My heart,’ I whispered, ‘I love you with all that I am, til death do we part. Please live a fulfilled life and I will wait for you hereafter.’ With that my life left my body and my hand went limp.
Mrs.Worthington came in to witness Ezra weeping over her daughter and in that moment knew what true love was.



Pirated Photos

Quantum fiction is a literary genre that reflects the modern experience of the material world and reality as influenced by quantum theory and new principles in quantum physics. Ok…I’ve literally sat here for 30 minutes until I had an ‘AHA,’ moment. Then just when I think I have a grasp of this genre it’s gone. Then I had to research quantum science which was no help. I’m not a damn science type of girl. However, quantum fiction stories are about any subject matter and do not necessarily involve science and deals in possibility and probability. So much research went into this story and trying to figure out all the moving pieces in my head.

What came first? The painter or the subject? The camera or the person? I visit so many museums and galleries and sometimes I swear I see the subject matter moving in my peripheral vision. Sometimes I see me, or my brother, or my kindergarten best friend. I’ll ask someone, ‘Did you see that balloon that went around the corner?t’ Or, ‘When did they bring back the Planter’s Cheez Balls?’ The answer was usually a ‘she’s losing it’ and ‘what is she talking about?’

The exact time I learned t ask the questions happened when I was taking a photo of my brother ice skating and I could see my great grandfather skating in the corner of my eye. My brother asked, ‘Sissy, did you get a picture of grampy and me?’ he asked with a 8-year-olds hopeful questioning. ‘What do you mean Rhett?’ ‘Grampy said that in the time from clicking the button up and down you can see him,’ he said in an annoyed tone. He expected me to know this, I could feel it. ‘Oh yeah? If he was only here for a nanosecond how did you tell you all of that?’ I said in a teasing tone. ‘Time is suspended for him. Every time someone takes a picture here he get’s to move forward in time.’ Rhett was ready to go but I was jealous. I wanted to see the past. Imagine, anything that was painted or pictured is attainable. Was it time travel or would it be visiting memories?

I went to the museum in town that was hosting a Pirate exhibition. There I knew there would be a lot of painting and artifacts. I also thought that would be one of the strongest situations for one of my viewing. Or were they hallucinations. Luckily the museum allowed visitors to take photos but only of the artifacts. I walked around the museum taking random photos when I took a picture of a ruby. In the corner of my eye, I saw a red-headed pirate but didn’t hear anything. I continued to walk around and take photos until I saw the red-head again and thought, ‘Who are you?’ and in my head, I heard, ‘Anne Bonny’.  I snapped another picture and was startled by, ‘He’ll never know.’ I went home excited that I was able to hear something.

I did some research on the pirate and possible pregnancy and was able to go back to the museum armed with the knowledge that would be needed to ask questions. I took pictures and listened. I learned that Anne Bonny gave birth to Calico Jacks daughter, was killed by her cowardly first husband, and her daughter was taken to a church to be raised Protestant. I was in tears when I was ready to leave when I wanted to take a picture of me and the artifacts. I went home and thought about what could Anne tell me about me? I went back to the museum and took pictures but it wasn’t Anne that I heard in my head. Calico Jack said that he knew my inner secrets but could also tell my future. Just as I was learning the truth about my past, he could tell me about my future. Did I want to know how I die or if I would be successful? Instead, I asked what I thought would be a safe question, ‘Will I ever have kids?’ I knew I couldn’t because of how my uterus developed. ‘You will experience the same thing I did.’

I stopped taking pictures and rarely went to museums until one day I met my husband at a town parade. He knew that I wasn’t able to have kids and we were in the middle of an adoption process when we found out that I was pregnant. I wanted a home birth where things went horribly wrong. I never got to meet my daughter but I get to see her grow up through pictures. I hope that one day she will take a picture of herself with something of mine so that I would be able to tell her how beautiful she is and that I love her.




Planetary Romance is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy in which the bulk of the action consists of adventures on one or more exotic alien planets, characterized by distinctive physical and cultural backgrounds. I can’t write romances. It always ends up being a bad middle school retailing of a crush. You know the one that they think notices them but has no clue they are alive but that one time they made eye contact she thought that he was the one. Yup, that kind of romance but in the description of the vocabulary of a tween…with braces. Warning-this is another long one. I think this will be a great start to a longer story and chose to end it in a great spot.

My evenings are usually spent with just me and my cat. Cat’s are awesome to have because they can basically take care and entertain themselves. They offer comfort ideally on their terms but comfort nonetheless. Hemlock was a little different in a way that he knew when I was feeling especially down.

I didn’t have friends, my desk is in a maze of other no-name people, I’m an only child and my parents both died in a car wreck when I 19. With the inheritance, I didn’t have to work my way through college or worry about where I was going to live. I went to a tech college and received an Associates in Web Development & Design Specialist and have made my childhood home an entire place of my own. I have a room with all my computers and equipment, my room, my craft room, and I turned the attic into my amateur astronomer viewing room. My father was an astronomer and would warn me about making wishing could come true so be careful of what I was wishing for. My mother, on the other hand, made beautiful quilts that would win prizes. She taught quilting and even held quilting circles. I learned the simplistic beauty of stitching together shapes and colors to tell a story.

My life was boring and uneventful. I was your all around nerd in the office and the even bigger boring nerd at home. Hemlock would greet me at the door and together we would work on a wedding quilt. I was putting my own spin on it which included beautiful constellations. Then we would work on any freelance computer work which usually didn’t take more than an hour. I ordered dinner so I never have to experience the awkward, ‘table for one’ and then the walk of shame. Hemlock and I ate our dinner in the breakfast nook. I read the town’s rendition of a sophisticated paper and Hemlock sat in my lap waiting for me to finish. We would then migrate to the attic where I would look through the telescope identifying stars, constellations, planets, watched meteor showers, and even got to see the occasional shooting star. Hemlock laying in his basket sleeping. Before I left my attic I sent a wish into the never-ending abyss above for a true love.

My months went on like this without anything out of the ordinary. I was able to gain enough freelance clients, some even large companies, I was able to quit my day job. This allowed me to do more quilting and even took up learning to cook. The only thing I didn’t have was a soul mate to share everything with. One night I cooked up some Creamy Lemon Garlic Salmon Piccata and a separate piece for Hemlock that wasn’t seasoned or sauced. I surprised myself and even Hemlock seemed in heaven with his very own special dinner. The fact that I was able to complete something without burning or turning to fire hazard put me in an extremely great mood. Hemlock and I went to the attic so I could begin my star gazing.

‘Oh, my! This can’t be right,’ I said out loud. I often have one-sided conversations with Hemlock but he seemed to understand. I was shocked to find that there was a planet that I have never seen before close to the moon. Or was it Earth’s second moon? It was a beautiful lilac and white planet. From what I could see the purple was possible water and white the land or vice versa but there were two distinct masses. All I could do was stare and imagined what it would be like on this planet. I fell asleep there in the attic without making my wish.

I woke to Hemlock’s harsh scratchy tongue scraping across my face. My drool was obnoxiously sliding down my chin which I brushed off and remembered what I was looking at the night before. I looked through the telescope and seen the planet and it looked even more brilliant. I looked out the window and noticed that it was closer than the night before. I went downstairs and turned the news on and there was an anchor covering the planet and how NASA and the military were going to join forces to make contact with a planet that may or may not have life on it. T.V. off Hemlock and I started our breakfast ritual but hemlock wouldn’t eat. He just brushed against my leg pacing back and forth. I ignored Hemlock and decided that I was going to take the day off from computer work and add more to my quilt. It was a relaxing project that I will never put on my matrimonial bed but could donate it.

‘KNOCK KNOCK. Tap, Tap. KNOCK.’ The loud knocking startled me so much that I pricked my finger with the needle I was stitching with. I got up from my look, sucking on my finger heading towards the door when I tripped over Hemlock who seemed excited that there was someone else in our area. I opened the door and seen the most beautiful man I have ever laid eyes on. I know my mouth was gaped wide open but I couldn’t help myself.
‘Hello, Ivy?’ The hypnotic voice asked and all I could do was nod. Even Hemlock seemed to be in awe of the man.
‘My name is Echo and I was wondering if we could talk. We’ve never met but you know me very well.’ I opened the door and gestured for him to come in. He walked ahead of me as I passed a mirror and seen my hair was a huge bird’s nest and my clothes were wrinkled. I looked like I fell asleep drunk. I quickly tried to fix my hair and shoved it into a messy bun that passed as trendy straightened out my shirt as best as I could. He glanced over his shoulder and that was my cue to walk ahead and show him a seat. I chose the kitchen, ‘Would you like a cup of coffee, tea, maybe water?’ I asked as I made myself a cup.’
‘No, thank you.’
I waited and when nothing else was added, ‘So, I know you?’ I asked.
‘You didn’t wish for me last night. Has something changed? I panicked and decided it was time.’
‘Time?’ I could feel the color drain from my face as I thought I just let in the next Bundy.
‘I know this all sounds odd but I’m the prince of the planet Asption.’
‘Asption? My father was an astronomer and he never told me about that planet.’
‘He wouldn’t, we were never seen. Our planet wasn’t created until someone wished for it. It wasn’t populated until people started wishing for their soulmates. Slowly we just started evolving. We do pretty much everything people on Earth do except wish.’
‘So, how did you get here from that planet? There wasn’t a news report about a flying object and from what I understand nothing was on a radar or pictures taken by NASA.’ I asked skeptically, slowly standing and walking over to my father’s gun cabinet.
‘I’m not quite sure yet but when our planet was so close I seized the opportunity to come and meet you. The person that created me. I…’
‘Does this mean that I’m your mother?’ I interruptedly blurted out.’
He laughed at me, a first real emotion that I saw where he didn’t look like a robot. ‘No, you are not my mother but I can’t physically or mentally be with anyone else. You, dear girl, you are my significant other. Please allow time for us to get to know each other. We can date and take things slow. After meeting you I can’t leave. I don’t want to leave.’ I looked down at Hemlock, ‘Ok, the fact that you haven’t murdered me and that I’m interested to see how this whole pick-up story is going to play out, pick me up tomorrow evening.’ We both stood and he kissed my hand then walked out the door. He didn’t get in a vehicle, he just walked away.

The next evening he showed and we went to dinner. I was didn’t say much because I wanted to take in every detail of him. At the end of dinner, he apologized for rudely not letting me get a word in but I told reassured him that it was ok. Inside, he was everything I ever wished for in a partner. We set up a lunch date for the next couple of days because I had to get some work done on both clients’ work and the quilt. Hemlock seemed to be ok with me not being home as much, almost like he was relieved. It was 6 months of dates before I kissed him. There was something there that was more cosmically right than magical.

It was our one year anniversary when we talked about him moving in with me and Hemlock. You would have thought that I gave him the world wrapped neatly in a gold box. We became so close and comfortable. I cooked amazing dinners and he showed me stars that I didn’t know existed. I quilted and he read to me. Everything seemed wonderful and over dinner one night I told him,
‘I love you.’ To which he quickly replied.
‘Echo, I have a question? Do you ever regret being created? Do you wish that you were never here?’
‘Ivy, you and Hemlock are the reason everything makes sense. I didn’t know why our planet did things until I spent time here on Earth with you. I can’t imagine life any other way. I was actually going to ask you if we could adopt another cat. One that Hemlock would get along with and something that we take care of together.’ There I was, again, mouth gaped open. He grinned and kissed my hand.
‘Ivy, my dear girl. I love you to Asption and back.


Nessie’s Demon

Occult fiction is described for works dealing with witchcraft, spiritualism, psychic phenomena, voodooism, etc., and for works dealing with the mysterious or secret knowledge and power supposedly attainable only through these and other magical or supernatural means. I wanted to use a story that I wrote over a year ago but it’s not on any of my USBs or my computer. A little heartbroken that I can’t find it but I’m going to do the best I can from memory. Who knows I may like this version better than the one I started. This is a long story but I edited a LOT out to shorten the length.

I karate chopped the alarm clock. I’m second guessing the loud and obnoxious tone I chose but whatever gets me out of bed. I rolled over and felt the warmth of Shamrock’s body. I had a wonderful pitbull that was loyal and kind but could also come to work with me. Her appearance of breed alone kept idiots from acting out. Owning a bar is fun and all and I do work at least once a week but there is one night a year that it’s mandatory for me to work. Mardi Gras has its origins, secret societies, and history but there is another realm that only a few know about and even less have experienced.

My feet hit the wood floor of my plantation home that was passed down through the family. It was a bed and breakfast for a decade until my family came to own the bar that is now our source of income. It was 2pm which gave me plenty of time to shower, dress, eat, and get to work to set up. You would think that I need to set up the bar but no that’s why I have employees to do the work. I have to set up for the demonic entity that comes every 75 years to win back the gate that he lost during a bet.

My great great grandmother ran the bed and breakfast. She decided to go to town with my great great grandfather to enjoy the festivities, food, and grab a drink. We weren’t a religious family and that was acceptable in New Orleans. They walked into the bar when a demon and the bar owner were in the middle of settling terms to a bet. My grandmother was the winning part of the bet on the bar owner’s behalf. Everyone else saw a beautiful, young, dark-haired man when my grandmother saw the demon for who it was. The demon had bet the bar owner that if no one comes in and can see his true demonic form that it would win the bar back and would be able to trap souls again. If a person was able to come in and see it for what the demon was he couldn’t come back to the bar for 75 years. My grandmother walked in, seen him, and saved the night.

Over the next 10 years, the bar owner explained what needed to happen to keep the bar patrons and New Orleans safe. When the bar owner got sick in old age the owner asked my grandmother to take over. Over the years through Mardi Gras, my grandmother made the necessary preparations to keep the demon at bay and passed the cursed story through generations to come. So here I am, getting ready for the 75th year reunion. I wasn’t nervous because I have the same sight as my grandmother. I got dressed, had my black coffee and over easy eggs with toast, grabbed the apples and candles then headed to work. I only had one other bartender working with me, my brother. He was already there making sure the corner of the bar was reserved for our special guest.

‘Hey Nessie, got your rest?’ I smiled at J.T. as Shamrock went prancing ahead of me to greet her human uncle. ‘Hey Shammy, you keeping mommy on schedule? It’s a major night tonight. Y’all ready?’
I tossed the apples on the bar, ‘Afternoon J.T., did you remember grandfather’s engraved bar stool? And the iron shavings?’ I asked getting the masks set up by the door.
‘All set, the demon’s spot is set up at the end of the bar. The barstool has a circle of iron shavings around it and the bottle of absinthe is ready with the silver lined shot glass.’

The masks were to hide the identity of whoever may see the demonic form. We wish to keep the bar in the family as we now don’t want to burden anyone else with this responsibility. The barstool is for demonic being and is engraved with a binding spell to keep him from renigging on his end and confined to the stool which is why there will be a circle of iron shavings to work as a boundary. The apples represent knowledge and they are cut to reveal the star shape created by the seeds. This is to envoke a new seer. The silver lined shot glass and absinthe is to bind the demon’s tongue from cursing anyone. The silver makes the alcohol look more appealing no matter what it is.

J.T., Shamrock, and I were behind the bar serving customers and making sure that all of our patrons are adhering to the, ‘no mask, no service,’ rule. The music was great and so far no bar fights or arguments. When the clock struck twelve the door flew open. Everyone saw a beautiful young woman walk in when J.T. and I saw the demon. Shamrock warned us by sounding her low deep growl. It strolled over to it’s designated barstool thanks to the shiny shot glass. Once it seated it howled but everyone else heard laughter.
‘Hello, Nessie. I’ve been waiting to meet you. I see your family has prepared you well,’ the entity said as it downed the liquid revealing a realizing what it had done. An evil eye landed on Nessie and her brother.
‘Realizing  I don’t have to go into details about the bet, the only thing that will stand in the way of me coming back into ownership and opening the gate to let more demons through to this world. So, it goes without saying, let an innocent see me for what I am I go back to hell for 75 years if no one sees me then the bar and gate are mines.’ I smiled realizing the bet was already won. I always prided myself on how clever I was with bets and all. There is a reason I never married and had kids. A reason why I wasn’t considered spoiled.

The evening was successful. The demonic was hit on by several young men but everyone had on masks so they were safe. Bar time came and everyone left. J.T. smiled as he cleaned up the mess and starting stocking the back bar.
‘I won! I won! I knew this day would come. Nessie, give me the key and I’ll let you leave without any harm being done to your family and mutt,’ the demon said with a sneer revealing several rows of sharp teeth. I patted Shamrock on the head as she stayed by my side.
‘You didn’t win the bet or your bar back. The bet is, that an innocent needs to come in and see you for what you really are. Well, sorry to disappoint you but this isn’t your bar. You lost the minute you came in.’ The smile started to fade slowly.
‘An innocent was already in the bar and already seen your true identity through the floozy facade. Me, I’m still a virgin so it’s mine and my families for the next 75 years.’ His grin reappeared.
‘I can bide my time for another 75 years. The cleverness backfired on you. You’re getting too old to have your own children and with your families line ending with you, the only hope that you have is that an innocent walks into the bar.’ He said while he started to vaporized from his hoofs slowly moving up.’
I smiled, ‘Oh demon. You aren’t clever at all, just evil. I expected more from you as an adversary. Have you met my brother J.T.? No, I guess you haven’t since you’ve been dealing with me the entire night.’ The demon shot an evil look over at my brother who just waved.’
‘You see, I may not have any children of my own but I make a wonderful aunt to 6 beautiful boys and girls. All of which have the sight and are being raised with a family bedtime story. When they are old enough they will learn the truth. So, good luck ever getting this place back. ‘Sometimes a person’s sacrifice isn’t really one at all, just a different path in life for the greater good.’ Those were the last words I said as the demon finished vanishing to the underworld.


I have to do this now for reasons I’m not going into. 

Solitary Truth

A mystery is a subgenre of narrative fiction; often thought of as a detective story.There are a number of sub-genres within the broad category of mystery/detective/crime fiction. They overlap and are open to subjective interpretation. I’m not a fan of mysteries with the whole cop-whodunit scene. I don’t even like the good cop bad cop scenes. So I tried something different after doing a bit of research.

We all rarely seen the old woman out in town. We rarely saw her at all. The occasional sightings are when she’s in the local hardware store or at the grocery store to buy M&Ms. We never saw her buy meat, bread, fruits, or vegetables. She kept to herself in the house by the river with woods surrounding the structure at the end of town. She had honeysuckle growing wild which brought beautiful birds and butterflies but we never witnessed her outside enjoying them.  When she was outside it was to tend to her massive garden, fish in the river, or care for her mini orchard of the fruit-bearing trees.

Holidays she wouldn’t decorate and wouldn’t hand out candy. She wouldn’t go to town gatherings or parades. The elementary children thought her to be a witch and would be afraid to look her in the eyes.  Some adults thought she was the reason that people went missing in the town. She was even interviewed a couple of times by law enforcement as a last resort. I thought she was happy in her solitude until I had her go through my checkout line at the hardware store. Beep-fishing line, beep-lightbulbs, beep-nails, beep-vegetable seeds. ‘Is this all for you?’ Her eyes met mine and that’s when I witnessed a teary response. Was she sad? Was she thankful someone said something to her? She didn’t reply but paid for her items with gold coins. I haven’t seen those in a long time. I know that they make newer ones but these were the old coins. I asked for her to wait a minute as I spoke to the manager. ‘She pays with those because they are easier for her to count. Take however much you need and put them under the till. I exchange them at her bank the next town over. It’s the only bank that I find will take them.’ ‘Do you know anything about her? She doesn’t speak, she’s always alone, and today I think I made her cry,’ I said sadly. ‘No one really knows anything about her, she was one of the first people to live in the town.’

I took her coins and handed her bags over, ‘Have a good day,’  I said but she didn’t even turn to acknowledge my farewell. I left work that evening and decided to walk by the river on my way home. It was shorter and quieter since people think the old woman is cursed or does the cursing. The sound of the river was soothing until a sound of a massive current of electricity echoed through the woods. As if a transformer was being turned on for the very first time. As I walked past her house I noticed that she was flipping larget switches and lights were turning on around the house, through the woods, and by the river. It wasn’t just lighting up her house. ‘Hi,’ I waved over at her. She jumped and came over to where I was standing. ‘Hello, young lady.’ Her voice was soft and comforting. ‘You really need to get home before the sun finishes setting. I can’t help when the light is fully gone.’ I looked at her puzzled. ‘The sun has already set. It’s dark and now you’re lighting everything up.’ She begged. ‘Please get home, come see me tomorrow.’ I nodded and hurried home.

I couldn’t sleep that night and was at her house at first light. I thought I would wake her up but she was already on the river bank casting her fishing pole. ‘Good morning,’ I said timidly. ‘There’s a fishing pole against the tree that I have prepared for you. Come cast a line and see what happens.’ I grabbed the pole and noticed that there was already a fish on the hook.  I looked at her and she nodded for me to cast. I picked a spot and let loose the line. We both sat there is silence until my pole jerked. ‘You’re going to need to hold on, it’s going to be a big one,’ she said to me in a warning tone and about that time I was nearly pulled into the water. I look at her with a surprised-regretful look. She smiled and patted me on the shoulder. ‘It’s ok dear, at first I lost many poles after I lost my husband.’ She withdrew her rod and started walking towards her house. What did she mean about losing her husband and rods? She was married?

She opened the door for me to walk ahead of her in the house. She has a beautiful cottage style home. Her kitchen had a beautiful wood stove, wooden cabinets, and homemade bread dough rising on the back counter. ‘Sit down dear, I’ll tell you what you need to know.’ I sat down and she placed a teacup in front of me along with some homemade cookies. ‘My husband, Frank and I were the first to move to this town. He built this house with his own hands always reminding me that this is the perfect piece of land. He was excited to fish, garden, and live off the land. ‘Wow, how old are you?’ I instantly regretted the question. She smiled, ‘I’m old enough to watch this town grow from just a few settlers.’ ‘Settlers? The first settlers of the town arrived…’ I trailed off watching her sip her tea. ‘That means that you are..’ she interrupted. ‘I’m old enough to watch the town grow,’ she said slowly. I would like to show you how to survive this town and help others live there day to day lives. I’ve been protecting this town for decades. I’m getting tired and need to teach a young person. Someone who loves this town like I do and can handle being alone and misunderstood.’

I do like being left alone and I do love this small town. ‘What about my job?’ I couldn’t believe I was considering the proposal of learning whatever she was teaching. ‘This will be your job and you would never want for anything, ‘she said as she gestured at the surroundings. ‘Let me explain. When we settled here we thought we hit gold. The land was fruitful and no one around. We built our house and waited for neighbors but no one came. That’s when we learned of the secret the land held. The river is full of creatures that come on land as soon as the last glimmer of light is gone. Even though the sun is gone the last bit of light is gone 14 minutes after the set time. My husband and I learned this the 1st night we were here. We were able to set a fire which kept them at bay. We would fish for them and use them as fertilizer for our garden and trees. We thought after years of fishing they would be extinct. That night we didn’t light any fires. We sat outside enjoying tea and the stars when out of nowhere my husband was drug into the water. There was nothing I could do for Frank. I come from a long line of white witches and part of my promise was to protect this town and I cast a spell for me to live longer. Not be immortal but live long enough to fight these creatures. What I do know is that they live underwater and they breed faster than rabbits. All the missing person reports that you see are of people the creature took.’ I looked at her in disbelief. Before I could say anything she interrupted, ‘Go home and think about it.’

I was home before dark and I walked into an empty house. There was no life and no messages or voicemails, no plans, just me. I went to the internet and searched missing person reports for this town and discovered some that dated all the way back to the 1800’s. In those articles, I found a woman had been committed to a psychiatric hospital a town over for ranting about creatures from the water. I also found a picture of the town’s founders and our very own solitary woman that everyone judged was there, smiling. She was beautiful. The next morning I was over at her house. ‘I would love to protect this town but I would like to know one thing. What is your name?’ She smiled and gestured for me to enter the house, ‘my name is Elizabeth. Are you ready to make the transition?’ she asked. ‘I would be honored but I’m not a white witch and I don’t know how long I’ll live.’ I said. She sat down and clasped my hand, ‘My dear, when I said that you would inherit everything that includes my powers, the house, the money, my skills, and knowledge.’

Here I am, being judged as I’m buying fishing line 82 years later. The rumor is that the last hermit took me as her slave and now I’m looking for mine. Little do they know, my sacrifice keeps them and this town safe.

Mourning Me

A lament is or can be a poem or song expressing grief. The lament is powered by a personal sense of loss. The poetry of lamentation, which arose in oral literature alongside heroic poetry, seems to exist in all languages and poetries. Confession, I can’t write poetry. I don’t know why that is. Even when I was a teen I wasn’t pining over a notebook spilling my thoughts into poems. However, I do miss who I was before things happened in my past.

The sun used to kiss your happiness on the porch swing
and the birds’ song would fill your ears.
Indian summers brought more days to enjoy outside
and more time to offer company to others.

You enjoyed welcoming hugs
and took a handshake as the word and promise.
You helped others without question
because all you had was compassion.

Your laughter was a pleasant sound
and brought smiles to little faces.
Your free spirit made dreams
into a reality.

The isolation took you from sight
and the tears were never seen.
You cried for help but he
made you wear a mask.

Other things I do differently but
I do mourn the loss of me.


A Kōan a paradox to be meditated upon that is used to train Zen Buddhist monks to abandon ultimate dependence on reason and to force them into gaining sudden intuitive enlightenment. This was so difficult for me to complete. But after a lot of reflection on the statement, I FINALLY understood.


Your journey is over when the road ends. Which way do you turn?

April 12, 2018

I haven’t posted a journal entry in what feels like months. I have been busy trying to keep up with the A to Z blogging challenge, my daily doodles, and my 60word stories. I was right, I bit off more than I can chew with the theme that I chose. The beautifully written bright side to all of this hard work and stress about my theme is that I get the chance to explore. I’m exploring new genres and learning that I can do something if I put my mind to it.


Things I’ve missed though are starting to add up. I miss my blogging community. Reading posts, poems, and all the artwork. I also miss participating in 99-word prompts and Discover’s daily prompt and hopefully, I’ll be able to get back on track with those. Then throw in being sick, working 40+ hours a week, taking care of kids and house I’m lucky to get in the shower. In all honesty, I think if it wasn’t for my anxiety I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing now. I have stolen a few minutes from my daily chores here at work to write this and I feel better already.

I appreciate all my readers for their support. Also, I do read your posts and find brilliance in words and images. I have big plans for my short stories and will also be doing a couple of give-a-ways through Amazon. This weekend I’m going to try a Pinterest recipe and see if I fail and burn the house down or end up with a family favorite side dish. I do not regret for one moment that I chose to participate in the writing challenge but I think next year I’ll choose something that isn’t so difficult.

An American Jiangshi

Derived from Chinese folklore, jiangshi fiction first appeared in the literature of the Qing Dynasty. The jiangshi is a corpse reanimated by a Taoist priest. The priest commands the jiangshi and directs it to a location for a proper burial. It moves by hopping and steals the life force from living creatures. Some items and methods to counter hopping vampires: peach, the blood of a black dog, mirrors, and dropping a bag of coins (because sometimes they will stop to count the coins). Truth be told, I don’t know how I can make this seem like a horror story. I giggle picturing a hopping old vampire dude counting coins on the ground but here goes nothing. Side note: This is the first I’ve heard of these creatures and with me never grew up with this type of folklore I tried to Americanize it for my understanding.

We weren’t always peach farmers. Actually, my family used to own a prominent cotton plantation using all the high technology machinery and were sought out by many Chinese royals for our product. That all changed when something came back with my great-grandfather from the last cotton trade that our family made. We still have our beautiful plantation home but now mirrors line the walls throughout. At night when the moon hits the grand mirror in the parlor, it creates a romantic view, from moon up to moon down. You’re able to move from room to room watching as the moon moves through the night. That’s not why we have all the mirrors though just like we didn’t always use coins as currency or own roosters. There was a method to what we thought was my great-grandfather’s madness.

How the story goes is that my grandfather was flying back from China meeting with a royal negotiating one of the largest trades we have made. We could have gone commercial but my grandfather had bigger plans. He said personal relationships build a successful business. When he boarded the plane something else boarded as well. We later learned that the deceased human creature is known as a jiangshi. Apparently, another royal family was upset that the one gained such a great deal with our family and let loose one of these things. This, in turn, started a domino effect. Instead of weapons and warfare, royal families used these creatures to do their score-settling. Some of these creatures looked just like us and the only way you could tell a jiangshi from a human was in the movements. I can only describe their motion as a hopping but not in the way that you think. It’s more like a movie that skips when the signal to the picture on the old TVs with bunny ears has been lost. One minute they are a few feet away and the next they have flickered-hopped in front of you. Now our country is swarmed with these life draining pests.

Since these creatures accended onto our soil we’ve somewhat been thrown back into the stone age only to gain baby steps of a world once lost. We do have electricity but we do not have cell phones or internet. I was born when society repaired the old electrical grid. The relationship that my grandfather built with the royal was worth more than money. It was important to this royal that my great-grandfather’s lineage have a chance to survive against the evil and gave him the ancient secrets to abolish the jiangshi. When my great-grandfather learned how to combat these beings our family’s lifestyle and trading habits changed along with decor and how we go by our day to day lives.

Now we have mirrors and operate a successful peach orchard. Peaches are a symbol of the five elements and the wood is sold to other families to ward off the jiangshi. Our roosters that I mentioned in the beginning, yeah those beautiful sounding creatures help keep those pests away except our own personal jiangshi. He was tricky and no matter how many times we thought we banished him he would come back. This meant that we had to get the head of the snake. The kin of the royal that felt my great-grandfather had wronged is still reanimating this creature. After much research and traveling, my father and I learned that it was a priest gone bad. He was being paid a monthly allowance through the royal’s kin to continue tormenting us. He’s even going as far as to figure out a way to reanimate this creature after he has died.

This is when the priest learned that our family roots run deeper than the peach trees and the meaning of an eye for an eye. No, we could not reanimate corpses but what we could do was lodge on this priest’s land. We lured the jiangshi into the priest’s house with coins. Just as the creature finished counting the coins the priest walked into his bedroom. In one flicker-hop the creature was in front of his new victim feeding off his life source. Once the priest was dead by his reanimated monster we were free to hold it by mirrors and set him on fire.

We continue to battle the undead creatures and have a successful business selling peach wood at the same time. We have several close successful relationships with families and even helping others by planting peach trees. Our dream is to one day not need our peach orchard but one thing is for sure, we will not trade with any societies across seas.



Permanent Mistake

Here we are at the letter I of the A to Z challenge. I novel, Japanese watakushi shōsetsu, or shishōsetsu, form or genre of 20th-century Japanese literature that is characterized by self-revealing narration, with the author usually as the central character. The first and most important rule is it’s often written from the first person perspective (and this is where the “I” of I-Novel comes from). Obviously, I can’t write a whole novel but I can do a short-nonfiction. I have many profound memories and circumstances that have happened in my life from my first, ‘I Do,’ to the first breath my first born ever took. I stopped and took many breaks during this. There is one I rarely discuss. Names have been changed as this does cover the sensitive matter.

We all have first loves, true loves, platonic loves, and soulmates. They all come in our lives teaching us some sort of lesson, I just didn’t realize my lessons from Axle were until I was a lot older. I used to think that my first love was also my soul mate. What do you expect from a teenager? We first met in kindergarten. Axel loved the cupcakes my mom would make for my class birthday treat so we became fast friends. We grew up through the years and in middle school, he asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend. I still get butterflies after all these years thinking about the day he asked me out.

We were insuperable. The first time he came to meet my family my dad was sitting at the table cleaning his gun and sharpening his knives. I don’t know how Axle did it but he sat down and asked my dad if he needed any help. That moment I realized he could read a situation but my father saw that Axle was going to be an important part of my life. Axle was my first kiss, my first argument with a boy, the first reason I really cried, we were in a car wreck together and he even had to take my side over his childhood friend’s aggravated opinion of me. He was also my first breakup.

That should have been my lesson. Learn to move on, accept pain, grow from it, and evaluate myself. That wasn’t it. Over the next couple of years we both dated other people and grew apart. It was a fall day and I had just gotten out of band and needed to rush home to get ready for work. Axle stopped and asked if I needed help carrying my flute and books. I was stunned and handed my books over into his arms. He never just came out of the blue and asked if I needed. It was mostly a nod or even an occasional, ‘hi, Jo’.

We walked beside each other in silence at first, then he asked, ‘You know, I’ve missed being able to talk to you. You understand everything I’ve been through and why I act in a certain way or do certain things.’ I could feel dread flooding over me. I was worried. He was the one that found his father after he shot himself. ‘I’ve been here, you just chose not to talk to me. I tried many times but you were either busy, embarrassed by me, or with your flavor of the week.’ I remember biting my lip. I knew I sounded like a bitter ex but face it, I was. ‘I miss you, Jo.’ My feet stopped moving and all I could do was stare. He walked over and put his arms around me. I felt so stupid as my face grew hot and tears started running. I couldn’t make them stop. ‘SHH, it’s ok Jo. Our break-up wasn’t because of anything you did. It was because of me. I couldn’t lose you so in my mind you would always be safe.’ Yup, you guessed it, I cried harder.

We started walking again and I asked him about his new girlfriend and that’s when he stopped. See, his girlfriend had parents that were never around, she stole and was into drugs. I’m not talking about marijuana but cocaine was her poison of choice. I also knew that she introduced her lifestyle to Axle and he spiraled down fast. ‘She’s good,’ he replied. ‘Then why are you here with me?’ I asked. ‘Truth is Jo, Lisa’s drug habit is getting worse and I don’t want to break up with her until she get’s help.’ ‘You can’t help anyone that doesn’t want to help themselves.’ And at this point folks, this is where I fucked up. Instead of seeing that he was actually reaching out for me to help him I did this, ‘Axle, I miss you and I wish we could spend time together but I need to get to work.’ I gave him a hug and told him that I would see him after work or that better yet he can come and get a burger on me. He gave me a hug, ‘She’s not you. I love you, Jo,’ and those were the last words he would ever whisper in my ears.

That night I waited and hoped that he would walk in for a burger but customers came and went but no Axle. I asked the cook to make a burger for me to go. I was going to stop by Axle’s house so we can talk but my plan never came to be. I pulled into his driveway just in time to see my first love’s body in a body bag and put into the back of the ambulance. At that moment, there was no sound, no taste, no time. His mom was on the front porch in a fetal position in Axle’s older brother’s lap. I couldn’t move except for engaging my 5 speed into reverse and then 1st to start heading home. I got home and my father was already on the porch waiting for me.

I ran to the one man that always made me feel safe. ‘Axle’s brother called, you have a note but  I figured you couldn’t wait so here is what it said:
Jo, I didn’t know how to escape the drugs, unhappiness, and Lisa. I love you and will always love you. Live the life you want not what someone else wants.
Axle.’ My father handed me the note he scribbled on a paper towel.

I didn’t leave my room for a week and I couldn’t bring myself to go to the funeral. I later learned that Axle was high on cocaine and needed gas for his car and started to siphon some out of his neighbors which led to him going to his room to take some pills. If I had called in, if I had talked to him, if I had only told him that I love him and miss him too he might still be here today. We may not be together and I would have been ok with that. At least he would still be here. Later, Axle’s older brother came in the burger place I worked and asked if he could talk to me in private. ‘Here is the note Axle wrote for you.’ My mouth went dry, ‘I can’t take that. It’ll make everything real.’ Looking back that was a selfish move on my part. He lives his ‘real’ every day.’ He gave me a hug and told me he understood.

I learned to listen when people are asking for help without asking. I learned that time doesn’t heal, it just makes the pain easier to deal with. I learned to accept that I failed my first love. I learned that a goodbye can be permanent.

Pampering Pimento

Worst Monday EVER. Ok,  maybe not but it’s a clear second.  I haven’t had a chance to breathe until now. After being out sick my catch up like of necessary artwork was ridiculous! Came home and wrote my short story,  my daily doodle, and that was after all the running around right after work.

I left work on a mission.  I had to get a work permit for my daughter,  then her ID at the DMV so she could get her back account. Work permit was a piece of cake. The DMV was a nightmare! 45 minutes later we made to the bank right before it closed.  Got home and wrote while boiling taters.  I felt so stressed.  So I made my dad’s favorite comfort snack, pimento cheese.  Everything melted away. One bite and I was back at the kitchen table telling my dad what a bad day I had and he listened while loading crackers.

I found a recipe and made a few tweaks adding onion powder, parsley and a dash of Tabasco. I also used a yellow extra sharp and a yellow regular cheese.  Give it a try.  What is your go to pamper snack?

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