Twittering Tales: June’s Integrity

I am absolutely beginning to LOVE these Twittering Tales hosted by Kat. I needed something to get my mind off my job interview today (that I know I won’t get but still what they hey). This week was a little more challenging because we finish the story after 23 characters were provided leaving us to work within 257 characters (including spaces and punctuation). The wheels were turning and like a wall, WHAM! I was hit with an idea. Tons of editing later, I even surprised myself. Happy Tuesday Y’all!


It starts with one word, integrity. It’s the truth between the moment of awareness and a final decision.
June saw hate begin to rumble towards the crone once trusted with healing, ‘MURDERER!’ The child had died from fever, nothing more. June stood shielding the crone, ‘COWARDS!’

279 Characters
© Jo-Creative PTSD Gal

Future’s Past

I know I know…I’m SUPER behind. I had such bad writer’s block today and then this happened. I tried keeping it short and may revisit for edits but here is my Friday story. Now for my 365 Day project.


Another girls night out and it was Polly’s turn to choose the activity. She was tired of the club scene and getting hit on by random guys. She didn’t care for going to the movie and show events because either the food was bad or the show. Polly didn’t have an artistic bone in her body so she loathed the drink and paint events that her friends would drag her too. Polly realized that most of the activities they do on lady’s night out involved alcohol. She and her friends were all moms and craved an adventure but she felt that they settled for mainstream hum drum ‘mom’ activities. Not tonight.

Polly was the black sheep of the friend group but she’s been that since they were all in high school. She was the quiet nerd copywriting for the school newspaper and her friends were cheerleaders or popular. She was even the last one to have a child. Her fiance got cold feet and left her before they could even stand at the altar. Her friends were supportive but she knew they judged her and her parenting which is why she only really hung out with them on their lady’s night. She wasn’t reclusive but she didn’t seek out socializing. Now that her daughter was a teen it was easier for her to see her friends a few times a month without worrying about a babysitter.

Her night to choose and tonight it wasn’t going to be her go-to usual midnight matinee at the local theater. She planned out a psychic reading for all of her friends and a ‘blackout dining’ experience. She has always wanted to do both of her choices but never spoke up but tonight something was different. She felt braver. The other 5 women showed up ready to go and she knew that as long as there was booze involved somewhere they would be game for whatever she suggested. The girls walked in after a brief tap on the door and a ‘yoohoo’ yodled inside. Polly greeted them and quickly told them, ‘Ladies, I have a unique night planned for us. First, we will be getting a psychic reading and I’ve reserved 2 hours for all of us to be read then we will be having a blackout dining experience.’ The other’s quietly stared at her and then the chatter of acceptance and hopeful what-ifs filled the space.

The girls arrived at Madame Quinn’s parlor promptly on time even though the carpool of women got lost twice. One by one the women went behind the black velvet curtain to have a future told to them while the others peruse Madame Quinn’s shelves of knick-knacks and herbs gossiping about whether or not Quinn was a fake and the fortunes were true. Polly was the last to disappear behind the curtain to an unknown future. ‘Sit down dear.’ Quinn motioned for Polly to sit across from her. ‘I don’t know what to do,’ Polly stammered. ‘Just relax and place your hands palm up on the scarf.’ Polly slowly put her hands on the scarf as instructed and Quinn gently cradled her hands around Polly’s. ‘You’re not like your friends. You appreciate the soul of things and live in moments. You shouldn’t worry about your daughter so much. Her future is everything a mom can ask for her daughter.’ Polly relaxed. ‘You have many pasts and this conflicts with your future. Your several futures.’ Quinn said slowly and squinted her eyes at her hands then met Polly’s eyes. ‘What does that mean?’ Polly asked. Quinn continued,’ You have a love from your past that you keep missing in each life. You continue to miss him in the future.’ Polly slid her hands out of Quinn’s and slumped back crossing her arms, ‘I had a man that I loved and he left. The love of my life is my daughter.’ ‘Child, the man that left is not the same from your past. He doesn’t know he’s looking for you. But you need to see. You need to be aware of your body. It will tell you if you listen. If and when you find each other futures change from lifetime to lifetime.’ Quinn said gripping Polly’s wrist, ‘Just listen.’ Polly stood and thanked Madame Quinn, paid for the services and tipped. All the girls loaded up in the van and headed to dinner. Polly could see Quinn standing outside with a hand cupped to her ear.

The women arrived at the restaurant where they were blindfolded and given instructions that they will be aided by the staff that has night vision goggles and guide your hands to plates and glasses. The women stumbled as they were lead to their table and no matter how hard Polly tried her there wasn’t any light for her eyes to make adjustments too. Everyone except Polly ordered a spirited drink whereas she opted for water. The meal was already preplanned so there were no menus just the drink order that needed to be placed. The women talked about Madame Quinn and what their futures held for them and when Polly was asked she replied, ‘I need to listen to my body.’ Giggles then the conversation was interrupted by the waiter, ‘I will be coming around on your left and placing a plate in front of you. Once the plates are placed I will guide your hands to the plate and the silverware is on your right.’ Polly’s hearing was overcompensating for the loss of sight. She could hear the plates being set on the table and her’s was last. She could hear hands being guided by the waiter with the sound of fabric scrapping against the table cloth.

Polly could feel the waiter on her left and her body temperature dropped. Her hair raised on her arms and she could feel a magnetic pull on her chin and look up in the darkness and she swore she saw the outline of a man. Polly whispered, ‘Thank you,’ as he guided her hand to her plate. The touch sent an electric pulse to her heart and instead of skipping a beat she felt a pang of sorrow. She could hear him walk away and wondered if he felt what she did. The women ate and chatted but now Polly was distracted and offered the occasional, ‘yup’ and ‘really’ in the conversation when warranted. The meal ended and the waiter guided the women to the hostess area where Polly could feel the pang in her heart as the waiter bid them goodnight. She was quiet on the way home and snapped out of her quiet mood when the vehicle pulled up in front of her house. They said their goodbyes and squealed about how they haven’t had this much fun in a long time. Polly quietly entered her house, kissed her daughter’s sleeping forehead, and went to bed.

Polly tossed and turned all night with dreams of a faceless man and woke up late. She decided to go to the coffee shop by her house. Waiting in line she could feel the pull and pang. Her mouth went dry and she could hear a familiar shuffle even over the noise of the coffee shop. She turned and looked directly in the eyes of a man behind her. She noticed his breath quickened and he swallowed hard. ‘Do I know you?’ Polly asked. ‘You looked at me the same way last night. I was…’ Polly interrupted, ‘Our waiter.’ He nodded, ‘I’m Zack.’ ‘Im Polly.’ Coffee orders were placed and they sat talking like they had known each other for years. Morning turned into afternoon and they were talking into the evening, ‘I need to get home,’ Polly said sadly. Zack gave her his number and they made plans to make plans. Polly watched Zack walk away and it felt like she was losing something important.

For weeks the pair talked and grew closer together. A couple of years passed when Zack asked Polly to be his wife. Her friends were bridesmaids and her daughter the matron of honor. She could feel something crushing her from the inside and thought it to be wedding nerves. ‘It’s past time to say our vows,’ Polly told her daughter and feared that she was being left again. ‘Polly, I need you to come with me.’ The priest motioned for her to follow. The walked down a long hallway that was behind the main room where she was met by two officers. She already knew the bad news and zoned out the man telling her about the wreck. She sat on the floor surrounded by white fabric but all she could feel was emptiness. After the church was cleared and she changed out of the dress she wandered around the city where she found herself in front of Madame Quinn’s parlor. Quinn was waiting outside for Polly and wrapped her in a warm embrace. Polly began to cry and yell, ‘WHY!? I found him! I listened just like you said! What the fuck Quinn?! What did I do wrong!’ Quinn took Polly’s hand, ‘My dear child, I told you many futures. This future wasn’t the one that was meant to be. Your soul now recognizes his. It will be easier next lifetime. Go home, raise your daughter, grow old, you’ll marry a man that will keep you company and you will be surrounded by your children and grandchildren. Your soul will now remember what to do and who to recognize. A future’s past only foresees a soul’s constant.

Soup Pot

I was super inspired by the book that my husband and I have been searching for the past 2 weeks. My grandmother’s ‘reference’ cookbook. I have a great idea but will post about that later. Here is my short story Soup Pot (word count 229).

“2 cups water, check,” Amy called out ingredients as she poured them into her grandmother’s pot. What better way to feel her grandmother around her by cooking her soup recipe in her soup pot? She swore her grandmother’s soup had healing powers.

After hours of gently simmering it was time to serve. She ladled spoonfuls into a soup bowl and sat with a box of crackers. Instead of her first bite taking her back to the days they spent in the kitchen it was just soup. It tasted fine and was very satisfying but not what she had expected. Amy read the recipe again and every ingredient was in that pot. She stared at the soup, stared at the empty kitchen, and stared at the recipe.

All Amy could do was gently blow on her soup and cry. Unknowingly a tear fell into her bowl and with her next bite a warm began in the pit of her stomach and worked its way to her limbs. The kitchen took the nostalgic warm hue and she heard it. Amy heard the voice of her grandmother.
‘A recipe, cricket, are just words on a paper of food thrown in a pot. It’s the love you stir them with that makes the dish so good. Cook with love. That’s the one ingredient you can’t put into words or buy of a shelf.’

Serial Date

Trying something new and tried keeping the story short. I don’t think I was too successful but glad I gave it a go.


Liz nervously fidgeted at the table. When she answered the ad she made a promise to herself the blind date would happen in a public place. Startled, she nearly knocked over her water when a handsome blonde haired man said hello from across the table. Liz stood, “Hello, Graham?” she shakily said reaching out to shake his hand. Graham was more handsome than she imagined and the two sat talking and what she thought had some sort of chemistry. She hadn’t felt a connection with anyone since her husband passed in a horrific head-on car crash with a drunk driver several years back. Liz felt so comfortable around Graham almost as if she had known him for years.

The evening was going better than she had imagined when a gentleman at the bar caught her eye. He was staring at her so intently it caused Liz to shiver. She didn’t want to do anything to spoil her date and shifted in her chair away from the man at the bar. Graham was in the middle of a story about his sister and a spider when the waitress interrupted with a glass of lemonade and a napkin ready to set underneath and said, ‘Excuse me, sir, do you own a black sedan?’ Graham nodded. ‘Your lights are on.’ Graham excused himself to go and turn the lights off. ‘Miss, there is a note on the inside of the napkin just open it. Please read it before he gets back.’ The waitress almost seemed to be pleading.

‘Dear Liz,
 YOU ARE IN DANGER! My name is Graham and I am the gentleman that was supposed to meet you here tonight. I was sitting at the bar watching you. I was so mesmerized and thought that I wasn’t good enough for you so I essentially stood you up. That’s when I noticed that a gentleman introduced himself and you two seem to be hitting it off well. Behind the bar, the TV is on the news station and they just aired the report about the serial killer that has been murdered thirteen other women that have the same characteristics as you. Between the bartender and me, we have him distracted for you to read this and the cops are on their way. When he gets back, do the best you can to kill time (no pun intended) and try not to give anything away.
Graham’

Liz didn’t have time to process exactly everything that was happening and as soon as the imposter sat down in front of her she could tell he knew something was up. ‘Is everything ok Liz?’ the man asked. She nodded tried making small talk nervously watching the door waiting for her rescue. Graham stood, ‘This evening has been going so well, I don’t want to jinx anything. Would you like to go on a second date?’ Liz nodded and before she could answer he told he would be in contact and walked out the door. She stood and the real Graham was by her side offering comfort. ‘Hi, I’m Graham. You look lovely tonight.’ Liz smiled then jumped into his arms when the gunshots started. Graham tucked her into his embrace while backing up. The cops questioned her after the scene was cleared. Liz learned that he was, in fact, the serial killer and she was going to be his next victim. She only had one question. How did he know her date’s name? Wait. He never said his name was Graham.

Prompt: August The Doll Maker

Back to my goals of writing and plan on catching up on my classes here soon. This means I have to push myself instead of curling up in my recliner brooding over bullshit that I can’t handle. Yes, this isn’t my best work but it’s something. I took August’s prompt words and created a short story.


August the Doll Maker
lawyer justifies beliefs

‘The headline read: Lawyer Justifies Beliefs.’ It was difficult not to follow the doll maker’s story. Growing up we were told not to go in the north woods where a society of witch crafting people dwelled. It was rumored that the witches that lived in the woods would steal children and keep them stored in their cellars like we would keep pickled vegetable and jam for the winter months. I turned the page to read about the wide-eyed doll that was the key evidence in the crime.

The doll creator, August, being charged with murder was a feeble man that everyone in our town felt sorry for and purchased his creations as often as possible. They weren’t your run of the mill homemade crocheted dolls or something that you see everyone on a Pinterest DIY mom board try to recreate. No. For a man living in the woods created beautiful, delicate, yet resilient dolls that stood the test of time. I actually have one of his sitting on my mantle that was my mother’s. I cringed looking at the doll and back down at the paper.

The doll maker’s picture in the paper made him look more domineering than weak and I found an absence of sorrow for him. ‘The bodies of 3 missing kids and cow were found during the search of the property.’ I felt betrayed more than anything as I’m sure the entire town was feeling, reading the same paper. We trusted this man believing he was trying to launch a business so he and his family wouldn’t go hungry, but that wasn’t the case. He didn’t have a family to feed he had crimes to cover. ‘The surviving victim stated that he was supposed to be part of the next line of products. Lamps were something that his kidnapper would work on almost every night by the light of his own old coal oil lamp. August wanted to bring back the antique light sources.’

The paper continued ‘August struggled with creating a voice box that mooed for his farm animal line of dolls and was some of his most recent unsuccessful creations.’ I remember those mooing dolls. They were hideous cow shaped monstrosities that he was very pushy about selling. The sound after pulling the cord on the animal’s back wasn’t a moo but more of a cow being slaughtered. I nervously laughed that day, struggling with politely refusing the purchase. I crossed the street that day and turned to see a child clinging to his mother as the doll maker realized that he was losing another sale. The image of the survivor that was pictured in the paper was the same child that clung to his mother that day. The child looked as if he aged overnight full of wisdom and advice.  I guess a traumatic experience would do that to any person.

I finished my cereal while reading the article. ‘The doll maker believed that sacrifices had to be made to live in today’s society stated his lawyer. While the lawyer curved this reporter’s questions of black magic and the death of children he did state that his client was mentally unstable to stand trial and his medical team will ensure that his client will get all the medical treatment necessary and are diligent in his care. He is asking for the death penalty to be removed as part sentencing and a life without parole be considered instead. The lawyer also stated that his beliefs are justified as many people pray for survival in this world. He shouldn’t be persecuted for his religion and solely on his crimes that don’t warrant death as he was delusional about how to worship. The doll that was gathered for evidence was created from his previous victims discovered through forensic testing and the police are asking that anyone with a doll created by the defendant to bring it to the police station.’ I clapped my hands together afraid to touch the poor soul sitting on my shelf and instead ran and dialed the local PD to remove the doll.

Flaws (advanced)-Section 3: Lecture 11

This was a difficult writing exercise. Following the lecture was a snap and completely understood the end goal. I don’t know if I’m overthinking the material and prompt or is it writer’s block? I know it doesn’t help that I have a toothache (dental appointment and tooth extraction scheduled for tomorrow). For this 10-minute writing prompt exercise, I had to pick a number 1-10 for the character and then again for the random flaw. The name of the exercise is. ‘What needs fixing?’ Find a character with some sort of unexpected flaw and give it a try. This exercise helped me realize that this can help add dimension to my characters.


A pirate (character) that hates conflict (flaw):

The last looting adventure was a complete blunder. The owners of the ship were so strong and intimidating. I know my crew thinks that I can’t run this ship and are already planning to take my vessel from me. It’ll probably be better if I just give it to them because they’re right. What kind of pirate am I to back down from a tea merchant? He was just a little man but he had a brute personality and I know he meant that he wasn’t going to give his tea to just anyone. It was better for all involved to go separate ways. Maybe the next raiding voyage we do should be at night when everyone is sleeping. We can sneak on the targeted boat, grab what we want, and quietly leave.

6 Word Story: 7/13

I don’t really mind it being Friday the 13th but there are people I will have to work with that will hold tight to their superstitions. Going to try and do something different with today’s prompt with it being on the 13th. I just learned…it’s difficult to make a mystery out of 6 words.


Prompt Word: Locket

 

 

Fenton Friday: Week Two Collaboration Project

Yes, Fenton Friday is here. I have been ridiculously busy here at work that I haven’t had much time for breaks to collect thoughts. I would like to thank a few bloggers for great suggestions:
Kristian
Stuart
The Ministry of Shrawley Walks
The Dark Netizen

What we started with:

Fenton buys this old desk that was on sale at a shop that is going out of business. He’s been using the desk for a few months when he discovers a hidden compartment. In the drawer is a document written in an unknown language. He takes it to a professor/friend/ researcher which has only seen a few symbols here and there but can’t confirm origin.  Fenton (and other characters that will be created along the way) form an odd group. While they are all working together they discover that the unknown language holds clues to a local unsolved mystery that hasn’t been touched in decades involving the disappearance of a secret society that founded his small town (read more about what we are trying to accomplish with hopefully a bright future for Fenton).

To recap what we have so far:

As for Fenton. I see his as a young man in his late teens or very early twenties, 18-21. He is bookish and rather retiring. Shy but he comes out of his shell when people start talking about books or history. He is studying for something, degree or diploma and works part-time for a bit of extra money. He goes to museums a lot. Thank you again, Kristian, for giving Fenton an age and personality. I think it will serve him well and add a great deal to his adventure and to the creation of new characters (psst, welcome aboard). And he is uncovering something of a secret drawer society brilliantly introduced by Stu (glad you’ll be joining us). There is a lot of detail and I could be sensing a little suspense possible murder mystery? Did the secret drawer society be the founding fathers of the town? Let’s see what we can come up with. I think we can also work in the idea that Shrawley Walks (the video clip had me laughing and people were looking as if I gone off my rocker, oh, and thanks for coming along) brought to the discussion of the French manor house flooring being replaced. What if the house he’s staying in is part of the society? Or did he by the desk from the estate sale of the society’s house? And with a nudge from the Dark Netizen all contributions are going to have a word count of 500 or less. If more is needed just let us know. Enough to give us your thoughts and ideas.

As for the reference to us, I am still in need of some volunteers that can help on a regular basis (just shoot me a message):

    • Researcher (someone to help me make sure the facts and other things are on point)
    • Copy Editor (yeah I’m not the best as you can tell from my posts)
    • Another Writer – or Two (quick honesty-there will be times that my CPTSD will kick me in the butt! Or even better-getting overwhelmed with all the contributions so help will be needed)

First Episode Goals:

  • Introduction of Fenton’s character
  • Place
  • Time (present/past?)
  • A little backstory
  • Publish date: July 1st

And as always you can comment here or send a message. Everyone is invited to help Fenton grow and tell his story. I know we can do this because we have an awesome blogging community. Happy Friday!

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