Trained Love

I needed a break, however brief, from the toxicity of work and decided to try my hand at this week’s twittering tale. This is not my usual fantasy, horror-ish theme. How about something that a young woman might have felt from a historical period? Kind of new to me but here it is.


Clara sat nervously next to strangers as her stomach turned. The echos of passing tracks below hinted her new life was soon docking.
‘Will he be good to me? Will there be love? It’s survival.’ Clara pondered.
The picture-bride was pulled closer to the station where Eli was waiting.

© Jo- Creative PTSD Gal
Character Count: 280
Word Count: 49

Mom’s Words

One positive thing about my toxic work environment is downtime. I even got to play with this week’s twittering tales hosted by Kat. Y’all I think this is helping me find my own style and voice in writing not to mention honing my editing skills. I’m digging these short story prompts.


‘You lay down with dogs, you’ll wake with fleas,’ Sam’s mom warned. A friendship, once innocent quickly had a bad influence on Sam.
Now, just released on bail he crawled into bed.
‘OW!’ Sam pulled back the covers to find his bed swarming with fleas.
‘MOM!’ he yelled.
‘I told you!’

Character Count: 279
© Jo Creative PTSD Gal

Cursed Melody

Y’all, I’ve been working on this since Fandango first posted the photo prompt for the weekly flash fiction. I suck at writing but no one gets good at something unless they are practice. This screamed fairytale and I’ve been working on this since Monday. I stopped when I was over 1000 words and went back to do some major chopping. I like the questions that I’ve left unanswered. Now to figure out a twittering tale and get ready for tomorrows short story. Happy Thursday Y’all!


Once upon a time, there was a beautiful young woman. It wasn’t her young skin, long silky hair or feminine physique that had men fighting for her affection. It was her light, quick flautist abilities that held their affections. Her small nimble fingers gently kissing the keys of her flute giving it a song that went straight to the heavens.

Brenna’s only secret was a curse given to her as she grew in the womb robbing her of her voice. No one knew the awful truth because her songs entranced all who visited. The deer would even come and pay their condolences of her fate. The curse that dwelt within her has the darkest of melody and it leaks out in deep notes throughout her music. The only way for this curse to be lifted is for someone to hear those hidden notes and play them in Brenna’s presence as an accompaniment to her song.

Day after day, Brenna sang through her flute. During the times of a silent Brenna and flute, she was surrounded by people waiting for her tunes. One spring morning she noticed a young woman following one of her deer back into the woods but couldn’t get her attention and shrugged it off. Over the next few weeks, the same young woman listened to Brenna, say hello, and then follow the same dark-colored deer into the thicket. It was a dark stormy day and Brenna felt more sorrow than she had in a long time. The rain was loud enough so only she could hear the melody. It seemed like every hidden dark note danced in the drops that fell on her Brenna’s dress.

Brenna’s head bowed she played with such feeling the deer started to gather around her. Among her antlered friends, the young woman sat patiently waited with a flute in her hands. Brenna started another stanza when the girl began to play all the hidden dark notes from Brenna’s curse. The sky opened to let sunlight shine on the two girls playing a beautiful accompaniment of sorrow and cheer. The dark deer rested in the young girl’s lap and when they were done silence fell around them. Brenna asked, ‘What’s your name?’ but the young girl didn’t answer only patted her throat and handed her a piece of paper:

‘My dear sister,

It is my turn to bear the burden of the curse our father brought upon us girls. Take my voice and sing to my tune. Help find a way to break this spell.’

Stunned, Brenna looked up, ‘Sisters?’

Word Count: 427
© Jo Creative PTSD Gal

Friday Fictioneers: Painful Panes

I HAD to write this quick short story…it’s Friday after all. I promise I’m going to lay down after this. I know there is more back story here but I haven’t quite figured it out. I think this is a great starting point though. Don’t you?


‘I’ve only seen these panes from the inside. What am I supposed to do now?’ Tess asked the nurse.
‘Well, you’re going to live and prove to others that you are just as normal and sane as everyone else,’ Tess’ nurse reminded her with a gentle hand on her shoulder.
Tess picked up her suitcase turning to give the mental asylum one last look. All she could remember was the pain she felt looking to the outside world through those very same panes of glass. No one was there to pick her up but everything she’d done was in self-defense.

100 Word Count
© Jo Creative PTSD Gal

Twittering Tales: XOXO

It was one of the most trying days that I have had in a long while yesterday when I had started writing this. I’m surprised it didn’t turn out darker or more moodier. I’m a little late but luckily the character counter that I used remembered (still had it in the counting box) so I didn’t have to start over. I’m glad I finished it.


This will be the first Valentines day without her husband. XOXO was always the first candy heart he’d give Ruth. She bought her own box two days prior but couldn’t open it.
Waking up on the 14th Ruth decided to eat her candy. On top of the unopened box, a candy heart sat, XOXO.

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.

Have you seen a lassie?

I thought I would be able to get my Havamal study and writing done this morning but the snow came in (not as much as was predicted) and that warranted some attention so I could get to work. I have been working on this little short story since I was nominated by Matthew over at Normal Happenings for his prompt the Monster In The Dell. I got to choose a nursery rhyme and try to turn it into a nightmare of sorts. I have to admit I was stumped at first then really wanted to do more like this. Oh, also, beware the content is for mature audiences which are also not of my norm. I’m just stepping out all over the place today.


Did you ever see a lassie, a lassie, a lassie? A once upon a time innocent nursery rhyme is now forever associated with one of the most horrific crimes in our town’s history and sung as a warning reminder by the remaining innocent children. For those not familiar with the game that goes with the rhyme; children would form a circle with a single child in the middle and when the song was over the child would perform an action and the circling children would imitate. Then the process would repeat. The circle and game changed in 1962.

Best was a small Texas town that had the picturesque quiet living community where families lived the American dream. Houses full of families, a butcher that knew you by name, a paperboy with true aim, block parties full of games, gossip, and food, and the quiet neighbor that all the children adored. The quiet man, Gregg, always kept snacks and juice for the kids as they played on the playground equipment behind his house. It wasn’t until after the investigation and trial that Best learned the fate of their children and of their neighbor’s true nature.

The radio crackled, ‘In breaking news, Best citizens are still searching for seven of their children that have been missing for seven days. They were last seen playing in the community park. If anyone has any information please contact the local police department.’ Monster Mash started to playing with October 31st being the seventh day into the search for the missing children. ‘Have you ever seen a lassie, a lassie, a lassie could be heard over monster mash. I could see my Susy playing with four other children in the park from my window. It was getting time to get her in her costume so I headed that direction when I noticed Emma, Susy’s friend in the middle of the children flopping around on the ground. The kids do the weirdest actions for the other kids to follow in this game. Walking towards the children I could see blood pooling around Emma’s tiny body. The other kids seemed to have been in a trance of some sort and a record player was nearby playing the nursery rhyme.

The closer I got the stronger I could smell copper. Emma’s tiny body was being mutilated by a man in a mask. Not a Halloween mask but one that was made from an animal hide of some sort. What happened next was all a blur. I remember screaming then trying to push the kids away from the center of the circle. They just fell over staring in off not fixing on anything. Some were making gurgling sounds some were in a catatonic state. I picked up the radio and blocked the knife-wielding masked man and then everything went black.

‘A young mother discovered the gruesome scene of a murder in progress possibly saving the lives of other unnamed children. Gregory Church has pleaded guilty to a total of thirteen murders.’ I sat there cradling my child realizing how close I was to losing her. Greg was actually the leader of a cult that believed in sacrificing innocent children to please his God. The investigation proved that he had several followers in our small town of Best and that he and they were responsible for the other seven missing children. The nursery rhyme he played helped him drug the children. He would give them all cups of poison and they would follow his lead as he drank from an empty cup. A neighbor heard my scream that day and tackled Greg to the ground before killing me. This allowed other people in the community to come and help the children and notify the authorities. Gregg got greedy on Halloween night and he was caught. If he had waited who knows what other town and what other nursery rhyme he would have destroyed.

As the town got older the incident turned into a memory that spawned several different versions. But the one thing that remains true throughout each version is the nursery rhyme. Kids sing it as a way to warn and remind others of what happened and that one of the members weren’t caught in 1962.

© Jo Create PTSD Gal

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.’

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