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

50 Words Story: Loop

Another horrible day at work (not even lunch yet) and I decided to say screw it and do a little writing. I read a bunch of awesome 50-word stories this morning and decided that I would give it a go myself. I edited this so many times that I had to force myself to stop.


‘Forbidden love is easily judged,’ he told her when she pulled out of his embrace. ‘You’re bound by God and country; I’m a daughter of the Earth.’ Those words played on a loop in his head as he placed the loop around her neck. ‘Charged with heresy’ the king announced.

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.

 

Transitioning Wings

I haven’t done a 99-word story prompt for Carrot Ranch in what seems like months. It was a great distraction for me. I always looked at bats differently. Ever since I was a little girl my father would tell me folklore about these little creatures then showed me that throwing something in the air when they were out hunting would entice them to swoop down. He would cut up fruit and get earth rooms for me to toss.


Every night the winged beast hung from the trim outside my window. One night he flew into my room instead. I screamed, ‘DADDY!’ and topped that off ear-piercing whaling. My dad comes storming into the room and finds me crying under the blankets.
‘Honey, what’s wrong?’
‘Dad, the bat flew into my room. He’s going to give me rabies!’
‘Shh, no baby. They are actually a symbol of transition and rebirth. It doesn’t mean death or demon nights. Wait, something will change for the better in your life.’ Two weeks later I received my scholarship to the art academy.

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.

 

 

Fast Moving Puddle

Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past. Though the term is commonly used as a synonym for the historical novel, it can also be applied to other types of narrative, including theatre, opera, cinema, and television, as well as video games and graphic novels. I chose the Prehistory time period, more specifically Pleistocene (Homo sapiens) I know, that’s a lot of references linked but I don’t know squat about this era but I chose it because it allows me to use my imagination. I get to build a world that I’ve never seen and experiencing something for the first time. I’ll try to keep it short but a lot of research was put into this short story.


I’m not much more advanced than my ancestors but a lot is happening in the world around me. The advances from the past to now are amazing and can be seen through the drawings on our homes. I do have to admit that I love to draw but my father has told me, ‘Only draw because of important things that we want to pass on to our newer family as we older family dies.’ I always scoffed at this knowing that I’ll more than likely die by the tusks of a mammoth.

One thing that I couldn’t get enough of other than drawing is the balls of fire in the sky. Sometimes the flew other times they twinkled but one thing I could tell right away is that some formed figures if you connected the balls of fire. My days were always filled with excitement. I got to pick out what I wanted to wear, hunt or gather, cook, and explore. I didn’t even mind the snow and ice.

My father and I were hungry and began our hunt. I noticed something odd on this trip, there were fewer animals for us to hunt. Were there enough of us on this land to eat all the big animals? ‘Father, where’s the food?’ I asked, kind of worried. ‘Looks like we are going to have to gather more than hunt today,’ he replied. I REALLY wanted meat. I do however like the small, black bumpy sweet balls that are now showing up by puddles.

Walking along I heard a sound never heard before. Both dad and I had our sharp tools ready for whatever was going to try and eat us. As we moved closer to the sound, the louder it got. ‘STOP!’ I screamed at my dad. He almost fell in a fast moving puddle that looked really deep. ‘What is this?’ He asked. All I could do was shrug my shoulders at him. I threw a berry in the puddle when something large jumped up and back in. We both decided that berried were good and headed home.

That night as the family group sat together and ate we talked about what dad and I found. We had more questions than experiences. The smaller puddles disappeared after a few days but this didn’t look like it was going to go away any time soon. We discussed dangers and wondered if there was meat to hunt in what we found. How would we hunt in that? After the balls of fire came out we decided that was enough talk and got to bed. ‘Before you go to bed offspring, draw on the wall what we found, the animal that we have seen, and us two standing by it. One thing that we did decide was that we would call it a river.

Winged Memory

They sang on the porch, but only for my father. He found them after a summer night’s thunderstorm. One of the few memories I have of him was when he was more of a father to them than me. Or so I thought.

As the Ravens grew stronger they would take their wings out for a test drive. ‘You see my love when they are strong they will leave and not return. It’s easy to let a creature go. You, I truly love and I’m afraid one day your wings will take you away and I can’t let go.’


I’m participating in another writing prompt for Carrot Ranch.  I stumbled across them when searching for sites to submit writing. I’m in love with what they are doing for writers at every level (even beginners like me). The doodle I did isn’t going to count towards my random word daily doodle.

A few fun facts:

  • My father did save a pair of Ravens
  • I have 2 Raven tattoos
  • My spirit animal is a Raven

 

6 Word Story: 3/2

I read this prompt word and immediately started singing Someday Never Comes by Creedence Clearwater Revival affectionately known as CCR. I grew up with these songs and groups from days gone by. Memories of dancing with my dad when I was a little girl or learning to play spades or poker make me smile. Where I grew up in Texas playing cards on Saturday nights were almost mandatory so I can hold my own pretty good.


Prompt Word: Someday

 

“Open when ready,” warned her letter.

 

 

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