Poem Post: When I Came Back Home

Hello, just a quick personal post. I came across this poem and fixed it up a bit. Hope you enjoy it. It’s actually a part of a set, but I didn’t clean up the other ones yet.

When I Came Back Home

I have traveled far from this dirty city,
That is filled with alley rats and black spray paint markings.
The air is filled with dinosaur decay, and sirens ringing.

I have traveled far from a Tin Can I called home.
Far from it, to return to a gun filled wasteland.
Where rails go nowhere, but still lay in the ground

Rails
Rails
Rails that bring in more than freight trains.

I have seen coyotes walk along its metal tracks.
Large cats and fat black mask bandits
That hang around as if waiting for cards.

These rails change this dark city.
They allow grass to grow within the cracks.
The comforting sound of the click clack
Lets us know the city’s still moving.

I have traveled far from this city
And lived in tin cans and back seats of cars.
I have seen large waves and swam in lakes.
I have saw the beauty in the color blue grey.

I have traveled far from this city,
And called another girl home.

I have traveled far from this city,
And used the rails to return
to the painted streets and freight trains.
Where coyotes roam.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Short post-Ever had a hard time finishing a book?

Have you ever had a hard time reading a book? Not because it was difficult or because you couldn’t get into to it, but because it was a mentally difficult read. I’m having that issue right now. I’m trying to get through The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. I’m not really sure why its getting to me since I’ve even written a 10 page essay on the trilogy.

I also think it’s a great read so far, and I know it’s going to have brutal parts. However, right now I’m at that point where I might have to put it down and start again some other time.

I’ve done this before, but mostly with Stephen King books. Like with Pet Cemetery, my nephew was born right after I started the book. When I got to the truck part I couldn’t continue, and waited about a year before I went back to it. IT was the same way, because well it’s IT.

So how about you? Ever had a hard time reading a book because of how emotional or scared it made you?

Do you read short stories…

Disclamer: My writing is my opinion, and I do my best to cite all of my resources. (Still working on the disclamers and copywrite)

I never really read short stories before my writing classes. If I did, they were usually in the horror genre. As I’ve been going through my writings I’ve found a little piece about Philip Roth’s “The Conversion of the Jews” and “A Pair of Silk Stockings” by Kate Chopin that made me think about short stories again. Honestly, I’ve been trying to catch up on my reading since I have some time off. However, I’ve had this post halfway done for awhile so I want to get it posted.

I’m going to leave a little something about Roth’s short story at the end if the post. If you’d like to read the short analysis you can scroll down a little. but first I want to talk a little about short stories in general.

A short story is:

  • A brief fictional prose narrative that is shorter than a novel and that usually deals with only a few characters. (Britannica)
  • Your usually going to read these in one sitting, since their word count ranges between 1,000 and 20,000 words long (Americanliterature.com)
  • Examples:
  • The two that started the post
    • The Conversion of the Jews by Philip Roth This is a pdf link, its the only one I could find. Its the same one I read for my course too.
    • A Pair of Silk Stockings by Kate Chopin this takes you to katechopin.org and a link to the story

Like I said at the begining of the post I never really read short stories and they’re still not my favorite. However, I found this link that has alot of interesting stories that I’m trying to get through.

Or if your like me and like to read shorter pieces you can check out my other post about flash fiction here

Now on to a little something about the “The Conversion of the Jews”. I am going to discuss this story as if you’ve read it.

If you don’t know this story, and still reading, is about a little boy who gets reprimanded for asking questions about his faith. In the end he forces his elders to apologize by saying God could impregnat a women. That’s where the title comes from. He gets his Jewish elders to say that Jesus was the messiah by threatening to jump off the roof of the school.

First, I went through a lot of emotions while reading this story, and my analysis for class was to examine what makes this story uniquely American. What makes it uniquely American is that faith is so openly questioned and yet not up for debate. I’m sure it’s an issue everywhere, but American culture seems to be more open about religious freedoms. On one hand, we have everything in American propaganda telling us that we have the freedom to believe in any religion we want. On the other hand, there is a picture of the perfect American family that follows older family values and follows the family’s religion. Roth’s story showed the struggle of questioning that status quo.

One of the points that the author was trying to make is that religion should be felt and believed in, and not something that is practiced through repetition. He shows the reader how people start to practice their religion without thinking. In turn this way of dealing with religion gets passed on to their children.

For instance, Oscar gets yelled at for reading a passage too slow, but he does this in order to understand what he’s reading. He thinks he needs to feel and understand his religion, and not simple read it. However, the Rabbi doesn’t want him to read to understand, but to read the passage fast. I see this as the Rabbi wanting him to go through the motions that he is supposed to do, and that it doesn’t matter if he truly believes in his faith. It is the illusion of faith that is important to him.

He further shows this my asking the kids if they have any questions. Though, since he reprimanded the boy for asking questions the Rabbi really doesn’t want them to question anything he says. The boy Oscar repeatedly get reprimanded until he finally runs to the roof of the Synagogue. Once up there he threatens to jump until they apologize to him.

After the story, I walked away thinking about how everyone had to be forced to listen to what Oscar had to say. He had to do something drastic in order for his mother and the Rabbi to listen to him. When learning about WWII the main question that always comes up is how. In the story, the reader sees Oscar’s mom, the custodian, and the firefighter going through the motions without thinking. I think the story wanted to show how we get so caught up in what we’re suppose to do, feel, and believe in that we forget why we care.

Thank you for reading

Linda

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

My Morning Drink – A Poem

Just a poem. I found it right now so I figured I’d post it. Hope you enjoy it.

My Morning Drink

Blurry hues and bright lights, like eyes looking back.
Will it be jukebox music or live tonight?
Passing on supposed fruity drinks – with absolutely no fruity taste.
My poison is dark with full flavor, thanks.

My nightly haunts that haunt me still
When the urge to run
comes creeping back.

Blurp blurp blurp blurp – fish bowls call us,
But the larger tower wins out.
A nice Larger while looking for chicks that I’ll never ask out, but I’m sure you will.
Maybe we should have gone into that bar; if we had been drunker.

Said conversations from days gone by
when the urge to run
Goes creeping by.

No more bars but empty bottles, cause why pay so much for only a buzz?
Whiskey in coffee, “You’re so happy today!”
While it takes three packs instead of one to fill my lungs;
When sleep and voices refuse to succumb.

Are the omens that are missed
When the urge to run
comes creeping up

Small head, small hands, small everything – that irritate me when the buzz leaves
So no more fog, no more headaches, or a sadistic Ferris wheel in my head.
I can’t help but feel my heart aching
As my smokes go walking pass me.
Stomp stomp stomp stomp – not only the sound in my head but on the floor
Colors on the walls and in our hair
As little jack-o-lanterns overflow with frothy laughter
When my hair falls out like streamers on the floor.

There’s no more time, and yet all the time in the world to think about
The urge to run
That is creeping up me

Little pastel teacups filling with water – where’s the ice tea?
As I wash cucumbers instead of limes.
My breaking point has definitely been broken
That even the creeping has left me
To the fate of the minion –
Drinking water – that is sometimes mimosas.

Just a blog rant

Like the title says this is only a rant. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post this, but then I figured this is what blogs are for too. So, I’ve started really working on this blog about two weeks ago, and two things are driving me nuts right now.

1. Social media. How in the world do you incorporate social media with a blog. I know this may seem like a dumb question, but its bugging me. I’m not sure how to make post that aren’t boring. My post work in WordPress, but I don’t think they do as well as say an Instagram post. I think I need to make different content for social media post that reference one of the blog post.

2. Copyright and disclaimers. Figuring this out is such as bad as the social media thing. I know it should be easy, but for some reason it’s not right now. I need a copyright statement, a disclaimer about everything being my opinion, and a disclaimer about the ads. I’m hoping to figure it out so a footer is only 2 or 3 sentences long with a page about it all.

3. I know the information is out there, and I just need to find the right way to look it up. Right now all I’m finding is sign up and I’ll teach you how to do this. I’ve taken enough classes to know this stuff. I think I need to take a step back and make some more coffee.

Well, this stuff and adding some new content is the goal for this week. Along with organizing this hot mess of a house. My three year old just had a huge burst of energy and took everything out. I guess I needed to vacuum anyway.

Non-Fiction Essay – The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t

Hello,

If you’ve been following me, yay! I’m done with my classes for this term. Fortunately and unfortunately I’ll be free all February. Anyway, I’m still figuring what content I want to add here, so just to keep the posts going here’s another piece I did awhile back. Hope you enjoy.

The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t

Some days are great, while others turn into a puddle of spoiled plans and annoyances. Years ago on a strange Halloween, my favorite time of the year, I almost regretted even leaving the house. Looking back now at my bittersweet memory I recognize how even more frustrating the day must have been for my friend. Realizing that what was an annoying time for me was a bad day for her and that I should have seen my class half full from the beginning. 

For some reason, the last day of October was a warm eighty degrees. Leaving me unhappy and warm under my makeup and fake blood. A recluse by nature, I was happy to stay in front of my porch all afternoon. Passing out candy to the little kids, and some big ones, coming and going in their monster costumes. This is what I was doing when I heard the phone ringing from the open window. Passing through little tornadoes of leaves I returned inside to answer the phone. 

My normally homebody friend had decided that she would not be a hermit and wanted to attend a Halloween party. After about fifteen minutes of me explaining how I was happy where I was, she told me she was on her way to pick me up. About twenty minutes later a happy and energetic witch pulled up in front of my porch, where I left the bowl of candy for the kids to grab or let’s be honest for one kid to grab.

Always a yapper, she started talking as soon as I reached the car door. “Are you a dead person? Oh, a zombie. Don’t worry about the dirt, as you can see the car is a mess.”

Hopping into the car I jumped from both her creepy ring tone and the distant sound of thunder, the sun disappearing as I closed the car door.

“You okay? Ya, it’s supposed to rain. I want to get a new Oracle deck, some crystal’s, I need another angel stone, a new candle, and like 10 incense boxes.”

“Is that it?” I said laughing as it started to rain. The party was at her favorite metaphysical shop.

“I don’t know, maybe. I would get a reading, but it might be too crowded by the time we get there. That was my mom, she wants milk.”

“You just left,” I said, my heartbeat getting faster. Joy had a bad habit of letting her family dictate what she did. “You told your family you’re going to be out, right? You didn’t drag me out for nothing.”

Bopping to the radio she rolled her eyes at me, “No. Ya, it’s Halloween. We’re good. She just needs milk.”

Going to the store and back only took us twenty minutes, and it took her another ten to get out of her mother’s house. Looking up from the radio I was changing, I saw her bouncing form returning to the car. 

“Um…Do you have a stowaway?” I asked when I saw her little sister behind her.

“She needs a ride home. It’s on the way, so…” she said shrugging with a glitter of joy in her eyes.

My eyes must have been saying something different because when she got into the car she laughed and rolled her eyes at me again. It’s not that I didn’t mind helping her sisters out, but I understood how much pull her family had on her. While I don’t mind riding around with her on errands, today wasn’t one of those days when I could be enjoying the day on my own.

“You know, if plans change don’t wait to tell me. I’m cool with even taking the bus back alright?”

“We still have hours before the party’s over. Stop being a downer” 

“Alright, okay, I’m just saying. Cause her place is in the opposite direction…”

Her laughter cut me off, “We have all night, chill.”

Her heightened spirit soothed me, and I let it go. Though, as I saw snowflakes start to fall, I felt more uncertain about that All Hallows’ Eve night.

We made another pit stop at the store for her sister and thirty minutes later were dropping her off. Heading back to our original destination I felt proud and happy. I was proud of my friend for finding time to help her family while still heading out to enjoy herself for a change. While I was happy that I made time to go out with my friend instead of finding an excuse to stay home. Looking for parking we finish up our trash talk about one another, our way to discuss our anxieties, when her creepy ring tone goes off.    

“Don’t answer it.” I tell her.

Against my better judgment, she goes in her purse and rummaged around for her phone. After stopping in to say hi and bye with the promise of returning we’re back in the car to pick up her other sister. 

“It’s okay if we don’t make it back in time, we’ll just go out to eat. Is that okay?” She asked sounding a little bummed but still bouncing to the radio.

Smiling I shrugged off the change of plans and agreed. Any stragglers from the party would end up at the wing place across the way, so as far as I was concerned it would be the same as going to the party any. If not, then we could always go to the 24-hour Huck Finn like always. Back in good spirits, we continue our good-natured arguments on the way to her sister’s job. Picking her up and dropping her off took another hour and indeed we were too late for the party. Not caring at this point she parks the car and we head to the restaurant.

“We’ll have one drink. I don’t want you leaving your car again. We’ll get a bottle on the way home”

“Ya, I don’t want to do that again. But a margarita, right?”

Almost at the door, her purse starts playing creepy music again. I don’t remember how I reacted, but I remember her head bowing and the defeat in her eyes. She could have ignored the call, but I knew she wouldn’t. Another errand that nobody else could have done later found us another hour away from our normal haunts.      

Dejected she says, “I’m going to drop you off. I’m just going home.”

At the time, and even years later I hated her for that night. She was the one that wanted to go out in the first place. Lost was a pleasant memory of giving our candy to trick or treaters. Now a past time that isn’t really done anymore, even before the pandemic. In my last-ditch effort, I remember yelling a monologue.

“No! I refuse to let you give up. We’ve been in this car all evening instead of giving out candy, or eating it. We have all night. Who cares about a party. It’s all Hallows eve! A night to celebrate with ghost and black cats. We’re going out and having fun whether you like it or not.”

Twenty minutes later I ended up sitting on my front porch freezing in the normal October chill. Also dejected I called my other friend who to my surprise was home. A Christian living with a strict and superstitious mother I didn’t think she would want to do anything that night. She didn’t mind after all since her mother was already asleep and suggested watching The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Upon entering her house, I see the front room set up with popcorn and blankets on the couch. Their alter with loaves of bread, candles, flowers, and pictures was in the corner waiting for the following day’s rituals. Though, in accordance with the previous events, our plans had changed by the time I got there. Her mother had woken up and was on the phone with her family. Since her mother still used a landline, we couldn’t make too much noise so out of respect we went outside instead. Her large backyard allowed for multiple chairs and a large table on one side. The other side was filled with vegetables and climbing vines leading to a large garage. The flowers and different colors made the yard inviting in the daytime. At night the shadows and strange shapes made it eerie, the perfect atmosphere for the night. We rocked in her chairs. The metal cold and a little wet in the again normal sixty-degree weather as the wind again made little tornados around us. We enjoyed the chill of the wind against our body’s now warm from having finished a bottle of wine. To pass the time we discussed local ghost stories and shared personal experiences of the supernatural.

I remember that she spoke of seeing her older brother in the basement, who passed away from cancer when she was young. The basement used to be his room and she would sometimes see him walking through it to go upstairs. I never liked being down there after that. Whereas, I told her about being locked in a bathroom when I was younger. My parents said I had locked myself in it and freaked out. Though, I swear I remember the shower door was shaking and the lights flicked on and off.

After about an hour we exhausted our knowledge of ghost stories and tried to reenter the house. Instead of finding her mother back in her room, we instead found her with additional company as well. Since the two older women took over the house we returned to the yard and put on The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, a favorite of hers.

Opening another bottle of wine she asked, “Hey, its Halloween, want to find a spell or something to do?”

Looking up at the moon I replied, “Why not, your right it is Halloween. But nothing weird or crazy. It’s Halloween, we don’t need anything real coming after us.”

“No. Ya, of course” she replied with a face to match her sentiment.

Returning inside we did some research online and chose a quick and innocent love spell. Grabbing a candle and some paper we wrote down an affirmation of love. I remember watching the flame dance back and forth from her heater. Burning its image in my eyes, I saw it dance around after I looked away. We burned our pieces of paper outside as to not concern her mother. The smell reminded me of my apartment fire that caused us to have to wait for a neighbor to bring his ladder to get out. The memory left me shaken and weary of the night.   

“It’s kinda cold out here. Stupid heat, it’s your fault.” I said to her.

“How is it my fault? She laughed at me. “Your right, let’s go back inside they made coffee.”

After coffee and some sweets, we were able to watch our movie while the women went downstairs to work on some sewing and gossip. The night wasn’t what I had expected it would turn out, and it was as high and low as the weather was that day. Even after having an amazing end to the evening, I kept my bitterness about the botched day. Till this day I won’t trust my friend with any holiday outings. In my defense, this is the safe option as she still often bails out on friends and family. Still, that puddle of spoiled plans and annoyances was just that, annoyances. While I was upset about how the day turned out with her. I still can look back with fondness of our joking around during the car ride. I also had the better end of the bargain as I continued the night whereas she went home and fell asleep. For years I felt that the glass was half empty until I looked back on that All Hallows Eve night with an opened mind. The glass was always half full with the night saving the best for last.

The Halloween That Almost Wasn’t

Some days are great, while others turn into a puddle of spoiled plans and annoyances. Years ago on a strange Halloween, my favorite time of the year, I almost regretted even leaving the house. Looking back now at my bittersweet memory I recognize how even more frustrating the day must have been for my friend. Realizing that what was an annoying time for me was a bad day for her and that I should have seen my class half full from the beginning. 

For some reason, the last day of October was a warm eighty degrees. Leaving me unhappy and warm under my makeup and fake blood. A recluse by nature, I was happy to stay in front of my porch all afternoon. Passing out candy to the little kids, and some big ones, coming and going in their monster costumes. This is what I was doing when I heard the phone ringing from the open window. Passing through little tornadoes of leaves I returned inside to answer the phone. 

My normally homebody friend had decided that she would not be a hermit and wanted to attend a Halloween party. After about fifteen minutes of me explaining how I was happy where I was, she told me she was on her way to pick me up. About twenty minutes later a happy and energetic witch pulled up in front of my porch, where I left the bowl of candy for the kids to grab or let’s be honest for one kid to grab.

Always a yapper, she started talking as soon as I reached the car door. “Are you a dead person? Oh, a zombie. Don’t worry about the dirt, as you can see the car is a mess.”

Hopping into the car I jumped from both her creepy ring tone and the distant sound of thunder, the sun disappearing as I closed the car door.

“You okay? Ya, it’s supposed to rain. I want to get a new Oracle deck, some crystal’s, I need another angel stone, a new candle, and like 10 incense boxes.”

“Is that it?” I said laughing as it started to rain. The party was at her favorite metaphysical shop.

“I don’t know, maybe. I would get a reading, but it might be too crowded by the time we get there. That was my mom, she wants milk.”

“You just left,” I said, my heartbeat getting faster. Joy had a bad habit of letting her family dictate what she did. “You told your family you’re going to be out, right? You didn’t drag me out for nothing.”

Bopping to the radio she rolled her eyes at me, “No. Ya, it’s Halloween. We’re good. She just needs milk.”

Going to the store and back only took us twenty minutes, and it took her another ten to get out of her mother’s house. Looking up from the radio I was changing, I saw her bouncing form returning to the car. 

“Um…Do you have a stowaway?” I asked when I saw her little sister behind her.

“She needs a ride home. It’s on the way, so…” she said shrugging with a glitter of joy in her eyes.

My eyes must have been saying something different because when she got into the car she laughed and rolled her eyes at me again. It’s not that I didn’t mind helping her sisters out, but I understood how much pull her family had on her. While I don’t mind riding around with her on errands, today wasn’t one of those days when I could be enjoying the day on my own.

“You know, if plans change don’t wait to tell me. I’m cool with even taking the bus back alright?”

“We still have hours before the party’s over. Stop being a downer” 

“Alright, okay, I’m just saying. Cause her place is in the opposite direction…”

Her laughter cut me off, “We have all night, chill.”

Her heightened spirit soothed me, and I let it go. Though, as I saw snowflakes start to fall, I felt more uncertain about that All Hallows’ Eve night.

We made another pit stop at the store for her sister and thirty minutes later were dropping her off. Heading back to our original destination I felt proud and happy. I was proud of my friend for finding time to help her family while still heading out to enjoy herself for a change. While I was happy that I made time to go out with my friend instead of finding an excuse to stay home. Looking for parking we finish up our trash talk about one another, our way to discuss our anxieties, when her creepy ring tone goes off.    

“Don’t answer it.” I tell her.

Against my better judgment, she goes in her purse and rummaged around for her phone. After stopping in to say hi and bye with the promise of returning we’re back in the car to pick up her other sister. 

“It’s okay if we don’t make it back in time, we’ll just go out to eat. Is that okay?” She asked sounding a little bummed but still bouncing to the radio.

Smiling I shrugged off the change of plans and agreed. Any stragglers from the party would end up at the wing place across the way, so as far as I was concerned it would be the same as going to the party any. If not, then we could always go to the 24-hour Huck Finn like always. Back in good spirits, we continue our good-natured arguments on the way to her sister’s job. Picking her up and dropping her off took another hour and indeed we were too late for the party. Not caring at this point she parks the car and we head to the restaurant.

“We’ll have one drink. I don’t want you leaving your car again. We’ll get a bottle on the way home”

“Ya, I don’t want to do that again. But a margarita, right?”

Almost at the door, her purse starts playing creepy music again. I don’t remember how I reacted, but I remember her head bowing and the defeat in her eyes. She could have ignored the call, but I knew she wouldn’t. Another errand that nobody else could have done later found us another hour away from our normal haunts.      

Dejected she says, “I’m going to drop you off. I’m just going home.”

At the time, and even years later I hated her for that night. She was the one that wanted to go out in the first place. Lost was a pleasant memory of giving our candy to trick or treaters. Now a past time that isn’t really done anymore, even before the pandemic. In my last-ditch effort, I remember yelling a monologue.

“No! I refuse to let you give up. We’ve been in this car all evening instead of giving out candy, or eating it. We have all night. Who cares about a party. It’s all Hallows eve! A night to celebrate with ghost and black cats. We’re going out and having fun whether you like it or not.”

Twenty minutes later I ended up sitting on my front porch freezing in the normal October chill. Also dejected I called my other friend who to my surprise was home. A Christian living with a strict and superstitious mother I didn’t think she would want to do anything that night. She didn’t mind after all since her mother was already asleep and suggested watching The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Upon entering her house, I see the front room set up with popcorn and blankets on the couch. Their alter with loaves of bread, candles, flowers, and pictures was in the corner waiting for the following day’s rituals. Though, in accordance with the previous events, our plans had changed by the time I got there. Her mother had woken up and was on the phone with her family. Since her mother still used a landline, we couldn’t make too much noise so out of respect we went outside instead. Her large backyard allowed for multiple chairs and a large table on one side. The other side was filled with vegetables and climbing vines leading to a large garage. The flowers and different colors made the yard inviting in the daytime. At night the shadows and strange shapes made it eerie, the perfect atmosphere for the night. We rocked in her chairs. The metal cold and a little wet in the again normal sixty-degree weather as the wind again made little tornados around us. We enjoyed the chill of the wind against our body’s now warm from having finished a bottle of wine. To pass the time we discussed local ghost stories and shared personal experiences of the supernatural.

I remember that she spoke of seeing her older brother in the basement, who passed away from cancer when she was young. The basement used to be his room and she would sometimes see him walking through it to go upstairs. I never liked being down there after that. Whereas, I told her about being locked in a bathroom when I was younger. My parents said I had locked myself in it and freaked out. Though, I swear I remember the shower door was shaking and the lights flicked on and off.

After about an hour we exhausted our knowledge of ghost stories and tried to reenter the house. Instead of finding her mother back in her room, we instead found her with additional company as well. Since the two older women took over the house we returned to the yard and put on The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack, a favorite of hers.

Opening another bottle of wine she asked, “Hey, its Halloween, want to find a spell or something to do?”

Looking up at the moon I replied, “Why not, your right it is Halloween. But nothing weird or crazy. It’s Halloween, we don’t need anything real coming after us.”

“No. Ya, of course” she replied with a face to match her sentiment.

Returning inside we did some research online and chose a quick and innocent love spell. Grabbing a candle and some paper we wrote down an affirmation of love. I remember watching the flame dance back and forth from her heater. Burning its image in my eyes, I saw it dance around after I looked away. We burned our pieces of paper outside as to not concern her mother. The smell reminded me of my apartment fire that caused us to have to wait for a neighbor to bring his ladder to get out. The memory left me shaken and weary of the night.   

“It’s kinda cold out here. Stupid heat, it’s your fault.” I said to her.

“How is it my fault? She laughed at me. “Your right, let’s go back inside they made coffee.”

After coffee and some sweets, we were able to watch our movie while the women went downstairs to work on some sewing and gossip. The night wasn’t what I had expected it would turn out, and it was as high and low as the weather was that day. Even after having an amazing end to the evening, I kept my bitterness about the botched day. Till this day I won’t trust my friend with any holiday outings. In my defense, this is the safe option as she still often bails out on friends and family. Still, that puddle of spoiled plans and annoyances was just that, annoyances. While I was upset about how the day turned out with her. I still can look back with fondness of our joking around during the car ride. I also had the better end of the bargain as I continued the night whereas she went home and fell asleep. For years I felt that the glass was half empty until I looked back on that All Hallows Eve night with an opened mind. The glass was always half full with the night saving the best for last.

A little bit of Poe and a bit of writing

Let me talk about a classic. I’ll be up all night finishing up my final projects and I wanted to get something in tonight. I want to discuss the classic short story by Edger Allen Poe, “The Tell-Tale Heart”.

I’ll be honest, years ago, when I first started reading Poe, I couldn’t get past the first paragraph. Eventually, I kept on reading because well it’s Poe. I think sometimes it just takes a certain age before we start to love his work. For “The Tell-Tale Heart”, Poe creates the atmosphere right away with his use of punctuation and sentence structure.

For instance, when the speaker says, “for what had I to fear?” the reader also feels a sense of calm as the speaker does. However, the greatest emotion from the short story comes from the empathy for the old man. The second scene where the mad man says, “He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult.” creates the emotion of sympathy for the old man from then on.

For a class form I had to write a 200 word scene with the emphasis on description. Of course I read Poe’s short story before I wrote the following.

But first. Do you have a certain author that is a creative muse for you? Is it too risky to read someone else’s work before you write your own? I can mimick very well, and often become afraid that I’m not really telling my own story. Anyway, here is my answer to that class exercise. Hope you enjoy it.

Part 2

A gust of wind blew through the open door, carrying with it black soot and the smell of smoke. The sudden emotions caused me to take a step back and trip on the broken wood. The porch was about a block long either way and was now falling in. Matt shouldn’t have come here alone. From my position on the floor, the dark seemed to loom over me. Getting back up I realized how fearful I was, but I had to go in. Breathing heavy, I made my way through the entrance. The dark and moonlight must have been playing tricks on me, because I see shadows moving around the intricate staircase. Almost like they were trying to climb out of the fallen structure. Yelling out a strangled scream I rushed forward to the right towards Grandpa’s study where Matt should be. Moving fast, eyes filled with tears I didn’t see Grandpa’s large oak door, now off its brass hinges on the floor. Tripping, I scream out for Matt terrified that even the carved angels would reach out for me. Somehow Matt’s voice reached me through my terror. In tears I rushed to him, holding tightly and careful of his broken leg.   

 

http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/telltale.html

Short Story – Two New Additions

Hello,

I wanted to get a post in, but don’t really have the time for it. Therefore, I thought why not add some work. Here’s a short story. I hope you like it. My professor said I packed a lot of information in it, but let me know what your think.

— Everyone loves them. Except for the ten percent that isn’t affected by their defensive abilities. Now they’re really part of the family, and I don’t know what to say. —

Two New Additions

I never know what to say. My mind is going so fast I’m almost thankful that people move further away from me on the crowded street. Women, both human and Dwellers, are walking with their trendy fur coats while I, a Midwest native, is wearing a dress shirt. Another thing that makes me different from everyone else here. Taking deep calming breaths, I try to keep my cool when someone glares or looks away from me. The little isolation makes me feel more disjointed and angrier as I walk to the birthing center. The gift bags cut into my hand from the weight, and I don’t know what I’m going to say. What am I, Lily Williams, going to do?

It’s times like this that remind me why I fight for better coexisting regulations. Twenty years ago big, blue, four to six tentacled creatures crashed on earth. They’re called FELD’s, Fallen Extraterrestrial Land Dwellers, or Dwellers for short. They’re not so bad and are surprisingly humanoid. They share everything with us; our names, our living spaces, even our children. They make us better. They make the world better. I know this, everybody knows this. This still doesn’t make up for what their women do. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to cry and scream that everyone can shove their disillusioned minds where the sun don’t shine. I can’t of course, because I’m a senator with a political family. I’m also different, which means I must be extra careful with how I act. Which is difficult, since I want to get to the birthing center to wrap Trish’s skinny deep blue tentacles around her neck.

#

The street is filled with mixed families today so I must be extra cautious with how I act. Controlling myself, I politely acknowledge everyone that greets me. Being extra nice when talking with kids. While hugging one, Mitch walked up beside me.

“Plague doctor,” He said after I finished with the family.

Turning toward him, I released a long deep sigh and fall into him. His tentacles comforted me while I have a brief mental break down. After years of practice, an onlooker would have confused this for a friendly hug. Recovering, I gave him a questioning look and continued walking.

“I’ve been watching a documentary about what you called your Dark Ages,” he continued, taking my bags from me. “I imagine they treated their plague doctors the way they do you”

“Those doctors were feared not hated” I replied, rubbing the bag marks out of my palms.

“Nobody hates you. See.” He said, stopping with me as another family stopped to greet us.

            He was sort of right. As unpopular as my stance on issues was, I’m still popular with most Dwellers. They trust me because I saved Mitch when we were kids. Through the years I and the Dwellers have shown that we are, under normal instances, harmless to each other. It took a lot of work since I was part of the militia against them. I really had no choice since my uncle was the leader, and I was ten years old. It’s a long, scary story that ends with Mitch and I finding our parents.

Basically, a little over ten percent of the population isn’t influenced by the Dweller’s natural defense mechanism. Which is a defensive telepathic ability to calm any creature within a ten-foot radius of them. This means that as I walk these crowded streets, I don’t naturally stay farther away from the Dwellers as others do. I’m more alert, less receptive, and clearly see the effects they have on other species. Like the zombie-like individual that our current family is introducing me to. Some individuals are impacted more than others.

“You alright?” Mitch quietly asked as we walked away.

“No. No, I’m not, and I’m extremely not since your horrible sister-in-law has stollen my niece.”

#

Our conversation was halted as another group walked with us until we made it to the Birthing Center. Stopping at the entrance I leaned back into Mitch with his protective service providing cover for this lapse. I’ve been here plenty of times. Before I was even of age, I helped build these centers. I have certifications for almost every social service position available, and I still don’t know what to say.

“She did it on purpose. What are we supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? You know nobody else had the balls to pull this on us.”

He laughs a little, but I can feel the tension. He knows I’m angry, and he must know that I’m wondering how he feels about this.

“Aww come on,” he says as if reading my mind. “Nobody gets hurt in the end…”

“Are you giving me a speech?” I interrupt, with a great urge to hit him.

“Okay, I’m sorry. At least it was us that did it right? Look I don’t like what our women do either. None of us do, but both kids are ours anyway right? We’re family now. We share names, we share living spaces, we share babies.”

“I’m going to kill all of you.” I say lunging at him.

He gently grabs me knowing I won’t, and can’t really hurt him. “Don’t say that. You have a daughter now, and since we are now officially family, he’ll definitely throw your ass away for threatening him.”

“I was threatening your whole species.” I mummer, forcing myself to take deep breaths.

“I don’t think you ever threatened my species the way you’ve threatened him, and he’s up there already. So, try not to be angry for your husband’s sake at least. Now, there’s people starting to look at us. Smile.” He said pushing me through the door.

#

           As I mumble to myself in the back of the elevator Mitch’s protection service guys send me worried glances, as usual. I still don’t know what I’m going to say or do when I get to my sister-in-law’s room. She has been through three days of hell and her mind will forget it. Even now, she is losing the feeling of dread and loss. Compelled to care for a child that deep down she knew wasn’t hers.

FELD mothers don’t take care of their own young. They replace their baby with another species baby. They throw some very twisted and complicated telepathic instructions at the women and replace the kids. Taking the stolen child to their colony where their younger women care for them. On their home planets, this helped the native species from becoming too inbred. However, here on earth, our species can’t breed together. Fortunately, the Dweller men love children and deeply care for the family unit. Even Mitch’s evil brother Senator Mallok will do everything for our families.

“The Dwellers make us better because they are better.” I mutter to myself. Mitch simply watches me. His eyes tell me to get a hold of myself in the next three floors.

Abuse against women and children is almost nonexistent. The Dweller’s do not stand for it, and as such there is a steep penalty for such actions. They ensure that all women and children involved are well taken care of. Everybody helps each other as if the entire Earth is a giant community. Yes, they make everything better. Yet, I know it’s a lie. Everything’s better because humans aren’t allowed to be themselves.

“You make us better and my niece is okay. I do not want to strangle Trish with her own tentacles.”

“You did not just say that.” Mitch said as the elevator stopped on our floor.

“With her own beautiful deep blue tentacles.” I replied, deadpanned. She did this on purpose. She was told to do it to stop Mallock and me from feuding. It’s one thing to instinctively create such a mess, but to do it on purpose was another thing.

#

           Coming out of the elevator we walked right into Mitch’s family, with Trish standing right in the center. I was on her before I could think about the consequences of my actions. Thankfully, Mallock was a step ahead of me and their oldest brother was anticipating my actions. To his credit, he let me get an extra hit in before pulling me off her.

           “Really, we’re all family here. We were going to take care of both kids anyway.” Jacob says as he throws me to the other side of the hallway.

           “That’s what I told her.” said Mitch, walking over to help me up.

           “I don’t care. You did this on purpose. You were told too by your dad. I know you were.” I fumed at them, pushing Mitch’s helping hands away.

           “Lily, can I speak with you alone please. Before we see them; all of them.” Mallock ask

#

           The hospital staff let us use an empty room. Birthing centers were like regular hospitals, but with larger private wings in order to support both families. We were in one meant for a little boy. Sara, my sister-in-law was supposed to have a little girl.

           “She does have a little girl, just not the one you wanted her to have.” Mallock said. Like his brother, he seemed to be able to read my mind. It made me angrier and I imagined ripping his head off. Though, I didn’t make a move at him. From experience, I know that he is stronger than me. Plus, Mitch is right he’s thrown me in jail before and won’t hesitate to do it again.

           “What do we do? What do I say?” I say with a shake in my voice. I didn’t even realize I had started crying.

           “Wipe those away,” he said annoyed “We do the same thing as before. I’m not going to let them change us. We can take care of each other and still fight each other. We just have to admit defeat with others more. They’ll call out our hypocrisy, but I don’t care. I’m not going to let them win. I don’t know how I feel about Trish, but we’ll deal with that later.”

           Softer, he tells me to come closer and wraps his arms around me. I like it when he’s a big brother and not the devil in disguise.

#

           The bright pink is blinding as we walk into Sara’s room. I still don’t know what I’m going to say, and it turns out Mallock didn’t know what he was going to say either. Sara is in bed holding Melanie, or rather Melanie is holding her. Her little light blue tentacles were wrapped around her body. As mad as I am Melanie was a part of our family no matter which mother Trish picked. Sitting beside them is James with Molly, who was screaming her little lungs out.

           “They’re bringing us a bottle right now.” James says. You can tell from his voice that he’s tired, so Mallock offers to take over so he can get something to eat. Agreeing, James squeezed my shoulder on the way out.

I’m ashamed for feeling exhausted. I didn’t just have a baby and go through a huge mental mess up. It’s strange for me to see the moms so happy with someone else’s child, but there Sara is beaming at us.

“This one was screaming her little head off to until she was fed. Both of them are going to be little butter balls. Dad was in here earlier going about Molly being mine. I hope he’s going to be okay. I don’t understand why he would say such a thing.” Sara said. She looked a little confused, which was normal. I’ve seen a lot of mothers go through this, and Sara was happy. Maybe, somewhere in there she knew at least her baby would still be with us and that made it okay for her. “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?” She asked. Her eyes were searching, hoping I would agree.

“You all are beautiful.” I said.  

END

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Getting to know flash fiction

Hello,

If you’ve been following, like 2 people, you know that I’ve been dying from class work. So, here I am again taking a break and making a quick post. I forturnitly and unfortunitly have Feburary off and can create some better post then.

This one is about flash fiction, it’s also referred to as microfiction, short-short stories, or sudden stories. What is flash fiction and why should you care? Well I dont know why you should care other than they’re cool short stories that wont take forever to read. Therefore, you spend a while reading many authors all night instead of one.

Now, what are they? They are stories that don’t have a set word count, but are usually under 1,500 words. What really makes them short-short stories though is that they can also be as short as 6 words. Now, I think it’s very cool that we can see a sentence or two as a complete piece of literature. Can you imagine being able to portray a plot in a few words? I can’t.

No really I can’t. I had to write a piece of flash fiction that was 250 words, and it was so difficult. The whole time through that class I kept acting as if I was posting on social media because of the word restrictions. Here’s my post for that class, and yes it was a pretty pathetic attempt at flash fiction. I do plan to try again in the near future.

Every period is something different. My first was my hair period. I was very picky and only cared about long hair. There was a period for lips, feet, and eyes as well. This time it’s all about the fingers. Out of nowhere, the slender joints fascinated me to no end. The human hand can do amazing things, create amazing works of art, or simply be. Some hands are good for piano playing, with a long pinky that some would kill for. While others are scarred and calluses from working outdoors. Though, I believe a painter’s hand tells a unique story with their softer elegance. 

“Are you going to be original again, and call this your finger period?” My brother chimed out, startling me. 

“Get out of my room” I sighed. Pushing him out of the door, which only amused him more. 

“More guests have arrived!” he called from behind the door, and more quietly he added, “and I’ll be entertaining tonight.”

“Over my dead body.” I mutter and walk back to my collection.

Sadness overwhelmed me as I passed my full-length mirror. I don’t know why, but some decades my legs disappear and I become a little translucent. Though, I should count my blessings since little Jacob is never seen by the living. Picking up the artist’s hand I snap myself out of my pity party. 

“I hope there’s someone with calloused hands.” I say to no one while stroking the digits, “I’m so sick of these soft ones.”

However, I will not disappoint and here’s some links actually good flash fiction writers.

The following link is to a magazine that features only flash fiction. You can read the current issue online – https://www.flashfictiononline.com/

This website has a collection of flash fiction magazines. It gives you the magazines link and information about submitting your work – Everywritersresource.com

This is a link to a flash fiction that I like. It’s about a ghost collector and a rocking chair. Ghost Collecting and here’s the link to the authors blog http://sheilamassie.com/

Here’s a few links about flash fiction –

That’s the end. Hope you liked my short take on flash fiction. Do you have anything to add or do you have favorite short-short story you’d like to share? Go ahead and leave me a comment or drop me a line. Have a safe day or night whatever it may be.

Linda

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Just checking in with a little Dickinson and living on caffeine…

Hello

O my goodness. I am currently on my last week of classes and have no confidence with anything I turned in the other week. I still have a ppt and a website to finish by Sunday, but I need a break. Since my brains about to crash I figured I’d write a quick post.

Well, really I figured I’d look through my material for future post. While going through everything I have on Dickinson I found my links from the Emily Dickinson Museum’s website. I was only going to reference the museum, but now I figure it would be a good quick post. I’m going to try to this a quick read for you and simply add some list and links here.

Image by Emily Dickinson Museum via emiliydickinsonmuseum.org.

Well, I know this post is filled with links, but I really needed a short distraction. Hope your have fun checking the links out, and maybe found a place to submit your own work too. Have a safe and hopefully warm week. Chicago’s finally getting hit with snow today so, we’ll be out later to play in it!

Linda

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