This week’s short story:
Topic: Anonymous gifts start arriving at the doorstep
You must include the following in your story: Teenager, screen door, camouflage wrinkle, birch, dive, harmony, pick-up, rifle, sticker
I opened the screen door to grab the morning paper. The neighbors 15-year-old was playing Army with his younger brother Sam who was in full camouflage hiding behind my birch tree. Sam propped his rifle tight against his shoulder and aimed it directly at his brother’s head.
It was sweet of Tommy to be playing with his younger brother. At his age, I figured he would be practicing pick-up lines on some cute teenager.
I sat on the porch swing to watch them, and my foot kicked a small box. This was the third one this week. The other two were centered right in front of the door. I almost missed this one. Valentine’s Day was a few days away. I felt foolish thinking anyone would be crushing on me. I touched the wrinkle’s on my face and sighed. My heart took a dive. Someone was playing a trick on me.
After my husband died a few years ago, I kept to myself. I had not entertained the idea of dating again until the gifts started arriving. Each box had a “be my valentine” sticker on the package. This one had a cute kitten cuddling a box of chocolates and a card that said Always and Forever from your … the rest of the card had images cut out from a magazine. It looked like a puzzle. The first image was a child the second was an image of a neighborhood then a piece of candy and the last picture was similar to the front of the card, a kitten holding a heart-shaped box of candy.
Child+hood+sweet+heart. My childhood sweetheart? I sat up straight and looked around. Was Paul back in town after all these years? I could feel my heart beating against my chest.
“Paul?” I yelled.
Paul stepped out from behind a large oak tree holding a bouquet of flowers. His eyes sparkled, and his smile was just as dazzling. I miss my husband every day, but Paul and I had this fantastic harmony. I dropped the box and ran towards him. I was ready to love again.
This week’s short story topic: A Good Reason to Be afraid of the Dark
- Killer whale
I felt like a fool cowered under my quilt like a scared five-year-old. Only I wasn’t five anymore; I was thirty-five. There was no bargain with mom to leave the lights on; no canned response from mom praising me at what a big girl I was and that I didn’t need the night light.
I took a deep breath. Mom was right, there was no need to check for monsters under the bed, I was tired, and my imagination was on overdrive. A dim light filled the room from the street lamp across the street. The objects in my room took on an eerie shape. The heap of laundry looked like a baby killer whale; my white t-shirts formed the white underbelly of the Orca. The white pants I dyed black due to a ketchup stain formed the top of the Orca. Then I heard it again, the heavy breathing from underneath the bed. I kicked off the covers and ran out of the house. I raced over to my neighbor’s house and pounded on the door.
“Someone is in my house, let me in,” I screamed.
She opened the door, pulled me in, and locked the door.
“We need to call the police,” she said. Her eyes were wide with fear.
“I heard heavy breathing underneath my bed. I’m not sure if I imagined it.”
“We are in danger,” she said, “There is a depraved janitor on the loose and he killed his entire family. It was on the evening news.”
She reached for the phone.
“Do you have a gun?” I asked.
“Upstairs in the nightstand.”
I took the steps two at a time. It turns out I had a good reason to be afraid of the dark after all.
I’m reading this fantastic book called ‘The life-changing magic of tidying up.” I’ve done the annual sweep through the house and donate before, but she has a slightly different approach to letting go. Touch it, and if it doesn’t bring you joy, let it go. I cleaned out my office today, and I have to admit it feels better in there.
My husband and I were talking about the book with friends during a birthday dinner and the subject of birthday gifts and Christmas gifts came up with a sigh that it will just pile more stuff into the home that we are trying to minimize.
My husband and I decided from now on our gifts to each other would be towards making memories and not acquiring stuff. We agreed to gift each other a snow-shoe tour for Christmas at Mt. Hood. I’m so excited. We did this last year in Bend, Oregon and it was so beautiful.
I started thinking of all the times my in-laws and sister call and asked: “what is on the list for gifts this year?” This year I want to build a go-fund-me site for the family to add to instead of gifts. The site will be used for vacations. What do you think? I haven’t brought it up. Do you think this would be disappointing for them? How do you feel about it? Should I just say, visa card to be used on vacations?
Let me know what you think!
I’m behind on my short story! Last week’s story had to be about Time Travel and it had to include the following:
hurricane, email, launder, pastry, garlic, staff, germs, gallery, brace, share
Nora took a large bite of her favorite beef and garlic stuffed pastry. She wanted to share it with her husband, but it was too delicious. Nora took another bite, and a chunk of beef fell on her white blouse. Dang it, she wanted to wear it to the movies tonight and didn’t have time to launder the shirt. She threw a vest over it and had hoped the trapped stain would breed any germs before she got home.
Nora was checking her email to confirm which theater she agreed to meet her staff when the weather alarm sounded. She braced herself in the doorway, but it was too late. The hurricane tore through the house lifting her with such a force it tore a hole in the quantum field. She landed in a Salvador Dali art gallery. At first, she thought she had fallen in a museum until she saw a sign announcing Salvador Dali would be donating his 1933 Atmospheric Chair painting for a charity ball to be held December 10, 1934. She not only traveled through time, but she also landed in another country.
Nora looked up and saw a smoky haze around Salvador Dali’s painting ‘figure at a window.’ She had heard pictures can be openings to other dimensions, but never believed it. She had the same art at home, a print of course. The window in the painting had a shimmery light that was not part of the picture. She reached out to touch the painting, and her hand went through the window as if it were open. She placed a chair underneath the canvas and climbed through the window. She landed in front of her house, or what used to be her house. It was a pile of rubble. Her trip through the vortex had spared her life.
I just got back from Greece. What an amazing and relaxing vacation. I wanted to share a few of my favorite photos. My mother-in-law below after a hard day of picking grapes.
Link to Kindle Countdown .99!
If you haven’t had a chance to check out Streaming Sarah, I’ve got a countdown deal going. Always free for Kindle unlimited and this week a countdown deal. Grab your copy for 99 cents.
Doppelgänger teaches Detective to stream the dead. It’s like “Ghost Whisperer” meets “Fringe.”
In 2035 Portland, Oregon, a Homicide Detective awakens from a coma with the ability to see into parallel worlds. A Doppelgänger teaches her to stream the soul and memories of her Department’s murder victims to bring their killers to justice.
This weeks story is a Midlife Career Change
Include the following in your story: chef * upgrade * monkey * turkey * fashion * team * harden * noon * elevator * baste
via Forest & Nature Bathing
I am so much calmer since I added a daily walk on the trail behind my house. Now I know why. Check out this blog on Forest & Nature bathing.
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” -Steve Jobs-
Read more at:
Inspirational quotes – brainy quote
I agree your heart will know when you have found it! You will suddenly have all the energy in the world and will feel like you can tackle anything. If changing jobs isn’t something you can do right now, don’t fret. There are things you can do while you are looking for that perfect job that feeds your soul. Start with a list of the areas of your life that might need a tweak to feel inspired again. Something as simple as learning to dance, building a garden or taking a photography class can make you feel excited and alive. Steve is on to something with not settling. If you are not doing what is feeding your soul, what is making you happy, what is helping you live your authentic self, chances are you feel like you are on a hamster wheel and every day is like groundhog day. Keep looking, don’t settle.
What’s that song, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one your with? While you are waiting for that perfect job that helps you feel satisfied, try a few subtle changes with your current position in the interim. I discovered that adding a new skill to my role and learning something new can help me feel inspired again.