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First blog post

Well! I took a deep breath and jumped.

This is my very first blog. I’m kind of nervous and excited to get this started.

I’ve been writing stories on the Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompts forum every week for the past two years. It’s been a wonderful learning experience to take their prompts, no matter how weird or specific, and turn them into two or three completely different stories. I’ve written stories on there that I normally wouldn’t have considered writing – science fiction stories, vampire stories, and so on. My fellow forumites, who are awesome writers, have helped me with their suggestions and comments to grow as a writer.

So, after much mental fidgeting and nail biting, I finally decided to create this blog to give my prompt stories a proper home.

Hope you enjoy them!

AK

Five Thanksgiving Writing Prompts #4 – Let’s Have A Nice, Disastrous Meal With Your Mother.

Author’s Note: Yes! I’ve made it up to the fourth prompt. And that prompt is the following:

In my family we have an impressive collection of dietary restrictions which make meals interesting, to say the least. We’ve gotten pretty good at managing them all, but one forgotten ingredient and things could go south quickly. Write a story that takes place entirely around a meal that goes horribly, horribly wrong.

I think I’ll turn to my Jack Jilhouse characters for this one. 😀  We’ll so how bad it can get for them. (Sorry this one ran a little long!)

***

Jack furrowed his brows as he chopped the green onions, the green peppers and the collard greens.

The dream had come as it always did. Every detail was the same. Every feeling. Every uncertainty.

That strange feeling of a memory being relived.

What would it be like if I stopped having that dream? Would I be relieved? Or would I miss it?

Jack tried to imagine sleep without that dream of rocking, rocking, rocking and imprisonment.

Callie burst into the kitchen with at least 18 grocery bags looped over her arms. “Okay! I think I got everything we needed. This meal will be a success! A ravishing success!”

He swept his chopped food into the frying pan. “I don’t think ravishing means what you think it means.”

“Oh, whatever!” She set the bags on the counter and emptied them. “You know what I mean.”

“Yeah.”

She walked over to him and punched his arm.

“Ah! Callie! What the heck was that for?”

“Lack of enthusiasm. Come on, Jack. I can’t be the only enthusiastic person in the room. It’s exhausting. Give me a little support.”

“What? Am I supposed to wave pom-poms and be all ‘Yeeeeay!’?”

She shrugged. “That would be a good start.”

“I can’t help it.” He walked over to the bags and started to put the groceries away.

“Leave that out. I’m going to use it. Leave that out too. Leave—Jack! Why are you putting that away? I’m going to make that now.”

He threw his hands into the air. “Fine. You do it.”

“Fine. I will.”

Jack returned to the stove. He looked down at the green food in the frying pan. “Your mom isn’t going to approve of me.”

“You silly. She won’t approve of us. It isn’t just you. She thinks that we’re a toxic relationship.”

“Are we, Cal?”

She shrugged. “We have our moments when I wonder that myself. But for the most part, you’re too much of an idiot to be toxic.”

He coughed out a surprised laugh. “Well, gee. Thanks for the ego boost. I needed that.”

“I know. So, don’t worry. This get together will be awesome in every possible way.”

That’s what I’m afraid of.

****

Supper was on the table. There wasn’t a single meat dish in sight. Everything was vegetables and everything was green.

But Jack wasn’t worried about that.

He was just worried.

She’s going to come and lambaste everything. After all of the hard work we put into making this a vegan friendly meal, she’s going to hate everything.

The doorbell rang.

Jack considered running to the bathroom to hide out for the next several hours. But Callie didn’t give him a chance to go beyond considering it. She grabbed his hand and marched steadfastly to the door. He gave in and followed her.

Callie released his hand. She opened the front door and smiled wide. “Mom!”

The two women embraced and exchanged happy greetings.

Jack thought long and desperate thoughts about the bathroom.

I could grab something from the kitchen. Maybe some bread and peanut butter. Yeah. I could grab them and make a sandwich in the bathroom. I could eat it in there and it would be fine.

Until her mom wants to use the bathroom.

“And this is Jack!”

He plastered on a fake smile and shook her hand. “Hi. It’s great to see you.”

She sniffed. “Stiff little bugger, aren’t you?”

Something inside of Jack crumbled a little.

“Well, whatever. I’m not here for you. I’m here for the food.” Having made that announcement, Callie’s mom strode to the kitchen.

“It’s okay, Jack. It’s okay.” Callie took a deep breath and exhaled. “We’re gonna make it through this in one piece. Got it?”

He nodded.

“Good.” She grabbed his hand again. This time, she didn’t need to pull so hard. He followed her with a limp obedience.

They entered the kitchen.

Callie’s mom went about the table, slopping scoops of green food onto her plate.

Jack couldn’t help feeling like she was mentally slopping it on top of his head.

She looked up at them. “Are you two going to be statues all evening or you going to eat like normal people?”

Callie smiled. “What a question to ask!” She released Jack’s hand and approached the table.

Jack’s head reeled.

I am unmoored.

I am a boat that has lost its anchor. I’m going to drift off. I am going to disappear. I am—

A woman appeared in his mind.

A woman who was not Callie.

He tried to focus on her features, tried to confine her face to his memories.

But she faded away and was gone.

“Jack! Come on! Get yourself a plate and—-”

He looked at her.

Jack?

Is she talking to me? Is that who I am?

Jack.

Jack.

“That is not my name.”

Callie stood and returned to him. “This is not the time for you to have a freak out.” She took hold of his hand.

He glared at her. “Unhand me or I’ll break your hand off.”

“And I’ll break your head. So, fair’s fair. Come on, Jack. Food is on the table.”

Jack smirked. “Well, luckily for you, I am hungry.” He pulled his hand away from her and strolled over to the table.

“Go on!” Callie sat at the table. “Help yourself.”

“Don’t mind if I do.” He took the loaded plate from Callie’s mom. “Thanks for getting it all ready for me. So kind of you.” He sat down and proceeded to eat.

The two women stared at him in wordless shock.

“This meal could use a bit more meat, but all in all not bad.”

“What kind of madness is this?” Callie’s mom demanded.

“That’s what I would like to know.” Callie said as she prepared another plate for her mother.

Jack smiled at Callie’s mom. “No madness here.”

“Huh! So, then I was right about you. I came here hoping to give you some benefit of the doubt, but if this is who you really are—”

“Mom! Don’t! Just. Please calm down.”

“How can I calm down when I can see that my beloved daughter has entangled herself with someone who doesn’t deserve her?”

Jack lowered his fork. “What? Are you talking about me, you sodden old oaf cow?”

“JACK!”

He jolted back to his senses. “What?” He noticed the hurt in Callie’s eyes and he felt sick. “What did I say?”

“More than enough.” Callie’s mom said. “Let me tell you that.” She rose from her seat.

“Mom, please.”

“Why? He insulted me. I am not going to just sit here and pretend that didn’t happen.”

I insulted her?

What?

What did I say?

“I’m sorry.” he said. “I really am. I don’t know what came over me.” He scoffed. “I know. That sounds really stupid and lame. But please. Please don’t go. Callie will be upset if you do. If you leave…” He left it at that because he didn’t know what else to say.

Callie’s mom gave him a look that was all fish hooks and daggers and shrapnel.

“Please don’t leave.” Callie said.

She looked at her daughter’s stricken expression and softened. “Well.” She accepted the plate Callie had prepared for her. “Luckily for you, I am here for the food.”

https://cosistories.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/5-thanksgiving-writing-prompts/

Cups And Saucers

Cups and saucers
Filled the dirty sink.
Dirty cups with stale milk.
Dirty saucers with stiff cake crumbs.

Cups and saucers
Sat in the sink
In the dark
Late at night.

Cups sat still.
Saucers sat still.
All was still and quiet.

Then, it started.
It started with the smallest teaspoon
That fell off its plate.
That landed harsh in the sink.

That caused the cups
To stack themselves
Into dirty but tidy piles.

That caused the saucers
To launch out of the sink
To fly about the room.

The saucers flew
Out of the room
To the living room
Up to the bedroom.

The cups stayed put.
They were too orderly
To behave disorderly.
They left that behavior
To the saucers.

The saucers investigated
The ceilings and
The floors and
The windows.
Until they found
A window that was open.

The saucers slipped
Out of the window
Into the night sky
All the way out into space
To places that only they knew.

The cups stayed put
And they waited.
They knew that
The saucers would return.

They would always return.

December 2019 Writing Prompts

On Christmas Night…

Author’s Note: I decided to do one more take for Didi Oviatt’s December WIP writing prompt challenge. Just because. 🙂

***

Elsie put on her lavender chenille pullover shirt. It was at least five years out of season, but she still loved how soft it felt. Plus, it looked amazing with her black dress slacks. She smoothed down the hem and went to work on braiding her frizzy hair.

Hildreth sauntered into the room. “Hey, Els. I just got a call from Master Shinowa.”

“Oh? What’s wrong?”

“Jim-Marie apparently went out to eat with some of the other trainees and they all came down with food poisoning. So, needless to say, he and Master Shinowa are going to be no shows to our Annual Hunter’s Only Get Together Fun Filled Extravaganza Of Amazing Good Times Had By All, which is also known as the AHOGTFFEOAGTHBA party.” He scratched the back of his head. “I think we need a catchier acronym because there’s just no way to pronounce that attractively.” He gasped and his expression brightened. “No! All we have to do is rearrange the letters a little and boom! We can call our party the Agatha Hogboffet Party! How awesome is that!”

Elsie laughed. “You’re nuts.” She tied up her braid and strolled over to him. “And demented and a complete lunatic.”

He grinned. “You’re forgetting a very important noun.”

She stopped in front of him. “An absolute idiot.”

“Hm. Idiot would have worked just fine on its own.” He wrapped his arms around her waist. “But absolute idiot will do as well.” He scrunched his fingers into her shirt’s soft fabric. “Mmm. I love how this shirt feels on you. So soft and pretty.”

“Are you talking about the shirt or me?”

He let out a surprised laugh. “Why, Elsie Mayhew!” He went into a broad, undefinable accent that may or may not have been Southern-inspired. “I’m just all shocked and appalled! What an audacious thing to say! My good gracious!”

She laughed. “Such an idiot.” She pulled him into a kiss.

****

Hank and Dave stood outside Mark Caten’s bedroom. They were dressed in their full guard uniforms – red-orange hooded robes with ornate white and gold masks.

Dave huffed out a breath. His full face mask amplified the sound. “It isn’t fair. Why do we always have to do the Christmas shift? It’s become almost a tradition.”

“Hey.” Hank switched his spiked club into his other hand. “Just be glad that we get to do it together. Remember what happened last Christmas?”

“I don’t want to think about it. That was awful! I missed you so much.”

“I missed you too, babe.”

Dave sighed again. “I wish I could just grab your hand and run to our room and—”

Hank edged closer to him and took his hand. “So do I. But morning will come and then—”

Dave’s heart fluttered in anticipation. “And then.”

“Baby, I’ll be all yours.”

“Eeeeeeeeee! You’re so romantic!” Dave dropped his weapon and flung his arms around Hank’s neck.

Hank laughed. “Oh, I love you.”

***

Ambrose sat beside Barbara in the pew.

The church was dark with only candles lighting the ceremony.

Ambrose tried his best to stay focused on the Mass happening in front of him. Then, Barbara folded her fingers with his fingers.

A contented smile stretched across his face. He looked to the tabernacle and whispered a soft, two word prayer, “Thank You.”

The choir sang the Kyrie and, in the candle lit darkness, they sounded like angels.

***

Hildreth released Elsie and smiled lovingly at her. “It’s going to be an awesome Christmas.”

She spread her hands on his chest. “And you know it.”

***

“Is it midnight yet?” Dave asked eagerly.

“Not yet.” Hank checked his watch. “Just a couple more minutes.”

Dave lowered his hood and untied his mask. He set the mask next to his fallen weapon. “How about now?”

“Not yet.” Hank lowered his own hood and removed his mask. He dropped the mask on the ground.

Dave embraced him and laid his head against Hank’s chest. “How about—-”

“Now.” He hugged Dave. “Merry Christmas, babe.”

***

Ambrose glanced at Barbara and smiled.

She looked straight ahead with that very serious and very intent expression on her face. And he just couldn’t resist. He kissed the rim of her ear and whispered very softly, “Merry Christmas, darling.”

She looked up at him and smiled. “Merry Christmas.”

 

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/dec-wip-writing-prompt-challenge-winter-tradition/

Five Thanksgiving Writing Prompts #3 – Feeling Alone On Thanksgiving

Author’s Note: Amy Jones over on the Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompts page posted five writing prompts to try out over the holidays. I decided to tackle all five of them – one at a time, of course – because they all sounded intriguing to me. Thanksgiving has come and gone, but I am determined to do all of them. I’ve already done #1 and #2.

This one here is #3:  If you aren’t spending time with friends or family this week, use that as a springboard for your character as well. If you’re feeling fine about your alone time, write your character in the opposite way: they’re alone for a special day they’d rather share with someone. On the other side, if you’re feeling lonely, imagine your character in a circumstance when they’re thrilled to get away from everyone.

***

Thanksgivin’.

It’s that whole time of year again and I hate it.

Well. I guess I oughta be more clear. It ain’t Thanksgivin’ I hate.

I hate that I’m spendin’ it without you. I hate that I ain’t gonna see your reaction to all the crazy junk Barb’ra’s makin’ for the human side of her family. You e’er seen a roast turkey before? I ain’t knowin’.

Darn it all! There’s so much I ain’t knowin’ and I’m missin’ out on. I’m willin’ to bet you’re havin’ a grand ol’ time over there with Jay and Maelin. Bet you ain’t e’en missin’ me.

I’m missin’ you.

I’m missin’ you all so bad.

I wish you’d just come on home.

If you could at least call me, that’ld be good too.

‘sellta, I miss you so much. It hurts. It hurts right here in the middle of my chest.

I wish you were here.

*sigh* I think I’m gonna just go in circles about missin’ you. So, I’m gonna just knock it off and end it here.

Please come home to me. I ain’t knowin’ what all else to say. Just come home.

Robin

**——**

Ambrose entered the room. “Hey. What are you doing in here all by yourself? Supper’s on the table.”

Robin hastily crinkled up the sheet of paper. “Nothin’. Just.” He took a breath and exhaled. “Just needed a bit of alone time.”

“I can understand that.” Ambrose came over to him and looked questioningly at the crinkled up paper. “What’s that?”

Robin bristled. “Ain’t nothin’, stupid.” He stood and shoved the taller vampire. “Come on. Let’s go sit like mopes at the table.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“What for? Ain’t nothin’ to freakin’ talk about.”

“Is it Isellta?”

Robin stormed to the door.

Ambrose hurried after him. “Robin—”

He pun around and shoved him again. “‘course it’s Isellta, ya big monkey lummox!”

“Monkey….what?”

“Don’t you go playin’ no dummy with me. You heard me just fine.” He grabbed Ambrose’s arm. “Come on. I’m in the mood for drinking down a whole glass of super thick egg nog and gettin’ myself pukin’ sick o’er it.”

Ambrose smirked. “And then we’ll talk.”

“Freakin’ jerk. Yeah.” He released his arm. “Then, we’ll talk.”

https://cosistories.wordpress.com/2019/11/27/5-thanksgiving-writing-prompts/

Toothless Tom

Toothless Tom sat on a street corner with a cup of pudding in his hand.
It wasn’t very good pudding.
To be completely honest, it was quite bland.
It was vanilla and some sort of sugared cream.

But Toothless Tom could not be overly particular.
He could not make demands.
He could only take what he could find.
He could only eat what didn’t irritate his toothless gums.
And the pudding was free.

The shelter gave it away without any demands.
They didn’t ask for any charges or surcharges.
They simply gave him what he needed.
They gave him vanilla pudding.

He wished it was something denser.
Something that he could bite into.
Meat or cheese or pancakes or something made with phyllo dough.
Something scrumptious and wonderful.

But he was Toothless Tom.
So, all he could get was pudding.
Bland vanilla and sweet cream pudding.
It would just have to do.

December 2019 Writing Prompts

A Fey’s Winter Tradition

Author’s Note: Didi Oviatt has a new WIP writing prompt — the very last one of the year! Believe it or not! This month, the writing prompt is WINTER TRADITION. She wants to see your characters indulging in a winter tradition. Anything goes as long as it’s true to your character’s personality and settings.

And here is mine. Head canon: This is taking place after the whole resolution to my WIP. So, Isellta is still having issues with everything he’s gone through, which makes me feel awful for the poor thing.

****

Robin walked home, feeling vastly satisfied. It had been another successful hunt that hadn’t ended with him being staked.

That in itself was reason enough to put him in a good mood. But then he thought about who was waiting for him at home. His heart skipped several beats. His steps quickened until he was flat out running.

The air was cold and smelled like snow waiting to fall. It breezed past his face in frigid streaks, but he kept running until, at last, he reached their driveway.

He was home and Isellta was sitting on the front porch with a hot drink curled in between his hands. The porch light shined down on the fey.

Robin ran up the driveway and stopped in front of him. ‘Darnation! I sure hope you weren’t waitin’ out here all night.”

Isellta shook his head and looked down into his drink. His large black wings lay flat against his back.

Robin sat beside him. “What’s wrong?”

“Bad dream.”

“Oh.” He took the mug away from the fey and set it on the porch. “You okay? Can I touch you?”

Isellta nodded.

Robin wrapped his arm over Isellta’s shoulders. “It’s okay. I’m here.”

Isellta leaned his head against him. “It wasn’t as bad as…It’s been worse. I’ve had worse dreams, but…”

“Shh. If you ain’t wantin’ to talk about it, don’t. It’s okay.”

Isellta curled his hand on Robin’s chest. “I’m glad you’re safe.”

One of these days, I gotta find out what went down o’er there. What all did they do to him? I could ask, but he ain’t ready to talk ’bout it. I can tell he ain’t ready.

Robin kissed Isellta’s head, which caused the fey’s wings to flap. He smiled into Isellta’s soft blond hair. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too.”

They sat like that for several minutes. Neither wanted to let the other go. Robin kissed his head again. “Got good news for you. It’s gonna snow tonight.”

Isellta raised his head. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah. Plenty sure. The air smells like snow.”

“Robin?”

“Hmm?”

“Can we stay up and wait for the first snow?” He lowered his gaze. “I know it seems like a silly thing to do. Maybe you don’t want to do it with me. I’d understand. But it was a big winter tradition in my schie a kehn. As soon as the temperatures changed to where you just know it has to snow, everyone would go outside and wait for it. There would be a big celebration afterwards.”

“Huh. I thought you fey would get more excited about Spring comin’.”

Isellta blinked quickly and tilted his head. “But Winter is a part of Spring. They are parallel lines that need each other’s existence. Without Winter, Spring loses its joy. Without Spring, Winter is an endless gray line.”

Robin smiled. “I’m guessin’ that’s true for people too.” He swept Isellta’s bangs off to the side and kissed his forehead. “Yeah, I’ll stay up all night with you and you’ll see. The first snow will fall tonight.”

“Even if it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter.” Isellta curled up closer to him. “Because I’m here with you.”

https://didioviatt.wordpress.com/2019/12/04/dec-wip-writing-prompt-challenge-winter-tradition/