Tenebrae And Anxiety Perform Spring Mischief

Two black cats, Tenebrae and Anxiety, slipped out of the farmhouse and into the cornfield. The snow had kept them housebound. But winter was gone and spring had arrived with full tubs and oceans full of rain.

The snow was gone, thawed and washed away. The rain had stopped of its own accord. The puddles dried from lack of new rain.

And the two cats were ready for fresh air and fiendish fun.

They ran in sleek panther lines. Their shoulder blades rose and fell in identical rhythms. They gloried in their freedom. They rejoiced in the night air.

Yet, they ran in silence. Their feet did not betray them. Their voices were silent for now. Later would be the time for screams and yowls.

But not yet.

They had mischief to accomplish.

Mischief that required the deepest and most perfect of silence. A betraying purr or meow would ruin it all.

They entered the cornfield and ran secretly past corn stalks and under limp-wristed leaves. They ran to the secret heart of the field. The one that even the farmer did not know about.

They stopped and arched their backs. Magic sparked out of their fur. White magic. Black magic. And magic accessible to only cats.

The magic landed on the corn stalks and they fell soft and gentle. They bent without snapping.

The magic raced through the field in curls and purls, in cat-backed arches, in straight lines, in patterns only cats knew and understood.

When it was finished, the magic returned to the two cats. Satisfaction and exhilaration surged through them. They raced through the field – two small shadows with no source, two panthers resplendent in joy.

They eventually returned to the farmhouse and slipped inside.

No one saw them come in.

Just as no one had seen them leave.

If they were human, they would have laughed in anticipation of the farmer’s reaction to their one night’s mischief well done.

But they were not human.

They were cats and they expressed their excitement in the only way they knew how. They ran around the house yowling and screaming as if the floor were fiery water.

Tomorrow would be a day of wonder and amusement for the two cats.

They couldn’t wait.

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Green Eggs And…Bleah! Spam

Sam I Am sat down at his table in his comfortable breakfast nook. He was all set to have a lovely meal of green eggs and ham. It was his favorite.

But something was wrong.

Something was amiss.

There was green eggs on his plate. That was right. That was okay.

But that was not ham — green or otherwise.

He picked up his three-pronged fork and poked the splotchy, pink and white square next to his green eggs.

“Boing! Boing!” the pink square twanged.

Sam I Am poked it again.

Again, the pink square twanged, “Boing! Boing!”

He set his fork next to his plate.

“Well. This isn’t right. This is all wrong. This isn’t green eggs and ham. This is green eggs and spam.”

He stared thoughtfully at the square of a splotchy nature. “I have eaten many a strange thing in many a strange place. But I must draw the line at something and somewhere. I cannot eat green eggs and spam at my kitchen table in my comfortable nook. I cannot eat it here or there. I cannot eat it anywhere. I do not like spam. I do not.”

He picked up the pink and white square. It squicked and boinged at the same time. He ran it to the garbage disposal, tossed it in, and turned on the machine.

“BOINGBOINGBOIIIIIINGBOINGBOINGBOOOOOIIIIIIING!” The mysterious meat square seemed to protest, but Sam I Am didn’t care. He went into his refrigerator and pulled out a thick, spiraled green ham.

He smiled happily and carried it to his kitchen table in his comfortable little nook. He set it on the table next to his green eggs.

“Ahh, green eggs and ham.” He sliced off a large hunk of meat. “It really is the best.”

May Writing Prompts

The History Of Nearly Nothing

If they wrote a book about you and me,
It would be called the History of Nearly Nothing.
Because that’s what we are.

We aren’t nothing.
But we are so perilously close.
We’re nearly there.

We aren’t boyfriend and girlfriend.
We aren’t husband and wife.
We’re just friends.

Nothing wrong there.
Nothing at all.
Unless you want to be something more.

We get along so well.
People think we’re related.
You’re my brother. I’m your sister.

But that isn’t true.
And that isn’t the kind of relationship
I want from you.

But you’re happy as we are.
You don’t think of me as anything.
Just almost a sister. Just as a friend.

But I feel like we are nearly nothing.
Maybe because that’s all we are.

May Writing Prompts

Interview With An Umpire. Wait. What?

Penny Witherspoon wore her most voluptuous dress. She fluffed her hair to its maximum levels of fluffiness. She put an amazing amount of lipstick and rouge on. So much rouge, it was almost alarming.

But she was quite satisfied with her appearance.

She blew a kiss at her reflection. “I am fabulous.” She puckered up her lips.

He won’t be able to resist me.

Oh, this interview will be interesting.

She laughed. “So very interesting. For it isn’t every day, a journalist interviews a vampire.”

Penny got out of her car and strutted to the front door of the modest ranch house.

The modestness of the house puzzled her. She wondered if she had the wrong address. But she had checked and double checked it before she had gotten out of the car.

This was the right place. No doubts about it.

Although, she certainly had her doubts.

Yet, that didn’t stop her from strutting like a vixen on a catwalk. Maybe this vampire liked the simple life.

It was surprising yet somehow quite refreshing.

But she did not regret all of the work she’d put into her appearance. After all, a vampire was a vampire. One should always look one’s best when meeting a vampire.

“And I’m certainly looking my best.”

She stopped at the front door, readjusted her neckline to provocative levels, and rang the doorbell.

“Helllooo.” she said in her most seductive tones. “My name is…Hm. Maybe that’s overkill. Hi! My name is…No. That won’t do. Too perky. And perky does not mesh well with my appearance. Maybe something in between. Hi! My name is….” Long, gasping breath. “Penny Witherspoooooon.” She exhaled her name as if she were dying.

Yes. That will do.

The door opened.

And disappointment reigned supreme.

The man on the other side of the door was as ordinary looking as his house.

Slightly paunchy.

Balding with a streak of individual hairs trying so hard to cover it all up.

Five o’clock shadow.

Dingy white tank top with blatant coffee stains.

Sagging pajama bottoms.

If this man is a vampire, I do not want to be the object of his affections.

“Hello.” she monotoned. “I am Penny Witherspoon of the Daily Weekly Monday News. I am here to interview Josh Pedersen, vampire extraordinary.”

“Vampire, huh?” He scratched the side of his face. His uneven fingernails scritched against his whiskers. It was like listening to a tree branch scratching up a window. “No one’s ever called me that before. Int’resting.”

Penny could feel her blood drain from her face. “Are you Josh Pedersen?”

“Yep.”

“Are you a vampire?”

“Nope. Umpire, ma’am. Retired umpire.”

Penny wanted to say, “Oh.”, but her spirit had left her body and she could do nothing but stare dismally at him.

“So. You’re here to interview me?”

“Yes.” she monotoned.

“Well. Come on in. Make yourself at home. I’ll change into something a bit more appropriate. Be right back.”

And just like that, he left her unsupervised.

I should turn around and run away.

I don’t want to interview this drab looking man.

Not dressed like this. I feel foolish and overdone and I want to go into a corner somewhere to die.

But I am here at the command of my boss. It can’t be helped.

She entered the living room and flumped down on the first available chair – a smushy beanbag that really belonged in some teen’s dorm room. But it was strangely comfortable.

So, she remained seated on it.

She refused to think of how incongruous she must look — dressed up all fine and seated on a beanbag.

She absolutely refused to think of a great many things.

Josh entered the room, dressed in a clean polo shirt and a plain pair of jeans. He had taken the time to shave himself, which made quite a difference.

She marveled at how much a difference a good shaving could make.

“Well then, Miss Witherspoon. Let’s begin this interview.”

She smiled. “Yes, let’s.”

May Writing Prompts

Lord Of The Pies

I am the lord of the pies.
If you want a pie,
You must sing for it.
You must dance for it.
For these things cannot be given away
All for free.

I am the lord of the pies
And these things are precious to me.
If you want a pie,
You must pay a fee
You may have to pay a fine.
For I will not give away my pies
All for free.

I am the lord of the pies
I have blueberry, strawberry
Raspberry, blackberry
And cherry too.
I have chocolate and wineberry
Joyful and sorrowberry
Summer and snowberry.
And none of them are for free.

So, if you want a piece of pie,
You must come to me
For I have all of the pies to be had.
For I am the Lord of the Pies
And I will not give away a single slice away
All for free.

May Writing Prompts

Tornado In Havaton

Author’s Note: Writer’s Digest had the following writing prompt on their website: A tornado is forming, and your character is in the absolute worst place they can be at the moment. Where are they? How do they handle the situation?

I was going to go with a Wizard of Oz story, but I thought it would be more interesting to put my Ambrose and Elsie characters into the situation. Just to see what would happen. So, anyway! Here’s my take on it!

****

The door was locked and there was no way to escape.

Ambrose Smith paced in furious lines.

The door is locked. The room is too small. I’m hungry.

He growled. “I’m hungry. And where is Elsie? She should be here. Why did she lock me in here? I’m hungry. Where is she? I’m hungry.”

He marched over to the door and kicked it. “I’M HUNGRY!” He clenched his teeth as his stomach grumbled. “Elsie, where are you?”

Ambrose closed his eyes and pressed his forehead against the door. “Elsie. Elsie.”

Door at the top of the stairs. Opened. Closed.

Footsteps. Light footsteps. A hunter’s footsteps – light and sure.

He opened his eyes and listened.

Footsteps. Light footsteps. Coming my way.

He raised his head and smiled.

A scent. Lilies of the valley. Musk. “Elsie.”

Footsteps. Light footsteps. Stopped outside my bedroom door.

He backed away. His claws extended. “Hungry.”

Door. Unlocked.

Door. Opened.

And Elsie entered the room. “Good. You’re still in here.”

He snarled. “You didn’t give me much choice. You locked me in here.”

“For your own good. The conditions out there are right for a tornado.”

“I’m hungry. I don’t care about tornadoes.”

“You’ll care plenty when they blow you away.”

His gaze dipped to her neck. “Hungry.”

“I swear, that’s all you care about.”

His gaze returned to her face.

“It’s always about you. It’s always about your hunger. It’s always about your blood lust.”

“What do you expect? I am a vampire. And I am hungry.”

“Of course, you are.” She bared her wrist and offered it to him. “Go on. Get it over with so you can stop bellyaching about your hunger.”

“You don’t know what it’s like.”

“Whatever. Just do it.”

He took her wrist.

The lights flickered.

She glanced around the windowless room. “Maybe it’s just a bad thunderstorm.”

He looked down at her wrist.

So hungry.

The lights flickered again before blacking out.

Ambrose rubbed his thumb across her wrist.

I could bite her wrist. Sing her song. Play her little game. Or I could make her dance to my beat. It’s what I want.

Her neck is so lovely.

Her scent is so heady. It enters me with every inhale. It leaves me with every exhale.

And it is all that I want.

He licked his lips.

What I want.

“Are you going to bite me or—-”

The storm arrived in a raging, screaming fury. It howled and battered its fists against the house.

Elsie cried out in a panic.

I could take advantage of this situation.

I could.

I’m hungry.

The house screeched as the storm tore away shingles and siding.

“Ambrose!”

He hugged her and pulled her down to her knees.

“What are you doing? Let me go! Let me—”

“Shh.” He knelt and held onto her. “I have you. Hold on to me. I have you, Elsie.”

Something heavy crashed outside the house.

Elsie hugged him as tight as she could.

He closed his eyes and inhaled her scent.

But he did not bite her.

He stroked her frizzy black hair and loved the feel of it. The wild, uncontrolled texture of it.

And, for the first time in his vampire life, Ambrose Smith thought about something more than his hunger. “Don’t worry, Elsie Vansing. You’re safe.”

A Tale of Two Biddies

Agatha’s eyes sparkled with a reminiscent gleam as she sipped her tea. “It was the best of times.”

“No, no no, Agatha dear. It was the worst of times.” Agnes sat at the table and eyed the plate of pastries. “I do remember it being the worst of times.”

“That may be, Agnes, but it was also the age of wisdom.”

“Oh, hardly that. It was the age of foolishness. Why! Anyone worth a half cent of Sen-Sen would remember that.” Raspberry pastries. Poppyseed pastries. Almond crème pastries.

“Oh, do stop interrupting me, Agnes. It was the epoch of belief.”

“Tsk. I know you told me not to interrupt, but I’m afraid I simply must. It was not the epoch of belief, my dear. It was the epoch of incredulity. No one believed in anything. Not one darn thing. Why, they barely even believed that the sky was blue.” The pastries were so tempting, but Agnes knew she really shouldn’t have one. “If you remember.”

“I do remember. I simply remember it differently from you. It was the season of LIGHT!”

“No. That was the year we had that horrible power outage. Don’t you remember that? We went through so many candles and matches. It still fills me with dread. So, I would not call it the season of light at all. It was the season of Darkness.”

“It was the spring of hope.”

“No, it was the winter of despair.”

“We had EVERYTHING before us.”

“How can you say that, Agatha? We had NOTHING before us or behind us for that matter. That was the year the tornado came through.” Agnes really needed to cut back on the sweets and she knew it. “Surely you remember that?”

“We were all going directly to Heaven.”

Agnes laughed. “Oh, my dear. I could have sworn that society was inclined to…mm. Go the other way as directly as possible.” But pastries were more bread than sweet. So, did they even count?

“Well. I give up.” Agatha took another sip of her tea. “You clearly don’t remember it the same as I do.”

Agnes claimed a plump almond crème pastry and took a bite. “Quite clearly you don’t.”

May Writing Prompts