Category Archives: Jessica De La Rosa

Flash Fiction Monday

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10-2015 - WomaninWhite

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There she was, finally.

Click.

He’d been hiding in the trees outside her house all day, waiting for her to return. She’d left in the morning, dressed all in white, perhaps for a party, looking beautiful as always. He hadn’t expected her to be gone so long, but still he’d waited.

Click.

At least this time she was alone. Last time he’d stood here, he’d had to watch as that moronic boyfriend had pawed all over her, clumsy teenage hands and hormones everywhere has they said goodnight. It had taken all the willpower in the world to stay in his hiding place.

Click.

One last picture as she slipped inside the back door.

He followed her progress through the empty house, watching lights turn on and off as she made her way upstairs. He knew she had the house to herself this weekend, her parents were out of town and like the good girl she was, she was home alone and would go to bed early.

He waited patiently for the second floor light at the front of the house to go out, the one he knew to be her bedroom. Once the house was quiet again, he left his hiding place behind the trees and made his way to the back door. Even in the dark, he found the hidden key without trouble and let himself into the house. Careful not to make a sound he bolted the door behind him and pocketed the key.

Making his way through the dark house, he was careful to avoid the hall table and the large vase that sat on the floor near the foot of the stairs. It wasn’t his first time in this house in the dark. He was careful to avoid the squeaky third step on his was to the second floor, his breath coming in quick gasps the closer he got to her bedroom.

He paused in the doorway, watching the way the moonlight fell across the bed making her dark hair glow. Her pale skin virtually shone in the light coming through the window, her breathing was deep and peaceful. It wouldn’t be for long.

Closing the door as silently as possible, he set his bag of tools at the foot of the bed before walking to stand next to her. He allowed himself one more minute of silence to watch her before making her aware of his presence. Finally, he decided it was time.

He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a black scarf, something he could use to tie her hands. But first he wanted to wake her up, she had to know he was there, what was coming for her. In one swift motion he pinned her wrists against the mattress with one large hand and covered her mouth with the other.

“Wake up, Elizabeth.” he whispered into her ear.

Her eyes flew open and stared at him in terror, in recognition. She tried to scream but it came out muffled.

“Shhhhhhh,” he whispered. “Don’t bother screaming. It won’t help.”

He stared down at her, reveling her in beauty as a single tear slid down her cheek. It wouldn’t be her last.

Check out the links below to see what stories the other bloggers came up with:

Bronwyn
Jess
Kellie
Jessica
Kris

Wednesday Randomness – A-Z Recipes

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Believe it or not, I actually completed both blog topics this week. Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years!

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This week’s Wednesday topic is A-Z Recipes, either ones we love to make or want to try making. I had to make up or alter names for a few of them so they would fit certain letters, but I made it work! I didn’t include the recipes or link to them because most of them or either in books or in my head, but if you’re interested in one, let me know and I can write it out in the comments.

A – Asparagus and Broccoli Chicken Stir Fry (totally takes the place of wanting to order Chinese take-out)

B – Basil Pesto Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

C – Chicken Fricassee (one of the first “real recipes” I ever tried cooking)

D – Dad’s Chili (I’m very picky about chili, not too tomato-y, although I do make a few changes from his recipe)

E – Edamame Chicken Pot Pie (it’s just Chicken Pot Pie with Edamame in it, but I really like it and it worked for “E”)

F – Fried Chicken (never made it but my Southern roots make me feel like I should try it)

G – Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Panini

H – Homemade Double Chocolate Fudge Brownies (these are beyond sinful, I usually only make these at Christmas because they are kind of labor intensive and have ridiculous amounts of butter in them)

I – Invisible Parrot (2 parts Sprite or 7UP with 1 part Malibu Rum and a slice of lime – delicious)

J – Jones’ Family Famous Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (actually my husband’s recipe)

K – Kayleigh’s Signature Chocolate and Butterscotch Chip Cookies

L – Lasagna (I love my mom’s lasagna recipe, I’m not big on sauce on hers is not saucy at all)

M – My Grandpa’s Parmesan Chicken (it could be in any Italian restaurant it’s that good, if he would just give me the recipe)

N – Not Your Mom’s Chinese Spaghetti and Meatballs (it involves ground chicken meatballs with Chinese Five Spice, pea pods, and sesame oil on the noodles)

O – Orange Tempeh Vegetable Stir Fry

P – Pesto Pasta with Italian Chicken Sausage

Q – Quiche (never made one, only had it for the first time this summer but I really liked it)

R – Redskin Garlic Mashed potatoes (simple but I love them)

S – Skinny Burrito Bowl (so good!)

T – Thanksgiving Squash Casserole (it’s really just a squash casserole, but I only make it on Thanksgiving)

U – Utterly Delicious Apple Pie Rolls (I just saw these on Pinterest, you use Crescent rolls and put a slice of apple in each one along with spices and nuts, then roll them up and bake them; I can’t wait to try them this fall)

V – Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls

W – Walnut Oatmeal Banana Bread

X – Xasperating Pumpkin Roll Cake (it’s so good but very tricky, again a Thanksgiving only recipe)

Y – Yummy Summer Apple Salad (apple, pineapple, butterscotch pudding mix, and whip cream; very easy and tastes like caramel apples)

Z – Zucchini Taco Boats

Check out the links below to see what the other bloggers love to make (or want to try making):

Bronwyn
Jessica
Paige
Gwen
Kellie

Flash Fiction Monday

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09-2015 - KeyInHand

I sat on the floor, turning the key over in my fingers, staring at the box where it sat on the small table. it was a wooden box, about twelve inches square and covered in Celtic-looking carvings. It stared at me just like it had for the first thirty years of my life, locked, its secrets unyielding.

Not two hours ago, I had answered a knock on the door to find my grandfather’s lawyer standing there with an envelope. Apparently, this key had been part of what I had received from grandfather’s will, but it had taken awhile for anyone to find it. He’d been gone three months and the key had only now shown up.

So there I sat, turning the key over and staring, almost scared to open the box and finally find out what was in it, my family inheritance, or family legacy, I suppose. The wooden box had been packed on the day I was born and locked, to be opened only when my legal guardian died. Or that’s what the letter enclosed with the key had said. Up until then, I had always been told the box had belonged to my grandmother and the key was long lost. I just kept it around because the carvings were beautiful and I liked having something of hers.

Well, I couldn’t put it off anymore. Grabbing the box, I pulled it off the table and settled it on my lap. I traced my finger over the carvings just like I had as a little girl, marveling at the smoothness of the wood. I inserted the brass key into the lock and turned it. I was expecting some resistance given how long it had been since the box had been opened, but the lock clicked smoothly. Letting out a breath I hadn’t realized I was holding, I slowly lifted the lid of the box, no idea what to expect.

Gasping, I threw one hand over my eyes as a bright purple light shot out of the box. The lid fell all the way open and I felt a tingling sensation start at the tips of my fingers and toes. The feeling worked its way through my limbs and slowly coalesced around my heart before dissipating.

It was astonishing, the sense of lightness and utter completeness I suddenly felt. It was like a part of me had clicked into place after being out of sync for my whole life.

With the light gone, I could now see the actual contents of the box; a note and a leather bound book. I opened the note and smiled when I saw the familiar scrawl that belonged to my grandfather.

Katherine,
I know this will be a shock, and I’m sorry I’m not there to help you through this.
Unfortunately, this how it’s done in our family. One witch active at a time, so upon
my death, you’ll get your powers. If you’re reading this it means I’m gone and I miss
you very much. This book will tell you most of what you need to know, the history
and many basic spells. This key also opens a trunk in the cellar of my house where
you will find more books. It’s up to you to carry on the family traditions and prepare
to pass them down to your descendants.
Learn them well.

Well hell, I thought, I was witch.

Check out the links below to see the other bloggers’ stories:

Bronwyn
Jessica
Kellie
Paige
Kris

Wordless Wednesday – On My Bookshelf

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IMG_1229 IMG_1228  IMG_1225  IMG_1221 IMG_1215 IMG_1220 IMG_1218 IMG_1216 IMG_1217Click the links below to see what the other bloggers have on their bookshelves:
Bronwyn
Jessica
Gwen
Jess

Flash Fiction Mondays

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07-2015 - BarefootInField

I stared at the printouts on the table in front of me. Each one was dated June seventh for the last five years and detailed similar deaths of different men. All were found in hiking clothes in the same stretch of land, and all had no apparent signs of trauma. But they were all estimated to have died the day before, on June sixth, and they were all my fault.

Have you heard of a Woman in White? I hadn’t in either, not until a couple of years of ago, not until I realized that I had created one. A Woman in White is considered folklore, just a story told that no one actually believes, something that’s fun to scare yourself with around the campfire.

A few years ago, back before all this started, I had a fiancee named Penny. I loved her, I was going to marry her after all. But I was stupid, like so many people are. I strayed, I cheated on her. I had a relationship with another woman that lasted about six months and Penny found out. She apparently knew for awhile but decided to wait to confront me about it until we were alone, with no hope of anyone interrupting us. She had a plan, you see.

I didn’t deny anything, she knew the truth and trying to convince her otherwise would have been pointless. Plus, I was done with all the lying. Penny told me she just needed to be alone for awhile so she could decide what she wanted to do, about us, I guess. I left her there, in that field. Like she asked. I told her I would come back later to pick her up, there was nothing close by she couldn’t walk to anywhere from there. When I went back a couple of hours later, I found her hanging from a branch in a tree. She had apparently hidden a rope there earlier in the day, knowing all along what she was going to do.

At the moment she had died, I created a Woman in White; a jilted woman who takes her own life doomed to remain as a ghost taking vengeance on unfaithful men.

And every year, on the anniversary of her death, Penny killed one man in the same spot. They were far enough apart and that spot was frequented enough that no one seemed to catch on, except me. But this year would be the last. I was going to stop her, one way or another. This was my fault and I couldn’t let her hurt anyone else.

I wasn’t sure when she normally appeared, but I’d wait all day if I had to. I gathered up my supplies and left my truck in the same spot where all the other victims’ vehicles were found. I was going to do everything they did, leaving nothing to chance. I started at the head of the trail and hiked into the forest, knowing eventually I would end up in the field where Penny and I fought, and where she died.

The trip took the better part of the day, but I welcomed the exercise. I used the time to go over, again, what I would say to Penny to when I saw her. How I would apologize, how I would tell her that killing these other people didn’t set right what I had done and couldn’t she see that? I had to make her see that. She wasn’t this person, or hadn’t been in life. I didn’t know what she was anymore, I guess.

Once I reached the field, I sat down under the tree where she had died and noticed that someone had carved her name into the trunk, as a memorial I assumed. I waited for Penny to appear, thinking I probably wouldn’t have to wait long. I fit her criteria and I had to be her ideal victim, I just hoped I could get her to listen to me before she did anything too permanent.

As afternoon turned into evening, I was starting to lose confidence. I saw no sign of her, felt no chill in the air. I had read that was a sure sign that a ghost was near. I refused to give up though, I would wait all night if I had to. I must have fallen asleep at one point, I woke up suddenly when a branch from above broke off with a loud crack and landed on my ankle. Crying out in surprise and pain, it was then I noticed that the temperature had finally dropped.

And there, in front of me, was Penny. She looked just as she had on the say she died, same long dark hair and white sundress. But her eyes, they were black and angry. Her mouth opened and she screamed at me, but no sound came out. And in that instant, she was no longer my Penny but a vengeful demon. I didn’t know if reasoning with her would work, but I had to try. I pulled myself to my feet.

“Penny, I’m so sorry. I’m sorry about what I did to you, that I cheated on you. That I treated you like that. But what you’re doing now, it’s not right. These other guys haven’t hurt you, they haven’t done anything to you. You shouldn’t be killing them.”

Those black eyes just stared at me, I couldn’t tell if she even understood anything I was saying to her. There was no change in her expression, just a further drop in the temperature around me.

“What can I do so that you’ll stop? Is there anything I can do to help you move on from this, whatever this existence is?”

At that, the expression on her face changed. She broke into a horrifying grin and the temperature dropped yet again.

Oh god, I knew what she wanted. “Is that what it will take? If you kill me, will I be your last victim? Is that what you’ve been waiting on this whole time, for me to show up?”

Slowly, she nodded.

“And if i die, you’ll leave this place?”

She nodded again.

I didn’t even have a chance to tell her to do it. I felt a cold hand reach inside my chest and wrap around my heart, squeezing it until I thought it would burst. I started to black out from the lack of oxygen but the last thing i saw before I died was Penny, my Penny, brown eyes and all walking off down a path in the early evening light.

So, you wanted to know how I ended up a lonely ghost wandering this stretch of the woods? That’s my story. In order to move on, you have to complete your unfinished business. Penny was my unfinished business, but she’s already gone, so I don’t have anything to finish. I’m destined to wander here for eternity, unless you think you can help me somehow?

Check out the links below to the read the other stories this week:

Jess
Jessica
Paige
Bronwyn
Kris
Gwen
Kellie

Wednesday Randomness – A Few of My Favorite Things: Music (Artists/Groups)

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This week’s blog post is another favorite things topic, this time focusing on music.

I listen to music constantly, while I’m working, writing, driving, reading, cleaning, doing anything really. It helps me focus, in a way. Like there’s a part of my brain that wanders but if I have music playing, that part of my brain has something to focus on. And since music plays such a large part in my day, what I listen to is pretty important.

My husband would say I’m stuck in the 90’s. I might agree with that, to an extent. I do like a certain amount of music from that era, but who doesn’t like to listen to what they did in high school? So yes, I totally still have Toad the Wet Sprocket, Counting Crows, and Better Than Ezra in constant rotation. I even saw TTWS and Counting Crows in concert last summer and my little Doc Marten wearing heart soared. Here’s a big throwback to the 90’s…the original Mr. Jones video. Oh my god, I feel so old right now.

I love U2. I know a lot of people don’t like Bono, but I don’t care. I love their music. I gravitate towards the Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby albums, but I also really love All That You Can’t Leave Behind. Thought I’d throw in a little 80’s U2 for your viewing pleasure, I still love this video.

What else? I’ve always loved “oldies,” Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons is one of my favorites. I’ve been listening to Simon and Garfunkel since I was in the womb.

I know there are so many more I’m missing, but this gives you a taste of my favorite music. I listen to a wider variety than is represented here, but I definitely lean towards a certain type as my “core” music, I guess.

Check out the links below to see who the other ladies are listening to:
Jess
Bronwyn
Gwen
Jessica
Kris

Wednesday Randomness – Favorite Quotes

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This week’s random Wednesday topic is favorite quotes, I’ve chosen a few quotes on books, writing, and life in general.

Love him or hate him, Steve Jobs had some amazing quotes, these are three of my favorites:

“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.”

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.”
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Moving away from one person in particular, these are some of my favorite quotes on books and writing…
Writing is hard
“Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks.”  – Dr. Seuss
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway
“Make good art.” – Neil Gaiman
“Art harder motherfucker.” – Chuck Wendig
“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Douglas Adams
“If you don’t see the book you want on the shelf, write it.” – Beverly Cleary
And finally, some random awesome quotes…
“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” – Stephen King
“Do not confuse my bad days as a sign of weakness. Those are actually the days I am fighting the hardest.” Anonymous
“What is right is not always popular, and what is popular is not always right.” – Albert Einstein
Check out the Wednesday bloggers for their favorite quotes:

Flash Fiction

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Flash Fiction

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06-2015 - PaperHeart

Boxes surrounded me as I sat in the middle of the office, trying to decide what to keep and what to get rid of. The handmade floor to ceiling bookcases that I once loved now loomed over me, wondering why I did this alone. I had saved this room for last because I knew it would be the hardest and i wasn’t wrong. We had spent countless hours in here together. The deep brown leather chair by the fireplace still smelled like him, cologne and woodsmoke. I had been sleeping in it every night since I’d been back in the house, or as close to sleeping as I could get, just so I could pretend he was still here.

Looking around I decided to start with the photographs. Frames were scattered around the shelves, showing us in better times; camping, skiing, riding a tandem bike on Macknac Island. And my favorite picture of the two of us, standing side by side, arms around each others’ waists with Lake Superior shining crystal blue in the background. I lost myself staring at the way the sun glinted off his black curls, finally coming back to reality when I noticed the tears blurring the picture. With a sigh, I wiped the glass off and wrapped it in bubble wrap, packing it up with the rest of the photos.

Finally, that left just the books. I wasn’t going to have as much room in my new place, so a lot of them were going to have to go. I was tempted to get rid of most of mine so I could keep his. Anything to keep a piece of him with me. After a few hours of sorting, and a few too many glasses of wine, I was down to his pride a joy. It was a collection of first edition Ernest Hemingway novels, it had taken him forever to find them all and he had been so proud. I pulled down The Sun Also Rises, his favorite, and ran my fingers over the spine. When I opened the front cover, a piece of paper fell out. I recognized it immediately. It was a heart shaped, yellowed piece of paper burned around the edges. I had found it in an old diary in an antique shop on a trip out East and it had turned out to be a love letter the diary owner had kept. Now, it looked as though writing had been added to the back side of it that had once been blank.

My darling girl,
I know its not going to be long now. I want nothing more than to grow old
with you and retire by the lake like we always talked about.
I want to watch a thousand more sunrises and sunsets with you.
I don’t know what’s beyond this life, but I know that wherever I
end up I will miss you every moment. And know that I want you to be happy in life.
I want you to find love and to have purpose. Most importantly, I want you to remember
that I love you more than anything.
I always have.

And with that the floodgates opened. I sobbed wine fueled, grief induced tears until I finally fell asleep on the floor.

“Ma’am.” I felt someone shaking my arm. “Ma’am? I’m sorry, are you ok?”

Blinking in the bright morning light, I saw two men standing over me. “Who are you?” I wasn’t as alarmed as I probably should have been.

“We’re the movers. I was told you would be expecting us.”

They both looked extremely uncomfortable at finding me passed out on the floor. I couldn’t blame them. “No,” I said. “I am, sorry. Rough night.” I peeled myself up into a sitting position. “Please go ahead and get started, I just need to gather up a few things.”

The movers left to go start on another part of the house. I looked around the room one more time, making sure all the windows were closed. Standing up, I put the heart shaped note back in the front cover of the book and clutched it to my chest, standing still in the middle of the room.

“I love you, too,” I whispered. “Always.” Just as I started to walk away, a small breeze ruffled the hair on the back of my neck, just where he used to kiss me.

Check out the links below to read the other stories for Flash Fiction Monday:

Jessica
Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Kellie

Flash Fiction Mondays

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05-2015 - StreetLampBlueDoor

Glancing behind me to make sure I hadn’t been followed, i walked up to the building. It was just as it had been described, blue doors covered in vines illuminated by a lamppost. Taking a deep breath to steady myself, I raised my hand and knocked three times, waited and knocked twice, as instructed.

I heard footsteps from within and the doors opened soundlessly to reveal a slight, elderly man. He looked frail but the power radiating off him made me take a step back. He said nothing but waited for an answer to a question.

“I come seeking knowledge and guidance,” I said.

The old man looked me up and down once and turned to walk back down the hallway leading into the dark interior. I assumed I was supposed to follow. As I stepped over the threshold, the doors closed behind me.

Without turning around, the old man said, “Be careful what you ask for, Billie.”

We continued down the darkened hallway, longer than seemed possible for the size of the old building. Eventually we stopped in front of another set of doors, these were heavy oak, carved with strange symbols I didn’t recognize.

Open them.

I started violently. The voice had been crystal clear, but no one had spoken, out loud anyway.

Open the doors child, you know you can.

Glancing behind me I realized the old man was gone and I was alone in the hallway. Slowly I took a couple of steps toward the doors, noting the way the air seemed to thicken the closer I got. But once I was within a foot of the door, it was like I hit an invisible wall. I knew what was wanted of me but I rebelled. Why, I didn’t know. This is what I had come here for.

After a brief internal struggle, I closed my eyes and brought up an image of the oak doors in my mind. I pictured the ornate, wrought iron handles and the carved symbols. I reached out with my mind and I pushed. The doors swung open to reveal a group of people standing in a circle, candles floating in the air casting eerie shadows about the room.

I was finally here, with the Order of the Light. This was my birthright, I was home.

Check out the stories from the other bloggers:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Kellie
Jessica
Gwen

Wednesday Randomness – I Spend Too Much Time…

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I Spend Too Much Time…Raiding Windmills. We go side by side, laugh until its right. Take the darkest hour, break it open.

If you can tell me what song that’s from, I’ll give you chocolate. And no Googling!

But seriously folks, this week’s Random Wednesday topic is – I Spend Too Much Time…

Worrying.

I am a master worrier. I worry about everything. Did I leave the toaster plugged in? Did I lock the door when I left for work? Am I going to lose my job? Is something in my house going to fail drastically? Is my cat sick? I can worry about anything at any time and it can easily spiral out of control. And if I’m not careful I can end up in a panic attack.

I also spend too much time not writing. Every day I leave work telling myself that I’m going to go home and write. Instead I go home and binge watch Netflix, or goof around on the internet, or read. Or sleep. It’s a wonder I ever get anything written at all.

Last but not least, I spend too much time “shoulding.” I tell myself I should be doing this or I should be doing that. All it does is add to my stress level so I’m working on cutting my self some slack. Easier said than done.

Check out the Wednesday blogs below:

Jess
Bronwyn
Kris
Jessica
Kellie
Paige
Gwen