Wednesday Randomness – An Angry Letter

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This week’s topic is an angry letter to anyone or anything we want. I thought for a long time about the subject of this letter, and last night while I was trying to fall asleep, it came to me. Gizmo.

Gizmo is my neighbor’s dog. I can’t get a picture of Gizmo without looking super creepy and stalkery, so we’ll just substitute in this one:

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The Gizmo that lives next door is not that cute. He (or she) is some sort of tiny mutt that’s black and white (dirty, dingy white), with a Mohawk. But not even a cute Mohawk. It’s a dumb Mohawk. The neighbors (otherwise known has Creepy Old Dude and his Wife) tie Gizmo to the front door to let it out, which ends up being next to our drive way. So when we park and get out of the car, we are treated to a lots of high-pitched, angry barking. Or, when we go out on our front porch. Or take our dog out at night for a last bathroom break. Or, as happened last night that prompted this post, our dog and Gizmo saw each other through our living window which started a barking/beagle howling battle at 10:30 at night. Awesome.

I’ve never been a dog person per se, I’m more of one now that I have a dog. I’ve gotten to like many more of them in general.

I severely dislike Gizmo.

I guess this wasn’t so much of a angry letter. Here, I’ll end on a short one.

Dear Stupid Gizmo,

Don’t choke on a bone or anything.*

Love, Me.

*I would like to point out that I would never wish or condone harm on an animal, but that is the most annoying little bastard of a dog.

Check out the links below to read the other angry letters:
Bronwyn
Gwen
Paige

Wednesday Randomness – When I Grow Up…

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I’ve been missing in action for a little while, but I’m trying to get back on the bandwagon, starting with this week’s Wednesday post…What I Wanted to be When I Grew Up.

I was a little all over the place when I was a kid.

I wanted to be a marine biologist for a long time. Not to work at a place like SeaWorld. But to work with dolphins or whales in the ocean. That was, of course, before I stopped swimming in natural bodies of water. But that’s another story.

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Then there was my FBI phase. That lasted quite a while. And I’m not sure where it came from, maybe The X-Files. I think it fizzled out about the time I told my mom about it and she laughed at me.

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I think maybe I wanted to be a writer, but that was a little too abstract for me as a kid. Although I’m not sure why.

I did go through a serious phase where I wanted to be a photographer for National Geographic. I think that one might still be going on. But I’m not that good at photography.

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I can tell you I damn sure never wanted to be an accountant. But if I could be as cool as this guy…

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Yet somehow, that’s where I ended up. For now at least.

Check out the links below to see what the other bloggers wanted to be when they grew up, or what they still want to be when they grow up:
Bronwyn
Jessica
Paige
Gwen

Wordless Wednesday – Sadness

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Check out the other bloggers below:

Bronwyn
Paige
Jessica
Kellie
Gwen

 

Promptly Penned

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Promplty Penned

 

Here’s this month’s prompt:

Person A: “I thought I’d made it clear we have a no abduction policy.”

Person B: “She wasn’t cooperating. What did you expect me to do?”

***

From the backseat, Caroline could hear the two men arguing.

“I thought I’d made it clear we have a no abduction policy.” That was the guy behind the wheel.

“She wasn’t cooperating. What did you expect me to do?” This was the shorter of the two men, the one who had stuffed her in the backseat of the car.

“She shouldn’t have even known we were there. It was supposed to be an in and out, grab the money and leave.”

“Well, she must have heard us or something. She came up out of the basement and, uh…” Here the guy in the passenger seat trailed off, sounding kind of sheepish.

“Uh, what?” The driver said, sounding irritated.

“She saw my face, alright? I told her to get in the freezer after that and I was going to lock in her but she wouldn’t listen and since I figured she could probably describe me, I thought I should bring her with.”

The car suddenly lurched to the right in a squeal of tires. “How. How.” The driver took a couple of deep breaths. “How in the name of all that is holy did she see your face? You’re wearing a mask!”

 “I took it off.” It came out barely more than a whisper.

“I’m sorry. You what?”

“I took if off. It was itchy.” This time the passenger’s voice had a definite whine to it. “I told you I didn’t want to wear it in the first place. I don’t like masks.”

“You flaming idiot! The whole point of the mask is so people won’t see our faces. And then you go and take it off.”

“That’s why I brought her with. So she can’t tell nobody what we look like.”

At this point, Caroline had to stifle a giggle in the backseat. These had to be the two worst burglars in the world. Not just inept, but totally stupid. She continued to work at the apron that had been tied around her hands, figuring that if she could get free she had a good chance getting away from these idiots.

The car was still pulled over to the curb so Caroline decided to take a chance. “Hey, fellas?”

Both guys jumped and turned around to stare at her, now sitting up in the backseat with her hands in her lap.

“Hello.” She gave a little half wave and smiled.

“What the hell are you doing up?” The driver turned to the other guy. “Couldn’t you at least tie her up properly?”

“I thought I did!” He flinched as the driver smacked him in the back of the head.

“Boys. Boys!” Caroline smiled again as they turned to look back at her. “Did you maybe forget something?” She held up the bag of money they had taken from the coffee shop and waived it like a cape in front of a bull.

The two men looked at each other in horror. They started scrambling over each other to try climb into the backseat. As they fought to fit through the tiny space, Caroline opened the unlocked (how dumb were they?) back door and slipped out of the car. She wouldn’t have much time, but she thought she could make this work.

Caroline took off running as fast as she could down the dark side street toward the park that was nearby. If she could get enough of a head start she could lose them in the woods on the other side. She wasn’t the captain of her track team for nothing and those guys weren’t going to win any Olympic medals. She could hear them huffing and puffing behind her but their footsteps were falling farther and farther away.

Caroline made it to the trees and slowed to look behind her. The burglars were doubled over in the middle of the street trying to catch their breath, she was afraid one of them might have a heart attack. As they were still trying to recover, Caroline turned and kept making her way through the woods, slower now so she wouldn’t fall in the dark.

Eventually, Caroline made it home without any more issues. She had managed to lose the guys entirely, she figured they had given up on her. Once safely in her room, she looked in the bag and saw the men had taken about half of what was in the register at the end of the night, about a thousand dollars. All of that for a thousand dollars.

Sitting on her bed, she considered. She could return it to her boss in the morning. She could do that. Or, she could pretend as though they had broken in after she had left for the evening and consider this a bonus. After all, her boss was a tool. Always staring at her chest, making her close by herself, it wasn’t a great job. Her boss probably wouldn’t even report it, he didn’t report most of his income so why report a robbery? Yeah, this was going to be nice little bonus.

If she ever saw that burglar again, she just might have to say thank you.

Check out where this prompt took the other bloggers:

Bronwyn

Kris

Paige

Gwen

Flash Fiction Mondays

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photoprompt

Handprint

“Keep running!” Gabe said, pushing at my back. “Don’t stop!”

I didn’t take my eyes off the scenery in front of me, not wanting to lose my footing and fall. Running through the woods in the dark was dangerous, I had to trust that Gabe was sticking close and we wouldn’t get separated. At this point, we weren’t even trying to be quiet, crashing through the underbrush and snapping twigs as we went. If someone was following us, we certainly couldn’t hear them.

After a few minutes of running almost flat out, I felt a hand wrap around my wrist and had to stifle a scream. We weren’t trying to be quiet, but I didn’t need to make extra noise. Gabe pulled me up beside him and whispered in my ear.

“I think we need to go this way,” he tugged on my arm to indicate the direction he meant. “The cabin should be over here, not far. We can hide there until morning.”

“Won’t they know to look for us there?”

“No, it’s abandoned. Unless you know about the cabin specifically, it’s hard to find.”

We started off again at a slower pace, trying to be quieter, listening this time to see if anyone was out there. We’d been making our way up the mountain through the woods for at least an hour at this point, trying to get away from Victor’s men.

In reality, I’d been trying to get away from Victor’s men for the last year, and I thought I finally had until they showed up at the lodge tonight. Gabe had taken one look at my face and known something was wrong, but he didn’t know the whole the story. That didn’t stop him from getting me out of there as quickly as possible though. We made it to my car only to find all four tires slashed. At that point, we headed into the woods.

Gabe had worked at the lodge in high school, so he knew these woods. Or so I hoped. We just needed to find somewhere to stay until morning when we could make our way off the mountain in the light, or possibly to a ranger station.

We made it to the abandoned cabin right as the rain started to fall, slowly at first but harder as we circled the cabin looking for a way in. Finally, Gabe decided to just break a window and reach through and unlock the door. Using his sweatshirt he managed to muffle the sound some, but it still seemed to echo across the mountain. Or maybe that was just my rising paranoia.

Inside it was musty smelling and everything was coated in a layer of dust, clearly no one had been here in years. That was a good sign. There was a fireplace but that was out of the question, the smoke would be too visible. Instead we found some questionable blankets and huddled on the sagging couch, trying to get warm. And I was trying very hard to ignore the idea that there were probably mice living in the furniture, at best.

We managed to doze off eventually, exhausted by the trek through the woods and the letdown from the adrenaline. A crash of thunder that rattled the windows startled both us from sleep some time later, causing my heart to pound in fear. It took a few minutes for me realize what had woken me and that it was just the rain, now a storm, and not someone breaking down the door.

Standing up to stretch, I wandered around the cabin peering out the windows trying to see out into the storm. Turning to look out the kitchen window, I saw a sight that made my blood run cold. A single handprint in the fog on the outside of the window.

“Gabe,” I screamed. “They found us!” Turning back towards him, trying to think of anyway out of this, I saw Gabe walk towards the door of the cabin. “Don’t,” I said, “they’re out there!”

“I know,” was all Gabe said as he opened the door and let in Victor’s men.

Check out the stories the other bloggers came up with:

Bronwyn
Kris
Paige

 

Wednesday Randomness – Writing Pet Peeves

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Writing pet peeves is the topic for this week. What annoys us? What makes us want to tear our hair out?

Where do I start?

There are so many things, big and small.

This is a weirdly specific one, but I absolutely hate it when people use the phrase, “It’s like deja vu all over again.” That phrase just doesn’t even make sense to me. What is the point of it?

Difficult to pronounce names for places, or people. There’s a series I really like and in it is a prep school with a name that I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to pronounce. I stumble over it in my head every time I come across it and it instantly pulls me out of the story. Someone has even told me how to say it a couple of times and I still can’t get it right. I get wanting to use things that are unique and different, but you can do that and still make them something that a reader can pronounce.

I have another pet peeves with names, certain names in general just annoy the ever-living hell out of me. As soon as I see them, I just want to stop reading. Names like Cash, or Tristan. For some reason, all bad boys are named Tristan. And on the subject of bad boys, why do authors  (often YA) always put bad boys in black jeans? I don’t ever actually see anyone in real life wearing black jeans, but in books, all the bad boys wear them. I’m sure they all shop at the only store that sells them, too.

“There are simply too many notes!” In other words, trying to stuff everything imaginable into one story. Let’s put in werewolves, vampires, witches, ghosts, psychics, and time travel all into one book! There is such a thing as too many elements in one story.

Insta-love. I know sometimes it’s the norm for certain genres, but unless it’s done REALLY well, just no.

And on the subject of love, love triangles. Are they ever necessary? There are so many more interesting ways to create conflict, either within the romance or not.

I could go on and on, but I think those are the important ones.

What pet peeves do the other bloggers have? Click the links below to find out:

Bronwyn
Jessica
Kris
Kellie
Gwen
Jess

 

Promptly Penned #1

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Promplty Penned

This year we’ve added a new flash fiction type entry to our blogging activities, it’s called Promptly Penned and it happens once a month on a Wednesday. The idea is that we all start with a phrase or a couple of lines of dialogue. These lines can serve as inspiration or can be worked into the flash fiction piece, it all depends on where it takes each of us. Here’s the prompt for this month:

“Some choices are easy, like fudge ripple or butter pecan, some choices aren’t. Can you guess which one this was?”

***

Butter pecan? Fudge ripple? Butter pecan? Fudge ripple? I’d been standing in the open door of the grocery store freezer case for so long that my face had gone numb and I still couldn’t pick an ice cream flavor. Screw it, I thought. After the week I’ve had I deserve both. I grabbed a pint of each and headed toward the check out.

 As I waited in line, watching each incompetent person ahead of my try to figure out how to use the self-checkout machine, I went through every horrible thing that had happened this week.

First there was the lady at work who insisted on butting into every meeting and project I was a part of, even if she wasn’t invited. Nothing like making me feel completely incompetent. Then there were the redneck neighbors and their blaring country music until all hours of the night. And the neighbors on the other side with the ugly, yappy dog that had tried to take my foot off. Thank goodness for winter boots. The flat tire in twenty degree weather. And finally, the surprise visit from my parents that had left me feeling like a failure, as always.

By the time I got to the checkout, I was about ready to swap out the two pints of ice cream for a fifth of rum.

 Three hours later I was passed out on the couch in an ice cream coma, blissfully ignoring the world. Around midnight, I sat up suddenly, not sure what had woken me. Getting up off the couch, I stepped in a pool of melted ice cream. Great, I thought, a mess to clean up. As I tried to orient myself I realized what had woken me. I could hear the sound of breaking glass coming from the back door. It must have been the initial crash that woke me and now someone was clearing out the rest to get to the locks.

As silently as I could, I made my way to the kitchen where I had left my phone, taking care to avoid all of the squeaky spots in the wood floor. Once in the kitchen, I looked around for my phone and realized I had, in fact, taken it upstairs to charge it.  Damn! Now what?

I heard the back door open and realized I had to make a decision. I grabbed the chef’s knife out of the dish drainer and tip toed over the kitchen door that led out to the back entryway and hid behind it. Could I do this? Could I defend myself against someone breaking into my house and maybe kill them? Absolutely.

Choosing an ice cream flavor was almost impossible but deciding I could kill someone to protect myself was the easiest decision I’d ever made.

I saw a shadow cross the threshold of the kitchen door and took a deep breath.

See what stories the other ladies came up with this week:

Kris
Bronwyn
Jess
Paige
Jessica
Kellie