It seems that life has gotten away from us this month!
We apologize to our readers, but due to unforeseen circumstances, we will be taking September off from posting.
We will reconvene in October with brand new stories and a spooky prompt for the end of the month.
In the meantime,
Julianne and Stacy both have stories that were just published in an anthology.
Stories from the Stacks: A Library Anthology was released September 3rd. You can find it in print and Kindle edition via Amazon.
It is a wonderful collection of short stories from the Wicked Wordsmiths of the West, and each story relates to a library.
Check it out, and we will see you in October!
He was furious, veins pounding in his temple. Every muscle in his body was taut. He was clenching his jaw tightly. Frozen in this aggressive stance, hand held at face level. Like a cobra, he was poised to strike at any moment. His eyes, the same deep hazel brown as mine, glared down at me, burning with a vengeance.
Oops, I reprimanded myself silently. I shouldn’t have let him get to this level. His fuse is short, especially with us undesirables around, but I could have avoided his rage… this time. Usually, I am smart, tip-toeing around the demon inside him whenever possible, but when he threatened my little brother, my protective instincts exploded.
I stood up quickly, jerking my young brother out of our father’s grasp, and I stood in front of him, his forever shield. Nothing and No one will get to him. My quick tongue initiated this conflict; my quick tongue needs to find a way out of it.
Savannah disappeared last Tuesday. Nobody had seen Melody since the Sunday before. The police found both of their bodies, or at least what was left of them, two days ago. There are grief counselors and investigators both at the school today, but nobody talks to me. I am invisible. Not that I care, really. When people do notice me, it’s not for something positive. It’s not for having the highest score in the class on the Algebra midterm. It’s not for trying out for the soccer team. It’s not for my brilliantly white, straight smile that I suffered four years in braces for, not that I really smile much anymore. I’d rather not be noticed at all than noticed for my faults. Melody noticed me, once. Fifth grade. That awkward year when, as a female, your body starts morphing, spreading, shaping into something new. Most call it puberty. I called it Hell. I had never considered myself unattractive. Average, really. Average height. Average weight. Average features. I didn’t stand out at all, at least not until that day.
One would hesitate to countenance my roaming at this late hour, especially with no chaperone to right my path. However, the moon is bright and full tonight, casting its cool glow over the road. It is the moon that so pulls my moods these days that I feel as though the moon himself should act as my guide. Dear Lucy only resides a bit further down this way, and I should come to no trouble in the short time that will pass before my arrival.
Oh! It should come as a surprise that she might see me this night, for she is set to be married to Lord William Henceforth in two days’ time. His wealth will surely provide for her a most promising future, though his courtship of Miss Lucy has caused a certain cessation in our once joyous social encounters. A man of his prominence sees no sense in feminine foolery that may distract his dear wife into hysterics. Certainly he must be correct in his assumptions, and fond Lucy should see herself dearly lucky to be the match of Lord Henceforth.
I have not found myself to be granted such luck. Not suited for matrimony. I crept to the drawing room door and heard, with pressed ear, Father utter this phrase with great regret at the prospect of a suitor, one Sir Edgar Marron, aged forty and seven, who had come to call upon my availability one Sunday afternoon. I will make no pleasing wife, not with the fits that so plague my being. Father has brought forth the greats of the medical profession to come to the cause of these furies, but no resolution has been unearthed. I confound the doctors who know not than this began after the June night when Lucy and I escaped to the orchards.
Following the format from last month, each scribbler will scribble a response to a shared prompt and will be publishing it as follows: Stacy will start, publishing on Wednesday; Julie will follow on Thursday; and finally, Alexis will tie up the mutual prompt on Friday of this week.
The prompt for this month, similar to last month’s, is:
Base a story off of any poem of the author’s choosing.
I waited for her outside the old building, the building that was known for being old and nothing more, named after people long since forgotten. I leaned against the steep, cracked stairs and read my statistics book, which if you’ve ever had statistics you know was uncomfortable and dull. I heard the door open and her laughter filled the air like music. I instantly smiled, an involuntary reaction, kind of like a moth flying toward the fire, knowing that it’s danger but not being able to stop its wings from taking it there.
And that’s Katrina Elizabeth George, my fire, my blindingly dangerous light.
I looked up from my book when I felt her standing in front of me. There she was, large brown eyes waiting expectantly.
“So,” she began. “Do we have a plan for this evening?”
I shook my head, “I guess we can just go out or something.”
“No, we always do that… Let’s not decide right away. We can walk down by the riverfront and go from there?” Continue reading →
A gnashing pair of jaws bursted forth from the water to devour the large chunk of raw chicken I’d tossed in. I watched as this wild, powerful creature mangled the meat in its mouth and then swam greedily closer. When I was little, Momma had told me the gators were around in the dinosaur days. This had led me to believe that gators never die, and in my young mind, that made them the perfect pets. I spent my childhood on the bayou behind our house narrating the soap opera lives of Rory and Sophia. They weren’t fearsome beasts. They were friends.
I’d grown older, wiser even, but standing on the dock with a glass of Pinot Noir, now warm from the humid air, brought me back to simpler days and simpler thoughts. We may have been poor, but we always had the bayou, and I thought I’d always have Momma. It had been Momma and me against the world from the time I was born until the day she met George. A faithless mechanic with a penchant for price gouging, George was a slob with wandering eyes. I’d never understood Momma’s attraction to him, other than she no longer had to feel alone. To me, that wasn’t worth the heavy handed blows he’d deal her whenever the mood struck. I’d been only fifteen when they married, but the wedge he drove between us lasted the rest of Momma’s life.
Today, we held the funeral. Momma looked so beautiful laying on that lamb white cloth. George shed his obligatory tears and shook all the necessary hands. I’d left home only eight years ago, but now most of the faces were unfamiliar to me. Instead, I dwelled on the thought of how flowers must have become customary for funerals to help cover the sickening stench of death. These thoughts helped distract me from the burning stares I felt tracing my body from the black pumps on my feet to the thick brown curls that shrouded my face. I met George’s eyes only once with a cautioning glance.