An Announcement from the Scribblers!

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!
~The Scribblers

Stories from the Stacks

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Barbie Doll – Julianne

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.

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August Prompt

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.

Be sure to check out our stories! Happy reading!

~the Scribblers

Pity – Julianne

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.

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A Serrated Blade – Stacy

Horatio gripped the wooden handle of the knife in his hand, sweat beading on his forehead. With one deft movement, he thrust the blade toward Agador. The sharp point shot through the small man’s hair, just missing the top of his scalp by a fraction of a millimeter, and plunged into the wooden board behind him.

The crowd cheered.

With eyes shut, Horatio released a small sigh of relief and quickly threw the remainder of the small knives at Agador’s bound body. One, two, three, four… Each blade met the flimsy board with a satisfying THWACK!, and formed a neat frame around the captive who remained motionless and silent, careful not to breathe too heavily so as not to throw off the rhythm.

Horatio only opened his eyes when the announcer’s weighty voice boomed through the megaphone. “La-dies and gen-tlemen! The great — the amazing — the fantastic Horatio! — the most daring knife thrower in all the world!” The audience blurred, all the faces blending with the lights into one mass of color and static. To the side of the stage, Agador was untied, and with a flourish, he bounded forward, arms raised triumphantly to the air as indication that he had escaped unscathed. The audience erupted into applause and whoops of laughter. Horatio gave one modest bow and retreated from the stage.

Back in the comfort of his small room, he poured a glass of bourbon, settled into his armchair, and smoothed his inky mustache. The din outside had begun to fade into the black as spectators stumbled home, eyes wide and sparkling with the magic of the night, fists clutching leftover bags of popcorn and fairy floss. As the crowds faded and the cicadas hummed in the trees, Horatio pulled out a small, metal frame from the desk drawer. With his eyes closed, he ran his fingers over the cool filigree that surrounded her face.

Helena.

He didn’t want to look at her lips curled into that sweet smile, because he could feel her eyes burn through him. It had been two months since she left, the wheels of the wagon car rolling in rhythm as he sharpened each knife over and over until the night and the road fell quiet. He didn’t blame her for leaving. After all, he was cursed. Continue reading

Broad-Shouldered Beasts– Alexis

It was her that’s making my life miserable. It was also her that’s making my life worth living. It’s funny how someone you love so much can Also be the person you currently can’t stand. I check my watch for the umpteenth time, watching that minute hand run on overdrive. -we are going to be LATE. How will I explain that to my boss? I need to make a good impression. This is my only shot

I feel like I’m guarding the door, pacing back and forth. The only thing I’m missing is a spear, or a musket, or whatever they use to guard doors these days. “Please hurry, Liza.” I hear clanking in the bathroom. A door slams. Then enters the most amazing woman I have ever seen. 5 years together and her appearance still takes my breath away.

Her face is etched with a scowl. She is still dressed in an old band tee that swallows her. “I’m not going, Tim. I’m done. I don’t feel like being in a crowd of strangers, discussing the weather and how I’m liking Manhattan do far. I can’t tolerate the fake today.”

I’m tense. “I’ve been waiting by this door for 20 minutes on you. Couldn’t you have told me you weren’t going sooner?”

“Listen, I didn’t want to be here in the first place. I’m not going.” Continue reading

Run, Rabbit, Run – Julianne

Harold chanced a glimpse behind him. Bad move. His eyes filled with terror, surely taking in the sight of me – sweat dripping from my brow, feet pounding the pavement with the force of an Olympic sprinter, and a deadly stare that must be reminiscent of the way a cheetah locks on to a gazelle. He bolted. Funny how quickly even the feeblest of creatures will move when they know it is Death chasing after them.

It wasn’t his fault, his life having to end this way. Harold Smith was just a means to an end. A means to avoiding my end. He might not have realized it, but Harold’s life was precious to me. Death chases everyone. You’ve just got to be quicker than Death. Harold was fast, but not faster than me. I’d had a lot more practice outrunning Death.

The watch face that was fused to my wrist and central nervous system illuminated as I ran. Fifteen minutes. I was cutting it close this time. Tick tick tick – I could hear it counting down in my head.

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