Maydays: Flash Fiction – Her Name Isn’t Susan. #Maydays



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Thank you to CL Kaley of new2blogging for the #Maydays prompt a coffee break fantasy.

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http://www.fallseven.ca

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“Ahhhh, coffee. I love it. Would you like some?” Peter asked the woman. He didn’t remember her name.

“I don’t drink coffee, thanks Peter,” Sally said her throat feeling raw.”I could use some water, or orange juice if you have any?” 

Peter peered into his fridge. It was bare. “Um, Susan, I have cranberry juice is that alright?” 

“I guess. And my name is Sally, Peter.” 

“Oh. Uh. Sorry Sally, I drank a lot last night.” Peter said.

Sally shrugged. “Whatever Peter.” 

 “Actually, you’ve been calling me Susan since your third beer last night. I kept correcting you every time but you kept calling me her name. Who’s Susan?” Sally questioned.

Peter appeared nervous. “She’s no one. Just an old girlfriend.” 

“Ah,” Sally remarked, “I understand now. Got any whole wheat or multigrain bread for toast?”

 Peter wasn’t listening. He drank his coffee remembering the morning Susan left.

——

“Where are you going?” Peter asked Susan.

“I’m leaving Peter. I’ve had enough. I can’t take this anymore.” Susan said. She had all her possessions boxed up and had hired a mover to load up the furniture she purchased.

“You have to have seen this coming.” 

“No, we had one fight and now your leaving me?” Peter asked.

“It wasn’t one fight, it was many fights over three-years. You never understood. It always came down to the same thing.” Susan remarked.

“What, what did it come down to?” 

“You Peter. It came down to you. You always did whatever you wanted, demanding I tag along. When it came to doing what I had to do for a work event or visiting my my friends, you never showed up.”

“Time and time again, you told me to quit my job. That I shouldn’t be spending so much time working or visiting my own friends.” Susan said, “I’m not putting up with your controlling behaviour anymore.”

“But. ..”

“No, Peter. I have a life. My own life. I’m tired of explaining things to you.” Susan said frustrated.

Peter was speechless as the movers came, taking the furniture Susan bought, and all of her things away. 

When Susan and the movers left, Peter felt the gnawing emptiness of his condo.

—–

” Peter is there bread for toast?” Sally asked. 

“What?” Peter asked lost in his head.”Oh no, sorry haven’t been grocery shopping this week. There’s cereal?” 

Sally sighed. “It’s fine. I’ll drink my cranberry juice and be on my way.” 

“Leaving so soon? Want to. . . ” 

“No, Peter I’m fine. I don’t think I can handle being called Susan again.” Sally remarked.

When Sally left, Peter remembered the emptiness he felt without Susan. Sally reminded him, he was a failure with women. Peter returned to bed to sleep off his hangover.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Poem: Wrapped Refrain – ” Glaring Light “


unknown

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Reigns of my courage lives, you don’t —

Know my plight, expectations won’t,

Be lowered for your quarrel, your fight.

Bending rules, wield arms for the right.

The demons abandon with light, with light I’ll prevail.

Darkness hides from being shone upon, darkness wails.

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Pushing black-night into harrowed,

Blood run wild, enemy finds woe.

At turn of the tide light blossoms,

Carving out spaces, reveals one, 

Staring into the face of evil, shadow fades, runs.

No fear in sun’s glorious glow, darkness hates sun.

——

Let beams of white with their might,

Tell wicked hiding, no more night.

Streets safe, bathed in fearsome moonlight,

Vermin slink back, abandon flight.

The turn of moonlight in an orb, causing such fright.

Vermin cannot return to old ways, flee on sight.

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Morning dawns, birds echoing their songs,

Revealing darkness, won’t take long.

Shadows fade into sun’s rays bright.

White light calms, with it’s sight.

Darkness does not understand that which it is not,

Decay no more in pitch, light overrides, becomes sought.

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Showing every evil force light beckons,

Calling to those who would be reckoned,

Judgement of the darkness coming,

No place not to be found, running.

Brilliance and luminescence revealing truth,

Reigns of lies you’ll die; truth is elder, light gives proof.

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Thanks to The Daily Press for the word prompt Abandoned.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: We All Look


Dressed in cut-off denim shorts and a black halter top, a slim figure with rounded breasts and hips, distracted men who passed by her at the race track.

Many females with their men, gave the woman dirty looks. Elma elbowed Nathaniel.

“I can’t help it,” Nathaniel complained. “It’s a biological instinct.”

“Yeah right,” said Elma is wife of thirty-years. 

“It’s true Elma. Men naturally stare at other woman, it’s an evolutionary thing.” Nathaniel said.

“Oh hell. Did you have to bring this up?” 

“Let me explain. Once men look they’re done. Even if in that moment we’re comparing a pretty lady to our wives, we don’t remember what woman we were looking at.” 

Elma muttered something under her breath.

“I’ve never been able to not look. Most guys would say the same, even our sons. But your average guy doesn’t want to be with a stranger he’s giving the once over,” Nathaniel said.

“We’re with our wives because we love them. Because we like being with them, even if their figures aren’t perfect, or they have stretch marks from babies, it doesn’t matter.”

Elma stopped walking. “I guess that makes sense. But why are you still checking out that woman? You’ve already seen how she looks?” Nathaniel mumbled something.

At the same time, local male strippers were signing posters for women at the race track. Elma shrieked, “I’ll be right back.” 

Returning, she peered at her signed poster and back at the shirtless muscular strippers with a smile on her lips.

 “Ahem,” Nathaniel said. 

Edith smiled at Nathaniel and clasped his hand in hers.

—–


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Sorry for the lateness on this prompt. I’m not into race car driving and had to think of a way to approach this picture. Thanks to Alistair Forbes who hosts SPF.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Featured Image -- 15517

How Much Should You Spend On Self-Publishing Your Book?


This might be helpful to many of you!

Jens Thoughts

how_-much_to_chargeI received an article with this information and wanted to share. Although I didn’t use Reedsy for editing and my book cover, I found I fell within most of the pricing ranges.

One thing I didn’t see on this infographic was the Q&A time with the editor. I certainly had questions as I moved through the process and the last thing I wanted was to be left hanging if my editor said, “this doesn’t work in the plot.” I’ve worked with previous editors who would make a comment and instead of being able to ask a few questions you had to make the changes, submit, and pay again. I’m not clear what Reedsy offers, but if you’re looking for an editor, it’s an important topic to ask about.

By Maryann Yin on May. 2, 2016 Reedsy Self-Publishing Infographic (GalleyCat)

Until Next Time…

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Maydays: Fiction – The Truth About Marrion.



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Thank you to K L Caley from new2writing for hosting the Mayday prompts. Today’s prompt is skeletons in the closet.

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http://www.larrylawhead.com

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Who is this woman beside Uncle Terrance in a wedding dress? Was he widowed before he married you?” Aunt Rosie gazed at Katie as if she had found something she shouldn’t have touched.

“Where did you find that Katie?” 

“Oh, it was out on the table by the front door. I saw Uncle Terrance in there today, taking out some boxes.” Katie said.

“Are you okay Aunt Rosie? You’ve gone pale. What’s with the picture?” 

Aunt Rosie shook her head.”I can’t. I just can’t,” she said, holding her throat.

“You seem out of breath. Maybe, relax a moment and I’ll make you some lemon tea. Do you want to tell me about this photo Auntie? I think you would feel better if you did.” Katie remarked. 

Aunt Rosie began to hyperventilate. It took a few minutes but Katie calmed her down. ” Nice deep breathes Auntie. That’s it, now here’s your lemon tea. It will soothe your nerves.”

Aunt Rosie sat silently and finished her tea. After about twenty minutes, she began to speak haltingly.

“Your Mom and I . . . we had a little sister, her name- her name was, Marrion. She was – was a younger sister. Only, twenty-seven when she passed on.” Tears ran down Aunt Rosie’s usually cheerful complexion.

“Your Uncle Terrance and Marrion loved each other, from -from the day they met in high school. Marrion was sixteen and Terrance had only graduated. He was working at his Dad’s construction company.” 

“Mom, never said anything about her having a baby sister,” Katie said stunned.

“Sharon and I, we don’t like to talk about Marrion. There’s a reason,” Aunt Rosie remarked.

“Terrance married Marrion when she was only seventeen. I had always had feelings for Terrance, but Marrion didn’t care. She said Terrance loved her and she was right.”

“For six-years, everything was fine. I managed to hide my feelings about Terrance and Marrion and Terrance were in their own world of love. Marrion became pregnant at twenty-three and had a girl she named Lisa.” Aunt Rosie admitted.

“What happened to this baby and was Marrion alright? I don’t have a cousin named Lisa?” Katie questioned.

“I know you don’t Katie, let me explain. It’s time – time you knew the truth . . . Marrion suffered from Post – Partum depression. She didn’t care about the baby and could barely get out of bed.” 

“For the last four-years of her life, Marrion was in an institution. She kept trying to kill herself. Marrion easily became immersed in self-loathing.” Aunt Rosie recalled.

“Sharon, Terrance, and I, we wanted the old Marrion back. No medication seemed to help her. ECT only made Marrion distant, it was if the real Marrion wasn’t there anymore.”

“Who raised Lisa?” Katie wondered aloud.

“Your Mom raised her dear. Terrance asked her if she would be Lisa’s guardian. He said he couldn’t handle taking care of Lisa while working and visiting Marrion.” Aunt Rosie’s voice began to quiver.

“One day Marrion wasn’t in her room or even in her ward. We found her hanging from a storage room ceiling.” Aunt Rosie sobbed.

Katie went to comfort her but Aunt Rosie held Katie back.” Lisa isn’t Lisa anymore. Your Mom raised Lisa from the time she was three-months-old.  Lisa’s your older sister Denise.”

“What?” Katie gasped, having to sit down herself. She was shocked.

“Your Mom asked Lisa after Marrion died,  if she would like to choose a different name for herself. Almost five-year-old Lisa chose the name Denise. It was the name she had given to her most treasured Barbie.” 

Aunt Rosie’s admission hurt Katie.”How did I not know Denise and I weren’t sisters, but cousins? We look so different in appearance. Her hair is auburn and my hair is blond. She has curves and I’m athletically built.” 

“Not to mention, Mom never told me who Denise’s Dad was, she said Denise had been the result of an old boyfriend she didn’t want anything to do with now.” Katie said aghast. 

“How did you get together with Uncle Terrance?” 

Rosie smiled: “Terrance was devastated when Marrion died and had loved her so much. But he needed comforting.We grew closer and got married.”

“It took a few years, but Uncle Terrance eventually loved me as much as he’d loved Marrion, but in a different way I think. Things came together and Sharon met your Dad and had you. We never spoke of Marrion to anyone but your Dad.” 

Aunt Rosie had stopped crying. She smiled and Katie could see she was happy again, as if a burden had been lifted from her shoulders. 

Katie thought about her Aunt’s revelations: “That’s unbelievable Aunt Rosie, you guys have all been hiding this from me. I need to talk to my Mom.” 

“Oh, you can’t ever tell Sharon, dear.” 

“But why?” Katie said frustrated.

“I promised her, Uncle Terrance promised her, and so did your Dad. You were never to know the truth about Denise and the sad fate of Marrion. Sharon was close to Marrion because they were nearer in age. Marrion’s death is a wound your Mother carries and it never heals.”

Katie sighed. “I wish Grandma had told me about this before she died.” 

Aunt Rosie smiled softly. “She never knew the truth either, dear. We told her Marrion had a reaction to a new medication and died.” 

Katie shook her head sadly,” Talk about skeletons.”

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers: Poem – Free Verse – “Weight of a Little World”


I hold a small world on my classic physique, with my fortitude.

Holding up this bridge and pathway, doesn’t matter my attitude,

For it’s one of being cursed in marble, and accepting my sorrowful lot,

Having made the mistakes I’ve made, the gods left me to rot.

Pondering the beach, as Atlas pondered and beheld the heaven’s light rays, 

I bend my head, and think of the day, and to gods beyond Zeus I pray, 

Release me from my prison, veins of liquid blood congealed.

My stone figure, muscled, and taught; made to endure forever, concealed.

Bracing myself on stone, solid rock, muscles strained, no thought, and no slipping, 

Not even able to see my own face cringing, the expression rain is chipping,

My own little world on my back, I hold my personal pain; I hold your fate.

For mine’s an eternity braced as I am, scanning earths children; nothing to do but wait.

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Word Count: 154 words

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momtheobscure

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Thank you to Priceless Joy for hosting FFftAP.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Story Continuation Prompt: Flash Fiction – Escaping the Colony 


Thank you to Wandering Soul who hosts this challenge. This week we are to write a story up to 500 words about the future. The beginning sentence is:

Hundreds of drones zoomed ahead in the empty field, buzzing loudly like bees swarming over a honeycomb.

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http://www.thesixthaxis.com

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Hundreds of drones zoomed ahead in the empty field, buzzing loudly like bees swarming over a honeycomb. The buzzing annoyed Jess and his ears hurt from hearing it.

Jess and Morgan had been hiding in the field, afraid the drones would harm them, especially, in daylight. 

The government deployed thousands of drones and used them to report on people’s activities. A person never knew if they were safe, or if their actions would be deemed breaking the law.

Those in leadership grossly abused their power. The average person tried their best to make it through the day without being told to report for questioning to the enforcement officers. 

Usually, the person who was being grilled, had no idea what they were being accused of or why. People did not have the right to an attorney. There was no actual judges or juries.

As Jess and Morgan watched the drones in the field, night fell and it was time to move. There was talk in the streets, of colonies with democratic governments, a fair judicial system, and even rights and jobs for their citizens. But the two men had to break through the colonies fence first.

Jess and Morgan were ran through the field as quick as they could. The drones saw them and began to buzz around them. “Th-there going to get us before we ev-even reach the fence,” Morgan sputtered in terror.

“No, we’ll be fine.” Jess said breathing heavily where they hid. “They haven’t reported us or shot at us. They’re not government.”

Both men ran and the drones suddenly started shooting, not at Jess and Morgan but at the fence. They cleared a pathway for them into the countryside. 

After a days walk, Jess and Morgan with the drones following, came to a colossal walled in colony. They didn’t know if this state was a democractic or another totalitarian state.

Large stone gates opened wide at a drones beep and Jess and Morgan walked inside the colony entrance. The drones beeped to the guards who nodded and smiled at Jess and Morgan as they entered the new colony.

Looking ahead of them Jess and Morgan were shocked to see a normal city with houses, a theatre, grocery stores, skyscrapers, and other buildings.Where they came from the colony was a war zone.

 A blue drone spoke to them, “We’re happy to have you in our city. Our colony wages war on your home colony and its dictatorial leaders. We try to free as many civilians as possible, from your government’s abuse.”

“Peace and democracy will reign when we win the war against your leaders and we’re close to defeating them. For now be at peace in our colony. You’ve rights and freedoms here.” 

What the drone said fulfilled both Jess and Morgan’s dreams.

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Maydays: Fiction – Arguing Over Crystal



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Thank you to CL Kaley from new2writing for hosting Mayday’s prompts. The prompt for May 2, 2016, is about neighbours and competition.

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http://www.freshprintmagazine.com

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“She’s my girlfriend you can’t have her,” Tim shouted to the bulky idiot hitting on on Crystal. 

“Maybe, she doesn’t want to be with you. She was dancing pretty sexily with me for a few songs there.” Brett, the bouncer, said laughing.

“She’s still my girlfriend we’re only having a fight right now. She was dancing with you to make me jealous. Isn’t that right Crystal?”

Crystal looked from Tim to her recent dance partner. “Yeah, I was trying to make you jealous Tim. But you know what, I liked dancing with Brett. He’s a friend and a talented dancer too.”

“What?” Tim shouted. The music in the bar was terribly loud.

“I said Brett is a talented dancer, but only a friend.” Crystal repeated.

Brett glared at Crystal, “What do you mean only a friend, you don’t dance with only friends the way you were dancing with me.”

Tim glared at Crystal angerily, “You were making out with this loser? Kissing him and letting him feeling you up?”

“That pretty much sums it up,” Brett remarked.

“I didn’t mean anything, I was caught up in a moment. You really hurt me Tim. I can’t believe you slept with Stephanie. You told me she was only a childhood friend in town visiting.” Crystal retorted.

Tim sighed. “Well she is, you only saw us in bed together. You don’t know we slept together.”

“Oh, I know,” Crystal said with venom. “You were both naked and you were spooning her. Your clothes were all over our bedroom floor. And you both reeked of booze.”

“Yeah, so it was one night. We were drunk and it didn’t mean anything.” Tim said making light of the situation.

“Doesn’t seem like you were faithful to Crystal, Tim. Why would you have a naked women, who was only a childhood friend, in your bed if you weren’t sleeping with her? Honestly, Crystal isn’t stupid and neither am I.” Brett declared.

“Well, maybe Crystal shouldn’t be dancing and making out with her friend who is only a bouncer at this bar — or so I was told.” Tim argued. 

Brett and Tim stared at each other angerily and Crystal was sure a fight would break out if she didn’t do something.

“Enough,” she said. “I’m going home Tim. I’m going to pack my things and be out of there by tomorrow. You cheated on me and we’re done.”

“My friend Shailene, has an empty basement unit she’s been trying to rent out,” Brett piped in helpfully.

“I can give her a call and tell her you’re interested. It was redone about a year ago, has one bedroom, a kitchen, sitting area, and a bathroom with a separate shower and a tub . . .”

“How much?” 

“Well, since you’re a friend $850.00 and wifi and utilities are included.” Brett said.

“I’ll take it!” Crystal said, “As long as it’s not too far from work downtown?” 

“It’s a ten minute walk from downtown.”

” Nice, thank you Brett. But so you know, just because you got this great place for me, doesn’t mean I’m into you that way.” Crystal said peering suspiciously at Brett.

“Yep, I completely understand.” Brett answered, knowing he’d win Crystal over in time.

Tim stared at Crystal and Brett aghast. “You can’t leave me Crystal after two-years?”

“It’s too late,” she said not meeting Tim’s eyes as the cabbie texted her; he was out front of the bar.

Crystal left and Brett patted Tim on both shoulders, squeezing Tim’s shoulders hard for emphasis. Tim shouted, “Ouch, you’re hurting me.”

“That’s the point,” Brett said gruffly. “Don’t ever cheat on a woman like Crystal again.”

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved

Maydays: Flash Fiction – Pick Up Your Toys Charlie.



Thank you to CL Kaley from new2writing for hosting May Day Prompts. Today’s prompt is teaching a lesson.
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http://www.astimeflys.ca

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“Did you pick up your toys as I asked you to?” Lyndsey said to her son Charlie. Charlie looked down at his feet and began to fidget.

“Charlie?” Lyndsey asked again lowering her voice.

Charlie examined his Mom’s serious face for signs she might let him off the hook.

“I wasn’t done playing yet.”

“Bedtime is 8:30 pm which is the reason I asked you to put your toys away.” Lyndsey said sternly.

“I don’t want to go to bed yet. And if I leave my toys out, I can play with them tomorrow and not have to get them out again.” Charlie whined.

“The problem is Charlie, your Dad and I trip over your toys and hurt ourselves when we are in the living room at night. You have to pick them up and get ready for bed or there will be consequences. They’re your toys, you’re the only one who plays with them, so it’s your job to put them away each day.”

Charlie stamped his foot. “I won’t do it .” 

Lyndsey looked at Charlie again frustrated. “You can pick up your toys now or I will put them in a big black garbage bag. You’ll have to do one chore for each toy you want to get back from the garbage bag.”

Charlie gasped, “Ok, I’ll pick them up.” Charlie began picking up his toys slowly.

After fifteen minutes Lyndsey yelled, “Enough Charlie!” She took the remaining toys from the living room where Charlie played and put them in a big black garbage bag. The garbage bag was half-full. 

Charlie was shocked.”But I was picking them up . . . ”

“Not fast enough. Go to bed Charlie. I’ll be there to read to you from Harry Potter. Make sure you brush your teeth and put on your PJs.”

Charlie trudged up the stairs to the bathroom, giving his Mom a dirty look, “What about my toys?” 

“We’ll talk about it tomorrow. I’ll make a list of chores you can do to earn back your toys.” Lyndsey said.

Charlie decided to tantrum. 

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.