For November Notes Day 28, the song Prompt is “Into the Night” by Beacon. I’m using the the same song title, but by Santana and Chad Krueger, different musicians.
Credit: Patrick Kool
“Into the Night” by Santana and Chad Krueger
The pub was overheated and dim but Sam’s blood felt alive with promise as he sipped his third Corona at the bar. A slim woman wearing red silk floated onto the dance floor and he was struck still. The dancer was gorgeous. A gift from the Heavens.
Sam’s dark eyes held the beautiful dancers blue-green ones and he instantly knew how she felt about him from the widening of her eyes, the simmering gaze held between them. Even as she positioned herself to dance, the woman glanced at him. Then, closing her eyes she whirled, her footwork effortless, and her dancing lively, a dervish to a fast-paced song.
When Sam wasn’t looking, she grabbed his hand insisting he dance with her, entrancing him as she brushed against him with each complicated step. It was three songs before he realized every soul in the room had been keeping time with them, clapping their hands. Sam wasn’t a talented dancer by any means, but the woman in his arms, made his stumbling appear sensuous.
Her long golden hair flew about them unbound as they spun around in circles, the moon gleaming down from windows near the dance floor. Sam spun the woman one last time, lifting her body against him, before the tenth song ended.
“What’s your name?”
“I’ve never meant a woman as beautiful as you dancing, Manon.”
“Thank you, but I think that’s an overused pick-up line on me, ” she laughed winking at him. “What’s your name?”
“My friends call me Sam.”
Manon smiled. “I’m glad to be your friend, Sam.”
They continued dancing at a slower pace, finally, noticing the couples and groups of friends on the dance floor beside them.
She snuggled her head into the crook of his neck. “It’s easy to lose track of time, dancing through the night, singing along with you to the music.”
Sam grinned, “I don’t sing much, but I know the words to the songs.”
Manon brushed her hair back from her smooth face perspiring. After a couple of more songs, she stopped dancing for a a few minutes. Sam left, retrieving some vodka-water limes for them both.
Manon took an indulgent sip and grinned. “You say you know the right words to these songs, but do you know the right words to ask me, next?”
She put down her empty drink and looped her arms around Sam’s neck. They swayed slowly, no room between their bodies but her silk dress and his button down.
Sam inhaled Manon’s jasmine perfume. “I know what I’d like to ask you, Manon. What I’d ask any beautiful woman in my arms, but you’re not just any beautiful woman.”
“You’re saying the right words so far.”
He laughed, “What I was thinking was that maybe I could take you for an early breakfast and we could talk. Then, I could drive you home and you could give me your phone number. After, we could go on date number two in a day or so.”
” I’d love that, Sam. I’m a little surprised you didn’t ask to take me home and stay.”
“Would you have said, yes?”
Manon blushed, ” I’ll never tell,” but Sam knew the truth.
“I want to get to know you, Manon, and this kind of knowing takes more than one night; it’s old-fashioned, I guess.”
Manon’s smile was radiant. “Old-fashioned is new for me. Few men have ever wanted to actually know me or have taken the time before we even, you know.”
Sam chuckled and kissed her knuckles. “Old-fashioned is new for me too and it was there loss, just so you know.
Manon slipped her arm through Sam’s and they strolled off the dance floor laughing about what they both craved for breakfast.
1. Sarah, Please Tell Us About Yourself? What Are Your Writing and Blogging Goals? What Do You Hope to Accomplish by Writing?
My name is Sarah Whiley and I live in north-east Victoria, in Australia. My blog is: ‘By Sarah. I’m a primary school teacher of 17 years and have taught all ages from 5 to 12 years old. I have always loved writing since I could pick up a pencil and create. I am passionate about instilling this same love of writing in my students.
In order to do that, it is important that I see myself as a writer – as an author in my own right. This is what I am hoping to accomplish by writing and blogging. I am so fortunate to live where I do. They don’t call Australia the “lucky country” for nothing!
2. Tell Us About Where You Live and What You Love About It?
I’m originally a city girl from Canberra, and later, Melbourne. I have enjoyed the spoils of both cities’ such as the cosmopolitan cafes and restaurants, nightlife, and their unique cultures.
When I met my husband and moved to the country! I love the wide- open spaces, the varying landscapes and the bush. I am now an avid bushwalker and spend most weekends out and about, communing with nature.
“I am a primary school teacher of 17 years and have taught all ages from 5 to 12 years old. I have always loved writing since I could pick up a pencil and create. I am passionate about instilling this same love of writing in my students. In order to do that, it is important that I see myself as a writer – as an author in my own right.” – By Sarah Whiley
3. When Did You Begin Writing and Blogging and Why? What Does Writing Mean to You?
My journey with blogging began five years ago, after a series of personal setbacks and issues. I commenced blogging primarily, as a cathartic experience to help me work through my thoughts and feelings. Once I no longer ‘needed’ my blog, I had a small break, however always felt something was ‘missing.’
After attending professional development for helping me teach writing, I realized, the hole that blogging and writing had left in my life!
I started my blog, ‘By Sarah,’ to explore my own creative writing, to explore myself, and my talent for writing. I have, particularly, enjoyed writing short stories and poetry. An unexpected bonus to continued blogging has been the great friendships I’ve gained in the WordPress community; I have established so many along the way.
4. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Continue Writing and Blogging? Why Is It Vital for you to Keep on Writing?
I have some seeds of ideas stashed away in my writer’s notebook. I tend to work on these pieces over a long period of time. For other ideas, I rely on a range of prompts. I feel it’s important to write regularly in order to develop my skills and continue to write and maintain it as a habit. Also, I experience a great degree of stress relief from writing.
Moreover, as a teacher, it is easy to get stuck in a cycle of hyper-vigilance and not to give yourself enough ‘down time’. I find a variety of prompts extremely helpful for motivating and inspiring writing for myself and in my teaching.
As well, I have a schedule of sorts and I endeavor to write every day aside from Wednesdays (which is my ‘well-being-do-nothing’ night!
“For other ideas, I rely on a range of prompts. I feel it is important to write regularly in order to develop my skills and continue to write and maintain it as a habit. Also, I experience a great degree of stress relief from writing.” – Sarah Whiley
5. What Are Your Writing and Blogging Habits? Do You Prefer Writing a Certain Time of Day?
I set aside time each day to write. Usually, I can be found on the couch with a dog or two keeping me company, along with some background noise from the TV (I am one of these people who can’t concentrate when it’s quiet). I enjoy writing poetry most. I have a knack for rhyme and rhythm and find it easy to whip up a poem.
As well, I have been challenging myself to explore other types of writing and short stories to extend my skills. I don’t write in the mornings as I am in a rush for time once I wake up. I rush out the door to teach school, but I write after dinner, sometime between 7:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. at night. I find Tuesdays and Thursdays to be my busiest and most productive days.
6. What Are Your Most Current Writing or Blogging Projects? Do You Have Projects Outside of Your Blog Involving Writing? Do You Plan on Publishing Any Writing in the Future?
Currently, I am undertaking Sammi Cox’s ‘A Month of Mini Writing Challenges’ and have am the new host for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s ‘Saturday Mix’. Outside of my
blog, I keep a writer’s notebook and am busy maintaining a Class Dojo Story (similar to a blog) for my classroom.
I will soon be published as a feature writer in Linda J. Wolff’s upcoming eBook. Linda runs a fantastic Urban Poetry site and I was the winner of her Fibonacci poetry competition earlier this year. At the end of the year, I plan to convert my blog posts for 2017 into a self-published collection for family, friends, and anyone else interested.
“I will soon be published as a feature writer in Linda J. Wolff’s upcoming eBook. Linda runs a fantastic Urban Poetry site and I was the winner of her Fibonacci poetry competition earlier this year. At the end of the year, I plan to convert my blog posts for 2017 into a self-published collection for family, friends, and anyone else interested.” – Sarah Whiley
7. Can you Briefly Describe Your Writing Process? What Do You Think Will Be Your Process of Self-Publishing Your Writing?
Being a teacher, I find the writing process natural and not something I have to think too hard about. Storytelling and explaining my ideas is something I innately do. Upon analysis of my writing, though, I definitely follow six-traits in my writing process including ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.
After I am happy with a final piece, I often bounce it off my husband or my mum, seeking their feedback. They are a tremendous help to me and improve the end result of my stories and poems and their overall flow. When I self-publish at the end of the year, I am investigating the use of the ‘Blook-Up Service.‘ (As Sarah gave me these answers super-quick back at the end of August or September, please ask her about the progress of her book and her published poem!!).
8. Do You Prefer Certain Areas of Writing and Reading Genres? And Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for Other Writers and Bloggers Starting Out?
Well, I’m definitely drawn to the dark, somewhat macabre styles of writing. My pieces often take a dark turn or have a twist at the end. I am not a fan of science-fiction or fantasy, at all, but I prefer supernatural, horror, thriller, crime, mystery, drama, historical, and biographical works.
My advice for new bloggers is:
Write what you know. Capturing a small moment in time can sometimes produce the best piece of writing! Also, go with the flow….literally! Don’t overthink it. Go with your ‘stream-of-consciousness’ and see where it leads.
Find like-minded people. Better to have fewer blog followers and likes, and better to have more feedback from those few who ‘get’ you and your writing, those who appreciate your efforts! Quality not quantity as they say.
Find like-minded people. Better to have fewer blog followers and likes, and better to have more feedback from those few who ‘get’ you and your writing, those who appreciate your efforts! Quality not quantity as they say.” Sarah Whiley
9. Is There Anything Else You Would Like To Share With Us About Writing Or Yourself?
My experiences growing up in a large family and my relationships with my siblings have certainly shaped many of my ideas and stories! I am the eldest of six children (No, we are not Catholic!). My mum just wanted another son and kept trying until she got one! It’s ironic how she wanted four boys…she ended up with four girls! Despite the large age gaps between some of us, we are reasonably close and hang out together and, at times, travel together.
Also, I LOVE to travel. Whether it be exploring local gems, interstate expeditions or overseas adventures. I am curious and interested in the world around me. I soak up information and facts like a sponge (you never know when they’ll come in handy for a trivia night!) I enjoy nothing more than experiencing new things. I adore the outdoors and take every chance (money permitting of course!) to jump on a plane and go somewhere different.
As well, I love New Zealand and have holidayed there four times now – with plans to go back! I have also traveled to the US (including Hawaii), England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, and Indonesia. All of these factors have helped develop my writing.
10. Can You Briefly Tell Us About Some of Your Favorite Blogs? What Do You Like Most About Them?
Gosh, it’s hard to name a few. There are a lot of my WordPress friends whose work I truly respect and enjoy. But, if I have to narrow it down, I would have to say:
Jane Dougherty Writes – Jane has a wonderful turn of phrase and is able to use colorful words to create great imagery in her poems and stories.
God’s Chair – Jael Sook is an engaging and diverse poet and writer and I thoroughly enjoy her work, anticipating each post she makes.
RedStuffDan – Dan is an incredibly artistic photographer. His subjects include Bordeaux vineyards, local village life, architecture, doors, mirrored
images and digital photography as art.
11. Can You Please Share With Us a Few Links from Your Blogs:
My summer holiday in Hobart, Tasmania had not begun quite as I had expected. A thunderstorm, a severely delayed flight, and an inaccessible hostel topped off with some bitterly cold weather that I had most definitely not packed for. Finding myself with a few hours to spare, I decided that a stroll around the CBD to orient myself was in order.
The gathering, dark clouds had other ideas.
I had no sooner ventured out onto the streets when the skies opened and a torrential downpour began. Cursing, I sought cover under the awnings of the few shops that had them.
And that’s when I saw it from across the street. ‘Lark Distillery’.
I have never been a whiskey drinker, but I could not resist the pull of the plume of smoke coming from the chimney, nor the cozy 1800’s building that housed it. I ran across to the front door and pushed it open.
Immediately, a warm, yeasty aroma hit me. Unsurprisingly, I was the only patron. The young man behind the ba took in my sodden, street-urchin appearance, and without a trace of disdain, offered me a tasting.
‘But I don’t really drink whisky,’ I protested. ‘Can I just stay in here until the rain passes?’
‘Sure,’ he replied. ‘But why not have a little taste, just to pass the time?’
He took a glass and bottle from the shelf behind him and sang a few lyrics of the Metallica song, ‘There’s whisky in the jar oh.’ He winked, and with that, I took a seat at the bar. I felt somewhat lonely amongst the long row of empty bar stools. Clearly, they were used to a greater custom.
‘So what would you like to try?’ he asked.
‘I’m in your hands,’ I admitted. ‘What would you recommend?’
‘Let’s start with the single malt. It’s a classic,’ he advised.
He poured a sample into the glass. The glug-glug and almost syrupy quality of the liquid was mesmerising.
‘This whisky is double distilled in locally crafted copper-pot stills and aged in small, 100 litre oak casks. We store our spirits for 5-8 years in smaller barrels for faster maturation,’ he explained.
I took a sip and promptly spluttered. He laughed.
‘Try throwing it back in one go,’ he suggested.
So I did.
After the initial burning sensation and urge to cough, the most amazingly delicious warmth spread from my belly to my brow.
‘Mmmm,’ I approved. ‘Nice. Smooth.’
‘Well if you like that, you’ll love the cask strength. It’s got the same smoothness but is more full bodied due to a higher percentage of Tasmanian malt. It bursts across the palate with hints of maple syrup and sweet notes of highland peat.’
‘Right,’ I said, not having a clue what that meant. Irrespectively, I nudged my glass forward and said, ‘Hit me.’
And I threw that back too.
This bloke knows what he’s talking about, I thought. It was amazing. My palate was dancing and my whole body was alive. The rain outside had faded away, and I felt all toasty and warm and happy.
‘How much alcohol is in this?’ I demanded.
‘58%’ he replied, with a twinkle in his eye, as if he knew that I was feeling tipsy already. ‘How ’bout we mix it up a little? Wanna try some gin?’
‘Gin?’ I replied with enthusiasm. Now we were speaking my language! ‘Oh yes please! Definitely’.
Again, I pushed my glass forward.
‘Now, here at Lark, we do a gin each season,’ he explained, ‘that way we can capitalise on the unique flavours available at different times of the year. This one is our summer release.’ He poured a more than generous sample.
This time, before I drank, I lifted the glass to my nose. The aromas were incredible. Bold and beautifully sweet, I inhaled a balance of citrus and rosewater with undertones of juniper and coriander. It made me think of the warmth of the summer sun. It was almost as if I could feel it on my skin.
I drank and closed my eyes with satisfaction.
‘That was good.‘ I could hear my voice starting to lilt and slur with the effects of the high alcohol content. I sat with the gin in my hand and sipped from the glass again and again. As if wanting to savour it but devour it at the same time, until every drop was gone. I couldn’t wait to see what was next.
‘This is slainte,’ he declared. ‘This is very, very special. It was developed by one of our owners in response to the strong demand for a unique Australian whisky liqueur. Slainte is the marriage of our single malt whisky and a distilled spirit of herbs and spices. The two are carefully combined to give a complexity of character, spiciness and sweetness, while maintaining the overtones of the whisky.’
I could listen to this guy talk all day! I thought. Such passion for the product.
My head was swirling, and I though I still didn’t fully understand what this whisky was all about, I had decided I liked it. Very much. I slid my glass towards him.
‘Now, Tasi,’ he began, as he pulled out a new bottle from behind the counter, ‘Tasi is something different altogether.’
‘What is it?’ I asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.
‘Tasi is a unique herbal liqueur derived from a single native Tasmanian berry.’
‘I know about the Tasi berry!’ I interjected, surprisingly myself. ‘It’s actually called a Myrtus berry isn’t it?’
‘Yes, that’s right. It’s unique to Tasmania. So this really is something you can’t find anywhere else,’ he was speaking almost reverently. ‘Pass me your glass.’
Unlike any of the other tastings, he first scooped up some ice cubes and placed then delicately in the bottom of my glass. Intrigued, I leant forward as he carefully poured. Tasi was a glorious deep yellow in colour and looked like liquid gold, flowing over iridescent rocks.
I will never forget that first mouthful. It was as if the liqueur curled around every inch of my teeth and gums. It stuck to my tongue and was like treacle down my throat. That liquid gold coated every surface it touched within my body and I felt like royalty. I smacked my lips approvingly and even moaned out loud. I appreciated every last golden drop and licked the ice cubes once my glass was drained.
It was THAT good.
I bought three bottles and thanked him for his time, his advice and his expertise. The bottles clinked as I pulled the door open and reentered the world outside.
Thank you so much to Sarah for filling out the interview questions and providing such honest and thoughtful answers. I’m so sorry it took so long to put the interview together. This last past year has been crazy. Make sure to check out Sarah’s Blog: By Sarah.
I should have another interview out in the next couple of weeks, with no promises. If you would like to be interviewed and are a writer or blogger or if you blog for a cause, please reach out to me through my Contact Page. If you’re a regular, you’ll notice I’m playing around with my blog to update my theme. The Contact Page info also needs to be updated eventually.
Giselle didn’t leave her house until the afternoon. Later, she threw on her down-coat and ran outside into the frigid winter to her midnight Honda. She didn’t want to be alone anymore. Also, she decided she needed to be among people, having a few drinks. She couldn’t let herself regret turning Jimmy away.
Her body began shaking as she sat in the Honda’s drivers seat and wept. She was over Jimmy, she’d been over him for a year. He had the nerve to call me Gigi! He had the nerve to ask for me back because Jasmine didn’t want him! Giselle’s crying ended as the warmth from her heated car soothed her body and made her forget the morning’s events.
As she wiped her cheeks the distinct ringtone “Heal Over,” played on Giselle’s iPhone. Her friend Beth was checking in on her. She didn’t think she could talk to her without crying so she waited until Beth’s ringtone stopped. Then, Giselle texted her:
Jimmy was by, Jasmine divorced him. He said he had no one and that he wanted me back. I told him to get lost. Can we go for a drink?
A couple of minutes later Beth replied:
I’m so glad you told him off. He was never good for you. Meet me at the Tavern Grill in 15 minutes, K?
Giselle had been sitting in the Tavern’s bar for a half of an hour when Beth arrived. She was also finished margarita number two. “Have one of these Beth, they’re are awesome. They make you want to dance, sing, and forget everything.”
Beth snorted. “You never could hold your liquor.”
She shrugged. ” I was fine, then, early this morning Jimmy appeared at my door. I saw it was him knocking and I thought he’d go away. After a half-an-hour he began ringing my doorbell and wouldn’t stop. I had to talk to him, but I didn’t let him in the house.”
Giselle brushed her side-bangs out of her eyes.” I don’t blame Jasmine for divorcing him. I would’ve left the cheating b*stard too — if I had known he was married when we were dating. I don’t know how I could’ve missed it, thinking back; I was so naive.”
Beth laughed, ” It was too hard to tell you that Jimmy was a cheating b*stard a year ago. It seemed that you couldn’t escape the trail of dust and destruction Jimmy left you in; it was a perpetual cycle for you guys. It was a relief when he broke it off with you. And yes, you were naive, but not anymore.”
“It was painful when Jimmy chose Jasmine. I felt so stupid and I didn’t know my heart could hurt like that. It was six-months before I felt normal again.”
Beth sighed, tapping her nude-pink manicured nails. “Breaking up with you was the best thing Jimmy ever did. When you texted me I was afraid you were going to say you two had made up.”
“Awesome, Jimmy’s not a good guy and never will be.”
Giselle nodded but Beth grabbed her hand and squeezed it. “Do not go back to him, Gigi. Don’t take his calls. Avoid him at all costs. Be strong like you were this morning; you owe him nothing.”
“I’m done with Jimmy, Beth. Truly, I mean it.”
She patted Giselle’s hand. “Look lady, sometimes life is hard and it’s gonna take time to forget about the good times with Jimmy. But you’ve been without him a year and you’re gonna be fine. So, in the meantime, let’s order another few margaritas and some appetizers. Let’s celebrate severing your last connection to Jimmy.”
Giselle raised her third margarita. “Cheers, to that. But you don’t have to wipe my tears away, Beth, I’m a big girl.”
“I know you are but I’m your friend. I’m here to remind you, you’re gonna keep healing and soon, Jimmy will be a distant memory.”
I’m going to continue with my one of my Tale Weaver prompts with a modern rendition of Red Riding Hood with the main character, Red, who has just met Axel.J. Wolff or ‘Wolff’ in her grandmother’s house. Wolff is house-sitting for grandma Addy who is in Hawaii with Wolff’s Grandpa Reggie. Things were heating up for them at the end, I wonder what will happen when they get to the park?
She shouldn’t have run but that’s what she did. Wolff offered her his hand and invited her to keep him company and she panicked.
“The rest of the food is in the fridge,” she said ignoring Wolff’s outstretched hand. She turned towards Gran Addy’s bedroom door before Wolff could capture her hands again.
He was gorgeous with shamrock green eyes and tanned skin, probably from being out on the golf course but well, who was she to judge. She had had to learn to golf for work herself but instead of tanning her fair skin on the he course, her skinned often burned.
Red was alarmed she didn’t want to resist Wolff. He had gazed at her as if she were prey, looking her up and down as she found herself caught betweeen him and freedom through Gran’s bedroom door. He had licked his lips and stretched his arms above his head.
As if Red, wouldn’t notice his taut muscles and the pleased grin on his face. His teeth showed as he grinned as if Wolff thought she would give into him like weak prey. But Red wasn’t weak. No one had called her that for a long time. Red was strong. She was first in her class at Columbia and the best young associate at her firm.
Just the same, when Wolff asked Red to stay she backed up and tripped over her flats caught on the carpet. Then, getting up before Wolff could help her, she took off out the front door towards the safety of her red Coralla.
As she drove off, Red saw Wolff leaning against her grandmother’s front door, smiling at her. There was no doubt his gaze was predatory.
Thick lust and heat coursed through her veins as she backed up her car trying to force herself to calm down. Wolff waved and Red’s tires squeeled as she took off down the gravel road towards her family’s summer cottage and safety.
When Red walked in the cottage her mom appeared surprised to see her, “Gina? I’m surprised you’re home so early. Your Grandma called and said you were having a wonderful time with Reggie’s Grandson Wolff. I thought you’d be a while,” Anne said raising her eyebrows.
“Um, he’s fine. Wolff appreciated the food.”
Then Red got mad, “You should’ve told me Grandma Addy was in Hawaii with Reggie. Wolff scared the h*ll out of me. I didn’t know what he was doing in Gran’s bedroom.”
“Oh, Gran said she had the biggest bedroom. Reggie and she are gone for three months so she felt Wolff should have the biggest room in her house. She bought some manly bedding and packed away her old trinkets. He’s been so good to your Gran and Reggie.”
“You should have said something. I hate being surpised like that. I almost screamed bloody murder. I don’t need you or Gran to set me up like that. I’m a single girl and I like it.”
Red’s mom chuckled, “Most unattached women say that until they meet a great guy. Axel has his demons behind him and needs to settle down. Well, that’s what your Gran and Reggie said. It was their idea for you to bring him food. I thought it was a great one, ” Anne said winking.
Red stomped her foot, ” I get to choose who I want to date or meet. I mean, he was half naked in Gran’s room. Who does he think he is trying to shut me up before I tell him to get out? He shouldn’t be in there, doesn’t matter what Gran Addy thinks. Doesn’t he have a job and his own place?”
Anne chuckled again, ” He was half naked, eh? I would’ve loved to have seen that. I’ve seen Axel on the beach a few times and that man works out. Such intense green eyes, an Irish background, a hot body, and helpful to his Grandpa, sounds sexy to me. If I was a bit younger, I’d go for him.”
“Mom!” Red said shocked.
“He likes you, you know?”
“Does not. He doesn’t even know me.He just wants what ‘all ‘guys want.”
‘Did he ask you to stay?”
“Yeah, he did. But I panicked. I never panick. I’m cool under pressure. That’s why I’m good at my job,” Red said confused.
“You ran, didn’t you? Took off like Little Red Riding Hood being chased by the big bad ‘Wolff?” Anne said laughing a her joke.
“I did. Not quite like that though. How did you know?”
“You look anxious and I know you well. What did you think was going to happen?” Anne said enjoying teasing her daughter.
“Stop it, mom. I can’t handle a guy like Wolff now. Too hungry, the kind of guy who wants too much. I’ve plenty of options in the city.”
“Yet, you don’t date much,” Anne murmered.
Red stomped her food again, “I’m fine. I’m going to bed. Don’t bother with breakfast for me tomorrow. I’m going for a run in the park when I wake up, a long one.”
Anne chuckled,”I’d be careful if I were you. Axel Wolff likes to run in the park in the mornings too.”
“Well, I’ll go running tonight then. The sun’s up for a few more hours.”
“Red, don’t go. You’re all worked up for no reason and you haven’t had dinner, have you?”
“No, I’m fine. I’ll eat after I’m back.”
Red left the family cottage slamming the back door. She changed into her running clothes in her car and made a beeline for the park a few blocks away. When she was half-way down one paved trail she stopped abruptly.
Wolff was sitting on a park bench in his own running clothes. He had taken his shirt off, and Red could see his fascinating tattoos. She wondered what they were images of and what they meant.
Her eyes were glued to Wolff, wiping the sweat off his body with a towel. For some reason, her mouth was dry. She felt heat flowing through her veins again. It was an overpowering sensation.
Shaking her head, Red noticed she had stopped running entranced by Wolff’s body and shamrock green eyes. He gazed up at her and stared.
Wolff’s lips curled into a half-smile, “Surprised to see you here?”
“What are ‘you’ doing here?” Red asked instead.
“Had to wear off supper. But I’m hungry again. Did you come to help me with that?”
“Not really. But . . . ”
Wolff cut her off, “You do have big eyes, Red. They’re beautiful and so are you. Sit, talk with me.”
Red was ready to run but then Wolff was in front of her as in Gran Addy’s room. He grasped her wrist gently. Red could tell he wasn’t afraid of confrontation. For some reason he made her feel okay with backing down. No other guy did that.
She pulled and tugged but Wolff wouldn’t let her wrist go. She was disgusted with herself for not smacking his amused face.
“You, you just want to eat me up with your big teeth,” she said fumbling to find words.
Wolff laughed, “It’s not my teeth you should be worried about.”
Red tried pulled away from Wolff again. By then, Wolff had guided her to the park bench without her realizing it. Putting on his shirt back on he turned to her. He still grasped her same wrist and hand gently, “So, tell me something Red?”
Red’s eyes dilated, growing larger and bluer. Wolff stroked her cheek with his other hand.
“Stenham house was an ancient locked thing and nothing returned there except for crows.”
Lost in the forest Marybeth was charmed by the crumbling facade of the ancient mansion. She wondered what the house looked like on the inside as she slipped through the rungs of a creaky black gate.
“What’r you doin’ here, Marybeth?” her older brother Winston cried, grabbing her by the shoulders and shaking her.
“Mom’s worried. Said you’d been out so long she was ‘fraid you were lost in the woods for good. You know you’re too young to be out here alone.”
“What’s in there?” Marybeth asked Winston pointing to Stenham house.
” You don’t want ta go there, ” Winston said matter-of-factly. “Tommy Johnson went in there and never came out the same. He’s a touched now.”
“Well he still lives in the neighborhood,” Marybeth argued. “I see him at school. He doesn’t play with the other kids much but sits in a corner and reads. There’s nothing wrong with that. What happened in that house?”
Winston shook his head, “You’ll have nightmares Marybeth, I can’t tell you. Mom’ll kill me.”
“S’okay I’m a big girl now. I’m seven. I can handle it.”
Winston sighed,”They say a family was murdered there. An axe murder came in and hacked them all to pieces. Grandma, Grandpa, the parents, and worst of all the children. There were four of them and the oldest was eleven.”
Marybeth gasped, “That’s bad. I saw the curtains moving I think someone still lives there.”
“There was a fifth child, he was a tot. The nanny hid him but was butchered herself. Even though the little guy was adopted, he always woke up with nightmares about the murder, even as an adult,” Winston whispered.
” He lives there now, I think.”
“He decide to live there when he ‘came an adult. It was the only way he could face his demons. That’s what Aunt Sally told me.”
“Does Aunt Sally know him?”
“Yeah, they were in the same grade.”
Suddenly the front door to the delapitated house flew upon. Winston and Marybeth saw a gaunt middle aged man standing at the entrance. He motioned them over but then the crows began to fly and circle around the children, diving at them and pecking them when they tried to reach out to the man.
Marybeth screamed batting at crows as she ran all the way back home to the safety of her mother’s arms. Winston followed his sister, his screams even more terrified.
He swore to his sister, later, he saw the man at the door to Stenham mansion disappear into thin air. Marybeth believed him and decided to stay away from Stenhem house until she was older and wiser.
Thanks to Oloriel of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting last Sunday’s Writing Prompt Challenge. I’m still playing catchup from NaPiWriMo and A to Z, a month later. Oloriel has given us some detailed names of colors to use in a story of some ‘peculiar ‘ kind.
Amaranthine clouds covered the sky as nighttime faded suffusing the morning with clouds of titian and vermillion. Jacob gazed up looking for the curulean sky, he’d even settle for a griege sky. But against all hope the curulean sky never arrived and erythaean red mixed with aubergine llfusing with a sickly viris blackening the sky and ocean.
The vibrant erythaean red came with a warning Jacob the fishermen could not ignore. The quote his great- grandfather used, that his Grandpa used, and his dear father also mimicked, flickered through Jacob’s mind: “Red sky at night, sailors delight; red sky at mourn, sailors be warned.”
The ocean was churning now, a deep dank lovat and zinnobar. The waves crashed against Jacob’s tiny boat. He felt most insignificant in the myriad of colors he’d witnessed this dawn and in the vastness of the angry ocean. A crack of lightning had Jacob jumping, hurrying to bring the fishing boat to harbor before the storm came closer. He pulled on ropes and adjusted his sails, steering the boat towards land that appeared close but was too far away.
He mumbled ‘Hail Marys’ and hoped above hope, soaked to the bone, as the ocean threatened to capsize his fishing boat. Then, brilliant xanthic lightning hit the boat and Jacob bumped his head, falling unconscious the waves battered his ship.
The next thing he knew, he was lying on a sandy beach, his boat mostly undamaged sitting further up shore. He didn’t know how he or his boat had managed to survive but he gazed up at the clear azure sky and thanked God for his good fortune. His favourite color was a sunny azure blue it meant tranquility and a good day’s catch. It was quiet hope being strengthened after the horror of a storm.
Thanks to Michael of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this Tale Weavers writing prompt. Today’s prompt is to write making sense of ‘Nonsense’ and use the word flamhsures in a poem or story as a verb or a noun.
Credit: MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie – Michael
“You can’t go to school with your flamhsures showing,” Mina told her young son Todd.
He looked at her and rolled his eyes. For an eight-year old he had become too cool for his parents. It seemed to Mina that kids were growing up so fast these days and that it was a shame they were.
Mina watched Todd from the front door as he walked to bus to attend third grade. She sighed knowimg how embarrassed Todd would be as his flamhsures were still visible.
She knew the other kids would make fun of Todd at school for this so Mina quickly walked to the end of her driveway yelling: “Todd come back here a moment. I need to ask you something.”
Todd turned his head a moment and rolled his eyes at Mina. She dreaded the day that lay before him. She knew Todd arrive home upset and tearful. Mina wondered if he would still let her comfort him or if he would run to his room and yell at her after his bad day.
In some ways he was no different than his father Thomas when he was in a bad mood. Mina loved her husband but when he was upset he could be cold and distant. She was afraid that their eight-year old had inherited these traits as opposed to Thomas’s better traits. He was a good Dad and a good husband but just as Mina, Thomas had his faults too.
When he dropped by home to have lunch with her Thomas excitedly told her about his newest project as an architect and she told him about the latest painting she had been commissioned to do. She also mentioned Todd and his flamhsures showing.
Thomas smiled, “Todd’s a big boy. He’s almost nine and he has to learn somethings for himself. He may have a terrible day because he didn’t listen to his mother but tomorrow he’ll know better because he’ll have learned.”
Mina sighed covering her face with her hands, “It’s difficult to think of him as more than the little guy he was such a short while ago. He is still so young and it bothers me that that kids can be so mean to others kids.”
Thomas comforted Mina holding her close and kissing her softly before heading out the door and back to work. Mina watched Thomas leave, perturbed when she saw his flamhsures were visible too. He didn’t hear her call out as he was already on his phone and back in work mode.
When Todd came home from school he ran in the door smiling. Mina approached talking to him with care, “It looks like you had a good day Todd? What did you do at school today?”
Todd rolled his eyes, “Oh the usual. Some math, some writing, gym, and recess. We played soccer at recess I like playing soccer.”
“That’s good maybe you want to play in the spring and summer again?”
“Maybe,” Todd says shrugging. “Can I have a snack? Some cookies?”
“Only if you have some fruit with your cookies. Did anything bad happen today, Todd?”
“Not really, Mom.”
“Well, I was just wondering because when I called you back from the bus it was because your flamhsures were still showing and I didn’t want you to be embarrassed at school.”
Todd giggled, “Well I didn’t really notice but then some girl pointed it out and I thought I would get made fun of but then two other boys said their flamhsures were showing too and everyone laughed. Then all the boys made their flamhsures show and we all decided to play soccer.”
Mina giggled, “Well I’m happy to hear that. Let’s hope your father has a similar good story. He came home for lunch and his flamhsures were visible too as he went back to work. Let’s hope he isn’t embarrassed either.”
Todd laughed eating his cookie, “Things like that don’t bother men, Mom. Look at me I’m a man and I survived. Dad will be good too.”
Mina tried to hold back her laughter, “So you’re a man now? Not my little guy, even at home?”
Wonderland had been a delight for Alice. It always was, but she expected that when she returned to the real world, she would come back as herself — her correct size.
Instead, Alice stepped through the looking glass as her regular 5’7″ height and found herself the size of one her mothers miniature ornamental figurines. Moreover, when she had taken a few steps she found herself falling from a tremedous height before making a great splash in what she discovered was a tepid cup of green tea.
She didn’t recognize the face of the sullen man who was drinking from her mother’s rose china teacups. His hands surrounded the cup Alice was in and he hadn’t even realized when she landed in his tea, sloshing it all over his hands.
Alice was soaked and feeling warm, the tea wasn’t as tepid as she thought. The man sighed and she heard her mother’s booming voice talking to the man about some cause she was recruiting donations for.
She screamed shrilly as the man lifted the cup to his mouth, struggling in the water and flailing her tiny arms. The man didn’t see Alice and as she continued screaming, the cup moved closer to the man’s mouth. As tea surrounded Alice covering her head, she had no choice but to bite the man’s lip. She sunk her teeth into his flesh, biting as viciously as she could with her minature teeth.
The man gasped, suddenly in pain. Blood dripped from his lip where Alice had bit him. The tea and teacup flew out of his hand in surprise and Alice was flung out into the living room landing beside her mother on the couch.
Her mother gazed at Alice with wide blue eyes before gently stroking Alice’s soaking body with her pinky finger.
Three hours into the desert [Sandra felt the jeep’s] engine choke and buckle, rolling dark smoke into the pale blue sky.
“Are you kidding me?” Sandra asked her husband Jim. “We’re going to the Grand Canyon something people do all the time from Vegas and the damn Barbie jeep breaks down? Don’t they maintain these things, check that they’re working before they leave us in the open desert?”
Jim gazed at his wife his eyes half closed. The temperature was a sizzling 45 degrees Celsius and growing up in Toronto’s cold winters meant he didn’t handle the heat well. Sandra’s harping made Jim feel that much worse, sweating prufesly in the leather seat beside her.
“Jim, Jim? Are you even listening to me? How long is it going to take for them to send another jeep? Why is everyone else so mellow about this? It gets cold in the desert at night and what about the snakes and scorpions?”
Jim groaned out load and Sandra gave him a dirty look. “Sandy, its hot right now,” he mumbled. “We’ve no air conditioning and if it gets cold soon that would be great for everyone. I’m sure the tour company will find us soon. Our jeep’s Barbie pink as you say.”
“Oh and could you calmdown? You’re frightening the elderly couples,” he said whispering into Sandra’s ear as to not offend the two couples nearby.
Sandra gave Jim a weird look then continued yapping. The tour guides who had been on the radio the last hour with their company were now glaring at Sandra as they too sufferered in the heat and from her constant questions.
The older couples had it the worst, Jim thought. No one wanted any of them to undergo heat stroke since the temperature seemed to affect the four of them the most. Sandra’s constant complaining wasn’t helping the matter.
“Simmer down, lady,” one guide told Sandra,”This happens sometimes. Another jeep is a couple of hours away, if you can control yourself until then.”
Sandra didn’t care, she kept talking.
Jim was surprised when a lady in her seventies, named Meg, smacked Sandra’s face hard. So hard he could see the red outline of the woman’s hand on Sandra’s sweaty cheek. Sandra was so shocked she didn’t say another word except to ask for a bottle of water every couple of hours.
Megan winked at Jim and said: “Nothing like a good smack in the face. I think the heat was getting to your wife. She seems to be okay now that I smacked her and that she’s drinking water instead of talking.” Jim laughed bumping fists with feisty Meg.
“Okay?” Jim asked Sandra later.
“Yeah good now, just a little panic attack I think. The heat was getting to me.”
Jim laughed at this stroking Sandra’s back.
The evening sky in the desert turned from twilight into glittering black with giant stars. All eight people in the jeep sighed with pleasure as the blistering heat cooled and they were awed by the fantastic celestial bodies.
When another pink jeep arrived the next morning, no one complained about the heat or Sandra. Both problems had been eclipsed by the perfect temperature and the starry night viewed under them.
Steve walked into English 311 wearing a toga and a gold spray-painted crown of leaves.
Dr. Lawerence, their English Professor, laughed at the front of the room along with some of the other students.
“Why is what Steve wearing funny?” Ambrose asked Jen, “Its not like this is some party.”
“I think it might have something to do with Julius Caesar. What about you?” Jen said dryly.
“The play we’re studying?” Ambrose’s asked. His friend, sitting behind him tittered. “Shut up, Dan,” he said.
Dan kept laughing, “How can you be reading Julius Caesar in English 311 and not understand why Steve is wearing that getup?”
Dr. Lawerence overheard his student’s conversation. He chuckled, ” ‘Beware the Ides of March,’ Ambrose. Remember what I said in Monday’s class?”
Ambrose shook his head, “Eyes of what now?”
The student’s around Ambrose and their professor laughed. Jen sighed. ” Caesar was assassinated on the ‘Ides of March.’ The seer in the play told him to ‘beware’ of it, but he was still stabbed and killed.”
“I thought Brutus murdered Caesar? Now you’re saying a seer did?”
Dr. Lawerence peered at Ambrose concerned, “Are you sure you want to major in English Literature, Ambrose?”
He looked up and shrugged. The professor sighed and returned to the front of the room. There was always one in every class.