Three Line Tales: Fiction — “The Peace at the End of the Road” #amwritingfiction #3LineTales.


Thank you to Sonya of #3LineTales.


Credit: Dave Herring via Unsplash.


Autumn is cool here and they’re places I amble where certain roads are brilliant possibilities; others dull dead ends. This September, the warm breeze of an Indian summer blows through me, and in the sunshine afternoon a rainbow brick path leads to a periwinkle church. I sit on a back pew, hands laced in prayer as peace pervades me for mere moments; then, my heart unclenches and I inhale bliss.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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Interview with Kathy Dunn for ‘Shepherding All God’s Creatures’ a Christian Animal Organization #interview #nonfiction #animalrights #Christianity


Welcome to another biweekly interview for my interviews series. I apologize I am behind with interviews as other projects have been keeping me extremely busy. Today I have a wonderful interview for you with Kathy Dunn, her team, and their blog for the cause of bringing awareness for animals in a Christian context. Kathy’s blog is called:  Shepherding All God’s Creatures


Credit: Kathy Dunn (From Left ) – Roselyne Smith and Kathy Dunn

1. What is Your Name and the Name of Your Cause? Where are you located? 

My Name is Kathy Dunn, and I love animals! Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in SAGC’s ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!  

My team includes myself, Kathy Dunn, from Minnesota, US; Roslyne Smith from Leeds, England; Marcello Newall from Italy; Jessica Lopez from Florida, US; and Philip Guyott from London, England. 


2. Please Tell Us About Your Cause and What You Are Trying to Accomplish?

We are Christians who love animals. I (Kathy) started a spiritual venture a few years ago that led me to blog. One day I was awakened to the industrialization and incorporating of animals into factory settings. I realized animals are exploited on every level by man for factory farms for food, the skin and fur trades, vivisection, puppy mills, hunting, and animals in entertainment. In the wild, animals face unprecedented pressure just to survive; many species are endangered and face extinction. In homes, some people mistreat and abuse family pets.

Our organization seeks to accomplish certain goals including: 

  • Using a Biblical approach, to share Christ’s love for us and all of creation, following the Holy Spirit’s lead, and using the truth of scripture. 
  • To focus on animals and exploring their role in creation as well as to explore what mankind’s role is as a caretaker of creation and the earth in general according to The Bible.
  • To provide resources on our blog page so that readers have a place to find educational material on the topic of animal exploitation and abuse. They can also find information on how to become involved and take action against animal abuse. There is also information on diet and how to live a Vegan life-style.
  • To encourage others to speak out to church leaders about the need for Creation Care Ministries within the church.
  • To serve as a tool for people to take information to their church bodies, as churches awaken to their role of caring for creation. On our site, we hope to provide some material that leaders can use to help them create ‘Creation Care Ministries’ for their church.
  • To work alongside the animal welfare movement in their most important work, bringing the love of Christ and knowledge of scripture with us to minister to people who do not know God. For those who don’t know Him, we invite you to take a look and make an informed decision as to what this life all about!
  • Our ministry encourages people to have a heart for Jesus and for His truth, that God will show up for them (Jeremiah 29:13) and is real. He is there to comfort people and loves people and animals. His intent was not that mankind would exploit animals but care for them. We believe Jesus Christ is the answer to overcoming every kind of evil plaguing this troubled world.

 “Our cause is an animal welfare ministry, Shepherding All God’s Creatures. Others in the SAGC ministry and myself, advocate for animals from a perspective of faith. We believe since God made us all, it is best to advocate for these animals keeping a Christian perspective in mind!” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn- Mercello
Credit: Kathy Dunn (Right) Marcello Newal

3. When Did You Begin Writing and/or Blogging for Your Cause and Why?

I started our blog in December 2013, when I asked Roslyne to join me in my endeavor. In 2014, we asked Marcello to join us. As well, in 2017, we asked Jessica to join as an author and prayer event leader. We are in process of bringing aboard Philip as an author as well as our Information Technology blog and web designer.


4. Why is Your Cause Meaningful for You and Your Team? How Does it Help Other People and Animals?

Our cause is meaningful as it fulfills our desire to help animals according to God and His word in the Bible. It is a calling I have felt since the onset. I have heard from others who follow us, how our ministry is helpful for people in finding support and understanding through our faith-based cause, focusing on animal welfare. 

Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world to bring hope, love, mercy, kindness, and peace for all of God’s creation.


“Our prayer group, in particular, provides a safe place where all of us can pray together for animals and the earth. It helps us support one another, in our common goal of helping the animal kingdom, and releasing the Holy Spirit into a hurting world” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn - Jessica Lopez
Credit: Kathy Dunn – Picture of Jessica Lopez

5. Where Do You Find Your Inspiration and Motivation to Continue in Your Cause? Why Is Your Cause Important to You and Your Team?

I am motivated by my faith in Jesus Christ and other people whom I share my personal walk with Christ with. Reading The Bible and studying scripture – the written Word – as well as the spoken and Living Word of Jesus also inspires me. As well, sermons from going to church and other blogs add to my inspiration. Knowing about animal suffering and how it break the hearts of my team at SAGC and God’s heart, leads me to urgently want to share our message.



SAGC’s cause is significant because a lot depends upon it!  The spiritual world manifests itself in the physical world. War, hatred, bloodshed, and death, were never intended to be experienced by people or animals. One day, Jesus is going to return to the physical world as he says he will in the Bible. “Our reward,” Jesus says, “is in Heaven” (Matthew 5:12) for following and believing in Him.

Our organization believes that all who entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.


6. How Does Your Blog and Writing Habits Fit with Your Cause? 

We hope and pray that our blog raises awareness of caring for animals and creation from a Biblical perspective. We want it to encourage people of faith to reach out to their communities and leaders, insisting that they take up animal and earth welfare issues. People are responsible for these issues such as any other social justice issue that affects people such as poverty and sickness.

We desire to bridge the gap between secular animal welfare and faith-based outreach, showing the world that Jesus cares about animals and the earth and  drawing people to Him so the can achieve salvation through Christ.


“We believe that all who believe and entrust their lives to Christ will one day live in perfect peace with one another, the earth and animal kingdom, the way it was originally intended to be (Isaiah 11:6-9). This is our goal as Christians and people who love animals.” – Kathy Dunn


7. Have You Published Anything On Your Cause Outside of Blog Posts? Have You Held Any Special Events for Your Cause or Do You Have Future Plans to Do So? 

In 2016, the article, “God, Love, Peace and the Animal Kingdom” was published in the annual edition of Twin Cities, Veg Living, a publication by Compassionate Action for Animals (CAA). They are a local animal welfare organization dedicated to building community and raising awareness to the suffering of animals in factory farms, and advocating for a Vegan lifestyle.

CAA also interviewed me for a Podcast, “Christianity and Advocating for Animals” This link is also found on the SAGC blog page under “Feature Podcast.”

SAGC hosts ‘Animal Christian Concern’ through Roslyne’s group in the UK. You can also check out this book compiled by Roselyne Louis Smith:A Collection of Animal Christian Concern Articles” which is available on Amazon. 

For Special Events:  We host Prayer Events Online and recently, SAGC absorbed “Christian Vegan Prayer Calls Group” and their membership which was led by Jessica Lopez. We will host the prayer conference call which was the main feature of Jessica’s prior group on a monthly basis (to begin with). Members can join in this call for prayer as the prayer leader (Jessica) leads them.

For the future, there are many considerations. After attending the’ Creature Conference’ hosted by Sarx in the UK (March 18, 2017), I have been feeling inspired to put together a similar event here in America. This event would be dedicated to bringing faith groups together to strategize on common goals of animal and earth care issues, while unifying, finding support, renewal, and encouragement for the cause of our blog as well as our calling as Christians in the world.


6. Can You Briefly Describe How Your Blog and Your Cause Began?

In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur.  I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

It led me on a journey seeking all the realities of our industries where animals are concerned; I wanted to know what was going on in our world. I discovered many of the various uses mankind utilizes animals for, treating them as “things” at their disposal. I kept asking myself “where is the church?” This took me on a spiritual journey to find that answer and the SAGC blog was born three short years later.


“In 2010, I discovered what was happening in our world to animals in the fur industry. I watched an undercover video of animals in China being skinned alive for their fur.  I was so shocked; I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.” – Kathy Dunn


Kathy Dunn - Philip Guyott (right)
Credit: Kathy Dunn – (Right) Philip Guyott

7. What Is Involved In Supporting Your Cause and Blogging for It? 

Staying on top of the issues and current news around the world in regards to animal welfare issues is vital. I do a lot of this work by gleaning through other animal welfare organizations and what is happening with them. I also study the Bible and read the related material and educational books both from a faith/theological perspective as well as from a secular animal welfare venue. Networking with other people and other organizations with God’s guidance is also important!


8. Do You Have Any Helpful Advice for other Bloggers/Writers who are Blogging/Writing for A Cause?

Follow your passion where God leads you! Read, study, don’t be quick to judge but find out as much about your cause and its background including: people involved, the culture, the history of the cause, and other particulars about your cause as to gain as much truthful knowledge and understanding as possible.You will find confidence approaching your cause this way, knowing you know the material thoroughly. 

A favorite piece of scripture of mine is:  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, Godliness; and to Godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.”  (2 Peter 1:5-7) 

God has given us everything we need to work with for supporting causes such as animal welfare in a Christian context.


9. Is There Anything Else You Would Like to Share with Readers of This Interview, Pertinent to Your Cause or Your Organization? 

Always be ready to go the extra mile!  Causes are human made – all social justice issues are the result of a fallen world and man rejecting God. It is easy to fall under the influence of the powers and principalities of evil at work in this world.

Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly. 


“Peace eludes us, as we live in a world in disagreement where some people think they judge rightly and are willing to defend what they wrongly believe at any cost. Leave the judging and revenge to God who judges rightly.” – Kathy Dunn


10. For Fun, Please Tell Us Your Three Favorite Blogs?

  •  Greg Boyd — A theologian, Bible scholar, and teaching pastor at Woodland Hills Church; he is the author of this blog. His wonderful teaching keeps me seeking and ever hungry for truth and knowledge of God
  • Swords To Plowshares — Craig Wescoe is a wonderful writer in his knowledge of scripture and our Biblical responsibilities for the earth and animal kingdom
  • Animals Are Feeling Beings Too — LeeAnn’s blog is uplifting with a serious side. I love all the photos and videos she finds and shares.  She is very creative and her posts are short and to the point.

11. Please Share with Us Some Favourite Link From Your Cause’s Blog:

Praying The Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)

OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN:
Father, we come to you now in the midst of great division among the people in the United States and around the world.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME:
First, we honor you as Creator of all and PRAISE YOU for all that you have made! Without you, we can do nothing (Joh 15:5). We want to put on display the glory of the Father by bringing about the rule and will of God on earth – guide us in doing so and protect us as we work at it with the Spirit’s guidance.

THY KINGDOM COME:
In us and through us, with us and without us, because of us, for the animals the earth, the downtrodden, abused, voiceless, marginalized among us so that we are an example of Christ for those who live by the power of the sword, who are living by the patterns of this world, that they also might humble themselves and repent and find you, Jesus; shower your Spirit upon us, enable us to be that example of Christ the world needs to see, guide us in studying what that means and to apply it in ALL we do – You are the answer to ALL that ails mankind.

THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN:
When I think of your will being done on earth as it is in heaven, I think of the Garden of Eden and what a pristine, peaceful world would look like for ALL that you created. I think of how we would treat each other, the animals and the earth, under your complete Lordship and that love is the goal – may we all pray for our world according to this model and the visions he gives each of us. Help us use our imaginations when we pray and in how we live out what we see in as much as we can in this broken world by the power of the Holy Spirit; help us love as Christ loved. We are asking that your reign is accomplished now in us, through us, in spite of us, and without us!

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD:
We ask that all that we need daily to remain steadfast in a dark world ruled by Satanic powers will be supplied and that we will utterly rely on the Father to trust him for all that we will be needing as we work to bring about your kingdom on earth.

AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS:
Lord that we would extend the same forgiveness to others that you extend to us, unworthy though we all are. We are admonished by you to extend grace to all, including those we consider our enemies (maybe there is no love lost for animal abusers, or perhaps in light of the American election, a candidate who won the election that we may feel is our vehement enemy) – Lord not that we sway to and fro with the powers that be in every kind of wickedness or agree necessarily, but that we stand our ground on the basis of what Jesus taught, act like he did when he came against enemies, and that we leave the final judgment of a person’s character and any revenge for wrongs done up to the Father. As Micah reminds us, we are to “do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.” Micah 6:8

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE:
Lord, please protect us from the hardships that accompany our kingdom work; yet when they come as they will in this war zone in which we live, strengthen us to place all our hope and faith in Jesus and to carry on, knowing that like Paul said, no matter the situation, whether well fed or hungry, with plenty or little…. we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:12, 13); enable us to put on all the armor of God (Eph 6:10-20) and having done all to stand; and Lord that we will not give up, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not! (Gal 6:9)

In the Holy name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, AMEN


For an excellent article on the Lord’s Prayer, go here.

Thank you for reading and following our blog, we hope you are blessed by it and will share it with others!  ~Kathy


Here Are Some More Links to Kathy’s Blog Here:


Thanks to Kathy Dunn and all the members of her blog and organization. The preservation of the earth and the ethical treatment of animals is an extremely important issue in today’s world so thank you for sharing your cause with us and from your unique Christian perspective as well. Here is the link to Kathy’s Home Page again: Shepherding All God’s Creatures.


If you would like to have your blog or writing featured on my biweekly interviews please reach out to me on my blog Contact Page. I am happy to interview writers/bloggers in most any kind of writing, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and any kind of blog theme including blog pages for causes such as animal welfare.  See You Again Soon!


©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved.

Three Line Tales: Beat Feet – Life Of A 1950’s Woman  #amwriting #3LineTales #fiction 


Thanks to Sonya of Only 100 Words for hosting #3LineTales. 

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Credit: Clem Onojeghuo via unsplash

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I’m anti frantic today which is a wonderful, that man at the department store was really laying on the apple butter; I almost went ape, I’m a married woman you know. At least the ankle-biters are all in school now and I don’t have to deal with their bash ears, but I need to beat feet so I can meet the ladies at church, we’re having some used clothing sale of clothing in good condition to raise bread for the homeless. Some reporter from the paper is here too writing a book and he took my picture by the Reverand’s truck; I wish he’d beat feet, I’m a busy woman. 

——

Please see Fifties Web here, for all definitions of the fifty’s slang terms used (in bold). 

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©Mandibelle16. (2017) All Rights Reserved. 

November Notes: Poem – Day 15 – Free Verse – “Where Car Rides Lead” #poetry #writing #amwriting #music 


Today’s song prompt is “Midnight City” by M83.

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“Midnight City” – M83

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Credit: http://www.8tracks.com

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To where do car rides lead? 

Wherever we may go. 

Let’s ride the night out, 

Let the city lights glow, 

Wrap us in their electronic warmth. 

—-

To where do car rides lead? 

Any direction you may go. 

Don’t sit and wait, 

Put your foot on the break, 

Start the car let’s go. 

—–

To where do car rides lead? 

Adventures waiting to be towed, 

Come along as the lights gleam, 

The city is ours, 

Our time, our night, to explore.

——

To where do car rides lead? 

Neon signs, the horizon beams, 

Driving all night, 

No where to go, our journey —

In this broken church, our city.

—–

To where do car rides go? 

They lead us to flickering dreams.

——-

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved. 

#OctPoWriMo – Day 27 – Ghazal – “Scent Divine” #amwriting #poetry 


Day 27 Prompt: Favorite Scent

“Fragrance is a powerful thing. It can bring you back to your favorite meal your mother used to make, to your first kiss, to any number of events in your life. Free write for 10 minutes and see where your nose leads you, if your words need some encouragement, walk outside, down the street, through a mall, through a forest until your nose reminds you and the words begin to flow.” 
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http://www.kesuada.com

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Scent of cinnamon, apple pie freshly made, divine,

Fresh bread, spice cookies, shortbread, chocolate craved divine

——

Easter ham glazed with pineapple rings, smoked, homemade.

Perogies, bacon, onion, soft sating divine

——

Walking outside after it rains, pine scent invades

Deep breath, acrid wonderful smell nature divine

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Puppies and kitties, newborn babes, a scent persudes

Love, care for, feed and adore, keep safe those divine. 

——–

Incense in churches, candles burning, chants disuade

Wine strong, broken bread, prayers with coffee wake the divine

———

Ghazal: 

“A Ghazal is a poem that is made up like an odd numbered chain of couplets, where each couplet is an independent poem. It should be natural to put a comma at the end of the first line. The Ghazal has a refrain of one to three words that repeat, and an inline rhyme that preceedes the refrain. Lines 1 and 2, then every second line, has this refrain and inline rhyme, and the last couplet should refer to the authors pen-name… The rhyming scheme is AA bA cA dA eA etc.”

Please see Shadow Poetry for further information 

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©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved. 

Moral Monday’s Flash Fiction: Reading On Sunday


Thanks to Nortina for hosting Moral Monday’s prompts. This week’s moral is any moral our Dad taught us.


Little Girl Reads Bible Verse
http://www.teachinghelp.org

The eight-year-old girl was crying. When a bulletin had come around church asking for people to read Bible verses once a month, the girl thought she could do it.

It was time for her to read the first lesson. She forgot how full the pews were on a Sunday.”I don’t want to do this Daddy,” said the little girl tearfully.

Her Dad comforted her and said: “I’m sorry but you said you would.”

The girl bowed, and stepped up on the alter.She started reading the first lesson into a mic. She was crying, but as she neared half-way, her tears calmed.When she was done reading, she felt peace pass over her.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Story Continuation Prompt: Flash Fiction – Judged


Thanks to Wandering Soul for hosting this prompt challenge. This week’s challenge is up to a 500 word piece of writing with the beginning sentence: “The delicious aroma of the freshly baked croissants wafted through the near-empty café.”

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The delicious aroma of the freshly baked croissants wafted through the near-empty Cafe. It was Sunday morning around 9:00 am and the majority of people weren’t up this early. Many church services did not begin until 10:00 or 10:30 am. Giselle thought about her home church while eating a buttery croissant and drinking a cappuccino.

She hadn’t been to church in a while. It wasn’t because she stopped believing in God or his son Jesus. It didn’t mean she didn’t have a few Christian friends or that she didn’t miss some of the people she grew up with in church.

Other issues were at work in Giselle’s life and a place which had always felt peaceful and inviting to her, became a place full of judgement. There was no forgiveness to be found in her old church and Giselle felt heavy hearted. People she had fondly thought of as Aunties and Uncles growing up, now gazed upon her with severe disapproval. 

Giselle believed it was God’s right alone to judge a person’s sins. Other Christians in her life could guide her and warn her of where her actions might lead, but she didn’t deserve hatred from them, to be the subject of gossip. Her best friend Ivy especially, had turned on Giselle.

Giselle had read a meme on the internet that read: “Thou Shall Not Judge Because Thou Has F$&#%d Up Too.” It was pertinent. When Giselle admitted to Ivy she had been attacked and raped by a stranger in an alley one night, Ivy had given her a stunned stare. 

“Are you sure?” Ivy had asked, then later told her parents and other church members Ivy ran into. Giselle had told Ivy she was pregnant with the rapist’s child. Rumours and gossip spread. Ivy, her family, and many other church members thought Giselle was having an abortion when she was admitted into hospital. 

The reality was Giselle’s pregnancy had failed; the tiny baby growing within Giselle had died. A doctor informed Giselle there had been complications. She could never have a child again. 

An elderly man at church had told Giselle, “You sew what you reap,” when he had heard the gossip Ivy had spread about Giselle having an abortion.

Giselle was suffering inside and some of her best friends were ‘outing her.’ The only people who knew and believed the truth were Giselle’s family and they were judged harshly for supporting Giselle.

She attended her home church for the last time that Sunday, enduring cat-like behaviour from the women and men who told her she should be ashamed. Shouldn’t they be helping her and ‘lifting her up?’ Did they no longer care about her? 

Giselle thought it ironic her church wondered why Christains were not attending church. Couldn’t they see, the world had become a kinder place than their church? That Jesus’ light was brighter out among strangers? People Giselle had known and trusted all her life had become like ‘a den of vipers.’

Looking up one last time at the cross and steeple of the church Giselle had called home, she left her church for good; Giselle had hope she would find a kinder church someday.

—–

Note: There are great Christian churches with kind and understanding people attending them. They are good neighbours who through God, help people like Giselle heal. This story is fictional and hopefully, a worst case scenario.

—–

©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Chapter 29. How Was Last Night For You: John Returns


Please read Chapter 28 here.

Chapter 29: John Returns

“Mom, hello? Is that you?” John said, pressing Nina’s IPhone against his ear.

“Jordan is that you? Why are you using Nina’s phone I was just talking to you. . .” Edith replied.

“No, Mom. It’s me John. I’m alive, here with Nina. You need to stop the funeral.”

“Jordan this isn’t funny. We discussed this. Your brother is dead. He’s passed on and we need to move on too, even if we don’t have a body to bury. You and Nina can hope forever, but eventually you are going to have to come terms with it. I know my son. If he was alive, he would’ve found his way home.”

“This isn’t Jordan Mom. It’s John. I am home. I came home early this morning. I ran into Nina walking on the beach in front of our house.” John told his Mom beseechingly.

“John?” Edith’s voice was muffled and he could the tears in her voice.”This better be you. Where have you been young man it’s been over four-months?”

“There’s a lot to explain Mom . . .” Edith cut John off.

“Take a selfie, show me a me picture of how you look with Nina right now.” John and Nina obliged Edith, taking a few photos on Nina’s phone and sending them to Jon’s Mom.

Edith called back minutes after receiving the pictures, “I’m coming over to your house now and I’m bringing everyone.”


 

Nina gazed at John putting her hair back into a tighter ponytail. “What did Edith say?”

“She thought I was Jordan. She was crying, but the selfies convinced her I’m alive. Mom’s coming over now and bringing my Dad and brothers.”

Nina swore. “The house is kind of a mess John. I haven’t felt much like cleaning the last couple of weeks . . .”

“It’ll be okay Nina. She won’t care about the mess until later. Mom needs to see me for herself first.” Nina wrapped her arm around John’s waist and he put his arm around her shoulders, they began walking back to John’s beachfront house, kicking sand up as they walked.

“How will you explain it all to Edith and Robert, your Dad? To the rest of your family?” Nina asked John.

“Well, I’ll explain as best as I can. I’m not sure where I was for most of four-months. . . I’d rather talk with you first but I’m sure the family is half-way here by now. As if a curse isn’t weird enough, coming back to life after being between life and death for months, will be shocking.” John reasoned.

“I think,” Nina countered, “You’re family will be overjoyed to see you safe and healthy. Not to mention, such as in every happily ever after, the curse is broken. I think your family will be happy you and I, and they can live normal lives without worrying about awful events occurring around you and affecting them. Your family loves you and will be enthused you did not die that night as they all thought.”

Nina kissed John’s cheek with a smacking kiss and he laughed, messing her hair up lightly. “Tell them the truth as best as you can. Tell us all. I would love to hear your story from after the point I thought you died, and you disappeared into the water and sky, when Talise broke the curse.”

John kissed Nina softly. “I’ll try to tell you first. The drive up here will take everyone a bit to get here.” The house loomed before them and they walked up the porch steps together through the back door.


John and Nina both showered together. They wanted to spend their time loving each other in the shower, but knowing Edith could barge in the house soon, stopped them from going too far with each other.

Nina wouldn’t put it past Edith to walk right into the bathroom to see John, even if he and Nina were both naked.

Nina and John both wore jeans and soft t-shirts. Nina blew dry her hair and curled it with a flat iron before applying her makeup minimally and the fastest she had ever had to apply it before. She didn’t like meeting John’s family without her ‘face’ on. The makeup was a bit of shield for her, against what she might hear from John and his family.

Nina applied foundation and mascara. Next came a gold sheen of an eye shadow color on her eyelid and a darker brown crease shade. A fluff of blush on each cheek and some gold hoop earrings were followed by Nina applying a pink lip gloss. She met John in the kitchen so relieved and overjoyed he was home. She could almost cry, but she didn’t. She needed to hear John’s story about Norman and life in-between life and death.

“You must be starving,” Nina told John.

“I had a huge steak dinner last night with Norman. I’m okay right now, it’s not even lunch. The fridge is packed with food I see though.” John commented.

“I’m happy you’ve been eating. It bothers me when you don’t eat because you’re worried, sick, or keeping secrets.” John remarked smiling knowingly at Nina.

Nina smirked.” I think you’re the one with secrets right now John; not me.” John laughed amused.

“I tried to eat when I remembered and at first, I forgot a lot. Rianne has been terrific and she grocery shopped for me when I was grieving. She’s literally, the only way I was able to handle losing you. She believed me when I said you were alive out there, even when your family stopped believing me.” A stray tear leaked down Nina’s cheek.

John stopped her tear with his thumb, ” I’m here now. I couldn’t come back any sooner, but I would’ve  if I knew how. I was stuck and sleeping in a vibrant place. You know what it was like you said, because you were there in that place in-between life and death that night when Talise’s bite poisoned you.”

“Yeah,” Nina nodded remembering. “It was tranquil and I had no troubling thoughts or worries. There was so many beautiful colours. Bold and magnificent colours there isn’t enough words in the human language to describe.”

“Exactly,” John said. “I’m glad I didn’t know how gone you were that night. When I was ended up in the place of colours, I couldn’t imagine so many colours existed. There were colours there and they don’t exist here on earth.”

“I was so fatigued and in that place I could rest and be done with the whole curse, with everything. I wanted to give in and I let myself for a long time, but then I pictured you and I was awake and I was wandering an endless beach.” John said.

He leaned against the kitchen island and Nina stood close to him. She smelled his woodsy and citrus cologne and breathed it in. It was the scent on the shirt she’d been sleeping with for over four-months.

“I’m ecstatic your back John and grateful. If remembering me brought you out of that in-between place, I’m glad.” Nine hesitated,” Do you think it was God who brought you to the beach, not only your thoughts?”

“I don’t know. Norman wasn’t God but I have the feeling he might have worked for God. He saved Rianne Norman told me and he was there to help me. He said he can take many forms. He came into my cottage, my home on the beach. After supper and beers, he answered all my questions and taught me a few things too.”

“Just like that?” Nina questioned.”What did Norman say exactly? You seem lighter now and carefree. I know it’s probably because the curse is gone, but I think something else has changed too. Just a feeling I have knowing you as I do.” Nina surmised, smiling contently.

John didn’t answer right away. He kissed Nina on the lips a few times, lingering over her mouth and Nina could tell he was holding back, trying to be gentle. She began to feel warm and she ached for John inside as heat and attraction simmered between them. Nina had missed John incredibly and wanted to demonstrate to him how much she had missed him in their bed.

John smiled at Nina chuckling: “I want to too Nina, but right now isn’t a good time with my family arriving soon.” He pulled back from kissing her. John must have seen the wounded look in Nina’s eyes, because he brushed her cheeks with his thumbs. Nina put her head against John’s chest, hearing his heart beat was comforting and his hug calmed Nina.

“Tell me more,” Nina said after a while, stepping back from John’s arms and peering up at him. John gently moved back from Nina some more and leaned against the kitchen island once again. Nina stood in front of him, hands in her jean pockets, full of curiosity.

“Well, I told you about Talise. She’s not dead. I’m not sure how. Norman said Talise saw something in Jordan that night. She broke the curse and she let Jordan kill her. This makes Talise redeemable,” John muttered, his anger at Talise present.

“Talise told me that the curse was a deeper magic than the magic she possessed. It was why she couldn’t save you John.”

“Indeed, I’m quite sure the curse magic and other magic is deeper than Talise’s magic. Norman said he was a kind of magic . . . Anyways, about Talise and Jordan, Norman said what Talise saw in Jordan was like what I saw in you when I first met you at The Manhattan.”

“Really?” Nina said shocked. John shrugged.

“I don’t understand it but Norman said Talise was Jordan’s responsibility the same way you are mine. I have tell Jordan what Norman told me. I’m scared to say anything to him. Norman explained about the ring Talise put her soul in for Jordan and the dagger that altered after Jordan killed Talise.”

” Jordan will be okay,” Nina said.”He hasn’t been in a good place since he thought you died but I think having his older brother back will make him much happier.”

“He despises Talise as I said,  I don’t know how he’ll ever see her as more than an evil sea witch. Honestly, I don’t know if can see her as anything but an evil person, despite what she did in the end that night.” Nina admitted. John nodded in agreement.

“What else did Norman say?” Nina asked. John sighed, wishing he could keep some of what Norman told him to himself. But John knew he had to be truthful with Nina, in this most significantly

“Norman said, I had no faith. He referenced a Bible verse John 1:5 which talks about light always shining in the darkness and chasing it away. It’s a verse I remembered from Sunday School.”

“No faith in God?” Nina said. ” I know you have faith in God John. You told me He was the only one looking out for you when everything in life goes badly for you. You go to church too. I went with you a few times if you recall.” Nina said.

“It wasn’t only faith in God, Norman was telling me about. He told me I was missing the bigger picture of life, so caught up in details and my own problems. Makes sense I guess, I’m an editor by craft.” John mused.

“But Norman also said I didn’t have faith my curse would ever be broken. He told me about you telling Rianne about people wanting magic solutions but not believing in them.”

Nina smiled. “It’s one of my favourite quotes from Alice in Wonderland. And yes, I believe in magic both good and bad.”

“Norman said I didn’t believe the curse could have good magic. I didn’t have faith God would work things out for me. I didn’t have faith I would live when the curse was broken. I didn’t have faith in you, that we could ever spend our lives together. I didn’t believe in my dreams.”

John appeared tired to Nina again, but she thought it was more the weight of finally having unburdened himself of the truths Norman had revealed to him, that had exhausted him. She hoped the lightness John felt earlier would return.

“Was Norman right John?” Nina asked.

“At the time, he was exactly right. I didn’t have faith in much of anything. It’s why I spent a good seven or eight-years doing nothing but working and going through women. Even when I met you and I hoped for more, I thought keeping you was a long shot.”

“When I knew I loved you and believed you were met for me, Talise was back causing trouble and targeting you. I always thought it wouldn’t work out in the end because Talise wouldn’t let me go until I was dead.” John admitted.

Nina patted John’s arm soothingly before grabbing his hand with her smaller one. ” Before you went away that night, you didn’t have much faith. You were afraid for me and you broke up with me. You loved me I know, but you didn’t believe that their could be a good side to magic, that a curse broken might end well.”

Even the magic Talise was wielding wasn’t always wicked. Your Dad said that night we all had dinner, most sea witches use both light and dark magic. They need a balance. When Talise became evil, the effects of malevolent magic on her were obvious.”

“I think that goes with your belief in magic too. You can’t believe it’s all bad, that a curse would end tragically. You needed to believe in life and have faith things would work out in the end for the good. I believed you would return time. I’m not saying I never doubted you would come home, but today you did. My prayers and faith rewarded.” Nina squeezed John’s hand tighter.

“I know. I understand now my Nina. It’s why Norman told me the Bible verse from John. No matter how dark it seems, light is always there to drive the darkness back, to drive evil back. It even drove the darkness out of Talise.” John said.

Nina smiled.”I told Talise as I lay dying from her poison bite, she had a choice. She didn’t have to be evil. She changed in that moment. So even though she cast the curse originally, and had little power over its eventual outcome, light and benevolent magic won out.”

John gazed at Nina admiring her soft skin and the way her thin T-shirt hung on her breasts. He noted how her waist dipped in and her hips flared, creating the beautiful curves of her body. ”

“You’re amazing, stubborn, smart, and beautiful Nina. I can’t believe not having faith, almost made me lose everything, lose you.” John reached for Nina, grasping her around her waist and holding her as close as he could while tracing her face with his lips.

Nina could feel the inescapable and enthralling heat and electricity moving between her and John. She ran her hand under John’s shirt and gasped at the feel of his smooth naked skin. John’s lips kissed Nina’s neck teasingly before he bit her gently. His kisses moved up Nina’s jaw about to meet her lips and his hands were under her T-shirt, ready to tear it off her when the door bell rang.

Not waiting a moment, John’s family burst in through the door.

Please Read Chapter 30 here.


©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Sunday Photo Fiction: “The Sacrifice.”


“So, um Simon, what are we doing here?” I asked my friend. 

“Well, we’re going to a Baptist Church,” Simon says.

“I’m Lutheran, and we aren’t into speaking tongues and overly emotional praise music.” I tell Simon. 

“Well maybe, Baptists feel that emotional singing demonstrates their belief in God. Besides you only go to Church a couple of times a month, Miranda.”

“Doesn’t change my beliefs,” I tell Simon. “I learned and chose to believe in Jesus. I don’t agree with everything the Lutheran’s believe, but on the important matters I do.” I sigh, “let’s hope the Pastor doesn’t talk for two-hours.”

In the sanctuary I’m struck dumb. The people in the pews are dressed in black robes. There is a man on the alter with a fancier black robe and signs on his religious scarf. The signs look demonic, to my horror. I turn to leave and Simon grabs me.

” You told me they were Baptist — not Satanists!” I cry.

Simon smiles mischievously, “Satan requires a sacrifice from us and she needs to be one of Jesus’s flock. She’s you Miranda.”

“I believe in Jesus and I will go to heaven because of my Faith when I die. Get your hands off me Simon, I’m not dying today.”

Simon’s face is pure evil. “You’ll be with your Saviour soon, and you’re not going anywhere. The sacrifice ritual has begun.” 

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Al Forbes

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Thanks to Alistair Forbes for hosting SPF.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.

Letting Him Get Away.


It was along time before I had my first ‘real’ relationship. I went on Plenty Of a Fish, because my friend had met her husband on that site. My ex-boyfriend,  was not like the other men I talked to. He didn’t ask me what my job was or about sex. He asked me about my religion. He was Muslim and wanted to date a nice girl with morals, ethics, and who was close to her family. I was reluctant to date him because my ex’s religion is Islam and I grew up with Christianity. But I had never dated anyone longterm before. My ex-boyfriend was attractive and fun so I began dating him. 

My ex worked up North, where all the people who worked in the oil field, lived in camps. My ex worked three weeks on and one week off. I saw him once a week when he was home My ex was accepting of my condition. He didn’t mind that I lived with a mental illness which caused me fatigue and limited how long I could be out with him. He was quiet to begin with but later he opened up to me.

Our relationship functioned for awhile. My health improved so we were going out three times a week when he was here. Often, my ex would take an extra week off. My ex was gentle and he listened well. He gave good advice. But there were some issues in our relationship that became apparent.

The biggest issue was my ex staying in contact while working up North. Eventually, we were texting once or twice a day and I would call him every couple of weeks. It took three years to get to this point and a lot of hardwork on my end. When my ex was home we were together a lot. But I had to be diligent about making ‘talking’ and ‘getting to know each other better’ happen. 

My ex would also come back from work and go on a trip without telling me where he was going. Suddenly, there was no way for me to talk to him, sometimes for two-weeks. I learned he was seeing friends or had gone off on a road trip for awhile with his cousin. At first, I worried a great deal when all communication was cut-off. I often thought early on, he had decided not see me anymore. He accused me of seeing other guys in the beginning.

Ramadan was an extremely difficult time for our relationship. For the first couple of years we were together, my ex went to Saskatchewan to do his fasting with friends. Almost the entirety of June and July would pass and I barely was able talk or contact my ex because the cell reception wasn’t good. He was scarcely able to use Internet and he never tried to phone me. Although, I attempted to phone him. 

It was along time before my ex talked to me during Ramadan and an even longer time before he would go out with me in the daytime. Males can’t touch a woman they’re not married to during Ramadan before sunset. Muslims also spend a great deal of time reading the Quran in the day. I had no problem with my ex practising his faith during Ramadan, it was the fact he barely paid attention to me. Later, when my health became worse it was a challenge to see him at night anytime before 11:00 pm. It also took my ex an eternity to meet my family. He was scared of my Dad. He met my Mom a couple of times but not my Dad until the fourth year we were dating. 

The issue that finished us was me. I didn’t find the relationship to be fulfilling, I never felt secure. When I didn’t hear from him for awhile or he wouldn’t listen to me, I would break up with him because I couldn’t handle it. I broke up four more times with my ex because I felt he was ignoring me and he wasn’t giving time to our relationship. I didn’t hear anything from him for a month one time. He wanted to get married but he valued all the activities he wanted to do above his time with me. My family is also special to me and so was my ex becoming apart of my family, which he never attempted.

I went the last nine months without breaking up with him. He wanted to get married. I went to a friend’s wedding at her church. She was walked down the aisle by her Dad and her husband and she made their vows before God. 

At this point, I knew something was wrong with my ex’s and my relationship big time. I wanted to be like my friend and walk down the church aisle when I married. I believed in a Jesus who wasn’t merely a prophet but God’s Son. If I ever had kids, I wanted them brought up with The Bible and Jesus’ promise of salvation.

My ex hadn’t even told his Muslim family back home about me, even though Muslims are allowed to marry Christian girls. I knew his cousin because he lived with him and had been introduced to the odd friend of my ex’s at the bar. But after four years, I had no idea who most of his good friends were. Some of our problems were due to my health. I became worse for awhile and it became too much to date him often because he usually wanted to get together at night. 

Mostly, I needed a fresh start. I needed to develop myself as a person on my own. I needed freedom. It was hard letting go of my ex but the religion issue finally pushed me over the edge. My family is extremely Christian and I couldn’t deal with relatives who didn’t think our relationship was right, when I wasn’t into my ex anymore. I wanted a guy who involved himself in my family, friends, and life — who could relate to my lifestyle.

I’m busy in my single life. My ex was a good boyfriend but he was not the guy for me. In a relationship, when it is the right relationship, you want to be with the other person exceedingly. You want to be with the other person so much because you love them and can work together to build a life sharing similar values. I wanted freedom and a chance to see what the world outside of “us” offered; for this reason my ex is my ex.

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©Mandibelle16. All Rights Reserved.