Monthly Archives: April 2016

Fiction: Diamonds (317 words)

His mom was half under her bed, legs sticking out at strange angles. “Mom, come on.  What is so important?”

“Patience, Thomas,” Was the muffled response, and then there was a bit of flailing and she disappeared a little further under the bed.

“It’s not like I have a lot of experience with this, but I’m assuming it’s not normal behavior for a mother to half bury herself under her bed when her son says he’s thinking of proposing to his girlfriend.  Is this a mental break down? Are you having a midlife crisis?”

“Shut your face, Thomas Andrew.”  He laughed at the face he knew his mother was making under the bed, even though he couldn’t see it. There was a bit more rustling and then, “Got it! Help pull me out.”

Thomas stooped down and pulled on each of his mother’s ankles, helping to slide her out from under the bed.  And he saw immediately what she had grasped in her hand.  She flipped the little velvet box open and handed it to her son.  “Are you done mocking me, or should I put your present back?”

“God, Mom, it’s beautiful.” He took the box out of her hands and examined the ring from every angle.  “What are you doing with perfect engagement rings stored under your bed?”

“It was your Granny Marmie’s.  And her grandmother’s before that, if I remember correctly.  But, I figured that if you have half as good a marriage as Granny Marmie and Grandpa Tommy, then you are still doing more than alright.”

Thomas reached out and grabbed his mother, pulling her into a tight hug.  “Thanks, Mom. Thank you so much.”

“Don’t think anything of it, Thomas,” she sighed, standing on her tiptoes so she could kiss him on the top of the head like she’d done when he was a child.  “Just make sure to make her happy.”

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Posted by on April 28, 2016 in Stories


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Fiction: Dividing Things (427 words)

Jack and Olivia sat on the opposite sides of the kitchen table. They knew this was going to be hard.  They knew that there was a lot of things that had to be done, a lot of things that had to be considered, and that if they couldn’t come to an agreement, things would get nasty fast. Neither of them wanted this to get nasty.   They still loved each other—probably always would—but they just knew this had to end.

Olivia was going to get the kitchen furniture, but Jack was going to get all the pots, pans, and the fancy knife set. Jack was going to take the bedroom furniture, except for the antique vanity table that once belonged to Olivia’s grandmother. The living room furniture was junk anyway, so they were just going to get it thrown away.  Jack was going to be responsible for the selling of the house, and after the mortgage was paid off, the remaining money would be split evenly between Olivia and Jack.   There were a hundred other little details that they all hashed out and typed up.

Jack picked up the printed copies from the printer, and handed Olivia one of the copies. “Okay.  It all looks good to me, but have your lawyer look it over just to make sure that it is all above board.  I’ll do the same, and we can make an official appointment to sign it all properly and what not.”

“Sure,” Olivia tried to put on a brave face, “of course.”

“Hey,” Jack reached out a hand, looking concerned, “I know you’re not really okay, but are you okay-ish?”

Olivia took his hand, and let him pull her in for a hug.  They had agreed they had to stop doing that, because it was just going to keep making this harder, rubbing salt in the wound and what not.  But right then she didn’t care at all, she needed him to hold her close.  “Yeah. It’s just—this was supposed to be our home, Jack. Our Forever Home.” She mumbled weakly.

“I know,” Jack sighed, “I feel it too.”

Olivia took a few deep breaths, steadied herself, and pulled free of Jack’s embrace. “Okay.  I’ll give you a call when my lawyer says it’s all good.  Probably sometime next week.”

For one second, it looked like Jack was going to grab her back, hold her tight, only one thought away from calling off the whole divorce.  But then the second passed.  “Right. Sounds good,” He smiled, “I’ll talk to you next week.”

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Posted by on April 27, 2016 in Stories


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Fiction: Painting The Shed (229 words)

“Dad, this is a truly hideous color.”  Alexander took a couple steps away from the shed and crossed his arms over his chest.  “Mom is going to kill us dead.”

“It can’t be that bad,” Nathan sighed weakly, tilting his head one way and then the other, trying to think of something positive.  “It—well.  Uh.”  He went silent for a second before straightening up and snapping his fingers with an idea. “It reminds me of fall.  Your mother loves fall.”

“It reminds you of fall because it looks like a giant pumpkin.   Dad, it’s bright orange, and I’m pretty sure you can see it from the road.” Alexander ran over to the fence by the side of the house. “Yep, you can definitely see it from the road.   Mom is going to kill us.”

“It’s—well—Maybe it will be better when it dries.” Nathan tried weakly.   He didn’t even have to look at his son to know the incredulous expression that was focused on the back of his head.  “Yeah. Yeah. Alright.  Go get the power washer out of the garage.  Let’s see how much damage control before we can do before your mother gets home.”

Alexander started towards the front of the house before turning on his heel. “Is now the time to say it?” He laughed.

“You told me so. Got it.  Get to work.”

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Posted by on April 26, 2016 in Stories


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Legal Theft: Chances (186 words)

Fate decided everything in this town. If you wanted to do anything, the dice had to be thrown.  There were three die, made of a dark black metal, supposedly forged in the deep pits by the gods themselves.  The symbols on the sides meant absolutely nothing to anyone except the priests and the priestesses.

But everything depended on those dice.  Want to go to war? Throw the dice. Want to get married? Throw the dice. Time to name your newborn? Go throw the dice.  Even the most religious go to throw the dice before deciding something as simple as whether or not they should cut their hair.

But a world designed on random chance is no way to live.  Sure, they call it fate, they call it the hand of the gods, they call it a lot of things to try to make us feel comfortable with their decisions.  But it’s random chance. It’s random luck that dictates what we do.

So, I say, forget them.  Forget this town, forget the priests, forget the dice.  Let’s make our own random chance.  If anyone can, it’s us.

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Posted by on April 25, 2016 in Legal Theft Project


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Fiction: Beach (99 words)

The sun warmed her face, and she closed her eyes and lifted her chin to get the best exposure to it. She took a deep breath, and the whole thing smelled like home, even though she was still miles and miles and miles away. In spite of the sound of children screaming and parents yelling and seagulls screeching–She felt a ridiculous sense of calm.

“Thank you,” She said aloud. “This was exactly what I needed.” She felt a pair of arms slip around her waist, and she let herself  fall back into the embrace. “Absolutely the best surprise gift ever.”

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Posted by on April 20, 2016 in Stories


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Fiction: Strange Safety (185 words)

The only fear that it took me a while to understand was the fear of hospitals.  Eventually, I logically understood that people fear the loss and the bad news that can come from hospitals, or the tragic circumstances that put people in the hospital. 

But I never really understood it.  Hospitals for me have always been a place of safety.   A place where people who knew a lot more than me were in charge.  Where I didn’t have to worry about every little action making my loved ones worse.  The doctors and the nurses took care of the making people better, and even when we got bad news, I still knew that I had done everything I could by getting to a hospital.  I’d never have to wonder if the bad news could have been avoided through an action on my part. 

So, even when I was the one in the bed, waiting for the test results, I felt a sense of calm.  They’d take care of me here, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the ‘what ifs’ if I hadn’t come. 

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Posted by on April 19, 2016 in Stories


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Fiction: Old Superstitions (185 words)

Morrigan sat alone in her room.  She twisted her red ribbon between her fingers, wrapping it around the two center fingers on her left hand until they were completely covered.  She tried to make a fist, but when her fingers couldn’t bend she smiled to herself. She spread her fingers apart instead, releasing the ribbon, letting it fall to her lap.  She separated out a small section of her hair and tied it up with the ribbon.

As she did so, she said a silent prayer to her god. It was an outdated superstition, one that most people didn’t even think much about anymore.  But Morrigan remembered it and practiced it every day.  As she was doing up her hair, she prayed for her friends, her family, herself, and everyone she would come into contact with that day.  And her day would go well, and she would spread goodness to everyone she came into contact with, as long as her hair was still up.  It was silly.  But who was she to risk superstition.  Besides, more positive thoughts in the universe couldn’t hurt, could it?

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Posted by on April 18, 2016 in Stories


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Legal Theft: Plan of Action (229 Words)

“I can feel you worrying from all the way over there and it’s starting to turn my stomach into knots.” Elaine glanced down the couch at her sister.Elizabeth smiled back as best as she could. “I’ve got a lot riding on this job, Lanie. I can’t help but worry. I need everything to go right.”

Elaine took a deep breath, and focused on her sister. “Well, you know. If it’s meant to be, then it’s meant to be. If you are supposed to have this job, if life is supposed to go the way you planned, then it will happen.” She gave a careful shrug. “No point in worrying about it now.”

Elaine watched as a slow change took over her sister. She sat up a little straighter. She cocked her head to the side slightly, furrowing her brow as she thought. But then she smiled, a big wide smile that made Elaine even more nervous than the worrying Elizabeth ever did.

“Grab your coat, Lanie,” Elizabeth cheered, jumping off the couch, “We’ve got some errands to run.”

“Elizabeth, what are you doing?” She groaned, getting off the couch and getting her jacket nonetheless.

“Well, Don’t you remember what Mom always used to say?” Elizabeth smiled, “There is a fine line between ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be’ and ‘God helps those who help themselves.’”


Posted by on April 15, 2016 in Stories


Fiction: Rules (99 words)

I broke the rules.  Even as I was breaking them, I didn’t think much about them. It was too tempting, and too distracting. And to be honest, even brokenhearted, I don’t regret it.  Because it was too beautiful while it happened to truly be bad.

But my advice to you, if you can take it. Be prepared to hurt more than you could ever imagine. Because great gains always come with great losses. And if you can’t decide the losses are worth it, then don’t dare look at the forbidden fruit.  Not even once.  Because you cannot look back.

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Posted by on April 14, 2016 in Stories


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Legal Theft: Thursday Night Shopping (431 words)

The best part of living in a small town is that word travels fast.  After good news or tragedy, only one of two people had to know, and the word spread like fire.  People would line up to congratulate you, or they would steer clear of topics that you don’t want to deal with.  So when they called the wedding off, Allison didn’t really have to worry about going to the store.  True, she’d get some sad looks from Mrs. Andrews behind the counter.  And her daughter Courtney would probably say something a little tactless, but that was what six year olds were for. But no one was going to ask her how Willy was doing, or if there was anything else they could do to help her get ready.

But the down side of a small town was there was only one store that everyone frequented. If you needed dish soap or fresh vegetables, there was only Andrews’ Store to go to. So, when she rounded the corner into aisle two, Allison almost ran smack into the same man who she was irrationally hoping that she’d never see again.

“Allison. Hey.”  He straightened up from looking at the sponges on the bottom shelf. There was an awkward silence, while they considered each other.  “How are you?” He asked, wincing even as the words came out of his mouth.

“I’ve been better,” Allison answered honestly, deciding that if he wanted her to pull blows, maybe he should have been a bit more tactful in his breaking up with her, “Worlds better, if you must know.”

“Right.”  William sighed, “Right of course.” Another awkward silence, this time accompanied with awkward shuffling of weight from foot to foot.  But Allison was determined to wait him out.  She wasn’t going spend her life running away from him. “I’ll just go, shall I? I can come back later.”

“If you want,” Allison sighed.  She was inwardly grateful, she didn’t know how much more she could take, but she didn’t want to let him know that. William set his stuff down on a random shelf, and all but ran from Andrews’ Store.

Allison gave herself a few seconds to take a deep breath, before heading to the counter to check out.  She tried her best to smile at Mrs. Andrews but she wasn’t sure she’d managed it.

Mrs. Andrews reached out and put a hand on Allison’s.  “That alright, baby girl.  You show him you don’t need him.”

Allison couldn’t decide whether or not it was a good idea to stay in a small town anymore.

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Posted by on April 13, 2016 in Legal Theft Project


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