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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Happy Halloween!

Some nights are just not made for hard work. Some nights are made for goofing off. Some nights are made for eating so much candy that you feel absolutely sick in the morning. Some nights are made for making a small child’s day by guessing the costume right or giving an extra piece of candy, or even letting them take their time and choose their favorite piece out of the bowl.  Some nights are just not made for posting a story.

Tonight, of course, is one of those nights.  Happy Halloween to those who celebrate such things—and have a relaxing Monday for those who don’t.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2016 in BekahBeth's Thoughts

 

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Fiction: Magical Halloween (264 words)

Maggie loved Halloween.

It was always a quiet night for her.  Any hunter, witch, psychic, or big bad worth their salt hid themselves away on Halloween. When the country was turning its eye towards the paranormal and the disguised, it was best just to stay out of the limelight.  Even the monsters who were generally considered to be brainless with no wit, had some sort of instinctually coding that kept them quiet and still on Halloween.

Every now and then, she’d get teenagers coming by to bug her. That she understood. After all, it was a dark creepy big house, way out on its own little peninsula, where people come and go every so often, but the owner is never seen. Of course her house was turned into some kind of urban legend, and every few years or so some stupid group of teenagers who haven’t learned to stay away dare each to approach the creepy house on the creepiest night of the year.

They never make it all the way to the house though.  The benefit of being friends with witches, is they’ll set up your security for her, where those poor little teenagers will start to feel quite ill as they approach her house–so ill that they think that they really better get home before they feel worse. True, it hasn’t helped with the urban legends surrounding the house, but Maggie doesn’t really care about what people said about her—as long as they didn’t bother her.

November first, all hell (almost literally) would break loose. But, Maggie did love Halloween.

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: He (99 words)

“A boy?”

“A boy,” Reinette smiled, placing a hand on her stomach. “He is healthy.”

“He.” Phillip repeated. “He. He. He.” He smiled even wider than he thought was possible. His face literally hurt from smiling, and he didn’t think that was actually possible. “He’s a he. He’s a healthy he. He.”

“You’re going to say that for the rest of the day, huh?” Reinette laughed, sitting down carefully on the couch, already exhausted from the doctor’s appointment.

“Well, why wouldn’t I? He’s a healthy he. And that’s something to keep saying.”

Reinette rolled her eyes. “Okay. Fair enough.”

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: In the Water (293 words)

It’s like playing in the ocean. On the level, the water is around your waist, and there are some great waves coming in. You can jump over them, dive under them, laugh, and have fun. It’s something simple, and it’s excellent.

Then the water level drops, waves aren’t challenging to jump over, and diving is no longer an option, and yet, you’re having more fun than you were before. The people around you don’t understand why you’re so happy, and to perfectly honest, you don’t know either. You know that you probably should be concerned, but you don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, because you prefer this to the alternative.

But the alternative comes anyway. It’s like a wave completely over your head. You’ve been swimming since you could walk and you are a strong swimmer, but suddenly you are drowning. A small voice in the back of your mind remembers all the rules to follow, and reminds you that you’ve done this before, but the loud forefront part of your brain is panicked and refuses to follow the rules.  In that moment, you are sure that this is worse than the other times; this time you are going to drown.  You make promises to yourself, things you’ll do if you could only get head above water again, promises that will fade away to nothing once you can breathe easily again.

And you always do breathe again. The waves pass, and the water settles on the level again.  No one has noticed how bad that almost was, or if they do, they don’t say anything.  You feel normal again, and you’re too embarrassed to admit anything had changed.  And every time, you hope the water won’t drop again…

Until it does.

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Legal Theft Project– Rats (294 words)

“Well, this is our life now.” Elizabeth said simply, looking across the table at Sarah.  They were both standing up on dining chairs around their kitchen table.   They had both leapt up on these chairs when they saw a rat run from under the fridge to under the kitchen island.   They had been waiting for the better part of an hour for the rat to come back out or something—but so far nothing.

“Hmm,” Sarah wasn’t paying attention to Elizabeth at all. She was crouching down to see if she could somehow manage to see under the island without actually getting off the chair. “I think I am going to risk it.”  She turned up to look at Elizabeth, “It must have run away from the other side, or tunneled down through the ground, or something… Someone has to get to the phone if we want to call the exterminator.”

Elizabeth raised her hand to her brow in a salute and started humming Taps. “You will be missed.”

“Oh, don’t start,” Sarah groaned, Elizabeth’s exaggerations giving Sarah the extra courage she needed to take the first step down off the chair.

Her toe had no sooner touched the ground than the rat came running out from the island and made a break for the kitchen table.

With an almost unhuman squeal from both girls, they leapt onto the kitchen table, clinging to each other, knocking into the hanging light and suddenly hoping the table would be able to support their combined weight.  After a beat, they realized the table wasn’t going to collapse under their weight—they relaxed their grips on each other and gave the other sheepish looks.

“Welp,” Sarah sighed, reaching up to steady the lamp, “This is our life now.”

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2016 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

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Fiction: Legal Theft Project–Freedom (376 words)

I never felt more freedom than right after Anita got her first car.  We were sophomores in high school, but Anita had been held back a year because the move from Indiana to Virginia at age twelve really messed up her grades that year. So she turned sixteen at the very end of our freshman year, and had gotten her license as soon as her parents drove her up to the DMV.  It was doubly magical to me that she could drive, as I was a summer baby, and I wouldn’t turn sixteen until two days before our junior year started.

For the summer months, driving was just an occasional treat—when we really wanted something from the store that was just too far away to be able to walk in the heat of the summer, and it was with her mother’s minivan and strict, strict instructions about being careful and following every last rule.

But the weekend before school started, Anita’s father came home with an old red Corolla, and after making her promise three times over to be careful, and having her swear that she would always be home well before curfew—he handed her the keys.

Every morning, she’d pick me up, and we’d park on the street near the school, because as sophomores we couldn’t get passes for the school lot.  It was nice because it saved us a little time in the morning instead of getting up for the bus—but that wasn’t the best part.

The best part was after school—when we’d convinced ourselves that we didn’t have too much homework.  It was still early enough in the school year that it felt more like summer than like fall, so we rolled down the windows and played music as loud as her sound system could handle without starting to sound terrible. We drove out to the middle of the nowhere and drove down nearly empty roads for as long as we could get away with.  I felt like a proper adult for the first time in my life, in spite of the fact I had no idea what being an adult actually meant—I still felt free.  I’d never managed to capture a feeling quite like that every again.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

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Fiction: Legal Theft Project–Farm Fires (368 words)

The ashen clouds began to clear, letting sunlight stream into the twisted wrecks. It was only then that Harlowe actually began to see the real damage that the fire had caused.  Metal was warped into grotesque shapes. Some of the wood that had managed to survive was casting menacing shadows down onto the piles of ashes and charcoal that had once been the farm buildings that her sister, parents, grandparents, and great grandparents had worked so hard to build.

“Oh. Oh Wow,” Hana let out a low whistle, coming up beside Harlowe on the little hill.  “Oh my. All that gone in just a matter of hours. Less than a day.”

Harlowe’s instinct was to point out that it could have been worse. She wanted to remind Hana that they had all gotten out with the lives, and they’d even managed to save most of the animals that Hana and Conlyn had so recently added to their little kingdom.

But she knew that Hana knew that.  She knew that Hana could be relieved that they saved so much but still be devastated that they lost so much. So, instead she turned to her sister with all the sympathy that she could possess and said “Oh, Hana. I am so, so sorry.”

Hana turned to look at her sister, and gave her a weak smile. “I know. I do.  I—uh—I managed to save all the books, so I’m going to look at the numbers tonight, see what we can do.” Hana looked back out to the mess that was once their home and her livelihood. “I hate to ask, but is there any way you can delay your return to the city? We could really use the extra hands in the cleanup effort here.”

“Yeah. Yeah, of course.” Harlowe looked back too, but looked away just as quickly. Each passing moment made it look even worse. “I’ll send a message to the king today. I’m sure he’ll understand that your need has to come first right now.”

“Alright, thanks.” Hana’s voice was empty.  Unlike her sister, she couldn’t make herself look away, no matter how bad it looked. “This is going to take a lot of work.”

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2016 in Legal Theft Project, Stories

 

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Fiction: Hangover Shopping (220 words)

“I hate you, I hate you, I hate you,” Annabelle chorused at me as got out of the car. I took a long sip of my frozen coffee treat, and gave her a long hard look until she took a long sip too.  She claimed she was just hungover, but I knew a big part of her crankiness was coming from caffeine withdrawal.  Once she finished that coffee, she’d be in a much better state for me to deal with her.

“You said not hard and no heavy lifting. Shopping is not hard. There will be no heavy lifting.  Come on now, hop to.” I replied curtly.  The best way to deal with a headache was to pretend it wasn’t happening. I was a firm believer in fake it until you make it—and it hadn’t let me down in life yet.   Annabelle clearly did not agree to this life philosophy, and was embracing her “life really sucks” philosophy with some extreme gusto.  You had to respect her for that kind of dedication, I suppose.

“I hate you,” Annabelle repeated one more time.

“Yes, well, we’ll see how you feel when I find you the perfect little dress for your next date night,” I cheered, giving Annabelle a little push from behind towards the more formal section of the store.

 
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Posted by on October 20, 2016 in Stories

 

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Fiction: Legal Theft Project–Broken Ship (194 words)

Sarah sat dutifully handing Elizabeth the occasional tissue whenever Elizabeth threw out the one she was currently using.  When Elizabeth seemed to hit a low point in the sniffling, Sarah braved a comment.

“Has anyone ever told you that you are maybe a little too involved in the lives of fictional characters?”

Elizabeth turned and blinked incredulously at Sarah.  Slowly, she lifted a finger to point at the television screen.  “Mark is marrying Anna.  Manna is canon.  Mapril is officially over, delegated to the world of bad fanfiction and obsessive fangirls the likes that haven’t been seen since Harmony from the Harry Potter fandom. From here on out, I will not be able to say I am a Mapril shipper without painting myself with a very specific, bitter and immature sounding paint brush. Today is a day for mourning. And you are going to try to kick me while I’m down?”

Elizabeth blinked at Sarah with wide, innocent, questioning eyes.  Sarah sighed and handed Elizabeth another tissue. Perhaps today wasn’t the day to give Elizabeth a talk about staying rooted in reality.  That could wait for a day when her favorite ship wasn’t sinking.

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2016 in Legal Theft Project

 

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Fiction: Legal Theft Project–Rainy Days (232 words)

The city’s scintillating towers and reflective edifices became somber and dark in the downpour.  I liked it when that happened. So many people thought of this city as lights and signs and energy.  But when it rained like this, properly rained, and the big bosses decided it was safer to turn off all the big lights and the people stayed indoors, and everything was still—that’s when I loved this city the most. That’s when this city actually felt like it belonged to me. Like my home. Like it wasn’t just a crazy city all the tourists came to see. It was a place that people were actually from.

Walter found me dripping out on the balcony, staring out at those somber towers and the empty streets.  He held an umbrella over our heads and sighed.  “You are going to catch your death like this you know.”

“Okay,  mom,  whatever you say,” I scoffed.  I leaned against him, soaking his t-shirt where ever I came into contact with him. He sniffed but didn’t say anything about me moving.

“Why do you come out here, anyway?” He asked.  “What’s the point of being on the balcony? It’s raining. There isn’t even anyone to people watch.”

“I know,” I smiled, pulling Walter’s free arm around my waist, leaning more fully against him, feeling the warmth of him against my wet back. “Isn’t it amazing?”

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in Legal Theft Project

 

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