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Legal Theft Project: Goodnight

Rain drowned the world in white noise. It drowned out the sound of her grandmother’s rocking chair. It muted the sound of her brother’s music. It–well, didn’t do much for her sister’s snoring from the other bed–but it did give her something else to focus on for a little while.

Lisa rolled over and watched the window. The light from the streetlight let the rain make strange patterns and shadows along the length of the window. She tried to make pictures out of them the way she used to lay on the ground, look at the sky and tell a story with the shapes of the clouds. These were yellow and black stories instead of blue and white, but they still calmed her–imagining a world that was so different than her own in any way. Eventually, her eyelids grew too heavy to keep open, but she kept making up the stories, telling herself all kinds of crazy things until she slipped away to sleep, hoping tomorrow night it would still be raining.

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Posted by on October 27, 2017 in Legal Theft Project

 

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Fiction: Our Place (495 words)

“The joys of being homeowners, love,” Harvey laughed brushing his bangs out of his eyes.

“I hate this,” Nyssa groaned, twisted sideways, holding the pipe in place so that Harvey could get back at it with the wrench.  “I want to have a landlord back.”

“Hold steady, dear,” Harvey sighed as he got the wrench in place, “and no you don’t.   We are taking care of this the same night we found it.   How long do you think it would take if we still lived at the King James house?”

Nyssa tried to blow a piece of her hair away from her eyes, with no luck.  “A month.  If Miss Johnson was in a good mood, it might be three weeks.  But a month easily.”

“Exactly. Okay, I think you can let go, it’s almost as tight as it’s going to go.” Nyssa pulled her arms out from under the table while Harvey tightened all the pieces the last little bit.  He pulled himself up from under the sink and wiped off his hands.  “I think, I hope, that should do it.” He turned to look at the faucet then turned back to face Nyssa. “Do you want to do the honors?”

“Oh, why not?” She sighed, stepping forward, and then flipping up the handle on the sink.

When the water started to flow, they both ducked down together to watch the pipes as if their lives depended on it.  After a solid minute of water flowing without a single drop coming through the pipe, Harvey made a crow of joy and wrapped his arms around Nyssa, knocking them both off balanced and sprawled across the kitchen floor.

After a lot of (slightly hysterical) laughter, they managed to detangle themselves and get up to turn the water off. This time, Harvey wrapped his arms around Nyssa in a more controlled manner, tipping his head down to kiss her gently on the lips. “This is our place, Ness. Yours and Mine. We can do whatever we want, and we can fix it when things go wrong.”

Nyssa let herself melt against him, turning to stare at the sink again as if it was one of the greatest wonders of the world. “Yeah, I guess it’s not so bad. We can figure this out.”

“Damn right,” Harvey’s joy at fixing the pipe was starting to bubble over again. “Let’s go find something fun to do in order to celebrate our handiness, shall we?”

“If by something fun you mean take a shower and then go to sleep because we both have to be at work much sooner than either of us want to admit, sure. I’m all for it.” Nyssa countered.

Harvey looked at his watch. Twelve fifty-six in the morning. His alarm was set to go off at six am. Suddenly, there was no more bubbling excitement. “Yeah, okay. Good enough for me.”

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2017 in Stories

 

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Big Plans

So–I’ve been talking for a while about making this site something I can be proud of again. Time to stop vaguely say “I want to be proud” and to start discussing what changes I can actually make. I’ve divided things into the easy–the medium–and the hard.  So, be prepared to see the easy ones come in to effect soon, and the hard may still be years in the making.

The Easy:
~Editing old posts that have simple typos or the occasional stupid sentence to make them cleaner.
~Removing posts that were just plain, poorly written.
~Cleaning up Categories and Tags So it’s easier to find things.

The Medium:
~Create pages with all the parts of my serials to be used as a table of contents
~Edit the serial posts so that there are links to the next part and the previous part, as well as the table of contents, for ease of reading.
~Make recurring characters pages, with brief summaries, and links to the stories they appear in.

The Hard:
~Complete reformating of the entire page, probably with new colors…because of reasons.

So–yeah, that’s going to take a long time to get fully completed.  Since I decided to start cleaning it up at the beginning of August, I’m only about 12% through the Excel checklist I made for all this. (We can discuss my addiction to excel spreadsheets on a different day)

So–here goes nothing guys. Hopefully, that percentage will grow quicker than I anticipated, and that in the end, It will be something that we can ALL be proud of.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Fiction: Hired Help (510 words)

“I know why you’re here,” Eleanor said softly, smoothing out the blankets in the bed around her.

Bette looked up from the dress she was carefully folding and laying down in Eleanor’s trunk. “I’m sorry, My lady?” She looked wide-eyed and innocent, and Eleanor understood why she was so good at her job.

“Everyone knows that you are the King’s illegitimate child, even if he won’t publicly announce it, but everyone thinks you’re just happy to take the lowly jobs, not able to do much more and desperate for any respect.” Eleanor offered, explaining what she was sure of in an attempt to strengthen her resolve for the less certain claims.

“I am just pleased to take any position that the King, My Grace is willing to give me since the death of my mother,” Bette confirmed, turning back to the dress.

“But you’re not just some lowly maid, are you?” Eleanor pressed on, “Your mother was a strong and smart courtier. You have royal blood, if not publicly acknowledged. I’m sure you spent your life learning to listen and see and plan, but everyone overlooks you because you are just a maid, just a servant, just the orphan of a disgraced woman and an ‘unknown’ man. My mother wouldn’t believe me, but…” Eleanor took a deep breath, trying to smile at the woman she knew held her life, or her life at court at the very least, in her hands. “You’re here for a reason.  I was just hoping you could tell me what that reason was.”

When Bette looked up, she was a different woman. It wasn’t the wide-eyed look of a sweet girl, it was the calculated smile of a woman who knew how to work her world to her advantage. Eleanor was impressed and terrified at the same time.  “You’re smarter than you look, Miss Lakeson.”  Bette closed the trunk and came up to the side of the bed. “Subtly is the most important part of this life, Miss Lakeson, please keep that in mind. I can’t tell you all I know because that would make me not very good at my job. But I will tell you that I am not here to ruin your day.” Bette reached up and pulled the blankets up around Eleanor, tucking her in. “I like you, and heaven help me but I like Prince Arlo too. So, if you keep honest with me, I’ll try to keep you safe. Sound good?”

For some reason, Eleanor did feel safe. This woman who went to bed after her and woke up before her, who had control of a lot of aspects of her life, and she had just admitted that she wasn’t what she wanted claimed to be—but she believed Bette.  She believed that she was in good hands. “Sounds good.”

Bette turned and tended to the candles, dimming the room so that Eleanor could sleep. “Sleep well, Miss Lakeson, I’ll be back in the morning for you.”

“Thank you, Bette.” Eleanor rolled over on her side and fell asleep.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Trying and Failing

Okay, so I’m glad I didn’t agree to the noon thing on Monday because yesterday I was already late–but that’s okay. Baby steps.

In further thought, I’ve realized (or remembered, because I’m pretty sure I’ve learned this about myself before but didn’t do anything about it) that the reason that I don’t take those steps, start those big projects, hope for the best, is because there is a very real chance that I can fail. I have this terrible instinct reaction to “Well–if I don’t try, I didn’t fail.”  If I don’t apply for that job, I can’t ever be overlooked for it. If I don’t make my feelings known, I can’t even be turned down. If I don’t send out my drafts, I can’t ever get rejection letters. For a very long time, my desire to not fail has way overpowered my desire to succeed.

But the truth of the matter is the exact opposite of those instincts. If I don’t apply, I’ll never get the job. If I don’t try, I’ll never succeed.  As much as I would love for life to just hand me what I want, it doesn’t work that way. I’ve been very lucky in that I haven’t had to work too hard in the grand scheme of things for my life to be as good as it is, but if I don’t push for more, try harder, take risks, then I’m going to end up here forever–just as good as it is, never getting any better.

So–here’s to admitting that it’s okay to fail. Because at least that means I’m finally trying. I have to have faith that if I take enough risks, if I try hard enough to succeed, then eventually I have to get a ‘Yes.’

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2017 in BekahBeth's Thoughts

 

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Fiction: Opening Doors (504 words)

“We’re not allowed in here,” the nine-year-old boy said quietly at the doorway, not bothering to hide the fear in his voice. The five-year-old girl heard that fear and hid from Linea behind the boy’s shoulder, still not letting go of the boy’s hand. “We can’t afford to be kicked out,” the boy continued, “We don’t have anywhere else to go.”

“Your sister is too scared to sleep downstairs,” Linea pointed out, “You guys have been here for three nights and she hasn’t shut her eyes once.  It’s my room, and I am allowed to do say who is and isn’t allowed to be in here.” She gave a small stomp of her foot with the determination that only a well-protected nine-year-old had.

The boy still looked hesitant to come into the room, and Linea crossed her arms over her chest and rolled her eyes. “If you want to be stubborn for your own sake, that’s fine, but that girl needs to sleep. Are you really going to let your pride prevent her from sleeping?”

That was the final blow. There was nothing that he wouldn’t do for his sister, and Linea had already figured that much out. Not that it was hard to figure that much out from him. He wasn’t shy about his love for her.

“Thank you,” he said, almost meekly. He stepped in and had to give the girl a gentle tug on the arm to get her to follow him across the threshold. “Come on, Nia. She’s letting us use her room so we can be alone. Isn’t that nice?”

The little girl gave the smallest of nods.

He looked up at Linea with a genuine smile.  “Nia, what do we say when people do nice things for us?”

Nia stepped out from behind her brother and let out the quickest and quietest “Thank you” Linea had ever heard before disappearing back behind her brother. He rolled his eyes good-naturedly at Linea like can you believe her?

“Nia, you can have my bed if you like,” Linea offered, “I know you’ve had a rough couple of days. I can stay with my mom in her room so you two can get some sleep, and that way my mom will know for sure that I let you two in here myself, and there won’t be any question of making you leave the house for being in here.”

She started to head out of the room, but the boy came forward and took Linea’s hand carefully. “Thank you. Truly,” He repeated earnestly.

“Of course. I’ll see you in the morning.”  Linea dropped his hand and shut the door behind her. It was only as she was walking towards her mother’s room that she realized that she knew the little girl was named Nia, but she had no idea what the boy’s name was. She would have to find that out tomorrow. Because she had a feeling that tonight would not be the last time that she was interacting with those two.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2017 in Stories

 

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Promises and Goals

Okay, here’s the deal.

I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I’ve been thinking recently about all the big things like careers and families and all those kinds of things and I have a list of things (many of them contradicting) that I want to achieve but none of them seem obtainable or manageable or in some cases even possible. I’ve been in a funk because I’ve spent all this time looking at 100%, and sitting at the 0% mark thinking–“I’ll never get there, what’s the point?”

But then I remembered something. I was thirteen-years-old and had just been assigned the first real research project I would ever have to do. It wasn’t just a “read a bit about the topic and write a page or two,”  It was at least a dozen credible sources, a long, well-written paper, visual aids, and a mostly memorized twenty-minute presentation to be given in front of my teachers and peers. Just the requirements for the assignment sat on three front and back pages. I was always a child prone to dramatics and exaggeration, so I sat at the dining room table with those three pages and saw my good grades, my dreams of college, my hopes of having a good life, all slipping away because I was overwhelmed by the project in front of me. It had been a good thirteen-year run, but I was sure this was going to beat me.

My mother turned to me with the appropriate level of exasperation for her oldest child who had just declared she was never getting into college because of an eight-grade-project and said “You’re right. It is a lot of work and it is going to take a lot of time. But you are absolutely never going to finish if you don’t start. Focus on what you can get done today.” I continued to insist that I would never be able to finish it because I was thirteen and a brat, and ended up being sent to my room for back talking–

I continued to insist that I would never be able to finish it because I was thirteen and a brat, and ended up being sent to my room for back talking–but I’ll be damned if I didn’t finish that project (got a B- to boot), still maintained my good grades, and graduated from a good University. And in spite of my recent funk, I am living a good life.

Whats the cliche? A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. If you look at your destination a thousand miles away, of course it is overwhelming. It’s really hard to get to 100 percent from zero. But it’s not so hard to get from zero percent to one. Then one to two. And so on. And so forth.

So here’s the promise.  Monday through Friday–hopefully at noon eastern, but I won’t make that a concrete promise just yet–I will have something here.  It might be a piece of fiction. It might be the part of me that is an overdramatic teenager still who will declare one bad date means that I will be single forever. It might be an update on how I’m still working to clean up this site and make it something I can be proud of and love.  I can almost guarantee that at one point it will be me complaining about how I complain too much.

I’m still not sure where my 100% is or where my thousand miles will take me. But I know I’ll never get there if I don’t start. Here’s to first steps.


Bekah Beth

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2017 in BekahBeth's Thoughts

 

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