Category Archives: Fiction and Fun

Rough Draft of Chapter One

I’ve been a little absent partly because our summer is crazy and partly because I’m writing a Princess story…the main character being a girl adopted from Foster Care. Posting the first chapter since some of you indicated “more fiction!” in a way-back-when poll. Like it? Let me know. Hate it? Well…be nice, but feedback is feedback. 🙂

Wish I’d just go back to researching issues like Preventing Disruption and RAD? Feel free to let me know that, too!

Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: kermitlab

(Abbreviated) Prologue

Everybody wants to be a princess.

Well, everyone who isn’t already a princess wants to be one.

It’s no picnic, let me tell you. Except for when guards shoo the villagers away and you see thirty beautiful people carrying baskets and blankets into the meadow circle…then, right, it’s a picnic.

(…)

Everybody thinks they want to be a princess, and I’ll admit there are many excellent reasons to enjoy princessdom. Princessing? Princesshood? Perks include having people sit and listen to you even when you get off track. Like now. My apologies.

But there are two sides to every coin, and consequences to every wish fulfilled.

Everyone wants to be a princess, and it seems logical, until you understand the Princess Problem.

And here it is: Someone always wants to kill you.

I should have listened to my grandfather.

Chapter One

I am so tired of that woman. She will not leave me alone.

I just want to have peace and quiet, but no. It’s bad enough that Mom puts her nose in my school business, calling my teachers, showing up for lunch without warning, bribing my friends with cookies so they’ll like her. But that’s not enough meddling in my life. Nope. She also makes me do work. Like I’m her slave or something. If I forget, she follows me around and nags..

 

“Chores are your duty as a citizen of this great land we call our household,” she tells me.

 

Chores. Ha. More like doing her job for her. Parents are supposed to take care of the house. Moms do the inside, dads take care of the lawn and the cars and all that. Or they hire someone. None of my friends have “chores.” So much for my childhood.

 

“You’re lucky, Colleen,” mom says. “Not every kid learns life skills. When you graduate, you’ll be able to survive on your own. I know you don’t appreciate it all, but chores are good for your character. Be thankful. Your life, even when you think it’s horrible, is someone else’s fairytale.”

 

“Fairytale, ha. Emily and Madison don’t have to learn life skills,” I complain.

 

She laughs. Laughs. Like it’s no big deal.

 

“Well, when they pull their first all-pink load of laundry out of the dryer in college, they’ll wish they did. In the meantime, you still need to clean the downstairs bathroom. People are coming over in three days, and you’ve left it a mess. And then sort your laundry so we can start a load for you. I’m asking you to clean up after yourself. It’s not like you’re Cinderella.”

 

Pink clothes? What does that even mean? And no, I’m not Cinderella. If only. I’d ride off with that prince and live in style.

 

My thirteenth birthday party is Saturday. I will be a TEENager. Almost eighteen. In just five more summers, I can be outta here. A few weeks ago, I said this out loud. Stupid me. She laughed then, too.  

 

“Wait,” she said, doubled over and gasping for air, “you’re killing me. Do you remember how long it’s been since you were eight years old?”

 

I sniffed. “That’s forever ago.”

 

“Exactly,” she said. By this time she was cackling, that annoying snorty laugh she does when she thinks something is really, really funny. “You are not almost eighteen. Trust me, five years is a long time. By the time you hit eighteen, thirteen will feel like ‘forever ago,’ too.”

I’m counting the days, believe me. One thousand, eight hundred twenty-nine, to be exact. In case you’re checking my math, don’t forget leap year.

 

I head downstairs to my bathroom. It’s actually the guest bathroom, but last year I sort of claimed it. Mom said it was fine as long as I clean it. And I do. Most of the time.

 

My twin brother Kevin and I used to share a bathroom. He’s completely gross. Leaving him in his filth was one of the best hygiene decisions I’ve ever made, right up there with deciding to wear deodorant. So he has to clean the upstairs bathroom himself. Now, if we could just get him to shower. With soap. Mom said he’ll start when he finally discovers girls. Like that will happen. He’s got his head so far inside his science books, he’s lucky he remembers to eat.
I wipe the toothpaste dots off the mirror. Mom always checks. She says “no one wants to see that.” I rub the chrome until it sparkles, then flick the rag across the counter. If the chrome is shiny, no one notices the rest. After I pour blue stuff in the toilet bowl, I figure the bathroom is good enough. It’s not like party guests are going to use the tub.


Should I post more, or are you bored? 😉

Feel free to provide editing notes. I can take it. 

Arrival

Fiction
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Photo Credit: Joshua Farewell

I wake, cheek pressed against a cool, smooth surface beneath me. Breathe in, steady and deep. Out. In.

A slight breeze whispers through my hair, just this side of cool. The air brushes my back.

Light filters bright through the haze above and reflects from facets around me. I move my head just a little bit and the sparkling environment spins. I still, before the nausea causes complete surrender.

I don’t know how I got here. Or, for that matter, the definition of “here.”

I hold myself motionless, allowing my mind to focus.

No memory swims to consciousness.

I stare down, tipping my face away from the dazzling light. Attempting to calm the headache. Grasping for any clue about my arrival. Nothing.

I pull my fingers across the glassy floor, smooth and slow. No nicks or scratches. No bumps, no sand, no crumbs. Perfection. I roll over, my back against the hard ground, to see the shining, sharp edge of a cliff inches from my face. A terrified breath jerks in as I imagine slipping over.

Fear pours down my spine like ice water and I slide in the opposite direction. I want to be far away from that vertical drop.

Managing to distance myself from the edge by a few feet, I rest. This will do for now; movement is a struggle. Once I’ve regained strength, assuming I started with some, I’ll remove myself completely from the danger.

Not that the cliff poses a threat as long as I don’t throw myself over—and that’s not happening. I might not remember anything else, but a healthy fear of heights overpowers my memory gaps.

I listen, eyes closed. What is that noise?

There. To the left. Voices approach. Grow louder. I see them, a knot of slender forms. Everyone moves together. A smaller cluster materializes from the right. Each is wearing the same dark tunic. I squint. My eyes refuse to focus.

“Here! Another one! She’s over here, quick!”

Many hands pull and lift and carry. I realize suddenly that I do not have a matching tunic, but am too exhausted to care. Everything spins.

I embrace the dark.

 

 

Limerick

There once was a girl from Nantucket

Who spent half her life in a bucket

When people jeered “why?”

She winked her brown eye

And said,

I just realized that almost any other rhyming word I use here will be impolite.

 

The Suit: Write it! (Yes, You.)

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I saw this suit jacket in front of an empty building for lease.

Can’t help wondering how it ended up on the ramp. Where is the owner? How did this happen? Why leave the jacket but not the pants?

It appears to be arranged with some care. Did the jacket have a family? Why was it abandoned? Does the owner plan to retrieve it?

Now, take my challenge. Write the story of this coat.

Rules:

  1. You may not read anyone else’s story until you write your own.
  2. Link to your story in the comments below.
  3. Make it as short or as long as you like.
  4. Enjoy writing!

I look forward to seeing your imagination at work.

Casey XO

Ugh

Sent my laptop for repairs.

Parts on backorder.

Laptop finally returned, but isn’t fixed. Back it goes.

Thank God for extended warranties.

Trying to post via phone just doesn’t work for me…

Want to guest post?  Email me via the contact link above. You’re always welcome in my virtual writing den. 🙂

*Posts involving adoption  (truth or fiction) get first dibs. 😉

Love Affair with Fonts

A few months ago, some friends of mine challenged me to a duel (but there were three of us, so…a trial?) of words. You can find  Whisper2Scream’s original post here, LittleLearner’s perspective on his post here and my response to his post here.

While waiting for inspiration, I started fooling around with fonts to see if that would help. What a colorless existence this has been; I never knew what was missing until now. Centaur. Harrington. Vijaya. Oh, how I love you.

Have you ever stared deep into the eyes of your fonts and let them speak for themselves? We do our fonts a disservice, ignoring their beauty. We go back time and again to that cheating dilettante, that streetwalker of fonts, Times New Roman.

Gaze at your fonts. Listen to your fonts. Find a new love. A font dedicated to you, to your passion.

Here’s what the other beautiful fonts said to me:

Fonts 1

Fonts 2

Fonts 3

Take time to get to know your fonts. I, for one, plan to invest time in this relationship. Someday, they’ll be writing my obituary.

Stranger Danger, Part 2

The elevator doors clunked shut just as I arrived, breathless. Slamming my hand on the stainless steel in frustration, I jabbed the elevator call button. Twice. Three times. A petite blonde woman rounded the corner. She eyed me and backed up a few steps. “You okay?” I must have looked as frantic as I felt.

“Yes, my daughter just got on the elevator with a stranger, and I need to catch up and make sure she’s okay.” I checked the numbers above her elevator. They’d stopped on the second floor. My truck was parked on the ground floor.

The woman relaxed and approached as the elevator chimed. We boarded. She was closest to the panel. “What floor?” In any other circumstance I’d be trying to place her accent, having a fascinating conversation about her home country.

Maybe my daughter hadn’t gotten off with him but I decided to take no chances. “Two, please.” The elevator lurched and creaked.

Her phone chirped and she answered. Her accented  “Hello?” echoed through the speaker on my phone.  She frowned at me.“How did you get my number?”

“I didn’t call you,” I said, confused. She waved the phone in my face. “This is not your number?” It was my number, but I hadn’t even touched the phone in my pocket. Distracted by her phone, the crack-crack-crack sound registered in my consciousness just a moment too late. Light exploded in my head.

Crumpling to the elevator floor, I remembered the article I’d read earlier that week. Some thieves could pick up credit card information by walking near your wallet. Cell phone thieves used similar technology. A phone thief, now? The irony seemed too great, but then I felt her slipping the cell from my pocket.

The elevator doors opened on the second floor. “All done?” The cheery male voice boomed into the small space with incongruous levity. My head lolled sideways; I saw the man from the hallway. “Yes, almost,” answered the woman.

Not a phone thief. She’s with him. She leaned over me again with a smirk. “Don’t you know?  Never let a child out of your sight. There are just too many crazy persons in the world.”

I tried to fight, to stand, to move, but my muscles betrayed me. Helpless, I watched as the man turned away, carrying the slumped form of my daughter.

Once again, I heard the taser, felt the surge. The woman spoke one last time as consciousness slid away. “Sweet dreams. Or, not.”

***

Heart pounding and sweat-soaked, I woke from this dream four nights ago. The terror, in my case, was imaginary.  For many victims of child trafficking, it is all too real.

Arkofhopeforchildren.org says 20.5 MILLION are victims worldwide. 1.5 million of these are within the U.S. And HALF of those victims are children.

Do something about child trafficking. Don’t wait for the elevator.

Visit hislittlefeet.org to start your research.

Punny, Casey.

Did you hear Santa hired four interns?

They’re subordinate Clauses.

I know I’m tired when inane becomes insanely funny.

Be

I don’t generally post my poetry, but found this in one of my old notebooks and I still like it. 

Be

shining daylight for the blind

swift transport for the lame

love for the unlovely ones

balm soothing all in pain

hope for mothers in sorrow

recognition for one ignored

open to hungry homeless

a shield from vicious hordes

life for the man who’s soulless

friendship for the bereft

comfort for grieving soldiers

bright joy for the depressed

a voice for unheard children

in doing this we’ll see

the hands and feet of Jesus

are what we’ve come to

be

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