Friday, September 30, 2011

Night Shade -- #FridayFlash

I was introduced to the #FridayFlash on Twitter only 2 weeks ago. I had to do some research as to what it is and how it works. But basically, you write a flash fiction (1000 words or less) and post it on Fridays. Simple as that.

If you are interested in learning more, or reading other stories, here's the official website for #FridayFlash.

This is my first attempt at something like this. In fact, I wrote this before I wrote my 2nd #WriteCampaign Challenge but I figured I would post that first.

I would love to hear your comments. Anything I could have done better? different? Anything you particularly liked?

Thank you!

Night Shade
Wisps of clouds hung in the sky in front of a full moon. Shadows etched on the ground below my open window. I leaned out over the ledge in hopes of finding a breeze in the heavy air.
            In the moonlight I could see the mountainous grooves left by the day’s travelers etched in the dusty road in front of our house. I looked down the road for comfort. Annie’s house was not that far and I could make out the lantern in the window. Annie always left it on for me, in case I woke in the middle of the night and needed her. It was her way of letting me know she was there for me.
            I never liked the night. SHE came in the night. Only Annie believed and comforted me. She understood. 
           A full moon was less chilling than a new moon, but still I shuddered. In the fields between our two houses, I watched a shadow move across the fields between our two houses. I strained to make out the shape. My heartbeat drummed in my ears and my eyes widened in realization. It was HER! She was coming!
            Frozen to my window, I watched as the shadow skimmed the tops of the grass making its way towards Annie’s house.
            No! I thought. Not Annie! Please, not her!
            Annie’s lantern dimmed.
No, Annie, No! Don’t go! I screamed in my head.
Annie’s shadow darkened her window as the Shade paced the ground below. I watched in horror, fear gripped my heart, as Annie climbed out her bedroom window. I refused to breath as Annie disappeared into the darkness that was the Night Shade. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

#TuesdayTales -- The Devil's Darning Needles

I stumbled upon the #TuesdayTales hashtag on Twitter a little too late last week. I've been really getting into this flash fiction challenges. It truly is a challenge to be able to write a story in such few words. and it's so much fun! Don't forget to check out @GlitterLady's #TuesdayTales and join the fun!

Here's my entry:

The Devil's Darning Needles
The Devil’s Darning Needles hid just beneath the waters of Shoal’s Lake—always at the ready to erupt at the precise moment when the weary traveler’s eyes should close. Anticipation swept through them as a glint passed through the surface. All eyes watched the Knight remove his helm. He slipped off his gauntlets and placed them at his knees as he bent to scoop the cool water for a drink. He leaned against the willow tree and let the summer breeze lull him to sleep. The Needles swarmed out of their watery hive, weaving over and through the Knight’s eyelids.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Preacher's Bride -- A Book Review

The Preacher's BrideThe Preacher's Bride by Jody Hedlund
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was not my first time reading Historical Fiction. However it was my first read of Historical Christian Fiction. Skeptical at first, I didn't quite understand the genre and half expected preaching to be involved. As I delved in, I quickly realized that this was not the case.

Pious Elizabeth Whitbread looked only to serve God and those in need, accepting what she thought was her lot in life. When God called upon her through the cry of a baby, Elizabeth put her life and marriage on hold and answered. Little did she realize that her path had now diverged.

Jon Costin, tinkerer by trade preacher by calling, never suspected God's ulterior motives.

The Preacher's Bride was a true example of God working through mysterious ways. Strong willed, quick to wit, and God serving characters perfectly matched from the beginning. Both struggled through the persecution of the Royalists and their own personal struggles with God. Their relationship between each other and with God grew throughout the entire book.

Jody Hedlund captured my heart in her first book with her perfectly executed writing. She took the true story of John Bunyan and wove her own of "the woman behind John Bunyan". It was not preachy, it was not mushy. But it sure was moving! The reader got into the head of Elizabeth from the very first moment and felt the pull of emotions throughout.

I cannot wait to read her next book, The Doctor's Lady.

View all my reviews

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Psycho Imago - 2nd Write Campaign Challenge

Rachael Harrie has done it again. Here are the guidelines:

"Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:

  • include the word "imago" in the title
  • include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"

If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.

For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!"
Completed all the above, including 200 words exactly AND used the mirror!
Here's my entry into the 2nd Campaigner Challenge if you like it, please vote for #24!


Psycho Imago

            I bashed my foot against the dresser as I moved across the bloodied room. A sharp, glorious pain seared through my ankle. A smile crept across my face.

I leaned against the edge of the dresser to get a better look in the shattered mirror. Her listless body reflected back with many angles to investigate. I licked the coolness of the glass that reflected her untouched breasts, slicing my tongue on its sharp edge.

Like the mirror, she was shattered, broken. Blood pooled in the lacuna my cleaver created. Her hair matted. Her porcelain face caved in. Exposed bones peeked through her jacket and jeans. It teased me from all directions. My daughter was now perfect.

Time had stood still in my dance. I didn’t care. I could do this forever. Shivers of pleasure pulsed in the pit of my groin and my lust got the better of me. I played the death scene out—perfect synchronicity between memory and motion. I danced with death again and again.

Her body began to decay. I drew in a deep breath. The stench of her miasma rose from her battered body. I fell on the bed in exhaustion and began to oscitate

Friday, September 9, 2011

Where Were You When The Towers Fell?

September 11, 2001 started out like any other day--for everyone. But that day ended in total devastation for many, heartbreak and disbelief for all. It was double for me because of the terrorist attacks and the fact that my father found out he had lung cancer. My father is now cancer free and still blesses my life. But, today, I would like to remember the fallen.

Where were you when the towers fell?

Me, I was already at work. Back then, I was working on the Tactical Automation contract for III Corps, US Army at Ft. Hood, Texas. That day was going to be the start of our annual exercise with their sister troops in Korea. I had started my 12 hour shift at 6am and we were getting the servers all set up for live connections, making sure everything worked before the troops arrived at the Battle Simulation Center (BSC). We were going to play a game of war.

Around 8:50am I received a call from a co-worker who was due to start his shift at nine. He wanted me to pull up a news website and verify what he just heard on the radio to see if it was a joke. He had told me that the radio station had just reported an air plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in NYC. He also said this radio station was known to joke around. So he wanted to be sure. Our television in the BSC had been off all morning. And at that time, the Network Operations Center (NOC) did not have a television hook up. Since our computers had already been connected to the Internet, I tried to pull up When the network timed out, I tried to no avail as well.

The commotion of the troops filtered in and out of the BSC for their training exercise usually calmed down by now on any other given day. That day, it built into a manic deluge. I went to the BSC breakroom where there were gathering soldiers around the only active TV and watched, over and over the unbelievable footage of a Boeing 767 crashes into the side of the World Trade Center. Maybe this was an accident. Maybe the pilot had a heart attack and something happened to the co-pilot. Or maybe the controls got stuck. How could anyone NOT see that big building in their path. My mind was trying to rationalize what it had just seen.

After watching a only the split second I needed to comprehend what was going on, I rushed back to the NOC and said, "Turn on our TV, a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center." A flurry of speculation went up between us all. As we watched and theorized, time ticked slowly by. At 9:01am we watched in disbelief as another plane rammed the second tower. It went from "possible accident", to DEFINITE TERRORIST ATTACK. I rushed outside to call my husband (cell phones were not allowed inside the BSC). My husband was currently active duty Army and worked across base. The cell towers were slammed and no phone call was possible at that time. I kept trying and trying. Over and over I dialed his number. I knew what was next. He would be leaving. I wanted to call him. I wanted to hear his voice. Finally, I got through.

"Two planes just flew into the Trade Center," I said.

"I know. I have my radio on. I just told my troops, 'Pack up guys. We're going to war!'" replied my husband.

"I've got to go. The phone lines are getting jammed. I love you." I told him.

"I love you, too." he said.

And that was our first conversation after the attack.

I went back in to the NOC and we all readied for the start of our exercise. Delayed though it was, we were still having it. At 9:37am another plane crashed the Pentagon this time. I knew my brother-in-law had just been there and was unsure if he was leaving that day or the day before.

We sat in disbelief, going through the motions of our routine of the exercise.  And at 9:59am, 57 minutes after the first plane hit, the South Tower collapses. It was so surreal, almost like watching a movie. And moments later, a 4th plane was reported crashed  in the fields of Pennsylvania, missing its target.

This couldn't be happening! No way!

We all sat with our mouths hung to the floor.



What broke the silence was the phone ringing and my boss telling me then need me down at the Sanctuary.

"What is the Sanctuary?", you ask.

It is the war room. It is the place 2 stories below the ground where all real-world operations take place. It is the safe haven for the General and his staff. The motto on my III Corps G3 Operations mug says:


Any other time of the year you can hear ants eat. I hated working in the Sanctuary. It was boring and isolated. We had TV, but it was always on the news. And where I had to sit was nothing more than a converted broom closet that housed our classified servers. It was loud, and cold. And did I mention, lonely?

I pack up my things and leave the BSC. When I get into the Sanctuary the noise was astounding. There were about fifty people all sitting at their stations, people walking in and out, people talking plans, people, people, people. It was a sight I'd never seen before in the Sanctuary.

The wall of LCD monitors at the front of the room were sectioned off, 4 of which had the General's presentation, the rest were either on new channels or showing some military computer program that I can't talk about. :) I went straight to work getting people their accounts, email and internet set up on the classified network so we could get information flowing between bases. New computers were introduced into our area and people were always having troubleshooting issues I had to resolve. It was a busy time. I was on my feet all day helping people and didn't realize the passage of time.

In between computer issues and tasks, all eyes were on the news. Talk centered around the stability of the North Tower. We were all hoping and praying she would stand tall. But at 10:28am the North Tower begins to collapse. 

NYC, America, and the world will never be the same. I continued to keep myself busy with all that was going on in the Sanctuary that day. Tears didn't come until after my shift and I was safe at home in my husband's arms. 

I was one of the lucky ones. 

Unfortunately, many were not so lucky. The worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil left 2752 people dead from the World Trade Center buildings, 189 from the four planes that were used (not including the hijackers), and 44 people at the Pentagon--totaling 2,985 families devastated. 

It is now the 10 year anniversary of this horrendous crime. I beg of you, NEVER FORGET!

Where Were You When The Towers Fell? 

Where were you when the towers fell?
Tucked all safe and snug in your bed
Waking to smell pancakes and coffee
Getting dressed, rushing out the door
No need to be late
Just another day of routine folly

Where were you when the towers fell?
Making your lunches
packing your things
Checking your homework,
meeting your friends
Filling the buses
Cramming the cars.

Where were you when the towers fell?
Just came in through the office door
Set your briefcase, keys and cell phone down
Flipping through papers
Business meetings
Conference calls
Emails and emails and more.

Where were you when the towers fell?
Radio, television tuned in to news.
Calling loved ones to hear their voice
Phone lines busy, anxiety runs high
Voices in huddles speak of nothing less
Daily habits are a distant dream
United in terror and pride.

Where were you when the towers fell?
Our home no longer safe
Family clenched tight
Clinging to the common bond
Strangers become family
Grasping at hope
Desperate for peace.

Where were you when the towers fell?
Back to your methodical drone.
No care in the world, not one reminder
On this ten year anniversary
Please don’t make this
Just another day of routine folly.

-Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
September 11, 2011

First Writer's Campaign Challenge - Explained!

First of all, if you haven't already, I would recommend you read my challenge entry before you continue as it will probably make more sense :D

Thank you all for playing!


The first idea that came to mind when I read "door" was to have it a gateway between life and death.

The "choice" came to me from an episode of "Being Human" when the ghost was presented her door to the other side. She didn't know what was on the other side. She didn't even know if she chose to stay would she be presented the door at another time.

Definitely, people have problems with change. They find comfort in the familiar and are terrified of the unknown. I had to incorporate that in there because no one knows what happens after we die.

I also wanted to incorporate winter/cold and spring/warm. Winter/cold usually means death, dying, and aging. Spring/warm is rebirth, life, and youth. Cold is not something people find comfort in, but warmth is. One side of the door was "winter cold"--his life he forced to give up, if he chose to stay, he'd be a ghost forever more, walking the plane of nothingness, clinging to the life he could no longer have. The other side of the door "warmed to the soul"--this was my idea of heaven. I imagined heaven like the movie "What Dreams May Come" and tried to express how vibrant the colors were swirling and juxtaposing one another but finding balance.


I really enjoyed each interpretation. It intrigues me to see how people think. And everyone does not see things the same way. That's why I love to discuss stories in this manner.

Each one of you brought a smile to my face. I loved how it brought peace to you. How you saw Narnia in there. I love the portal to another world or dimension or school or a tropical paradise! How awesome!

This just shows me everyone's mindset, everyone's philosophy! Love it. Thanks for playing with me!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Writer's Campaign Challenge

Short Story/Flash Fiction Challenge from Rachael Harrie's 3rd Writer Campaign

"Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count. If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count) For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!"

Here's my entry (double the challenge: 200 words, opening and closing sentences):
If you like it, Please visit and click the like. I'm #157. Thank you!

I also want to see how the reader interprets this piece. How I envision this "door" is one thing, but the intent of this piece is to get the reader to think of their own interpretation of what that door represents, and did the person go through it, or not?! Let me know in the comments how you interpret it. I find other people's ideas fascinating! Thanks!

The Choice

The door swung open. I had a choice to make. There was only one chance to walk through. My time had come and if I did not chose I would be stuck here forever.
 One world I’d known all my life. It was quite, comfortable, safe. My friends and family had long since passed through their doors. There was no one left for company. I’d fallen into a habitual life. But it was mine. Something I was used to. Change scared me.
The other offered the unknown. It was new, exciting, terrifying. What was on the other side? Would there be others waiting for me? If I stayed here, I would never know. But if I went, it may be worse than what I already had. Is my life over? Or just begun? There were so many conflicting questions racing through my mind. But I knew I must choose, and choose quickly.
The sun shone on both sides of the door. One side was winter white and chilled to the bone, while the colors began to mute. The other warmed deep into the soul as vibrant colors swirled, contrasting, balancing equity.
I made my choice as the door swung shut.