The Calm Before

g4CONTINUED FROM Thinking and Walking

“…am tired and going to bed.” This is just dumb she was grown and who cares? Natalie didn’t know how she would deal with tomorrow. Why does she work for her parents again? Maybe a career change is in order.

Some how she managed to pass out at some point.  Ugh, she doesn’t feel remotely rested, this is going to be a long day. “Oh well,” she mumbled out loud as she rolled out of bed. Her head was throbbing from the hangover acquired from last night. She didn’t’ even drink that much. Ah! but the Amarillo Martini consisted of mostly ruby-red grapefruit juice, from concentrate she was sure, and vodka. She always got a hangover from them.  “Must be the sugar,” she thought to herself.

Walking into the bright white bathroom hurt her eyes and she instantly decided that showers were overrated. Besides, she would probably leave work early or be told to go home anyway. Natalie quickly got dressed, grabbed her keys, and headed out the door. Why were her parents so Traditional? Why can’t they just love her without trying to impose their will upon her?​

It was a two block walk from her house to the office. As she approached the building she could see her dad glaring at her through the iron bars attached to the front door. “Damn he’s been waiting for me,” she said to herself. Dread crept over her and she felt like a five-year-old who was about to be scolded, spanked, and then sent to bed. He opened the door for her as she got closer and………..


Thinking and Walking


CONTINUED FROM Lollipops and Fools Gold

“Hey, Matt, What’s going on?” Natalie took a deep breath in anticipation of what her older brother had to say. “What the fuck did you do? Dad called me bitching to the point that I just hung up on him.” She stopped walking and stared straight ahead into the distance. “Can I call you back tomorrow I have a lot to explain.” Matt replied, “Are you okay though?” “Yeah, I’ll live,” she said. “Okay call me tomorrow,” was his last response as Matt hung up.

This is not that bad, or so she thought. “The Gates of Hell will surely welcome you,” her dad had screamed at her through the phone. Who would say that to their child?

She knew her mom was an ally. There is something about moms that people neglect to realize. A mother’s purpose is to make sure that their offspring will thrive. She knew she would call her mom tomorrow and discuss this situation rationally. Her dad, however, was unpredictable. Her brother, Matt, already knew everything.

Natalie feels overwhelmed as she decides to start walking again. She tormented herself for years over this and she doesn’t need all this negative crap in her life right now. She has done everything the right way according to others and this is not fair.

She ambled up the concrete stairs into her Victorian three bedroom and two bath home. Walking into her foyer she stopped while placing her keys in the bowl on her accent table. Natalie looked herself in the eye with the aid of her foyer mirror. “Say it, ” she told herself. “Just say it openly,” she said out loud. “I…… of Hell will surely welcome you,” her dad had screamed at her through the phone. Who would say that to their child?

She ambled up the concrete stairs into her Victorian three bedroom and two bath home. Walking into her foyer she stopped while placing her keys in the bowl on her accent table. Natalie looked herself in the eye with the aid of her foyer mirror. “Say it, ” she told herself. “Just say it openly,” she said out loud. “I……


Lollipops and Fools Gold



As Natalie left The Chancellor’s House she couldn’t help but to ask herself if she was as big of an asshole as she felt. She didn’t have to blow that guy off and act so cold. Maybe he just wanted a good talk and some company. That thought is what settled the situation in her mind. She did the right thing because good company is not something she was going to be at this moment.
As she was passing Nancy’s Confections Natalie couldn’t help but to glance in the window. There was an elaborate display of day old fudge and hard candies. She can remember the days when adult obligations were non-existent. Those were good days. Filled with true happiness and no worry. Not like now, being an adult is complicated. Funny you spend most of your youth wanting to grow up and all of adulthood wishing you didn’t.

Her dad used to stop by Nancy’s every other Wednesday after school. He would let Natalie and her brother get a hand-made Lollipop and a small bag of fools gold each. Oh, what a treat! Those were the good days.

What was she going to do now? At least the long walk home would give her some time to clear her head. She couldn’t wrap her mind around how her dad reacted and what he had said to her. How did he find out anyways? Just then her phone began to ring. She looked at the iPhone screen with dread. It was her brother. She didn’t want to answer but she didn’t want to worry him either. “Oh god he knows,” she thought to herself. She answered, “Hey Matt.”……………………
THIS STORY CONTINUES @ Thinking and Walking



“Being Disastrous can be beautiful,” she said hoping this conversation would end soon. She just needed some quiet to think. “Don’t you mean being beautiful can be disastrous?” the man in the seat next to her asked. “No,” she replied. Natalie knew what she meant better than most and didn’t feel like continuing small talk tonight. She wasn’t aiming for a one night stand or a romantic rendezvous. She took a sip of her Amarillo Martini and motioned for the bartender.

Jones, the bartender, knew automatically that she wanted her check. She had been coming to The Chancellors House every Friday for the last 2 years. It was one of the oldest bars in town. Those who love period correct restorations would revel at this place. It feels as if you have been transported back to 1935 when walking through the heavy old door. It was a hotspot for anyone traveling to the area. This old relic was even featured it on one of those traveling shows.

Natalie despised small talk at the bar it never led to anything good. When the seat next to her became occupied by a lonely looking businessman she knew her time there would shortly come to an end. Jones had finally made it to her with the tab. She gandered over it and decided to leave cash. She got up from her stool and grabbed her purse from the back of the chair. Taking a moment to glance at the man in the seat, he had said his name but she forgot it, she looked for a quick exit. It was obvious that he wanted company but she was in no mood to be social tonight.

Not after the whirlwind, her life was about to become. Not after earlier today. She looked him dead in the eye and said, “To be disastrous can be beautiful if that’s the only way you know.” This was a sincere statement. Now she needed to get home and try to sleep even though she knew she wouldn’t because tomorrow her life would officially turn into chaos.

CONTINUE STORY WITH Lollipops and Fools Gold

Old Man Tucker

via Daily Prompt: Slur

Old Man Tucker has lived a rather ominous life trailed by disaster and solitude.  Not once in his 63 years has he felt whole and at peace.  He knew even if he lived 63 more years he would never find it.

The misspent youth and long-term alcohol abuse have taken its toll on his aging body and he could feel it.  He thinks back to that ever faithful phrase that he would gleefully spit at friends who would warn him about his fast-paced life.  “Slow down Dan.  One day you will kill yourself.”  They would tell him.  He would reply, “Everyone dies one day.”

How ironic, he doesn’t want to go this way.  He is still in his right mind but no one could understand him through the heavy Slur that 40 years of drinking gave him.  HIs liver was only days away from giving out and if only he could stop the tremors….there is nothing he hates more than not having control over his own body.

At least being bedridden in the hospital has perks like his morphine drip.  It has become his family and his only comfort these days.  He never slowed down enough in life to have an actual family and looking back now he sort of regrets it.  Kind of, but deep down inside he can’t deny that he would have been a lousy father and husband.  Although it would be nice to not die alone the fact is we are born alone and we return to whence we came the same way.  He finds comfort in telling himself that.

Alas, Old Man Tucker will play the last hand of cards that life has dealt him.  As the morphine kicks in again he drifts off into the unknown.  He accepts that he may not wake up, this is something he understands.  He wonders what kind of imbibement the hereafter will offer him….. He will find out soon enough.

Ivy in the Hollow II

via Daily Prompt: Expectation

He began his explanation, “All modern humans that live here in this dimension ‘Earth’ are actually……..”

“…..halfbreeds.”   Somewhere down the line one entity from a realm came together with another and had offspring.  The beings in each realm have special abilities, we will call them strengths.  Eventually, the offspring, half-breeds, made their own home….. Earth.  There are still many purebred lines in each realm but they are thinning out.  He knew his explanation was still confusing and did not make much sense but you have to start somewhere and getting her to believe him was not a top priority.  Nate was just enjoying being able to talk to someone.

Elysia is his home and nothing would ever change that.  He knew going back was not an option but he will forever think of the beautiful golden fields and endless sunlight, he would never see a sight like that again and certainly not in this realm.  In Elysia, they could grow any and all plants.  Their strength lies within the land and they are to always protect it.  No plant ever died in their care and they thrived being in the sunlight and within the fields.  The thought of home almost made Nate homesick but he had no time for that now.

Ivy listened intently but still could not believe what he was saying.  She figured he was either messing with her or certifiably looney. Either way, this was better than being at home or alone out here for the millionth time.  What really was her Expectation?  She sat to talk with him knowing he was not right mentally.  He didn’t seem unusual, inhuman, or superhuman.  No, he actually reminded her of Lance, the star of the local Lacrosse Club.  Well-built and athletic, that is what she saw when she looked at Nate.  She saw a little crazy in him but he was not physically abnormal.  “So where are your parents?  Do you have parents?” she asked.  “Yes, I have parents everyone does, right?” he said as he stopped and stared blankly into the woods, deep in thought.

“My dad, Xavier, and my mother, Hea, are back at home in Elysia with my brother Dimitri and sisters Nera and Phaedra.  I had to leave because I am being accused of a forbidden crime.  Well, it is forbidden in Elysia but here you may think it is nothing out of the ordinary.” he answered.

“What was it?  You know, What did you do?” she responded.

Nate wondered if he should divulge his past and then realized he had nothing to lose by conversating with this girl so he began. “Nera was set to marry, Lethe, our district leader and I………….


Ivy In the Hollow***Read the First Part***


Second Nature

via Daily Prompt: Tremble

To Tremble is second nature and Samantha knew that.  She hid as quiet as she could behind the old sofa that smelled of cigarettes and spoiled milk.  He would pass out soon and she would be able to leave.  Being only 14, she was doing the best she could.  Her father wasn’t a bad man but he was a man who had many demons.  When she was younger he was a lot different, more involved.  As the years passed and she got older she realized it was all a farce.  He put on an act and only showed what he thought people needed to see.  Behind closed doors, however, things were very different.

She did not have the happy childhood that her parents tried to portray to everyone.  At this point, there was no pretending.  Her mom couldn’t take it anymore and left 3 years ago.  Samantha and her brother were left with their dad.  They hadn’t seen their mom since she abandoned them.  She did call them on occasion send them letters with money in the mail.  That made up for nothing, if anything, it made Samantha more resentful.  Her older brother, Ethan, was 16 when their mom left and he moved out shortly after.

Warren, her dad, found no reason to hide his drinking problem anymore.  Especially since he had gotten into a work accident 6 months ago.  No, things only got worse.  Instead of coming home after work and partaking, he did it all day.  By the time she got off of the bus he was usually passed out and an hour after that, he would wake and the cycle of incessant drinking would begin again.

He would yell, he would stumble, he would fall, he would get up, call her nasty names, and this was her life.  He never hurt her physically but with all of the verbal abuse, she did not escape unharmed.   Her days were spent hiding until she knew he was passed out.  She did this to avoid the never ending insults that he would hurl at her when he blacked out.

She hid until she heard the faint sound of his snoring.  She would calm down eventually once she got out of this cursed house.  She walked out to the porch and down the old concrete stairs.  She knew she would be back in a few hours but she welcomed just a little harmony in her life if only for a few hours.

Nothing Stays Clean

via Daily Prompt: Clean

Maria never thought she would stay in Walker’s Court, it was the epitome of poor living in her small hometown.  No, she always thought that she would escape and go on to do better things in life.  History has a way of repeating itself and like her mother, Maria had her first daughter at 15 years old.  She knew she would never see anything outside of Chapman City Limits the day she took that pregnancy test.  She is 25 now with 3 children, living in government housing, not where she wanted to be at 25.  She has seen things in Walker’s Court that most only see on the true crime documentaries.  People being shot, stabbed, beaten, and raped.  That is leaving out all of the drug activity she witnesses on a daily basis.  None of that would prepare her for what she encountered her first day of being a housekeeper.

She answered an ad that read, “Elderly couple seeking housekeeper.  5 days a week.  Great pay.  Contact Glorie 555-543-2121.”  She called the number and spoke with a sweet sounding older lady who explained the couple’s plight.  They were both in their 80’s and had been married for 60 years.  Both of their children had passed already and they were having trouble keeping up with their everyday housework.  Her husband was bedridden and had been for the past 4 years.  Maria felt terrible for the nice older woman.  She was asked to come to Glorie’s home to meet her and see if she felt capable of taking on the task of being the housekeeper.

Maria arrived at the address she was given and was greeted by a very large and intimidating Victorian home.  She knocked on the door.  No answer.  She tried again and finally, after about 5 minutes the door creaked open and a cute 5-foot tall white-haired lady answered, “Well, hello dear you must be Maria.”Maria replied, “Yes Ma’am and you must be Mrs. Glorie.”  The elderly lady smiled and nodded.  They proceeded through a grand foyer with 20 ft ceilings and into a parlor room.  The parlor looked like it had not been touched since 1920.  The room had nothing of modern time in it.  All of the antiques looked brand new and this intrigued Maria.  She figured the couple must be antique collectors.

Maria listened intently at Glorie went through the list of the day-to-day tasks that would need to be done.  It was all the normal household chores.  Dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, and etc…  The pay was going to be $5000 a week.  Maria almost had a fainted at this number.  She could not wrap her mind around why it would be worth that much to an elderly couple to keep their home in order.  She hesitated to even ask.  One thing that did strike her as odd is Glorie did not even mention her husband’s name.  Maria asked, “So what about your husband?  I know you said he was bedridden.”  Glorie all of a sudden paused and a blank look crossed her face.  “Oh, John?  He had a stroke 4 years ago and till this day remains in bed.  He is only to be bothered by me, but thank you for asking.”  This seemed like a short, straight to the point answer and needed no further explaining.  “So you will start tomorrow?” Glorie asked.  “Sounds good,” Maria replied.

She would never forget her first and Last day working for Glorie and John.  She reported in at 7 am and everything went smoothly until about 4 pm.  She had about 3 hours left until she would be off.  She was going to give this job her all because the money was more than she would make anywhere else, ever, and would possibly be her ticket out of Walker’s Court.  She was cleaning upstairs when a repugnant scent entered her nose.  It smelled of death.  She followed her nose to where she thought it was coming from.  Mrs. Glorie was downstairs reading in the parlor and she did not want to disturb.  She stood outside 2 large wooden doors and knew instantly that this is where the aroma was drifting from.  She hesitated but entered the room anyway.  It was so dark and the smell was overwhelming.  Maria turned and quickly retreated from the room.  She fumbled for her cell phone so she could access the flashlight on it.  She prepared herself to bear that repulsive smell once more and reentered the room, flashlight in hand.  She scanned the room with her light and saw that this was a bedroom.  She could see someone or something on the bed.  The 20-foot walk from the door to the bed was a horrific one.  The smell grew with each step.  She could only see the top of a head so she slowly pulled the covers back while asking, “Are you okay?”  She was already pretty sure this situation was grim.  As the covers peeled back so did the flesh on Mr. John’s face, well, what was left of his face.  The smell that escaped from the covers made Maria instantly vomit.

At that moment she looked up and saw Glorie standing in the doorway.  “I said he had a stroke dear and hadn’t left bed since.  Did you think he was alive?” Maria looked at her in shock, she had no words to say.  She immediately bolted and called the police.  At the very least Mrs. Glorie must not be in her right mind, living with her dead husband’s corpse for 4 years.  The police did a welfare check as Maria waited across the street by her car.  They came out and thanked her for calling them and they found both bodies.  They must have been deceased for years judging by the decay.  Maria protested but knew not to protest too much as she did not want to seem crazy herself.  She just was in shock at this point and was trying to wrap her mind around everything.  Perhaps Glorie was not the sweet old lady she thought maybe she murdered her husband and someone else.

Maria went home and sat in her old plaid chair.  She watched the news that night and saw the story. “Elderly couple deceased for years discovered in abandoned home.  Autopsies are pending.”  She just stared at the T.V. and thought out loud, “Nothing stays Clean in the slums of Hell, but I’d rather be here in Walker’s Court, than anywhere near that house.”


via Daily Prompt: Simple

Are we  Simple or complex?  I would like to think that we are all complex beings.  I’m not referring to someone’s vanity or intelligence.  Im referring to depth.  There was a time when I thought we all were mostly simple self-absorbed people who go through life not worrying about anyone but ourselves.  To be truthful, there are a lot of people who appear to have no care about others.  In reality though things are quite different.  If you take time to slow your pace and go “people watching” you will get to witness people being real and you will see depth of character in the small things they do.  Minimal acts of kindness.  Yes there are a few who won’t meet that criteria at that exact moment but at some point throughout their day they will do something for someone else.  Something selfless that no one may see.  The business man rushing to work who stops to help the older lady who lost her wedding ring.  In this he loses track of time and is late.  The child who picks a flower for her mother.  The mail person who takes the mail to the door because they know the resident can’t make it to the mailbox easily.  The people who say hello to strangers in passing.  Little things do add up.  Every time I find myself observing others in social settings it gives me a little hope for all of us.  I see true depth in everyone now.  We just have our own unique way of presenting it.