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Posted in #Friday, #Goals, Focused Posts

2020 Goals: Writing; Books; + Debt /Savings

Hey, ya’ll! Welcome to SP&H. 

I gave an overview of my 2020 goals last week as well as some extra detail on my weight loss goals and skills goals. This week, I want to delve into my goals on writing, books, (and yes, they’re different goals) and my debt/saving. 

First, my goals on my writing. As I mentioned, I have several manuscripts that are finished, in varying stages. I have one that is finished, ready to go; five that are finished, just need final editing; five that are in progress-varying stages of progress. A couple are near halfway through, a couple that are just started, and one that was my November NaNoWriMo that is beyond started but not quite halfway. I also have not only old stories that I’m rereading to see if they can be made into novel worthy manuscripts but I have a lot of plot ideas that have had some fleshing out but not necessarily characters and full story lines. I have one that was supposed to be April Camp NaNoWriMo as I wanted to write the sequel to the one that is finished next month. However, that one is nudging me constantly so I think that one is going to be February’s novel while the sequel is going to be April. However, that changes the publishing plan. I can’t exactly put out a book that is the first in a series when I don’t have the second one written yet. So I’m going to finish the last editing on the other five and pick one of those. I’m thinking of my very first novel I ever finished. I’m still in love with it so I think it’ll be it. I have a writing schedule for this year for novels to write and finish. I will be published this year, even if it takes most of hte year to do so. If I can’t manage an agent and a publishing house, then I’ll go the self-publishing route. I actually know someone who did so, so I figure I can get tips from her if necessary. 

Now, my goals on books is different than publishing a book. I used to be a prolific reader as a child. To the point that I can remember when I was 12, my reading class, and yes we still had reading class up to 8th grade, my class was divided into reading groups. I read books three grade levels above my level but the reading groups had to read out of a bookshelf in our teacher’s classroom. As you can guess, those were books for 6th graders. So I read through them really fast, and still passed the Accelerated reading test. The first one done picked the next book. There was a point I was three books ahead of the others in my group and they asked if I could let them pick the next few books, I was so many ahead they were just left reading behind me and wasn’t necessarily what they wanted to read. I didn’t mind as I really wasn’t interested in any of the books; my personal books were thicker, more difficult to read, and way more interesting. However, as I grew older, got busier, had less time, I read way less. So, my goal is to read at least 52 books this year. Now, I have no doubt I’ll read more than that, but with a list of 52 books, then I’ll not only read at least one book a week, which I used to read more than that, but I also deliberately chose books that are not in my wheelhouse. I tend to read mystery, fantasy, horror/ghost, some science fiction as well as the occasional blank fiction. So I stepped out and chose a couple of classics, a few romances, but also chose some that are in genres I already read. I may do some book reviews on here as I read the ones on my list. 

My debt goal is pretty self-explanatory. I’m self-employed but have some credit card debt from when I had a full time job as well as school loans. As for my saving goals, I not only want to save an emergency fund, for a Canon EOS 4000 Rebel T100 DSLR camera, GoPro Hero7, an elliptical machine, a treadmill, a bike-not sure which one yet, a Cricut machine that will help me greatly with crafting, a Nintendo switch, rotary tool kit, airbrush cake machine and a paintjob for my SUV. I doubt I’ll be able to save for everything this year as I am self-employed but I’m hoping to expand a few things into income alongside Paula’s Pet Paradise and Imaginative HandiCraft’s new image. My top goals are the emergency fund, cameras, Nintendo Switch, Cricut machine, a bike, and a paintjob for my SUV. I love my SUV but I hate his plain silver color. The Cricut machine will help me with my crafting endeavors, as will the rotary tool kit and the airbrush cake machine helps me with my baking. I love taking pictures but don’t have a good camera beyond the ones on my phone. I have a digital camera but it’s a basic point and shoot camera that I call Temperamental for a reason. The elliptical machine, treadmill will help with my health as well as the bike but I want to start hitting the trails with the bike also. (Of course, a goal with the bike is to relearn how to ride it. I fell, apparently, at a young age and stopped riding. I can remember the basics but I haven’ been on the bike in over 10 years so I say I can’t ride a bike.) I love video games, I am a video game geek, but my last systems are a Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS. So I need the new switch and am even open to other systems. The emergency fund is just so I can breath easier when one month’s income might not be quite enough. 

So, those are my writing, book and debt/savings goals for 2020. Comment down below if you have any similar goals, we can be each others accountability partners.  

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.

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Posted in #Wednesday, #Writing Prompts, General Writing

Wednesday Writing Prompts: Cradle; Backpacking; Jewel

Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome back to SP&H! Here are your weekly writing prompts, enjoy! 

 

They were best friends from cradle to grave.
They were best friends from cradle to grave. 

 

While backpacking across Europe, you stop in a small town where the locals are dealing with a fairly minor nuisance. You decide to help them and easily solve their problem before moving on.
While backpacking across Europe, you stop in a small town where the locals are dealing with a fairly minor nuisance. You decide to help them and easily solve their problem before moving on. 30 years later, you go back to discover you’ve been immortalized as a mythic hero to the town. 

 

_Just forget this stupid jewel and run!_
“Just forget this stupid jewel and run!”

 

Have fun, friends! Comment down below if you use any of these prompts and want to share. 

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

 

There is nothing impossible to him who will try.

 

 

 

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Posted in #Monday, #Monday Writing, General Writing, Monday Short Tale, Mondays

Monday Short Tale: Gus and the Class Bully.

Hey, ya’ll! Welcome to SP&H! 

Here is this week’s Short Tale. 

Gus hunched his shoulders forward, right hand clasping the strap of his bookbag tightly, as he made his way through the hallway. He could hear his peers snickering at him, talking about him even as he tried to slip through the crowd unnoticed. He knew it was his latest performance in Algebra II that everyone had found to be the newest joke. 

No matter how hard he tried, they only laughed at him. Whether it was math class or drama class, he was always the class joke, yet not the class clown. He was a game to them, he doesn’t matter to them. He was reaching his breaking point, something had to give. His only saving grace was his cameras. He had long lost interest in filming or photographing his classmates, but the rest of this town provided some good pictures and good film. Now, he just needed to get out of here before this school destroyed everything he had left. 

He flinched as he was shoved in the back, barely keeping himself from falling on his face. His grip tightened on his bag, he’d prefer them break his nose than break his camera in his bag.

He felt his shoulder be grabbed, yanking his body around in an 180 to face the junior class bully, Theodore.

Theodore sneered, “What do we have here.”

Gus resisted his wince, he hated facing off with Theodore. They had been friends once upon a time, before Theodore became the class bully, leaving him behind.  

“What do you want, Theodore.” 

“Why do you keep clogging up our hallways? We barely have enough room in this school without people like you taking up space.” 

“I’m simply trying to get through high school like you.” 

“But you’re not like us, are you? We’d be better off without the likes of you around.” 

With that, Theodore shoved Gus hard enough, his feet went out from under him, sending him backwards. His  bag landed on top of him, to his relief of it not hitting the floor and immediate horror as one of Theodore’s lackeys snatched his bag out of his grasp and tossed it to Theodore. 

Theodore scavenged in it, “Let’s see what’s so important in this bag that this freak guards it, never letting it out of his hands.” 

Gus paled as Theodore pulled his camera out. That camera had cost him three paychecks from his dead end part time job and was one of his only escapes. 

His heart stopped as Theodore threw the camera down on the floor shattering the lenses.

Apparently deciding that was enough damage, Theodore tossed his bag down and told his lackeys, “Let’s go guys.”

Gus pulled himself up to crouch over his broken camera, unable to hold the tears back. There was no way he’d be able to afford a new lenses for his camera. He’d lost one of his most important pieces to his very being.

Theodore squashed the small part of him that still existed of Gus’ old friend that felt any guilt over how he and his lackeys left Gus crying in the hallway.

-To Be Continued

©Paula Crofoot

That ended up being more than I expected so I think I’ll continue this piece next week. There’s still a lot more for Gus and Theodore. Not to mention, what happened to Theodore that he became the class bully? Why did he cut his friendship with Gus off? Why is Gus the class joke to everyone? What’s so different about him? So, I’ll be continuing this tale.

‘Til Next Time!

~Paula

 

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

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Posted in #DIY, #Projects, #Saturdays

How To: DIY Mail Sorter

Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome back to SP&H! 

Today, I want to show you how to make your own mail sorter. Now, you may not still get snail mail but I get bills, making it easier to keep track of my debt I’m paying off, magazines and everyone that has an address receives junk mail. But I’m gone from home enough that my roommate puts my mail in a pile on my desk. When I get home and sort through it, it still ends up in piles as my small sorter doesn’t do the job. But mail sorters aren’t cheap at the store or on Amazon. So, I made my own out of cereal boxes, sticky contact paper, labels and a wooden crown decoration. 

Here is how I did it. 

First, a picture of what I started with. 

Materials Pic

  1. Two of my boxes were from a bulk buy at Sams Club and were already glued together. The smaller one was glued on top and I cut off the flaps of all three except the bottom flap on the bottom cereal box. I used it to ensure my label was visible. I also cut an opening into the top big box and one into the smaller box on top to not only make the label visible but also the mail inside.
  2. The next step was to cover all three boxes in adhesive Contact paper. Now, you can use any contact paper you like. This is your mail sorter. I used faux wood contact paper I already had on hand. Plus, my previous sorter was actually wooden. This step will take you the longest as you have to make sure the entire outside of the cereal boxes are covered. After all, you don’t want it immediately visible that these were cereal boxes. You may also choose to paint the inside of the boxes on the side with either a marker or I chose a paint marker. You’re not looking directly inside after all.

    Cover the glued boxes with Contact paper
    You can’t even see the parts that were painted, can you? So feel free to paint the inside to help yourself not spend all day fighting with contact paper. 
  3. After contact paper is applied, you glue the labels of each section. You can do this however you like, you may only get enough mail to need an in section, out section and junk section. I made the bottom section for my magazines, the second for my bills and the third for junk mail for my roommate just in case she’s not certain it’s junk. That way, she’s not tossing something I actually want. Plus, occasionally I have mail that doesn’t fit in either, like letters from friends in my hometown. You also can add any decoration to personalize this. I had a wooden crown that I painted one of my favorite colors, purple, and glued on top. That way, I don’t just have plain block of cardboard and contact paper. Plain is boring to me. But you do you. If you prefer minimalist style, then you don’t have to add anything. Glue slot labels and decorations

So, here’s the final product: Side Angle of completed project

That’s all for today. Please, comment below, adding pictures if you like, if you make a mail sorter of your own! Also, comment down below other DIY projects you’d like to see me do or give instructions on! I’m always looking for new DIY ideas. 

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.

 

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Posted in #Friday, #Goals, Focused Posts

2020 Goals

Hey, Ya’ll! Welcome back to Simply Paradise & Haven. 

As promised, here is my post on my goals for 2020 + just a bit about SP&H’s future. I have multiple goals for 2020 as that’s just how I roll. I never go for just one thing, I go big or go home. But I also don’t shoot for only perfection. I make goals with a specific achievement point. Sure, some are only achieved if I complete the goal but others are a starting point to be finished next year or later. 

I’ll be listing the goals in this post but will be going more in depth on each goal in future Friday posts for January. 

  1. Learn a new skill: Knitting/needlework/woodworking. I’m not aiming to master either of these skills, I’m aiming to learn the basics in them. 
  2. Master a skill: Perler beadwork/Painting(acrylic/oil/watercolor)/miniatures/crochet/paper(quill/cards/stamps) Now, when I say master, I don’t mean like Picasso level or anything like that. That’s a little much for one year. I simply want to get 2-3 levels accomplishment on these skills above where I am at right now. 
  3. Publish at least 1 book. This one is pretty self-explanatory. I have several novels finished, a couple more that need a little more editing and several more in the brainstorm stage. It is one of my dreams to be a published author and 2020 is hte year I make it happen. 
  4. Lose weight. This is a two year goal as my goal weight is too much to achieve this year and actually keep the weight off. So I’ve split it. This year, my goal is to lose 82 pounds. That’s about a 1 1/2-2 pounds a week. It’s definitely achievable as there will be weeks I don’t lose anything but there will also be weeks I lost more than 1-2 pounds. 
  5. Cut down my Debt and Build up my Savings. My debt to income ratio, especially for someone self-employed, is way out of wack, even before counting my school loans. I also don’t have much in savings and I have a few expensive things I want to save up for. 
  6. Reopen Imaginative HandiCrafts. Imaginative HandiCrafts is currently closed. It wasn’t going anywhere, I hadn’t sold near as much as I’d hoped, and had been open for a few years. So I’ve spent the last couple of months and will be spending a few more months working on it’s new focus and name. 
  7. Grow Paula’s Pet Paradise. Another goal focused on my career: I’m planning to expand Paula’s Pet Paradise in 2020.
  8. Expand Social Media Presence and Blog. This is a goal to do with my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook presence as well as Simply Paradise & Haven. I want to grow my follower numbers on the first three and grow Simply Paradise & Haven into my vision for this blog. First step will be more posts. I’ve come up with a schedule for my posts on SP&H as well as @paulacrofoot &@ATexansHealthfulJourney on Instagram; @Haven_inShadows on Twitter; and the Paula’s Pet Paradise page, Imaginative HandiCrafts and Simply Paradise & Haven page on Facebook. The links for all either are, or will be, below. I will be posting Monday Short Tales on Monday, Wednesday Writing Prompts on Wednesdays, a focused post on Fridays, such as January is on my goals, and at least one art post and one baking post on two Saturdays. So Monday Short Tales; Wednesday Writing Prompts; Friday Focuses; Saturday Specials. We’ll see what else may pop up. Another aim for Simply Paradise & Haven here is a community page where we can all chat and interact. It may be that the Facebook page has to be that but I will keep you updated as well as any other changes. 
  9. Research at least 6 interests. I have several personal interests and will be researching at least one for two months every two months. Some interests are also for current and future novels. January’s, for instance, is Future personal pets as well as MPD/DID and Hoarding.
  10. Read 52 books. I intend to read a book for each week, even if I might not manage to read a book a week. Sometimes I’m busy enough or simply too tired to focus on a book. But I was an obsessed reader when I was younger and with this challenge, want to get back in the habit and make time. 
  11. Do a challenge each month. I actually have two challenges each month as well as a few that are year long. One challenge is a work-out challenge to help with my focus on weight loss and better shape and the other is something special. January’s is a list-making challenge. I’ll explain the year long challenges in the next post focused on the challenges goal. 
  12. Write every day. I plan on writing something, even if just a 500 word 5 minute short story, every day. I hate it when I don’t write, it just doesn’t feel right. 
  13. Continue my tea/baking/cooking education. This goes not only to two of my passions but one of my dreams in a few years. So I’ll be continuing to work on expanding my baking/cooking repertoire and expanding my tea knowledge. 
  14. Learn a new language. I won’t be starting this goal until June but I want to learn the basics in a new language this year. I haven’t decided which one yet, I have a few I want to learn. 
  15. Watch every Disney movie and watch through the Marvel Universe. I want to challenge myself to watch every single Disney movie that exists and watch my way through the Marvel Universe. I’ve watched a couple of them but not all of them yet. I have other tv shows I’m planning to watch in their entirety as well. 

So, those are my goals for 2020. Now, the goals I’m going into a bit more detail on in this posts, are the skills and weight goals. 

I’ve been working on learning crochet for a few years, first with my grandma and, when she passed away, in her memory. But I definitely have room to improve-a lot of room. I’ve been fascinated with knitting for a few months now so I want to learn it as well. I also want to learn needlework after some of the works I’ve seen on Pinterest. I made my mom an small armoire for Christmas in 2018 and want to get better at woodwork. Now, I need some room for this one so it may have to wait until later 2020. I am currently  OBSESSED with painting. I’ve had so many ideas lately and my painting is actually looking really good. But I want to continue working with acrylics and get better with oil and watercolor. Watercolor is actually one of my yearlong challenges. I have this long-term goal of creating a miniature universe. By universe, I mean I want to recreate some of my favorite cartoon/anime/live shows and movies, some of my favorite books and a general universe, in 1:6 scale. Perler beadwork, if you’re not sure, are those small plastic beads that you then melt together to make various images. Like painting, I’m currently OBSESSED with this. The future IHC will likely feature some Perler beadwork and paintings. I want to get better with making paper cards, which includes stamps. I made my Christmas cards in 2019. I love quilling paper, it’s the form of taking small strips and curling them into various forms and shapes. I want to learn or get better at each of these skills in 2020. 

Like I said, I want to lose 82 pounds this year. My weight has long since been an issue for me. I wasn’t a small child, though always tall for my age, I was just a little chubby. But it wasn’t until I was a teenager with puberty that my weight really blew out of proportion. I had health issues when I was 16, pre-diabetes and liver to be specific. I lost some weight and got rid of the health issues but my weight was still over what it should be. Now that I’m older, several years beyond 16, those health issues haven’t come back but I’m on my feet so much as a professional pet-caretaker, my knees are beginning to struggle. There are also things, such as sky-diving and bungee-jumping, that I want to do and things I want to do that I either cannot do at all or not do well at my current weight. Plus, to be honest, I simply want to feel better about my body and my health. Weight loss is key as well as getting into better shape. I’ve lost one pound already. 

So I’ll be doing periodic updates on this goal on Instagram (@atexanshealthfuljourney) as well as here on SP&H. I’ll be making occasional updates on each goal on here actually. 

If you have any goals, please comment down below. I promise I will respond. We can be each other’s accountability partners. (Which will be easier with the future community page) 

-Til Next Time!

~Paula

 

A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.

Posted in #Wednesday, #Writing Prompts, General Writing

Wednesday Writing Prompts: Brother; Serial; Burned

As promised, here’s your weekly writing prompts. Have Fun!

_Daddy, I want a little brother!_ my little princess demanded. The next day, we took a trip to the playground so she could pick him out herself.
“Daddy, I want a little brother!” my little princess demanded. The next day we took a trip to the playground so she could pick him out herself.

 

The news said they finally caught the serial killer based on a police sketch.
The news said they finally caught the serial killer based on a police sketch. The poor bastard looked just like me. 

 

_Just Trust Me._
“Just trust me.” “The last time you said that, my house burned down.” “Yeah, but you didn’t die.” “That’s not the point!” 

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

 

The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.

Posted in #Monday, #Monday Writing, General Writing, Monday Short Tale, Mondays

Monday Short Tale: A Failed Haunting

Hey, Ya’ll! 

A bump sounded above Jan’s head but she didn’t even blink.

Another bump sounded from the direction of the stairs and she simply shouted, “Cut it out!”

When yet another thump sounded, this time from dining room, Jan simply turned up the TV volume, never mind the fact she wasn’t actually watching it as involved in her current book as she was.

She never once considered it to be anything dangerous.  In her home, regardless of where it was, bumps and crashes in other rooms were simply a part of her life. 

Meanwhile, in the dining room resided one frustrated ghost. He was stewing over hte lamp he’d just shoved off the side table, ignoring the stare of the fluffy creature he’d heard be called Snowball. 

The ghost huffed in frustation. He’d been haunting this house for decades. For years, he’d successfully run the living out of his territory.

This new woman moved in six months ago and he’d yet to even get a jump of fright from her. He couldn’t understand it. Not even his scratches on the floor in the dark of the night woke her up. These furry creatures she’d brought with her could see him, though they weren’t any more scared than she was.

He actually hated them. Any time one of them was in the room with him, they would just stare at him with their unblinking eyes. Quite unnerving, really.

He had no idea what these were or why this woman would have these creatures with her. Beyond staring at him, he’d only seen them sleep for hours at a time, eat and drink out of a couple of bowls on the kitchen counter, bat balls and mice that smelled funny around the entire house and chase things that even he couldn’t see. They were completely unproductive, unlike the dogs previous living inhabitants had had. Those had been fun to play with.

Or so he thought.

That evening, pushed to the brink by his lack of reaction, he decided to move to one of his more dangerous antics. He usually saved this trick for when he was ready to get the living out of his house. It never got them out immediately but certainly started giving them the clue.

When the woman had gone to bed, in his bedroom no less, he floated up through the floor. Once he was certain she was asleep, which took her forever with the books she was always carrying around, he picked up his pickaxe. He swung for the footboard, certain this would scare her.

He jolted, nearly dropping the pickaxe, when a horrendous yowl sounded from the white fluffy creature in the bed. He’d thought it had been asleep as well. The woman sat up at the sound, flicking on a light, looking to see what had caused Princess to make such a horrible noise. He’d never heard such a noise.

When Jan didn’t see anything, she petted Princess on the head, figuring it was another no-see-them and laid back down. She shortly dozed back to sleep.

The ghost lifted his pickaxe once more, determined to get this woman to notice him.

But before he could bring it down, Princess launched herself off the bed and at his face. He dropped his pickaxe, the sharp weapon dissipating immediately. He struggled to grab this creature and get it off his face. He fell through the wall, the living creature remaining in the bedroom. He stumbled to a stop, holding his injured face. How did that creature manage to hurt him?! He figured he was in the clear, thinking that it was trapped in the room. He’d not only neglected to realize the bedroom door was open but had forgotten there was more than one of these creatures in this house. As he turned to go down the hall, he tripped and fell on his face. He rolled over and looked down in time to see the black one of these creatures launch itself at his face. He blocked the attack with his arms and shoved the creature away.

He yelped as he felt something slice him on one leg, drawing ecto-blood, then something slice him on the other. He looked down to see the two white ones, Snowball and Princess, snarling even as they continued scratching. He dropped hte black one, still hissing and swiping, on top of one of the white ones and scrambled to his feet. He jumped the balcony, floating easily down to the first floor, figuring he’d escape the creatures for a while. Try to haunt the woman again once the sun came up.

But he hadn’t calculated for the agility and cunning of these creatures. While the black one, called Midnight, launched itself off the balcony, landing on his head, claws tearing into his skull, the other two tore down the stairs.

Yelling in pain, he got the black one off his head and even as all three bit and tore at his legs, he ran for the front door, phasing through the door, leaving the creatures inside.

He disappeared into the night, never to be seen in that home again.

Jan never knew what had nearly happened to her that night, sleeping even through the hissing, yowling, bumps and crashes. 

After all, such noises in the night were normal when you live with cats.

 -Fin

©Paula Crofoot

As one that lives with cats, while I don’t hear these noises in the middle of the night, I do have hear them all the time any other time. Well, minus the yowling and hissing, my two get along pretty well 90% of the time. There’s a reason my figurines and other breakables are no longer on tables since I’m currently living in a rental with faux-wood floors in 80% of the house. 

What did you think? Comment below if you have cats. I’d love to hear your tales. 

I promise that later this week will be a post about not only my 2020 goals, my hopes for the coming decade but also to explain the future of Simply Paradise & Haven. I totally meant to do it this last week but I’m still working to get everything organized for the next year and get back into a working mentality after the long holiday period. As I mentioned, my holidays start at October 1st and continue until the new year. I’ve spent the last couple of months amongst the holidays coming up with plans for 2020 but I still need to outline them and figure out details to make them happen. So look for that post later this week along with this week’s writing prompts. Ya’ll love those posts and I enjoy doing them so those posts will definitely continue so long as I have prompts to give. 

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

 

The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.

Posted in #Monday, #Monday Writing, General Writing, Monday Short Tale, Mondays

Monday Short Tale: Listen to Your Instincts.

Hey, Ya’ll! Here’s today Monday Short Tale. 

Troy crept through the halls of the asylum. He couldn’t let on to anyone that he was here; to do so would be certain death. He still couldn’t quite process just what had led him to be here, hiding from forces he couldn’t see. 

 

Just 24 hours before, he’d been a typical teenager hanging out with his buddies in the school gym, skipping class. The normal antics of teenagers bored with school. 

One of his friends, not his closest, came up with an idea to end the boredom. 

“Tomorrow night, we should all go check out the old asylum down on 6th avenue.” 

Complete silence until it was broken with the snick of a lighter. Troy’s best friend, Mikey, clicked his lighter off. 

“Ah, why not. I can’t go drag racing down the Boulevard anyway; I’m still busted for the F in Chemistry. No Pass, No car.” 

With Mikey’s assent, it didn’t take long for the other four guys to agree as well, Troy doing so last. His gut instinct screamed it wouldn’t end well. 

Next time, he’d listen to those instincts.

 

Troy plastered himself against the wall as he heard footsteps around the corridor. There shouldn’t be anyone here but him, not with the other guys long dead. But this wasn’t the first occurrence of the phantom footsteps tonight. 

He closed his blue eyes as the footsteps came closer and closer. He knew there was no escape; he would soon join his friends. 

The last thing Troy ever saw was gleaming yellow eyes over a cruel mouth twisted in a snarl. 

-Fin

©Paula Crofoot

I’ll have another post later this week, hopefully tomorrow, regarding future content for Simply Paradise & Haven as well as my goals for 2020. So look for that soon! 

‘Til Next Time, Friends

 

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

 

Posted in #Monday, #Monday Writing, Monday Short Tale, Mondays

Last Monday Short Tale of 2019

Home Invasion Gone Wrong(or Right?)

 

The sound of creaking floor boards startles her awake. 

“Jim,” Anne whispers as she shakes her sleeping husband. “Someone’s in the house.” 

It takes a few moments for Jim to stir and more precious seconds for him to wake enough to understand what was happening. 

“Wha??” 

Before Anne could respond, the creaking of the floor boards occurs once more. They’re closer this time. Whoever had broken in was coming upstairs. 

“Jim, Go! Do something!” 

Jim gets out of bed, grabbing the bat he kept under the bed for such occasions as this and, straightening his shoulders, heads out of the bedroom. Anne remained in bed, holding her breath and listening. 

From down in the hall, she hears a clatter, likely his bat striking the wall. She loved him but Jim was not the most athletic. She hears another clatter before silence. There weren’t anymore footsteps and she hopes that means that Jim took out the intruder and was checking the house for more intruders. 

Anne crept out of bed, blue nightgown fluttering around her ankles, and over to the window. She peered out of the window to see if there were any ‘friends’ of the intruder but everything seemed silent. She began to turn, intending to head into the hall to find Jim.

The last thing she saw was a younger blond woman, hatred in her blue eyes, snarl twisting her pretty mouth, before she was struck across the side of the face with a blunt object.

The young woman watched as Anne crumpled to the ground in a heap. She couldn’t risk Anne waking up, much less identifying her. As such, she slammed her bat into first Anne’s head, then twice into her spine. The second spinal strike shifted Anne’s head so it was facing her so she slammed her bat into it multiple times, destroying any resemblance of a human face.

Seeing no movement from the body at her feet, keeping a tight grip on the bat, the young woman headed back into the hall. She stepped over the body of Anne’s husband, knowing he was still breathing. She’d been very careful to ensure such. She double checked she had her knife she’d stabbed Jim with and headed back out the back door. 

It was all over the newspaper the next day that there had been an home invasion, James Hanson surviving his wife, Anne Hanson. The invader who had brutally murdered Anne and left James on death’s door was never found. 

As men often do, James eventually moved on, unable to be alone. No one ever saw anything wrong with his second wife, a young woman, 5 years his junior, with curly blond hair and bright blue eyes. 

-Fin

©Paula Crofoot

So, do you think Jim knew his second wife before the invasion and as such, was in on it as a way to avoid divorce or simply to get rid of his wife? Or do you think she was a stalker who wormed her way into his life after the death? Comment down below your thoughts. I know the answer, of course, but I want to see what you think. 

‘Til Next Time, Friends!

 

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away