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

Monday Short Tale: What is Love?

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

Silence fell over the group of friends. 

Finally, Anna asked, “What did you ask again, Twyla?” 

“I asked what is love? In your own perspective, what is love?” 

Owen answered, “Painful but worth it.” 

Lila responded, “A roller coaster ride.” 

Michael hesitated but voiced, “never-ending.”

“An emotional minefield.” 

Anna received several nods of consideration with her answer but it was Skye’s answer that cast silence over the friends once more. 

“Love is a neurochemical con job.” 

Skye could see wheels turning in Owen and Anna’s minds, Lila and Michael opened their mouths a couple of times, clearly trying to come up with a response. 

Twyla blinked, looking at Skye’s deadpan face, clearly she meant what she said. 

Michael finally asked, “A neurochemical con job? Uh, wanna explain that?” 

“Love is all in the mind, making it a neurochemical process. It’s not real, despite what media wants you to believe. It’s something our minds fool us into believing  so we’ll believe we’re happy depending on other people. Honestly, we’re all independent humans, just as humanity is. As such, it’s a con job, only instead of a person being the conman(woman); it’s our own brain.” 

No one honestly knew how to respond to that but it was clear Skye truly believed her own words. 

Anna finally mustered, “How do you explain the love between a mother and child, between friends?” 

“That isn’t love. That’s affection that convinces a mother to care for a helpless child and the child shares the affection as the mother is caring for it. Friendship is simply a bond between packmates that support one another. Humans aren’t that far departed from animal-kind after all.” 

Owen finally decided to change the subject before they ventured into anything more dangerous. 

“Anyone want to see a movie?” 

-Fin

©Paula Crofoot

Now of course Skye’s perception of love isn’t my personal viewpoint on love. But it was quite interesting writing from the point of view of such an anti-love character. Kinda makes you wonder why she’s so anti-love, doesn’t it? 

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

Kiss Me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.

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

Monday Short Tale: Wooing the Were Way.

Hey, ya’ll! Welcome to Simply Paradise & Haven! 

Here is our Monday Short Tale for the week. Keeping with the theme of February, it’ll be a romantic piece. 

Reggi sighed in exasperation as she opened her door. There was yet another plant on her doorstep. She wasn’t sure where these plants were coming from but the slightly wilted potato plants made number 5. She scooped them up and closed her door, deciding to try leaving for work in a moment. First, she needed to put these potato plants in a bit of water in hopes of being able to replant them after work. 

Once she’d done so and washed her hands, she tried heading out the door once more, needing to leave for work now if she didn’t want to be late. 

She made it out without further issue. She dialed her best friend Mercedes, using the sync system in her car, needing to give her the latest update on the plant shenanigans. 

“Hi, Reggi. I’m guessing you found another plant?” 

“How’d you know?” 

“You never call this early otherwise.” 

“Yes, potato plants this time. Honestly, who is doing this and what are they hoping to gain from it?” 

“I’m more curious as to where they’re finding these plants. From what you showed me, they look like they’re freshly picked.” 

“Sometimes even as a whole plant, such as the potato plants today. The roots were still connected!” 

“Are you going to try to replant them?” 

“That’s my hope. I set the roots in some water before leaving, hoping it’ll still be savable after work. The poor things were already wilting though so who knows.” 

“Only you. Anyone else wouldn’t care about the wilting. They’d just pick the potatoes and dump the rest.” 

“The potatoes aren’t mature enough for picking. Add to that the fact it would be total waste to just dump the rest of the plant when it can produce more potatoes this season.” 

“And only you would know that the potatoes aren’t ready.” 

“I’m not the only one that would know that but I need to know these things if I’m going to continue as a vegetarian.” 

“Bleh. Each to their own.” 

“Exactly. You eat your meat, I’ll eat my plants. I’m here at work so I’ll talk to you later.” 

“Talk to you later. We’ll see what happens next.” 

 

Glenn noticed, pleased, as he put the next plant on the doorstep that the potato plants from the day before were in her garden. It might not be the customary wooing of a mate but when your chosen one doesn’t eat meat, you adapt. He’d question her fit as a mate of his kind except he’d already discovered she wasn’t one of those righteous vegetarians who looked down those who ate meat and everything else about her sang right to his instincts. He only hoped she’d like this plant as much as she’d liked those cauliflowers she’d made into pasta a few days before. 

 

Opening the door, “Oh, Come on! This has to stop!” 

Reggi heaved the rather large branch inside, made all the heavier by the fact it bore several apples. She left the branch in the kitchen, there was no saving it and picking the apples right now would only hasten their going bad. Though she did grab one, douse in the sink before heading out with it as a snack. 

She immediately called Mercedes and before Mercedes could get out much more than a hi, “We have to stop this!” 

“Hon, what happened? This wasn’t bothering you yesterday, or this entire last week.” 

“That was before I had an entire branch from an apple tree on my doorstep.” 

Silence. 

“An apple tree branch?” 

“Yes.” 

“As in a branch totally chopped off an apple tree, not the apples in a basket.” 

“Yes, as in a branch that is currently sitting on the linoleum of my kitchen for lack of anywhere else to put it or time.” 

Silence again. 

Then Reggi huffed as Mercedes broke into loud laughter. 

Once she’d eventually calmed, Reggi declared, “Are you ready to help me now?” 

“Sorry, sorry. That’s just freakin’ hilarious” 

“No, it’s not. A branch today, what will it be tomorow?” 

“You’re not seriously thinking whoever this is will bring you the tree next?” 

“It’s possible! That’s what scares me. A bunch of carrots, a few tomatoes, a couple of bunches of cauliflower, a few bunches of grapes. Then suddenly potato plants. And now a apple tree branch? Who knows what’s next! We need to find who’s doing this and stop them.” 

“Alright, alright. We’ll start with a ring doorbell. That will not only grab video evidence but will also chime to let you know they’re there. You can confront them then.” 

“Can you help me after work?” 

“Yes. I’ll meet you at your house with a doorbell.” 

 

Glenn dropped into a crouch to the side of the door, dropping his latest gift, when he heard a chime. 

Suddenly, the door opened and his mate stepped out. He pressed further back into the house, keeping in the shadows. 

“Who’s there! I know someone’s there. My doorbell caught your movement and these ears of corn weren’t there when I went to bed.” 

Glenn winced as he heard the frustration in her voice. 

He stood and stepped out of the shadows. 

 

Reggi’s jaw dropped as one of the hottest guys at her work stepped out. Dark brown hair always looking like he’d just gotten out of bed, light blue eyes either smoldering or icy, tall and well muscled, it was well known around the office that Glenn was one of the most wanted men. 

“You’re leaving the plants, but why??” 

“You don’t eat meat. So the best thing I could hunt for was plants, never mind that it’s technically gathering and not hunting.” 

“Okay… But that still doesn’t explain why you’re leaving plants on my doorstep.” 

“It’s what my people do when we’re interested in someone.” 

“Your people? What happened to simply asking someone out?” 

“We’re not inclined to that kind of social behavior. We’ve integrated among the normals but there are still many things we hold over.” 

Reggi crossed her arms, “You still didn’t answer my question of your people. And what do you mean ‘the normals’?” 

“There are many heritages of people among what we call normals, people that don’t have the gifts or heritages. My people are Weres.” 

Reggi took a step back, “Weres? as in werewolves? Like Twilight?” 

Glen crossed his arms, scowling, eyes now icy, “Yes, like werewolves but also other breeds. And no, not like that fiction series. Those books are an insult to my people. And even worse to the vampire clans.” 

Reggi paused, mind struggling to make sense of this. She supposed that he was clearly right in that they weren’t like the books. After all, nowhere in those books did werewolves leave plants on doorsteps. He clearly meant her no harm so she supposed it’d be alright for her to give him a chance. Provided of course… 

“Alright. I’ll give this a chance. But you need to actually ask me out and no more plants on my doorstep.” 

Glen grinned, blue eyes now smoldering, “Fair enough. Are you free this Friday night? Besides, now I can give them to you directly.” 

“Yes, I’m free this Friday night.”

Reggi resigned herself to never needing to worry about spending too much on vegetables and fruit again. 

~Fin(For Now) 

©Paula Crofoot

That’s all for now. I don’t know, I may write more on this in the future. Glenn and Reggi have kind of caught my attention now. Comment below if you want more.

Also, it’s still a work in progress but Simply Haven & Paradise now has a community page on Facebook.  Simply Paradise & Haven Please feel free to comment there as well. I’m hoping to build it into the community page that I can’t yet develop here where we can all chat and get to know each other. 

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

The undertaking of a new action brings new strength.

 

 

 

 

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

Monday Short Tale: Gus and the Class Bully: The End.

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

Here’s the final piece of Gus and the Class Bully. I think it’s not quite the usual happy ending but it’s not a sad ending. 

Theodore Black yawned as he pulled his car into the parking lot of the local high school where he was a coach. He tried to focus on the day ahead but all he could think of was that night. He couldn’t believe it’d been 10 years since he’d graduated high school. If you’d asked him 10 years before, he would never have expected to work at a high school. When he walked off the campus after graduation, he’d planned to never step foot on a school campus again. Especially after what he’d done in junior year to his old friend.

But that had changed him and when he’d graduated high school, he’d gone to college for exercise science, planning on becoming a coach for young men, wanting to do something to prevent what had happened to Gus at the hands of his friends and himself. He simply hadn’t expected to be at a high school. He was careful, however, to not be at his former high school. With some time and distance, he’d realized Gus vanishing wasn’t entirely on him or his classmates, though he certainly wasn’t diminishing their roles. The teachers had never done anything, if anything, they’d added to it. So, he refused to return.

 

That evening, Theodore walked into the gymnasium, feeling a pit form in his stomach. He hadn’t seen anyone from his high school beyond social media in the last 8 years.

The pit only grew bigger as he noticed the cat got the cream look on the face of the woman at the check in desk. He recognized her, Ella Gordon, former head cheerleader. But he didn’t know why she would be so gleeful, according to her FB profile, she’d just gone through a divorce.

She saw him, recognizing Theodore Black, former quarterback, and knew the pieces had just come together.

He signed in before heading deeper into the gym.

 

Theodore turned, holding a plastic glass with white wine, before the cup fell out of his sudden slack fingers. He stared, blue eyes glassy, skin clammy and suddenly pale. It’d been years, but he would know him anywhere. Standing just a few feet from him was Gus Maxwell. Black hair now long and tied in the back, green eyes bright even as he stood by the punch table, observing the crowd, Gus looked great.

Green and blue eyes met, immediate recognition sparking.

Theodore cautiously stepped towards Gus. When he didn’t step back, Theodore approached him, coming within conversation range.

“Hi, Gus.”

“Hello, Theodore.”

An awkward silence covered the two men.

Theodore finally broke it.

“How have you been?”

“I’ve been doing well. I just finished an indie film.”

“A film, oh, you’re a director?”

“No, I’m a filmmaker. I started out shooting pictures but then discovered film. I attended film school, learning everything that’s needed to run the cameras that film the movies everyone watches. Then I’ve worked hard but now I have regular projects coming in, still shooting portraits and the like on the side.”

Gus gestured to the clearly expensive camera pack hanging across his body before asking, “What do you do?”

“I’m a coach, actually. I coach boys’ basketball and soccer at La Granger High School in La Granger, a few hours east of here.”

Gus was clearly surprised.

“You’re a coach?”

“Yeah.”

Theodore hesitated before being truthful.

“I studied exercise science with the idea of being a coach to prevent what those old friends and I did. I hadn’t expected to be at a high school but that’s just how the cards fell.”

“To prevent what you and your old friends did?”

Gus had inferred that what Theodore was talking about was him disappearing but wanted Theodore to say it.

“The way we bullied you, along with the entire class and the teachers, to the point of breaking down in the middle of the halls and vanishing. I’m sorry.”

Gus was surprised. When he’d received an invitation to the ten-year reunion despite not having graduated with the class, he’d come just to see how everyone was doing. He had hoped to not run into Theodore and had never expected an apology from him.

“Apology accepted.”

Tension flowed out of Theodore he hadn’t even realized he was carrying.

They spent a few hours chatting with each other and with other former classmates.

At the end of the night, Theodore parted ways with Gus, not to see him in person again for several years. He friended him on social media, being accepted, but that was the extent of it. But at least the guilt from 11 years before was assuaged and he was actively working to prevent it from happening again.

Gus accepted Theodore’s friend request and saw him follow him on a couple of platforms. But while he’d accepted his apology, that didn’t mean he wanted to be buddy buddy with him. Their old friendship was long cold, and he doubted it could ever be reignited. But at least his primary bully had finally apologized. The pain he’d been carrying all these years even as he’d grown more and more successful in his passion was finally soothed.

~Fin

©Paula Crofoot

I think this is kind of a realistic ending. You’ll notice Gus accepted Theodore’s apology but he never said it was okay or that he forgave him. That doesn’t mean that Gus hasn’t forgiven him but it’s never okay to do to someone what Theodore and the rest of the class did to Gus. 

The rest of February, I’ll be writing a short story to do with the theme of hte month which is romance. Partially because of Valentine’s Day but also because the novel idea that I’ll be writing next month is my first romance. I’ve written, as of yet unpublished, novels with relationships and some romance but this one it’ll be one of hte primary plots. So that’s something new. 

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

 

Love and desire are the spirit's wings to great deeds.

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

Monday Short Tale: Gus and the Class Bully pt. 2

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

As I promised last week, here is the next part of Gus and the Class Bully.

Despite that one of their classmates was curled in a fetal ball in the middle of the hallway, tears showing, the day moved on as normal. No one either noticed or cared enough if they did to check on Gus. Some even cursed him as they had to move around him.

Silence rang around him as Gus finally uncurled around his camera. His eyes burned and his throat was sore. He put his camera back in his bag, scooping the shattered lens into one of the pockets. Uncaring about the classes he was missing, he slowly made his way out of the school, ignoring his locker.

Gus headed home, knowing his parents wouldn’t be home; his father would be off working his blue-collar job and his mother likely at her bingo games, drinking her weight in vodka as usual. He dug his savings bank out from under his bed, counting his money once more.

Theodore had crossed the final line; his classmates had showed just how little he mattered to them in the aftermath. He could get his G.E.D. after but he couldn’t stay here anymore. Packing everything important, including the various pieces of his camera, including the shattered lens, he made his way to the local greyhound bus station. He bought a one-way ticket to the first bus headed to Los Angeles. It was as far as he could get from here without leaving the country.

No one noticed until Friday that the class scapegoat Gus hadn’t been seen since Monday. Theodore was the first to realize he hadn’t seen Gus the Wuss since he and his friends had left him in the hallway boo-hooing over a camera. Some discreet questions around, he learned that no one had seen him since first period on Monday or in the hallway after.

After school, he made his way to Gus’ house, memories from childhood flooding in as he knocked on the door. No one answered but he knew the backdoor was likely still broken. Sure enough, it was.

Gus’ room was even still the same it had been when they were friends in elementary school. Only difference was the minute layer of dust on everything.

That was the moment Theodore Black realized he’d crossed a line and run Gus not just out of school but out of town completely.

No one would see Gus Maxwell for 10 years.

-Fin(For Now)

©Paula Crofoot

There will be another piece next week. I think it’ll be the final part but we have to see where Gus ends up at, why they see him again in 10 years and just what happens to Theodore Black. Plus, we still have to answer how they wound up at this point. 

‘Til Next Time! 

~Paula

I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.

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.

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

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

Christmas Gift: A Happy Ending

Hey, Ya’ll! 

This last week was just as busy as I’d expected it to be. I feel very productive though. I got my Christmas cards, both professional printed and personal handmade, in the mail; most of my handmade gifts made and all but the last few gifts wrapped. I even repaired a pair of jeans that last minute was requested of me to fix. 

I have three more gifts to finish. Well, one to finish and two to start and finish. The one gift just needs a couple of last details to it and it’ll be finished. My last two gifts are a different matter. One I’ve been working on but it isn’t turning out like I’d hoped so that one may end up an IOU which I don’t like but can’t be helped. The other one I’ve been creating in my mind, I know what I want to do and it shouldn’t take me too long. But I just finished a job and I didn’t really want to create the pieces, transport them home and then assemble them. There was too much risk of damage or loss so I chose to wait until today to complete it. 

I’m also baking cookies, fudge and cherry pie these next few days and I think we’ll need tea before Christmas dinner so I’ll need to brew that as well. I brew tea at home as not only is it cheaper to buy the box of tea bags, boil water, put the tea bags in and let it simmer, pull the tea bags and pour the tea in to the jug, repeat as many times as necessary but it’s also better for us. Not only can I get the lemon, and sugar for the sweet tea, to our preferred tastes but it also doesn’t have all of the preservatives and extras that is in bottled tea. Now, it’s not completely free, after all, I do buy the bag tea, but it’s better, in my mind at least. 

So I’ve got a busy couple of days ahead of me but it’ll all be worth it come Christmas day. 

Just as a heads up, if you enjoy my writing prompts, there won’t be one this week as they’re published on Wednesday and this Wednesday is Christmas. But there will be one next week so look forward to that. 

Now for this week’s short tale. 

As he stood in the kitchen, mentally running over the menu, as knocks sounded through his small apartment.

He breathed deeply, trying to relax. That should be her. 

His girlfriend Macy was coming over today to exchange Christmas gifts before she headed home to her family for a few days. 

He was hopeful this Christmas would be better than the last. He and Macy have only been dating for a few months. It took him some time to get over the heartbreak of his last girlfriend’s reaction to the gift he’d bought her. It hadn’t appeared to be much on the outside but the actual gift had been inside. But she’d never made it that far. 

Hopefully, this Christmas won’t be like the last. His gift for Macy wasn’t the same gift, that wasn’t fair to her nor was it right as their relationship is at a different place than his with Lisa had been. But it was similar in concept and he knew his heart couldn’t take it if she reacted the same. 

~~~~~~~

Later that evening, he sat watching the fire crackle in his fireplace, heart still intact. Macy had actually found his gift creative and clever. She’d loved the small bear and hadn’t been going to find the real gift inside but he’d guided her to the small opening in the back where she’d found the sapphire earrings. Clearly, Macy was from a different mold than Lisa had been and he felt this relationship might actually make it long term. 

-Fin

©Paula Crofoot

Now, this short tale is actually a sequal to one from last December. Comment down below if you can figure out which of my tales came before this one. 

‘Til Next Time, Friends! 

Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we Love, Every time we Give, It's Christmas.

 

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

A One Horse Sleigh Ride, Bells Jingling

Hey, ya’ll! 

I have a busy week coming ahead of me. I only have one pet job this week, until Saturday, but I have a few gifts I’m making, as well as Christmas cards for a few of my friends. I’ll give details on the gifts I’m making in January; the receiver of them drops by here occasionally and I don’t want to spoil the surprises. I’ll show the cards here, though, once they’re finished. As far as I know, their recipients don’t visit. Even if they do, they’ll be receiving them shortly anyway. 

But for today, we just have this week’s Monday Short Tale. 

Laura sighed, curling further into her coat. It was miserably cold out here, why was she doing this again? Oh, yes. Her boyfriend, Claude, asked her to meet him here. Why did he have to choose the front steps when it’s freezing cold outside? He knows she hates the cold. 

In the distance, constant jingling was heard. She poked her head out of her fur trimmed hood, nose bright red, but didn’t see anything. 

The jingling grew louder as a one horse sleigh came into view. Laura didn’t know the guy at the lead seat but behind him, bundled in some blankets was her boyfriend. 

As the sleigh came to a stop, Claude hopped out. 

Laura had a dreadful feeling what Claude had her meet him for. 

“Hi, Laura!” 

“Hi, Claude.” 

“Surprise!” 

Laura gazed at the sleigh, the only good thing about it is the horse. He was adorable. But the sleigh in this cold, was bound to be miserable. 

Reading the look on her face, no matter how she tried to keep it stoic, Claude tried to boost her mood. 

“Come on, come on. I know you don’t like the cold but I’ve got a plan. But you’ve got to get in the sleigh first.” 

Laura sighed, “Fine.” 

Claude helped her up where he bundled her up with not only multiple fleece blankets but also a heating bad along her back. He then pulled out a two tumblers of hot chocolate, still warm even in this cold, from where they’d been bundled under the seat against another heating pad. 

Once he sat down next to her and they curled up together, Laura had to admit, this was actually pretty nice. And because of the way their seat was buffered by the high front seat, even once the sleigh started moving, she could barely feel the cold breeze. 

“Hmm, okay. For once, you had a pretty nice surprise.” 

Claude beamed, though careful not to move away from his girlfriend. 

“I know I make mistakes but I try to learn from tehm.” 

Laura had to admit that was true as she kissed him on the cheek and they settled in for a nice sleigh ride in a one horse sleigh around their bustling college city town. 

-Fin

©Paula Crofoot

 

Well, that was a nice wintery one-shot. I actually enjoy the cold myself but tried to write this piece, inspired by Jingle Bells, from the view point of someone who doesn’t but has a relationship with someone who does. 

‘Til Next Time, Ya’ll!

 

At Christmas, all roads lead home.