You Want More…

 

Inspiration for a story can come from anywhere.

One day I was in Walmart and saw a girl who couldn’t have been older than ten paying for a shopping cart full of groceries. She was alone. As I watched her pushing the cart out of the store, I wondered why she was there by herself, what were her circumstances. And a “what if” moment was born…

“You Want More…”

People are looking at me funny, especially the ladies at the registers, ’cause I come here nearly every day. But I can only buy what I can carry home. Mama can’t come and we need food, and if anyone finds out Mama can’t come, me and Lizzy and Josh will have to go to one of those foster homes. And they ain’t good places to be.

I know ’cause I was put in one last year. Lizzy and Josh was put in them too.

My third-grade teacher, Miss Fincher, had seen my busted lip and had called someone and they’d picked me up at school and taken me to this place where a woman in white had looked at me all over, my privates too. I hadn’t liked that one bit. Then she’d told a big fat woman with red lipstick that I had been physically abused. Continue reading

Sins of the Fathers (2)

“Won’t be much longer now, Chloe.”

Daddy’s voice snapped me to the present. My mind had been far away, back in West Memphis where Mama was buried.

As soon as her funeral had ended that morning—attended only by Daddy, me, and the preacher—Daddy had loaded our suitcases in the car, and we headed west out of the Mississippi River delta country. We were going to live with Grandma.

When I asked why we couldn’t continue living where we were, Daddy had said I needed someone to look out for me when he was on the road. Since I had been taking care of Mama and myself most of my life, I didn’t think I needed someone looking out for me now. But I didn’t say so to Daddy.

He had called his mother before the funeral and told her about Mama. Grandma had said for him to come back home, that she would welcome the company since she was all alone.

I had never met my grandma. When I was younger, I had once asked Mama why we didn’t visit her. Mama had thrown a conniption fit, ranting and raving about what a vicious old bitch Grandma was, and that she hated her.

I never brought it up again.

Mama had no one but Daddy and me to grieve her passing. She was an only child, and her parents had died in a house fire before I was born. Daddy told me she might have died too if she hadn’t been out on a date with him that night.

Now she was gone, and Daddy and I had crossed the state to live with a woman who was a stranger to me, a woman Mama had despised. I wondered if I would hate Grandma too. I wondered what she would think of me. Continue reading

Birds of a Feather

MorphiaBeautiful painting created by my friend, Sarah at Secret Art Expedition, who was inspired by my story.

“Birds of a Feather” is the first story of mine published that I made money on–a whopping $10.00. It was published in Mindflights, an online magazine of speculative fiction (now defunct), under a different pen name than I use here. I think of all the short stories I have written, it remains my favorite.

My little sister was born with wings, or at least the beginnings of such. Little nubs on her sharp shoulder blades. When they reached any size, when from time to time tufts of white feathers dared blossomed out, Ma cut them off. I held Morphia down while she clipped them off with the cow dehorners. Morphia cried and carried on, but Ma said it didn’t hurt none, no more than snipping off a fingernail did, and if she didn’t cut them off, Morphia would fly away like Pa had.

Fact was, Ma had lost Pa to the winds, and she was bound and determined not to lose Morphia too. “Should’ve never let that bird-man in my bed, Henry,” she’d told me more times than I could count. Continue reading

Love’s Journey

 

A collaboration by JW and Cathy

All my life I have searched for you

in the forest, woods, meadows, and glades

first in the light, then shadows, then dark;

convinced that I would instantly know

Your voice, your lips, your touch

Yet dreams remained dreams, and you an illusion

And I was alone, a wolf without a mate… or pack;

tempted, sad, faithless

I sought out others but they were not real

None could fill the void that only you could

A void with your shape to complete me

The others? Only flimsy constructs that fell apart

Beneath the weight of broken vows and time

All my life I have searched for the one

That knew his place

Accepted it completely

Heart, mind, and soul

The one that would make me whole

Be my reason to be; my purpose

Guide, mentor, master

Teaching me through actions, not words

My true self reborn and acknowledged through his eyes

A possessor of unconditional… and limitless… love

To fill all the empty caverns inside

That were carved out with an angry knife

Slice, by slice, by bloody slice

All my life I have searched for you, my Alpha

Had finally given up hope, cast aside the fantasy

Resigned myself to ever be

A lone wolf…isolated in darkness

Hidden away in my den, licking my many wounds

Until death would set me free

Then you appeared

Shone your light into my caliginosity

I became aware

A reawakening

It was then I truly knew freedom

For the very first time

To be who I was meant to be

To be with who I was meant to be

My master, my love, my forever Alpha

lovers-1302670

You can read it here at JW’s Creative World along with other amazing poetry.

Sins of the Fathers (3)

The days following Daddy’s departure passed by uneventfully, one much like the other. I came to know and love Granny as I worked along beside her. She taught me how to do things I’d only read about it books: canning vegetables from the garden, milking a cow, washing clothes on a wringer washer, plus numerous other things I had never done before. It was all hot, hard work, but even so, it was fun. I felt as if l had stepped back into an earlier, simpler time, and was living a grand adventure.

Granny seemed to enjoy being my teacher. Her bright eyes shone with pride at each of my new accomplishments.

Early one morning about a week after my arrival, she announced that we were going berry picking. “I know where there’s a fine patch of blackberries, big as your thumb!” She waved said appendage under my nose.

With both of us carrying a clean, metal bucket, we set off down the road, back toward the highway. We walked in companionable silence along the dusty trail for about a quarter of a mile, until we came to the place where the road forked.

“Does anyone live out that way?” I asked. “Daddy told me some Indians used to live down there. He didn’t like them, and told me to stay away.”

“And with good reason.” She grabbed my arm and wagged her finger in my face. “You listen good, Chloe Walker—them no-account Jamisons ain’t nothin’ but trash, pure and simple. The man stays drunk pret’ near all the time and is meaner’n a snake to boot. Now the boy, he’s a strange one, sorta queer like. He stares at a body like he’d just as soon kill you as look at you. You steer clear of ’em. They ain’t nothin’ but trouble.” She spun on her heels. “Come on, gal. We got berries t’pick and jelly t’make.” Continue reading

Every Minute

I have mentioned before that Dave is my editor. He’s also an accomplished writer with many published works under his belt. There’s a link here to his Amazon author page listing his body of work.
My favorite is Real Live Dead Denny, (those who know me will know why :D) which I had the honor of being a beta reader before publication.

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Photo Challenge #108 – Making me Whole

This is a lovely poem by my friend, Michael.

Morpethroad

hideoutImage: Albert Finch

I arrive home

A long day no excuses

Its always work work work.

I’m tired, I’m cranky,

I know you will be upset at yet another late night.

A note on the kitchen table says:

“Dinner in in the oven.”

To tired to care I eat

What is now a burnt offering

But I dare not complain.

I eat in silence save for the distant

Rhythms of the songster

In whose words I know you bathe.

Not for me such soothing sentiments

Having left you high and dry.

I enter the bedroom, the music plays

I cannot see you,

I feel chastened by my tardiness.

I begin to undress and feel your arms circle my neck.

Yours are caressing hands

Caring hands, loving hands

You whisper you have missed me.

The buttons on my shirt

Slip between your fingers

Your hands slide over my chest

I take…

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Sins of the Fathers (4)

The sun rose a bright-orange hot, promising another scorcher. It crept across the cloudless blue sky at a snail’s pace, seeming to mock my urging it to hurry by traveling even slower. More than once Granny had to repeat herself. I couldn’t concentrate. Ira filled my thoughts.

Guilt gnawed at me for not telling Granny about sneaking out last night and meeting Ira, but I remembered what he had said, that if I told, I wouldn’t be allowed to see him. I couldn’t take that chance. I had found a friend and I didn’t want to lose him.

When darkness fell and Granny and I went to bed, I waited for a while to make sure she was sleeping, then dressed again in the cutoffs and pink tank I had worn that day. Remembering Ira’s warning, I slipped on my sneakers before crawling out the window.

I ran most of the way to the old bridge, praying, Please, please, please let him be there.

Bathed in moonlight, I saw him in the place where he had been the night before: leaning up against the railing, gazing out over the water. Only then did I slow to a walk. At the sound of my sneakers hitting the boards, he turned in my direction. Continue reading

Eye of the Beholder

Cassie drifted up and down aisles stocked with mess kits, ammunition boxes, helmets and such waiting for the few customers inside Big Mike’s Army Surplus to finish their shopping and leave. Then she’d make her purchase.

Dark head bent, she browsed the racks of clothing that bristled brown and green and black. She pulled out a camo jacket and checked its size, fingered a faded black tee. She examined a row of scuffed boots that lined the back wall, looking for a pair in her size. No luck.

She wandered on.

At last, the door dinged behind the last customer. Cassie approached the counter and peered down into the glass case. There it was–her salvation.

“What’cha eyeballing, Cassie?”

She glanced up at Big Mike. He grinned around the unlit cigar clamped between his teeth.

“Um…I was just wondering…what does that cost?”

Mike’s gaze followed her pointed finger. His brow furrowed. “That thing?” He gestured at the slim, wooden case that lay open beneath the glass, exposing its sharp, shiny insides. Continue reading