#12DaysBop : Day 7 – When Sunshine Becomes Angry

It’s day 7 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the prompt is storms, and we learn it’s never a good idea to piss off a fairy named Sunshine…

It was a beautiful day. There were no clouds in the sky. A soft breeze flowed from the East to the West. It was a normal day in the village, with children playing, women cooking and cleaning, and men working in the fields, or tending to the animals.

No one talked about what happened three days earlier, when they’d handled that problem child. No one asked how she’d been handled. It was enough to know she was gone, and the village was safe again.

Sunshine walked into the village that day. Men stopped working when they saw her. Her strawberry blond hair cascaded halfway down her back, between her wings and caressed her bare shoulders. Her skirt flipped as her hips swayed while she walked, revealing even more of her legs.

Women stopped when they saw her. Their eyes revealing their jealousy, screaming, “I should look that good!”

The children gathered around the pretty fairy. Fairies were just magical to them.

When she reached the center of the village, she stopped, and looked at each person she could see. Then she spoke, her voice shaking with barely controlled rage. “She didn’t have to die.”

Silence was the only answer she received.

Sunshine looked to the sky and screamed as her rage erupted. The sky transformed into a swirling maelstrom of black clouds. The soft breeze became a linear wind that howled through the village, stripping branches off the trees, ripping fence posts from the ground and reducing every home to splinters.

A torrential rain flash flooded the village. Lighting flashed, and thunder rolled. It only lasted a few minutes for that storm to destroy the village. Every villager died. Then Sunshine flew away.

There was not a single cloud in the perfect blue sky that day.

Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 7 – The Gift Of Storms


#12DaysBop : Day 6 – The Sun Sends Its Regards

It’s day 6 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, we get a gift from the sun…

We all knew the sun could be violent. We’d all watched solar flares and coronal mass ejections in the past. Some had been large enough to send massive amounts of particles across the 93 million miles between us and the sun. We’d never seen anything like this.

We knew it was a solar mass ejection. But it dwarfed everything we’d ever seen. And it just kept going. And going. And going. I tried to find the words to describe the images. I gave up. “Oh, shit.,” was all I could come up with.

After a couple of hours of watching, Nathan broke the silence. “I think I’ll go find a beach somewhere.” Then he walked out. I thought he’d had a brilliant idea, so I followed him.

We bought a stupefying amount of beer on our way to the beach. Carried it all out on the sand with us. We stood there, watching the waves and getting stinking drunk.

This was it. The mythical mega flare. A solar flare so ginormous it would sterilize the whole damn planet. We’d watched the satellite’s image feed for two hours after the flare had started. When we left it was still going. We’d never forget what we saw. It was burned into our memories.

The flare would take several days to reach us. When it did, it would last for days. It would fry every satellite and melt the global electric grid. Everything electric would short-circuit. Forests would ignite. Houses would burn. The oceans would turn to steam.

The Sun had spoken. Life would have to start over.

“Been nice knowing you, Steve.”

“You too, Nathan.”

We sat down on the beach, with our beers. And waited.

Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 6 – The Gift Of Sun

#12DaysBop : Day 5 – Camellia Blooms

It’s day 5 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the topic is flowers. I love flowers. And this time, I went with something true, for someone I remember…

IMG_2655They say, as long as you remember someone, they are still alive. At least in some way. I like that thought very much. Because it means you’re still alive. Because, I remember you. We went to high school together. You were one of my friends. I had so few friends back then.

I remember your smile. The way it made your eyes crinkle. I used to look in those eyes of yours. They weren’t the prettiest I’d ever seen. But they were pretty. Yes, you weren’t a hot chick. It was the 70s. The days of Charlie’s Angles. Dukes of Hazard. You certainly didn’t compare to Jill Munroe, or Daisy Duke. But then, who did? You looked pretty to me.

I’m sorry for all the 33 years we missed between then, and when we met again. It was sad to learn you were so very ill. I remember calling you. Some people said I was doing that ’cause I was being nice to you. They said I was doing that ‘cause it was the right thing to do. But you knew. You knew I was calling you because I wanted to. I wanted to talk with you. Not that I ever said much. But I did love to listen to your voice.

I’d hoped to visit you someday. Meet your family. But that never happened.

You loved the pictures of flowers I shared with you. Especially the Camellias. I find sometimes, walking here, through the Camellia trees filled with blooms. I remember you. Your smile. Your laughter. The sound of your voice.

I’m glad I do. And maybe someday. When when it’s my turn to move on. I’ll get the chance to visit you again.

Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 5 – The Gift Of Flowers

#12DaysBop : Day 4 – Reborn Every Morning

It’s day 3 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the topic is rebirth. And perspective is everything.

Joey got ready for bed. He pulled his PJs on, then folded back the covers of his bed, and puffed up his pillows. Joey got down on his knees, held his hands together, closed his eyes, and bowed his head. Then he said his bedtime prayer.

“Now I lay me down to sleep.
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake.
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

He looked up at heaven, and smiled. “Good night, God,” then he went to bed.

Every night, Joey wondered if he would wake up the next day. He wondered what would happen during that day. He might choke on something eating Breakfast. Or trip and fall head first down the stairs. The school bus could explode in a wreck, like in the movies, and everyone would burn to death.

He knew he would probably wake up and be OK. He wouldn’t choke on Breakfast. He wouldn’t trip on the stairs. The school bus wouldn’t be in a wreck and it wouldn’t explode. But it could.

So many things could happen. Things grown-ups never thought about. It was like grown-ups had forgotten how exciting life was. Of ignoring the possibilities. As he laid beneath the covers, nice and warm, he made a wish to God.

“Oh, God? Would you remind Mom and Dad how priceless life is? And before I go to sleep tonight, is it OK if I ask you to bring me back to life in the morning? Thank you, God.”

Joey went to sleep, knowing if he woke up in the morning it would be like being born again. “I wish grown-ups could remember that,” he thought, as he drifted off to sleep.

Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 4 – Rebirth

#12DaysBop : Day 3 – A Song Of Hope

It’s day 3 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the topic is the gift of music. There’s a song I know. One of my favorites…

“There’s a song I want you to hear,” Tommy sat next to Becky in the Panera’s.

“Another song?” Becky sighed. “The music you like is so… Depressing.”

“Not this one.” He opened his laptop and clicked play.

After a few seconds of the melancholic piano music, Becky shook her head. “See? Depressing.”

“You don’t understand it yet. You have to hear the whole song.”

She tried to listen, but the song was really depressing. The story of someone’s dreams coming to an end.

Standing by the ruins of your soul
That cries for some more meaning
Wondering when you have become
So cold

She was relieved when the song ended. “It’s such a sad song.”

Tommy‘s head sagged and he looked at his laptop “You didn’t hear it, did you?” His smile was gone.

“Hear what? The story of someone’s life falling apart? Everything coming to an end?” Sometimes, Tommy was so hard to deal with. How could he tell her this song wasn’t depressing? “Just another of your depressing songs.”

Tommy signed, then whispered,

Forget yourself
And who you are
Another life
Is not that far
Not that far

Becky could tell those words were important to him. “Tommy?”

“It’s what I had to do.” He looked up, right into her eyes. “What I had to do, when…” His voice faded into silence.

Becky saw the memory of pain in his eyes. She’d always wondered what he’d done before she’d met him at work, always wished he could trust her enough to tell her. “Tommy?” She reached out. Placed her hand on his, and quietly, almost whispering, asked “When what?”

Tommy smiled. “I’ve always wanted to tell you.”

That day at Panera’s, he did.

Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 3 – The Gift Of Music

#12DaysBop : Day 2 – His Just Dessert

It’s day 2 of Stacy Hoyt’s 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. Today, the topic is the gift of love. While it’s not exactly the story of a gift, I did come up with something…

He read the words again. “Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

“Yeah, right,” he thought. “Who doesn’t love himself?”

He raised his right arm over his head, pointing it to straight up. He heard it quietly pop and he felt his collar-bone shift. He lowered his arm and felt the familiar ache of his collar-bone shifting back into place. He made a fist with his right hand, feeling the pain lance up his thumb, into his wrist. He wondered how long his thumb would keep working. “Pain’s just part of life,” he reminded himself. He raised his right knee toward his chest, feeling two lines of fire lance through it. One on the front, one on the back. “You haven’t been getting enough exercise, idiot. That’s why it’s hurting.” He ignored the ache of his left knee, and the bones grinding in his right ankle. That was normal for them. Nothing had changed.

He pulled on his clothes and went to the kitchen. Breakfast consisted of 420 milligrams of Sodium Naproxen to deaden the body aches, and an 8 ounce Red Bull to wake him up for work.

He sat down on the sofa and cut six strips of co-flex to protect blisters and cuts on his toes and heels. After taping up, he put on his socks and shoes. “Time to go to work, you lazy bastard,” he chastised himself, as he started out the door. “I don’t care how you feel.”

But those damn words kept echoing in his mind. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.”

Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop, Day 2 – The Gift Of Love

#12DaysBop : Snow

Seems Stacy Hoyt and the gang over at Sweet Banana Ink have started a new blog hop today. This one’s called the 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop. While I can’t guarantee I’ll get something written for all 12 days, I’ve decided to play along. So, here’s my entry for the first day of the hop.

“I hate snow,” Tommy lamented, looking out the window. Everything outside was white. He shook his head. “So much for Christmas vacation this year.” He turned from the window, sighed, and walked toward the living room, his shoulders sagging.

“Why do you hate snow?” I was curious. “Snow’s great!”

He gave me that look that said, “You’re nuts!” and he whined, “Snow’s just too damn cold! We’ll be trapped inside all holiday long!”

“You’ve never heard of snowball fights? Snow angels? Snow fortresses? Snow men? Snow tunnels? Icicles? Snow cream?”

Tommy shook his head. I kept forgetting he was from Hawaii, where it never, ever snowed.

I headed toward the front door. “Mom! Tommy and I are going out!”

“Bundle up, dear!”

“Yes, Ma’am!”

We piled on stuff until we looked like Eskimos. Tommy just shook his head. Lots.

A bunch of kids were on the basketball courts behind the building, playing follow the leader, trying to leave only one trail of steps across the snow. We joined right in.

We made snowballs, and threw them at the fence, trying to get them stuck in the links. You have to pack the snow down really good or your snowball explodes when it hits the fence.

We made snowmen too. A whole row of ‘em. Everybody said Tommy and mine was the best. We had a blast.

Tommy wound up taking a walk around the building with Tanya, the cute girl from the third floor he’d always been too scared to talk too.

It took forever for feeling to come back to our feet and hands. When it did, it was like zillions of little needles were being stuck in them. I asked Tommy, “Do you still hate snow?”

He just smiled.

Please go enjoy the rest of the stories in the blog hop. There are some really gifted writers out there. It’s well worth reading their work. You can find the other entries here:

The 12 Days Of Christmas Blog Hop

Merry Christmas, Everyone

I walked today.
I had to.
I needed to think.
To escape the pressure
Of the holiday.
It’s insanity.
For just a little while.

Don’t tell me I can’t be this way.
I am this way.
Always have been.
Always will be.

There are things I’ve never said.
Because I know
They would be like
Throwing a torch
In a vat of gasoline.
Pressing a branding iron,
Glowing white-hot
From the fire it was heated in,
To the chest of everyone.
Even me.

Because I know
The reaction the words would receive.
The same reaction
They’ve received
Time after time.
For the last 53 years.

People resist change.

But I have to ask
A couple of things.
I won’t answer them.
I have answers of my own.
I’ll leave the reader
On their own
To find the answers.
Or to ignore the questions.
Or to rant and rave,
As they explain to everyone around them
Why I was removed
From the working world.
Why the people I once knew
Avoid me now
As if by simple contact
They could catch
Whatever’s wrong with me.

I can’t help but sigh.
And shake my head.
And wonder.
Will anyone I know
That is that way
Ever wake up?

I already know
The answer to that question.
I won’t say it.
I won’t share it.
It’s a question
Each of you must answer
On your own.

Don’t tell me that’s not fair.
Don’t tell me I should share.
Don’t tell me I’m being mean.
For you don’t believe
What I believe.
The answer’s different
For you and me.
Because we’re not the same.

And that’s how life’s supposed to be.

Think of your friends.
The people you know.
Those you go to lunch with.
Those you work with.
Those within your church.
Those within your group.
Your click.
Your peers.

What happens in that group
When you see someone
Who doesn’t dress like you?
Who doesn’t talk like you?
Who doesn’t shave each day, like you?
Who has long, stringy hair?

What happens in that group
When you see two men walking,
Holding hands?
When you see two women walking,
Holding hands?
When you see a man
Dressed in a Scottish Kilt?

How does your group react
To the girl with the tattoos
On her arms?
On her back?
On her legs?

How does your group react
To the girl dressed all in black,
With a long black skirt,
And platform boots
With big metal buckles on them.

How does your group react
To the girl with bright blue hair?
The one with a buzz cut?
The one with a collar
Around her neck?

And how about that guy
With an ear-ring in one ear?
What’s up with that?

How does your group react
To the man in the median?
You know the one.
With the little cardboard sign
That says,
“Will work for food.”

Or that 15-year-old girl
That’s six months pregnant.
And isn’t married.

Why is it you never think
Before you act?

I told you when I began
Writing down these words.
I wasn’t going to answer
Any questions that I asked.

And I’m not.
Instead I’m going to tell you
Once again.
The answers that I found
May not match the ones
You could find on your own.
I won’t share mine with you.
Because I have no way of knowing
If what I’ve learned
Is right for you or not.

I only ask the questions.

Find the answers
On your own.

Merry Christmas,

#FiveSentenceFiction : Vision

Dream sat on the grass by the lake, in the middle of the night, watching the surface of the lake reflect the image of the star filled sky. Whisper, as always, sat on her shoulder where he watched tears fall from her eyes, “Dear friend, I am not young, I am not new, and I can’t help but see how your heart aches, and your soul longs for someone you have not yet met, to hold you in the darkness of the night, and fill your dreams with light.”

Dream said nothing, not one word, but Whisper knew, as he looked into her eyes of blue, why those tears fell from her eyes, and why her heart ached on that night. He whispered in her ear, “Follow the vision of your heart, dear one, for it knows what to do, and it won’t lie to you,” then he spread his wings, and lifted from her shoulder.

With those words, Dream spread her wings and took to the sky, to follow the vision of her heart, to find the one to fill her dreams with light, and chase away the nightmares she dreamed on so many nights.

I’m trying something different. Each week, Lillie McFerrin hosts a Flash Fiction Challenge called Five Sentence Fiction. This is my first attempt at the challenge. There are some great five sentence works out there, from some great writing souls. Please, go read them all.

Where Will It Stop?

Are we to protect ourselves from ourselves?

If we ban guns from the public, so that you can’t buy one at a store, or own one, then what?

Will we need to ban cars, trucks, and SUVs? Talk about things we can use for killing. How many humans can you mow down with a Ford Explorer? How many with a Ram 3500 truck?

How about bows and arrows? They work like guns, you know. Will they be on the list of things we have to ban?

Swords? Knives? Chemicals? Matches? Gasoline? Power crosscut saws? Chain saws?

Where would it stop?

Timothy McVeigh, remember him? He used fertilizer, and a truck, parked on a public road, in a public parking space. We gonna ban them too?

Where would it stop?

Then, let’s keep everyone safe, you say. OK. How to you prevent someone from entering your house at night, and shooting you and your family dead? Lock the doors? Does that really stop people? Armor the doors, and add combination locks to them? What about the windows? And when you secure the windows, what about the walls? Then the roof?

Where would it stop?

Do you stop going to McDonalds because someone goes to a McDonalds with 30 sticks of dynamite strapped to them, and lights it off? Do you stop because you see some guy there, ordering a Big Mac meal, and he’s wearing a dress, and makeup?

Where would it stop?

Where is the balance between safety and risk?

Is there something we, as people living in a society, can do to address the causes of the problem, and not the symptoms? So that we don’t have to lock ourselves in armored houses, wear Kevlar body armor to go to work, pass through metal detectors, and body searches to get into the local mall, and God knows what else?

Is there something we, as people, are missing? Something that causes the problems?

I can’t help but wonder.

I can’t help but wonder.

Where will it stop?