The Daily Prompt, 2016: One Note

The Prompt from: The Daily Prompt 2016 by J. C. Cauthon

Use the following items to create a scene:

A Post-It pad, a nightstand, a wedding dress, a ballet slipper

One Note by Sojourner McConnell

Sylvia stood in the doorway, looking back and forth at the small furniture. She stopped panning the room when her eyes fell on the lone ballet slipper that was lying next to the dressing table. The frilly lace cover almost blocking that small sliver of pink from view. But Sylvia saw it and it made her smile. A forlorn smile that spoke volumes about her emotional state today.

Sylvia, again looked across the room, her mind filled with visions of her little Tracey carrying her ballet slippers into her bedroom every Monday night. Always with the little bun on the back of her head and the pink leotard with flouncy skirt. Her memories were so vivid she could almost touch that golden hair stiff with hair spray and gel.

Blinking back to the present she stepped farther into the room and her eyes lit on the white lace dress placed carefully on the foot of the bed. The white in sharp contrast to the pink and black stripes of the comforter. Reaching out a hand she touched the crisp lace and her hand gently smoothed the material.

Her mind floating back to earlier in the day when that golden haired woman had entered the chapel her face bright with emotion. Her eyes filled with love looking only at the handsome man standing by the alter.

Sylvia wanted to make eye contact with her little girl one more time before she became a married woman. A woman that was starting out life in a different direction. A direction away from her doting mother. Sadness was there, but oh, so much pride. So happy that her beautiful daughter had found the man that she would love, cherish and assist through their life together.

Sylvia never got a chance to look at her, nod in approval and smile with all the love that enveloped her heart when she looked at that dear face. Tracey was focused on the man that had stolen her heart.

Stroking the material, she sat down on the bed next to the long white beaded dress. Her eyes next noticed the small wooden nightstand that typically held her little ballet dancer lamp and the book that she wanted to read before bed. This room had been empty for the last five years while Tracey went to college and then moved into the city to work. Five years since her  girl spent more than a night or two in this room. Today there was only the lamp and a yellow post-It pad.

Sylvia did not remember a Post-It pad being in here the last time she dusted. Reaching for the small pad, she saw her daughters small fine penmanship and she read, Mom.
With tears in her eyes she continued to read the quick note on the little yellow square.

Mom,
You taught love.
Now, I’ll teach love.
I’ll love you always!
Tracey

A smile crept across Sylvia’s face. Perhaps her daughter did have room enough for her new husband and the mother that loved her so much.

“Don! Don! Let’s go out to dinner and celebrate our daughter’s happiness.”

Standing she went downstairs to the comfort of the living room where she knew she would find her husband. The husband that had always shared her heart with their daughter.

Sylvia remembered that her own heart had expanded to make room for the people that she loved. Both when she left her Mother to marry Don, so many years before, and yet again when she gave birth to Tracey.

Sylvia only needed that one note to remind her.

The Daily Prompt 2016: Coming Home

Today, I am going to share my first rough attempt at suspense. It is probably pretty lame. But I wrote it for my daily prompt. So I might as well share it. Don’t judge it too harshly 🙂

The Prompt from: The Daily Prompt 2016 by J. C. Cauthon

Using the following setting, write a short story or poem:

In an orange room, 7:00 PM

Coming Home by Sojourner McConnell

Sandra King woke up slowly with the feeling that something was wrong. The feeling was intense and made her want to shut her eyes again and become lost in that cloudy nothingness that felt so secure.

Yet, before she could drop back into that dark abyss, she heard the constant tap tap tap across the room in the darkness. Sitting up she strained her eyes to see if she could make out what was making that distracting tapping noise.

Steadily creeping to the bottom of the bed, not daring to place her bare feet on the invisible floor. Her knees pushing down the blanket as she reached the iron bar that made up the foot of the bed. Leaning over the iron bar, the cold cutting into her stomach causing her to shiver. She reached out, stretching as far as her fingertips to go she brushed a cold hard object. Clutching the edge she brought it back to her face so that she could try to make out what it was in the darkness. She could feel the movement inside the object. It was familiar and suddenly she knew that it was simply a clock.

Squinting into the face, she angled the clock in an attempt to get a glimmer of light to cross the oval glass face. Shifting back and forth she found the thin stream of light and read. 7:00. She knew it was night, there was no light streaming in to give any semblance of daylight.
Why was she in this strange room at seven pm? It made no sense to her. The last thing she remembered after arriving at the train station in Omaha, was coming up the walk to her Grandparents house.

Where was her grandmother and why was she feeling so fuzzy and thick. “Where in the world am I?” Oh no, she did not sound like herself, she sounded hoarse and stuffy. Had she been drugged? With the tapping of the clockworks filling the room, she felt more comfortable to examine this dark room.

Climbing off the bed she cautiously placed her feet on the floor and shuffled directly across the room until she touched the wall. Her hands slid along the wall and she felt the narrow knob coming out of the wall. She flipped it up and the light almost blinded her. The overhanging light fixture reflected off of the orange walls causing even more confusion. Why was she in an orange room? Who painted a room orange?

Her confusion was growing by the moment. She saw the stark white door that was closed on the far wall. She rushed over to it her feet cold on the concrete floor. She had the fleeting thought she might be in a basement. Concrete floors were often in basements. Perhaps she was not in danger, but if not, then what the heck was she doing here.

Grasping the knob she turned it and the door creaked open. She was looking into a narrow hallway and she was uncertain which way to go. Her logic was intact and she knew that if she thought to go right she needed to go left. She aways had gone the wrong direction when given a choice. So she immediately went left.

The moment she reached the end of the hallway, she once again had to make another decision. She could go up the stairs to the right or she could go down the corridor to the left. She wanted to gt out of this clammy cold basement. She climbed the steps listening for any sound of occupancy. She heard nothing. She reached the door at the top of the stairs and she slowly turned the knob and once again entered an old linoleum floored kitchen.

The gray flecked table with chrome legs sat in the center of the room. Sitting at the table was a person. Sandra could see the stooped shoulders of a gray haired old woman with a shawl around her shoulders and fluffy pink slippers on her feet.

“Grandma? Is that you?”

She saw the head turn around on stooped shoulders and she saw a mouth full of large teeth that gleamed in the dim kitchen light.

“Sandra, Honey, Where have you been? Why are you creeping around like that?”

Sandra looked confused at her grandmother and shrugged her shoulders. “Grandma? Why was I in the basement? Who put me there? Did you know I was in the dark in the basement?”

“No, child, I didn’t know you were in the basement. I waited on you to come to the door, and you never did. Why are you sneaking around. Were you hiding in the orange room in the basement? Do you not remember that your Grandfather did not want you in that room?”

“Grandma, you are scaring me. I had forgotten that Grandfather did not like me to go down to his workshop. I don’t know how I got there. I am a little fuzzy.”

Are you on drugs Sandra? Are you back doing drugs again like you did as a teenager?”

“I did not do drugs Grandma, I was always afraid to do drugs after what happened to Mama. Remember, Grandma?”

The old woman turned again moving her entire body this time to face the young woman shivering next to the basement door. “Tell me Sandra, why do you keep calling me Grandma? Don’t you remember Grandma died almost ten years ago? Are you ill again Sandra?”

“Grandma died? Ten years ago? Oh my God…  you’re right. She did!  Who are you?”

Sandra dropped onto her heels with her knees folded under her. “Who are you and why was I in the orange room? What is going on?”

The woman’s face was spidery with wrinkles and her grin was not a friendly smile, it was a toothy smile that looked more evil than benign.

“Sandra, Do you not recognize me? Your Mama? Come give me a hug my dear.”

Sandra started screaming, “No no, My Mama is dead, who are you? Who are you?”

The old woman stood her back bent with age and her hand rested on a cane. “Come to me child. Come to your Mama”

“My…my mother died years ago. She died in the hospital when I was a teenager. I do not know who you are. I want my Grandmother. Stay away from me. Stay back!”

The dark eyes of the old woman stared at the young woman. “I am your Mother. I have been away a long time. I am back now. Now you will pay for choosing your grandparents over me.”

Sandra stood, kicked the cane out from under the old lady’s hand, and ran out the back door. She ran as fast as she could through the brush until she reached the house that she remembered as Mr. Coventry’s.

She knocked on the door and knocked again for good measure. When the old man opened the door and saw the ashen face of the young woman he was shocked.

“Is this little Sandra?”

Sandra opened her mouth to tell him that it was indeed, when she felt a gnarled hand on her back. She turned just in time to see the old woman reaching for her again. Screaming directly into the old woman’s face she hurried closer to Mr. Coventry. “Help me, Please!”

Mr. Coventry was unable to believe his eyes. He recognized this old beaten down woman with the snarled hair and the wrinkled face. He remembered her when she too was a young mother and wife. He remembered her before she went mad after the death of her husband.

He could remember like it was yesterday, driving the ambulance that took her to the sanitarium on the other side of the county.

He remembered her screams, wails and threats as they walked her out arms wrapped and bound tightly around her waist.

“Dotty! Dotty! It’s me. Earl… remember me Dotty? Remember how I took care of you before? How did you get here Dotty? Did you run away?”

Dotty’s eyes shifted from Sandra to Earl and back again. “I didn’t mean any harm. I saw her coming up the walk. I didn’t mean any harm. I love her. She’s my baby. I just wanted her to stay with me. I knew she wouldn’t stay unless I put her in the orange room. I just wanted my baby. I missed my baby. Is that so bad? I didn’t hit her hard, just hard enough to make her sleep. I didn’t mean any harm. You believe me don’t you, Earl?”

“Of course I do, Dotty, of course you love her, she’s your baby. I know you didn’t mean any harm, girl. Sandra’s fine. She is just fine. Come with me and lets get you settled.for the night. Come on with Earl, Girl.”

Sandra watched the interaction between the two, clarity coming to her finally. This was her mother, her mother that has been locked away most of her life. She was afraid of her mother, but she believed Earl would keep her safe.

Sandra, smiled a nervous fake smile and assured her mother that she was going to be fine. She was scared but she knew not to startle the old woman. “Let’s go with Earl… Mother.”

Sandra almost choked calling her Mother, but she felt it was the right thing to do. Sandra and Dotty followed Earl into the house and once the coffee had been made they all sat at the table and Earl calmly explained to Dotty that he would return her home. She would be fine and no one would be mad about her escape. She looked at him with trust.

His kindly face showed her there was nothing to fear. Sandra waited until Earl and Dotty had left in the long white ambulance before heading back to her grandmother’s home.

She was in a rush to get her car and go to a local motel. She was absolutely not going to spend the night in that house. She was going to put the house up for sale and never come back.

She never wanted to see the house, her mother or the orange room in the basement ever again, and she never did.

The Daily Prompt 2016 : The Second-Hand Hero

The Prompt from: The Daily Prompt 2016 by J. C. Cauthon

Take the following words, and use them in a short story or poem:

new, subtract, amused, escape, second-hand

The Second-Hand Hero by Sojourner McConnell

I woke up this morning in the mood for something new. I had known right away what it had to be. So I grabbed my checkbook and began to subtract the debits from my checking account. To assure I had the funds for my mid week escape. When I wake up in this type of mood, there is no other place that cures what ails me like, Susan’s Second-Hand Rose. That store amused me like no other. There were vintage clothing and shoes. I have always loved a good nineteen forties Dress.

It made me happy to dress like an actress in some of my favorite movies. The Egg and I, My Favorite Wife, I remember Mama. Oh, I do love a good nineteen forties movie. I loved wearing a dress that made me feel like Irene Dunn. Sure, I looked nothing like her. I for sure don’t speak like her. I am a country girl from Alabama with straight blond hair. I couldn’t pass for the beautiful Irene Dunn, if I tried. But I sure feel like her when I am in one of those dresses.

But today, I wasn’t interested in those dresses, or Irene Dunn. Today I wanted to find a well loved book. One that had been read by a sensible woman from the middle of last century. I wanted to fall in love with a man that had caused another woman’s heart to flutter in her chest right after the Second World War.

But not just any man. He had to be one of those handsome young men that felt the call to arms. A man that had enlisted with vim and vigor. A man that had written to his family regularly telling them of his love of God and country. A man that had stood up bravely on the shores of Normandy. A man that had loved deeply and was now afraid he would never love like that again.

I knew that he had come from a farming community somewhere in middle America. A man that would come home a little different than when he left. A little wiser, a little jaded and perhaps a little broken.  I  needed to find this man and mainly I needed to read his story.

Today, I needed to be the woman that saw him as he returned home, a hero. The woman that saw him as the only man she could love. The  woman that could acclimate him back to civilian life. The woman that made him able to love again. The woman that made him feel unafraid of loud clashes of thunder and vivid lightning. The woman that made him whole again.

Today, I needed to be that woman. I wanted to read myself into her words and see myself in her clothes, wearing her sturdy shoes. I wanted to read myself in her actions. I needed to be the woman that had sacrificed her own sleep to make sure that he was able to sleep through the night again. Today I needed to be the woman that loved that soldier.

I had only been inside the shop for a moment when I was approached by the owner. Susan always greeted me with a smile and called me by name, today was no different.

She asked, Lillian, what are you  looking for today, I have several nice dresses that I  just acquired.

I shook my head and told her “today I had something else in mind.”
I walked to the back wall where the second-hand books were stacked neatly on the floor to ceiling bookcase. I began to cull through the books hoping to find what I needed so desperately.

There were plenty of books on that large oak shelf that were about the war. The hard surfaces faded and the corners curled, but I did not find what I was seeking. I brought over the footstool that Susan kept for short people like me, to reach the higher shelves. I climbed up the first rung. There I was able to see what treasures were housed just above my head.

The faded greens and grays with the occasional pale orange and blood red bindings were a delight for my eyes. My nose was also twitching with excitement at the aroma of those books, some almost one hundred years old. My fingers felt thick with the ages old dust and oil of other people’s hands. Yet, I was in heaven. I had slid my fingers over every title written on the side panel of each and every book. Then I saw something that made my heart flutter. I took in a deep breath and smiled.

The title was Come Home My Darling by Dorothy Napier, the cover was deep blue and the letters were embossed. My fingers traced over the letters and I pulled it off of the shelf. I did not even step off the stool, I simply opened the book and read.

The train pulled into the station and the soldiers began to cover the cement platform like ants marching in green wool. Men in all manner of military garb stood shoulder to shoulder, duffel bags on their backs and nervous grimaces on their faces. Every eye was shifting back and forth as they looked desperately for familiar faces. One by one the grimaces became smiles when they found there was someone that loved them waiting at the station.

I watched hoping to find the one face that would respond to my smile. I wanted to be there when he came home, his welcoming wife. If he is not on this train, I will be here for the next, and the next. I will be here to welcome him home. No matter how many smiles I have to muster.

I sighed. Yes, in my hand was the book that had called me here. Here was the woman I needed to read about. I would wait with her on that crowded platform, waiting for him, our hero, to come home. I had found exactly what I needed. I took that blue hardback book to Susan. I paid in a hurry, ready to escape to my own home, to my own bed. To read the second-hand book that had so urgently called to me today, to meet my second-hand hero.

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Story A Day: Day 11: Little Matey

The Prompt

Write a story in which the setting is key

 

Little Matey by Sojourner McConnell

The worm, moist, droopy and slick, hung from the hook as I tossed the line back into the green water. The little dollop sound that the hook entering the water made was the only thing breaking the silence. The sky overhead was the most vivid blue with little marshmallow puffs of clouds floating about changing shapes every few minutes. The breeze had the vague scent of lavender wafting across the boat.

I looked at my one man crew on the tiny rowboat and realized that the day was just about perfect. My grandson with his blond hair standing straight up in a little crew cut, was perched on the far end of the boat. In vivid contrast to the river, his bright orange life vest was secured. He looked so frail with that large stuffed vest around his stomach and chest. His eyes darting across the top of the water skimming all around for a fish of any kind. He was a mighty fisherman for a little tyke.

Mica took it upon himself to be in charge of the chest containing the river water and the fish we had already caught. It had been a productive day out here in the great outdoors. As always we kept our eyes pealed for water moccasins and snapping turtles. The rules were that no one dangled any appendages in the murky water. The water had a bit of a fishy smell that kept my nose curling when I caught a whiff. The aroma of fish drowned out the lavender every time.

The sun was warm on our skin and succeeding in making us drowsy with its magical relaxing properties. If someone bottled a warm sunny day, no one would ever have insomnia again. The little rowboat was floating in small circles making bullseye designs on the still top of the water. The only sounds were of bull frogs croaking on the chore and an occasional duck or goose that would fly overhead. The hawks that we could see dotting the sky made no sound at all as they soared high above.

It was days like today that made me happy to have this little guy in my life. Even if it was only for one weekend a summer. It was all worth it.

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Story A Day: Day 10: Help, Police!

The Prompt

tell a story using the Hansel & Gretel story structure

Help, Police! by Sojourner McConnell

 

civic

Julia was stunned! Her car had been stolen! She had only parked here for a moment while she ran into the bank. Storming around the parking lot she knew she needed to call the police. She also knew that she had left her phone in the console. What a bloody mess.

“I know I locked the car, I always lock my car.” She fumed as she stalked into the bank. Taking a look around she found a window that did not have a huge line and stepped behind the woman with the lime green pant suit. The teller could call the police for her.  They always were so friendly and helpful, they would call for her.

It was only a moment later that her eyes began to water and her throat felt like it was closing on itself. She politely coughed once, twice, then a third time before realizing that she must be allergic to the perfume of the woman standing in front.
Gasping she stepped out of line and while wiping her eyes, Julia got in line behind a tall thin man that did not seem to be wearing any loud offensive cologne. She looked over to the woman in the lime suit and saw that she was already at the teller.

“Darn it” Julia muttered. “This line is not moving at all. I wasn’t even in here this long last time.” Julia became aware of the fact that she was mumbling out loud and people were watching her. She just wanted to crawl away and bundle up in a ball and cry.

She basked in the self pity for a moment then straightened her spine. Julia, in a loud voice proclaimed, “ I need someone to call the police. Now please. My car has been stolen. Does anyone have a cell they will use to call them, please?”

Julia added on the please, even thought it wasn’t in the polite tone she would normally use. It came out as a bit sarcastic and for that she was sorry, but no one was responding to her pleas. As she lifted her hands in aggravation, the tall slim man in front of her pressed a phone in her hand.
“Just dial 911. It is unlocked.”

Oh! Thank you! Thank you! Julia barely had time for the second thank you before the emergency operator answered.

“911, What is your emergency?” The puny voice cried out in her ear and she almost laughed at the man’s voice. He sounded so weak and frail. But she remained straight faced as she reported that her car and her phone had been stolen.

“We will send a unit as soon as one becomes available. What is the address?” She asked in her loud clear voice for the address of this branch, and was met with silence.
The teller that was now available in the other line said, “I only know the P.O. Box, sorry.”

“All I know is that it is the branch on the corner of Main St. and Castille Ave. Surely that is close enough to an address, isn’t it? Julia was starting to feel her face heat up, she knew she was about at her breaking point.

She stepped outside the bank and wandered over to the parking spaces on the side of the building. Sitting on the curb she waited for the police to arrive.

“What kind of car is it?” Julia looked up and there stood the tall slim man from the bank. She wondered for a moment how he looked so cool standing outside in the heat in his suit coat. He reached into his inside pocket and pulled out a narrow wallet, flipped it open and showed her his detective badge.
“I’m Detective James Ralston, sorry I wasn’t able to help more in there. I am on a case and can’t really be much help. But I can put in a word with the officers when they respond. If I have your information.”

“Um ok, sure. That sounds great. It is a Honda civic. Silver with black interior. Do you think that is enough to help?” Julia swung her hands between her knees in a nervous manner waiting for the police to arrive. The detective wandered around while he waited with her.

Detective Ralston said, “Miss, what’s the tag number?”
Julia looked confused for a moment then nodded and told him, “125”
“SMK” Detective Ralston finished for her. Once again Julia looked stunned.

“Yes, exactly! How did you know?”

He pointed over to the adjacent parking lot, where a silver Civic with the license plate 125SMK sat facing away from them. Julia jumped to her feet, raced across the square lot and across the walkway.

“Oh my god, oh my god,” she kept repeating as she ran. Racing into the other oblong lot straight up to her car. The Detective was right beside her, with a smile on his face.
“I take it, this is yours?” Julia nodded at his words, still overcome and almost unable to make coherent sentences.

“How did I miss my car. I mean I walked all over that lot over there.” Julia ran her hands lovingly over the roof of the car before sticking the key into the lock and opening the door.
“I will cancel the call for you. You have a great day, Ma’am.”

Julia looked up at him and stammered, “Th…th thank you! I can see now why you are a detective! You are a miracle worker!”

Detective James Ralston laughed once then shook his head. “Nah, just observant. Glad you got your car back.” He walked back toward the other lot as she climbed into the drivers seat.

Julia cranked the car then grabbed her phone after he walked away.

“Mom, you are not going to believe what just happened to me.”

 

Story A Day: Day 5: The Intrepid Reader

The Intrepid Reader by Sojourner McConnell

Vivian Williams sat at her computer surrounded by her cats. Yes, she admitted that she was a closet cat lady with her two starter cats, Mime and Jester. They were her black and white tuxedo cats. The two  were brothers and were similar in looks. They both had little mustaches painted on their faces since birth. Jesters face was black with a white mustache and Mime’s face was white with a black mustache.  She almost named him Adolf, but decided she did not want to think of Hitler every time she called out to him.

Both cats were lounging on the chairs that filled the computer room/den. Was it unusual to have a den when you lived alone? She wasn’t sure so she called it a computer room, just in case.

Vivian had been living alone since her divorce 16 years earlier. It was still a shock when she realized that so much time had passed. Oh well, she thought, it’s not like I am looking for someone.  The last time she had left the house was several weeks back and that was to pick up some groceries, cat food and litter. The necessities of life as a closet cat lady.

Maybe she would go out today, but perhaps not. She wasn’t willing to commit to that when she still had food for everyone and plenty of litter.

Vivian loved being part of the blogosphere. Her best friends lived all over the world and she never had to leave the house or call them to find out what they were doing on any given day. Sometimes she even knew exactly what they were eating and drinking. She wrote her own blog, The Intrepid Reader, where she wrote book reviews and short stories for fun. Reading and writing were the two things she had always wanted to do. Now she did it with fervor.  Day in and day out, she sat at the computer keyboard clacking away.

This morning she looked up her favorite blogger’s page and found a 404 page not found.

“What…? That can’t be right.” The cats looked up when she spoke so she continued her tirade in her head. I was just there yesterday. Looking at her pictures of the new recipe she was trying out.”

Julianne’s blog, Look at Me Now was where she religiously documented her weight loss and new life as a vegan.  It had some interesting recipes even though Vivian was a complete carnivore.

But where was her blog? Vivian typed it in a second time and got the same results.  Not Found! What did that even mean? Julianne would not just take down her blog. She had been building it for the last two years and it was her passion.  Well… that and living the vegan lifestyle.

Something was wrong, Vivian could just feel it. There was a mystery afoot!

Vivian went to one of her favorite forums that both she and Julianne frequented. She put up a post, asking if anyone had heard from the blogger@lookatmenow.com. She did not want to put Julianne’s personal information out on the internet. That wasn’t her place and she did not want to jeopardize her friend’s safety.  She just wanted some answers.

As she waited for a notification to pop up on her screen or in her email, she concentrated very hard on Julianne. She visualized her profile picture and kept her eyes closed.

A vision as clear as a bell came to her. Julianne was standing on a boat, a large boat. Perhaps it was even a ship.  She could see her looking out over the Seattle shoreline.  She recognized the Space Needle in the vision.

A gentle ping sounded and it was just enough to draw Vivian back to her own surroundings.  She looked down at her computer and saw a message icon.

Clicking the icon she saw that she had a comment on her own blog. She pulled up the site with bated breath hoping that the message was from Julianne.  She blew out her breath in a low whistle that made Jester and Mime’s ears twitch.

“Sorry guys” she called out before looking back at the message. It had taken its time loading and she was excited to see who had left a response.

Once the screen fully loaded she could see that it was indeed a post from Julianne. She scrolled down the screen and read the carefully worded message.  Did you get my email? J.

“Email?” She had not seen an email.  She had checked her email inbox first as she always did. There were the usual 50 blogger notifications just as there was each morning.  She once again went to the browser and pulled up her email account.  She saw nothing from Julianne so she clicked the spam box, just to make sure.  There, 4 spam emails down,  just below the offer to send her 5 million dollars ,was her friend’s name.

She immediately clicked it open and read:

Hi Viv,

Going on a cruise with my mother today, Alaska! She planned this for my birthday. Gotta love surprises! Be back in 7 days.  I will have new pictures for my blog.  By the way, the Blog server I use is going to be down for a day or two. They are upgrading their equipment. Will miss you!

Love you, J

Damn spam filter…

Vivian hurried to log into the forum and delete her panicked MIA post. She realized that she had spent the last 4 hours searching for someone who was not exactly missing.

“How did I know she was on that ship in Seattle? I really must be psychic! A psychic detective!”

The rest of the day and well into the night Vivian searched all over the blogosphere for pages on telepathy. She read every post she found on the subject. Until it was time to shower and go to bed.

Vivian told Jester and Mime as they snuggled in around her head, all three sharing the same pillow, “I just love being part of the Blogosphere!”

 

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The Prompt

Write a story featuring a character very like you. 

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Story A Day: Day 4: Panic

This is day 4 of the Story a Day Challenge. Each day we receive a different prompt.

The Prompt today:

Write a story in the first person

Here is a very unusual item from me.  A first person story.  I hope you enjoy.

  Panic by Sojourner McConnell

 

I could feel the difference the moment I opened my eyes.  The light was filtered so I realized right away that it was very early in the morning.  I am a bit of a night owl, so I don’t always see daybreak.  This morning, however, I did.  I knew something was off kilter.  There was an aroma in the air.  A scent I wasn’t able to understand. I found it hard to breathe and I did not want to move my arms and legs. I wanted to stay in this curled position and go right back to sleep. My heart was fluttering in my chest; I had awoken to the feeling of cold, hard, panic.

Something was drawing me to get up. A thought, ever so fleeting, insisted that I leave this warm cocoon of blankets and pillows. I resisted as long as I could before I hurled myself out of bed. Adrenaline was pumping through my body and mind.

I sped down the hallway to the kitchenette. It was there, I became aware that I was not alone.  There were two cups of steaming coffee on the old red linoleum table which had once been my grandmothers.  I looked at those steaming cups, my mind awhirl but that explained the smell. I was nervously wondering who had placed them there. They were not my cups. They were completely foreign to me.

Why two cups of coffee would be left unattended on the table made no sense to my hyper vigilant mind, knowing I live in an apartment alone.  Totally puzzled at the mysterious cups I fought back the panic.  There was an uncomfortable fear niggling at my brain.

I quietly slid open the kitchen drawer that held a mish mash of odds and ends.  My hands quickly felt what I was searching for. I pulled out my grandmother’s old wooden rolling pin.

Without looking I clasp either end with both hands and began to silently creep down the hall and toward the back of the apartment.  The second bedroom that I rarely enter, beckoned with the door standing ajar. Not too far open. Just open enough to send bolts of electric fear shooting through my body.

I remembered locking my door before turning off all the lights and retiring last night. Yet, I knew there was someone in my apartment. There is someone hiding in my guest bedroom.

I brought the rolling pin high in the air. I wanted to have that momentum to stop whoever was threatening my security.  With the toe of my shoe I pushed the door, opening it just enough to see into the room.  I could see the chest of drawers against the far wall. I could see the mirror that hung over it. I used that mirror to aid me in my attack.  I was staring so intently into that mirror; I did not know when I first heard the sounds.  Those strange sounds, yes I had become quite aware of them by now.  A grinding, whirring sound that filled the room that by all accounts should be empty.

Gritting my teeth and tightly gripping the rolling pin I ventured in.  The first thing I noticed was the window. The single window was completely naked and flung wide open. Open and allowing a breeze and those odd whirring sounds to pour in.

My heart was pounding as I crept toward that open window.  Then a gloved hand appeared clutching the windows sill.  Seeing that large black glove sent chills right through me.

What happened next was so surprising to me I almost screamed.  A face peered in, looking directly into my eyes.  A face half covered by the outside casing, a face that I couldn’t make out through my squinting eyes.  Eyes that I had attempted to close tightly in order to scream.

Then I heard it, a voice.  I heard the clear baritone voice that called me by my name.

“What?” I sputtered “Who the?”  I was muttering to myself shaking like a sign in a storm.  Unclenching my eyes, I took a deep breath, still holding the wooden rolling pin over my head like a club.

“Kimberly. Hey… Kim… it’s just me.  Calm down.  I told you I would fix the screen next time I was in town. Remember?”

“Daddy? Oh my God, Dad… That was months ago!”

Dropping onto the bed, I looked up at him still shaking. All I could say was, “You scared the life out of me!”

Dad being Dad had the nerve to ask… “Did you see I brought Coffee?”

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