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The Marquis of the Blue Dolls

2 May

A short piece for: 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups – Week #131

The Marquis of the Blue Dolls

He once went by the title of Marquis, but that was a lifetime ago. Back before his lands were infested with shadows and hollow places.

It started when the Night Demons visited, promising compromise, trade, and safe travel. They crept in like a sickness. Slow and subtle they worked their malicious schemes until they had wormed their way into the very fiber of the land and people.

Now they call him Sorcerer of the Night Puppets. Although he never did have any magic or any control over what happened. He is as much at the Night Demon’s mercy as the rest of his doomed kingdom.

Writing- Psychology without the price tag

6 Mar

Writing Quote by Joss Whedon

I never know what I’m thinking or understand how I’m feeling until I do a bit of writing.  Usually something completely unrelated.  A fictional short story or thought tossed into words.

It is like a session at the therapist…

And so this happened last night at writing group.  Not sure what it says about me except that I might be a bit stressed.


She tripped and fell into the burning sand… and they laughed.  From the stands above, toothy smiles and wicked sneers leered down at her prone form.

Alaska Lee dug her hands into the grainy sand that scraped and chafed.  Feeling every molecule of pain, every grain of hurt.  She focused on the feeling of betrayal and simmered in her hatred.

“She has fallen!”  The announcer screamed into his mic, flinging spit in his enthusiasm.  “Will she make it up in time?  For her, every second counts in this dance of death.”

Cheers and laughs from the crowd as they leaned forward in their seats to see the disaster that was her life falling apart and devoured by the Gloom.

The Gloom stalked towards her.  Circled her.  A beast of ever shifting shadows.  Darkness filled with teeth and unquenchable hunger.

Alaska Lee stayed frozen.  An iceberg in the pit of burning sand.  It wasn’t a large enclosure, but the walls were high and lined with seats.  The exits were barred and only the Gloom and Alaska Lee faced off within.  Or rather, the Gloom hunted and Alaska Lee tried to stay alive.

“This looks like it folks.  Any second should be the end of that human girl who caused us so much grief.  The naïve girl who thought to befriend the dead and their minions.  Stupid girl who thought she would help us.  Foolish creature who thought to change our very nature.  You cannot change the dead!”

“Do you see the Gloom calculating when to strike?  Do you feel it in the air?!  For her, the end is near!”  The announcer was wild and rabid with bloodlust.  The crowed growled in rage and excitement.

The Gloom leaned down close to her, in no rush to end this because it knew it had always been in control.  Face to face with its prey the Gloom stared wordlessly at her.  It was a void of malice and starless night.

Alaska Lee stared back at the king of nightmares and into its fathomless depths.  She knew madness awaited there, but vaguely wondered which would be the better choice.  Madness or death by the hands of the Gloom.

How to catch small creatures with a penchant for stealing dentures

5 Sep

My mom and I did another writing challenge.  This one was to write a Fantasy How To aimed towards people 60+ years old.  Below is my “article.”

How to catch small creatures with a penchant for stealing dentures

We have all been there.  Taken our dentures out for the night, left them someplace safe, and when we wake up they have grown legs and walked off.  Actually they don’t grow legs.  That would just be silly.

Household critters do like to cause mischief and can easily be considered the number one suspect.

Do not despair.  There is no need to get out that old butterfly net and go running around the house with the energy of a 6 year old.  (If you do happen to have a 6 year old available I would highly suggest you put them to the task.  They can be incredibly efficient when hunting for magical things.)

If no 6 year old children are available, follow the steps below to catch the most common denture stealing culprits, brownies, pixies, and faeries.

Brownies are normally very friendly, happy creatures.  The can help clean the house when you are not looking and keep small pets contented with treats they sneak to them.

They do not like bitter things.  If you have grown old and bitter with age, chances are your brownies are very displeased.

Look at yourself in the mirror.  Be honest.  Have you turned into that miserable bitter person you swore you would never be?  If the answer is yes, your solution is simple.  Look for joy in life, smile (no grimacing turned up at the corners of your mouth does not count,) and bake a cake.  Grandma Mohart’s blueberry cake to be exact.  It has the exact proportions of sweet berries, sugar, and love to make any Brownie happy.  (See page 162 for the recipe.)

These critters are mischief makers and cause trouble wherever they go.  They are not to be trusted and will cause “small” mishaps all over your home, giggling at your misfortune.

To catch one follow these steps below:

  1. Bring something with you that is tempting for pixies to steal, like reading glasses.
  2. Go to bed.  Turn the light out so no pixies can see what you are doing.
  3. In the dark, tie a string to your object with a bell attached to the end.
  4. Hide a large container of salt below your pillow.
  5. Go to sleep.
  6. When the pixie sneaks in to steal your glasses it will trigger the “trap,” jingling the bell and waking you up.
  7. Take the salt out and follow the sound of the bell to the pixie’s hiding place where you dentures should be waiting.
  8. Take the salt and fling it in the direction of the pixie.  Don’t worry about being too accurate.  Use lots of salt.  As long as a little touches the pixie it will melt away into nothing.  (Little known fact:  Pixies are related to slugs.)
  9. Turn on the light.  Retrieve glasses and dentures.  Vacuum floor.  Go back to bed.

If it is not a brownie or pixie, chances are you are dealing with a faerie.  Faeries are barely sentient and not much smarter than your average insect.  They are attracted to light.

Set a metal bowl on your counter.  Place a lit candle inside.  Turn off all other lights.

Wait and hide.  This is the hard part.  Stay quiet and be patient.

Eventually you should hear the buzzing of the faerie’s wings as it buzzes to the light.  Stay very quiet and do not scare the creature.  It will fly into the flame, scorching it’s wings and making it hard for it to fly.  (They grow back like a lizard tail.  Don’t feel bad for the thieving creature.)

When the faerie has ruined it’s wings it will fall into the bowl.  Jump out of hiding and put another bowl on top of the metal one holding your captive.

Faeries hate closed places and the dark.  It will panic.  This is your opportunity to barter with the faerie.  It can grant you one wish in return for freedom.  Choose if you want to wish for your dentures or something else entirely.

Writing Challenge with Mom #2

17 Aug

Mom and I did a writing challenge a few weeks past.  We both wrote something for 30 minutes and then passed it to the other person, who had to write for 30 minutes on that piece.  I posted my start and her response a little while ago, but I never did post her start and my response.

This was completely out of my comfort zone and a real challenge.  But I’m glad I did it.  I had fun and learned a lot from the exercise.

Written by Mom:

They dreamed, you know, then.

Halls of high blue marble, songs of light and threads weaving, weaving.

Birds fly among them as they work, as they worked then.


You would think at their ages they would look old.

Idun’s apples, maybe, or simply their nature?

All three supple, lively, dreaming but awake in their work.


I have never gotten them to talk, really,

Just hearing them in my head like a neap tide

You forget about it, then you realize it is part of you now.


Their knowledge is not cheap.  Age, experience, trial

All of these are how they will exact payment.

It is easier to let them be.


You cannot undo knowledge once you know it

Even if you wish to forget

Even if you would undergo trial to wipe it away


6 hands push pull measure cut

They all do each other’s jobs

Trading places when one gets bored


I find that place of dreaming and doors sometimes

Always in between, a place that moves

Time, space, what does it matter?  It is all the same thing.


Sunna blesses this house so they can work, clear seeing

When Mani’s time comes, I do not know if they stop and rest.

I need to stop and rest.


I am old, tired, knowledge too much for one body

Yet my thread continues too long

My punishment for arrogance in my youth


They are tricky and literal, you know.

I knew that and I tried to trick them anyway.

I DID think I was a better spinner and weaver.


Youth, youth, youth.  A gift/curse of age is nothing without it.


White hair curled and grown into the branches of this redwood I am become part of

Once fair skin tanned and darkened like bark leather

I was once worshiped here


Place changes – someone here who worshiped me brought me here

Left me here.  Forgot me here.  But THEY did not.

When the last of my sacred trees dies, so shall I.


I can touch in my dreams, be that impetuous girl I was,

Still am in this venerable, silent body

Most people cannot hear my voice any more except as an echo or memory


Find me and I can live again.  Speak, ask, I shall answer

Be sure you want to know……..


Written by Me:

Be sure you want to know……… the secrets I hid

They tempt like golden apples, taste sweet, but the core is bitter


I am taken from here

a wisp, a tree, a spirit of things lost and never found

songs lost on dead lips


when the frost came I knew I would be safe, curled in my nest of sage

They found me, sleeping, warm, safe, unknowing

an animal free, alive


I ran with the wind, and cared not for their games

I had my own games to win and they were not welcome

tricks, and love, and fire danced until morning


when we woke the forest was burned.  naught but ashes smoldering

scent of olive trees, ash, and pine

the world as we knew it gone.  a new beginning on the horizon


I was scared of the unknown


they hated us you know.  young and free. reckless

we did as we pleased and they could not stop us, even for our own good

when they did come, screaming like furies, we ran and ran and ran away


new places came and went in a blur of motion and half remembered dreams

they were not really there, but we didn’t care

I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the way “we” disappeared


And there was only I left


When I finally did realized it I begged to wake from the dream

but nothing came of it

smouldering ashes chased me.  Did they swallow you when I wasn’t looking?


the rain fell, steam rose from scorched ground, cooling, soothing

It did not soothe my heart

restless and changing,  missing you always.  Where did you go?


The hall of doors waits for me.  Somehow I end up here too often

I choose one at random

It takes me away for a time, but always returns me home


I ask for an opportunity, a boat awaits at the shore or unchanging waters

I sail across, but stop when water greets my forever

I dive. and swim salt water to the depths where secrets hide in wait

Who turned the thermostat setting up to HELL again?”

13 Aug

A goofy start to a short story.


“Who turned the thermostat setting up to HELL again?”  Shouted Reggie.  Face red.

“Wasn’t me.”  Said Emily, twirling her hair, smacking her gum, and rolling her eyes, before sauntering out of the room.

“I’m dying here.  It is so hot.”  Reggie turned his stare to me.  The only other one who could have done the deed.

“Don’t look at me!”  I backed up from him, and bumped into Satan who managed to poke my shoulder with one of his horns.

He roared by way of apology and flicked his pointed tail.  Daring me to say anything.

“See how hot it is in here?” Reggie barked.  “Even the Devil has moved into residence to enjoy the sweltering heat.”

Satan shrugged and helped himself to the contents of our fridge.

I rubbed my shoulder.  “Emily.  Do me a favor and turn down the heat.”

No response from the back of the house.  Ignored by the teenager.  I just have to do everything myself.

With a sigh I maneuvered around Satan who was now eating cold chicken and chocolate cake at the kitchen counter.  When I reached for the thermostat Satan’s head snapped in my direction, chicken dropped from his fingers, and his eyeballs turned to fiery pits.  He roared.

I interpreted the roar as “Don’t touch that thermostat upon the wrath of Satan.  If it gets too chilly in here I will have to leave and I was just making myself comfortable.  Do you have any more tetrazzini chicken?”

With a sigh, I withdrew my hand and wiped at a bit of perspiration collecting on my brow.  If we could distract Satan long enough, one of us could sneak to the thermostat and turn it down.  When the temperature became lower than 80 degrees or so Satan would get uncomfortable and leave.  I eyed Reggie trying to communicate this to him with facial expressions, but he just looked at me with a funny frown and walked out of the room.

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