11/29

Prompt 25: Write about one of the most difficult decisions you’ve made in your life.

Decisions

Life is full of decisions. What to wear, what to eat, how to spend your day off, what to name your child, where to go on vacation. Everyone deals with them, everyday of their lives. What constitutes a difficult decision? It was hard to decide what to name my son, Elijah. I wanted to choose a name from the bible, thinking it would give him a solid start. My husband didn’t like the idea, and he couldn’t pronounce Elijah very well.

It was a hard decision to get rid of our four cats. They were causing such a bad flea infestation in the house that I felt it was the best choice to make. We took two of them to the shelter and before we even left they told me that they would likely be put down before the day was through. I still left them there though. The other two, one I took to the fairgrounds because there was this guy there that feeds them daily. She was our favorite of the four and I couldn’t bear the thought of her being in a shelter. At least at the fairgrounds she would be taken care of. She ended up coming back home, and still to this day we see her from time to time. I think she has many homes along the way from here to there. The last cat we were going to take her to the shelter but she darted from us and got hit by the neighbor’s van.

It was a hard decision to quit working at Therma Tru, where I worked for seven years and got paid well. I was at a bad place in my life and I was desperate to get out of it. I don’t regret it, but when I am particularly broke, I sometimes wish I could go back to work there!

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11/28

Prompt 24: Imagine your life is now a book. In 100 words, write the blurb for it. (It’s what people will read on the back cover.)

Take a Chance On Life

All her life Amy had wondered what it would be like to marry the man of her dreams. He would come on a white horse and take her away from a life of dullness. But life has a funny way of doing just what it wants, without your consent. Two kids later, she begins to wonder if she will ever find the right man.

When the young mother met Alex, she thought all her dreams had finally come true. But soon it becomes clear that her dreams are turning into a nightmare. Will she find a way out of the lies and darkness that she has found herself in? Or is it too late for Amy? And what will happen when she finds herself all alone again?

11/27

Prompt 23: Re-write the fairy tale, Snow White, from the point of view of Bashful, one of the 7 dwarves.

Bashful

This is as far as i got on my blog for yesterday.  so, instead of getting caught up on this FAILURE, I am just going to skip it and move on to today.  In its place i am going to post a small excerpt from my book “Black Dolphin”, the story about Rani.

1

Outside, the air rushed gently over the streets of Ortec. The water rippled just slightly, creating a soft melodic song. The sun warmed the tops of the buildings, leaving them glistening with a simple beauty. Ortec was strangely quiet though, besides the wind and the water, not a sound was heard. Not a single child played, nor a single woman talked and laughed with her neighbors. The men were not going about their work that day.

The only activity in all of the villages was in a small room located in the council building, on the very bottom level. The inhabitants of the safe room knew nothing of the silence on Ortec. They awaited anxiously the day they would rejoin their beloved city.

The grey walls of the safe room were not much to look at. Each of the four walls bore the same dullness. The thick door remained locked, as it had been for the past eighty-nine days. It remained a steady barrier between them and the outside world. The room itself seemed to be getting smaller. After three months of being in one space with the same people, everyone was ready to open that door.

Eight people considered the small space their temporary home. They had been shut away, hiding from the sickness that had claimed lives. The eight remained healthy, but the confinement was baring heavily upon them. Why would just one day make a difference?

“We’ll open it tomorrow,” Constantina wasn’t budging. She held her arms tightly across her chest. She looked kindly at Sonya and Angali, but her expression was tense. She pushed a wisp of her grey hair back behind her ears. No one would dare question her authority, but it didn’t sit well with her to have to make all the decisions. She had never taken well with the role of leadership. She had always left her husband to decide for her, and she was missing that comfort more with each passing day. He had given her strict instructions to wait ninety days, then open the door. Never did he say to wait only eight-nine days. She would not disobey him. It was up to her to remain the voice of authority and reason, despite her own desire to open the door early as well.

“What difference will one day make?” Sonya nearly whined in her frustration. Her features pinched up in her tiny face, creating a look of a spoiled child. Sonya had always gotten her way by emphasizing her child-like looks. She knew her small structure and large eyes could work well in her favor. It always had in the past. She stomped her foot in aggravation.

“Really Milady,” Angali chimed, “We are all very eager to meet our family again.” Angali set her lips in a pout. The young beauty was used to getting her way as well. Her brown eyes were opened wide and she shot a pleading look to Constantina.

Constantina shook her head firmly though. “Three months, that’s what we agreed on.” She looked at the doctor for confirmation. He nodded his head just slightly, not wanting the attention of the two women to be turned on him. He knew he wasn’t good at telling them no, especially Angali. Even when she was a girl, men fell over themselves to please Angali. “Yes, tomorrow is the day. We have to make sure the sickness is gone,” Constantina continued. Her eyes softened at their looks of distress. She really did not want them to start crying. It wouldn’t be good for their condition. “We’ve waited this long, surely one more day wouldn’t hurt.”

The women gave a small smile, what choice did they have? “It’s ok,” Constantina continued, “we have to give them every chance to be healthy.” She patted Sonya’s protruding belly. It would be time soon. Her wizened eyes sparkled at the thought of a new baby to hold. They had not had a good year for babies on Ortec. Of the seven pregnant women, five had got the sickness and lost their babies. The year before had only yielded two babies, both male. There was a great deal of importance placed on these two women, who were still with child.

Two other women sat by the wall not saying anything. They watched the women arguing, but knew already who would be victorious. They often sat like this, close to their people, but not important enough to be a part of the group. A child played nearby. He didn’t play with toys, but he was able to entertain himself. Rani thought back three months ago to when the sickness had first started.

There had been such a sense of panic. The only two pregnant women had to be protected. So they had been sealed into the safe room, a room that hadn’t been used in years. In the early days following the great wave, the wise men of that time had added the safe rooms to all of the cities. They had feared that another wave would wipe out the human race entirely. The men from those early days still remembered what life had been like before the wave, they still thought with minds of technology. They had built a room made of a strong metal where nothing could get in, or out. In the early days, they used the safe room often. During a storm the waters would rage and flood the cities, and so the leaders would lock their people in the safe rooms. As time passed the rooms became to small for the people, so only the leaders and members of the council would go to the safe room. Now, though, the safe rooms were not used at all. Many had been torn apart completely.

Ortec kept theirs in tact though, in case of an emergency. An emergency had indeed happened to their small city. A sickness had come to the people, it infected an alarming amount. The five pregnant women infected, lost their babies. The leaders had ordered the safe room to be reopened in an attempt to save the others. They would wait three months and then rejoin Ortec.

There were eight of them all together. Sonya and Angali were both with child, although Angali was two months further along. They also brought along their ladies maids – Rani and Sasha, who took care of them while they were pregnant. Even before the sickness the pregnant women of Ortec lived in the council building and were given a ladies maid until their babies were a year old. Only then were they fit enough to join the village life. Constantina was also there, she was the leader of Ortec, along with her husband. The doctor Gauri, and his nurse Betna, were there to care for Angali and Sonya in case anything went wrong. And then there was the child, Dais. Rani’s child.
Rani swallowed over the lump that always formed when she thought of Dais. They had almost not let him come with her to the safe room. “He’s not important enough,” that was their argument. “It is strictly for those we don’t want getting sick. There are only so many supplies.” He was only a child. Their hatred was misplaced, but she held her tongue. They had always hated Dais. He was different. He wasn’t one of them. Rani had fallen from their graces when she had Dais. It was clear that he was not her husband’s child, and no matter what the circumstances were, there would be no forgiveness.

She had prayed fervently to the God that Nanny Grace and her grandfather had taught her about. They told her of His great love for all the people of the earth and how much He wanted them to love Him back. She had clung tightly to God during her exile from her people. Awkwardly, but eventually she had found a place in Ortec where she could be content with her life. Most of the people of Ortec did not share her belief in God, they shrugged off the stories of the elders as merely that, stories. Sasha was one of the few exceptions to the normal thinking. Rani knew there were others in her village, but after she had been moved to the council building, she very rarely spoke to her people.

Her heart only began to beat again when they came to her in the night and informed her they had changed their minds about Dais. “There is no one else willing to care for him. He is your burden, he will go with you.” He had been her burden all these years, and she was thankful for that burden. Alone in her room that night, she had cried as she praised God.

Rani and Sasha sat by the wall, not saying anything. They glanced often at each other, both seemed to understand their silent communication. Sasha’s eyes were lit in amusement as Sonya whimpered. Sonya always whined, no matter the situation. She was like an overgrown child, trying to get her way. There really was no point to argue with Constantina about opening the door, she wouldn’t change her mind. Besides, what difference did it make to them if the door remained closed. Life was the same for them, in or out. They were ladies maids, with no family outside of the safe room. Their life consisted of taking care of the pregnant women of Ortec.

11/26

Prompt 22: In 200 words, write about your first toy.

Toy Story

I am not sure if I remember my first toy. I do have a fond memory of a doll that my aunt Paula got me for Christmas one year. We had Christmas over at my grandma Bice’s house and all the presents were piled under the tree. My aunt was late. Everyone had a gift, except me. I watched eagerly as each wrapped parcel was passed around to someone else. I remember the disappointment I felt when the presents were gone and I was the only kid that didn’t have anything.

Then, when all hope was lost, Aunt Paula came in holding one gift. It was for me! Since I was last to get mine, all the kids gathered around me as I ever so slowly peeled the paper from my beloved present. It was a rainbow brite doll! I wish I still had that thing.

11/25

Prompt 21: Write a letter to the ten year old child you had been.

Dear Amy,

I have so many things to tell you, things that may change the way my life is now. So would I actually tell them to you if given the chance? Maybe not. I haven’t got the best life, not by a long shot.

I could tell you that when a certain boy smiles your way, at the age of 17, just run! But then maybe I wouldn’t have Gavin. And I could tell you to always go to church and follow God’s will for your life. But then I most definitely wouldn’t be where I am now. I am not sure if that would be a good thing or a bad thing. There are things I wish I could avoid, but through the pain comes the life lessons.

What I will tell you is this. Always stay close to the ones who love you, but don’t be fooled by love. Put a few dollars into a savings account, every single week and don’t touch that money. Maybe one day you will have a need for it. Take care of your health, it may not seem important to you right now, but trust me – one day you will wish you had. Figure out what you want to do with your life and then go for it – full out. Don’t hold back.

The best advice I could tell you is to just live your life. Laugh often, hug people, let people love you, don’t be gullible, learn to save, exercise, read as much as you can, enjoy the small things, take your time.

Love,

Amy

11/24

Prompt 20: Write about the color of hunger.

Hunger

When I think of hunger having a color, the only one that comes to mind is brown. Maybe it is because of all those “feed the children” commercials, the kids are always brown. It may be messed up, but it is what I think of.

I can picture in my head all those small children running around with empty bellies and barely any clothes on. Even the scenery around them is brown. Dirty. Everything in the third world countries seem to have a layer of brown dirt on them.

I lived for a year in India. One day, I decided to go to a shop for some school supplies (like notebooks and pens and stuff). While I was standing outside waiting for my ride, three young girls came up to me asking for money. It just made me feel something I can’t explain. Like I was scared of them and their need. I just went back in the store, ignoring them completely. I was rich, to their standards, and I gave them nothing.

I starved myself for three days, but I still felt guilty.

11/23

Prompt 19: Begin a story with “There was once a chance I didn’t take…”

The Fish God

“There was once a chance I didn’t take, and as I grew to be an old woman, I often wondered ‘What if’.”

“What was it Gran? Will you tell us the story?” The two girls sat eagerly at her knee, eyes wide, anticipating a story. Gran always told the best stories. She had grown up with her crazy father on an almost deserted island, or so she liked to say.

Stella Minks wet her leathery lips thoughtfully. Her grey-blue hair was swept up in a bun that rested just above her shoulders. Her eyes, though considerably dulled, were still the color of the sea. A blue green sort of color, with more depth than the average girl, or so she had been told. She leaned back into the rocker that she sat on and folded her hands across her lap. Her two granddaughters, Anna and Alice, stared up at her expectantly. She wouldn’t let them down, but where to begin?

“I was fourteen when I first saw them,” she began in her ancient voice. The two girls exchanged an excited smile and settled in for the story. There was no need to ask questions, Gran never left out the good parts.

“Our town was small, only a few hundred people on the whole island, and I was a newcomer. I was the only one that hadn’t seen them. Mind you, they didn’t make a show of themselves. They kept hidden beneath the waves.”

The suspense was too much for Alice. “What were they Gran?”

“Mermaids.” She barely breathed the word. She heard the two girls gasp, and she smiled to herself.

“I was fourteen, and so angry at the world. My mother had just died in the accident and I had to go live with my father on the tiny island village called Nomorca. I had never met my father but I knew he was crazy, my mother had told me he was.” Her grey head bobbed until she was fourteen again, hair the color of the sand on a sunny day and eyes the color of the sea.

“Stella!” she heard her father yelling for her, but no way was she going back in that house. “Stella, come back here. Don’t go too close to the water!”

Stella rolled her eyes and kept walking. How was it possible to not go too close the water, the whole place was nothing but water. Stella gritted her teeth and walked faster. Her angry steps led her to an abandoned beach. She looked up and down the beach , but found no indication of people having been there, ever.

With a small smile, Stella threw off her light jacket and spread it out on the warm sand. She sighed sadly as the wind played with her hair and memories wreaked havoc on her heart. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Her beautiful mother should still be alive, singing on the stage. She brushed away the annoying tears that refused to stop falling. At least now, they waited until she was alone. She sniffed softly. It just wasn’t fair!

A sudden sound made Stella’s chin jerk back up. “Is someone there?” She heard a soft laugh in response. “Hello?” Stella got up and walked a few steps. Someone was here. Her small oasis was ruined.

“Stella!” The call was an excited one. Whoever was there, was happy to see her.

“Who’s there?”

“No, you can’t,” Stella heard another voice, and then another. They seemed to be arguing.

“You need to stay away from her.”

“She is the daughter of Hazel.”

“No she’s not. The child is dead. You know that, Arianne.”

“It’s her!”

“Stella!” A new voice shattered the moment.

“Dad, what are you doing here?” Stella asked, irritated.

“I told you to stay away from the water.” Her dad looked really mad. Why?

“Oh, did you just notice dad, we are on an island. There is water everywhere.”

“Stella.”

“Did you…”she paused, biting her lip. Should she tell him what she had heard? Would that make her as crazy as him?

“Did I what? Are you ok?”

“Yeah,” she shrugged, “it was nothing.” She brushed by him. “You coming?”

Later that night, dad made supper. If macaroni and cheese could be considered supper. “Did you hear something down by the water?” he asked for the hundredth time.

“I already told you,” Stella replied, again.

“I know,” he held up his hand to ward off another angry outburst, “I just,” he licked his lips, “I just want to be sure you are ok. Doctor Slind said you might…”

“Dad, I’m fine.” She pushed her full plate away and rose from the table. “I’m going to bed, I’m tired.”

After she left her dad sighed loudly and rested his chin on his templed hands. Bruce Michaels knew his daughter had heard something, he saw it in her face, but her mom had already filled her head with stories about the people of Nomorca. It looked like the water dwellers had decided Stella was one of them now. He rubbed his face roughly. Was he happy about that?

Stella walked slowly along her beach. in the four months since that first day here, Stella had come everyday to the tiny beach, and had come to think of it as hers. She heard no more voices, but she always felt like someone was watching her. Maybe it was the girl called Arianne. She used to call for her, but had given up when no one ever answered.

She was just gathering her jacket to go back home when she became aware of someone else on the beach. “Arianne?” she called softly.

“How do you know about her?” came an old voice. A woman appeared from behind a large rock.

Stella jumped back, startled. She had never met this woman, but she knew this wasn’t Arianne. “Who are you?”

“I am Clara Burns. I’m your neighbor.” The grey eyes crinkled in an almost smile. “Who are you looking for?”

“No one. I just like to come here, to be alone.” she glared pointedly at her intruder, causing the old woman to laugh.

“How did you hear about Arianne? Did your father tell you?”

“No. Who is she?”

Clara shrugged elusively. “I have no idea.”

“Come on, you know who she is. I herd her talking, the first day I came here. She was arguing with someone else.”

“Arguing about what?”

“About me.”

Clara looked surprised. “Oh.”

“They knew my mother.”

“Undoubtedly. This is a small place. They know everyone.”

“They?”

“The water dwellers.”

“You mean the village people?”

“I mean the water dwellers.”

“What’s a water dweller?”

“A mermaid.”

“That’s ridiculous.” Stella felt foolish for buying into what Clara was saying. She had been practically hanging on the old woman’s every word.

“Maybe, but it doesn’t make it false.” Clara turned away to leave, but turned back before she disappeared behind the rocks. “When you do see something that looks ridiculous, you can come talk to me, or your father.’

“He’s seen mermaids?”

“We all have.”

“What do you mean? Is there a secret mermaid club?”

“Everyone on Nomorca has seen them.”

“Did my mother?”

Clara’s eyes lit up. “Your mother was the chosen one.”

“Chosen by who?”

“She was chosen to be the fish god’s wife.”

Everyone on the island was crazy, Stella thought. It must be some weird mental condition from inhaling to much salty sea air. “Does that make me the fish god’s daughter?” She asked with a mischievous grin.

“Of course not. Hazel turned him down, but not without much difficulty. She ended up leaving.”

Stella shook her head. “That’s..”

“You come see me,” and then she was gone.

“What a crazy old lady,” Stella muttered when she was alone again. There was a small laugh behind her. She whirled around but the only thing there was the water, endless miles of blue green sea.

“Stella,” her name came as just a whisper on the breeze. It was impossible to know where it came from, but suddenly Stella was eager to get away form the beach and from the water.

That night, mermaids played in Stella’s dreams. She woke up flustered and feeling foolish. Her heart was going a million times a minute. That old lady had really gotten into her head. She shook her head to dispel the images, but it didn’t work. With a huff, she threw the blankets off her legs and scurried to the kitchen for a drink of water. The curtains were blowing frantically when she got downstairs. Stella rolled her eyes and rushed to close the window.

“Stella!” She heard her name clearly.

“Who’s there?”

“Come see us Stella.”

Voices mingled together to form a song like quality. “Where are you?”

“Come to your beach.”

Without much thought, Stella raced back upstairs to throw on a pair of jeans and tee-shirt, then she was running as fast as her legs would carry her. Straight to her beach. It was time to figure out the mystery of the island, to learn who Arianne was.

She reached the beach breathless, but in record time. “Ok, I am hear. What do you want with me? Who are you?”

“We are the people of the sea. Our fish god has chosen you Stella. Just as he chose your mother before you and her mother before her. Will you join us?”

“Wh…?” Stella’s words caught in her throat at what she saw next. Out of the sea rose a woman, so beautiful that she seemed unreal. Her long red hair flowed past her hips. Behind her, two more equally beautiful women rose form the sea. The trio didn’t come up onto the beach though. They couldn’t. where their feet should have been were tails made of lovely green and blue sequins.

“Mermaids,” Stella whispered, then fainted right there on the beach.

“What happened next Gran?” Anna whispered, afraid to break the spell. Gran had stopped talking, overcome with her own memories.

“Next?” Both girls nodded solemnly. “Clara found me there.” She looked down at her hands. “The fish god asked me to join him, but I refused. I stayed on the land, in my grandmother’s home.” She smiled, her eyes suspiciously glossy.