Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: writing prompts

Inspired to Tell Stories

The following attempt at short story writing was inspired by The Plottery and their fun July writing prompts that they posted on their Instagram account, @the.plottery! A big ol’ THANK YOU to them for putting the jumper cables on the old imagination engine.

I actually do enjoy writing my own stories. I haven’t had much practice, and I’m not all that confident about it, but I still LOVE writing them. But sharing them? That’s so scary, so I do it even less often than I write them!

Today I feel brave. Not really, but I feel good about this little story. I made me smile and laugh writing it. I hope you enjoy it!


Michael had always wanted to celebrate the 4th of July. It’s Independence Day and that’s what he wanted, independence. From what? Family, of course. Who doesn’t complain about restrictions put on them by well-meaning family members, the keepers of tradition and order?

He respected them, but he was different. He wanted to try new things, experience new places and meet new people. He wasn’t interested in the same old family games and annual gatherings.

Summer is complicated for a vampire. The nights are so short, you know. It makes the evening hunt feel rushed and mechanical. Before the sun hits the horizon, the whole family starts to anxiously stir in their secluded coffins. Even with the new air conditioning pumped up into their belfry, the summer’s heat is only partially abated. Those satin lined coffins are stifling, and everyone is chomping at the bit to get out and stretch their limbs in the cooler night air.

How they know the sun has completely set and those burning rays can’t reach them, has always been beyond him. The best he can do is say that he “feels” it in his dry bones, and when he does, he can’t help by start to yawn and stretch to wake himself and push against his coffin lid in the hopes that he’s the first to emerge.

Why the first? Because being alone in such a small space with such a big family is a luxury. Sometimes he lives dangerously and peeks out at the room before the sun has dropped its upper edge below the horizon. He can see it streaming through the room and hitting the ceiling at high angle, but if he’s careful, he can sneak out underneath it and gaze upon the land from out the window before anyone else. Sometimes his sister beats him to it, and he finds her draped in a large hood and cape, her eyes shaded by dark glasses, every inch of her pale body covered, sitting on the windowsill staring.

She never acknowledges his presence when he joins her. She just sits there, staring straight ahead. Maybe she longs for independence, too? He’ll never know because she never speaks. He doesn’t take it personally. She speaks to no one. Never has. He’s sure it has something to do with how she came to this family, who brought her in and that she’s no longer with us. But that’s her story to tell, and she won’t.

As soon as darkness covers the land below, without a word she makes a scooting move with her butt and drops into the space below them. To anyone below, she would look like a larger bat dropping from the roofline. She won’t be back until morning. She never joins in family meals or games.

Michael enjoys watching the night spread out over the land. It hits the valley first, spreading out to the foothills and then climbs steadily up to the mountain tops and finally the land succumbs to darkness, stillness, and quiet.

He hears his family stirring in their coffins, the creak and hard thump of lids being pushed open and dropped to the side, the rustle of black capes and the murmur of hungry voices. Their excited chatter annoys him. In moments, they are off into the night to hunt without a word to him, kindly or otherwise.

Do they even notice the world around them? Do they ever pause to think about their existence? Or is it all animal instinct? And why is he so different?

He sighs into the night as he watches them float on the evening breezes in a wide swath of bat like wings. Death on the move.

He’s hungry too, and he realizes his time is shorter in the summer months, but there is more to life that feeding. Isn’t there?

One of those fine evenings, where the angst was sweetest, a piece of paper floated on the breeze beneath his tower. At first, he believed it was a small white bird returning late to its evening roost. Poor thing. He dropped off the ledge and dove toward it. Once he had it in his hands though, he realized he was mistaken.

He turned the paper over in his hand. “Don’t miss the 4th of July Fireworks, after sunset in the park!” it read. Ever since then he’d wanted to see these “fireworks.” He brought the idea up to his family as they each returned just before dawn. They came in the window in groups of three and four, chattering on about the evening’s hunt. He hated hearing their callous remarks about the lives they’d taken that night.

When he tried to show them the flyer, they scoffed. Human celebrations were not for them, especially when the short summer nights compelled them to hunt so swiftly. That’s when his father came in with, “Wait a minute. I think Michael is on to something.”

It didn’t take them long to forge a plan to turn a pyrotechnic spectacle watching event into a bloodbath. He was so disappointed. He tried to explain to them why he wanted to go, that watching those fireworks in the park, set to music, with the people singing and dancing below, the smell of BBQ and popcorn wafting up to them would be so beautiful.

“And just think! We could fly above and around them, a view from a new angle with every burst!”

They barely heard him. Plans were being laid.

All throughout June, Michael thought about his family ruining his Independence Day celebration, and then one night something came to him. He brought it up the next evening, before they headed out into the night.

“Has anyone thought that maybe swooping down into crowd of revelers might be a bad idea? There would be no mistake about what had attacked them. There would be survivors, and they’d be angry. It wouldn’t take them long to find their lair and destroy them all, especially with such long summer days.”

That got them thinking in a different direction. A feast would be a spectacular thing, but the results would be a bummer. They went to considering their options. Maybe pick off a few as they wandered into the less crowded areas of the park. A lost child. A pair of lovers. And old lady that had fallen behind.

Ugg…why aren’t they interested in the fireworks?

What five things are you grateful for today?

#bloganuary Day Ten? Where have I been? Can I join in late? Since I’m the boss of me, I’m going to say, “Yes, you can, young lady. Better late than never!”

What are five things I am grateful for today? Only five?

I can get crazy, so I think I’ll stick to the physical things I can see right now.

grateful

My leather sofa. It’s been almost two years since this beauty arrived from Costco. it’s beautiful and comfy. This is my office. I spend my morning here, reading, writing, and harassing people on Facebook. My feet are up, my head is supported, my butt is warm. I’ve rarely been as happy with a purchase as I have been with this chocolatey sofa recliner.

The green blanket. Technically this belongs to my eldest son. He got it as a gift from my friend’s daughter about…wow…fifteen years ago. It’s a fleece blanket, one of those no-sew, cut and hand-tie things. It’s big and super warm. It covers me every morning and I can’t live without it.

The laptop. A gift from my husband because he believes in me. He gave me this so that I could take myself wherever I need to be to get focused and write the words. He knows that’s one of the things that fuels me and was worried that I was too tied down to my desk, which it not always the best place to work.

The wood fireplace. Ahh…nothing like a woodboring fireplace, right? This one doubles as a stove. You can’t see the fire in it right now because the glass it blackened with use this winter, but it’s super burning and has a fan the recirculates the warm air into the house. I can get this living room up to 85 degrees, easy. I won’t, don’t worry. I don’t like it that hot. How can I use my snuggle blanket if it’s too warm?

My reading glasses. For some reason, I accepted my graying hair long before I believed I really needed reading glasses. I insisted they were printing words in books smaller and smaller. Now that I have embraced the spectacles, I have a pair in every room. I’m looking for a chain to keep a pair around my neck like a little old lady in a movie.

They sound superficial, but if you can’t be grateful for the little things, how can you even start to see the big things!

Thanks for the inspiration LA!

Writing this post reminded me of my “Why I Get Up in the Morning” grateful posts. It’s been almost a year since I made one. Maybe I should bring that recurring post back!

The Temerity of that Woman

“The temerity she has. I wouldn’t dare.” Of course you wouldn’t, you’re not me.

I wasn’t going to write twice today. I looked over at my husband and told him, just an hour ago, that I would not get ahead of myself. I’d stick to creating one new habit at a time…this time.

But then, one more cup of coffee. I’ll go through my WordPress reader and see what others are putting out into the universe.

Inspiration comes. And for once, I stop and take up the baton.

Thank you, Sammi Cox for starting the race.

wk 243 temerity

And to A Dalectable Life for passing it on. Your Hindsight is 20/20 Vision was relatable.

She had the temerity…

To speak up, spend more, order that drink.

What do I have the temerity to do?

To expect that when I speak, write, post, or text, someone will respond.

That’s too much to ask, they say.

Say what you want to say, and let it go.

But then, what’s the point of saying anything at all?

To have put my own thoughts into the world.

I have a page of short stories here that desperately needs attention. Maybe this will be the year I unleash the creativity, stop being so timid, and have the temerity to do what I really want to do, say what I need to say.

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