Friday, January 11, 2019

Granny Candy part 4

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: cut, collaborate, call, compare, car

I love these characters. I think that each installment can kind of stand on its own, but if you haven't and would like to, you can find the first ones within the last couple of months on the blog. I may come back and add links when my internet isn't playing with my emotions. 

here's to a future Lizzy book series. i really think I want to give it a shot. 


About a week into The Job, Lizzy escorted a seemingly ancient, possibly older than time itself, grammar teacher to Hel, the Norse version of afterlife for those who didn’t die in battle. Odd but still not the weirdest escort of the week. The woman was short and slightly rotund. Her back was a little rounded from age and poor posture but not quite a hump. She swished down the hallways beside Lizzy in a navy blue woolen skirt and a pale blue cardigan that almost matched her hair. She had a floral hat on her head and the peachiest lipstick Lizzy had ever seen haphazardly swiped across her thin lips but none of that old lady shit made her seem less intimidating. Lizzy started to speak a hundred times but couldn’t find the courage until they were almost at the woman’s destination.

She took and a deep breath and in a rush, “howintheotherworldlyfuckdidyoubecomeNorsepaganma’am?”

The woman stopped in her tracks. The orangish lip color making her scowl look more garish and vulgar that it possibly could have on its own. “Young lady, I would suggest you modify both your language and manner of speaking so you do not sound like such an utter buffoon. Act according to your age and title, and learn to breathe. The spoken word should be elegant, sharp, and direct not some circus sideshow of vulgarities and strings of improper syntax formed from letters cut from smutty magazines.”

Lizzy hurried her to the door and nearly pushed her down trying to usher her through the threshold. She slammed it shut so hard the frame split at the knob a little and made a move for the elevator at the end of the hall. Inside, she, in her flustered frame of mind, accidentally hit the button for the basement, before correcting and hitting the 1. A little musak played through bat speakers that hung upside down in the back corners of the space while she descended down from nearly the top of the building (not the top where The Boss stayed, though).

Once at the bottom, the doors opened onto a space she wasn’t at all expecting. Part of the floor was obviously used as the mailroom. There were stacks upon stacks of letters, mail shoots, and workers in little white uniforms running all over the place in what was probably a bit of controlled chaos. To her left though, she could see a small kitchen and seating area surrounded by glass walls. There was a water cooler and a row of vending machines and tables full of...well, beings in the middle of what appeared to be a pretty intense argument. Before she could investigate further, the doors closed on her and sent her back up a floor.

Grimmy was there waiting. And not smiling. She couldn’t see his face, but his panicked disapproval left a bitter taste in the back of her throat that almost made her yak on her new work shoes (there were at least 372 Walmarts in the Christian Hell portion of eternity and between them at any given time only 13 checkouts open).

Why were you just in the basement of all places, Lizzy? She felt his cringy embarrassment, a hot blast of sticky humid swamp air and immediately wondered what the fuck was up. 90% of their time together he spent in irritated confusion or being disgusted by something she said. Embarrassment was a new one.

“Yeah, I had this old school marm on my ass about how I talk and hit the wrong button on the way down. Elevator closed before I could get a good look, but it definitely didn’t look like any basement I've seen. Why didn’t you tell me we have a breakroom and coworkers, dude???! I need to get my snack on."

Coworkers. Ha. These are not beings worth your time, dear child. That breakroom is full of interpersonal problems and nonstop fighting. I stay away and so should you.

“Interpersonal problems, you say? Oh shit, spill the tea, sis.”

I know you have some meaning to this, so I will refrain from offering you a mug of this new ginger chamomile tea I found in the atheist eternity, but I will say it is delicious.

“Grimmy, I explained tea to you last week. Tea means, like, gossip/dirt/trash talk. Spill it. Tell me. Who are these ‘beings’ and what’s up with the fighting?”

Chronos, Idun, Dionysus, Geb, and Minerva are regulars, but many of the deity iterations pop in and other supernatural beings.

“What about Paul Rudd?”

Who is this?

“How in Hades can you not know who Paul Rudd is?! Pretty sure he is immortal. Also, I would worship him, so there’s that.”

I do not know this being. Perhaps he only has longevity not immortality.

“You really do ruin all the fun, you know. Either way, can we go to the breakroom and check out the reality tv drama or nah?”

I would prefer nah.

“Ugh. Are you going to make me beg here? Come on, Grimmy. I can’t go alone. I need my partner there to give intros. And I need some trash in my life. I haven’t watched a cat fight in way too long.”

Why does others’ misery entertain you so?

“Because it ain’t mine?! I mean, I love seeing people happy and shit. Give me a video of a little kid getting their lost dog back, and I turn to mush, but there’s also this part of me that revels in the pettiness of seeing someone else being called out for being an asshole especially when I am not that asshole or dealing with that asshole. Ya dig?”

That is actually quite a bit more insightful than I would have expected coming from you.

“ I aim to please.”


“Does this mean you’ll go?”

I suppose the only way to get you to shut up about it is to give in, but once there, you absolutely will not be able to say I did not give you fair warning about how awful it could be.

“it’s your call.”

His irritation bloomed over her like nibbling teeth. I will never understand why you must have the last word even when it makes you look utterly ridiculous.

“Whatever. Can we go now?”

We need to wait until after the lunch rush. Traffic and terrible workdays always puts the newly dead in foul moods. No point making them wait.

Lizzy turned without a word then. Her eternity’s mission was to prove him wrong every possible opportunity.

After lunch, and he had been right unfortunately about the state of the newly dead, the two met at the elevator. He didn’t say much beyond an exasperated grumble and pressed the B. Lizzy was nearly vibrating with excitement which in turn made Grimmy bristle with even more annoyance. She loved it.

The car slid to a stop. She braced herself, fixed her posture, and held her head high in the moments before the door opened, but she was absolutely not ready for the scene that played out before her.

The vending machines were broken heaps thrown around the room. The mail that had been sorted into stacks and crates was strewn across the floor covered in drops of blood, splatters of food, and swipes of mud. Hopefully mud. She didn’t want to think about what else it could be. Objects were flying across the field of her vision too fast to discern exactly what they were. Voices were shrieking in tones too loud and garbled to be heard, but she caught a few words in the mix: sleazy, two-timing, corroborate, hag, can’t compare the two. It was easy enough to put together that someone’s partner had shown up and caught two of the beings that worked in the building, well, fornicating in whatever way such beings do. And the results were not pretty. She couldn't see anyone, but they were definitely waging a personal war that would make a Jerry Springer show look docile in comparison.

Grimmy had gleefully placed a foot to hold the elevator doors open. She could feel the vindication slinking off him like a drag queen’s favorite boa come to life. He was absolutely reveling in the chaos because it meant he was right and she was wrong. Again. And he would never let her live, uh, exist it down.

She was about to mention something about his pettiness when a web of lightning bolts crisscrossed the top of the building causing lights to flicker, screams from the mailroom workers to erupt, and sparks to fly. One of those sparks happened to catch the very tip of Grimmy’s robes and next thing she knew, he was ablaze halfway up his bony legs. He screeched loudly—the only real sound she had ever heard from him externally instead of in her head—and snapped a small fire extinguisher into existence to put out the flames.

She was still laughing when the doors closed, and he pressed the 1 amidst a cloud of agitated shame. 


Baking In A Tornado

Wandering Web Designer

Cognitive Script

Southern Belle Charm

The Bergham Chronicles

On the Border

Part-time Working Hockey Mom

Friday, January 4, 2019


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 6 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My  “Secret Subject” is: You’re grocery shopping & run into your “first love”. What do you do? What do you say?

It was submitted by:


Here's the thing about relationships: I don't do them often.

 I am commitment phobic, independent to a fault, and I have high expectations in a partner. Not too many people understand that and can jive with it, and I can't stand most people, so my relationships have been few and far between. I don't have many exes at all, and those I do have I don't have some weird bad blood with. There is only one person from my early high school days with whom I will never speak again, but that had more to do with things he had done before we met over anything that happened between us while we "dated"...and I mean, does high school even count anyway? Either way, my first actual love came a few years after, but either way I just don't have a lot of hate or anger when it comes to the few people I tried the commitment thing with...

 Here's the thing about first loves: I don't think I was able to have one in the same way a lot of people do.

 Being sexually assaulted at 13 changed me forever. Even my first really serious relationship wasn't uncomplicated and without baggage. I held back, grew depressed, and was a large factor in why it ended. I absolutely couldn't be happy, and I couldn't be confident or feel safe. I had entirely too much anger and resentment, and I couldn't relinquish any little bit of control. A lot of that stemmed from trauma, and in so many ways everything from the moment that trauma occured has been shaped by this sliver of time in which every part of me was violated and rebuilt into someone wholly different. I died for someone's 2 minutes of pleasure and became someone who had REALLY BIG ISSUES to work through. Love was always and will always be a very complex topic that needs a lot of navigation for me, and since it happened so young, I didn't get a chance to explore love and relationships without that stain of trauma. 

Here's the thing about MY first love: A part of me still loves him. And always will.

 There's no anger or resentment that he couldn't handle me as a mess. I'm not angry that he, too, was a mess. He's probably still a mess to be honest. He was (is?) a beautiful, dorky soul. We didn't remain friends, and honestly, sometimes I miss that friendship. It got me through dark times in high school before we dated after graduating. We were friends first, dated for a bit, got our first apartment ever together. It was freeing but chaotic and stressful. Between always hurting for money and the messes we both were, we destroyed what we had. So what I ultimately mean is that there's no reason for it to be tense and weird because we dated. We made good memories and really loved one just wasnt the time and place in our lives for things to work.

 Here's the thing about social standards: fuck 'em.

 I know it's supposed to be weird and taboo to run into someone who saw you naked a bunch, but I just don't operate that way. I'm still friends with several people who have seen me in all kinds of states of nudity, who I have shared myself with just once or plenty of times. It's really not all that odd for me, and it wouldn't be a factor in how I reacted to seeing this person.

Finally, here's the thing about unexpected social interaction: I avoid it like my dog avoids me anytime she hears the word "tub."

 If I saw him anywhere, I might duck and run like I do when I see anyone I know because I hate social interaction, but if we happened to wind up in the same checkout line, I'd speak and treat him like anyone else I feel forced to socialize with--like I'm the most awkward human being in the world or perhaps an alien just getting used to posing as a human for the first time. I might respond to questions like "how've you been" with "thanks, you too" and turn 15 shades of red in a record .2 milliseconds. Rest assured, though, that's how I am with anyone not just someone i gave my battered heart to nearly a couple decades ago.

So. If I ran into my first'd be just another thing.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Wandering Web Designer

Cognitive Script

Southern Belle Charm

The Bergham Chronicles

Part-time Working Hockey Mom       

Friday, December 14, 2018

A Krampy Holiday Part 2

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.

I'm using: meaningful encounter, holly, creature, pod, clay, hidden treasure

They were submitted by:

I wasn't sure if I'd be writing a second part to this. I felt okay with leaving it as a standalone drop-in kind of story where we see a few moments and never get real "closure" or an ending, but I had a couple of asks about the rest and the words I had really lined up with a second part, so here we are. I like Estelle as a character. I'm glad I got to write her a little more. 


Estelle was a little rough around the edges and had a tendency of isolating herself. She hadn’t had the best life. Throughout life, whenever the chips were down, she had learned she was the only person she could count on…which, she also knew, was, at least partly, because she was terrible at asking for help. It was a tough cycle to break. But things had kind of changed when she became a Memaw. She had a different outlook on letting people in and not pushing them away. Things in her life had finally fallen in place, and when she’d looked on their little red faces in the hospital, she felt things she hadn’t even with her own kids.

She snuggled them a little harder thinking back on that moment. Lucy, half awake, sighed and demanded, “Memaw finish telling us about when you met…when you met that creature.”

“Child, you fall asleep every single time before I finish.”


“Oh yeah, then why were you sleeping just now, missy?”

“memaw, my name is Lucy not missy. And I was resting my eyes like you do after lunch.”

“You mean your name isn’t HOLLY? I thought it was Holly this whole time!”

“MEMAAAAW! WHAT?” Lucy giggled loudly making Leo stir a little, but he fell right back asleep with his finger up his nose like he was digging for buried treasure. These two, night and day, made her heart so full.

She took another sip of her cider, cleared her throat, and got ready to finally finish this story for at least one of these kids when she heard Lucy snoring lightly. She couldn’t help but chuckle. It was kind of tradition for her to not be able to finish the damned thing now.

She slid slowly out from between the two, lay them on either end of the couch, and tucked them in. She had a feeling that sleep would elude her like it often did lately. She wanted some coffee, one of the caramel vanilla pods she bought for the fancy Keurig her kids had sent for her birthday a couple months ago and headed for the kitchen.

She was a bit lost in thought about that day, the day she saw the Krampus. She’d really thought it was the end of the line for her when he jumped off that bus. He stood there pushing hot air through those flared nostrils staring her down. She was too terrified to scream, too terrified to move. She sat there in the snow, ball melting in her hands soaking her gloves while waiting to be eaten.

He hadn’t moved, hadn’t spoke. She had spent time taking in all his features, hyperfocused on him, memorizing every wrinkle. The lines in his goat-like face had been so deep she could have sworn he was carved out of clay. His ears had been pointed like an elf’s, and she could see the tips of sharp, serrated teeth through the small parting of his lips, lips that didn’t look much different than her own. His fur had been a deep brown with grayed streaks especially in the thicker mane that surrounded his face. His coat looked like the rough, wiry fur of the Bergmans’ dog that had lived down the street from her house. Toby was his name and petting Toby had kinda been like petting a dish scrubber, but he had been nice and had licked her face sometimes even though her mom hated that. The creature had no clothes, but like Toby, he was hairy enough, shaggy enough that his fur looked like pants hanging down over part of his hooves in the snow. She had been horrified even more when it had finally dawned on her that she was staring at the Krampus from that old story her mother had told her every year ‘round Christmas. Santa would bring her gifts if she behaved, but if she didn’t…the Krampus would come and take her away.

But she hadn’t been bad. She knew she hadn’t been bad. She hadn’t been spanked all year at school or my her mother. She did her chores and made good grades and never talked back even though it almost killed her, and the more she thought about it, the madder she got.


He turned his head to the side like an animal hearing an unfamiliar sound curiosity getting the better of him. “You have not?” His voice was deep and grumbly sounding both human and animal-like at once.

“I HAVE NOT. I’VE BEEN GOOD. VERY GOOD. SO NOW WHAT?” She’d felt braver than she ever had before in her life. She had cried all the way up to age 8 every time they saw Santa at the Christmas parade.

“Who said you have been good?”


“Well, I suppose bad grammar is no reason to have you for my dinner.”

“I’d probably taste bad anyway. My mother made asparagus last night, and it makes your pee smell funny. Maybe it does that to your blood, too, and taste funny.”

“I suppose you have a point there, Estelle Kalinda Sizemore.”

She shivered when she heard her name but held her gaze on him steadfastly. “Um, am I supposed to wish you a Merry Christmas or not?”

“Actually, I’m not quite sure. No one ever lives this long.”

“Well, it seems rude not to, so Merry Christmas, and thanks for not taking me.”


She had waved until he was out of sight, and of course, not a single one of her family had ever believed her no matter how much she had cried and swore she was being truthful.

Estelle had almost finished her cup of coffee by the time she snapped out of the memory. Reflecting back on that story always made her feel…like some kind of badass. She’d faced the Krampus and lived to tell about it even if it hadn’t really been a meaningful encounter. It didn’t change the course of history, but it did change her. She was certainly no scaredy cat after that. When she wanted something, she went for it. She stopped sleeping with a night light even.

As she washed her mug still reveling a bit in the memory of that day she thought she saw a little of herself in Lucy, that same sassy bravery and loudmouthed way of getting answers at least, and she smiled. One day they really would have to hear the rest of the story.


Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

The Bergham Chronicles

The Blogging 911

Cognitive Script

Part-Time Working Hockey Mom

Friday, December 7, 2018

A Krampy Holiday

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 8 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My prompt is: It was a cloudy cold day in December...

It was submitted by: 


Two pair of pattering feet hit the hallway floor seemingly going from 0 to 60 mph in the blink of an eye. The twins were up again. Of course. They never managed to stay in bed the entire night no matter how often they stayed with her, and they so rarely got to stay (at least in her opinion) that she couldn't help indulging their every whim.

"Memaw, can you tell us the story again?"

"What story???"

"Meeeemaaaaaaw," Lucy giggling, "you KNOW the story."

"I don't have the slightest idea, sweetheart. To which story are you referring?"

Leo rolled his eyes and sighed, "ME. MAW. You do know. You're just being starcastic. "

"I think the word you're looking for is 'sarcastic.'"

"That's what I said, starcastic."

Lucy nodded in agreement, her little curls bouncing with the movement. "Memaw, you know. We can't say his name."

The older woman, known as Estelle to pretty much everyone but these two, smiled to herself but feigned shock. "Oooooh you mean--she lowered her voice conspiratorially--you want the story of how I met Krampus."


"Hush now. I told you *I* can say his name since I saw him and lived to tell it, but you two cannot."

In unison, an exaggerated "oooooohhhhhh" caressed the air in that half whisper of relief. It was the same every time she told it like some sort of ritual. If they asked every time, maybe it would help keep him away.

Estelle gave them a moment to get settled, grab their respective blankets and snuggle in beside her while she sipped her hot cider.

"It was a cloudy, cold day in December..."

"How old were you then, Memaw?"

Lucy. That child was always full of questions.

"I told you I was not much older than you two. You're how old now? 34?"

A ruckus of giggles delighted her ears. "MEMAW! You know we're 7. Boths of us. We're twins!"

"Oh yes that's right! 7! I must have been 9 or 10 at the time. We lived in North Dakota then..."

"Is that near the North Pole?" Lucy again.

She smiled as she feigned a scolding, "do you want to hear the story or ask questions?"

"BOTHS!" she shouted in her little chipmunk squeak giggling all the while. No surprises there. No book could be read, song sung, or story told without Lucy asking her questions. Leo was the quiet one usually pondering over it all and never letting anyone know what was really on his mind until it was absolutely made up about things. The two of them could not be more different.

Estelle began her story again, "It was a snow day that day like the day before it. There had been a snowstorm, and we'd gotten a couple feet of snow overnight, but it was finally slowing down just after lunch, so my mother sent us out..."

"What's a snow day again?" Leo, this time actually.

"It's when it snows so much traveling to school is dangerous or when people are snowed in. You don't have those here in Florida really."

He nodded looking wise well above his years, so she continued. "We went out all bundled up with our sled to the middle school a few blocks from our house so we could take a few turns going down the hill behind it. It wasn't the biggest, but we still had fun and got to stay close to home to be back in time for dinner."

"Wait, you just go down a hill on snow? Do dogs pull you like in White Fang? How do you stop? What if you crash?"

"Whoa there! Are you practicing for your future career as a game show host, Luce? Are we in the lightning round?!"

"Memaw! It's not storming!!"

"One of these days you'll get my jokes, sweeties."

Leo, bless him, studied her for a moment all too seriously. "Jokes are supposed to be funny, Memaw."

"Touché, kiddo. Now, where were we? Yes, sledding means sliding down a hill on a sled, but it's different than a dog sled. There are no brakes on these kinds of sleds, so you have to pick a good spot, know what you're doing, and be very careful not to get hurt."

Two little chipmunk voices in unison, "WE WANT TO GO!"

"Of course you do. What about this story first?" They settled back in beside her snuggling in close. It was cool out for a December night in Florida. She didn't have much in the way of a heating system--just a couple of small space heaters. It never really got so cold she needed more, but on this particular night they were hardly keeping them comfortable. She might have to bring them all into the living room and sleep in here with the kids just to make sure they didn't get too cold.

"Pete, that's my brother, and I got tired of sledding pretty quickly. It being such a small hill really didn't give us the action we needed after being cooped up all day the day before, so we decided to have a snowball fight. Now, our mom was deadset against them. She just knew one of us would accidentally roll up a rock or worse and really nail the other one, so that element of taboo added to the fun..."


"Lucy, these questions! Heavens sake. No, no, no. 'Ta-Boo' not 'tat-Too." Taboo means something you're not supposed to do or someone you're not supposed to be around."

"So like how Mommy doesn't want us playing with James across the street?"

"Right. Sort of. But James is an asshole, so you not being allowed would not make it more fun to play at his house."


"My mom passed a long time ago, honey. But I will tell you like I told your mom when she was your age. Those words are not *bad.* They're just for adults. Adults know when to say them sorta like adults are better at driving."

"So you need a lishentz to say asshole?"

"LUCILLE KALINDA MORRISON. Watch yourself! And no you don't need a LICENSE. You need to be an adult. Let's get back to this story before I fall asleep telling it. Where were we?"

"Snowball fight, Memaw." Leo, the angel.

"Right. So we went to the two buses in the parking lot. They were a few spaces apart with small snow drifts all around, so it was a perfect spot to take cover and have plenty of ammunition. I hid behind my bus and started putting together my stack of snowballs. I'd made maybe 5 when I heard something on top of the bus, a clanging sound with weight. I thought it was Pete though I have no idea how he would have gotten on the bus, so I yelled out calling him a cheater. He yelled back from across the way right about the time the Krampus jumped from above and landed a few feet from where I sat. I took one look at him and was too scared to even scream. He had black hooves shining like leather boots, a furry body with goat legs, and two massive horns coming out of his head. He was dressed on a weird old coat that split in the back to make room for the weirdest tail I have ever seen in my life."

Estelle paused to take a sip of her cider and looked down. She had fully expected more questions by now. Both of them were passed out holding hands across her lap. She hadn't made it to the end once.


Here are the links to the rest of the entries!

Baking In A Tornado

The Lieber Family Blog

The Bergham Chronicles

The Blogging 911

Cognitive Script

Friday, November 16, 2018

Granny Candy Part 3

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
My words were: scenario, payoff, lynx, attitude, crucify. They were submitted by:

I really didn't expect to be writing a part 3. I know it's hard for bloggers who don't participate in these challenges regularly to keep up with a multipart story like this, so I was going to leave it with part 2, but these characters have been some of my favorites from any writing I've ever done (the demon story characters too), so when I got these words for the challenge, things just clicked, and here we are. Sorry not sorry.

You can find part 1 here: Granny Candy Part 1 and Part 2 here: Granny Candy Part 2


With that attitude of yours, you'll be lucky if my, our, employer does not crucify you. She will not call you Lizzy, for gods' sake, or be bribed with delectable sweets. You must be on your best behavior, answer all questions to the best of your ability, and thank her graciously for her consideration or she may be of a mind to stick you with Uncle Wayne.

"With... with him? That would be torture. I would rather die."

Lizzy. LIZZY. Have we not established you are already dead? Why else are we here?

"Oh. Well, yeah. Right. I'm dead. But can't I, like, blink out of existence? Or blink HIM out of existence?"

No, that is not how any of this works. His exasperation sent a foreboding dread over her skin like it lived and breathed. Can you not answer a few questions for a position you want without being so obstinate and cumbersome? Is it so hard?

"Honestly? Yes. But I'll give it my best shot."

Fine. Fine! Also, I must warn you...if she turns into a lynx, do not scream or run. Think of it as a test you MUST pass or the results will be less than favorable for your continued pain-free existence in this realm. And do NOT under any circumstances call her a pretty kitty and try to pet her.

"I was betting that's how I'd die, you know. Trying to pet a wild animal."

Yes, I lost money on that bet myself.


We do not have time for these questions. Follow me.

She did. Mostly out of curiosity. But also because she really didn't want to do anything but annoy Grimmy for all of eternity.

They exited the hotel offices, popped into the elevator, and Grimmy hit the button for the penthouse. The elevator itself was padded with a deep maroon crushed velvet that smelled...well...not quite bad but also a little like death. A little rancid. It wasn't pungent or overwhelming, but it was definitely there.

"Question. If this is a figment of my imagination, the hotel depot, why does it still look like a hotel and not its true form?"

It has no true form.

"Everything does. Doesn't it? It has to."

No, everything does not. I do not. This depot does not. The Boss does not. Also, you have not officially been accepted. This is not exactly protocol, child, so I am unsure if it will change form when you are and are no longer in need of an eternity or if we are now stuck in this licorice vomit garbage dump.

"Licorice vomit?! I would think you would love all this dark shit."

No. No, I do not love all this groaned. I do not care for the dark shit.

"Grimmy! Did you really just say 'shit?!'"

Hush, child. We are here.

The doors opened into an open floor with pink toned sunset light steaming in through giant windows that lined the opposite wall. Ethereal was the word that immediately came to mind as Lizzy scanned the room. There were filled, mahogany bookshelves lining the remaining windowless walls. The room smelled like old books, sandalwood, and a hint of blood orange. The carpet was cream and somehow glittering with strands of gold. Chaise lounges and deep velvet sofas in hues of red and purple made the room seem cozy while the large gold desk in front of the windows commanded respect.

As they approached, the large leather chair behind it turned to face them, and Lizzy finally caught a glimpse of the Boss.

She had richly umber skin and a crown of natural curls styled in an Afro blow out. Her eyes gleamed with the force of her smile, and every bit of her makeup, fierce and bold, was flawless--bronze eyeshadow, full brows, red lips, highlight that could blind if she stared straight on long enough, and eyeliner wings that could cut.  When her chair stopped it's slow spin to face them, she stood in her stark white, nearly sheer, gown. Everything about her made Lizzy's heart flutter...but when the Boss threw her head back and let loose a throaty, full body laugh, Lizzy's eyes inexplicably filled with tears, and she felt absolutely petrified.

It was then, still smiling, that the Boss did her lynx transformation.

Not in all of eternity did Lizzy think this scenario would actually play out in reality. She had been sure Grimmy was trying to put her on edge and make her look like ridiculous in front of the Boss like some weird, old being hazing ritual. But nope. She was not that lucky apparently.

The lynx, Keeper of Secrets that she was, stalked towards Lizzy, ears back and muscles flexing. She paced back and forth in front of her feet, growling.

Kneel, child. Kneel or it gets worse.

Lizzy did as he said, no lip. The Boss immediately stood face to face with her growling again and hissing to bare her fangs. Lizzy trembled, but she didn't move. No running, no fear reaction. She closed her eyes and stayed perfectly still, hoping for the best. Hoping, at least, not to get eaten or swiped into eternity or whatever might happen.

It felt like hours that Lizzy stayed kneeling in darkness before she heard that throaty, life-taking laugh again. She opened her eyes to find The Boss once again in human-esque form in front of her, still face to face. She stared deeply into those richly brown, gold-flecked eyes that seemed so full of answers and waited.

"So you want work, is that it?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"Ma'am, eh? You don't seem half the little twerp Charon made you out to be when he asked for this interview. Perhaps he was being a bit melodramatic?"

"He has a tendency to do that.'am."

"You do want the job, though? And it was your idea?"

"Yes, ma'am. It was all me. Grimmy--uh--Charon seems like he will make a great supervisor."

The Boss threw her head back in laughter again. "Grimmy? Oh, this is rich. Give me your hand, child."

Lizzy gulped and looked at Grimmy, but he gave no indication what she should do. She looked at the Boss again whose eyes made demands her voice wasn't needed for and stuck out her hand.

When their skin connected, Lizzy felt its warmth and softness but nothing more. She had wondered if this was some kind of power-giving ceremony in the seconds before she made contact bracing herself for the ferocity of her touch. But it felt like any other hand.

For the Boss, though, it didn't seem like such an easy task. Her eyes rolled back until those all-knowing irises vanished, and her breathing was labored. She sucked in one long, ragged breath and nearly collapsed when it escaped her. Grimmy was at their side in an instant helping the Boss up and to her chair where she sat, back straight as an arrow waiting, Lizzy assumed, for her breath to return to something close to normal.

"I see you are a bit of a twerp, Elizabetha Madeline Forrester. But it does appear it's all in good fun. Your Grimmy here doesn't seem to mind even half as much as he made out. I have to admit, his reluctance to bring you on motivated my agreement to this request more than anything else as I do love to see him annoyed. I feel a bit played now." She laughed more playfully this time. It was light, genuine, and full of warmth more than the power Lizzy had felt from her before.

Lizzy felt a little bolder. "Is there some sort of salary involved?"

The Boss leaned forward no longer smiling and clasped her hands together on the desk primly but not without force. "The only payoff here is my letting you exist. Now if you want to remain on my good side, dearheart, get the fuck out of my office."

Grimmy ran. Lizzy could hardly believe it, but she was close on his heels. Neither of them spoke until the elevator doors closed them into relative safety.

You could not resist opening your big mouth, I see.

"Grimmy, babe, we have all eternity in front of us. Let's not dwell on the past."

They rode the rest of the elevator ride with Grimmy's annoyance surrounding them like a cocoon while Lizzy was doubled over in laughter.


here are the rest of this week's participants!

Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

The Bergham Chronicles

The Blogging 911

Cognitive Script

Part Time Working Hockey Mom

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

Friday, November 9, 2018


Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 9 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

Your “Secret Subject” is: This year, I'm grateful for _______.

It was submitted by:      


I am grateful things aren’t worse.

That’s about all I can say for this year. I’ve lost friends, watched the nation turn more and more towards hate, dealt with the return of a stalker, weathered a hurricane that left the area devastated, and now have a dog with diabetes that I can never leave alone for more than a few hours until she gets her next injection. I’ve been hurt, friends are dealing with scary health issues, and my cfs has been a constant and ever present nightmare. But. It could be worse, I guess? I think that’s really one of the major thoughts that helps me get through the day some days. It could be worse. I could have worse health scares. I could be bedridden. It could be another year for an execution instead of just an anniversary of one. I could have lost my dog instead of having to give her injections twice a day. I could have lost my closest friend not just a couple good friends. It could definitely be worse.

I’m thankful I haven’t had to see “30 Days of Thanks” on my Facebook timeline this year.

I know a lot of people do it. I get why they might want to in a way, and I do realize most of the time the intent is not related to ego. But holy shit it can be isolating. Impact matters. For anyone struggling with their health really badly like many people I know are, seeing everyone else be thankful for their health on their feed throughout the month is just a reminder we don’t have that. Seeing someone be thankful they’re pregnant can be a reminder for the person struggling to get pregnant that they don’t have that. It’s not that it’s just one person saying this randomly. When this has been a trending activity to do on social media, it’s a barrage of different people posting it throughout the month. I know that people are still happy for others and would never wish sickness or infertility or whatever on any of their friends, but those reminders of what we don’t have can be difficult, and I don’t think it’s too much of an ask to be mindful of what others’ may be going through before sharing what you’re grateful to have every single day for 30 days or how much people who are struggling are seeing how alone they are in their struggle.

I’m grateful the House was flipped blue to try and keep a check on things in the government. I’m thankful Muslim women, gay women, gay men, democratic socialists, and Indigenous women all made history winning their elections. I’m grateful Georgia seems to be moving more blue as demographics change and younger people get more involved in voting. I’m absolutely horrified about this new Trump-esque governor (as of typing this Kemp still has a lead anyway while Abrams files suits and waits on final counts). As a queer woman with friends of color, trans friends, veterans I love, people I love with pre-existing conditions, and other queer friends, it’s terrifying to have someone in control who would deny us coverage, existence, access to benefits, and more. I didn’t expect different really. It’s still Georgia after all, but it’s still unsettling to say the least that in this time we will still elect people like Kemp or DeSantis in Florida who ran corrupt campaigns and made thinly veiled racist statements. It’s give and take, this election, but I’m grateful I was able to make my voice heard even if it’s not fully or really at all represented in my home state.

I’m grateful I for all the kiddos at my house—the human one and all the furry ones. Not furry like costumed but furry like actual cats and dogs. I feel too weird not making that distinction. I don’t know where I would be without them to both keep me too busy to think about things and to keep me feeling loved. A year ago, I was contacted by a facebook friend about a friend of hers who needed help with 2 cats in the Atlanta area. The other woman’s former partner had passed suddenly, and these cats needed a foster home. She planned on moving one to Canada with her and helping me find a home for the other. It literally took days for Secret to dig her claws into my heart and make her place here. I call her Queenie now because she runs this place and owns me. I can’t really explain it. I have more than my fair share of cats between rescues and foster fails and fostering period, and I have bonds with a lot of them, but nothing compares to this relationship I have with my Queenie. We’re inseparable, and I am grateful every day I made the choice to bring them here even when I didn’t have the space. I’m grateful I took a chance on contacting the people who had Rost, my dane, even though I didn’t think I was ready for him after my old man Cap passing away a few months before. He’s been amazing in keeping me anchored to this Earth. I don’t know how I would have made it through this year without him. And of course, I’m always grateful for the weird relationship I have with the human kiddo. He keeps me laughing, and the amount of leg hair he has now is awe-inspiring. Haha.

I’m also thankful I have friends who will come to me with questions about social issues, who don’t mistake my passion for anger, and my honesty for hatefulness. I’m thankful I have friends willing to learn, to do the work to be good allies, that will keep me in check when I fail, and work with me to challenge others to be better. I’m thankful I can be a part of groups that help others with everything from depression pizzas to meme threads when we’re down but also to help keep that growth going no matter how dark the future might seem at times. I’m thankful I have made spaces where those of us who aren’t the majority feel safe to express how we see the world and who aren’t afraid to be unapologetically us. I’m thankful people see me as someone who will stand up for them and fight with them, and that being, well, disabled, hasn’t changed how they see me. I might not be on the front lines of the fight, but I’m here for them, and they know it. I’m thankful I have friends who are there for me too, that fight for me, that love me no matter what. Those are the relationships that keep you going.

I’m grateful I found kratom. That’s been my savior this year to help battle the pain I experience with cfs. There were some dark times full of misery and anger and thoughts of ending it all to escape the pain for awhile there. I tried CBD oil which did help with anxiety but did nothing much for the pain, and I was starting to feel I was out of options when I stumbled upon this plant. I cried the first day I took it standing in the shower wowed at how it feels to not have a level 8 pain all day long trying to make it through the day. I still have pain even on it, but holy shit is the world easier to take when it’s a 3 or 4 and not so intense I cannot function.

And I’m immensely grateful even after everything, I still have a sense of humor. Laughing really is the best medicine.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

The Lieber Family Blog

The Bergham Chronicles

The Blogging 911

Cognitive Script

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Part Time Working Hockey Mom

Sparkly Poetic Weirdo

Friday, October 12, 2018

Granny Candy Part 2

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: pinecone, path, sun, patch, and evolve

They were submitted by:

This is part two to a story I did for my last UYW. I know these are hard to keep up with in multiple segments like this, so I'm probably going to end it here as far as blog challenges go, but I'm not sure I've seen the last of these characters. I kind of love them both. 

here is part 1 if you need a refresher or didn't catch it last time: Granny Candy Part 1


“So when is my funeral, Grimmy?”

The two of them headed back to the Overlook, the hub—whatever it was—each with a Werther’s still tucked in their cheek. Well, whatever he had. She still wasn’t sure what he had going on under that hood. 

I have word it begins in about 5 minutes or so. Your wake was last night. Closed casket as you requested, I believe. We did find that gem of a quote when we did our investigation. ‘I don’t want no [ahem] creepos staring at my dead body.’

“Well, it’s a little morbid. Don’t you think? Beyond weird wanting to look at lifeless bodies. I’ve seen one. It did NOT look like the person it was supposed to be, and I just really don’t know why people want THAT to be their last memory of someone.”

I will not argue that.

“But also, like, how the hell is my funeral in 5 minutes when I’ve been here like 5 hours or something.”

Time is different here. You will become accustomed, but it is much slower than what you experienced in life. It has been nearly a week since your accident there.



“Did you really just say ‘pardon’ while I am in freak out mode over how dead I really am? You are infuriatingly adorable, ya grandma. So, can we, uh, blip on over to my funeral? I bet it’s gonna be lit.”

What is this ‘lit?’

“Poppin’, wild, people crying and shit and saying I was too young. Plus, I want to see how many people I didn’t like show up.”

I am thinking perhaps there will be many people who did not like you.

Lizzy paused a minute staring into the shadows of his hood then stuck out her tongue and crossed her hands over her chest. “You’re getting a little too good at roasting. Fast learner, I see. So, can we go or not?”

Go where?

“To my funeral, ya walnut. Where else? I want to see who shows up. Like, come on, that has to be better than what we were about to have to spend the next gazillion hours doing!”

Perhaps. I do have to admit I am not fond of visiting the Eternal Gardens.


What now, child?

“Who in the ever loving fuck named them Eternal Gardens?”

She could feel his frown. He was aghast, embarrassed. “oh, shit… it was YOU!”

I thought it was quite fancy. Catchy, even.

“Oh, honey, no.” She doubled over laughing in her way, funeral almost forgotten until he cleared his throat loud enough to vibrate her chest.

Go ahead and laugh. Let’s see where this gets you. 

“Grimmy! No! It’s adorable, but, uh, if you take me to my funeral, I’ll help you give the place a name that really works for the new kids coming in, evolve your style. And I’ll help you learn about all the candy.”

There is more than one candy? 

“How has no one ever taught you about candy? Either way, do we have a deal?”

Are there even better candies?

“You bet your ghoulish ass there are.”

Then, yes, we do have a deal. The dead can wait. We do have a queue, after all. It shouldn't be long enough for the line to get too long. 

He snapped his fingers again, and the two of them were standing in the entrance to the cemetery near her old elementary school. The sun shone on the path that lead to the heart of the place. The path itself was dirt, but it was peppered with patches of grass here and there and pinecones from the trees that provided shade and shadows all throughout the property. They could hear voices up ahead—the boom of a preacher especially. Which was odd. That wasn’t at all what she wanted. 

Maybe Grimmy sensed her agitation because he stopped her from moving forward with a hand on her shoulder, are you certain you want to do this? It could be…difficult. 
“Sure as fuck am. I want to see how much my drama queen of a mother made this about herself and not me.”

The two of them followed the path towards the sounds of the voices winding in between trees with headstones both old and new lining the land as far as she could see. “They won’t be able to see us will they?”

Not at all. We are not of this realm. 

It IS rather ‘lit,’ is it not?

She turned to him in shock feeling his sassy pride wave over her. “I’ve created a monster. And I l o v e it.”

The two of them were a few yards off from the actual funeral at this point. The crowd was pretty huge like she figured. People she’d gone to school with that had been awful. People she’d been awful to…aunts, uncles, cousins, and family member she couldn’t remember when she saw last. Her mom was there in this huge black designer dress with a set of huge shoulder pads and an even bigger veiled hat sitting on her head. The thing was gaudy. Like, seriously, someone should have yeeted it straight into a toilet. It would have been doing her mom a favor. The woman was wailing of course, throwing her self on whatever man she’d brought with her, the boyfriend of the week, and sobbing loud enough to make the people next to her cringe. And in the front seats right up near the casket were all her mom's bougie ass friends.

“See, this is her show. This is nothing to do with me.”

Your mother seems rather anguished. 

“For attention. Trust me.”

Lizzy heard a giggle then and shifted her attention to sift out the misplaced sound from the sea of tears and sniffles. When she found its source, she stopped in her tracks, mouth agape, face reddened beyond the shade of a ripe tomato. “You have got to be fucking kidding me. Who does this Post Malone lookin’, body odor havin’, no job holdin’, whole bitch think he is?”

To whom are you referring, child? 

“Do you see that bum ass motherfucker over there with the matted hair wearing that Rastafari shirt?”

The young man with black hat?

“No, the one next to him with the ICP neck tattoo of the little ax guy holding a dildo, the one with the lion on his shirt. That, sorry as it makes me to say, is my ex.”

X? What is an X? Like the letter of the English alphabet? Is it some sort of abbreviation? What is an ICP? 

“No, my dude. That’s E-X as in my ex boyfriend, someone I used to be in a relationship with but can no longer stand the sight of because he doesn’t have all his teeth and still lives with his mom. And no one really knows what ICP is. Don’t worry.”

Was he not a good partner?

“Does cheating on me with my best friend count as good? Or how about the time he stole my rent money out of my purse while I slept and spent it at a strip club with his loser ass friends?”

Cheating, I assume, is a way your era discusses extramarital affairs? If so, he is a terrible human being, and his visit with me will be deliciously terrifying.

The Cheshire cat grin that she felt coming from him absolutely felt every bit as terrifying as he made it sound.

“That’s my cousin he’s flirting with right now. At MY funeral. This waste of oxygen knows I would never want him within 10 miles of my funeral. I had to file a restraining order on him because he kept showing up at my work harassing me with his stunted vocabulary and weed stench.”

How do you know he is attempting to court her?


Bet? But I do not gamble, dear.

“Oh Jesus Murphy Lynn. Let’s move closer and you’ll see.”

Okay, but I feel I must inform you that is not Jesus’ correct formal name.

Her eyeroll was magnificent. “Grimmy, sweaty, that is not the point.”

I do not sweat.
“Oh my god, if I wasn’t dead, I would stroke out right here just trying to have a normal conversation with you. Let’s go over there already.”

They moved the short distance to close the distance between them and the ex ending up directly behind them in the crowd. It didn’t take long for Grimmy to pick up what Jeremy, the ex, was attempting to lay down. He complimented her figure. He talked about his car. He talked about his newfound dj fame. DJ Lickalotapus. He played in a t-rex costume. (And he would). He touched her hair, said he felt sparks the same exact way he did when he talked to Lizzy the first time. AND HE INVITED HER TO HIS SHOW THAT NIGHT AT CLUB SERENITY.

The longer Grimmy listened the more intense she could feel his disgust. Lizzy, I see what you mean. He is, as you would say, a creepo.

“We are going to that show. We are going, we are haunting the fuck out of his set, and we are ruining his chances at putting another woman in my family through the shit I dealt with.”

My services may be needed sooner than that, Lizzy. I cannot leave you here, but I cannot desert my post. I also need your decision.


You need to know I do not think leaving this girl in any way the right decision.

“Wait. Listen. Time goes slower there, yeah? So it’s only been a few moments we were gone?”


“Okay, so let’s snap back, leave a “back in 15 minutes sign”, and blip back over to the club. By the time we get back, any people that need you won’t have had to wait too long, and I’ll help you out with it.”

And we will get more candy after? 


The two of them did their blipping rather rapidly. Lizzy scribbled out the sign and hung it on the door to the hub, and even in those few moments, by the time they snapped through space to the club, it was nearly time for DJ Lickalotapus’ set to begin. And her little cousin was standing right up front grinning and waving at him.

Lizzy was in a rage. Grimmy was determined. That dino didn’t stand a chance.

“How do we do this?”

Do what exactly, my child?

“Haunt his shit! Can we interact with things here? What can I do or not do?”

Our energy is very limited here, but if you have enough emotional output, it is possible to interfere with objects or make others aware of your presence.

“Oh, I think I am topping the gd charts on emotional output. Let me at this sentient premature ejaculation.”

She was, topping the charts on emotional output that is. She pushed her hands into the turntables he was using. Sparks flew alright. But not the kind he was looking for with her cousin. She ripped her arms through his records sending them flying in all directions across the room crashing into walls and making the audience scream. In the haze and smoke from the failed machinery, she was so full of desperate anger that she took form, the smoke clinging to her features. That sad, smelly t-rex saw her. He saw the culprit, a puddle forming on the floor beneath him as he screamed. The lights of the club blinked out from the power surges sending even more people into a panic.

Grimmy stood amidst the chaos, and even though she couldn’t hear it, she felt his laughter, and before long, she was laughing right along with him while people rushed by them for the exits.

So, is this what you mean by ‘popping?’

“Indeed, it is.”

I must admit I have never had so much enjoyment.

“And we haven’t even gotten to the candy, yet.”

I may be starting to like you yet. 


I absolutely cannot imagine you anywhere else


Here are the rest of the submissions:

Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

The Bergham Chronicles

The Blogging 911

Cognitive Script