Friday, March 16, 2018


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:

inevitably ~ first ~ differently ~ fiesta ~ routes ~ hosted

It was submitted by: 


The house was pretty quiet when she heard the scratch at the back door. She closed her book about one of America's first female serial killers reluctantly, sat it on the arm of her chair, and chuckled to herself. Voorhees, her big ginger kitty, couldn't be kept inside no matter how hard she tried and had learned to scratch the door like the dogs when ready to come back in for a soft spot to nap and a bite to eat. The lines between species had inevitably blurred in this house, and she couldn't help being amused by it.

She made the short journey across the kitchen to the back porch, flicked on the light, and opened the door for His Dark Majesty. He trotted, sass fully on display. She waited for his usual chirp--a rolling half purr, half meow--that meant, "Hi, Mom. Pamper me." It was one of her favorite sounds and even in front of company she found herself chirping back in full conversation embracing the crazy cat label happily. People were okay and all that, but animals seemed to love differently, wholly and without the baggage humans brought to the table, so even though she loved her friends, she'd take a night in with her furry nuggets over a fiesta full of people any day of the week.

Voorhees was quiet though. Instead she felt him flop onto the floor. He had a tendency to plop down in front of the food bowl and eat laying down. (What a life). So she snuck a quick look behind her to make sure the bowl was Vorhees full. Super full. A half empty bowl would never do for her fat boy...not without him howling for more as soon as she sat down at least. But when she looked.... was that something moving? In his mouth?

She took a step backwards, flipped the light on, and felt her jaw unhinged in shock, tiny noises of protest wheezing out.

She looked harder but refused to step closer. Voorhees held it tightly in his mouth for the moment, but no way was she getting any closer. She'd read sci fi novels for fuck's sake. She'd seen the movies. The woman always warned them to leave the thing alone, and she was always right. Before you knew it everyone in the story had hosted some parasite or alien or been eaten alive. She wasn't going down like that. Nope. Not a chance.

It was a pink, fleshy color kind of like an earthworm. She couldn't see much of it except the writhing mass of tentacles trying to pull itself to freedom, gripping the cat's whiskers but failing to get purchase enough to pry open his jaws. While she watched, Voorhees bit down harder, and a split second after she heard the squish of meat, a piercing screech rolled through her brain so loudly she fell to her knees. She didn't hear it so much as felt it, and as soon as she regained composure she saw the cat had been completely unaffected.


She stayed on the floor watching the thing a little longer when the cat dropped it out of his mouth and squished it to the ground with his claws. Because of course. Cats. Fucking cats playing with their food...even if it looks like an alien earthworm octopus. Maybe especially an alien earthworm octopus.

She tried to fake some calm in her voice, "Voorheeees, baby.... please don't let your little friend go."

And because he's a cat, Voorhees stared her dead in the eyes and let the little fucker go.

It screamed again causing her to kind of double over and grasp her temples, but she kept her eyes on it as it defied gravity and climbed the kitchen cabinets like a spider up to small shelf where she kept some kitschy kitty cat figures she'd had since she was a kid. It seemed to stare dead at her as it pushed them off one by one so they shattered on the ground .

"Hey knock it the fuck off!"

It reared back on a few of the tentacles and roared inside her head, so she slid over to the cat, grabbed him in a bear hug and ran for the living room through the only exit from the kitchen and one of its only escape routes from the house.

She'd grabbed a chair from the dining room and placed it under the doorknob leading to the kitchen and pulled her chair to sit in front of the door and keep watch. That was hours ago now...

The sun was coming up, the first rays of light peeking through the windows behind her. Her eyes felt heavier than the gun in her hand, but she couldn't sleep. Voorhees was prowling and meowing in front of the door begging for his prey like he knew somehow it was still there, too. It hadn't made a sound, but she felt it. Waiting.


Check out the other submissions this week!

Baking In A Tornado

Bookworm in the Kitchen

On the Border

Cognitive Script

Friday, March 9, 2018

Tea Cup

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 “Secret Subject” is:

If you woke up to find you were still 16 years old and you had just been dreaming of what adult life might be like, how would you react?

It was submitted by:

This was difficult for me, but I think I hammered this thing out into something worth reading.


16 year old me had already lived through some difficult shit in her short few years. There's no sugarcoating it. From an abusive alcoholic of a father, a mother affected a lot by him and her own abusive parent, their divorce, the violent aftermath of the divorce, rape, and living with people at 16 who absolutely did not get her, did not want to, and hid her (the highlight reel), 16 year old me was broken into tiny pieces that a later me would have to try to put together into a whole being. Imagine a tea cup shattered on the floor being held together by a little glue and spotty self-love, missing the handle, chipped, the cracks minute but visible yet still standing, still stout. Fragile but determined. That's 36 year old me, that surgically reconstructed tea cup that will never accomplish what it might have been meant for but is still beautiful, still going, and still has purpose.

Also imagine some filthy word like "fuck" painted in delicate calligraphy across the front because it's me we're talking about...

16 year old me, though, was still in shatters. Waking up to find she'd gone from the me I am now back to who she was then... torture. Still understanding there were nearly 20 years standing between where she was and the part where she, I, we reconstruct the tea cup and find ourselves happy and at peace with where we are would bring a lot of pain, torment that she couldn't go to sleep like a princess in a fairytale and wake up when things are better. To feel the warmth of a life being lived and lived with love and wake up back in the cold of a castle tower, brick and mortar walls constructed to keep everyone out and protect those tiny shards of tea cup, Trust No Bitch flashing neon across the outside would almost be enough to push her over the edge.

At first.

But maybe it would give her hope after the first few moments of realization hit hard but while she was still awash in the glow of what would be. She might not be out of the thick of it, but there were a lot of nights she didn't want to live anymore at all, plenty of barren, hopeless nights when the tears had dried up long ago and the isolation was too much, too alienating, too cold. Seeing that future and its possibilities and how loved she would be; how fulfilled surrounded by her little family (chosen and not), the animals she saved and adored and gave new lives to, her letters keeping her fulfilled, in good conversation, and with purpose; and, how much she would laugh instead of cry even with a few more hard times ahead would give her strength to keep going and live life on her own terms.

That's not to say she wouldn't be slightly confused, young me. Married? Divorced? A kid? She wanted none of those things. A degree but no job from it? She was supposed to do G r e a t T h i n g s with it, you know. And a chronic illness? That was never in the cards. But she would see herself making the best of all of it, learning from her mistakes, carving her own path, and I think she would find herself at peace with where she is headed once she made terms with the fact that she was still stuck in the pit for awhile longer. Those things, even the illness, made her a better person, mentally stronger. And the kid...his long-haired, anime-loving, too smart for his own good weirdness would be something she never could have planned for anyway. He gave her purpose stronger than anything else she would ever know and every giggle would renew her life. It was a tragically flawed but beautifully constructed puzzle, her tea cup, and it was better than anything she thought she would have.


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

Cognitive Script

The Lieber Family Blog

The Bergham Chronicles