The Usual Haunts #Tanka

 

I thought my spirit

would glide gracefully amongst

the living. Alas…

I find I’m a clumsy ghost

Can’t earn my haunting license

 

 

 

In the spirit of Halloween, this week’s prompt is to write a poem with the words ‘ghost’ & ‘haunt’ in it.

I’ve gone a bit silly for Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Challenge. You can write any of the following: Haiku / Tanka / Haibun / Cinquain / Senryu. Check it out and challenge yourself.


 

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Circle of Death

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each tweet, alone, is a micro with beginning, middle, and end. But, together, they make a little story.

I can collect tweets and create a post. Normally, they’d be from different dates, have different hashtags, and be inspired by different prompts.

For this one, though, I wrote a few silly tweets yesterday to use as an example for the ‘Embedding Tweets’ post on Lemon Shark. (And it was fun…) 🙂

 

Evil Stepmother Support Group ~ One Year Anniversary

 

 

MAY 2017

 

The Misunderstood Stepmoms, a support group started by Cinderella’s stepmother, Caroline, celebrated its one-year anniversary this weekend.

“We were pleased with the turnout,” she said. “And we’re proud that this little group has been around for an entire year.”

Caroline’s statement may be a bit modest. The group is not only still around but, in fact, has swelled to over 600 members. Rumors of branches being formed throughout the country have been circulating for months.

We caught up with Gothel, Rapunzel’s adoptive mother, who had to travel quite a distance for the meetings and recently started a local chapter near her.

“It was good while it lasted but it’s been shut down,” she waved her hand dismissively. “Apparently, I’m not technically a ‘stepmother’. According to some people.”

The “some people” Gothel spoke of are the original three members: Snow White’s, Hansel and Gretel’s, and Cinderella’s stepmothers.

Gothel was awarded legal guardianship of Rapunzel in 2003 but, sources say, there may be evidence the document was faked.

A follow-up with the groups’ founder, Caroline, shed some light on the situation.

“I don’t want to throw stones,” she said, “but, yes, we’ve banned Gothel from our meetings and stripped her of any rights to use our name in future group settings. It’s not entirely about her stepmother status, although it has come to our attention that she is in a cauldron of trouble in regards to how Rapunzel came to be in her care. We, personally, have had…issues with her behavior. I can’t say too much due to an ongoing legal matter. And I want to emphasize that we are a caring group of women.”

Cinderella’s stepmom said, “Caroline’s too nice for her own good. Gothel is nuts. Some stepmothers have a reputation for a reason. Poor Rapunzel. ‘Adoptive mother’, my ass.”

Allegedly, Gothel had lost her temper during a meeting in early May, causing damage to the building and endangering members of the group.

When asked about the incident, Caroline admitted a few of the members were injured during “what can only be described as an ‘attack’.” She has since added a clause to her online ad about the group stating “zero tolerance for violence, magical or otherwise” and plans to hold an emergency meeting to focus on maintaining a safe and supportive environment for The Misunderstood Stepmoms.

 

The group meets once a week, on Wednesdays, and any mistreated stepmother is welcome. There is no fee for membership. Apple tart and herbal tea will be provided. Contact Caroline for more information.
UPDATE: Due to recent events, the location of meetings has been changed from the Fuji Warehouse in downtown Darby to the Braeburn Building on Main Street.

 

Evil Stepmother Support Group

 

 

MAY 2016

 

A new support group started up this week in downtown Darby. They call themselves “The Misunderstood Stepmoms”.

The group is led by Snow White’s stepmother, Caroline, who is fed up with all the hostility.

For years, she was despised and discounted, never being asked to join local book clubs or invited to a girls’ night out. Following this past Mother’s Day weekend, Caroline decided enough was enough.

Needless to say, she did not receive flowers or a card on Sunday.

About Snow, she said, “The girl pigged out on junk food. She was always walking around with her hand stuck in a bag of corn chips or jellybeans. I gave her some fresh fruit and, yes, that included an apple. She took one bite and pretended to choke on it, falling down and accusing me of trying to poison her. The girl didn’t want to eat healthy. End of story.”

Caroline went on to say, “I heard similar accounts of stepmothers being unfairly bashed so I created a safe space for them to talk and share their feelings.”

Cinderella’s stepmom claims she tried for years to get her teenage stepdaughter to “take a bath and change her damn clothes.”

While Hansel and Gretel’s stepmom says she spent months warning her stepchildren not to wander into the woods before their disappearance. “They came home with some cock-and-bull story about a candy house and a kitchen witch. Everyone knows kitchen witches live in the city,” she said.

In both cases, these women were blamed for the unfortunate state of their stepchildren.

“Sadly, these stories are not unique.” Caroline said. The three founding members were joined by fifteen others for their inaugural meeting. While there is no official motto for the group yet, Caroline said, “We want women to know that they are not alone.”

When asked about the group dynamics, Caroline admitted there is some tension. “We have a mix. There are a few members with anger management issues, while others are simply disheartened. But, for a first meeting, things went extremely well. We are a supportive bunch and provide a much-needed sense of community.”

 

The group will meet once a week, on Wednesdays, and any mistreated stepmother is welcome. There is no fee for membership. Apple tart and herbal tea will be provided. Contact Caroline for more information.

 

Something’s Afoot #WritePhoto

 

 

“I don’t accept money,” his eyes traveled over me.

“But,” I took a deep breath, “I need it.”

He leaned against the moss-covered stone. “Obviously. Since you’re trading with the likes of me under a bridge…”

“Tell me what you want. Anything.” I shifted from one foot to the other under his gaze.

“Your shoes.”

“My…wait, what?” I looked at my strappy sandals. “These?”

“Yes.”

I slid them off and held them out.

“Over there,” the dragon extended his wing to a mound of what I now realized was shoes. “We don’t just hoard gold, you know. Carl fancies teacups.”

 

 

I’ve combined two prompts again this week:

#writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent which asks writers to use photos for inspiration (the photo above is this week’s prompt)

 

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and Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch which asks writers to pen a piece in 99 words (this week’s prompt: Trading).

March 23, 2017 prompt: Trading In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story write a story about trading. It can be the profession of old or of modern day traders on Wall Street. What is traded? Go where the prompt leads you.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

The Princess and the Pen

 

moonstone-gem

“What are you doing?” Her sister swished into the room, gown brushing the floor.

Without looking up, Keira sighed. “Brea, leave me be. I’m writing.”

Writing!” Brea gasped.

“Well! There’s not need to say it like that!”

“But…” Brea fanned herself. “That’s what crazy people do! You’ll be locked up!”

Keira tapped her pen on the desk, “Uh-huh. I’ll get on that. Now, if you please…”

“Are you even listening to me? You’re always with your nose, unpowdered by the way, inches away from a paper with scribblings on it. Why, you’ll get ink on it! Think of that! This…this…writing…” Brea waved her hand at the desk, “it’s indecent. Absolutely improper for a princess.”

“I don’t care,” Keira sulked.

Brea stood straight, accentuating her incredibly impossible height of 4 feet, 2 inches. “I’m telling Father.”

“Oh, Brea! You mustn’t!” Keira turned to see her older sister wasn’t angry but scared. “Please.” She stood up, pushing a loose hair from her face.

Keira’s eyes widened. She pointed. “You’ve got ink on your cheek now! How will you explain that?! Oh, Keira, this isn’t proper. It’s dangerous.”

“Iridescent,” Keria said.

“Pardon?”

“Iridescent,” Keira repeated. “I’m trying to think of something iridescent to put in my fairy tale.”

“But…” Brea tapped her chin. “That’s easy. I mean, honestly, have you lost your ability to think, sister? Iridescence is everywhere. There are numerous…”

“Such as?” Keira bounced on the balls of her feet.

“Well,” Brea inched closer to the desk. “Whatever the story is about, you can always add a dragon. Their scales are iridescent. Of course there are fairy wings, moonstones, mermaids’ tails, unicorns, sea serpents, and…um…” she giggled, “troll snot. Oh! Then there’s the rare…”

“No,” Keira slumped. “I’m writing a fairy tale. I need something that doesn’t actually exist.” Her sister’s eyes filled. “But thank you. I mean, those were excellent suggestions, Brea. You’re wonderful, helping me braincloud this way. You remember the fairy tales Mother read to us as children? The fantastical creatures and items in those worlds? That’s what I’m trying to remember.”

“Oh,” Brea dabbed her eyes with a lace-edged handkerchief. “Well, I seem to remember something…”

“Yes? What is it? What did it do?”

Brea shook her head, “I can’t quite place it.”

“I know,” Keira returned to her desk and plopped down. “It was like a sphere but not quite. A flying…thing. I don’t recall its purpose.”

“Yes! That’s what I’m thinking of. A sort of blobby, floating, purposeless creature. It…popped. On its own. Maybe that was its magic?”

“Popped. Yes… There was air inside, if I’m not mistaken. And it flew. Or, as you say, floated. Oh, blast it all!” Keira put her head in her hands.

Brea absentmindedly twisted her moonstone ring. She straightened her pink gown, tucked her hair into its ribbon, and turned to leave. “Well then. I’ll just tell Father you’re working on something for his grandchildren, shall I?” She smiled over her shoulder, “It’s called a ‘bubble’.”

 

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#BlogBattle is a weekly writing prompt for flash fiction/short stories (with a word AND genre theme) hosted by Rachael Ritchey 

Join in. Write a story. Read the stories. Vote for your favorites here.

Week 4 Prompt: Iridescent
Genre: Fairy Tale

 

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Headstone #WritePhoto

 

cracked-ice

 

“It used to be a lake,” she prodded the patch of ice with the toe of her boot, cracking the glassy surface.

He bent to wipe some dirt from the shards. “Nah. Maybe a stream. A tiny one at that.”

“Look,” she pointed down the path. “It goes on for, like, miles.”

“It wasn’t a lake,” he rolled his eyes. “Too much overgrowth on either side. Too thin.”

She looked at the sky, blowing out a puff of icy breath. “It’s what my grandma says. A lake.”

He reached inside his coat pocket, and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. “Smoke?”

“She says my grandpa died fishing. And lots of other people drowned here. It’s like a frosted graveyard this time of year.”

“Huh,” he lit a cigarette and sat on a nearby rock. “Well…not sure what to say, actually. Um, sorry.” He peeked around her at the sunset. “Nice place to die. I mean… Nice view for, you know, the ones…”

She crouched next to him, tracing her fingers on his leg, staring at his lap.

He froze.

“Get up,” she grabbed his jeans, pushing him away. “That’s not a rock.”

 

 

This is my first attempt at #writephoto, a weekly writing prompt for poetry/flash/short stories hosted by Sue Vincent – Join in the fun

 

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Hawkeye

 

My name is Red.

As in the crimson ribbons that will flow from your flesh when my razor-sharp weapon lashes out.

I watch the woman unleash a storm of violence with her sword and a smile.

I will fight alongside her.

She moves like a sharp-shinned hawk, majestic and agile. Like me.

She is deadly beauty.

I wait for her to notice me. To appreciate my brutality in battle. To take me under her wing.

She turns, red hair flying free in the salty air. My heart soars.

A laugh escapes her lips as she says, “Polly wanna cracker?”

 

 

 

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch

 * This fun, little flash was prompted in two ways by Charli this week. One. I am using her prompt from Carrot Ranch. Two. She suggested I use a female pirate character I’ve written about previously and include a parrot (who thinks he is a raptor). 🙂

 

October 19, 2016 prompt: Raptor In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a raptor. Let your imagination take wing, or dive into natural science. Tell a story about flight, talons or tail-feathers. Create a myth or share a BOTS (based on a true story). Set the raptor in a spectacular place or focus on bird itself. And for clarification, raptors are eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.

 

Sarah Brentyn Reef 99 Words - sig

 

Riding Hood’s Grandmother Reveals Identity as Bestselling Author

 

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Years after the alleged attack on Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, Hazel, the now legendary grandma reveals her identity as bestselling author, Kale E. Pepper.

“First,” Hazel said, “let’s get this out of the way as I know you’re going to ask. The wolf never ate anyone. In fact, he was quite the gentleman. He had lost his way and needed directions to the barber shop. Quite the hairy beast, you know. Red sent him to the local ice cream parlor. That girl couldn’t find her way out of a cardboard box.”

The wolf then ended up at Hazel’s house after being assaulted by a group of school children who threw ice cream cones and popsicles at the poor beast. When asked if she still keeps in touch with the wolf, Hazel answered, “I don’t think he’s around here anymore.”

“But this,” she walked into her kitchen, “is why I called you.”

After brushing some fur off her counter, she showed us a collection of bestselling cookbooks such as Guide to Grilling Wild Game and Savory Large Game: Salads and Side Dishes which she wrote under her pseudonym. “They are selling very well.”

Indeed they are. Her informative new how-to guide, Find it Fresh, Fry it Up, just hit #2 on the New York Times bestseller list.

“This one,” she picked up her book entitled Look What’s Coming to Dinner “has been in the top ten for three months,” she said proudly. “Fresh ingredients. That’s the key.”

We declined Hazel’s invitation to stay for supper.

 

Book Club Vampire Hunters

 

Had a bit of fun stringing together the tweets from the first week of #Tweets4Blogs. Each participant’s lines are in green, click on their names to visit them. The prompt on Twitter was:

Write the first line of a story about a book club that hunts vampires on the weekends. Use the hashtag Have fun!

And here is the story…

 

70 yr old Ree held Of Mice & Men as she skewered the vamp with her walking stick. “It helps when they underestimate you.”

“You know,” said Lisa, “you’re right. They think you’re an easy target then… Wham! Splat! Poof! It’s fun.” Everyone turned to stare. “Well, I’m just saying.”

Lisa, please do not launch into your ‘She was alone. Scared. Confronted with an evil she had only read about in books. She put down Memoir of the First Slayer and opened the freezer, knowing now just how to kill that blood sucker in the porch….’ story again.”

“I’m not. It’s just,” she gestured to the pile of dust under Ree’s walking stick, “look at that! She nailed the little…”

“When you say you nailed the little f*****, are we still talking of Sunday’s bloodfest or completing 50 Shades for the club?” Geoff asked.

“Was that necessary?” Vanessa chided.

“I’m really sorry about this,” Norah covered her eyes with one hand and staked a vamp with the other.

“We’re not helping anyone by sparing vampires’ feelings,” Sarrah W. said, “Look, had Darcy spoken up about Wickham, he could have saved Lydia.”

“I don’t remember anyone asking you to chime in. We decided not to read Pride and Prejudice. Let it go.” Sue said.

“Oh, I see, I suppose Geoff’s ‘50 Shades of Shit’ is a more worthy read?” Georgia considered this a moment. “You know, that actually might be interesting.” She saw the looks of alarm and shrugged. “Better than the original.”

“Can we please get back to choosing more weapons for tonight?” Allie pleaded. “It’s only a few hours until sunrise.” She gazed at all the stakes lying across the grass—oak, mahogany, lots of pine.

Geoff crossed his arms and gestured to Allie. “Seems someone is not opposed to my choice of reading material.”

“Oh I don’t know,” said Allie as she selected a stake from the pile of assorted weaponry, “sometimes a banana is simply fruit.”

Irene tiptoed around a gravestone. “Friday night, at midnight, members of the book club stopped reading.”

“Geez!” Cynthia jumped. “Will you stop whispering to yourself, Irene? You startled the hell out of me!”

“Yeah, it is a bit creepy, you stalking your fellow book club members,” Hope added.

“Creepy?” Kate asked.

Ruth raised an eyebrow. “As opposed to, say, walking around in the dead of night staking blood-sucking vampires?”

“I suppose it could be considered creepy but it doesn’t seem that way to me. Not anymore.” Helen straightened her garlic necklace. “It is a truth universally acknowledged that a half decent book club be in search of vampires to hunt.”

“It only makes sense,” Eric agreed, “After all, books are a collection of paper made from wood pulp. The same wood used to make stakes. Used to vanquish the undead.”

“What he said,” Luccia grinned.

“So…um…” Charli adjusted the bloody wooden stake in her hand and asked Barbara, “Which book did you say we’re discussing this weekend?”

“Are we done with Eat, Pray, Love already? I keep losing track what with the hunting and all. And, to be honest,” Sacha said, “I haven’t found time to finish it.”

“Right. That reminds me.” J.D. threw Sacha her copy of Eat, Pray, Love and a garlic stake, “gives Eat, Pray, Love a whole new meaning, hey?!”

“We finished that last week. On to the Twilight series now,” Amber laughed. “Grab your UV lights, people, we have some Suckers to kill. That book might be on to something, maybe they DO sparkle.”

“I don’t think so,” Barbara rolled her eyes. “Let’s just hunt, okay?”

“I hunt for stories hidden in moonlight,” Katsyarina started singing, “I crave for answers even with a bite, a kiss’ll come with page of our love, I wrote what you read tonight!”

“Keep it down, Kat! You’ll give us away!” Loni hissed.

“Hey, at least she kills the damn things,” J.D. said, “What’s the rule? Okay…rules? Two things are unacceptable in the Yorkshire bookclub: eating next to a book and coming across a vampire and leaving it alive. She does neither so let her alone.”

Katsyarina smiled, “Thanks, love.”

“Of course,” J.D. winked.

Sarah, being the newest member of the book club, had stayed out of the way and watched throughout the night. As the sun cast its first streaks of orange in the sky, a vampire appeared in front of her. She slid a copy of Jane Eyre in her purse and asked Ree if killing him was technically murder considering he was already dead. Ree smiled and tossed Sarah her walking stick.

 

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You all are awesome. This was fun. 🙂

Hope you have some sparks of inspiration from your fantastic tweets so far. Have you searched for yourself yet? Did you find anything to expand?