Tag Archives: Short Story

It was the first time, but not the last – A short story

29 Jun

It was the first time, and it wouldn’t be the last. At least that’s what everyone had told me leading up to today, some way to calm my nerves, huh.

Breathe. Just breathe.

A nightmare I’d been late caused me to wake up before my alarm clock this morning. I sure could have used those 45 extra minutes of sleep, but oh well now. It’s almost time.

Focus. Concentrate. 

Before leaving, I checked my confirmation email, the weather and the traffic report no less than three times, and had to change outfits because my jitters caused a lovely glob of toothpaste to land on my strategically selected blouse.

I hope that’s not omen for how today will turn out. Stop. You can’t think about that right now. 

Unable to sit still any longer, I left home an hour early, and thank goodness I did! A fallen tree from last night’s storm created a detour that sent me 15 minutes out of my way.  But I made it, and with 15 minutes to spare. Flipping down the visor, I check my make-up once more. Please don’t let there be lipstick on my teeth or running mascara!

Surprisingly, no make-up was out-of-place. Even my untamable hair was on its best behavior still.

See?! You’ve got this! 

I concentrated on my breathing exercises, needing to calm my thundering heart. One, two, three… Resting my head against the seat rest, I slowly inhaled and exhaled, feeling my lungs expand and compress.

Oh no! I forgot my purse! My bag!

Crisis averted, they are both sitting on the floor of the passenger seat. To ease my worried mind, I check inside my bag.

Cover letter? Check.

Resume? Check.

Portfolio? Check?

There was no time left to stall – with ten minutes before my scheduled meeting I entered the building and found reception. She looks friendly enough, I think I’d like it here.

Hello. I have an interview at 9:45 with Mr. Lewis…

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Long, long ago….finish the story

10 Apr

I love how TimeHop provides daily blasts from the past from my various social media accounts for my enjoyment and amusement. Sometimes, like today it finds gems I had completely forgotten about.

Back in 2011 when I was still on the Disney College program I posted a status starting a story and asked my Facebook friends to continue the tale. My best guess is that I was working an evening shift at Disney Quest and wanted something entertaining to read during my breaks. My friends did not disappoint – their creativity knew no limits as they sent a beautiful princess on a dangerous quest.

Each line is by a different author. And now, for the first time in five years I am excited to present our Facebook Fairy Tale…

Long, long ago in a far off kingdom there lived a beautiful princess preparing for a dangerous quest…

…The very first thing before she set off on her quest was to be very sure that there were no toads lurking nearby…

…Even though it was a dangerous quest, she knew that she would be okay because she knew who she was and she had her family’s support and love.

…So she picked up and put one foot in front of the other and headed out the door…

…Along her quest, she met a talking squirrel named Charlie. After spending a few moments talking, Charlie and the princess discovered that they were both heading in the same direction and decided to continue on their path together. They walked for hours and talked about…

…everything  under the sun, from how to survive without your momma and papa, to what exciting adventures awaited them ahead in the magical land that they were traveling to. Now, what the princess did not know was that Charlie was a magical squirrel and he was able to…

…cast a love spell to make even your enemies love you!!…

…Also, he makes the best ice cream sundaes on the planet, but you have to…

…provide your own chocolate syrup! Anyway, the princess knew what dangers lay ahead even just outside of her castle…

…The wicked witch lived, who never wanted her to find love, so she…

…had a plan to get the princess far, far away from everyone she loved including her family and friends. However, the princess was unaware of this evil plan, because she thought she was going on an awesome adventure until…

…the wicked witch, along with her sidekick Prince Humperdink, unleashed their army of toads…

…The only weapon the princess had was her kiss, but there were sooo many toads so she closed her eyes and…

…began to whistle. The whistling brought a variety of birds to the area. And you know that birds naturally prey upon toads, so…

…all of the toads disappeared. And the birds began to chase the princess around the castle so Humperdink then…

…fell into the river of doom where…

…the evil spell that had been cast on him was broke because he was really a…

**note to you all – Humperdink is a bad guy, he is the head toad!

…Master manipulator, and although he tried to trick the princess into liking him, her common sense told her there was someone better for her so she and Charlie ran to the nearest river to get…

…refreshed. The princess and Charlie were exhausted, too much stress, ya know. Once they took a moment to themselves, they decided to continue on their adventure. After walking several hours, they finally ended up…

…back at Charlie’s  house where the beautiful princess kissed him and he turned back into the handsome prince!…

…NO SIR!!! She baked him an apple pie and they spent time together and she found out what his middle name was and what his favorite color was and that he is truly princely BEFORE SHE EVER KISSED HIM!!!…

…Which she already had because at night after their questing they had hung out eating nachos and talking for hours on end, so when they did kiss…

…they wore just engaged buttons…

…and then they went out again on their path that lead to the place where the quest all started and before you knew it all the toads were on the path and looking at the beautiful princess wishing they had become the prince who won the prize of the princess.

The End.

The Letter – a short story

5 Aug

He wasn’t fine. Everything, and yet somehow nothing, had changed. Children still laughed as they ran carelessly around the park, birds still floated effortlessly on the breeze and the street lights still turned on as the sun said goodnight. The world around him reminded unchanged while he fought off silent demons.

The letter – that was the breaking point. The sender, an anonymous person among the masses, could be anyone. The cryptic note, spelled out in a mash-up of cut-up magazine letters, provided no clues as to its sender. The message brief – “French Café. 2:00 PM tomorrow. Look for the red rose. Your instructions await. Come alone, I will be watching.”

It had been years since he’d last been inside, let alone seen the café. So many memories, some bad, but mostly good. That’s where he first saw her – indulging in not just any french pastry, but a caramel éclair. Her expression, eyes closed, tongue peeking out at the corners of her mouth to lick the last bits of lingering chocolate, without ever saying a word, told him it was the most incredible thing she’d ever tasted.

Putting on his courage like a suit of armor, he made the bold move to introduce himself. She was annoyed at first, having been interrupted during her moment of bliss, but he quickly won her over with his goofy smile and quirky personality. She could tell he was trying to hide his nerves – maybe he doesn’t get out much? – taking pity on him, invited him to join her for coffee.

Thinking about that day, a small, mostly absent smile played at the corner of his mouth. He use to think of that first meeting often, replaying it over and over in his mind, wishing he could have been smoother on his introduction, but often deciding it was for the best he hadn’t been. Nowadays, he avoids all reminders of her and the café, but tomorrow he would be forced to return.

Deep in thought as he walked, he hadn’t realized at first where he was. On his left, rundown Mom and Pop shops from his childhood and to his right, the old cemetery where he’d spend many nights as a boy telling ghost stories with friends. Having started down the journey of reminiscing the days gone by, he walked under the old archway towards a well-known old maple tree.

As he walked past, he couldn’t help but run his hand over the tombstones, wondering about the people and the lives they had lived. What were their stories, had they lived their dreams or been taken from this world too soon? Had any of them felt as he did now – empty, alone and with more questions than answers. Did they have demons to face at one time – were they successful at vanquishing the fear.

Seated alone under the tree, he listened to the sound of his racing heart – lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub. As the wind picked up he heard it, a plastic rustling sound overhead. “How odd,” he thought, to see a bright blue balloon, probably from a child’s birthday party, caught in the branches of a cemetery tree. “Out of place,” he mused, “just like me,” as he released the balloon and watched the evening wind carry it out of sight.

After a restless night of pacing and nightmares, he made his journey slowly towards the meeting at the café. Eyes darting back and forth, he checked his watch – five minutes to spare thankfully, he did not want to find out what would happen if he was late. As the thunderstorm broke over head, he swallowed the lump in his throat and entered without looking back…

 

**This short piece is part of The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge where we were instructed to use The Ray Bradbury noun list technique to beat writer’s block. The words in italic are the words that had to be incorporated in the story – I chose to pick five from the list The Daily Post compiled and add one of my own. I wasn’t sure where my story was heading until I was halfway through it! A new thrill for me – someone who likes to plan the plot and details before the first word is ever penned.