October 20 and 21 Word Challenges – 2021

I ran behind on all the things I wanted to do yesterday due to errands and a meeting, so yesterday was productive to say the least. With that said, I will be combining some of my challenges from yesterday. Also, please join all of us that do these word challenges by clicking on the links within the creations made from the words. My pingback links open in a new window, unless I forget the tick the button to make it open in a new tab. This way you don’t lose your place *smiles*

This will be the start of a story or a chapter of one I have already started. I hope you all enjoy it!


Photo by Alice Aksenova on Pexels.com

A day came when she decided to take a trip and make it an adventure. There was a place Meredith would always go to explore, and she figured today was a great day to take a break, especially since she had worked for 10 consecutive days straight on a difficult legal case. She needed a break, and it would be worth it to get some air in her face and some nature in her bones. An adventure would satisfy her exhaustion from a very long week and a half. She needed to hear the melody of the trees rubbing together with nature singing to her soul. She knew just where to go, and it was about time she got back to her happy place.

She grabbed an apple from the counter along with her overnight bag and her cell phone, and through the door she went to head out to her secret place. She had always found some euphoria in that location, and she never told a soul where she would disappear to, even though her friends would always ask where it was or if they could go with her. It was a noble attempt for them to always be persistent to share time with her. The problem was that she was liking the fact that she could have a place that no one could invade or take over, and she enjoyed that it bothered them that they could not find her. As that thought crossed her mind, she opened the trunk and used her hand to jam her bag into the trunk, shut it, and was on her way.

Everyone should have that one place that set them free from the big world, and her place was like nothing she had ever seen before when she found it. This was not an open field full of flowers but rather a darkness that was so beautiful that it overwhelmed her to a point of pure elation. As she approached the entrance to the forest, her happiness grew immensely. The feeling was effectual to what she wanted to accomplish by taking this hiatus away from the real world.

As she drove down the narrow path, the trees began to encapsulate her SUV. It was a little more overgrown than she remembered, but the path to her hiding place was still intact. She drove until she could no longer safely navigate the path, and then she went to foot, leaving her vehicle behind. She knew there would come a point to where she would have to walk to her spot, but it did seem like it was sooner than she was used to.

She grabbed her bag, walking stick, and some other essentials and headed out on her adventure through the thick layer of trees and vegetation until she reached the rickety little bridge that she had built years ago when she first found her secret hiding place. It was in pretty bad shape, but it lead to a hollow in the hillside where she had her lanterns and supplies stashed for her adventures. She had to make haste to the other side of the bridge before it got dark, so she navigated the unstable bridge.

She was pretty agile when it came to climbing and navigating through dangerous areas, and this was not any different for her. The bridge was made of two by fours and strong rope, but some of the planks were missing. She just had to step carefully, with a little shirk of a side-step from time to time when she would slip a little. She made it across with an unmistaken ease and decided to have a little bite to eat before she entered the hollow.

As she nibbled on the apple she brought from home, she listened to the sounds of the forest. She was so hungry that it almost made her regurgitate a little bit of stomach acid due to the stress of crossing the bridge. Her stomach was rumbling loud enough to wake the dead, but the forest was a mixture of sounds. It was so quiet at times, but other times the animals were so loud along with the wrestling of leaves on the trees. She was leaned up against one of the biggest trees she had ever seen in this forest to have her bite, and it was very old with a gnarl that almost sent it sideways. It was a bit creepy looking, but she loved the ancient look of the tree. She thought to herself for a moment that it would probably have seen more changes than she could ever imagine. Time…a mysterious thing it was, she thought, as she pushed up off the tree root and carried on to the entrance of the hollow hillside.

A handmade ladder was seated at the opening in the rocks of the hillside, and it also had taken some wear and tear from its environment. She gave the ladder a wiggle to test the durability…”It’s good. I got this.”, as she stepped off onto the first step down with her flashlight gripped by her mouth. The ladder seemed to be more stable than the bridge as she approached each dark step down, but the last step broke when she reached the end of the tunnel.

She shined her light to her supplies, which were still in the spot she left them, and she lit the lantern with the matches from her satchel. As the cave lit up, her eyes could not believe what she saw before her…

© E.M. Kingston

2010 – Story Starter #16

Fandango has a weekly Story Starter to get us writing some new goodies on our blogs, and it’s a great way to get a story started and be inspired to write.

This week’s Story Starter teaser is:

It was in the spring of 2010 when I first realized that I could…

free myself from the grips of a man who will never like me, let alone love me. I had thought in the beginning that he was the perfect one for me, but I could not have been more wrong. He was toxic, and I knew I needed to get away from his narcissisms. A chance came about where he went to jail for not paying his child support, and I made the attempt to keep him away. One of my friends drove all the way from Michigan to come and help me out. He had left me financially broken, which was not something that was new. I never had my own money, only his. That’s another way of many that he controlled me, with money. The other ways were with cars and forcing me to take drugs.

I had many different vehicles that he sold or trashed that belonged to me only for short moments. When he bought a vehicle for himself, it would be a manual transmission, since he knew I could not drive a stick. It required too much coordination, and I was not a fan of shifting gears. I was more of a put it into gear and go kind of girl. This disadvantage of mine, he used to his advantage to keep me home like a hermit. My only refuge away from the loneliness was my online gaming and social media. That wasn’t so bad, I guess. I got to interact with people who I found to be decent people, but I just had a small group of friends that could never save me from my solitude. It was what it was, but I knew I needed to get away or push him out.

As if the control with money and cars wasn’t enough, he then started bringing home drugs and telling me I was so fat that I needed to do them. When you are under control of another person, the manipulation of your mental health is easy, so I complied due to my self-hate that I already had about myself. He used my own issues with myself against me, and I did what he said. He brought home meth, and I either snorted it or smoked it. It would keep me up for days though, which was almost a good side effect to the drugs. I’m not proud of the fact that I did not have the willpower to not do them, but they saved me from a lot of sexual abuse while sleeping. If I wasn’t asleep, he couldn’t get at me like he normally did. I embraced that fact about the meth. It saved me a little bit from more abuse.

When he got put in jail, everything was a little less heavy, and I went to visit him to tell him that he was not allowed to come home. At this time, we were not legally married, and I owned the house and land that we lived on. My mom gave it to me in an attempt to keep me from ever being homeless. My friend, who we will just call T.G., helped me with a few bills and finding my love of coffee. He showed me another world. Sadly, it was short-lived because I was scared of my ex, and I didn’t want T.G. to get hurt or for me to get hurt either. I sent him away and took the loser back when he got out of jail. I was too scared. I failed at this attempt to leave him or push him out.

There would be three other attempts, with third time being a charm, to get away from him. That is how I ended up in California. He moved onto the next victim. I still feel like I failed at escaping him sometimes because he got rid of me, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. I found myself here.

If you have ever been in this situation or are in a situation like this, get out! There are many resources to help you, and I never knew about them. There are shelters that hide you from your abuser, and there are people that will help you get free. Don’t let them abuse you like I did. You may fail the first attempt at freedom, but keep trying until you succeed.

xoxo, E.M.

E.M.’s Story Starter #15

I think I might be a day late on starting the story, but Fandango hosts a weekly Story Starter. He gives an inspirational sentence to help us write stories, poems, etc. It’s a really cool teaser to trigger some creativity, and this is my first time attempting this prompt.

This week’s Story Starter teaser is:

She was shocked when she opened the envelope and saw that it was…

an acceptance letter to law school. She had worked so hard at studying and building up to getting her law degree, but it had always been just a dream rather than a reality. Now, with this letter, she was one step closer to doing what she loved to do. Amy had a benevolent heart when it came to helping people, and she was not the typical student. She was in her forties with three children, and she had a hard time throughout life trying to figure out what she wanted to be when she “grew up”. She had finally figured that out when she made the move to California and met a man that would change her views of the world around her. A man that made her see through all the red tape that is put up to keep people out.

He showed her the gray hazy area that is injustice and discrimination in the criminal justice system, so she set her path to become a paralegal, thinking that would be enough to help people. She finished two degrees in less than two years, and she graduated with honors. She became a leader in her community, and she kept pushing and striving to be better than the person she was the day before.

Her dreams were all that she had left at times, and this envelope was the confirmation that she needed to remind her that she would be able to change the world one life at a time.

E.M.’s Photo Challenge #386

This is the first time using this Photo Challenge prompt from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, and I am really excited to try it. I am going to mix the word challenges in this creation, and I hope you all enjoy it.

Photo Credit: Caters

He looks down at the dirty streets filled with cars and people, and he wonders what it would feel like to fall. Tears fill his eyes in a flood of emotion, and he runs his fingers along the underside of groovy edges on the cement balcony upon which he sits while peeking over the edge of his knees. He feels like his life is an allusion of what he should be, and the sounds coming from below are bloodcurdling, loud, and triggering.

He is too scared to push off forward to his demise, and he hopes someone will come to save him from himself. He wants to look back but can only look down. His face flushes with fear, and his ears feel as hot as the sun in the desert.

Then it happened. He no longer felt like he was on fire. He feels divine intervention holding onto him as his heart races, causing a shiver in his bones.

“I can’t do this”, he says to himself. He slowly backs his bottom to where he can put each leg in a safe place and exits his looming demise.

“I have too much life to live to go out like this. Thank you, God!”

He exits the balcony, grabs a bottle of water, and walks out the door to never go back again.

E.M.’s Flash Fiction #139

Fandango sponsors Fandango’s Flash Fiction, where he posts a picture to inspire us to write a little bit based upon a photo prompt. The photo below is from Vivike@viviendorkaa.com.

Photo credit: Vivike@viviendorkaa.com

As she lies there next to her hand-drawn friend, she sees what her world can be if she just creates it for herself. She lays there without a care in this world, and she sets her heart free. While she still holds onto her heart, she feels love and admiration of her friend…as this is what she feels is the best feeling in the world. She’s not alone. She has Mr. Chalk, clothes on her back, and a beautiful sky above her.

She could lay there like that for hours imagining that Mr. Chalk was real, and in her mind, he was her best friend. He did not argue with her or tell her that she was not enough. Her peace came so easily while she had him next to her because she felt safe from harm.

At the right time of the day, they would lie in the sunshine, soaking up the Vitamin D from the sun. Other times of the day, the tree shadows would hold the string of her heart, protecting it from the world around them.

No one could pop Mr. Chalk’s balloon, and there was not a soul that could break Amy’s big heart.

Long story, short…

I’ve been packing today and trying to find everything I need, including every document to start a new life yet again. My hand has been upon my forehead in distress several times today, but we got a vast amount of work completed for the move, my daughter and I. We are very much alike and share many genetic and personality similarities, except my hoarding. I keep little, primordial things that date back to before the kids were born, and I get agitated if I lose my things. I have lost so much that the little things mean the most…

Did I mention that I hate moving more than laundry or dishes? LOL

I hope you enjoy my short story of my day using all of my word challenges *smiles*

xoxo, E.M.

Editing Myself

I figured I would tell everyone that I am trying to get a little bit more done on the story of Sebastian and Davina, but I am going back an changing a few errors in the time period that I want the setting to be. I want the cell phones to be the old blocky ones, so the car of Davina will have to change from a Prius to something else. Clearly, that model of Toyota was not present at the same time as blocky, pull-the-antenna type cell phones *laughs*.

I am also correcting some grammar and usage issues that are driving me insane as I read through. When I publish, I rarely go back and read what I write because I am very critical of myself. This is the first time that the story is actually falling together. I found some cool coincidences and built the setting and locations from that coincidence. I won’t let the cat out of the bag yet haha!

I need to find a title, so the names may change on the “Untitled (for now)” posts. I am always open to suggestions and would give credit where it was due, of course *smiles*.

How do you feel when you begin editing yourself? Are you like me and can sometimes scratch a whole poem or story because you’re not feeling it? This is the first one that I have really wanted to edit and make whole. Pretty cool!

It is the weekend, so I am trying to distract myself from the toxic ones. I will be very productive today and tomorrow lol. How’s your weekend going?

Untitled (for now)…Part 3

If you read my Flash Fiction challenge post from 9/21/2021 hosted by Fandango, this is the fourth excerpt of the story I have started from that first #FFFC. In the second episode, the mystery of where Mommy (Davina) has gone or what has happened. In the third episode, a bad person comes into the mix, with Fiona and Sebastian starting to feel the effects of her not being home yet. Let’s continue, and I hope soon to have a title.

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Fiona, with Sebastian at her side holding her hand, approach the door of the restaurant. Fiona looks through the window to see if she sees Davina, and of course she is not in sight nor is she probably even there. She opens the door, and they are greeted by her co-worker, Sharon.

‘Well, hey Sebastian! Good evening, Ms. Fiona! What brings you guys in here so late in the day? Fiona with ya?’

Sebastian smiled and waved at the waitress innocently without hesitation, and he was oblivious to the dire situation that was going on around him when he saw her. However, that was exactly what Gammy didn’t want to hear, and Sharon must have seen that dread in her face, as her smile dropped to a face full of perplexity. Fiona didn’t gasp, but she felt like she did inside herself. The dread in her stomach becoming fire all over her body.

‘Oh…are you guys okay, ya alright?’, she asks as she looks down at the sweet little boy that really had no idea what was going on as he still smiled at her.

‘Share, we needs Mommy to come and gib us our drinks now, okay?’

Sebastian believes Davina is still there. Gammy sighs and begins telling the sweet waitress why they have come down at such a late hour, as it was nearing the graveyard shift hours. Fiona explained that they had no idea where she was and how she never made it back to the house when she got off of work. The pit of her stomach was down at her feet, and her fear was making her heart race. She looked for the nearest booth to sit down. She was heavy on her feet, feeling a bit dizzy with anxiety. Sebastian pops up onto the seat he normally sits upon excited and anxiously awaiting his momma.

‘I’ll go grab you some water, Ms. Fiona.’

Sharon rushes to the counter, hands shaking, and she fills a plastic Pepsi-labeled glass with ice and water, while grabbing a couple of straws and milk for Sebastian. Fiona knew she was showing signs of distress, and Sebastian, thankfully, had become less observant once they got to Boo’s.

Davina was not there. She knew she wouldn’t be. As the thought raced across her mind, she was distracted by the glass of water being placed before her and Sharon’s chilled hand being placed upon her shoulder for comfort. Gammy sipped her water slightly after poking the straw into the cup. Her hands were shaking as well.

‘Sebastian, sip on your milk for a minute while I talk to Sharon. I’ll be right over here’, she stated softly while pointing across the room to an area by the counter.

He nods agreeably but still looks around the room at all the other waitresses running around the room, still not seeing his mommy.

The countertop was cold as Fiona sets her cup upon it and asks Sharon if she had seen anything odd before the end of Davina’s shift or if she had seen her before she left. They were close, Davina and Sharon. They would sometimes meet next door at the club, The Verve, where her daughter spent her late shift. If anyone knew anything, Sharon would be that person.

‘Ya know, Ms. Fiona, it was a peaceful night in here when I was first coming in, and she had been taking care of a customer over there in that corner booth. They seemed to know one another, but I had never seen him in here before. I can tell you that she was in a hurry to leave to get home to Sebastian though.’

As Fiona’s head hung lower, she looked over to see Sebastian being a kid and playing with the straw in his milk…blowing bubbles and watching them pop. Giggling. Clueless. She realized she needed to keep it that way for a bit.

‘Thank you, Sharon. Is there anyone else on her shift you can think for me to call upon? Was Brad here during her shift?’

‘I think he had left early because Laura was not feeling well. They left together, but our cook has been here since 1 o’clock because the new cook didn’t show up for his shift. He’s not busy, so I’ll have him come talk to ya’.

She waddled away into the kitchen, and Fiona laid her face on the cool counter for a moment. Her face was so hot with the anxiety building in her gut. She lifted it as she heard feet shuffling near her. “Ma’am?”

Again, she asks about her daughter’s shift and if he saw or heard anything odd on Davina’s end of her shift. He knew nothing. He was stuck behind a range full of food on that shift. Where are you Davina? Who was that guy she was handling at the end of her shift? More thoughts ran crazy through Fiona’s chaotic mind. Everyone in the room was no longer there…only her thoughts…until Sharon brought her back to reality with another pat on the shoulder, this time to bring her eyes up from the counter and hear her.

‘You may need to make a report, Ms. Fiona. She’s not next door?’

‘No, I’m going in there next…but she’s not there. I didn’t see her car anywhere parked. I haven’t driven around back yet, so that’s my next step I suppose.’ She was frustrated and scared.

‘Do you want me to take Sebastian to play with Jenna? He can stay the night while you look around.’

Sharon would help out with watching Sebastian from time to time when Gammy had to go out of town to check in on their post office box out of town and when making sure to check in with the Marshall’s in Pulaski County, Arkansas on the nights Davina worked at the club.

‘Are you sure it wouldn’t be an inconvenience? I sure will appreciate it.”

‘Not at all, Ms. Fiona. I am glad to help.”

Sharon was scared too. She didn’t know why though. She didn’t know that they had been put there to be safe from Cole, a very abusive man who almost killed her right in front of Sebastian when he was just a year old. Both ladies head to the table to give Sebastian the news that he would spend the night with Jenna, Sharon’s daughter, and he was ecstatic. As most kids behave, he was always excited for a sleepover.

‘We were waiting for Davina, so he hasn’t had much to eat.’

‘I’ll get him the usual…go on ahead and handle what you need to, Ms. Fiona. He’ll be safe with me.’

Gammy kisses Sebastian on the forehead, grabs the truck keys from the booth’s table, and heads out the door once again to find her daughter. She looks around everywhere as she walking to her pickup…nothing. She hops in the seat, pulls away from the curb, and whips the big truck down the skinny alley on the other side of the brick building that housed both of Davina’s employers. As she creeps slowly down the alley, she sees it. She sees Davina’s Corolla. The driver’s door is still open. She pulls up closer, tears welled up in her eyes and heart exploding in her chest. Her keys lay there…on the dirty pavement.

Fiona calls the police. The dispatcher answers. “I need help. Please hurry”.

Untitled (for now…)

If you read my Flash Fiction challenge post from 9/21/2021 hosted by Fandango, I left a bit of a teaser at the end of the post because I wanted to go further. As promised… let’s continue.

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Every thought that could come into a little boy’s mind about his “missing” mommy was running like a race car through his brain. She was his world, and Sebastian was hers. She did everything for him and that wired hair dog. The dog had been by his side since his birth, and they were nearly inseparable. If Mommy, Davina rather, left the house with Sebastian, Klaus was sitting with ears on high alert and tail smacking everything it encountered each time they would return from their rare outings. The boy and the dog truly were like one unit functioning together to manipulate and get what they wanted, and they usually exceeded out of Davina’s guilt.

Still, he stood at the window on this Wednesday, and he knew her car should have already graced the driveway. If he knew the minutes, he would have counted them, but he was not old enough to understand time or the concept of seconds, minutes, and hours. Klaus had begun whining to Sebastian a bit, and his ears did not erect so high when the normal schedule started to feel “off”.

‘Gammy will helps…hers always know where Mommy gone’, he says with large tears bawled in his eyes as he leaves the window feeling lost.

Klaus followed with his tail lowered and unwavering as they went to find Gammy, which they found in the kitchen tapping her finger while sitting at the kitchen table with food displayed like a portrait for when Davina arrived home.

‘Oh! Sebastian, let me get your plate for you sweetheart”

Her demeanor showed her worry, but she tried to react as if she was okay for Sebastian’s sake. She sighed with smiles that were poised fakely across her lips. Again, he was young but very smart and advanced for his age. He was only 3, nearly 4 years old, but he picked up on emotions easily. Gammy was not her normal self. She was usually playful and sweet, and it was always genuine. Sebastian could tell that his grandma was feeling just like him.

‘No Gammy…where Mommy go now?’

She thought to herself, ‘If only I knew…I really wish I knew‘, but she said, “She should be here anytime now, babe”.

Sebastian did not buy the reassurance, at all, and he responded, “Not until Mommy eat wif me too, Gammy”.

Gammy, better known to others as Fiona, sat softly in her chair and smiled at him. She understood, and he understood her. She looked at the dog, and even he understood as he wagged his tale towards her gaze. Davina’s night job had her home by 4 a.m. usually, as a bartender at the local club. She took Wednesdays away from the bar to spend with Sebastian, but she did work her morning and evening shift jobs. Her other jobs were a bit of cleaning and working at the local diner. She went house to house and then went right to running table to table. After the shift at the diner, she would change out of her uniform in a gas station bathroom and head to the club named The Verve.

The clock was nearing night fall, about 7 p.m., and Fiona had already called everyone she could. They were unable to get the big blocky cell phones, as they were outside the budget, so they depended on landlines. She was probably thinking about that regretful decision of not making the investment at this moment, especially with as much as Davina was away from home. She really should have been home from her Wednesday evening shift at the diner a long time ago…nearly two hours ago.

As that thought crossed her mind, the landline rang, startling her. She walked to the phone at a fast pace and pulled it close to her ear,

“Hello?”

The line was quiet, and she held it closer to her ear, readjusting it to make sure the earpiece was close enough. “Is anybody there?” It was silent.