The Face of Guilt

Photo by Raphael Brasileiro on

The features of his face silhouetted

On the wall behind him

As he sat distressed on the bed

They used to share

The galore of guilt was insolvent

To the pain which he caused that night

His feelings were clashing

With the emotions deep in his heart

He loved her dearly

However, that point is moot

Erased by infidelity

Nothing left to discuss

The state of shock disabled his tears

While he stared blankly at the floor

The clean slate he was given

Now dirtied with another woman’s hair

No protocol to follow

No wounds to dress

The fleece blanket he sat upon

That seat would be his last…

Humanity Aborted

Photo by Albin Biju on


Words used to freely, no compassion

When lives are at stake

In a world full of oppression

Screams ring out loudly in the streets

Slaughters happen and get excused

They echo in my sullen heart

As society divides unpeacefully

Clean slates, not existent

No freedom of speech, censored

No right to live, murdered

Say their names and stand up!

Solidarity needed!

Humans judged by cultures, prejudice

Legal jargon and corruption

Conceals the truth in a system broken

Or is it fractured at all?

White privilege gains one victory after another

Pivotal racism becomes opaque; apparent

Broken justice, broken country

Mass incarceration; the new slavery

Strip their names, take their lives

Take their pride and give numbers, ludicrous!

All for financial gain; monopolies and scandal

Who will stop the hate?

Who will fix the wreckage?

What’s your answer?

Humanity aborted; destruction…eminent…

© E.M. Kingston 2022 – All Rights Reserved.

I felt like I needed to vent some of myself tonight and the world I see.

The Objects Hidden in the Dark

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on

It was an illusion

Hidden by the lack of light.”

A helpless and strange feeling

Filling my compassionate heart

Discovering the objects

Implanted in the midst of the old tree

During the tempest of the darkest day.

The cool night was still;

The universe showed its face;

In the shadow of the moon

Exposed in the arch of the forest

In the errantry of the storms that passed

They sat and rusted into the Earth

In a more organic way, it seemed.

Two bicycles embedded in a tree

Premiered together with the roots

Which thrust through the spokes

Of the wheels flattened by nature.

They never found a way home…

The sweet girls left them behind

It was taxing to the land

But the answer was in the morass

Along the river’s edge

Only Mother Nature can describe

Of how the bikes ended up here

© E.M. Kingston 2022 – All Rights Reserved.

Written for Writing With Cancer’s Writing Prompt “Two bicycles embedded in a tree“, Putting My Feet in the Dirt’s January Writing prompt for Jan 1-7 “It was an illusion hidden by the lack of light“(a day late, sorry), and several other writing prompts that are highlighted in a hyperlink and/or bold lettering.

The Cleaning Lady (*Trigger Warning*)

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

She lacked an abundance of goodness, only disappointment

Luck lacking…in relationships, in careers, and in living

Never enough, always discarded like trash

Replaceable, expendable, unneeded…

Pain fills her with a void, empty

His impression still setting on her mind, conflicted

Depression sets in, overwhelming sadness developed

With each swish of the sponge on the mirror, repelling

And with each sweep of her broom on the floor, exhausting

She just wanted to be finished…

It was absurd to keep going…a breath in.

And she went to her darkest day… a breath out.

“Things must get better”, she says…

While her reflection abrogates her essence, disheartening

Gullible feelings in her mind, injure self-worth

“Why is life so hectic?” She cries…humiliated

Please make it stop, these feelings inside…”

She pleads in a caterwaul tone, yelling

Into the mirror… her face turns red, angry

A grimace should have a smile, she’s flustered

Her lips still feel his mustache, memorable

The regret of refusing that last french kiss

Her anger explodes like fireworks, heartbreak

Kick it, punch it, be tenacious, be fierce

No toasts of champagne, loneliness

The New Year’s celebration gone, abandoned

A yellow taxi escorts her home, staggering

She gave up and never went inside, done.

Goodnight…goodbye…whichever works for you.”

She never felt the agony of losing him again…resolved.

© E.M. Kingston 2022 – All Rights Reserved.

This was written using Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Wordle #272 (italicized), Sammi Scribbles Weekend Writing Prompt #242, Three Things Challenge (linked and bold), and several word challenges and prompts (linked words in the poem). Please visit their blogs and show them some love.

wk 242 goodnight

Smokey and the Beep – #FSS 26

This week’s Story Starter teaser from Fandango is:

At first, I thought it was only the dog making noise, but it was… more than just the fact he was making noise. It was the noise he was making. It was alarming, and his innocent whine turned into a cry full of fear. It was like his spirit was screaming rather than being the bubbly dog that just liked sniffing other dogs behinds and barking at the invisible air. He was terrified, which made me terrified to investigate around the corner that he was cowering from. I had just gotten off work, and we were alone.

“Smokey hound…what’s got you so frightened?” I whispered to him as he stood there shaking his short legs and old body. He was an older gentleman of a dog, and stress made him pant loudly. “C’mon. Let’s go this way.”

I walked to the couch and patted for him to come, and he darted his nose back to the wall the met the corner. My Google Home was playing a light rock genre of music and was turned down pretty low, but he still heard something on the other side of that wall.

“Welp…I guess I have to investigate.” He whined to me and put his ears down as I got back up from the couch.

I looked around for a weapon, and all I could find was a knitting hook — an integral part of this investigation, of course. “This should work…hopefully,” I mumbled to myself. I wanted to defer walking into the dark kitchen, but it was clear that I had been watching too many crime dramas on the television because I crept up to the wall while holding my hook to my side. I peeked around the first bend of the wall and looked into the dark kitchen. After that coast was clear, I twisted my neck and tried to see on the other side of the wall. Like a typical girl, I threw my body around and thrust the needle out like it was a gun, and I came away from the wall in a defensive stance. Nothing was there.

“Beep!” The fire alarm in the kitchen chirped from a low battery.

I looked at him in that look that moms give their children who are about to be scolded, and said, “Really, the beep? That’s the danger in the house that has you looking like you have just seen a ghost?”

I wanted to curse I was so mad. I climbed on the chair and took the battery out of the alarm and set it on the countertop of the island in my kitchen, and I darted him a look again. Smokey put his ears down and pouted. He knew he was busted! I shook my head all the way back over to put away my hook before sitting down on my cream-colored couch. I grabbed my blanket from the back, and I took the remote into my hand.

“Remind me next time to listen for the beep. C’mon fat boy…let’s watch The First 48.” I said while I patted on the couch. This time he came.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 27 – Coming to Life

The letter from Davina had Fiona numb and without emotion at first, but she could feel the wetness of her tears soaking her face. My baby knew she was going to die, Fiona kept saying inside of herself as she read the letter. She was appreciative that Lucas did not hover about while she read it because her heart was such a mess after reading words that had become so final.

Cole’s greed and irascible behavior ended her child’s life, and he needed to pay for that. He took more from her than she could ever explain. Her jovial feelings of being a mother to a daughter were taken from her. Stolen. Kidnapped and killed. Davina’s words were power. Sebastian had to be kept safe, which was common sense from the beginning of the fiasco with the Deville family after he was born.

The quantity of quarrels that happened between the Devilles and the Ridings were numerous and often. Megan wanted to keep Sebastian from Fiona from the moment he took his first breath. She had said that Fiona was not worthy of being around “Deville blood”, like it was a pure or something. Pure was never a term that mixed with the idea of that wretched family, and Fiona did not bow down to their wishes then or now. Megan could be as cold as ice, and that was not the upbringing that she ever wanted for her grandson. All the transient people in and out of their lives were scary and worrisome. Sebastian would always be safe with her, and she did not intend for that to ever change. She would walk through fire for him. Megan did not have it in her precious blood to do that for anyone, including herself. Davina was always mindful to not make Megan Deville angry, but Fiona could care less what that woman felt or thought. Fiona could not stomach the personality of her daughter’s mother-in-law all those years, and not having Megan in their lives was the first perk of being on the run from that appalling family. It was that feeling in her stomach, like the one after you had overeaten. That bloated feeling that a person can feel hours later after cramming down their food. It reminded Fiona of Violet Beauregard eating the Magic Chewing Gum on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and her puffing up like a big blimp up in the skies, except Violet was Megan. The thought and the joke of that picture in her head made her laugh, and she must have done it aloud. Lucas came walking in the room.

“Well, you handled that better than I thought you would. Are you good?” He upturned the corners of his lips into a soft smile.

Lucas had a way about him that was graceful and different than other people. He was the one who was pure goodness.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to burst out in laughter. I was picturing Cole’s mother fluffed up like a blue blimp.” She waved her hand in a motion to indicate a signal to disregard her silliness. “It seems like we have a great deal to talk about.” She said it with an inquiring tone of voice.

“Yes, and I hope that you don’t mind that I have invited Finn in on the conversation. Sebastian should hear a few things as well. Dinner is nearly ready. If you three would join me in the dining room in about twenty minutes, I figured it would be a great time to talk, the four of us.” His politeness, along with his candor, impressed Fiona.

“I believe that will be okay. Sebastian is quite advanced for his age, and I can imagine that she…Davina…would be okay with you speaking with him about family business.”

She figured this was affecting his life as much as hers, so she might as well let him listen in and participate. She was not a lone wolf anymore. She was a wolf who must continue raising her daughter’s pup. Now he was her pup, and he was as keen as ever.

“Great! I’ll see you in about 20 minutes then. Can you get Finn and Sebastian?” Lucas started heading back towards his office.

“Sure. Thank you, Lucas.” Fiona smiled at him, and it was the first time that she meant to smile at him.

“That’s what I am here for.” He smiled back and exited the room.

Fiona reflected for a moment on the words that Davina wrote, and while it was heartbreaking for her, it was easier to understand all the hours that Davina picked up at The Verve Night Club and at Boo’s. She was building something. She was risking her life to make sure that her family was safe from harm. She sacrificed everything for us, Fiona considered. She put the letter back inside it’s envelope that read “Momma” carefully before getting up from her seat and heading out of the room with the packet and envelope in hand. For the first time in a few weeks, she could feel hopeful that everything was going to be alright, and she exited the living area to get Sebastian and Finn.

When she approached Sebastian’s room, she could hear him telling Finn one of his imaginative stories that he would come up with on the fly most times. They were always adorably dramatic and fun. Davina spent so much time instilling him with a personality of his own.

“…and then he took a drive to the very top of the mountain, got out of his truck, and looked down to see all the little people…Oh! Hi, Gammy!” He got distracted from his story when he saw Fiona peeking around the corner.

“Hi, sweetheart. It’s time for dinner, so you and Mr. Finn get washed up and meet Lucas and I in the dining room for a family dinner.”

Finn smiled at her when she said, “family dinner”.

“You got it, Gammy! Let’s do this, Mr. Finn!” Sebastian took Finn’s hand in his and tried to drag him to the washroom. He was taking a liking to Sebastian’s friendship with him.

“Okay, big guy! I’m right behind ya!” Finn tickled him and pointed him to the bathroom. “Go ahead and get those hands clean!”

Sebastian giggled and obeyed his new friend with a big smile and a large amount of energy.

“I wish I had some of his energy. I am exhausted.” Finn laughed and slumped down in the chair that sat in the nook of Sebastian’s room. “It’s good to see you not stressed. Your face has pink in your cheeks again.”

Fiona smiled and said, “Davina helped. See you downstairs.” She straightened the bottom of her plum-accented, plaid shirt as she walked out of the room. Why did she feel so merry about Finn noticing the color coming back into her face? She was so happy she could nearly break out in dance as she walked down the hallway. Hmm, she said inside her head. Finn and Sebastian followed out of the room behind her.

For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. I use several prompts to build on my novel, and their word prompts and challenges are linked, bolded, or italicized. Please be sure to visit them and show some love because without them I would not have nearly 40K words written on this novel.

Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Part 25

Part 26

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

Downtown Christmas – #MLMM Photo Challenge

Photo credit: Frank Rumpenhorst

Streets packed with romance and friendship…

The unction of Christmas sung into all their souls…

Necks are wrapped tightly with scarfs in the winter breeze.

As the festive stars and lights illuminate the downtown

In a gathering of the ages and a sign of that time

A young man blessing his date with a flower.

A lonely lady sipping on her water.

A couple holding each other’s expensive surprises.

The children’s laughter exudes from the bright carousel.

Illicit affairs surround the area without anyone knowing.

The siblings argue over who gets to be first in line to Santa.

Babies rattle their toys as mommies babble to them.

The beer tent has everyone standing in a row.

Life stood still this day in celebration.

“Merry Christmas to all!”, the announcer would say;

To the collection of people bringing the joy this holiday night.

© E.M. Kingston 2021 – All Rights Reserved.

Written in response to Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s Photo Challenge #395 using various word prompts

The Glitter Faded Away

Photo by Nicolas Postiglioni on

I used to scintillate in his presence

His words were smooth, wafting in my ears

I was captivated by the mystery in his ways

I was barely reluctant to be his

Until I was, or now that I am

The love he gave became lethal

Or at least the pretense existing

Of the untrue love that he portrayed…

I moved slowly to learn him, never fast

He fooled my heart, soul, and mind

In early moments, I saw myself as his lily

Later, I was just the bologna sandwich

One that he did not want or need to love

It was never real, fake affection

He knew not how to love

I lost the comfort of his words and ways

The glitter of his essence became faded

I opened my eyes.

I saw him.

© E.M. Kingston 2021 – All Rights Reserved.

Sebastian’s Story – Part 25 – The Hunt

The winter snow had come in full force this season, and Indiana was gaining much more snowfall than usual. The collection of snow and ice from the storms made it hard to journey on the highways, but thankfully Lucas had gotten them safe before the roads had gotten too bad. Fiona sat in her room and could not help but worry about Sharon, since she assumed he had been tracking them for a while. It was nearly seven o’clock, and she was beginning to smell the aroma of food seeping through the crack in the bottom of her door. The savory smells made her tummy growl out into the big room. She had showered and then dressed in clothes that she imagined Davina had chosen for her before her departure. They were trendy but comfortable. Davina knew her mother hated being uncomfortable when it came to fashion. Fiona was laid back and never flashy. It was part of the reason she could hardly stand Megan’s wardrobe and the personality that went with the threads. She shook off the thought of Megan as she heard a tapping at the sturdy door of her room.

“Yes, who is it?” Fiona asked.

“It’s Finn. Can I come in?” He spoke quietly.

“Of course! Come in, Finn.” She opened the door and waved him in past the entryway. “What’s up? You okay?”

“Oh…yeah. I’m good. I just wanted to see if you wanted me to escort you down to dinner. This is a big house.” Finn fumbled with the collar on his shirt. “I have no idea how they knew my size, but I have a whole closet full of clothes.”

“Same here. I think Davina set this all up.” She walked over and opened her wardrobe of hand-picked clothes. “See?”

“It’s insane. How in the world did she know I would be here too? Sebastian’s room is amazing. Do you want to go check it out?” Finn had that wholesome smile on his face that he wore on his face when he was not carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. He had no idea of the paradox that was unfolding around the friendly waitress and babysitter known as Sharon an hour away from their paradise. It wasn’t an island wonderland, but the house was its own mini-vacation compared to where they had been staying in the country.

“Sure. Lead the way. I am right behind you.” She felt hopeful for the first time in a while.

Finn escorted her to Sebastian’s room, and he knocked out of courtesy like he did at Fiona’s door.

“Hey kiddo! Are you ready for some chow?” Finn talked into the big, heavy door.

Sebastian came running to the door. They could hear his little feet pitter-patter as he ran towards it. “Mr. Finn! Is that you?”

“It’s me! Can I come in? I have a surprise out here for you.” Finn looked back at Fiona smiling with delight.

“I need help with the door. It’s too heavy.” Sebastian was grunting trying to pull the door open. The struggle could be heard in his voice.

“I got you, little man!” Finn turned the knob and pushed carefully on the door. He had to make sure not to knock the kid out with the heavy piece of wood with brass handles.

“GAMMY! Come see my room! Momma made it special for me! Are you my surprise?” Sebastian tackled Fiona’s leg with so much enthusiasm that he nearly knocked her over.

Finn laughed with them and exited the room to allow Fiona to explore the room with her grandson.

Sebastian led her over to his bookcase. Davina had stocked it with his favorite fables and stories that they would always read together. She put a great deal of thought into the layout of his room. It looked like the little nook that the two of them occupied on Davina’s days off. Fiona felt tears well up in her eyes. Sebastian noticed.

“Gammy, don’t cry. Mommy is all around me and you. She’s an angel.” He walked over and hugged her leg tightly, which made her eyes really begin to streak her cheeks with salty wetness.

Finn knocked on the door again, and the embrace Sebastian had on Gammy’s leg was broken. The knock was urgent.

“Finn, come in!” Sebastian belted out loudly to him.

“I have to go. Jericho was just spotted downtown in front of Boo’s. My source told me that Sharon came in for an unscheduled shift due to someone calling in. The Marshalls are going to meet me there. Save me some dinner?” Finn was disconcerted.

Sebastian nodded his head and said, “I got you, Mr. Finn. Go save Ms. Sharon, please!” He was a bit frantic in his own way.

Fiona followed Finn out into the hallway in front of Sebastian’s room. “Do you think he will hurt her?”

Finn put his head down, “My informant said that Flannery has been watching the café since we pulled away. He was right behind us. We barely got away from him.”

The Devilles used Jericho Flannery like a tracking dog, and Fiona’s concern for Sharon was not far off. He almost had to know about Sharon because he knew about the safety deposit box key and the other various aspects of Davina’s life. He was decisive and precise when he executed his contracts. No one could claim he was not good at his job. This man was trained to hunt, and the horns of the hunt echoed across the snow this night. His instruction in the armed forces was quite extensive. He was formulated for the front lines in the Marines. It was the only thing he was good at after graduating with low grades after high school. The military gave him a purpose. He loved to kill. He loved the chase. He loved the challenge of acquiring his targets. This life of crime was perfect for who he believed he was always destined to be…a psychopath. He was your worst nightmare if he was tracking you because Jericho was not leaving any stone unturned when looking for he meant to acquire you. He did not give up, and he always got his mark.
He sat outside across the street from the café when it was about time for Sharon’s shift at Boo’s. There was a jolly Santa that had his collection bell ringing as he paced the city street in front of Verve and Boo’s. Jericho hated Christmas. It reminded him of the past and a family that never wanted him. It made him think about how the best present he had received on Christmas was a pack of condoms from “Dear Ole Dad” …that’s what the card said inside the box. Other Christmas rituals in his dysfunctional family included getting knocked in the head by his mother for taking a cookie from the counter that she had just made, and cigarette burns from his pops as punishment for that same act. He had a harsh upbringing, and it showed daily in every move he made. He was truly a miserable human being, and he didn’t care to be considered so or to be seen as the murderer and criminal that he was. His truth was that he care less if he woke up the next day, let alone deal with Christmas and happy times with a family that never mattered to him.

He tossed a cigarette out of the window at the end of his reminiscing. He shook his head and snickered under his breath.

He repeated the card’s text under his breath in a sarcastic tone, “Dear Ole Dad…”

His eyes rolled and then came alert as he saw Davina’s friend pulling in the alley to park in the back of the restaurant. He thought to himself that the street was too busy to take a shot from his pistol that was hiding in his dash. He supposed he did not aim to kill her yet anyway. He needed information. He needed to know where his prey went. He wanted to collect his prize from his contract. He had a long time to wait before her shift was over, but he didn’t mind making her skin crawl while he stared her down inside while shoving food in his mouth. I could eat something, he deliberated. He couldn’t remember when he ate last.

He shut off the ignition of his van, and he gathered his weapon from the glove box. His trench coat had a special pocket for his weapon on the inside…custom made, and he placed it there before stepping out into the street.

The wind was gusty and smacked him in the face a few times before he got across the street to the door of the café. As he opened it, the bell chimed to let the staff know someone entered. Sharon was just coming onto the floor, and she greeted him with her usual, friendly smile.

For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. Here are the previous posts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9

Part 10

Part 11

Part 12

Part 13

Part 14

Part 15

Part 16

Part 17

Part 18

Part 19

Part 20

Part 21

Part 22

Part 23

Part 24

Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)

xoxo, E.M.

The Forsaken Path – CCC160

Image Credit: Crispina Kemp

She had been driving for hours before Sam Sawyer finally saw the sign that was posted across from the long gravel driveway to her family’s old country house. Wanton vines had consumed the fence behind the sign, and it had almost found its way up the wood on the marker that said “Sawyer Family Farm”. It was faded.

When she had gotten the call from her auntie, Sam had no idea that things had been so out of control with the rest of the family. She had moved away from them years ago, and she didn’t care to visit too often. Sam was never one that would abide by family rules because she was a bit of a rebel. She repealed any kind of figure that tried to boss her around, and she was more likely to follow her heart than to listen to the direction of others, even authority figures. The family hated the ways she acted and reacted, but Sam was content with who she was and would always be.

As she drove along the driveway, her mind wandered to the last time she had seen Auntie Bev. It was a toxic last encounter. Sam and Bev had a hard time communicating because of how opposite their personalities were around each other and in their lives outside of the family.

Bev was like the judge, jury, and executioner of Sam’s dreams and aspirations. She had taken over for Sam’s parents when they took off to Paris for a majority of their daughter’s younger years. Sam reflected back to trips she and Bev had taken to the grocery store, and how her annoying aunt would make her stay right by her. It was to the point that she had to be one of those kids that latch to their mother’s legs to prevent them from leaving. Auntie Bev is still that way. Maybe because she is not able to breed and make an offspring of her own. The dreadful woman made it her life’s work to encroach into every aspect of Sam’s life.

As she coasted the rest of the way into the drive, Sam saw Bev immediately swarm out of the front door like the house was on fire. She was waving her hands in the air like a woman who had gone mad, and all Sam could think to do is cower down in the seat of the Ford Focus she had been driving for two days…a rental from Enterprise. Her mind blacked out and painted her mind with an emptiness. Seeing her aunt triggered so many bad memories, and she was having a panic attack.

She put her car in park, grabbed her cell phone, and opened the door of her car slowly. Sam was not in a hurry to go inside the house filled with memories of time past. Bev met her at her car door, and she was anxious for Sam to exit her vehicle.

“Sam! It’s so nice to see you!” The octave in her voice made Sam cringe a little bit. “Come on silly…let’s get you inside!”

Sam found it hard to speak words as her anxiousness had built a ball of emotions in her throat. Bev was standing there like a fangirl ready to jump on her favorite singer. “I’m coming. I need a minute. I’ll meet you at the door.”

Bev was put off by her response, but she nodded with a smile and made her way to the front door of the family house. Sam gathered everything she needed from the passenger seat of the car and stepped out using the car door to bolster her body that felt weak with regret from actually being at this house. She could hear her aunt hollering in the door to people that were like strangers to Sam. She rolled her eyes without realizing it.

As she passed the hedges that surrounded the sidewalk to the lanai that housed the front door, she heard people chattering inside. Her heart was purring and racing out of her chest. She had not seen any of these people for ages it seemed.

Bev lead her inside the door to the entryway that held a caboodle of picture frames of people that were strangers. Her family was very influential in the community, so they always attended some sort of public event to donate their money to, fundraisers, and such. The was one wall that was to remember all of the family and friends that passed, and that wall creeped her out. Their idea of remembrance was taking photos of dead people in coffins, and Sam had never been a fan of funerals, let alone seeing them every single day laying in their death beds with their souls somewhere else…empty bodies. Gross, she thought as she saw all of her dead relatives again. The clock in the hallway chimed for the hour, and beside it sat an angel who was resting upon a pedestal holding up a baby to the sky like Simba in Lion King…also very creepy as it looked like an offering of a newborn to the heavens above. It was typical nonsense of her parents. They were strange. She strived not to be so weird, but sometimes she failed.

“Come now, Samantha! Everyone is waiting for you in the den. They are so excited to see you again!” Bev was being pushy as usual.

“I’m coming, goodness sakes, Bev.” She shot a glare to her aunt that made the short, medium build woman take a few steps back.

She came to the conclusion she just needed to get it over with and deal with all of the cheek pinching and awkward hugs.

“No need to bite my head off…we’re just all really happy to get to spend some time with you.” Bev winced and walked away.

Sam shrugged her shoulders and kept exploring the room filled with the living and the dead. She shivered her way down the hallway to the kitchen. Her grandmother was cutting carrots at the island in the center of the room, and she didn’t see Sam walk into the kitchen. Music was playing…country music…and she was singing along gleefully. Sam startled her when she touched her shoulder.

“Hi, Grandma!” Sam said loudly over Randy Travis’s Too Gone Too Long song.

Sam’s grandmother paused her music with the remote and hopped out of the chair to hug her tightly. “Oh, Sam! It’s so nice to see you. It’s been too long! I have missed you more than words can say! Come give me a big ole hug!”

Sam smiled as big as she could as she received the biggest hug given to her in quite some time. As she wrapped her arms around Grandma, she noticed that she was a bit more feeble than she remembered. This wonderful lady had been her mother more than the one she was born from. She didn’t associate with her parents, but her grandmother was another story. She could never go this long before seeing her, and she was not going to let any more time pass. She would have to make sure that she made the effort to spend time with her granny because time had not been kind to her. She looked old.

“Grandma, I missed you too. I’m sorry I haven’t been better at keeping in touch with you. Life has happened, and it’s been more chaotic than I imagined. So many changes have happened for me. Good changes, but they have needed time for adjustment.” Sam proclaimed and said caringly to her elderly best friend.

Grandma went back to slicing her carrots, and Sam plunged in to help her get the dinner ready. Bev was jealously watching them from the entrance to the kitchen. Sam looked back and smiled at the green-gilled monster of an aunt, and she went back chopping to help her grandma.

“I struggled with coming here, but it’s all worth it for time with you.” She looked into her grandma’s wrinkled eyes with love and support. “I promise we will spend more time together. I love you.”

Grandma smiled largely, and she continued peeling the vegetables for the soup. “I love you, too!”

This was written for Crimsons Creative Challenge #160, Three Things Challenge, Daily Spurs Word of the Day, Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, Random Word Prompt, My Vivid Blog, and Your Daily Word Prompt.