Thursday, July 31, 2014

God has Heard #ShortStory #critique

[critiques sought - thanks]

Sunlight splashed water colors through the stained glass onto the marble floors of the church.

“Heavenly,” said Mrs. Smith. The longtime parishioner took a closer look.

“They are like paintings in an art museum,” said Betty Albert. The sisters, Miss Albert and Mrs. Smith studied each window they passed holding up the flock fluttering behind them.

Samuel knew the windows cost a lot of money, money Mrs. Twindle spent with deliberation and purpose when she commissioned the work. The first window depicted the baby Jesus cradled in his mother’s loving arms. Soft, sweet faces gazing with adoration at one another done in soft pastels of blue and yellow and pink. At the bottom of the window, at eye height for anyone that mattered, a bright red square, repeated in each window exactly the same, proclaimed in bold, black letters, “Gifted by Mrs. Twindle.” Twelve windows in all, each designed to illuminate the generosity of the great patron, Mrs. Twindle.

The font of this generosity stood at the front of the church with the minister, the toes of her shiny, black patent leather shoes pointing like an arrow at the brass plaque in the marble floor that echoed her generosity with the windows, “Gifted by Mrs. Twindle.”

The minister gushed in Mrs. Twindle’s ear as the people came to genuflect at the beneficent stature that was Mrs. Twindle. They touched her hands with their fingertips, as if hoping to be cured of their ills. She smiled upon them like the Madonna in the first window gazed upon her godly son.

Samuel stood in a corner near the doors, out of the sunlight, the blue-grey of his wiry hair and beard blending into the blue-grey of his collared shirt and worn dress pants. He stood in mirror image attitude of Mrs. Twindle, feet together, hands clasped at the waist. But where he was all shadow and blurred edges, she stood crisp and sharp: dyed black hair that shone like her shoes, tailored, bronze Chanel suit, 50’s style makeup.

Mrs. Twindle was the church’s savior. She accepted the accolades of the people with calm, the perfect saint. They  expressed their gratitude for her generosity in rebuilding the church after the fire had destroyed it, bringing them back from the ashes.

She smiled her Mona Lisa smile. Only Samuel knew that she was calculating how each and every one of them would be expected to repay her. Mrs. Twindle bought, she did not donate. She owned and it would not be long before her spiritual brethren discovered this.

The window directly across the aisle from the adoring mother protectively cuddling her baby, showed mother cradling her broken son, blood pouring from his heart and staining her hands and dress. Samuel remembered other times when a son’s blood was on a mother’s hands.

He shivered and looked up at Mrs. Twindle. She slowly lifted her right hand and crooked a finger at him. He didn’t want to go but that finger moved and his feet moved. He shuffled forward.

He stopped in front of Mrs. Twindle and The Reverend Toddy, leaving enough room for people to pass between them.

“Yes, Ma’am?” Samuel’s voice was as dull and grey as he appeared.

Mrs. Twindle looked Samuel up and down. She made a production of opening the shining silver clasp on her black, patent leather purse. Samuel saw his reflection in the side of that purse, distorted and rippling. As he raised his eyes, Mrs. Twindle’s hand rose from the purse interior. Samuel felt the blood drain from his face. He looked into Mrs. Twindle’s face with its secret smile as she handed him the wire bristled hair brush. The backs of his thighs tingled and burned.

“Try to do something with your hair,” said Mrs. Twindle. “The little boys’ room is downstairs in the basement.”

The head of the brush poked Samuel in the chest. He didn’t move to take it. Mrs. Twindle put it in his hand, raking her manicured nails across his fingers as she released it.

“Go on,” she said. “You are not afraid of the basement, are you?” Her capped teeth blinded Samuel.

He shuffled towards the basement stairs.

“He is a bit slow,” he heard Mrs. Twindle tell the minister, who giggled in response.

Samuel held the brush like a knife. He envisioned jamming a spear into Mrs. Twindle’s heart.

The basement served as the church’s community room. The bathroom stood at the very back corner of the basement. The lights were off and Samuel had a hard time finding the light switch. His breathing turned ragged as he swiped and pounded at the wall on the left. His fingertips met damp paint.

He gripped the door on his right with both hands, his fear making him sick to his stomach. He worked his way around the door, closing it slightly, blocking off the pale light from the basement proper. In the four inches between the wall and the door frame, he hit the light switch. The florescent lights blinded him like sunlight when a drowning man breaches the surface of the sea.

Standing between the door and the wall, he looked across the room to see himself in the mirrors above the sinks. He looked like a frightened old man. Happy Birthday he mouthed to himself.

Mrs. Twindle had reminded him this morning while he put on her make-up and brushed her hair. Not with presents and a cake but with the story of his birth.

“You almost killed me,” she said, as she did annually for 27 years. This year she had a surprise for him, though.

“You missed your chance, then.” She locked eyes with him in her vanity mirror. “You have been a coward from birth. You will not pull it off.”

His hand paused mid-stroke, the knuckles of his hand turning white as he gripped the brush handle tighter in his fist. He didn’t respond. He tried never to responded to her taunts. Speaking his mind carried consequences.

“I told Minister Toddy about you and your little plans.” Mrs. Twindle reached up and stroked Samuel’s cheek, her cotton-candy pink nails scratching across his skin, trailing red marks.

“He suggested I have you evaluated.”

Samuel moved the brush through her hair.

“I would like to talk to a psychiatrist,” he whispered.

“Would you?” Mrs. Twindle watched Samuel in the mirror as he finished her hair. He placed the wire bristled brush in her outstretched hand. He stood behind her, an old grey ghost reflection of her. Their images in the mirror reminded him of the portrait in Oscar Wilde’s novel.  At sixty-two, Mrs. Twindle looked younger than Samuel.

“What would you say to a head doctor?”

Samuel felt his skin shrivel as Mrs. Twindle watched him.

“Would you tell him our secrets?” Mrs. Twindle’s skin was smooth as stone, unblemished, pink, tight. There were no worry lines around her bright, beetle-black eyes.

Samuel smashed his lips together. He scrunched his eyes closed, blocking the triumph in Mrs. Twindle’s eyes.

Mrs. Twindle’s laugh came to him in the restroom. It echoed her laughter from this morning. His hand shook as he brushed his hair. At first, he thought it shook from fear but the more he brushed and the more he thought about it, he thought maybe his hand shook from rage.

Killing Mrs. Twindle today would be the greatest gift he could give himself. He had been thinking about it for months; years, really. He wasn’t sure how Mrs. Twindle had figured it out but she was clever. He must have left a clue somewhere. Or maybe she just read his mind. She always knew what he was thinking. She was always in his head.

His hair looked exactly the same as before he brushed it, but his hair didn’t matter. He cleaned out the brush, an involuntary sob leaving him as it did each time he touched this implement. He put it in his pocket, keeping a hold of it as a reminder.

He shook the bottle of pills in his other pocket. He liked the idea of poisoning Mrs. Twindle. She would suffer. The iron supplement pills sounded like he had a rattlesnake.

Perhaps he could push her down the stairs. No. He would kill her today and she was already down the stairs. Pushing her up the stairs would only result in skinned shins. Not good enough.

He was back to his very first choice, spiking the church’s bug juice with antifreeze. He just had to figure out how to get it to Mrs. Twindle and not to all of the other parishioners. And maybe not get caught. Not getting caught ought be part of his plan.

The antifreeze was in the supply closet a few feet away with all of the cleaning supplies. Mrs. Twindle’s money had paid for these items, too. Samuel imagined Mrs. Twindle dying from her own antifreeze: her money finally being put to good use.

He’d have to get into the supply closet without anyone suspecting his purpose.

He walked past the refreshments table and bumped into it, knocking over several cups of fruit punch. Empty twenty ounce, red Solo® cups rolled into the spilled juice.

The white-haired woman behind the table yelped in surprise as the white plastic tablecloth overflowed with red liquid and red plastic.

“I’ll clean it up,” said Samuel. He went to the supply closet and came back with paper towels. He righted the cups. He wiped up the red juice.

Mrs. Twindle came up to the table. She placed her hand on Samuel’s arm.

“I hope Samuel is doing a good job cleaning up this mess, Miss Enid.” Mrs. Twindle pinched Samuel on the back of the arm.

Miss Enid glowed from the attention given her by Mrs. Twindle.

“I, yes, thank-you,” she said. She took a deep, warbling breath. “Ma’am.” Miss Enid was at least eighty years old.

Mrs. Twindle ran her hand across Samuel’s shoulder, down his back and across the pocket holding the brush. She pressed the bristles into the flesh of his hip before heading to the ladies’ powder room.

Samuel could follow her in there, push her head into the pink toilet bowl and drown her in the blue sanitized water. She would end up with a mask that the undertaker would have a hard time covering with makeup.

“She is so sweet and kind,” said Miss Enid.

“It does look that way,” he said. “Can I help you serve tonight?”

“Why you are sweet, too. I would love your help.” She removed the soiled table cloth.

“Where do you keep the punch?”

She pointed to the kitchen area next to the supply closet.

“You will find all you need in there.”

“I’ll just put these extra paper towels back in the supply closet.”

“While you are in there get the extra drink pitchers out. They are stored in there. They will look so much more fancy while we pour than those ugly cans.” Her head bobbed up and down as she spoke. “Yes, quite festive for this special day.”

“Yes, ma’am,” said Samuel, “special for this special day.”

After putting the paper towels on their shelf in the closet, Samuel found the dark purple glass pitchers still in their cardboard box. He turned each pitcher over and pulled the stickers off all but one. In that one, he poured antifreeze. The color of the glass disguised the color of the liquid.

He replaced the four pitchers in their cardboard box. In this way, he could take them into the kitchen and no one would see the liquid already in one of them.

The cans of juice stood ready on the kitchen counter. Samuel opened the first can. He emptied the juice into the pitcher holding the antifreeze while it was still in the box. Once full, he poured the rest of the can’s contents into the next pitcher. Once all of the pitchers were full, he took them out of the box.

He took two of the unpoisoned pitchers out to Miss Enid where she began serving the people milling about her table. Samuel went back into the kitchen for the other two pitchers. He held the antifreeze pitcher tight in his right hand. He placed the other pitcher on the table, then picked up a couple of empty, red plastic cups.

“That boy will be the death of me,” said Mrs. Twindle to Reverend Toddy. The minister nodded in agreement.

Samuel crossed the room towards Mrs. Twindle carrying two full red cups.

Mrs. Twindle and Reverend Toddy turned in unison as Samuel approached them. Samuel handed a cup to Mrs. Twindle. Samuel raised his red cup, tipping it towards Mrs. Twindle in salute. She mirrored Samuel.

“Happy Birthday to me, Mother.”

She drank.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Monthly Contest - July

The random drawing for my monthly contest 
for July will be on July 31, 2014. 
To be eligible, 
all you have to do is LIKE 
Easy ~ Peasey
I will notify the winner the following week.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

as time goes by

~ click images to make biggerer ~

This clock was given to my parents a s a wedding gift from my Uroma (great-grandmother in Austrian.) They were married in 1954 making this at least 60 years old.

I've had it for at least 35 years 
because I am the only one who likes the chimes.
They ring every quarter hour and on every hour. 
Midnight goes off 24 times.

It hasn't been wound in many a year.

Friday, July 25, 2014

friday fun - diamante

sturdy, secure 
sheltering, hiding, covering
rooftop, enclosure, heart, soul
inviting, comforting, loving
warm, friendly

Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ εїз Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

soft, narrow
stroke, wallop, squeeze
two, five, appendage, terminal
stomp, walk, support
rough, wide

Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ εїз Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Diamante poems are written in the shape of a diamond. 
They are unrhymed and seven lines long. 
They are either synonym or antonym poems 
where the nouns are related or opposites, respectively.
Antonym poems seem to be easier to write.
This is the proper form:

Adjective, Adjective
Verb, Verb, Verb
Noun, Noun, Noun, Noun
Verb, Verb, Verb
Adjective, Adjective

Here's an Interactive Tutorial from ReadWriteThink.
Find a more detailed explanation with examples.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday's Third Degree

Do the personal lives of famous people detract from their work?

Yesterday, I mentioned that one of my favorite authors, Anne Perry, at 15, along with her best friend, killed her best friend's mother. While putting together yesterday's list, I discovered the author of another of my favorite books, Marion Zimmer Bradley, was accused of serious abuse by her daughter.

I've known about the Anne Perry story for 20 years since watching Peter Jackson's movie Heavenly Creatures.

Writers' personal lives don't stop me from reading their books. It makes them more fascinating to me. But I can't know anything about the lives of actors. If an actor does something I don't like then I can never watch any of their work. I can't stand Tom Cruise, not that I cared much for him to begin with, but once he jumped on the couch, it was all over. I used to love Brad Pitt until he cheated on Jennifer Aniston. Now, he doesn't look as good to me. This may have something to do with me not ever being much of a groupie.

Musicians can do whatever they want, but I'm quite judgmental of artists, like Picasso and the way he treated the women in his life.

But really, I don't care about an artist's personal life in most cases, so I usually don't know much about them. That way their work can stand alone. We all know artists are nuts and they deserve some latitude.

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Books

These are books that I have read more than once and usually read every couple of years.

The Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
     I like the continuity of her world and the hints, clues and legends peppered throughout. Simple reading but packed with puzzles to keep one entertained.

Game of Thrones - George RR Martin
     Realistic, fantastic and sweeping. I wish he'd write faster. It's got dragons!

The Crystal Cave  - Mary Stewart
     This is the first book in a series and my favorite King Arthur books. The stories are told from the wizard's point of view, childhood to old age. The Hallow Hills, The Last Enchantment and The Wicked Day, books two, three and four, respectively. They finally came out in ebook in 2012 as Legacy.

Wolf and the Dove - Kathleen E. Woodwiss
     A famous bodice ripper.

Acheron - Sherrilyn Kenyon
     I like all of this author's books. She incorporates gods and myths from all over the globe as characters in her world. Each book is stand alone but with ongoing characters and stories for us series lovers. Lots of love and adventure. Acheron is the main god and his life was not easy.

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
     I first read this in my early teens. Don't much care for her siblings books, though.

The Mists of Avalon - Marion Zimmer Bradley
     I love this book. Another Arthurian tale, this time written from the point of views of the women involved. Don't care for her other books.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
     All of his books just tickle me to death. His absurdity was so spot on for how the universe works.

William Monk Mysteries - Anne Perry
     A Victorian policeman losses his memory but must keep functioning to live. Perry also has the Thomas Pitt series which I love, too. At the age of 15, she and her best friend killed her best friend's mother. (Did that get your attention?)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
     This is the first in the Millenium trilogy. It is followed by The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. There should have been at least a fourth book in the series but Larsson died in 2004 with the book 3/4 of the way done. Unfortunately, there are problems with the ownership rights to the material. Consequently, some story lines are unfinished but these do not detract from the published material.

Monday, July 21, 2014

mini monday

I like little toys. 
I think they're adorable. 
Some good things do come in small packages. 

~ click image to make biggerer ~

The blue forklift is metal and he is the Guido character from Cars.
The bamboo sailboat is almost 40 years old and was given to me by my Oma.
Silver vampire fangs are a girl's must have charm.
And last, a quartz stone frog.

Other things, not so much. 
Here's a list of synonyms for mini. 
Looking at them, 
I feel that none of these words are really positive 
(neutral, at best) 
and some are quite negative.

bitsy, bitty, diminutive, dwarf, itsy, little, 
midget, minute, mini, petite, pint-sized, pocket-sized, puny, 
runty, small, stunted, teensy, teeny, tiny, undersized, wee

a wee ditty

if i were small
i could do it all
travel in a vein
hide on a plane
visit some ants
living on plants
ride on a worm
defeat a germ
dehair your ear
to help you hear
& when it's lost
regardless of cost
i'd squeeze in a crack
to get it back

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Fun - Limerick

Hot and Cold

A woman who frequently bowled
made sure that everyone was told
she would give her all
to a man brave and tall
but only after her ball was rolled


Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ εїз Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Faire Fare

a man was paring a pear
at the local county fair
he lopped off a piece
that fell into grease
and ended as fried country fare


Ƹ̴Ӂ̴Ʒ εїз Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ


i hope that man gets a fix
though it’s odd how he gets his kicks
he’s a sad sort of fellow
all blue and yellow
until he eats him some raw cake mix


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Thursday Thirteen -

I have 19 blogs. All of my online locations can be found in the FIND ME tab above. Here are the sayings in the headers of the first thirteen blogs on the list.

~ click image to make biggerer ~
This is the header picture for the blog - Rose and Prince Brendan
I painted the Salzburg castle on a two-man saw for my parents cabin.

01 - If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies. ~ Author Unknown

02 - “Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” - Hans Christian Andersen, The Complete Fairy Tales

03 - If this were play'd upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction. ~ Shakespeare

04 - Creation is a drug I can't do without. - Cecil B. De Mille

05 - I am ready to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter. ~ Winston Churchill

06 - This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. – Dorothy Parker

07 - There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately no one knows what they are. - Somerset Maugham

08 - Experience is but another name we give our mistakes. - Oscar Wilde

09 - There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. – Oscar Wilde

10 - It's never too late to be who you might have been. - George Eliot

11 - The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate. ~ Bern Williams

12 - You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call "failure" is not the falling down, but the staying down. ~ Mary Pickford

13 - Maybe that's why men declare war - because they have a need to bleed on a regular basis. ~ Brett Butler

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Techless Tuesday - Letter Box

Sometimes, a handwritten note or letter is a must.
Since it doesn't happen often, 
I decided to make a ritual of the process.
~ click images to make biggerer ~

This is my letter box. 
I re-purposed a black simulation snake skin DVD box. 
The butterfly is a shiny neon purple/pink. 
The colors fluctuate depending on the light.

The insert is a deep red satin. 
The square depression holds folded note cards, 
my diamond and silver Disney pen 
(I collect pens. This was from my daughter.)
and the pink and rhinestone Martha Stewart folding bone. 
(Don't tell anyone I own something from Martha Stewart, especially my mother.)

The box is lined with black and white flocked paper. 
The insert lifts out with the baby pink ribbons
for space to hold stationary and stamps.

My note cards are plain, cream, textured and heavy. 
I punch a little butterfly in the bottom right corner
and I have personalized stationary.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Music Monday - Dexy's Midnight Runners

Dexy's Midnight Runners
had a big hit in the early 80's with

You can go here to see a video with the lyrics.
They're not what I thought they were.

Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ral is an Irish song written in 1914. 
Here are the Irish Tenors doing their rendition.

Here are the Dexy's doing a current song

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Nessa's News

July's Nessa's News 
is due to ship to email boxes on July 19th, 
six days from now, on Saturday. 
I did something in June I have never done before 
and the only way to find out what that was 
~ it was kind of stupid on my part ~ 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fun for Friday

amusing alphabetical alliteration
because being boisterous
clearly causes crazy childish
drivel, drooling, daffy
expressions emitted even
for fish-faced
grownups, grumps, girls, guys
having hideous hours
in inflexible insincere
jobs, juke-joint jerks / janitors
kitchen, kennel, keyboard, kiln
laughs linger long, late, lasting
more minutes, mindful moments
not numb needless 
or oppressive ordinary
pathetic pastimes performing
quietly quixotic quarries
random ruminations running round
seeming senseless sounds
tongues tripping too times two to
unleash unicorns up under 
veil, visor, voluminous
white, windblown wigs with
Xanadu xenophobia 
yearning yet yellow 
zany zombie zeros 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thirsty Thursday - green tea

I've never been fond of hot drinks. 
I only drink two cups of black coffee
each morning for the caffeine kick.

I like my beverages full of ice and ice cold. 
My favorite (non-alcoholic beverage)
is water, packed with frozen cubes.

Tea never really did much for me, either.
We didn't drink iced tea growing up.
Green tea is different, though.

Mild flavor, healthy bits called flavonoids.
Add some honey and lemon juice.
A nice change a taste.
Good for your waist.

~ click images to make biggerer ~

Eight cups of water and eight tea bags in a glass pitcher 
(glass pitchers are romantic.)

The recycled jug I will really use
(I'm a klutz and plastic is safer.)

Cover so you don't get any unwanted flavors.
Refrigerate for eight hours.

Remove the tea bags.

Put them in a plastic bag,
refrigerate. For your eyes.

Add lemon and honey.

Drink your green tea in a green glass.

My Recipe

8 c water
8 green tea bags
8 oz (1 c) lemon juice
8 oz (1 c) honey
8 hours

1 teabag per cup of water
1/8 cup (1oz) lemon juice per cup of water
1/8 cup (1oz) honey per cup of water

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Teaser Tuesday

Illusion: Chronicles Of Nick
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Page 53 Kindle e-book

          Every man is born as many and dies as one. With every choice made, a part of the future died and and opportunity was lost. You narrowed your options and steered yourself down a path of your life.
          A path that led Nick straight to a fate he didn't want. He'd been born to end the world...
          To destroy everything he loved and valued.

Share a bit from your current read.