Posted in Blogging 101, Challenges, Writing

Should Have Called Ahead

“I’m telling you Emma, it doesn’t look as if anyone works here. It probably went out of business when my grandfather died.” Carrianne went behind the desk and started looking through some papers. “There doesn’t seem to be any guests booked in at all for the last year.”

“That’s because you’re looking at the wrong books. Everything is on computer now.” A brown-haired girl pulled out the top drawer of the desk, revealing a laptop. “And why are you going through the paperwork? Normally people call ahead if they want to stay here.”

“Well, this wasn’t really planned and I didn’t have the number. Mum just told me to come here and speak with the council.” Carrianne said with a shrug. “Besides, I was told that I inherited the Flowering Rose from my grandfather. I thought that it had gone out of business since I had no idea it existed until now.”

“It didn’t go out of business. We took care of it since you were too busy.” The brunette shook her head. “Goddess, you think you are so much better than us don’t you? Why are you even here? We don’t need you. The Rose got on fine without you.”

“What are you talking about? I didn’t even know about this place until Mom got sick. She told me that my grandfather gave me the Flowering Rose in his will. I thought that I should at least come and check the place out.”

“Oh please, you and your mom think you’re too good for Winterwood. You come here to get what you want and leave as soon as it gets tough. You own the Rose but you’ve never done anything for it. You never even come to visit. So why are you here now?”

“I told you. I didn’t know about the Flowering Rose until Mom got sick.” Carrianne enunciated each word to a painful degree. “If it was up to me, I would sell it to someone who would take care of it. But I have no control over who owns it right now.”

The girl shook her head. “Yeah right, tell me another tale while you’re at it. You own the place. You have all the control.”

“The deed is in trust with the council. I need to meet with them before I get control. And Mom warned me that I may need to complete some other things as well before they will give me the deed.” Carrianne folded her arms and leaned against the desk. “I wish I had control but I don’t. So, do you mind telling me who you are and if there is a free room my friend and I can stay in while we get this sorted?”

“I’m Marny and I don’t think there are any rooms. You should have called ahead like everyone else.”

 


 

 

Blogging 101 asked us to make a prompt our own. The prompt I chose was today’s writing prompt from The Daily Post: “Shoulda Woulda Coulda.”

Posted in Writing

Marny’s Dream

Trigger Warning: Character Death, Suicide

 

Marny tossed in her bed; her eyes fluttering in the REM cycle. Her arm landed on her stomach as a gasp made its way out of her mouth.

She could hear their laughter. They were laughing at her. They thought she was oblivious.

And she had been.

She had thought that they were her friends. She had believed the girls to be the sisters her parents couldn’t give her.

Until she heard them talking to David about courting.

And David. Her David. She had thought him to be her soul mate. She had thought they would spend their lives together.

Until she heard him asking her friend to marry him.

Continue reading “Marny’s Dream”

Posted in Character Development, Writing, Writing 101

Writing 101: A Childhood Greenhouse

This was written in response to Writing 101: Size Matters. I managed to vary my sentence length between 8 and 20 words. Hopefully this range is enough to get me the twist for this prompt. 🙂

As a child, I spent more time in Mom’s plant nursery than at the apartment where we slept.

Mom taught me about each of the plants she grew. She would quiz me on the properties of each plant. When I turned twelve, she finally allowed me to help plant the seeds.

Plants were the only thing Mom shared about her childhood. Mom never talked about her parents unless she was also talking about her beloved plants.

While I learned that a love of plants runs in the family, I was never taught my grandparents’ names. I can’t even say if they are still alive or where they might live.

I use to imagine who they were. Sometimes I would pretend that my grandparents were scientists who developed new plants in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. At other times, my grandparents made medicines from the rare and exotic plants in their greenhouses.

Most times, I imagined that my grandparents grew the same plants Mom and I did. As I would water the tender shoots, I would pretend my grandparents were watering their plants alongside me.

I may not have known Mom’s childhood home, but in my imagination it was the same as mine; a warm, wonderful greenhouse.

Posted in Post a Day/Week, Writing

Meeting George

Sisterhood “I give up Emma. This place is impossible to find.” Carrianne slumped down into the leather booth and peered at her friend over the table.

“Nothing is impossible!” Emma raised her fist in the air. “We will –“

“Emma!” Carrianne sat up quickly and batted at Emma’s arm. “You don’t have to shout. I’m sitting in front of you.”

Emma smiled sheepishly. “Sorry.”

“You’re forgiven,” Carrianne said while rolling her eyes. “Just remember to use your indoor voice.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Emma waved off Carrianne’s words.

“Excuse me ladies.” An elderly man with coke-bottle glasses stood by the table and handed the girls menus. “Can I get you anything to drink?”

“I’ll have a coffee, black,” Carrianne said with a light smile.

“Do you have milkshakes?” Emma asked as she batted her eyelashes.

“Yes we do.” The man’s voice had a slight country twang to it. “We’ve got vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. I recommend the strawberry as we get them fresh from the field this time of year.”

“Excellent.” Emma peered at the man’s name tag. “George, I will have a strawberry milkshake.”

George left, presumably to make their drinks, and the girls went back to their conversation.

“Do you remember anything about Winterwood?” Emma asked.

Carrianne shook her head. “I was only five. The only thing I remember was one of the older kids kept teasing me. I think it was a boy; Matt or Mark. Something like that. I use to call him the terror.”

Emma giggled. “You? Call someone a terror? Never.”

“Oh, be quiet.” Carrianne looked over at the counter and noticed George staring at them. “People are staring.”

Emma looked around. “No they aren’t. There’s no one here to stare. Pity, I was hoping they would be cute.”

“Not customers. That old man was staring at you.”

“Who? George? He can stare if he wants. He’s sweet.”

Carrianne slapped her forehead. “Emma! We just met the man. How can you know if he’s sweet or a murderous maniac with a chainsaw?”

“Easy, he doesn’t have a chainsaw.”

“That’s because it’s getting repaired; Puts a damper on the killing.” George set a bright pink milkshake in front of Emma and a steaming cup of coffee in front of Carrianne, who had turned red with embarrassment.

“Sorry about that. I’m trying to teach her to be careful around strangers.”

“No offense.” George laughed which made his brown eyes sparkle like melted chocolate. “I grew up with a friend like her. She kept me on my toes before she moved to the city.”

“That’s sad,” Emma said while frowning. “What happened to her?”

“Well, she got married and had a little girl. Settled down better than anyone else I know.”

“That’s ‘cuz she got out all her crazy.” Emma nodded sagely.

Carrianne rolled her eyes. “George, I was wondering if you might help us. We managed to get a little lost.”

“Most people do ‘round here. Where’re ya looking for?”

“Winterwood! Home of adventure!” Emma said between slurps of her milkshake.

“Well, that is a tricky one. Not many people come through looking for that. I reckon you passed it long ago.”

“Thanks, George,” Carrianne said dismissively.

“Now hold on. I didn’t say I couldn’t help. Why are you looking for Winterwood anyway?” George pulled over a chair from a nearby table and sat down.

“Adventure, treasure –“

“My family is from there,” Carrianne interrupted Emma with a cold glance.

“What did you say your name was little one?”

Carrianne’s eyes narrowed as she subtly slipped further into the booth, away from George.

“I didn’t but my family name is Picketts.”

“You’re not Wilhelmina’s daughter by any chance?” George said, his demeanor seeming a lot more friendly.

“Yes, she was the one that told me to come. Why? Did you know her?”

“Bet she’s the friend. Your mom seems like the crazy in her youth type.”

“She was.” George laughed. “Use to talk to her all the time. But I haven’t heard from her in over a year now. Funny that she sent you. I remember her saying that she would never send her Carrie back to Winterwood.”

“You haven’t heard from her because she died,” Carrianne stated. “She had cancer.”

“May she rest in peace.” George made the sign of the cross on his body.

Carrianne frowned. “You’re catholic? I never would have expected that.”

“Because I work on the reservation or because I look Native? I am a Catholic Native though. I even go to Mass twice a week.”

“No, it’s not either of those things. It’s just something Mom said about Winterwood. I thought everyone around here was part of a crazy religious cult. You seem surprisingly normal.”

George laughed and stood up. “Sit tight, I’ll draw you a map and make you some breakfast. It would have been a long drive from the city to get here.”

Posted in Post a Day/Week, Writing

Road Trip

Sisterhood“Are you sure you know where we’re going?” Emma asked for what seemed like the hundredth time.

“Emma, how many times do I have to tell you that I don’t know how to get to Winterwood? I haven’t been there since I was five.” Carrianne gritted her teeth in an attempt to keep her voice level.

“But you own property there.”

“Correction, Grampy owned property there and I only get the deed after I come of age,” Carrianne said in a slow manner. “Mom hired a caretaker and did everything over the phone. We never had to go there.”

Emma grew quiet and Carrianne grew more concerned.

Carrianne sighed. “Why are you asking? And don’t say ‘you’re curious’ because I know that’s not the reason.”

Emma stayed quiet for a moment, letting the sounds from the radio fill the small car. “Maybe we should pull over and ask for directions.”

“I gave you a map of the area before we even left. You have the map on your lap and have been looking at it for the last 20 minutes.”

“See, maps are funny. They don’t always have the town you’re looking for.”

Carrianne groaned. “Grab my phone and use the GPS app.”

“Yeah,” Emma dragged out the word until it was painfully distorted. “I tried that and it didn’t help. According to the maps of the world, Winterwood doesn’t exist. It’s like Narnia.”

“And you didn’t think to tell me sooner because?”

“Road trip?” Emma’s voice was small but hopeful.

Carrianne didn’t need to look to know her friend had on a wounded puppy dog expression. She sighed in defeat. “You owe me.”

“Road trip!” Emma did a happy dance in her seat.

Posted in Post a Day/Week, Writing

Burial

This piece is an accompaniment to Do You Remember Winterwood? and, as such, has a sad tone. If you have problems dealing with illness and death, I would ask you to skip this piece.

(Sadness warning included for Fibee5 and anyone else who needs it. 🙂 )

Continue reading “Burial”

Posted in For the Promptless, Post a Day/Week, Writing

Do You Remember Winterwood?

Once again it is time for Prompts for the Promptless. This week, I am a bit later in my post as the new prompt will go online soon.

I deviated slightly from the meaning of Gezelligheid though I tried to stay within the togetherness and family theme. I apologize for the sad tone of this piece, unfortunately it was the only way to make it not sound extremely awkward.

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“Carrianne, do you remember the village Grampy lived in? We stayed there for a few years when you were younger.” Wilhelmina’s hazel eyes seemed to focus on something behind Carrianne.

“I think so. It was called Winter right?” Carrianne shifted her chair closer to her mother’s bed. “I mainly remember Grampy complaining about the town’s name dooming it to endless winter.”

Wilhelmina laughed weakly. “The village is Winterwood and your Grampy only said that because he wanted to move to Florida.”

“Ok, but why are you bringing it up? Grampy died years ago and we have no other relatives.”

“Grampy owned the Bed and Breakfast in Winterwood. When he died The Flowering Rose passed down to you.”

“What? I thought you sold that.”

Wilhelmina held up a hand to silence her daughter. “I am unable to sell it as the deed was held in trust until you came of age. I hired one of the villagers to take care of the property until that time.”

“Well, I must have come of age by now. I can sell it and we won’t have to worry about it anymore.”

“It’s not that easy darling. There are several things you must do to come of age.”

“You mean besides getting older? Isn’t that what coming of age means?”

“Hush. There is more to be done. I am sorry that I failed to teach you our culture.”

Carrianne leaned closer. “What do you mean by ‘our culture’? Did you grow up in a different country or something?”

“No, nothing like that. I grew up in Winterwood.” Wilhelmina’s eyes began to drift shut.

“Rest mom. We can talk about this later; when you aren’t as tired.”

Wilhelmina shook her head. “I may not have a later. I need to tell you now.”

“Ok, but if you feel too tired, I want you to sleep.”

“The people of Winterwood are different from the ones I have introduced you to. They have different beliefs and values from the city.” Wilhelmina yawned. “I have raised you to be cynical and disbelieving. But to come of age, you must begin to believe.”

“Believe in what? I’m not joining some cult religion just to get the deed of a B&B I intend to sell.”

“You are a reflection of my own bitterness.” Wilhelmina spoke more to herself than her daughter. “Maybe Dad was right. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken you from Winterwood.”

“Mom, if Winterwood is a cult, then I’m glad you got out of there. Cults are dangerous.”

“If we hadn’t left, you would have grown up knowing your ancestry. You would have learned how to live rather than how to go through the motions of life.”

“I am living. I’m graduating from college in a few days. I’ve lived by myself for two years. I have a job I love in an industry that will use my degree. In fact, the only thing missing from my life right now is a boyfriend.”

“I thought Emma wanted to be your boyfriend?”

“She’s not my type; wrong anatomy. What I’m trying to get at is that I am living and I have a pretty good life.”

“No,” Wilhelmina said with a light shake of her head. “You only think you’re living because I failed to teach you otherwise. I’ve taught you to close your mind and disbelieve but I never told you what you would miss by doing so.”

“If I promise to open my mind a bit more, would it make you happy?”

“When I die-”

“Mom!”

Wilhelmina gave Carrianne a look which silenced any protests she might have had. “When I die, I want you to go to Winterwood. Grampy’s term for you coming of age was that you learn about our family history from the village elders.”

“I will go to Winterwood but I don’t want to think about you dying.” Carrianne took hold of Wilhelmina’s hand. “I don’t like the thought of losing my mom.”

“It’s something you’ll have to think of soon darling.”

“Why? They figured out what was going on and they’ve already started treatment. If my bone marrow is a match then you can be treated for good.”

“No darling. My heart’s not strong enough for a transplant.”

Pleading brown eyes met steady hazel ones. “But the drugs will hold back the cancer until you’re stronger. The doctor said that the drugs will help you.”

A slight shake of the head was the only response. Soon, both women had tears flowing down their faces as they hung onto the only family they had.

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Before you go, check out these awesome bloggers who took on this week’s challenge:

Yllenkcalb – Comfort AND Coziness

Something Unspoken – Gezellegheid

AR Neal – Gezellegheid is the Law of the Land

Serendipity – Cozy Visions of a Messy Life

Calliope’s Lyre – Amaranthus

Fish of Gold – All the Comforts of Home

Mama Bear Musings – Gezellegheid

Repressed Expressions – My Parents Are My Neighbors

Breathing Space – Gezelligheid Gesundheit

This Typing Makes Me Look Busy – The Changing of Homes

A Sign of Life – November Rain

Indira – Gezellegheid

More Than Half Mad – Gezelligheid

Rarasaur – The Craft of Gezelligheid

Posted in Challenges, For the Promptless, Post a Day/Week, Writing

Emma’s Vision Board

I think I like Prompts for the Promptless byRarasaur. So far I’ve been completing them every week. This weeks prompt is “Total Monet” and I also took some inspiration from my previous post “Hospitals Are Not Sexy“.

“Hey mom,” Carrianne poked her head around the door of her mother’s hospital room. “Are you awake?”

“Hmm?” The brown-haired woman slowly eased herself into a seated position.

“Mom, you don’t have to sit up. It’s just me and you need your rest.”

“I’ve had enough rest. I’ve been lying down all day.” Carrianne’s mother let out a weak smile. “Sitting up will do me some good.”

“Well, I have some good news. I was talking to the doctors and they said that they have an idea of what’s going on. They’re just waiting for the tests to come back.” Carrianne set her bag on the chair by her mother’s bed.

“I know Sweety. They told me earlier.”

“Okay, then how about good news number two?” Carrianne rummaged through her bag for a moment before pulling out a sheet of paper. “Emma made you a present.”

The laugh that greeted that statement sounded weak and tired. “Is it another self-portrait?”

“No, it’s the vision board I told you she was working on the other day.” Carrianne unfolded the paper revealing a collage of bright images.

“It looks interesting.”

Carrianne walked over to the bulletin board and pinned the vision board so that it was viewable from the bed. “If you squint your eyes it looks like a flower. But I’m not sure if she did that on purpose or not.”

“It does look better over there. Reminds me of that painter. You know, the one who used the dots.” Hazel eyes began to drift shut and Carrianne’s mother let out a yawn.

“Mom, lie down. You’re falling asleep and sitting up isn’t doing you any good. You need your rest.”

“What I need is to get better so I can go to your graduation.”

“You need rest in order to get better.”

“And you need to go to school in order to graduate.”

Carrianne smiled. “I’ll make you a deal. I’ll go to my classes and you will get more rest.”

Her mother would have replied but sleep had proven to be stronger than her will to stay awake.

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Before you leave, check out the other wonderful promptless bloggers this week:

Mama Bear Musings – A Total Monet

Serendipity – Pretty Messy Life

TheMatticusKingdom – Details

One Starving Activist – Someone’s Baby Once

Repressed Expressions – Ode to the Hair on my Chinny-Chin-Chin

Goodbye Whoopie Pie – Crinkling Monets

Journey Called Life… My Myopia and a Total Monet

This Typing Makes Me Look Busy … – Ding Dong, Crazy is Gone

Memoirs of an Unremarkable Man – Don’t Look Too Close, Except You Should

The Seeker’s Dungeon – Forgive Me for Seeing Only Cowardice

Sue’s Trifles – Monet Prompt

Cognitive Reflections – A Total Monet

Breathing Space – Ready for my Close Up

Posted in A.P. Roberts, Challenges, For the Promptless, Writing

Hospitals Are Not Sexy

Once again I’m trying my hand at Prompts for the Promptless byRarasaur. This weeks prompt was “Vision Board”.

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“I don’t care who you’re talking to. Hospitals are not sexy. In fact, they are the furthest thing from sexy that there is.” Carrianne sighed into the payphone she was using. “I’m telling you Emma, I am so done with the hospital fantasy. Actually, I’m just done with hospitals.”

“Carrianne? That you? Because the number is funky and you’ve had a sexy doctor in the hospital fantasy since I’ve known you.”

“I’m on a payphone. I get crap for signal here. And yes, I’m done with hospitals. I’ve spent the last week sleeping in hospital chairs by mom’s bed. They are not comfortable and definitely not sexy. I cannot believe that I ever wanted to have sex in them.”

“What about the doctor part of the fantasy? Please tell me they’re cute.”

Carrianne shook her head. “I don’t know. I’ve been too worried about mom to pay attention to what the doctors look like.”

“She that bad? I thought the docs knew what it was and she was getting treatment.”

“They have theories but the tests always come back negative. She’s been seen by at least three different specialists this week alone. Each of them has a different theory about what’s going on. I just wish they would find out what’s going on before telling us their theories. It’s getting a bit tiring to get our hopes up only to have them brought back down when the results come in. Every time they tell us what they think is going on, we get excited because we think she’ll get treatment soon. Then the test results come back and we’re told that she doesn’t have what they thought and they need to do more testing.”

“That sucks. Have you told the docs that you want facts not fiction?”

“And have them tell me nothing? I couldn’t deal with that. I mean, I already can’t do anything but at least they’re telling me something right?” Carrianne sat down against the wall.

“You might not be able to do anything but I know what I can do.”

“Take notes for me in class?” Carrianne asked hopefully.

“The notes are online. I don’t need to take them. But, do you have any pictures of your mom from before she got sick?”

“The professors always say things that aren’t in the online notes. I need you to write them down so I don’t miss anything.”

“Don’t change the subject. Do you have a picture of your mom I can use?”

Carrianne rolled her eyes. “Maybe. Check my desk, if I have one it’s there. Why do you need it?”

“I’m going to add it to my vision board.”

“No.” Carrianne’s voice was clipped and her grip on the phone tightened.

“It will help send out vibrations of good health.”

“I don’t care what you think it will do. It won’t work and I’m not going to let you destroy a picture of my mom for it.”

“I’ll make a copy then. All I want to do is add a photo of your mom to my vision board. If I have something to focus on, like seeing your mom healthy, then I can send her healing vibes. Maybe I’ll even put on one of those doctor snake things so I can send smart vibes to the doctors. Besides, what will it hurt to try? The doctors haven’t been able to do anything yet because they haven’t figured out what’s going on. Maybe with some good vibes going their way, they’ll figure out what’s going on.”

Carrianne sighed into the handset. “Fine. I guess you’re right. It wouldn’t do any harm but I still find it ridiculous.”

“You have two minutes remaining. To speak longer please insert more coins.” A robotic voice cut into Carrianne’s side of the conversation.

“Listen Emma, I’ve got to go. The payphone says it wants more money and I don’t have any more change on me. When I can get away for a bit, I’ll find a signal and text you.”

“Bye Carrianne. I’ll see you when your mom’s better and you get back.”

“If I come back.”

“You will. Give your mom my best.”

“I will. Bye Emma.” Carrianne’s shoulders dropped as she hung up the phone. With a heavy heart she began the walk back to her mother’s hospital room.

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Before you leave, check out the other wonderful promptless bloggers this week:

Hyperlocal Hero – #87 ~ ~ Hyperlocal Hero – #88

Things I See and Know – Envisioning

Journey Called Life… – Vision Board

Live, Love, Laugh, Dance, Pray – Vision Board

Bodhisattva In Training – What’s Your Vision

How to Dance – Vision Board

The Matticus Kingdom – Complete

A Sign of Life – Vision Board

Serendipity – Vision Board

Breathing Space – Just Say Whatever To That Vision Board

The Seeker’s Dungeon – Visionless Expression

Mama Bear Musings – Vision Board

Repressed Expressions – My Ignored Vision Board

Cognitive Reflection – Vision Board

Fish of Gold – Welcome to Fish House

Indira – Wish List

One Starving Activist – Vision of the Desired Call

Stuphblog – Vision Boards?

Rarasaur – My Biggest Fear