Wednesday, April 30, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Zigzag or Zigzag

Zigzag [Spanish] or Zigzag [English]
[source]
She skipped down the rickety wooden trail zig-zagging towards the woods, singing a little ditty about fairies and fireflies.

The sun was directly overhead, hiding her shadow and so bright it hid something behind her, something carefully tracing her footsteps.

As she headed deeper and deeper into the woods, the trail got harder to follow but that didn't deter her, no, not one little bit.

This was a journey she had dreamed about, over and over again, a journey to a destination beyond her most vivid dreams.

Her song transformed into a whistled tune as the woods darkened around her, their canopy hiding the sun behind their thick greenery.

Her tracker moved with calculated silence, maintaining a safe distance but never losing sight of her.

She stopped short as the woods opened into a wide meadow filled with wildflowers and butterflies, all kissed by the sun.

Behind her she heard a soft voice, "Is this all you dreamed of?"

"Oh yes," she sighed, "and so much more."

She held out her hand for the butterflies, standing still as they covered her with soft wings, slowly transforming into one of them as the glittering fairy behind her smiled.



My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Yema or Yolk

Yema [Spanish] or Yolk [English]
[source]
"Oooh, mom's gonna be mad!" Deke berated his younger brother, Kenny.

Lower lip trembling, he wiped his nose on his sleeve and whined, "I din't mean to break it, honest."

Kenny's sniffling was the only sound as the duo stared at the carton of eggs, eleven perfect ovals and one broken with the yolk threatening to spill.

"What we gonna do?" the little one pleaded with eyes that always reminded Deke of a Cocker Spaniel.

He ruffled Kenny's hair, "Gimme me a minute, I'll think of sumthing."

Cabinets were opened, the refrigerator contents were studied as he came up with a plan.

Turning to Kenny he said, "I've got an idea, you keep an eye our for Mom and Dad."

Deke went to work, keeping an eye over his shoulder on Kenny guarding the hallway.

Twenty minutes later he was done.

The two boys proudly carried their treasure upstairs, a tray filled with glasses of juice, buttered toast and several freshly scrambled eggs.


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free





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Monday, April 28, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Xena or Xenon

Xena [Spanish] or Xenon [English]
[source]
No one was there when it happened.

A slight pop, a flash of light and then all returned to normal.

But nothing would ever be normal again for Dr. Barnabas Stillwater.

He always arrived early, preferring to be the first to work, taking time to savor his one guilty pleasure, a mug of hot chocolate.

He sniffed, noticing an unusual odor lingering in the room and muttered, "I've told them a hundred times NOT to cook in here."

He set down his travel mug, opened his lab notes and proceeded to refresh his memory, oblivious to what would happen next.

Another pop, louder than the first, a bright flash accompanied by an intense sizzling brought him out of his reverie.

He looked over the glasses precariously perched on the end of his nose at the bubbling concoction in the beaker closest to him.

His head began to swim from the overwhelming stench and as he reached for the beaker he passed out, hitting his head on the table as he fell.

At his funeral he was given credit for discovering a new type of anesthesia utilizing the gas Xenon.

My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free




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Saturday, April 26, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Winche or Winch

Winche or Winch 
[source]
No one remembered, no one cared.

An old man takes his boat out for an overnight trip.

Perfect weather, enough wind for the sails, enough moonlight for navigation.

Then the sea turned black, the moon hid behind the clouds, the winds churned the water into wet mountains as he fought for control.

he winched in the sails, secured everything at hand and sat down to wait out the storm.

He'd had a good life, he'd outlived his friends and had no family.

It was over almost as soon as it started, ending with the sea as the victor.

Calm water, bright moonlight but no sign of a struggle.

It was years later, a diver found a rusted winch resting against the ocean floor.

No one remembered, no one cared.


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free




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Friday, April 25, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Vario or Varied

Vario [Spanish] or Varied [English]
[source]


Three men hovered over his shoulder as he studied the wires.

"C'mon guys, back up and give me some light."

"What ya gonna do, Chief?"

"He's gonna cut the red one, they always cut the red one."

"That's just for TV you idiot."

Wiping his brow he ordered, "Get me the snips, I think I figured it out."

One of the men hustled off to the work truck and returned with the tool.

"See, told ya, he's gonna cut the red one."

"Shut up, you moron and let him work."

He carefully pulled out the offending wire, snipped it and they all stepped back as the city fell into darkness.


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free





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Thursday, April 24, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Util or Useful

Util [Spanish] or Useful [English]

[source]
He mimicked the rhythmic sound of his horse as he plodded along the cobblestone side streets of Severmore.

"Clip-clop, clip-clop, all for naught; clip-clop, clip-clop, gotta stop; clip-clop, clip-clop, shoulda fought."

He pulled the reins to the side and they slowed to a stop beside the park.

Jumping down he patted the rump of his faithful companion of almost twenty years, Reginald, and pulled out the feed bucket.

"We're just not useful anymore, buddy, an anachronism they said and no good for the environment."

They were being forced to retire, after more than fifteen years of service to tourists and locals.

The city didn't want the hassle of clean-up, said it was a bio-hazard.

He leaned against the broad side of his friend, pulled out a packet of beef jerky and bit off a piece.

As he chewed he replayed his little rhyme: "Clip-clop, clip-clop, all for naught; clip-clop, clip-clop, gotta stop; clip-clop, clip-clop, shoulda fought."

He bolted upright, "The newspapers, we gotta fight, Reggie, that's what we gotta do!"


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free





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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Tiento or Touch

Tiento [Spanish] or Touch [English]
[source]
His finger reached out and touched the light, his talisman, forcing the glow outward, past its earlier limits.

He concentrating on centering his thoughts, containing his emotions, emotions that had been in a kaleidoscope of chaos since this morning.

How long had it been?

Too long; way too long since he'd seen his family and friends; way too long since he'd seen a familiar sight; way too long but very necessary.

He was proud of his involvement in this mission and understood the importance of his assignment but after this morning, well, maybe it was time to go home.

He wouldn't be missed here on this foreign planet, no one to call friend, no one to notice the empty space he had occupied.

But if he followed through and left, he would be labeled a deserter and he and his family would be outcasts.

The acid in his stomach lurched and rose to his throat as he considered the possibilities.

No, he would have to remain and see this through to the end no matter the difficulties.

He laughed as he remembered one of his favorite books, "Stranger in a Strange Land", and recognized the similarities.

My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free




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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Salvo or Safe

Salvo [Spanish] or Safe [English]
[source]
She crawled into a dark corner of the porch, concealing herself behind a wall of dead plants and half empty boxes.

She made herself as small as possible, curling into a tight ball with her legs pulled close to her body.

She put her hands over her ears trying to block out the sounds but still they intruded.

She could hear everything outside her hiding place, the yelling, the cursing, the breaking dishes.

She made up a little song and sang it to herself silently.

She knew better than to make any noise that might bring attention to her hiding spot.

She refused to cry, she never cried, it only encouraged the anger.

She pictured a happy family, playing on the beach, sharing their love and laughter.

She sighed deeply.

She wondered if she would ever feel safe again...


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free





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Monday, April 21, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Reata or Rope

Reata [Spanish] or Rope [English]
[source]
"Hurry up or we'll never get done," Emily shouted at her younger sister, Felice.

"My hands are too cold," the little one whined, twisting her hands together in a feeble attempt to warm them.

Emily plucked the frozen shirt off the clothesline, dropped it in the laundry basket, knelt and cupped her hands around Felice's, blowing warm breath into her fist.

A tiny droplet threatened to freeze on Felice's face as she sucked on her lower lip and fought her tears.

"Why can't Mommy do this?" she asked.

"You know why, because she's sick so we have to help with the housework."

Now it was her turn to fight back the tears, tears for past days when her mother wasn't sick, wasn't languishing in the bedroom too tired to get up.

Emily stood, "I can do the rest, keep your hands in your pockets until I need you to open the door, okay?"

With a snuffle Felice nodded and waited, keeping her back to the icy wind that chilled her body.

Inside the house their mother peered out the window, took another swig of bourbon, then collapsed on the bed, once again choosing oblivion over reality


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free



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Saturday, April 19, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Quieto or Quiet

Quieto [Spanish] or Quiet [English]
[source]
He twisted and stretched, releasing the kinks from a night sleeping on the ground, and watched the sun rise, its warm rays burning through the damp morning mist in tiny increments.

This was his favorite time of day, the quiet let him savor the newness, the only interruption was a few little bird chirps and the buzzing of insects drying their wings.

He stood and shouldered the worn backpack, stiffness still evident by the slowness of his movements.

Head down, one weary foot shuffled in front of the other, each step moving him further towards his destination.

A loud honking caused him to pause before stepping farther onto the shoulder of the road beside an ancient pickup carrying a load of produce.

"Give ya' a lift?"

He nodded and climbed in the front seat with the driver who appeared as ancient as his truck, mumbling his thank you.

"How far ya' going?"

"Don't rightly know but when I get there, then I'll stop a spell."

The driver nodded knowingly, "Then hope you'll keep me company 'cause we're on the same trip, my friend, the same trip."


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free



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Friday, April 18, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Paloma or Pigeon

Paloma [Spanish] or Pigeon [English]
[source]
He watched the cat stalk its prey and the phrase, "Patiently poised to pounce on the plump, pampered pigeons," kept repeating in his head.

Soon, "Perfectly pleasant picture of pleasure," took its place.

"Proud parents prattle as they parade their perambulators in the park," followed suit.

Then it was, "Playmates prance in the pond and peep around privets, then promise to play another day."

And, "Perky pets protest their perches, preferring to play with puffballs and puppies."

He sighed. "Perfect, pleasant, poignant, peculiar...no, not peculiar...piquant and peaceful. Paradise."

He nodded and smiled, thinking what a perfect day it was for the letter P.

Then his nurse approached and he thought, "Pointed face, phony smile, pinched lips portends a painful preview of my day."


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Onza or Ounce

Onza [Spanish] or Ounce [English]
[source]
The little corner store carried what she needed, survival food; canned goods, eggs, bread, milk, cereal, bologna and from time to time a small treat for her son.

Today she was using every penny she could scrounge to pay for food for another week.

Her six year old interrupted her counting as he begged, "Can I have some, can I Mommy, please, can I?"

He bounced around in an amusing imitation of Tigger from his favorite story book, "Winnie the Pooh" while the bored clerk tapped his fingers on the counter, waiting for her decision and wishing he could go home.

"I don't know if I..." she rummaged through the bottom of her purse searching for more spare change.

The clerk cleared his throat, "Will this be all, ma'am?"

"Just a little bit Mommy, I can count them. Just three or two or, okay, just one, please?"

She looked over her purchases, put aside a can of green beans and smiled at the clerk.

"Can you weigh out one ounce of penny candy please?"


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free



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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

#AtoZchallenge: Nulo or Null-Nothing

Nulo [Spanish] or Null, Nothing [English]
[source]
She was told it was nothing, nowhere and not her concern but her curiosity drew her towards it.

On a back street, down a dirty alley and on the left was all she knew, well except that she just had to examine it herself.

Tales warning of the witching hour came to mind as she noted it was almost midnight, she had to laugh.

She stopped short beside the drain pipes and stared at the wall trying to discern where the window started and where it ended.

She took a step back and tried again, unsuccessful, she moved in closer, concentrating primarily on the center of the image.

Her surroundings dimmed as the town clock chimed twelve but she never noticed, intent on observing the window.

She took a step closer and then one more as the window became real, a 3D version of the chalky drawing she'd first seen on the wall.

She reached out and touched it, felt the coolness of the glass under her palm and then her forehead as she peered inside.

A flash made her blink and she found herself inside, on the other side of the window, in a room like none she'd ever seen.

This time she heard the final chime of the clock and as she turned back to the window she watched it blur into chalky nothingness.


My theme is 10x10.
A maximum of ten sentences, a minimum of 100 words.
My 2012 A-Z Story Book is now free



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