Monday, December 24, 2012

Week 13 (Week 29 sheet) - Christmas Ghost

Note: I am writing this one a week late, yes again. I have also skipped ahead to the prompts relating to Christmas.

Prompt
While hanging up your Christmas lights, you a flagged down by a neighbourhood kid who offers to help. As he helps you, he tells you about the Christmas ghost that haunts his house. What's odd is that you've noticed some of the same things happening around your house. Write this scene.

My Creativity
Every year it is the same old thing: my wife nagging me to put up the Christmas lights. It doesn't matter how much I despise the task. To make matters worse, it doesn't seem to matter how carefully I put them away the previous year, they are always still bundles in one huge knot. It also doesn't matter if I untangle them inside the house, by the time I get outside they are once again knotted.

This year I am actually ahead of the game. I am not doing it last minute, nor is it the coldest day of the year.

Latter up, lights in hand, I am armed for the task. Why did we buy a house with such a high roof and large trees?

I have a few lights up, when I hear a voice below me. It is a kid. I think he must live by us because I recognize him.

"Hey mister, can I help you?"

Even though I' much prefer to do it myself, something up the boy makes me agree. As he feeds me the string of lights, he starts talking. How I find myself longing for silence. Suddenly something he says catches my attention.

"Don't you think it's weird?" The boy looks at me. "I mean why does it only show up at Christmas?"

Embarrassed that I hadn't fully been paying attention, "Tell me again what you've noticed."

"Really it's mostly the little things, " he pauses as if to confirm that I am actually paying attention this time. "Things like the humming of Christmas tunes when no one is around, or gifts changing spots under the tree without having been touched." I must have looked at him with some confusion, but I think he took it as doubt. "There have been other things, bigger things," he says somewhat defensively this time."

I stop hanging the lights to really pay attention now. "Really?"

"Really!"

"We'll, like what?" And I really do what to know.

"Like the Christmas tree lights turning on when no one else is home, or the stockings falling off the hooks. Then there was the time when no matter which TV station I went to, it was the same Christmas show at the same spot. I mean really, what are the odds of that?"

Do I let him know that a few of those things have happened at our house? Does that make me crazy, him crazy, or both of us? "The Christmas Ghost," I accidentally say allowed I stead of in my mind.

"He just wants to be included," the boy pauses. He is remembering something. "Christmas, the favourite time of year."

"The favourite time of year," I repeat. I wait for the boy to answer, but there is no reply. In fact, there are no foot prints leading up to the latter but my own.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Week 12 - Changing Your Childhood

Prompt
Pick an event from your childhood that you wish would have gone differently. Write it as though it had happened ideally.

note: This is difficult for me because I believe that without each experience I've had, I would not be who I am today. Every second in life shapes and guides us. However, for the sack of this exercise, I will try to think of something.

My Creativity
It was a beautiful fall day. The sun was out and the grass hadn't yet turned brown. The leaves must have been changing colours, although I can't remember. The wooden school desk was extremely uncomfortable, but all I could do was sit and wait for the school bell to ring. The seven hills were beckoning me. I swear I could hear the wind whisper a message, even through the closed window.

Every one was lined up now, trying as hard as possible to stay still so our teacher would let up leave a little early. It hadn't happen yet; it was only the third week of grade one. The ringing bell could barely be heard over the stomping of feet and the giggles of hundreds of children grabbing their lunch.

Finding a seat in the lunch room was easy. Every grade was assigned certain tables. Knowing that the sky was clear, we ate quickly. I ran straight to the hill. My big sister was there with her friends. I was still young enough that she liked me. We were fooling around on the hill. She was pushing me off her of feet. Like a projectile I flew in the air, or at least it felt like I did. Of course, I didn't actually go far. We played the game until her legs tired. It was on the last launch that I landed with my wrist in a gopher hole. I sat up and started to cry. It hurt so badly. My sister wiped away the tears, help me up, took my other hand, and walked me to the office. She sat with me while I waited for ice. She stayed until I was ready to go back to the classroom.

Reality
I broke my arm and had to wait for my mom to come pick me up. At the time we only had one car. I'm not sure if she took the bus or a cab, but waiting felt like forever. She came into the office and signed me out. After we went to my locker, we left the school. Instead of getting into some type of vehicle, she held my good hand and we walked up the seven hills to the waiting hospital at the top.

(apprently I looked at the sheet wrong - this should be week eleven. I guess I'll have to do that one later.)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Week Ten - The best part about writing fiction is...

Prompt
Finish this sentence: The best part about writing fiction is...

My Creativity
The best part about writing fiction is the chance to get to know the voices in your mind at a more intimate level.

Week 9 - Office Move Gone Wrong

Again I lost track of time; I will blame it on the approaching holidays. There is of course also the fact that I lost the sheet of paper. I am finding that as I try to build up my writing career, so much of my time is consumed with online socializing,

Prompt
Your move to a new office building hits a major hurdle when you arrive for your first day only to find out your name wasn't on the move list.

My Creativity
I stood in my tiny cramps cubicle  on Friday night looking at all of boxes. The moving company would be coming over the weekend to take them all to the new building. I was excited about finally getting my own office. I would be able to close a door.

I got up earlier than usual on Monday; I wanted to start unpacking and organizing as soon as possible. I've never been one for clutter to chaos.

As soon as I walked into the new building, I sensed that something was wrong. I walked around looking for a door with my name on it; I tried to find my boxes. I saw neither. Maybe stuff was still being moved over.

"How do I know where to go?" I asked the first familiar person I saw.

"There is a list posted by the staff lounge," he replied and pointed down the long hall.

I wasn't shocked to see that my name was missing; I had feared as much. I was, however, worried about all of my supplies and files. Thankfully as I stood there staring blankly at the list, the HR manager walked into the room.

"Um, if my name isn't on the list what should I do?"

She walked over, "Everyone is on the list." She placed her finger on the board and ran it down the list of names. "Hum," she paused. "I will be right back."

She returned a few minutes later with a guy I hardly knew. I vaguely remember a meeting where he was designated office moving coordinator.

He smiled, "Let's see what we have here." He studied the list. "Maybe we accidentally placed you alphabetically by your first name." He looked at the list again. "We'll then."

The three of us stood there in a awkward silence. "Does this mean I get to work from home?" I tried to giggle. There was no response. "Maybe just the day off then," I smiled.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Week 8: The Ghost of my Grandmother

*I'm not sure how it happened, but I missed a week - sorry.

Prompt
You are dealing with a bout of insomnia that started two days after the loss of you grandmother. Suddenly, you see a ghost who claims to be her spirit. Her spirit orders you to take care of something she wasn't able to do before she passed. If you do so, she'll leave you alone. If you don't, she'll haunt you forever. Write this scene.

My Creativity
Day twelve and still not a single night of unbroken sleep. I've tried it all: counting, warm milk, steady breathing, and so much more. Nothing has worked. I am now laying in bed staring at the ceiling, wishing that slumber would find me. I know I am beyond exhaustion. I even think that I see my grandmother's ghost. I mean come on, a ghost. really? It has always fascinated me the kinds of tricks that the mind if capable of playing.

"I may be a ghost, but I am no figment of your imagination," the ghost whispers.

Great, now my dead grandmother is talking to me.

"Fine, whatever you say Gran." I might as well see where this goes. It is better than doing nothing at all.

The ghost comes closer and sits and the foot of my bed. I sit up and stretch. At least tonight I won't be bored.

"It is very important that you listen to me," says my gran with a hint of force in her tone.

I've got nothing to loose. Why not? "And what is it that you need to say?"

"You must finish what I started before it is too late."

Now I know I've lost my mind. This scene is straight out of some movie. "Which is what?"

"You must stop you cousin from marrying."

I couldn't help but chuckle, "Sure, no problem."

"This is serious," she pauses and looks at me sternly. "The wedding can't happen."

"At least tell me why?"

"Once you have completed the task, I shall leave you to rest." Of course, silly me. She must have been the one keeping me awake all these nights. I mean, please.

"Listen. This is very real. If you want sleep, you must do as I've asked; otherwise I will continue to haunt you."

"Tell me why," I say with some conviction. "How am I supposed to end the wedding?"

"A hard truth," she pauses. "A secret you must keep. Find another way."

Was my gran this annoying while she was alive? Do all ghosts speak in riddles? If I wasn't able to pinch myself I'd think this to be a dream. "Sure, no problem. Break up the wedding with a truth and a secret that I can't not share."

She looks at me, "I am sorry to ask this, but I knew you would see me. You are my last hope. They can not wed because they are brother and sister."

I jump out of bed in shock. Before I can ask anymore questions, she is gone.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Week 7 - Taking Drastic Measures

Prompt 
Around mid-morning one day, you realize that everything that is happening seems really familiar. After much thought you realize that your life has fallen into a terrible rut and now you must take drastic measures to find a way out of it. Write the scene where you make a life-changing decision.


My Creativity
Ask me what is on TV at a certain time of day, and I will likely be able to tell you. I wake up and start my day with coffee in front of the TV. I do laundry, in front of the TV, I work with the TV on...I think you get the point. I work from home, and I don't like being alone. It's too quite. I need to have noise

The problem at the moment is that life has become too predictable. There is no element of surprise, no change from one day to the next. My life has become such a routine. I think that it is the routine making my decisions and not my brain. If that isn't a rut, I don't know what it.

Surrounded by crumpled pieces of paper, a pile of laundry waiting to be folder, and a stack of dirty dishes wanting to be cleaned, I know that this rut has to end. As irrational as it is, I know that I only have one option. I must pack up my life and leave the country. I must start fresh.

I pack very few items. Part of starting over will include recreating myself. Out with the old and in with the new. Isn't that how the cliche goes? After calling the cab to drive me to the airport, I look around my house. There is only one thing left to do.

I walk towards the kitchen table and place the note on top. I hope that my husband finds it before the kids. The cab honks to signal its arrival. Before heading out the door, I gently brush the family photo in the hallway. I don't even have the words to apologize. I am not sorry to be leaving, but I am sorry that they will be hurt by my decision.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Week 6 - "I know I'm Supposed to Keep This a Secret, But..."

This will be a very short paragraph today. My main focus is finishing my novel.

Prompt
The plane lifts off the runway and into the air. The person next to you turns and quietly whispers in your ear, "I know I'm supposed to keep this a secret, but I absolutely must tell someone."

My Creativity
The plane had just taken off, and I was trying to get comfortable. Unfortunately the plane had been overbooked, and I didn't end up with a window seat like I'd requested. I guess that's why people pay  the extra for guaranteed seating. To make matters worse, I didn't get the aisle seat either. I was in the middle.

They guy by the window was already snoring and the person on the aisle wouldn't stop fidgeting. I put in my headphones, leaned my seat back, and closed my eyes. Even though I am a frequent flyer, I have never been a good passenger. No, I am not one of these people who drinks to get through a flight, nor do I get agitated. In fact, if you were to see me on a plane, you wouldn't even know that I was uncomfortable being in the air. My irrational belief is that my fear keeps the plane in the air. Yes, the minute I start to relax, the plane will hit turbulence and remind me to be afraid. I truly believe that if I stop being afraid, the plane will fall from the air.

So there I am trying to get comfortable and hopefully fall asleep, so my mind will stop talking to me. Just when I think I am about to drift off, the women beside me on the aisle starts to poke me. At first I think that she is simply trying to get comfortable, so I ignore her. As she continue to poke, I sigh heavily. The next thing I know, she takes off my headset. Before I have a chance to respond, her mouth is up by my ear.

I can feel her breath as she says, "I know I'm supposed to keep this a secret, but I absolutely must tell someone."

You can only image how quickly that got my attention. My heart started to beat faster and the blood drained from my face. I looked at the woman who now sat with a huge grin on her face. She didn't look like a terrorist. That's when it occurred to me that I had no idea what a terrorist was actually supposed to look like. I cleared my throat and reached up to press the flight attendant call button.

She pushed my hand down before I reached the button, "Did you hear me?"

I smiled back; the last think I wanted to do was engage in this conversation. The problem was, it didn't seem like pissing her off would be a good idea.

"Yes," my voice squeaked out.

"So, don't you want to know what I know?"

Did I? Did I want to know that there was a bomb on the plane or a crazy gunman aboard? Would it be better to just die in ignorance? Now that the question of a secret was out there, of course I wanted to know. How else was I going to relax.

"Do I?" She just sat there with her silly, child-like grin. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and replied "Sure".

She giggled. This crazy woman actually giggled before telling me the plane was going to crash and my life was over. Of all the seats on the plane, how did I end up in this one. I was afraid, very afraid. Could my fear keep the plane from crashing?

She leaned in closer, "You're boyfriend has two seats in first class, and he as soon as the seat belt sign goes off, he is going to come back here and propose to you."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Week Five - One Memorable Night

Note: Sorry I am a week late. I've been trying not to get sick and also getting ready for my time away.

Prompt
While at a bar, your high school sweetheart approaches you and gives you an unexpected kiss on the lips. This causes you to have an intense reaction that will lead to a very memorable night - but not for good reasons.

My Creativity
Standing by the bar, I was watching the ladies dance. It was just a matter of figuring out who would be my mark. After making eye contact with a girl for most of a song, I decided to approach her. As I left the bar and headed towards the dance floor, I was abruptly stopped. Next thing I knew, I was locking lips with my high-school sweetheart. We'd dated for two years. At the time I thought she was the love of my life; I'd even thought about proposing. Instinct took over, and I found myself kissing her back. My one hand instantly cradling her face and the other on her back. Just as suddenly as the kiss started, it stopped. She pulled away and slapped me across the face.

I stood there dumbfounded. A small group of onlookers had now gathered. Had it been a guy, I would have hit back. I stood there, my mouth gaping open. A very obvious erection was starting to swell in my pants. Was it the kiss or the slap that had turned me on? Did it matter?

I flinched as she took a step towards me. There was a strange fire in her eyes. I saw passion and pain. Perhaps she was waiting for me to reacted. As I went to pull her closer, she slapped me again.

"How could you?" she screamed over the music.

"You kissed me," I replied, trying not to let me mixture of anger and lust show.

Small pools of water were filling her eyes. Unable to see her cry, I redirected my view. Maybe I could still catch the eyes of the dancing girl. Although she was still swaying to the music, she was certainly not paying attention to me. Sensing my stare, she looked up and shock her head. Well, hocking up with her was out of the question.

"Look at me," she paused. "Look at me," she hollered.

Tears where now streaming down her soft, pale skin. She looked so vulnerable.

"What?", I yelled back. "What do you want from me?" I paused. "You left me."

She seemed to be shacking. "I know," she answered softly. "We were going different ways. It was the easy thing to do."

"Easy for you."

"No, for you." Her head slumped down, and her shoulders heaved. "You were going to university. You had a scholarship. I couldn't be the one to hold you back."

"You're crazy if you thought it was easy for me," my voice continuing to be a little too loud. "It was selfish."

With a quick look up at me, she turned to walk away. Obviously leaving was her thing. I reached out to grab her arm, but at the last minuted decided against it. I wasn't going to let her get into my head. Almost in a trance, I was following her outside the bar. How could she still have so much power over me?

Thin snow was falling from the sky, and the wind was tossing around garbage from the littered parking lot.

"You can't walk away this time," I called after her.

She stopped and looked at me, "You really have no idea do you?" She no longer seemed to be crying. "You wouldn't have been able to handle it."

"Handle what? I thought you were coming to live near campus with me."

"I couldn't go anymore."

"We could have done the long distance thing."

"No, I had to let you go."

"It wasn't your decision to make alone."

Tears started to fall down her cheeks again, "You couldn't have handled it."

"Whatever." Cold and angry I started to walk towards my car. I wasn't playing silly high-school games.

As I went to open my car door, I turned to take a final look at the girl from my past. She was gone.

"Stop," she cried just as I was getting inside. "She would have changed everything."

"She? She who? Stop talking in circles. Lose the code."

"Your daughter."

I dropped down into the driver's seat. "My daughter," I whispered back.

"I found out I was pregnant shortly after prom. I knew you would have given up everything to help me, help us. I wasn't going to have a pity relationship. I wasn't going to ruin your plans. I..."

I'd stopped listening. "I have a daughter," I continued to say under my breath. "A daughter."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Week Four - Thank You for Punishing Me

Prompt
You've been convicted of a crime, but the judge recognizes that this is your first offense. Instead of sending you to jail, he hands down an extremely unusual punishment. What's even more unusual is, after it's over, you come back to thank him. Why?

My Creativity
I stood there beside my lawyer waiting to hear what the judge would say. I'd just pleaded guilty to theft. It was stupid really. I was desperate to own the newest Gucci purse. I thought for sure it would help me get a job. I really wanted to be the editor of a fashion magazine. Now I'll be lucky to get a job at all.

"Please rise for your sentence," commanded the bailiff.

I stood beside me lawyer and took a deep breath. I think everyone in the courtroom was able to hear the pounding of my heart.

"Given that you voluntarily pleaded guilty and that this is your first offence, I don't think that a fine or jail time is warranted. Nor am I convinced that it will teach you any lesson."

'O'kay,' I thought. 'I can handle some community service.' I just hopped that it wasn't cleaning graffiti or picking up trash at the side of the road.

"It is unfortunate that greed and vanity got the better of you," continued the judge. "I believe that what you need is to learn the difference between needs and wants," the judge paused. "It is for this reason that I sentence you to spending three nights and four days of living on the street."

I remember looking at the judge and thinking that it must be a joke; perhaps I was being punked. Immediately my lawyer began spewing words about rights and humiliation; to be honest I'm not even sure what they were. I touched my lawyers arm, "It's alright," I whispered. "I'll do it."

I wasn't even given the opportunity to go home. I was stripped of my belongings, make-up, wallet, keys, and the likes before being dropped off at a homeless shelter. There was already a line forming in front of the locked doors. Apparently even homeless shelters had business hours.

The experience was nothing like I expected it to be. I'm not even sure that I could call it humbling or eye opening. There doesn't seem to be a word to describe the world I found myself in. I went from a promising business women to what felt like a begging street animal. In fact, there were times when I was even treated at such. People walk by without looking, or yelling at you to get a job. The odd person might drop you some spare change or offer you leftovers from their meal, but it seemed to happen less often.

Getting food wasn't the only problem. Apparently there are only so many beds available at the shelters; hence the line up on the first day. If you don't get there in time for a bed, you are left to find comfort on the streets. You can try your luck on a park bench or bus shelter, but you may end up spending the night in jail instead. I understand how that could be appealing to some of the regulars. There are of course back alleys and abandon buildings available, if you don't mind boarding with mice and various insects.

By the end of the second day, I would have done almost anything for a bath. I found myself in a gas station bathroom trying to bathe as best as I could. Without much soap, hot water, or space it wasn't easy. At least I was somewhat clean. In many ways it only mattered to me. People on the street don't judge one another. There are no pressures to explain yourself, to look a certain way or to act a certain way. It is about survival.

As I spend my time outside, I watched people. Always in such a hurry. Always on the phone. Living in a world where only they belong. How could I have been part of that world? On the streets, I met people other homeless people who wanted to help me; people who offered to share with me from what little they had. People watched out for each other. It was an actual community. In someways it seemed to contain elements of humanity, such as manners, that we seem to have lost.

I got through my time, because I knew that I would be going home. I held on to that hope. What hope did many of the others have? At the end of my sentence I went home to clean out my closet and my pantry. I was one person, why did I need so many extras? Before going to the homeless shelter, I stopped at the courthouse. I wanted to thank the judge for reminding me what life is truly about.

Note: Sorry that it is a little late this week. I decided to be sick. I would like to have taken more time on this story to have done some research on how the judicial system works and also to really understand what life in like for a homeless person. Without that research, my piece is missing a certain honesty to it.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Week Three - Not Your Average Bar Fight

Prompt
You get into an argument with another patron at a local bar, and the person challenges you to a fight out back. Because you've never been in a fight (and don't want this to be your first), you come up with a more creative way to settle your dispute. Write this scene

My Creativity
The music was pumping the dance floor and the lights were painting the walls. The dance floor was full as people moved to the beat. I hadn't wanted to go out, but I let my friends talk me into it. I sat and watched as they strut their stuff with everyone else. Being at the bar counter, my glass was never empty. I was drunk, really drunk. I hadn't been that bad since I was a teenager.

The song changed to a line dance, and one of my friends came to grab me. "There is no way you are going to sit this one out."

Everything spun as I stood up. Dance? I could barely stand. She continued to pull me towards the floor. I was yelling at her to stop, but of course she did not. So, there I stood in the line with all the other girls. Did you ever notice that it is almost always only girls who line dance. It's a cattle call, a butty shaking opportunity. This is when we get to catch the eyes of that one guy in the bar. You know, the guy you've been dying to talk to.

As I tried to follow the beat, I continuously bumped into the people around me. Being as drunk as I was, I found this funny. If I knocked everyone out, all the attention would be on me. At some point, I locked eyes with one of the watching guys. I noticed him because he was also laughing. I figured he was part of my private joke. So there I am, barely standing, certainly in to condition to dance, locking eyes with some stranger. Add it all together and it meant disaster. Trying to work my way towards him, while attempting to keep up with the moves, I knocked over a few more people. Apparently I also knocked over some girl's drink.

"Hey, watch it," she cried over the music.

"Relax," stumbled the words. "It's a bar."

"I know it's a bar. You just made me spill $7."

"Oh no $7 dollars." With that I walked closer to the guy. From behind I felt a hard push on mu shoulder. Whatever, some other dancer was probably having as much fun as I was. The bump was harder the second time, so I turned around and found myself looking into the angry eyes of the girl from earlier. "Really," I slurred. "It was an accident."

"You owe me a drink," she practically spat into my face.

"Whatever," I was now almost at the guy. He didn't seem to be smiling at me anymore; in fact he was looking past me. He was looking at the girl. Falling into his lap, I looked at him and giggled. "I know, crazy right."

The answer came from behind. "You have no idea how crazy. Now get off my man."

Not only had I spilled her drink, but I'd stumbled into her man. "Oops."

"Oops," she yelled. "Oops, really. Let's go outside and settle this."

My laugh came out more as a snort, "You can't be serious". She just glared at me. "It's a bar. Things happen."

"I said outside."

Not only do I think violence is never the option, but I'd never been in a fight. No way was this going to be my first and likely my only fight. Plus there was the fact that I was really drunk, and she was bigger than me. "How about we settle this like women instead of like men."

She looked at me. I could tell she was confused. Too be honest, I too was confused. How did women settle fights?

"I'm not gonna sit here and talk about our feelings."

I suppose that could have been one option, but I certainly hadn't be thinking about that. So what was I thinking. She continued to look at me, and I thought about walking away. Problem was, I knew that she would just follow me. I looked around the bar. "Those speakers," I pointed towards the two large speakers on either side of the dance floor. "We get up and see who can get their bra off first. No flashing them."

She started to laugh. Maybe it wasn't the best idea, but it was all I had. Her boyfriend shrugged his shoulders, "Why not?"

"You're on," she replied rolling her eyes.

Was this really more dignified than fighting? At least no one was going to get hurt. Walking towards the speakers, I could feel the effects of the alcohol. The room was spinning. I knew what was coming. On cue, the gagging began. The people around me quickly dispersed as the alcohol left my system. I'm not sure how long I stood there being sick before passing out. The last thing I remember was the girl saying, "Well, I guess I won."

Final Note
Certainly not my best work. Not even that creative. Remember, I don't read the prompts ahead of time. I think perhaps I should have written it from an man's perspective. Settling the dispute should have been who could pick up the most girls by the end of the night. Writing from a male's point of view is something that I have never done and will have to work on.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Week Two ~ The Thooth Fairy Thief

Prompt
The Tooth Fairy visits your house in the middle of the night, only she isn't just taking you children's teeth. What else is she stealing from your house, and how do you attempt to stop her?

My Creativity
As a single mother, I was very excited when my only child lost her first tooth. I'd already done the Santa thing and the Easter Bunny thing, now I would get to do the Tooth Fairy thing.

When I tucked her into bed, I made sure that she'd placed her tooth under her bed. I told her all about the magic of the Tooth Fairy, "While you sleep at night, a lovely fairy will come down to visit you. She will use her fairy magic to take your baby tooth and leave you a small gift. She will collect other children's teeth throughout the night and then return to her world. There she will add your tooth to the collection. She has a special place for your tooth, a spot where she will eventually put all your teeth. So close your eyes and sleep tight; you don't want her not to come, do you?"

Of course she shook her head and rubbed her eyes. A final big yawn and she closed her eyes. I sat at the side of her bed and rubbed her back and ran my hand through her thick curly brown hair. Where had all the years gone? When I thought she was almost a sleep, I quietly left the room. As much as I enjoyed my daughter, I also enjoyed my evenings alone.

Popcorn in one hand and iced-tea in the other, I went to the family room. What better way to unwind than to watch some TV. As I sat there flipping through the countless channels, wondering how not one of them could have a descent show, I heard a small thump. I sighed heavily thinking for sure that it was my daughter coming to ask for a glass of water or another story. I flipped some more, hoping that I was wrong. Just when I was starting to think that I'd imagined the thud, I heard another one. So, I slowly got up. What part of the Tooth Fairy won't come if you aren't asleep didn't she understand? I was certain that tonight we would have avoided all the usually nighttime games.

I headed towards her room, annoyed and ready to tell her to get back to bed, when I saw a strange shadow in her doorway. I wondered if maybe I left the window open and something was blowing oddly. I could have sworn it looked like a fairy's shadow. I peeked my head into her room and saw nothing, so I returned to the couch. When I heard a third thud, I decided that I must be really tiered and headed for bed. First, I stopped in the kitchen to grab some change from the drawer. Of course, the bowl was empty.

I headed towards my room, to grab some change from my purse, when I saw the strange shadow coming from my room. It very clearly looked like a small body with wings. I figured exhaustion must be kicking in. When I turned the corner to enter my room, I saw it. I really saw it - the Tooth Fairy. I rubbed my eyes and wondered what I'd done that would make me hallucinate. It got worse when she started to hum. This couldn't be real! The Tooth Fairy was a myth. Every child grew to understand this. Another one of life's shattering realities. As strange as it was to see the Tooth Fairy, I decided just to go with it. If this is what my imagination wanted to see, then so be it. Maybe I was dreaming? Perhaps I'd fallen asleep on the couch.

The next thought that entered my mind was rather simple, 'what was the Tooth Fairy doing in my room? I had no baby tooth under my pillow'. Not wanting to startle the little fairy, I was still in the hallway and now watching through the door crack. I noticed that while she hummed, she was trying on my jewelry. Rings were being used as bracelets and bracelets were being used as necklaces. I half-smiled; even little fairies liked to play dress up. However, then I noticed that every so often, rather than return the item to its spot in the jewelry box, and item or two would find its way into her bag. The Tooth Fairy was robbing me.

My first thought was to run in there and smoother the little thing, but I worried that she'd use her fairy magic and escape. If this wasn't a dream, there was no way I was going to risk never seeing my valuables again. Ok, so most of the pieces were fake, but they were mine. My next thought was to catch her inside a butterfly net but let's get real, how many of use have a butterfly net sitting there ready for a fairy intrusion. Could I temp her with cheese or peanut butter? Who was I kidding, she wasn't a mouse. That's when it hit me.

I went to my daughter's room to make sure her tooth was still there. Thankfully it was. I knew the Tooth Fairy wouldn't leave without it. So I went to the kitchen and looked inside the junk drawer and found just what I needed. I went back to my daughter's room and slowly lifted her pillow. I gently reached in and grab the tiny tooth. I placed it in the mouse trap as bait and then put it all back under her pillow. I went to the corner of her room and sat down in her rocking chair, where I closed my eyes and waited.

I'm not sure how long I sat there before I heard the quit little grunts, but I opened my eyes and very slowly crawled over to the bed. I didn't want to walk in case my big shadow scared the Tooth Fairy away. When I got to the head of my daughter's bed, the tooth fairy was busy trying to avoid the trap and pull out the tooth. I reached up and grabbed her wings, "Drop the bag and put your hands up".
I'd always wanted to say that. The fairy struggled in my arms and eventually the bag fell. Still holding her wings, I picked up the bag with my other hand and dumped out the contents. Thankfully it was only my stuff and no teeth once belonging to strange children. I held out the now empty back; she grabbed it. "Now take your bag and don't come back. You are banished from my home." Would this work on her? Could fairies be uninvited in like vampires? Although, I'd never really invited her in to begin with?

As I contemplated these strange ideas, the Tooth Fairy continued to struggle in my grasp. "There is only room for one Tooth Fairy in this house, and it is me," I whispered in as threatening of a tone as one can whisper. I let go of her wings and watch as she flew away.

It had been an odd evening. I looked down at my peacefully sleeping daughter, kissed her head gently, and went to my room. It was time for bed.

In the morning, I felt a slight tug on my arm. When I opened my eyes, my daughter was looking at me with some degree of confusion.

"Mommy, why did the Tooth Fairy leave me a mouse trap?"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Week One

Prompt
Getting Your Money Back
You slide your card into the ATM and attempt to with draw cash, only to find that you account is empty. Something is wrong, as just yesterday, you had $5,000 in it. Only one person could be responsible for this-and without hesitation, you are off to confront that person and get your money back.

My Creativity
I stood there in the rain, mascara running down my face. My hair hung limply to my shoulders and my clothes clung to tightly. I hadn't even realized that it started raining so hard. I stood staring at the ATM screen 'insuficiant fund'. It wasn't even possible. However, I'd tried three times and three different ATMs, each one gave the same response. I could swear the last one was written in flashing bold letters so I'd finally register it as true. It couldn't be, only yesterday I had $5,000.

As the thunder crashed overhead, my heart skipped a bit. Not in fear, but in anger. I knew that there could only be one person responsible for this and there was no way he was going to get away with it. Lightening must have struck something close by, because the static in the air was enough to give me the push I needed. I was off and running.

It didn't take long for me to reach his apartment. I don't even recall stopping at crosswalks. I was lucky that there'd been no cars coming. Perhaps they felt my rage and hid. I pushed the button for his unit, but there was no answer, no buzz to open the door. I held my finger to it, swearing silently under my breath. What game was he playing at?

Moments before the hail started, the tenant from across the hall walked up the steps. I tried to smile, "I forgot my key, and I don't think he's home." Having seen me enough times, she didn't question this, she simply held the door open. She headed towards the elevator and I headed towards the stairs; I knew my adrenaline would get me there before any elevator. I took the stairs two or three at the time and the burst through the hallway door. I tried to calm myself as I approached his door, but the anger was clearly visible in my eyes. When I got to his door, I knocked. There was no answer, not even a sound. I knocked again, still nothing. Could he really be out?

I placed my hand on the door nob and turned it slowly towards the right, it opened easily. I didn't notice that there hadn't even been a click. As I stepped into the room, my anger disappeared in a flash. The place had been ravaged. The couch torn apart, the tables split in to, drawers emptied and thrown across the floor. Papers lay everywhere. I started to walk backwards, fully intending on leaving the apartment, and that's when I saw it. There was blood on the walls.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The birth of creativity

I was once told that the best way to get a story started was to sit with a pen and a blank piece of paper and then just start writing. Maybe the writing would lead to something and maybe it wouldn`t. It was the process and the exercise of it. There is something very intimate about handwriting poems or stories. There is a bond between the brain and the hand. Most of my creativity has been born on paper and then later typed up. Pages that started electronically were always filled with millions of notes, usually connect with numbers and arrows. I suppose that those days are gone, most people dictate into a digital recorder or type.

So, here I begin. At least once a week, I will start a new entry based on one of the 52 Writing Prompts in the spring 2012 issue of Writing Basics. Occasionally I may create an entry based on one of the Writer`s Digest contest.

I invite you to add your comments and edits. I encourage you to write your own entry. What I will not tolerate in swearing or put-downs. Feedback must be constructive.