A little story for Easter

Easter is a wonderful holiday signifying renewal, rebirth, and is looked at the unofficial beginning of spring.

Besides the strong Christian heritage of the holiday, the nonreligious aspects of this holiday on our culture are stronger than most realize.

In the spirit of secular Easter, I give to you this true story.  The names have been changed to protect those involved.

A young man was busily working at an elderly ladies house in preparedness for the holiday.  He had trimmed the shrubs, thinned the trees, and pulled most of the weeds when he came to a rather thick clump under a small palm tree.  Seeing how thick the area was, the young man grabbed his weed trimmer.

“Could you check that before trimming it?” The elderly lady asked.  “I wouldn’t want you to hurt any baby rabbits.”

Nodding, the young man set down his trimmer.  Kneeling before the tree, he sifted the weeds through his fingers.

Satisfied with his search, he looked up and said, “It’s ok.  I don’t see any bunny eggs.”

Happy Easter.

Bunny eggs

Ghost Story – part 6

“Alexis.  Alexis.  Wake up.”

Hesitantly, painfully, Alexis opened her eyes then bolted upright as her mind instinctively snapped to her last thought. She looked around the darkened room wondering where her attacker went and how long was she out.

“It’s ok.”  The voice reassured.  “You don’t have to worry. I scared the man away.”

“Who are you?” Alexis asked, trying to stand on wobbly legs.  “Let me see you.”

A soft, misty light appeared before her.  Floating in the air chest high, it pulsated twice before radiating out.  Alexis shielded her eyes against the bright light.  When the light had dimmed to a low glow, Alexis lowered her hand to the shimmering shape of a young woman. Panic started to set root as she hurriedly stepped back.

“Please don’t run.”  The woman pleaded.  “It’s ok.  I won’t hurt you.  I saved you from that man.  Remember?”

It took every ounce of will for Alexis to keep her feet still.

“Y-yes.” She nodded with a stammer.

“You’re the one that came to find me.”  The woman pointed out.  “I did not come seeking you.”

Reminded of this fact, Alexis could feel her self-control coming back.

“You’re right.”  She said, “I did come back.  I did come looking for you.”

The woman smiled gently.  “And you’ve found me.”

“But how?”  Alexis asked as her investigative side kicked into gear.  “How am I able to see you?  To talk?”

“It was your doing.” The woman answered, pointing.  “You brought that humming box.  It feeds me.”

“Then why didn’t you appear sooner?”  Alexis asked with a little contempt for the woman’s tardiness.

“It took some time for the energy to build.”  She replied.  “It doesn’t happen immediately.”

Rubbing her head, Alexis leaned against the wall.  “Ok.  I get it.  So, what is your name?  Do you remember?”

The woman flashed a look of annoyance.  “Of course I remember.  My name is Ida.  Ida Buckley.”

Alexis turned away in embarrassment.  “Sorry.  I didn’t know if those things stuck, you know, afterwards.”

“Of course they do.”  Ida replied.  “It’s a part of me.”

“Yeah.”  Alexis agreed.  “That makes sense.  How did you know my name?”

“I heard your friends call you that.” She answered.  “I must say, you all dress rather strangely.”

“Strangely?”  She protested, looking down at her attire.  “What’s wrong with my clothes?”

Ida gave a concerned look.  “My underwear covers more.  Are you and your friends poor?”

Alexis snorted a laugh.

“Sorry.”  She said, composing herself.  “No.  We’re not poor.  This is the fashion now.”

“I see.”  Ida said wondering about the prudence of that.

“Did you die here?”  Alexis asked without thinking.

“Yes.”  Ida said, a little sad.  “I died in that bed.”

A wave of guilt rushed through Alexis.

“I’m sorry.”  She squeaked.  “I didn’t mean to…”

“It’s ok.” Ida soothed.  “We all die sometime in our lives.”

Alexis again lowered her head.  “Do you know…”

“I died from yellow fever.”  Ida interrupted.  “It’s ok.  It was a long time ago.”

“Why are you here?”  Alexis asked.  “What about your family?  Did you have a boyfriend?”

Ida looked at Alexis, “Why rush?  I’ll see them soon enough.  I am content here.”

“Here?” Alexis questioned, looking around at the ruined building.

“Yes, here.”  Ida said with a smile.  “I am at peace here.”

“But why?”  She asked, clearly confused.  “No offense, but the place is a mess.”

“Not to me.” Ida explained.  “You see the place as it is.  I see it as it was.”

Curious, Alexis asked, “What do you see?”

Looking around, Ida answered.  “I see bright whites, vivid reds, soft blues, and gentle greens.  Everything is healthy and perfect.”

“That’s not what I see.”  Alexis said.

“We choose what we see.”  Replied Ida.

Alexis decided to change the subject.  “What about heaven?  Don’t you want to go there?”

Ida looked past Alexis towards a window.  “I’ll go there eventually.  When I want.”

“Aren’t you afraid to keep God waiting?  Doesn’t he have to judge you?  Or does he not exist.”

A bemused smile crossed Ida’s face.  “Of course God exists.  God’s everywhere. But you’re wrong.  God doesn’t judge.”

“What do you mean?”  Alexis asked.  “Of course God judges.  It says so in the bible.”

Ida shook her head.  “God loves.  True love never judges.”

“Then who does?”  She asked.

“Who knows everything you’ve ever done?  Who is the one person you can’t hide the truth from?”

“Alexis thought for a moment, then said.  “Yourself?”

Ida smiled.

“But what about religion?”  Alexis continued.  “All these fights over religion.  Who’s right?”

Ida looked at her.  “That’s for the dead to know and the living to figure out.”

“How poetic.”  Alexis pouted.

A white streak raced from under the bed and ran towards Alexis.

“Whoah!”  Alexis screamed jumping.

“That’s Twain, my cat.”  Ida said as the translucent animal trotted around.  “He just wants to say hello.”

Alexis shook her head and tried to calm her nerves once again.

“Hi Twain.” She found herself saying in a surreal moment.

“He’s who you and your friends saw last night before running away.”  Ida explained.  “He was sad to see you run.”

Alexis looked at Ida.  “I didn’t know animals had spirits.  Ida, can you… you know, talk to Twain?”

“Yes.”  She replied.  “But it’s not like you think.  Twain is like a talking two year old.  He lets me know when he’s happy, when he’s sad, when he’s lonely, and when he wants to play.  He doesn’t think like you or me.  After all, he’s a cat.”

“I get it.”  Alexis answered.  “I can’t believe I’m getting all this!”

“Getting this?”  Ida questioned.

“Recording.”  Alexis beamed.  “I’ve been recording this so people can see the truth.  Look.  I’ll show you.”

She walked over to the bed and picked up her cell phone.  The screen was off, the battery dead.

“No!”  She cried in disbelief.

Twain darted back under the bed.

Shoving the phone in her pocket, Alexis ran towards the camera.   The low battery light was on and the screen silently read, “Pause”.

“Ahrg!”  Alexis screamed in shock.  “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe I missed the entire thing!”

“Does it matter?”  Ida asked.  “Don’t you know now what you wanted?”

Alexis turned.  “I do.”

Ida smiled and faded away as the beginning rays of sunrise sneaked their way into the window.

Awards of Epic Awesomeness

This is especially awesome!

Sightnbytes from Minds of SNB nominated me for the Awesome Award of Epic Awesomeness!  As part of the rules I must do three things.  (No tu-tu required, thankfully.)

Write ten awesome fact about myself.

Nominate ten other bloggers that I think are awesome enough to win this award.

Inform the chosen they won!

Easy enough.  First though is to thank SNB for this award in the first place.  I did not expect it and am humbly grateful to have won it.  If someone else had nominated/given me this award, Sightsnbytes would’ve been on my list of ten.

Second is:  Hey, you stole one of my listees!  Old Dog New Tits is a great blogger and is so worthy of this award.  She is simply awesome.

With that said, here are my top ten awesome facts about me:

  1. I am a huge fan of Journey and know all six lead singers by heart.  (Gregg Rollie, Robert Fleshman, Steve Perry, Steve Augeri, Jeff Scott Soto, and Arnel Pineda
  2. I am a notorious flirt
  3. I love long walks but not on the beach.  I’d rather be in the woods.
  4. I’m really bad at e-mailing relatives.
  5. I own both soundtracks to “Northern Exposure” but only one season on DVD
  6. I’ll drink a shot of tequila in an Alamo shot glass while watching a western.
  7. I absolutely HATED writing as a kid and thought having to write four hundred works for class was cruel and inhumane punishment.  (No. I did not do the assignment.)
  8. Contrary to popular belief, I am not stubborn, I am tenacious.
  9. I am a horrible swimmer, yet have always lived close to water and did class three rapids on my first kayaking trip.
  10. I went to Vegas and it rained the entire time I was there.

Who do I think deserves this most Awesome award?  There are so many to choose from, but these people jump in my mind.

  1. The Nomad Grad by Hillary Billings for her honest and personal accounts of her travels.  This lady puts it all out for everyone to see.  From great chances to self doubts all entwined with the building of relationships from strangers.  Hillary is the definition of the term, “Role Model”.
  2. Eric R. Shelton  Open and honest with his thoughts, Eric inspires to enjoy the finer things in life without needing a golden wallet to do so.
  3. Brain Tomahawk Besides his humorous series, “Zombie Bunnies”  this Brooklyn native writes in so many diverse areas.  from poetry to life stories, to events, he does it all and all of it is entertaining.
  4. JM McDowell has written three different series and her latest, “Buried Deeds” just keeps getting better by the moment.  A professional archaeologist by day, this author really digs in and gets to the bones of her stories.
  5. Trailertrash Delux  An old friend I met through the Trifecta challenge.  this man writes from the heart and isn’t afraid to hit the deep end of have fun in the shallows.  A true jack of all, I’m glad to have found his blog.
  6. My Thoughts On The Subject Are Now As Followed by Deanabo   Another fellow Trifectan, this lady gets the story across so well with so few words.
  7. Fourwindowspress alternates beautiful pictures with poetry
  8. Random, untrue by Karen Cherry A true author, Karen writes about her work in progress while experiencing new adventures with her child, and has the time to create her own challenge called “Wars of Wordcraft“.
  9. Michael’s Lair by Booguloo  Poetry.  Wonderful, inspirational poetry.
  10. Writingfeemail’s Blog by Renee Johnson  Renee points out curious facts in life, thoughtful moments on writing, and wonderful stories.  If that wasn’t enough, She has stared a second blog focused on the blogging endeavor called, “Renee Johnson Writes”

Ghost story – part 5

The taillights on the car lit as Alexis pushed the brakes.  The house seemed different in the sunlight.  No less faded, no less derelict, but not as foreboding as it was last night.  Alex thought it asleep.  Pulling off to the side, she opened the trunk and grabbed two large duffle bags.

It didn’t take her long to enter the place; if anything, the window they used the night before was easier to open than before.  Setting the bags gently inside, she shut the window behind her.

Without a passing glance to her surroundings, Alexis hauled her gear upstairs. A slight chill caused an involuntary shiver as she came to the bedroom doorway.  Forcing herself to look around, she noticed that nothing had changed.  Everything sat as it was the night before.  Everything was still covered in dust.  The harsh light of day cut through the dingy window, highlighting the tattered cloth of a blanket on the bed.

“Ghosts don’t care whether its day or night.”  She said to herself as she unzipped the bags.

Setting out a small generator and an air ionizer she continued, “Let’s see if any come now.”

It took her a good fifteen minutes to set everything up to her satisfaction.  When she was done, a video camera viewed the entire room; three toys that lit up when bumped lay on the desk; a proper K-2 meter sat in her hand; and her cell phone lay on the bed, diligently recording everything.

“And to make sure none of the batteries die.”  She murmured as she flicked the switch on the ionizer.  “Let’s start the genny.”

Confident of her plan she failed to notice the stench of dirt and sweat as she pulled the starter on her little generator.

“What the hell are you doing in our house?”  A voice boomed.

Alexis bolted upright and stood face to face with an all too real man.

“I said what are you doing in my house!”  Repeated the man in anger.

The strong scent of his unwashed body caused Alexis to back away.  Seeing the man through her ebbing shock caused her to step back once more.  Behind his grey, scraggly beard hid a mouth of missing teeth, blotchy skin, and dark, maddening eyes.

The mix of rapid heart rate and adrenalin conspired against her, causing her to stutter.  “I…  I…”

The man’s large hand shot out and grabbed her by the front collar of her shirt.

“You were trying to steal from us!”  He yelled in a rage.  “You came looking for our stash!”

“No!  No!  I was…”  Alexis pleaded, struggling to make sense of it all.

She could taste the filth of him in her breath as he jerked her to him.

“Liar!”  He seethed.

Alexis screamed as panic took control.  She threw herself backwards as she jabbed wildly at the strange man’s eyes.  Landing with a thud, the immediately twisted to get away; unfortunately the staggering man stood in her way of the stairs and freedom.

With a roar, the man lunged at the slender frame of the girl.  Tumbling down in a tangle, Alexis screamed before darkness consumed her.

Ghost Story – part 4

“It was a possum!”

“The hell it was!”

Alexis argued with Dalton as the group ate their lunch.  The bright, warm rays of the sun had washed away the fears of last night but not the doubts or experiences.

Alexis pointed a French-fry at Dalton.  “I’m telling you it was a possum that ran out from under the bed.  It’s the only logical answer.”

Dalton bit down on the fry.  “And I’m telling you it wasn’t no damn possum.  I could see right through the damn thing.”

“I don’t give a damn what we saw last night.”  Chrissy interjected.  “I’m never going back.”

“Yeah.”  Agreed Mike.  “I don’t even want to drive near that place.”

“You guys are unbelievable.”  Alexis grumbled as she stubbed a fry into a packet of honey mustard.

“Would you really go back?”  Dalton asked in a half challenge.

“Hell yeah!”  She barked.  “I’m not scared.  There’s nothing there.”

“But you said you saw something when we drove out of there.”  Chrissy argued.  “You said you saw something in the window.”

“A shadow.”  Alexis corrected Chrissy.  “I saw a shadow in the window.  It could’ve been from the trees outside.   Who knows?  If Mike hadn’t been driving so fast, maybe I’d have seen it better.”

“Yeah.  Like you were in the mood to get a good look.”  Mike commented.

Alexis stated flatly, “I’m goin’ back.”

“What?”  The trio said in unison.

“I’m goin’ back.”  She entrenched.  “I want to know what’s really there.  Just because it scared you guy into a panic doesn’t mean I’m gonna let it beat me.”

“You’re nuts!”  Dalton argued.

“You don’t have to come.”  Alexis said, darting cold eyes at him.  “You can stay with the others.”

“Damn right I will.”  He declared before taking a pull of his cola.  “And don’t expect me to come after you either.”

“Oh I won’t!”  She stamped.

Mike leaned forward, “And what makes you think you’ll, ‘Do it right.’ this time?”

“I won’t go in half assed this time.”  Alexis said full of pride.  “I’ll bring real equipment.”

“Well have fun.”  Chrissy said cynically before digging into her sundae.

Intermission and Wars of Wordcraft.

I’ve been enjoying writing Ghost Story, but Karen Cherry at Random, untrue has a contest going on that was so interesting, I had to enter it.  It’s called, “Wars of Wordcraft“.

The contest is simple:  Coin a new word.or use an existing one in a new way.

Define it and use it in a sentence.  The winner get’s a $10 gift card from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

The card is fine, but I prefer the thought of being the guy who originates a new word that takes over the language lexicon.  (I mean, if “Bromance” can make it, why not my word?)

So without further adieu, here is my contribution.

Empurgament:  Blend of employment and purgatory.  To be stuck in an unwanted or unenjoyable job for an indefinite amount of time.

“The graduate labored at his empurgament while dreaming of a better economy.”

Ghost Story – part 3

Mike shivered involuntarily as he reached the top of the stairs.  “Guys, does it feel different to you?”

Dalton turned to him and agreed.  “Yeah bro.  The air feels heavier here.”

He raised his phone and watched as the needle on the EMF detector rose.

“Dude!”  He said in alarm.  “It’s moving!  Look!”

Alexis tore the phone from his hand.

“It’s broken.” She said, shaking it.  “There’s no power here.  All the lines are gone.  It must be programmed to act like something’s happening.”

Suddenly a dull knock sounded.  Chrissy screamed in response.

“Whoah!”  Breathed Mike.

“That was weird.”  Dalton agreed.

“Oh, cut it out.”  Alexis chided.  “It was probably just a palm frond hitting the side of the house.  Look.  I’ll show you.”

Alexis marched her way towards the sound.

“Alexis!”  Dalton called.  “Stop!  Maybe we shouldn’t so this.”

The others nodded in agreement.

“Come on!”  She argued.  “It was your idea to come here in the first place.  You really gonna let a little noise scare you away?”

She entered the nearest bedroom before anyone could argue.

“Damn it. Alexis!”  Dalton yelled as he followed after her.  “Can’t you hear?  There’s no wind outside!”

A light of blue bounced around erratically along the walls until it found Alexis.

“Put that light down!”  She ordered.

Dalton lowered his light as the other two entered the room.

“Wow.  Look at that.”  Chrissy said in awe.

The gang looked around the room in amazement.  A small desk faced the window; A bookshelf and dresser were pressed against on wall, while a twin sized bed with a wrought iron headboard pressed the other side.  A tattered piece of cloth lay on the bed.  While old and ragged, there was no sign of chewing or digging by an animal.  Same for the rest of the furniture.  It was covered in an inch of dust and showed the wear of age, but there was no damage by animal or vandalism.  It was all somehow preserved.

“That’s just creepy.”  Mike replied.

Suddenly his light went out.

“Hey!”  He said, shaking his flashlight.  “That’s not cool!”

Chrissy laughed at him.  “That’s what you get for insulting the place.”

And then, her light went out too.

Dalton took a step back towards the doorway.  “That’s not right.”

Alexis shook her head as she further inspected the room.  “They’re cheap flashlights.  What did you expect?”

“I expect to get the hell out of here!”  Chrissy argued.  “Mike, take me home.”

“Fine by me.”  He answered.

“Cowards.”  Alexis challenged.  “There’s nothing here but dust!”

–         BANG     –

The loud sound caused everyone to freeze.  Goosebumps rose on their flesh as they heard every breath slowly made.

A white streak crashed from under the bed and dashed down the stairs.

“Aaaiiiieeee!”  Chrissy screamed as she tore down the stairs towards the front door.

The others were right behind her.

“Chrissy!”  Mike yelled as she yanked on the door knob.  “Chrissy here!  The window.  The door is locked.  We came in through here.  Come on!”

Chrissy dove out the opening as Mike held the window open.

Alexis and Dalton followed immediately.

“Brilliant!”  Mike commented to Dalton as he went through the window.  “Freakin’ brilliant idea!”

They piled in the car and tore out of the parking lot.  As they drove away, Alexis looked back.  A dark shadow appeared in the window of the bedroom they had just been in.   It was eerily shaped like a woman.