Smile: Part I


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“Nose as round as a tomato,” I crouch to see my face in the bathroom mirror, straightening my green bowtie in the flickering fluorescent light. “Skin as white as death.” The butcher knife hanging from a rope on the doorknob gleams and sways in the breeze from the window. “And a smile to hide it all.” Adjusting the bald cap on my head, I put my blue and red wig into place and smooth the white makeup over the evening shadow on my jawline.

Sauntering into my bedroom, I slide the ugly yellow onesie splashed in purple dots up past my boxers. I reach for the oversized shoes that are stained in red and my vision blurs, making me hesitate. But ultimately I blow my nose on my sleeve and shove on the shoes. “Tonight will be a good night.”

I find it strange as I go back for my shining stainless steel friend. I feel like I might lift off the ground, my head buzzing, the weight of the smooth wooden handle seeming to be all that tethers me.

Outside, the wind whips, screaming, through the lifeless trees. Stripping them of the remnants of the past they try so desperately to hold onto. I duck back into the shadows of my porch, a little girl running past my house screeching with glee, a plastic pumpkin brimming with candy clutched in her tiny hands. Continue reading

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Ten Questions for a Fictional Character: Penny of The Dream Continues.


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     ***Attention!!! This post is a follow up to my last multi-part story. For Part 1 click here, for 2 click here, for 3 click here, and for 4 click here.***


Penny invites me into the living room of her apartment and offers me a seat on the blue couch.

            “This should be easier than the last time around.” She laughs, taking a seat beside me as I pull out my notepad and pen.

            “In your first story, you had just gotten the results of a blood test after a mysterious illness. How is your health now?”

            She smiles, relaxing into her seat. “Better, thank you. It turns out I had—well, the easiest way to put it is my digestive tract was really messed up and allowed multiple food allergies. But on the upside, that’s what got me so into cooking.”

            I nod. “So, you’ve given up on your novel in favor of a cookbook, now?”

            She springs back to attention. “Absolutely not!” A crimson flush comes over her face. “The time isn’t right, that’s all. When it is, then I’ll get back to it, but in the meantime, yes, I’m working on a cookbook.”  

            “What if the time is never right?” Continue reading

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The Dream Continues: Part 4


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***Attention! For Part 1 click here, for Part 2 click here, for Part 3 click here.***

Mom purses her lips, her hands clasping her mug inches from her mouth. She says nothing but lets the tide of red creeping up her neck speak for her. Her left eye twitches.

Would speaking right now be poking the bear? After a moment, I gulp. We can’t just sit here. “Mom?”

“How dare she?”

I jump as her mug slams on the table.

“Did the editor say anything? Please tell me he reprimanded that punk.”

“In his defense,” I say into my mug, “I don’t think he heard her.”

“I ought to go down there and—”

“If you do anything I will disown you.” Continue reading

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The Dream Continues: Part 3


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***Attention, this is an ongoing story. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 2.***

I take a deep breath, not wanting to repeat it. To give the editor’s words new life, but Mom has to understand.  “They said their dog could write a better book than I could.”

Her mouth gapes, her eyes bugging like a strange goldfish.

My heart races. Isn’t she going to say something?

Mom bites her lip, a snort escaping anyway. She throws a hand over her mouth, her stomach bouncing as her eyes dance.

“It’s not funny!”

“Honey, when are you going to grow out of these hysterics?” She reaches for my arm and I stand numbed. “You’ve come up with some epic stories before, but this one takes the cake. Admit it. You didn’t even go, did you?” Continue reading

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The Dream Continues: Part 2


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***For Part 1, Click here!***

“Nothing. I just have other interests at the moment.”  I turn my back to her and go to the sink, my stomach knotting.

She taps her foot. “Are these other interests making you any money?”

“My bills are paid.” Picking up the strainer I spray a bunch of kale with veggie wash, the fine mist tickling my wrist. Why does she have to push this? I’m an adult!

“With your savings. Sweetheart, you put that money away so you could focus on writing. Twiddling around in your kitchen has nothing to do with that.”

“Everything I do can go toward my—”

“Bull pucks. What are you hiding from?” Continue reading

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The Dream Continues: Part 1



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***This story is a sequel to Dreaming.*** If you haven’t read it yet, click here. For the follow-up character interview, click here.  


“Penny?”  Mom’s voice shakes when she slams the front door. “Penny Ann!”

I cringe. It’s amazing how, no matter my age, I instantly want to hide when I hear that tone. I gulp. “I’m in the kitchen.”

When she pushes through the white swinging door, I just barely avoid being hit. Running around the gray marble island, I position myself in front of the stove and stir my butternut squash soup. I have my back to her but that doesn’t keep me from feeling the dagger glare she’s hurling my way.

“Do you care to explain?”

I tuck my chin and move the spoon faster. “I’m making sou—”

“I can see that.” She drums her nails on the counter. “You missed your appointment!”

I wince. I didn’t miss it, I cancelled. I also didn’t think she’d find out. “Well, they weren’t the right publisher for me.” Continue reading

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Hi, everyone! I’m working on a sequel to this story, but since it’s about a year old I wanted to give everyone a chance to refresh their memory about this story and the character interview. (-: The interview is linked at the bottom of Dreaming.

Justina Luther~ Welcome to My Imagination

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I bite my lip as the heat overtakes me again as it has every day for three weeks. Walking into the bathroom, I switch on the light as the feeling in my stomach grows to feeling like something trying to claw its way out.

I try to breathe slowly, deeply, the way my mother taught me, but nothing helps. I see the flush in my reflection and my eyes water. How long will this go on?

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