A Christmas Alone: Part 1


Photo by timatkins at morguefile.com

I set curled up on the couch, in the dark, sirens wailing in the distance. I hope they get to wherever they’re going safely. The Christmas tree lights flash from white to colors serving as my only illumination. I’m not sure why I turned them on, even less certain of why my mother insisted on coming over the day after Thanksgiving to set up this gaudy thing. Chris was the one who loved all this, not me. I touch the dog tags hanging around my neck and stare at the flag folded into a perfect triangle on the coffee table. Continue reading

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My Last Thanksgiving: Part II


Photo by click at morguefile.com

***Alert!!*** This post is a prequel to my story Smile. For Part I of that story click here, for Part II click here, and for the Follow-up Character Interview, click here. For Part 1 of My Last Thanksgiving, click here.  

3:40 PM, Thanksgiving day

Mommy walks over, bending down and pulls my thumb away from me.

“You’re a big girl, honey. Don’t suck your thumb.”

The stupid other kids run by playing and I cover my ears. “It’s too noisy!”

“Why don’t you play with them?”



“They have booger breath.”

She smiles. “So does the dog, and you play with him all the time. Maybe you can teach your cousins to roll over like you taught Rover—”

“Elizabeth! Something is bubbling over in here!” Aunt Karen yells.

“Be a sweet girl and help me by going outside to play with the others.” She kisses my cheek and runs back to the kitchen.

I don’t want to, but if it helps Mommy… I hug my teddy and go outside. Continue reading

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Happy Thanksgiving! 

Hi, everyone. 

I hope this little note finds each of you with the people you love most in this world and some amazing food. 

This year, I’m most thankful for my Jesus and my family. I don’t talk about my faith a lot, and I’m not about to start preaching, but I know I couldn’t get through a day without knowing God is on my side and I’m on His. 

I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful day full of laughter, love, yummy treats, and memories in the making. 

Happy Thanksgiving! 

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My Last Thanksgiving: Part 1


Photo by click at morguefile.com

***Attention!!!*** This story is a prequel to my story Smile. If you haven’t read this story yet, click here for part 1, here for part 2, and here for the character interview.


Mommy didn’t know what would happen. Daddy didn’t either. I wanted him to play dollies with me, but he was too busy, so was she…

8:47, the night before Thanksgiving.

“Amanda Ray!” Mommy yells my name. “Why is there a cookie missing from the batch?”

I lay down on my tummy, scooting back under the kitchen table and lick the chocolate off my fingers.

She comes into the kitchen but doesn’t see me because I’m a good hider.

“Amanda! I said those were for the party tomorrow.”

She opens the oven to pull out pumpkin goodies and my tummy says they smell yummy. It must be talking too loud because she turns and looks right at me. I hold my breath. It’s like that dino move Daddy let me watch, if I don’t move, she won’t see me.

“ACHOO!” She sneezes into her sleeve. And she tells me not to wipe my nose on mine! Not fair.   Continue reading

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Ten Questions for a Fictional Character: The Clown of Smile.


Photo by cheriedurbin at morguefile.com

My breath fogs in the moonlight and I clutch my pen and notepad to my chest. Coming to the middle of downtown at midnight for an interview? What was I thinking?

“That’s far enough.”

I freeze under the pale halo of a streetlamp.

From the shadows, he emerges. Wig and red nose in place, face painted white, his costume stained red.

“Start,” he says.

“Only two clowns were found by the police after you called them. What did you do with the third you informed them about?”

            His teeth glisten. “He might be found, or he may turn himself in, or he could be somewhere no one will ever find him.” Continue reading

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Smile: Part II


Photo by meigsinha at morguefile.com

***For Part I of this story click here.***

I round the corner, the street signs of ElaRue and Manchester coming into view and my pulse begins to hammer. Parking my bike, I secure it to a lone light pole before slipping the rope of my shining friend over my wrist.

In the distance, a brilliant orange glow leaps and dances against a wall that stretches up into blackness. A dirty newspaper tumbles past my feet down the deserted street and an unearthly howl of laughter screeches into the emptiness. I freeze.

“Whose ready, boys?” Another shrieking scream.

Straightening my back, I swagger and let the cleaver waltz at my side. Rounding the corner the heat of a towering bonfire crashes into me. I clear my throat and puff out my chest. “Don’t tell me I missed the party.”

Three darkened outlines turn to face me, each one falling silent. The tallest of the group slithers toward me.

“Party’s private,” comes his low hiss.

“I’m here for the children,” I say with a flash of my teeth. Continue reading

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Happy Halloween!


Hi, everyone! I hope this post finds you enjoying a spooky and scarily fun day. I know this isn’t the post you were expecting but I’ve been hit over the head with writer’s block. So, rather than give you less than my best, I’m opting to take a bit more time with it. And, I mean, let’s be honest here, I love Halloween and hate to see the spooky fun end on October, 31 and I’m making an executive decision to extend it here.

Wishing all of you a safe, fun, and spooky day,


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