Sunday Photo Fiction – The Session


His office is nestled in the middle of a tree-lined street just on the outskirts of downtown.  Pushing my way through the huge glass doors, I make my way slowly to his darkly ornate office.  Leather chairs and dark bookcases filled with dark books assault my senses just as much as the smell of stale coffee, and I repress the urge to gag.

His voice is soothing, and his peppered beard welcomes me with thoughts of Santa Clause and silver-wrapped presents.  He directs me to lie back in the recliner and close my eyes, and I find myself descending that lonely elevator, his voice my only guide.

I expect to disappear.

“Who do you see?”  He asks.

It’s my best friend Laurel, but I can’t say that because I’m sure that’s not what he wants.  Is it?

“Just relax and tell me the first name that comes into your head.”

It’s still Laurel.  Why can’t I think of anyone else?  Do I have to say something?  Will I get into trouble if I don’t?  Maybe if I say her name, this will be over.

When I open my eyes, he smiles and gently pats my shoulder.  “Great work.  I’ll see you next week.”

His silky voice whispers its way across the guilt and shame clinging to me as I walk out of the office and shut the door.

The rules for Sunday Photo Fiction are to create a story/poem or something using around 200 words with the photo as a guide, although it doesn’t have to be center stage.

Sometimes writing about things that have happened in my life helps me come to terms with them.  While I was reading today, I remembered a dark time in my life and was inspired (or forced depending on how you look at your own muse) to put it in story form when I saw the picture for today’s prompt.  It’s 228 words.

Click the blue froggy link to read other amazing stories!

Happy Sunday!

Song Lyric Sunday – I don’t Love You by My Chemical Romance

This might seem like an odd choice for this week’s theme, but I promise there’s a story.  Also, I’m not sure how to take this band seriously.  I can’t tell if they take themselves seriously or if they overdo the lyrics and they’re performances on purpose.  I found myself watching the video tonight and laughing, but the lyrics aren’t all that funny.  I don’t know… Perhaps it’s a combination of the two.

Anyway, when I was thinking about which song to choose for the theme, I remembered all the times in my car with my kids and how when certain songs came on, we would sing them at the top of our lungs.  Also, Adelle went to a performing arts school, and she started actually performing the songs in the car, so me and the boys started to play along too.  I can only imagine what people must have thought when they happened to look in our car in passing.  But, I don’t even care how ridiculous it was.  It was so much fun and I will always have those amazing memories of when me and my kids sang our guts out to these songs.

This particular song makes me think of that moment you get to after a relationship has ended… that moment when you have finally moved on and you realize how ridiculous it all was.  It takes a while to get to that point, but it’s a good place to be after all the anger, heartache and loss.   Despite the lyrics, this song always manages to lift my mood.

I don’t Love You by My Chemical Romance
Written by My Chemical Romance
Lyrics found at AZ Lyrics

Well, when you go
Don’t ever think I’ll make you try to stay
And maybe when you get back
I’ll be off to find another way

And after all this time that you still owe
You’re still a good-for-nothing I don’t know
So take your gloves and get out
Better get out
While you can

When you go
Would you even turn to say
“I don’t love you
Like I did

Sometimes I cry so hard from pleading
So sick and tired of all the needless beating
But baby when they knock you
Down and out
Is where you oughta stay

And after all the blood that you still owe
Another dollar’s just another blow
So fix your eyes and get up
Better get up
While you can
Whoa, whoa

When you go
Would you even turn to say
“I don’t love you
Like I did

Well come on, come on

When you go
Would you have the guts to say
“I don’t love you
Like I loved you

I don’t love you
Like I loved you

I don’t love you
Like I loved you

The Song Lyric Sunday theme for this week was to post a song that helps pull you out of a dark place.  Please feel free to click the link, read the rules and post one of your own.


JustJoJan Day 7 – Robust Flavors

I’m not sure most people use a world like “robust”. I think I’m with many folks here who don’t really know what to say about the word. The only thing I could think of is alcohol – I’ve heard the term used when describing wine and beer. It’s not a word I would use to describe either, but it did get me to thinking.

Beer and wine were both acquired tastes for me. I remember my first taste of beer and I remember thinking, why would anyone drink this? But for some unfathomable reason, I kept at it. Every time the boyfriend at the time would order a beer, I would take a sip. It was maybe about a year later when I started craving it and ordering it for myself. I don’t drink a lot of beer, but when I do, I actually prefer what you would call a more “robust” flavored beer. I don’t particularly like the standard beers like Budweiser and Miller. They taste watered down to me. (I fully admit this could have something to do with where I live and the fact that we can’t have “real” beer here)

I like beer from micro-breweries and I definitely like red colored beer as opposed to really dark beer or really light beer. I will also order a beer on tap before I will order a bottled beer.

Wine is the same. I like my wine red and dry. When I first started drinking, everyone kept offering me white wine and I would drink it in misery. I hated the stuff. It wasn’t until maybe eight years later that I came across someone who loved Merlot. She offered me some at a party one night and I was immediately hooked.

I’m not sure exactly what one means when saying wine has a “robust” flavor, but I imagine the wines I like tend to fit that description.

That’s about all I have for the word “robust”. I actually enjoyed this little trip down memory lane and how my taste in beer and wine has changed over the years.

Just Jot It January is hosted by Linda G. Hill. Today’s prompt, robust, was brought to us by Morpethroad.


Sunday Photo Fiction and JustJoJan Day 3 – Frozen Memories


The arctic wind blew across my face the moment I opened the door, but I halted in mid-step, took a deep breath and felt the chill spread through my body. It felt like ages had passed since I parked my car in front of the emergency room sign and ran inside, hoping for the best, but feeling a darkness inside that I didn’t want to explain.

My thoughts swirled around me, memories choking the breath out of me as I helplessly drove farther and farther away from the life that was no longer there. When I parked the car in the driveway, I realized I was entirely unsure how I had made it home. Thank God it was late.

Unlike other winter days I had suffered through, I embraced the cold and only grudgingly made my way inside the too silent house. Not bothering to remove my coat, I sat on the couch and slowly looked around. My eyes immediately landed on the speakers near my computer, and the world froze as I watched them light up and begin their dance, knowing full well they weren’t plugged in.

Tears fell from my eyes as I whispered into the chilly air, “I love you Mama.”

The rules for Sunday Photo Fiction are to write around 200 words in either poetry or story form based on the photo prompt. I also chose to combine Just Jot It January where the prompt today is “frozen.”

I have to thank Willow for her post today that inspired this story just as much as the other two prompts. I wanted to make sure I gave credit where credit is due. Besides, if you haven’t yet, you should really check out her blog. She writes fantastic poetry!

Happy Sunday!

SoCS Meets #frapalymo Day 14 – Memories Merge Into Now


Memories Merge Into Now

Walking along the dusty path
As it climbs its winding way
Up the mountainside

Each bend is a memory
Images coming back in
Hazy, photographic quality

The farther I walk
The harder it gets
Steeper and steeper

I stop and rest against a tree
Pausing a moment to remember
The long ago walk

Other travelers tell me
“You’re almost there”
As I take a deep breath and struggle on

I finally reach the place
I’ve been longing to see
But memories fade

The indescribable beauty
Fills my soul and I sit
Staring at the beauty
Of the lake nestled
At the top of the mountain
Memories merge into the
Peaceful now

I wasn’t planning on combining these two today, but sometimes it just happens without you even realizing. The really cool thing is that I didn’t edit anything! This poem came straight out of my head and onto paper. The prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “indescribable” and the prompt for #frapalymo is “pieces of memory.”

I went on a hike with my Dad when I was in my late teens and I’ve been longing to go back ever since. Every year, I said I would go, but every year came and went without taking the hike. I finally decided to go by myself this year and hiked all the way to the top of a trail that leads to Lake Blanche. The picture was taken while I sat on a rock eating some much needed food. It was more beautiful than my memories and I’m so happy I can share it with you. I hope you enjoy!

Flash Fiction – Searching for Memories

Time no longer has any meaning for me. I drift through it rather than taking an active part in it. It’s a difficult situation to be in, but I’m learning to live with it. At least, I think I am. I still get a creepy feeling in my gut whenever I try to remember anything from before. I just can’t seem to pull it out of the ether and into my consciousness.

Everyone I see is a stranger, even though I know this must be false in some way. I’ve spoken to others like me, and they are here because it’s familiar. They hover around their loved ones, drinking in the last bits of life before they melt away. Others never leave, but the difference is, they know why they’re here. What does that make me?

A ghost with amnesia?

I’m standing by a tree watching a dog chase after a Frisbee when something happens. I’m watching the Frisbee when suddenly my gaze lifts slightly and I’m staring at… Well, he isn’t familiar in the sense that I know him, but everything in my being sizzles.

I stand up straight and before I make the conscious decision to follow him, I’m doing it.

He looks like a typical teenager – black jeans worn a little too low, V-neck Tee that hugs his thin waist, and a beanie flopping on his head. He even has the swagger down, like he knows he’s cool and wants everyone else to know it too. I couldn’t possibly have liked boys like this before, so why the sizzle now?

I follow him most of the day – into a music store, down the street to buy some weed from the corner junkie, then to a friend’s house where they spend all day in a haze of smoke and music. Part of me wishes for the oblivion they find. They laugh at nothing and doze off in the midst of the thumping bass and the pounding drums.

Did I do this when I was alive?

None of it seems familiar, but the sizzle never leaves. It doesn’t get any stronger though.

I finally decide to leave. I’m just getting depressed and I honestly don’t know what to do.

When I step outside, I’m stopped in my tracks by a voice speaking to me. It’s been a long time since I’ve spoken to one of my kind.

“Did you find what you were looking for?” She’s leaning against the building on the opposite corner. She looks like a gypsy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or known a gypsy, but that’s what pops into my head. Long black hair, black t-shirt and a long colorful skirt that sweeps the ground around her.

“Who are you?” I ask, even though I don’t expect an answer.

She tilts her head to the side and just watches me.

I smile and start walking down the street in the opposite direction. I’m not in the mood for a cryptic gypsy.

Trouble is, she won’t leave me alone.

I see her everywhere. She doesn’t speak to me again, but I know she’s there, following me, watching me. It makes it supremely uncomfortable to do what I do when I know I’m being watched. Is that how The Living feel when I watch them?

It could have been a few nights, it could have been twenty, but at some point I realize she’s not going anywhere so I might as well see what the hell she wants. She makes it easy enough. She’s sitting on a park bench watching me watch some kids play on the swings.

“I’m not looking for anything.”

She tilts her head and I think she’s going to ignore me again but she doesn’t.

“Sure you are.”

A cryptic, smug gypsy. Even better.

“If you knew the answer, why’d you ask?”

“I didn’t know. Sometimes it happens like that, but sometimes you just get weird feelings and follow them around for a day or two.”

“I suppose you have first hand experience?” I sound sullen and bitchy, but too late to change it now.

“If I said I did, would you believe me?”

I want to keep throwing snark at her, but I’m not sure how much of my shit she will take before simply walking away. I don’t think I want her to walk away.

Finally, I say, “I don’t know.”

We sit in silence for a while, but it’s an active silence full of thoughts that battle their way around my head in a swirl of longing and hope. I really hate asking for help, but I’m not sure I have much choice.

“Can you help me?” I ask, breaking the silence.

“I’m willing to try if you are.”

I nod my head and our shaky acquaintance begins. Shaky because I don’t think Anne likes me very much. (We finally exchange names – she’s Anne and I’m Chloe. It almost sounds like a fairy tale…) Honestly, I can’t decide if I like her either. I think I hold it against her that she seems to have her shit together, whether she was like me before or not. She never really answers that question, but I don’t have anyone else breaking down my walls, offering their help, so I’m pretty much stuck with her.

“So, who’s the guy?” she asks as we walk along the bank of the pond, a breeze blowing her long black hair behind us.

“I don’t know. I got a weird feeling when I saw him, so I followed him.” She’s silent next to me, so I glance in her direction and keep talking. “That’s never happened before. I don’t recognize anyone or anything around me. Every other spirit I’ve talked to seems to have some idea why they’re here.”

“I think you’d be surprised.” Her smile is sardonic and she’s back to being cryptic.

I stop, frustration melting off my words like ice cream on a hot summer day. “Look, do you have any answers, or are you just having fun at my expense?”

She keeps walking but somehow her words carry back to me on the breeze. “I think you should keep following him. He holds the key to your memories, but you need to be open to knowing the truth.”

I jog to catch up to her and put my hand on her arm. “What do you mean, open? Of course I want to know the truth.”

She stops and turns her head to face me. Her gaze bores into me, cutting deep. “The truth is difficult to bear, even if you know in every fiber of your being that you’re ready for it. I just want you to be prepared, that’s all.”

Am I prepared? I don’t think anyone can really prepare themselves for this scenario, and as time stretches on, I start to realize that maybe I’m not ready, that I’ll never be ready to know the truth.

I follow him for days. He goes to school. He smokes weed. He hangs out with friends. The sizzling feeling is always there, but it doesn’t increase or decrease. It’s just a steady buzz in my blood.

I start to realize, though, that memories are coming back in slow degrees, but it isn’t like a big reveal. I don’t just wake up one morning and ta-da! I have my memories back.

No, this is a slow torturous process – glimpses of faces and pops of color. One time, I’m stopped in my tracks by screams echoing in my skull and it lasts so long, I fall to my knees and grab my head.

Anne is there, beside me, and once again asks, “Are you sure you want to know?”

I can barely move my head it hurts so much, but I throw a look in her direction. “I can’t stop it now, even if I wanted to.”

I have to hand it to her. She helps. More than I thought possible. If nothing else, I’m not alone and that makes it more bearable.

It finally happens at a football game, of all things. It’s an away game so it’s across town. I hang out in the back of the bus and let the lull of pre-game talk and bullshit waft through the air around me. It isn’t until we step off the bus and I take a look around that I realize I know this place. It’s familiar.

I suddenly wonder if maybe I’m hanging around this guy, not because he was familiar to me in my life, but because he was the one who ended it.

The thought paralyzes me and I fall to the ground once again as more images come rushing back.

A football game…

A car…


His friends…

A haze of smoke and blaring music.


My screams echoing through the night until it is silent once again.



Left to rot in a hole where I have yet to be found.

Dread fills me. The helpless weight of knowing there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it raises bile in the back of my throat and I choke on a sob.

No one can prepare you for it. No one can save you from it. Memories are a terrible weight that I wish I had left alone because even now, I no longer want to carry them.

This week’s flash fiction challenge thrown down by Chuck Wendig was to take someone else’s character and write a story under 2,000 words (mine comes in around 1,560). I chose the character written by JQ Davis. I loved the ghost aspect and pretty much everything about the character. I suppose I went the obvious route, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything more original. I hope I did justice to the character, though, and that you enjoy my dance in this character’s world.

SoCS – Ring-Ring-Ring

Am I the only one who misses the ringing of the telephone? How when you were all the way upstairs and you heard it faintly through the floor or floating up the stairs, you had a moment where you could either run and try to catch it or let it go. But back then, if you let it go, you always ran the risk of never knowing who had called because there was no such thing as caller ID.

I know cell phones ring and there is still some running to catch those, but there are so many different ring tones now that are customized to either the person that is calling or the owner’s preference. It isn’t just a *ring* now.

I know it’s simply nostalgia, because I wouldn’t go back to those days, but sometimes just thinking about it makes me smile.

I remember the phone was right next to my parent’s bedroom and there were times I would take the phone as far as the chord (what I mean to say is the phone line plugged into the wall) would allow and then even farther, stretching out the curly phone chord until it wouldn’t stretch anymore. It usually got me about four stairs up on the staircase that was around the corner, where I could talk to “whomever” in relative peace.

I also remember using the phone to prank call people. It was one of the more exciting things my friends and I did during our sleepovers. That came to a pretty quick end when *69 started to happen and people started calling us back. Now that, my friends, was scary. But they didn’t call us back because they saw our names on their caller ID or because they knew who we were.

Things are so different now-a-days. It makes me wonder how kids are now, having grown up with caller ID and phones right next to them. It actually makes me sad to think that is one thing the kids won’t fight over – who is going to answer the phone.

There was always that moment while the phone was ringing when you could wonder who was on the other line and if it was that one person you were hoping or wishing would call.

I feel like this post is a bit all over the place. The only planning I had when I started was that I was thinking about that phone ringing in my childhood home and my thoughts have kind of run all over the place with then and now.

Believe it or not, I actually resisted the cell phone. I told my then-husband that I would never own a cell phone. If people wanted to talk to me, they could call me when I was at home. It could wait, I remember saying. That is actually still true, but now, we are all so used to having it right next to us at any given moment.

I don’t mind change. In fact, it’s nice, but sometimes, the nostalgia does set in and I like smiling in the memories of the ringing telephone.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “ring.”  Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!” Anyone can join in, so click the link and get started.