To Write a Wrong

Push through the door, juggling two bags of groceries and house keys while fending off a hungry cat or three. Dump the mail on the table, the purse on the floor, kick off shoes – check.


Work is done! Put away the eggs and milk, turn on the lamp. Client from hell is finally gone – where did I put my slippers? Feed the cats so I can feed myself; salad, chicken, a glass of wine. I turned off the stove, right?


Sharpen a pencil, set it aside. Sip that wine. Need just the right mood, so turn on the music and let the flute and drum serenade. Turn on the computer.

Hum of expensive machinery, a few beeps, enter my password. Double click on the big blue W. A clean, white page, just like an inviting piece of paper, beckons me to fill it. Feel the bumps on the ‘f’ and ‘j’ keys, make sure my fingers are in the right place. Ring finger reaches, a perfect ‘O’ on the screen, just as the phone rings.

“Linda, how wonderful to hear from you, it’s been weeks. How is everything? That’s marvelous! What is his name? David? And Linda- sounds lovely together.” Syrupy praises and half-headed listening; I reach for that wine and nod even though she can’t see.

“We must get together soon. Definitely. Ta, now.” Oh I like her fine, it just exhausts me to speak to her for too long. The cat curls around my legs and meows. Oh alright, come on, on my lap I’ll pet you for a bit. Contemplate the value of Pi and stare out the window at the neighborhood boys.


Stare at the screen. O.
Add ‘nce’.

Wuh… wuh… wuuuuunce. What an odd word. Why is there no ‘w’ in once? There ought to be. Who invented this language anyway? The British, no doubt, with their bloody honour and colour and words that end in silent ‘e’. Maybe the French. Oui. No ‘w’ in that either. ‘Once’; the opening to every childhood story – once upon a time.

I open a fresh page. The ‘once’ is too distracting. Fingers now dance across the keys like little mice tripping a thousand mousetraps and running away with the cheese, laughing at their cleverness. Yes, on a roll now! Pause only to stretch the fingers and sip the wine.

The next best seller! ‘Brilliantly Funny,’ says The New Yorker; ‘A must-read,’ raves L.A. Times. The headlines are as the leaves in fall, blowing in a flurry all around. Each word typed, another leaf in the growing pile; jump in and let them encompass me like when I was a child. Dreams become reality as the story unfolds. The plot twists, the characters grow and make us love or hate them.

Tolkien himself would buy this story!

“Runtime Error!
abnormal program termination.
Click ‘OK’ to continue.”

What? No! Not OK! Cancel! Save! Do something! Do ANYTHING!

The cat jumps off my lap, disturbed by my flailing and wretched cries to the microchip gods for a miracle of salvation. I knew I should have sacrificed that motherboard last week; my prayers go unanswered. Gone. All gone. Pages, hours, plots, inspirations! All gone in a technologically-efficient instant!

Turn off the computer. Finish the wine. Not the glass, the bottle.

Go to bed.

Tomorrow I will write with the pencil.

Not Your Fairy Tale

I sleep four mattresses high,
And I guarantee if you put a pea at the bottom, I won’t feel it,
Because every morning when I wake up, I only have to prove myself to me.
Believe me, that’s a really high bar, and even four mattresses high, I don’t always reach it.

I am not a princess, so I’m not looking for a prince, but I won’t settle for a beast;
But if you fall somewhere in between then come join me for tea
And let me tell you some things you should know about me:

I’m not perfect, so don’t try to make me be, because I will disappoint you every time.
There are things about me I can’t tell you because I haven’t discovered them myself;
But I’ll never be satisfied with not knowing.  I’m still learning,
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Just because I’m up in a tower doesn’t mean I’m asking you to save me,
And just because I’m sleeping doesn’t mean you get to wake me,
And buster, you had better get to know me before you try to kiss me
Because I have a name and it isn’t ‘beauty’, and there’s a lot more to me than what you see.

Sure, I’ve kissed a few frogs in my day, but I only regret the risks I didn’t take,
Even though I know the apple that looks so sweet might turn bitter on my tongue;
I’m too busy chasing after my dreams to see if your glass slipper fits.

That doesn’t mean I don’t have time for you, but you’d better lace up your running shoes.
And shake that magic carpet out, then we can chase our dreams together,
Because I won’t be tethered.

If you still want to stay, then you’d better be prepared,
For I will laugh at things in my head that you won’t understand,
And I will fight for what I think is right, so you’d better take a stand,
And I will try as hard as I can to love the whole world with these small arms,

So when I come home bruised and beaten when it won’t let me, then I’ll need you to catch me.
But you don’t have to worry, I’ll never give so much away that I won’t have enough for you.
Maybe we won’t be happy ever after, because pain and anger are a part of this life,

But I’ll take the pain with the joy because I don’t want to miss a single moment.
My story isn’t over yet, I’m just cracking the cover,
There’s still time for a new face before I reach The End.

So if you think you’re brave enough to face the dragon that I can sometimes be,
And strong enough to ford my rivers of tears,
And if you can pass by the mountain of gold to light the lamp instead,
Then mister, take my hand and let’s fly, ’cause have we got a lot of living to get through.

The End

Of mighty dragons, proud knights, sacrificial virgins, and digestive upset:

The ceremony had been real pretty, Mira conceded. The liturgy was poetic in its own way and the priest had been quite handsome. She hummed as she pictured an idyllic future with him, imagining the brood of children playing on the floor. Pity she’d be dead soon.

The chains bit into her wrists as she writhed against the cold stone wall, trying not to think about the bones around her. Sir Boden would come for her, she was certain. She could almost see his dashing figure riding over the hill, his lance leveled as the sun glinted off his helm. When he came he would slay the dragon, cut her bonds and carry her off into the crimson sunset. He would take her to his father’s house and marry her, ensuring she’d never again be the victim of a virginal sacrifice.

She did wish he would hurry, though, as this was not at all a comfortable position in which to be strung up and the flimsy dress they had put her in was useless in defying the wind. Why did they insist on dressing up sacrifices in skimpy clothing as if to advertise to just any passer-by ‘eat me’? After all, it was not as if she could hold the skirt down when a sufficiently strong gust blew past.

Keeping herself occupied was hard; thinking of anything besides her impending doom was difficult at this point, really. Before long the wind subsided and the sun warmed the air. She dozed as the day lingered, her eyes closing against her own good sense until her semi-conscious mind thought she heard an echo of hooves on the dry ground. What roused her fully, however, was the unearthly growl that emanated from the mountain’s cavernous mouth.

She watched the mist issue forth, curl about her feet and slip down the hillside in diaphanous tendrils, which, under better circumstances, would have been real pretty, too. Thunderous footfalls rumbled through the ground, setting some of the smaller rocks dancing. Undoubtedly, this was a bad sign.

The rank foulness of the creature could be smelt long before its massive form lumbered from the darkness. Sable scales covered the hulking frame, claws sharper than spears protruded from cumbrous feet, and teeth more terrifying than… than… well, Mira couldn’t think of what they were more terrifying than; the threat of looming death was effectively driving such imagery from her mind.

What did not leave her mind were the most eloquent of curses against Sir Boden as she took what little pleasure she could in questioning his parentage, legitimacy and sexual potency. Hope was fading as the dragon’s eyes landed on her, so it was with great relief that she spied the feathered helm atop Sir Boden’s head come into view over the crest of the hill, followed soon after by Boden himself atop a dashing white steed.

Ribbons streamed from the end of his lance and a pure, ringing note sounded from his trumpet, echoing over and again through the vale. He looked like the prince from a fairy tale tapestry as he galloped up the hill, a dashing figure bathed in sunlight, exuding glory and honour.

The dragon turned. First its neck arched around to get a look at what was approaching, then its behemoth body followed, massive hindquarters swinging out behind.

The lance lowered, the horse charged. The dragon let out a frightful bellow. The ground between them quickly shrunk. The dragon lifted its foot and smashed Sir Boden flat.

Disappointing was not the word for this.

The dragon took little time consuming Mira’s would-be rescuer. She could not even say she was feeling sorry for him – maybe for his horse. Her feelings were more a resigned hopelessness for herself bordering on irritation at having no chance for a proper rescue now.

Neither lasted for Mira soon became dessert, savored for all of the five seconds it took the dragon to pull her from the rock face, chains and all.

It would be prudent at this point to note the true cause of the mass extinction of dragons is grossly misunderstood. It was not brought about by the brave knights who were quested to destroy them for glory and fair maid’s hand, but rather by the advent of metal armor that invariably mucked up their insides as dragons rarely bothered to strip victims before consuming them.

So it was that this dragon suffered from an acute case of indigestion brought about by Sir Boden’s mail and Mira’s chains and expired not long after. Mira allowed herself a bit of smug satisfaction over that.

The Adventures of Purlock Holmes and John Dachshund

“Poor bugger,” John Dachshund said, shaking his head.

Holmes remained silent as he observed the scene, his eyes darting here and there. He walked around the body twice, then sat down and looked at John as if he expected him to solve the case right then and there. John walked over and began to use his nose.

“He died about, oh, a quarter of an hour ago?” John said.

“What else?”

John cocked one ear and thought. “I smell two people he had contact with recently. A woman, by her perfume, and a man. I smell gunpowder, but…”


“No bullet wound.”

“Good.” Purlock licked his fore-paw a few times, waiting for John to continue. After a few moments, John huffed.

“That’s it. I don’t know how we can solve anything.”

Purlock rolled his eyes and sighed, sounding very put-upon by the ignorance that was so pervasive in the world.

“He was recently in the vicinity of gunpowder but was not injured by a bullet and shows no sign of violence,” Purlock said, the words falling swift from his tongue. “His wings are clipped, so he was not a wild bird, no, he was kept in a cage. Kept in a cage by a man and a woman, a couple. Or rather, they were, before she was tragically shot and killed by the man.”

“How could you possibly know that?” John asked.

“If you look up, you will see the window out of which he fell, the cage damaged by her body landing against it.”


“Because his wings were clipped,” Purlock interrupted him, “he was unable to fly, falling these five stories and dying when he hit the stones.”

“How awful,” John whined. “But how did you know it was the woman who died?”

Purlock gave him a bemused look. “Because there is her husband now, being lead away by the police.”

John’s tail gave a little wag of admiration for Purlock’s keen observations.

“I suppose we can consider the case solved, then,” Purlock said.

John, always amazed how Holmes was able to get all that from such slight evidence, said, “Why, yes, I suppose we can, Purlock.”

Whereupon Purlock gobbled the bird up, leaving only a few feathers behind. He was, after all, a cat.

A Second Chance

This is not a story.  Or at least, this is not my story.  This is the story of a friend of mine who really needs help, and even if I don’t have a very big following, any chance to get the story out is a good one.

I know everyone is strapped these days.  I’m half-broke every other week between paychecks, so I get it.  But sometimes we have a few extra bucks that we can offer to someone in need, and sometimes we don’t have anything we can offer, but we can pass along the information to others.

So I’m here to pass this along and hope that some of you can help, or some of you will pass it along.

A Second Chance

There are no ‘perks’ with this fundraiser.  But I’ll offer my own right now: If you contribute $50.00 or more, I’ll paint you something, sign it and send it to you.  If you contribute $200.00 or more, then pick any one of the stories (or two poems) that I’ve written here and I will hand write them using a real ink-dip fountain pen and bind it in a little book, sign it, and send it to you as a thank you for helping this woman keep her house.

In fact, for every $100 you can give over $200, I’ll do the same again, pick any story and you’ll receive a hand-written, hand-bound copy.

Who knows, maybe someday it’ll be worth a lot.  Consider it an investment.

Apologies, Thanks, and I *Think* This Is Right?

So, I owe two very big apologies to Kurt R.A. Giambastiani, and Alice Brook.  They very generously each had nominated me for blogger awards – Liebster Award and Very Inspiring Blogger Award, respectively – and I’ve been sitting on them for weeks (months?) trying to figure out exactly what to do with them.
In short: I suck at this kind of thing.

It isn’t that I wasn’t grateful or flattered by their touching gesture, but rather I wasn’t really sure how to go about the instructions.

I don’t know how to tell if a blog has more or less than 200 followers.  I don’t know how to post these ‘award logos’ on my page (I’m not tech ignorant, but I’m not exactly savvy, either.)  In the case of the second, I’m not sure I actually follow 15 other blogs… and I’m sure there are wonderfully inspiring ones out there, I just don’t have time or inclination to go out and try to rank them by top 5  or top 15.

That must sound horribly lazy, selfish or both.  I really try not to be, but I don’t have time to follow hundreds of blogs.  I read those that catch my eye and enjoy them, and sometimes I can’t keep up on the ones that update often.  (If I followed me, I’d miss most of what I posted, I think.)

But as we all know, all of the above is just an excuse.  It’s my excuse, but it’s still an excuse, and it’s because generally when I’m faced with a situation where I just don’t know what to do, rather than do what I can, I’ll often push it all away and kind of try to pretend it isn’t there so I don’t have to deal with it.  It’s a character flaw.  I try to work on it when I have the energy to face it, and so part of that is now making up for my gross oversight.

So I realize I was very rude and very ungrateful to the both of you who nominated me, and I now ask for forgiveness and I will try my best to live up to the expectations of the awards you were so thoughtful to nominate me for.

First, Alice Brook so very kindly nominated me for the Inspiring Blogger Award.

1]  Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog–

Thanks you very much, Alice, and I’m so very sorry I am so terribly late in acknowledging your kindness.

2]  List seven random things about yourself–

1. I’ve always been a tomboy.  I preferred playing in dirt, in ditches and up trees to barbies and makeup.  I still do.

2. I wrote a 100,000 word novel fanfiction based on Red vs Blue which is a machinima show based on the Halo XBox games.  I am a geek at heart.

3. I sometimes listen to the same song on repeat all day because it’s what I’m feeling.  Yesterday it was Amanda Palmer Ampersand.

4. I suck at listing random things about myself.

5. I like to dress up in medieval period clothing and go camping.  It’s called the SCA.

6. I think Tom Hiddleston is one of the most attractive men in the world.  I resolved to become a famous writer so I could justify on some level meeting him.  I still haven’t worked up the nerve to send him a fan letter.

7. I had 6 months of therapy when I was 27 just to get to where I didn’t feel people had a right to hurt me.  It’s scary what you can realize you unconsciously think of yourself.

3]  Nominate fifteen other blogs–
I have no idea of these have already received this, but I just enjoy reading them.  Here’s eleven, anyway.


4]  Notify the fifteen nominees

5]  Put the award logo on your blog.

Yeah, I have no idea how to do that.


And then, Kurt Giambastiani (why is it I always think of My Cousin Vinny when I see your name?) nominated me for the Liebster Award.

The award is really sort of a vox populiway of shining a light on newer blogs (those with followers < 200), which means I most certainly qualify.

The procedure for award nominees is:

  1. Thank and link back to the giver.
  2. Answer the giver’s questions.
  3. ‘Nominate’ five other blogs with fewer than 200 followers.
  4. Ask five questions for one’s nominees to answer.
  5. Post it all on one’s blog!

1. Thank you very kindly, Kurt, for thinking of me as you did this.  I apologize it has taken me so long to respond.

2. Q&A:

What drives you as a creative artist (writer, blogger, photographer)?

I have stuff in my head.  I want to get it out and share it with people.

What’s your favorite breakfast?

Fried eggs, spuds, and onions, and some sort of fruit.

How have you benefited from blogging?

I helps keep me on task for writing, because I have witnesses who *know* if I have or haven’t.  It also makes me feel great when people say something I wrote really touched them. 🙂

Which artist’s/writer’s/actor’s work do you really enjoy, even though you don’t like the artist/writer/actor, and why?

I have no idea.  I don’t know if there are any artists/actors/etc that I really like the work of but don’t like them.  Mostly because I haven’t met any of them.  Well… okay, maybe Mel Gibson qualifies…

Who would you like to “shadow” for a week, to see how they really lived (pick anyone, living or dead, from any time period)?

Oh man, just one!?   Um… okay, my great, great grandmother.  I want to know how she really lived.

3. My nominees for the Liebster:

I’m sorry, since I have no idea how to tell who has less than 200 followers, I’m just going to say, see my list above for blogs I really enjoy reading and following.

4. My questions for my nominees:

Uh.. I guess I didn’t actually nominate anyone, so my questions for ANYONE who reads this entry:

1. What gets you out of bed every morning?

2. What is your favorite art form, whether to express or enjoy?

3. If you could have one dream come true, what would it be?

4. List some random facts about you that you think are too uninteresting so you don’t normally share them on random facts lists.  Like: I’m 5’6″.  I totally wish I was shorter.

6. And then I’ m making up my own category because I totally can.  Not a question, but a permission: do one thing today just to be good to yourself without thinking of consequences or other people; do one thing *just for you*. ❤

Then tell me what it was (if you like)!  Post pictures if you can. 🙂

Battle of the Sexes

Miles walked into his room and switched on the light.  Or at least, he switched on the light switch, but was met with only persistent darkness as a result.  He sighed, dropped his gym bag on the floor, and hollered for his roommate, Lane.

Lane, being the self-professed expert in all things electric, was only too happy to take a look.  It had only taken four wrong guesses before he got the right breaker turned off, but now he was balancing as best he could on a computer chair since they didn’t have a ladder, the fixture hanging from the wires as he poked and fussed.

Miles watched, the inner workings of his light being akin to invisible magic as far as he was concerned, clueless what to do beyond flipping the switch and changing the bulb, and the bulb was new.

Since the fuse also turned off all his outlets, Miles couldn’t do anything until Lane finished, so he was sitting on his bed, kicking his heels, as Lane fussed with the wires.

“Hey, Lane?  Mind if I ask you a question.”


He had wanted a chance to talk to Lane for a while, and this seemed to have proved a good excuse.  “I know you, uh, y’know…”

Lane craned his neck around to glance at Miles, giving him an expectant look.

“Go both ways,” Miles finished lamely after a moment.

Lane snorted out a laugh.  Oh, it was going to be one of those questions.  “Yeah, I kinda do,” he said, turning back to his work.  “What do you wanna know?”

Miles shrugged, sniffed a little, and tried not to look uncomfortable.  “Why?  I mean, I get that you’re attracted to both.  But wouldn’t it be simpler?”

Lane stopped and gave him a bemused look.  “Simpler?”

“To, y’know, stay with women.”

Lane started to laugh; a deep, intense laugh as if that was one of the funniest things he had ever heard.

“What?” Miles asked, wanting in on the joke but feeling he had become the butt of it.

“Simpler?  My god, you think dating women is simple?”  Lane was laughing so hard he almost couldn’t get the words out.  “Dang, Miles, you are deluded.”

“I mean it,” he said, wanting to be serious.  “No,… no hiding.  No worrying about being caught, or what people will think.  No-”

Lane interrupted, holding his fingers out as he count off his reasons.  “No needing ESP to figure out his emotional patterns; my fair share of the closet space; bathroom products,” he said, getting very animated in his attempt to get the point across, “that I can actually identify!”

Miles shrugged again.  “Well, they do smell nice.”

“Men smell nice,” Lane said with a smirk and went back to the light fixture.

“Yes, but aside from the small stuff- well, okay, the emotions thing, I’ll grant you,” Miles said.

“No unplanned pregnancies,” Lane noted.

“No pregnancy, period,” Miles said.

“Ha!  You say that like it’s a bad thing!”

Sure, Miles wasn’t ready himself yet, but that didn’t mean in ten years or so it wouldn’t be nice.  “You honestly telling me you never want kids?”

“Oh hell, Miles,” Lane said, “are you serious?  What the hell would I do with a kid?  Nah, man, I ain’t a dad.  Besides, with my luck, I’d have a girl.”

“Yeah, and have to lock her up to keep her from all the guys just like you.”  Men or women, Lane had himself a reputation.

“Exactly,” Lane said, with perhaps a bit too much seriousness in his tone.

“Natural lubrication.”

“Spit is natural,” Lane countered.

“Okay, that’s just gross.”  Miles was beginning to think he shouldn’t have started this conversation.

“Oh, come on, man!  That’s a time-honoured tradition!  Besides, when you’ve got a bottle you don’t have to wait for her ‘mood’.”

Ouch.  “No having to figure out who’s changing their last name,” Miles said after a brief pause.

Lane shrugged, “Big deal.  No being dragged along to all-day shopping marathons.”

“Yes, but less exciting underwear.”

He pondered that for a moment before nodding. “Yeah, I’ll give you that one.  No PMS though,” he said, wagging his finger at Miles when he finished replacing the fixture.

“You’ve got a good point there,” Miles conceded, then countered, “No boobs.”

“Dang, mm.  I do like those,” he hummed wistfully as he carefully got off the chair.  “Still, men have a lifetime of experience with the equipment.”

Miles barked out a laugh.  “Alright, I’d say we’re even.  But won’t you miss women?”

Lane was about to reply when he paused and got a warm little smile on his face.  “Not as much as I’d miss Dave,” he said at last.

“Ah, the answer that trumps all arguments.  Can’t argue with love, my friend.”

“Well, look at the bright side,” Lane said, clapping Miles on the back.  “You’ll never have to worry about me messing with your relationships.”

Miles chuckled.  “Hey, speaking of, you got anything for Valentine’s Day, yet?”

“Ah hell,” Lane said, stepping out of the room to flip the breakers back on.  “That time already?”

“Gettin’ close,” Miles called back.

“What about you?”

“I thought about going out tomorrow, see if I could find some romantic little thing for Sarah.  You wanna tag along?”

Lane came back in, nodding.  “Yeah.  Yeah, that sounds good.  See if I can pick up anything.”  He flicked the light switch a couple times, just to make sure nothing was gonna catch fire.

Miles grinned as the invisible magic of power was restored to his room.  “Hey, thanks man.”

“My pleasure,” Lane said, gathering up his tools.

“So, I’ll grab you on my way out tomorrow?”

Lane grinned.  “It’s a date.”

“Dude… just… no.”

I’m Sorry

I couldn’t drink the memories to oblivion
I couldn’t blink without seeing your face
I couldn’t walk without falling off the wagon
I couldn’t talk without losing my place
I couldn’t think of anything else to say
I couldn’t think of what else to do
I couldn’t save you from all of your enemies
When the enemy you fought was you

I couldn’t catch you, keep you from falling
I couldn’t catch the bullet in my hand
I couldn’t forget the sound of the hammer-fall
I couldn’t bury my head in the sand
I couldn’t make sense of the senseless
I couldn’t ransom the life that you stole
I didn’t have any pieces left to pick up
The family picture will always have a hole

I couldn’t forgive you for taking your life away
Couldn’t forgive me for letting you go
And I don’t want to learn to live with it
As the bottles on the table will show
Now I sit here with all of the lights off
As the scene plays over in my mind
If only I’d done something different
But time’s a tape you just can’t rewind
Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt: Worst Thing Ever Poems

For this week’s prompt, write the worst thing that’s ever happened to you. Simple as that.

This poem was written a while ago, but brought back to my mind with today’s prompt and revised a little.  Truly, the worst thing that has ever happened to me was not just losing a family member to suicide, but not being able to stop it when it happened.  😦

The Letter

Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompt: Love Letter From The Future?

You are 15 years old and, while still living with your parents, you discover a secret room in your house. It is filled with all sorts of strange things, but one thing in particular catches your eye: It’s a love letter to your mom from someone who isn’t your dad. What’s more peculiar is that it is dated five years into the future. Write a scene where you confront your mom about the letter.

(500 words or fewer)

The scrolling penmanship was what caught Eva’s eye; people just didn’t write like that anymore. The words it contained were beautiful, if simple, expressions of devotion, and made Eva’s face grow warm. But it also referenced horrible things: war, death, and the sorrow of separation.

It was addressed to “Miss Izabel,” Eva’s mother, and signed “your dearest Misha,” who was most definitely not Eva’s father. But the most puzzling part of the letter was the date: 18 September, ’17.

Her mother was in the living room reading a magazine, and Eva sat down beside her. “Why is some man writing you love letters?”

Utterly astonished, her mother set the magazine down and stared at her. “I beg your pardon?”

“And why is it dated in the future?”

“What on earth are you talking about, Eva?”

Eva handed the letter over, pointing to the name. “That’s you.”

Her mother took it, carefully unfolding the old paper, and smiled. “This was your great-grandmother’s, dear. And it isn’t from the future, that’s nineteen-seventeen.”

“You have the same name?”

“I was named after her,” she said, putting her arm around Eva and drawing her in close.

“So that’s great-grandfather then?”

“It was. Grandpa Misha…” she closed her eyes and recalled his face. “I can still remember him, though I was only six when he died.”

“What is the war he’s writing about?”

“The Great War, dearest. The first World War. He was a soldier, signed up at fifteen.”

Being fifteen also, Eva was shocked. She would not expect anyone she knew to be going away to war. “So young? Didn’t they tell him no?”

“Things were different then, and many young men lied about their ages to enlist.”

“But why?”

“Oh, perhaps for duty, or country,” Izabel said. “Perhaps for the pay. He wanted to marry Grandma Izabel, but he was very poor, son of a farmer, and they had not the money to marry.”

“But he could read and write… very well, too.”

“Yes, he was sent to a monastery as a child, his family was too poor to care for him. He worked hard, but he learned many things from the monks there.”

Eva sat in awe of this amazing story. “Why haven’t you ever told me any of this?”

“It’s just never come up.” Her mother looked at the letter again and smiled. “Grandma Izabel kept all the letters he wrote to her while he was at war in a box, but most were lost in a fire years ago. She showed me them, once, and when she died, she left me a small trunk that had the few remaining letters in it.”

“People were so different back then.”

“Go on and fetch me the trunk you found this in, and I’ll tell you about the things inside, and your family history.”

“Alright!” Eva bolted back up to the attic for the rest as Izabel sat on the couch and smiled, and thought about things she hadn’t thought about in years.

Arachnophobia: VINDICATION!

I’m arachnophobic.  Not *quite* to the degree some are, I am not paralyzed with fear at the very sight of them… (for long).  Far from it, I RUN.  With fear.  I climb on furniture and implore nearby cats to vanquish it.  With fear.  Or at least, valiantly swat and scream with fear until the tiny monstrous intruder into my life is deceased.  I’ve been known to suck them up into the vacuum cleaner, also.

However, there is that tiny little paranoid core deep down inside that says the spiders know.  They KNOW.  And one of these days… they’ll get me.

Allow me to set the scene.  It is a bright, sunny Saturday.  I have been enjoying my morning working out on my XBox Kinect (fabulous device, that.)  My Sister and Hubby have come down as well, and we’ve decided to visit the local brewery for lunch.

This, of course, means I must have a shower before appearing in public.  Off I go to the bathroom, draw back the shower curtain, and yelp at the sight of a HUGE, BROWN/BLACK, CREEPY SPIDER SITTING IN MY TUB!!


Okay, calm down.  I don’t dare try to smoosh it with something, it might jump at me and crawl up my arm and bite me!  Ridiculous, you say?  Just you watch!  It’ll happen some day!

Instead, I am saved by the fact that… it’s in the tub so at least it can’t run at me.  I would have shrieked like a little girl for my uncle to come and kill it, but he was sleeping.  So I had to pull on my big-girl panties and take care of it myself.  I – with not a complete lack of guilt at killing the critter – decide to just wash it down the drain.

Which I did.

…with lots and lots of water to ensure it was good and washed down.  Because if it isn’t, it might crawl back out of the drain while I’m taking a shower and bite me!  And it would be justified in doing so, I freely admit!  Paranoid?  HA!  JUST YOU WATCH!  IT’LL HAPPEN SOME DAY!

So I take a shower with one eye constantly peering at the drain, or the over-flow, because, after all, there’s a trap on the drain, I don’t think it’s actually strong enough to push that up to get out, but it might crawl up the pipe and out the over-flow.

I manage to fully cleanse myself, even if I never came closer to the drain than a full foot, and let me tell you, shower paranoia regarding spiders crawling out of drains and biting your feet is far more imminent and nerve wracking than Psycho with a knife shadow on the shower curtain paranoia ever could hope to be!

Still, as you may notice, since I’m sitting here writing you this story, I did survive the shower.  (Barely… it was touch and go there for a while.)

I told my sister the story (who is also very arachnophobic) and we laughed about it over beer and burgers.

So, dear reader, you may be saying, ‘See?  Nothing happened.  Just being paranoid.  That spider couldn’t possibly have survived to crawl back out of the drain after being washed down for the whole time you were in the shower.”


Because Sunday, as I’m busy in the kitchen making pies and plum butter and all sorts of other goodies, my uncle comes in and I start telling him my harrowing brush with death in the shower – and he is, of course, getting a very good chuckle out of it.

He then tells me when he took a shower, THERE WAS A FREAKIN BIG BLACK SPIDER IN THE TUB!



Just sayin’.

Next time you think about laughing at someone’s arachnophobia, just remember, they can crawl out of the bathtub drain and GET YOU.

Oh, I also found out that brown recluses like to hide out in things like bed sheets.

Next available shuttle, I’m moving to Mars.



Update: And just in case you still think I’m paranoid, or even perhaps exaggerating just a touch… I just took a shower.  And what should be waiting for me on the freakin counter when I step out!?