One Love, Forever.

“But Now I must sleep.”

“In the cemetery?” Cara shuttered, whether from the chill in the air or fear she couldn’t tell. Either way she did not want to stop here for any reason.

“It’s as good a place as any.” Peter sighed as he lowered his weary body to the soft earth.

“You can’t rest there. That’s someone’s grave.”

Peter ignored her and stretched out his limbs, lying on his back. Cara looked at the man in front of her, this man she barely knew. The day he walked into her small town was the day nothing else mattered. He was perfect in every way. His long dark hair, his tall stature. His skin seemed to glow in the sun.

Cara jumped from a sudden surge in her toes. Peter’s cool skin brushed hers as he slowly traced his hand over the delicate bones of her foot.

“This is what I want to remember, these moments with you. Uninterrupted by the world and its cruel ways.”

He always seemed to talk as if he was saying goodbye. Was he going to leave her? She sat beside him wanting to close the gap between them. As if reading her mind he pulled her down so that their bodies were as close as they possibly could be. The energy was undeniable, raging yet sad all at once. Why did it feel like an ending every time they were together?

“I will always love you,” He whispered in her ear. She closed her eyes and drifted to sleep with his hands still stroking her hair.

As the sun rose from behind the hill peter rose from his resting place, grimacing as his joints groaned in agony.

“Until later, my Love.”

Peter hobbled away, turning to look at the grave again.

Cara Moreau

1936-1960

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This story got an honorable mention over at Microcosms. A big thanks goes out to the judge, Geoff Holme.

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Your Face Paint is Dripping

Photo by:  kazuend

Photo by: kazuend

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

or so they say

But not every mask can hide the blurred lines of deception

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A few more lines. This time for Three Line Tales, Week Twelve.

A few lines

I know I have been away for quite awhile. Life has made it difficult for me, as of late, and writing has been pushed to the wayside. I promise to be back soon with more, but for now, here are a few short lines in honor of TLT Throwback.  

 

She saw everything clearly
Teetering on the edge
If only she had wings

First Publication in Print!

This morning I received an email letting me know that my entries were accepted for a local literary arts journal to be published in my home town!

The Bridge Literary Center is dedicated to the prosperity of the literary arts in Franklin and the greater Western PA region.”( copied from their site.) This will be their second journal (I believe).  This time I get to be a part of it!! So exciting!

Now to go write my mini bio. Ugh, I’m not the greatest at those.

A Library Pickup Line

Your shelves are like deep pools of stories

told only to me

I willingly drown in your words

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Written for Three Line Tales: Week Five

Exposures

My mind

Holds onto fears

Folds them up and keeps them

Forever

 

I was born this way

But I can break this code

Rewire

And freely live

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Written for #wispwrit

Prompt: Born

The Tea Party

CFFC Trophy

 

I woke up this morning to find out that my story WON over at Cracked Flash! Exciting!

Our story had to start with the following sentence:

Sometimes, people really are just useless.

I’ll put the judges comments at the end of the story. I must say, one thing that sets them apart from other competitions is that they are not afraid to point out things that need improvement. They had some very helpful critiques. I appreciate that. While I like hearing that my story was good, I also want to improve as a writer and if there is something I can do to make the story great, I want to know about it.

I must confess I really struggled with the 300 word limit. I had to make some deep cuts which did affect the desperation of the piece as Si pointed out.

So, here is the original story. I will work on it and post the revised version when I am satisfied. (That could take a while.)

*****

The Tea Party

“Sometimes, people really are just useless. Cheese?”

“I’m sorry, what?” Clara stared at the strange man in front of her. A moment ago she was having tea with her boyfriend and listening to him talk about work. But this man was definitely not her boyfriend.

She closed her eyes for a moment.

“Would you like some cheese? It pairs well with your tea.” Reluctantly, she opened her eyes to see a big grin stretch across the stranger’s face farther than a grin should. A large hat dipped over his crazed eyes as they darted from her to the other guests at the table.

“Who are you? The Hatter?”

“Of course not, dear. The Hatter is a copyrighted name. You can call me Mr. Chapeau.”

“I’ll take some cheese,” Clara turned to see a rabbit sitting upright in a white gown.

“Where is Jason?”

“Who?”

“Jason, my boyfriend. Tall, dark hair, dorky tortoise shell glasses.”

“Doesn’t ring a bell. It’s my birthday you know,” the man with the hat said.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Clara jumped at the exclamation that rang out from a tiny mouse in a tea pot.

Did I fall down a rabbit hole? Where was Jason? He was just here.

“HEY!” She shouted over the loud singing that had commenced around her. “Please! Where is Jason!”

They all stopped and stared. She realized, now, that she was standing with a cheese knife held over her head. A small pinch in her shoulder made her go limp, falling into the arms of a strong woman.

“Take her to the holding cell.” A nurse said as she took a pencil from Clara’s fingers and walked out behind them. “Poor girl just can’t get over his death. Best keep her out of the common room for a while.”

 

 

******

Judges Comments:

Si: I loved the rambling, unexplained craziness of this story. No info dump, just bewildering weirdness until it’s all explained in the end. Of course she’s crazy!
Good clean dialogue and I liked the personalities of all the strange characters we come across. The disjointedness of the dialogue: “Doesn’t ring a bell. It’s my birthday you know,” works very well for setting the atmosphere of confusion that Clara finds herself in. One thing I would recommend is increasing the tension of the story just a little–make us feel not only Clara’s confusion, but also desperation. I liked the Alice in Wonderland references–good connection there!–familiar to the reader, but we don’t know where you’re going with it until the twist ending. Great job giving us just enough dialogue from the Nurse to get what’s going on, quickly setting the REAL scene. Favorite line: “Of course not, dear. The Hatter is a copyrighted name. You can call me Mr. Chapeau.”, very funny. We can really feel Clara’s bewilderment throughout the story! Excellent job!
Mars: “The Hatter is a copyrighted name,” got a chuckle out of me! The Alice-is-insane has been done before (though it’s Clara in this instance), but it’s usually not done with any sort of levity like this piece is. I appreciate the allusion to Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (though I’m going to have “Merry Merry Unbirthday” stuck in my head now); I am very fond of references.
Watch out for how names are juxtaposed next to dialogue–“‘I’ll take some cheese,’ Clara turned to see a rabbit” could infer that either Clara or the rabbit were speaking, particularly with the comma there that runs into her name. The problem occurs once more later, when the mouse yells from the tea pot.
The beginning of the piece was a nice touch; it utilized the prompt in a unique fashion by making it sound like idle small talk, then drew the reader’s (and Clara’s) attention with the question, “Cheese?” Nice job!

And She Does

On Friday everything changed. I was no longer the little girl my father adored. I was a bargaining chip, a promise for a deal.

My view of this world had finally been unveiled, reveling many shades of greed.

I looked at the man smiling in front of me. I could see his plans written in the corners of his mouth, reflected in the dark chocolate windows to his rotting soul.

As I said my vows in the room of silent witnesses, I made a secret one of my own.

One day I would kill this man, setting free the world.

 

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This is the second (read first one here) story I submitted for the Flashverary contest over at Flash! Friday.

Our story requirements:

Must be exactly 100 words

Must start with “On Friday everything changed

A Tribute to Flash! Friday Fiction Competition

Flash!Friday had their Flashversary Competition this past Friday but it was also the very last FF contest…ever. I stumbled upon this site through another Flash Fiction Site  about ten months ago. Once I started competing I was hooked! These weekly competitions have helped me gain confidence in my writing and find my voice. I will be forever grateful.

Our story requirements:

Must be exactly 100 words

Must start with “On Friday everything changed

 

This is one of two ( read the second one here) stories I submitted.

On Friday everything changed. The last notes of a song rang out, beautiful words from stories past floated by in memories so strong that hearts swelled and eyes blurred.

This is not an ending but a transition. One that can be embraced with gusto. Courage was born here. Those who hid behind their words emerged and flourished, finding their true voices.

This is a place that will be forever in our hearts, a stepping stone that got us where we are today. And as we continue to move forward, we know that the friends we’ve gained will come with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mental Health Monday – Scrupulosity

I had read on a few blogs online from other OCD sufferers that OCD can effect one’s faith. I did not , however, know that there was a term for it or that it was it’s own condition.

Scrupulosity : “A form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) involving religious or moral obsessions. Scrupulous individuals are overly concerned that something they thought or did might be a sin or other violation of religious or moral doctrine.” –IOCDF

When I went to my first therapy appointment recently, she asked me when I started to notice my depression coming back. I thought for awhile and said it was a year ago, when I started to doubt my faith. She asked me to explain my doubts and fears about it. As the session went on, I explained my OCD thoughts and compulsions, not realizing that the religious stuff was at all linked to my OCD.

After a while she finally stopped writing notes, looked up, and said that I definitely have OCD with emphasis on scrupulosity. After she explained that OCD is sometimes called the doubting disorder and that it lies and attacks everything we love and everything we are, it all started to make sense.

My whole life has been about God. I grew up in church, I became a christian at age 5, I was active in youth group and strong in my faith as a teenager. My whole relationship with my husband was based on our faith together and before started dating  we spent a month in prayer and seeking God’s will for our lives. If He didn’t exist, if my whole life was based on one big lie, then what does that leave me with? Does that mean my choices were all wrong? What purpose does life have? I was completely lost and alone and I felt like I could tell no one. No wonder depression had taken over my life.

Practicing my faith became very hard over the past year. I doubted everything I thought and everything I heard about God. I started tuning out the pastor’s sermons because with everything he said there was this little voice that would contradict and pick and cause doubt.

If I tried to pray, I was convinced God wouldn’t hear me because I doubted. I didn’t read the bible because I could no longer accept anything it said.

I was in the praise band and every time I played I would be berating myself inside.

“How can you be leading worship when you’re not even sure you believe what you are singing? All these people look at you and hold you to this standard that you are failing to meet. They think you are this great christian woman. You are a fraud.”

After a while I couldn’t do it anymore so I pulled myself out of praise band. I was letting everyone down and they had no idea why.

But now that I know there’s a reason for this doubt, that this is not me but my OCD, I can start to fight back.

I will be starting ERP soon. It is going to be a slow process. My therapist said it might be a while before we can address my faith based obsessions because they are huge and we need to start very small. But it gives me hope that I will one day be able to have a relationship with God again.

For now, I am going to take a small step on my own. After being out of the band for a while and not being able to play christian music, I am going to try to play a song for the Christmas season. I can’t promise I’ll succeed, but I am going to try and push through even when OCD is screaming in my head. I am not going to let OCD ruin who I am.

I know God is real. I know he sees my heart through all the doubt in my mind.

OCD lies. That is the truth that will keep me pushing forward.