Friday, May 31, 2019
The prompt this week was to use a random character generator which provided six choices. We were to select the second or the fourth, and use that character in our story. The fourth one that came up for me was a ‘A foolish pickpocket is doomed to wander the world’. What a character! I decided to put my character in the days of kings and spells. I hope you enjoy my little peek into the past.
Thou Shalt Not Steal
“Rowan did it, Your Highness. He walked up to me, pulled my coat open with one hand, and reached into my pocket with the other. He got all my coils – every one. I had just sold some of my shawls to the Nannies in the square, and those coins were going to buy bread and milk for my children. I am sorry to trouble you with this, Sir, but it is said you want to be informed. I do not know now how I will feed my babies.”
“Do not be upset, old mother. You will not leave here empty-handed. Borin, take the lady to the kitchens and give her food and drink for herself and her family - enough for a month.”
“Yes, Your Highness. Come with me, old mother.”
‘Thank you, Sir. You are truly kind and have a good heart. We are all blessed to have you ruling our land.”
“Merek, what am I to do? I am King, and supreme enforcer of our laws. Yet, within my own family, I harbor a thief – a common pickpocket. You are Chief of the Guards, and should have jailed Rowan many times over. Yet, he still roams free to steal because of my turning a blind eye to his crimes.”
“You cannot blame yourself, my Lord, for the actions of another, and all is made well since, with your generous spirit, you give back what he has taken, and more. The people honor you, and despise only the evil in his heart. But, I must tell you something more, Your Highness. He used to confine his crimes to the time past midnight, and his victims were only those who drank to excess in the taverns. Now, he picks the pockets of women and children. The children who sweep doorways to bring coins home when their fathers are not well and unable to work.”
“Merek, picking the pockets of men who struggle to fill those pockets is sin enough, but women and children? Why does he do these things? This fills me with so much shame that these crimes continue to occur with my full knowledge.”
‘I know, Your Highness, but Sir Rowan is your brother.”
“Yes, my brother. My own flesh and blood. I have spoken, I have counseled, and I have threatened, and still, he will not repent and reform.”
“A lesson perhaps, my Lord? A harsh and terrible lesson to be sure, but one he would survive and hopefully, then cease his evil ways?”
“What are you proposing, Merek?”
“My old grandmother, as you know, is a witch. The spells she casts are for good, and this one would be for the good of your brother’s soul. Once the lesson is learned, she would remove the curse, and he would be the better for it.”
“Do you have a spell in mind?”
“She does, my Lord, and it is a fitting one indeed. We discussed the matter, and she told her plan to me last night.”
“Borin, my brother has returned home this day from being cursed in the world for the year. I am filled with great hope that he may again bring pride to this royal household. Bring my brother before me.”
“Yes, Your Highness. I will bring him directly.”
“My brother, now that you are again home, I will arrange for the spell I had cast upon you to be removed. How have you fared this year away? Are you filled with remorse for your sinful ways?”
“You did this to me? My own brother? I thought it was the witch whose pocket I picked.”
“You stole from the witch? From my Chief of Guards’ old grandmother? Why, Rowan? Why would you steal from such as she?”
“For the fun of it – same as I do the others. But, this curse was from you?”
“No, she chose the spell, but I granted permission. Will you seek forgiveness from her and pledge to end your wicked ways?”
“Yes, my brother. I will go to her now, and to you I say, no longer will these hands take what belongs to others. This curse was cruel beyond measure.”
“Borin, summon Merek to come to me. He will take Sir Rowan to his old grandmother so that he may receive his salvation.”
“How may I serve you this day, Your Highness?”
“Merek, it is a joyful day. See that my brother has returned, and seeks his release from his accursed state. I bid you guide him to your old grandmother so that she may set him free.”
“I am sorry, my Lord, but I cannot fulfill your request.”
“You are refusing to obey your King?”
“No, Your Highness. It is that my old grandmother has died this very morning.”
“Died? Surely she left testimony how to remove the curse she placed upon me?”
“She swore an oath, Sir Rowan, to leave the words on a scroll, but I have on this day seen the parchment left by her, and it has other words. She testified that you took four enchanted stones from her cloak pocket while she slept, and for that, she deemed it fitting to make your punishment eternal. No one else can remove your curse. Your Highness, forgive my insolence, but for him to steal from one so old and infirm, I believe his punishment is deserved.”
“Merek, I am in agreement. Rowan, brother mine, go back into the world where you shall be doomed to wander. The witch did right by sealing both your hands within your own pockets, and now, that is where they shall remain. You will continue to have no desire for food or drink and will walk the Earth as one who is dead until such time as the Almighty One sees fit to end your days. From this day forward, your own pockets will be the only home your hands can know. Go now, and I pray your soul may someday find peace.”
Friday, May 24, 2019
The prompt this week was to write a story about the first Spring trip up to the cottage with friends and family. The family in my story get together once a year at Grandma’s cabin and it never goes well. This year though, things will be a bit different, and hopefully, that will be a good thing.
Time for a Change
Here we go again. Our yearly family get-together at Grandmother Maude’s cabin by the lake. Our numbers are dwindling, but we are still all duty-bound. We will be only six this year, and such a delightful crowd we are. Uncle Anthony and Aunt Josie, Uncle Edmond and Aunt Gertie, Grandmother Maude and me. Oh, and Rosa. Can’t forget Rosa. Grandmother Maude’s chief cook and bottlewasher. Rosa’s been with Grandmother Maude’s for around 100 years, I think, and knows her every thought. Good thing too, since the grand old dame never says a word. She just points and Rosa obeys.
I often wonder what kind of a paycheck Rosa gets every week. It’s got to be plenty, right? I mean, to have to put up with the old lady’s icy manner, it would have to be. I also wonder if Grandmother Maude’s that way all the time or just at the cabin with her motley crew of a family. I wonder lots of things, but since I never see any of what’s left of my family outside of this once-a-year charm fest, I suppose I’ll never get past the wondering part.
I decided to drive up this year so I’d have more time to figure out how to spring my news on the family. The easiest thing to do would be to go up as usual, listen to all their nonsense for a couple of days, and go home. As soon as we are all settled in, it begins. Aunt Josie starts her routine of complaining to Uncle Anthony about his job. If he ever wants to amount to anything, he’ll ask that bastard of a boss for a raise. My God, Josie, the man should have retired years ago. I think he just keeps going to work to get away from her. I would. He, of course, just smiles and nods.
Then, we have Aunt Gertie, who’s a living tribute to Botox. Her monologue is all about how Uncle Edmond never takes her out anymore so she can show herself off. The woman looks more factory-made than a mannequin. I wouldn’t want to be seen in public with her either. Now, Uncle Edmond, he’s not a smile-and-nodder. He just shakes his head and smokes his pipe. These heartwarming bonding moments are what I have to look forward to for the next two days. Jealous yet? I know. I wouldn’t be either.
I know what you’re thinking. Why go up there at all? Well, I do it for Mom. She and her two sisters were raised by the ice queen and the four of them were never close. Her dad died when she, Josie and Gertie were toddlers. Mom never gave up hope they could be a real family, and she and I attended any family gathering to which we were summoned. She made me promise I’d keep trying after she was gone. She died two years ago, and I kept my promise. Nothing ever changes though, and knowing my family the way I do, after this weekend, it’s guaranteed nothing ever will.
Okay. I see the cabin, and all the cars. Everyone’s here already. Good deal. I won’t have to wait to share my news, although they’ll know the second I walk in.
You can do this, Charlene. Just open the door and go in like always. Well, not like always…
“Hello, Aunt Josie, Aunt Gertie, Uncle Anthony, Uncle Edm…”
“What kind of a joke is this, Charlie?” Aunt Josie looked like she was going to faint.
“Charlie, why are you in a dress? Oh my God!” Aunt Gertie fell to her knees.
Uncle Anthony and Uncle Edmond just laughed. God, I love those two.
“I know this is a shock, but I’m not Charlie anymore. I’m Charlene. Mom always knew, and she helped me save for the surgery. I’m just sorry I couldn’t have it done until after she passed. But I’m here now, please try to understand. My being a boy was never right for me. This is who I really am.”
“This is all nonsense.” I’ve never heard Aunt Josie yell. “Mother, tell HIM this is all nonsense. We don’t go in for that sort of thing.”
“Rosa, call an ambulance. Charlie’s lost his mind. Mother, tell him to stop acting this way. We can’t have this go on in our family.” Gertie stayed on her knees.
“Both of you, shut up!” Grandmother Maude said something? Are we in the Twilight Zone?
“Mother, what did…” Is Aunt Josie crying?
“So, besides being a pain in the ass, you’re deaf too? I said, shut up. Come over here, Charlene. I want to get a good look at you. Love the green hair. I remember it was orange last year, and last year, you were Charlie, right?”
“Yes, Grandmother Maude. Last year, I was Charlie. Now, I’m Charlene.”
“You happy now?”
“Good. Rosa, get supper going. I’m hungry. Josie, being yourself is not nonsense. Gertie, get up off the floor. This child doesn’t need an ambulance, but you look like you could use one. Josie and Gertie, get out my good China and set the table. I need to talk to my granddaughter. She’s the only one of you that’s ever been worth more than a hill of beans.”
“But Mother, don’t you understand what’s happening?” Aunt Gertie’s face was starting to crack. “Edmond, do something!”
Uncle Edmond, along with Uncle Anthony, kept laughing. God, I love those two.
“I’m leaving. There’s no way I’m going to…” Aunt Josie grabbed her handbag from the chair.
“Josie, put that bag down and help your sister set the table. Charlene, how do you think I’d look with purple hair?”
“You’d look great, Grandmother Maude.”
“Call me Gram, okay? Isn’t that how you young folks talk these days?”
We’re going to be a real family now, Mom. Promise.
Thursday, May 16, 2019
The prompt this week was to pick, at random, three adjective-noun combinations, to use in our story. We were given the following nine to choose from:
1. Approachable bunny
2. Creepy train
3. Sympathetic mobster
4. Crest-fallen bear
5. Blind demon
6. Crabby corpse
7. Sensual dinosaur
8. Exceptional banjo
9. Absent-minded surgeon
I ended up with #2 (creepy train), #8 (exceptional banjo), and #9 (absent-minded surgeon), and they are highlighted. We were also told to feel free to make it a little weird. Well, I went way over-the-line weird, and had a blast. I hope you have as much fun reading this as I had writing it.
“I can’t believe we’re getting away with this. How long before somebody notices we’ve got a dead guy in the seat. We probably should get back, Jimbo. Benny’s propped up, but what if he starts to tip…”
“Relax, Petey. Finish your drink. He won’t tip. I propped him up good with pillows. Plus, remember when we got on, we talked loud about how sick our friend was?”
“Yeah, and not one of the other passengers paid any attention. Don’t you think that was strange? I mean, we were so loud and everybody was just staring straight ahead. And that conductor…”
“He’s a weird duck. Don’t worry about the other passengers. Nobody gives a hoot about anybody else in this world.”
“I know. It’s just this feeling I got when we got on. We’re dragging a dead guy down the aisle, and nobody blinks? This is one creepy train, Jimbo.”
“I’m with you on that. But, I told you this was the best way. When we stop at a station, we’ll get off with Benny, put him on a bench, then you and I get back on and ride to the next city and disappear. It’s perfect.”
“I guess, but there’s one other thing that’s bothering me. I remember us getting Benny from that crazy doctor, and getting on this train, but I can’t remember anything in between.”
“Stress, my man. After we picked up his body, we got into…I mean, we took…well, I can’t remember either. Guess we were both weirded out. Doesn’t matter though. We got out of there and onto this train and soon, our troubles will be over.”
“Did that doctor get anything from Benny about where he hid the money? I don’t remember.”
“I don’t either, but I don’t think Benny said anything before he bled out. If we retrace his steps, we’ll find it. By the way, Dr. Bob isn’t crazy. He’s just good at getting information in the most painful way possible. He’s known as an absent-minded surgeon because he slices folks over and over as if he forgot which part he’s supposed to be operating on. Nifty, right?”
“Sure. Nifty. Listen, let’s go back to our seats. This bar’s giving me the willies. I only had two gin and tonics but I feel woozy.”
“I know what you mean. I only had two whiskey sours, and I feel strange. I’m going to ask the conductor where the next stop is.”
“Thanks, Jimbo. You know me, I’m no lily-liver, but I have to admit I’m scared.”
“Repeat this, Petey, and I’ll snuff you in a heartbeat, but I’m scared too. Where’s that conductor?”
“Next stop, Sheol.” The conductor walked slowly up the aisle, passing Jimbo and Petey, looking straight ahead as he moved toward the next car.
“Sheol? Jimbo, what kind of a name…”
“I don’t know, Petey. Grab Benny. When we stop, we’ll say we’re getting off for a second to drop off our friend.”
“Okay, but maybe we should just stay off.”
“Excuse me, conductor, but we just sailed right through the station. Why didn’t we stop?”
The conductor stopped, but never turned to face Jimbo. “Sir, we don’t stop at that station.” He continued down the aisle.
“It’s fine, Petey. We’ll get off at the next one, sit Benny down somewhere, and stay off. We’ll find a phone and get a taxi to the city.”
“Next stop, Gehenna.” The conductor entered from the adjoining car and walked toward Jimbo and Petey
“What kind of names are these, Jimbo? I’m flat out terrified now.”
“Me too, Petey, and we just blew through this station too. Hey, conductor? What line is this with these nutty town names? Why aren’t we stopping?”
“Skipped Sunday School, I see. Those names are in the Bible. Sheol and Gehenna are entry points.”
“Entry points to where?”
“To Hell, gentlemen. Where did you think this train went?”
“Hell, what the…I mean…I don’t…God, Jimbo!”
“Too late for prayers, Petey,” the conductor frowned. “Knock it off.” Here we go again, the conductor thought. He wondered why folks weren’t told where they were headed before they got on.
Petey couldn’t believe this was happening. “I don’t under…”
The conductor shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know why it’s always left to me to explain. It’s not like I’m nobody here. I am seventh in command after…”
“Hey! Focus!” Jimbo didn’t feel he had anything left to lose.
“Oh yeah. Your boss, Big Charlie, had you whacked. First, you kept the money from the bank job instead of turning it over to him. Second, you had his cousin’s brother-in-law tortured and killed.”
“Benny? But he double-crossed Big Charlie by agreeing to split it with us, and then tried to double-cross us by hiding it. It’s Benny’s fault. Why are we here?”
“Oh, like you’re a couple of saints? Jimbo, you knifed your old man when you were 12. Petey, you did in your old Ma’s boyfriend when you were 8. And that was only the start for both of you. Your seats have been reserved for a long time. Oh look, Benny’s back with us.”
Jimbo and Petey stared in horror as Benny sat up in his seat. He looked confused.
“It’s okay, Benny,” the conductor said. “The end of the line is coming up soon.”
Benny smiled, leaned back, and closed his eyes.
Jimbo had never felt such fear in his entire life. “But, wait, I…”
Petey chimed in with, “Yeah, maybe we can…”
“Now, you two sit back and relax like Benny. There’s not going to be any negotiating here; I mean, we’re not at the Flea Market. Hey, how about some music? Believe it or not, I’m an exceptional banjo player”, the conductor smiled widely. “Want to hear me play Highway to Hell? I just love ACDC. I can hardly wait to escort them to their seats. I’m sure I won’t have to explain a thing to any of them…”
Friday, May 10, 2019
For the prompt this week, we were given five settings. We were to choose one at random, and create our story. The one I got was “It’s mid-afternoon. There’s light snow falling. You’re in the grounds of a country estate. There’s a lonely feel to the place.” It was the part about the ‘lonely feel to the place’ that grabbed my attention, and my main character took shape. Sometimes, people can be lonely even with others around…
Outside, the world was quiet. Even though it was only 3:00 in the afternoon, the sky was full of clouds that refused to let any sunlight peek through. A light snow had begun falling at sunrise, and was forecast to continue for the next several days. The estate, with its main house and guest house alongside, were well maintained, and there was a large greenhouse behind the main house that, even in the middle of winter, was filled with colorful blooms. The main house had two levels, with eight bedrooms and four full baths on the top level, and a living room, den, dining hall, and kitchen on the ground level. The guest house, where the housekeeper resided, had a large bedroom, one full bath, a living room, and a kitchen. The guest house too had a garden around it; however, all its flowers were asleep under the ground until spring.
Inside, all was quiet too. The occupants of the main house, Henry and Anna Willis, were out of the country, spending a week at their European villa, accompanied by their housekeeper, Cassie Jenson. She had helped raise the couple’s six children to adulthood, and was a companion to the couple now that all their children had gone off to make their own way. The main house was empty, except for the young woman asleep on the couch in the living room. She awoke with a start.
“Where am I? What hap…”
When she looked around, she realized she was in her childhood home. Alyssa had grown up in this house, and lived in it until she married Roger, and they had moved to the city. Roger. The husband. The provider. The abuser. Alyssa had stayed with her husband hoping he would change. Their marriage had lasted almost five years, and as far as Alyssa was concerned, that was as long as it was going to last. She decided their most recent argument was their last.
She had gone to lunch with her friend Marie, and after dropping Marie off at home, Alyssa decided to go to the park and take a walk. It was beautiful after a snowfall, and she walked the path that led to the lake. She sat on a bench, and wondered how she would tell Roger she was leaving. He would be angry – no question about it, but hopefully, he would let her go without making too much of a scene. Knowing the man as she did though, and how possessive he was of her, she wondered if she should tell him at all. Perhaps it was better, she thought, to go home, pack a few things, wait for him to go out, then make her escape. Yes, that’s what she would do. Time to end this nightmare of a marriage. Time to move on.
When she got home, Roger was already there. He had closed on a deal and decided to take the rest of the week off. She was afraid, but decided it was now or never. She told him she wanted a divorce and that she was leaving. He grabbed the ashtray from the coffee table, and hit her head so hard, she blacked out. When she awoke on the couch in her parent’s house, she was confused, and had no memory beyond their confrontation. How did she get there? She looked outside at the driveway, but her car wasn’t there. Did she take a taxi? She smiled. I must have walked around like a zombie. She looked around and couldn’t find her handbag. How did I pay the driver? I must have left my purse in the cab. She heard the front door open and voices. Mom, Dad, and Cassie, she thought, thank goodness. Anna was visibly upset.
“This shouldn’t have happened, Henry. What are we going to do?”
“There’s nothing we can do now.” Tears were streaming down Henry’s face.
Alyssa ran to them.
“Mom, Dad, I’m glad you came home early. Cassie, how I’ve missed you. I know I look a mess, but you’ll be happy to know that…”
“Bastard kills her and disappears. The police will find him, won’t they?”
“Police? Who was killed?” Alyssa was alarmed.
“They’ll get him, and then I just need five minutes alone with him. There won’t be any need for a trial.”
“Henry, please don’t get all worked up. You know how you get if your blood pressure goes too high. I can’t lose you too. Henry, my baby.”
“Mom, what’s going on? Who’s…”
“I’m going to ask Gerald to make the arrangements, Anna. I cannot arrange a funeral for my daughter. I can’t.”
“Funeral? Your daughter? Dad, I’m your only daughter. I’m…”
“Our attorney? Yes, call him. The police won’t release Alyssa’s remains for…Henry, we had to identify…she was lying on a…”
“Ms. Anna, let’s go upstairs so you can lie down. Mr. Henry, you need to rest too. Today was more nightmare than anyone can take.”
“My rem…what…I don’t under…wait. Mom? Dad? Cass? Can any of you hear me? Do you even see me?”
Henry put his arms around Anna, and Cassie put her arms around them both and led them upstairs.
They don’t see or hear me, Alyssa thought, and I now know why. Roger hit me in the head with that ashtray, but there’s no mark or bump, my head doesn’t hurt, oh no…
“You lie down, and I’ll call Gerald. He’ll take care of everything.”
“Henry, tell him I want her here so she can rest out back under that tree she loved. Heaven knows, while she was married to that crazy man, she was never able to rest. If only she had come home after the first time he… I hope she can finally find some peace.”
I hope so too, Mom. At least I'm home. Maybe when he's caught...
Thursday, May 2, 2019
The prompt this week was as follows: Imagine you’re in a pub, or café, on a rainy day. You hear a conversation next to you. Is it intriguing? Dangerous? Do you join in? Do they leave too soon?
As a writer, I’m always watching and listening. I don’t deliberately spy on folks, mind you. It’s just a lot of harmless eavesdropping. But after hearing snippets of a conversation as people stroll by, story ideas are born and plot problems are resolved. At times though, it may be a better, and safer, idea to turn a deaf ear, so to speak, and get back to reading your paperback. Sometimes, what you don’t hear does you more good…
Mother Knows Best
Thank goodness this booth was available so I can have some privacy. It’s the perfect spot to sit and think when your whole life is in the process of exploding in your face. Second from the entrance, along the wall, and next to a window with a view of the lake. I’m sure the waiter thinks I’m crazy because after he put my menu down on one side, I immediately picked it up and moved to the other side. Why do they always put you facing the door? I don’t want anyone and everyone coming in walking by me giving me, and whatever lunch I ordered, the once-over. At least, not today. Definitely not today. Sitting with my back to the door and looking out at the lake with rain gently falling, makes me feel as if I’m alone on an island. And free. Free from worry. Free from pain. Free from betrayal.
Zach and I have been married for almost five years, and out of nowhere, he starts lying about working late, and he’s vague about where he’s been. I go to his job site to surprise him with dinner, and his car’s not in the lot. When I ask him where he was, he hems and haws and says he’s hungry and wants a sandwich. That’s not an answer. I’ve always believed he was my perfect soulmate, but now? I’m so confused.
“Yes, this will be great. We’ll both have coffee and a piece of cherry pie. That okay with you, Jeanine?”
“Perfect, Zach. I’ll have to get going if I’m going to meet my brother-in-law by 3. Stan’s had it ready since day before yesterday, but I just haven’t had time to drive into the city. This weather’s been so nasty, and traffic there is a headache anyway, but heavy rain just makes people drive crazier on the interstate. It’s let up quite a bit today, so I’m going to take a chance.”
Great. A couple just sat down in the first booth and they’re both loud. It’s not bad enough that our neighbor is remodeling his garage and I have to listen to banging and electric saws. No. Add to that my car’s in the shop, and I had to call a taxi so I could go out to have a quiet lunch while I try to decide whether to file for divorce. On top of all that, these people are named Zach and Jeanine? Zach’s my husband’s name, Jeanine’s my best friend’s name, and her brother-in-law’s name is Stan. What are the odds that…wait. For real. What are the odds? I know Mother used to always say ‘Gloria Marie, mind your own beeswax, and do not be a Nosy Rosy.’ Sorry, Mom. Special circumstances. I need to lean farther back so I don’t miss a word.
“So, he’s totally customized it, and it looks just like the one Gloria and I saw in the museum?”
“It’s a perfect match. I wasn’t sure it would be possible since the design was so old, but he managed it. It’s so fitting that when she gets it, it’s exactly like the one she admired in a civil war setting.”
I remember that exhibit. It showed soldiers in a battle, and they all were holding… oh my God! They’re going to shoot me with a replica of an antique weapon? How do they expect to get away with something like that? They probably figured out a way to silence it somehow. But that’s not possible. I know what they’re going to do. Put a pillow against my head and then fire the gun. Bastards. Both.
“I have to tell you, Jeanine, I really can’t wait any longer. She needs to get it sooner rather than later. I think she suspects something because she’s been acting strangely. You know how Gloria is. She sees a plot everywhere, and everyone is a conspirator. I want this to be the ultimate surprise. How about game night this Friday? As soon as we’re done with Monopoly and dessert, bang!”
“Friday it is, Zach. I’m certain she’ll never see it coming.”
“You’d better get going if you’re going to beat rush hour coming back.”
“I can’t wait to see the look on her face when you let her have it.”
I can’t wait to see the look on your face either, bitch, because I going to have a surprise for both of you too.
“That was a great game, and I loved that pie. Is it getting hot in here? I feel odd.”
“Me too. Babe, was that pie fresh? I feel kind of dizzy.”
“Me too. Flu? Gloria, you ok? My head hurts.”
“I feel fantastic. You too won’t be sick for long though. Remember that floor cleaner that was recalled? The one that was odorless, tasteless, and lethal following ingestion? Well, silly me. I didn’t throw mine away. I added it to the filling in your pie.”
“What? Why would…”
“I was in the next booth at the Pub. I know you two were planning to kill me tonight with a duplicate of a gun we saw at the museum.”
“That’s crazy. No. The wedding rings on the Southern belle. I had a duplicate set ma…I can’t see…”
Oh. That exhibit.
“Yes, my broth…jewel…my nails are bl…God, the pa…”
So, Zach hid my birthday card under the game board, and the wedding ring set was in Jeanine’s handbag. He wrote that when we got married, he couldn’t afford fancy rings, so he wanted to make it up to me. Apparently, Jeanine’s brother-in-law is a jeweler and he molded both rings himself. They do look exactly like the ones on the mannequin. You were right about eavesdropping, Mom. I won’t tell her because I’ll never hear the end of it. I wonder if her basement floor’s been cemented over yet. Where’s my cellphone…
Story in progress. The prompt involved the above statue (It's an intriguing statue, isn't it? Use it to get your brain working on a story. Who was it, what are the straps and bolts for, who owns it, who is about to walk by?), and I'm having trouble with this one. I won't give up though! Keep checking back.