Left in the Dark: A Short Story #AmWriting #Monday’sMuse #Drama

He talked with his hands, specifically his pointer-finger and his thumb. She couldn’t stand a man who did that, still, she smiled and nodded as if she heard what he was saying. 

In reality, she heard nothing, nothing except the last words he’d said to her nearly eighteen years ago. Sure, she was being petty, discrediting the man that he probably was because of the sins he’d made as a boy. And he’d been nothing but a boy to her girl back then.

She was two years ahead of him in class. He’d started his college career after taking ‘sabbatical’ from institutionalized learning in order to study the ways of the world, and he was worldly. That is what had drawn her to him even though for months she had brushed him off.

But like he clearly was in business, he wasn’t a man to take no for an answer when there was something he wanted, something he was told he could not achieve.

She hadn’t known then that she was nothing short of a prize, proof that his charm could win the heart of even the most prude of prudes. She had won herself the unintended label back then.

Sad thing was, she had allowed him to tarnish it … she allowed herself to tarnish it. Owning her mistake was one thing, listening to him tell her how it wasn’t that serious and that she just needed to lighten up was another thing.

The memory of how his pointer-finger and thumb pinched together those many years ago as he dictated to her all of her social failings and the reasons he would no longer be considered the ‘one’ in her ideal ‘two’ still bruised her insides. He’d gotten more than the prize of her company, he’d gotten a bit of her soul, and then he rejected it.

“Did you catch those numbers?” He said, pulling her out of her painful revery, the heat of his hand upon hers made her rear back as if he’d burned her. She batted her eyes, pressing the tears away, and forced a plastic smile, all while hating herself for still feeling the sting after that many years.

She was better than this! She had prayed about this. She had rejected this ache and yet facing it seemed to slice open the wound with the efficiency of a brand new blade. More than facing it proved the problem it was the way he spoke to her now with ignorance, as if he didn’t know her, didn’t remember how much she’d loved him.

That hurt.

She felt the muscles in her face bending into a hateful scowl but faked a cough instead. She had to comfort herself with some credit she owed him back then. He had left her, humiliated her, broken her heart into a thousand pieces, but he kept the extent of their coupling in the dark where they had once laid.

No one knew but them.

She pasted on another smile and swiped away the tears, blaming the water of her eyes and the pink of her face on the non-existent tickle that had assaulted her throat.

He stared at her curiously for several silent moments before splaying his fingers across the table top, his eyes turned down. When he returned his gaze to hers, the man of nearly forty was gone, but the young man she’d hidden and left in the dark was there, his eyes solomn.

“Marlow, I’m sorry.”

Her iron-clad ways, the stoic woman who cut deals and left others to rot with purposeful percision refused to show her face. She wouldn’t come and play pretend, not while his mask was off, pointer-finger and thumb no longer pinching together as if to cut off her sense of reason.

Marlow touched her brow with chilly fingertips and forced herself to nod. She had no words, not at that present moment.

She didn’t know what to say. Better, neither did he.


*These are my results from Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt July 3rd 2017. Twenty minute time limits cause for a break in the thread. I say that this is a reluctant end because these two truly need closure even after nearly two decades. Thanks for reading along.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!


Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt: June 20th 2016


OPENING LINE (S): “S/he had a very strange love affair with succulents. It actually said a lot about his/her and his/her view of relationships and commitments; the less work involved the better.”


  • Using the above line and the picture provided, (Or a line of your own choosing) create a story (or even a poem) within up to 20 minutes.
  • Once you have finished your super awesome masterpiece, add a link in the comments section of this post to your story for others to read, as well as a link on your page back to this original post for others to follow along and write with as well. In your “tags” section, add the tag“Monday’s Muse.”

If you do not have a blog of your own, leave me a comment and send me an email to icameforthesoup@gmail.com and I will post your lovely words here on my blog.


My results will be posted by Thursday.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Road to the Heart: A Quote

The quickest road to the heart is the ear.” ~Voltaire


As much as every human has a need for physical closeness and touch, so too, do we need the closeness of intimacy via being heard.

When we make the extra effort to not only ‘hear’ what those closest to us are saying, but actually ‘listen,’ we express one of the greatest forms of intimacy and care.

When we listen to others we are showing them that they are important, that we value their hearts. Take the time to listen to the ones you love.

You don’t always have to agree, but listening, truly listening, aids in keeping relational harmony, and we all want that.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

7 Ways to Cultivate A Happy Blogging Life: Wisdom from the Writer’s Journal

Happy Blog LifeEach year I go through moments of blogging introspection. I ask myself why I continue on this path of blogging and why I started in the first place. What has been the benefit?

Over the past few years, I’ve faced the challenge of number crunching, statistics, likes and all the other heavy downers that any newbie will face. You know, the things that make you want to power down your computer and never create another blog post again.

With these things in mind, I’ve decided to take my  4 Personal Rules for cultivating a happy blogging life and transform them into 7 Ways to Cultivate A Happy Blogging Life, ways that any Blogger can glean from.

Here’s some ways to do so:

1. Keep to the path. Blogging is about discovering your creative world. For many of us, starting a blog had more to do with stepping out of our comfort zones and growing than it did about how many likes we received.

Keeping growth as your first point of focus will help you stay contented as you continue to blog.

2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Expression is a form of playtime. Playtime is fun and adventurous. Yes, you can talk about weightier issues without dragging yourself down and others along with you.

Lighten up even if you tighten up. You can create sharp content without being a pretentious bore.

 3. Give what you have at the moment and spruce it up later. The first thing you must do is to create something to share. You can always go back and fix grammar or add jazzy images later.

Don’t allow ‘perfection,’ or lack thereof, to hold you back from sharing.

For encouragement on how to just create a post, check out this article called “The Almighty Quarter.”

Concerned about your poor grammar? Take a look at the free computer app called Grammarly. It goes above and beyond the built-in grammar checks on our word processors and can be used on and offline.

 4. This is not a 9 to 5, this is “Creative Therapy”. If your blog is not monetized then don’t allow it to stress you out as if your light bill depended on it.

Jobs can be hard, but don’t let blogging be. It’s supposed to be a joy. As long as you think of it as a treat to do then it will remain cathartic and not become a chore even if you create a weekly blogging schedule.

5. Blogging is about developing your craft first and the numbers second…should numbers ever become relevant.

No matter how many followers you have, always give them your very best. Show loyalty and consistency with your blog and if you plan on changing things up, give them a heads up.

6. Give your creative quality consistently.  Yeshua Jesus put it best when He said, that a person who is faithful over little will be master over much. Luke 16:10

People are drawn by authenticity. They stick around because of consistency. If you are looking for a larger audience to share with, gain it by growing a rapport built on trust with the audience you have now, no matter how small or large.

You do that by…being consistent with your creative quality. As Joann Rosario put it, “Sing your song for two as you would for 1000.”

And last, but not least, but definitely my favorite way of cultivating a happy blogging life:

7.  Nurture your writing/blogging community: You’re not going to be BSWF (Best Supportive Writing Friends)  with every blogger, but when you do start seeing saplings of friendship-promise growing, be sure to nurture them.

All relationships are like houseplants, one waters, and the other brings the sunshine. Both you and your BSWF’s need to be consistent with each other.

Writing communities stretch beyond the blogsphere. These are the folks you share your new storyline with. The ones who honestly tell you about what your writing needs in order to be it’s very best. They are also the people who support you when a troll comes calling.

When you nurture your writing/blogging relationships you know that there will be someone just as passionate about your creative growth as you are waiting to give you a thumbs up, and let’s face it, we all need that.

Happy blogging!

Writer's Table

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

It Was A Start: Flash Fiction Results for Monday’s Muse May 9th 2016


It Was a Start

He glanced at his watch and choked on a nervous knot. He was already running late and yet he’d still not written a thing. They were just simple words, should have been and yet his mind remained as blank as the page before him.

How in the world did a man who had been forced into the ‘friend-zone’ by his own request, tell the woman he’d kept at arms length that he was madly in love with her?

Acknowledging that truth, chewing on it in that moment with the same bite that he put to his pencil made his palms sweat.

He loved her. He loved her beyond fleeting feelings and lies that potential partners often told each other just to make a good ‘sale.’ No. he genuinely loved her. The thought of not being with her, not being able to hold her hand or taste her rosy lips made his heart ache.

He was oh so curious to find out what Grape jelly Pizzaz lip balm tasted like.

He’d even found himself imagining a starter home in the burbs with a dog called Rocket and a little girl that had her freckles. He felt like a sap, but a determined sap.

What was  a relationship if it wasn’t founded on friendship?

Odd, how he’d spent so much time praying the Lord would send him the ‘one,’ when all the while she was right there, across the hall in apartment 8. They’d known each other for almost a decade, met in youth group.

Well, she was the youth at sixteen, he was the too cool for his own good twenty-year-old youth leader.

It wasn’t until their paths crossed four years ago that they’d started being friends, real friends. Then she dropped the news about her teenage crush, one that had followed her to that moment.

He gently shut her down, still seeing her as the girl who sat in the back of the room with the oversized hoodie and black frame glasses, and a messy bun on top of her head.

She’d agreed to be friends, just friends when he pestered her into it. She’d begun to avoid him, but something in him wouldn’t let that stand. He needed to be her friend. He realized he was being selfish.

But he truly enjoyed her company. He simply liked her, but now he more than liked her. He wanted to give her all the things she desired in life, laughter and joy, happily ever after.

He wasn’t even a romantic that way, but somehow between laundry nights, cartoons on lazy Saturday mornings and conversations about each other’s work days, he’d grown deep roots for her.

Glancing at his watch again, he blew out a breath and put the pencil to the paper praying that his words would be enough. He wrote her name in all caps, followed by a comma and simply began with ‘I love you’.

It was a start.


* I hope you enjoyed my results for Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt, May 9th, 2016. To read the original prompt with rules, and even give it a try yourself, you can do so by following this LINK.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Caleb: Opening To A Potential Novel

Water poured from her eyes like the gentle rains from the heavens above. She stared at him, her face frozen in a mask of unbelief, her eyes wanting to blink away his false image, but ceasing to close least the vision of him be proved a lie.

He took a step forward, dropping his sack down at his feet, gingerly touching her fingertips that had all but pressed their way into the solid framing of the door, she gripped it so tightly.

The thick lashes of her eyes spiked with the fluttering dip of her lids, soaking up some of the moisture from her tears. “Caleb?” She whispered his name and begin to tremble.

Caleb’s own eyes stung with the threat to of his own want for crying. He had never thought to see this day, only held on to the hope of home, and her, by the tiniest cord that daily threatened to break and blow away like old cobwebs caught in the wind.

“Men don’t cry! Only sissy do!” His father’s harsh words ripped through his thoughts like a searing arrow, almost completely licking up the liquid of joy that so desired to spring forth.

The muscle in Caleb’s eye twitched, the smile that had sprouted upon his lips almost shocked into a frown. If his father were alive he would have cursed him dead for the hardness he had planted in Caleb’s heart.

Struggling with the taste of bitterness that slowly eased upon his tongue, not wanting her to see it upon him, Caleb pulled her hand from the door and drew her into an embrace. His arms wrapped around her with such fierceness that he felt her stiffen. Loosening his hold he cupped her head, weaving the fingers that so longed to feel the touch of her, through her hair. Kissing her temple he whispered. “It’s me, Emaleen. I’ve come home,”

The trembling that he had fought himself overpowered him and the tears that his father’s words had tried to burn away with its hateful fire, slipped from his pressed eyes and into the waves of Emaleen’s hair. He felt her fingers grip and claw the stiff fabric of his shirt, each thread so saturated with sweat that the garment could have stood up all on its own.

Caleb’s heart swelled, filling with the warmth and touch of her, and the sweet scent of the honeysuckle fragrance that danced within her pores. He kissed her head again.

Emaleen stiffened even more, this time pulling away from him just enough to gaze into his eyes, her fingers still holding a fistful of his shirt. Caleb’s brow drew together as his eyes probed hers.

Something was wrong. The shock in her he had anticipated, joy he had longed for, but fear? Fear he had not thought to see staring back at him.

“Whose at the door, sweetheart?” A familiar voice called from the back of the house, its tenor making the hairs on Caleb’s back bristle. His eyes looked forward and then back down upon Emaleen’s face. More fear and tears pooled within her eyes and slid down their corners. Her full lip, a lip he had matched several time with his own, drew inward and hid itself between white teeth that all but chattered.

Knowing liked to have scooped Caleb’s insides out and dumped them right at his feet. Still holding Emaleen’s gaze, he pried her hands from around him, and took hold of her hands, not in promise but to confirm what the familiar voice beyond them had announced without even having said.

With the pads of his calloused thumbs, Caleb found the wedding rings, rings he had not placed on the delicate hands he now held. And why had he not? Because “Real men don’t leave widows, boy, and you are sure as shootin’ gonna find yourself dead. Ain’t now coming home for you. Leave that Hicks girl be.” His father’s words again.

Pain like knives of glass cut through his mind and made Caleb stumble backward. Emaleen said his name and reached for him but he managed to stay out of her reach. Her beautiful eyes, pleaded with him, pleaded with apology, one he couldn’t even fathom receiving.

Why had he listened to his father?

Yule finally made himself visible, him and the child he carried in his arms. “Whose at the door?” He asked again, only to stumble in his stride knocked back by the same invisible force that had knocked into Caleb.

Caleb didn’t know how he found his bag or how he managed to make his legs run, but he ran, ran hard, back into the darkness he had slipped out of and towards the graveyard where he meant to curse his father and himself for ever listening to him.


Poor Caleb. Don’t worry though. I have every intention of figuring out where he has been, how long he has been gone…obviously long enough for the woman he loves to have gotten married and had a child, and how to bring his darkness to a place of light. I will admit that even though I have been moved to write romance, science fictional aspects are constantly asking for a play date with these tales. It wants part of the action. My thought, is to create a world not unlike earth, where this story (stories) take place. 

What do you think? Do you think that would take away from the heart of the tales? I would sure like to know your thoughts if you are willing to give them. 


In Silence: A Short Story and Song

“Well, I am going to go then,” I thumb towards the front door from the back deck and look down at him, waiting for him to respond. We have been sitting out here for the last couple of hours. The perfect buffet line for every mosquito in the neighborhood.

He stares forward still unmoving before finally tilting his head around to look at me. He can’t see my face, which is a good thing. The sun behind my head has created the perfect backdrop, veiling my face in darkness.

Like I said, it is a good thing. I have never been good at poker, and I can’t mask my expressions so well anymore. When this began I was good at it, but its been almost a year now. I began to wear down six months ago.

His eyes glance down at my toes and he grins. I must be balling them and releasing them again, a telltale sign that I am irritated. He is very astute that way. He chances another peek at my face, still veiled in black, now with a scowl that he still can’t see and he says, “So soon? Its only been,”

“Two hours.” I say, the words gliding over my sighing like a surf board against a gentle wave. Two hours doesn’t seem like much to Gavin. He isn’t the one who has to fight through traffic to get back to the other side of town. On a good day, it takes me an hour.

“Two hours,” He repeats my words and then readjusts himself where he is seated. The blanket he keeps over his atrophied legs slides down to the ground at the feet of his walker, and he struggles to reach it. I intervene.

“I’ll do it, Gavin.”  I squeeze in between his chair and mine, reaching for the blanket. He pulls it up just as my fingers connect with it.

“No worries, love. I can do it. I don’t need you to do everything for me.”

His tone isn’t bitter. It just…is. And it freezes me still because that was what I used to come here for, to help him, to do for him what he could no longer do. The accident broke more than just his legs and hips, it broke his soul. It broke me too.

I have been his only constant help besides the nurse who checks on him a few times a week, and the physical therapist who draws more swear words from his lips than a leech does blood.

Even though he has gotten better, rehabilitation has been slow moving, even for a man in his prime, so has our conversations. I miss him, even though I sit next to him almost daily for hours in silence, worrying about my cancerous gas bill for my car. I don’t say anything to Gavin about it. I don’t say much of anything anymore.

He doesn’t respond as much as he did before this. Most of the words I have heard from him over the last few months have been whenever his mother or other family members call from across the pond, and by that I mean England.

I feel like an intruder and less of a friend. I don’t know why I come around anymore. I don’t know how to read him anymore. I finally get up my nerve and ask the question that has been beating within my heart like a caged bird. “What is it that you do need from me, Gavin?”

Truly I am at a loss, but I don’t tell him that. His astuteness allows him to discern that all on his own.

For nearly a complete minute he stares into my eyes, doesn’t glare, just stares as if he has waken up for the first time and has only just in that moment recognized who I am. A smile spreads across his stubbly jaw. He takes my hand and coaxes me into standing only to guide me back to the front of my chair.

“Gavin,” I say his name and begin to resist. It’s to little avail. His legs are weak, not his arms.

“I need you to sit, that’s all.” The smile has gone but there is a “please” dancing in his cinnamon eyes.

Sit, in silence, silence that has been deafening and confusing. Silence that has made me feel awkward, and unwelcome, silence that has made me…I pull the length of my skirt around my legs and lean back into the chair next to him, revelation biting me harder than any of the mosquitoes that have made their meal of me.

Me. This isn’t about me. This is about my friend and his need. This is about his healing and his acceptance of what has happened to him. I suddenly want to cry for having been so selfish, and foolish for missing it.

What did he need? What did he want during his time of loss and struggle to gain himself again? For me to sit. In silence. That is all.

“You want me to sit? That is all,” I ask, tasting the salty savor that comes within my mouth whenever there is a threat of tears.

“No,” He shakes his head, another smile teasing the corners of his lips. “I want you to sit, and have a biscuit.”

I scowl as he chuckles and snatch the cookie from the plate. He knows that word drives me bananas.

“Thank you, friend.” He says, his jaw bulging with the morsel he has shoved in his mouth. Then he grabs my hand, gives it a gentle squeeze, and even though he loosens his hold, he doesn’t let go as we stare forward again, together, in silence.


Watching the ones we care about be wounded and then heal, can be one of the most difficult valleys to walk through. Our purest desire out of our love for them is to help them, to show we care. Often our care seems to be met with what seems like indifference and silence. It is an easy thing to take these responses personally, but what we often fail to see, even though we are hurting along side that person is that the pain is first their pain that they have shared with us. In other words, we are to abide by their rules in their moment of vulnerability.

This does not mean we enable them to do themselves further harm, but it does mean if all they need is silence and our company, then out of love that is what we should give them. The Bible says we are to share one another’s burdens, we are to cry when our brothers and sisters cry, grieve when they grieve, rejoice when they rejoice…be silent when they are silent. 

After reading someone’s testimony about grief, Christa Wells wrote this wonderful song that speaks volumes as to how we, the friends, the lovers, the sisters and brothers, are to help the ones we love when they are broken. It is called Come Close Now.Take a listen. If you go to the Youtube page, you can read the lyrics. I pray it will help you better help those you love whenever they need you to just sit with them in silence.


Words…use them wisely

Life is more than words, but words do make up our lives.

Have you ever considered how the simplest of words can change a person’s attitude either for the good or bad? Even the words spoken without verbalization have such great power.

Consider a person who feels utterly alone, ignored and unseen. Let a stranger smile at them, genuinely smile at them, and that non-verbal interaction, those ‘words’ smelled out without sound, can push away the dark clouds in the recipient’s day.  13852495177jh1x

God created the whole of creation with just His Words (Genesis 1). He spoke and it become. Yeshua (Jesus Christ) is the Word made flesh (John 1).

He, too spoke and things happened. He spoke to the fig tree and it died (Mark 11:12-25.) He spoke to Lazarus and he was resurrected from the dead, (John 11: 38-44.)

Being a person of faith I am compelled not to take language and words lightly even though I often stumble, firing verbal bullets into the dark, careless of the casualties.

How do you use your words; verbal and non-verbal? What message are you sending to others? How are you shaping your world and the world of others with what you say or with what you fail to say?

Sure, this is definitely a soul-thing that I am talking about, but it also has to do with our Creative Expressions. What message are you intending to get across to your readers, your watchers and your listeners?

Within every story there is an undertone, a hidden message that stays with the audience even though it may never have been outwardly mentioned. The message of courage is a regular theme found in many novels.

No other actual says “this story is about courage” while the story is being read, but the message is clear, the mental expression is read loud in clear if the author has done their job.

I raise these questions not just as an artist, a writer, a reader, a listener, and a watcher, but I raise them because of some of the mountains that I am facing as a human being just trying to relate to those around me.

We have such great power to say things with our mouths, but our eyes and body language scream words much louder, which ultimately leave the greatest impression. Its like telling someone you love them while rolling your eyes and sneering at them. I guarantee you the sneer had more of an impression than the verbal exchange.

Consider your words. Consider what you are saying in your music, your visual art, your writing. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Consider the power that you hold as the creator of something wonderful and use your power wisely.


I came for the soup.dpp widgets