Monday’s Muse Writing Prompt: April 23rd 2018

OPENING LINE (S): “Heat spread across my cheeks as Mama turned and gave me that look, the one that said, Don’t make me turn this car around, missy/mister.’ I choked on the angry retort that tickled my tongue and drew my clenched fist beneath my thighs in an attempt not to hit my sister Harriet across the back of her head. Harriet snickered. 


  • 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 “MondayMuse.”
  • To get the Above Image follow this LINK

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


*Originally posted on November 30th, 2015

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!



There Was Room: A Short Story

The door whispered on its hinges as her fingers gently pushed it open, her stomach leaping as the light from the window washed over the scene inside the room. 

Tiptoeing as not to disturb the scene, Nyla eased forward. She pressed her eyes closed pushing away the tears that had misted over her vision. Cale, her young landlord, lay across her bed, his eyes racing back and forward behind closed lids, his lips framed with touches of a sandy blond beard, just slightly open.

He was sound asleep with Nyla’s baby boy snuggled against his chest, nestled within Cale’s large hands.

Nyla hadn’t been gone away that long, maybe an hour or two. She had to make the rush to the market before the sun dipped below the horizon. They were fresh out of flour and salt, and Nyla needed that in order to get supper ready.

That was part of her living agreement, she could stay on at Cale’s farm, as long as she kept the house clean, took care of the lighter chores in the morning, and kept hot meals on the table for when he came in from the fields.

It was a more than a generous arrangement for Nyla and baby Asher. No one else was willing to give a home to a woman and her fatherless child in exchange for a few small chores and meals. It was nothing short of a blessing for them even though she could tell it was very hard on Cale.

She had only been in the small town for a few short hours when the local gossip let it slip that Cale was a young widower who had lost his wife and son during childbirth in the winter of the previous year. The way that Cale had looked at her and Asher with such pained eyes made it clear he was making a big sacrifice by not only opening up his home to a stranger but opening up old wounds that had hardly had a chance to heal.

Asher was only three weeks old when they came to live on with Cale. Nyla’s Ma and Pa had put them both out without even looking back, told Nyla she and shamed the family for the last time and had done a fine job of it by her 20th year.

They let her stay at home until she was fit enough to move out, and become nothing more than a bad memory for them to think about every now and again. All of it had made Nyla so miserably sad that she couldn’t help but name her babe Asher; happy and blessed. She was determined that no matter what, she and her boy were going to be happy and blessed.

Looking at him now, chubby six-month-old cheeks flushed with the warmth of sleep, and mouth parted open like Cale’s, made Nyla happy in a way she wasn’t quite sure she had the right to be.

Cale was not hers after all. He had made it clear his heart was not interested in opening, and for the first few months Nyla could do nothing short of agree. Yes, she had determined to be happy with Asher, but that happiness did not involve a man.

Now, she just didn’t know what to think.

That wasn’t completely true. She was thinking, and at that moment the one thing that occupied her mind was the curiosity of how soft Cale’s lips might be, and how they would taste should she still a kiss from them.

Throwing precaution to the wind, reasoning that he would never know even though she was certain she would blush beet red every time she looked at him afterward, Nyla leaned forward and gently kissed his lips.

She would have ended the kiss just as quickly as she had started it had Cale’s hand not gently cupped the back of her head and deepened it sweetly. He calmly let her go, sliding his hand down the inner part of her arm, his emerald green eyes gazing curiously and contentedly up at her.

Nyla touched her lips with her finger’s as Cale laced his fingers with those of her other hand. His smile taking hold of her like nothing else had before. His reception had startled her more than her boldness but the welcome assurance of his warmth only served to drive home a point she hadn’t even realized she was aiming for. There was room in her and Asher’s world, room for another to join them in their joy.


Love is obviously back in the air here. But it took five minutes past the 20-minute mark to make its statement. As always, I had a great time writing this. It gave me warm fuzzies! I did edit and add to the last chapter, as the previous ending was kind of abrupt. These are my results for MONDAY’S MUSE WRITING PROMPT APRIL 16, 2018.

*Originally posted July 2nd, 2015.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!


Chapter 3: Ascension Graveyard by Candice Coates

*Click HERE for Chapter 2, HERE for Table of Contents

Ascension Graveyard..jpg 2

Chapter 3

The Encounter Blog interview with Etta Castle Teague

HL: You say you were groomed for this, that you were cultivated with this singular motivation in mind. That must have been difficult as a child, let alone time-consuming. What about now?

ECT: Honestly, sometimes I feel like I am just sitting and waiting. Not going anywhere. Never moving. Just waiting. There is a fixed moment in time. I have been searching for it, building up to it. But right now I am waiting and They are watching. They should’ve made better use of Their time…They’ll learn.

*          *          *

Etta got home a little after eleven in the evening. She was exhausted, but at the same time so full of adrenaline that she wasn’t sure she would be able to rest. Once inside, she leaned against the door of her apartment and let out a contented sigh. Today had been a very prosperous day.

“This is going to tick them off in a mighty way, that is if it works.” Baldwin’s voice was even. He never sounded tired. Etta wondered if he ever grew tired. Maybe he was resting during his recent disappearing acts. They’d become more regular. She hadn’t bothered to ask, however.

“Oh, it will work. It has worked. The T.O.W.E.S shouldn’t have been so arrogant.” She said spreading out her arms. “I can already sense the difference. I can feel it. Can’t you feel it? I know you hear it.” She sighed. “Things would be so much easier if I could hear like you do.”

She was speaking about the frequency in the atmosphere, the low inaudible vibrations that came from the T.O.W.E.S’ Net. The Net blanketed the whole of the Earth, and held anchors in millions, maybe even billions of locations.

Wherever there was an ascension Yard, there was an anchor, and stemming from the anchors were thousands of intersecting veins that released pulses of energy and frequencies of their own that affected the atmosphere, and screwed with the neurological systems of every human being that walked across them. A sedative created by vibrations.

They were event boundaries, designed to tamper with the human psyche, to make them obedient, forgetful chattel. It was the perfect form of hypnosis.

Unlike any other human, Etta could feel these vibrations, and yet she was immune to the power of their sway. The first locking dose of the sway was given during childhood, during a person’s first witnessing of an ascension upon a Yard. Etta had witnessed but she’d not been on the Yard. Thusly she was never locked in.

The Very Same Ones: Flash Fiction


The Very Same Ones: Flash Fiction

My mother, grandmother, aunts, and even my great aunts and great grandmother, all used to say, ‘Never by a man a pair of shoes. They will be the very same ones they walk away from you in.’

I always thought that was rubbish, just an over spun wive’s tale or superstition that had been wickedly past down from generation to generation. It always made me wonder why we tend to pass down warnings of fear and negativity instead of positive reinforcement? I never had the courage to ask any of the matriarchs in my family about this behavior and never intend to.  I’m not much of a boat-rocker, but I am a listener…maybe even a spiteful listener.

So when I became an adult and entertained my first real life relationship with an adonis of the opposite sex I made certain during our short six month relationship to never by him a gift at all especially not shoes, that was until he became a bit clinging and time consuming with the whisper of marriage on his lips. I was only 19. He was 19. Marriage was something I wanted but just not to this guy.

Love is fickle when you are a teen toeing the line of your twenties. So what did I do? I bought him a pair of shoes. Suffice it to say, not a week later I caught him kissing a girl from English 101. I was shocked, not that he’d cheated with this particular girl, but by the fact he had done it…wearing the shoes I’d bought him.

I’ve had at least eight relationships since then, all of them ended on my terms, all of them walking away in my shoes, the very same ones I purchased them. Several gents were gifted the very expensive running shoes. I couldn’t wish them away fast enough.

I think however that like a cat has nine lives, I have run out of all of mine. Warren has been steady on with me for nearly two years and he isn’t whispering marriage he is shouting it so loudly that I think my ears are bleeding.

I’ve given Warren three pairs of shoes and in return I have gotten a parakeet, a orange tree and a three carrot diamond ring. I believe I am stuck…seriously. But that’s okay because I really like Warren. I love him. I think I’m afraid he is too good to be true.

I gave him a pair of running shoes for his birthday three weeks ago just to try my luck one last time. He just texted that he is thinking we should get a dog when we get married. He’s at the pet store, looking at puppies now.

What shoes does he have on? The very same one’s I bought him. He said he’d run over to my place when he’s finished.


NOTE: This story is INDEED FICTION. No men or shoes were hurt during its creation. :D

Bittersweet: Short Story #Blogbattle Week 45 Keyword “Dive”

Blogbattle Tuesday folks! This week's Keyword: DIVE. My chosen Genre: DRAMA. To read more stories by other Blog Battlers or even to participate yourself, do so by clicking HERE.



The place was a real Dive. It smelled of vinegar and stale potatoes with a side of old, soggy cardboard box. Nevertheless it managed to keep a full house.

Claudette didn’t understand it. She didn’t understand any of it. Why he’d chosen such a lousy place to meet or why he’d contacted her of all people in the first place. To bide her time, she scrolled the sticky laminated menu only to settle on a lack luster cup of coffee before it was all said and done. Black coffee was always too deep and dark to really notice anything floating in it. It also gave the not so certain promise she wouldn’t walk away with a case of food poisoning.

She used the blunt end of her writing pen to stir in several packets of sugar, not daring to ask the waitress to return for a spoon. Perish the thought she could actually have a spoon. Sucking the bittersweet liquid from the pen, her eyes looked up and caught his.

Her belly gave a wild flop and her throat constricted. Chocking on saliva the pen dropped from her lips and landed on the sticky tile floor where it was to remain for the rest of its days.

He, Jared, managed to push through the crowd and get to her in time to awkwardly pat her on the back, the uncertain glint in his eye let it be known that he wasn’t certain that he should touch her.

“Thank you,” Claudette managed to squeak out, shifting in her chair. Had she been on the West end of town, she would have made quite a scene. Here, no one seemed to notice…or care.

Jared gave a curt nod before running his hands through his shaggy brown hair. His sliver-gray eyes stared into hers for just a moment before falling away.


Claudette couldn’t help but notice that that look of his hadn’t changed after so many years. Truth was he hadn’t seemed to change in the all the years that she hadn’t seen him. Rumors of his hard living were obviously just that. He looked only a few years older than her 23.

They sat in silence for a while. The waiter had not returned even though the crowd seemed to ebb a bit, leaving some much needed breathing room.

“You been doing alright?” Jared finally spoke his head shooting up from its downward position. Staring at the top of his head Claudette felt like she was looking at a chastised child. He had done many things wrong, too many for her to recount or even want to remember. But it was in the past, life had moved forward even though he was still stuck in yesteryear. Maybe guilt had locked him there, physically and mentally. Shame was evident that he hadn’t moved emotionally either.

“I’m doing really well. I graduated last spring. I majored in photography.”

Jared’s eyes widened, a hint of a smile played at the corners of his mouth. “Like me?”

“You made an impression.” She allowed herself to smile even though her insides burned and her heart ached at thinking of the ‘good times’ they had shared. Jared hadn’t given many of those. Addiction was the culprit or maybe it was the fact she just wasn’t enough to make him sober up.

As if he’d read her thoughts he extended his hand toward her, his palm up with a plea. “It wasn’t you, Claudette. I wasn’t good enough, but,” His square jaw ticked, a brooding look upon his face. He was still quite handsome with his rustic lumberjack style. Claudette wondered if he were single. If the woman in his life knew where he was, what she’d say if she saw them together?

Claudette swallowed down a panicked knot. If her mother knew where she was, that she was with Jared, she’d have her grandparents disinherit her. Jared’s presence back then had put everyone through hell. She shook away the fear and placed her hand in his. She still loved him. That would never change. She needed him to know that. The way his other hand enclosed around hers and his eyes turned to water, she was pretty certain he knew.

They lingered for an hour or so catching up, sharing plans. The sun was going down and the streets beginning to fill. “You should probably head back home.” Jared said, standing. Claudette followed suit.

He stared at her as if studying her for the last time, his knuckles caressing her cheek like he used to do. Then he pulled her into a tight hug and kissed her crown. “I love you,” His voice trembled. “You are the best thing to ever happen to me.”

“I love you too.”

Jared finally, but reluctantly pulled away, the cedar scent of his cologne embedded in her clothes and hair. Not even the odors from the diner would melt it away. Her mother would know with whom she’d been, but Claudette didn’t care. She believed he’d changed.

“Maybe we can do lunch sometime soon, how’s that?”

Jared quickly turned from somber to beaming. “I’d like that a lot.”

“Then its a date then. I’ll be in touch.” She said as his smile slipped.

“You know what? I don’t want you to get into any trouble seeing me. Your mom,”

Claudette patted his arm. “Don’t worry about that. She’s still angry, but more than that she still loves you. Fifteen years and she still hasn’t filed, Dad. I’ll call you.” She said, kissing him on the cheek and heading towards home.



Just Think Coffee: Flash Fiction Results for Monday’s Muse December 14th 2015

Greetings loves! Tis Thursday and here are my results for Monday's Muse December 14th 2015. To read the original prompt and even give it a try yourself, you can do so by clicking HERE.


Just THink Coffee

He could see her through the cafe window even from across the street. He took a quick glance at his watch and realized he was just barely on time, but he was going to be late if he stood there any longer. The only problem was he  just couldn’t seem to move his legs.

He swallowed the dryness that assaulted his throat with the fierceness of sand in the dessert; grating and scratching. Just breathe, he told himself. Glancing up at the fiery lights of the little coffee shop, he decided to do as the sign instructed him, think coffee. That was probably what she was thinking, coffee, not the two years they’d spent together in a downward drift of love falling.

His heart was hers, but he wanted to make it official, give her his soul until death they would part.

The ring box pressed into his thigh, crammed into his pant pocket as he stepped into the street and sprinted to the door of the coffee shop.

Her smile greeted him and her coffee brown eyes smoldered and sparkled once she caught sight of him as soon as he entered the cafe.

Yeah, he was just going to think coffee.


For A Penny And A Pear: Flash Fiction Results For Monday’s Muse Dec 7th 2015

Hello my friends! Thursday has come upon us and with it my results for Monday's Muse! To check out the original Writing Prompt and Rules, please click HERE.


For A Penny And A Pear


She applied a bit less pressure with her arm, quickened her pace, and thus the constant ‘clickity-clack’ ‘clickity-clack’ of her stick against the wood fence. But no matter how much she focused on the sound, no matter how loud she managed to make it, she could not seem to drown out the echoing of what she had just heard playing in her mind. 

Mother was getting married again.

Tears stung Denny’s eyes. Mother had promised it was just going to be the two of them from now on. She made that promise when Denny was five, standing out in the rain clad in black cloth as stark as a starless night. Daddy had died from an accident at work. Now that he was gone there were no stars to be seen for he alone had hung them.

Mother never gave Denny the details, but she had given her the promise that she would never replace her Daddy.

And now she was going back on that promise thinking that a little sit down conversation with Mr. Paul and her would make it alright.

It wouldn’t. Not at all, especially since it was Denny’s fault that Mr. Paul had even made Mother’s acquaintance. Denny wasn’t ever much on thieving or misbehaving but freckled-face Crawford from her fifth grade class had dared her, no double dog dared her that she wasn’t fast enough to run into Mill House Mercantile, snatch an item from the shelf without being seen and run back out in less than 30 seconds.

Well Denny had proven him wrong, mostly wrong about her swiftness and time. It was the not being seen part that did her in. Even Crawford done for when Mr. Paul showed up and Denny barreled right into his chest in the midst of her escape.

Denny just knew Crawford was going to leave her high and dry when Mr. Hartcress came out, belly jiggling like an old St. Nick’s as he scolded her and threatened to tan her hide for stealing. Mr. Paul quickly diffused the situation, giving Mr. Hartcress a penny for the pear Denny had stolen right after he managed to squeeze an apology out of her…and a confession about her ‘friend’ called Crawford who had bet her that she couldn’t out run him.

Well, Denny was no tattler so under normal circumstances she would not have told Mr. Paul, Crawford’s widowed father, that his son had dared her. She hadn’t even known that Crawford was Crawford Paul.

Mr. Paul insisted upon taking Denny home to apologize to her mother about the actions of his son and thus was the end of Denny’s world; a new promise made for an old promise ripe to be broken.

Now a half a year later, Denny Littlefoot was about to become Denny Paul. She was going to have herself another Daddy, whether she liked it or not. Mother was not getting a man who’d hung the stars, but he had saved Denny’s hide for a penny and a pear.


Lead Astray: A Horse Called Shenanigans Part 3 #Blog Battle Week 37

Hello all! Blog Battles are on and here is my entry. We continue with the GENRE: WESTERN with the KEYWORD: ARRIVAL. Here is Part 3 of A Horse Called Shenanigans. If you missed previous installments, click Part 1 or Part 2. To read other Blogbattle entries, click HERE.


Lead Astray: Part 3 of A Horse Called Shenanigans


If that just didn’t beat ALL! Eldy “Elderberry” Milcratt, lay on her side, eyes barely cracked open, and her hands strung up so tight she thought they would pop off! The horror! The words shouted in her mind as she recalled watching Side Nose Willy, slip into her skirts and slap on her bonnet all before all before putting on a show for Deputy Rufus Jeffery. Side Nose had awaited her arrival and caught her clear off guard!

To make matters worse, Eldy had slipped right out of consciousness right when the rouse began its first act and Side Nose Willy was escorted out of the jailhouse and into the land of freedom with every tin badge running around like idiots looking for someone they had just turned loose! Well everyone but Deputy Rufus.

If it wasn’t for the taste of her own silk stocking gagging her, Eldy would have called Side Nose every ungodly name she could muster, names as unsavory as the silks on her tongue! Side Nose Willy, or Willamenna as Eldy had discovered, had caught her unawares, clunked her over the head with the dinner mug, stripped her down to her knickers and shoved her under the cot!

This was not a very good week at all, especially since every dime Eldy had saved for her own escape had ridden out of town with that new bandit, Smokey Patches.

Frustrated that she had to work another month at The Milk House, and angrier than a cornered possum that she had been had, Eldy shimmied herself out from beneath the cot, slid her bare feet towards the cell bars and kicked til she knew she’d have bruises. She didn’t know who was going to be more embarrassed; herself for being found bound and gagged in her knickers, or the Deputy for seeing her so and having walked Side Nose Willy out without so much as a question.

It stood to reason. Most people didn’t much see Eldy anyhow, she was all but invisible, and Side Nose Willy had come in as a man and walked out as a woman, and not just a man in women’s garments but a real, true, bona fide filly with all the right parts and two melons twice the size of Eldy’s!

Goodness, the way that large nosed woman had strapped her chest dangles down had to have hurt. And the magnet she used to pin her nose to the side…goodness if beauty was pain, Eldy could only imagine how it ached to make one look as lopsided and busted as Side Nose Willy had made herself look.

Oh but when Eldy got herself out of that cell she was sho’nough going to make sure Side Nose’s nose actually bent to the side, no magnets required! But that was going to look genteel compared to what that Smokey Patches had coming. He could count on that sure as his raggedy horse was called THUNDER!

Pa had always said Eldy was a fine hunter. It was time she put her sharp shooter to use just as soon as she got her skirts back on.

~   ~   ~

Dalton could have called out a prayer once the sight of the Bath House came into view. He was beyond mouth thirsty, every pore in his body was screaming for water and if he didn’t bathe soon he was certain Shenanigans would never let him ride her again.

His blistered dogs were howling from the miles of walking the rough terrain and his face had to be all welted from the amount of times Shenanigans had tail-whipped him for the flies that had tried to take up residence around his pits.

He hadn’t bathed in over a week and had just made it to that old town when the robbery broke out. Now more than anything he regretted going to the mercantile instead of straight to the Baths.

Shenanigans whinnied and whipped at him again, snorting her nose and stomping her feet. Boy was she a pill sometimes. Dalton moved himself downwind and rolled his eyes as Shenanigans raised her head with a horses harrumph and led him into town.

Dalton didn’t care one lick how sad he looked being led into town by his old mare with her nose so high in the air if it rained she’d drown. All he cared about was getting to a bath and figuring out how to get himself out of the mess Shenanigans had led him into.

Taking that leading thought to mind, he pulled as far away from the mare as he could without turning loose her reins and walked ahead of her into town.

Body odor or not, he couldn’t chance her leading him into anymore trouble.


I hope you enjoyed this installment of A Horse Called Shenanigans. 




The Long Road: Flash Fiction Results For Monday’s Muse November 16th 2015

Happy Thursday, ya'll! Here are my results for Monday's Muse writing prompt November 16th. To take a look at the original Prompt and Rules, you can do so by clicking HERE.


The Long Road


“The dour expression that had molded her face, courtesy of aching feet from too much walking in high heeled shoes, suddenly washed away as she came around the bend. It was far better than she had imagined. 

The winter cottage now washed in the glow and fresh dew of summer peeked back at her from behind climbing vines and wild berries. Her pace suddenly quickened, all thoughts of calloused toes and aches, gone as a sudden excited urge caused her eyes to mist.

She batted away the tears, happy as they were, but she didn’t stifle the childish skip and giggle that escaped her lungs. Had anyone else been around, she might have restrained her joy, a glitch she had mastered for most of her life. People, even the best intended, seemed to suck the joy right out of a bodies’ dreams as soon as they caught scent of it.

Gillian reasoned long ago that it wasn’t a personal affront from others. It was simply the reality that people feared what was foreign to them and most of the world had long since forgotten how to dream.

She never had.

Dreams were what had kept her going when her once dainty blonde curls bounced right out of her scalp in clumps by the Alopecia that had come unbidden. Gillian had always dreamed of being a princess, even when children teased her that there were no such thing as “bowling ball head” princesses.

It hurt, those beginning years of hairless wonder. It had been a long road climbing out from the waves of tears onto the mountain of love, love for herself just as she was, and love from another in her adult life.

Haddon Cray.

Haddon Cray had not only kissed her bald head once she removed her short-cut strawberry blond wig, but he even proposed, surprising Gillian with a greater surprise than she had given him.

Now three years married, still trudging down a longer road of near hits and misses with pregnancy, Haddon had done it again. He had made her feel like a princess, his princess. He had surprised her again with the cottage he’d gotten her as a gift. He’d definitely been paying attention as she mooned over the pictures in the Summer Living Magazines.

Nibbling her lip and readjusting the raven-esque wig she had donned solely for her husband, she pushed open the door to the summer cottage and rushed into his waiting arms.