Thursday, June 28, 2012

Riley's Story All Together

Here is the complete version of Riley's story, the latest of the Collaboration Challenge pieces. Our writers were Leonard Suskin, Nicole Pyles and myself, each taking on two pieces of this piece. Read through, then let us know what you think at the end.


What is the price of answering Fate's call? What is the price if you don't?

Riley isn't quite sure why the Assistant to Fate job includes riding through people's lawns, leaving notes or delivering flowers. All that's certain is there's something more going on behind the scenes, particularly when Fate's daughter shows up to shadow one of those jobs and discover's Riley does more than just follow instructions.


Part One: Riley
Carrie K Sorensen

Caleb sat straight up, arms shooting into the air as he praised his favorite striker for making a goal. I grinned as he relaxed back into his seat, coaching the team now that they were tied. Soccer wasn't really my thing, but it was always entertaining to watch Caleb.

I rearranged myself on the opposite edge of the hand-me-down couch. I kept far away, knowing Caleb could explode again, whether it was in excitement or anger. I didn’t always understand what caused his reactions, but soccer wasn’t the reason I was here, anyway. I hadn’t spent much time with Caleb lately and it was cool to hang out like old times.

"So where did you go yesterday?" he asked me suddenly. I was surprised by the question, not expecting much conversation with the game on. "You got that phone call, then just dashed. The party wasn't that lame considering there was no beer on the premises."

"You always think there needs to be beer," I teased.

Caleb tensed, then hissed in relief at a failed attempt by the rival team.

"A beer would be good right now," he grumbled.

"So go steal one from your parents." Caleb snorted in answer, leaning toward the TV with traditional sports fan energy.

"Don't be stupid, Riley. You know they count them. It’s crap there isn’t a TV at your house. I bet your parents would run to the fridge every time we needed a refill."

He wasn’t far off. My parents believed in living by self-discovery just as strongly as they felt technology would lead to the world’s ultimate destruction. I could stay at Caleb’s house for weeks without worrying my parents, provided the school didn’t call to report any absences.

My phone vibrated, pulsing through the couch. Caleb's eyes left the game for the first time since it started. I was reminded of why I hadn’t hung out with him very much. He had noticed a while ago my cell phone ringing meant I wouldn’t be around for much longer.

"You going to bolt again? Who is it that calls you?"

"I have this weird job," I finally settled as I pulled the phone from my pocket. "It's this on-call thing."

"On call at sixteen? Your folks really are hippies if they’re good with that." Caleb turned his eyes back to the game. My phone buzzed again and my hand fisted around it. I waited for a long minute to see if Caleb would say anything more.

"See you later. Hope your team wins." Caleb nodded, his eyes tracking the players on the screen. I watched for a second more before leaving his basement rec room and heading out of the house at the demand of my cell.

Part Two: Fate Calls
Nicole Pyles @ World of My Imagination

I went to my bike parked behind the bushes in front of Caleb's house and nudged the kick stand. I balanced the bike with my thigh and checked the missed call. The number on the recent calls just said, "0." I didn't need to know the number, though, I knew where to go. I pushed my bike to the sidewalk and looked around the empty neighborhood. The late Thursday afternoon seemed uneventful for the most part. On the outside, it could have been a normal day. I squinted into the sky as the clouds took control of the weather and threatened rain. I knew I better hurry.

I climbed onto my bike and pushed the peddles as each surge forward sent me on towards my destiny. Destiny. It seemed like such a funny word now. The wind blew my hair back. I almost dared to shut my eyes. The houses flew past me as I maneuvered the streets and headed towards downtown. Only a few weeks ago when my class visited the local state college to consider applying there for our freshman year, I spied an obscure job posting on the bulletin board. 

"Assistant to Fate Sought," it read. "Apply within." It listed an address a few blocks from the school and instead of taking the cheap yellow bus back to school I went to apply to the job. My parents worked pretty late, so I know that they wouldn't catch wind of me not returning back to school.

The address led me to an office building that looked like a failing insurance company. I figured "Fate" meant someone's unique last name.

Turns out I was wrong.

When I first saw the building I thought there may have been a mistake of some kind. Most of the offices were empty, but the single story building and single hallway finally led to a office with the nameplate, "Fate" on the  door.

I pushed open the sticking door and found a rumpled looking man, who could have been 20, 30, or 40 (I was never good with ages), scribbling into a large notebook. No computers were in the office. Just stacks of notebooks.

"Are you here about the job?" He asked. He picked at his hair as he stood to greet me. He stuck out his hand and I shook it. I met his eye and the sparkle told me he was more than excited to see me.  I remember thinking I should have brought Caleb with me. He went back around to his desk and sat down.

"Yes, you are looking for an assistant?" I wanted to feel brave, but I wasn't. So, I stood by the door and didn't sit down when he motioned to the chair across his desk.

"Ah," he said at the time. He noticed my discomfort and stood again. "You see, I need an assistant. My name is Fate and I control the fate of everyone in this city."

I almost left and thought him to be a mad man. Before I could leave, as I turned to the door, he called out my name. "Riley. You are friends with Caleb. You wished he noticed you as more than just a friend, but he hasn't yet." He picked at his hair again, flakes of dandruff puffing out of his hair. He smiled. "He will. It's fate that you will end up together. Just not yet."

"How did you know my name? How did you know about Caleb?" I clutched my bag to my chest and wished I followed my class back to the high school.

"I'm Fate, remember? Please, sit." He motioned to the chair across from him. "I will explain everything.

And he did. As I maneuvered past the parked cars and speeding drivers to my next assignment, I remember he told me that my duties as his assistant would be to keep people on track for their fate. For their destiny. He told me the two words were interchangeable. He explained the position required I be on call and that he needed my help because too often people get off track. It could be overwhelming at times how many people do, so it was up to me to help get them back to where they were meant to go. So far, it's been an interesting job, to say the least.

At least the job was interesting in my mind. I'd once read a book about spycraft, and this felt exactly what like that. Not  the James Bond car chase and gunfight kind of spycraft. Not even the Jack Ryan NSA analyst genius behind the action kind of spycraft. No, this was the invisible kind. A puzzle made up of a million tiny random acts, painting some big picture seen only by Fate.

Like my first assignment on that very first day, when he'd spoken my name and that damn lie about Caleb. I was still leaning towards the door, wishing I'd left before he nailed me into the room like some kind of taxidermied butterfly with his cheap "I know your name" parlor trick. Was it a trick? Knowing our names was one thing, but that other stuff he said... well, I  just wasn't quite ready yet for some secrets to be out. So I stayed. Besides, it would be an adventure. He turned back to his notebook - one of those marble composition things they make you buy for first grade - and ripped out a page. The tearing paper sounded like thunder in the small office, and it felt shocking. If this was Fate's own notebook, should it be torn?

The paper was just ordinary, torn a bit unevenly with the corner missing. It was filled with numbers and letters written in a spidery, cramped hand,  what looked like astrological symbols and, in the middle, a few recognizable words,

"Bob Linton. 3PM, Hicksville Station, east end of platform. Brown sportcoat, black loafers. Say hello."

I looked from the paper to the strange man - I still wasn't ready to call him Fate - and back again, "Is this some kind of joke? Say "hello"? What kind of job is this?"

He turned back to his notebook, started scribbling something as he answered. It's the same way a teacher will kind of sort of answer your questions while starting to grade papers or something. The message was clear: he was done with me. "You're my assistant. Some people need a nudge. Just a tiny one. Maybe hearing his name when he isn't expecting it will change his mind about something he was going to do today." He looked up at me for just a moment. "It changed your mind, didn't it?" He broke eye contact, looked back down at his papers. I stared at the slightly uneven part in his sandy hair as he talked to the desk, not to me. "And Riley, this is the last time you get an explanation." he glanced up, his lips curled into the barest hint of a smile. "You'll have to put yourself in my hands."

The assignments were all like that, more or less. Packages delivered at odd hours or simply left on a bench in the park.  "Accidentally" bumping into someone on their way off of a bus and apologizing to them by name.  Knock over someone's trashcan. Ride my bike across their lawn, tearing up the grass a bit. Dropping off a letter or spilling water on one,  dissolving words of love or sorrow or anger into a blur of ink and pulp. Whenever I had a letter to destroy, I'd always hope it was words of anger. It must have been. How could it be Fate to erase words of true love?

The trip to Fate's office grew familiar, but each little job added to the mystery. How did he know where so many people would be, what they'd need to see? What, really, were these little nudges accomplishing? Even the pay was weird. He'd give me an envelope containing eighty-seven dollars and forty-one cents cash every other week; one twenty dollar bill, one ten, one five, a single, all the way down to one penny. There was even one of those dollar coins in there. I saved the fifties and spent the rest, except the dollar coins. Those seemed special enough that I tucked them into a drawer along with his notes. Yes, I kept every note. Eventually I'd be glad I did.

Fate never mentioned a deadline, or even a rush, but it just felt wrong to keep Fate waiting. So I'd push, standing on the pedals, sucking the kind of dry sharp air that cuts up the inside of your throat and makes you want to puke It was worth hurrying. This is, after all, Fate.  Finally, I'd lean my bike against the wall of the office complex, force myself to walk not run to his door, willing my heart to slow down just enough for him to not see me sweating. "It's just a job", I'd tell myself. "He's just your boss. Not even that cute."

It never worked.

Today's assignment started like any other. The paper this time was from a spiral notebook, cheap and wide-ruled. He didn't look up, didn't acknowledge that anything about this one was different. I read the note twice before folding it twice and slipping it into my pocket, not realizing how the arrangement - and my life - was about to change.

Part Four: Unexpected Fate
Carrie K Sorensen

The ride to the hospital wasn't a long one. The nice thing about having a bicycle was I could park it right next to the entrance. My first stop was the gift shop. I picked out a large crystal vase filled with red and pink roses. I told the cashier they were for room 320. She made a note in her computer, then waved me along.

I walked the hospital like I knew where I was going. I followed the signs to the elevators and went up to the third floor. The nurses on the floor directed me the rest of the way. I found the old lady's room where she was sleeping upright, head tilted slightly to the side. Her transparent skin looked bruised and thin over the IV in her arm. I moved quietly, setting the vase gently on her bedside table and turned to leave.

Stretched out in a leather chair was a man in a crumpled business suit. He was slouched to his shoulders in a padded chair, his phone still resting on his stomach, though his hand had fallen lower. I went directly to him, picked up the phone and manipulated it until there was a past reminder to buy flowers, the notification already setting his phone blinking.

Shrugging my shoulders, I left the room with the knowledge of a job complete.

"My dad will know you changed it."

"His phone?" I turned quickly to see a girl leaning against the pale green wall of the hallway. Her ankles and arms were crossed. Big sunglasses acted as a headband to her chocolate hair. I tried to judge the thoughts behind her honey eyes. Thankfully she seemed more amused than accusing.

"Nope. The job," she countered. "Have you changed all of them?"

A trickle of sweat tickled my spine. I started to walk away but the girl just followed.

"You know, he looks out for stuff like that."

"Then why hasn't he said anything?"

"He wants to see how far you'll take it."

Awesome. I was being tested and didn't even know it.

We made it to the elevator. I jabbed the button for the main level as she watched.

"Don't you want to know why? What for? Any of the usual questions?"

"Who are you?" I demanded. Her grin was too bright for the confining elevator car.

"I'm Kate, and don't you make a single joke about how that rhymes."

"Rhymes." I wasn't sure what this girl was talking about.

"You know. Kate. Fate. I've heard them all."

"Because you're Fate's daughter." I just wanted to hear her say it.

"Boy, you're slow," she glared as the elevator bell rung. Her bouncy stride led the way out. I followed with cautious steps.

"I'm actually one of three sisters," she informed me. "Patti is Keeper of the Weaving. That means she guards the happenings of the past. Right now she's off on some pilgrimage to try and discover her worth. Turns out humans are caring less and less about what happened before them," she ended in a conspiratorial whisper.

"Then there's Desta, the Spinner. She's currently teaching Yoga. Thinks she can tame humanity one chakra at a time, or something like that. She wants to have better thread for the future."

"Wait. Past and future? So you're present." There was that brilliant smile again.

"Yeah, the Weaver."

"As in the three blind sisters who share an eye."

"Ugh, don't remind me," she gagged. "Good thing we can remake ourselves as time goes by. New names and everything. Gotta fit in, you know."

"Uh-huh." I was ready to leave. When I looked up to orient myself, I realized we were at the cafeteria, not the entrances.

"Come on. You're hungry," she informed me.

"Look, I really gotta go."

"No you don't."

"Yeah, I do. This may be a weird job, but there's only so much I'll get involved in."

"You don't trust us."

"You seem surprised," I noted dryly.

"But we're the Fates."

"That doesn't mean you can't lie. I've done it for your dad. He's lied to me-" Kate's laugh stopped me.

"Dad doesn't lie. Why do you think he needs an assistant?"


"Look," she ordered. "Think about his words. Think about what they could mean, other than your first knee-jerk reaction to them."

I looked at Kate for a long minute, her eyes boldly meeting mine. No flinching. Not even a blink.

I'd had enough. I shoved my hands in my pockets and walked away from this last job, from Kate, back toward the outside world where I thought things made sense.

Saturday morning and I needed a break. From Fate and Kate and all this. It had started off as a lark, but what if it was real? Like I told Kate, I knew some of their stories. Not much of it, but enough to know one thing. You can't cheat fate. The storybooks - and maybe the history books - are littered with the broken fragments of people who thought they could. The problem is I didn't know what Fate wanted. Or what I wanted. For the fifteenth or twentieth or hundredth time I shuffled through the stack instructions torn off Fate's notebook. For the fifteenth or twentieth or hundredth time they made no damn sense to me. What does Fate even need an assistant for? I was jolted from my study by the sudden and unexpected ringing of the doorbell.

It was Caleb, and he  had that look. The one where the muscles on his face tighten up just a bit, like he's about to cry or hit someone. The first time I'd seen that look I'd asked what was wrong, got nothing but an angry glare and a defiantly muttered "nothing". So, I learned. The look means he doesn't want to talk. Not about anything real. Not that he ever does.

"Hey Riley. I was around. Thought I'd join you, maybe play X-box, maybe a beer?" The last hopefully, almost a question. 

I stepped back to let him in. "uh...sure. My folks're out and..." he brushed past me, up the stairs. 
It went the way I'd expect. Caleb sitting next to me at the edge of the bed, leaning toward the TV, the game controller tightly clenched between to fists, grimly slaughtering virtual legions of space marines, soldiers, aliens. He'd leave a half-finished beer sitting on the side-table half forgotten, then suddenly grab it and take a deep pull.

Something else was wrong. He smelled. Caleb's never been the most impeccably groomed kid, but this was something different than usual - a faint but definite body odor, as if he'd gone a day or more without showering. I glanced sidelong at him, saw the tightness in his jaw and neck, then turned back to the TV,  content with the companionable silence of gunfire and explosions for the time being. I was sure he'd open up eventually. It's fate, right?

The buzz of my phone jolted me out of the game-trance. Caleb flinched away from me as he felt the phone buzz, dropped his game controller to the floor. I didn't have to look. I knew who it was.

Caleb knew too. He dropped the controller to the floor, stood up with a quick, jerky movement. "That job again." He looked me in the eye for about a half second, then looked out the door. " I guess I'll go."

I got up, took the phone out of my pocket. The same no-number number as always. I took a deep breath, silenced the phone and tossed it back onto the bed. "No. I ... I deserve a day off." I grabbed his empty beer bottle. "Lemme get you a another."

Caleb nodded, sank back down to the bed. He muttered something under his breath that might have been "thanks". I trekked down to the kitchen, grabbed a couple of beers, carried them back slowly, willing the muscles in my gut to unclench. I'd just abandoned Fate, but if felt like the right thing to do. I hoped it wouldn't end badly.

Part Six: The Final Call
Nicole Pyles @ World of My Imagination

A couple of hours later, and two beers later, Caleb left my house. I looked at my cell phone, knowing some time soon that I would have to respond to Fate's call. I sat on my bed or a second, wondering what would happen if I never responded again. I reached for my phone and before I could do anything else, I heard a knock at the door. Thinking it was Caleb having forgotten something, I opened it up.

It was Kate. 

She stormed in and by the energy she emitted, I knew she was pissed. Just for missing one call, I can't understand why.

"You missed your call." Kate said, clearly out of breath. Before I closed the front door and looked outside. No car. No bike.

"You ran here?" I asked.

"Quit avoiding the subject. You missed your call. Do you know what you did?" Sweat poured from Kate's forehead. 

Confused, I shook my head. "No, wait. Why didn't he just do it himself?"

Floored, Kate threw her hands up in the air. In a foreign language I've never heard of before, it sounded like Kate swore. She continued pacing in my living. I know that soon my parent's would be home, and I didn't want to explain the strange girl in the middle of my living room. 

"Do it himself?" She yelled. She ran over to me and pushed me. I staggered a bit before righting myself. "Do you realize that at any given moment we have 20,000 hired assistants worldwide trying to keep everything right and everyone following Fate's design?" 

The number shocked me. "20,000? So why didn't you want to get one of them? And how come so many people know about Fate?"

Kate shook her head. "You are one of the only ones who really know what you're doing. The others don't. Some are just sent messages without any explanation and after the task is completed are given payment." She laughed, the bitterness filling her face. "You would be surprised what people are willing to do for money. They don't even care what it is we ask for them to do." 

Somehow I gathered that the last comment wasn't meant for me to understand or even hear. "So why me?"

Kate's shoulders fell. She hung her head. "You were meant to replace him. He wants to retire. You were meant to become Fate."

For a brief second I thought about asking where Fate would retire. The North Pole? Wait, that was Santa Claus. "So, what now?" I regretted missing the phone call. What had I done to my own life that one small misstep set me off track? "What happens to the others that miss their call?"

Kate's face contorted with rage. But as if something clicked, the rage disappeared and a grin burst on her face. "You'll have to find out for yourself.

And she left. 

The apartment felt chilly now that she was gone. I knew I had to leave. I couldn't stay. I left a note for my parents explaining I would be back in an hour, that I left something at Caleb's. I ran out of my house. I needed to hurry. The daylight was fading and something inside told me that this needed to be fixed before the sun went down. I barely felt the peddles under my feet as I biked downtown - back to the office where I first met Fate. Where everything began.


Twenty minutes later, I walked down the empty building. Everything seemed blurred as I walked towards his office and I burst through the door. Expecting to see the usual stacks of paper and notebooks, I was shocked at what I saw. It was empty. He was gone and instead of hundreds of norebooks, only one remained on the desk.

I walked over to it and my hands shook as I opened the cover of the spiral bound notebook. On the first page, there was a note. It was from Fate.

"Riley -

I knew one day you would take your fate in your own hands. Good job.

I've retired. And to answer your original question, there is no such thing as Santa Claus.

And of all the places I've been, I decided to retire in the Bahamas. Visit me there when you have the chance.

The choice is yours of course, but I offer you the job of Fate. 

Just so you know, you won't be working alone and some of the stories write themselves. 

That's all Fate is, Riley - a writer with just a mightier grasp on the pen.

Will you answer this one final call?



P.S. Let Kate know of your decision. She doesn't stay mad long. Don't worry.

And one more suggestion, Caleb would make a fantastic new assistant."

I looked up from the notebook, and Kate stood in the doorway with her arms crossed over her chest. "It didn't occur to me until you asked what happened to the others." She shrugged as she stepped into the office. My new office. "That's all we really want, you know? People to take their fate into their own hands. It makes our jobs easier. Most don't though." She looked up at me and squinted. "But you did."

She swaggered over to the desk and leaned forward to read what her father wrote. She glanced up and cocked her head. "So, are you taking the job?'

It took me less than five seconds to decide my own fate.

And I couldn't wait to offer Caleb his first job as my assistant.


Want to become a collaborator yourself? Follow this link to leave a comment and let me know.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Snapshot Prompt & Collaboration Invitation

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

It's midweek and you know what that means? We are three days away from the weekend! I know, I can't wait, too.

So, we had an amazing turn out last week! Here are the stories we received:

Clothespin Commitment by Jack Carlson
A Child's Path and Escape by Scott Taylor
Murder at the Amusement Park (the ongoing story that inspired my own) by Tena Car
Lost by Landa
Summer of 1962 by Anne
I Love a Good Curse by Nicole Pyles
The Perfect Not Day by Me

It's Nicole's turn this week! And it's her favorite part of the whole week because she gets to choose the photo! Yay!

If you enjoy the blog hop and want to help promote it, feel free to grab a button:

writing, writers, blogs

Click and copy this code

Two more bits of news before we get into the blog hop:

1) If you are interested in being a co-host for the blog hop, let us know in the comments! It's fairly easy, just making sure you are posting the blog hop post each week!

2) Also, I'm starting a new blog story hop! It's a lot of fun and it's so exciting to see where the story goes according to each blogger. I have a post about it here.

So, without further ado! Here is this week's writing prompt. Real quick, here are the rules:

1) There will be one photo, and five words - both of those elements must be a feature in the brief story you create.
2) There is also a 500 word maximum.
3) You have until the next Wednesday to create your post.
4) When you have finished your post, come back here and link up below and let me (Or whoever your blog host is) know in the comments that you have done so!
5) We were going to tell you to not take this too seriously, but reconsidered it because we know full well that asking writers to write something means that they will take it seriously. So, take it seriously, but don't fret/panic/pass out/hyperventilate/lose sleep/run in fear over it.

The Photo - Taken from...I have no idea to be honest...

Five Words - Generated with this Website




false teeth


Alright! Once you have your story created, post it below!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lucky 7s

Nicole Pyles tagged EVERYBODY in her Lucky 7s post. I decided since I have a WIP MS, I qualify.

The rules to this challenge are:

1) Go to page 7, 77 or Chapter 7 of your current WIP MS.
2) Go to line 7.
3) Copy down the next 7 lines - sentences or paragraphs - and post them as written. No cheating!
4) Tag 7 other writers to share their Lucky 7s.

This challenge is, well, challenging. It's difficult to share something out of context, but I guess that is the point. I chose to share an excerpt from my page 7.


Of course.
Nicole would be turning eighteen on December 29th. Her full power as a witch would be revealed. There were members of the magical world who looked for the reverberations created by a newly mature witch, for good and bad.
Amber’s birthday was more of a problem and only five weeks after Nicole’s. As a Pet, there were those who would be trying to find her, trying to force a Bond to give them greater access to the magical world. Only Amber could decide who to Bond with, but that didn’t mean a loathsome want-to-be Sorcerer couldn’t find a way to force the issue.


As for tagging 7 other bloggers, I'm not actually sure who is working on anything right now, so I'm going to cheat take a page from Nicole's book and open it up to all interested. Just be sure to link your post back here so I can see if I manage to get 7 (or more) others to participate.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Snapshot Reveal

I present to you my Monday Snapshot. If you would like to see the prompt or what other people are writing, go to last Wednesday's Post.

Also, a little plug. I'm going to be starting another Collaboration Challenge story on June 5th. This is where a group of writers work over a couple of weeks to collaborate a story. Only, this story isn't planned out in any way. Each writer picks their week, then writes their part based on what has come before and posts it on their personal blogs. Each portion of the story is posted on Thursday and all linked together until the last writer wraps it up.

You can read the results of the first Collaboration Challenge, Kalli's story. I will be posting Riley's story in full on Thursday, but until then you can blog hop your way from this post.

If you would like to join in, or are curious about what's going on, let me know over here or on Google+.

And now, onto the Snapshot.


The Perfect Not Day

"Mama, can we go to the pool today?" Robbie asked, stick-thin legs pushing his tricycle back and forth. Bethany sighed, thinking of all the chores to be done around the house, not to mention the end-of-the-month money drought.

"Not today, my lovely," she told her son, pinning up the last length of sheet to the clothesline.

"But I want to play in the water. How about the sprinkler?"

"Not with my clean clothes hanging." Not with the price of water.

"Mama, I don't want it to be a Not Day," Robbie sulked, leaning forward so his chin rested on the axis of his plastic handle bars.

Bethany closed her eyes. She didn't want it to be a Not Day, either. A smile curled her thin lips.

"Close your eyes, Robbie."


"Because you can hear it then." She peaked to see Robbie close his eyes, his face wrinkled in concentration. "You can hear the wind filling the sails of a big, big ship. It's out in the middle of the ocean and all you can see is water, water, water."

"Wow!" Robbie said, the only thing wider than his eyes was his grin. "Is it a pirate ship, Mommy?"

"You bet it is," Bethany told him. "It's the Pirate Flea Beard's ship. There's no task to big for his crew."

"'Like digging treasure!" Robbie shouted, abandoning his seat to jump up and down.

"Exactly," Bethany agreed. "Pirate Flea Beard of legend always gets his treasure, even when he's stealing it from other pirates!"

Bethany grabbed two long sticks from the brush pile, giving one to Robbie. "You will not get my gold, Flea Beard!" she yelled at him, clashing her sword with his.

"Oh, yes, I will!" Robbie's voice was squeaky with excitement, his laughter drowning out the clatter of the sticks against each other. They battled for a few minutes until Bethany fell to her knees in the crunchy grass, falling to her side.

"Alright, Flea Beard. You win this time, but next time you won't be so lucky."

Robbie giggled, throwing his stick down and launching his little body at Bethany, knocking her the rest of the way to the ground.

"Next time, Mommy, we'll both be Flea Beard," he declared.

"Okay," she agreed with a sigh. Dishes still had to be done, floors cleaned, a non-existent budget needed to be balanced. But right now, she just wanted to hang on to her moment of perfect.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Collaboration Round-Up

Next week I will be re-posting Riley's story here, all in one post. With that in mind, I'm looking to see if anyone is interested in joining another collaboration to start in two weeks on July 5th. Leave me a comment or send me a message here or on Google+ if you're interested!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Snapshot Prompt

Welcome to another Creative Wednesday Snapshot prompt. There were lots of different takes on last week's inspiration, put together by Jane Bussey at A Writer's Muses. All the stories are listed below, so you can click through them on your way to this week's prompt.

Messages, A Little Story... @ Scotty Watty Doodle All The Day
A Squirrel's Tale @ Pin and Tack
Grandmother's Own @ Puzzle Me Complete
What is Going on in that Place? @ Sydney Aaliyah
How Did You Get Here @ World of My Imagination (co-host Nicole Pyles)
Searching here @ Chasing Revery

It really is incredible how one prompt can inspire so many different views. I'm so excited to be a part of a blog hop that generates these different stories. This week, I got another chance to put together our photo and words. So let's get to it.

And the rules are:

1) There will be one photo, and five words - both of those elements must be a feature in the brief story you create.
2) There is also a 500 word maximum.
3) You have until the next Wednesday to create your post.
4) When you have finished your post, come back here and link up below and let me (Or whoever your blog host is) know in the comments that you have done so!
5) We were going to tell you to not take this too seriously, but reconsidered it because we know full well that asking writers to write something means that they will take it seriously. So, take it seriously, but don't fret/panic/pass out/hyperventilate/lose sleep/run in fear over it.

Here's this weeks photo from this link:

And here's this weeks words from this link:






There it is. So take a chance this week and see how your story pieces itself together. Once you have it, remember to share your link below.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Searching - Snapshot Reveal

Welcome back to Monday. :) It's lovely out here today. My now-3-year-old is begging to go outside so I need to post this quick. If you have a prompt-inspired story to share, make sure to link it to the original post. For now, here's my interpretation.



Sienna rested on the thick grass, staring up at the blue sky. The only mark within sight was a thin jet-stream and even that was fading on the wind. She wished she could be on the plane that left that mark. Sienna didn't care where it was headed. Anywhere would be better than here.

"You missed a very interesting tour," her grandmother announced, walking her way from the concrete path. Sienna turned her head to watch the old lady approach.

"That building gives me a headache just looking at it."

My Favorite Castle"It isn't orange and pink on the inside," her grandmother grunted as she lowered her body to the ground. "You could have been gaudy free for a whole hour."

"Oh. So nothing inside was gaudy?" Grandma Wen chuckled, wiggling a bit until she came to a comfortable position.

"What's so interesting out here?"

Sienna thought about her grandmother's question, her quick answer being a shrug.

"It's peaceful," she answered. Grandma Wen's forehead wrinkled in surprise.

"You hear the same kiddo shrieks that I do, don't you?" she asked, gesturing to a group of kids picnicking across the lawn.

"Background noise," Sienna dismissed. "Besides, it's not down here that's peaceful."

"Ah." Grandma Wen's reply was soft and sad. Sienna had been staring at the sky a lot, lately, ever since her mother had died of breast cancer.

"She's happy today," Sienna whispered, blinking quick and fast. Her tears still fell down, resting in the curves of her ears.

The two sat together, the world muted to their ears as they watched the empty sky.

"Let's go," Grandma Wen finally announced. "I'll need your help up. I think I saw one of those ice cream carts somewhere in this park."

Sienna was up quickly, drying her ears on her shoulders before they went in search for a little something sweet in their lives.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Snapshot Prompt

This week our other co-host, Jane Bussey from Writer's Muses, has taken over the prompt choice. Before you scroll down to see what our new inspiration is, make sure you check out all the stories from last week's prompt.

Age is Just a Number by Chessny Smith
Birthday Wishes by Kimberly Gould
A Morning Conversation and Late for Work by Scott Taylor
The Magic Pen by Landa
Let The Games Begin by Nicole Pyles
Charmed by Me

Last week's photo inspired a lot of emotional writing. Let's see what today's prompt brings.

And the rules are:

1) There will be one photo, and five words - both of those elements must be a feature in the brief story you create.
2) There is also a 500 word maximum.
3) You have until the next Wednesday to create your post.
4) When you have finished your post, come back here and link up below and let me (or whoever your blog host is) know in the comments that you have done so!
5) We were going to tell you to not take this too seriously, but reconsidered it because we know full well that asking writers to write something means that they will take it seriously. So, take it seriously, but don't fret/panic/pass out/hyperventilate/lose sleep/run in fear over it.

Here's this weeks photo:

My Favorite Castle

And here's this weeks words:






Okay, that's the prompt! Once you have your story written, post it below!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Charmed - Snapshot Story

There are a lot of writers taking part in these weekly prompts. It's exciting to look at everyone else's interpretations while I'm trying to hammer out my own.

To see what everyone else is writing, or to add your own take on the prompt, visit the original post. But be sure to read my story first. ;-)



The charms sparkled in the sunlight, reflecting little dancing pools across the paper.

It's Worth the Wait!The cross had been the first one he'd given her. Once a pin on his shirt sleeve, he'd had it altered so it could hang on a delicate wrist chain. The next time he'd come, he added the heart, slipping it on the bracelet even as she slept.

Today, a silver dove was added, flying toward the other two charms. She touched each one with her fingertip, both loving and loathing the small decorations. Each one had been a separate birthday present, marking every year from the first moment they had met.

He had crashed her 15th birthday party. She had approached him with words about bad manners, but she had really just wanted to talk to him. He hadn't said much in reply, just smiled a kind, longing smile. At 15, it hadn't been difficult to fall for the mysterious stranger.

She'd worn the cross for a year. She'd considered taking it off but hadn't been able to bring herself to. The morning of her 16th birthday, she'd discovered a new charm on her wrist.

She'd taken the bracelet off that day, knowing it was him. Always watching for brooding eyes and that quiet smile, waiting for the opportunity to tell him to leave her alone. He was a creep, sneaking into her room like that, not even having the decency to say hi. If he was around, though, he was a chameleon. She never caught a glimpse of her party crasher.

Now the bracelet was on her desk. Her internal thermometer dropped with shock, burned with anger, then settled down when she saw the words written on the paper. "It's worth the wait." Words of morning light, warnings against regret, and promises of hope carried on the wings of a dove.

What the hell? The silent question burned in her mind. He'd come back, but she hadn't seen him. Again. He was telling her to wait, but for what? For him? He'd never given her any reason to trust him, much less to wait for him.

She thought back to her 15th birthday, to his silent observations, his quiet care, the emotions trapped in his eyes and curling his full lips.

Enough. Enough thinking about him. She would not be that girl who fell for sparkles in the sunshine. If he wanted more of her, he would have to give her more of him. Gathering paper, pen and charms, she opened the drawer to her desk and tucked them all away.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Final Call - The Completion of Riley's Story

Nicole Pyles has done it! After teasing us with the knowledge she finished on Tuesday (I spared you that anxiety), she has posted the last installment of Riley's story.

Here are all other parts so you can catch up, or get a quick review of what's happened so far. Don't forget to stop back here to let me know what you think of our story.

Part One: Riley by Carrie K Sorensen
Part Two: Fate Calls by Nicole Pyles
Part Three: Hands of Fate by Leonard Suskin
Part Four: Unexpected Fate by Carrie K Sorensen
Part Five: Abandoned Fate by Leonard Suskin

And now, to answer the question: What happens when you ignore a phone call from Fate?

Project 50 - Day #1 (Moleskine)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Snapshot Prompt

Poor Nicole is having computer problems, so this week's post comes from her phone, believe it or not. I've looked for errors and other than spacing, I didn't notice any. Who needs a computer, anyway? Yay, Nicole!

Last week's blog hop went amazing. Nicole thought I did a great job of choosing just the right photo to inspire people, so yay again!

Here are the contributions to last week's blog hop:

Window View by Randy Lindsay
Moor Conversation in Fog by Scott Watty Doodle All the Day
Amusement Park Murder by Jottings and Writings
At the Golf Course by Sydney Aaliyah
Lost on the Golf Course by Me
Don't Open the Door by Nicole Pyles (Fearless Leader / Co-host) 

That was an awesome turn out and such amazing creativity in the bunch!

And the rules are:
1) There will be one photo, and five words - both of those elements must be a feature in the brief story you create.
2) There is also a 500 word maximum.
3) You have until the next Wednesday to create your post.
4) When you have finished your post, come back here and link up below and let me (or whoever your blog host is) know in the comments that you have done so!
5) We were going to tell you to not take this too seriously, but reconsidered it because we know full well that asking writers to write something means that they will take it seriously. So, take it seriously, but don't fret/panic/pass out/hyperventilate/lose sleep/run in fear over it.

Here's the picture taken from this link

It's Worth the Wait! 

And here are this week's five words, taken from this link:






When you have your story ready, post it below!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lost on the Golf Course

Wow. An amazing 366 words. I have to say, I'm quite pleased with that.

The story prompt for this flash fiction can be found on this post. Link your story there if you would like to participate.


Lost on the Golf Course

A caw cut through the morning cacophony of birdsong. That off-note tone fit Brandon's mood better than the sweet trill. He swore at the grass, his hand deep in his jacket pockets while he glared at the ground.

"How am I supposed to find anything in this fog?" he demanded. His glare rose from the ground to his buddy standing a few feet away. "How are you supposed to find anything looking around the golf course?"

"I'm looking for golfers. They really are due to show up any minute. It's probably this fog that's delaying t-off."

"That's not why I brought you!" Brandon yelled, his chest heaving with the effort it took to not hit his friend.

"I'm not the winner who lost his wedding ring on the golf course," Matt drawled.

"Will you just help me? Melissa might be so mad she'd file for divorce."

"And then rob you blind, pirate-style. Except, you know, it would be legal."

Brandon growled and kicked hard at the ground.

"Hey, maybe she'll go easy on you and just sentence you to death by electric chair."

"All right!" Brandon yelled again. "Just help me find that damned ring."

The two men wandered around the seventh hole, searching through perfectly manicured grass for a hint of gold. The fog started to lift, allowing a bit more morning sun to filter through. Soon, the golfer's put off by the blindness of the morning would be making their way toward the two searching men.

Another caw split the misty air. "Uh, Brandon," Matt called. Brandon grunted. "You're going to want to see this."

Brandon followed Matt to a tall oak tree growing just off the green. He looked up in the branches to see a crow perched next to his nest, a golden circlet clutched in his beak.

"I suppose I could climb up there," Matt offered. Brandon was already storming away toward the path. Matt hurried after his friend. "Are you going to ask for a ladder?"

"No," Brandon grumbled. "I'm going to the damn jewelry store."

Matt let Brandon storm ahead, hiding his smile behind Brandon's stiff back.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Abandoned Fate - Riley Part V

Leonard Suskin has posted part five of Riley's adventures as an employee of Fate.

You can read it here at

If you need to catch up or would like a refresher, read through parts I-IV.

Part One: Riley's Story (Chasing Revery)
Part Two: Fate Calls @ The World of My Imagination
Part Three: The Hands of Fate @ Confessions of a Pixel and Ink-stained Wretch
Part Four: Unexpected Fate (Chasing Revery)

Next week will be the last installment of Riley's story. Check out how Nicole Pyles ties it all together.