Survival with Michael: On the castle steps

Here is my contribution to Ermilia’s Weekly Picture it and write prompt.

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“Did I advise you that this is a bad idea,” I said.
“Did I advise you that we haven’t eaten in two days,” she replied.
“But did I advise you that people seldom make it out of situations like this?”

The wooden porch creaked under our boots, but the crashing waves from the shore below along with the pounding rain quieted our noise to my liking. The castle had the greatest percentage of keeping extra food lying about in this time of shortage. I could likely withstand nine more hours without nourishment, but Rose needed it presently.

The bright moon was high and allowed us to see more proficiently out on the cliff then under the canopy of the coastal forest. The milky light showed a long deck that wrapped around the entirety of the castle. Why you would need a second floor wraparound porch seemed pointless to me, but nevertheless there was a replica porch on both the second and third floor. The floors didn’t end there either. Above the two pointless decks, there were three more housing levels.

“Should we try the door or a window,” Rose asked.

The front doors were solid oak with intricate carvings. I looked at the magnitude of windows. There were too many  to count whilst your stomach makes regrettable noises even though the number would be simple to find, for If you took each window on the first floor and multiplied it by the number of replica floors above and then added that number to the multiplied amount of the different floors above the replica floors, you would get the number of windows for the front of the castle and since the front of the castle had a high chance of matching the back of the castle you would take your total of the front and multiply it by two, but then you would also need to do the same arithmetic procedure for the side of the castle and multiply that number by two and finally you would add both totals together getting the exact number of the dusty dirty windows on the structure, but I was lacking far too much nutrition to waste time on such frivolous calculations.

“Okay, from the annoying silence I’m going to assume you thought way too much about that question,” she said.

Rose kneeled below the door and rolled out the shiny toolset, one of our only possessions of value. I could pick the lock faster, but I appreciate the secret smile she has every time the lock tumbles in the chamber. Right then the wind howled, whipping her blond curls into the air. I also appreciated her curls.

What if this time the home owner was an excellent shot? If only the climate hadn’t turned for the worse, maybe we would have had better hunting along our journey.

“There might be someone home,” I said.
“Michael, didn’t you notice the chimney smoke?”
“Didn’t you notice the 2,682 windows?”

She stopped and turned slowly towards me. I don’t particularly like it when she stares at me blankly with those large green eyes.

She cleared her throat and said, “Is there more or is this one of those statem—“

“Of course there is more. If we happen to become trapped within this monstrosity, window fifteen on the first floor is a great escape route due to the fact that a hedge lies beneath the window.”

She did one of those one eyebrow raises with squinty eyes. I asked her what that meant once before and she told me it meant she believed I was making up things which I told her that I do not in fact make things up, ever.

“I believe you’re in a foul mood due to undernourishment,” I said.
She huffed, gathered the tools, pushed past me and stomped off the deck. I thought she was going to keep walking back into the shadowed forest. Maybe she would want to go hunting instead, but then she turned right back around, up the stairs, and into my face.

“Don’t you want to eat,” she asked.
“Yes.” I let out a breath. My brain sometimes blanks when rose gets close to me. I’m not even sure if it was me talking. “Please except my apology. I was in fear for your life, but now I know no one should anger you when you’re in a foul mood due to hunger.”

She knelt back down to her station and said, “If you say one more thing about my malnutrition or hunger I’m going to punch your pretty face.”

The door clicked and inched open, but she was looking at me instead of her progress. I frowned.
“What now,” she asked.
“You didn’t smile.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Are you hungry or not,” I said and strode past her inquisitive look and into the waiting darkness. We would find something to eat and not talk about smiles or hidden feelings.


I love these prompts. They are fast, fun, and It’s a great way to keep practicing writing skills without the stress of struggling with plot structures and all the other stresses of story making. 🙂 Babbling here, but my point is if you enjoy reading them you should really try writing to them! Just click HERE and it will take you back to Ermilia’s blog who posts the prompts every Sunday.  Hope you enjoyed, feel free to leave a comment, and come back again! –Katie

Help from a pirate?

My eyes snapped open. It was early morning, the sun hadn’t risen yet, but the cell was lightening.  Someone was trying keys in my cell lock. I hadn’t been fully asleep. It was too cold to actually sleep. The mist rolling off the sea every night seemed to bruise my bones even further than the hard cobble stone ground. I was in a cell awaiting my verdict, I had no Idea where I was, and it didn’t matter because I didn’t even know who I was.

The cell door cracked open and in stepped a tall man. In one hand was a ring of keys and in the other a sword which left no room for a meal. It’s been two nights and three days since my last meal. The meal consisted of an onion potato watery broth and a small bread roll. They were trying to starve me or maybe they were just cruel.

Maybe he had come to take me to my death. My mind began to race with alternatives. Maybe I could plead for my life or maybe I could fight my way past him. I’m not sure how far I would get, but it would be better then not trying.

He walked into the dawn light and that’s when I stopped breathing. With a dirty long coat, high boots, and layering of a red sash around the waist, the man before me was a pirate.

He smiled or grimaced, I’m not sure, but it was probably because I was shocked to see he had all his teeth.  There were many toothless people running around these parts.

The pirate cleared his voice and said, “He was right ’bout ye, but if ye ready to be off now ’tis the hour.”

Who? Who knew about me, I woke up three weeks ago in this strange land with no memories. I didn’t know my own name and I was all alone.

“Who are you talking about?”

“We can speak ’bout that later. Right now we hurry or did ye want to die here?”

I raised my hands from my lap. The shackles clinked and slid down my raw forearms. “What about these,” I asked. The sun was beginning to rise and I could see his eyes were a jade green. He was good looking in this dim light, but as he got closer his stenches were overpowering. The dirt, grime, old booze, and faint smell of dried blood forced me to back up against the wall.

“Don’t be a-feared lass, I won’t hurt ye.”

“I’m not afraid, you just really smell.”

“If ’tis a problem I’d gladly just be off,” he said.

The things you put up with for food…and freedom. I raised the shackles again and he got to work. He also kept mumbling to himself. I think he said something about an ungrateful wench, but I wasn’t sure.

Chapter one~Part One.

So, I jumped the gun and poste a poorly written draft of this yesterday. I was just so excited to share this new idea, but the first draft was riddled with too much back story. I will try to be more patient in the future!

-Katie

Posted up in the emergency room

After the emergency room they move you upstairs
once they know you won’t die right away,
it’s always just better that way,

It’s 3am and the ambulance is still bringing guests in
well, tonight the place is booked like a five star hotel
I wish for once it was like a shanty run down motel.

The nurse just came in and informed us
we will be stuck with a curtain as a door
And old blood stains upon the floor

His Gurney was wet,
he was uncomfortable,
but the least of his worries was this small detail.

Dirt and blood stained the pristine white sheets
but soon to be gone
when the new bed could be retrieved.

Even the bed was one of their last.
Where is our ticket home you might ask?
Well, it comes with an x-ray at nine am.

Nine am is when we shall see
exactly how terrible the two holes in his lungs actually might be.
Nine am is when we shall see
exactly if he might need surgery on his wrecked right knee.

the nurse asks on a scale of one to ten,
but I believe the sale is unfitting
by my calculations, where I’m sitting-

11 for the broken leg,
5 at least for the broken rib
3 apiece for the two holes in the lungs

my addition is sound,
and to me,
22 it looks to be around.

This is a poem I’ve been working on for some time about my brother’s stay in the emergency room early this august. I sat by his side through the night in fear about his situation which magnified my frustration at the circumstances.

Locked out, dead phone, and the cops!?

You’ve got to be kidding me
.
I had closed my eyes and rested my head against the unyielding door. How could the key work in the dead bolt, but not the bottom lock? I didn’t know it was an actual possibility when the woman from Wal-Mart warned that sometimes keys don’t work and I needed to keep the receipt just in case.
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My phone rang and I fished it out of my purse. The screen was dimmed and the red blinking light informed me the battery would soon die, great another problem. It was “Home” calling. Well home is two hours away, so they really couldn’t help me, but they could probably get a hold of someone that could.
.
“Hello,” my mom said.
“Hi mom, my phones dying and my spare key isn’t working, so I’m locked out. And I really have to go pee.” Sometimes I just blurt out everything I’m thinking in stressful situations or under the influence of major caffeine.
“Oh, do you want me to call your brother?”
“Yes, thank you.”
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We hung up and I jingled, jimmied, and seriously begged God that the key would work this time. No luck.
.
My breath came out in puffs of white and I seriously regretted wearing a dress today. Even with thick tights, the cold air seeped in, as the night air dropped in degrees.
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I bent down to collect the contents of my purse. I had dumped them all over the front porch searching for the other spare key. I had made two just in case I lost one in the future. It was probably sitting on the kitchen table where I left it.
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I also threw my phone into the purse since it had died and headed to the curb. My brother would show up soon with the third key or my sister would show up to rescue me, again. I waited and waited, but after an eternity 20 minutes of waiting I thought I should make a phone call.
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My downstairs neighbor’s car was parked at the curb and I could hear the TV, so I knocked on her door. I took a step back and prepared a speech, trying not to sound as stupid as I probably seemed, but she didn’t answer. Maybe she couldn’t hear, so I knocked a little louder, but still no answer.
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I walked to the small complex across the street and played eeny, meeny, miny, moe with the doors. A middle aged woman answered the selected door in red pajama bottoms, a big doggy t-shirt, and pink slippers. Even though I was super angry I had a real smile on my face.
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Explaining the situation, she let me in and I dialed the only two numbers I know by heart. The down side of having a cell phone is you don’t memorize numbers.
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My sister didn’t pick up and I really didn’t want to bug my friend, but called anyways. She answered, but I could tell she had been sleeping, so I just told her I’d call her later.
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The woman saw my frustration and was probably afraid for her phone in my angry hands, so she offered to plug in my cell phone.
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I called my mom and she told me she thought I got in. Are you serious? If I didn’t call you back wouldn’t you be worried. I wanted to take all my frustrations out on her, but it wasn’t really her fault.
“What do you want me to do,” she asked.
“Nothing,” I said.
“Okay.”
“I’m not mad at you, I’m just in someone’s house and super frustrated. I’ll call you later.”
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After hanging up with her, I called my sister again, but no answer, so I called her husband Kevin.
“Domino’s pizza”
“Kevin, I need to talk to Mary.”
“Mary? I don’t know who you’re talking about. Would you like to hear our specials?”
“Can you just give her the phone?”
“Is it an emergency because she’s reading to Emily?” Emily is my four year old niece.
“Yes, it’s an emergency.”
“You’re always in an emergency, how extreme is the emergency?”
“KEVIN!”
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When I got off the phone with Mary, I declined the cup of tea from the serial killer nice neighbor, and went outside to wait for Kevin. She probably wasn’t dangerous in the least bit, but you never know.
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I was waiting at the curb, again, when I noticed a man walking down the side walk. Great! I didn’t want any creepy conversation on top of everything else. Maybe he’d just walk bye. As he got closer, his outfit became familiar. GREAT, it was a cop.
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He walked over to me and asked if I was knocking on the downstairs apartment. She called the cops, really? I guess her door doesn’t have a peep hole and she was a little scared. I should have called out to her, but I don’t even know what her name is. What was I going to say? Hey downstairs neighbor, it’s me your upstairs neighbor.
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“Yes, I live upstairs,” I told the cop. I explained the situation, again. I hated tonight. The cold, the door, the neighbor, the four letter key, and especially Wal-Mart for giving it to me, but most of all I hated myself, for not trying it in the lock before I left my house this morning.
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The cop waited with me until my brother-in-law, Kevin, the jokester, showed up. I think the cop was just bored. He probably thought it was going to be a bogus call and then had some adrenalin when he saw someone standing outside, and then became super bummed when he realized it was the idiot girl who lived upstairs.
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He asked me about living in apartments, noisy neighbors, and the neighborhood. I think he was fishing for information about the last disturbance call made on this address, but that’s a different story.

UnBEARable Jealousy

I’m a stuffed bear with one eye. The lack of my glassy eye is the first thing everyone notices about me. They might not say it right away, but I catch em staring all the time. I really don’t see the big deal. Ken, the barbie doll, is missing his whole left arm. He says he lost it in the Great War, but he also says he’s an action figure.  I’m sorry, but action figures don’t wear plaid shirts, khakis, and flip flops. He’s a very confused toy.

A giant fairy wand had been thrown across my brown fluffy chest and no matter how hard I pushed I couldn’t get the blasted thing off. Blond curls had bounced all over the place earlier, as isabel, my owner, had tossed toys randomly in the chest. I’ve been with her for six years now since the first ride home from the hospital. I no longer sleep with her, but usually she places me at the top of the jumbled mess in the dark chest.

The chest slowly started to brighten in a pink glow. Someone had turned on the glow bunny. A bunch of rusling was going on to my left and then a loud bang went off as a letter block tumbled into the darkness. The chest went silent. Who ever was messing around was an idiot. If they woke Isabel she would spend the night in fear of boogie monsters, again.

“Hiya Sarah, you need some help?”

I looked up into a white fuzzy bear face with two perfect black eyes. Of course, it was lucy making such a racket. She was kind of clumsy. We had the closest friendship formed over the last two weeks.

A Dark brown face popped up beside lucy’s smiling face. Johnny… He is new to the toy chest and boy is he dashing. Plump face and soft fuzzy hair. Well, in teddy bear standards he was someone you wanted to smile at. Lucy and I had giggled and blushed everytime he shuffled by or played with the little cars handed down to Isabel from her brother. When he smiled, the cutest dimples appeared for all the female bears, Lucy and I, to faint in awe.

Yesterday, Lucy and Johnny decided to hangout. I felt a little left out and then angry when they started laughing and sharing secret smiles.  After the unbearable two minutes since they started hanging out, I decided to make a plan.

And then here they were standing over me and asking if I desired their help.

Of course not I wanted to shout, but instead I let them lift the wand off me. Lucy invited me to tea, which I guessed could only be “unimaginable hours of fun”, but it would be the perfect moment to put my plan into action.

“Johnny,” I said.

He turned to me, jumped in surprise, and said, “Oh. You scared me. Your missing eye is a little haunting… Anyways, what can I do for ya?”

It didn’t really faze me. His reaction I mean. I’ve only know him for two days, but this was his reaction every time he saw me even if it was only a few minutes ago. He was so reliable and perceptive.

“I hate to tell you this, but luchy said some astounding things about you.”

Johnny frowned and threw the toy car he had been holding at the chest wall with such force it came back and hit him in the head. It was such a surprise I opened and closed my mouth a couple of times and was at a complete loss for words.

It must have been the shock of her fake betrayal.  I mean, Lucy and Johnny have been in love now for the last five minutes. His heart was literally ripping at the seams and I was having second thoughts, but then I saw Lucy in the background bouncing around collecting the tea cups and plates for the fake scones with her two sparkling beady eyes.

“Well, Lucy said you were nice to look at, but your head is just filled with stuff and fluff,” I said.

His face grew dark, and he stomped his way back to Lucy. He then raised his hand and slapped all the tea cups back to the ground. They scattered, bouncing and rolling out of sight. After some arguing Lucy went to the corner and slumped to her soft knees.  Dust puffed around her, she rested her head against the chest wall, and soft cries began to shake her now cobwebbed shoulders. It was pitiful and sad.

I had won, but at what cost. Actually, Lucy and Johnny’s heads were both filled with stuff and fluff. They kind of belonged together.

I went to Johnny and came clean about my little lie that had just happened to destroy their love. He didn’t throw a car or slap anything which kind of disappointed me. He just walked over to Lucy and picked the pitiful bear from the ground. Lucy fell into his grasp, nuzzled her head under his chin and I suppressed the rising fluff of disgust in my throat.

Seven long, horrible, never ending minutes later the bears with fluff and stuff in their head came around Inviting me to tea again.

Lucy cleared her throat and lowered her cup of tea, “Hey Sarah, I saw a dolly in the corner with buttons on her dress, maybe we can fix the scary hole in your face.”

Johnny choked on his imaginary tea and I chucked the pink teacup in Lucy the beautiful white bear’s direction.

The end

Morals

  1. Stuffed Bears are kind of abusive and have extremely warped minds.
  2. Tea, and forgiveness are the keys to bear friendship.
  3. Jealousy is a great motivator, but always with bad outcomes.

Who Cleans the books at night?

This is for picture it and write from Ermilia’s blog.

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Only three more books, and then I would be done with all the last names starting with the letter S. That was my given schedule for however long it took me. Every night, I managed 15 books and they were old and weathered, but cherished all the same. It took a lot of effort to pull the heavy books off the shelves, for I was a smallish library sprite. Most sprites stand at one and half feet tall, but I’m a shy millimeter from being a foot tall.

I was pushing in the last book when I saw Hunter through the shelf cracks. He should have been done long ago since he was a tall sprite. The books seemed effortless in his hands and I was usually the last one to go back into my assigned book. He turned around and caught me looking. I quickly ducked down, but saw his smirk. Dang, he has often caught me looking. I try not to, but It’s his bright green eyes with the dark lashes that catch my gaze and that smirky face.

“Lilly, I know you’re there.”
“No, I’m not,” I said and mentally slapped myself on the forehead.
“Are you spying on me?”
“No, I’m just wrapping up and going home.”

He came around the isle with a book in his hand.

“What are you doing with that.”
“I’m going somewhere different,” He said and started to flip the book open.
“That’s illegal, big no no, you know what they do to sprites who jump stories!”
He looked at me, raised his eyebrows, and said, “Yes, they give us more books to clean.”

He traced his hand across the page and looked up at me.
“What book are you stuck in?”

I actually would give anything to have a different story. Mine is filled with sadness and anger, and an ending I haven’t made it to yet. One day I will know my whole story, but you only get to the end when you’re very old. I try to always aim for the best parts, but sometimes I have to relive the evil ones.

“Yep, you’re in a sad book too,” he said. “Lets go to the ocean for one day.”

My heart flickered with lightness. I would love to go to the ocean. I had heard Emma, my spunky friend, talking about it before. She had said her book had a giant white whale in it, whatever that was, which lived in an ocean.

He placed the book on the shelf.
I gasped.
“Hunter you are dangerous. First you’re talking about jumping stories and now you’re shelving books in wrong spots.”
“Pish Posh, I see Frank do it all the time.”
“That’s great, so if Frank rips a page out of a book will you too?”
He looked hurt. “I would never rip a page out of a book,” he said.

And then he smiled at me and jumped into the book. I just stared at the empty space he left behind. I walked back and forth twice and then he jumped out of the book causing me to fall over backwards with a small yelp.

He started to laugh and so did I, until I heard the familiar sound of a tapping cane. Oh no, it was the library guard sprite. He was always in a bad way.
Hunter stopped laughing and held out his hand. I looked at his hand and then up to his still laughing eyes. He smirked and we jumped into the waiting book.

Heart2Heart: Digging up the hatch…

Months ago, I had ripped my broken heart from my soul and put it in a shoe box. Well, this is just a metaphor and I wish it was a little different. I would tell you I took my feelings of love, turned them into a sparkly butterfly, and set it free in a meadow, but that would be a bunch BS. Pretty, but BS all the same. It wasn’t the easiest break off to say the least. My slow stumble of regret/sadness had turned into a walk of embarrassment/letting go and then finally back into a normal happy go lucky jog. It takes effort to just move on, but it eventually does happen.

My story in life has taken many routes and I want to share with people the disaster, hope, love, and comedy of it all. I still have plenty to share with many surprises to come 🙂

–Katie

Try to laugh at your mistakes, it can really change your day!

My brother and I were going grocery shopping and stopped at the 7/11 for coffees. Being on a budget this was a reasonable option. Well, I’ve never had coffee from a 7/11 and they give all kinds of options. Seven different types of coffee, a spinning table with creamers, a spinning table with pump syrups, peppermint creamer, pumpkin coffee, sugars, and the list continues. I was a bit overwhelmed, but did my best to pick the right combination. Sending a small prayer up that it wouldn’t be the nastiest thing in the world, I searched for a lid.

My brother came around the corner and said I could put ice in it from the fountain drink machine, so that I could drink it right away. What a good idea. Well I walked over, put my cup under the ice slot, and like an idiot pushed the button. Coffee splashed in my face and down the front of my shirt.

He walked up and said, “oh man, tell me you didn’t just do that.”

“Yep, sure did,” and I was feeling like the biggest idiot ever.

After a quick stop back to the house and a shirt change we were back on the road. I took a sip of the coffee and it wasn’t the worst ever, but pretty damn close. I hid the grimace and took another sip. It was probably because the coffee I chose ran out halfway and I filled the rest with a different kind.

We were in the grocery parking lot and he wanted to finish his coffee before facing the Sunday shopping rush. I glared at my cup of coffee and decided the best thing to do was down it. I didn’t want to be ungrateful since he sweetly bought me the coffee. Men sometimes get mad when you waste their hard earned money.

I was gulping it down when I felt him staring.

“Damn,” he said.

I looked down at my shirt. “Are you kidding me!” I had spilled coffee on my second shirt of the day.  What the hell is wrong with me?

Then I noticed the lid wasn’t on all the way. I wanted to get out of the car and throw the blasted coffee across the parking lot.

“Why didn’t you tell me it was spilling,” I said

“I thought you didn’t care. I was in shock because I thought you were drinking it like when someone is drinking water so fast it spills out the side of their mouth.”

I started to smile at the visual and then flat out laughed when he impersonated a sane person drinking coffee and then me drinking coffee.

I rolled through the store with a coffee stain, but smiled every time I thought about my idiotic morning and his impersonation.

Learn from my mistakes.

1: Never push the ice button and let it fall into the cup. Let it fall into your hand.

2: Make sure the lid is on all the way.

3: If you make the mistake and pick a coffee that runs out, start over.

4: Don’t let the small things ruin your day. Try to laugh instead.