Countdown to 500 (#5)

Y’all! My next post is 500!! Woot! Woot!

Today’s offering is my favorite dessert (besides ice cream)…



Yesterday I promised you a 500 word short story (and it is exactly 500 words!), and I hope this doesn’t disappoint. Inspiration Monday inspired, here is:

Last Meal on Earth

The glow from their eyes surrounded me. Dusk had arrived and the moon hid it’s face from the travesty called earth. The lone survivor, tonight I will become the last meal.

It all began two weeks ago, on a crisp, beautiful autumn morning.  The comforting smell of lit fireplaces mingled with pumpkin spice and cinnamon apples and perfumed the air. Children laughed on swing sets, donned in their favorite pull-over sweatshirts. Parents patiently raked the golds, crimsons, and browns scattered across their yard for the fifty millionth time as their children gleefully jump into their pile of leaves. Smiles revealed teeth and friendly waves spread happiness around the neighborhood. No one paid attention to the shadows that crossed the sky, not even when those shadows blotted out the sun, and a chill infiltrated the air.

I watched from the safety of my living room window as they quietly landed one by one, using their laser guns to zap my friends into unconsciousness. My eyes shut wetly as more flocked from their ships and dined on the flesh lined streets, leaving nothing behind to bear witness. I crouched behind my curtain hoping I wouldn’t be seen, yet unable to look away. My watch vibrated, startling me, and my heart leaped to my chest. My children are getting on their school buses for home, unaware of the fate that awaits them. There is nothing I can do to protect them, for to leave my house would mean instant death and render me powerless to help them.

I pulled my cellphone out of my pocket and called my oldest child first. Each ring seemed like an eternity before her voicemail picked up.

“Hi, I can’t take your call right now. Leave me a message.”

The silly tones lacing her voice filtered from my phone and my heart felt as if it wanted to burst from my breast. Images filled my head of my beautiful daughters lined along the street unconscious like my neighbors. I could not shake it. My phone lit up with my daughter’s face.

“Mom?” She whispered. “They’re here.” Fear filled her words.

“I know. Are you safe?” Even as I asked, I watched as two aliens broke down the door across the street. The house lit up with a red light. No one was safe.

“I don’t know. I’m hiding.” I could hear the tremble in her lips. “I don’t know what’s going on.”

“Have you heard from your sister?”

A small wail escaped her lips. “They hit her school before mine. Everyone is gone.”

The sound of doors opening and closing breached the phone.

“NO!” Cassie screamed.

The line went quiet, and I knew. Tears streaked down my cheeks. I pushed the speed dial code to reach my husband. The beeps of the busy signal matched the rhythm of my heart. I hung up and dialed again and again only to get the same response. I knew the truth, though. He, too, was gone.

I’m the only one left.


So, what do you think of that short? Share your thoughts in a comment and be automatically entered in the great Til Death Do Us Part giveaway!

Here’s what you need to know:

1 lucky commenter will win a signed paperback copy and 5 lucky commenters will win a copy of the ebook.

Yes, you read that right.

Six (6) lucky My Write Side fans will win a copy of my debut story. If you’ve ever wondered what a rejected engagement ring does to gain acceptance, you need wonder no more. This book follows a fascinating chain of events that will horrify you even as you find yourself rooting for the ring to come full circle.

And it can be YOURS, just by doing this one simple thing. Comment, comment, comment. There will be a total of six posts this week. You have five chances to comment. The more you comment, the greater your chances to win! On the 6th day, the 500th post, I will announce the 6 lucky winners.

So please, take a moment and say “hi.” Don’t forget to come back tomorrow, for the final celebration, the announcement of the winners, AND MY 500th POST!!

Thanks for coming by!


Destiny Calling

The great revelations of my adult life began with the shouts of a lost soul in my neighborhood breakfast joint. It was my first day working at my very first job. I was eighteen, I’d just graduated, and the summer was mine. The girl came in shouting with tears making clean tracks down her panic-stricken face, her hair the color of filth and slick with natural oil. Her clothes hung in tattered shreds about her too skinny body. The shoes on her feet didn’t match, but they were surprisingly whole. Incoherent words tumbled from her mouth yet not one person moved closer to understand her. Disgusted frowns creased faces angry from the intrusion and I moved to the girl’s side.

“Breathe!” I said, grabbing her grimy hands with my own. “I can’t understand you unless you calm down.” The depth of her blue eyes swept me away. After a little clean up, she would be stunning. Her response was to turn away from me. She urgently pulled on my hand as if she wanted me to follow. I looked back at my boss, who was watching the exchange with interest. He nodded.

“Go ahead, Joey. Get her out of here.”

She was gone in a flash. I ran out the door to see her bent on the sidewalk.  A pair of black clad legs stuck out beyond her and I quickened my pace. A priest lay on the ground, a pool of blood flooding the sidewalk beneath him. The girl looked up at me again.

“Please help him.” She said.

The man groaned in response. I fell to my knees on the other side of him. I had no idea what to do. Memories of doctor shows filled my brain and I pressed fingers against his neck, hoping for some kind of rhythm. It was hard to find, but it was there. I whipped my cellphone out and dialed for help. The girl smiled openly at me in gratitude. Her perfect teeth made me wonder what happened to her. She looked young, no more than sixteen or seventeen. Her eyes left mine as she busied herself in comforting the man on the ground. She took his hand in both of hers and began rocking, her lips moving without sound.

By the time I realized she was praying, the ambulance had arrived. I saw the panic on her face heighten as the paramedics pushed her aside. Within moments, they had his vitals done and had him strapped to a gurney. The girl ran up to them as they loaded him on, but they pushed her back again. I read the disgust on their faces and realized they weren’t going to let her go with them. I didn’t think this was fair, but what could I do? My boss wouldn’t let me leave. Besides, I didn’t have a car anyway. She looked so lost though it bothered me. I gave her change and directions to the hospital and went back to work.

My boss approached me as I reentered the restaurant.

“What happened?”

“Looks like that priest from across the street got shot. The girl was all upset about it. The ambulance refused to let her ride along.” I kept my statements short and simple. I had a feeling that the boss wasn’t the sympathetic type.

“I don’t blame them. Who knows how many germs she is leaving behind just by stepping into a place? We will have to bleach this place thoroughly tonight. You up to work late?”

I nodded in response. His words left me silent. What could I say? Somehow, life had turned against this girl, but I didn’t share his disdain. Something about her just wouldn’t let me forget her.


“It’s closing time, Joey. Why don’t you take the trash out so we can lock up and get this place scrubbed?” the boss said.

I obliged. I could smell the sand from the beach nearby and wanted a moment to myself. I gathered the trash and hauled it over my shoulder. I lifted the dumpster lid but before I could toss it in, movement from inside the bin caught my eye. It was the girl from earlier. Horrified to see her laying in the trash, I took a closer look. Blood crusted on her forehead and blended in streaks with the dirt. Though her eyes remained closed, her arms moved slowly, and sound came from her throat. I left her long enough to grab the foot stool from the restaurant and reached in to help her.

“Hey,” I said softly. Her eyes fluttered open. “Hey, are you okay?”

She just stared.

“What happened to you? You were supposed to go to the hospital!”

She continued staring until the faintest hint of recognition hit her. She groaned in response, and, using her arms to pull herself up, grabbed onto me. “Father?”

I shook my head. “No, I’m not the Father. I’m Joey.”

Her eyebrows furrowed and her eyes darkened. “Father?”

“No, I’m Joey. The Father is in the hospital.”

Her eyes now blazing pits of coal, she gripped me tighter. “Father!”

“I don’t know, I’m sorry. Why didn’t you go?” I looked her over again. Her forehead was still bleeding. I touched her head gently and she winced. She said nothing, only put a palm to her temple in response. When she noticed she was in the dumpster, she tried to rise, and I helped her. Her footing was weak, so I sat down beside her.

“Hurts,” she said, releasing me. She closed her eyes again as her fingertips touched the side of her head.

“It’s bleeding. Come inside and I’ll clean you up a bit,” I answered. I didn’t care if my boss would like it or not. I had a whole night of scrubbing ahead of me already. What harm would it do to bring her in now?

She tried to stand, but her legs wouldn’t hold her, so I helped her inside. I set her down on a corner booth and slid the table out. I removed the tablecloth, folded it, and placed it under her head. Her eyes stayed open but I could tell she was having difficulty focusing. Whoever had done this to her had meant business.
I looked her full in the face, even capturing it between my hands to ensure she understood me. “I’m going to fetch a towel and a bucket of water. Stay here and don’t try to sit up, got it?” Her eyes scanned the area around me, never quite meeting my eyes, but she nodded once I released her.

I moved as quickly as I could, looking over my shoulder more often than I would have liked for my boss. My gut said he wouldn’t be pleased but I was so deep in now that I couldn’t back out even if I wanted to, which I didn’t. This just felt right. It was as if destiny had taken a knife and carved it out as a meant to be moment. I didn’t know why. I didn’t know how. I just knew, all the way down to my toes, that this moment would decide the rest of my life. I decided to embrace it.

I spotted my boss coming out of his office. It was now or never time.

“Mr. Jones?” I cleared my throat. Even though I knew I was doing the right thing, I was nervous. He said nothing but his single raised eyebrow told me he’d heard me. “Mr. Jones, sir, um…I’m not going to be able to stay. An emergency came up that I have to take care of. I hope you understand.”

I didn’t wait for an answer. I tended to the girl’s wound as best as I could, ignoring my boss’s looming presence behind me. I ignored the blood that had begun to pool on the floor. I ignored the stain her wound left on the bench she was resting on. I ignored everything except her, finally shifting my attention away long enough to call an ambulance.

As the lights flashed red and blue against the walls of the restaurant and they placed the girl on a gurney, my boss took me aside.

“Joey, I hope you know what you’re doing. I could fire you for this.” His voice was soft, but I detected a hint of ice behind them.

“Then fire me, sir. I have to do this. I don’t know why, but I have this feeling my life is about to begin.”

This week’s Master Class starting line came from Peter Straub’s A Dark Matter: “The great revelations of my adult life began with the shouts of a lost soul in my neighborhood breakfast joint.

I welcome honest feedback. Won’t you please share your thoughts in a comment?

Thanks for stopping in!

Tomato Slice

Slice. Slice. At last, freedom! Y’all have no idea how stifling Lord Tomato can be. Ser’isly. The slide of that blade was like a pinch at first, but was so fast, I barely felt anything, and now I’m free!! Her hand is cool as she carries me. She lays me on top of my new mate, Lettuce.

“Howdy,” I say.

“Howdy?” Lettuce scoffs.  “You do realize that you are part of a sandwich? You know that she will put you in her mouth, bite you, and you’ll travel in chunks until you land in her stomach? You realize that you’re about to die, don’t you?”

Bread speaks up now. “Hush, Lettuce. Let him have his joy. It’s a good thing to be chosen. I’ve seen so many of my brothers discarded for being too close to the end of the loaf. I’ll rejoice with him in being chosen. Hush, Lettuce.”

“Humph. Bacon’ll be here soon, and he’ll tell you the same thing,” Lettuce answers.

“I’ll just slide out smoothly. You’ll see. There’ll be something of me left when y’all’re gone.” I assure them.

“She’ll salt you and pick you up. You’ll feel the vengeance of her teeth without our padding. Go ahead and slide. I hope I’ll be here to hear you scream.” Lettuce snickers a bit.

“Ow! That’s hot!” Bacon, fresh from the frying pan, lands on top of me.

“What’s this I hear about sliding out?” Bacon asks.

“Yeah, I’m gonna do it. I’ll time it so I slide to the floor. She won’t eat me then.” I shoot back.

Bacon’s deep laugh mingles with Lettuce’s high one. It has a musical quality to it.

“You see those eyes over there, peeking from underneath all that fur? He’ll snap you up in two bites if you reach the floor. Just accept your fate.” Lettuce says. Bread merely clicks his tongue in response. Suddenly the plate falls away and we are lifted into the air.

Lips loom closer, the dark abyss opening wider. The first bite misses and I slide backwards just as I promised I would. Each bite, I slide a little further back, until I land on her lap with a plop. I laugh.

“I told you so,” I say, mere moments before SNAP!

“Yep. I called that one right.” Lettuce’s last words fill the air as she watches the dog swallow Tomato Slice in a single bite. “Sayonara, sandwich!”


This week we showed you a picture of a delicious BLT and then asked you to write, in 400 words or less, a post inspired by it.

Have you ever wondered what your sandwich talks about before you eat it?

I’m always looking for feedback. Please feel free to share your thoughts on what works and what doesn’t work or whatever else in the comments.

Thanks for stopping in!

War and Peace

“Will you not share?

No. It’s all mine.

“But you have so much.”

So? It’s all mine.

“Yes, you are right. But! I have all this.”

I don’t care. I’m not sharing a single crumb with you.

“Will you not put it on the line then so it is neither yours nor mine?”

No. I won’t.

“Then I will not share mine with you.”

Then we’ll both die.

Shrugs. “We will all die eventually anyway.”

You sooner. I’ve got the food.

“And  I, water. I daresay you will die of thirst first.”

Then so be it, but I won’t leave you a scrap. Not even a morsel fit for a mouse.

“Poor mouse.”

Poor you. Your stomach’ll wake  the dead.

“So you will not share?”

No. I won’t.

“Then we both die.”

So be it.


Rumble.”All those leftovers. Will you not share?”

Not one crumb.

“Okay then. Watch this.” Glug. Glug. Glug.

Will you not share?

“Will you?”

No. Humph. Maybe a crumb.

“Then I will give you a drop.”

But the line…

“Put it on the line.”


“Why not?”

You’ll take it. If I put it on the line, you’ll take it and I won’t get it back.

“Of course not. It will be in my belly.”

Then I’ll have to cut it out.

“You would cut the crumb from my belly? Nonsense. You’ll kill us both.”

Then we’ll both die.

“So be it.”


“Will you not share?”

A crumb for a drop?

“Yes, on the line.”

Wait. How can you leave a drop on the line?

“Like this.”  Ping. “Will you not share?”

Humph. No. It’s all mine.

“Fine. I take the drop back then.”


“Like this.” Smudge. Smudge. Scratch. “There, see?”

Humph. Waster.

“I have plenty.”

Will you share?

“No. I will not. Will you not share?”

Humph. No. I won’t.


A crumb for a drop?

“On the line?”


“No. I will not. Not even for a crumb.”


Cottonmouth. Will you not share?

“I will not. Unless…Put it on the line.”

The line for more than a drop?

“For more than a crumb.”

Just one.

“On the line?”

Yes. More than a drop?

“Yes, a whole cup, on the line.”

On 3?

“Yes. My count.”

No. Mine.

Sigh. “Fine. You count.”

One. Two. Three!

“Thank you.”

Thank you!

“Please put the cup on the line.”

No. It’s mine now.

“You cannot fill it.”

It’s mine. See? My side of the line.



“Will you not share the cup?”

No. I won’t.

“Then we both die.”

So?  I didn’t ask to have you tagging along.

“As if it is my fault.”

No, but…you could just give me the water.

“And you could just share the food.”

I could, but I won’t.

“There is plenty.”

It’s all mine. See? The line.

“Stupid line. Who had this crazy idea, anyway?”

You did.

“Oh. Why?”

You hate me. Sniff.

“I do not.”

That’s what you said before drawing the line.

“Oh. Well I did not mean it.”

Sniff. Humph.

“Will you not share?” Smudge, smudge. “Look, the line has a gap. Shall we cross it?”

Humph. On 3?

“Yes, on 3. ”

One. Two. Three! Humph. I can’t cross without you.

“I will not cross.”

Humph. Why not?

“I just remembered why I hate you.”

Humph. Fine then. I won’t share.

“Yes, exactly. This is why I hate you. You  do not share.”

I share too much already. A hip, a shoulder, an abdomen. Isn’t that enough?

“When you put it that way…Cross the line on 3?”

On 3. One. Two.

“Wait. I am not ready. Which side are we crossing to?”


“No, no. I made the line. I choose.”

No. You’ll eat all the food and close the line without giving me any drink.

“And you will not do the same?”

No. I’m honest.

“Calling me a liar, now?”

Yes, whenever it’s to your advantage. Which is always.

“Fine. I’ll put the line back.”

Humph. Of course you will.

“Are you calling me predictable now?”

You said it, not me. Don’t look so shocked. You said it just now.

“Fine. I will be unpredictable then. What do you think I will do next?”

Count to three then cross to my side of the line.

“Wrong! You count, and we will cross to my side.”

Fine, on 3? One, two, three, step! Here is the cup.

“And here is the water. Fill the cup?”

Yes and here, step to my side for a second. Here, have some bread.

“It’s moldy.”

Yes. What did you expect of leftover bread?

“We will both die.”

At least we will be together.


This week’s challenge was to: Write a piece, non-fiction or fiction, in which your character is figuring out what to do with their “leftovers”. We had 600 words to do this with (and yes, I’m a little over).

So, tell me. I tried on all dialogue for a change. Did it work? Did the path of the story take you by surprise? Feel free to share your thoughts. I’m always looking for critique.







>Red Writing Hood: Crunchy Momma

>     “But, Mom! Please!! I know it has been 27 years since you made baby food, but I really need your help!” Kelly’s voice cracked a little in her despair.

Jace was screaming behind her, which only added more frenzy to her normally calm demeanor. She switched her cellphone to speaker so she could talk and soothe him at the same time.

     “What’s the matter with that boy?” her mom asked.
     “He’s hungry! I’ve been trying to make his applesauce for thirty minutes now, and it’s just not right! Please help me, or do you want me to call Alvin’s mother instead?”

Alvin’s mother lived two hours away and worked from home, so she came to Kelly’s assistance on a regular basis, a source of pain to her own mother, who lives in another state ten hours away. She had come to help Kelly when Jace was first born, but due to illness and the lack of finances, she was not able to come as often as she wanted to.

Alvin’s mother was old school, though, and Kelly wanted to stick to a natural, organic diet with Jace, so the only person who really could help her with this was her ultra-organic mother.

   “Alvin’s mother couldn’t boil water without burning it,” her mother said before letting out a long sigh. Kelly knew that sigh. It meant her mother was resigned to helping her, and she was okay with that. Her mother acted like she was being put out, but she knew that she secretly loved that Kelly came to her with questions. “What ingredients are you using?”
     “Apples and water. And I was thinking cinnamon, but he’s so little.”
     “And that’s all? You’ve got to mash those apples up good, and definitely add cinnamon. It won’t hurt him. Add a little corn syrup, too.”
     “Corn syrup? Mom, he’s 6 months old. Corn syrup, really?”
     “Yes, really. It’s only a small amount. He will be fine, really, and it will give it a little consistency, which is what you want. Kelly, I put corn syrup in a lot of your food when you were little. You came out fine, didn’t you?”
      “Yes, mom. I guess  I did. It just doesn’t sound very nutritious all of a sudden, that’s all.”
      “Corn syrup and that high fructose crap are different. Also, add a little orange juice. Not a lot, just a little bit. It will make a big difference. It’s Vitamin C.”
      “Orange juice is acidic, Mother. Are you pulling my leg? Corn syrup and orange juice.” She shakes her head, smiling as Jace imitates her motions. She sighs loud enough for her mother to hear her. “How much is a little?”
       “Oh just a touch, not even a tablespoon full of either.” Her mother is quiet for a few minutes and Kelly hears the sound of paper flipping over the speaker.

Before she can say anything, her mom speaks again. “Just a half teaspoon of corn syrup, and 2 teaspoons of orange juice. Well, if you are making a large batch, anyway. How much did you say you were making again?”

       “Oh, Mother, really.  Were you not listening to a thing I said?”

Critique is always welcome.

–Stephanie, AKA The Drama Mama