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Monday, December 30, 2013

Three Little Words

The folks at Trifecta have challenged us to write a three-word New Year's resolution.

Oh, man. I can think of a bazillion.

Finish that novel.
Drink less booze.
Go to church.
Don't overwhelm myself.
Say "no" more.
Say "yes" more.
F*cking swear less.

Hubs offered a suggestion: "Don't hit people." I didn't appreciate the implication that I'm violent, so I smacked him.

In the end, I guess I really need to:

Just do better.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Our 2013 Rap Sheet

This is a revised version of our Christmas letter. I deleted names and other personal details because I refuse to make things easy for internet lunatics and stalkers. They'll have to put in their own work like everyone else.

If you're a relative/friend/coworker/acquaintance and you didn't get our letter this year, we:

a. didn't have your address
b. never receive one from you (tit for tat and all that)
c. don't like you enough to waste the stamp
d. some combination of the above
e. all of the above

 
Aren’t you sick of braggy Christmas letters?
 
Well, this year we’re keeping it real, yo! We’re gonna tell you all the bad stuff we did in 2013.
 
Son, 13
Alias: Stretch McGee
Offenses:
  • Ditched his family every chance he got on their Disney cruise over last New Year’s
  • Outgrew his jeans twice
  • Forced his parents to endure frigid temps (40°!) to watch his fancy footwork on the soccer field
  • Sported a mustache that looks like Justin Bieber's
  • Wore headphones and pajama pants all the time
  • Stole every pencil in the house to draw his original comic series “McFancy”
  • Committed multiple zombie homicides on Xbox Live
  
Daughter, 11
Alias: Baby Girl

Offenses:
  • Only came in fourth place at the school spelling bee
  • Ditched her family to spend spring break in Myrtle Beach with friends
  • Had a pop star-themed sleepover birthday party and kept her parents up way too late
  • Was the tiniest, yet the loudest, cheerleader on her city rec squad
  • Attended a P!nk concert in Atlanta with her mom and conned her mother into buying a $5 cup of pop
  • Allowed her feet to keep growing (currently size 6.5), requiring new shoes three times


Hubs
Alias: Mags
 
Offenses:
  • Visited Germany and Italy three times each, Florida and Iowa; only took his wife on the Iowa trip
  • Subjected his family to countless hours of country music while honing his guitar skills  
  • Chaperoned his son’s field trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and his daughter’s field trip to Tybee Island, GA, and brought back grimy, muddy laundry both times  
  • Habitually fell asleep during family movie nights and dark amusement park rides


Ivy
Alias: The Boss
Offenses:
  • Didn’t finish her novel (has only written 125 pages so far)
  • Let her children invite too many friends (29!) to their annual Halloween party
  • Wrote posts that embarrassed her family on her blog mommydourest.blogspot.com
  • Went on two girls' trips (Disney World and Universal Studios) instead of the contractually agreed upon one trip per year
  • Kept saying “pop” even though it’s “soda” in the South


We hope y'all aren't too disappointed in us now that you know all our dirty secrets.

Wishing you good health, good fortune, and good times in the coming year. (Yeah, we know we said that in 2012, but we still wish those things for you!)

Love,

Us

 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Twelve Days of Crappy Christmas Gifts

This Christmas, if your man surprises you with a shiny new vacuum, don't strangle him with the hose attachment. Things could be worse, girl. Take "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Are we supposed to believe someone was so jazzed to receive 23 birds that they wrote a song about it?

Yeah, sure. I think this would be a little closer to reality.


Day One: partridge in a pear tree
When I opened the door to see the tree sapling with a little birdy on my porch, I gushed like a schoolgirl. I begged my neighbor to plant the tree in my backyard because I detest gardening. But, you couldn’t have known that. I gotta be honest, though; the partridge is kinda ugly. But, it reminds me of The Partridge Family, which reminds me of David Cassidy, who was a total cutie. So, that works.

I already had an inkling you were my true love, but this ultra-unique romantic gesture clinches it.


Day Two: turtle doves
My friends are so envious. All they ever get are roses. I don’t know where the hell I’m gonna put three birds, but I love your wacky sense of humor. Question: Was the pet store out of regular ol’ white doves? Now those are really pretty. But these are nice, too. And better looking than the partridge.

Love you!


Day Three: French hens
You're certainly keeping this bird theme going. You nut. Do you volunteer at an aviary or something? Please don’t think me ungrateful, but would it be OK if I fry these bad boys up? I mean, a girl’s gotta eat, right?


Day Four: colly birds
Is this your idea of a joke? The neighbor lady is threatening to call animal control on me. I’m a laughing stock among my friends. And I’m up to my eyeballs in feathers and bird shit. If you care about me at all, stop this insanity. In fact, just lose my number. Freak!


Day Five: gold rings
Oh, Baby. I love you soooooo much! I had my doubts after all that silly bird business, but you’ve redeemed yourself. Say, would you mind if I sell two or three of these rings to pay for my lawyer? I’m planning to sue my landlord for unlawful eviction. My lease never said anything about a limit on how many pet birds I could have.

Love you, Sweetie!


Day Six: geese a-laying
What the hell is wrong with you? What am I supposed to do with a bunch of horny geese? Huh?! Geez! Ever heard of roses? Chocolates? You need to do something about this sick addiction to ugly birds. Don’t call me until you've gotten some help.


Day Seven: swans a-swimming
OK, I can see how you might have misunderstood me. The swans are beautiful, but I don’t want any more birds—not even cute ones. Where are you getting all these goddamned birds, anyway? And how did you have time to set up that huge above ground pool in my backyard? Well, it does get pretty hot around here in the summer months, so the pool will be nice to cool off in … once I get the swans out of there.

Look, help me get rid of all these damn birds and maybe we can work things out.


Day Eight: maids a-milking
Hey, uh, eight chicks (I mean women; not more birds, thank goodness) just showed up at my door with mops. I mean, I could use some help cleaning up all the bird crap, but I live in a duplex. Don’t you think one maid would suffice? There’s something else: They brought a cow. Did you know about the cow? I don’t think my neighborhood is zoned for livestock.

Don’t get me wrong. It was a nice gesture. I think, with a few ground rules, we might be able to make this work.


Day Nine: ladies dancing
Um … so I came home for lunch to find a bunch of women doing the polka on my front lawn. I know we discussed taking our relationship to the next level, but this is a helluva way for me to meet your mom, aunt and sisters, don’t you think? I hope they weren’t offended that I didn’t join in. I’m really more of a hip-hop girl.


Day Ten: lords a-leaping
Uh, Babe ... The UPS guy just showed up with a large box of little Jesus figurines that hop when you wind them up. I didn’t even know you were religious. I guess we still have a lot to learn about each other. I wonder how much something like this would go for on eBay. They're freaking out the birds.


Day Eleven: pipers piping
Hon, I finally got my landlord calmed down over the birds, the cow and the noise complaints about the polka music. Now you send over your bagpipe-playing friends at 1 a.m.?! Some of these dudes seem pretty trashed, too. One guy bent over and … well, let’s just say he must get a nice breeze under that kilt. The neighbor lady came charging out in her robe, screaming at me. Then she took one look at your buddy's ... um ... jingling balls and high-tailed it back inside. Ha!

Ya know, if this is your way of getting me kicked out so I’ll move in with you, you could just ask.


Day Twelve: drummers drumming
Um … I don’t know any other way to say this, so I’ll just come right out with it. This isn't working. It’s not you; it’s me … OK, I guess you’ll find out sooner or later. You know those drummers you hired? Well, I recognized the guy from Sick Thicket. Didn't I tell you I used to go to their concerts all the time? Anyway, we got to talking, and turns out we have a lot in common. We just connected. No one ever means for these things to happen.

But, hey, a generous guy like you should have no problem finding someone else.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Just Put It on My Card

This week's Trifecta challenge: Write a 33-word piece to produce laughter and festive cheer.

Dashing to the stores
Those deals expire today.
Over ads we go
Drooling all the way.
Registers lit up;
Receipts eagerly signed.

What fun it is to shop until
My Visa gets declined!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Our Elf Has Gone Rogue

I wrote this story a couple weeks ago, but I added an update this morning. I decided to use this for the Trifecta challenge because it fit the prompt, and it's time someone raised awareness about rogue elves.

This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "father" as defined below:

FATHER
a : one related to another in a way suggesting that of father to child  

b : an old man —used as a respectful form of address

Word count: 333


Our Elf Has Gone Rogue

We have an elf, but he doesn't hang out on shelves. No, our elf--Clyde--prefers the company of Barbie and her friends to books and dust bunnies. He doesn't wear any femmy red bodysuit, either. Our elf has style.

Clyde's a pimp. Not in a "bitch betta have my money" way. What I mean is he's a player. The ladies love him. (You know what they say about elves with big feet.) His girls don't even mind sharing him. The other day I overheard Barbie's trashy sister Skipper announce, "Ain't no fun if my homies can't have none." Until I discovered Clyde's proclivities toward the honeys, I used to wonder why Daughter's dolls were never dressed. Sluts.


Clyde's been with us four years now. In that time, we've overlooked LOTS of questionable behavior because, well, he's a fun guy. And he always leaves out the really bad stuff when he reports back to good ol' Father Christmas. Besides, our naughty list worthy offenses are nothing compared to Clyde's antics. We can't help but love the little dude, though. He's the life of the party, and he tells the most hilarious dirty jokes. Ever heard the gem about the elf, the unicorn and the fairy? That one still cracks me up.

Well, today Clyde went full-on rogue. I received the following photo via text this morning--no doubt from an untraceable phone:


Obviously, we feel awful for Mr. and Mrs. Snow. And abducting innocent snow children is nothing short of heinous. But where are we supposed to get $1,000,000? I could implore my loyal readers to each donate a dollar, but that would net, like, three bucks.

Why couldn't Clyde be content to poop chocolate chips or make snow angels in our flour like other people's elves? Why?!


UPDATE: The Snows returned with nary a carrot out of place. Clyde apologized, but he's back to his old tricks. Aladdin has every reason to be pissed. From what I've heard, once you go elf ...


#

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Melt With Three Sides

William’s already working when I arrive. I take my place across the table and start stuffing fliers. He flashes that smile—the one that always manages to melt my insides. Geez, I sound like a lovesick schoolgirl.

I love the way William clears his throat to fill awkward silences. I love that he goes by his full name, not Will or—Lord help me—Billy. I love that he cares enough about animals to volunteer at the Animal Rescue League. And, on a purely shallow level, he’s freakin’ hot.

We have a connection. I think. On the way over here, I talked myself into making a move. Ugh! Can't do it.

 *

I worked with Jordan today. It could be wishful thinking, but I feel such a connection. Sometimes the feeling is so strong I want to scream, “Hey, let’s do this thing!” I can barely stand when there’s silence, because the urge is overwhelming.

Besides being drop-dead gorgeous, Jordan has the biggest heart. And I'm a total sucker for the brown hair/blue eyes combo. We have so much in common.

Every time we work together, I leave pissed off at myself for letting another opportunity pass. Why can't I just grow some balls? I’m scared to put myself out there again, that’s why. But I can’t go on like this much longer.

 *

“Oh, those kids,” I groan under my breath as the last volunteer walks out the door. “Gah!”

“Who?”

“William and Jordan.”

“Still no progress, huh?” Jan, my co-volunteer coordinator shakes her head, chuckling. “Maybe we outta lock them in the storeroom. Remember that game Seven Minutes in Heaven?”

“I really thought William would make a move today. He seemed like he was working himself up to it.”

“Just keep scheduling them together, Cupid,” she says. “If something’s there, it’ll happen.”

I scoop up the stuffed envelopes, turn off the coffee pot, and grab my jacket and purse.

“I don’t know,” I sigh. “One of those boys seriously needs to man up.”


#

I woke up with this story in my head. Usually my first thought is about some crappy crap I have to do, so this was a much nicer start to my day. And the prompt word seemed to fit well. Oh, and may I please have extra credit for making each perspective 111 words? Thank you kindly.


This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "melt" as defined below:

MELT
to make tender or gentle. SOFTEN


Word count: 333

Friday, December 6, 2013

Dazzle Me

This weekend's Trifextra challenge is to write a 33-word piece including these three words:

myopic
dazzle
basin


Wanna truly dazzle me this Christmas?

Keep the diamonds. Instead, how's about you teach my tragically myopic children to use garbage cans, rinse toothpaste out of the basin and flush their @&*%$ toilet?

Monday, December 2, 2013

All That Matters

“Seriously. How much do you love this little tush?” Kay is covering the baby’s freshly bathed bottom in kisses.

“Uh-huh.” I nod distractedly, digging in a box. Since we moved a week ago, I can’t find shit. “I’m about to go buy a new toaster so I can have a fucking piece of toast.”

Kay lets out an exaggerated sigh. She hates when I swear. Sometimes I do it to get under her skin when I can’t voice my frustration with her, with our situation.

“Can you not?” She points at the baby with her head.

“She’s three fucking weeks old,” I counter. I’ll pay for that later.

*
Kay is lying as close to the edge as possible. The baby is in the bassinet beside her. I rub Kay’s shoulder, hoping my simple act of surrender will close the gap between us. She turns toward me, searching my eyes for remorse.

“I’m sorry, Babe. You know how I get when I'm sleep deprived.”

Kay softens. She leans over to kiss me. I take this rare opportunity, reaching under her pajama top. Our bodies move closer. Just as things are heating up, she stops my hand from going inside her waistband.

“We don’t wanna wake her.”

I didn't realize how much a baby would change our lives. But after three miscarriages, Kay needed this. She’s happier than she's been in four years.

Besides, that girl clearly wasn’t ready to have a baby. She’s only in tenth grade, for fuck's sake. She has three siblings—all younger. The girl's mom can barely handle them, let alone help her with a newborn. So, really, I did them a favor. Right?

On the news, their house looked cleaner than I’d ever seen it. I saw the squalor whenever I delivered their packages. During the interview, the girl barely cried over Bella. Bella. She probably named her after that "Twilight" chick. I mean, come on.

Marissa—that's what we named her—deserves better. In the end, that's all that matters. Right?

#

This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "tush" as defined below:


TUSH
buttocks (slang)

Word count: 333

Friday, November 29, 2013

The Story of Us

This weekend's Trifextra challenge: a 33-word free write.

Hubs and my upcoming vow renewal (in honor of our 15th anniversary) has me feeling all gooey and lovey-dovey lately. Groaning and eye rolling are perfectly understandable.


First blind date
Hello, fate

Married fast
"Will it last?"

Honeymoon
Baby soon

And another
Joined big brother

Fifteen years
Sometimes tears

Mostly smiles
Despite trials

Love abounds
And surrounds

You

Me

Us


Before stretch marks, worry lines, gray hair and all
the fun bonuses that come with children.

In the interest of full disclosure, that kid on the right is
really about 4 inches taller than me. (Thank you, heels!)


Monday, November 25, 2013

The Girl Behind the Wall

Pluck her from her comfort zone.
Convince her not to stay alone.

The charming girl behind that wall
Is terrified to let it fall.

She’s going to take a lot of work.
For that, just thank a certain jerk.

The one who baited, promised, flattered
And—once he won her—left her shattered.

Now every man’s a ruthless snake,
A calling card for more heartache.

She’s had her guard up much too long.
Are you the one to prove her wrong?

Restore her faith in fairy tales?
Put the wind back in her sails?

It won’t be easy; she’ll resist.
She tends to soften when she’s kissed.

But please make sure your lips are true.
I’m ... she's pinning her last hopes on you.




This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "pluck" as defined below:

PLUCK
to move, remove, or separate forcibly or abruptly <plucked the child from the middle of the street>

Word count: 124

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sex, Sex, Sex

This weekend's Trifextra challengechoose a word and use it three times in 33 words. However, it must be either a verb, noun or adjective and the form of the word cannot change, it must appear exactly the same three times.


Heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual. I don’t judge.

My sex life? My business. Your sex life? Your business.

Unless you and I are having sex.

If that’s the case ... get your sexy ass over here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rut

Last week I had a piece of caramel popcorn in my hair for three hours before I realized it—and only then because the pest control guy pointed it out.

“Lucky for me your keen eye isn’t limited to spiders.” The joke fell flat. Maybe I should’ve smiled.

I’m a stay-at-home mom. That’s not a misnomer. I don’t get out much. With three kids under age 4 in tow, I need a sedative just to pick up the refill of my prescription sedative.

Lately I’m like a live-in companion to a man who pays me in boob gropes and beer farts. Our Sunday night sex appointments are currently on hold until The Walking Dead goes on hiatus. Good. I practically get knocked up just folding his boxers.

The most thrilling part of my day—besides taking my bra off after dinner—is ogling my new neighbor. Every morning at precisely 10:25, I let Disney Junior babysit the twins and confine Manning to the ExerSaucer. (Hubby took advantage of my post-delivery euphoria when it came to naming the last kid.)

Then I position myself by the window. Like clockwork, Hot Dad strolls past a few minutes later enroute to the park with his pristine little princess. She never has grass stains on her clothes or bruises from a Mega Bloks brawl.

Monday it took longer than usual to free Maisy from Mason’s headlock, so I missed the sexiest ass ever covered in khaki.

Yesterday I woke up early to decipher the triple stroller. For an extra Pop-Tart, Maisy let me brush her hair. I pulled on my nicest yoga pants and a fitted top rather than one of Hubby’s huge, holey concert tees.

Hot Dad was pushing his daughter on the swing when my brood arrived.

“Hello,” I chirped.

“Hey there.” His smile heated my insides. That, or my shirt was cutting off my circulation.

“My mommy watches you in the window,” Mason announced.

Sigh.

I’m expecting a restraining order notice any day now.


This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "companion" as defined below:

COMPANION
a :  one that is closely connected with something similar
b :  one employed to live with and serve another

Word count: 333


Monday, November 11, 2013

When She's Gone

Every day my mother seems thinner, fuzzier, and less able to do for herself. I’m terrified her final day is officially on the calendar. She is too. Will she leave me next month? Next year? We don’t dare speak it, yet the fear of death is a tempest over her sickbed.

Still, I think she’s ready to go. The love of her life has already waited four years to see her again. And she feels like shit. Constant nausea and an uncooperative brain ravage her waking hours. Her twig-like legs won’t obey, choosing instead to arbitrarily jut out from under her or remain defiantly stationary.

Lately she’s been asking what things of hers we want so she can remember us in her will. We refuse to shop through her possessions. Besides, what I really want is my old mom—and life—back.

One day she was living independently, and I spent hours writing. The next day, she fell and suddenly needed constant care and supervision. She says I’ve become the parent and she the child. I secretly, shamefully resent this staggering responsibility as characters in my now-neglected novel become strangers to me.

When she’s gone, I’ll hate myself for getting irritated when she needed “just one more thing.” Will I forgive myself for pouting about ruined plans and sleeping on the couch outside her bedroom? Probably not.

Her new wheelchair helps … when she remembers to use it. I worry another fall could do her in. She’s hit her head so many times there’s a quarter-sized cavity in her scalp. I can flush out the pus and change the dressing without retching now.

When she’s gone, the vacant bed will chastise me for grumbling about driving her to thrice-weekly doctor appointments. Her arsenal of pills (that didn’t do enough) will deride me for each time I impatiently repeated myself for her waning ears.

Every day I pray for strength to be the daughter she deserves so I can live with myself when she’s gone.

#
This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "remember" as defined below:

REMEMBER
a :  to keep in mind for attention or consideration <remembers friends at Christmas>

b :  REWARD <was remembered in the will>
Word count: 333

Friday, November 8, 2013

Oh My "God!" This Was Hard.

This weekend's Trifextra challenge: "Buddhist cosmology tells of Trāyastriṃśa, or the Heaven of Thirty-Three gods, which rule over the human realm. This weekend we're asking for exactly 33 of your own words about a god of your own devising that shares heaven with the other thirty-two gods. Make it yours and have fun with it."

As the title indicates, I struggled with this prompt. Maybe it's because I already have a god on my mind this morning. You see, I am madly in love with the god of thunder, and "Thor: The Dark World" comes out today. Woo-hoo! It's hammer time!

Anyway, here's what I pulled out of ... somewhere. Let's call him the god of vengeance.


He tallies your stains on their unripened souls. His wrath wells, permeating the prismatic air. With icy whispers through uncoiled fingers, he orders your reckoning. You, desecrater of innocents, shall know true pain.

#

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pardon Me; You're on My Last Nerve

I'm in a foul mood.

I've had four hours of sleep, Hubs left yesterday for 11 days in Germany, I've been taking care of my mother round-the-clock for a month, there are currently five dogs (who poop, bark and insist on being fed daily) in my house, and my children are gorgeous little sloths who can't remember to put their dirty clothes in hampers. What better time to vent my frustrations? Besides, it's my blog and I can kvetch if I want to.

If you think any part of this post is about you, it probably is. As a writer, I do get inspiration from the people in my life. Anything you say or do to piss me off can and will be written against you. Just making you aware of your Miranda Writes. That pun would be so much cooler if my name were Miranda. Sigh.

So, here is a list of people who get on my @*&#^% nerves:

People who whine incessantly on Facebook
Hey, Debby Downer! Can't you just post monthly bathroom selfies, recipes and political rants like my other friends?

Speaking of Facebook: People who announce every visit to the gym
Goody. I hope a barbell falls on your chest.

People who make me repeat myself
Oh, I'd be delighted to say that again since you couldn't be bothered to pay attention the first time.

Parents who bring kids to adult-only functions
Because we enjoy the occasional child-free night out--and we aren't inconsiderate jerks--we got a sitter. So, why would we want to be bothered with your kid?

Parents who think their children are perfect little angels
Your kid is probably the meanest, sneakiest, worst behaved, most manipulative, most deceitful one in the bunch.

Parents who firmly believe their kids tell them everything
(Refer to the previous item, and then smack yourself for being so naïve.)

Mothers who use words like "momager," "momopolize" and "mompreneur"
You make me want to momvomit.

Doctors who think their time is more important than mine
Don't schedule me for 3:00 when you know full well I won't see the inside of your exam room until 3:45.

Drivers who don't turn right on red
I know you're texting, chatting or completing your online order, but I really need to get to my doctor appointment so I can sit in the waiting room for 45 minutes.

People who ask questions they could answer themselves with a little effort
Lazy Ass, let me introduce you to my friend Google. Ask him anything. He likes that.

People who treat me like their personal assistant because I'm a stay-at-home mom
If I wanted to be someone's bitch, I'd still be in the corporate world.

People who take credit for my accomplishments
Obviously my sole purpose for all that hard work was to make you look good.

Guys who hit on me in inappropriate settings/at inappropriate times (especially when I look like crap)
Yeah, I wore this T-shirt from 1997 and faded yoga pants to get your attention while we're picking up our kids after school.

Women who fail to realize their boyfriends/fiancés/husbands are losers
He can't hold down a decent job and flirts with your friends the minute you turn your back? Don't let that one get away, girl!

People who don't know the difference between their/there/they're
THERE they go proving THEY'RE idiots with THEIR inability to grasp a third-grade English lesson.

People who don't know the difference between your/you're
YOUR failure to recognize the difference proves YOU'RE a dumb ass.

Fellow moviegoers who haven't yet mastered the art of the whisper
I didn't plunk down $30 for admission, a vat of popcorn and a bucket of soda to listen to you theorize and analyze every plot point.

People who owe me money but have apparently been stricken with amnesia
Thank goodness for Instagram so I can see all the cool things you're doing instead of paying me back.

People who don't RSVP
Next time I send you an invite, remember this handy mnemonic device: Only rude, selfish, vacuous pinheads show up for an event without taking 30 freakin' seconds to confirm their attendance in advance.

People who won't take responsibility for their screw ups
This is kindergarten-level stuff. Fix it. Replace it. Correct it. At least apologize.

This is in no way a complete list, and I reserve the right to add to it after I've actually left my house today.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Art of Craft

Paul stopped hiding his affairs eventually. Who has time for craft and subterfuge with so many sluts to be had? Catching him last time barely registered a blip on my emotional radar. I despised myself for staying. What could I do? We had kids, a mortgage, a fucking Beagle. 

Clearly, I was dead inside. How else could I continue to let Paul touch me? So when my high school boyfriend found me on Facebook, I was surprised to feel excitement ... lust.

It would be weeks before I wound up underneath Brian. At first we flirted innocently online. When I vented about Paul, he admitted his wife had cheated, too. We commiserated about our shitty marriages via text and phone calls. One day Brian put it all out there.

“They’ve done it. Why shouldn’t we?”

Deciding to cheat on your cheating spouse isn't easy. You’re still violating your vows—however broken they may be.

We deliberated over a covert dinner in a neighboring town. Despite thinning hair and a widening middle, Brian looked fan-fucking-tastic.

“Revenge sex won’t realign the planets,” I cautioned.

“I’m willing to try,” he grinned.

We met during lunch breaks and whenever we could steal away. Brian became a wiz at detaching his baby’s car seat base for backseat quickies.

I’ve forgotten how we ended up there that day, but in Brian's bed we relished the opportunity to be completely naked. His soft chest hairs tickled my breasts, surging heat throughout my body. When the front door opened, Brian froze mid thrust. Discarded clothes marked our path. We hadn’t bothered closing the bedroom door.

With their daughter on her hip, Brian’s wife flung the diaper bag at his head. Then she trained her sights on me.

“Get out of my house,” she screamed. “Whore!”

Her hypocrisy incensed me. I tore into her, spewing highlights of her infidelities.

The room fell silent.

“What the hell is she talking about?” She glared at Brian. He looked down, shrugged.

Shit.

Whore: party of one.


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This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "craft" as defined below:

CRAFT
skill in deceiving to gain an end <used craft and guile to close the deal>
Word count: 333



Friday, November 1, 2013

A Contract Killing

This weekend's Trifextra challengeIn The Scorpio Races, author Maggie Stiefvater writes, "It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die." Give us the next 33 words of this story, as you imagine it.


It is the first day of November, and so, today, someone will die.

But who will miss that beached whale? IHOP? Embarrassed lotharios who sneak her past their roommates? Not the unfortunate souls who’ve shared plane seats with her saddlebags.

She's signing that gym contract.

Today.
#

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Headmaster's Girls

When Headmaster Herberts started coming into my room less often, I knew he was quenching his lust elsewhere. Identifying his other victims wasn’t difficult: Lisa, the quiet junior who went from brainiac to self-harming goth burnout; and Kimber, the gorgeous Elizabeth Arden disciple turned sweats-wearing Plain Jane.

Martin Herberts targeted us “mega-richies.” We whose parents splurged on single dorm rooms—and anything else we thought we wanted—were the unhappiest girls on campus.

Unlike most pupils, I lived in the exclusive enclave where Chatham Boarding School for Girls was located. I couldn’t escape my Bogeyman on holiday breaks. So I stalked him instead. I’d developed a perverse desire to know where the devil bought his microwave-meals-for-one and lurked about ogling unsuspecting girls.

A month before my final Thanksgiving break, I approached Lisa and Kimber. Both readily admitted what our portly headmaster was doing to them—like they’d been waiting for someone to ask. We bonded quickly over shared wounds.

Getting their parents to let them spend the holiday with me was easy. (One less awkward home visit with the daughter they barely knew.) Of course, Lisa's and Kimber’s folks weren't aware my widowed father was in Bangladesh on business.

Our pathetically apathetic housekeeper mostly stayed in her room. The three of us spent the first night drinking and mocking our parents for "protecting our virtue" by sticking us in an all-girl school run by a predator. And then we got serious.

The evening after Thanksgiving, Kimber showed up on Herberts’s stoop. The headmaster cracked the door ... as if evil weren’t already inside. Kimber sheepishly explained she was staying with a friend, had taken a walk and gotten lost. Herberts widened the door for her. Lisa and I pushed in after.

What is this?” Herberts angrily caught my arm.

Lisa held the knife to his back. “Let her go.”

He obeyed, so Lisa withdrew. Kimber started to boo.

“Stick his fat ass,” she hissed.

“Patience,” I said, retrieving the duct tape from my backpack.


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This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "boo" as defined below:

BOO
(verb) to show dislike or disapproval of someone or something by shouting “Boo” slowly

Word count: 333

Friday, October 25, 2013

Dark Spirit

This weekend's Trifextra challenge: write a 33-word piece about a beast in an unusual place. I've encountered this beast many, many times.


The benevolent beast in the Bacardi Black bottle

     assures me I can dance

         convinces me I'm irresistible to all men

             transforms me into a total badass

                 makes sure I remember none of it

Photo borrowed from arsthanea.com




Monday, October 21, 2013

A Hint of Normalcy

Dana was oddly grateful for the trill of the alarm. She could finally stop chasing the phantom of a decent night’s rest. They’d gotten home around midnight—10 hours after the ambulance pulled up to the ER doors. Her husband had passed out again. This time Peter's head hit the rough concrete breezeway outside their apartment. Blood blanketed the ground in front of their doorway like the world’s least welcoming welcome mat.

The doctor released him after the usual MRI and CT scan dance.

“No abnormalities on the films,” he’d announced. Again.

Sure, Dana thought. Because it’s perfectly normal for an otherwise healthy 30-year-old man to black out eight times in three months. No headaches, no dizziness, no recollection of falling.

Peter’s "spells" were taking a toll. They’d been talking children. Until they got some answers, though, starting a family seemed too risky. Not that getting pregnant was actually a possibility. Sex was becoming a distant memory. He was always too tired.

But in bed the following night, Peter pressed against her. As much as Dana wanted to rebuff him in retaliation for spurning her advances, she yearned for him. His hands explored her body, her skin tingling at his touch.

“Condom,” she reminded.

“Let’s not.” His hot breath fell between her breasts. Dana’s fingers travelled up Peter’s back toward his hair. They stopped over a substantial bump on his neck.

Dana steered his fingers to the spot. “Doesn’t it hurt?”

Peter rubbed the area. “Nope.”

He coaxed her back onto the pillow with kisses.

*

Through the crack in the drapes, sunlight fell on Dana’s face. She’d had a decent night’s rest and fantastic sex. She smiled at the hint of normalcy. As Dana swung her feet to the floor, her thighs hit her stomach. She looked down to see her abdomen protruding drastically. Large lumps pulsated across her belly just beneath the veiny, nearly transparent skin. Mute with terror, Dana turned to Peter. A huge, busted cocoon lay shriveling in his place.

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This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "phantom" as defined below:

PHANTOM
a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal <she was a phantom of delight — William Wordsworth>

Word count: 333

Friday, October 18, 2013

Can I Just Be Chased By a Chainsaw-Wielding Otherworld Monster Instead?


This weekend's Trifextra challenge: write a 33-word explanation of what scares you (or your character). I can handle psychotic clowns, serial killers and possessed dolls. But this truly scares the crap out of me:


“That’s it. You’re done with that kid.”
“No!”

“Are you crazy? You just said he hit you!”

“I love him.”

“No, you don’t. You’re 15.

“But … I’m pregnant.”

(pause)

"Quick! Hide Daddy's gun!"


DISCLAIMER: The gun thing is tongue in cheek. I would probably say something similar in this scenario because smartassery is a coping mechanism for me. Hubs doesn't even own a gun ... yet. :)

Monday, October 14, 2013

For You, I Will


You wake me with a hand squeeze. It's late. Or really early.

Dutifully, I press PLAY. "Brandenburg Concerto No. 5” by Bach comes to life—softly to not disturb our babies down the hall. I snuggle against you, my behind hanging off the tiny, rented bed.

The opening chords remind us how to smile. You played this borrowed CD on our first date. The hair band devotee wooing the cellist. Your ploy worked. “Maybe better than you expected,” I later teased.

“I’m ready.” Your voice is weak but resolute.

Am I strong enough to end your pain?

I am.

Photo borrowed from telegraph.com.uk
 

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In celebration of their 99th week, Trifecta is mixing it up today. This week's challenge is to choose ANY word from page 99 of the Oxford English Dictionary.  We can use any definition of our chosen word, but the piece must be 99 words exactly.


Friday, October 11, 2013

The Original Bad Boy

This weekend's Trifextra challenge: write 33 words inspired by the Rolling Stones song, Sympathy for the Devil."


Feted on film, celebrated in song,
I’m the “
It feels good—who cares if it’s wrong?”
Publicly pious, your mouth denies me.
Ah, but your wicked heart satisfies me.
You’ll be mine.
Soon.



Photo borrowed from jgamito at deviantart.com

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Best Laid Plans

Jessie navigated the crowded fraternity house. She passed her cousin Kara, who was dressed as a slutty cop and making out with an orange-jumpsuit-clad prisoner. Beside them, an equally slutty nurse was giving Ron Burgundy a lap dance.

The makeshift bar consisted of layers of plywood between cinder blocks. Cotton spiderwebs draped the front. Under the black lighting, Jessie squinted to read the handwritten drink menu.

ZOMBIE
rum, brandy, pineapple juice, orange juice, lime juice
$5 

VAMPIRE’S KISS
vodka, gin, vermouth, tequila, tomato juice
$3

“What’s your poison?” Asked the guy in the giant plug costume.

Jessie bought two zombies and briefly pondered the whereabouts of the inevitable girl dressed as a socket.

Drinks in hand, she waited outside for Jeremy, whom she hadn’t seen in weeks. When his parents were out of town last month, Jessie had planned to spend the night. It was to have been their first time. But her dad intercepted a text and grounded her "for the rest of the decade.”

Kara had offered to provide a cover for the couple to meet up. Somehow she'd convinced Jessie’s parents it would be good for their lovesick daughter to get out and meet new people. Kara had conveniently neglected to mention it was a college party.

*

Jessie awoke to a circle of hooded figures staring down at her. They were chanting in Latin. She scanned the shadowy faces, zeroing in on Kara. A crude X emblazoned her cousin’s forehead. Confused and panicked, Jessie implored her with her eyes. Kara remained stone faced, intoning with the others.

Ropes immobilized Jessie’s limbs. She lifted her throbbing head to see Jeremy lying a few feet away, his lifeless eyes boring through her. A ring of black ash surrounded them. Jeremy's blood seeped toward Jessie. She screamed, but terror seized her voice.

Why?” She finally managed to whisper.

A cloaked man stepped forward. Something glinted at his side.

"Authentic virgins of consenting age are so rare these days," he explained, raising the sword.


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This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "zombie" as defined below:

ZOMBIE
a mixed drink made of several kinds of rum, liqueur and fruit juice
 
Word count: 333

Friday, October 4, 2013

Don't Say I Didn't Warn You

This weekend's Trifextra challenge: write 33 words that follow this illustration in a book:


Artist credit: Dan Duford
www.poisonedplayground.com

Luke grabbed Lilly and pulled her up the embankment.
They ran until they cleared the brush.
"Mum was right,” Lilly said breathlessly once they reached home.
“Liam’s face really did freeze like that!”