THE DARK FOREST

Man walking into a forest

Photo Copyright: Barbara W. Beacham

This is my contribution this week to Monday’s Finish the Story, hosted by Barbara W. Beacham. Every Monday, Barbara supplies a new picture prompt along with the first sentence for the story. The original story to be written should have only 100 to 150 additional words. I’ve bolded the first sentence given with the picture prompt.

To read the other stories written by group members, be sure to click first on the link given, and then on the little blue frog in the blue box. The link for all other stories is as follows:

https://mondaysfinishthestory.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/mondays-finish-the-story-oct-19th-2015/

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 3+15+150=168 Words

THE DARK FOREST by P.S. Joshi

Not knowing what to expect, he made his way into the dark of the forest.

He only knew he’d been hearing strange sounds, and the wildlife disappeared.

A loner, having no phone, his only contact with civilization was the monthly bush plane. In good weather, a pilot took him for provisions to Pot Luck, Alaska. He stayed the night, taking the plane back.

He’d been walking for over an hour. Ahead, he saw a strange glow. Gripping his hunting rifle, he slowly and silently moved forward. There, in a large clearing where trees had been turned to ash, he saw it, a large glowing ball.

An entrance opened, and a creature exited. Formed like a man, the similarity ended there. It looked in his direction and motioned for him to come forward.

No one saw him after that day. All that existed was the clearing and an empty cabin.

Seventy years later, a confused man appeared in Pot Luck. He carried an old hunting rifle.

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Again

Andrew Joyce

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What you are about to read, I transcribed from a cassette recording. It came to me in a roundabout way about two years ago. A friend of mine runs an Assisted Living Facility; what we used to call a nursing home. An old gentleman had recently died there and as he had no family, his belongings were boxed up and brought to my friend’s office for disposal. The clothes were thrown away, the books put in the community room. The cassette player, my friend kept.

After listening to the tape, my friend called me to tell me about it. Because I am a writer, he thought I might be able to use something from it for a story idea. I thanked him and asked if he could drop it off the next time he was in the neighborhood. A week later, I answered a knock on my door and there…

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GREAT AUNT’S BEQUEST

 

rainy-night in parking lot

Photo Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Here we are once again. This week we’re gathered in the virtual living room of an old mansion on a rainy night. Our hostess for this gathering is, as always, the gracious and talented, newly-retired from her day job, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. We’re the Friday Fictioneers. The challenge for each of us in the group this week, as always, is to write an original story with no more than 100 words. It’s supposed to have a beginning, middle, end, and follow the picture prompt provided for the week. This week’s prompt was provided again by Rochelle. Thanks, Rochelle.

To read the other stories from group members, just click on the link given below, then on the little blue frog in the blue box. The link for the other stories this week is as follows:

https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/16-october-2015/

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 100 Words

GREAT AUNT’S BEQUEST by P.S. Joshi

Rebecca inherited her great aunt’s decrepit Victorian mansion. A trained decorator, she decided to remodel.

She’d gone to look it over, and became interested in several problems. Now it was dark. Worse, powerful gusts of rain were assaulting. She decided to stay the night.

Finding clean blankets in a closet, she removed the dust cover from a couch.

“Good thing I paid the electricity bill.”

Sometime later, she woke in a cold sweat. Her heart thumping, she saw her breath.

A pale female form glided toward her.

“I want to tell you why I left you this house,” it said.

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TIPTOE THE WATCH CAT

 

Sleeping Cat

Photo Copyright: Barbara W. Beacham

This is my contribution this week to Monday’s Finish the Story, hosted by Barbara W. Beacham. Every Monday, Barbara supplies a new picture prompt along with the first sentence for the story. The original story to be written should have only 100 to 150 additional words. I’ve bolded the first sentence given with the picture prompt.

To read the other stories written by group members, be sure to click first on the link given, and then on the little blue frog in the blue box. The link for all other stories is as follows:

https://mondaysfinishthestory.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/mondays-finish-the-story-oct-12th-2015/

Genre: Humor Fiction

Word Count: 4+8+148=160 Words

TIPTOE THE WATCH CAT by P.S. Joshi

“Now this is living the life of Riley,” thought Tiptoe as he rolled onto his back and stretched.

He was enjoying his daily nap. This siesta lasted from just after breakjast until lunch, and again from lunch until dinner. In-between, he was the best watch cat in town.

“Was that a disturbance?” he mumbled.

He went to look out the large living room window.

“Sure enough, there’s Dipsie the hound from next door. What’s he doing? Why the nerve of him, burying a bone right in Flo, my owner’s, front yard. It’s time for action.”

With the stealth he was famous for, Tiptoe crept out the cat door.

The next thing Dipsie knew, he had several pounds of furry, fighting cat on his back, clawing and howling.

“The heck with the bone,” thought Dipsie. He started running, yelping as he went.

Old Mr. Pinkney, Dipsie’s owner, came running with a broom. He swipped and missed.

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Good Girls Don’t Become Best-Sellers—Channeling Your Inner “Bad Girl” to Reach Your Dreams

Powerful advice.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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I am currently reading Kate White’s I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know. There are bad books, okay books, good books and great books. But there is another kind of book and it’s the rarest.

The game-changer.

White has a witty, sassy style. She is seamlessly intelligent and down-to-earth in her fiction. And guess what? Her nonfiction delivers more of the same.

I’ve never recommended a book I haven’t finished, but this one has me far too excited. Even if Ms. White devolves into dirty limericks for the rest of the book? I still feel I have spent my money well. There are some points she makes which I feel are especially poignant and applicable to writers.

Part of the reason I’m referring to her book in this blog (even though I’m not yet finished) is that I might just chicken out unless I…

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TIME IS A CIRCLE

carousel-ted-strutz

Photo Copyright: Ted Strutz

Here we are once again. This week we’re gathered in a virtual park near a virtual carousel. Our hostess for this gathering is the gracious, talented, and newly retired from her day job (congratualtions, Rochelle), author and artist, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields; who can now devote her time to the work she loves. We are the Friday Fictioneers. The challenge for our group each week is to write an original story with no more than 100 words. It’s supposed to have a beginning, middle, end, and follow the picture prompt provided for the week. This week’s prompt was provided by Ted Strutz. Thanks, Ted.

To read the other stories from group members, just click on the link given below, then on the little blue frog in the blue box. The link for the other stories this week is as follows:

https://rochellewisofffields.wordpress.com/2015/10/07/2-october-2015/

Genre: Speculative Fiction

Word Count: 100 Words

TIME IS A CIRCLE by P.S. Joshi

I always thought of a carousel as a bright and lovely ride that children enjoy. Now I’m old, I’ve found there was a special one I should never have gone near.

A wizened woman stood near the vacated carousel looking ancient and harmless.

My boyfriend, George, urged me to ride.

“Go ahead,” he said, “there’s only money for one of us, and you know you want to. You love carousels.”

“Remember,” she said, after stepping forward, “time is a circle.”

When the ride stopped, and I climbed slowly off the white unicorn at age sixty, I understood what she meant.

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Sunwielder Moments

Many moments of action.

Myths of the Mirror

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“I don’t think I can die, Estriilde,” Gryff said quietly, his first words since the peak of the bridge.

“You’ve pickled your head in wine, Farmer,” Estriilde replied. They hurried toward her tent, so close to being free of the wind.

“It’s not the wine,” he persisted. “It’s the sunwield. I don’t believe it will let me die.”

“We all die, Farmer.” Her cloak opening wide as wings, she flew ahead. He plodded behind her, entering the dark tent as she fumbled to light the brazier. Sparks flinted to life and the fire began its fight to banish the cold. He sank onto a stool as Estriilde sat back on her heels and studied him. “Every one of us dies in our time.”

Drawing on the leather cord, he lifted the medallion from inside his shirt and let it hang exposed around his neck. She shuffled forward…

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BACK TO SCHOOL

This week, Chuck Wendig at his blog, Terrible Minds, has challenged us to write a flash nonfiction story, of about 1,000 words, from our own life. The link for that blog is as follows:

https://terribleminds.com/ramble/2015/10/02.flash-nonfiction-challenge-tell-a-story-from-your-life/

BACK TO SCHOOL by P.S. Joshi

I’d gone to a year of business college and been working in offices for three years and didn’t like it. A friend of my mother’s, whose daughter was my friend, told Mom the U.S. Government was offering a special fast-track program for education students to make it possible for them to start teachin in two years.

My dad didn’t think I should quit my job as it was under Civil Service, but my mom supported me fully. She thought I could successfully do anything any of my friends had done. My dad’s mother had been saying I should go to college for years. She was now happy.

Since the Baby Boom kids had started school, the need for teachers had drastically increased. New schools had even been built to handle the overflow. Teachers had found themselves trying to impart knowledge in places like teachers’ lounges and auditoriums. It was nerve racking. In one case I heard a teacher say she found herself blind from stress for a short time one afternoon.

The government responded by creating encouraging programs to lure students into the education college. The program I chose was a two-year concentrated course consisting of a combination of beginning college courses and College of Education courses. My area of interest was Elementary Education. After you started teaching, you were required to go back and finish up the required courses needed for graduation when you could fit them into your schedule.

I soon decided to see if I could manage to finish and get my degree in four years by going full-time. I had saved enough money to finish the first two years. My dad agreed to loan me enough for the third year. I then applied for a special government loan to cover the last year.

That was a great loan. Every year you taught, the government paid part of the loan to help you out. If you were teaching in a school with a certain percentage of children getting government aid, the government repaid even more of your loan. I did qualify one year for that extra payment. I paid the loan off in about six years. Of course, in those days, if you lived at home and commuted, it cost only about $1,000 per year. It was a city college at the time. If you lived within the city limits, it was even less.

I made a mistake though. I was doing okay in my classes, but didn’t have a social life. I still had poor study habits that had carried over from high school. If I could go back and meet my young college self. I’d kick me. I should have known better. I also was not aware of the need for a councilor. My parents had never gone to college, and my brother lived far away. We rarely saw him.

I decided to go through rush and try to get in a sorority. At Akron University at that time, you had little social life if you didn’t belong to a sorority or fraternity.

I found a group I fit into so they accepted me as a pledge. I enjoyed the activities, too much. I began to be satisfied with C’s. My average was so-so when it should have been in the top third.

When I finally went to a councilor to see about doing student teaching, I got the shock of my life. He told me my average was below the requirement needed to do student teaching. From then on I fought for A’s to bring it up. When I finally qualified and did my student teaching in a first grade, it was great. I worked with a first grade teacher in a school in a scenic area south of Akron, Portage Lakes. My directing teacher and I got along well.

A friend, who’d started college right after high school and was already teaching, told me if you wanted to teach in Akron, you had to have an “A” in student teaching. I had a goal and gave all the effort I could. I spent most of my time working on lesson plans and teaching.

Some of the girls in the sorority were upset I didn’t spend more time in sorority activities, but when I considered the alternative, it was no contest. I spent as many hours teaching as possible. It was the most important thing in my life at that time, and I was good at it. I’d finally found a job I was perfectly suited for. I consider that a blessing. I earned an “A”. Not only that, I was asked by the superintendent to teach in that school district the next year.

The county schools didn’t pay as much as the city schools, but teaching there I was closer to my parent’s home where I was still living. It was also a lovely area and shorter drive, especially in winter. In northeastern Ohio, winters can be brutal.

I had taken two subjects every summer to lesson the load the other two semesters, so the semester I did my student teaching, I only had one other subject, the seminar for it. The next semester, I only had one music course to complete for graduation. I took it in night school.

I graduated, and the school district put me under partial contract to teach in a summer school program. I was more than ready to go back to work and earn money. That fall, I was hired under full contract and assigned a second grade.

I was assigned a first grade the next year and continued teaching that level for almost nine years. I got married in June of 1975, and went on maternity leave the following Easter.. I was almost 35 years old by then. Our son was born in June of 1976. One of the parents even gave me baby clothes she’d sewn. I decided not to return after the year’s ;leave since I was expecting our daughter about the time I was supposed to return.

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