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Bump In The Night


Julie's husband played in a rock n' roll band so she was used to him being out late for gigs. She didn't mind being home alone at night, she enjoyed the quiet time to read and write and watch the kind of movies that he wouldn't watch with her when he was home. They lived ten miles out in the country on a lonely stretch of highway that didn't see much traffic. A single yard light cast shadows in the darkness, providing only enough visibility to see a few feet near the driveway and backdoor. It's pale glow gave the trees and outbuildings an eerie feel.

On this particular night in late October, Julie had just finished cleaning the house and mopping floors. She settled comfortably on the sofa, a glass of cold milk and a plate of warm brownies close at hand, and opened the book she was currently reading. Her cats curled up around her, purring contentedly. Down the hallway she could hear the clothes dryer softly rumbling as it tumbled a load of laundry. She didn't have the tv on tonight, she didn't need it for noise in the room as some people did. Julie loved the quiet. The house was dark except for the table lamp she read by and a small nightlight in the kitchen. She was frugal about things like utilities and didn't light the house up just because she was alone. She'd never had cause to be afraid there even if the nearest neighbor was over a mile away.

Julie was deep into the story, reading chapter after chapter - always telling herself "just one more before I head off to bed". It didn't matter how late she stayed up reading, her husband would come home later still and tomorrow was Sunday, a good day for sleeping in. She was starting to get drowzy, and her eyelids were getting heavy. She nearly nodded off, but was brought abruptly to attention by the sound of a dull heavy THUMP against the side of the house... and then another even closer to where she sat! Startled, adrenalin begin rushing thru her veins. The cats' ears and tails stood straight up as they rapidly abandoned her and headed for safety under the bed.

A sliding patio door was centered on the west wall of the living room, and although it was locked Julie knew that it would take little effort for someone to shatter the glass. No one ever used that entrance for visiting; there was no sidewalk leading up to it, just a yard full of prickly weeds. If someone was lurking out there it couldn't be for any good reason.

The thumping against the wall grew louder as it came closer and closer to the door. Julie's heart was pounding in her ears as she set her book down and arose slowly from the sofa. Who was out there beating on the wall... and why? Did whoever it was know she was home alone?

There were no weapons in the house. A product of the 60's, Julie hated guns. But now, rapidly becoming terrified and realizing that she was defenseless against intruders, Julie was questioning the wisdom of that stance. Quietly she slipped across the room and put her back against the wall, fully expecting the glass door to implode at any moment.

When she couldn't bear the suspense one moment longer, she inched along the wall until she was standing next to the door. Reaching up, she flipped the porch light switch with one hand and grasped a corner of of the curtain with the other. Wild-eyed and shaking with fear, she jerked back the curtain, preparing to confront whoever was lurking there. And there he stood, staring straight back at her with a head twice the size of of any normal man... a hairy beast with massive shoulders, piercing eyes, and and saliva dripping from his mouth.

As Julie and the beast came face to face she collapsed on the floor, overcome with laughter and relief. There before her stood her father-in-law's massive bull, El Diablo, thumping the house as he rubbed his hairy head against it. Once again he had managed to escape the confines of his pen and had wandered over to pay a visit, scaring the hell out of Julie in the process.

Julie called her father-in-law. Roaring with laughter, he apologized and said he'd round up a couple helpers and come down to get the bull. Julie assured him that any future nocturnal visits from El Diablo would most definitely result in his conversion to prime grade Black Angus steaks for her freezer.

Upon further inspection the next morning, Julie and her husband discovered that El Diablo had not only roughed up the siding on the house and trampled their rural mailbox, he had also decided to take a large bite out of their big post-mounted satellite tv receiver dish, rendering it inoperable. You can imagine how much fun Julie had explaining that to the service rep when she called to obtain another! :-)
 
(This is a repost from October 2009... and it's a true story! )

It's Fun!

Thought for the Day:
 
 

The Grimalkin

Image Source: Pixabay.com
 
Papa Bear had a cat live to twenty
Mama Puss had cattitude aplenty
She greeted him with delight
Occupied his lap all night
But stalked his wife like a militant sentry*
 
 ~*~*~*~*~*~
* She once accidentally caught Mama Puss's tail in a door and Mama Puss never
forgave her, never missing an opportunity to nip at her heels when she walked by.
 ~*~*~*~*~*~
 
This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
Write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word...
grimalkin noun;  a cat, an old female cat, an ill-tempered old woman
 

 

You Deserve A Day Away

Thought for the Day:
 
 

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 25


Annie at McGuffy's Reader and Ellen at 15andmeowing are co-hosting a weekly meme called Friendly Fill-In'sAll you have to do to participate is complete the statements and link your post up hereThis is a fun way to get to know each other a little better!

Here are the this week's statements:

1. The first thing I check when I go online is __________________.

2. My signature dish is ____________________.

3.  My Halloween night is usually  __________________.

4.   Trick or treaters _________________.


 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Here are my answers:
 
1. The first thing I check when I go online is games waiting for me to play my turn at Words with Friends and Yahtzee. Then I check Facebook and my Bloglovin' feed to see who has posted something new.

2. My signature dish is - I don't have one, I very rarely cook for company.  Papa Bear most enjoys simple meals like meatloaf, beef stew, and cheesy chicken rice. 

3.  My Halloween night is usually uneventful because we live out in the country.  I miss the fun years of many kids coming to the door.  This was especially true when we lived in military housing where children resided in nearly every house on the block.

4.   Trick or treaters, especially the little ones, are delightful!  I love parents who get creative and make something at home for them to wear instead of buying a costume at the store.
 
 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

People Who Make You Happy

Thought for the Day:
 
 

The Water Witcher



The boy has the gift for witching, his grandfather said, as he followed the old man across the open ground with his small forked stick pointed outward just as he saw his grandfather do.  When his grandpa stopped with his stick pointing downward, indicating the presence of water below, the boy stopped and let his stick point toward the ground too.  After all, his grandfather was well known for finding water in areas that seemed impossibly dry. Despite the naysaying of educated people, many good wells in the area stood as a testament to his water witching skills. 
 
The boy grew up and continued the family tradition of dowsing, but replacing the forked stick with  two copper divining rods that involuntarily cross when he locates a water source below ground.  People scoff at his unscientific method of deciding where to drill a water well but I don't, because the water witcher with his divining rods is responsible for the high-volume water well on our land where some said there was no water to be found.
 
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "stick"
Come and share your story with us!

It's Up to Us

Thought for the Day:
 
 
 

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 24


Annie at McGuffy's Reader and Ellen at 15andmeowing are co-hosting a weekly meme called Friendly Fill-In'sAll you have to do to participate is complete the statements and link your post up hereThis is a fun way to get to know each other a little better!

Here are the this week's statements:

1. One Halloween I dressed as __________________.

2. My favorite comedian is ____________________.

3.  My scariest Halloween was __________________.

4.   ________________ is my favorite Halloween treat.


 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Here are  my answers:
 
1. One Halloween I dressed as a cavewoman, I fit the part well.  :-) Costumes give you the freedom to act in a more outgoing manner than you typically might do. .

2. My favorite comedian was George Carlin, he wasn't afraid to tackle edgy material. I don't have a current favorite now.

3.  My scariest Halloween was never. Halloween has always been a fun time for me, I don't do scary. The dark side of Halloween is not something I participate in.

4.  Caramel popcorn balls are my favorite Halloween treat. We used to help my Mom make them to pass out to all the trick-or-treaters.  Sadly, everyone worries about the safety of homemade treats now.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 

Take Care of Yourself

Thought for the Day:
 
 
 

A Quick Fix

 
"Well, this is a fine mess you've gotten us into," Jo snarled, fixing her eyes squarely on Bart's face.
 
Bart lowered his head to avoid her gaze, knowing full well how unhappy she already was about the camping trip he'd planned for their vacation instead of their usual trip to the big city, and now here they were at lake in the middle of nowhere with the truck broken down and out of cell phone service range.  
 
"We might as well set up camp for tonight, and I'll try to figure something out in the morning," he said wearily.
 
Early the next morning Bart managed to wave down a man in a boat fishing nearby and enlisted his assistance.
 
Bart settled into his camp chair and smiled as the fisherman headed off to the little store on the opposite shore with Jo, where she could call their son to come and get her, after assuring Bart that he'd be back in three days time to help him fix the truck.
 
It looked like it was going to be a great vacation after all.  :-)
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "fix"
Come and share your story with us!
 

The Good News

Thought for the Day:
 
 
 

The Crooked Path

~Image Source~

Come walk the crooked path with me
Chimerical friends we're off to see
Purple-striped cats that howl in the night
Orange glowing eyes reflect firelight
Welcoming us with warm biscuits and tea

 ~*~*~*~*~*~
This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
Write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word...
chimerical
adj; unreal, imaginary, wildly fanciful,
something that exists only in the imagination
 
Write your own  chimerical story or poem and share it with us!

Coming to Terms With the Past

Thought for the Day:
 
 
 
 

If I Had My Druthers

 
If I had my druthers, we would live near lakes and trees
Neither of us would have to work, we could do whatever we pleased;
Money would be no object, worries would melt away
We could take long walks in the moonlight
And sleep in the middle of the day.
 
~*~*~*~*~*~
This was written for In Other Words where Patricia has asked us to  
Write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word "druthers"
 
Write your own story or poem about druthers and share it with us!

Straight Forward People

Thought for the Day:
 

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 23


Annie at McGuffy's Reader and Ellen at 15andmeowing are co-hosting a weekly meme called Friendly Fill-In'sAll you have to do to participate is complete the statements and link your post up hereThis is a fun way to get to know each other a little better!

Here are the this week's statements:

1. It's good to have a spare  __________________.

2. I don't understand why  __________________ is/are so popular..

3.  The spookiest thing that ever happened to me was ___________________.

4.  My favorite Halloween tale is  ___________________.


 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Here are my answers:
1. It's good to have a spare cellphone charger in your purse and car.  My phone battery always tends to be low just when you really want or need it!  Now I have a powerful pocket charger too, and I love it!

2. I don't understand why using the "f-word" on Facebook is so popular.  To me is shows a lack of adequate communication skills.

3.  The spookiest thing that ever happened to me was being involved with someone who practiced the occult arts.  Very scary, NOT a game. Not something I want anywhere near my life ever again! 

4.  My favorite Halloween tale is... I can't think of one.  I don't enjoy scary books or movies.


 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
 

How Friendship Begins

Thought for the Day:
 
 

Passing Seasons


When Caroline's grandmother was given the cast-iron frying pan as a wedding gift, she seasoned it in the campfire as they began their journey west in a covered wagon to stake a claim on free land in Dakota.  She passed it down to Caroline's mother as a house-warming gift when she grew up and married, along with a crazy quilt she'd made from sewing scraps. When Caroline's mother died, she was buried in the well-worn quilt just as she had wanted, and the cast-iron frying pan became Caroline's. 

Now Caroline smiled as she cleaned it for the last time, remembering the time when she was small and her mother has wielded it as a weapon to hammer home a point when her father came home drunk one night, and he had never committed that offense again. 

That was a long time ago, and Caroline's son was coming the next day to move her into a nursing home where she would have the care she needed.  She patted the old frying pan lovingly and thought to herself, "My granddaughter is going to love this."
 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "season"
 
Come and share your story with us!
 

What You Can Control

Thought for the Day:
 
 

Friendly Fill-Ins: Week 22


Annie at McGuffy's Reader and Ellen at 15andmeowing are co-hosting a weekly meme called Friendly Fill-In'sAll you have to do to participate is complete the statements and link your post up hereThis is a fun way to get to know each other a little better!

Here are the this week's statements:

1. My favorite store is __________________.

2. An unanswered prayer I am thankful for is ____________________.

3.  At Halloween I ___________________.

4.  I _______________ the supernatural because _________________.

 ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Here are my answers:

1. My favorite store is Amazon.com - great prices, free shipping, armchair shopping! :-) If more businesses provided the kind of customer service they do it would be wonderful!

2. An unanswered prayer I am thankful for is the time I wanted to move back to South Dakota near the end of my last marriage and I couldn't find a way to make it happen.  I detest South Dakota winters, what was I thinking?!

3.  At Halloween I don't do much of anything because I am at home now and we rarely have any visitors where we live out in the country. I think it's fun to wear costumes to work on Halloween, it makes coworkers, visitors, and people who see you out driving smile.  I'm not a fan of the new super-slutty Halloween costume trend for women though. UGH!


4.  I believe in the supernatural because of my own experiences and those of others I know.  I think people sometimes deny the existence of things they hope are not true out of fear or a desire to remain "in the dark". 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Finding Happiness

Thought for the Day

 

Kaylie's Star


Four year-old Kaylie laughed with delight as she was swept up in the strong arms of her father while they stood together on the back deck on a cool Autumn night.  "The stars are so bright tonight, Kaylie, the whole sky looks like Christmas lights," her father said. 

Kaylie clapped her hands and reached toward the sky as she had so many nights before, even though she couldn't see the stars or the tears streaking down her father's face,  having being blinded the year before by an errant baseball. 

Suddenly, as the brightest star came sailing out of the heavens and swept low across the sky above them, Kaylie pointed to it and let out a shriek of amazement.  "I see it, Daddy, I can see it! Daddy, I can see you!"
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm joining Ivy Walker at "Uncharted"
where the cue this week is "star"
Come and share your story with us!

Be A Voice

Thought for the Day

 

Cackleberry Scramble

~Image Source~

Long before Papa Bear was known by that name,
he was a small boy called Johnny Mac, living on a farm in Missouri. 
Gathering the cackleberries was one of his assigned chores.
I asked him if he every fell while carrying the full basket. 
"No" he responded, "I would have gotten my butt busted if they broke!"
 
~*~*~*~*~*~
This was written for In Other Words 
where Patricia has given us a new assignment this week:
Write a story or poem of 5 Lines or Less using the word cackleberries.
(Cackleberries is a noun, 1950’s slang;  hen’s eggs used for food)
 
Write your own story or poem about cackleberries and share it with us!

A Chance to Be Brave

Thought for the Day

 

Slightly Cracked


Anyone who has been my friend for very long is well aware that I am not only slightly cracked but my brain is a bit scrambled too! :-)  It turns out that most of the people I am drawn too have similar situations.  I've always figured that anyone who appeared to be perfect probably has something they are hiding, and if they truly are perfect I'd be uncomfortable around them.

I do not seek perfection, I know that's not going to happen to me in this life time, and most certainly if I was my halo would either fit too tightly or tilt to one side. :-)  The most I can hope for and strive for, is to be the very best I can be, and that will have to be good enough.  I also tend to think that people who are "slightly cracked" are far more interesting than those who always roll on the straight and narrow pathway.  The older we get the more permissible it is to have a few quirks and I'm pretty much ok with the way I am.

The few real friends I am blessed to have must realize that slightly cracked or not, I still have a good heart, and that is what's most important.

~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm joining Patricia for In Other Words
where this week's writing prompt
is the following quotation by Bernard Meltzer:
"A true friend is someone who thinks that you are a good egg
even though he knows that you are slightly cracked."