Free Holiday Story

I don’t know about you, but I love, love, love the holidays. Even though I’m in Sunny California, I still dream of  the white Christmases of my childhood. I remember as a little girl, I would sit at the window wrapped in my blanket, determined to stay awake until Santa arrived. Because of course, i wanted to see him with my own eyes. More often than not, I woke up Christmas morning with my face stuck to an ice cold window and a stiff neck. That darn Santa never did let me catch sight of him.

Another thing I love about the holidays is giving gifts. It’s so fun to see people’s faces light up in anticipation of what is in the brightly wrapped and ribboned package, isn’t it?

As my gift to you I wanted to give you a holiday story called, Sally & Gem.

You can download it at Noisetrade or Instafreebie

The story comes in PDF, Mobi, and ePub file formats. If you do not have a Kindle or eReader you can download kindle for pc, tablet, or phone here.

And an ePub can be read with Digital Editions as well as an eReader.

And a PDF can be read on your phone, pc, laptop, or tablet.

Please feel free to share this post and/or the download links to the story with friends or family. I love spreading holiday cheer.

Big love and Happy Happy Holidays.

Annie

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Indie Spotlight on Romance (Thriller) Author Renee Charles

Amidst an epidemic ravaging the world, all Megan Fletcher’s hopes for the future lie in getting to Las Vegas where newscasts reported scientists were gathering to search for a cure for the modern plague. After rescuing her from a rooftop surrounded by Zombies, Sam Woods appoints himself her escort. While he knows she is determined to get to Vegas no matter the cost, he doesn’t know her secret. And with his hatred of all things Zombie, she doesn’t dare tell him the truth. The more he kisses her, the harder it is for Megan to hide her growing feelings…and the bite-shaped scar. But Vegas is not the haven it was promised to be, and when Megan’s immunity to the disease is discovered, she realizes her future and her heart belong to Sam, if he will trust her.

An idealistic school teacher and ex-corporate mogul manage to find love despite a looming worldwide catastrophe. Can their love survive while everything around them is dying? Will they learn that when facing the end of the world, Only Love Survives?

Do you believe in Monsters?

If I told you monsters were real would you believe me? What if I said there is proof all around us? Everyday proof and we step over it like a pile of laundry in our room, which screams for our attention, yet barely registers on our radar.

Think about this for a minute. How can multiple unconnected cultures come up with similar creatures, down to the height and smells, throughout history. Easy, because they are real. Don’t believe me? Just Google ‘Bear walking on hind legs’ AND ‘Bear with no hair’. It’s okay, I’ll wait. <<Cue elevator music.>>

You’re back. So, now do you see why the legend of BIGFOOT won’t ever die? Yeah, marry those two images together and voila, the stuff nightmares are made of.

Legends are born of truth. So are monsters.

Another good example is the Dragon. Thirteenth century men needed a word for what they found fossilized in the rocks around them. We call them dinosaurs now, but could you imagine what it would have been like to happen upon a skeleton taller than your thatched roof?  First off, you’d give it a name. Then you would give it a story as magical as the finding itself.

Another great example, the vampire. Sun sensitivity is a very real thing. I have a redheaded friend who gets bruises like she’s been punched rather than the traditional sunburn. I, myself a devote vegetarian since birth simply because I hated the texture of anything meaty, woke up one morning when I was 23 and cooked (barely cooked, really more I just took the chill off) a big hunk of red meat for breakfast. Turns out, not only was I preggers, but anemic as well. The body craves what it needs, and sometimes that is some good old fashioned protein soaked in blood. Harsh, I know, but it gets my point across.

These stories come from somewhere. Explanations for what cannot be explained, often from the minds of those who imagine the worst and revel in it. We authors do exactly that.

Romance authors are the worst, known for taking two perfectly innocent people and throwing the worst possible set of circumstances at them. Why? Because the harder the trials and tribulations, the better the HEA is afterward. Now add some good old fashioned monsters in the mix, and you have the perfect love story in this author’s humble opinion. That’s what I do in my books, I love strange beginnings with passionate endings. My full length novel, Only Love Survives chronicles two people as they carve out a life in a post-apocalyptic, zombie infested world.

Renee Charles believes all love is legendary. Having been the only female in a house full of giants (husband and two boys) for the past 20 years. she tends to lean toward the strange and unusual, but inevitably the softer side shines through. Her own romance began in an insane asylum. Luckily, both she and her husband only worked there. But it makes sense her romance novels have strange beginnings, which lead to passionate endings. Romance with a twist. In the face of zombies, werewolves, and dragons she always seems to find a happily ever after to leave you with a sigh at the end.

If you’d  like to know more about Renee please visit her website , follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

I do it because I can – flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig

Ah, the first flash fiction challenge for the new year from Chuck. Our assignment: to pick a random pic from Flicker and use it as inspiration for a short story of 1,000 words. I have to admit I went slightly over the 1,000 but just a smidge:

Untitled by Greg Pths https://www.flickr.com/photos/greg-pths/24075149811
Untitled by Greg Pths https://www.flickr.com/photos/greg-pths/24075149811

 

I do it because I can

She looked almost alive, swathed in veils and satin in her simple coffin. Like a princess. Ironic, since her killer left her on the side of the road, naked, bruised and obscenely posed for all to see. With a note clutched in her hand that read; “I do it because I can.”

Her grandmother told me in broken English that it was a custom from her home country – to send the loved one dressed in their best, to Heaven. After what had happened, I wondered how the woman still believed in Heaven. Eyes closed, prayer beads rattling between nervous fingers, her lips moved in silent prayer. Her silver hair glistened in the flickering candlight making her as much of a spectre as her dead granddaughter.

I sat in the back row and watched as mourners came and went. Some cried at the coffin, others crossed themselves defensively, lest the same thing happen to their child. Still others sat in the chairs and stared straight ahead. I waited for the killer to arrive. I knew that he would. That he would want to see his handiwork and the devastating effect it had on the world.

My partner sat in our unmarked, just outside the church – smoking and watching. We exchanged texts throughout the afternoon. Mostly to amuse ourselves and in the end for nothing at all because the killer never came to pay his respects.

As the last vestige of sunlight refracted through the stain glassed windows I rose. Tomorrow was another day for catching killers. Awkwardly, I knelt in the aisle, crossed myself and went outside.

After pushing through the ancient door of the church, I stood on the stoop and looked around, trying to adjust to the gray light that shrouded my world. The engine on the unmarked turned over and I squinted at my partner, who cranked a hand to get me moving.

I plunked into the passenger seat and closed the door against the cold. “So?”
My partner, Joan waved a gloved hand. “So nothing.”
I sighed at the tired little church as we pulled away from the curb. Joan smacked my arm with the back of her hand. “Cheer up, it’s beer o’clock.”

I nodded and stared straight ahead, wondering what made the human race so cold and uncaring. But soon, I was perched comfortably on a bar stool and doing shots and beers with Joan and the hard edges of life were softened.

Joan nibbled on a pretzel thoughtfully. “He’ll probably show at the funeral.” She turned bright green eyes on me. “Where he can watch from a distance.”

I nodded, then drained the rest of my beer. “Probably.” I tossed a few bills on the bar and stood. “Let’s go.”

She dropped me at my house, where lights in the window told me Cassie was home. “You want me to come in?”

I frowned at her. “For what?”

“I could make dinner. You two could stand to eat something besides pizza.”

I smiled at her. She was a good woman, a good person. She cared. We both cared. But I had to pretend I didn’t see that extra caring in her eyes – since my wife left last year that look in Joan’s eyes was too much of an invitation. I couldn’t take advantage and I didn’t want to.

“Maybe another time.”

I stood on the sidewalk and watched as her brake lights disappeared into the fog, then turned slowly toward the house. It was probably the fog or the street light reflected in the wet pavement but I saw a flash. When I turned toward it, it disappeared. Could’ve been the beer and whiskey too.

Cassie opened the door and frowned at me – her golden curls backlit and crowned her head like a halo. I smiled – she was my angel. “You gonna stand in the rain all night?”

I hurried up the walk then gave her shoulders a squeeze before going inside. “Daddy’s home.”

The house smelled like coffee and spaghetti. And the table was set and waiting for me. Cassie pulled off my coat and nudged me into a chair. I sipped my coffee and the warmth spread through my body, taking the chill out of my tired bones. “Looks good.”

Cassie smiled proudly. “Made it myself.”

I stared at the plate of spaghetti and meatballs. “Oh-oh.”

She smacked me with a napkin and said, “Eat, you old bear.”

Afterwards, I helped her with the clean up and dishes. “How was your day?”

She told me about school and a boy she liked and wondered out loud if I’d pop for a pretty dress she wanted for an upcoming dance at school. “You think it’ll make him love you?”

She blushed. “Oh Dad, you’re such doof.” She frowned. “How was your day?”

I told her about my unsuccessful stake out and she nodded in sympathy. My daughter was an old soul who understood my need to seek justice in the world and sympathized. She snapped her fingers. “Oh, I almost forgot.” She pulled an envelope out of her pocket and handed it to me. “This came for you.”

I frowned at the unaddressed envelope then tore it open. Inside was a note: “I do it because I can.”

My heart dropped to my toes. “How did you get this?”

Cassie recoiled at my reaction. “It was taped to the door when I came home.”

I went to the window and looked out, then I went to the front door and threw it open. And I felt him out there in the fog, watching and waiting. I withdrew my gun, then said to her, “Lock the door behind me and call Joan. Tell her to get over her now!”

Then, I stepped into the fog, gun raised, flashlight poised. I stepped off the porch, scanning the yard, the bushes, then went around back. The gate was open and my breath caught in my throat.

I burst into the yard but it was empty. Hands trembling, I ran the flashlight beam across the yard and along the house. Then I saw them – footprints in the sodden grass, leading to the back of the house. Panting, I followed them to my patio door which was locked. I pounded on the door. “Cassie! Cassie!”

Then she screamed. “Daddy!”

Three Sentence Scary Story

man-164218_640

Chuck’s at it again – his flash fiction challenge this week is to write a three sentence scary story. Here’s my lame attempt:

Open Window

She awoke from a dead sleep because she had to pee and stumbled into the bathroom. Heavy breathing drew her attention to the open window where his face had replaced the screen. Before she could scream, his hand was around her throat and her last thought was, “How did he find me?”

 

So, did it scare you? Feel free to write your own three sentence story in the comments.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget – it’s almost NaNo time!

Annie

Chuck wants a character

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Chuck Wendig has a flash fiction challenge – not to write flash fiction (because that would be too easy) but to create a character, that possibly some of his other readers might want to ‘borrow’ for a future flash fiction contest. (Got all that? Me neither). Anyway, following is my attempt at this challenge:

I don’t know his name but he has the kind of face that you forget the second you turn away. Medium height, medium build – pale skin and eyes (green, maybe blue). Pure vanilla. No danger there. No heat. Totally blendable. In a crowd, he’s a ghost. Nobody sees him. Nobody seeks him out for friendship or advice. Air dressed in a human suit.

And so he’s free to do his work. Free to seek out the downcast and forgotten. The erasibles that society steps over, upon and around. The children whose mothers bond more with their cell phones than them. The husbands who serve only to provide credit cards and hold purses or shopping bags. The pets that nobody wants. The seniors whose families leave them in nursing homes or ‘communities’ and never visit.

While they sleep or cry or sit alone on a bench or stoop, he listens. To the words they dare not utter, the dreams hidden in their hearts, the tears they show no one, the pain that is daily living. And with a breath as soft as a summer breeze he sends all that pain into the ether and exchanges it with hope.

Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess but I hope there are superpowers involved.

Annie

Monkey Racing

They called it monkey racing. And it was probably fun for those of us who weren’t the monkeys. You’ve got to give Fat Bobby and his backyard bullies credit though – with an intricate network of clothesline, bungee cords, and duct tape, harnesses, and reins were made, the littlest kids were corralled and a game was born.

Fat Bobby hitched me up in his bungee cord contraption and found just the right sized willow whip to keep me in line. Attaching my tether to a beat up red wagon he fished out of the dumpster, he said, “We better win, Monkey.”

I gently pulled at the hair trapped in the harness, trying to free it. “My name is Scotti, you big creep.”

Fat Bobby lashed my back with the willow branch whip and growled. “Did I give you permission to talk, Monkey?”

I clamped my teeth so I wouldn’t cry. If Fat Bobby saw me cry it would be worse for me. And I couldn’t take worse.

Bobby’s three friends – Lowell the troll, Jerk-face Jerry, and Mozer – lined up their monkey wagons at the starting line. I looked at my fellow monkeys, who cried openly and whined. No matter who won or lost, those poor monkeys would have their dinners taken that night, without a peep of protest from any of them. And if they got to sleep through the night without a round of toilet head, they’d be lucky.

I scanned the yard for my new friend Zelda but she wasn’t around. My heart fell — they probably shipped her off to another home. After she knocked Fat Bobby on his ass, they’d been promising payback and I figured they got it. And besides, God just didn’t like me enough to let me keep a friend.

With two fingers, Topher blew a shrill whistle through his gap-toothed mouth. Fat Bobby lashed my head with the willow branch. “Go monkey! Go!”

I bent and pulled, each step an agony of pain and sweat. The sun burned through my scalp and the harness pulled my hair out by the roots. The finish line was only ten feet away, marked with a couple of beat-up trash cans and a sneering crowd, but it might as well been a hundred feet because I could only move the wagon an inch at time. For cripes sakes I was dragging a whale in a wagon and my little kid muscles weren’t up to the task.

Bobby snapped his willow whip, leaving a fresh welt on my arm. “Go monkey, go!”

I pulled and grunted. “You ever hear of cruelty?”

I got another lash for my backtalk. But the other monkeys were worse off — they all cried like big babies and wasted time begging to be freed. Didn’t they know that once a bully’s got you, you belong to them forever?

I screamed. I grunted. I pulled. Inch by inch. The sweat stung my eyes and swiped with my arm. I muttered, “I hate you, I hate you, I hate you. Some day Bobby, you’ll get yours.”

And then a miracle happened. The bungee cord snapped. I shot a backward glance to Bobby — he was too busy lapping up the cheers from his pals to notice. I pulled and the other bungee snapped. One more good yank and I was free.

I ran. I ran as fast as I could. Hoping I could get under the house before they caught me. I heard their big nasty feet pounding behind me. And my breath hard. And my pounding heart. I ran harder. The house was only a few feet away. If I dropped and rolled I could get under the house where they couldn’t get to me.

Bobby grunted and yelled, “Come back here, monkey. Oh you’re gonna pay you little runt. You just wait.”

But Bobby was a fat whale and he couldn’t run worth a shit. I could hear his panting and big clown feet stumbling. Three feet from the house, I had to make my move. I dropped and rolled and got under the house. But before my next breath a big beefy hand got hold of my foot.

“I gotcha monkey!”

I saw Bobby’s sweaty pink face scowling at me under the house. I kicked and screamed, “Let go of me!” But I couldn’t kick him loose and I felt myself being pulled from safety. “Stop, you’re hurting me!”

I threw out my arms for anything to hold onto and came up with handfuls of dirt and dog poop. I kicked harder but he grasped my ankle tighter and it felt like he’d crush it into dust. He had me and he wouldn’t let go and I felt him pulling me out, while I choked on dirt and cobwebs along the way.

He had me by the hair and up against the back of the house, while his pals crowded around, leering and lusting for blood.

Red-faced and greasy with sweat Bobby yelled in my face. “Okay monkey, I tried to warn you. But did you listen?”

I glared at him and braced for the blow.
He smiled back at his pals. “Did she listen?”

“No!” the bad boys answered him.

“And what do we do to monkeys who don’t listen?”

“Punish them!” They chanted and stomped their feet.

Bobby turned his nasty mug back to me and cocked back his arm. “You’re one dead monkey.”

As his fist shot toward my face, I went limp — Bobby stumbled and smashed his fist into the wall. He screeched like a little girl and fell back, releasing my hair and landing me on my butt.

Bobby howled. “Son of a bitch!” His buddies gathered round. “She broke my fucking hand!”

On all fours, I scooted away as fast as I could— while they were distracted with their fallen hero. When I got around the other side of the house I jumped to my feet and ran. I was free. I knew it wasn’t for long but for that moment I still had my face and my arms and legs and I ran. And ran. And ran. And then I ran straight into the house mother.

She grabbed me by the wrist and looked down her pointy nose at me. “What are you doing, Scotti?”

I looked up with wide eyes. “Nothing.”

“So all the noise in the back, got nothing to do with you?”

I shook my head slowly. “No, ma’am.”

She sniffed the air. “You been under the house again? You smell like dog shit.”

I shook my head again. “No, ma’am.”

She dug her fingers into my arms and shook me. “You no what we do to lying little girls round here, don’t you?”

Tears fell and streaked my dirty and poop-stained face. “But Bobby started it. He…”

She grabbed my face with her hand and squeezed. “And now you’re gonna sass me?”

“No, ma’am…but…” She squeezed my face so hard, I struggled to breath. “No, ma’am.”

She let go of my face and wiped her hand on her dress. “And see now my hands stink as bad as you.” I looked up at her with pleading eyes, but said nothing. She narrowed her mean blue eyes at me and said, “You know what comes next now, don’t you?”

My shoulders slumped and I nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”

I followed her inside the house and to the basement door. I stopped and looked up at her hoping she’d changed her mind but she pointed to the door and I opened it.

As she shoved me into the cubby she said, “Maybe if you go hungry tonight it’ll make you think about the consequences of your actions.” She locked the cubby door and I heard the keys jangle as she put them back in her pocket. “You think Miss Scotti, you think long and hard about what you done.”

I sat on the cold concrete floor and covered my face.

“Oh you big cry baby, cut it out.”

I raised my head and turned toward the voice. “Zelda?”

Zelda scooted next to me and put her arm around my shoulder. “Hey roomie, I was wondering when you’d finally show up.”

Writer Chick

copyright 2015

Why Writing a Novel Should Scare the Crap Out of You

scared

There’s an old saying that everybody has a least one book in them. And if you consider the explosion of self-publishing in the last few years thanks to sites like Amazon and Smashwords, I’d say people are writing that “at least one book” that is in them. Quite possibly with dreams of being the next J.K. Rowling, Nora Roberts, Stephen King or Michael Connelly. Especially thanks to the self-publishing revolution.

And plus, there’s all that money that indie authors are making.

And you don’t have to bother with finding an agent or a publisher.

And fame is cool too.

So…why not?

I’d never discourage anyone from writing because well, I think writing is cool and a great form of self-expression. And hell, I make my living cobbling words together for other people. Also kind of cool.

So why then should you be scared?

It’s hard. Despite what people who confuse conversation with writing may say – it’s damn hard to write a novel. It’s an 80,000 – 120,000 word commitment. That’s a lot of words. Whether you use an outline or write by the seat of your pants you still need a plot, subplots, characters, secondary characters, character arcs, good guys, bad guys, tension, and it has to make sense. People have to care. They won’t read it if they don’t care. And while writing it you may:

  • Experience tremendous doubts
  • Probably have to give up your social life (including TV and Facebook)
  • Have no guarantee it will be any good
  • Realize that somebody else will always have a better book
  • You may decide not to finish it

Tremendous competition. The very thing that may be convincing you to write the novel, the indie publishing explosion, is the very thing that could defeat you. Everyday, thousands of books are published on Kindle alone.

You have to sell it after you write it. That’s right. You’ll have to promote it and sell it. The world won’t even know it exists if you don’t tell anybody. So you’ll need to know or learn marketing, sales copy, landing pages, ads, social media campaigns and more.

Before you can sell the book, it needs a lot of stuff. Like babies, books require a lot of extra stuff – covers, formatting, editing, proof-reading and beta readers ain’t a bad idea either.

The odds are against you. Even before self-publishing became the new black, your odds weren’t good. Now the odds a thousand times worse.

If you do write it

You’ll often feel that people are conspiring against you to prevent your masterpiece from seeing the light of day—your spouse, your beta readers, your cover designer, proofreader, editor, friends, family, your kids. They won’t be but you’ll feel like they are.

And no matter how hard you work on it, how many times you edit, polish, spit and shine the damn thing – no one will ever love it the way you do.

So you see you’ve got to be a little crazy to want to write a novel. To put yourself through all of that without any kind of guarantee or promise of even a modicum of success.

So why do it?

While writing a novel is absolutely not a get rich quick scheme (and if you’re in it for that maybe finding a cool widget to sell on Amazon might yield better results) and in fact may not enrich you at all, there are reasons to do it anyway:

  • Because it’s in and you must or you’ll explode
  • Because it matters to you deeply
  • Because it’s your calling and what you were meant to do
  • If you don’t write it the story won’t get told
  • No one will understand the need to tell it but you
  • You’ll always wonder what could’ve been

So while writing a novel may scare the crap out of you, and rightfully so, do it anyway. If you must. If you will self-combust if you don’t. If it’s in you so deeply that it won’t let go. Go ahead. Do it. Do it now.

Writer Chick

Talking Dirty (Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge)

Chuck Wendig’s Fiction Challenge this week: So, given all the hullaballoo with Clean Reader (“read books, not profanity”) this week, I thought a flash fiction challenge in pure defiance had some meaning.

Thus: I want you to be inspired by that debacle. I want you to write filthily.
Or write about filth. Sex, profanity, perversion. Fiction or meta-fiction. Any genre.

In some way, take something from the discussion about censorship and profanity and vulgarity and sex and — well, throw all that stuff into a blender, whip it up, and see what foamy frappe belches out into your story.
Censorship

“So Chuck wants me to write something dirty.”

“Chuck who?”

“You know Chuck? Terrible Minds?”

“Well if he has a terrible mind, no wonder he wants you to write something dirty.”

“No! I didn’t say he had a terrible mind – Terrible Minds, that’s the name of his blog?”

“Why would anybody name their blog that? Terrible Minds..well gee, wouldn’t that make people think there were terrible things happening over there?”

“You’re digressing.”

Blank stare. “What was the question?””

“Well, uh, should I? Write something dirty? Well not dirty exactly – profane – er, ah, stuff with swear words in it. Y’know?”

“Sounds like a terrible mind at work to me…”

“No man, it’s about censorship.”

Rolls eyes, sighs and taps foot.

“What?”

“You writers are always so worried about being censored. I mean, what the hell’s your problem? You think people are lying awake at night just devising methods to squelch you?”

“It’s been known to happen.”

Smirks. “Right.”

“You never heard of book burning? You never heard of book banning? What about the Salem witch trials?”

Yawns. “People say all kinds of things on the Internet, doesn’t mean they’re true.”

Pulling hair. “You’re really not helping.”

“It gets weary you know, being your enabler all the time.”

“Enabler? You? The only thing you enable me to do is beat my head against the wall.”

Stares curiously at a hangnail. “Then why do you keep coming back and asking for help?”

Grits teeth. “You kind of owe me.”

“How the fuck do you figure?”

Shaking fists. “I give you life.”

“Says you!”

Smirk. “You think anybody else hears your squeaky little voice yammering in their ear? Ah—no!” Whining. “Come on! Help me!”

Sighs. Sighs harder still. Throws up hands. “Fine. Sure, do it.”

“Really?”

“What’s the matter, yes not a good enough answer for you?”

Frowning and scratching head. “What should I write?”

“How the fuck should I know? You’re the writer. I’m just the lowly editor. I’m just the voice of reason when you’re totally out of control, which by the way, you are most of the time. I really don’t even know why I talk to you at all.”

“You’re sure?”

“Yes.”

“What if people get upset?”

“Fuck ‘em!”

“What if people don’t like me anymore?”

“Let’s be honest, how many people really like you anyway?”

“Good point.” Thinking. “Okay…once upon a time there was a fucking…”

“Maybe you should use fornicating.”

Frowns. “Okay, once upon a time there was a mother fornicating…”

“No, don’t use mother, you could offend mothers and mothers shouldn’t be offended.”

Heaves a sigh. “Okay, once upon a time there was a non-gender-specific fornicator who…”

“Wait!”

Looking up and frowning. “Now what?”

“I think there’s this app you should download…”

Writer Chick

copyright 2015

Playground – Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge

Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds made this challenge: This week’s challenge is not one of subject, theme, or other detail — the challenge is simply one of length. Because normally? You get 1000 words. Today? You get only 100. (I think this is technically called a “drabble.” You can call it “Bobo” for all I like.) So: Go to your online space. Post 100 words (no more!) of fiction. Link back here so we can all see it. Due by next Friday, 3/27. That’s it. I double dog dare you to do it.

Following is my answer to the challenge:

fat bobby

I cried, “Stop!” My whimper only inspired jeers and fat Bobby’s knee to dig deeper into my back.

His peanut butter breath spoke of the sandwich he swiped from me and I tried to get back. Why I was face down in the dirt, with half my hair wrapped about his filthy hand. “Say you’re sorry.”

“Let go of her.”

Suddenly he tumbled off me – cursing.

“You gonna lay in the dirt all day?”

I raised my aching head to a dirty-faced girl with skinned knuckles and a crazy ponytail studying me. “Who are you?”

“Zelda. Your new best friend.”

Writer Chick

copyright 2015