Monday, May 20, 2019

Greetings and welcome to my blog. As promised, here is the continuation of Primroses story.
If you missed the first story, Stealing Pearls, scroll down to the post directly below this one. I hope you enjoy.

Primrose and Anvil
Primrose flew from the portal stump, past the faerie huts close to their city. Few lights were on. Dawn hovered close to the eastern edge. A sliver of sunlight spread in hues of red along the tips of clouds. She kept the jewelry box before her, maneuvering between trees and bushes. Passing the last hut, she headed toward the banks of the Shimmering River. There, kissing the ground were thousands of primroses in every shade. Ahead was an old willow tree. Its cascade of leaves gracefully touching the sparkling waters of the river on one side. She flew beneath the tree’s canopy and found her hut.
          Entering, she deposited the jewelry box on a table and flew to her stove. The Stove was made of steel. She tapped a burner with her wand and it lite. She grabbed the kettle and filled it with water.
          Her tea collection included one made of primrose petals. She pulled a mug and put the tea into a stainless-steel acorn with holes. While she waited, she sat at her table and glared at the jewelry box. What a night. 
          When the tea was done, she sipped it. The liquid soothed her body. Energy pulsed through her veins. A giddy sensation bubbled up through her throat and she laughed.
Wand in hand, she flew along her dining room wall, admiring all the precious stones that made up her collection of human jewelry. Necklaces hung in a graceful arch. Brooches adorned a section of wall. She stroked the butterfly broach and smiled. On a nearby shelf were all the jewelry boxes that had come from her travels. Some of wood and some of wire and glass as this last one. She brought the primrose jewelry box in from the other room and rearranged the boxes so her latest had a prominent place among her treasures.
Opening it, she removed the necklace first and magically attached it to her wall. She didn’t stop until all the pieces glittered beside the trinkets already there. Not many openings left, she’d have to return to the human world and scout out a new find. Time to rest.
* * *
That afternoon, Primrose removed her multicolored skirt and blouse. While she sang, she tapped the clothes with her wand and sparkles moved over both to clean the smell of the human world from the material. She brushed her hair and tapped the tightly curled locks in the shape of primroses. The emeralds and rubies embedded in the side of her forehead and along her cheek sparkled. She admired their beauty.
          Last, she took a larger pouch and inserted the broken jewelry box within. Tying it to her belt, she flew from her house. As she passed along the delicate plants adorning the river bed, she swept her wand over the petals and released fertilizer to keep them healthy.
          The city bustled with faerie shoppers. A few frogs transported carriages. Giggles circled like bubbles in the air. Primrose avoided them. If she inhaled too many, she’d get drunk on faerie laughter.
          Past the busy shops she flew north until she saw the metal shop. Tall chimneys spouted steam into the air before her. She landed at the door, knocked and entered. Anvil worked to pour hot liquid into a mold. He turned when he heard her.
          His hair was blue black and swept above his head in the shape of an anvil. His eyes were coal black and his hands large and strong for a faerie. He’d never had jewels put in his face. Now, as the steam cleared, she saw it was smudged with ash from the fire.
          Anvil smiled, set down his tools and came toward her. His kiss brushed her cheek and she smelled traces of his faerie essence along with the smells in his shop.
          “Tomorrow night is the May Day dance. Will you come with me?”
          Her smile spread wide. “Of course.”
          He grinned, wiping his hands on the apron he wore.
          “I need something repaired.”
          A frown replaced his smile as he followed her hands to the pouch. “Another jewelry box? Primrose, this must stop. You’ll get in trouble with the elders.”
          “You’re one to talk. How many times have you gone to the human world in search of steel?”
          “That is sanctioned by the council. You know we can’t produce it on our own.”
          “Well, I’m not going to join the mining guild to obtain the jewels I want. Plus, they’re raw and these are cut and polished.”
          “Primrose, I can’t be a part of this much longer. If it’s discovered, I could lose my license.”
          “Please.” She lifted off the ground and planted a kiss on his lips. Her stomach churned. Lies weren’t good. They stole a little magic from you each time.
          “Very well, let’s see it.”
          She produced the jewelry box and showed him the damaged lid.
          “You know I don’t work in gold.”
          “Should I travel again and obtain the gold for you?”
          “No, no, I have enough for this.” He grunted, lifted the jewelry box and opened the unhinged side of the lid. “I’ll have it done in a few days.”
          Laughter tickled her tongue. She tasted the faerie liquor. Twirling, she few high. Anvil caught her and they kissed while hovering above his work station in an embrace.
          “I want to marry you.”
          “Soon.” Her promise hung as she left his arms for the door.
          “The dance tomorrow night,” he called after her.
          “Tomorrow night.”
          Primrose returned home. Her wand swept over the flowers on the opposite side of her hut. The song she sang was a faerie tune, full of love, promise and magic. In a month she’d continue her exploration of the human world. This time she’d be more careful not to damage any future jewelry boxes.

Word count 972

To be continued June 20, 2019

N. R. Williams
© 2019

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

I’m joining the Write, Edit, Publish bloghop, posting this story. The challenge is to write a story about a jewelry box. So, being the faerie lover that I am, Primrose is being mischievous. I hope you enjoy and please check out the other stories. Follow the links here. I want to thank Denise Covey and all the other judges for starting this ongoing bloghop.


Stealing Pearls
Primrose pointed her toes and arched her arms above her head with her hands together and her fingers pointing toward the stars. She twirled; her multi-colored skirt twisted with her body. Time whipped around her. The stars appeared to explode in the heavens. She lifted, up and up until she broke through the portal from faerie land into the land of humans.
          She stopped twisting and found herself in the boughs of a maple. The leaves a mere bud on its limbs. The smell of the human world differed from faerie. In her world, all smelled of earth, flowers and trees. In the human world, the scent was confused. Exhaust from their motorized vehicles was strong. Factories that produced things she couldn’t name left residual odors even when miles away.
Primrose sneezed. She patted her hair in place. It curled all over her head and cascaded down her back like ringlets in the shape of the flower she was named for. Each lock a primrose in colors of pink, mauve and yellow. The ruby and emerald gems embedded on the side of her forehead hurt. She touched them, ignoring their warning. Do not go to the human world. Too late, she was already there.
Before her stretched a view of multiple human dwellings. Three houses down, the lights were on, but not in the two-story home before her. She’d been here before, many times.
Lifting off from a branch she flew toward the dwelling, found the dryer vent and entered. Someone had shut the dryer door. Primrose wouldn’t be deterred from her mission. She pulled her wand from a pocket in her skirt and touched the dryer door. “Open.”
With little noise the door opened just enough to let Primrose enter the house. She flew toward the master bedroom. The entire house was dark. “Light.” The tip of her wand became a tiny glow.
All the bedroom doors were open except for one. She flew to her destination. No one was there as in the past. Curious. On the dresser was the most beautiful jewelry box she’d ever seen. She hovered above it.
The small box had stained glass inlay with a picture of a primrose. After nightly visits she had decided that the box was hers. She used her wand to open the delicate lid and heard the tinkling sound of a beautiful song. Gathered within were pearls. Earrings, necklace, and matching bracelet in all their perfect white splendor.
After making them all float so she could admire each, she lowered the jewelry into the box and shut the lid. Pulling out her pouch of faerie dust, she heard a noise and dashed behind the curtains. A human woman entered the room and turned on the light. Primrose had never seen her before.  
The woman walked to the dresser and lifted the lid to the jewelry box. “I could have sworn I heard you,” she said to no one. Turning, the woman left. Primrose flew to the door and peered around the corner. The woman entered the bedroom that had the closed door, murmuring as she went. “I’ll be glad when you’re home from your vacation, sister. Your house is haunted.” She shut the door behind her.
Primrose hurried back. She let faerie dust fall over the jewelry box. It was heavy and she needed extra support if she was to take it with her. Wasting no time, she tapped the box with her wand, and it lifted off the dresser. Guiding the box before her, she flew from the room, down the stairs and out the dryer vent.
Predawn light spread its hue over the yard. The tree was against the back fence. The box began to fall, and she tapped it, then flew toward the tree. Without warning, a huge dog came around the corner and barked. The noise startled her for a moment, and she hesitated. The dog pranced toward her. She needed height, but the weight of the jewelry box zapped her strength and she couldn’t rise further. Speeding forward, she flew as the dog charged. Its mouth opened and captured Primrose. The jewelry box fell, and she heard it crack. Warm, wet saliva surrounded her, and the dog began shaking its head violently, releasing Primrose a moment later. She sailed, not with her wings but from the force of the toss and smacked into the tree, hard. She fell and lay unconscious at the base.
When she awoke, the dog was standing over her. Its long brown and black muzzle close to her body as it sniffed. Then it used its long, damp, tongue to swipe her entire body in a huge lick.
“Go away.” Desperation made her voice boom. The dog backed up before coming forward again. It nuzzled her causing Primrose to turn on her side.
There, in the grass was her faerie dust. She grabbed the pouch, reached in and took a handful of dust. Then she jerked up and blew the dust on the dog. Immediately, he lifted off the ground. Whining, his legs tried to run but he had no control.
Primrose found her wand, flew to the jewelry box, and saw that the lid was half way off its hinges. Gathering the misplaced pearls, she replaced them in the box before tapping it with her wand. Once at the tree, she released the dog from her spell and watched it fall to the ground where it began to bark again.
She tucked her wand and pouch away, held the ruined box above her head and began to twirl. She’d have one of the metal craftsmen fix the box. A moment later, she disappeared from the human world and entered the land of faerie once more.

To be continued May 20, 2019.
Word count: 959
What do you think?
© N. R. Williams 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Greetings everyone. It feels good to be back into blogging, even on a limited basis. These are short stories called ‘flash fiction.’ If you are new to the term it means a story in 1,000 words or less. I have written them for the Write, Edit, Publish blog-hop challenge. The prompt on the first story is 28 Days. For the second story, In Too Deep. Both are a little out of my comfort zone, but I hope you enjoy reading them. To read what others have written in this challenge, go here.

The buttons on the coffee pot blurred. I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, and they came into focus. I pressed the one I needed and soon the smell of coffee filled the kitchen.
          “Get dressed, Olivia.” School days. I really hated getting up so early. No! I can’t think like that. Embrace the sun!
Well…the sun wasn’t up yet this time of day. I’d spent last night plotting the changes in my life. It’s said, in 30 days you can change your habits. It’s February, 28 days will have to do.
I have some really bad habits. Smoking, drinking…well, just a cocktail or two after a long week Friday night. But the worst is procrastination. I wanted to change that. I hated cleaning and doing dishes. I despised it so much that I avoided cooking and opted for fast food. I needed to eat healthier and so did Olivia.
As I sipped my coffee, I turned to view my progress chart on the refrigerator. 24 boxes filled with three words. Cook, dishes, and pick up. Saturday had one big word in it; Clean! That equaled 28 days. My mother always said that it was easier to clean if you organized and picked up daily. That was my goal and I had bought little sticky stars to add to the end of each word in the box.
“Do I get to put stars up tonight Mommy?” Olivia stood beside me dressed for school.
“Yes, now it’s time for breakfast. Then, off we go, you to school and me to work.”
In the last few years, I’d changed my life for better. I left my abusive ex and the court sided with me. He wasn’t allowed to see Olivia. Yeah, he was that bad. Then I moved back in with my parents and went to school. Their support was critical and now because of that I had my degree in computer programming and was making the big bucks. Last month, I moved us into a new apartment close to mom and dad and in the same school district for Olivia.
          I loved the cozy little place. Two baths, two bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and no furniture. LOL…that would change. We had beds and plastic bins, but nothing else.
          That’s where we were now on the floor eating dinner. I’d put a blanket down and Olivia giggled her way through mac and cheese. Yeah, I know, not the healthiest but hey, it was a long day. Well after six when I picked up my daughter from the sitter. Tomorrow I’m buying a Crockpot.
I almost made it through the first week. I should be proud, right? But I’m disappointed in myself. Olivia sat across from me at our new folding table and chairs. A McDonald Happy Meal for her and Mac.’s grilled chicken for me. Dishes weren’t done from two nights. Tomorrow, I promised myself. My chart was missing some stars. I’d do better.
February 20th. I’ve fallen off the wagon. Almost the whole week so far without doing a single dish. I didn’t make it through school by giving up, and it was hard. I called mom. She said, “One day at a time.”
March, day one. My poor chart for February was half full of stars. I had a new chart for March, and I was doing dishes while Olivia colored at the table. We didn’t have a T.V. yet. My radio was playing Hotel California. An oldie but goodie. I danced while putting a rinsed plate into the dish washer. This was kind’ a fun. Maybe, that was the secret, turn chores into fun.

Word count 612
This story was inspired by my daughter who just graduated nursing school and has a new job. She is trying to quick smoking, lose weight and overcome her procrastination. I’m cheering her on.

Oh, The Depths That We Reach.
Brett watched as the door clanged behind Marsha Lent. She took tiny steps forward because of the shackles, guards on either side. The men forced her into a chair and put her hands in the restraints attached to the table.
          “Is that necessary?” Brett asked. The guards grunted and left the private visiting room.
          Marsha smiled displaying missing and rotting teeth. Her brown hair needed to be brushed and her chocolate brown eyes studied him. Brett looked down, pulling out his recording device.
          “Who are you?” Marsha no longer smiled.
          “Brett Summerville, with True Crime Magazine.” He stood as an automatic reflex and put out his hand.
          “You want me to shake it?” Her hoot made him shiver.
          Brett unbuttoned his plum jacket and sat. “You don’t mind if I record this?”
          “My story?” She shrugged her shoulders.
          “Let’s start at the beginning.”
          “The beginning. Your jacket is tattered. True Crime ain’t pay’n you much?”
          “They pay enough. How old were you when you met…” Brett fumbled through his notes.
          “Jason Caudwell.” Marsha smiled. “I was sixteen. Jason was twenty-one. Sandy hair and blue eyes that looked like the pool down at YMCA.”
          “Go on.” Brett readied the tablet and pen in case he wanted to emphasize anything she said.
          “He was my first sex toy.”
          Brett’s mind went to his wife and lingered there for a moment. “Go on.”
          “Jason could have anyone, but he liked me. I loved him and would do anything he wanted, if you know what I mean.”
          “And the drugs.”
          “Ecstasy was first, then cocaine and lastly heroine. I quit the dumb ass school and left my parents. All they did was argue anyway and I’d had enough. Jason started his own gang. I oversaw the money. We were the best, robbing businesses and banks. We got away with it for three years. Jason had a mask of Trump he used. He’d go in with his gang members, walk up to the teller and sing, ‘Money, money, money.’ It was hilarious.” 
          “You were happy?”
          “Yeah, I loved every minute of it, until…” Marsha looked down and off to the side.
          “Until what?”
          “I was coming down after a bad trip. In fact, they were mostly all bad now. Jason gave me an M-27, that things a bitch. I put on my Melania mask and we entered a bank, the Trust something---”
          “Citizens Trust.”
          “Yeah, that one. You won’t believe what was in the bank. Monsters, drooling, hairy monsters with red eyes in business suits and dresses. I wasn’t gonna let them kill my Jason, so I opened fire. Even some of our gang members had turned. I killed all the monsters. Jason grabbed my arm, yanked the gun out of my hands and asked why I done that. I told him.
          There were only three of us running out of the bank with no money and driving away.”
          Brett studied Marsha. He wasn’t certain if she believed that story or not. “What happened next?”
          “Jason wouldn’t let me have no more drugs and…he shacked up with a new girl. I could hear them fucking.”
          “How did that make you feel?”
          Marsha raised her eyes to Brett, they’d gone completely black. “How would it make you feel?” Her voice sounded like she was trying to speak with gravel in her throat.
          Brett slid his chair back.
          “I killed them, I killed them all. That’s a stupid jacket. On a stupid man. Your momma was killed in a car accident when you were ten. Your daddy started beating you while drunk. Social Services took you away and put you with your mother’s parents. Grandpa put you in your place every time he saw you. But grandma, she believed in you.
“How do you know this?”
“I know everything. I know you down a bottle or two every night. I know you raped that girl in college.”
“I didn’t rape her.”
“I know, you’re gonna die!” Marsha stood abruptly. “Brett Summerville.”
Brett quivered. The shackles on Marsha’s feet and hands clanged and fell off. Her body lifted in the air. Hands out stretched.
Brett’s chair fell over backwards and he backed up against the wall. Then…
Marsha flew at him, hands outstretched, long nails tore his cheek in three places. Her long-forked tongue licked his blood. Brett peed himself.
          The guards entered just as Marsha’s fingers tightened around Brett’s throat. The guards used clubs, hitting Marsha until her eyes turned brown once more and she collapsed to the floor.
          Brett didn’t wait to see what would happen next, he grabbed his notepad, pen and recorder before running through the open door, down the hall were another guard let him out. 
          True Crime would never believe this. Maybe he should work for the National Enquirer.

Word Count 804
This story felt a little too cliché for me, so I turned it into a horror ending. What do you expect from a fantasy author? I’m not satisfied with normal.

Please leave a comment on anything you want. Today is payday which means, crazy, insane errand day. I will get to everyone’s post before this coming Monday.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Hello everyone.
It's been over a year since I posted. I've had computer problems and have been busy writing and editing. I have a wonderful critique group with many fabulous authors. They inspire me to do better. I'm going to try hard to post short stories once or twice a month. The first will be Feb. 20th for the Write, Edit, Publish challenge.

N. R. Williams

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

IWSG November 2017

Time for the Insecure Writers Support Group, (IWSG) As we forage through toward the end of the year, 2017, I'd like to thank Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this group which has grown by leaps and bounds. Way to go Alex. To read what other writers have said go here.

The question of the month relates to NaNoWriteMonth. I have never participated do to health issues. I simply can't promise to scribble something out everyday. Therefore, I will post about Halloween.

Why? You ask? Because I have some Australian friends who have told me they don't do Halloween. So this post is for you, my Aussie pals.

Today's Halloween with costumes and candy started sometime in the 1930's here in America. It used to be a night of tricks and often teenagers would take to the streets and vandalize property. In the city that included breaking windows in stores, which was very expensive. So business owners and politicians got together to discuss how they could change that and came up with a night where children dress up and go trick or treating around the neighborhood for candy. They proposed that young people would be so busy doing that, that they wouldn't demolish property. Of course, the businesses could make a profit selling costumes and candy as well. It took awhile to take off but once it did, children across America loved it.

When I was a child in the 1950's, we could accept homemade treats like popcorn balls and caramel apples. In the late 1960's there was a scare that some were putting LSD and razor blades in the candy and so now, the parents of children diligently checked the candy and throw away anything that isn't individually wrapped. The History Channel says that there never was LSD or razor blades in candy. It was "fake" news that scared a lot of people, my mom included.

So there you have it, costumes and candy instead of broken windows.

Do you celebrate Halloween?