writing

Lettrs Prompt: Finish the Story – Love’s Calling

“His work never really interested him. And so, once again, he found himself staring out of the window. It was in that moment that he felt something he had never experienced before. He saw her in her yellow dress. The wind played with her dress as she turned around and they locked eyes…”

She shyly turned away. She had the homespun beauty and fresh faced look of someone not yet changed by the city. Everything about her was natural and without artifice: her fingernails were short and squared off, lacking any unnatural shine or color; her long, straight hair was earth brown – a shade he’d never seen amidst the frosted tips, highlighted/low-lighted, multi-hued heads of his fellow city dwellers; her face was shiny clean, free of exotic palettes of color, with unthreaded brows and unlengthened lashes; her eyes were deep dark brown, and had been mesmerizing, leaving him breathless once she’d broken eye contact.

She began walking away. He quickly arose from his desk, pulling off his headset in one motion…leaving his caller hanging. He rushed to the window, his eyes frantically hunting to see which way she’d gone. He was relieved to note that she’d entered the front of the building where his call center was located.

He reluctantly returned to his desk, moving past the astonished, amused, and frowning looks of his fellow employees. Picking up his headset, he returned to the call. “Sir, I’m very sorry about that interruption. It was all my fault. I sincerely apologize. Now, how may I resolve the problem?” His mind still on the woman, replaying their brief, non-existent encounter.

“Wow,” she thought to herself. “I can hardly even think straight, at the moment. I need a sit down.” She looked around and saw a fountain, with a stone angel pouring water from a stone vessel. On either side were semicircles of cultivated evergreen bushes, interspersed with black, wrought iron benches. She decided it was too windy and chilly to sit outside.

Going through the revolving door, she entered a grand lobby, circular in shape. Everything was circular: the Information/Concierge/Security desk, the chairs and settees dispersed throughout the area, as well as the accompanying glass side and low coffee tables.

“May I assist you?” inquired the stern-faced woman behind the desk. Then she smiled and Lucy felt much less intimidated.

“No…um…well, yes. I suppose,” she stammered a little. “I’m a bit early, I’m afraid. I’m meeting with Mr. Robertson for a job interview at 1:30 today.” They both glanced at the clock above the lobby’s entrance and noted that it was currently 12:46.

“Mr. Robertson just left for lunch and won’t return until shortly before your interview time. Feel free to sit wherever you’re comfortable. The beverage bar is off to your right, if you’d care for water, coffee, or tea.”

“Thank you. I’m sorry to have showed up so early. I don’t mean to be a bother. I’m just new here and am unfamiliar with the area. I gave myself extra time, in case I got lost,” Lucy profusely apologized.

“It’s no bother, at all. Mr. Robertson values punctuality and would prefer one to arrive too early than just a smidge late.”

Lucy sent the receptionist a beaming smile as she walked over to the beverage bar, where she opted for a bottle of cold water.

She found a chair facing the window where she could gaze on the fountain and think about the brief, non-existent encounter with the most electrifying man she’d ever seen.

There wasn’t any one thing, in particular that stood out. Since he’d been seated, it was difficult to judge his height. Overall, he appeared to be on the slightly larger side of average. His hair was a roughly textured sandy blond. His lips were like an elongated Cupid’s bow…not too thin, not too full. On either end of his mouth were faint creases, an indicator that he smiles easily. Another indicator were the lines at the corners of his golden hazel eyes.

“Ahem!”

Suddenly, her wandering thoughts were interrupted and her attention fell back to the present moment.

She glanced up as she began to stand and turn towards the disruptor of her daydreaming.

“Oh, you must be Mr. Robertson. I’m Lucy Hayes. Thank you for meeting with me today.”

“The pleasure is mine. I’m actually glad you’re here early. I’m afraid it’s going to be a bit of a non-traditional interview.”

“Oh?”

“Yes. First I want to briefly discuss your resume and experience. But, I’m really interested in seeing you in action. So, it’s to be a working interview. Assuming you don’t have anything you need to rush off for?”

Remembering the old adage, “Never let them see you sweat” and considering her rent was due in three weeks, she replied, “I made sure my afternoon was clear, in case the interview went long. So, I’m ready and willing to do a working interview.”

“Wonderful! Let’s head over this way.”

20 minutes later…

Nodding his head in approval regarding the first stage of the interview, Mr. Robertson advised Lucy, “Thank you for being so detailed and thorough with your resume and addressing the interview questions. You did marvelously. Now, for the next part. Follow me.”

He walked out of the room and began walking rapidly down the hall. She had to jog a few steps to catch up.

“I’m going to have you sit and listen in on one of our best customer service reps. You’ll be given a “cheat sheet” flow chart on how to handle our callers’ needs. After you’ve listened in for a half-hour to 45 minutes, then it will be your turn to take calls.”

Feeling slightly overwhelmed, Lucy nodded her head in agreement, nevertheless.

Walking into the call center’s main hub, they stopped at the control center and picked up a headset and a package of unused ear pads. He also grabbed a thin binder and handed that to her.

She smiled, confidently, as she followed him in navigating through the maze of workstations. Meanwhile silently repeating to herself, “I’ve got this. I can do this. Remember: listen, repeat, clarify, resolve.”

“Here we are,” he announced. “Tony,” he addressed a head of a familiar shade of sandy blond hair.

“Yes, sir?” Tony questioned as he turned his chair around, then stopped cold, his eyes locking with hers, once again.

Together, they smiled, each glad to have an opportunity to meet for real.

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Writing Prompt: lettrs – Dear Self

Dear Self,
Being bipolar, depressed, and anxious, means feeling insane, sometimes acting the same. The thing is, you’re not crazy or lazy, you’re amazing!

You are neurodiverse, your brain is structured differently. You think differently, experience the world differently, and process those experiences differently. Your capacities, abilities, skills, and talents are different than those with neurotypical brains, not affected by chronic trauma.

That doesn’t make you bad or wrong and it doesn’t mean you have to change the things which make you, you, in order to conform.

Yes, medication may be useful, but, it isn’t a cure, because a cure isn’t needed. Think of it as the difference between “breaking” a horse and developing a relationship of trust while training the horse.

Stop fighting to conform and force your brain to be something it’s not, not allowing it to do what it’s built for, and hobbling it’s ability to move and flow.

Think of the medication as the tack – the bridle and reigns to direct, the saddle to stabilize, and the stirrups for holding more balance and control. When you lose your grip, slip, and fall, it may take a little bit of work and time, but keep getting back in the saddle and, each time, you’ll stay on and ride, going further and lasting longer.

The world needs you to be you, not a copy or imitation of anyone else. Otherwise, God would have created you to be them and not you.

Remember, you’re the only one capable of being you and you’re pretty special.

Writing Prompt: lettrs Three in One – Skylark Challenge 152, Word of the Week, Finish the Story

The sky turned darker and darker as she walked toward the beach. “This can’t be a good sign,” she thought to herself as she watched the flotsam and jetsam of the tideline being washed back into the ocean. Crest ravaged crest as the waves rose higher and higher, each one violently crashing into the next.

Conscious of the increasing danger in the charged atmosphere, still she persisted in wading through the lacy, white edges of the ocean’s skirt where it brushed the sandy shore. Inhaling deeply, she felt calmer, even as the storm heightened around her.

Turning to face the vast, explosive power of the swelling tide, with hair blowing in the gusting wind, her eyes closed against the mist, she threw her hands in the air, and let out a howling scream, venting her ire and frustration about the painful events and circumstances she’d been experiencing, which were out of her control. It felt as though the elements were speaking through her, for her.

Finally, as the skies opened and heaven poured out it’s laments, she turned and slowly made her way back to the gray and brown weathered beach house. Step by weary step, she steadily paced herself as she sought refuge from both the actual storm and the storm her life had become.

As she closed the door behind her, she was filled with a calm resolve. She felt centered and at peace with vagaries of her life. With the storm raging around her, she slept soundly, for the first time in what felt like decades.

Upon waking, she saw the morning light coming through the window and meandered outside to the porch. Feeling the warmth of the sun contrasting with the cooling breeze, she finally felt content and knew the course she would take upon returning home.

After packing the car and leaving the house key in the lockbox, she cast a final glance towards the calm ocean, whispered a prayer of gratitude, and drove away.

Skylark Challenge 152:
Wading, Washed, Tideline, Crest

Word of the week: Packing

Finish the Story: The sky turned darker and darker as she walked toward the beach. “This can’t be a good sign,” she thought to herself…

Writing Prompt: Predictive Text Poem

One of my fellow #PoetsOfInstagram issued the challenge to use only predictive text to write something. I was quite surprised this came out of it. It’s like a reminder to myself.

One-sided Conversation

Do you want us both in the way we are? I just don’t think I can understand how you can do this. Yes, I know that you’re going through a lot. Yes, I’m sorry about the last time we were there. Yes, I know you have a good feeling about your life. I just don’t want to be with you.

Writing Prompt: Skylark Challenge 151, 2nd Entry


Poison, Scent, Fluid, Shattered, Pale


The fluid had a pleasant scent, obfuscating the poison. He turned pale, as it went to work. The cup shattered as it hit the floor.

She came into the room, horror evident in her eyes. Right then she knew. He had framed her for his murder which was a suicide.

Cold fear gripped her heart. Squeezing her chest, it made her forget to breathe. Pain shooting up her arm, she collapsed to the floor, beside the one who had made her life misery. She gave up on her life, knowing he’d achieved his goal.

“Mom! Dad! I’m home and I’ve got a surprise,” their son announced later that day, as he unlocked the front door and entered with his fiancé…never imagining their life together was over before it had begun.

They could never get past the vision of a marriage of such hidden unhappiness, ending in in such horrific and tragic darkness.

His death certificate read: Death by poison, suspicious circumstances. Hers: Death by heart attack, natural. The headline read: Wife poisons husband, dies of a broken heart.

Writing Prompts: August Scrawls Days 9 & 10

I sit here, authentically inauthentic, questioning my automatic resistance to the process of becoming my truest self.

I think it’s called, “being human.”

August Scrawls:

Day 9 – authentic

Day 10 – automatic

Writing Prompts: Skylark Challenge & August Scrawls

I struggled with yesterday’s August scrawls word. So, I decided to try my hand at this week’s Skylark Challenge. That wasn’t any easier. Please, be gentle in your critiques.


“Get OFF of me!” Harlow angrily shook off the hands of her captors. “I’m coming, I’m coming.” With her hands cuffed behind her back, the officer firmly placed his hand on the crown of her head, in order to protect her from hitting her head as she was being placed in the car. The car pulled away from the curb on its way back to The East Portland Precinct.

Detective Ameen walked up, rummaging through Harlow’s knapsack. He pulled out a small, labelless jar, containing a deep purple fluid. Unscrewing the lid, he sniffed. The color drained from his face, leaving it pale from the acrid scent, wafting from the jar.

“This smells like poison! What is it?” He demande in a strained voice, still reacting to the sharp, pungent smell of the liquid, as he forcefully placed it on the table, just out of her reach.

“Be CAREFUL with that!” she commanded. “I don’t want the jar shattered. It’s Gouache paint and expensive to replace.”

“You’re in no position to tell me what to do,” Detective Ameen reminded. “Now, what else do we have here?” He wondered aloud as he continued to rifle through her bag. He pulled out a heavy paper notebook with sketches and paintings. There were also some posters with a Guy Fawkes silhouette, the emblem of Anonymous.

“So, we have an antisocial anarchist on our hands here,” Ameen erroneously concluded.

With an angrily defensive tone in her voice, Harlow replied, “I’m not antisocial. I’m not mentally ill! I am anti-government. It’s all corrupt. That’s just my opinion. I haven’t actually broken the law. Those posters were commissioned…anonymously.”

“Haven’t broken the law? Are you serious? You were picked up because you matched the description we received about someone who vandalized a new construction site with graffiti,” Ameen contemptuously explained. “Then, lo and behold, here you come with tagging supplies in your backpack.”

“Are you KIDDING me!?!? You’re kidding me, right?” NONE of the ART supplies in my bag are used for street art. Your forensics people should be able to tell you that, just by looking. Besides, do you see any spray cans or evidence of spray paint?” She paused for a breath and was confronted with his silence. “I didn’t think so. Now, let me go or charge me. If you charge me, let me make my phone call and get me my juvie public defender, because, I’m not saying another word.”

Quietly, Ameen turned and left the room, bag in hand. Calling over the officer who had brought her in, he handed the bag over, with instructions to log the bag and all its contents into evidence.

He entered the room behind the one way glass, with a grin.

“What are you grinning about?” his partner inquired.

“I’m grinning because this is a colossal waste of time…and we all know it, even her. I’m grinning because she’s smart, spunky, AND very talented. I’m grinning because I’m going to make sure she chooses the right path.”

At that moment, an Attorney from the the Youth, Rights, & Justice office arrived. “Hello. I’m Genice Abrams. I’m here on behalf of Harlow Belgarde. May I please see her?”

“Wait. How did you know she was here?” Ameen incredulously asked.

“My office got a call from the group home she resides at. Apparently, she had been waiting outside the store for her cohort. The store has a policy against bags and backpacks being brought in. Her friend saw her being put in a squad car and rushed to the home and tell the house mother.”

“I see. So, her friend can vouch for her and verify her location just before she was picked up?”

“Absolutely! He’s out there, giving his statement, now.”

“Ok. This way.” Ameen escorted Genice to the interrogation room, trying not to notice how attractive she was. Opening the door, he allowed Genice to enter the room first.

“Who are you?” Harlow inquired, suspicion evident in her voice.

“Hello, Harlow. I’m Genice Abrams from the Youth Rights & Justice Attorneys office. We’re going to get you out of here and on your way, in no time.”

“Huh,” Harlow huffed with skepticism, “I’ll believe that when I see it. Hey! I also want my bag and art supplies back.”

“All in good time. I promise.” Genice turned, looking expectantly at Detective Ameen. Caught staring, his face flushed a little darkly. “Ahem. Right this way.”

The three of them filed out of the room and went through the process of getting Harlow released and her possessions returned.

“Hey. Kid.” Ameen called Harlow over. “I want you to know I think you’re very talented. I have a friend in the art community, I want to introduce you to. Here’s my card. Call me tomorrow and we’ll set it up.”

He turned to Genice, “Please take my card, if you need to follow up or have any questions.”

“Oh. I will.”

She turned, placed her hand on Harlow’s shoulder and walked out.

Ameen wondered if he’d ever see either of them again.


Skylark Challenge 151: Poison, Scent, Fluid, Shattered, Pale
August Scrawls Day 8: antisocial