Friday Flash: Brave, Pretty Girls

I have a friday flash! I wanted a Halloween theme, and I managed it, I think. Well, there is a ghost anyway.


White petals perched on her head like a crown. Satin peach-colored ribbons tied in pretty bows over white shoulders held her filmy white dress in place. The wind blew snowflakes right through her.

I froze at the sight.

She looked up, waved, turned and disappeared through the garage wall.

I stumbled out of bed, threw open the window and stuck my head out into the snow and wind. Nothing. Snow swirled through the pool of porch light, but not so much as a footprint disturbed the snow mounded on the ground. No one would be out on a night like this anyway.

I shut the window, drew the blinds and retreated to the soft warmth of my comforter.

I picked up the silver framed photo on the bedside table. Chocolate brown curls, fresh from the hair salon. A white satin mask, decorated with pearls and pink petals, dangled from her fingers. No doubt I’d spent too much time looking at her picture before bed.

I placed the frame on the empty pillow next to me and pulled the comforter over us both.


Morning was fair and bright and cold. Blown snow made lovely, ethereal patterns against the window glass. She would have loved it.

I wandered down to the dining room. She lay on the table, pretty, perfectly made up, with all the faint red ting at her throat. Some of her makeup would cover that. Such a sad necessity. But she’d refused the sweet poison. Had flung at him, in fact, and tried to run.

Brave girl. I ran her a finger down the cool, waxy skin of her cheek. I did so admire her. So pretty.

She was perfect for my collection. All the brave, pretty girls. Next week, I would start looking for the next one.

For now . . . for now I lifted her in my arms and positioned her just so. She was so pliable, so eager to please now. No more running.


I rubbed my eyes. This couldn’t be. It simply wasn’t possible.

Every single photo had her. From my dream. But how could my dreams make into the photos?

I leaned back in my chair and jumped.

She stood behind the computer, leaning forward. Her beautiful curls brushed through the computer screen. The light from it glinted off the knife in her hand. His sharpest kitchen knife, the one he’d –

Screaming filled my ears. I rose, staggered back and fell, banged my head on the chair’s wheels.

Her eyes sparkled like black diamonds, full of fire and beauty.

No, the fire was real. It was, it was –


Pained thumped through me and I moaned. Slowly, I opened my eyes. Dozens of pretty, fierce faces stared me. All of my brave, pretty girls.


Blog’s Fourth Birthday

My blog turns four today.

blog4thbirthday-001 It’s pretty amazing. Four years ago, the world was a different place.

But I’m still here! I’m thrilled about that. I love this blog, I really do. I have gotten better at picking images to go with posts, I think.

I still haven’t found the perfect theme. I’m starting to lose hope I ever will. But it’s not such a big deal.

Hoping the next year will be bigger and better!



Sunday Stealing Meme

I’ve discovered a new meme: Sunday Stealing! does this meme.

I don’t know how often I will do this meme, but today’s topic is about books so I did it!!!

You answer these questions. I copied and pasted the list.

1. Favorite childhood book?

Charlotte’s Web by  E.B. White

2. What are you reading right now? 

I want to start The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, but still have to get the book.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

LOL I’ll probably request The Rook by Daniel O’Malley!

4. Bad book habit?

Um . . . reading the ending first.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?


6. Do you have an e-reader? 

Yes, a Nook simple touch. I love it.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? 

Several, that way way I always got something.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

Not a lot, not.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far)? 

This is a hard one. There have been hardly any bad ones this year. I have no idea.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

Hands down, Ancillary Justice by  Ann Leckie is the best thing I’ve read all year.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? 

Not very. Maybe once a quarter.

12. What is your reading comfort zone? 

Reading in the genres of fantasy, sci-fi, romance, mystery.

13. Can you read on the bus? 


14. Favorite place to read? 


15. What is your policy on book lending? 

I’ve got no issues with it.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books? 

Sometimes, but only if I know I will never, ever sell it.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

Rarely and only if I know I will never, ever sell it.

18. Not even with text books? 

I usually sell text books, so no.

19. A book you didn’t expect to like but did? 

The last book like that was Drown by Junot Diaz.

20. What makes you love a book?

Good world building and characters and plot. Decent writing.


Friday Flash: Moon Ritual

This is my first Friday flash in a long, long time. I don’t really like how some   of it came out so if you see a way to improve it, let me know! It’s just a little over 600 words.

Once upon a time, there was a princess happily married.

Then came the fourth day after the full moon in the eighth month of the year.

Hunger gnawed at her. The smell of cooking onions pricked her stomach. Her throat was parched. She prayed for the moon to come up, so she might drink.

She looked at the living room window. Stars sparkled in the sky, nearly as bright as her finery, but the moon was no where in sight.

This was for her husband, she reminded herself. If she was dizzy, if her head felt lighter than a leaf, it was for the greater good.

Gold bangles jangled as she walked back to the sofa. Sitting felt good; she felt as if hunger had taken her legs from her.

Her younger brother watched her with worried eyes. “You should eat, sister.”

”The ritual isn’t complete yet,” she said.

He shook his head, frowning. Her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law strolled in, followed by the maid. She carried a tray of savory fritters and sweets for the men and single girls.

Her brother pushed the maid away and rose to his feet. “Excuse me.”

“Come.” Her mother-in-law clapped her hands. “The moon will he up soon. Lets prepare our prayer trays.”

Obediently, she polished hers until it was as bright as a mirror. Her red veil looked good on her, she thought. Her husband would like it.

Her brothers, all seven of them, came back in. “The moon is up, sister,” the youngest sang out.

She rushed to the window to look. A bright, yellow light glowed in the distance.

She snatched up her prayer tray, but paused when none of her sister-in-laws prepared to come outside with her. “Aren’t you coming?”

”Oh,” said the oldest, a vision in green silk and delicate gold embroidery. “This moon is for you only.”

She frowned, puzzled. But the maid walked in and set a tray on a table. Her stomach rumbled at the smell of sugar and butter.

She ran out, prayer tray in hand. She flicked and poured water, murmured words over her offering.

Dinner was wonderful, fried bread and cheese, and her favorite, stuffed okra.

Than the maid walked in and announced: ”Your husband, the king, is ill.”

She rushed to his side, fell to her knees and cried out.

Her younger brother, shame-faced, told her what her sisters-in-law already knew: they had built a large bonfire on top of the next hill so she would think the moon was up and eat.

The princess begged the goddess forgiveness for her mistake.

Hundreds of needles pierced his skin. Slowly, laboriously, she pulled them out. Night and day, she knelt at his side and pulled needles. The pile grew to the thickness of her thumb, than her wrist and after months of labor, twice as big as her husband’s chest. Finally, only a few needles were left in her husband’s body.

The fourth day after the full moon in the eighth month of the year came again.

She left the maid pulling needles while she prepared her prayer tray.

She poured and flicked water to complete the ritual.

When she came back to her husband’s side, he was smiling and holding the maid’s hands.

She thought her heart would stop. She prayed to the goddess. Years passed.

She murmured words over next year’s prayer tray. “The queen becomes the maid and the maid becomes queen. The queen becomes the maid and the maid becomes queen. The queen becomes the maid and the maid becomes queen.”

One day, the king, curious, asked why kept the repeating the same words. She told him the story. He made her queen once more.

And that is why you don’t end the ritual before the moon rises.