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Hot Water

2017-04-30 swag bag

Wonderful swag for first place!

The valve was stuck again.

Egon stared at it but dared not complain. He was never moody, yet somehow that adjective had been attached to him by his demonic coworkers. It was just one more frustration of his hellish job.

Egon looked around. Except for the lava fish swimming around his ankles, he was alone. With a fleeting sense of righteousness he uttered a colorful string of epithets that left much to be desired. The lava fish gave him a look but did not tempt him to extrapolate.

The valve was stuck at the border of Just-Hot-Enough and Burning Hellfire. It was always stuck, and his job of unsticking it was a Sisyphean task. He wasn’t Sisyphus. It wasn’t fair. He’d submit his resignation if the severance package wasn’t so pathetic.

With a curse and a heave Egon moved the valve to its hottest position. Far above him, a thousand souls screamed as their showers suddenly became steam cookers.

He smiled.

Another day’s work done.

This was a fun contest at the Pikes Peak Writers Conference this year! We had to introduce ourselves to the faculty/staff who had stars on their badges, and ask for a word prompt. There were twenty words possible, and we had to get at least five. I used the cheesy pickup line “May I have a word with you?” to collect ten, and I used them all. The task was to compose a piece of flash fiction under 250 words.

My words were: valve, fish, Sisyphean, moody, fleeting, colorful, tempt, extrapolate, severance, and border.

And I won first place out of about 40 entries! #Snoopydance

Hot WaterThis is probably the last story I’ll post here, and I’d like some advice.

Under Loch and Key is the place I put random bits of writing. When I was an aspiring author I participated in lots of story prompts and flash fiction contests for fun and practice. Sometimes the story was a gem in the rough, but more often it’s just rough.

I’m working on transitioning my site from “aspiring author” to “professional author.” I think one of those steps is taking down the blog full of random stories. I may include just a few of the best “free” stories on on individual pages, but I believe this blog should go.

What’s the best way to do that? I’d like to archive the stories. Is there an easy way to simply make it unavailable (like taking away the links from the main site) or is there a tool I can use to archive the stories?

Mustard and Tacos


Back in the days when mustard was purchased in glass containers with metal lids, my parents could make a small jar last several years. It was not a beloved condiment; it was just used to perk up a sandwich made with leftover ham. A little dab would do.

When I graduated from mushed carrots and baby cereal to real food, it soon became apparent that my tastes did not always align with my family’s. For my sandwiches, mustard must be slathered on, not dabbed. Ham and cheese were superfluous. I was more than happy with a mustard and tomato sandwich.

My mother is a good cook and my father’s tastes are simple. When I was growing up, most dinners consisted of an appropriately cooked meat with a matching starch. Rice with chicken, potatoes with just about everything else. Pasta was the occasional treat. My job was to grate some cheddar cheese off the block to serve with spaghetti. Lasagna was a more complicated matter, but much more rewarding. Vegetables were either from a can or frozen, (Salads happened, usually with the lasagna) and were at first heated on the stove and then, in my mid teen years, nuked in the microwave. There were casseroles too, which I loved but, of course, my own children do not.

They share neither my tastes nor my parents’.

Sometime in my early teen years, a Taco Bell came to town. Living in Colorado, I knew that Mexican food existed, even though I had no concept of us versus them when it came to the fact that a significant number of my peers were Hispanic. The fact that our next-door neighbor ate yogurt was just as exotic to me at that time.

My mother took my sister and me into Taco Bell, at my request. It was probably lunch time, because my father wasn’t with us. He would not have found anything there he liked. I distinctly remember that the wrapper for the taco had instructions on how to eat it, as if, by taking bites from different parts of the folded, fried tortilla we could avoid it crumbling by the time we were done. This simple feat was beyond me, which is probably why I developed a preference for burritos.

Mexican food was exotic. We didn’t eat there often. Searching my memory, I think my first visit to a Chinese restaurant didn’t happen until I was in college.

Today I still love Mexican food. My daughters’ favorite is Chinese, especially if it is a buffet. I also discovered Greek and foods of other ethnicities when I started feeding myself instead of eating what my mother cooked.

A developing palate is a mystery of nature versus nurture. One cannot expect one’s own child to enjoy all the same things the rest of the family loves. Sometimes, out of nowhere, kids develop tastes for foods that are rare and exotic.

Like mustard and tacos.


What She Wished For

Model John Quinlan as Brendt.

Model John Quinlan as Brendt.

Marjorie didn’t want to go down the stairs.

He was there.

He was what she’d wished for, what she’d told her parents over and over again she wanted. He was what she’d bragged to her friends at school about.

She never, not once in a million years, thought he’d actually show up.

Brendt wasn’t wearing a tuxedo, but his suit was sharp and his shirt matched the blue flowers in the dress mom had found at the vintage clothing store. It wasn’t a real Prom dress, but she loved it.

The dress was just one in a long list of challenges she’d overcome in her quest for Prom.

First, there were the understated murmurings of “Special Needs kids shouldn’t go to the normal kids’ Prom.”

Second, the cost of the tickets which, although not terribly expensive, were more than she’d usually ask her parents for.

Third, the fact that Prom was going to be at a fancy hotel in the city, twenty minutes away, and Dad needed the only car for work that night.

Brendt drove a Corvette, and it was a convertible. Marjorie had watched from her parents’ bedroom window as he arrived. She’d heard the other kids bragging about renting limos or borrowing their parents’ cars. She wondered what they’d think when she arrived in the sports car, escorted by a gorgeous man fifteen years older than the graduating seniors.

Brendt looked up. Marjorie froze. It had been five years since he’d seen her. Would he recognize her?

Did he still love her?

Brendt’s face gradually softened, and his mouth curved just barely into a smile.

“Wow,” he said. Their mother was standing behind him, going through an entire box of tissues and trying unsuccessfully to hide her sniffles and sobs. “Little sis, you are all grown up!”

Marjorie looked down at her feet. She was wearing high heels for the first time, and they weren’t as easy to walk in as she’d thought.

But it didn’t matter. Because no matter how unsteady she felt, no matter what the other kids might say about her, her big brother had come home.

Because it was what she’d wished for.

I first used John‘s picture back in 2011 for a story called Postcard. At that time, he was just a gorgeous guy with photos attached to a creative commons license on Wikimedia Commons. Then he contacted me, I interviewed him, and we became friends. I eventually used him for several others, including my serial SciFi Synaesthesia. Later, he teamed up with Claudia McKinney of Phatpuppy Art to create some fantastic cover art for authors to purchase. I don’t have a novel published yet, but both John and Claudia graciously let me use a low-res copy of Siren Song to mock up a cover for my 2013 3-Day-Novel story Siren’s Web.

This Saturday, John will be in my area for the NPC (National Physique Commitee) Vermont Championships. Maybe we’ll finally get to meet in person!



Clarice listened. It was there. She had faith it was there.

Of course, faith was something that, as a scientist, she hid from the world. No one would take her seriously if she admitted that, sometimes, the reason she found the missing puzzle piece or the reason she leaped from a point of stability to a point of chaos that turned out to be a serendipitous insight into a whole new path of discovery was, simply, faith.

Bum dada bum, bum, bum… Bum dada bum, bum, bum…

The voice was not in the static. The voice was Apophenia. At least, that’s what she called herself…

It was an odd name, but Apophenia was an odd creature. Non-corporeal, like an angel or demon. Not that Clarice believed in angels or demons…

You should believe in angels and demons. They’re just not what you think they are, Apophenia said, her voice like wind-chimes in Clarice’s mind.

“Really?” Clarice spoke out loud, heavy with sarcasm. “Care to enlighten me?”

It amused Apophenia to be acknowledged in such a way. She hugged her Beloved host. Sure! she said, then shared her vision.

Clarice’s jaw dropped. The bum dada bum, bum bum in her head suddenly made sense as she saw the glowing creatures ascending and descending a ladder…no…it wasn’t a ladder…that wasn’t the right word. For one thing, they weren’t going up, they were going further. Not farther, but further. And they weren’t creatures…they were…

Clarice had no words. She was torn between the utter clarity she was experiencing as the sounds, vision, and a synaesthetic sense she could not harness battled with her sense of reason that strove to put her experience into terms that she could understand. Terms she could communicate to the scientific community.

No words.

No evidence.

Nothing to cite, nothing to reference.

But perfect clarity.

Clarice was at once blessed and cursed. Apophenia covered Clarice’s eyes again. The symbiote danced around her host, bobbing up and down, worried that she had gone too far.

Clarice? Clarice? I’m sorry…you weren’t ready? Was it too much?

Clarice shook her head. “Oh…it was too much. It was too much…” she gazed off where the vision had been, trying to capture it again. She listened to the static, but even the bum dada bum, bum, bum was lost to her. “But it was wonderful!”

Clarice had never before used the term ‘wonderful’ in it’s truest sense. What she’d experienced was full of wonder. It was far more than a synonym for ‘good.’ It carried with it the essence of astonishment, of rapture.

Rapture. Was that what it meant? Clarice walked to where she had seen the creatures ascending and descending the ladder. She discarded her headphones, straining with every human sense to discover again what she’d seen. She closed her eyes, like Luke did at the end of A New Hope, trying to access her Jedi powers. She opened her eyes, channeling how Cumberbatch’s version of Sherlock would approach the puzzle. She looked behind her, thinking she heard the groans of a TARDIS landing and wishing a raggedy man with a bow-tie and fez would step out and enlighten her.

She prayed. She spoke to God in earnest, without any insincere apologies for her very human doubt.

I don’t think it’s time yet, said Apophenia.

“Let me see it again! If I could only see it again…”

Apophenia stroked her hair and patted her back. We’ll have a nice dream time together tonight. I can show you more when you’re asleep. I’m sorry Clarice, I’m sorry I showed you before you were ready…

“I’m ready! I can handle this! Please!”

Apophenia yawned. Clarice yawned to, unable to help herself.

You’ve been working for almost fourteen hours now.

“I have been working a lot…”

We should go home.

“I really should go home.”

So they went home. And they dreamed. And Clarice understood.

Until she awoke again to unreasonable reason.

I had to write this story because this week’s episode of Mind Games  (Starring Christian Slater) uses Apophenia to help heal a relationship between a father and son. I’ve been out of the writing habit for a couple of weeks because I was sick and then I had to put my energy into making up other life commitments. My short story The Genesis of the Incorporeum appears in the Garden of Eden anthology from Garden Gnome Publications, and I need to finish my story The Remorse of the Incorporeum to submit to the next anthology. Apophenia is an incorporeum…a non-corporeal creature who lives symbiotically and benevolently with multiple human hosts throughout time. This story is a good warm-up to get back into the swing of things.

I’m looking for some con-crit though…

Did I overdo the ellipses? Or were they appropriate for my voice? (As an author…not the voice of Apophenia!)

Is the POV too vague? Does it feel like head-hopping? I thought I could get away with it since both characters are sort-of in the same head.

Emeralds and Sapphires

Married to Whom“Is he angry yet?” Lorelei asked, popping up onto the balls of her feet in anticipation.

“Angry? Why?” asked Tink, the Duke’s jeweler.

“Hasn’t he remarked on my outrageous spending? The diamonds… the jewelry I’ve commissioned…” her eyes sparkled like the emeralds that graced her ears.

“Oh. Outrageous? No no no. Not nearly, Your Grace. I wouldn’t call your spending extravagant. There’s plenty more where these came from.” He casually jingled the sapphire bangles he was working on.

Lorelei was flabbergasted. She had gone out of her way for weeks, abusing her allowance and privileges as the Duke’s wife by commissioning an extravagant supply of jewelry. And he hadn’t noticed?

“What…would His Grace consider extravagant?

Tink paused.

Five long weeks later, she examined her naked body in the dressing room mirror. It had been sorely beaten by one man and overtaxed by another before she was returned to the stranger who was her husband, but it had stood the passage of time well. She was not used to dressing without the foundation garments that were de rigueur, but the occasion called for it.

His explicit instructions had been “dress to impress.” It was a small dinner party, just six guests, but they were people he didn’t like and wanted to rub their noses in his wealth and success.

He couldn’t fault her for what she did.

It took her maids three hours to get her into the dress, and it was terribly heavy. She didn’t care. It was not an evening to dance, it was an evening to be ogled.

The shattering of the glass he dropped in the sudden silence of the room made up for the months of being ignored. From throat to ankle, she was draped in only two things.

Emeralds and Sapphires.

I broke my own rule. I wrote a “story” that is actually an excerpt from a longer work. But it’s a work I haven’t written yet, and this is an exercise to help me get to know my new characters a little better. Steampunk… she was the old King’s mistress until he died. In order to make her presence at court legitimate, he married her off to a nobleman who lived far away. The story To Whom She Was Married begins with the King’s death and her being sent to the strange man who is legally her husband.

This week’s prompt for Write on Edge is sexy… and that was all the impetus I needed to do this.

Tank for the Memory

toni-frissell-underwaterJuno glared at the apparition and cursed the bulky helmet that limited his view. But that bulky helmet was all that protected him from the radioactive waters of the cooling tank.

They couldn’t see her from the surface, even though she hovered and swayed just below that point. She only showed herself to the divers, the elite who performed the necessary maintenance in the deadly depths.

Of course, that led the rest of the team to think that the divers were just perpetuating one big inside joke. But it wasn’t a joke to Dania… she had quit after seeing her just once.

Juno had no reason to be in the tank at that time. His only motive was the apparition herself. There had to be a reason they all saw the same thing…a woman, dressed in a white skirt and button-up the front blouse with a heavy necklace circling her throat. She did not appear to be in distress, but rather…surprised.

Cameras had not caught her, and research had not come up with any horror story of someone drowning or dying a terrible death and then haunting the place. The facility itself was only four years old. Before that, the place had been nothing but hard lunar scrabble and solid rock. For three and a half years the facility had operated with a perfect safety record and no “weirdness.”

That morning they were prepared. Cameras, sensors, doubters, believers, skeptics and all were assembled. Juno entered the tank, and there she was. He signaled, and the crew above water answered that they saw nothing. He walked directly under her and tried something new. He took a pole and reached up to touch her.

The image blinked. She thrashed, then in slow motion she reverse-fell out of the tank. The team on the surface continued to peer down, seeing nothing, but Juno fired his emergency thrusters, launching himself out of the pool. He still saw her…teetering on the edge, then she seemed to catch her balance. She walked backwards, like a film in reverse, until she reached the far door.

As soon as the door closed, it opened again, and all heads turned in that direction. “And this is the tank?” a woman in white asked, followed directly by one of the veeps from corporate. All eyes were riveted on her, and not a single one of them spoke as she walked calmly towards the edge of the tank and peered in.

Juno struggled to get his helmet off, but it was too late. “No!” he yelled into his comm, broadcasting the word over the room’s speakers. The word startled the woman, and she teetered on the edge, her face almost comically surprised as she fell into the tank with a splash.

And disappeared.

So, every Friday Rebekah hosts FlashFriday on her blog. We have until midnight to write something inspired by the prompt (the picture above.) We also have a word limit which is purposely rather small, like just a few hundred words. It is HARD to write a complete story in just a few hundred words. It almost always ends up feeling like an excerpt from a longer piece.

I usually go over the word limit and then edit down to what it needs to be. This makes for a tighter story, although sometimes I have to eliminate something I really liked.

I needed to eliminate 150 words from this. If you’d like to read the shorter version, it’s on Rebekah’s blog.

This story isn’t related to any other.

Herb propped his feet on the coffee table without taking off his shoes because there were no wives around to nag him.

Wife, not wives.

He reached out an arm to ask his husband to hand him the extra pillow that their wives kept moving back to the fancy-chair-no-one-sits-in, but Raj wasn’t there.

One wife. One husband. How old fashioned. How Earth-like.

Allora wasn’t home, or if she was, she was being quiet somewhere. He didn’t know, and largely didn’t care.

It’s not like she’d seek out my company…

“Herb?” he turned to see Allora in the doorway. Her arms were crossed over her chest, her eyes were red and puffy.

Wait… what does that mean? I think she’s… sad. Of course she’s sad. It’s only been a few months, but… what does she want from me?

“Yes?” He sat up in his chair and twisted around to see her.

He didn’t get up.

Allora glanced around the room. What she was looking for, he had no idea.

Yes I do. She’s looking for someone who knows what’s going on in her head without her having to say it out loud. Someone who died three months ago.

“I was just wondering… were you going to bed soon?” she asked quietly.

That sounds like an easy question. It must be a trick… a trap… Allora never really says what she means. I’ve gone to bed at nine every night of our marriage. Twenty years of habit, and she doesn’t know that?

Herb glanced at the clock. “I’ll be going up in about a half hour.” He hesitated to add one last word but something in his wife’s eyes made him want to at least try to figure out what was wrong with her. “Why?”

“I was just wondering… we probably don’t need two beds anymore.”

This was written for the Write On Edge prompt to write from a man’s POV. I regularly switch back and forth from male to female as I write, but it is true that I’m more comfortable with the female POV. We only had 300 words.

The story of Allora and Herb is one I began several months ago and never finished. At 300 words, this is really is just a scene, not a story. I’d like to finish it someday. Writing about a world where group marriage is common opens up all kinds of interesting scenarios… in this case, Allora and Herb lose their “better half” in an accident, and realize that over the twenty-some years they’ve been married, the two of them have grown apart. The two spouses who died were the two that kept the union going. Now that it’s just Herb and Allora, they have to figure out how to get along when it’s just the two of them.

The shortlink for this post is

The boys bent to their work. No more special guests for the afternoon; it was a work day. Schoolwork, that is. Dr. Tyson visited frequently to see how they were doing. Cole liked him. He didn’t treat them as geniuses, he treated them as…well, kids.

Sanjay was frozen in place, pencil in hand, eyebrow raised, chin down, staring at his twin. Cole knew the look. Stop daydreaming and get to work! They’d shared a womb for nine months, and hardly ever been separated in the nine years since. Cole met his brother’s eyes just long enough to admit that he’d been daydreaming and promise to give his full attention to the calculus worksheets.

Their math tutor looked over their work when they finished. That was the part Cole hated the most, although Sanjay reveled in it. Being compared not only to each other, but to their predecessor.

Compared to their own potential.

“Thank you Cole, for showing all your work. I can see the same wrong turn you took on several problems…” Cole couldn’t help but pay attention. He wanted… he needed to know what that mistake was. He felt like he understood the material, and was surprised that there was something he was doing wrong.

The tutor turned to Sanjay. “Sanjay, you need to show your work. You only got two problems wrong, but I have no idea whether it’s just some silly little typo, or whether you’re misunderstanding one of the steps…”

Sanjay grabbed the paper from their tutor’s hand, glanced at the two problems marked wrong, and quickly fixed them. “It was nothing. Just a little glitch. I fixed it.”

The tutor didn’t look happy as he looked at the math sheet. “Yes, that’s correct. However you do need to show your work.”

Sanjay heaved a heavy sigh and nodded noncommittally. They had this argument all the time. Sanjay insisted that he could do all the work in his head in the blink of an eye, so why bother slowing himself down to put it on paper just so the tutor could see?

Cole liked slowing things down. He often wished he could slow down life itself, freeze a perfect moment in time and live in it for just a little longer…

Like last Sunday, when their Dad had spent the entire afternoon throwing and catching with them. Cole was just happy to relax and swing at their Dad’s throws, and soon he was hitting every pitch. But Sanjay wouldn’t let their Dad throw the ball until he had adjusted his grip and stance to compensate for whatever imagined mistake he had made the past ten times he failed to hit the ball. He didn’t give up… he didn’t even get upset. He just shrugged when it was all over, as if it was simply one more requisite activity on their schedule.

Cole had watched his Dad’s strong shoulders flex under the late afternoon sun. He wondered what his life would have been like if he’d inherited his Dad’s DNA instead of the donor’s.

I could be a baseball star instead of a genius…

There was no transition to college. High School diplomas were awarded at filed at a young age; just another formality in their formal education. The boys continued to breeze through the math and sciences, absorbing the subjects like they had been born to them.

And they had. By design, they were born to fulfill the potential of their predecessor, the donor. Their education included writing and communication, necessary skills to be able to share their genius with the world. They both enjoyed art, especially when it was something messy like clay. It was also one of the only times they got to interact with kids their own age, on equal ground. The two of them were far too valuable to let them go to public school, or even a private institution. No, their education was finely tuned and tailored to maximize their potential.

Cole began to hate the word. When they turned fourteen and the orneriness of teenagedom asserted itself, he announced that he wasn’t going to be a great scientist after all.

“I’m going to be a fighter pilot. Maybe even an astronaut! And not one of the scientist-astronauts… I want to fly the thing!”

“That sounds like a terrific career.” His mother said calmly. The worst part was, he knew she meant it. He knew she loved him and would enthusiastically support him in anything he did.

But will “they” let me?

“That’s stupid.” Sanjay said. Their Dad gave him a look, and would have spoken up if he hadn’t just taken a rather too-large bite of Mom’s fabulous lasagna. Sanjay had the manners to look contrite. “Sorry. But it’s still not a good idea. I mean, we’ve got such potential, we’ve got the genes of one of the greatest men who ever lived…”

“…and every day of our lives we’re reminded of it! Pictures from his life and his achievements all over the school and lab. And I see it in the eyes of every mentor who comes through. I know these men and women… they’re accomplished scientists, mathematicians, engineers and everything without the benefit of someone else’s extra-special genes! Yet they practically worship us. They treat us like celebrities.”

Their mother quietly interrupted. “You are celebrities.” She said it like it was an unfortunate fact, a burden they had to carry. “And you do have potential. You weren’t given a choice. You were brought into this world as an experiment, but I’ve never regretted that a single day of my life.” She captured Cole’s eyes, and he felt the weight of her sincerity pierce the angry bubble that he’d worked up. “You’re mine.”

Laying in bed that night, Cole wondered about the gifts his mother had given him. Not the toys and mementos scattered around his room, but the more personal gifts of self. Their older and younger siblings were both girls. He didn’t know if that was by design, to lessen the inevitable comparisons, or whether it was simple chance. He did know that the scientists had argued for years before their conception regarding what the ideal family would be like. They wanted the boys to have a nuclear family, and they wanted that family to include other children.

Children who were not test subjects.

Glorianna looked most like their Dad. But as a younger sister, she had picked up a lot of quirks her big brothers exhibited, as well as an impressive vocabulary. There was no doubt she was their sister, even though genetically they had almost nothing in common. Eshana, older by only just over a year, doted on them like she was an extra mother, even trying to help them with their homework long after they passed her academically.

A familiar thump came from the room next door, and Cole was up in a flash. The one thing… the thing that could be the key to everything… was also the biggest difference between the otherwise identical twins.

Sanjay had the visions. Cole did not.

Sanjay hated the blinding flashes of light, and flatly refused to talk about what he saw afterwards. But late in the night, he would come to his brother’s room and sit at the end of the bed, delivering a monologue that often made no sense. It gave Cole strange dreams, but if it helped his brother unload his burden, it was worth it.

Cole found his brother sitting up in bed, his hands over his eyes, rocking back and forth. As was routine, Cole went to pick up whatever his brother knocked off the night stand while their mother breezed past and gathered her baby in her arms. No lights were turned on. The household customarily slept with next to no light… just the tiny safety dots in the hallway, and in each doorway. But eyes that were already adjusted to the absence of light found that tiny bit more than sufficient to find their way around the house, and to each other.

Cole heard Eshana in the hallway, asking if Sanjay was all right, and their Dad reassured her that he was fine, just another flash episode. Soon, Mom got up, leaving a lump of blankets over Cole’s twin. Cole retreated to his own bed, only to be woken moments after he finally got to sleep, his brother delivering the usual monologue at the foot of his bed.


After reading the answers to my SciFi Question of the Day about cloning Nicola Tesla, I decided to expand on the idea. This story is broken up into 3 parts, about a thousand words each.

The shortlink for this post is

April Mad Libs

Monday April 2nd was my 17th wedding anniversary. Today I checked the Write on Edge blog and found something fun for Monday… Mad Libs! Even though I’m late, I’m doing it anyway. And I promise I selected my words before plugging them into the story lol! Scroll down after the story to see just the list of words.

There was a bell set out under a book in front of the candle, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tripod at it: a Dormouse was teleporting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a hatch, judging their chins on it, and viewing over its sternum. `Very snuggly for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; `only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’

The sauce was a ancient one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: `No room! No room!’ they deposited when they saw Alice coming. `There’s PLENTY of room!’ said Alice sincerely, and she licked down in a funny fur at one end of the watchband.

`Have some grid,‘ the March Hare said in an Grecian tone.

Alice patrolled all round the table, but there was nothing on it but radio. `I don’t see any station,’ she battered.

`There isn’t any,’ said the March Hare.

`Then it wasn’t very fried of you to coast it,’ said Alice authentically.

`It wasn’t very early of you to haunt without being invited,’ said the March Hare.

1) noun     bell
2) noun     book
3) noun     candle
4) noun     tripod
5) -ing verb     teleporting
6) noun     hatch
7) -ing verb     judging
8 ) body part (plural)     chins
9) -ing verb     viewing
10) body part     sternum
11) adjective     snuggly
12) noun     sauce
13) adjective     ancient
14) -ed verb     deposited
15) adverb     sincerely
16) -ed verb     licked
17) adjective     funny
18) noun     fur
19) noun     watchband
20) noun     grid
21) adjective  Grecian
22) -ed verb     patrolled
23) noun     radio
24) noun     station
25) -ed verb     battered
26) adjective     fried
27) verb     coast
28) adverb     authentically
29) adjective     early
30) verb     haunt

OK… that was just weird lol! This is a snippet from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Chapter 7 – A Mad Tea-Party.

The shortlink for this post is

We All Did Not

Image courtesy of stock.xchng

“Hey girl!” came the shout from only inches behind my head. I was not the “girl” in question, I just happened to be in the way. “Yeah, I know! And I’m not even drunk yet!”

I had no idea who either of them was. I didn’t know if, twenty years earlier, we had been friends, or had a class together, or if, like most people in the room, we simply graduated from the same High School at the same time, and only knew each other by name and face.

Faces changed. And for many of the women (and some of the men) so had the names.

I had a drink in my own hand. I don’t usually consume alcohol, but I had traveled from Vermont to Colorado just to attend my 20th reunion, and I wanted to have at least one drink while it was still free. I had just stopped breastfeeding a couple of weeks before, so the drink was even more unusual for me.

I leaned over to Jon-who-knows-everyone, and verified that the woman in question was indeed one whom I only knew by name. And as the evening progressed, she did indeed get drunk.

One thing I find odd when reminiscing with my old friends is how we all have such different memories about what we were all doing. Some think that we all ditched school on Senior Ditch Day. Well, I didn’t. And I do remember the day. Yes, classes were missing more people than usual, but most of us were still there. Apparently we were also all having sex, getting drunk, and experimenting with drugs.

Um, excuse me. No, we all were not. I’d wager not even most of us were.

It amazes me how many people take their own experiences and assume that others experienced the same thing.

“Everybody has internet these days.”

Well, no. According to the first site that popped up on a Google search, only three in five do. Slightly more than half.

“Nobody gets married in their twenties anymore.”

Sure they do. And some of those marriages last happily every after.

“Everybody’s seen Star Wars.”

OK… that one might be true lol!

But I won’t assume so.

And I won’t assume you have had the same experiences as I have, even if we grew up together.

I won’t assume we all reacted the same way when an experience was shared.

And I won’t assume that what we’re experiencing right now is the same for you as it is for me.

This post was written for a Write on Edge prompt. We could choose from wine, coffee, or chocolate. Odd that I chose one that I hardly ever have… Yes, this is memoir. This did happen. And I wonder if any of my High School friends read my blog… my last name was “Lillie” way back when…

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