Category Archives: Fantasy

Elevenses

Tea and cakes

“Darling, would you like butter or jam with your crumpet?” Miranda asked her husband at elevenses.

“I don’t give a toss.” Nigel shrugged. “I would like to know however if you’ve been shagging the butler.”

Miranda added a spoonful of sugar to her tea. “Are you talking about Lionel?”

Nigel sighed. “Of course I’m talking about Lionel, poppet. We only have the one butler.”

“No need to get cross, snoogums,” Miranda said. “I thought you might have meant Mumsy’s butler.”

“Why would I care about your mother’s butler?” Nigel bit into a crumpet. “These are rather dry.”

“Well, that’s why I asked about the butter and jam, you silly goose.” Miranda added both to her crumpet.

Nigel spread butter on the rest of his crumpet. “This makes quite a difference. Thank you, luv. Now back to the matter at hand…”

“Mumsy’s butler?” Miranda frowned. “He’s ready to retire. I was thinking that Ian might be perfect for the position.”

“Our underbutler?” Nigel frowned. “That would present a problem, dearest.”

“Whyever so?”

“Because he would have to move hundreds of miles away to your mother’s.”

Miranda gazed at Nigel over her teacup. “I didn’t realize you’d grown so fond of him.”

“He plays chess with me when you retire early with a headache, which is rather frequently.”

“I see,” Miranda said. “I won’t recommend him then.”

They finished their meal in silence.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Fictionalized Fiction

Colorful bookshelf

Hey, I never do these Fibbing Fridays, but Di @ Pensitivity101 chose books…

1. War and Peace ~ this is a collection of short stories written by divorce lawyers. Mostly war, but occasional peace when a respondent drops dead from an avalanche of paperwork.

2. The Green Mile ~ poetry written by ex-husbands who felt “taken to the cleaners” by divorce attorneys. Some lovely rhymes in here such as billable/killable.

3. Dances with Wolves ~ confessions from recently divorced men about how they had to conceal assets from greedy ex-wives. Names changed to protect the guilty.

4. Jaws ~ mothers-in-law dish on the terrible marital choices their children made. They have a lot to say and this book never ends. Literally!

5. The Wind in the Willows ~ Mr. and Mrs. Willows buy a windmill farm and end up arguing so much over which direction to face the windmills they get divorced.

6. The Deserter ~ true story of a woman who ghosted her annoying husband and ran off to live in the wilderness. Spoiler: she lived happily ever after.

7. One Shot ~ dystopian novel of a post-divorce society where people get one chance at a romance, and if things don’t work out they’re sentenced to death. Odd how many still break up, knowing they will be hunted down and killed.

8. It ~ clever little story from the point of view of a gross, disgusting blob of who even knows what that grew in the fridge because a husband didn’t like to throw anything away. Icky but funny!

9. Independence Day ~ bizarre tale of a man and a woman who meet the day their divorces are final and then decide to get married again. Wacky and unbelievable!

10. The Count of Monte Cristo ~ husband and wife researchers travel to an ancient mountain village where all the people are rumored to have happy marriages. They never make it because he won’t stop and ask for directions.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image from the Happy Color app.

Inheritance, Part 2

Dark gloomy castle with moon

[Please read Part 1 first.]

As soon as Belinda stepped back into the woods, Simon hurried over to the bag she’d left under the lantern. He picked it up and peeked inside. Ah, yes! The ancient objects gleamed in the faint moonlight. A ruby winked up at him and seemed to emanate a deeper, darker hue as he gazed, transfixed. He touched it, shocked at its heat, as if it had just been released from a kiln. Shaking himself out of the trance, Simon stuffed the bag in his backpack and went after Belinda.

Her steps were lighter and faster than before, and it took him several minutes to catch up. He didn’t want her to end up on the main road and be seen by a passing car. Simon got close enough to shoot her in the neck with a dart a few yards before the tree cover ended. She cried out in pain and surprise.

Simon watched her put her hand to her neck and stumble. “Hello, Belinda,” he said.

“You!” she gasped. “I thought you were in prison.”

He smiled. “Not anymore. I’ve come back to claim what’s mine.”

“You’ll never win.” Belinda swayed and grabbed onto a tree. “You and your evil… evil… gran…”

Simon watched her fall. He felt for a pulse and then picked her up. Though he was strong from all his workouts, it was still a struggle to carry her body to the river and dump her in. As she floated away, he turned back to where he’d parked, sweaty and out of breath.

But by the time he pulled into the long, curving drive of Gloomhaven, he was calm and breathing normally. The mission had been a complete success! Simon hummed as he leapt up the stairs, banged open the door, and flung the bag of treasure on the sofa next to Grandmama.

“I did it!” Simon grinned, wondering why she didn’t seem more alert and excited. “Grandmama… the ancient relics. Look! Now our we can restore our home to its rightful splendor. Repair the ruin. We will rule once more!”

“You touched them,” the old woman said weakly. “I warned you.”

“Well, I…” Simon had known he wasn’t to touch any of the cursed jewels. “Just for a second. The ruby. It was burning up.”

She nodded. “Gabriella’s stone. You broke my spell.”

“What do you mean?” Simon watched in horror as her beloved face turned ashy and her eyes fluttered closed.

“It’s time… nothing to be done.” She sighed and sunk deeper into the pillows. “I’ve had an extra hundred years. Give or take. No reversing the curse…”

“Grandmama! No!” Simon watched her shrivel and fade. She’d been the last of her line, and the only one who had cared about him. Now, he was alone.

Though he still had the bag of stones…

~*~

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See?

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

Image from Pixabay.

30 Day Book Challenge 3

30 day book challenge

I’m going to do this challenge in groups of 6 so that I will have only 5 posts total in June on this topic instead of one per day which would be an annoying chore. Here are my third set of books…

13. The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb is an excellent book about history, finance, politics, and (especially) human psychology. I highly recommend it. The last third is full of math, but you don’t have to pore over that to get the gist of the book (I did not).

14. Speaking of swans… Swan Song, a twisted adult fairy tale by Jess Haines was a magical love story, with a bittersweet/philosophical ending. It’s a retelling of The Swan Princess, which is a pretty bad love story imo, and Ms. Haines writes a much better one with a way cooler hero. (PS: it’s not that “adult.”)

15. Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien made me cry sad tears and no this was not meant to be a bird-themed set of books! I look on Goodreads to find books I’ve read that fit the motifs. Or, if I can’t find something, I will read a new one, such as #14. Nothing wrong with reading a new book! But I digress. Wesley is such a wonderful story… please read it ASAP. I guarantee that you will love it, or… um… nothing. Owls are awesome!

16. I’ve read many books more than once, but let’s go with The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera, a most excellent novel. Please don’t feel you know the story if you’ve merely seen the movie, which was good, but it didn’t (and couldn’t possibly) do justice to this complex philosophical work. It’s okay to read it in small doses and think about it. I did. It’s so very brain crunchy.

17. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine was such an unexpectedly weird read, but I enjoyed it a lot. I guessed part of the mystery early on, but I still liked it and wanted to see where it went. I recommend it if you like stories that are a bit offbeat.

18. For my RIP author, I’m going with Ray Carver and his book of short stories Where I’m Calling From. Many of my favorite stories are in there, including the title story as well as Fat, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Neighbors, etc.

Alrighty then! See you with my next set on the 24th. 🙂

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Image stolen from Sandmanjazz.

FPQ73: I knew he would ask us this…

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

Do you believe there is such a thing as ESP? Or is what some suggest to be ESP merely that there are people who are highly intuitive and are very good at reading people’s very subtle signals?

I do believe in ESP, as strictly defined, which is “extra” sensory perception. That is, I believe there are some folks who are very skilled at processing and synthesizing sensory perceptions in order to make accurate predictions. Other folks just float through life not noticing things, or lacking the ability to do anything with their data. I think the skill can be taught up to a point, but some people have it naturally.

Let me also add that signals aren’t all that subtle once you know what to look for. You can learn what people do when they lie, for example. You can study how faces, voices, and body language change as people experience various emotions.

Some of us are more attuned to “reading a room” than others. It’s become trendy now to call us empaths. Everyone is an empath! This word grates on my nerves, grrrr. I call this a survival skill and people who don’t have it are likely the lucky ones who didn’t grow up in a stressful environment or experience abuse. When you do, you become skilled at discerning the shifts in voice, expression, and body language of those around you so you can better prepare for the coming storm or try to deflect it somehow. It’s not magic… it’s self-protection.

But do I believe that there is some spiritual woo woo thing that gives a select few the ability to “read minds” or bend spoons or predict plane crashes? Um no. Sure, I’ve “known” a few things in advance… haven’t we all? But what about all the times we did not know? That’s called confirmation bias, folks. Mostly, we don’t know.

~*~

Image from Fandango himself.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

To My Dearest Darling…

Cabin in woods with blue door

I heard from a mutual friend that you changed your phone number and email address after you moved because of a stalker. That must have been such a terrifying ordeal and you have my utmost sympathies. I know what a sensitive person you are and can only imagine the stress that put you through. I hope you’ve rallied now and regained your playful smile, which is one of my favorite things about you. I still gaze at that photo of us together… do you remember the sunny day at the fair? The fortune teller said our destinies were intertwined, remember? I hope you have forgiven me for tricking you into riding the monster coaster, but I think you enjoyed it after you stopped screaming. Anyway, with all the tasks that occupied your mind while moving, you seem to have forgotten to give me your forwarding info, but I found you nevertheless! It took quite a bit of determination, but I’m not one to let a connection slide. No, not me, and here’s a secret… I feel more for you than mere friendship. It’s time to acknowledge the truth, darling! I finally located your cute cabin deep in the woods with your signature blue door and was so pleased that my efforts had paid off. So I will just push this letter under your door and wait for you to come out and greet me. I don’t mind sitting here against the belly of this shady tree for however long it takes. I brought camping supplies. I really miss you, dearest…

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #69 and Mindlovemisery’s Sunday Writing Prompt “Secret Admirer.”

Image credited to Zane Lee at Unsplash.

~*~

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

An Enchanted Place

Cute kitty face

Gatsby here. I live in an enchanted place. I used to live somewhere else, and other places before that, but they’re all a blur now. My brain doesn’t keep track of things the way a human’s does. But my way is better because I am cat. Anyway, let me tell you about my kingdom: I am KING RAWR!

That’s the most important thing. I rule this place 24/7. There is a bowl of nom noms that stays magically full. Except sometimes the food level goes down below half and I get concerned, so I voice my opinion LOUDLY on this situation until the bowl is topped off again. There is also delicious water that somehow stays fresh even though there is no running stream. Amazing! I have a box to do my pees & poopies in and it magically stays clean. But I don’t question this sorcery. I take it as my due. 🐱

There are enchanted forests to explore in my kingdom. These aren’t typical forests full of trees and flowers and squirrels to chase (that would be awesome!). Some are stuffed with soft lumps of cloth I can burrow in to sleep, which is nice, especially when no one can find me for a long time. Others have crunchy papers to bite and claw… I love tearing up paper to bits! Still others have bottles to knock over, which is enjoyable.

Kitty on mantle

Sometimes the door is open and I can look outdoors through the screen. That’s fun! I get to watch humans walk past and sometimes a birdie will come near. I tell him that I will come out one day to catch him, and he flies away. Birds are pretty smart, but not as smart as cat. Other times the human is working on her button box, so I will paw on it and also make a lot of meows just because. I am KING and this is what I do. 😻

Now, I will tell you a secret. All the time I lived in these enchanted places I wished for more. I wished I had another cat to be my friend! And then one day a kitty appeared, just like magic! Her name is Tiger and I love her. She loves me too, and she shows it by hissing and growling if I get within a foot of her. Sometimes I chase her and she likes it. I can tell because she screams and jumps up on the washing machine.

Tiger kitty cat

Life is good.

~*~

Written for MLM Tale Weaver 274.

Images are mine.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Apocalypso

As the world ended,
We danced.
The band struck at midnight,
But there were no neighbors left
To complain;
You handed me a grenade–
The loveliest corsage ever made–
And we danced.
The stars winked out
And the seas burst into flame.
Still we danced
Upon mountains of ash and bone,
Finally alone!
We twirled and whirled and dipped
As the last notes slipped
Into space.
Everything dissolved;
I kept my gaze upon your face
Until the fire ran out of fuel
And the world cooled.
With eternity’s darkest rose
Clenched in your greedy teeth,
You waltzed me into Lethe.

~*~

Written for Eugi’s Causerie.

Image credited to lovethispic.com.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Love Comes Home

They told me not to wait for you,

But their obnoxious pity did not compute.

I kept to my usual mundane routines,

Received cryptic signals in a dream.

One day the seas turned to fire;

I saw sails a-flutter in the flames.

My dream was true–you had returned!

I ran to the dock as the sun sank low…

Your ship floated in, black and burned,

And everyone on board was now a ghost.

~*~

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See?

Image originally from Pixabay-Thommas.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Bingo Update 7

Bingo book challenge

See previous update here.

My friend Doug gave me Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli. At first, I was a bit wary. A book for young adults about a mermaid? Wha? But no! This is a super fun book, and it’s packed full of cool stories about Greek mythology. In fact, it takes place during the Trojan War itself. I love Napoli’s vivid writing. I felt like she truly had spent time living in a mermaid… pod (?) because I was transported into another world full of rich and glorious mermaidian detail. At heart, though, this was a love story, and it was a beautiful one at that. Four stars!

A big thanks goes to Angie for suggesting a Stephen King novel for the 500+ page book! I chose Full Dark, No Stars, which is four novellas. They aren’t specifically connected to each other except by the theme of ordinary people doing something extraordinarily horrible, which King more fully explains in his afterword. I enjoyed the book a lot, but for me the afterword was the best part. It was definitely the icing on the cupcake. 🧁 I gave this book five stars.

I’ll briefly review the stories in order. They will probably contain some spoilers.

The first one, 1922, isn’t the type of story I usually enjoy, but I liked it a lot. It was all narrative/backstory, which normally I avoid, but it worked, so… It took place on a farm, which… eh… but King made that work too. And it was completely disgusting and horrible. So, it had that going for it. 🤣

Big Driver is next, which is a rape revenge fantasy. I can totally get on board with this kind of thing, except idk… I just wasn’t so much into this one. I loved a lot of the details though, especially how she talked her way through the whole thing with her GPS. I guess I don’t feel the rapist suffered enough at the end, or at all really.

Fair Extension is fantastic! I had no idea how it would end. We’ve seen this kind of “deal with the devil” many times before, and yet this still felt fresh and exciting. I just gobbled it up. Loved it all the way through, just perfect.

The last story is A Good Marriage. Just wow. This is one of the best things I’ve read from King. Every moment of the story felt so real and true to me. I was right there with Darcy when she found that box and with each decision she made afterwards. Her character had been crafted so expertly that I felt mind-melded with her the entire time.

What a treat these two books were! 💖

~*~

Image credited to Kriti and Ariel.

©️2020 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.