Tag Archives: crime

FPQ56: Drive Me Crazy

Fandango’s provocative question

Fandango provocatively asks…

What’s something you consider to be terrifying that you have come to accept as a fact of life?

It’s probably not going to surprise anyone who knows me when I say driving. This is not an irrational fear. Let’s begin with some data.

The U.S. leads the way (rah!) on traffic fatalities. We have 12.4 per 100,000 population, about 50% higher than other Western nations. (source) Check that link for some reasons why.

Daily, I see people running red lights. Not once in a while… daily. I never see a cop chase after them, not once. Red light cameras have mostly been taken away due to cost and also there was concern they were causing more accidents (like the way Trump “caused” the Iranians to shoot down their own plane).

People speed and change lanes unsafely because… well, it’s all about them. They assume everyone else is paying close attention to the road. And whatever they have to do is more important than being safe. If they’re late, well, now that becomes our problem. God forbid people learn to leave enough time for appointments.

They tailgate because they are late and they are frustrated. Driving unsafely makes them feel better, I guess. Or they’re just not paying attention because they’re texting, chatting, eating, daydreaming, whatever. Or their judgment is impaired from drugs or stupidity or lack of sleep. Then there are the drivers who are armed, ready to shoot you over who knows what…

So, I “share” the roads with these maniacs and idiots and rage-filled criminals and hope every day not to die or get mangled in a car wreck. In 2018, about 40,000 people died in vehicle crashes ~ forty thousand (source) ~ not to mention all the injuries.

It’s weird how we’re supposed to be scared of molesters hiding behind trees in the park and bad dudes sneaking across the border to steal our lunches, but me… I’m terrified of driving, and yet I accept it as a fact of life here in Southern California. If you live in an area with great public transportation and don’t have to drive, consider yourself lucky!🍀


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.

One for the Road! [fiction 261]

Liquor cabinet

“Are you sure this will work?” Bran said to Littlefinger.

The older man nodded. “I saw it in a movie. I think it was one a them Tom Cruise flicks.”

“Oh, he’s great!” Bran said, unlocking the door with the key he’d stolen earlier during his illness ruse.

“Keep your voice down,” Littlefinger warned. “Else we’ll have the guards over here.”

The two convicts snuck into the warden’s private office, where Littlefinger had figured out there was a back door out to the parking lot and freedom. He hadn’t known about the liquor cabinet though. “Let’s have a quick drink, Bran. A cure for what ails us, eh?”

Bran frowned. “But I wasn’t really sick. It was just a trick, remember? Don’t you think we should stick to our plan and escape quick down to the cove?”

“Mmm rice wine!” Littlefinger exclaimed. “Love this stuff. Try it, Bran. It’s midnight and we have lots of time.”

“Okay.” Bran tasted the wine. “It is good. A bit sour though. I’d rather have a slug of whiskey.”

“I can’t stand whiskey without ice,” the other man said. “Look, he has Courvoisier. Our warden sure has fancy tastes. I wonder how much he gets paid?”

“Can we try it?” Bran asked eagerly after he sampled the warden’s apricot brandy. “We might get sore heads though.”

“Just a small sip,” Littlefinger said. “One for the road!”

But one led to another and the warden found them both passed out on the floor of his office when he got to work the next day at 7am.


Written for Rory’s Word Story

Words used from Courvoisier: cove, cruise, cure, ice, is, our, over, rice, ruse, sore, sour, sure, us, voice

Image from Pexels

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Stepping It Up (1400)

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Kevin and Lexi found Dan semi-conscious off the freeway where two criminals had tricked him, beaten him, and stolen his car.]

Here are the posts in order so far:

Sisterly Chat
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Who Needs Drama?
Dan Drives North
Lexi Needs A Ride
Kevin’s Tangled Saga
Weird Angle]

“So what happened after you told the cop you were the good guy?” Vicky asked Kevin as they munched on calamari and rolls while sipping Otter Village Inn’s finest sparkling wine.

Wine being poured

“He was immediately arrested and thrown in the pokey!” Nick’s blue eyes sparkled with mischief. “Right, Kevin?”

“I admit to a moment or two of fear that my story sounded crazy even to my own ears. Driving two hundred miles to look for a guy who disappeared while he was stalking my girlfriend?” Kevin raised his eyebrows. “But Lexi backed me up, and who wouldn’t believe that sweet and innocent face?”

Vicky waggled her fingers. “Ahem. No one knows a sister like a sister.”

Lexi smiled sweetly. “That works both ways, Victoria Marie.”

“Nailed!” Nick raised his glass. “Nice job, Alexandra… er Lexi. Here’s to happy endings. I made a call this afternoon and found out that Angela flipped on her boyfriend, a real creep with a sheet of priors, so it’s not a problem that Dan wasn’t able to ID him.”

Lifting her glass to clink with the others, Lexi felt peaceful and content. What a satisfying outcome! And Kevin’s calling her “my girlfriend” set off butterflies in her tummy. The newness of their romance was still so delicious. They smiled at each other across the table.

Beautiful redhead

Lexi munched on a piece of calamari as she thought about the past week’s craziness. Dan was out of the hospital and resting at a room at Carolyn’s. Lexi and Dan had finally talked about Jim in depth so that Dan had received the closure about his brother he so desperately needed. Dan planned to return to the city soon and possibly look for a new job. He’d been chatting with Kevin about how he’d been feeling restless and bored for some time; the two men had really hit it off. But despite the newfound camaraderie with Lexi and Kevin, Dan had no interest in relocating to a sleepy village–he was a city guy.

“Eventually the news about that whole mess with Jim and all won’t be interesting to anyone, Lexi,” Vicky said. “You might think about coming home. We miss you.”

Lexi considered her response as the waiter served their dinners. She thanked him as he placed her swordfish with mango chutney and zucchini medallions in front of her. She felt Kevin’s expectant gaze, and when she looked at him, she knew he was also waiting for her reply to her sister.

“Vicky,” she said. “You guys are wonderful, but this is my home. I love it here. I have a job… and I met Kevin. I know I chose Otter Village on a whim, basically because it was as far away as I could get on the free miles I had at the moment. But now…”

“But now you have the settlement!” Vicky interrupted. “You can do anything you want.”

“Settlement?” Kevin said, a forkful of fish halfway to his mouth.

Lexi rolled her eyes at Vicky, who merely shrugged. Feeling obligated to be truthful after all Kevin had been through for her, Lexi said, “Jim had life insurance from his old job, and it was still in effect because he had never bothered to cancel the auto-payments. I was still the beneficiary despite our nearly finalized divorce. It took a long time for them to process my claim, but they did after months of waiting. I was almost out of money when a huge check came sailing in.”

Rolls of cash

Kevin nodded. “I see. That makes sense. You did seem to be living on a shoestring at first, and then not so much.”

“We would have helped you, Lexi,” Nick said. “We’re family.”

Lexi squeezed his hand. “I know. Thank you so much. But I did get the job in the souvenir shop… and that helped some. Now, everything is fine.”

“More than fine!” Vicky exclaimed. “Half a mil, baby. Go see the world! You always wanted to visit London. Don’t put it off. You deserve to live life on your own terms after struggling in that marriage and dealing with the fallout of his descent into madness and… well, you know.”

Lexi nodded. “I hear you. But…”

Vicky stared at her. “What’s stopping you from pursuing your dreams, sweetie? You’ve cocooned enough since that awful day. Now, live!”

Nick said, “Geez, honey. Give her a chance to breathe. She hasn’t been able to center herself in one place for five minutes before the next wave comes along and knocks her off her feet.”

Glancing at Kevin, Lexi said, “Some of the waves are good ones.”

Kevin picked up her hand and kissed it.

“Awwww,” Vicky cooed. “So romantic!”

“Well, he knows she’s loaded now, thanks to your big mouth,” Nick said. “Ow, ow, my foot! Kidding!”

Lexi laughed, smiling into Kevin’s eyes. “He was romantic before.”

“Yeah, but I really plan to step it up,” he joked.

Lexi thought she wouldn’t mind that at all as she returned her attention to her plate.

Starry night sky

After dinner, Vicky and Nick said they were too tired for a walk after driving all day and went up to their room, so Lexi and Kevin strolled down to the bay by themselves.

“Lexi, I’m sorry your sister blurted that out about the life insurance,” Kevin said. “I want you to know it makes no difference to me. You know that, right?”

She smiled and snuggled close as the wind blew off the water. “Of course. I’m pretty sure you found me irresistible since the day I fell off my bike.”

“Klutziness is such a turn-on.” He kissed her cheek. “Are you warm enough?”

“For now. It’s really cold though! But such a beautiful night.” She gazed at the velvety black sky sprinkled with stars, a dusting of clouds visible around the moon.

“It is. And so are you.” Kevin stopped and cupped her face in his hands, softly kissing her lips. “I tried to resist you though.”

She gazed into his eyes. “Why?”

“Because.” He kissed her again. “Every time we’re together I fall for you even more. That’s a bit scary.”

“Me too,” she said, smiling as her teeth began to chatter. “Ssscarry.”

“Here’s something even more terrifying,” he said. “I may have told my meddlesome sisters I met someone and they ah seem to be on a campaign to get me to bring her to Chicago for Christmas.”

Lexi stared at him. “What? When was this? We’ve hardly… it was only the day after we brought Dan home from the hospital when we sort of started…”

“Sort of started?” Kevin teased.

She was glad the darkness hid her blush. “I mean it’s such a short time is all. You said your sisters have been on a campaign, so surely that’s an exaggeration!”

He laughed. “You don’t know my sisters! I made one comment in our group chat to stop their matchmaking, and now they’re relentlessly hounding me to bring you. They’re like three cats who’ve seen a spider and won’t rest until they’ve caught it. Come on, let’s go back. You’re too cold.” He flung an arm around her as they turned around.

3 cats see something

“I want to know exactly what you said.” Lexi gratefully snuggled into his warmth as they strode away from the water.

“Juliette was saying one of her old college friends has moved close by, hint hint, and they all were going on about how great she was, and wouldn’t it be neat if we met during my visit. Then I said I’m dating someone awesome right here in Otter Village.”

“Someone awesome, hehe,” Lexi giggled.

“I meant it. And more.” When they reached the warmth of the hotel lobby, he asked her if she wanted hot chocolate or a pot of hot tea.

“Tea sounds lovely,” she said. “And by the way, I don’t think that meeting your family sounds terrible at all. I want to get to know them.”

“Thank you,” he said. “I should have known you’d be sweet about it.”

They put in an order for a pot of tea and wandered over to sit on the sofa by the fireplace. Lexi cuddled close to Kevin because she was still cold and also… the PDA was growing on her. Soon everyone in town would know they were a couple and she was fine with that. Because she kept falling more for him too.

Christmas engagement

[the end!]


Image credits to Pexels and Google.

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Weird Angle [901]

[This is a multi-part story. Lexi Brown is trying to escape her past and create a new life for herself in Otter Village, 500 miles from where a traumatic event occurred 6 months ago. In our last episode, we read that Kevin and Lexi were driving south in hopes of locating Dan, who had disappeared while driving toward Otter Village. Along the way, Kevin tells Lexi why he left Chicago.

Here are the posts in order so far:

Sisterly Chat
The Angry Brother
Trust Issues
Something You Don’t Know
Who Needs Drama?
Dan Drives North
Lexi Needs A Ride

Kevin’s Tangled Saga]

Brown bunny rabbit

It was a strange dream, with voices from faraway. He knew better than to answer them, for he was a small thing, curled up next to a tree, and did not want to end up on a dinner plate. His nose twitched like a rabbit’s. A wascally wabbit! Outsmarting Elmer Fudd once again. He smiled and went back to sleep.

But he was cold, so cold. The tree was cold. He huddled closer to it and realized it was made of metal. A metal tree? He opened his eyes, which made his head hurt. Then he realized he wasn’t next to a tree at all but a pole. He grabbed it with his paws that were not paws but human hands. Sticky hands.

“Dan! Dan!” someone kept shouting. The voice of a woman. A memory floated up. A woman in restaurant eating fries from his plate. Smiling, laughing, pretty. Then she was in his car. Oh! He had a car. That was good. He should find where he parked.

Pretty blue-eyed blonde

He tried to pull himself up and pain shot up his spine, and spiked through his shoulder, leaving him out of breath. His hands were throbbing. Had he been in a fistfight? What the hell? He lay back down on the lumpy cold ground, dizzy and panting. Everything hurt, he realized now. He tried to roll onto his left side as he did in the morning when getting out of bed and screamed.

“Dan!” the voice was a man’s now, closer.

They’d come back for him, to finish it. He understood now. Angela and that beast, the supposed rotten boyfriend who’d stranded her, but in fact had been tailing them until Angela pretended to be sick and made him pull off the freeway. Then the boyfriend had beaten him up, and they’d stolen his car, but now they’d decided to kill him so he couldn’t identify them.

He would die here in the dirt at the hands of criminals, and his brother was dead too, and that would be the end of the Mitchells.

Dark deserted road

“Dan? Is that you?” Lexi bent down over the dark shape next to the utility pole, shining her flashlight on the person’s face. “Oh, my God, Kevin. It’s him, but he’s all bruised… his face… and his leg is at a weird angle.” She put her fingers on his throat and felt a weak pulse.

“We can’t move him,” Kevin said. He called 911 and asked for an ambulance ASAP, telling them there might be spinal injuries. He gave their exact location from the GPS.

“Nick was pretty accurate,” Lexi said. “But what happened here? Where’s his car?”

Dan moaned and she held his hand. It was like a chunk of ice. “Shh. It’s all right. We’ve called for an ambulance. Just lie still for another couple minutes.”

“Looks like… well, I don’t know. Maybe he stopped to take a pee and someone bashed him up, stole his car?” Kevin paced around them, but stayed close, Lexi noted, and was very grateful for it. Even though they were close to the road, it was almost pitch black, and who knew what lurked in the trees behind them? More car-stealing bashers?

“Angela,” Dan whispered.

“What?” Lexi said. He repeated it and she heard him. “He’s saying ‘Angela.'”

Kevin shrugged. “Does that mean anything to you?”

“No, but I don’t know much about his life. Dan,” she said close to his ear. “It’s Lexi, Alexandra. Not Angela. I’m here with my friend Kevin and we’ve called for help. Just hang tight.”

“Maybe this Angela stole his car,” Kevin suggested as sirens faintly wailed in the distance. “Maybe it wasn’t random.”

“I think he’s just confused about my name because he’s hurt,” Lexi said. “I see lights. That was fast.”

“Hi!” Dan said, waving to the emergency personnel. “Over here. We don’t know what happened to him.”

Two male paramedics ran to them. “Please step back,” one said to Lexi.

She scrambled out of the way as they began to work on Dan, taking his blood pressure, and loading him onto a stretcher.

Next, two police officers approached them. Lexi had been so engrossed in watching the paramedics she hadn’t noticed a second vehicle pull up.

“How did you happen to find this man?” A female officer asked.

“Well, I…”

Silhouette cop surrounded by blue light

Then she realized the cop wasn’t talking to her, but to Kevin. And a second police car had pulled up. Two more officers strode toward them. It occurred to Lexi that it might appear to someone who didn’t know what was going on that she and Kevin had somehow hurt Dan, which was of course ridiculous!

“We were actually looking for him,” Kevin said. “He was coming up to visit Lexi and stopped communicating, so we began to worry about him.”

Lexi thought that this was too brief of an explanation and wanted to begin at the beginning so the cops would have a full picture of the Dan situation and why she and Kevin had received GPS info from Nick–and it would probably be a neat idea to mention that a fellow cop had helped them–

“Okay, sir,” the officer replied to Kevin. “May I see some identification please?”

As the paramedics lifted Dan into the ambulance, Lexi had one second to decide whether to jump in after them or to stay here and help Kevin explain everything…

[to be continued]


Images from Pexels and Pixabay

©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Halloween Costumes [flash 299]

Tin Man

The three friends scrambled over the fence and climbed through the broken window. “Score!” chortled Jeff, wiping a spiderweb off his face.

As their eyes adjusted to the dim light of the abandoned movie studio warehouse, Andy saw a shape scuttle past his foot. “Maybe we should reconsider this plan…”

“Don’t be a chicken,” Jeff said. “We’ll get primo costumes here and impress all the girls.”

“For free!” Vince added, switching on his flashlight. “C’mon, Andy. Let’s at least look around. No one will even notice these are gone.”

“Whoa, check it out. Wizard of Oz!” Jeff held up a lion head. “Perfect for you, Andy. Cowardly lion, ha ha.”

Andy walked over to the box Jeff had found. “These are awesome,” he admitted, putting on the head. “RAWR!”

Jeff pulled out a shiny suit. “Dibs on the Tin Man. Vince, help me zip this thing up.”

“Okay,” Vince said. “I’m definitely going for the Wizard, being the smart one here.”

The friends helped each other adjust their costumes and then left the warehouse for their school party. They were a big hit and received many compliments from the girls.

At the end of the night, Jeff walked home and tried to take off his costume but couldn’t find the zipper. It seemed much tighter than before, almost molded to his skin. “Mom!” he yelled. “Help!”

His mother came upstairs. “There is no zipper. How did you get into this? Where did you buy it?”

“Um… a friend gave it to me.”

She tried to cut it off and the scissors broke. Jeff ran down the street and banged on Vince’s door. Vince came out, still dressed as the Wizard.

“I can’t take the costume off!” Vince cried.

Just then Andy came galumping up the driveway and ate them.


Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 35

Laura’s October Challenge (Day 8)


©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Song Lyric Sunday ~ Gun

Song Lyric Sunday

Jim gives us some cool Western-themed prompts this week, and I chose gun. My song is “Woke Up This Morning” from 1997 by the English band Alabama 3… and if you’re a Sopranos fan you’ll know it as the music that opened every episode. Rob Spragg and Jake Black wrote the lyrics.

Well, you woke up this morning
Got yourself a gun
Your mama always said you’d be the chosen one

She said, you’re one in a million, you’ve got to burn to shine
But you were born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eyes

And you woke up this morning
All that love had gone
Your papa never told you about right and wrong

But you’re looking good, baby
I believe you’re feeling fine (shame about it)
Born under a bad sign with a blue moon in your eyes

Because you woke up this morning
Got a blue moon in your eyes
Woke up this morning
You got a blue moon in your eyes […]


©️2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

Love Letters [flash 285]

Love letters

Concerned about her lack of a love life, Lula decided to try one of those dating sites on the web. Her friend Marge said that her niece had met her husband this way. So, Lula wiped the dust off her old keyboard and set her nimble fingers to work creating a profile.

As soon as she finished, she received a warm welcome message from a handsome man in uniform. His name was Max and he was on an important secret mission out of the country. Lula saw an alligator in the background of his photo, which made his story sound credible.

Max said he was having trouble accessing the site from his remote location, so they began corresponding by email. Lula sent him more photos, and he said she looked so delicious that he wanted to meet her very soon.

The problem was, he had dropped his passport one night while using the bathroom and the alligator had eaten it. He’d been working with great tenacity to replace it because he wanted to visit his mom in the States. She’d been sick lately.

And now there was Lula. Max told Lula he felt so close to her from her sweet letters he might be falling in love. She said she felt the same. He said in that case he’d combine a visit to his mom with one to Lula. She was thrilled! It had been so easy to find her true love on the web.

Then Max said he would work extra to earn the three thousand dollars he needed to expedite new documents. But sadly he wouldn’t have time to write to Lula if he took the second job.

Lula sent him the money.


Written for Thursday Inspiration 18


© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon

A Special Recipe [flash 99]

Apricot jam

He smiled at the cheery table his wife had set. She seemed so much better since her rest at the hospital last month. He wished she wasn’t so troubled over the past, and that vile gossip in town that refused to die down, but regardless he felt determined to be a loving partner. He’d made sure she’d be provided for if anything happened to him; he was much older, after all.

“Try my sweet apricot jam,” she urged. “It’s a special recipe from a new friend.”

He spread it thickly on his bread. “Thank you, Lizzie. It smells wonderful.”


Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge


© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ36: Ends & Means

Fandango’ Provocative Question

Fandango provocatively asks…

“Do you think the end or the means is more important? Explain.”

It depends on the situation.

It’s acceptable for firefighters to break down a door to save a life.

It is not acceptable for a neighbor to break down a door to grab a cookie just because they smell so delicious.

Live and learn, my friends! 🍪🍪🍪


© 2019 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted. Please check out Paula’s books for sale on Amazon.

FPQ32: The Evil that Men Do

Fandango provocatively sez…

For this week’s provocative question, I am going to do something I haven’t before done in my provocative question prompt. I’m going to post something a fellow blogger wrote. In this case, the blogger is Judy Dykstra-Brown, and in one of her recent posts she wrote,

“I do believe that more evil has been done in this world by those absolutely sure of the rightness of their faith and their beliefs.”

So my question is this: do you agree with what Judy wrote? Why or why not?

Yes, I agree with this. I do think that mass evil is committed in the name of “righteousness,” not due to men knowing they’re wrong and believing they can get away with it. Some random crimes happen from the latter, but for coordinated grand scale evil to occur, not only do people need to believe they are right, but they must convince a certain portion of others also, enough to fight for them anyway. Not everyone needs to believe, but enough do, enough to intimidate the rest.

Sometimes, as it turns out, half the people don’t even need much persuasion to go along with horrible shit. It was already lurking there in their minds all along and they were just waiting for a nasty hateful unprincipled man with no boundaries to say what they were thinking.