Tag Archives: fiction

The Jungle

Jungle

Never ending story of The Jungle started by Teresa Grabs….
Sweat dripped from the tip of Matthew’s nose as he paused under a kapok tree, scanning the thick jungle floor for ants. He didn’t want to go through that experience again.
“Come along, Mr. Howard,” the guide called, waving his arms. “Camp is just a few more kilometers.”
Matthew sighed and wiped his face with his sleeve. Go find yourself, they said. Travel the world, they said. You’ll have a great time, they said. He groaned as a howler monkey sounded in the distance setting off a cacophony. Sudden movement by his foot startled him. “What in the devil is that?”
Crawling out from under a large fern, a small creature with long brown and white fur paused and looked up at Matthew.
“Hey, Carlos!” He waited for a response. “Carlos! Guide! Hey!” No response. The jungle that engulfed him had suddenly become very quiet. Nothing stirred except his imagination and growing concern that he was now lost in the rain forest, surely to be eaten by a stray jaguar or wayward tiger. “This isn’t a movie, man.” He chuckled and glanced back toward the ground where the creature was only to gasp when he saw …

Sadje continued
when he saw that it had grown quite a bit in that short time. It was looking inquiringly at him. It’s large anime type eyes giving him the feeling as if it was understanding what was going through Mathew’s mind at that moment. Mathew started to feel as if he was in a dream world. It cannot happen in real life, he thought. This is a jungle, not a Hollywood movie set. Just then the creature started blinking its eyes in a rapid, Morse code-like manner while pointing towards a clearing in the vegetation. “What the hell!” He thought and started following the creature. The guide was nowhere to be seen anyway.
In a while, they reached a circular clearing in the jungle, over-hung with thick rope-like tree vines. The creature gestured with its eyes and limbs for Mathew to climb up the tree, using one of the vines. When he reached the thick branches, he found a platform had been built there and more of the creatures roaming about there.
Tentatively he landed on the platform testing its strength. It felt solid enough to bear his weight. Mathew was not sure that he was in a dream or reality and made another crazy decision.
Using gestures and simple words he asked his new guide what was happening and where he was. To his intense astonishment……..

Melanie’s bit
….astonishment the being spoke in crisp English tones. “You are in a place. A place of sights and sounds…” the being recited the entire opening spiel to “Twilight Zone” (the retro TV version with Rod Serling). Matthew stared and wondered about the efficacy of that sketchy burrito he’d had for lunch. It was all the economy fare airline offered and he had been hungry, but really? What had they laced that thing with? A little LSD? The striped creature’s eyes boggled. It shook its head, a little sadly. He could almost hear it thinking “What a sad thing man is. No trust. No imagination..” Maybe this WAS the ‘Twilight Zone’. Except with humidity. And a lot of lush plant life.
Matthew started for the vine ladder to exit this surreal castle in the sky. The brown and white furry creature with the googly eyes moved swiftly in front of him and the rest of the herd (?) surrounded him in a tightly knit circle. They all shook their heads in a NO! gesture. Synchronized. Matthew almost expected them to leap into an intricate ballet and Esther Williams to appear, water dancing her way …………….
Matthew shook his head vigorously, causing a small ripple of dismay in the creatures and a widening of the tight circle that surrounded him. “Okay then, I’ll stay!” he exclaimed, “But you have to tell me WHAT YOU WANT! Can you take me to your leader at least?!” The beasts/creatures all pointed at the first googly eye that Matthew had encountered. It smiled, which was creepy, given it had a snout instead of a mouth exactly… There was a loud CRASH and all the heads turned (in synchronized motion obviously)…Matthew leapt up and turned around rapidly to see…

This is where Di picked up the story………….
a huge hand snaking into the tree top from above where he and his new companions were situated.
The creatures bolted leaving him alone to face the music. Those searching fingertips were getting dangerously close.
Matthew had no weapons and did the only thing he could think of when the hand closed around him.
He opened his mouth as wide as he could and brought his teeth down hard.
The bellow was like nothing he had ever heard in his life as he was immediately released. He slid awkwardly down the vine to the relative safety of the jungle floor and out of reach, even if it was only likely to be temporary.
He had an audience as he tried to catch his breath and slow his rampant heartbeat. The creatures stood in awe and started to bow at their saviour, chanting something which he hoped was his name in their native language.
Matthew was both embarrassed and pleased at his new status, but knew there was more to this scenario than met the eye. His jaw hurt and he could taste blood, but wasn’t sure if he’d jarred a tooth loose or it was that of the hand he’d bitten. Either way his head started to spin and he felt himself falling.
The creatures gathered around him and before he knew it, he was lifted up on hundreds of shoulders like some kind of Gulliver and carried further into the jungle where…………………

Now it became Jim Adams‘ turn…..
the googly eyed creatures placed Matthew on a fire ant mound and told him that if he could spend the night there that they would follow him forever. Matthew said, “I am not looking for any stinking followers and how the hell did I get talked into visiting the jungle. I feel like John McClane when he went out to the coast to have a good time and he ran into Hans Gruber. I feel like Indiana Jones when he was thrown into that pit with all the snakes and I told Carlos that I hate ants and fire ants are the worst.” Just then Carlos the guide showed up with bug spray and said, “You are a very good sport Mr. Howard, thanks for going along with this and if you have to blame anybody, your brother told me to do this.”
Matthew said, “That dirty rat bastard, I should have known he was pranking me back for what I had done to him in Tahiti last year with those men I paid to dress up like cannibals. I am not done with him yet and revenge is a dish best served cold, so I will get back at him no matter how long it takes and he will regret ever messing with me. Carlos, did you bring any ointment with you for the fire ant bites?” Carlos said, “Yes but while it will help with your itching, it also contains fermions that attract wild monkeys.” Matthew said, “Just give it to me” and then…..

Paula Light continues the story from here.

Matthew was feeling much better the next day after sleeping most of it, ordering room service, and taking three cold showers. He’d applied a double dose of the ointment Carlos had given him, and the bites had almost disappeared. A couple monkeys had howled outside his window off and on, but hotel staff shooed them away. Matthew put on clean clothes and headed down to the bar for a drink.

He was sipping his second green volcano when the band appeared on stage. There were five men dressed in shiny orange suits and all were very tall and very thin. They were wearing masks and playing strange pulsating music. A sexy woman in a purple dress sat down next to him. She smelled of coconut and orchids. “We must leave at once,” she whispered. “It is not safe here.”

Matthew laughed. “Tell my brother that I’m done with his tricks for this vacation. I need to relax for the next couple days.”

“No, you don’t understand.” She put her hand on his bare arm. It was cold as a popsicle. “Those men are not musicians. They are–”

The lights went out and the music stopped. “Get down!” someone screamed.

Matthew reached for the woman’s hand, but instead he found himself grasping a handful of……….

Now let’s see where MsJadeli can take this!

~*~

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

The Hidden Away [flash 275]

Spies

Rory and Sue snuck surreptitiously into the upstairs study while Rose slept on the sofa downstairs.

“Do you know where it is?” Sue whispered.

“No,” Rory said, taking out his pistol. “But this is our last chance. We must find that soy turtle soup recipe. It has the secret code hidden in it.”

Sue looked confused. “You mean in a pot of slop? Do I have to slave away over a stove?”

“Never, my pet,” Rory reassured her. “Trust me. The code is buried in the recipe itself!”

“Oh good then.” Sue poked around on the desk. “Rose must be a poet. I see bits of verse but no recipes. I wish we could go out for pie, Rory. I love pie.”

Rory bent over to peer under the desk. “We can later–oof! Did you hear that rip? I tore my trousers. They’re split open.”

Pity,” Sue said. “And those are your new ones. It’s hard to find those stripes you like.”

“This spoils my whole day,” Rory said with a pout. “I don’t even care about the treasure hunt now.”

Sue began to protest. “But we haven’t won any games tonight, honey. We’ll be known as the family losers. I thought we were doing well at this spy challenge.”

“I don’t care.” Rory flung himself in a chair. “These elaborate games are torture. Why can’t Aunt Rose throw normal parties?”

“She’s your aunt.” Sue reminded him. “So, you shouldn’t be asking me.”

There came a horrific shriek from downstairs. “Help!” screamed a man. “Aunt Rose is dead! Someone strangled her with a rope!

Rory and Sue just looked at each other and laughed.

~*~

Written for Rory’s What’s Your Story?

Words made from surreptitiously: is, it, losers, pet, pie, pistol, pity, poet, pot, pout, protest, rip, ripe, Rory, slept, slop, so, soup, soy, split, spoils, spy, stripes, Sue, surreptitiously, to, tore, torture, trousers, trust, turtle.

Image from the Happy Color app.

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

Elevator Pitch [fiction 357]

Adorable unicorn

God was inspecting the various heavenly sectors, as he did from time to time, to make sure all was running smoothly, which of course it was. This was heaven, after all, not some mismanaged junkyard. But it was a big place, and his knees were getting tired from schlepping up and down all the stairs. He was older than, well, God. He laughed at his circular logic, ignoring the side eye from a passing angel.

He pushed the button for the elevator. What was taking so long? He’d have to file another complaint. Finally, the car stopped and he got on. But he wasn’t alone.

“Hey, God. How are you?” the youngish male occupant said.

God searched his memory, which took longer than it used to. But there were more things in there, so that was okay! “Zack,” he said. “The inventor who choked to death on a beyond burger. I’m good, and you?”

“Fantastic actually!” Zack beamed. “I’ve come up with a great idea for you.”

Oh no, God thought. Halp! “What?”

“I know you love horses, so I’ve invented a small white one with a golden horn. It’s very pretty and will remind people of your awesomeness.”

God frowned. “Why? I don’t have a horn.”

“Because it’s gold and points to heaven, showing people the way to eternal life if they stay good and stuff.” Zack gestured upward, though they were already up, and the car had stopped.

“And stuff,” God muttered, rolling his eyes.

“Fine. Show me the little horse,” he said as they exited. “But make it quick. I don’t have all day to look at everyone’s cockamamie–”

God came to an abrupt halt and pointed to an adorable creature frolicking on the grass. “Is that him? He’s so cute! Look how his mane sparkles! Oh my me, I love him!”

“Yay,” Zack said. “I’m so happy I’ve pleased you.”

“Give me a hundred and I’ll put them back on Atlantis,” God commanded. “Can you make some in different colors?”

“Sure! I’ll get to work right away.”

God trundled off to inspect billionaires’ row. Haha, just kidding. There are no billionaires in heaven! 😜

~*~

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.

The Magical Garden of Immortality [fiction 587]

Beautiful garden

The diner looked like any other, and Mitch was skeptical he’d come to the right place. He opened the door a crack and peered inside, expecting to see a dimly lit room full of candles and woo, but instead the light was bright and people were drinking their coffees and eating sandwiches.

A gruff voice behind him said, “You going in, buddy, or what?”

Mitch stepped inside. A waitress told him to take any seat, so he found a small booth for two and sat facing the door. A menu stood in a silver holder with a picture of a lush fruit bowl in the South Seas on the cover, and he picked it up. There were the usual salads and burgers, shakes and pies, on offer.

“You ready?” the waitress said, appearing in front of the booth with pencil and pad.

“I, um, heard that this place was a portal,” Mitch said. “But all I see on the menu is lunch.”

She rolled her eyes. “Check the back.”

Mitch turned the menu over. On the back was a list titled “Infinity Realms.” It was a double column and his eyes began to glaze over reading through the small curly font.

“Usually people know the one they want before they get here,” the waitress said. “And they just tell me the code. We’re kinda busy today and portals close at one.”

“Okay okay.” Mitch had made his decision this morning, after months of agonizing, and he wanted it done. “I found it. The code is XB8720A75.”

“A popular one.” She smiled. “Do you want fries with that?”

“No thanks. Just coffee, black.”

She returned in a minute with his coffee. “I’ll let you know when your portal is ready. You can pay now though.”

He handed her a cashier’s check. It was all he had; that was the deal.

As he waited, he imagined his realm. It would be full of natural beauty… leafy trees, a riot of vivid blooming flowers, butterflies and birds, a sparkling waterfall, lovely warm sunshine… a meadow to lie in, woods to wander in… but also people to admire his works, unlike here. They’d read his poetry and appreciate it. Women would respect his intelligence and deep thoughts instead of brushing him off as an oddball. They’d all compete to date him, but he’d only spend his time with the nicest ones who had tender temperaments.

“Okay.” The waitress reappeared. “Go to the men’s room.”

Mitch walked to the back of the diner and opened the door to the men’s restroom.

Swirling colors

It worked!

Mitch was no longer in the diner, but in a gorgeous garden where he’d live forever and be loved and appreciated. He bent down to sniff a fat yellow rose, but was disappointed when he couldn’t pick up a scent.

“Hi honey, welcome home!”

Mitch turned to find a naked redheaded woman slinking toward him. She reminded him of his third grade teacher. “Hi,” he said, embarrassed. “Would you like to hear some of my poetry?”

She wrinkled her nose. “Poetry? Ew. I want to devour you in a wild frenzy of lust! How does that sound for your last moment of consciousness ?”

“Not great.” Mitch backed away. “I don’t want to be devoured. This is the Garden of Immortality, remember?”

“Oh honey!” She laughed. “You must have put in the wrong code. This is the Garden of Immorality, and I’m the chief cannibal. Meet my friends…”

Mitch stared in horror as hungry naked women emerged from the trees.

~*~

Written for MLM’s Magical Garden Prompt.

Written for Teresa’s Immortality Prompt.

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

PFF32: Romeo, Romeo!

Friday Flashback

Welcome to Paula’s Friday Flashback! This is a challenge begun by Fandango and it’s fun to see what we posted back when (as well as the comments). The below is a reblog of a post I made on January 8, 2014. You’ll have to click through to see the pics. Enjoy!

Romeo, Romeo

I received Romeo, Romeo (by Robin Kaye) as a gift and read it last weekend. I really enjoyed this romance novel ~ I appreciate that Kaye attempted to make her main characters a little different from the norm (without having them be vampires, thanks) and I am always predisposed to like an East Coast Italian setting, even if it doesn’t have any mobsters in it. WAIT! It did have a couple, um… OK, not gonna give anything away here. 

I gotta tell you that Kaye immediately broke one of my commandments and mished up POVs right off the bat within the same scene. But guess what? I forgave her! No, this does not mean you get to do it. It just means that the story hooked me from page one and I was so eager to find out what happened that I thought, well poop, and moved on anyway.

The protagonists are not super-likeable when you meet them. They’re involved in other relationships that make you go wtf? But they’re interesting. And their attraction to each other feels real and compelling. The minor characters shine in their own right and the side plots do not resolve predictably. One thing though ~ did there have to be an Aunt Rose with the heroine named Rosalie? There are other Italian names, for Pete’s sake.

I did have a huge issue with this book, and it’s a peevery I have with a lot of fiction ~ Rosalie’s career. She’s a 27 year old “corporate turnaround specialist.” She waltzes (on 4-inch heels) into failing companies, glances at their balance sheets, and fixes them. YEAH SURE. Kaye doesn’t specify Rosalie’s education creds, but it doesn’t even sound like she has more than a BA or that she put in time slogging away for someone who knows anything. She just does her fixing with one assistant. Snort.

Romeo’s career isn’t any more believable. He was a teen bad boy who through some sort of financial magic is now the most desirable bachelor in New York because he really knew his way around cars, which makes him different from all other Italian guys, natch. (But he cooks and cleans and walks Rosalie’s dog… ) How he got the money to buy his first auto dealership? Look, we don’t ask. Capice?

But this isn’t merely a Robin Kaye problem ~ so many writers have wrong ideas about careers and money. Forex, they have every lawyer making at least $500K per year and driving a Mercedes because they read that OJ Simpson’s lawyer bla bla. Or they’ll have a waitress living in a giant apartment in New York City that only someone making $500K per year could afford. They consistently have people too young being too successful. It only takes a few minutes of Googling to find out the average salaries for careers and the kind of education needed for particular jobs. Writers should do this before making their characters look unbelievable.

Otherwise? Romeo, Romeo was a fun, fast read and I’m gonna buy at least a few more of Robin’s books to review. Also, I’m finally getting used to reading on my Kindle Fire! I think my days of buying paper books and dumping them off at the library are finally coming to an end.

/end reblog

~*~

Image from Pexels.

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

Voices Rant On! [fiction 200]

“Have a seat,” said the doctor. “Would you like a cup of tea?”

No, thanks,” Vera told him. “I’m too upset to sit down. I was just on the train and everyone was so loud.”

“Hmm,” said the doc, stroking his vest. “I wonder if you’ve tried wearing something to block the sound from your ears.

Vera paced back and forth, shaking her head. “Nice notion, but I still hear all the voices, yelling about the state of the nation and the cost of cat food.”

“Very interesting,” the doc murmured. “Myself, I prefer a raven for a pet. They never starve because they go out and hunt rats.”

“That’s insane,” Vera said.

Is not,” said the doc. “You’re the patient, never more.”

“I’m leaving this conversation.” Vera headed for the door. “Cancel my next appointment too. I’d rather save the money!”

“Fine!” The doc stamped her file case closed. “Just remember all those rants you hear are coming from inside your own head, ha ha ha!”

After a few minutes the doctor told his nurse to send in his next patient.

“Very funny, Stan,” said the nurse. “It’s time for your meds then off to beddy bye with you.”

~*~

Written for Rory’s What’s Your Story Then?

Words made from conversation: case, cat, conversation, cost, ears, in, insane, is, nation, nice, no, not, notion, on, rants, rats, raven, save, seat, sit, so, Stan, starve, tea, to, train, Vera, vest, voices.

Image from Pixabay.

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

The Sprawling Legend [fiction 220]

The tale began in a secluded glade. An angel was said to have fallen from heaven and become tangled in a weeping willow, which turned its branches to gold. Centuries later, an impoverished baron named Dean was awarded the land and gated off the entire forest for hunting, yet that didn’t stop many a curious lad from sneaking in to view the golden tree.

Over tea one afternoon, a distraught young wife thought she heard that praying under the willow would help her conceive, so she snuck onto the estate late one night… and lo… nine months later that gal had a baby. No one seemed to notice the aged baron had a gleam in his eye when he went down to his favorite pub to mooch ale and eat kidney pie.

But word was out, and soon infertile couples from all over the country were flocking to the estate, knocking at the gate, and begging for a date to visit the glade. Baron Dean soon realized he could charge a fee and replenish his gambling losses from this new venture. He happily led the couples to the weeping willow after they paid and even let them stay overnight in a guest room for an exorbitant rate. Many did conceive and thus the Legend of the Golden Tree kept sprawling.

~*~

Written for Rory’s What’s Your Story Then?

Words made from tangled: aged, ale, an, and, angel, date, dean, eat, gal, gate, gated, glade, lad, land, later, led, tale, tangled, tea

Image from Pixabay.

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

Looking Forward

I have been enjoying other bloggers’ recaps of the year past and usually I do something similar. This year however I’m skipping that type of detailed post. One reason is that I’m just too lazy to copypasta links to my top ten posts in a new post. Another is that I just don’t care which posts received the most views ~ and if I don’t care, why would you?

Lots of times a post I love (usually a poem) gets fewer views and comments than some picture of an old flower or whatever, so I find the stats pretty meaningless. I guess if I were monetizing the blog, I would obsess over such things, but I’m not and don’t. Also, it matters which day of the week and time of the day a post goes live, but I’m too busy to check that further. Plus, it’s boring.

The most important part of recapping the year in my opinion anyway is to thank everyone who has read my blog, whether regularly or sporadically, and interacted with my writing. So, would like to extend a hearty thank you to all my readers! ❤️ I appreciate all of you! 😍

Looking forward, my intent is to keep on blogging as usual but perhaps a bit lighter on quantity, since I’ve been refocusing on my unfinished writing projects. I began a new humorous story recently and it’s now taken priority over every other piece of fiction ~ I hope to have it available for sale on Kindle in the next few weeks. After that, I want to get serious about cleaning up my writing to-do list, like I said I would last year. 🙄

I spent a fair bit of time dealing with audio books last summer and was disappointed in the small amount of sales. I thought the talkers would do promo. I also assumed the site itself would market me. All wrong. Oh well. Since that was no fun at all, but writing is, I’ll stick with the written word.

I also need to read more books. With my move and other busy-ness, I’ve been in a reading lull. Writers need to read! Not just blogs and news, but real books. I can always feel my creativity and imagination begin to bubble and boil when I dive into the worlds that other writers have created. It’s a crucial component of the craft.

Dream big, my friends! 💖✨🥳

~*~

Image from Bitmoji.

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

The Chocolate Lady’s Eight Candle Book Tag ~ Day 8

Menorah

To celebrate Chanukah this year and my friend the Chocolate Lady, I accepted her challenge to participate in the Eight Candle Book Tag. This was a fun game. Thanks for coming up with it, Davida!😀

I’m pretty sure I said “wow!” or something to that effect when I finished Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. This book was a revelation. First, it’s simply a great romance novel full of interesting, complex characters, lots of wit and humor, loads of sexy times, a quirky setting, and an actual plot. Second, the sex isn’t as unrealistic as it’s often portrayed in the “bodice rippers” set in the 1800s or whenever. Third, WTT is a contemporary romance, written in a breezy style, which made me think about my own writing.

What I thought was, hmm, ya know, if this kind of writing gets published, then maybe I too could write a romance novel!

And indeed I can write one. Did write one. More than one actually. Getting published, however, is another matter entirely…

Happy Chanukah!

~*~

Images from The Chocolate Lady’s blog

©️2019 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.