Tag Archives: FOWC

The Safe Zone

Anxious bitmoji

She’d finally escaped to the safe zone. Now she could have a respite from his impulsive behavior. She didn’t even want to imagine what crazy thing he was doing while she was gone. It was so nice just to relax, even if the air was a bit gelid in here. Next time she would bring a sweater.

Ugh! She heard him outside the door. Dammit, he’d found her… and she had been so careful too. Suddenly, it was quiet again. Too quiet. Cautiously, she opened the door and peeked out.

“MROW!” her kitty dashed into the storage room and began biting her feet.

Dang. Her respite was over. “Luckily, you’re cute, Rambo,” she said to the mischievous furball. 🐱

~*~

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

Image credited to Bitmoji.

Inheritance, Part 4

[Earlier episode here.]

Deep within the castle’s empty halls and silent rooms, its furnishings long ago sold for coin, was a solid oak door, locked from the inside. At the bottom of a rickety staircase was a second door, also locked, but without an obvious place for a key. Simon chanted the arcane words he had learned long ago from his grandmother, and the door slid open into the wall.

“Welcome to my shop!” Simon said to Mandy, the reporter who was blackmailing him. She had threatened to expose his past, linking him to a recent murder, unless he gave her a chunk of his inheritance.

Mandy’s eyes grew wide at the vista spread before her. This was a home within a home, complete with bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and what appeared to be a chem lab. “Wow! What’s going on in here?”

“I’m searching for the formula to remove the curse from the treasure,” Simon said. “Without it, the gems are useless except for perpetuating evil, as Belinda was doing.”

Mandy nodded. “The police were closing in on her for the killings of those children. I received a tip about it, but then she was found in the river.”

“I couldn’t convince Grandmama to give me the counterspell, so I stopped Belinda another way.” Simon’s mouth twisted at the memory of dumping her body. “It had to be done. She was too far down the devil’s path to change. I didn’t know the police were onto her.”

Mandy rolled her eyes. “That’s the problem with vigilantism. What’s that smell though?”

“Cookies!” he announced. “You mentioned you love peanut butter, so I baked some.”

Mandy reached for a thick, golden brown cookie from the plethora on the plate Simon presented. She bit into the sweet and salty treat with pleasure. After her second one, she said, “You didn’t put anything weird in these, did you?”

“Who, me?” Simon smiled.

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 72.

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

Inheritance, Part 3

Gloomy castle at night

[Please read Part 1 and Part 2]

Simon was awakened by a loud pounding. Then the bell’s sonorous chimes vibrated through the room. Blasted thing! Should be abolished. He struggled to become fully alert through his hangover. Good thing he had fallen asleep in his clothes! Whoever was out there seemed to be breaking down the door of Gloomhaven.

He stomped through the castle and flung open the front door, glaring at the woman standing outside. “What is it?” he snapped succinctly, not bothering with the usual politeness.

“Good morning!” she said brightly. “Are you Simon Shadows?”

She was pretty, thought Simon, but he didn’t want to encourage her. He had a long day of important tasks ahead. “What of it?”

Undeterred by his rudeness, she smiled sweetly and said, “Nice to meet you! I’m Mandy Mirth, a reporter for the Daily Crier.”

Gah, a reporter was the last thing Simon wanted to deal with. “I’m not giving any interviews,” he told her. “I’m in mourning for my grandmother.”

“I’m so sorry about her passing,” Mandy said. “She was an unusual person and so very interesting.”

Simon nodded once. “All right then. If there’s nothing else?” He began to close the door.

“What do you think about the dead body found in the river?” Mandy said.

“What?” Simon tried to process this. He hadn’t checked the news all weekend due to sorting through ancient books trying to find the formula to lift the curse from the stones. It was imperative that he find it before–

“Oh! You didn’t know,” Mandy said. “Sorry to startle you with bad news. But one of Dr. Dopple’s rescue dogs found it. He trains them you know, as a hobby.”

“What… what kind of body?” Simon definitely needed to hurry up and find the counterspell, but he also had to know if anyone suspected him.

Mandy continued cheerfully, “A human one! A woman. And my contact at the lab says that she may have been poisoned first because she didn’t drown, nor did she have bruising or wounds.”

“Well, that’s terribly disturbing,” Simon said truthfully. “I am aghast that there may be criminal activity in our village. You may quote me, Mandy.”

“I don’t want to quote you, Simon.” Mandy stepped forward, her tone now serious, her green eyes narrowed. “I want a share of the inheritance.”

~*~

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

Images from Pixabay.

Breakup Songs [MLM]

Jim Adams does a great job in discussing Greg Kihn’s motivation in writing “The Breakup Song,” which has long been on my list of favorites. It illustrates the depression aspect of the grief someone can feel after the end of a relationship. The narrator is sad as he watches couples dancing together while he sits alone. “And now I’m staring at the bodies as they’re dancing so slow…”

Slow dance

No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” (written by Gwen Stefani and Eric Stefani) is also a homage to the sadness we feel as someone leaves us. We’re tired of talking about the inevitable, wasting more useless words that failed to mend things. Just go. Don’t explain further. “And I don’t need your reasons; Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts…”

But sometimes we feel more anger than sadness, right? There are a lot of breakup songs that explore the angry aspect of grief. A perfect example of this is “You Oughtta Know” by Alanis Morissette (with Glen Ballard co-writing). She’s steaming mad! She sarcastically wishes her ex happiness with his new girlfriend. “And I’m here, to remind you of the mess you left when you went away…”

Angry roar

Hank Williams’ “Your Cheatin’ Heart” is another angry song. He fantasizes how his ex will end up miserable same as he is now. “When tears come down like falling rain, You’ll toss around and call my name.” We want to believe our exes will end up sorry they dumped us, don’t we?

Denial is another aspect of grief we may feel as our world crashes around us. Eric Clapton’s “Promises” is about this concept. (Brandon Casey and others are listed as the writers.) At the beginning of the song, Eric says to his ex that he doesn’t care if she never comes home “’cause I don’t love you and you don’t love me.” He discusses why it’s better they’re apart and that’s fine. But by the end, he admits he would still love her if she’d love him back.

Billy Joel’s “An Innocent Man” is about denial. Look, he knows she’s in pain and couldn’t deal with a relationship, but none of that is his fault. It’s all due to her exes and baggage. He’s willing to explore that with her, but remember… he didn’t do anything! “And although this is a fight I can lose, the accused is an innocent man.” As we know, however, it takes two…

Innocent man angel

What about bargaining? Yep, we also find this aspect of grief represented in song. “Baby Come Back” by Player is an example of bargaining (written by John Crowley and Peter Beckett). He begins by pretending he’s fine and having fun alone (denial), but soon he admits he is miserable and wants her back. “Baby come back, you can blame it all on me; I was wrong, and I just can’t live without you.” If only she’d give him another chance, he’ll take the blame for the things that went wrong. (How many times have we heard this though? 🤣)

“We Can Work It Out” by the Beatles (written by Lennon and McCartney) is another good example of bargaining. Just give us a chance, he pleads. He goes on to mansplain about how life is short and there’s no time for fighting, okay? Just see things his way, for cryin’ out loud. Geez!

Mansplaing to woman

Then there’s acceptance. You know it’s over and you accept it, even if you’re still sad or mad. You’ve quit denying nothing is wrong and you’ve stopped bargaining for a re-do. It’s done and you have to move on. How about “Last Song” by Edward Bear? (Larry Evoy wrote it.) He’s still sad, but he’s done writing songs about her and done hoping she’ll return. “This is hard for me to say, but this is all that I can take.” Yeah. Enough!

Finally, one of my favorite songs about coming to terms with a breakup is Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” written by Per Hakan Gessle). “It was all that I wanted; now I’m living without. It must have been love, but it’s over now.”

Woman and path in woods

On our way down a new path…

These songs illustrate the 5 stages of grief: anger, denial, depression, bargaining, and acceptance. The stages can last a long time, and you can experience them in any order, including revisiting some you thought were finished. Emotions aren’t linear! And there are many other feelings that can occur too. Guilt, shame, fear, etc. I read that Elisabeth Kubler-Ross developed the 5-stage model to help explain the process of grieving over the death of a loved one. They may not apply as well to the end of a romance (and are apparently out of “scientific” favor altogether, but like whatever). I think they do help to illustrate the roller-coaster of emotions that can plague some of us when a relationship dies.

I hope you enjoyed reading this relatively long post written for Mindlovemisery. It was yet another insomnia-fueled ramble.

Please feel free to add your favorite breakup songs in comments. 💔

~*~

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

Images from Pexels and Pixabay.

Unpredictable

Man in sunglasses

He had a history of being unpredictable, but she thought she could be the one to tame his wild streak. When he was happy, she encouraged him, and when he was cranky, she tried to soothe him. She built her world around his moods, devoting all her energy to an attempt to understand him. But it was never enough, for he was an endless abyss of needs he could not even articulate. She listened in vain for clues, but there was nothing, just naked silence, echoing back from infinity. Finally, she gave up and locked her heart away. And then one day, he announced he was leaving, in the softest whisper, but it did not go unheard. Ghosts climbed out of the darkness and packed his suitcase.

~*~

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

Image found at Pixabay.

Inheritance [flash 147]

Lantern in woods by turquoise stream

The quilt of night hung heavily upon her as she trudged toward the designated spot. Cold, damp air crept around the edges of her clothing and slithered against her skin. But nothing was worse than the crawling shame she felt day in and out. She said a whispered thank you when the lantern’s glow appeared ahead. A small disruption rustled nearby bushes, but she barely registered the sound. She had found the right place. Quickly, she put the bag next to the spindly tree where the lantern hung and walked away. What a relief to be free of that tainted inheritance! The relentless guilt dissolved and her steps grew light as she navigated back to the main road. She did feel a twinge of sadness for the poor soul who would now have to deal with the cursed relics, but really that wasn’t her problem any longer.

~*~

Image from Pexels/Pixabay.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 71.

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

Make Me A Sandwich

Yummy veggie sandwich

This is the yummy veggie sandwich I used to get at our office building café BC. How I miss it… and my office! I’m one of those odd people who like working in an office every day. And I liked going to school way back when too. 📚

At first, I was gonna riff on the whole “sand witch” thing, but a billion people got there first. I hate when that happens. Which it always does. Instead, I will reminisce about the time that I actually got out of bed to make a guy a sandwich and he complained later that I hadn’t baked him a lasagna. True story for the #paulacanpickem file.

Anyway. The veggie sandwich isn’t my very favorite sandwich; it’s just my favorite that I used to get while working. My favorite is probably a grilled cheese and tomato. I’ve experimented with various breads and different cheeses, and I have to say that I always return to rye bread and American cheese. I also like my grilled cheese very well done, almost burnt, not golden like they serve it in restaurants.

Grilled cheese sandwich

Another favorite sandwich is loxonabagel. Yes, all one word like that. Most of the time, I have this deliciousness open-faced, but it still counts as a sandwich.

Lox and bagel

Please note how it’s perfectly fine and even recommended (by yours truly) to dot the cream cheese with capers, but I’d rather not have onions on my loxonabagel sandwich. And please no tomato! Save that for grilled cheese. Keep your sandwich fixings in their lanes.

Yes, I know there is tomato in this photo. I am just saying. The only way to know your loxonabagel is better sans tomato is to have one with tomato, amirite? 🤣

Moving on. Some people call a hamburger a sandwich… are you one of them?

Cheeseburger CD holder

I think it’s acceptable! The point is to have a thing between two other separate things. I’m defining it that way to eliminate stuff like pie, which is #notasandwich, but to include sandwich cookies, which we will discuss in depth soon. You didn’t think I was going to end this post without talking about cookies, did you? 😱😱😱

Anyway. Here we have a bun (hun), which is two separate bread pieces, and it creates a convenient way to hold the things inside, which we then can nom while continuing to lose at cards, just as the Earl of Sandwich envisioned. Of course, we must not nom on the pictured cheezberder because it is a CD holder and that would be gross.

Five years ago, when we were living like normal humans, relatively speaking, my eldest took me to a wonderful high tea in Northern California. We had the most scrumptious little cucumber sandwiches and other delights and pastries, and of course many pots of lovely tea. 💖

High tea

Before I bring the dessert cart, please allow me to pay tribute to one of the best combos ever invented: the peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

Peanut butter and jelly

My favorite combo is Jif smooth PB with blackberry or strawberry jam (not jelly) on whole wheat. What’s yours?

Okay, onto the sandwich cookie! Oreo has a baZillion flavors out now, some totes ridonkulous, but I must admit that besides the Double Stuf original flavor, I thought the cookie dough was pretty tasty.

Cookie dough Oreos

Up in Northern California (again ~ they have yummo food!), my daughter treated me to this divine hazelnut pastry at an Italian bakery.

Hazelnut sandwich pastry

So so good!

In my fantasy of living a normal life again, whenever that may happen, if it even ever does… I’ll walk into a restaurant without worrying about the last time everything was soaked in bleach, order a sandwich at the counter without fretting over how close people are standing to me, and calmly eat my lunch in a booth with my mind on my blog or a book or work or family or friends or whatever thing other than the you know what!

~*~

Images all mine.

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

FEXIT Anniversary

Cat walks away from explosion

Somewhere around this week or so, two years ago, I exited Facebook. I don’t mean I took a break; I mean I deleted my account (Instagram too). Not only don’t I miss the endless flamewars, fake news, intrusive ads, hacking, privacy invasions, creepy scams, and daily time wasting blabber, but from what I hear, it’s only gotten worse.

I received grief for this, natch. Certain people were unhappy with me ~ they felt rejected and refused to communicate with me via other means. They did not share my concerns about the hacking, etc. I didn’t judge them for staying and still don’t; my daughters remain on Facebook, after all. It makes sense to be where everyone else is. I just don’t want to. I lack the willpower to resist jumping into the flames myself, and there goes my free time.

Space time wormhole

Others thought I’d feel isolated and return. I do feel isolated, but in a good way. There are times I get a tiny reminder of FB via Messenger, which unfortunately I still have due to some friends’ refusal to text. People like to form various Messenger groups and occasionally there are minor kerfuffles, like during the past few weeks over COVID-19.

Isn’t human behavior fascinating? On the one side we have doctors and scientists; and on the other we have… “but I wanna!” I believe I have summed up the entirety of the fussing with that, though I am positive that on FB it goes on and on and on. You log on and bam! You’re hit with those tags for another 127 comments… and who can resist reading them? Not me. Suddenly, you find yourself angry with friends and vice versa, over garbage some politician said who couldn’t give a crap about any of you.

But hey, if you still enjoy the place… great! I bet it’ll be booming this weekend since the USA has shut down and we have nowhere to go and no sports to watch. Please allow me to make a humble suggestion. Between ranting over other people hoarding TP and Lysol wipes, running to Costco (just one more time), telling your kids to move their junk out of the spare room cuz you’re working from home now, etc… why not buy my book? There’s no reason not to! It’s cheap, it’s fun, and it mocks everyone! Yay!

Switching Positions by Paula Light

Thanks in advance! Please don’t forget to leave a review. ❤️💙

~*~

Images from Google and Pexels.

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

Retirement [flash 172]

Alarm clock monochrome

It was a myth that you’d miss working 6 months after retirement. Marty had heard all the jokes as he’d opted to get out early, and here he was… sleeping half the day away, with his most important decision being should he make pancakes or waffles for brunch?

He rubbed his hands together with glee as he started the coffeemaker. Mmm French roast. So delicious! He did not miss the crap brew they’d had back at work, nor the intrigue and gossip among his backbiting colleagues.

Sure, it got lonely at times, but Marty had resilience. He’d signed up for a macrame class at the community center and Linda next door had invited him to join her bird watching club. Fun!

He sure was not going to miss the screams and howls of his old job, the crying, the punching, the spitting, the stabbing, the tranquilizer darts, the shock collars

Nope, Marty was not gonna miss teaching in that third grade classroom one bit!

Besides, his neck was still a little sore.

~*~

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge 54.

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

Glimmer

I do not ask for pity
Though I may be a wretched soul
Lost to love and dreams,
My body cold and broken,
Withering in shadows.

I reject your useless pity!
Save it for the hungry,
With their outstretched bowls;
For I have no need of food
Here in my cage of bones.

Where were your tears of pity
When I could have used a hand?
Stuff your sobbing eulogies;
I prefer the subtle glimmer
Of the sunrise come to greet me.

~*~

Written for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt.

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