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Monday, January 27, 2014

Study Break

This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge is to come up with 33 words inspired by this photo:

I pose near the glass, thin arms flexed.
Will she ever look up from that text?
I’m all substance—no style.
But if I make her smile,
Who knows what could transpire next?

I initially wrote a different limerick for this prompt. It was dark. Really dark. What does it say about me that I looked at this innocent photo and immediately went to such a macabre place? If I'm ever wrongfully accused of murdering someone (which I'm 97% certain I would never do), could such posts be used against me during my trial? I wouldn't survive prison. I talk a good game, but I'm basically soft and girly.

You know what? I'm posting it anyway. Here is "Finals Week":

She studied in vain for a test.
Watching her stirred the urge I’d repressed.
As my teeth tore her skin,
Her blood dripped from my chin.
There once was a girl named Celeste.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


The message had been vague. An industry type. I’ve been personal assistant to a well-known TV producer (closeted queen) and, most recently, an Oscar-winning costume designer (Oxy addict). But don’t expect any tell-all books from me. I have a reputation for being discreet. Plus, I can’t spell worth a damn.

I opted for my ivory Dolce pantsuit—a castoff disguised as a Christmas bonus from the costumer. The meeting was held in a rented Burbank office. Interviewing with a third party is typical, as these clients are far too busy for such minutiae. The burnt-orange man in the summer sweater barely looked up as he detailed the job.

“He works all hours and likes to have somebody on hand. Are you OK with a live-in position?” Without waiting for my answer, he went on. “Truth is, he’s lonely. But I didn’t say that.”

Coaxing me out of my $1200/month shithole wasn’t hard. And I understand lonely. I’m a parentless only child. My father sold his first novel and moved us here from Ohio when I was ten. Within a year, he’d performed the clich├ęd disappearing act with some surgically enhanced starlet. My mom succumbed to breast cancer a few years back—shortly after my college graduation. Oh, and I haven’t had a decent date since Bush No. 2 was in office.


The gates part before I announce my name to the box. As I step out of my car, the main house’s enormous, ornate doors fling open.

“You’re a vile, decrepit, shitstain of a man!”

A surprisingly refined-looking woman in a quaint peasant blouse bursts out. She furiously shakes a leather satchel, littering the ground with yellow papers.

“Good luck, girly,” the woman scoffs, dropping the bag at my feet.

I watch her speed through the closing gates before turning toward the house. A handsome, gray-haired man in a stately monogrammed bathrobe appears in the doorway. After surveying the paper trail, he shrugs and grins sheepishly.

“Hello, Erica,” he says.

“Hello, Dad.”


This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "quaint" as defined below:

a: unusual or different in character or appearance: ODD
b: pleasingly or strikingly old-fashioned or unfamiliar <a quaint phrase>

Word count: 333

Monday, January 13, 2014

At First Sight

This week's Trifecta challenge is to write a 33-word follow-up to this snippet:

The first time I saw. . .
The piece should be exactly 38 words, and all words must be one syllable each.

The first time I saw you, I fell hard.

Big feet, red face, head cone shaped.

You were just right.

Now here you are ...

Huge feet, peach fuzz, your dad’s bowed legs.

You are just right.

My son.

As my first born turns 14 this week, I wonder what happened to that chubby little boy who arrived on his due date (albeit after 24 hours of labor). Now he's all legs and I can count his ribs. Sigh. In a flash, I went from picking him up to looking up at him. 
Fortunately, he hasn't completely changed ...


Monday, January 6, 2014

Whenever, Wherever, However

Sunlight streams into our bedroom via discount curtains I've been meaning to replace. It’s Saturday morning. He’s already awake, reading emails about budget constraints, delivery deadlines, or whatever. The workaholic ditches his iPhone once he notices my newly conscious state.

“Come snuggle.”

He pats the void between us—the one very recently occupied by a wild-haired toddler. I slide over, taking my place inside his warm arm.

“How come she never wakes up when you carry her back to bed?” I ask.

“Well, I’m a ninja, so ...”

I smile at his silliness. I smile at the sensation of his words reverberating from his chest to my cheek. I smile because I know what his snuggle invitations mean. After nine years, I’m onto his schemes. And I’m a willing accomplice. We are thieves, stealing little moments between potty accidents, toy battles and nightmares featuring vague monsters.

As usual, my feet are ice. But he doesn’t flinch when my frigid toes breach his soft leg hairs. His hand is on my ass. It’ll end up there several more times today. (A quick slap if we pass each other in the kitchen preparing tonight’s kid-friendly cuisine. A little squeeze while we retreat down the hall, having tucked each child under a Disney-themed bedspread.)

I’m covered neck to ankle in flannel pajamas older than our oldest offspring, yet I shiver when his lips sweep my forehead. As I stretch to nuzzle his neck, I feel him growing against my hip. 

“The door?”

“Already locked,” he declares.

I love that he assumed we’d have sex this morning. I love that he’s in the mood although he spent the greater part of last night with tiny feet in his back.

Once upon a time, we had sex like freshly paroled ex-cons. Nowadays we take it whenever, wherever and however we can get it—which occasionally amounts to quickies in obscure parking lots before relieving the sitter. Sometimes we’re too damn exhausted for anything beyond snuggling.

But not this morning.

This week's Trifecta Writing Challenge: The entry must be 33-333 words and include the word "whatever" as defined below:

(adverb) Used to show that something is not important

Word count: 333

Friday, January 3, 2014

Ferbie and Grinch: A Bromance

Here's what happens when you combine a dog-tired Yorkie, a Grinch plush, and a healthy dose of post-holiday cleaning procrastination.
Grinch's expression could have one questioning his motives,
but his intentions are strictly platonic.

Grinch is going to have a bad case
of dead arm after this spoon fest.

Snuggle buddies!

Grinch demonstrating how Daughter sleeps with (or on) me.
Photos used with permission from Ferbie, our Yorkshire Terrier.
Well, he didn't exactly say yes; but he didn't say no either.