Category Archives: Monica

Life in Living Color

Hello Radishes! As you may or may not have noticed, this story is being posted not on the first of the month. That’s because I didn’t write it on time. Or, actually, I haven’t written it yet. For various reasons both interesting and mundane, it didn’t happen, but the biggest one is that I’m in a bit of a creative drought at present. However, in the last day or so I started having an inkling for a story based on the prompt Sarah gave me (the first line of my story must be “No way!” and the last must be “You still owe me twenty bucks.”) and just now I’ve decided to let you all see what a first-ish draft for me looks like because I’m making this up as I go 🙂

“No way.”

“If you have a problem, you can keep your eyes closed. Or just watch a movie. It’s a nine hour flight and if you watch me with more than a passing interest for more then ten seconds – ”

“I get it, I get it.” Even though Nick understood Claire’s tone loud and clear, that did not make the questions about what she was doing vanish. He roughed his hand through his short blond hair and rubbed the sleep away from his eyes, leftovers from their first flight of the day.

Though her head was down giving the illusion she was fiercely focused on the tray table before her, Claire did see Nick’s perplexed expression. She assumed it was perplexed, anyway. Her glasses were of no help when it came to peering out of the corner of her eye. Still, it was more than ten seconds and he was still looking. “If you have something to say, say it.” Continue reading

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The Wednesday Before Thanksgiving

Welcome back, Radishes! I know our hiatus here has been a bit longer than any of us were expecting, but it’s a new year and we’re excited to get back into short stories. Due to other things happening in our lives, Sarah and I have decided that we will trade off months for posting. I’m taking January, she’ll take February, and back and forth we’ll go. And so, without further ado, here’s a story I wrote for a contest back in the fall. It didn’t win or place or anything, but I’m still pleased with it and I hope you like it too.

The piece was called “Stuck” by Anonymous and to their eyes it didn’t look like much.

“Please tell me – because I’m absolutely dying to know – how is this art?” The taller woman cocked her head to the side, one hand resting on her hip, the other at her face. Her index finger tapped against full lips curved into a puzzled frown. “Either of us could do that.”

“I’m not so sure I could,” the shorter woman replied. Technically speaking, her friend was correct. The canvas was completely blank except for a single black dot just off center enough for it to annoy her. Of course, she wasn’t talking about the piece itself. She was thinking about the getting a piece into a museum. What kind of person do you have to be to get into the Art Institute of Chicago where people come to see a piece of velum that looked like it could be in the aisle of any craft store except for the finger print that apparently made it worthy of a $17 admission fee and security guards?

If only she knew who Anonymous was so she could look him up and ask. Continue reading

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Holiday Magic Inside

“James! Are we heating the whole world now? Close the door!”

The boy groaned and complied, but not before taking one last look around the back alley. He didn’t see the door latch shut behind him, but he heard its distinctive click and felt it in his gut.

I should have made a run for it, he thought.

“James! Quit daydreaming when there’s work to do!”

“Yes, Mom,” he said, but she had already moved on to other things. This nook was the only relatively quiet place in the shop, sandwiched between the bathroom and the kitchen. Here resided the old metal shelves full of cleaning supplies and a doormat saturated with a decades worth of street salt and crumbs.

Nothing magical here, which James found comforting as the only non-magical person working at Farmers Family Bakery. In that regard, he had more in common with the mop than he did with his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even the stragglers who worked here all with talents that it was feeling like he’d never have.

But there wasn’t time to dwell on that, not two days before Christmas. Continue reading

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Faded

Prompt: I ignored both of the prompts Sarah gave me because I am so close to being done with the first draft of a manuscript – woot woot! As such, that’s where my focus has been. However, I did recently enter a story contest where the prompt was write 300 words from the point of view of a ghost. I didn’t win, but I had fun with this snap-shot of a story.

I didn’t really notice much of a change when I became a ghost. It was a lot like living in that even though my life was over, things went on as usual for everyone else, bills to pay and time to waste. To be fair, I could still do those things. Especially the waste time part. People don’t expect anything of me anymore because people don’t expect me anymore. Continue reading

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The Stupids and the Idiots

Prompt: Two characters are in an accident and end up sharing a hospital room – tell their story. What a perfect prompt because it gave me an excuse to explore an idea I’ve wanted to tinker with for a while! Here’s hoping you like this one because I think this is something I’d like to expand on in the future. 🙂

“My grandma says there are two kinds of people in the world: the stupids and the idiots. You? You’re an idiot.”

I can’t place the voice. Literally. I can’t tell what direction it’s coming from or who it belongs to. My head feels like an elephant is sitting on it while I’m underwater and someone is kicking it over and over again. And it’s not just my head. My whole body feels completely wrecked, like I’ve been hit by a bus.

The thought strikes me along with a flash of memory, propelling my eyes open.

Big mistake. Huge. Continue reading

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Honey Moon

Prompt: Incorporate the recent honey moon that occurred on Friday, June 13th into your story. When Sarah gave me this prompt, my thoughts immediately jumped to mythology – surely the ancients must have had some elaborate (if not necessarily scientifically accurate) story explaining this kind of phenomenon? That reminded me of the story I posed here last fall, Oh the Fates. Today’s post is a second installment of that story (with a few changes, most notably Nia is now Gia), so you may want to read that one first. This is also the story I’ll be continuing to expand this month as I participate in Camp NaNoWriMo.

“I’m going out!” I call out into the chaotic house, taking the stairs two at a time. “I have my phone but I won’t be able to answer for a while!”

Aunt Moira’s head pops out from around the corner. “Where are you going?”

“A lecture at my college. Have you seen my car keys?” I riffle through my bag with no luck. I can hear them jingling, but my fingers can’t find them. Until, wait a second, yes! “Never mind, I’m good. What?”

My aunt’s arms are crossed over her sauce-spattered apron. “School on a Friday night? In the summer?” She shakes her head. “You haven’t even eaten. Let me make you a plate first.”

I give her a kiss on the cheek. “Thanks, but really I’ve got to run.” Her reply is mumbled Greek, asking the gods to watch over me. Athena has always been a favorite of Aunt Moira’s when it comes to me, but it’s only recently that Aphrodite has been getting requests on my behalf as well.

Knowledge is power. Which is to say, knowledge almost always makes things more complicated. Like when a year ago, I learned that according to my ancestors, the Greek Fates, I am destined to marry my soul mate, Apollo Marino, within a year of graduating college. Continue reading

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Hometown Tourist

Prompt: Tell a tale of tourism. I decided to put my own spin on this prompt. After all, you don’t necessarily have to go very far to be a tourist. This story is actually building off of an idea I started exploring in a previous SaM post and wanted to see if it has what it takes to go a little further. This isn’t the start of that idea, but in the timeline of what I’m hoping could be my next new project, this scene comes in the middle. Hence the vagueness about some things. So please pardon that, and I hope you enjoy!

“Jessie?”

“Hm?”

“I believe you have what Southern women might refer to as a gentleman caller.” It was a statement, but the way that Jessie’s dad said it made it sound more like a question.

She looked up from her notebook and studied her father’s face. It was only recently that had the realization that Dad was aging. He’d always looked young for his age, but before college she saw him every day so she didn’t notice the changes settling in. But when she came home after months away – first at Christmas, now for the summer – his evolution was more obvious. There was more white hair at his temples, the lines around his eyes a little deeper.

But those eyes still held their sparkle, especially at the mention of a boy. Continue reading

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