Regina’s Deception

After a long day at the office, there is nothing better than coming home to my beautiful wife, Regina. She was a stunning Italian woman with long, beautiful chestnut hair and glowing olive-coloured skin. As I drove down Downing Lane, I glanced over at the bouquet of white roses and the box of Laura Secord chocolates on the passenger seat. Today was our 25th anniversary. I left the office early so I could spend as much time with Regina as possible and made a pit-stop at the Fleur’s Flowers to pick the most elegant flower bouquet I could find before heading to the get her favourite chocolates. The sun was shining brightly as I turned onto Stanley Ave, our large four-bedroom brick house coming into view at the end of the street. My heart thumped hard in my chest as I parked in the driveway, after 25 years of marriage, Regina could still get my blood pumping with the little black dress she was bound to be wearing. I didn’t bother locking the vehicle as we were set to go to the movies shortly and headed up the stone path. As I neared the house, I heard a voice. A man’s voice. This was nothing new as Regina frequently had her brother and his boyfriend over coffee. But this was different. The voices were whispering urgently. These were voices that did not want to be overheard. I walked quietly to the front door, the voices becoming louder.

“Austin will be home soon,” Regina said urgently.

“So?” said a gruff familiar voice, “When are you going to tell him?”

“Soon, sweetie. But not now.”

“You’ve been saying ‘soon’ for far too long Gina, I hate being so secretive when we’re clearly right for each other.”

My heart was beating fast, pounding hard against my chest but not for the same reason as before. I could feel my life crumbling around me. Should I confront her? Or leave now and cut my losses? My hand was on the doorknob now, shaking violently. I made up my mind. I shoved the door open hard and it slammed against the wall, knocking a little table over. There stood Regina in the little black dress she always sported for me, and sitting in front of her, totally naked on the couch, my brother. Regina gave a little scream as I approached but Sam sat rooted to the spot as I marched up to him.

“How could you, you fucking bastard!” I screamed, my head swimming. My own brother? My own brother fucking my wife

“I-I-it’s not what you think!’ Sam sputtered, standing and covering himself with both hands.

“You are fucking naked in my house, on my couch with my wife. What the fuck am I supposed to think?” I said, still screaming. I couldn’t think straight. All I wanted to do was hurt Sam. Hurt him like he hurt me. Without thinking, I grabbed the table lamp beside the couch and brought it down hard and fast on Sam’s head. He gave a little grunt of pain and fell to the floor unmoving.

“Austin! What did you do!?” Regina screamed as I rounded on her.

“How could you Regina? After 25 years?” I said, my anger giving way for sadness

“It was a mistake, Austin I’m s-s-so sorry,” She said as she backed away from me, her eyes filled with tears.

“Fuck you, Regina. Burning a pizza is a mistake. Forgetting milk at the grocery store is a mistake. Fucking your husband’s brother that, that’s no mistake.” I could hear sirens outside. Someone must have called the police.

“We’re done. Get your shit, and get out.” Without looking back at her, I walked back over to Sam and checked his pulse. Still breathing. Thank God. I stood up slowly and walked outside to where the police were getting out of their cruisers. A funny feeling came over me then: relief. I was no longer angry. I could go on without Regina and be happy. Regina would have to suffer the consequences when they arose.

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You are free

A crack opens in the wall. Slowly at first, then faster. Faster. Soon the crack reaches from the floor to the ceiling, branching off in different directions like spindly fingers. As the crack grows, the drywall beings to crumble slowly at first, then faster. Faster. Soon the drywall is all but gone, leaving nothing but the cold stone. Gingerly, you reach out and poke a brick with your index finger. It moves slowly at first, then faster. Faster. Each brick representing something oppressing or holding you back. As you push more bricks, they too crumble. Soon there is nothing but the wide open in front of you. You step forward and take a deep breath slowly at first, then faster. Faster. You’re free.

My Top 10 Anti-bucket List items

This is an idea that I found while mindlessly searching the large black-hole that is the Internet. I found it here. An anti-bucket list is just what it sounds like, it is a list of things you hope never happens to you before you die.

So this is my top ten anti-bucket list

  1. Be framed for murder
  2. Be buried alive
  3. Become paralyzed
  4. Be tortured
  5. Have to go to war
  6. See a sibling die
  7. Get cancer
  8. Be shot
  9. Be taken hostage
  10. Become blind

Comment below what your Anti-bucket list would be!

Weird experience

Have you ever felt like your were being verbally assaulted? I don’t mean with curse words  or yelling but just someone talking so much, without a taking a breath. The other day I was talking to someone and they were talking but not in a conversational way. I feel as though this individual was talking to hear themselves talk. But it was such that the verbal diarrhea that was coming out of their mouth was an affront to me. I couldn’t think straight, I couldn’t move. It was as though I was frozen to the spot. I could see their mouth moving; I could hear the words washing over me, but there was little chance of me responding because there was no pause. It was word after word coming at me – I felt almost terrified.

Now, I know what your are thinking – this person was verbally harassing you. But they weren’t, that is the thing. They are a completely nice, friendly individual but their assertion of their personality onto my frail, introverted one was enough to send me into an anxious spiral. When finally it became too much, and I spoke the only words that I could muster “ahhh” only then did I gain the ability to move my legs again and retreat away from this individual into the solace of my own mind.

This was a level of uncomfortability that I was not familiar with or that I had no  knowledge to deal with. My fight or flight response kicked in and I fled.

 

Have any of you had this experience? My pulse is still racing as I’m writing this last sentence.

What a weird experience.

I am a Social Worker

I am studying to become a social worker and the first thing I hear when I tell someone my career path is “Oh, there’s not a lot of money in that” or “You’re not planning on becoming rich are you?”

These two questions irk me. For one, I don’t question the merit of you entering your chosen career field, so why do you feel the need to comment on mine? And for another thing, not all people want to be rich from their careers. We can’t all be life-saving doctors or lawyers who make 100’s of thousands of dollars (not that I wouldn’t mind). I found this TEDtalks on Youtube the other day that sums up my feelings quite well. It is called I am a Social Worker

I am becoming a Social Worker because I want to help my community become stronger, together. I want to look into that family’s eyes and know that I’ve helped them stay together and that I’ve helped them work through their problems that they felt they could not overcome. Being a social worker is more than just sitting behind a desk and deciding whether or not to give someone money. It’s about having empathy and the knowledge that with that empathy comes a great deal of responsibility – to the client and yourself.

Social Work is a unique profession full of fulfillment and meaning. As Social Workers we have the power to make a difference in vulnerable peoples’ lives. We have the power to change their whole life around for even just one person.

So no, I did not choose Social Work for the money. I did not choose Social Work for the fame and fortune. I chose social work because I know how it feels to think that no one cares. I know how it feels to think that you are on your own in this life. But I also know what it feels like when you realize those things are wrong. When you realize that someone is there for you, someone actually does care for you and that is all I want to do. Nothing less.

 

30 writing prompts to get your creativity flowing!

Ever just feel like your head is completely empty? Like no matter how hard you try, nothing creative happens? I feel like that too. I think it’s a precursor to being a writer. It sets us apart from others and forces us to focus even harder on writing.

What I find helps is searching for writing prompts that you don’t have to think about yourself. Sometimes your brain just needs a little nudge in the right direction. An electric jolt if you will. So I am just going to leave these 30 prompts here in the hopes that they will help you like so many other authors’ prompts have helped me

  1.  You wake up in the morning and you’re the opposite sex. What do you do?
  2. You are sucked into the last book that you read – describe where you are
  3. He had a look of horror on his face as he fell from the 10th-floor balcony
  4. He walked down the aisle and all eyes were on him. He began to sweat, his mind raced
  5. She was talking on her phone when it exploded
  6. The sailboat drifted on the water, abandoned.
  7. This was it! We were about to land on Mars
  8. Throughout the Solar System, colonies began cropping up everywhere. Write about the new civilization on Titan
  9. You are cryogenically frozen for 1000 years. Describe the setting in your immediate location when you wake up
  10. You have the chance to perform one Harry Potter spell – which spell would it be and why?
  11. Write a story about someone who has to sing whenever they want to speak because they’ve been cursed
  12. As the city burned, there was a loud cackle in the distance
  13. He heard the sounds of cupboards opening downstairs, but he was the only one home
  14. Before the words could leave her mouth, the ouija board spelt out “you’re dead”
  15. Leaning over the edge of the cliff, he could see….
  16. As she turned onto the highway, she began to panic and her pulse quickened
  17. He pulled the gun out of his sock drawer, not for the first time that night
  18. Your cell phone vibrates. You don’t recognize the sender but the message is ominous….
  19. Describe your favourite colour without naming it
  20. Little did I know, this would be my last sunrise
  21. The woman’s face looked up at me, shocked.
  22. As the car went over the edge, I thought, “great”
  23. His voice was harsh, unsympathetic. I knew then he had to go
  24. “Never again”, I thought
  25. He slammed the book closed and muttered
  26. The rain was relentless
  27. The winding path through the forest was a deadly stream
  28. The owls hooted from their invisible perches
  29. Haunted eyes smiled at me
  30. I will murder her if you’d like

Please share in the comments below some of your ideas!

Book Review – Starting Out In The Evening by Brian Morton

I am going to try something a little different today. I am going to do a book review on a novel that I have recently finished reading. It was quite the extraordinary journey, in my humble opinion, as I read the book. The first few chapters were kind of dull, not much going on, but keep at it. You will find it a delightful read (I know I did)

What can I say about this book? Well, it is definitely an interesting one. It is a hard book to rate really; but I would give it 4 of out 5 stars. Brian Morton introduces us to three delightful characters are different stages in their lives: Leonard Schiller a 71-year-old writer who is trying to finish his last novel before he dies, even though his previous four novels have gone out of print. Schiller also feels as though he is close to death after two heart operations. Then there is Ariel, Leonard Schiller’s 39 year old daughter. Ariel is an ex-dancer turned aerobics teacher who won’t feel fulfilled until she becomes a mother. And finally we have Heather Wolfe, a 25-year-old grad student working on her thesis of Schiller. Heather is looking to become a literary critic in New York and feels she’ll accomplish this by writing about Schiller’s work.

Even though each of his characters are different gender, age, generation and occupation, Morton expertly shows us what is going on in each character’s mind. He brings them to life and makes you feel as though you can go and have coffee with them. They are so vividly alive and sympathetic that you can’t help but be moved by them. You will find yourself cheering them on, and finding yourself frustrated at them at the same time. Morton makes us love, hate and become exasperated at each of his characters which is difficult for an author to do.

Another thing I loved about this book was Morton’s ability to weave in famous quotes from various authors from different eras; Never pedantic or obtrusive to the story.  Each quote fit perfectly with the character that quoted it, making these characters seem all the more life-like. The book also makes you think about things in that are worth mulling over: the creative life, having fun, not being too hard on yourself and personal struggles. It also has the theme that one should not try to live in their mentor’s shadow, which one character learned too well.

If you haven’t had the chance to read it, I suggest going down to your local library and borrowing a copy!

Why do I write?

 

Why do I write? I think every writer is asked this a one point or another. To people who don’t write, it would seem like an easy answer; but to those who DO write, it’s not simple at all. When I was younger, I would write for an escape. I would write to get away from my life, even if it was just for a little while. When I wrote, I wasn’t poor. I wasn’t the weird new kid. I wasn’t the kid that didn’t have money for new clothes, books and yo-yos (I was a ‘90s kid). I wrote because I wanted to be someone else. When I wrote I could be whoever I wanted to be. A detective, a school teacher, the Prime Minister or some other world leader. I could even be a wizard. I could be anything as long as it wasn’t poor and constantly moving schools.

 

As an adult, I don’t only write for myself. I write for others as well. Stories are a way of coping for many people, and if I can inspire one person to better their situation through my words, then I have done my job. I know growing up I wouldn’t have gotten through school and adolescence without the help of JK Rowling or JRR Tolkien. I know that words can hurt but they can also heal if written by the right person at the right time. I had quite a bit of sadness in my childhood: the loss of my cousin at age 22, the loss of my brother and sister through divorce when I was eleven (11) and writing stories about a boy who went through those losses with me and fought hard to get them back, helped tremendously.

So when someone asks a writing why they write, don’t expect that writer to come up with a reason at the drop of a hat. They may need a few minutes or a few days to give you a full insight as why they do it. Their reasons may not be selfless: they may write because they know if they do it well, it pays. They may write because they want to get their names in print. That is okay as long as they’re being true to themselves.

And that is why I write.

Feel free to tell me why YOU write in the comments below

Broken Hearts – short story

I loved my wife. When we lost our only son I was there for her. Christoffer was fifteen when he was killed in a car crash on HWY 401. I felt responsible because I’d yelled at him, caused him to leave the house; pushed him into that car. My wife Annabel didn’t blame me. She didn’t blame anyone. She was just incredibly sad. Annabel stayed locked up in our room for weeks without end. She got bereavement leave from work but she just never returned. I tried not to show my feelings to her. I tired being the strong one for Annabel. I started working more hours and on weekends to pick up the slack. Life was beyond difficult.

I came home early from work and I couldn’t find Annabel. She was nowhere to be found. Annabel hadn’t left our bedroom for months! I frantically searched every room in our house, but there was no sign of her.  Finally, I retreating back to the living room, I saw a piece of paper that I’d missed during my frantic search. It was sticking out of the pages of our family album. I walked over to the couch and sat down slowly, picking up the album. It was a blue leather-bound album embroidered with the words family forever encircling a picture of Annabel and me on our wedding day. Annabel stood there staring up at me, her beautiful green eyes glowing with happiness, her arms wrapped lovingly around my waist. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I opened the album to the piece of paper. Sadness quickly turned to fear as I scanned the handwritten note:

 

Dear Jonathan,

I want you to know that throughout this whole ordeal you’ve been so strong, you’ve been my rock since our beautiful boy was taken from us. I just wanted to let you know how much that meant to me. I would not have made it this far without you Jon. The funeral arraignments, the wake, that was all you. You did that, and it makes me so happy that we’ve had the last twenty years together and created our beautiful son together.

So it pains me to say goodbye. I cannot live in a world without him Jon. Everything reminds me of him, including your crooked smile. My heart aches every time I look into your eyes. Please don’t blame yourself for this. You’re the reason I’ve made it this far. No, the reason is me Jon. All me. I have to see him again. I have to be able to hold him again. I cannot do this anymore. I am not strong like you. You will be able to move on, live on, without me. But I cannot live on without him.

I am going to him Jon. I am going to where he was last. Please don’t cry for me Jon.

Goodbye, my sweet gentle giant,

 

Annabel

 

My mind was racing as fear spread through me heavy like lead. Annabel was going to kill herself, if she hadn’t done so already! I jumped from the couch and ran to the door. I knew where Annabel was going, and I needed to stop her.

Again, tell me what you think! Constructive criticism is always welcomed!

Untitled – Part of a story

The light shone through the dirt-encrusted, cracked windows of the old building. Dust was dancing in the rays of light, covering everything it touched. The floor was covered in a thick layer of filth and grime, giving it a musty, old smell. Broken shelves lined the walls, their contents half spilt on the floor, looking as though they may fall over at any time. A large semi-circular desk stood in the middle of the room, just as filthy, rotten and grime-encrusted as the floor and windows. A computer monitor laid on its face on the floor, a forgotten memory of an information-seeking society. They walked through a doorway, the door long ago vanished from its hinges; inside were more dilapidated shelves with books bound in thick backings, the titles of many faded beyond recognition. The high stained glass windows which used to shine beautiful colours upon the occupants reading these books, now broken laying upon the floor covered and forgotten.  In the semi-darkness, near the far end of the building, a large section of the roof had collapsed. Standing in the bright rays of light was a small alder tree, a sign that Mother Nature really does take back what’s hers.

“There’s nothing in here, Sam” A tall dark-skinned man on Sam’s left said.

“Alright, let’s head outside, scour more of the city. There has to be weapons and food somewhere.” The man nodded, and they headed back outside the sunlight blinding them after being inside for so long. Cars littered the street, rusted and windows smashed. Some had their tires stolen, others had their engines stolen and still others had been crushed by falling cement and steel rods from the buildings towering over them. Trees and grass grew where cars used to drive, turning the concrete jungle back into the jungle it used to be.  They moved slowly down the street, trying to make as little noise as possible. As they manoeuvred around the cars, and broken concrete slabs, they watched for any sign of movement.  Suddenly, off in the distance, a gunshot was heard.

“Behind those cars, quick!” Sam yelled as she dove behind a rusted van. Bullets flew everywhere, ricocheting off cars and the ground.

“What are we going to do?”

“Let me think!” Yelled Sam as she loaded her gun with her last bullets. Cautiously, she looked around the van’s bulky body but she couldn’t see where the shots were coming from. More shots

“Look!” She called, pointing above a flooded tunnel overpass. Two men were standing, guns poised at the ready. She looked into the scope of her gun, careful to aim away from the sun so as to not catch the reflection. She waited patiently as the focus closed in on the man’s head. Wait. Wait. There! A loud bang sounded and the man on the overpass fell, tumbling off the overpass into the water below.

“Nice shot!” Tom said, giving her a thumbs-up.  She wasn’t ready to celebrate just yet. The fallen man’s partner had his weapon aimed in her direction, even though he couldn’t see her; he knew where they were now. She raised herself a bit, just enough to see the man more clearly and aimed. Her hand was unsteady now and she was having a difficult time focussing her weapon on the man. When she was younger, before the world went to shit, she would never have been able to hold a gun, let alone shoot a man. She gave herself a mental shake. This was different. If she didn’t kill this man, he would kill her, no questions asked. She took a deep breath and aimed. BANG! Her aim was off a bit, the bullet hitting the man’s shoulder, but he fell nonetheless. She motioned for Tom and the others to follow her as they ducked behind cars, trucks and vans moving ever closer to the flooded tunnel overpass and to the man she had just shot. When they reached the water’s edge, they stopped.

“How are we going to get across? Our weapons alone will sink us”

“Walk along the edge by the wall,” she pointed, “it should be shallower there.” Tom nodded and started forward……

I hope you enjoyed this snippet! If you have any suggestions and/or comments, please feel free to leave them below!