• She stood on the top of the stump, and surveyed her kingdom. The dolls were thrown in clumps and heaps around the sandbox. Three paper kittens, battered and worn, were lined up to attention. She was in charge, no matter what her brother had said. But where were her shoes?

  • She was saved! The boat was coming closer – she could see faces now, as she bobbed up and down on her small round floater. She had drifted so long after leaving the buoys marking the beach, she had feared being caught up in one of the major ocean currents and never making it back […]

  • In the opening flashback, the boy next to her reached over and took her hand. She was flustered, and flattered; how does one deal with an unexpected hand-holding? Unfortunately, the moment was blown a few seconds later when the girl sitting next to him discovered his errant move – as the next scene started in […]

  • Instead of building fences, Cheryl decided to plant flowers. Tall ones – sunflowers, calla lilies, flowering bushes. That way, her neighbours would know the boundaries, but not be afraid to talk. And her cats would have a place to play.

  • The nun pressed a loaf of bread into my trembling, dirty hands. I looked up into a severe, yet kind face, shadowed by the black wimple. Her eyes were sparkling, and suddenly she smiled. It was too much.

  • It took a thousand miles before I felt better about the choice I had made. The road flying by under my wheels, the birds wheeling in the air, the music blaring out the open windows – when I saw the town sign flash by, I knew I had made the right decision. Finally. But would […]

  • I made cookies today, for the first time in just about a year. I used a mix, because I don’t know where my mixer is, and it only called for margarine and water. I’m hoping they taste good. I almost burned them. Should I have added an extra cup of chocolate chips?

  • Her first job in highschool was as a maid. She enjoyed the work, some of the time. She liked making beds neatly, and collecting the tips. But she detested some of the messes, and the creepy things that people left behind. Her perspective changed, however, the day she found the doll under the bed.

  • Suddenly, the power went off. I started, gasping, and scrambled in the drawer next to the bed for my spare candle and matches. Then, just as I touched the waxy base I felt rough fingers touch the back of my hand. This time, I screamed.

  • I chose the large vase with the watercolour roses painted on the enamel sides. It was perfect for my grandmother’s funeral arrangement. When I brought it home, though, I didn’t want to give it up – I put it at the back of my cupboard, so I would “forget” about it until afterwards.

  • Before you can commit, the man said, you have to prepare yourself. You must give up something important to yourself. You have to understand that your life will never be the same. And then you have to die.” She watched him, uncertain. “It’s all metaphorical, of course.”

  • The lens of the telescope had a smear on it that looked somewhat like a squashed bug. Sighing, the woman sprayed some water and vinegar on it, and wiped the surface with a soft cloth. Peering back through, she was stunned to discover that the smear was still present – on the inside part of […]

  • The leash was wrapped around the pole, my ankle, the pole again, and the nearby hydrant. The little squirrel on a rope – otherwise known as Coco, my best friend’s terrier – sat with a happy tongue lolling, while I tried to untangle the spiked leather strap from my limbs.

  • I thought I had a new lease on life. It seemed like the worst was over; now I was ready to move on. In the movies, they always hit you then with the twist: They pull you back into hell. I was not going to let them do it to me.

  • I feel safe and secure in your arms. I know that you’re there for me. The problem is, when you’re gone, I’m like a junkie searching for a fix – and I will take it whenever or wherever I find it. Save me, please, from myself.

  • Here’s the scoop: dead horses smell bad. The birds circled and circled, coming closer to my mount as his body swelled under the blazing desert sun. It was so hot, I could barely breathe. But every breath was filled with the stench of decaying horse.

  • The bear hug was unexpected. I had not seen him in so many years, and I wasn’t sure what to say, or how to approach him. But when he looked up and saw me, his eyes sparkled and crinkled in the corners, and he headed toward me so fast, I couldn’t see it coming. His […]

  • The order she placed was unusual. The waitress didn’t think much of it at the time. But hey, a tip was a tip. Nothing more to it than that.

  • I knew I was a pawn in his game, but I didn’t want to play. How does one escape a game in which you know the rules, but you can’t decide for yourself? How do you make a plan, when you’re not in charge? Answer: Stop the action.

  • I was a pawn; plain and simple. I had no choice in what I was doing. The utter hopelessness consumed me: what was I going to do, other than what I was ordered? When would I ever feel freedom again? Would it be possible to let go?