Flash Fiction – Searching for Memories

Time no longer has any meaning for me. I drift through it rather than taking an active part in it. It’s a difficult situation to be in, but I’m learning to live with it. At least, I think I am. I still get a creepy feeling in my gut whenever I try to remember anything from before. I just can’t seem to pull it out of the ether and into my consciousness.

Everyone I see is a stranger, even though I know this must be false in some way. I’ve spoken to others like me, and they are here because it’s familiar. They hover around their loved ones, drinking in the last bits of life before they melt away. Others never leave, but the difference is, they know why they’re here. What does that make me?

A ghost with amnesia?

I’m standing by a tree watching a dog chase after a Frisbee when something happens. I’m watching the Frisbee when suddenly my gaze lifts slightly and I’m staring at… Well, he isn’t familiar in the sense that I know him, but everything in my being sizzles.

I stand up straight and before I make the conscious decision to follow him, I’m doing it.

He looks like a typical teenager – black jeans worn a little too low, V-neck Tee that hugs his thin waist, and a beanie flopping on his head. He even has the swagger down, like he knows he’s cool and wants everyone else to know it too. I couldn’t possibly have liked boys like this before, so why the sizzle now?

I follow him most of the day – into a music store, down the street to buy some weed from the corner junkie, then to a friend’s house where they spend all day in a haze of smoke and music. Part of me wishes for the oblivion they find. They laugh at nothing and doze off in the midst of the thumping bass and the pounding drums.

Did I do this when I was alive?

None of it seems familiar, but the sizzle never leaves. It doesn’t get any stronger though.

I finally decide to leave. I’m just getting depressed and I honestly don’t know what to do.

When I step outside, I’m stopped in my tracks by a voice speaking to me. It’s been a long time since I’ve spoken to one of my kind.

“Did you find what you were looking for?” She’s leaning against the building on the opposite corner. She looks like a gypsy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or known a gypsy, but that’s what pops into my head. Long black hair, black t-shirt and a long colorful skirt that sweeps the ground around her.

“Who are you?” I ask, even though I don’t expect an answer.

She tilts her head to the side and just watches me.

I smile and start walking down the street in the opposite direction. I’m not in the mood for a cryptic gypsy.

Trouble is, she won’t leave me alone.

I see her everywhere. She doesn’t speak to me again, but I know she’s there, following me, watching me. It makes it supremely uncomfortable to do what I do when I know I’m being watched. Is that how The Living feel when I watch them?

It could have been a few nights, it could have been twenty, but at some point I realize she’s not going anywhere so I might as well see what the hell she wants. She makes it easy enough. She’s sitting on a park bench watching me watch some kids play on the swings.

“I’m not looking for anything.”

She tilts her head and I think she’s going to ignore me again but she doesn’t.

“Sure you are.”

A cryptic, smug gypsy. Even better.

“If you knew the answer, why’d you ask?”

“I didn’t know. Sometimes it happens like that, but sometimes you just get weird feelings and follow them around for a day or two.”

“I suppose you have first hand experience?” I sound sullen and bitchy, but too late to change it now.

“If I said I did, would you believe me?”

I want to keep throwing snark at her, but I’m not sure how much of my shit she will take before simply walking away. I don’t think I want her to walk away.

Finally, I say, “I don’t know.”

We sit in silence for a while, but it’s an active silence full of thoughts that battle their way around my head in a swirl of longing and hope. I really hate asking for help, but I’m not sure I have much choice.

“Can you help me?” I ask, breaking the silence.

“I’m willing to try if you are.”

I nod my head and our shaky acquaintance begins. Shaky because I don’t think Anne likes me very much. (We finally exchange names – she’s Anne and I’m Chloe. It almost sounds like a fairy tale…) Honestly, I can’t decide if I like her either. I think I hold it against her that she seems to have her shit together, whether she was like me before or not. She never really answers that question, but I don’t have anyone else breaking down my walls, offering their help, so I’m pretty much stuck with her.

“So, who’s the guy?” she asks as we walk along the bank of the pond, a breeze blowing her long black hair behind us.

“I don’t know. I got a weird feeling when I saw him, so I followed him.” She’s silent next to me, so I glance in her direction and keep talking. “That’s never happened before. I don’t recognize anyone or anything around me. Every other spirit I’ve talked to seems to have some idea why they’re here.”

“I think you’d be surprised.” Her smile is sardonic and she’s back to being cryptic.

I stop, frustration melting off my words like ice cream on a hot summer day. “Look, do you have any answers, or are you just having fun at my expense?”

She keeps walking but somehow her words carry back to me on the breeze. “I think you should keep following him. He holds the key to your memories, but you need to be open to knowing the truth.”

I jog to catch up to her and put my hand on her arm. “What do you mean, open? Of course I want to know the truth.”

She stops and turns her head to face me. Her gaze bores into me, cutting deep. “The truth is difficult to bear, even if you know in every fiber of your being that you’re ready for it. I just want you to be prepared, that’s all.”

Am I prepared? I don’t think anyone can really prepare themselves for this scenario, and as time stretches on, I start to realize that maybe I’m not ready, that I’ll never be ready to know the truth.

I follow him for days. He goes to school. He smokes weed. He hangs out with friends. The sizzling feeling is always there, but it doesn’t increase or decrease. It’s just a steady buzz in my blood.

I start to realize, though, that memories are coming back in slow degrees, but it isn’t like a big reveal. I don’t just wake up one morning and ta-da! I have my memories back.

No, this is a slow torturous process – glimpses of faces and pops of color. One time, I’m stopped in my tracks by screams echoing in my skull and it lasts so long, I fall to my knees and grab my head.

Anne is there, beside me, and once again asks, “Are you sure you want to know?”

I can barely move my head it hurts so much, but I throw a look in her direction. “I can’t stop it now, even if I wanted to.”

I have to hand it to her. She helps. More than I thought possible. If nothing else, I’m not alone and that makes it more bearable.

It finally happens at a football game, of all things. It’s an away game so it’s across town. I hang out in the back of the bus and let the lull of pre-game talk and bullshit waft through the air around me. It isn’t until we step off the bus and I take a look around that I realize I know this place. It’s familiar.

I suddenly wonder if maybe I’m hanging around this guy, not because he was familiar to me in my life, but because he was the one who ended it.

The thought paralyzes me and I fall to the ground once again as more images come rushing back.

A football game…

A car…


His friends…

A haze of smoke and blaring music.


My screams echoing through the night until it is silent once again.



Left to rot in a hole where I have yet to be found.

Dread fills me. The helpless weight of knowing there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it raises bile in the back of my throat and I choke on a sob.

No one can prepare you for it. No one can save you from it. Memories are a terrible weight that I wish I had left alone because even now, I no longer want to carry them.

This week’s flash fiction challenge thrown down by Chuck Wendig was to take someone else’s character and write a story under 2,000 words (mine comes in around 1,560). I chose the character written by JQ Davis. I loved the ghost aspect and pretty much everything about the character. I suppose I went the obvious route, but I honestly couldn’t think of anything more original. I hope I did justice to the character, though, and that you enjoy my dance in this character’s world.

Song Lyric Sunday – Say You Like Me by We The Kings

If I had one band that I could say was my favorite, it would be We The Kings. They just make me happy – the music, the lyrics; and I have to tell you, the music video to this song is an all-out geek fest and I loved it! Oh, and the lead singer is a red-head, so there’s that…

I started listening to them right before I took Adelle to our first Warped Tour. We were still in line when they started playing on the main stage, so I had to listen to most of it from a distance. I was pretty sad about it because they were the only reason I was truly excited about going. Everything else was entirely for Adelle.

Since then, I have seen them live on several occasions. The one that sticks out most in my head was when they played at a small venue in down town Salt Lake City. I took Adelle and two of her good friends. We ended up right near the front and by the time it was over, none of us had a voice.

They played this song and there was a part where they actually filmed the crowd singing it. Adelle’s friend posted the video on her Facebook feed a few days later and we all got a kick out of pointing ourselves out, although mostly all you could see was an arm or the top of someone’s head. I was still able to pull the video up a few years ago, but when I tried to find it recently, I realized I was no longer friends with the individual. (Is it weird that I’m friends with some of my kids’ friends on social media?)

I could probably do the memory-lane thing all day when it comes to this band. So I will just post the song and let you have fun with it. As always, feel free to read the rules below and post your own.

Say You Like Me by We The Kings
Lyrics found at AZ Lyrics
(There’s a lot of repetition, so I removed some of it for ease of reading)

She’s the girl that no one ever knows.
And I say hi, but she’s too shy to say hello.
She’s just waiting for that one to take her hand
And shake her up.
I bet I could.

I wish my heart was always on her mind.
‘Cause she’s on mine like all day, all the time.
Forget me not, forget me now.
I’ve come too far to turn around.
I’m here tonight.

‘Cause I’m never going down,
I’m never giving up.
I’m never gonna leave,
So put your hands up.
If you like me,
Then say you like me.
I’m never going down,
I’m never giving up.
I’m never gonna leave,
So put your hands up.
If you like me,
Then say you like me.

Whoa, oh, oh, oh.

She’s the girl that no one ever knows.
Works a double just to buy her clothes.
Nicotine and faded dreams,
Baby, just believe
There’s no one else like me.

‘Cause I’m never going down,
I’m never giving up.
I’m never gonna leave,
So put your hands up.
If you like me,
Then say you like me.
I’m never going down,
I’m never giving up.
I’m never gonna leave,
So put your hands up.
If you like me,
Then say you like me.

Whoa, oh, oh, oh.

It’s time to fall into my arms.
‘Cause I’ve been waiting for too long.
You’re an angel,
Grab your halo,
And lets fly tonight.

‘Cause I’m never going down,
I’m never giving up.
I’m never gonna leave,
So put your hands up.
If you like me,
Then say you like me.

‘Cause I’m never going down,
I’m never giving up.
I’m never gonna leave,
So put your hands up.
If you like me,
Then say you like me.
I’m never going down,
I’m never giving up.
I’m never gonna leave,
So put your hands up.
If you like me,
Then say you like me.

Whoa, oh, oh, oh.
Just say you like me.

I invite everyone who would like to play along so we can share some fantastic music together. Here are the rules for Song Lyric Sunday:

  • Post the lyrics to a favorite song or a new song you want to share
  • Make sure you credit the singer/band and provide a link to where you found the lyrics
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song
  • Ping back to my post that will go up every Sunday by 9am MST
  • Check out at least one other person’s blog so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process

SoCS – Jump-Scares

Sometimes I really need to read the prompt, have it show me a word and then just write. And it seems like every time I really want that, Linda throws me for a loop. Nope, Helen, you actually have to figure the word out yourself among the, I don’t know, hundreds(?) of four-letter words out there. I guess it’s not her fault though. Not really…

(I really appreciate Linda because keeping up a blog prompt isn’t easy, so thanks, Lady!)

I decided to keep it a bit lighter today. My life is stressful enough right now without rehashing it all on my blog.

I like scary movies. I don’t know why I like them because they really get to me. They scare me, even though I know they aren’t real, and many times they make me feel really gross, like “why am I watching this again?” But every time I’ve told myself I couldn’t possibly watch another one, I find myself renting another one or borrowing one from a friend.

Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on how you look at it – my kids like them too. We watched one on Netflix not too long ago called “Babadook” and that show scared the crap out of me. I was talking to Adelle afterwards, and I realized it wasn’t so much about the scary content, it was really more about the Mother and her son. When you become a Mom, the meanings and things that happen in movies change and you suddenly look at them very differently.

My kids? Their response: “It was just a bunch of jump-scares.”

Last night, I watched Sinister with the boyfriend. He said it was the worst movie he had ever seen. I don’t think it was terrible, in fact, it did exactly what I thought it would. I jumped multiple times, my heart was racing, I was wringing my hands. I’m thinking watching scary movies releases some sort of chemical that we just can’t get enough of. Like riding roller coasters or extreme sports.

My boyfriend is into true crime, and I am too, but sometimes I just want to watch something that can’t possibly be true and it’s all just good fun. He laughed at me multiple times last night, so I think it was a good time all around.

Adelle – and let’s be honest, the boys too – hates watching scary movies with me because I scream out loud and that scares everyone more than whatever was happening on the screen. I scream then everyone jumps and yells at me for scaring them.

I guess I’m just one of those people that jump-scares really work. I think that’s why I hate going to haunted houses. Now those are places that are all about the jump-scares. Except they aren’t on a harmless screen. They actually jump out at you or chase you or get in your face. I actually end up getting mad, rather than enjoying myself. And who wants that? I don’t! My boyfriend keeps trying to talk me into going to a haunted house this year, but I really don’t like them. Which is funny because I love scary movies. I don’t know. I guess I’m just weird like that.

I’m also the girl who likes paranormal scary movies and zombie movies, but I don’t like those movies where some random killer goes around and chops people up for no reason at all. It’s a science, in my head, that makes absolutely no sense to anyone else. But I’m okay with that. I just try and watch what a like and ignore the hecklers.

What about you. Do you like scary movies?

This scary Stream of Consciousness post is hosted by Linda G. Hill. “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “four-letter word.”  Use any four-letter word as your theme. Enjoy!” Please fee free to click the link and join in, or read other posts.


Teaser Tuesday – Frankenstein City of Night

City of Night (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #2)

My advice for reading this series is that you should have all three of them on hand so you can just pick up the next one when you’re done. Luckily, I did, so I was able to move onto the second one as soon as I finished the first one.

I really love the build-up in this series. The chapters are really short and each one deals with a different character, so there is plenty of suspense. I also love quite a few of  the characters, even the ones who are basically throw-aways.

As always, Dean Koontz is masterful and keeps me hooked. Frankenstein City of Night has definitely not disappointed. If you like gruesome, you’ll really like the second one even better than the first.

The teaser today comes from page 65. I hope you enjoy.

“Among even the most controlled of slaves there simmers a desire – even if not a capacity – to rebel. Therefore, some of these slaves of Victor’s, all enemies of humanity, might in their hopelessness find the will and the fortitude to betray him in small ways.”

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Feel free to click the link and join in the reading fun.

Monday’s Finish the Story – A Mama’s Duty


The family had no idea that little Luigi would grow up to be the most prolific serial killer of the time. He was never caught, though, and for that, Jean-Louise gave glory to God every day.

He was her boy, after all.

No never mind that she’d found the dog strangled in the barn and them rodents flayed along the side of the house when he was just a tyke. She done what any good Mama would do. She cleaned up the mess and went on with her day. Just a bit of fun for a young boy. No need to go worryin’ and frettin’ ‘bout things boys do to pass the time.

He was delivered to God’s care under his Mama’s watchful eye, just like the good boy he was. He told her plenty in them feverish dreams, but she’d take it to her grave. That she would.

Just like any good Mama should.

Monday’s Finish the Story is a unique flash fiction challenge where we provide you with a new photo each week, and the first sentence of a story. Your challenge is to finish the story using 100-150 words, not including the sentence provided. Click on the froggy link to read other stories or upload your own.

This story is 142 words not counting the italicized part of the first sentence. This one just popped into my head as probably the darkest thing I’ve ever written. I’m blaming it on all the Koontz I’ve been reading lately and the black and white photo. What is it about old black and white photos that gives me the creeps?

Flash Fiction – Jersey Malone

Jersey’s place stood as the sole reminder of the past, rising proud in a wasteland of crumbled skyscrapers. Somehow it had survived; although, some would say, it hadn’t escaped unscathed.

Jersey Malone, owner and operator, still saw herself as a glorified barkeep, although her place had become so much more than a bar. Now, it was the only safe haven in the city. A place where all were welcome – reanimated, genetics, and human.

Not everyone followed the rules in her establishment, but Jersey kept them in line. The extent of her arsenal was unknown to many, but what she exhibited when things got bad was enough to make even the most malevolent take pause.

Jersey had long since lost all patience for fluff; things that didn’t matter, as she was known to say. She shaved her head on a regular basis, and she wore whatever she could find, but her style leaned towards khakis and tanks. Her black combat boots had seen better days, but until she could scrounge a new pair that were better than what she had, she laced them up each day and kept on going. Many commented that her ice-blue eyes were the only color left in the city, and that may have been true, but Jersey didn’t much care.

Color or not, she had a business to run in this god-forsaken city.

Pushing through the door, she strode into her place, glancing around at the wary patrons. There were more than usual. It must have been an interesting night.

I haven’t participated in Chuck’s challenge for a while, and I wasn’t necessarily planning on doing this one, but when I read the challenge, Jersey started forming in my head. She was the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning, so I guess she wants to come to life. Chuck’s challenge this week was to create a character in less than 250 words that someone else can use next week.

A little outside my usual writing style, but I hope you like her.

Song Lyric Sunday – Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event

As usual, picking this weeks song has been hard. I honestly settle on one, then another one will play and I just. can’t. decide! But, I suppose, I’m going to be doing this long enough that I can make it through all the music I love and all the music I fell in love with years ago and suddenly hear again and remember how much I still love.

This song is like a mini-story and I love the build up in the music to the point where it almost perfectly represents that moment in life many of us have been where you still love someone who has already moved on. It’s beautiful and terrible and I adore it in so many ways.

Favorite lines: “the piano’s this melancholy soundtrack to her smile” and “these memories come rushing like feral waves to your mind.”

I hope you enjoy this weeks Song Lyric Sunday submission. Feel free to read the rules below and post your own!

Some Time Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event
Lyrics found at AZ Lyrics

And it starts
Sometime around midnight
Or at least that’s when you lose yourself
For a minute or two

As you stand
Under the bar lights
And the band plays some song about forgetting yourself for a while
And the piano’s this melancholy soundtrack to her smile
And that white dress she’s wearing, you haven’t seen her
For a while

But you know
That she’s watching
She’s laughing, she’s turning
She’s holding her tonic like a cross
The room suddenly spinning, she walks up and asks how you are
So you can smell her perfume
You can see her lying naked in your arms

And so there’s a change
In your emotions
And all of these memories come rushing like feral waves to your mind
Of the curl of your bodies, like two perfect circles entwined
And you feel hopeless, and homeless, and lost in the haze of the wine

Then she leaves
With someone you don’t know
But she makes sure you saw her, she looks right at you and bolts
As she walks out the door
Your blood boiling, your stomach in ropes
And then your friends say “What is it? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Then you walk
Under the streetlights
And you’re too drunk to notice that everyone is staring at you
You just don’t care what you look like
The world is falling around you

You just have to see her
You just have to see her
You just have to see her
You just have to see her
You just have to see her

You know that she’ll break you in two

I invite everyone who would like to play along so we can share some fantastic music together. Here are the rules for Song Lyric Sunday:

  • Post the lyrics to a favorite song or a new song you want to share
  • Make sure you credit the singer/band and provide a link to where you found the lyrics
  • Link to the YouTube video, or pull it into your post so others can listen to the song
  • Ping back to my post that will go up every Sunday by 9am MST
  • Check out at least one other person’s blog so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process

SoCS – The Fantastic, Terrible, Magical Mind

I’m more and more convinced that the mind is a fantastic thing, but it can also be terrible if you allow it to do whatever it wants. That might sound strange, but I do have examples, so bear with me.

I really believe in that whole concept that went viral in the book called “The Secret.” The only thing I feel it misses is the actual process. It’s awesome to think we can create things with our mind, just by simply focusing on it. And that’s a pretty easy thing to say. But when you really think about it, how many thoughts go through our minds that we don’t even know about. Have you ever just sat and watched your thoughts?

I have, and I can tell you, we don’t even realize all the things our mind comes up with, so even if we think we are focusing on wealth, or that parking space at the front of the store, there are so many thoughts that go through our minds at the same time or pretty damn near close; so that what happens is the thought is muddied by all the other thoughts that penetrate.

For example, my daughter flew back to North Carolina on Wednesday. I was thinking about her getting on the plane and before I knew it I was imagining the plane crashing and then before I knew it I was at the funeral wondering what I would do if certain people showed up. What the hell?

I do the same thing when I’m driving. I’ll imagine what would happen if I lost control of my car and before I know it, I’m watching my car smash into the guard rail and I’m seeing ambulances and police cars and crying people at my funeral.

I think the good news, and the most amazing thing about the mind is that we have the ultimate control. We think many different thoughts in the day, but we don’t have to allow our minds to control what we are thinking. The key is to recognize what is going on and either change the thought or create space around it. It almost immediately disappears.

I think that’s why I love Eckhart Tolle so much. He teaches the Power of Now; this moment right here is the only one that matters. Allowing our thoughts to run ragged all over us is either living in past or future or some time that could possibly happen if this or that thing occurs and before you know it, it’s all over in the magic of a few thoughts that spun completely out of control.

As I’m writing this, I’m realizing that these thoughts are the things that create great stories, though, so how to harness it so it doesn’t tear your life apart? Maybe that’s why writing is such a tough gig. Or maybe I’m just in that writer mode of writing is so hard and woe my writer life.

It’s all a balancing act. Balance and intention and living life with a purpose. Regardless of the negative tone this piece might have taken, I really do think our minds are pretty magical.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. “Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “mind.”  Use it any way you think to. Have fun!”


Teaser Tuesday – Frankenstein Prodigal Son

Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)

It’s been a while since I posted a teaser, mainly because I kept picking long books that took me a while to read. I would love to say I read a book a week, but that’s just not doable for me with my life right now. I pretty much read on the train ride to and from work, which is some pretty good reading time, but not always quite enough to get through a book in one week.

I’m back at it again, though, with Dean Koontz. This time, it wasn’t my fault, I swear! I was reading the last book and had every intention of reading a different author, but a friend on the train told me this Koontz series was really good and I just happened to have all the books in my shelf at home.

Of course, I picked up Frankenstein – Prodigal Son and haven’t been disappointed. I honestly can’t fathom why there are so many Koontz haters out there. I think he’s brilliant. I think every author is going to have some things that are better than others, but I don’t think one not so good work is cause to hate on his writing. I don’t know. Maybe that’s just me.

The book is typical Koontz with all the tension and violence you would expect. I also read that this is a direct sequel to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but I have to admit I haven’t read it. I’m thinking perhaps I should now that I’m reading this one.

The teaser today is coming from page 210 paragraph 4:

“He may not have sufficient fortitude to reach that special door, let alone to confront the busier world beyond. But his despondency has recently advanced to desperation, and the reckless action that is the whip of desperation may lash into him a kind of courage.”

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Feel free to click the link and read other posts or join in the fun and post your own teaser.