Our Write Side Picture Prompt: Imogene and Luca

March 19, 2017 by  
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Our Write Side picture prompt rockandddrool.com

Our Write Side Dark Room Prompt Rules, because there are always rules:

1. The photo is here to spark your imagination. Use it as the landscape for your story, to remind you of a moment in your past, or the punch line to a joke. Use the photo as inspiration in any way you want.
2. Your submission can be fiction or nonfiction, memoir, poetry, dark or humor – your pick.
3. Please no adult content, no racial or political posts. Also, where applicable, please include a trigger warning introduction.
4. Keep your word count to 1000 or less. (Don’t worry if you go over, we won’t count.)
5. Link to your submission’s post URL in comments. If you don’t have a blog, you can add your entry to the comments below.
6. Link to this page’s URL in your post.
7. Limit one entry per person.
8. Submission deadline is Wednesday, midnight CST (Thursday, 5 a.m. GMT)

___________________________________________________________________

Her heart came to a full stop as she made her way up what was once a grand drive, but time and an obvious lack of care had diminished it to pebbles and rubble. The large Plantation-style house was being strangled out by Kudzu, ancient tree branches draped in moss, and other natural born killers. From what Imogene could tell from behind her dusty windshield and lack of sunlight, the entire property was so run down that it was hard to imagine anything was salvageable. She could only guess how it would look in broad daylight because dusk has a way of softening deep wrinkles.

“Some inheritance.” She felt like crying. Sight unseen, she sold everything she had in the city and made her way to the estate that had been in her family for generations and was now her charge. She felt a familial obligation, despite the fact that there was no family left to oblige. Her great uncle Randolf, an eccentric man whom she had only heard about but never met, had lived in the house until he died a month prior. He had been the one depositing her trust fund allowance into her bank account since she had been 18. Her guardian since her parents died, he never insisted she come for a visit and she never asked. Too busy with college and life, she took for granted money would always be replenished but she never considered visiting the man who made it happen. Now it was too late, and she was starting to wonder if inheriting this house was some form of punishment. “This place better not be haunted. But, omigod it wouldn’t shock me if it was.”

Slowly exiting the car, she inspected as much of the area directly around her as she could. Darkness was coming fast, bringing with it some seriously crazy looking shadows. Imogene figured she only had a few more minutes until it became pitch black. Based on what sprawled out before her, she couldn’t understand how anyone possibly inhabited this mess. It was such a dreadful wreck from the outside, she shuddered at what the inside held in store for her.

Sighing, she grabbed her luggage from the trunk and got the keys to the front door ready. She didn’t bring much in her car, a moving truck would be arriving within a week with the rest of her stuff. As she slowly made her way to the front door, a light snapped on, the vines across the window casting snake-like shadows over the rough driveway.  Imogene, who didn’t consider herself to be a faint-of-heart-type woman, stopped dead in her tracks. As far as she knew, the house had remained deserted since the death of Uncle Randolf. Or, maybe the light was on one of those timer thingies to keep people from trying to rob the family jewels from generations of wealth.

A chill coursed its way down her spine as scenes from horror movies played in her mind. All the what-ifs floating around threw her into fight or flight mode, and flight was sounding really good right at the moment. “Oh, c’mon. You’re being stupid. It’s an old house, no one is waiting to slash out your heart and make dinner from it.”

With shaking hands, she tried to fit all the various keys in the lock until she found the one that fit. With a hard twist, the lock clicked. Extremely hesitant, she pushed open the creaky door. “Note to self, oil the hinges because this door is fitting for a Poe story.”

With one foot inside the massive, musty smelling foyer, she decided maybe she should announce herself. Just in case. “Hello?” Her voice was as shaky as her insides, “Anyone here?”

It was darker inside than it had been outside. The sound of heavy footsteps echoed from overhead causing her to drop her luggage with a loud thud onto the hard surface of the unseen floor. The only thing keeping her from a blood-curdling scream before a dramatic faint was that she was sure ghosts wouldn’t make as much noise walking as whoever was up there was doing. Besides, she had never fainted before in her life, and she wasn’t going to start now.

“Hey, hello.” Responded a husky male voice, “Hang on, I’ll be right there.”

Cautious relief replaced the violent chills, “Ok.” Her voice sounded like a squeak, but it was the best she could muster under these circumstances.

The shadow of a large man appeared at the top of the stairs. With a flick, lights illuminated a crack-filled, black and white marble foyer, and transformed the man-shadow into a living, breathing, all-male man, “Ah, Imogene. I was just getting your room ready for you.” He bounced down the stairs and came toward her so fast, it caused her to back up closer to the front door. With a hand extended, “I’m Luca, sort of the new-ish handyman around here.”

Before she could stop herself, a snort escaped as she looked around the less than well-kept house, “Well, you’re clearly not so handy!”

Luca’s dark eyes flashed for a second, then a slow smile showed off a deep dimple in his left cheek, “I actually haven’t started working yet, but I was hired to help you fix up this place. I guess you could say that I’m a part of your inheritance.”

Imogene paused for a moment, taking in his full form. He definitely wasn’t bad to look at, despite the scare he gave her. Dark hair, even darker eyes made him sort of mysterious looking. Well, as mysterious as a handyman named Luca could be. She wished she was better with clever responses but all she could come up with was, “Oh. Ok.” Before she picked her luggage up and held it out to Luca.

His dimple showed itself again, “You must be exhausted and starving after the long drive, I’ll show you to your room and then I’ll go order us a pizza. Sound good?”

He didn’t wait for an answer as he grabbed her heavy bag and bounced the stairs, two at a time. Trying to keep up, Imogene followed Luca down a long, threadbare carpeted hallway. She was too busy looking at all the pictures lining the worn, aging walls to notice he had come to a stop, and she crashed into him. Steadying herself on his thick arm, “Oh wow, sorry about that.”

He didn’t seem to even notice her hand remaining on his arm, “Lots of stuff to look at around here. Some of it is priceless, from what I understand. My old man worked for your uncle for years. Actually, someone in my family has always been around here, working for someone in your family.” They entered the room which was probably so grand back in the day, and now it just screamed to be refinished and refurnished. “This is the best bedroom, I scoped them all out. And, you definitely don’t want your uncle’s room, that one even gives me the creeps.”

Ghost stories started haunting her brain again, causing her heart to race wildly, “Will you be staying here, too?” The thought of being alone in the house with her crazy imagination, especially the first night, was enough to make that flight sensation come back in full form. A big, strong, good-looking guy in the house would probably make her feel a tad bit better.

He shrugged, “I mean, that’s the plan. I’m temporarily living here now, too. Just until we get the house in decent liveable condition for you, of course.”

She threw him a relieved smile, “Pizza sounds good, thanks. Just no onions or green peppers.”

Backing out of the room, Luca gave her the thumbs up, “Got it. This room is an en-suite, so do what you gotta do and I’ll meet you downstairs in a few minutes.”

Imogene nodded in agreement, and she could hear Luca dialing his cell phone to order their pizza. She glanced around her room and headed toward the window that had been the cause of her initial scare. The house was going to be a massive undertaking, her degree in English literature definitely wouldn’t be coming in handy. Hopefully, Luca was going to be some help.

Running her tongue over her hairy feeling teeth, she realized her breath must smell like something had crawled into her mouth and died there. Driving for eight hours could do that to a person. She had only grabbed her clothes, her carry-on had her makeup, toothbrush and other freshen up essentials in it, and was still in the back seat of her car. One thing she was super self-conscious about was speaking while under the influence of bad breath. Especially if it meant talking to a good looking male person.

“Oh well,” she groaned to herself as she turned away from the window, “This isn’t a date. He’s as obligated to be with me as I am to be at this house.” Too bad, he’s pretty hot, a voice that sounded nothing like hers whispered inside her brain.

Squeaking, she practically jumped out of her room and raced downstairs to where Luca was standing, waiting. She knew she must have looked terrified, but Luca let out a laugh, “Ah, so it seems you met our friendly ghost.”

“Ghost? There’s a ghost?” Her legs wobbled beneath her before buckling altogether.

Acting fast, Luca grabbed her, “Oh honey, you don’t know the half of it.”

That was the last thing she needed to hear.

For the first time in her life, Imogene dramatically fainted.

 

 

The post Our Write Side Picture Prompt: Imogene and Luca appeared first on ROCK AND DROOL.

Save Money by Doing a DIY Gel Manicure!

February 28, 2017 by  
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Sponsored I love when my nails are polished. Gels are great because they last longer than regular polish, but the time it takes at the salon kills me! I also hate paying so much money for a...

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12 Books you should read this year

February 25, 2017 by  
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Our Write Side Photo Prompt: Not As It Seems

February 25, 2017 by  
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our write side picture prompt response rockanddrool.com

 

Every once in awhile, I get the chance to write something aside from SEO content. It’s not as often as I’d like but holy crap, getting used to full-time work is exhausting. I’m not complaining, merely stating.  Writing content all day leaves me with little desire to write once I get home from work. But, then sometimes a Saturday will roll around where I have a minute. So, here I am. Since I write about ‘real’ stuff all day, every day, I look forward to writing my first love…fiction. Once again, I’m participating in the picture prompt from Our Write Side.

Here are the Rules, because there are always rules:

1. The photo is here to spark your imagination. Use it as the landscape for your story, to remind you of a moment in your past, or the punch line to a joke. Use the photo as inspiration in any way you want.
2. Your submission can be fiction or nonfiction, memoir, poetry, dark or humor – your pick.
3. Please no adult content, no racial or political posts. Also, where applicable, please include a trigger warning introduction.
4. Keep your word count to 1000 or less. (Don’t worry if you go over, we won’t count.)
5. Link to your submission’s post URL in comments. If you don’t have a blog, you can add your entry to the comments below.
6. Link to this page’s URL in your post.
7. Limit one entry per person.
8. Submission deadline is Wednesday, midnight CST (Thursday, 5 a.m. GMT)


The old cottage is tiny, dark, and musty. But, familiar. And, as of today, it is mine. Electricity wouldn’t be turned back on until tomorrow, so I make due with the glow emanating from the small fireplace I miraculously was able to light. I’m curled up on the ancient lump-infested couch, one of the few pieces of furniture left. I’m trying to read my book through the flickering of the light, but the shadows hide the words, so I give up and drop the book onto the threadbare rug.

I stare into the fireplace, hypnotized by the flames undulating a rhythmic dance. The gentle heat barely cuts through the chill of the cottage’s old bones. The only thing absent from the room is my grandmother. Her chair next to the fireplace where she would sit for hours doing her needlework, devastatingly vacant.

A week has passed since she muttered her last words to me, and I still have yet to figure out what she meant. “Nothing is ever as it seems, Gabi,” she rasped barely audibly while holding my hand in a surprisingly undeath-like grip. Then, a long exhale escaped her blue-tinged lips. I would never have known she had died, her hand still firmly held mine. Except, the monitor she was hooked up to started making noises which drew in the night nurses who shooed me out of the hospital room.

Nothing is ever as it seems. Why would those have been my grandmother’s last words? The way she stared at me like I was expected to know exactly what she meant. She died before I could even try to question her. I squeeze my eyes shut and allow the tears to escape across my face. I don’t even wipe them away, why bother when more are sure to follow.

I stay on the couch through the night, floating in a state between awake and asleep. Sometime before morning, the last of the flames died, leaving me a shivering mass underneath a knit blanket that did nothing in the way of warmth. My phone had died so I have no idea of the time, which means I can’t leave to make a coffee run. The electric company was scheduled to arrive sometime between eight and noon, so I needed to be industrious.

Still in my clothes, I throw on my boots and coat to head outside and forage for firewood. The cast iron kettle and sure-to-be stale instant coffee would have to do until my current energy predicament changed. I wander outside toward the shed where the wood was stored. Outside the door, there is a pile of damp wood chips which, in and of itself, isn’t unusual considering. It’s the stone that caught my attention. Robin’s egg blue, with speckles of crimson marring the smooth surface. I pick it up and dust off the accumulated filth. As I hold it, my palm fills with warmth. I think it odd as I place it in my coat pocket and grab a couple of logs for a fire.

After I get a pleasant roar going in the fireplace, I assume my position on the couch again. I take my finding from my pocket to inspect it more thoroughly. Stone by any other name, I think. Except, it’s not quite a stone yet, what else could it possibly be? And, I can’t help but wonder how it’s so warm when it clearly had been outside in the winter’s cold. It should be like an ice cube, being out there all winter. Or maybe I’m just taking my grandmother’s words and transferring them onto this poor, unsuspecting piece of nature. As much as it looks like a stone, something nags inside of me saying otherwise.

“Before I can think straight, I need my caffeine,” I say to the chair that seems so, well, empty. Then I pet the wood armrest because I suddenly feel an overwhelming urge to feel sorry for that piece of furniture, “I miss her too.”

With one last turnover in my palm, I place the strange stone on the mantle and head toward the minuscule kitchen to search for the necessary objects for my coffee. Not so quickly locating the items, yet successful in my endeavor, I turn to head back to the living room.

With a gasp, I drop my treasures. The heavy kettle narrowly misses my foot as it lands with a loud boom. The container of coffee bounces to the ground and rolls across the wood floor.

Standing in the living room, in the area between the fireplace and the lonely chair looms a most shocking sight. A Robin’s Egg blue scaled man with crimson specks marring his perfect surface, his dragon-like pointed teeth peeking out behind wide lips stretched into a grin. And he’s looking directly at me.

He extends his muscular arm in the direction of the goods scattered around my feet, “I’d love some of that coffee, too.” And then, he winks and sits down in my grandmother’s chair.

 

 

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Our Write Side Writing Prompt Response

January 30, 2017 by  
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Can you see me through all this dust? Poor blog, it’s been sitting around since June and has felt no love by its owner. Today, as painful as it may be, I’m going to attempt to write a response to a picture prompt from over on Our Write Side. But, really quickly, I’m going to fill you in on why I haven’t been writing here. I found myself in a job where I write all day. I’m creating SEO content for a digital marketing agency that connects students to schools. Luckily, I absolutely adore it. But, it doesn’t leave much time for me to write creatively, not until I figure out how to balance work writing with creative writing with life in general. I’m a bad balancer.

Welp, that sums it up in a nutshell. So, without any further ado…the image to which I’m responding. It’s been a LONG WHILE since I wrote anything other than SEO stuff so this could be quite uncomfortable.

writing prompt response to image rockanddrool.com

It was a relief to be alone, no external stimulus from unwanted sources. Just me and the water as I tried to wrap my brain around the news my father threw on me after school. I would’ve preferred the ocean but, instead, I’d settle for the little lake hidden in the woods. My father told me I was always drawn to the water. I guess, when I was young, I would cry inconsolably when we would leave the little Cape Cod cottage we used to own, back before money became scarce and mom left for ‘a better life’.

The makeshift dock my dad had pieced together with recycled garbage had made it through its third rough winter. To an outsider, it might look like a floating garbage dump but, to me, it was my private oasis, a paradise in a sea of turmoil. The dock moaned as I dragged my wet body onto its rough surface. The familiarity of my surroundings bringing with it a sense of peace. I settled myself, cross-legged, in the center and allowed my dad’s recent words the necessary brain space.

He wasn’t really my dad. She wasn’t really my mom. They had found me, a toddler, washed up on an abandoned stretch of beach, half dead and sticky with salt water and seaweed. My real parents were a giant question mark, no one even reported a missing child those 16 years ago. They gave me a name, and their name, and raised me as their own. Not that I’m complaining, I basically had a good life, despite my mom leaving, and the whole falling from riches to rags thing a few years back.

Suddenly I wasn’t really Mila Taylor, 18-year-old community college freshman anymore. I still had the same stick straight, white-blonde hair, and cat-like green eyes. But, my name, even though I wore it proudly for as long as I can remember, it wasn’t really who I was anymore. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate it and everything but it wasn’t how I started my life. I was someone else. I had a different birthday. I lived in a different city. Everything about me was probably once very different. I belonged to other people. Even though my real family never seemed to try and find me, they are out there. Maybe they don’t want to be found, but I am thinking I need to find them, to truly understand who I am. Maybe they would be able to explain some of the unusual things that are happening to me the way doctors and therapists haven’t.

The dreams were the most prominent of all the “issues” I had been having since I turned 16. The hypnotherapist my dad recently took me took to was sure I was having memories of my past life because the dreams always take place in the same location. It’s so beautiful there, everything shining and white. And the land, so green and fertile. But the ocean, it always sings to me, lulling me, luring me. The ocean’s cries are getting louder in my dreams, more demanding, more insistent. It’s getting harder to resist.

Then there’s the man. Always there. Searching. Waiting. His gentle, crystal eyes staring out at the horizon. His wavy brown hair blowing in the ocean breeze. Every muscle in his body, taut in anticipation of my arrival, and releasing as disappointment sets in.

Even though it’s all happening my dreams, all my senses and emotions are alert like it’s real.

That island.

The ocean.

Him.

They are my home.

Every fiber of my being senses it, despite what the doctors say.

A past life? Maybe.

But, I’m supposed to be there.

I was supposed to have been there already.

The key to finding that place is finding out who I really am.

And, I have no idea how to begin.

I only know where I want to end up.

 

 

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Parenting through the in between years of childhood

January 5, 2017 by  
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Keep ‘Em Coming Back Home for the Holidays with Some Awesome Breakfast Recipes – – and a Chance to Win Some Holiday Spending Money

December 13, 2016 by  
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“This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Bays English Muffins to review this product” There are a lot of distractions over the...

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A Gift You’ll Feel Good About Giving

December 8, 2016 by  
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The Pebble Fox Rattle was provided for a review, but all opinions are my own. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! So I’m not scrambling last minute to find the right gifts, Christmas...

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Palmer’s Street Team is in Detroit Giving Free Cocoa Butter Samples!

December 2, 2016 by  
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Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula® is taking it to the streets this season with their Winter Cocoa Tour! Starting today, December 1st, the tour will be starting in Detroit! Join the Palmer’s street team...

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Easy Peppermint Hot Chocolate Recipe

November 30, 2016 by  
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Chocolate and peppermint go so well together and more so hot, on a cold day! Here is a fun and easy recipe for Peppermint Party Hot Chocolate that calls for a hot cup of hot chocolate and Blue Bunny...

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