Tag Archives: siblings

The Chosen Ones

“Why is this jerk hanging around here?” Timmy wondered aloud. He realized the inevitable certainty his sisters would become interested in boys but still eyed their neighbor with suspicion when he showed up at the door. The visitor didn’t suit him one bit.

Luck brought the trio together by chance, finding a forever family within the foster care system never a guarantee. Timmy being younger than the twins didn’t keep him from feeling protective of their little nest of a home and hovered near them from the next room just like a mother bird.

The guy wouldn’t have a chance.

100-word challenge prompt – nest


Filed under creative non-fiction, life

Snug as Two Bugs in a Rug


If not for being hidden out in the middle of nowhere, the farmhouse’s slanted red roof would’ve seemed a beacon meant to draw people’s attention. The residents within sure didn’t want anyone to notice their whereabouts, not with what went on elsewhere on the property. Leastways, not with what got buried behind their small outbuilding.

The pair labored under a starlit sky that cast just enough illumination for their work. James Earl shot his sister a stern look. “Poppy, you would just about give Mother the fits if she seen how you left that pick ax laying around like that.” He pointed to the ground where the implement lay. “She learned you better than that, girl.”

Poppy resented his constant badgering and focused her icy glare on the ground in front of her instead of on his face, her primary target. “It’s not like she’s here to see it, James. She’s been dead and gone for almost 10 years.” The woman disguised her expression to a more neutral visage before looking up at her sibling.

“Don’t you speak ill of my sweet mother,” he warned. It was not as if he owned the exclusive rights to her memory.

Poppy kept her tone steady. “Don’t you imagine Momma would be a bit more disturbed to know what you used that ax for?” Their parents left the farm to the pair as an inheritance, never suspecting they would remain together indefinitely. Those years put them in a close proximity that often tested Poppy’s nerves.

“And she was my mother, too.” She was finding it more difficult to mask the contention in her voice. Not that James would notice.

Random visitors limped their vehicles along in seek of help on the road, and often fancied them a couple at first meeting. Not many people stopped by any other time. Three RVs out front used to belong to random stragglers who had the bad luck of mechanical problems. Some lacked the gasoline to get them to safety.

Those drivers didn’t know that pair long carried a grudge against the world that intersected with their own path. James Earl and Poppy continued to work at the hole where the latest set of passersby were set to spend their eternal rest. Each of three other mounds had finally begun to settle to an even plane with the surrounding earth. Those spots shouldn’t draw any attention from an otherwise unsuspecting eye.

Poppy and James Earl hoped no one would find out about the treasures they collected from those unlucky travelers. The jewelry and cash locked up in a safe nestled inside a wall in the house, all the souvenirs they hoarded from their victims. Any clothing or other possessions had long since been burned elsewhere and not a trace left of the folks. 

Thinking about that loot made James Earl smile as he stood beside the indented place, hands on his hips, surveying their handiwork. He said, “You know, Poppy, at this rate we ought to have enough together by next year to take that trip up to Des Moines like we always hoped. It will finally be time for a celebration.” His head bobbed up and down with satisfaction.

“I don’t know, James Earl,” Poppy seemed to disagree. She picked her tool up from the ground and moved strategically around behind her brother. Just before she raised the pick up over his head to land a fatal blow, she told him, “I might just be drivin’ that road on my own.” 

Our Write Side writing prompt – celebration

photo: “shed rust” by Rusty via Flickr

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Filed under country noir, fiction, writing



via teedlo on Flickr

Ed raised his head upon entering the building, was shocked to see his brother-in-law, and asked him, “What are you doing here?”

The reply was not what he expected. Gary’s eyes widened, and he countered with, “What do you mean what am I doing here? What are you doing here?”

Both men were taken aback by the other’s presence at the adult bookstore, and they glanced around the place to see if anyone else was there who would recognize them. Embarrassment radiated from their mutually crimson faces.

Ed blocked the doorway behind him with his imposing frame and maneuvered himself between the exit and the cash register where his wife’s brother, Gary, stood. Ed didn’t want Gary to see his younger sister waiting in the parking lot outside the porn store. He felt as if he was caught buying condoms on their first date.

The couple’s sex life, and any intricate details of it aided by items procured from the premises, were none of Gary’s business. Ed’s mind instantly flashed to how he could hide Regina’s presence there and save face no matter how impossible it seemed since Gary was paying for his purchase as they spoke. He’d leave momentarily and see Regina awaiting her dirty-movie-renting or KY-Jelly-buying husband’s imminent return.

Theirs was an otherwise stunted and awkward conversation punctuated with an atypical silence before it ended with the two otherwise confident men left shuffling their feet and staring at their shoes. Normal banter centered about the latest football score and whose team was bound for the bowl game, a rivalry between their favorites normally spurring their competitive natures, but the weekend’s cold snap was the only safe topic to be found. Gary finally took his leave with an uncomfortable, “Well … that about does it.” He gave a quick nod and added, “See ya.”

Hands in his pockets, Ed nodded back and offered, “Yeah, see ya around.” Seeing his brother-in-law at the porn shop while he checked out a raunchy DVD was not the place Ed had mind. So sheepish at the surprise that he totally forgot what Regina had asked him to get — strawberry flavored something, Playgirl magazine, sex swing — he had no recall whatsoever. Shaking his head in disbelief, he snickered to himself and turned back in retreat to the car.

The man was shocked to discover what waited for him outside the glass advertising-covered door. Gary’s wife and Regina both sat in the cab of Gary’s truck grinning like two Cheshire cats. Funny, Ed didn’t notice the truck there when they first arrived.

His brother-in-law hadn’t yet worked up enough courage to get back into the truck’s driver seat and turned back to Ed, shrugging his shoulders in deference to the women. Gary lifted his hands out to his sides, chuckled, and shouted back to Ed, “So who do you think is gonna win that game on Sunday?”

*prompted by “What are you doing here” from Studio 30 Plus



Filed under fiction, writing

Siblings — May 3, 2012

A weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading.

btt button

This week’s question:

Heidi asks: Do you have siblings? Do they like to read?

All my siblings like to read.  My oldest sister, who taught me to read four decades ago, reads a lot of tear jerkers about animals.  She is, after all, a feral cat rescuer and cat care “expert.”  My middle sister is an elementary teacher and avid reader of anything, mainly biography/historical biography (& Reader’s Digest).  Then my younger brother is all about military history and practice, being in the military himself, and also the stars — as in Star Trek and Star Wars.

We span the genre spectrum but all love to read!  Prompting began early on in our lives.  My mother is a voracious consumer of formulaic romance schmaltz (unfortunately, but at least she’s reading), and my father used to read everything he could get in his grasp.  He went through books quicker than anyone I’ve ever known, reading our library books overnight if they were left in his sight.  The last gift I gave him before he died was a paperback copy of Hoffa, and the toothpick he used as a bookmark still indicates his last page.

Meme hosted at booking through thursday & linked through Megan at love, literature, art & reason


Filed under reading