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Friday, June 24, 2011

Another Story . . .

I almost forgot that today was my day to post! Duh me!!!!!! Since I am so unprepared, I decided to post another short story from Creative Writers. This one is a five word challenge the words being: opprobrious, uxorious, poodle-fakers, persiflage and sartorial. Hope you enjoy it.


I died today. At least, that’s what the paper says back home on Earth. It looks infinitesimal from where I’m at now, barely a speck. How I got here is another story.

I remember being dressed with sartorial elegance in the dinning room of my house, all my opprobrious guests impressed. Six couples, three uxorious men, two who were lost (or perhaps they didn’t care?) definite poodle-fakers, were persiflage to me. I mean . . . I was and always had been, way above them.

I had brought them together to ‘rub it’ in their faces. Envy, lust, greed filled their eyes whenever they dined in my Father’s mansion. They didn’t care about me so much as the fact they were here. I let them think they got away with it.

Cathy and Rob were the poodle fakers, a pair of them! How did I get so lucky? No luck in involved here. They were my bloody cousins!

Rob and Dee, Suzanne and Dustin were from another branch of the family, my mother’s, the ones who didn’t care. They hardened their hearts and those of their children against me but it was out of my control. It made my periodic dinners a personal victory. They may not like me but they’ll never be rid of me. That’s one of the advantages of being family.

George and Nancy, Todd and Victoria, and Jack and Julia made my blood boil the most. Watching the three men wait on their whiny wives was intolerable. I swear! Lord only knows what would have happened had I not been taken.

That’s another thing that sort of worked out in my favor too, disappearing like that. People say they’ve been abducted by aliens all the time. I brushed them off as crazy. Nothing like eating your words!

Who would have thought? Not me and yet here I am, sitting in the navigation room of a starcruiser. I prefer to call it that instead of spaceship. Believe me . . . if you ever see one you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Anyway . . . it was convenient to find out I had been wrong and life on other planets did exist. The dessert, the cheesecake with cherries - something I did not partake of – was laced with arsenic. I had grown tired of having relatives who were worthless in their demeanor and morals. Time to bring it to an end. I sat back in my chair, ready to bask in watching them die when a bright light blinded me. When I could see, I was not in my dinning room but onboard the starcruiser.

I’ve yet to meet the aliens though. Everyone I see looks just like me. Their names are a bit odd but that’s it. All the time I watched sci-fi films with unspeakable aliens and they were like everything else involved with Earth . . . a lie.

I was abducted before everyone ate the cheesecake too, which is why the paper I read on the computer said I was dead, that I’d vanished before their very eyes. Damn Rob and Dee live in my father’s mansion. They think they’re someone now but they’ll always be persiflage.

And as for me . . . I sort of like it here. Its quiet routine is very sufficient. The only things I don’t like are the bars across my room at night. You would have thought the aliens would have a force field instead of these blasted bars. You would have . . .

“Light outs, Jeremy,” Dexter, a prison guard, sneered between the bars I hated. “Put the pen and notebook down. You can finish writing tomorrow.”

Sighing, I do as asked. You see, I really didn’t get abducted by aliens from another planet like I’d like to believe, but by the police. It didn’t matter how elegantly dressed, how above I was. When it came to murder, I went away with the best . . . Charles Manson is down the hall.

©Copyright June 2010

M. L Huey

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cats, Cats, Everywhere

I came into my office to write this blog article and one of my cats, Little John, who has definitely outgrown his name, was sprawled on my desk in front of my monitor. This has become one of his favorite places of late, and he sprawls with his tummy open to the breeze from the overhead fan. Sometimes he reaches out and puts his paws on the keyboard, or his tail slowly swishes back and forth across it, and I get to try to type in between passes. 

Would he consider moving his tail?


John is just one of three cats we own. Oops, I mean that live here. Usually, they like to be outside during the day where they might catch a gopher or mole for a snack and then find a nice place in the shade for a nap, but the recent heatwave in Texas has driven them inside. I'm never sure where I am going to find one of them sprawled, and they definitely like a hard surface that is much cooler than the carpeting. Although I have never seen a cat curl up on a rug like a dog, anyway.

Misty, known as Mama Cat, and her son, Orca like to hang out on the ledge of the half-wall between the living room and the entryway. The way the cats are posed there with their paws hanging down reminds me of those ornaments that are made to perch on the edge of a fireplace mantle. We have three of those half-walls in our living room, and I never know on which one I will find Orca sprawled.

Mama only joins him occasionally. More often she prefers the counter in our bathroom. That has been her favorite place now for almost two weeks, and she really finds it interesting to watch all the things these humans do by the sinks.

She helps me wash my face and brush my teeth. She helps my husband count his pills and fill pill holders. And she loves it when I get out hair clips and combs. She's convinced that they are there just for her to play with and knock on the floor.

When the heat wave breaks, and I hope it does soon, the cats will start spending more time outdoors, but until then, we never know where we might find one of them snoozing away.

I want to be a cat.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An Ode to Daddy Dearest

Fathers are a lot like movie stars.

They cast the biggest, the broadest, the most all-encompassing shadow in the house. They inspire, motivate, de-motivate and terrorize. And all too often, they do it all without ever trying. The memory that sticks in my mind from my own family features my hubby and Zack, our eldest (now 20 and a college sophomore I keep threatening to shrink back to infancy).

Zack, as a combat crawler at the age when he should have been toddling, had a couple of challenges. First, his Mom worried constantly that he might be hungry. (She still does). Today he can just give me the look, say he loves me, and leave the table. As a creepy crawler, he didn’t have that option. So he was a big butterball of a baby and toddling presented size challenges. Second, his own mental make-up, even at that little age, meant he didn’t want to do anything until he could succeed. He did his combat crawling while his peers held onto furniture and took lurching little steps.

Then one day Zack’s dad was in the kitchen and Zack and Mom were in the den. Dad started whistling and Zack jumped to his feet and ran into the kitchen, chasing the man making the merry noise. Yeah, his Father inspired his first steps without even trying.

Both Zack and his little brother Sam (who's about to start High School for the love of all ducks in the universe) grew up basking in their Father’s presence and working to avoid his ire. They learned the Daddy Rules (no hitting, spitting, kicking or biting and especially no lying) at a young age. As they grew, some of the rules were easier to follow than others. But they always do their best to make Dad proud, and they always, always basked. They’d gather round on the floor while Dad sat at the computer playing some game and the kids would spend hours just watching Dad play and cheering him on. It resulted in our having a LAN network in our house. At their elementary schools both of our boys taught the teachers computer tricks.

Daddy Dearest casts a big shadow in romance novels too. In Brotherly Love the Jamison Father is bringing home a young widow to wed when the train crashes. Daddy and his bride die, and the bride’s young daughter goes to live with Daddy’s sons who would have been her brothers. So the whole book is essentially Daddy’s legacy teaching each of his sons different lessons. In A Faerie Fated Forever, sins of the long-ago Father inspired the curse, and the failure of Nial’s Da to avoid entanglements long enough to find his Faerie Fated Forever casts a tragic pall over his household that inspires his vow to avoid his father’s fate. Heather’s Papa in Faerie is a present force, the wise man who sees the beauty in his daughter and who knows Nial will too – eventually. In A Golden Forever, the sins of Colt’s father cost him his son, and the devotion of Viv’s whisks her away from Colt, forcing him to face the past that is also his future. In E-mail Enticement Alix’s vow to his father prompts the rebellion that weds him to the Belle Bitch. That introduces him to his wife’s young half-sister who is the living embodiment of the promise to his Father he will keep.

In my real life romance, as in my stories, the path of true love has been strewn with obstacles largely of my own making. Don’t most of us create the very problems we must overcome? But the rocks keep the route interesting and force us off the beaten path onto side trails where the view is as inspiring as it is terrifying. Hopefully, the reason he’s still with me (problems and all) is that he knows I love him to pieces. While he may not be completely perfect, he’s completely perfect for me, and for our children.

One of the many reasons I love my husband is his devotion to our children. He’s had to practice tough love because both our boys have their issues. The eldest is an Aspie (Asperger’s Syndrome) and John has had to work with him to set expectations, rewards and punishments and he had to follow through, always and consistently. Aspies are, after all, (brilliant) rule based rut people. John’s had to be tough when Mom wasn’t. John’s had to be tough when the school system Mom corralled couldn’t be. Today the tough love John practiced has helped Zack mature into a young man with morals and values and standards, ready to begin making his own choices. Sam is still a work in progress, but John’s influence has begun to guide him to set his own goals and work to achieve them. Sam is also growing towards being a young man - if I allow him to get there; I've threatened him with the shrink ray too - shows signs of growing into a reflection of the values and standards instilled by his father.

So, Fathers are like movie stars because the essence of who they are infuses, compels, and motivates those around them, particularly, those little beings lucky enough to share Dad’s gene pool. Unlike actors on a silver screen, fathers are real life heroes who will live on long after the house lights in the theater dim. The best of fathers, like my husband John, manage to be the foundation of the past and the guardian of the future.

Daddy will live on through his little dearests. One day the dearests will be whistling familiar tunes in kitchens of their own, summoning a new generation to carry on the family traditions.

Happy Father’s Day to my sweetheart. If you'd like to leave a comment, I'd love to hear your thoughts about your father or the father of your children!!!

(Postscript from the Daddy, shameless marketer: two of the books mentioned in the post above are available in a three-book bundle. Happy reading!)