SPC: The Talkaholic


“Compulsive talking (or communication addiction disorder or talkaholism) goes beyond the bounds of what is considered to be a socially acceptable amount of talking.” Source: Wikipedia

So, there’s always one in the crowd who can’t shut up.

Your Challenge

What are the others thinking?

Even better, what are they planning to do to get this little guy to finally SHUT UP.

SPC: The Creature Returns

creature-in-the-sandAlicia loved this beach. She’d been coming here since she was a child. She breathed in the tangy salt air and lay back in the sinking lounge chair. Just as her eyes shut, a small hand grabbed her arm and frantically tried to pull her out of the chair.

She resisted and scolded her five-year-old son. “What’s with you, Timmy? Let me go! I just got comfortable.”

“But Mama, you’ve got to come see the creature!”

Alicia stared at her son. Timmy was known for his overactive imagination. She’d been the same at his age, but now it got old fast. She pulled her sunglasses down on her nose and said, “I don’t want to hear about any imaginary creatures!”

Hurt flashed through his eyes. She softened her tone and said, “Hey, I promise to go with you later, kiddo. Stay here and dig in the sand for awhile. Mama’s tired.”

But Timmy tugged even harder on her arm and pleaded, “It’s not imaginary, Mama. I promise. Oh, please come with me now!” Alicia felt a twinge of concern at the lisp in her son’s voice, a sure sign of nervousness.

With a frustrated sigh, she got up and let her five-year-old son pull her down the beach. She wondered what it was this time. Last time, he said he’d found a giant pile of bones. But when she got there, it was just driftwood half covered by sand.

Timmy pulled her up towards the dunes, gripping her hand so tightly it hurt. “It’s this way, Mama. Hurry or it might disappear.”

The thicker sand slowed them as they neared the dunes. Timmy pointed to something barely visible in the sand. Alicia saw it. There was something familiar about it. Her heart raced. She spoke quietly to herself, “It can’t be!”

But Timmy heard her. “You see it, too, don’t you. Hurry up, Mama!”

Now, it was Alicia’s hand tugging on Timmy’s. “Slow down, son and be quiet!”

They both walked silently through the deep sand until Alicia put her arm across Timmy’s chest, stopping him. She stared at the thing in the sand, knowing this time it wasn’t Timmy’s imagination.

“Oh. My. Goodness. He’s returned. I didn’t think I’d ever see him again! Let me tell you about him.”

Now it’s YOUR turn.

Story Photo Challenge 1:

What does Alicia tell Timmy about the creature? Try to keep this under 150 words.

Here are some questions to consider in your writing.

  1. Does he have a name?
  2. How does Alicia know about him?
  3. Why did he return?
  4. Where did he come from?
  5. Is he friend or foe?

Quickie Story Photo Challenge:

For those who need to stop and go:~) What kind of creature is this?

My example: a prehistoric pelican


The Ghost at Victoria’s Secret

800px--Times-_and_-World's-_buildings,_from_Robert_N._Dennis_collection_of_stereoscopic_viewsImage in public domain and courtesy of New York Public Library taken from Wiki Commons – Click to enlarge

Jenna was in the checkout line at Victoria’s Secret when she noticed a pretty woman enter the shop. Wearing an old-fashioned black velvet dress, she reminded Jenna of Civil War pictures from her American history class.

Jenna’s friend, Hetty, was ahead of her. She tapped Hetty and whispered, “Do you see that odd lady? She dressed for Halloween, but it’s months away.”

Hetty looked around and shook her head. “I don’t see anyone odd, except you.” She smiled, taking the sting from her words.

The woman wandered around the shop, looking confused, but no one else noticed her. Jenna’s stomach dropped. Uh-oh!  I’m seeing ghosts again!

Her Granny had also seen them. She’d told Jenna the best thing to do was help the poor soul move on. So, Jenna stepped out of line and went to the woman. “Are you okay, Ma’am?”

The woman’s eyes took in Jenna’s skimpy dress. In a haughty voice, she asked, “Are you a Cyprian?” Then, she murmured, “He sent me to a brothel!”

But Jenna heard and immediately said, “It’s not a brothel, Ma’am. My name’s Jenna. What’s yours?”

The woman stared at Jenna as if she was the apparition, but finally said, “My name is Abby. I’m meeting…” She paused. Her cheeks were flushed as she continued, “…a good friend at The World Newspaper, but this can’t be his office!” She started to walk away.

Jenna touched her arm. “That newspaper doesn’t exist anymore, Abby.”

“No! He sent me this picture with the address.” She reached in her small velvet purse and handed Jenna an old-fashioned picture.

Jenna recognized it as a stereoscopic picture card. Henry, her cousin, was a collector. Looking closely, she saw the sign advertising, The World Newspaper Offices. She also recognized the photographer’s name and address from Henry’s pictures.

She realized Abby’s mistake. “While this is a picture of the newspaper’s offices, the address on it is the photographer’s. They once owned this building.”

Abby’s face paled. She pulled a gold watch from her belt and peered at it. “I’m late! Manton will publish and Lincoln will destroy him. He doesn’t know it’s forged!” She rushed out the door. Jenna followed calling, “Abby, wait!”

But Abby was gone. Jenna looked around and froze. The rushing cars on Broadway were replaced by horse-drawn carriages. Men with black top hats walked arm-in-arm with women dressed like Abby. They gaped at Jenna as they passed by.

Scared, Jenna shut her eyes. When she opened them, everything was normal again. New Yorkers hurried around her, busily texting. She sighed. Granny forgot to tell me about stepping into the past! Looking down, she realized she still held the picture Abby gave her.

She sold it to Henry and told him her story. He knew about the ghost stuff, but didn’t have the gift himself. He verified Manton Marble was Editor of The World News and unknowingly published a fraudulent Lincoln proclamation, which almost landed him in jail. Abby Williams Lambard was his second wife.

*     *     *     *     *

This is a fiction ghost story woven with some real facts. Manton Marble and Abby Williams Lambard were real people and married in 1879. Manton Marble was Chief Editor of the New York World News, often called The World News. He got into serious trouble for publishing a fraudulent presidential proclamation. Stereoscopic cards were popular in the mid to late 1800s. Last, but not least, a Victoria’s Secret store does occupy the ground floor of the former E. & H. T. Anthony & Company building. That’s where the facts end in this story. The rest was all fiction.

lightandshade-logoThis post was written for the Light and Shade Challenge.

Be quiet. She’s thinking.


This Red Shouldered Hawk landed in a tree in my garden on a chilly January day.

She seemed very preoccupied as she let me take several close-up shots of her, which I appreciated:~)

However, I couldn’t help but wonder what she was thinking about.

Story Photo Challenge One

Imagine she turns and sees me — What does she say?

Story Photo Challenge Two

What is this hawk thinking? Write a brief inner dialogue.

Here’s my shot at the inner dialogue:

I’m hungry.
Where’s that stupid mouse?

I saw it running through the grass from up high.
How could I have missed it? Am I really getting old?
I know my feathers get ruffled more easily and my chin has doubled,
But dadgumit, I’m still the best hunter!
Edward says I’m the most beautiful hawk in the neighborhood!
Then again, Birdie said he’s been flying with Gussy the Hussy.

I’m hungry
Where’s that stupid mouse?

That crazy human musta scared it when she walked out.
Oh. My. Gosh! She’s got a camera!
Well lah–dee–dah, she’s going to take my picture!
I’ll have to give her my profile shot.
Edward says I’ve got the best “beak” profile in the neighborhood.
Then again, Birdie said he was happily preening Gussy yesterday.

I’m still hungry.
Where’s that stupid mouse?