Awakening – FFC2018 Week 3

Week three of Said Bree Flash Fiction Challenge 2018:

Prompt:                                                                                                    writing challenge badgea_participant

“Your MC is on vacation with a group of friends in a strange place. The next morning, one of them has disappeared….”, under 1000 words, and posted before midnight January 15, 2018. – The rules.

Well, unfortunately, the main character, in the story below, hijacked the story. Not sure if it qualifies as fulfilling the prompt anymore. Let me know what you think in the comments. Did I fail the prompt? Or is it more in the spirit of the prompt?

Either way, some times you just have to let your character have his way. Right? He does have the better POV.

 

 Awakening
By
Leann Holland

From the parking lot across the road, Alan watched them pull up to the valet parking of the hotel through binoculars. The lack of recognition on their faces said it all. The memory implants were still solidly in place.

Crap! That was going to make this so much harder.

Five years looked good on them especially Faye, his former girlfriend. Research had it that Ward and Madeline were no longer together as a couple. Mick and Naomi were married with three and four year old daughters left behind with Naomi’s best friend’s mother. The five of them walked in together mostly laughing and joking.

Doing a quick visual sweep around his car, Alan activated his personal cloaking tech and climbed out the window of his car. Car doors opening and closing on their own drew unwanted attention.

Alan followed the group to their rooms on the first floor close to a back entrance. After their doors closed, he planted a small camera. Alan hoped that his cloak would work on the five of them, but there was no available research to confirm that memory implants impaired the Whastlean’s vision, as they have greater visual spectrum than Earthlings.

After moving his car closer to the back entrance with his cloak turned on, Alan approached Ward’s room. His hand held one of the small nodule injectors. Timing, it all came down to timing. He knocked.

“What the hell?” Ward muttered before falling into the door. Alan carried him to the second double bed. Coming to, Ward opened his eyes muttering, “What the hell, man?”

“It’ll become clearer in a few minutes.” Alan hoped Ward would be forgiving, but stayed close to the door just in case.

Ward rubbed his face sitting up slowly. “This is a lot to take in,” he said, as memories rushed in and others faded.

“The experts said it would. I wouldn’t know it didn’t work on me in the first place.”

“So that’s why you and Faye broke up?”

“Yeah, I couldn’t remember the events as the same as her since the memory implant didn’t work. So they pulled me out.” Alan explained.

“What did you end up doing?”

“Officially a training instructor at a local fitness center, unofficially, I worked with the new and upcoming teams.”

“Do they all have recall dates like this?”

“It varies depending on assignments and failure rates.” After a minute of silence, Alan continued. “I am worried about Naomi and Mick. They went and started a family.” Alan threw his hands up in the air.

“Well, at the time, it seemed like a good thing. Now, I see your dilemma.” Ward agreed, adding, “Are we bringing the girls with us at this time?”

“Originally, I was supposed to activate you all, but recent intelligence indicates I can only active one. I choose you.”

“We can’t accomplish the mission on our own.” Ward said standing.

“Not a problem to worry about tonight, but I suspect we will be using agents from other classes.”

Alan stood as well, “Are you ready to leave?”

Ward nodded.

“Leave everything. We’ll use the cloak to walk out without being seen.”

“Are we using that regularly?” Ward asked.

“The scientists have been able to tune the personal cloak into the human visual spectrum now.” Holding up his hands, black rubber gloves covered them. They slipped out the door, making their way down the hall, when Madeline opened the door.

“Hi, Ward. Alan, is that you?” she asked.

Alan put his hand holding another injection on her shoulder and down she went. Ward caught her and carried her. She blinked out of existence on the security cam.

“To the car, let’s hurry!” Alan whispered, “We can’t cloak voices yet.”
A few minutes later, Madeline came to in the car “Wow! I feel like I have been sleep walking for the last five years.”

With their cloaks activated, the three watched on planted cameras as Faye discover Madeline and Ward missing. The police were unable to do anything. Madeline and Ward were adults, no indications of foul play and a malfunctioning security camera.

Naomi, Mick, and Faye, not getting anywhere with the officials and nowhere to turn no matter how loud they protested, walked back in the glass doors of the airport. Naomi clung to Mick’s arm. Worry etched into their sleepless eyes.

“My flight leaves first from gate 14D,” Faye said, “You guys call me when you land in Philadelphia, please.”

Naomi nodded, “Please keep in contact. I sure hope they call us when they get back home as well.” Nervously, she chewed on her fingernails. They hugged and went their separate ways.

“Should we grab Faye today?” Alan asked. “Yeah, I know what intelligence reported, but no one seems to be paying any attention to them.”

“But if another one comes up missing on the same trip, from the same group?” Madeline questioned. She was the planner/organizer of the group.

“Alan, I know you miss Faye, but I think we have to listen to Madeline and intelligence.” Ward placed his hand on Alan’s shoulder.

Alan flinched.

Ward threw his hands up in the air. “Hey, man, it’s me, your friend. I know it’s been a long five years, but surely, you made other friends?”

“No, not really. Coworkers, acquaintances, not friends. There wasn’t time.”

“I’m sorry, Alan.” They echoed.

After verifying the planes left the ground, the three ambled to the car. In silence, the three drove to the nearest safe house.

©2018 Leann Holland

Edited 1/22/18 only to add link to the continued story.

Awakening Part 2

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Right Time, Right Place?

Week two of Said Bree’s Flash Fiction Challenge 2018:

“Wrong time, wrong place…”, under 1000 words, and posted before midnight January 8, 2018. – The rules.

Right Time, Right Place?
By
Leann Holland

“I couldn’t . . . it was the wrong time, wrong place . . .” Ivena said.

“Maybe you just need to give it more time.” Recie said, swirling the coffee in the bottom of her cup. “But I really thought you loved going out on New Year’s Eve.”
writing challenge badgea_participant
“Me, too, I guess, I really enjoyed New Year’s Eve with Rodney.” Ivena replied.

“You’re young. You’ve got time.”

“I don’t feel young anymore.” Ivena ran her hand through her long white tresses. “Maybe I should do something with this?” She waved a curl or two into the air.

“Your hair is beautiful. Don’t change it for anyone.” A stranger, with green eyes staring down at her, said.

“I’m sorry?” Ivena said. Her eyes opened wide.

Jumping in, Recie added, “He’s right, you know.” She patted Ivena’s right arm.

“Sorry to interrupt, it’s just that you don’t see beautiful white hair very often anymore.” He smiled.

He was probably about their age, mid-fifties, Ivena guessed. His hair was a distinguished salt and pepper.

“What would your wife say if she caught you saying that to another woman?” Ivena asked.

Standing at the end of their table his eyes got sad, “Before she passed she would have loved to have any color of hair.”

“Oh! I’m sorry.” Ivena muttered.

Holding two cups, he looked around the coffee shop. “Give me just a second.” He dashed off.

Ivena was determined not to watch. She failed. Out of the corner of her brown eyes, she saw him stop at a group of twenty somethings, and pass a cup off to one of the young men.

Returning to their table, he said, “Chad Revco, ladies. Thank you for rescuing me from my son and some of his former high school classmates.”

“Reice Bedell. Looks like a nice bunch of kids.” Reice’s oldest daughter’s boyfriend sat among the group.

“Yeah, but once we get off the topic of classic rock we don’t have much in common.” Chad said.

Reice nodded and added, “Haven’t seen you at the school?” After his eyebrows rose, she added, “My high school senior is dating Erik Pettit.”

“Seems like a nice kid. We moved here during my wife’s treatment to be near her parents. So my in-laws have taken care of most of the school stuff since my commute was so much longer.” His face clouded while he spoke. “Being closer to their grandparents was and is good for both our kids and them. Are you natives of this area?” He asked keeping eye contact with Ivena.

“My husband is . . . was.” Ivena stuttered, “We met in college.”

Reice chimed in, “I am. We, Ivena and I, met in church. What?” she looked at Ivena, “Twenty plus years ago?”

“Seems like a life time ago.” Ivena teased.

“Two husbands ago,” Reice laughed. At the polite cough, Reice added, “I’m divorced but dating someone seriously.” She looked over at Ivena. What should she say? “She’s been a widow, eighteen months now. Not dating!” Reice howled when Ivena kicked her under the table.

Chad looked over at Ivena, “Those are rough times. People telling you, it’s time to start dating. Not sure where you really fit.” He took a swig of his coffee. “Do you have any children?”

“No, we never did.” Ivena wondered if she would ever feel normal. It wasn’t normal in their small city for a married couple to choose not to have children. Some people jumped to conclusions right or wrong. “Not even fur babies, as I have heard them referred to.”

“Are you lonely?” He asked politely. “I know I was, even in a room or house full of people. I just missed my Kelly.”

Here was someone that understood. Ivena stammered, “Yes . . . Yes, I am lonely.” It would be great to have a friend that understood. While Reice understood loss on one level, because divorce was a loss, just a different kind. She never wanted to have to see or deal with Dennis again. Ivena would give anything to have the opportunity to see and talk to Rod again, even for a few minutes.

“If you’re okay with talking about it, how did he pass?” Chad asked.

“Wrong place, wrong time – car accident,” Ivena said. It was freeing to talk about it. Her world was so small. Everyone knew or it didn’t’ matter. How had she let that happen? Now, her life was work, church, and home.

“Have you talked to anyone?” Chad asked.

“Of course, I haven’t locked myself away.” Ivena replied. Her small her inner voice whispered, haven’t you?

“Sorry,” he looked down at the table, while continuing, “Friends and family mean well, but a grief support group helped me. They even had some books that helped.”

“You sound like a counselor.” Reice teased.

He blinked, “Sorry nothing that altruistic.” Turning to Ivena, He added, “I am interested in being friends for now. Even more maybe when you’re ready, here’s my number.” Chad handed her his business card. “Got to go catch up with my ride. Good day, Ladies.” Chad dashed out.

Reice and Ivena watched as he ran out the door.

“Do you think his son forgot him?” Reice asked laughing.

“Looks like it.” Ivena said smiling wide.

“Are you upset by what he said?”

“No, just a little scared.” Ivena said, twisting her hair.

“Wrong time, wrong place?” Reice asked.

“No, I am thinking, right time, right place.” Ivena smiled.

©2018 Leann Holland

Thank you for reading my flash fiction. Sorry, I ran out of time to do more proof reading and I was having difficulties getting the paragraph settings correct. Hope you didn’t have too hard of a time following along.

Thank you again.

Sincerely,

Leann 

What does it Matter?

via Daily Prompt: Relate

I was once asked when I shared a very private poem in a safe group if I would ever share it publically. I responded no, I never want to hurt anyone. He argued that hiding from the issues never solved them.

Researching today about ways to help my emotional exhaustion to the situation I find myself, the article claimed that keeping quiet helped to keep the whole process stigmatized.

Relating to the ongoing Opioid Crisis elicits embarrassment and fear, the fear of speaking out! Will family get mad at me? Maybe, but I am exhausted as I am on the front lines, bullied into silence, and much worse. I am not alone in this situation, some understand as we talk and commiserate. Others, however, are in denial and do not know where to turn either.

 

What Does It Matter?

Thirteen almost fourteen years ago,
she had hip replacement surgery.
80 at the time and in pain,
what does it matter
if she becomes addicted?
She’s been taking care of herself.
Who were we to step in
and override her wishes?
Living out of state at the time,
I came back for four weeks
to assist in her recovery.
First sign of trouble during her checkups,
I was forbidden to speak.
She continued to be in pain
claiming something wasn’t right,
but never getting it fixed,
She was 80 and in pain.
She functioned well
driving to church, hair appointments, ect…
no accidents, no dysfunction out of the ordinary.
We suspected but
what does it matter?
Several years went by
health issues came and went:
skin cancer, breast cancer, and bowel obstructions
with them radiation, surgery and treatments.
But opioid addiction?
She’s 80+ and in pain.
What does it matter?
Six years ago, we moved home.
Family gave her six months to live.
Her friends had several driving accidents.
She voluntarily gave up her car
if I promised to take her to her appointments.
A hospital stay – for what?
I no longer remember,
too many hospitalizations.
Addicted? Pretty sure!
She’s 85+ and in pain,
What does it matter?
Her first opioid no longer
providing adequate relief.
Six to eighteen months
to get it worked out.
Fentanyl patch, the miracle worker
this time around;
good, bad and ugly.
Accidental overdoses
visit after visit
trying to get it regulated.
It required a pain specialty clinic
only good for three years.
More hospitalizations
repeatedly asked was she’s addicted?
Only used what the doctors approved,
she replied,
as if that was a valid answer.
She’s 90 and in pain.
What does it matter?
Another round of hospitalizations,
Perocet, the new miracle
according to her.
Pain level inconsistent
three years later.
Teeth used to be white & beautiful
even at 80, now
gray and full of cavities.
Some dentist ignore
Others treat – pain either way.
Again, what does it matter?
Spinal fractures – frequent
as her spine is now mush
probably a side effect of opioid use.
So again, what does it matter?
She cries and manipulates
imploring me to make sure
we say and do whatever it takes
to secure her “meds.”
Dirty, slimy and a host of other horrible
adjectives describe me and my emotions.
My daughter is asked if
she takes grandma’s pills.
She does not and has not.
Thankfully!
What does it matter?
Two hospitalizations in three months,
bowel obstructions!
The last one three and half weeks ago,
Surgery at 93, not an easy thing.
Pain relief clearly not adequate,
Recovery even harder
because she’s past medicine tolerance.
Not enough oxygen
readmitted to the hospital
because opioids suppress breathing.
Pain management cutting her back.
Pain all the time now,
not wanting hospice.
Crying for more meds constantly,
nowhere left to turn.
So why did it matter?
Family relationships strained and stretched,
Denial and blame intertwined.
So thirteen years ago,
Knowing what we know now,
Would we answer differently the question,
What does it matter?
While trying to pressure me into begging
pain management to up her dosage,
a family member asked me,
just days ago,
What does it matter?
So have we learned nothing?
What does it matter?
I guess it depends on who you ask!

©2017 Kim Hewison

 

My Newest Art Obsession!

Kimberhew's Three Doodles in 112017 72 dpi

For me, this is as relaxing as coloring pages yet stressful.

The middle one answered one of my biggest worries. What happens if I mess it up? What happens if I smear? It is still one of my favorites. Which one is your favorite? Please tell me in the comments. Thank you.

The process behind the art:

I use Acrylic inks on photo paper to create the backgrounds. Using Pitt pens, dip pens with India and Acrylic Inks I doodle what I see.

Sorry for the lower resolution photo. I am hoping to add products with these designs to my Zazzle store soon.

kimberhew

 

One-Way, a Poem

via Daily Prompt: One-Way

One Way

There is only one way in life, that’s forward.

As much as I love looking back, I cannot go back.

Some days I would love to visit again.

But alas I do not have a time machine.

I do not want to live the entirety again.

A lot of pain and suffering were experience

to bring me to this date and time.

As I look forward, I see more pain and suffering.

It’s a simple fact either we move forward or we die.

While there are seasons in our lives,

where time feels like it stands still,

it is only an illusion.

Life feels so overwhelming right now.

Got a kid in his last year of High School.

My mother-in-law, 93, has spent the last two weeks

in and out of hospital (mostly in)

needing lots of my time, advocating for her.

In rehab, for awhile, we pray, a short reprieve.

My parents, both in their 70’s, requiring lots of time, as well.

My job, well, I quit to keep my sanity.

But now, financial worries keep me up at night.

There is only one way – forward.

One day this will have past, I will look back

and want to visit with these dear ones,

who may not be with us then.

I thinks so, but there is only one way.

©2017 Kim Hewison

 

 

 

Denial

via Daily Prompt: Deny

Denial
A basic human response
to things we cannot handle
or at least don’t want to.
Modern day phrases like
“What happens in Vegas,
Stays in Vegas,” epitomize
our denial. However, recent
events cast long shadows
on the validity of that saying.
The friends and family of the
six hundred plus victims
certainly wish they aren’t
having to deal with
the aftermath of tragedy.
When my grandmother was diagnosed
with lung cancer, second generation,
she was in denial.
She couldn’t take the next step.
Denial is a powerful emotion.
It doesn’t like to be challenged.
I am in denial.
Our nation is in denial.
We are fighting for our very souls.
What is our next step?
Praying for clarity!
Is clarity the opposite of denial?
I think so.
Will clarity bring unity?
Struggling to find hope in
a system of encouraged denial.
What denial has taken root
in your heart?
©2017 Kim Hewison

Praying for all the victims and their friends and family, even the ones that don’t have physical injuries, of the Las Vegas Shooting. 

Athletics Gone!

via Daily Prompt: Athletic

Athletics Gone!

That’s too true for so many of us.
Every sport has former players,
who can only dream.
The reasons are varied.
Some factors within our control.
many are not.
Athletics a season in life
competing dreams
school, jobs, home, children,
too many to list.
Health and quality of life issues
for today, tomorrow & beyond.
Athletics does not equal
staying active,
which is the true goal
in this limited time,
we call our life.
Enjoying athletics a second time
through my children,
it’s coming to a close
three weeks to go.
Athletics gone
again.
© 2017 Kim Hewison

 

Giving Your Heart Wings

UnBoxMe is one of my Zazzle stores with products I have created with my art. I have been having a very hard time trying to find time for my creativity, hence my absence from my beloved blog. Creating content is time consuming while wearing all the hats that I do during a typical week. I am sure that I am not alone.

As a way to increase my incoming revenue, I have been taking a serious look at my options. I work primarily on the weekends 23+ hours, usually broken into two shifts with me coming home and sleeping in between. While I love my client/patient, caregiving is exhausting work. I am emotionally involved. She has been in hospice for awhile now. So, I don’t feel like I can walk away. But also I am not sure I want to continue in this line of work as I am also caregiving for my parents and in-law.

I have decided to use some of the small chunks of time that I have to improve my Zazzle stores. I only have a few items completed with my Giving Your Heart Wings mixed media painting. I have plans to increase the variety of items. Please leave a message for me in the comments if there is a particular product you would like to see with this print.  I am particularly happy with the way the painting transferred to the leggings (See affiliate link below.)

Thanks for listening. Have a great day!

Kimberhew

 

 

13 Week Summer Streak Finale

First I would like to thank Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil for their hard work creating and running the Challenge. It was so very fun. 

Unfortunely, my crazy life interfered with my ability to complete it. I was unable to continue as my mother-in-law went to the ER twice in August, and was admitted for several days both times. Both my mother and mother-in-law ended up with UTI’s between her stays. My husband and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary with a weekend away.

Then for the last week, we have watched my mother grow weaker with growing confusion. We were afraid that her MRSA UTI returned again. Test results didn’t confirm our theory. Yesterday, we took her to the ER. 

She will spend the next several days in the hospital on antibotics with yet a different infection on sepsis protocol.

This week was the finale, Week 13. Head over to Thain In Vain to vote for the Stanley Cup winner (today – September 3, 2017 only). I am. 
According to the comments by Thain in Vain, they are looking into what they can do next. I am hoping to participate.

Kim Izzy

13 Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction – Week 8 Take Two

Week eight of Thain in Vain and Drafty Devil bringing us the 13-Week Streak Summer Flash Fiction challenge. 500 words, one story using the prompt, enjoy! Oops, this is the second short story using this prompt.

Prompt: Prompt – Week 8
Will you tell this story from the perspective of the bombshell, the couple or a short-order cook flipping burgers?
A couple is seated in a booth at a diner when a red-headed bombshell walks in and sits down at their table.

Take Two

by

Kim Izzy

Lola felt the eyes follow her. Yes, she was overdressed for a simple diner in the middle of the day. The black velvet tea length fifties vintage cocktail dress was . . . well, definitely, out of place.

She swung her auburn locks off her bare shoulders, emphasizing her ample cleavage.

What was he doing here? She’d sworn if she ever saw Richmond again, she was going to kill him.

She teetered on three inch heels. She hated heels but she liked being five foot four. Although, she needed more practice in them.

Just a few more steps, she slid into the booth with the Carmisino’s

“Lola, thank you for joining us,” Mr. Carmisino said, looking over his shoulder at Richmond, “We can’t offer you a room or help.”

Lola felt tears prick at the back of her eyes. She wanted to be surprised, but Richmond threatened her with this, all their friends and family refusing to help her. She couldn’t blame them. Her previous lifestyle combined with his lies made helping sound risky.

Mrs. Carmisino patted her hand pressing something into Lola’s palm. “We are so sorry, dear.” She shook her head barely enough for Lola to register.

“Thank you Mr. & Mrs. Carmisino.” Lola stood to leave keeping her hand clamped shut. Turning, her right heel slid out from underneath her.

Richmond was at her side as she straightened back up, his hand under her elbow. She yanked her arm away.

“Lola, let me help you.”

Turning to face him, “You don’t want to help but you want to control and own me. Well, you can’t. I won’t let you.” Resuming her teetering steps, she held her head high. Once the door closed behind her, under the bright blue sky, Lola let the tears stream down her face. What was she going to do now?

Which way to turn? She was officially homeless. Where could she go? Back to the nursing home and Shirley, she needed to return the dress and shoes. Shirley was wrong dressing for success didn’t ensure success.

Slowly opening her fingers, she read the note. Her fingers clenched. Lola unclenched her fingers releasing the paper into her other palm. A different kind of tear streamed now, tears of hope.

 

Thank you for reading!

Kim Izzy

 

one place for all of me

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