Daily Prompt 7/2/2016 | Kill It With Fire

Don’t forget to wear sunscreen when you head to the beach!

[In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 7/2/2016 | Burn]

Fear is a funny thing. Well, maybe not funny, since some fears can utterly cripple the individual, but funny as in… fear makes people do funny things sometimes. There are different kinds of fears, and different levels of fear. For example, my fiance, a big guy, with a history of football and brawling, and a slightly intimidating demeanor and physique, is afraid of just about every creepy crawly you can imagine, no matter how big or small. Ants, beetles, bees, moths, butterflies, mosquitoes, and don’t even get me started on spiders… they turn him into, well, for lack of a better analogy, a little girl. A squealing, quivering, little girl. I wish I were joking, but it is kind of hilarious. There have been countless occasions where I have had to come to his rescue with a shoe, or a rolled up magazine, and squish a tiny critter. I wouldn’t make fun of him if his fears were more severe, but they aren’t. He has no traumatic, triggering memories to fuel his fears… he just gets creeped out, and calls in the cavalry, me. Continue reading “Daily Prompt 7/2/2016 | Kill It With Fire”

Mom’s Visit | The Final Day

Liam was barefoot, and as I placed him down on the grass, I remembered that he has never walked barefoot on grass, or sand. It only took him a few minutes of funny walking to get used to the it, and enjoy it… but he definitely did not care for the feeling of sand between his toes.

[You can read about Days 0-1 here, Day 2 here, Day 3 here, Day 4 here, Day 5 here, and Day 6 here.]

Hello, friends. Yesterday was my mom’s final day visiting with us, though her plane doesn’t actually leave Illinois for another 3 hours or so. It was a very mixed day. I felt really on edge, and anxious, from the time I woke up, to the moment we said our goodbyes. I tried so hard to make it a good day, but it felt like my mom and I were butting heads more often than not, and it created a lot of tension.

Kyle worked from 10-6 yesterday, so it was another day of just my mom, Liam, and I. Liam has been in quite the mood for the last couple days, including yesterday, which resulted in an early nap, which I was hoping to avoid doing, since we were going out to eat that night, and I didn’t want him being fussy. Ah, life with toddlers. Everything revolves around them.

My mom came over just after lunch, and we left in search of local garage sales, since there are signs littering the entire town. After over an hour of driving around, which was pretty quiet and uneventful, and not seeing anything of interest, we decided to drive to the mall so that Liam could play a bit before dinner. I stopped by Sears to see Kyle, but was told that he had just gone to lunch. I asked his co-worker if she could get him for me really quickly, as there wasn’t a single person in the store, and she was just standing at the register, but she told me she wasn’t allowed to (which is bullshit). Since I don’t have minutes on my phone, I couldn’t text him to tell him we were there, so we left, and hoped that he would be there when we came back through.

My mom bought me a late lunch at my favorite spot in the mall, and I shared a delicious, pretzel bread turkey sandwich with Liam, who already eaten lunch, but always insists on eating everything in sight. We also went into Maurice’s to scope out the huge clearance sale they were having. My mom tried to buy me every single article of clothing that I touched, not I kept telling her not to. She was not happy about that.

When we got to the play area, it was empty. I ran around with Liam for a while, but he was being naughty, and kept running out into the open mall, and I had to chase after him. There is a ramp and some stairs right outside of the play area, and he always runs toward them, which is frustrating and exhausting. My mom sat at the opposite end of the play area, taking videos and pictures the entire time. As we were going to leave, I asked her if I could see them to send some to myself, but she told me that she had deleted all of them, because none came out.

Well, okay then…

We left the play area, and my mom insisted on going into the mall bookstore to look at children’s books and puzzles for Liam. I saw so many books that I wanted to get for him, but I let my pride and my bad attitude take charge, and wouldn’t let my mom get any of them for him.

I don’t know why. I really don’t. I wanted them, he wanted them, and she wanted to buy them. I said no. What is wrong with me? Ugh.

I headed to the bathroom to change Liam, and my mom disappeared. When I came out, I was stopped by a young couple with a tiny baby, and we chatted a bit about babies and whatnot, before I went back to Sears. Luckily, Kyle was there this time, and he gave me the details on our dinner plans for the night. We were to meet his mom and step father at Applebee’s at 5:30, which was an hour from that point, and then he would be meeting us there at 6:00, after he got off work. I gave him a hug and kiss, and he got some cuddles from Liam, and I went back out to meet my mom and let her know what was happening.

Since we had an hour to kill, we decided to head to a local park that I had been to before, but had never visited the playground. It is a massive plot of land, with a cute lake, a bunch of walking trails, and a large playground, lined with sand, and surrounded by grass and trees. It is a beautiful park, and I wish we lived closer. Liam was barefoot, and as I placed him down on the grass, I remembered that he has never walked barefoot on grass, or sand. It only took him a few minutes of funny walking to get used to the it, and enjoy it… but he definitely did not care for the feeling of sand between his toes. It was funny.

There was another mom there, and she had two little ones with her, a toddler boy, and a tiny infant. Her son was about 2.5, and he watched us closely from the picnic area while Liam was on the swing. My mom sat herself beneath a tree, and watched us from a distance. She didn’t have much interest in playing until the end of our playground adventure. After nearly 15 minutes on the swing, we decided to explore the rest of the large playground, and the other little boy joined us! Rather than telling you about it, here are some pictures I took!

So that was fun!

We left the park around 5:20 and headed to meet Kyle’s mom and step father at Applebee’s. They were already there when we pulled up, and we sat in a large corner booth, and ordered our appetizers and entrees without Kyle, since he would be joining us a bit later. I ordered the Southwest Steak and Black Bean Soup, as well as the Crispy Cheddar Bacon Potatoes, for myself, and the kid’s Chicken Grillers and broccoli for Liam. It was all super delicious. I forget what Kyle’s meal was called, I think it was one of those “Build Your Own” things, but he got sweet potato fries, a steak, and some seriously amazing looking mac ‘n cheese.

It was a nice dinner. My mom and Candace politely went back and forth over who would pay the bill, as I expected, but they settled on splitting it evenly, which I also expected. We then gathered in the parking lot to put Liam’s car seat back into our Lincoln (it’s been in my mom’s rental all week), chat about some upcoming family events, and say our goodbyes.

There were hugs, and thank yous, and my mom cried.

And then it was over. She leaves tonight, and though her plane doesn’t leave for 3 hours still, and she has been sitting at the airport for 2 hours, she did not want to come by today. I’m okay with that. I had a nice week, and it was honestly good to see her, and for her to meet Liam, but I am completely drained. I don’t know when I will see her again, but I do know that I am happy to have things go back to normal around here. We definitely work better with a thousand, or more, miles between us.

I have a few other blogs I need to write, but I don’t know when that will happen. I need rest. I need to recharge.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Dream Journal 9/23/15

“I… who are you? How did you get here?” I asked him, suddenly terrified. My cabin was in the middle of the wilderness, a large lake, and thousands of trees, separating me from society. How had he gotten here?

Future.

I was a writer, and was working on my latest suspense/thriller novel, and I was staying in a large, log cabin in the woods, right on a gorgeous lake. Across the lake there was a large campground, and I could hear boats and children playing across the water. I spent most of my time staring out the window, watching the families in the distance, and trying to think of what to write.

One morning, I woke up to silence. I peered out the window while making coffee, and saw police lights, and officers coming the beaches of the lake. I frowned, wondering what happened.

I sat at my desk and continued typing on my computer, but stopped suddenly when I heard a noise coming from the bushes outside my the large bay window in my kitchen. I tensed up and walked to the window, I was immediately face-to-face with a young man, around 18 years old.

“Please, can you hide me?” He asked me, panic in his voice.

“I… who are you? How did you get here?” I asked him, suddenly terrified. My cabin was in the middle of the wilderness, a large lake, and thousands of trees, separating me from society. How had he gotten here?

“Please,” he repeated, tugging at his shirt nervously, “I need to hide.” He continued to pull at his shirt, and I realized now that he was soaking wet. He swam here.

“I’m sorry, this is private property, I need you to leave,” I said, reaching to shut the window, “I can’t help you, sorry.”

I pulled the window closed, and the young man took off running around the side of the house. I cursed loudly, unsure of where he was going. I ran to the front door, but it was too late, he was already standing in the doorway, dripping lake water onto the wood flooring.

“I’m not going to hurt you, I promise, please, I just need somewhere to hide.”

“Hide from what…?” I asked cautiously. Just then, I heard a news report on the TV in the living room.

“The body of 13-year-old Elizabeth Moran was found in Great Bear Lake this morning by her parents, Jacob and Theresa Moran. Witnesses say that they heard screaming coming from the beach early this morning, and witnessed a tall male running from the beach. Elizabeth’s 18-year-old brother, Derek, is currently missing and wanted for questioning. If you have any information…”

My eyes widened and I felt my heart beating rapidly in my chest. The young man stared at me intently, terror and sadness in his eyes.

“Are you… are you Derek?” I asked quietly.

He nodded sadly, “I didn’t hurt my sister. I heard it all. I saw a man, running out of the water. I saw her body, but it was too late. I panicked and ran, but there were people everywhere. They saw me, and then they were on their phones, calling the police. I had to run.”

I hook my head. If he hadn’t done anything wrong, couldn’t he just tell the police that? My thoughts were interrupted by the sound of tires on the dirt road leading up to my cabin. Through the trees I could see two police cars driving slowly up the road. Without thinking, I pulled the young man into the house, hissing at him to hide. He obliged, running down the hall and out of my sight.

There was a knock at the door only moments later, and I opened it, greeting the two officers standing there with a smile.

“We’re sorry to bother you, Mrs. Dalton, but we’re looking for a young man who is wanted for questioning in the drowning death of a young girl from just across the lake. Have you seen him?”

I tried my best to look shocked and horrified, “Oh, god! No! That’s tragic! I haven’t seen anyone officers, just been here working on my book. I will certainly let you know though!”

The officer who had been talking to me stared at me quizzically. I could tell he knew something was up. They thanked me for my time and turned to leave. I realized that his eyes briefly flickered over the puddle of water that they had been standing in.

“Better clean that up, ma’am,” the officer said to me, with a hint of warning, “You wouldn’t want to slip.”

My heart felt like it was going to explode as I watched them drive away.

“I didn’t hurt her,” Derek said quietly, walking back into the hall, “I wouldn’t.”

I nodded, and walked back to the kitchen. My coffee had gotten cold.
———————————–

Derek stayed with me for two days, and in that time, I grew to believe his story. The more he repeated it to me, the more I believed in his innocence. But he couldn’t stay in my cabin forever, so we made a plan to get him away.

I was driving through the woods in the dark, Derek was in the back seat with a blanket over him, hidden from the world. We got to a highway, and I gave him an envelope with some money in it, and told him to keep the blanket. He took off, and I turned in the opposite direction, but stopped.

There was a large, black lab sitting in the middle of the road. After a few seconds, a man stepped out from the shadowy bushes to my left, and I realized that it was the officer who had come to my cabin two days earlier. I hit the gas, swerving around the man and the dog, and drove.

About a mile down the road, I turned off, driving through grass and wilderness, avoiding trees in the darkness. Something caught my eye, distracting me for just a moment, and I crashed my car into a tree. The airbag hit me in the face, and my nose started to bleed.

I climbed out of my car in a daze, and could hear dogs barking nearby. I started to run through the woods until I made it back to the lake, and followed the rocky shore to my cabin. I locked myself inside, and retreated to the basement.

I was terrified at what would happen to me for helping a wanted man to escape, but I knew he was innocent. I sat there in the dark, waiting for the police to break my door down, but no one ever came.

So I walked back up the stairs, and sat at my desk. The sun was starting to come up, and I could hear birds singing. I started to type, continuing with my story.

And then I woke up.