Release, Renew, Rebirth

The dancing, licking, crackling flames grew ever higher in the charred witches’ pot; convincing her they would writhe and rise above the rim.

And yet, they did not.

To a mirrored dance within her fascinated gaze, the fire merely danced and licked and crackled ’round its assigned artifact: the last human’s heart.

Yes, she breathed.

Hardly blinking, she and shifting wall shadows watched the smoky Samba churn and char the once-beating organ to a new and better form.

Gasping at the fresh-forged heat, she reached in to eagerly release her new heart.

maxim-tajer-1174592-unsplash

Mixed and forged for Girlie on the Edge‘s Six Sentence Story.

 

Photo Credit:
Maxim Tajer

 

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Just Another Perk of Working

Waaaaay back when I worked a full-time job, I had a bit of a power struggle with one of our building’s renters. Our company leased the entire second floor of a two floor building and a few businesses leased the spaces beneath. One of those was an insurance agent.

As far as we could tell, the insurance agent did nothing. He was part of a huge umbrella company, like Allstate. He had no clients and took long lunches.

Yes, most of my team were people-watchers.

dmitry-ratushny-64773-unsplash

The conflict was over parking spaces. He raised a stink with the building manager, saying that he needed x number of spaces for his clients (who were nonexistent). Our rather large body of employees quickly exceeded the bounds of the lot. A few passive-aggressive maneuvers transpired until our manager asked us to respect the whiner’s parking spaces.

One day that was also the first day of my monthly cycle, I came to work feeling terrible. I parked in a no-no spot because, frankly, I did not care. I also parked there because I was certain I’d be asking my boss for the rest of the day off based on how I felt.

Cue a message from the insurance guy, who literally had nothing better to do than spy on his spaces.

Cue my boss sending me a message about how Allstate Junior wanted me to move my car.

Cue my response: Screw the insurance guy.

I got up, moved my car, took pain medications, and worked the rest of the day. Incident forgotten -or so I thought.

Months -YES, MONTHS!- later, our boss quit. A woman named Jadis* took over, since she’d been in no position that should have been promoted but we later learned the whole team was being phased out so the head people at our company really didn’t care.

Jadis decided that she should meet with each of us. She said it was a way to get to know everyone; she probably added some tripe about team unity or whatnot. I didn’t know her very well and entered the meeting in good faith.

How little I knew.

That meeting was the worst I’ve ever had -and I’ve been fired whilst pregnant (another story, another time). Jadis proceeded to tell me that I had a terrible attitude as an employee and that I wasted time. She showed me the message I had sent to our team lead all those months ago. She explained that I would be logging every half hour each day to show I wasn’t wasting company time. She made it clear that I was on thin ice and had better shape up.

I was shocked. Yes, what I had typed about the insurance guy was immature and inappropriate. No one said anything at the time, so I thought it done and over with. Just to be sure, I tracked down our former boss and asked him. I apologized to him. No, he told me, he hadn’t been offended. Yes, he’d completely forgotten it.

Jadis, meanwhile, made my work life hell. No one had any work to do, yet I (alone) had to log my productivity. I made up things like, “verified accuracy of past files,” or “organized workspace.” I even wrote when I used the bathroom or ate lunch.

It was a double slap to the face, considering that one of the other employees had not been clocking out for lunch, had been reported by everyone, and had yet to be reprimanded or fired.

If you’re wondering where I’m going with today’s post, it is here: I think everyone has had a horrible boss or supervisor. I think you all have stories. You may have to give us the truncated version, here, but who was it? What did he or she do? Does the story have a happy ending?

witch-725447_1920.jpg

My story does, in a way, but I’ll leave that for another lengthy post. In the meantime, share your dirt. Go on: I promise I won’t make you tell me when you used the bathroom.

 

*Name changed

—————-

After the catharsis of ratting on your terrible employer, read what I did last week:
Wednesday, March 27: A bit of a mind trip in disassociation with “Where IS My Mind?

Thursday, March 28: “The Cure for Depression: Help Someone Else,” another suggestion in a series originally posted over at The Bipolar Writer Mental Health Blog.

Friday, March 29: Winner of the Weekly Terribly Poetry Contest. Congratulations to Joanne the Geek!

Saturday, March 30: Announced the 20th Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest. The theme is Springtime Haiku. PLEASE ENTER!

Also posted my answers and nominations for The Mystery Blogger Award.

Sunday, March 31: “Glad Tidings of Nymble” for Carrot Ranch‘s prompt.

Monday, April 1: My answers and nominations for The Liebster Award.

Tuesday, April 2:  An inspirational quote from a piece by Violet Lentz.

Finally posted “Wilhelmina Winters, Eighty-Eight.”

Wednesday, April 3: Today.

I also posted all this week at my motherhood site. I wrote “Don’t Give In, and Stay Sane Doing So,” “The Good Old Days,” and “The Polls are In (a poem).”

 

Photo Credit:
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash
Image by 942987 from Pixabay

When the Stakes Are High

It wasn’t till the hungry flames were nearly at her hem that Briar’s thoughts turned to self-reflection. Before that point she was, quite naturally, declaring innocence whilst returning insults.

Her efforts were of no use. The fire rose higher, the smoke stung her lungs and eyes, the cackling jeers grew louder than the crackling logs. She could see her angry accusers through the wafting smoke lines.

“Witch! Witch! Witch!” they chanted.

These simple townsfolk had no brains. If she were a witch, wouldn’t she be gone? She sighed; coughed. She never should have left her staff under the bed.

belal-shahab-362302-unsplash

 

Bound and burned for Carrot Ranch‘s writing prompt.

Fractured Fairy Tales That Lost

A long time ago, in a place right here where I’m typing on my laptop, the mystical land of Carrot Ranch advertised a contest to write Fractured Fairy Tales and I submitted some stories.

I didn’t win (bit of a sore issue; don’t ask), but did go a little overboard coming up with ideas. In short, I had a blast. The rules were stuff about word limit (99 words), something about fracturing a fairy tale, and another bit about including food.

Here were my entries:

Cinderella

Prince Charming sat, morose.

“Sir?!” His paige approached. “Your Highness requested we search for the girl -”

Lady, Stebbs.”

“…Lady… and to report if we found anything…”

The prince looked up. Hope peeked from a drawn, pale face. “Well?”

*Ahem* “We scoured the dance floor…”

“Yes?!”

“Erm. Nothing.”

The light in Charming’s eyes dimmed slightly.

“But,” Stebbs continued, “Then we searched the landing.”

“And?!”

“We-e-e-ell, actually, nothing as well.”

*Sigh*

“But,” the paige said, “Then we went to the staircase.”

Prince Charming steeled himself. “And?”

His paige proudly extracted an object from his waistcoat. “The lady left behind …an apple core!”

Author’s note: this seems to come out at 100 words, which may be due to my changing the last three words from ‘a hair’ to ‘an apple core’ to ensure that food was mentioned as part of following rules. Whoops.

michael-d-beckwith-577546-unsplash.jpg

Snow White

“Erg damatha gloric zah!”

Bubbling light danced in the old hag’s rheumy, bloodshot eyes. Carefully, she lowered the basket to the cauldron’s surface.

“Erg damatha gloric zoon!”

The potion within foamed and rose; drenching basket, fruit, and tips of long, black fingernails. She lifted all free, frowning at what remained of her nails. Then, Aldetha saw the produce.

“Eeeergha!” she screeched, startling her talking crow out of sleep.

“Cerraw!” he shouted, flapping. “Whaaat?!”

“My spellll!” Aldetha lamented.

Her crow looked at the dripping basket.

She sniffed. “They’re ruined!”

“Well,” he considered, “Maybe you shouldn’t have tried to poison watermelon.”

neha-deshmukh-10734-unsplash

Perhaps I ought to have titled these. The site of losers entries has all of mine as ‘Untitled.’ Double whoops.

The Three Little Pigs

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs. Like all pigs, they spent their days lounging in mud and eating table scraps from the bushy-bearded farmer.

One day, the pigs’ mother told them they’d have to go out into the world. “And whatever you do,” she warned, “Watch out for the big, bad wolf.”

The pigs agreed, though felt sore at being put out and away from the mud. Accordingly, each decided to build himself his own pit.

Before any could acquire straw, sticks, or brick; however, Farmer Wolf slaughtered them all and sold the meat at market.

casey-deviese-697368-unsplash

Bacon sure is tasty.

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel -both greedy tikes-
Set out to find more food.
They’d bread; yes, and water, but thought to try
To get cake and eat it, too.

“Look, Gretel,” said Hansel,
“I see a house, all sugar and gingerbread.”
His sister, a-rumbled, thought that sounded swell.
Said she, “Let’s go right ahead.”

But, alas for the pair
Who ne’er thought in sense,
A witch saw them circling
And licking her fence.

The morsels drew nearer; Witch smiled, she sighed;
She plotted and recipe’d.
But, Gretel, with roof piece and Hansel with pane, cried,
“Ugh! It’s all gluten free!”

hansel-and-gretel-551317_1920

Gotta love a terrible poem, right?

Boo the Ghost

Boo the Ghost shivered in the doorway of the old, dark house. His job was to haunt it all night.

His friend, Wally the Werewolf, scrambled by. “Hey, Boo! Come howl with me.”

“Sorry,” Boo said. “I can’t.”

Next, Freddy the Frankenstein stomped past. “Hey, Boo! Come moan with me!”

“Sorry,” Boo said. “I can’t.”

Wilma the Witch flew by with her cauldron. “Hi, Boo! Why don’t you come fly?”

“Sorry,” Boo said. “I can’t fly, either.”

All of Boo’s friends looked at each other. “Then,” they said, “WE will come to you.”

And they all haunted the house together.

spirit-1775547_1280

 

Made with the help of all my invisible friends for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest.

Wanda Witch

Wanda Witch sat frowning.
Her cauldron sat a-bubbl’ng.
She’d wanted to concoct a treat;
The recipe was troubl’ng.

“Eye of newt? Skin of dog?
Dead frog’s toes and liver?”
The thought of even touching one
Made fingers shake and shiver.

She called her faithful crow;
It came, it perched, it said,
“You need a diff’rent recipe
With yummy things, instead.”

Nodding, Wanda looked around.
The coast was clear and so,
Adding this and stirring that,
Formed a tasty, sug’ry dough.

The cauldron sat, still bubbl’ng.
The crow flew to his rookery.
The witch removed a steaming pan:
Howl-een chocolate cookies.

bubble-2022390_1280

 

Created and simmered for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Halloweensie Contest.