October 6

Frog in the Throat

There was nothing on the TV! Why was I even buying this stupid service? Out of the five thousand channels there was nothing good on. Frustrated, I threw the remote across the coffee table.
Sitting on the coffee table was a coke. Wait, what? I stare at the coke trying to remember opening it.
“Man, I must be really losing it,” I mutter to myself. “I don’t remember opening it.” The offending coke still sat there giving me no answers. “Now that I think about it, I didn’t buy any either.” I walked over to the fridge. Nope, nothing in the fridge. Panic started to set in, did I have dementia? I sat back down on the couch. I took a cautious swig of the coke.
“Knock, knock” I hear my sister singing as she knocked on the screen door. I scowled at her as I opened the door. “What’s up with you?” She sang at me.
“Croak” I said. I touched my throat. “Croak.”
My sister giggled hysterically. “What’s up with you? Are we playing frog?” She started laughing again as I tried to emphatically tell her with my eyes to shut up. She didn’t listen. I tried again.
“Okay, it was funny the first time. There is a certain time when it stops being funny.”
“Croak.” I said trying to tell her I know.
“I said stop it, sis. Really! It was only funny the first time.”
I tried to gesture with my hand motions to the coke on the table. When I looked back at the table, the coke was gone. My sister was starting to look at me with horror. Where was the coke? No, I didn’t just dream everything, did I? True panic was starting to set in.
“Hey Mel, you look like you are a little green.” I glared at her. “No, really.”
This was not a good day for my sister to come over. What was I thinking? I pointed towards the door.
“No, Mel. Look in the mirror.”
I looked and stared in horror as I watched my face turn a deeper and uglier green. “Croak.” I tried to scream, but only croaks came out of my mouth.
My sister was slowly backing up away from me. “No, don’t leave” I wanted to scream. “Please, save me from myself.” But my sister was already out the door. I heard the door slam as I felt myself shrinking.
A disembodied voice called out to me as I finally shrunk down. “The Spell can only be broken through true love’s first kiss.”
I woke up with a start. The TV was blaring with the credits of the Princess and the Frog. Ugh, that was a horrible dream. Wait…why is there a coke on my coffee table?

September 28

My Adventure at Sea

The Bermuda Triangle. The words themselves seemed ominous. My crew begged me not to head into the Bermuda Triangle, but I refused to listen to them. What a fool I’ve been! The storm ragged and the boat rocked back and forth, groaning against the storm. My men scurried along the ship, baling water and screaming in terror. I stood stoically at the wheel, trying my hardest not to show any emotions.

“Captain! Captain!” My first mate scurried up to me. His dark hair was matted to the top of his head, his eyes showed fear and desperation. “The ship has sprung a leak.”

I felt my blood drain from my face. We were not any closer to our destination. For sure we were going to sink. I wanted to berate myself for not listening to my crews superstitions, for wanting to get there sooner to see my love. Julia. Just the name made me wish to see her, to touch her.

“Fix it.” I stated, trying not to let my feelings show on my face. “Get the tar and fix the stupid hole.” I took a deep breath as the first mate started talking.

“We threw over the tar, Captain.”

Julia, oh Julia. I thought to myself. I would never see you again. The boat lurched and I felt myself losing my grip on the wheel. I scrambled and righted myself, but the First Mate was not lucky enough. He pitched forward and fell overboard. I sucked in a breath and felt the icy waters splashing at my feet, soaking through the boots that Julia had given me. The roar of the waves crashed against the boat, true fear began to eat at me. Maybe this time I wouldn’t get away.”You.” I screamed at the nearest man. He turned to me and ran over. “Find something to get that leak taken care of.” He scrambled away as the next wave crashed over the struggling boat. The icy water was almost to my knees. The man I had sent had been swept off the boat. The other men around me had lost hope. They gripped the boat bleakly and stared at the churning water waiting, waiting for the death that would surely come.

I gripped the wheel as I heard the screams of the men that I sentenced to death. This is what it felt like to be responsible, responsible for the crew that succumbed to the watery depths below.

Goodbye Julia. I wish that I could have seen you one last time. If only, I had listen to my crew…

September 22

I Spy with My Little Eye

It was a long day. I passed into the break room after just getting off the phone with a difficult customer. I pulled my hand through my hair and grabbed the coffee pot–cold coffee…great. I grimaced at the bitterness of the coffee and glanced outside. I took in the pristine and impersonal skyscrapers that dotted downtown LA. If life was different… I stopped and my blood ran cold. A man stood in my line of vision sitting on a bench below. He had a black briefcase with him.

“Lisa, are you alright?” My boss walked in looking immaculate in a navy blue coat that brought out his blue eyes. His dark brown hair was combed to the side. I turned to him and gave him a reassuring smile.

“The coffee is a little cold.” I glanced outside again and the man had disappeared. Belatedly, I realized Rob was talking. “What did you say?”

I felt myself blush as he perused me again. “I said that is a shame. What is really troubling you?”

I nearly panicked. I couldn’t tell him what I had seen, it would raise questions that I was not willing to answer. I groped for anything that would satisfy my boss’s curiosity. “I just got off the phone with a particularly difficult customer.” I rubbed my neck and tried to smile at him. “They were upset about a delivery.”

“I’m sure you handled it just fine.” He gave me a reassuring smile.

“Thanks.” I tore my gaze from the window and skirted the boss. “I better get back to it.”

I walked down the hallway feeling his eyes on my back. He knew something was up. I entered my office and grabbed my bag. I knew that I only had two minutes to grab everything and leave. Rob had taken too much of my time. I felt the regret shimming down my back. If only things were different. I unlocked the top drawer and grabbed the familiar weight of the gun.

“Lisa?” I sighed and turned towards my boss. “Where are you going?”

“Family emergency.” I told him. It was partly the truth.

“I hope it is not serious.”

“No. I’ll call you.”

I rushed out of the office before he could ask any more questions. I glanced down at my watch–3o seconds. Drats! I hit the elevator button. The elevator opened and I ran inside it, pressing the lobby button. I held the closed button as it went down twelve stories.

“You’re late.” My contact said as I nonchalantly walked up to him.

“You’re not supposed to be here,” I glanced around. “I’m out of the business.” Rick laughed. He wore a black suit that was filled out with the muscles that he had accumulated from his line of work.

“That is not what your father says.” He took off his sunglasses and stared at me.

“My father doesn’t understand. After Dan died…” I broke off and blinked away the moisture. “It is no longer worth it.”

“Your brother wouldn’t have wanted this, Lisa.”

I heard the gunshots and saw Dan crumble before my eyes. I pushed away from Rick’s probing eyes. “I just can’t.” I started to walk away.

“Your father–he is dead.” I stopped in my tracks and turned back to Rick.

“What? How?”

Rick’s eyes looked distant. “There was a rogue spy. He didn’t see it coming–none of us did.”

I felt my heart ready to burst. I needed to get away, away from Rick, away from here.

“They are going to come after you, Lisa. Please, I need your help.”

I crumbled on the sidewalk. Gone was the normal corporate woman I wanted to become. I looked over at Rick.  “What do we need to do?”



September 15

Night at the Museum

It was thirty minutes before the museum was closing when I made it through the security metal detectors.

“Little late to be seeing the museum, sweetheart.” The old man said as he beckoned me through the metal detectors.

“Oh, I know this museum like the back of my hand. I don’t need very long to see it.” I smiled at the old man before grabbing my backpack off of the conveyor belt.

“Well, I hope you have fun.”

“I will,” I promised before entering the throng of people. Once in the crowd I disappeared, becoming just an ordinary teen. My hair was plain brown and pulled into a pony tail. My jeans were slightly baggy, giving the appearance of youth. My dirty green backpack completed the look. However, even though I looked like a teen, I was not. I pushed through the throng of people and looked at the various paintings on the wall. I walked like a bored teen wishing that she was somewhere else than at a museum full of forgotten artifacts. I watched mothers hurrying their children to the exit as the announcement was made that the Museum of Fine Arts was closing. Instead of heading for the exit, I headed for the bathroom.


I had been sitting in the bathroom for over an hour. I heard the security guards making their periodical checks throughout the museum before I heard the buzz of the alarm being set. I pulled on my black leather gloves before getting down from my perch on the toilet seat. I smiled. They never check the third stall. I quickly ran through the knowledge that I had of the museum. There were twenty-eight cameras–none were pointed at the bathroom. I had one item that I needed to get–a beautiful painting by an unknown artist. After today, it would be famous. It always was after I struck.

I pulled open the stall and quickly made it through two cameras blind spots. They needed to update their system. I pulled up short to my prize. The ocean scene was beautiful. I had watched the painting the last two weeks as people streamed past it without noticing it. I had watched it, until I had memorized every detail of the beautiful painting.

“I knew you would be here.”

I stopped and turned around slowly. Josh was standing there, smiling at me.

“Blasted,” I whispered. “What ARE you doing here?”

He moved closer, obviously oblivious that we were standing in a dark museum. “Seeing you. You are getting sloppy. Obviously, you couldn’t stop.”

I gave him a look and moved away from the painting. I needed to get away from him–from my past. “I told you that I’m done with that.”

“That’s why we are standing in a dark museum.”

I gave him a look. “If you must know I found a clue and I’m working for someone–someone who is not a crook.”

He laughed at the comment like it was something funny. “If you change your mind, you know where to find me.” He started walking away. “Oh, there will be a guard here in two minutes.”

I turned from the painting in frustration and made my exit. There was no way I could get that painting now.



September 8

A Phone Call

Your phone rings in the middle of the night. An indiscernible voice speaks: “There is a car waiting for you outside your house. Get inside. You don’t want to ignore this.” Your spouse rolls over, eyes squinting, and says, “Everything okay?” What happens next? (Prompt from Reader’s Digest)


The phone rings and I sit up immediately and grab the phone off the wardrobe. I’m getting to old for this. An indiscernible voice speaks: “There is a car waiting for you outside your house. Get inside. You don’t want to ignore this.”

I get out of bed slowly. Greg rolls over and says, “Everything okay?” Arrg…I woke him up.

“Fine. Just work.” He squints his eyes at me and sits up. His black hair was rumbled from sleep and his silver-blue eyes became alert. “I thought you were off.”

I moved to the dresser and grabbed a black top and pants. “Obviously not.”

“I don’t want you to go this time. Tell them to bring someone else in.” I gave an exasperated sigh.

“We’ve been over this before. When I get called in I can’t refuse, even if I want to.” I changed hurriedly into my clothes. Greg got up and watched me. I could feel his disapproval, wafting off of him. “What?” I said when he didn’t respond.

“It’s different now. We have a family–kids that need you.” He gestured around at the bedroom and the rest of the house. “What do I tell them when you are not home tomorrow? How do I explain if you never come home?” He stopped. It was the same argument every time I got a call. He couldn’t deal with my job. I remember the first time I had gotten a call and he nearly flipped.

“This is my job! This is what I do. You are asking me to change who I am.” His face hardened.

“I’m asking you to think of your children, Mary.” I turned away and grabbed my duffel bag and loaded it up with the various things that I would need–toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, and gadgets.

“It’s not that simple. My boss will kill me for not going…literally.” I pulled out my handgun and loaded it with a magnet of bullets. “I didn’t think that I would have a family or you, but you changed that. If my boss knew that I had a family–” I left the words hang in the air. “I took a big risk by marrying and having kids.”

“A risk you could have avoided if you had been up front with me in the beginning.” His anger was apparent on his face.

“I’m sorry, if I back out our kids won’t have a mother.”

“They don’t have one right now.”I walked out of the room and slipped down the stairs. I tried telling myself I was doing the right thing, but my heart was saying different. “Wait!” Greg grabbed me by the shoulders. “I love you.” He looked into my eyes. “Stay safe.” I nodded my head and gave him a hug.

I walked out the door and got into the unmarked car.

“How did he take it?” My partner Marty smiled at me from across the seat. He was the only one that knew the story.

“Not well.”

“It’s your job.”

“Yes, sometimes I wish it wasn’t.”

We took off down the dark and desolate street. Will I be coming back this time?