November 6, 2015
Writing Prompt: What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?
Camden Krough, now a frail old man, arrived at the Johnsons’ doorstep with a sad face. He knew Grim would come for him any moment, and he had one important affair to get in order. “I’m sorry–” he blurted out the moment Bliss opened the door.
He stopped short, taken aback by her appearance. He had expected her to be a gray-haired, wrinkly elder like himself; instead, he found her to be more beautiful than ever. The only wrinkles she showed were well-earned smile lines; her hair was as long and dark as it was when they were children.“Don’t apologize,” she said, handing him a piece of Spooky Day candy as peace offering. “The past is past.” Bliss had long ago made amends with him, but the two never truly mended their friendship. By the time he came back into her life, they both had families and lives of their own.
“Your hair…it’s long,” Camden finally choked out. “I like it.”
“And yours hasn’t changed a bit, well aside from the…” Bliss teased playfully.
“Gray, I know,” he finished. It was like old times — himself, Bliss, finishing each other’s sentences, the park, the play dates, their prom…
A small smile lit his face as his life began to flash before his eyes.
November 2, 2015
I guess I had some pretty high expectations for my teen years. I thought it would be like: Watching funny sim.tv videos and sharing the latest juicy high school gossip with my little sister,Having late night adventures with my friends and taking selfies so we would always remember,Spending the night with my loyal, loving boyfriend and being complimented on my bedhead in the morning.
I guess I had too high expectations, because, unfortunately, it’s been more like…Realizing my sister has already seen those funny videos and already knows all of the juicy gossip,Realizing my best friend will get more Likes on that solo selfie than our couple selfies ever will,Realizing my boyfriend is a cheater and a coward who doesn’t deserve the time of day let alone my love.
Can I age up, already?
I should have taken another day off work. I’m finding it a bit difficult to focus after spending the past five hours consoling my heartbroken teenage daughter.I’m finding it especially difficult to pick up the slack for everyone around here. Patients are waiting at the front desk with no receptionist or nurses in sight. I searched the upper floor — no nurses in sight. I searched the check-up rooms — nothing. I’m the on-call doctor for the maternity wing — it should have been empty.“Are you a complete and total idiot? You cannot bring contagious patients into the maternity wing! Pack your things, Hodge. I want you out of this hospital now! And Dale, don’t think I’m finished with–” I was interrupted by a loud thud in the lobby. “Dale, come with me. I’m going to show you what I’ll do to you if you break my daughter’s heart one more time…” I really should have taken another day off.
Nathanael Johnson — doctor
Bliss Johnson — dead patient
Jenna Johnson — zombie schoolgirl
Julianna Johnson — festive performance outfit
Jonah Johnson — headless horseless horseman
Haleigh Day — pregnant zombie schoolgirl
“Hat Guy” Billy — gladiator
Duke Nye (stepbrother of Dale) — flirty guy
Dale Nye (unpictured) — ninja
Vivienne Hodge (unpictured) — Princess Leia
Behind The Scenes:
This party was full of drama. Guests came and went all night; Dale didn’t show up until the very end. Jenna found him dancing in the gazebo; little did she know, he had brought his baby mama as his date. She was heartbroken when he flirted with someone else right in front of her. She picked a fight with Nurse Hodge — dishing out everything from insulting her music taste to implying her mother is a llama. The night ended with Ninja-Dale sneaking away, Nurse Hodge soaked in fruit punch, and Jenna gleefully running home.
Dale sighed to himself. After days of preparing an apology speech in his head, he had finally mustered up the courage to talk to Jenna. There she was — as beautiful as always — sitting with her mother. He barely got two sentences out before she (literally) ran away. He looked around the festival grounds, hoping to see some sign of her. Straight in front of him were a couple of produce stands.
I should’ve bought her some flowers, he cursed himself silently.The big Spooky Day celebration was only hours away. The park had really come together; the hospital was sponsoring the event at Bliss Johnson’s request, and all of the doctors had put in overtime to set up the decorations. Nathanael Johnson offered to cater; he had concocted all kinds of slimy, green and black-colored ice cream flavors just for the event. Rumor had it there would also be a cheesy eyeball dish served later on in the night.Even Julianna had signed up to help. She was running the kissing booth, sponsored by a new lingerie store that recently popped up in Magnolia Promenade. She would later be performing her new comedy routine on-stage.Jenna, who opted to not help with anything due to her recent troubles, found herself hiding out in the fortune teller’s tent. The fortune teller was nowhere to be found, but the peace and quiet alone was enough to help clear her head and figure some things out. She considered the situation from Dale’s perspective, and she knew what she had to do.Finally, she took a deep breath and ventured out of the tent to find her mother. She needed one last piece of advice before she did anything rash. “Are you sure you’re ready to handle that kind of responsibility?”
“No, but I’m ready to try.”
“Then you’re ready.”
“Dale! I need to talk to you!” As soon as Jenna caught Dale’s attention, Dale’s father, Jaxen, fell from his chair at the chess table. A loud shriek came from one woman; another burst into tears. Bliss ran to Jaxen’s side, checking for a pulse, but it was too late. She knew there was only one way to save him now. Her knees shook as she pleaded with the reaper.The reaper responded in a low growl, “Trust me, you want me to take him today. If you people knew the legends as well as you know brands of candy, you’d know that tonight is the night ghosts travel to the netherworld. Do you really want him to be stuck here, haunting the park, for a whole year?” Bliss hung her head low. “No,” Grim answered for her. “Let him go.”
“What’s this about, Mom? I don’t need another lecture about leaving incense burning, if that’s–”
“I just want to talk with you, come sit down.”
“So…how has school been?”
“Dunno. Haven’t been for two days.” “And why is that?”
“Dunno. Just…stuff.”“Jenna, you know I have no problem with you skipping school — if you tell me why. If something is going on that I need to know about, I expect you to tell me. Don’t think I haven’t noticed Dale’s absence around the house…what happened?”
“Okay, look, Dale and I…we had a thing, y’know. Then one day he comes over and tells me he…You know that nurse, ‘Hodge’ or something? He…she’s pregnant! He got her plumming pregnant! Like, sure, we hadn’t ‘defined the relationship’ or anything, but I thought…y’know–““It sounds like you two have some things to talk about–”
“He won’t talk to me! He keeps plumming ignoring–oh, plum. Don’t look, Mom, here he comes…”“Jenna!”
“I think I’ll go help your father with the snacks for tonight…you two have fun! Nice to see you, Dale!”Plummit, Mom…
“It’s been so long! How are you?” “Err, I…good. I’ve gotta go.”
“Uh…okay. See ya!” I guess…