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Clockwork Holiday

LOVE LOST FICTION
by Queenie

Chapter One
Slow Hands

They were standing behind the mall. Phill handed John the cigarette, shuffling his feet.
"I think it is going to happen tonight," Phil said, head bent, muttering to the ground.
"Yeah, buddy?" John asked, slowly.
Phill looked up at the steel grey November sky, before he replied.
"She just smells so great."
John shoved him in the arm, a short chuckle.
"Buddy, you are weird," he smiled.

Chapter Two
Every Hour, On The Hour

Miranda sat in the bathroom, her head against the bathroom door, sometimes cool on her forehead. She could not take another day. She did not know what to do.
Eighteen days and counting.
She could feel it rising again, deep inside of her, feel the burn as it made it's way up.
She reached the toilet just in time.
And she was quiet while she vomited.
She grabbed Phill before homeroom, pulling him outside the big green doors of the high school.
They skipped school and sat in the woods.
They both …

Anything Goes

Four Years Old

Tommy slapped her baby hands, watching the faint pink spread through her soft flesh.
She had tried to pull back the green curtains again.
Momma had not been home for two days and the phone was ringing all the time. Tommy was mad because it was so close to dark and he would have to shut-off the TV soon. Sissy was wide awake.
Tommy let the tears rush down his face, as Sissy screamed, her face red, her eyes mad at him.
"No, no, no, Sissy," he tried to keep his voice quiet, he squeaked. "No, remember. No. We have to be quiet."
She screamed louder, moving closer to his face.
Sissy was so, so mad at him.
"Cookies, Sissy, we have two more cookies."

He felt her dirty hands and eyes watch as he moved towards the sink, holding her baby bottle.
The milk was almost gone; he filled the bottle the rest of the way with water, just a quarter full of milk to begin with inside.
He could feel the anger, his tears almost dry on his cheeks and he wanted to kill Momma.…

Feeding The Habit

Life Is A Highway
8 Years Old

I enjoyed my morning walks to school; I no longer had to walk my younger brother there. Mikey could run like the wind was after his soul and he was daring her to take it, in those days. The boy ran to school every morning.
I would stop at the end of the long driveway, following the brown picket fence to the sidewalk.
I would open the book I was carrying and walk down the sidewalk, with assurance. I knew every dip, every incline. It was not as risky as it seemed. My nose buried. In fantasy. Not watching.
Until I would arrive in front of the Ross' home. They had a dark black driveway. With brick columns at the end of it on either side. That had surveillance cameras in them. The big brick house always had the curtains drawn. I missed the steps of the little white chapel that had been sitting there instead, only a year before hand. I always walked fast passed their home, comfortable when I came to the smaller and grander stone fence of their Porch…

Acceptable Forms Of Revenge

8 Months Old

There she was sitting in her silly looking yellow and green bouncing thing that had taken over the good old fashioned Jolly Jumper. The large circle thing took up so much space in my small living room; I was always stubbing my toe on it.
And there she was, my beautiful daughter grinning and bouncing and babbling...
"Mom, mom, mom."
After she had been up all night long.
Keeping me awake. All night long.
That is when I noticed a small blue squirt gun sitting beside the couch, left behind by a cousin.
So, I went and filled it up.

For the rest of the day, when my daughter's smile got to be too much for me too handle-I would squirt water at her. I would do this with amazing sneakiness.
She would be all smiles and then wet.
She would stop smiling. Her face would pucker up into a frown and she would let out two short cries before narrowing her eyes and looking around.
She would even look at me.
I would just pretended I was watching the TV.
It was so much fun, I …

Ladies In Red

It was three nights ago now, close to bedtime when my son informed me there had been a lady bug in his Lamp Shade all day.
"Lady Bugs are nice Bugs," I said.
"Yeah," he replied.
I thought about...

...a few weeks ago when The Spider had been in his Lamp Shade. A Spider with long legs.
My son had noticed him at three in the afternoon. Both of us just decided to not go into his room for the rest of the day.
I even let him stay-up half an hour later than usual.
The Spider was still in the Lamp Shade, when I had to put him to bed.
And my son was not going to go to sleep with The Spider in his room.
And I am never touching a spider.
So, I got out the broom and killed my second spider ever...

Bradlee and his mother are Everyday visitors in my home. Bradlee's mother likes coffee. Like me. But sometimes we have to drink pop. And once, orange juice.
The boys always take off to my son's room. And they are heathens. But in away that really hurts no one. Hardly…

Into This World We're Thrown

13 Years Old

I once had the cutest boyfriend. His name was Chris. Everyone called him Babyface.
He had long blonde hair, halfway down his back and blue eyes. He wore jean jackets. And glasses when he had to read something.
He wore pink because he could, not because he was questioning his sexuality. He knew already, it brought it out.
I remember leaning up against him, between his legs; in my older brother's room passing bottles of Southern Comfort and lemon gin. And bubblegum
Chris liked Metallica like me. Chris taught me about The Doors.
On a Friday afternoon, at 11:35 a.m., I would look out the door of my typing class and there would be Chris and Bill. We would hang out at the mall and I would not go back to class.

I met Chris on a dare.(Do you remember, Juner?)
We were making prank phone calls. Some rude. Some dirty. All funny. Someone knew Chris and the telephone was put in my hand.
"Call him," I was urged. "Do Sexy Sylvia."
So, of course I did.
"Hel…

Mountains

Grade One

Adam's backyard faced the back of the school yard. Adam's backyard was a huge hill.
Being in the same grade with Adam meant many field trips to his house in the winter months for tobogganing.
His mother had long brown hair and she always had rice crispie squares and hot chocolate waiting for us when we were done.

Adam had orange hair and eye glasses. He wore plaid button up shirts tucked into his corduroy pants.
One day his shoe fell off during recess.
"You do not have toenails!" I said to him, surprised.
"I know," he said.
"Why?" I asked.
"I Dunno," he replied. "No one in my family does."
"Did you ever have them?"
"Yes," he said.
This scared me.

Adam was the smartest kid in class. He could draw real well. I could not. I remember wanting to tear up his picture of little Indian men.

Mrs. McCrory was our teacher. She liked it when we read books. If you read 10 books you would get a pin, 20 bo…

Love Lost Fiction

LADDERS
by Queenie

Chapter One
Climbing

It had been a surprise to meet up with him in the city Eve had moved to only a month before hand.
"Hey," he had said and smiled at her, stopping on the sidewalk. He had looked fabulous wearing his designer jeans and baggy Roots sweater in the Saturday afternoon sunlight.
"Oh, wow," she had replied back. "Bobby fucking Gilmore. I cannot believe it."
She had been embarrassed when he asked her to the local deli for a sandwich and a Coke. But she went with him anyway, still dressed in her suit and Prada shoes from her weekend morning at the office.
They had talked for hours. And walked, too.
It was dusk before they arrived, standing in front of her doorstep and of course, she had invited him in for coffee.
They had been sitting on her leather sofa when he suddenly looked over at her.
"Remember all that time ago in the back of Dan's Pontiac?"
Eve smiled, because she did.
And their love making that night seemed fami…

Fly In The Coop

Stupid Fly has been living in my house for almost a month. Even when I removed more screens from my windows so Chicky could bring his own budgie ass home; Stupid Fly never left. Stupid Fly however, did welcome the company of his own I think, as a few other Flying Things stopped in for a visit then. Chicky never did make his way back home.
For the most part, I ignored Stupid Fly. I saw him seldom and only remarking to Stupid Fly that obviously drinking from the toilet was making him more retarded made The Voice heckle me.
So, I pretty much pretended Stupid Fly did not exist.
Except that one time I opened up the Hallway Closet and he came bobbling out. He looked no real worse for the wear, mind you. He still had a glazed look to him as he flew down the Hallway. He almost bumped into the walls five times. That was his average.
I said "Stupid Fly, I am sorry."
The Hallway Closet had not been opened in three days.

Stupid Fly was pretty quiet as far as Flying Things go. He did …

Hooker 101

She wanted it so bad, she could feel it every waking minute.
She had nothing to offer anyone, but she wanted to be able to.
Hand to mouth, she lived, breathing life-fire into those around her. Everyone she could. It kept her life-fire alive.
Her one hope alive.
And that was going to happen.
God, she could smile.

Until the last moment. She was two days away from it all.
Oh, she had the money in her hands, the exact amount.
She had pulled every string in her hand to mouth existence to make sure of it.
But something else had fallen through. Nobody's fault. It just had.
And the money in her hand suddenly had new responsibility.

She made some phone calls and then she took some.
She tried on some clothes. She did not have what she needed. She just did her best.
At least she owned some really bad make-up.
She filled her bag and then got dressed in her favorite outfit.

She had no idea where to really go. So, she just picked a place and used a public washroom.
Afterall, telephone booths were too …

Punks-Not Right After The Beginning

Minnie was 14. She liked bright red lipstick and getting high.
Minnie wanted to go over to visit her best friend, Krystal, she told Tommy.
"Whatever," he said.
"You do not care if we go there?" she asked him.
"No," he said.
But he did.
Minnie wondered why.

Tommy was a teenager so he took ally ways when he could. Minnie like ally ways, too. Downtown had a few lean ones behind the old buildings built too close together.
The smell of garbage was stale and seemed to seep out of the bricks of the stores that had been there forever. Or so Minnie's mother said.
Halfway down, behind the hardware store, she bounced her hip off his, catching Tommy off guard. He stumbled, scattering stone, before he caught himself.
"Hey-" he said, looking at her.
"Wanna make-out?" she bit her lip and grinned at him.

She placed her hands on his shoulders, coming closer to his face. She looked up at him. Tommy watched her red lips part slightly and he cou…

27

I guess when I was two years old, I used to kiss my Aunt Sue's butt. Because she told me too.
I have no doubts I did.

I discovered at five years old, there was nothing better then my Aunt Sue, though. One night she gave me a party pooper perm and did my face all up with make-up. It was close to midnight before she was done dressing me up in my Grandmother's kitchen.
My eyes were glazed as I looked in the mirror, trying to see myself. The perm was gone by morning. She told me I could keep the shirt she had lent me. I wore it every time I got to spend the night at her house.
I thought it said 'I stop at all salons'.
On a later day, I learned it said 'saloons'. I was still five, so the adults pretty much laughed at me.
I remember looking the word up in the dictionary.

I was six years old when I learned Aunt Sue could burp the entire alphabet. On demand.
That was the year when she started giving me the finger too, just like she did with everyone else. Ev…

Love Lost Fiction

HOLLYWOOD STARS
by Queenie

Chapter One
Star Dust

My best friend John. We have been buddies since Kindergarten. Lived a block away from each other. Hell, almost Everyday I had growing-up had him in it.
I know everything stupid he has ever done.
We were probably about 7 years old when Chelsea moved in the house 3 Doors Down from his. I knew right away she was going to be trouble. Her hair was way too nice.
I just kept my mouth shut hoping his fixation on her would go away.
Over the years, I finally just got used to her being there. Part of his world.
Chelsea had not even lived on the street two days when we started peering over John's fence and the few between over to her house. We watched Chelsea's dad put up the largest tree house we had ever seen. Complete with a huge red slide.
John watched because he already loved her.
I watched because these days I own my own construction business.

Chapter Two
Star Gazing

Over the years, Chelsea would play with us from time to time. Not too ofte…

Old Memories

I had the best neighbors of my entire life when I lived on a street over a few from where I do now. The whole neighborhood was friendly and most everyone got along.
I lived in a alright looking pink brick two level home. My landlord was great. He let me paint the whole house any way I wanted. He appreciated my colours picks and what I did with the place. He was a painter by trade. He also agreed a new kitchen floor needed to be put in. I said blue would be nice. He took me with him to pick out the floor.
I had lots of room for gardens in my front yard. I had a few things to start with. A huge bush that bloomed yellow flowers and a two hedges on either side of the porch railings. But mostly it was just weeds.
I erected my Canadian flag. Put out my hand-made one of a kind barn mailbox out on the front lawn and set to town on the garden.
It ended up being a pretty colourful garden.
This is how I met Norma. All 78 years old of her. She walked slow. She was skinny. But she had a huge smile…

Sometimes You Gotta Take Half An Hour...

Today there are four men directing traffic in and out of the dirt roads and parking lot of the Trails End Market just outside of town.
I have never seen this happen before, but Jean assures me this happens upon occasion. I nod back as she tells me. Jean knows these things.
Jim is driving and irritable at the traffic. He does not want to walk for hours just to get to the market.
"Jim, we always pull around back where no one seems to know they can park, anyway. Quit your moaning," Jean says to him and Jim shuts up.
But grins at her when he sees another person pulling out of a spot. "I think today we are going to park up front."
Jean rolls her eyes and Jim nods his shit-eating grin head at her.

Trails End is fabulous. And cheap. It is a large wooden building with two floors. There are large walkways, with vendors on each side of you. The walkways are usually packed and the vendors yell.
"Strawberries! Strawberries! 2 for $5! Come on people! It's deal."
&…

Eight Years Old

Moving Day

The road was so long and Tommy had seen all the dust clinging to the humid air when it was daylight. It still choked at his lungs, even though he could not see it anymore. He wanted to cough, but he knew it already. It just made his throat feel worse.
They had been driving in the dark forever it seemed.
"Aunt Lynn?" he asked, looking up to her.
"Yeah, baby?" her voice asked back quick. It was so dark he could hardly make out anything besides the flash of white teeth and her curly, dyed blonde hair. Messy. Always messy like Momma's.
"This is really far away," he replied.
"Yeah, baby, I know. But you are gonna like it. It's where your Momma is from, you know?" She paused.
"Well, me too," she added a little laugh.
"I ain't ever even been there before," Tommy grumbled.
Aunt Lynn reached over, laying her arm across the long blue seat and let her fingers drag through his hair.
"I know, baby, I know," she sig…

Hello, Clarice

Once upon a time ago, my son ate an ant.
It was pretty gross, I guess, because he never ate another one.
He was 20 months old and the fact someone told him to do it absolved him from murder in my eyes.

6:30 p.m.

"Mom!" my son exclaims, running into the living room in his sandaled feet. "Where is my water bowl?"
"With the outdoor toys, silly," I reply.
"Oh," he utters, as he runs back off. I watch him bring the large blue bowl to the kitchen sink to fill it up.
He brings the full bowl out into the living room, armed, I notice with a blue and red squirt gun.
"There are two earwigs outside," he says, nodding at me.
I guess I am suppose to understand.
"Soooo, you are going to attack?" I ask.
He pulls his little blonde head slightly back and looks at me. Now he shakes his head at me. He sighs.
"I put some ants in here yesterday. They don't really swim well," he says to me, then turns and walks out.
I stand there, a m…

For Another Dollar A Day

You Could:

1. Play a game of pinball.
2. Make a few phone calls from a pay phone.
3. Buy any shampoo you want in travel size.
4. Or a package of party balloons.
5. Probably get 10 books from a Yard Sale.
6. Pick up a copy of the newspaper.
7. Get your own Kinder Egg and keep the silly toy on your desk to torture children with. Acceptable form of revenge.
8. Give the dollar to your child and watch them go insane in The Dollar Store trying to figure out what to buy. Acceptable form of revenge. They even get something out of the deal.
9. Buy a pretty box of tissue paper.
10. Or some tea-lights for bathtime.
11. Or some Scotch Tape.
12. Slurp up a can of chicken noodle soup. Ew.
13. Or Ravioli. More ew.
14. Or munch on a can of asparagus. Barf.
15. Buy some Cadbury Mini Eggs. Gosh, I miss them.
16. Or a bottle of spring water.
17. Smell up your house with air freshener.
18. Freeze with a blue Mr. Freeze.
19. Get the kitty a can of tuna.
20. Eat an Oh Henry chocolate bar.
21. Or a Snickers.
22. Put a litre of g…

A Porch Over

Church Lady is nutty. Church Lady lives next door to me. She has five teenagers, six cats and now two dogs.
Church Lady has a garden. I am pretty sure it is all weeds. I am pretty sure of this because none of the stringy green things growing in there is pretty.
She cuts, trims and rolls her lawn as if she has prize-winning flowers to show off, though. Like Better Homes and Gardens might be arriving at any moment for a photo shoot.
I guess Church Lady thinks all those carpets hanging over her porch railing give her home an added touch of warmth.
I think she is secretly jealous of her own Porch Over.
The Anderson's have gigantic sunflowers in their front yard, that are almost as tall as the house.
A big yellow bloom disappears from Mr. Anderson's garden a few times a week.
Church Lady's weeds have only grown halfway up her house.

Sometimes I like to sit out on my porch at night. If I am out around 10 p.m. it will not be too much longer before Church Lady comes outside in her…

Love Lost Fiction

IF YOU CANNOT DO IT BIG, DO NOT DO IT AT ALL
by Queenie

Chapter One
After Midnight Monday

He sits in his living room with his lights off. He has not slept well lately. He hears traffic outside and his blinds are open. Between headlights and the TV on mute, there is enough light for him to see her phone number on the empty, open cigarette package on his coffee table.
But he had looked it up over a week ago. He really did not have the nerve to call her. Hadn't seen her in years.
But she was all he thought about lately.
He leaned on the arm of his green couch, rubbing his chin, his feet up, staring at his socks.
He did not know how to get rid of the thought of her.

Chapter Two
After Midnight Monday Memories

He remembers the day they went fishing, her refusal to put a worm on a hook. Until she blamed him for her not catching any fish. He watched the disgusted look on her face when she baited one of the little suckers and the I-told-you-so-grin she gave him when she finally caught a fish.
One to s…

Jimmy, Jimmy

13 Years Old

We met one day in a drug store. The person I was with knew the person he was with. We stood uncomfortable for a few minutes, before we started to talk
Jimmy was Italian and tall, with a scrubbed clean face. He had thick hands and thick shoulders. He also had a cute curly mop of hair and dimpled cheeks when he smiled.
I found out from Jimmy he was 16, lived in a town close by and he had a car.
Jimmy found out from me if I would like to go to the movies with him.
I thought he was beautiful. I said yes.
And we went to the movies. We said good-bye after and I did not think I would be seeing Jimmy anytime soon.

But I did see Jimmy again. The next day. We hung out for the afternoon. We said good-bye.
That night my phone rang. Jimmy had found out my phone number all by himself.
It was unlisted.
So, Jimmy and I started dating.

He always had somewhere he wanted to go. We went to the movies again, to the beach, to parks. He took me to meet his parents.
He came roller skating with m…

The First Chance I Get

Teenagers

Port Dover is about 20 kilometers from my home town. My friends and I all loved Port Dover. There was the beach. The arcade. The boys.
There was a trail along the rail road tracks, leading from Simcoe to Port Dover. The trail even has a name. But I do not know it.
It was a beautiful walk and my friends and I walked that trail, in every type of weather in every season. I never talked much during those few hours, but instead took in everything around me.
I loved the people I was with.
They were perfect moments in time.

We never, ever once walked back home on that trail.
I'd like to do that sometime.

Cropped

We were going to go shopping. A friend and I. She came here and when she did, she opened my front door. Chicky flew out the door.

I suppose is was inevitable. I was tempting fate, letting him have run of the house, spreading his little white wings, dive-bombing everyone who came over.
Chicky liked to tempt fate, too. He would strut across the hardwood floor, puffed out, enticing the cat. Chicky lived through a Curious Cat, a Mind-Controlled Cat, a Vindictive Cat. Chicky just got cockier. He would chirp so loud as he ambled across the floor. Here Kitty, Kitty.
Chicky was one damn brave bird.
Or at least that is how I am going to break it to the kids when they come home Sunday night. I am going to remind them of all the brave little Chicky stories I know. I can add in a few "I Saw With My Own Eyes!" tales.
Then we will have a week of birdie bedtime stories. Chicky in Peru. Chicky in Orlando. Chicky And The Evil Yeti In Antarctica. Chicky Takes Over Egypt On The Head Of A Giant…

Punks-In The Middle Of Before The Beginning

Minnie was 14. She liked bright red lipstick and getting high.
She had one joint left. She rolled over on the brown pull-out couch mattress and looked at the clock. 5:30. She sighed.
She wanted to save the joint for after the kids were in bed. She had to baby-sit for her parents that night.
She stretched herself up and off the mattress. She pulled on a pair of blue jeans. She was wearing a long blue t-shirt.

She sat on her front porch of white. The top step. Her mother made her smoke her cigarettes outside. Minnie only did when her mother was home. Her mother wanted her to smoke in the backyard, too.
She saw him a block off riding towards his home. He was on the other side of the road. Her drug dealer.
He noticed her a few moments later.
She noticed he slowed down before he reached her. He looked over at her once as he passed by.
She watched him make a sudden turn, riding up the small grassy hill on The Marshall's front yard. He looked back the way he had come, stopped at the top.…

Happy Birthday

She cut the engine and looked out at the big grey building, so well lit in the night. She trailed her eyes to her car's dash and read the green lights. 1:13 a.m. She tucked a lock of curly black hair back behind her ear.
She finally looked over beside her. Finally gained enough nerve to look at him.
Tommy stared straight ahead, a dark blue blanket wrapped around him. The collar of his brown and yellow Alligator shirt stuck out, bare legs and dirty feet, too.
His eyes are opened, but they are empty. There is no thought, no feeling coming from him.
It scared her.
She did not know what to do.
"Tommy," she sighed. "Tommy..."
And Tommy just continued staring ahead.
"I wish I did not have to bring you here," she tried.
Nothing.
And that is what she knew.
That is what everyone knew.
Not one word from the boy.
Not one word from his mother, except for the call to come.
Just silent blank faces.
She had stopped an Officer from putting up the yellow tape until she had pulled aw…

August Fourth

Today the place where I go Everyday decided I was going to take a little field trip. This happens now and then. It is nice to shake things up a bit.
Except for today Somebody wants me to go visit the manager of the child care department in our local Welfare offices.
I do not really want to go there. I have been there before.
Somebody does not care.

I walk into the mock plush offices of the Welfare Department, handsome in the green and white and wood colour scheme. Through the heavy, thick oak doors, you can see a wall of plastic. Five windows offering help.
There are two areas where you can wait with your number in hand. One filled with chairs on white tiled flooring. The other filled with chairs on thick green carpeting.
The carpet is pretty dirty.
I go up to one of the five plastic windows and let a older woman know I am here. Her smile is warm for me. She tells me to take a seat and I will be called shortly.
I smile back and turn away. I do not take a seat.

I watch the teenaged pun…

Roadtrip!

We left yesterday at three in the afternoon and I have been home for an hour. The kids are blissfully playing at the school with other blissful children and have not even stepped a foot in our home since we arrived back. I have at least another hour to myself.
I suddenly want out of my clothes. I need a pair of shorts. I travel down the hallway passing the bathroom, over into my room.
The closet door is open and there are some clothes outside of it on the floor. One hanger lays beside a red sweater. There is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle on the floor, too. It is Michelangelo.
The Hypochondriac's Guide To Life. And Death by Gene Weingarten is sprawled across a Jean M. Auel novel. Which are both sprawled across my un-made bed.
I grab some shorts and make a path to the bathroom. There is a hat, blue pajama bottoms, a pillow and part of Monday's paper in the hallway. I only wonder why I had not noticed this when I had first blazed a trail to the bedroom, now while I am writing th…

The Body

Ten Years Old

I do not know the reason for the mid-afternoon bath, but Mom has surely threw in the bubble bath to entice me.
The bathroom was creams and dark browns. There was a large cupboard built into the wall. Inside the cupboard was nail polish writing I had done when I was 7. The nail polish was red and came from my Cinderella beauty set.
I am laying back in the tub; Mom had said I could take my time. The dark brown window blind is drawn down, but it moves in the breeze. Thwack, thwack against the window sill. Bursts of sunshine and green pour through every time the blind draws itself from the wall. The breeze is nice on my wet body.
I hear Mom on the phone and know she is running next door to Grandma's house before she pokes her head in the door to let me know. Her hair is starting to grey again.
"I will close up the big door," she says.
I shrug my shoulders.
"Okay."

I hear my little brother's running footsteps coming into the house. It has been five…

Keine Ahnung!

There is nothing to be said in a moment like this.
Instead she listens to his breath and lets her fingers sift through the chalky, jagged stone covering the ground. She stares into the darkness straight ahead, intent.
She can see no reason to fight him when he suddenly scrambles and grabs her. He twists her body quickly, locking her arms with his biceps. She can feel the sweat of him when he breathes on her neck.
The arms around her are more of a comfort to her and she thinks he smells nice. Dank and warm, like a cellar.
His hands clasp onto the front of her body, large thins fingers sliding down her looking for uniform. They still suddenly upon her breasts.
There is nothing to be said in a moment like this.
His hands remain on her breasts, longer than they should have, but without intention. He draws back, shuffling away from her.
She reaches up in the dark with her left hand, sliding her fingers across her breasts. Her nipples are erect.
"You should not be out," he says, harshly.

The Best Part Of My Day

Three kids with the occasional scream but it comes from the back yard.
Amber is over and we are stretched beneath the tree in my front yard, taking advantage of moving leaves and shade. Eric sits behind her.
Blowing Kisses In The Wind-Paula Abdul is blaring through my living room windows.
They are teasing me because of this.
"Keanu Reeves was in the video," I say.
"Yeah, that was a pretty good video," admits Eric.
The teasing stops.
"Who is that?" Amber asks, pointing towards my driveway.
I turn and look. A grey car is pulling in.
"Brenda," I smile. "You guys are going to love her."

Facials

I woke-up one morning and it was a pretty average morning around here. I had been making a slow but steady crawl towards my coffee maker, the cartoons were already on and a kid asked if they could please have Mr. Noodles for breakfast.
"Maybe if it was a Saturday," I said.
Disappointment stomped her little feet on her way back to the living room. She made sure I heard her sigh. I rolled my eyes.
Such attitude from 9.
I poked my head in the living room. "Waffles it is."
"Yum," said my son.
"Fine," said my daughter, as she uncrossed her arms.

Waffles and coffee were ready at the same time that morning. I grabbed the milk from the refrigerator for my coffee. "Would you like ketchup for your waffles this morning?" I asked my daughter.
She looked at me seriously, "No, not today, Mom."
That is when I noticed I was pouring lumps into my coffee.
Now, I had noticed for the past few days things had been a bit warmer than usual in the f…