STORY CUBE CHALLENGE 11 – MIXED BAG 2 – DUE JUNE 24, 2018   – The Theft

The Theft

Story Cube Dice 11 Misc Cubes 2 due June 24 2018

Snick, the sound barely audible above my hoarse breathing.  I slide the CREDIT CARD between the sticker plate and the faceplate pushing the latch bolt back into the latch unit releasing the door.

Quickly I glance down the corridor, first to the right then to the left.  The view hasn’t changed any, three doors, a kid’s plastic PARACHUTE TOY lying beside a potted plant on a table, and the elevator.

With a gentle push, the door slowly swings open. I step inside, close the door and stare into the darkness.

Kaboom! The thunder-crack shakes the building.  The storm must be right overhead. LIGHTENING illuminates the room, for an instant like a SHOOTING STAR flashing before my eyes.   I freeze and look toward the closed bedroom door, waiting to see a sliver of light shine out from inside telling me that someone is awake and getting up.

Nothing moves.  I release my held breath and relax, a little.

OK, I start silently talking to myself, like I have a SPEECH BUBBLE above my head.  It’s in the carved wooden box, on the 3rd shelf of the bookcase to the left of the living room doorway, straight ahead.

I am so nervous my feet are sweating and I leave moist FOOTPRINTS behind me.

Standing in front of the cabinet I reach out and touch the box.  I feel the carving of the SCARAB with my fingers as I lift the lid. I pat around inside the box exploring for the rounded edges of the HONEY BEE figurine.  I make contact; the gold is smooth and cool to the touch. Ouch!  I prick my finger on the stinger.  Serves me right for taking it this way, I could have just asked for it.  I am sure she would have given it to me gladly.  But no, I want to make her wonder, to think, how long was it been missing, when was the last time she saw it.  Did she lose it or did someone take it?  I wanted to leave her wondering what happened to it.

Resetting the lid I turn around.  Smiling I retrace my footsteps; quietly close the door behind me.  Whoosh. As the elevator doors close, I can practically see the HAPPY FACE floating above my head.

Cheryle – June 25, 2018

STORY CUBE CHALLENGE 10 – FANTASIA 2 – DUE MAY 27, 2018 – THE ISLAND LABYRINTH

The Island LabyrinthStory Cube Dice 10 FANTASIA 2 due May 27 2018

The labyrinth wound around the forest, the path twisting and turning in on itself. It is the only one of its kind and size.  Legend has it a Wizard created it with the toss of a single magic sphere while fending off marauders wielding sharply spiked maces who were trying to overtake the island paradise.  Overnight the forest grew and the next morning the labyrinth appeared.

Searchers of the spiritual peace offered by the meditative walk arrive by ship then they are ferried into the small castle that serves as a home to the followers of the Goddess Flidias.  On special occasions, the kitchen roasts a pig and lays out a great feast.  The scent of searing meat enticing the feral cats out of hiding hoping to snag a scrap when the cooks weren’t watching.

With the sun beginning to brighten the morning sky, the meditators make their way onto the pathway to walk in contemplation, slowly pacing toward and away from the guardian trees, each quiet in the solitude of their own mind, alone amoung the many.

Their minds at peace, their hearts centred they return home with renewed spirits emanating a calming influence over the chaos of their daily lives.

 

Cheryle – May 31, 2018

STORY CUBE CHALLENGE #9 – DUE MAY 13, 2018 – Crabs for Lunch

I am so late writing and posting this challenge story.  Not only am I late with this one, I am also late with the challenge story that was due on the 27th.  Oh well, I’m posting here now, however, I won’t be able to link it to the challenge.

CRABS FOR LUNCH

Story Cube Challenge 9 Voyages 3 due May 13 2018

The Crow landed lightly on the flagpole finial.  It’s sleek black feathers glistening in the sunlight, the Jolly Roger snapping smartly in the westerly winds.    “Caw Caw”, it cried “Shiver me timbers the wind is cold up here”.  It’s two dark friends called back, one from the Crow’s Nest atop the Main Mast, the other strutting back and forth on the Foremast, “The seas are choppy, the storm is tracking this way”, “the pirates are going ashore.”

As the pirates lowered the Jolly Boat, the three Crows lifted off and glided to the tents erected just above the high water line on the beach.

Outside the largest brightest tent the King adjusts his crown while bending down to poke at one of the crabs scuttling over the sand.  “Mmmm, these would make a delicious luncheon,” he says looking at Cook stirring the pot on the camp stove.  “Yes, your Highness”, the cook replies, “I will have one of the kitchen pages collect enough for roasted crab for lunch” as he snaps his fingers at one of the apron clad young men pouring oil from a flask over a platter of grilled sliced cactus.

The Captain steps down into the Jolly Boat, removes his glasses and wipes the water splashes away with the tail of his shirt.  “Here we goes boys, Parley”!

 

Cheryle – May 29, 2018

STORY CUBE CHALLENGE #7 – VOYAGES 2 – DUE APRIL 15, 2018

 

A FRIENDLY VISIT

The STARS twinkle against the black of the night as I crane my neck to see the almost invisible PLANE fly overhead.  I track it by the roar of its engines and can just see the light from the cabin shine out the tiny windows. I raise my HAND and give my best friend a final wave as she flies across the country back to her home and family.

Her visit was a whirlwind of adventures. Being apart for more than 20 years we didn’t waste any TIME catching up, we practically melted our credit CARDS. We enjoyed laughter and tears watching live THEATRE at The Pumphouse. Our skin glowed from the BEE pollen facials we treated ourselves to while reminiscing about childhood antics. We ate out every night, except pizza night when we stay in and watched romantic comedies.

Last weekend we kicked off our shoes and left FOOTPRINTS in the snow from the kitchen to the hot tub while we laid back and soaked our aching muscles from our trek around Vulcan.  We didn’t see any ALIENS but had a blast touring the Visitors Centre and the Starship Enterprise replica.

As I watch the plane slip into the night, I know I will remember this visit for many years. I guess it is now my turn to visit her in Halifax.  This trip will be hard to top, but we will do our best next time we get together.

 

Cheryle – April 15, 2018

Story Cube Dice VOYAGES for Story No 7 due April 15 2018

For more Story Cube Challenge posts Visit: A ‘Lil HooHaa Story Cube Challenge #7

 

STORY CUBE CHALLENGE #6 – MIXED BAG – APRIL 1, 2018

STORY CUBE CHALLENGE #6 – MIXED BAG – APRIL 1, 2018

Story Cube Dice Mixed Bag No 6 due April 1 2018                 The crowd of spectators go crazy as the undefeated técnico luchadore “The Rat” steps over and squeezes through the ropes surrounding the Lucha Libre wrestling ring.  Flexing his sinuous muscles he struts around the mat, twirling his red silk cape while showing off his menacing red mask to his fans.

The screams reach a fever pitch as the supporters of the rudo luchadore “The Spotted One”, their rule breaking hero, steps into the arena and they start to chant his name.

The sports fans work themselves into a deafening frenzy trying to outdo each other. The rule-supporters shouting Rata, Rata Viva Rata and the rule-breakers yelling “Moteado Uno”.

The referee hammers the bell. The Rat and The Spotted One slowly circle each other, arms out knees bent, side step, side step as they eye each other, building the tension for their fans.  Suddenly The Spotted One lunges at The Rat in an attempt to punch him in the groin. Instantly the arena erupts into chaos. Rat supporters calling for disqualification as the rest of the spectators cry out in triumph. The match has begun.

Even though everyone knows the outcome, who will be awarded the trophy, the wave of hysteria emanating from the spectators urges the luchadores to perform more intricate, and difficult acrobatics.  Employing high flying maneuvers meant to amaze them.  Five minutes into the performance, The Rat catapults off the ropes flying through the air toward The Spotted One.  His eyes open wide as he realizes he miscalculated his trajectory and misses his target. Smashing into the mat he flips over, rocks back and forth a couple of times and is still.  The Spotted One rushes to his side as the referee interrupts the cacophony of the audience and calls for the Doctor.

It takes the Doctor a minute to navigate the spiders’ web that is the arena seating before he clambers up into the ring and reaches the downed luchadore.  Grasping his stethoscope he quickly presses it to The Rats chest. Waving his arms, the audience hushes so he can listen.  His thumb extends upward as he hears the faint beat of the heart pulsing through The Rats’ chest.  A collective sigh of relief is expelled from the audience as The Rat moves and struggles to sit up.   With a roar, everyone rises hollering their happiness at his recovery.

Cheryle – April 1, 2018

 

Story Cube Challenge No 5 – Looney Tunes due March 18, 2018

Story Cube Challenge No 5 – Looney Tunes due March 18, 2018

Story Cube Dice LOONEY TUNES for Story No 5 due Mar18 2018

The Acme Crate sitting on my porch was stenciled just like the one on the Road Runner cartoons.  A big wooden box nailed around the statue of Marvin the Martian I ordered off the internet 3 weeks ago. I couldn’t wait to get it inside and pry it open with my cat’s claw.

Reaching for the front door I  heard a slimy squishing sound as I stepped into what looks like contact cement.  The can, knocked over by my cat while chasing after a piece of Swiss cheese as if it were a mouse, lay on its side empty and I was “glued” to the spot.  Thinking quickly, before the glue had time to set; I grabbed the plunger resting against the porch railing and pushed it against the door with all my might until it grabbed hold of the flat wooden surface.  Now reversing my efforts I pulled, and pulled hard.  As expected the plunger released its grip with such force I broke free of the glue, windmilled backwards beyond the top step and fell flat on my back on the sidewalk.  Dazed I watch stars dance above my head.

I guess this settles the ongoing argument I had with my roommate that weird things do happen when an Acme Crate is involved.

Visit A ‘lil HooHaa Story Cube Challenge March 18 2018

Cheryle March 18 2018

FANTASIA – STORY CUBE CHALLENGE – MARCH 4 2018

Story Cube Dice Fantasia for Story No 4 due Mar 4 2018 Warrior Queen, Wishing Well, Mysterious Man Polling a Magical Boat (or Ferry Man on River Styx)

Troll, magical being, Golden Bird Cage

Singing Lyre, Ogre, Transforming Potion/Beer

Juliana, the Warrior Queen, stumbles on the roots running higgledy piggledy over the forest floor.  Her breath coming in gasps was difficult to catch.  For a moment she leans against an ancient wishing well the rough stones scratching her shoulder while she searches ahead for a glimpse of the river.  Seeing a glint of water off to the left of the trail approx. 40 feet ahead she knows she has a chance.

Behind her, she hears the troll crashing through the brush rushing closer every second she stands still.  With a groan, she lurches forward and pelts down the path toward the hope that the boat is waiting where the Ogre said it would be.

Bursting through the bushes and brambles she practically bashes into the brightly coloured bow resting against the bank. With a final thrust of her legs, she tumbles into the gondola, pushing the boat into the swift current floating her away from the small large eared demon pursuing her through the treetops.  The Ferryman deftly rows the boat into the centre of the river as Juliana settles herself on the cushions in the passenger bench.  Thwarted the troll and demon scream at her from the bank.

Taking a moment to breathe and slow her heart she surveys the contents of the cabin area.  Yes, everything is here, The Golden Bird Cage, the Singing Lyre and the Silver Sword.  The three items which fulfil the foretelling the coming of the New Age.  Sitting back contently she slowly sips a tankard of foamy rejuvenating potion.

 

Cheryle – March 4, 2018

This is an awesome, inspiring challenge.  Please visit all the participants at:    A ‘lil HooHaa Story Cube Challenge #4

 

 

 

STORY CUBE CHALLENGE 2 – JAN 21 TO FEB 4, 2018 – The Life of a Sports Writer

The Life of a Sports Writer

I want to be frank.  I lead a pretty glamourous life.  As a sports writer I get to see all the action. Don’t get me wrong, there are times when I have to attend meetings, stand up and talk about what I have been doing, what articles I want to write, and occasionally I have to push my own point of view. Duke it out in the press room, so to speak.  I read a lot of newspaper articles to keep abreast of what’s happening where and who is up against who and when.   I cover the gamut from wrestling, acrobatics, Nordic walking events to community and school intramural activities.

I work for a small local newspaper, freelance on the side and have written a couple of books.  These jobs keep me busy and I skip all the way to the bank.  I can pay my bills and enjoy some of the finer things in life; drive a good foreign car, wear expensive clothes and spend my holidays somewhere hot where the water is warm, the days are long and the nights longer.

On a good day I watch a game, hockey, basketball, lacrosse, from the best seat available or if I’m very lucky, from a VIP suite with the owners and other press reps.  These are usually pretty sweet deals as they are catered and I can scarf down some wings and appetizers and enjoy a beer or two, before I head out to the sports bar down the street from my apartment.  I enjoy taking in tennis, curling or golf on the tube.  I can talk with the armchair critics and get their take on the players, teams and coaches.  The word of the man on the street always makes for good copy.

After the bar I take my notes back to my apartment, write up my article and sleep in my king-sized bed.  In the morning I email it to my boss.  Usually he prints it as it is but once in a while he makes changes, which drives me crazy, it makes be feel like I’ve been burgled, but what’s a guy to do?  It’s my boss.

I love my job writing for the newspaper, it gives me the freedom and the action I crave.  Sometimes it is a little like jumping off a ledge, not always knowing what the day will bring or what I will say before the article is finished.  Writing the books is more like bricklaying.  There is a formula, as long as I follow it I’m laughing.  All in all, as I said I lead a glamourous life and I love it!

Story Dice for Story No 2 due Feb 4 2018

ACTION CUBES

  1. Burglary – stealing
  2. Sleeping ? I’m not exactly sure what this Icon represents
  3. Fighting, Wrestling
  4. Bricklaying
  5. Reading
  6. Jumping or skipping down stairs
  7. Talking
  8. Walking
  9. Acrobatics, Summersaulting or skateboarding

Cheryle – February 2018

THE FIRST STORY from Story Cubes Challenge – January 7 – 21, 2018

Lily Loves Scotland

The iron key, heavy in her hand, slid easily into the ancient lock. Lily cocked her head heard it unlock, turned the knob and gave the wooden door a gentle push. Nothing happened.  She leaned in and pushed with more authority.  The door gave a loud slow squeal opening into the small stone cottage that used to belong to her Great Aunt Flora.

With her luggage in hand, Lily steps through the threshold into the past and her future.

The last time Lily stood in this sitting room she was six, preparing to return home to Canada after 3 months running wild in South Ayrshire Scotland. It was the year her mother died.  Her father sent her to Straiton to stay with her mothers’ aunt while he finished his work in Egypt before settling into a new position at Brock University as Head of the Archeology Department. When she received word her aunt had died last winter her mind instantly returned to the last kiss and hug they shared, then through all the years in between that day and the day she held the letter in her hand.

Time hadn’t moved forward in the 20 years since she left.  The room was exactly the same, except the fireplace was cold and an electric heater had been installed on the back wall.

It was late, she could re-acquaint herself with the rest of Rose Cottage tomorrow.

Lily woke to a crack of thunder; a flash of lightning and raindrops sliding down the bedroom window.  She would get wet going into the village for groceries.  Until then breakfast would consist of the 1/2 submarine sandwich she put in the fridge last night and the unused teabag she had in her purse.

During the 15-minute drive into Straiton, the rain stopped and the fulgent sun peeked out to brighten the day as she wound past lush pastures, grazing white sheep and rock fences. Rounding a particularly sharp corner she had a spectacular view of a stunning rainbow shining above Monument Hill.  The countryside colours were brilliant.  Her eyes couldn’t take in all of the shades of green in the grasses, trees and shrubs, or how the blues in the sky and sparkling in the river set off the rainbow like a jewelled setting.  What a sight to see on her first outing.

In no time she was in the village scanning for parking.  Lily had her choice of spots on Main street and parked close to both the fresh market and the pharmacy. Everything was within easy walking distance, her shopping wouldn’t take her long, she could begin the job of sorting through Aunt Flora’s things earlier than she thought.

The bell above the door jingled as she walked into the market.  “Good Morning Miss, how may I help you?” asked the smiling clerk as she wiped her hands down the front of her Kelly-green apron and stepped away from the floral arrangements displayed in the front window.

“Hello, thank you, I am just picking up a few things. I may need some help finding some items, I have a list” Lily replied pulling the list out of her purse pocket.

“Here let me see what you need”, the clerk offered as she reached for Lily’s list.  Lily followed the clerk to the back of the store where the clerk moved in behind the meat counter and selected the chicken, pork, ground beef and bacon Lily had listed.  Each item deftly wrapped in butcher paper, tied with twine then handed to Lily who put them in the handbasket she had picked up by the cash register counter.

The clerk, looked down at the list then quickly but briefly glanced up at Lily and said, “You’re not from around here, are you?  “I’m not being nosy, it’s your accent that gives you away”.  She moved up and down the isles efficiently filling the basket with cans, jars, boxes, fresh fruit, vegetables, tea, coffee, bread, juice, butter, oil, garlic, basil, ginger tea and honey.   Lily smiled, “Yes, you are right, I’m not. I’m Lily from Canada, I’m staying at Rose Cottage.”  “Oh, you must be Flora’s niece from Calgary.”  The clerk reached over and took Lily’s hand in hers ” Your Aunt, she spoke very highly of you. I am so sorry for your loss. She was well loved here and is very much missed – God rest her soul.”  “I’m Heather and it is a pleasure to meet you Lily” She smiled again and continued to fill Lily’s shopping list.

As she collected the items and placed them in the basket, she showed each one to Lily who nodded her head in agreement.  Picking up a package of tea Lily commented: “Everything is so different here, even the Tea”.  Heather giggled, “Oh yes, everything is very different here in Scotland, I have a cousin who lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario she says the very same thing about Canada every time she comes to visit my Auntie” Gently taking the package of tea the clerk turns the container over and points to the manufacturer.  “See this one, Wee Tea is grown right here in Scotland, it even won awards in Paris” “Imagine that tea from Scotland winning awards”.   She was so happy and proud of the home-grown tea, Lily grinned “That is so awesome! I’ll try the one you have in your hand.”  Heather’s smile stretched from ear to ear.

Wiping her hands on her apron she moved to the register with the basket “Well, that’s the lot. I’ll ring it up and see what the damage is”.  As she tallies the purchases and puts everything into crisp paper bags Lily wanders over to the front window breathing in the heady scents of the various flowers on display.  With a sense of accomplishment, Heather announces “There it is, a total of 50 pounds 30 pence”.  Lily looking confused turns and walks back over to the counter, Embarrassed, she apologizes “I’m sorry I forgot to convert my Canadian money into Scottish money.  Would you take Canadian cash?”  Reaching under the counter and bringing out the calculator, Heather laughingly responds “Oh yes Lily, I will calculate the conversion and sell the Canadian money to my cousin the next time she visits”.  “That works out to 85 dollars 40 cents Canadian.  Is that OK with you?”  Thank you, Heather, I will have to go into to Dalmellington and convert the rest of my cash – I appreciate you taking my Canadian money” “You are very welcome, it is my pleasure to help you out”.

She moves out from behind the counter hands Lily the two bags, picks up a small wrapped bouquet of jonquils pops it into one of the bags, reaches over and holds the door open for Lily, the bells jingling merrily.  ‘Welcome to Straiton Lily – I do hope to see you again soon”.  “Thank you for all your help this morning Heather, take care, see you soon.” Once outside the market Lily turns right down the sidewalk to the Pharmacy.

With her errands complete and ready to return to the cottage, Lily balancing two large fully stocked grocery bags, the aromatic bouquet of jonquils and a first aid kit inside a small handled shopping bag walks down the sidewalk toward her car.  Twenty steps from her car, she is stopped her in her steps by the sweet scent of cinnamon buns wafting out of the Buck Tea Room.  She can’t resist cinnamon.  It is her favourite sweet spice.  Five minutes later she is on her way back to the cottage with a cinnamon bun in a small bag.

Before she reaches the cottage, Lily pulls off the road at Tairlaw Linn, the Water of Girvan runs through the northwest corner of the Rose Cottage property. She was glad she wore her runners it will make it easier to walk down to the beautiful double waterfall. As she had done dozens of times during her Scottish summer Lily bends over and slides smoothly between the fence rails and follows the animal trail down from the road to the meadow and the stand of alders beside the river.  The air cool and crisp after the rain is full of the scent of wet earth, leaves and thistle. She takes it all in, breathes deeply and listens to the laughter of the water as it tumbles over the edge and splashes into the pool below.

Lily’s Aunt Flora died while Lily was in Thailand teaching meditation.  She didn’t learn of her Aunts death until she returned home and read the letter from her Aunts attorney, two months after Aunt Flora was buried.  Flora had left everything she owned to Lily; a few stocks; a large nest egg; and Rose cottage, including the 12 acres of property it sat on.  This waterfall was on that property. How many afternoons had she spent swimming in its deep pools before returning to the cottage for tea and sweets?

Sitting down on a fallen log Lily carefully pulls out and unwraps the still warm cinnamon bun. The icing generously slathered on the glaze is gooey, the glaze sticky in her fingers and palms. The bun is oh so delicious.  Her mouth waters as she eats leaving her wanting more.  It certainly makes up for the poor leftover sandwich she had earlier.  Savouring the cinnamon and sugar she licks and sucks every morsel from her fingers then knees down to swish her hands clean in the bracing water.  Too bad she couldn’t enjoy a quick dip today.  Something to look forward to when she needed a break to clear her head.   Returning to the car she allows herself to make plans to stop by again, next time with a bathing suit and a full picnic.

Back at Rose Cottage Lily unlocks the bright blue door and gives it a hard push picks up her groceries and once again steps into the home where she will discover the secrets of her past and the truth of her future.

1 – Globe – travel

2 – Scarab – death – funeral rites

3 – Flower – nature

4 – Abacus – ancient calculator

5 – Key – Access – secrets – truth

6 – Building – Cottage – Family

7 – Letter L – Lily – Linn

8 – Lightning Bolt –

9 – Rainbow? Waterfall?, River?  (Wasn’t quite sure what the icon was)

 

Cheryle – January 2018

PBC – July 2017 – Point of View

PHOTO BLOGGERS CHALLENGE – JULY 2017 – POINT OF VIEW

This month’s challenge is Point of View.  It took me a few days to figure out what that meant for me.  Inspired by    GeoKs June 2017 Photo Blogging Challenge submission of a columbine from behind, I had fun photographing my subjects from underneath, a very different perspective and I believe an interesting “Point of View”.  All but the last photo were taken with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone.

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From underneath the rose bush, shooting to the sky, I can see the many shades of rose bush green as blue-sky peeks through the branches.

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Since the camera was in “Selfie” mode I had difficulty keeping myself out of the picture.  As is evident with the shot of the Monarda, common name – Bee Balm.

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The ripening raspberries happily hang hidden away beneath the prickly canes.

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This year I grew zucchini in what I call “the Mediterranean Garden” located on the south side of the house. With its’ ruffles and veins, the translucent yellow flower looks so much more delicate when seen from underneath.

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This “underneath” photo was a bonus of pure luck when I stepped outside and just happened to glance up, I was greeted with the graceful flight of a dozen or more Pelicans enjoying the cloudless day.

I want to thank PJ for hosting these challenges.  I am grateful for the stretch outside my comfort zone and the enjoyment and ideas I get from  checking out the offerings from the other members, which you can check out here:    A ‘lil Hoohaa Photo Blogging Challenge – July 2017 – Point of View

Cheryle July 2017