Posted by: DIYwriting | November 30, 2022

The Gambler

As the ball soared toward the net, I hoped it would not go in.  If we lost this game, life as I knew it would be over.  I had confidently bet on the Lions to win the tournament, but it looked like my brother’s team was about to go ahead by two goals.  And with only six minutes remaining, I didn’t have much hope the Lions were going to be able to pull it off.  I began to slowly walk toward the car park in hopes I could get away before Jake found me.  I paused when I realized the Lions bench erupted in a roar when their goalie made a miraculous save to stop the goal.  As all the Lions made their way down the field in a sprint, I held my breath. 

Maybe I wouldn’t have to leave town after all.  Maybe I could continue my life without a major upheaval.  If the Lions managed to pull off a win, I swore to myself this would be the last time I ever gambled.  I was afraid to blink because if I did, the Lions might miss their one chance to tie the game. My heart started to pound and just when I thought it might burst out of my chest, I knew I had to close my eyes. With my heart in my throat, I heard the cheers. I was too nervous to open my eyes and instead tried to assess the situation through listening to the bystanders. No matter what, my life was going to be in upheaval for the next few weeks. I was either going to have to run for my life or I was going to be richer than I had ever imagined.  

Before I opened my eyes, I felt somebody sidle up to me and gently take my elbow. I took another deep breath and wondered what was going to happen next. 

“I think you should follow me,” a male voice said into my ear. My eyes shot open and I shook my elbow out of his grasp.  

“You. You have nothing to do with this.” As I looked toward the field, I could now tell that the Lions had tied the game and if nothing new happened in the last few minutes, the game would go into penalty kicks. There was no way I was going to go with him. No way would I ever get into his car. I would never make it home again. I would never go back to any semblance of my life no matter what the outcome of the game was. 

“I am your father. I have everything to do with this.” 

Posted by: DIYwriting | November 29, 2022

Finance Update – I burned a hole in my credit card

I went a little wild with my credit card in the last week and a half, but it was a planned expense. But it was a large expense. When I was offered my current job in Santa Fe, one of the big perks (which was unfortunately not my paycheck) was the ability to be able to go camping, hiking and skiing. Three things I really enjoy. The Friday before Thanksgiving, Santa Fe had its annual Ski Swap at the Convention Center. Lucky for me, I have a pass to park in the parking garage that is attached to the Convention Center so I was able to park for work, attend the Ski Swap and carry everything I bought directly down to my car. Also lucky for me, there were employees from different ski sellers around town that could and did help me purchase the right equipment. 

Having been born and raised in Oklahoma, I have never really had a reason to buy skis. I came with my family quite a bit for several years, but I usually only went skiing once a year. Maybe. Once a year – and for only three days at a time – I never saw the reason to buy skiing equipment. Over the last few years, I have made the point of buying clothes because I know that if I am not comfortable when I am skiing, I will not have a great time. I have slowly collected pants, tights to wear when it’s really cold, gloves, a helmet, goggles and have an Eddie Bauer waterproof rain jacket that doubles as the jacket I take on vacations. I usually just wear whatever shirt(s) fits the weather that day. But in moving to Santa Fe, I knew I wanted to make the plunge of buying skis, boots and poles as well as a season pass! As the Santa Fe Ski Area is only about 30 minutes from my apartment, how could I pass it up? 

So here I am, in the middle of trying to save money, and I went out and bought myself skis, ski boots, poles and a season pass. And as much money as I did spend, next ski season, I won’t have to buy any equipment and I know that all the items I purchased will be used on a regular basis. I did consider buying the full day lift passes, but if I go skiing seven times this season, I will have already spent as much money as buying the season pass. I also considered the fact that if I bought the full day passes, I know I would feel compelled to be skiing and on the slopes from when the lifts open until the very end. Just to make sure I got my money worth. But now with the season pass, I can ski as many times and for as long or as little as I want and not feel bad about the possibility of wasting money. But at the end of the day, I am content and happy about the decision I made and the ski season is only six days old and I have already made it to ski. First time skiing in November and I am 100% there for it. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | November 29, 2022

Craggy Secrets

PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

I knew I would be at the top of the cliff before the day was done. There was no way I could continue to stare at the craggy edges and not know what the view was from the top. Maybe a new perspective of my little beach town would come. I was suffocating in my new life and needed to get out. I had thought moving to a small coastal town would invigorate my writing, but found it was unnerving that everyone knew everything about me. I didn’t know the craggy mountain town held so many secrets. 

More Friday Fictioneers stories can be found here.

Posted by: DIYwriting | November 29, 2022

Gut Reactions, part 2

Santa Fe Humane Society Dog Park (03/24/2022) 

Photo credit: Kate Cornwell

Unknown to the danger I was feeling, Lovie loped back toward me and I quickly latched on her leash.  I knew she hated to be leashed, but I didn’t need her to be running from me now.  Not at the height of my nerves.  I tried to casually wave at the stranger in an effort to be cordial when in reality my stomach was flipping.  I turned back toward the parking lot and tried to remember how long Lovie and I had been walking.  Had it been twenty minutes?  An hour?  I cursed myself for being in this position.  Again. 

To be continued…

Posted by: DIYwriting | November 22, 2022

Gut Reactions

Santa Fe Humane Society Dog Park (03/24/2022) 

Photo credit: Kate Cornwell

As my dog approached the man on the side of the gravel road, I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  There was something about the stoop of his shoulders and the faded black of his shirt that shook me.  I wanted to call my dog back to my side, but didn’t want to pull the man’s attention to me.  But as Lovie got closer, there was no denying I was here.  No denying I was nervous.  As the man turned, I got a good look at his sunken face and immediately called Lovie to me. 

To be continued…

Posted by: DIYwriting | November 22, 2022

The Cost of being Wild

“I knew the cost would be high, but I didn’t know it would be…” I stared out the window and watched Derek’s truck back out of my driveway. He had bribed me and now he was blackmailing me. I thought the bribe was his way of asking me out on a date, but I certainly had misread the situation. 

But now, I would have to resort back into my old life and remember the tricks I once used. I was terrible to my parents in high school. I stayed out all night, drank, did drugs and often would come home just in time to go to school. As many different things my parents tried, I never took to any of them. Boarding school was threatened and was the only reason I straightened up as much as I did. 

My past misdeeds were catching up to me because Derek knew exactly what I had done on the last day of school and knew exactly who had been hurt. If I failed to complete my list of ‘duties’, I would be outed. Outed meant I would probably go to jail for a lengthy amount of time. The only thing I knew how to do to avoid jail was to show Derek that I meant business. No one could know I had stolen the puppy. The puppy who was now living happily with my aunt and uncle. The puppy who was worth several thousand dollars and had originally belonged to our principal. Dr. Taylor was the only one who had threatened to not let me graduate. All because I had egged his house and accidentally broken a window. 

Now I knew I had to get Redbone out of town before Derek came back. When Derek returned, I had to make sure where he would disappear. Forever. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | November 20, 2022


“Winter came fast this year.” Amanda stared out the window at the snow falling. “I hope they are planning on cancelling class tomorrow. I have so many other things to do.” 

As she stared out the window, I stared at my laptop as if I could will the email to come through. I had more important things on my mind than cancelling class. Personally, I needed to go to class. I needed to see Sean and needed him to tell me what had happened. He had promised to send an email if I didn’t see him by three and I was counting down the seconds until three o’clock hit. Sean refused to drive in any sort of weather other than sunshine because of some previous accident. He had some sort of trauma in his past that he refused to talk about, but I could possibly have some trauma if I didn’t hear from him soon. 

I had written a paper for a classmate and was two steps away from being expelled. Sean had somehow figured out what I had done and was on the verge of telling administration. He had promised he could help me, could take care of me and I only took him up on it because I knew I couldn’t be expelled. My family would disown me if I didn’t come home with a degree. And if I was disowned, it was worth more than my life. I never should have gotten involved, but Jack’s blackmail had been too promising. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | November 19, 2022

Positive Vibes

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…  You are magnificent…  You are radiant…  Positive vibes only…”  I was doing all right until the teacher started talking about positive vibes.  I hated when people talked about positive vibes.  I always believed people gave off vibes, but the signs and shirts talking about positive vibes only was something else.  It was almost if they believed you couldn’t be sad.  Could never be upset.  Could never be anything but happy.  I couldn’t be happy all the time.  It just made me miserable to even try. 

I had only come to this conference because Andrea had not wanted to come alone.  And really, it had originally been a nice way to try and reset.  There was some guided meditation, some yoga and a lot of what the instructors were calling forest bathing.  Forest bathing was something I had never heard of, but I was ok with any time I could spend outside.  Yet everything started going downhill when positive vibes got brought up.  I knew this was Andrea’s love language and I knew she was eating it all up.  I also knew that she was one of the people who was often accused of toxic positivity, but yet had done nothing to change her behavior. I couldn’t be happy all the time and knew it would come off as fake if I did. I wish I was happy all the time, but real life did bring some hardships along with and even if I wanted to ignore my feelings and disappointments, I couldn’t. 

The longer the ‘Life Coach’ went on about being positive and about how to choose to only be happy, the more irritated I became. I tried to tune him out, but his voice overrode my deep breathing. I needed to get out of here and fast. If I didn’t, I knew that chances were I would explode. Exploding is not what I needed to do in front of a bunch of strangers who believed in positive vibes only.   

“You should know be in a state of euphoria…” said the Life Coach (as we were instructed to call them) said, the same Life Coach who seemed genuinely surprised when I stood up and walked out. When Andrea didn’t return to our rented apartment two days later when the conference was over, I knew something was wrong. I thought she had had more brains than to continue drinking the Kool-Aid, but after multiple attempts to get her to come home, I knew she was done. I had to leave it up to her parents and siblings to convince her to come home, but I’m not sure they realized she had been indoctrinated. She was now a member of the PV cult. 

Posted by: DIYwriting | November 19, 2022


PHOTO PROMPT © Starsinclayjars 

I knew who the boot belonged to as soon as I saw it. It was Jeff’s and he was once again off his medicine. If he was still taking his antibiotics, he wouldn’t have the fever I knew he had to have. If he was still on his other medications, he couldn’t get along without his walking boot. There was only one thing that could get him up, around and moving, but I felt it was strange I hadn’t heard anything about it. The only reason Jeff would leave his house now was if the Rolling Stones were in town. 

More Friday Fictioneers stories can be found here.

Posted by: DIYwriting | November 18, 2022

College Life

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