Site Owner: MissMeliss
Site Name: MissMeliss - Bathtub Mermaid
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Articles Posted: 139
Bio: Bathtub mermaid, word ninja, voice actor, podcaster, writer of stuff. I make things up and collect hats and rescue dogs.

Posted Entries:

Whatever It Is That You Think You Remember Posted on Oct 29, 2023, 10:10 pm
Except… you’re pretty certain Sam never had a sister, that the girl with the pink bike was some other kid on your street, that there was no postcard from Pennsylvania stuck to your fridge with a Domino’s Pizza magnet.

Operation Posted on Oct 23, 2023, 3:10 pm
The operating table had been draped in protective material designed to collect any leaking fluids or stray bits of flesh, and the lighting had been adjusted to illuminate the field with no confusing shadows.

Tlanchana Posted on Oct 21, 2023, 11:10 pm
In those times her tears are salty, and she cries them over the graves of those who have left. She wraps her silky hair around herself like a cloak and keeps vigil over the bones of the dead.

The Warehouse of Lost Dreams Posted on Oct 14, 2023, 7:10 pm
“More like being a spaceship captain, although we still get a lot of firefighters, lion tamers, and superheroes.” Maury shakes his head. “Some of those are messy – the kids who tried flying before they gave up on the idea… their bodies usually didn’t suffer much, but those dreams literally went splat! That’s why we cover up.”

Itchy Posted on Oct 10, 2023, 4:10 pm
His right shoulder blade is itchy, and he reaches backwards to scratch it, but the spot moves just out of his reach. By the time they reach his apartment, he’s squirming in his clothes.

Sleepless (a remix of the Endymion myth) Posted on Oct 4, 2023, 11:10 pm
She was with her nameless musician in her bed and still with him in front of her easel when she crawled out of the covers. She started a second painting, then a third. She stopped going to his gigs – he played for her when he came back every night.

Heat Lightning Posted on Oct 2, 2023, 6:10 pm
There’s flickering light out to the east, swaths of clouded sky lighting up and fading out like semaphore lamps, but the code they’re using isn’t Morse. It isn’t human language at all.

Mazapnes Posted on Dec 25, 2019, 11:12 pm
There is some debate about whether theyre a cookie or a candy (they feel like a cookie to me) and whether there is any flour in the recipe. (Most recipes only list peanuts, peanut butter, and powdered sugar, but they may not be accurate.)

Buuelos Posted on Dec 25, 2019, 11:12 pm
So what are buuelos? Well, theyre about the diameter of a corn tortilla, but theyre typically made of wheat flour, milk, sugar, and egg, fried into a light, thin, crispy crepe-like thing, and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar while theyre still warm.

Lupitas Frutera Posted on Dec 25, 2019, 11:12 pm
Something about Lupitas pico de gallo, though, is just effervescent. Not literaly. It doesnt bubble. But it tastes amazingly fresh, and it seems to carry with it the essence of Lupita herself. We bought a container of it on Thursday afternoon, and by bedtime, wed finished the container. (I did not measure the container.)

Huevos y Tocino Posted on Dec 25, 2019, 11:12 pm
It only took him a few minutes, and when he gave us our precious package of meat candy, he also brought us paper napkins to clean our hands. The cost for a kilo of bacon was $120 mxp, or a bit over six dollars, US.

Getting to La Paz Posted on Dec 23, 2019, 9:12 pm
Theres another, faster highway, but Route 1 twists and turns up into the mountains along the gulf coast, skirting through East Cape, where we always stop at Los Barriles for lunch at Roadrunner Caf. Los Barriles has a huge ex-pat population mostly folks from the US and Canada and the prices reflect that, but the food and service at Roadrunner are usually good, and there are clean bathrooms.

37 Icicles Posted on Dec 14, 2019, 2:12 am
Sure thing. And shed gone into the kitchen for new food and a clean towel, returned with both, and thought no more about it, until later, when shed gone to bus the table and found hed left a tip of only seventy-three cents and a note that read, Youre wonderful, but this is all I had. Call me? His phone number was scrawled at the bottom.

Sea Story Posted on Dec 11, 2019, 1:12 am
And thats the story the story of the night my grandfather saved Santa Claus from an iceberg on a planet where Winter Wonderland wasnt just a slogan, but a mission statement. He swears its true. But it could just be a sea story he trots out for the holidays.

Anticipation Posted on Dec 1, 2019, 11:12 pm
The kitchen waited expectantly for the ritual to begin. It was like this every year at this time when the first snow fell, when the stars seemed somehow brighter in the crisp, cold sky, the appliances would begin to Anticipate.

Bead by Bead Posted on Oct 30, 2019, 11:10 pm
More than her actual work, however, was what Louise instilled in her work. Before making a bag, Mama Louise would ask where it would be used, and she would have the eventual owner talk about their hopes and dreams for the event. The purse would then seem to carry the faintest scent of the floral archways of a specific restaurant, or glitter with the starlight of an open-air theatre.

Clock Watcher Posted on Oct 4, 2019, 2:10 am
Tick, tock, its half an hour til Poison. Tick, tock, its a quarter to Gun. They call her the Unturnable. But she wishes she could turn these back.

Wind and Water Posted on Oct 3, 2019, 12:10 am
Shed adapted to prairie life more easily than hed expected. She had a green thumb and her tomatoes won raves at the county fair. So did her strawberry-rhubarb pies. I never knew, she told him, what they meant when they talked about pie plant in the Little House books until I came here. To think it was only ever rhubarb!

Trouble Bass Posted on Oct 1, 2019, 12:10 pm
For years, the house had been rumored to be haunted. It was the one that always seemed neglected. It wasnt tall or imposing just a post-war bungalow, like half the houses in the neighborhood, but there was something off about it. The grass was always a touch too long, the shingles too shabby, the windows when you walked by at dusk or after, it was as if there was something watching from behind them.

2019: This Will Be Our Year Posted on Dec 31, 2018, 5:12 pm
I know Im not the only person who was more than ready to kick 2018 out the door, and welcome in the promise of a new year. Like a brand new pad of drawing paper, a brand new spiral notebook, a brand new computer with a virtually empty hard drive, a new year is a blank canvas, as yet untainted by politics or pain.

The Eighth Day After - Coffee Cake Posted on Dec 31, 2018, 12:12 am
For Christmas this year, my friend Fran in Massachusetts sent me not one, not two, but three Entenmanns Cheese-filled Crumb Coffee Cakes. Two immediately went into the freezer, to be saved until I just cant stand it anymore. The third, we cut into almost immediately. Even my mother, who doesnt eat carbs (she says), couldnt resist the siren call of this coffee cake.

The Sixth Day After - Trains Posted on Dec 29, 2018, 11:12 pm
Train whistles never sound anything but mournful. My friend Stonefish says its just the physics of sound, but I think its more. I think theres a romanticism associated with trains that never quite leaves us.

The Third Day After - Louisiana Posted on Dec 28, 2018, 11:12 pm
#blog I had a pot of coffee sent to the room (literally, they sent an urn) and we shared one enormous slice of cheesecake, and it was a nice way to catch up without anyone having to wash a dish. I gave my aunt and uncle and cousin some Dude, Sweet Chocolate, which is possibly the best chocolate on Earth, and they gave us local coffee and biscotti, made by the people in the care home where my cousin is a nurse.

The Second Day After - Sheridan's Posted on Dec 27, 2018, 11:12 pm
So every time I visit my mother in Mexico, I make sure to have enough pesos leftover to buy a bottle of Sheridans and a bottle of really good Tequila at the duty-free store in the Cabo airport. I prefer to use pesos because they give you a discount for using cash, but its also a good way to burn leftover pesos.

The First Day After - Tree Toppers Posted on Dec 26, 2018, 11:12 pm
Two trees means two tree toppers. The main tree, which is seven-and-a-half feet tall and is in the dining room, has a traditional angel on top. For the longest time, when Fuzzy and I both worked nights doing tech support for Gateway, we had a gold moon as the topper, but as our marriage matured our trees grew in stature (well, we kept upgrading to larger ones) and the moon was soon relegated to normal ornament status.

The Night They Invented Champagne Posted on Dec 23, 2018, 10:12 pm
Let me put it this way you know the song I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus?' Zoe waited for partner to nod. Then she continued. Well, Mom wasnt tickling Ed underneath his beard. She was lets just say I got a full-frontal view of Eds wedding tackle and Im suddenly grateful to be committed to a man who doesnt age.

Jingle Shells Posted on Dec 21, 2018, 1:12 am
#flashfic Studying her work, Harmony moved a shell one level higher and replaced it with a piece of blue sea glass. Blue and red were her favorites, and they were also the rarest colors. Shed heard the humans on the beach make similar comments, which is why she was certain Oskar would appreciate her gift to him.

A Glimpse of Stocking Posted on Dec 20, 2018, 12:12 am
But this year is different. This year I bought new stockings. This year, Im trying to retain our most important family traditions, but alter them enough that the absence of my stepfather isnt felt so keenly. The penguin stocking was always his when he visited. I cant bear to see it right now.

Apollo Christmas Posted on Dec 19, 2018, 12:12 am
#flashfiction Alright then. Zoe put down the tablet shed been reading from and centered herself by taking a sip from her mug of tea. This story takes place many years before you were born, or before I was born, or before Gramma Emily was born. Its older than Grampere. Its even older than Nonna. In fact, its from Nonnas, Nonnas, Nonnas Nonna. Or even a few generations before that.

The Coziness of a Silent Night Posted on Dec 17, 2018, 8:12 pm
Barely five feet tall, the tree stood in the center of the bay window that gave Janes living room much of its charm. Shed meant to hire someone to hang outside lights on the window, but had never gotten around to it, so the tree was the lone representative of Christmas, save for the four empty stockings hanging from the mantle. One was hers, of course, and one would hold the dogs annual treat, but the other two were for her parents, even though they had made it clear they werent doing Christ

Noche de Paz Posted on Dec 15, 2018, 11:12 pm
Our repertoire of carols expands by one: Happy Christmas, War is Over. Our new Italian friend strums her guitar while we all sing along. The next morning, though skeptical, she comes to breakfast in her pajamas and sits on the floor just like the rest of us as we open presents. The youngest of us is in our thirties, but we are happy and the coffee is hot, and we laugh like children.

Pelt Posted on Dec 14, 2018, 6:12 pm
#flashfiction A mournful howl cut through the wind. It wasnt one of her kind, but she answered anyway, her return song one of reassurance. You will be alright, she sang. Winter wont last forever. The sunlight was beginning to fade as she turned for home and she paused at the edge of their property just to look at the cozy house, all aglow with lamplight. Subtle wisps of wood smoke emanated from the chimney. Wood smoke and beef stew. Her husband had been cooking.

An Open Letter to Santa Claus (2018 Edition) Posted on Dec 12, 2018, 1:12 pm
#openletter And the thing is, those arent the things I focus on. Mostly, those arent even the things I remember. I remember the way mom and I would make cocoa and eat pfeffernusse cookies while decorating our four-foot-tall artificial tree, or that when having personalized everything was in vogue, she found a stamp with my name on it, and stamped sweatshirts and notebooks and a bunch of other stuff.

A Capella Podcast Blues Posted on Dec 12, 2018, 12:12 am
So, Im trying to learn this song well enough to do a decent job of singing bits of it as punctuation to this story Im writing, but theres this weird key-change in the middle and I cant find a version to sing with (for practice) thats in a key where Im comfortable. (The perils of being a lyric mezzo / belter, and not a true alto or true soprano.)

The Second Noel Posted on Dec 10, 2018, 10:12 pm
#flashfic Over time, that old story, the one with the babe in the straw and the star in the sky, has been turned into a song or several. We sing their tale and celebrate its anniversary with symbols incorporated from other traditions. We try our best to remember that message of peace and love and hope and add in a sprinkling of patience, a dash of wisdom, and the occasional burst of innocent delight.

A Winter Tale Posted on Dec 10, 2018, 7:12 pm
#flashfic #futuristic romance I will endeavor to remind you, in the future, he says, and again, theres no judgement. Just a new subroutine to be added to the many already in play. I can almost imagine his internal process. Subheading: weather, cross-reference: Zoe. If weather is inclement, remind Zoe to dress appropriately. Save instruction. Execute.

Counting Down Posted on Dec 9, 2018, 4:12 am
#blog Im participating, this year, in three simultaneous daily projects related to the holiday season.

Fair is Fowl Posted on Dec 7, 2018, 12:12 am
#flashfic #magic #humor Maybe I wouldnt have to be so cautious about spending, Agathe said, accenting her oblique correction, if someone I know helped bring in some income. Like this? How could I possibly do that? the other was incensed. I dont know, give folks rides on your back? Go out on street corners and recite The Raven?' She turned the flame up under the cauldron, and the contents inside began to hiss and roil.

The Briar Wreath Posted on Dec 5, 2018, 5:12 pm
#flashfic But this year, this year, Master Gavrel wanted something different, something organic. So, he went to the winter wood. He knew that others had gone before him, seeking a wreath from the Order of the Brambles, and that most had come back injured and empty handed, while others had not returned at all.

Five Things Posted on Dec 4, 2018, 11:12 pm
#blog But my other association with five things is from improv. I spent years as part of the Dallas ComedySportz troupe and Five Things was one of our featured games. Its a game where we use mime and gibberish to convey five activities with audience-suggested replacements. So, the activity might be cleaning a toilet, but were cleaning it at Elviss house and instead of a scrub brush were using spaghetti, and instead of toilet bowl cleaner, were using gummy bears.

My Darling and Clementines Posted on Dec 3, 2018, 9:12 pm
Flash-fic: My husband lifts his head from his reading and grins at me, his blue eyes full of mischief. I heard a news story the other night, that studies have shown that men find it really sexy when women eat oranges, let the juice dribble down their chins, and let their partners lick it off.

Morning Light Posted on Dec 2, 2018, 1:12 am
Annie wrapped her hands around the warm mug, letting her fingers meet through the handle. Her new ritual was to send a silent prayer to the universe: for peace, for patience, for wisdom.

Better Angels Posted on Dec 1, 2018, 10:12 am
Flash-fic: Hovering over the shoulders of humanity, they nudged gently and gave subtle pushes. Nothing overt. Just keeping things on track. That sort of thing.

Bottled Up Posted on Oct 30, 2018, 8:10 pm
So, she took it home, and left it on her desk, next to the mug full of pens to the right of her monitor. Eventually, shed wash it out, maybe discard the stopper, or leave it in the junk drawer and turn the bottle into a bud vase. Shed always liked using glasses and jars and old candle holders instead of actual vases.

Four Horsewomen of the Post-Apocalypse Posted on Oct 30, 2018, 2:10 am
Are you casting me as Hades then? Helen asked, drawing up her own mount beside her wifes. Not sure thats flattering. But dont you feel like thats who we are? Margo challenged. Look at this city. The buildings are burned out husks. Nature is weaving itself back over the framework, and what are we doing? Picking over the carcasses of whats left behind.

Civil Twilight Posted on Oct 28, 2018, 7:10 pm
Their community was an experiment in peaceful coexistence. It helped that their town was situated in a northern latitude, where that in-between time was longer than it was elsewhere. It helped that they were a coastal village, rather than a big city. Everyone knew each other. That mattered.

Jasper Posted on Oct 28, 2018, 3:10 am
Still, it would be nice if, once in a while, one of his people would recognize his vigilance and tell him he was a good boy for protecting the house or thank him from driving The Thing away every night. Just one pat on the head, or maybe and extra dog biscuit would make all the difference. Instead, Jasper has to hear them tell him to Stop Barking, and Be Quiet, and Go Lay Down, when his job has been done again and he returns to the living room to let them know.

Musings of a Solitary Ghost Posted on Oct 28, 2018, 1:10 am
She can walk through walls now. Shes pretty sure thats a newly acquired skill. She can walk through walls and float through floors, but she can also walk across the broad wooden planks that have been under her feet for as long as she can remember.

The Boys of Endless Summer Posted on Oct 27, 2018, 4:10 am
Sure, Game Three of the 2018 World Series went to 18 innings before the Dodgers finally won, but what if it hadnt? What if theres a dimension where the game continued, inning after inning, after inning, to the end of time?

His Lips Posted on Oct 26, 2018, 2:10 am
In that moment, the stranger in his vintage clothes and the hat that obscures his eyes has become the object of her desire. He doesnt speak, but extends a hand to assist her as she releases her squat and stands straight. Thank you, she says. Again, Im sorry. He touches his hand to the brim of his hat and disappears into the shadowed twilight of the university district.

Coda? Posted on Oct 26, 2018, 1:10 am
Or maybe theyre not souls at all. Doesnt matter. The name you give them isnt important. That you recognize that theres a spark of something a spark of some THING suspended in the wire and the wood, or curled up inside the brass of the bell, or hiding tucked up against the reed thats what matters.

Basic Cookery Posted on Oct 23, 2018, 11:10 pm
He tossed aside a book that was dedicated to plant-based foods: Ivies for Immortality. Being immortal sounded cool, until you realized that it meant leaving your friends and your family all alone and getting old and broken but never actually dying. Pheh. They could keep their immortality, especially if it meant a diet based on ivy.

Fur Posted on Oct 23, 2018, 3:10 am
What if, you muse aloud while your husband is forwarding through yet another commercial during the latest episode of The Flash, dog hair doesnt grow on the dog. What if its really a symbiotic life form, bent on taking over the planet?

Tea and Oranges Posted on Oct 22, 2018, 2:10 am
The power is flickering, so she turns on the electric kettle then lights the candelabra on the dining room table. Oranges are always in the fruit bowl on the counter, well, those kid-friendly halo things, anyway, so she piles a few in a blue ceramic bowl and places it on the table with a paper plate.

Monster See, Monster Do Posted on Oct 20, 2018, 1:10 am
Their mother didnt answer, but Becky yelled back. Its not your toy, Harry; you stole it from an assigned Child, and you know youre not supposed to take their stuff. Youre only allowed to move it to an Odd Location where they will find it weeks later and be Very Confused about how it got there.

Cold Reflection Posted on Oct 19, 2018, 1:10 am
Down and down, she bent, until her forehead touched the glass. There was a crack, and then blackness, and then she was looking at her reflection again, but it was in reverse. The face in the gazing ball was young and fresh, and wearing sturdy armor.

The Cameo Mirror Posted on Oct 18, 2018, 12:10 am
But then, her grandmother also hid in the back hallway whenever there was a storm, and kept four-leaf clovers pressed into random books, and screamed when the power went out, and didnt have a single room that didnt have one of those nightlights and a rosary tucked in a drawer.

With Teeth Posted on Oct 17, 2018, 2:10 am
You can. I turn my head, baring the side of my neck to him. He knows the spot I mean, the juncture of neck and shoulder. Im not asking you to draw blood.

Falcon Posted on Oct 17, 2018, 1:10 am
Yes, honey, thats a gargoyle. During the Second Golden Age they were brought into use again, not just as decorations on buildings, but also as part of the security systems. Its said that some of them gained true intelligence, but no one really believes that.

Death and Taxes Posted on Oct 14, 2018, 2:10 pm
But the two-arms were no different than any who had come before, or any who would come after. They didnt run in fear from her visage, her six arms and bladed weapons. No. They persisted.

Nothing Like Sea Monkeys Posted on Oct 14, 2018, 2:10 am
She knew she wasnt supposed to peek, and she tried not to, but it was harder than not shaking the packages under the Christmas tree every year to see which were toys and which were underwear. After four hours, she peeled open just one quarter of the damp towel.

Chalk Posted on Oct 13, 2018, 2:10 am
The last section of Stephens walk brought him through the Chalk Alleys. These were narrow streets between great brick buildings, their external walls covered in layer upon layer of chalk drawings. He enjoyed the work of the different artists, and while he could never decipher the tags that represented their creators names, he recognized each distinct style.

Stitches Posted on Oct 12, 2018, 12:10 am
She pulled her kit from the bottom drawer of her dresser, and threaded the needle with clean, white, thread. She'd filled each spool herself, first gathering the fluffy white fiber from the thread-plants, then cleaning it, carding it, stretching and spinning it until it was fine enough to be sewn into living skin.

The Camels of Mars Posted on Oct 11, 2018, 1:10 am
I was going through my fathers things after he died, an I found a picture of him with a camel, and a book about the Texas Camel Corps. Is that a real thing? Morris asked. Oh, very real. In the early twentieth century a rancher in Texas whod been the camel caretaker at a zoo decided that camels would be fantastic herd animals. OReilly, dont you dare tell me they raised camels for food?

Storm Head Posted on Oct 10, 2018, 2:10 am
I roll my eyes at him, but I sit up in the bed and twist so I can reach the bottle of blue pills on the shelf of the headboard. Theyre uncoated. Theyre bitter. I hate the taste, the texture, the size. But I shake two of them into the palm of my hand and reach for the glass of lemon-water on my nightstand. It has to be lemon water. Plain water makes me puke.

A Piece of Midnight Posted on Oct 8, 2018, 11:10 pm
A piece of midnight. I like that. Her voice is weak and thready, her smile watery, but her eyes shine like the stars. When you look up from now on, youll see the missing piece, and know its with me until its time to be together again.

Duet for Two Young Superheroes Posted on Oct 7, 2018, 11:10 pm
Zach, why arent you singing? Im Batman! his friend answered, trying (and failing) to make his young voice sound deep and husky. Batman doesnt sing. You wish you were Batman, Ethan retorted. I dont wanna sing alone. You have to sing with me.

Lachesis Posted on Oct 7, 2018, 12:10 am
Atropos, the immutable one, went next. She had been in charge of clipping the threads to end lives, and it had gone to her head and bruised her heart beyond repair. Too many children, she said, haven't been allotted adulthood. Too many rapists and murderers were given long lives. She'd cut her own thread, in the end. Lachesis never even knew where she found the scissors.

Lydia Posted on Oct 5, 2018, 7:10 pm
And she remembered the calliope playing and the carousel spinning. It hadnt been an ordinary carousel. No painted ponies and prancing unicorns. No pretty swan boats for those who werent interested in catching the brass ring. That carousel had been populated by grotesques. Leering goblin faces, twisted features of nightmare horses.

By the Shore Posted on Oct 4, 2018, 2:10 pm
Here on the sand, she didnt have to listen to the other girls gossiping about the boys they liked oooh, Brians tentacles are so much thicker and Michaels. And Benjamin does amazing things with ink. Well, they had a point. Benjamin had skills with ink that were mind-blowing, but even so, squealing and swooning was not Eleanors style.

Like Clockwork Posted on Oct 4, 2018, 12:10 am
A bit, he hedges. More than a bit, he amends, off my accusing glare. A lot, actually. You were on tour for six months, love. I had to fill the nights somehow. Besides, it was a distraction from the pain.

Etiquette Posted on Oct 3, 2018, 12:10 am
The legends said people froze because she was hideous. But she wasnt. She was power embodied: sinuous beauty, with eyes that could penetrate your soul, legs that were long, toned, and tanned, and a voice that coiled itself around you almost as tangibly as a warm scarf.

TSR: For Your Health. For Your Future Posted on Oct 1, 2018, 11:10 pm
As so many projects did, it began with a spark. Our chief of R&D nearly lost his son in a car accident that was before ground-cars were banned and replaced by CTG flitters. Cloud-to-ground vehicles are one life-saving mechanism." TSR is another.

I Pray on Christmas Posted on Dec 22, 2017, 10:12 pm
Kathleen took her sisters advice and made her way to one of the bars in her concourse. She didnt remember ever seeing a piano bar in this airport before. Maybe they were only open for the holidays booze and music went a long way to calming stressed passengers or maybe shed just never noticed it before. Most of the time, she spent her layovers in the VIP lounge.

In Every Age Posted on Dec 5, 2017, 8:12 pm
Actually, the Goldberg twins had been born under the dome at Curiosity Village, on Mars, and little Rachel Levi had grown up at Luna Colony. Earth might be in their blood, in their DNA, but it wasn't where they were from. Not the way she was.

Elseblog: The Coming of the Cardinals Posted on Dec 3, 2017, 10:12 pm
We have a whole family of those bright red birds, and they return every year. The females are feathered grey and rust and red, and arrive with the first signs of being egg-heavy. The males are brilliant crimson and scarlet, and when they cock their heads and stare at me from their bright eyes, Im convinced theyre appraising me in the same way Im assessing them.

Cold as Ice Posted on Dec 3, 2017, 1:12 am
The winter ocean was dark blue and slate grey, and the waves were choppy and tipped with white, but Harmony didnt feel the cold when she was swimming. And she was swimming, fast and purposefully, following the hiss of raindrops falling in the cold sea, and the rumbling voice she knew so well, except that this time, her thunder god, her Oskar, wasnt merely calling her name. He was singing.

Only if it's Eartha Kitt Posted on Dec 2, 2017, 12:12 am
"If I hear one more remake of 'Santa Baby,' I swear I'll scream, Lena said as she poured hot water just off the boil over the hand-filled sachet of orange spice tea waiting in her mug. "Really, it's the most insipid song." "Except when Eartha Kitt sings it," her niece amended, in the sort of sing-songy tone that meant they'd had the same discussion more than once. "Well Eartha. Eartha Kitt could do no wrong."

Undetermined Posted on Oct 30, 2017, 8:10 pm
I know, but theres something about her that I feel like theres something Im meant to be seeing, or comprehending that Im not. The informational brochure describes her merely as an unnamed saint.

Star-Crossed? Posted on Oct 29, 2017, 3:10 pm
But all he ever did was flash his insouciant smile and turn away from her, walking into the forest until the sound of his hoofbeats was completely overwhelmed by the rushing of the falls.

Not Exactly Persephone Posted on Oct 29, 2017, 3:10 pm
She still cut through the forest, though, breathing in the scents of earth and leaves and growing things on her way to work every morning. She carried her laptop in a messenger bag slung across her body, and tucked her hair up into one of her many berets, a different color almost every day.

A Pinch of Stardust Posted on Oct 26, 2017, 10:10 am
Aunt Helen, for example, always baked the loveliest quilts, patchworks of strawberry, blueberry, and raspberry with squirts of lemon juice for a punch of color. Aunt Delia poured galloping horses out of her kettle, and Aunt Patricia blended the most amazing stories you could taste the voices.

Gladiolas Posted on Oct 19, 2017, 8:10 pm
No ribbons, babe, he insisted. Youre allowed to be reasonably worried. But no ribbons. No signs. If you must keep a vigil, do it quietly. Well, I really wasnt the ribbon type. But before he left, I myself in his arms and breathed in his scent fresh flowers, speed stick deodorant, Old Spice aftershave. I memorized that smell.

The Tree Posted on Oct 19, 2017, 8:10 pm
Despite my long years of adulthood, they spoke to me as though I were a child. They never say it outright, but their tones all imply the same thing. I, who have never carried a growing fetus within my womb, who have never pushed a mewling infant into this cold world, am somehow less.

Accidental Posted on Oct 19, 2017, 8:10 pm
So, what exactly were you doing with the dremel? Detective Bloom had seen a lot of murder scenes before, but hed before witnessed anything that was so gory and so pathetic at the same time.

Alas, Poor King George III Posted on Oct 16, 2017, 11:10 pm
Still, having one of the Previously Living (undead wasnt PC) playing King George III had been an inspired choice.

I Am Scared Posted on Oct 16, 2017, 11:10 pm
But on the bus on the way home, Billy kept teasing her that werewolves could come out during Eclipses, just like they could on Full Moons, and Siobhan kept taunting her about how her Daddy must be one of the Dark Ones because they only ever saw him on Skype or Facetime, and that when Noon turned to Midnight they could walk on the earth and come back to claim their kin.

Itchy Posted on Oct 16, 2017, 11:10 pm
Shed roast him first, of course. Dragon-fire killed the pain and added a crispy outer shell that was just so She was distracted from her search for the perfect word by another irritating itch. This time it was just above her left ear-slit.

Checking the Locks Posted on Oct 14, 2017, 12:10 am
Five times we hear the sound, until it reaches the laundry room door the mud room, really, that leads to the garage. That pause is longer. We used to think it was because it was a double door, but one night when I was changing laundry loads so wed have clean underwear the next morning, I thought I heard the tapping continuing across the garage floor.

The New Age of Plastics Posted on Oct 12, 2017, 10:10 pm
Jelly-fish had more mass, even the thinnest, palest of them. And yet this creature managed to retain its structure. Shed have to take it back to the lab to be certain, but she was pretty sure it was made of water, held together by a polymer membrane.

Wakanda the Great Posted on Oct 12, 2017, 12:10 am
Im Wakanda, and I have a message for you from Beyond. Will you come with me and hear it?

Unwanted Roses Posted on Oct 11, 2017, 2:10 am
It wasnt usual anymore, the burying of bodies, but I had insisted. I want to bring him home. I want to bury him next to his grandfather. And so, even though we live in an age when the dead are cremated and the ashes mixed into the gardens, or, if you had the resources, consigned to the heart of a star, we put the body of our stillborn son in stasis and carted him half way across the quadrant for an old-fashioned funeral.

Sphere Posted on Oct 9, 2017, 9:10 pm
I knew those boys were more trouble than they were worth. Still, growing up in that high gravity makes them invaluable as hired muscle. Theres more. More? Even with the static, Joanie could hear the annoyed disbelief in her supervisors tone. Yes. The sphere they were using as a soccer ball? Its hovering. One might even say suspended.

Truth and Power Posted on Oct 9, 2017, 10:10 am
Then, why is his face so dark? Oh, child. That you must learn such things. Because, precious girl, Truth is often obscured that means hidden by other things. You mean Lies?"

Forget Ophelia Posted on Oct 7, 2017, 8:10 pm
I, on the other hand, died in the prettiest way possible. No, not alcohol. Not pills either. Consumption. Oh, you call it tuberculosis these days, but when I was living, it was consumption.

A Murder of Crows Posted on Oct 6, 2017, 10:10 pm
I know, Ren repeated a third time, letting his anger out. Look, Im trying. I know theyre visible, but I cant the spell doesnt work. But the old woman was still chattering. Jays tended to do that. All of us at risk, and then well have to find a new planet, and this ones so nice, with the plump worms and the tall trees and the skies with room to really fly, and then what do you mean the spell doesnt work?

No Angel Posted on Oct 5, 2017, 5:10 pm
Is this real? he asked, and tickled her. Or this? he asked and kissed her. She giggled against his mouth. He swallowed her laughter. Then he spit out her soul.

It's Raining Men? Posted on Oct 5, 2017, 12:10 am
Yes, come on. This kind of Rain comes only once, maybe twice, a lifetime. You go and catch one before his feet touch the soil, and he becomes the partner you always wanted. What if you miss? I asked. Some of the forms coming down werent exactly compact. Id noticed more than a couple beer guts beneath the nondescript suits.

Just Breathe Posted on Oct 3, 2017, 10:10 pm
I feel the gill-slits behind my ears opening and closing it tickles a little. They pass their undulating movement down my neck, to the two other pairs there. With the bottom one responding to the pressure of the water, I can feel a sort of current in the back of my throat.

I Scream Posted on Oct 2, 2017, 9:10 pm
For the second go-round, I turn the nozzle face up, and scream into the roaring, rushing air. I let out my frustration with my husbands conservative mid-western family, and my grief at the loss of his mother, a woman who went out of her way to learn my tastes and styles, to include me.

Be Careful What You Wish For Posted on Oct 2, 2017, 12:10 am
I roll to disbelieve. Fail. The room grows colder. The shadows take on form, and reach out to grab me. Across the table from me, the Other pushes back Her hood. Silly boy, She says, not quite flirting. Her voice is warm and seductive on the surface, but underneath its like Shes raking razor blades over my skin. Even if youd succeeded, Id still be coming for you. Disbelieving in Me doesnt negate My power, only your awareness.

Counting the Days Posted on Dec 15, 2016, 6:12 pm
I started Holidailies wanting to write fun stories about holiday magic and everyday magic, and I havent written in over week. I wanted to do a podcast project with a bunch of other Doggies from The Dog Days of Podcasting, but I feel like theres no point because I dont have anything new or interesting to offer.

Flash-fiction: I'll Be Home For Christmas Posted on Dec 5, 2016, 1:12 am
Being a single mother was tough enough when she was home full time, but with her recent promotion, Rose was on the road nearly two weeks of every four. It was only temporary, of course. A new sales rep was coming on board after the holidays. Until then, there would be four more nights of hotel sheets and hotel shampoo and hotel food, and the knowledge that she was missing all the holiday traditions she and her seven-year-old daughter had established in their life together.

Once Upon a December Posted on Dec 3, 2016, 2:12 am
Because I like to challenge myself (or because Im insane, possibly both) Im doing a triple cocktail of Holiday Blog/Twitter/Instagram projects, and may (or may not) be combining them. (Actually, I may be doing a fourth project at the same time, but that will only be 12 days, and not 25 or 31)

Flash-fiction: They Grow Up So Fast Posted on Dec 3, 2016, 1:12 am
Patrick, do not blame your sister for your own actions. The internet will reset in another minute or so. Please come back down here and use the stairs. Samantha, tattling on people only makes people resentful. But you know the power glitches every time he does it. Helen sighed. I know. But your brother is starting puberty and his power is fluctuating.

Flash-fiction: Poinsettias Posted on Dec 1, 2016, 4:12 am
The signs on the greenhouse doors warn against the use of magic in six different languages, but even so, its tempting to do just a tiny warming spell to ward off the chill. Inside, Ophelia knows, the air will be warm and humid, but outside its Deep Winter, and she resents having her fingers go numb on the walk from the main house to the greenhouse where the Work is done.

Shameless Self-Promotion Volume II Posted on Oct 31, 2016, 1:10 am
Thanks to my friends Nuchtchas and Mark, and my husband (who kept the dogs quiet), theres a special Halloween episode of The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub. Its an audio presentation of three of the stories Ive written for HorrorDailies this month (Lips, Under Glass, and The Ghost Waltz), and the run-time is about half an hour.

The First Time Posted on Oct 29, 2016, 2:10 pm
Are you sure you want to do this? he asked. Im sure, she said. He wasnt convinced. If youre not ready, we can wait.

Flash-fiction: Whispers and Some Kind of Understanding Posted on Oct 25, 2016, 11:10 pm
But Mama never believed me when I told her that my invisible friends told me these things. Shed just tug on one of my braids and tell me I was lucky to have such a vivid imagination, and maybe Id be a writer someday.

Just Like Us? Posted on Oct 25, 2016, 7:10 pm
Mom! Harrys chewing with his mouth open again! Harry, mind your manners. Becky, stop tattling on your brother. But Mom! both children chorused, their voices utterly failing to harmonize. I couldnt help it, Harry said. I got a toe caught under my tongue.

Flash-fiction: The Von Brunt of it All Posted on Oct 25, 2016, 3:10 am
You all know the story of the Horseman, but did you ever stop to wonder what happened to his head? Its okay. I know how it is. Man riding around without a head thats a scary thing. Head rolling around without a man thats just unfortunate. At least the grin without a cat was still welcome at tea.

Flash-fiction: Blue Teardrops Posted on Oct 23, 2016, 3:10 am
And more and more clowns came out of the rings with blue teardrops on their cheeks. No one knew how the teardrops got there, but it happened with the younger clowns first, the kids who were new to the circuit, eager to put their juggling, tumbling, and mime skills to use. These kids didnt come from the Clown College that itself had closed over a decade before not enough applicants to keep it open but they had the bug the drive the need to entertain.

Flash-Fiction: The Eternal Question by Fran Hutchinson Posted on Oct 19, 2016, 4:10 pm
Rest well, my love, he whispered. After two hundred and fifty years, some habits would never be broken. Except this time no reply. Elvira? My love, I said rest well.' The customary reply, And you, my dearest. was not forthcoming. The silence was so jarring, so disruptive he could not let it remain. He sat up in his casket, gazing at the immobile face of his wife. Dear? What is wrong?

Flash Fiction: Lips Posted on Oct 17, 2016, 1:10 am
Kat found herself drawn into those eyes. They werent the deep brown of black coffee, but warmer, like bittersweet chocolate. And his lashes. Most women would kill for lashes like his long, thick if he was old enough to be a day-walker, those lashes would make the sunglasses that were de rigueur among his kind pretty uncomfortable.

Short Story: The Ghost Waltz Posted on Oct 16, 2016, 1:10 am
The DJ pauses the endless list of pop songs to play the waltz Id requested earlier in the night. Apparently its a standard tune for father-daughter dances, but I still dont know the title of the tune. I dont ride on my grandfathers feet any more. Instead, I follow his lead as we swirl in a graceful circle, and I smile when I hear him humming along with the song. When the music ends, he strokes my hair. Thank you, sweetheart, he whispers. My answer is a gentle kiss to his whiskery cheek

Shameless Self-Promotion: TBM Spooky Short Stories Posted on Oct 15, 2016, 4:10 pm
If you want to hear my friends and me doing audio interpretation of The Rules, The Lady of La Paz, or Egaeuss Protege, please click through to: The Bathtub Mermaid: Spooky Short Stories The total runtime of the episode is about twelve minutes.

SVM Seeks Virgin Posted on Oct 12, 2016, 2:10 am
SVM, blonde/blue seeks Type O. Im experienced; youre not. Rh+ OK. I never drink wine, but Ill open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot for the right woman. 21+ No smoking or cats.

Sunday Brunch: The Ghosts we Choose Posted on Oct 9, 2016, 11:10 pm
A bottle of Clinique make-up, left in the medicine cabinet in my guest bathroom, smells like clay, but it also smells like Halloween, 1976, when my mother costumed me as Pocahontas and used her normal color to darken my fairer skin. (Cultural appropriation wasnt a hot topic, back then, but even if it had been, my costume was an homage, not a mockery.)

Let 'Em In? No Way! Posted on Oct 9, 2016, 2:10 am
My mother insists that Paul McCartney isnt really dead, or a ghost, or whatever, that hes really just hiding in some other country (Japan? I think? Or Australia??) because of drugs, and hes got this band called Wings. I want to believe her but I dont want to believe her because the spooky story is fun.

Short Story: Under Glass Posted on Oct 8, 2016, 2:10 am
Except this coffin wasnt made of glass. Instead, it was formed from lead and bronze, with a pair of diamond-shaped glass windows set into the top. And was old. Decades at least. Maybe centuries. Except this girl, the one inside the box, wasnt an adolescent on the cusp of womanhood. Rather the pale face he saw centered in the top window, the one framed by jet-black curls adorned with a bit of lace, was cherub-cheeked and babyish, and he didnt think shed been a day over three when she died.

Toxic to Dogs Posted on Oct 6, 2016, 5:10 pm
In the light of the rising moon, Yvettes eyes glittered. You want loose? I saw hoofprints, the other side of the creek. Burgers are great and all, but nothing beats fresh venison. Careful, Yvie. You know we shouldnt shift when were high. Claude again, though Thea looked like she felt the same way. Im not high, Yvette protested, giggling. Just a little buzzed. Whos with me? A quick swim in the creek to clear our heads and then we hunt.

Egaeus's Protege Posted on Oct 5, 2016, 2:10 am
Your dentist must be very good, my dear," he said to the woman whose screams couldnt quite make it past her throat. He lowered his voice to a reverent whisper: You have lovely bicuspids.

The Lady of La Paz Posted on Oct 4, 2016, 1:10 am
The first time I saw the Lady was during the moon tide, when the water crept high up onto the beach, over the road, settling into pools of liquid silver.

Flash-fic: The Rules Posted on Oct 2, 2016, 9:10 pm
Harry, weve been over this a fafillion times. If the Child is sipping water, they are Protected. If the Child has stuffed animals they are Protected His mother saw him roll his eye. What?

Hello October Posted on Oct 1, 2016, 11:10 pm
The song says to wake me up when September ends, and it has, it has, and with the ticking of a clock and the changing of a calendar page, my second-favorite month of the year has arrived. I have no desire to live inside a horror movie or inhabit the pages of a horror novel, but I like to flirt with the macabre.

It's not you; It's me. Posted on Jan 2, 2016, 1:01 am
I’ve hesitated to write anything that feels like a Holidailies wrap-up, because I sort of fizzled out of participation this year. While I laud Richard and JeniPurr for keeping the project and the community going, I just didn’t feel very connected to it this year, which is a shame, because it’s the decade of Holidailies writings that morphed into my book.

New Year's Eve at the AT&T Store Posted on Dec 31, 2015, 10:12 pm
Jonathan at the AT&T Store in The Highlands of Arlington is awesome. I just thought I’d get that bit out of the way first.

Thoughts from the Bath Posted on Dec 20, 2015, 3:12 am
Last night, however, as I soaked in lavender-scented water and formed castles out of the mounds of bubbles, I let my mind wander and ended up with a stream-of-consciousness that was part life commentary and part idle musing.

I Keep Writing Entries in My Head Posted on Dec 17, 2015, 1:12 am
I’ve been enjoying cooking up a storm, though. It’s been unseasonably warm, which means I’m trying to balance lighter foods with the seasonal flavors I’m craving. Tonight we roasted yams with herbed sea salt I brought home from Mexico, curry, and ginger, and baked salmon with Mediterranean Rub from Tom Thumb.

Big Dogs and Big Storms Posted on Dec 12, 2015, 3:12 pm
Watching big dogs play can be kind of intense. They slam into each other with all the force of football players, and there is much gnashing of teeth and swiping of claws.

Buy this Book: The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales From The (Holiday) Tub Posted on Dec 11, 2015, 12:12 pm
I haven’t posted an entry here in two days, because I’ve been busy editing my book. Just in time for Christmas (or Hanukkah, Yule, Kwanzaa, whatever – it’s kind of Christmassy though, because that’s my winter holiday of choice) comes The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales From the (Holiday) Tub, and it’s available from Amazon either in paperback or for your kindle.

Christmas at Mission City Coffee Posted on Dec 8, 2015, 5:12 pm
And so we are treated to an impromptu concert of holiday music, unrehearsed, but somehow perfect in its imperfection.

Never Let Your Bath Water Get Too Cold Posted on Dec 7, 2015, 11:12 pm
Every Saturday night, once the days are cool enough and the sky gets dark early enough, I have an appointment with my bathtub. I don’t exactly bathe alone.

Flipping Latkes Posted on Dec 6, 2015, 11:12 pm
I’d thought I knew what potato pancakes were, because my grandfather, pancake guru that he was, used to make pancakes that were either part mashed potato, or part leftover baked potato (whatever was available) mixed with regular batter. I remember loving it when I bit into a chunk of potato.

Back Roads Posted on Dec 6, 2015, 12:12 am
That’s the thing about back roads. On a map they look slow and unsavory. But from the saddle of a bike, or the seat of a car, they become our windows into the past, whether it’s the roots of America or the deeper taproots of life itself.

Autobiography in Pine Posted on Dec 5, 2015, 1:12 am
My autobiography will not be written on a computer, or disseminated in the form of a kindle file. It exists already in the collection of ornaments that have been lovingly cared for, some since before I was born.

Counting Days Posted on Dec 3, 2015, 2:12 pm
I spent five minutes feeling gypped, and then I realized I liked the old-school version where the only treasure hidden behind the open door was my own imagination, sparked by the ever-dwindling number of days until the Big Event.

Bolero Posted on Dec 3, 2015, 1:12 am
2002. I’m flipping channels and a half-remembered video is playing on PBS. I saw it once when I was much younger. Dinosaurs marching to extinction to the familiar Ravel composition. Bolero.

Back to December Posted on Dec 1, 2015, 12:12 am
The first CD I ever bought was Yo-Yo Ma & Bobby McFerrin’s collaborative album Hush. There isn’t a cellist my age who didn’t grow up following Ma’s career, and McFerrin was just becoming popular when I was a freshman in high school. To me, the pair of them represent some of the best of my musical memories from those four years.




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