Have you ever heard
a cat trying to dig its way out from underneath a pile of snow? It
is dark outside, the only light you see is the moonlight reflecting
off of a white blanket. A soft wind blows, but other than that, the
only thing you hear is a faint scratching sound.
You can almost
sense each frozen bit of ice being dragged out from the pile, one by
one. The trees hang overhead, barren, with long scrawny limbs that
reach out towards you, beckoning you to come closer. You know
somewhere in there, is where the sound is coming from.
It is so cold, it
has been for days. You begin to wonder how long the furry little
creature has been trapped out there. You know it has been almost
five days since the last big snowfall. A gust of wind crawls up your
back and down your collar, you shiver from the chill.
You wonder if you
should grab a shovel and walk towards the sound, but it seems to be
so deep in the woods that you fear you may never find her. Then you
start to wonder if it is just the trees, making noise, blowing against
the wind and scratching the icy surface with their claws.
You almost give up
and decide to go back inside, but then you see it. The tiny tip of a
small black paw, just barely peeking out through the snow. The snow
must be two feet deep out there. There is no way something could
have survived this long, and still be alive.
A low muffled moan
echoes from the pile, you take a slight step back, but nod your head
forward to try to see more clearly. A snowflake kisses your nose and
you look up at the sky, it is starting to snow again. As you look
back into the woods, you can now see an arm emerging from the pile.
That is not
possible, you think, but then you see an ear. The scratching becomes
louder and faster, and you can almost feel it against your skin,
ripping, tearing, desperately trying to release itself from its
When you finally
see its face, its fur is matted and tussled, its haunting yellow eyes
stare at you like the only light shining on the planet. Her gaze is
fixed upon you and she lets out another low, deep moan, only this time
it seems like it is directed at you.
You wonder how this
cat has the energy to keep digging, you should go help, you think.
As you approach, you notice the cat does indeed look tired, but it
presses on, trying to scratch its way to the surface, trying to fight
for its life.
You finally reach
the cat and bend down to help it out, but by this time only her hind
legs are still buried in the snow. She swipes and hisses at you,
leaving a faint scratch on the back of your hand. As you stumble and
plop down into the snow, the cat drags the rest of its body out from
underneath the pile. It now lets out a loud curdling growl, like it
is being tortured.
You try to stand
up, but you are off balance and you fall back into the snow. As you
sit there, the cat starts to drag its limp, frozen, dead lower body
towards you. It moans out in pain and looks at you like you are her
You manage to get
up, into a squatting position and you reach out to help the cat up.
Again, she hisses and scratches at you. You realize that it is
probably scared and unable to jump or do anything except drag itself
around. You make one more attempt to pick it up and carry it to
safety, but she wants nothing to do with you. You manage to grab her
As you walk out of
the woods, the cat struggles to free itself from your grip, every
step of the way. She tries to push off of you with her front paws,
struggling with all her might, but her lower body just hangs there
crippled and crushed, unable to assist her upper body in any way.
As you reach your
driveway, you don't notice the black ice, and you slip. Your legs
come out from under you, the cat goes flying up in the air. You fall
and bang your head against the blacktop. The cat lands softly on
You must have
passed out for a while, because when you awake you feel different,
like you have been gone for a long time. It is freezing cold out,
but you feel a strange warmth overcoming your body. You look down
and see the cat still sitting on your chest and you realize that she
must be keeping you warm, but no, that doesn't seem to be it.
You shake your head
and try to remove the cobwebs, but you have a splitting headache,
like someone hit you in the back of the head with an axe or a
baseball bat. You realize the spill you took must have been harder
than you thought. You reach around to the back of your head. It is
sore, split open, and your hand is now full of blood. You dig deeper
into the split on the back of your head. You have never held a brain
in your hand before, but surprisingly, as soon as you touch the soft,
warm, gray matter, you know exactly what it is.
think. How can I be sitting here with my head split open, my brain
slowly dripping out of the back of my head, and this little kitten
sitting on my chest. I've had enough of this, you say, and you
It is now clear to
see that the warm feeling you had on your chest was not from the cat,
but from what the cat had done. I guess she was pretty hungry,
because while you were out, she managed to rip through your coat,
into your chest, and started digging and clawing at you. Although,
this time instead of trying to dig her way out of a hole, she was
trying to dig her way into one, your chest cavity.
From the pool of
blood lying on the ground around you, you surmise that she has done a
formidable job. Why look, she has even dug far enough into my chest
that she has exposed my heart, and she is eating it, you look on in
But how can that
be, if I am standing here, and I can see her there on top of me...
Did you grow up in
the 70's & 80's? Do you remember the toys you used to play with?
The TV shows that you used to watch? How about the things you used
to eat? Get a pen a paper, and keep a list. See if you can identify
all the items that are referenced, there are 19 of them.
I am about to
embark on a great journey, but before I do, I would like to take a
quick stroll down memory lane. If you are not too busy, why not join
me? If you grew up in
the 70's & 80's, you may share some of the same memories.
My stroll begins in
a small town, a long time ago, where the beautiful people all look
like pigs, except for the one ugly woman in town.
The colors of the
rainbow were all captured on a stick of gum. At one time, this was
all we had, even prior to the time when we all desired having
pictures accompany our music.
Our rockets were
frozen. Red, white, and blue on a stick. And we had little balls
of goo that we'd press against the Sunday comics to make a copy. We
had no cell phones, or computers, and I could eat all the gluten I
When I ripped my
friend's arm out of its socket, a jelly like substance oozed from the
tear. All it took to repair him was a small, sticky piece of
material, that was usually stuck on me. After that, I would place my
friend in the freezer, which was maintained by an old guy with a
blue jumpsuit and a can-do attitude.
My bologna had a
first name, and a last name, and I loved to eat it every day. I was
a member of a club that was run by a mouse. We would meet every day,
after school. Some years later, an author would mention this club in
one of his stories, that was later turned into a movie. I can still
remember the looks on their faces when they found that dead body.
We didn't have
DVRs, On-demand TV, or shows on the internet. Didn't I already
mention we didn't have computers? If I missed my favorite Halloween
or Christmas shows, a certain reindeer's nose would go out and I'd
have to wait until next year to see it light up again.
The phones we would
use had a big round dial, and they would sit in one place. There was
one man who would change his clothes in a phone booth. I wonder what
he would do now? As phone booths, no longer exist, for the most part.
It was a simpler
time. No video games, no new math, and the clown's food was salty,
greasy, and fast. Just the way I like it.
Who knows what
tomorrow will bring? Will we be flying around in cars like a certain
cartoon family? Or maybe our phones will resemble a secret agent's
phone, and be contained in our shoe.
There are 19
memories to uncover, how many did you get?
(Read further to find the answers, and see how good your memory is.)
I recently returned from a wonderful holiday to Ireland. As an American, the Irish way of life may seem somewhat bewildering, at times, but if you step back and fully examine your surroundings you can really begin to appreciate its beauty.
My friend, Johnny, and I visited many towns, cities, and villages on our journey. From Galway to Kinsale, with many stops in between, we were treated to surprising landscapes, friendly and fun people, and of course a good bit of Guinness as well.
After learning how to drive on the left hand side of the road, in a manual shift car with the steering wheel on the opposite side, and narrowly avoiding hitting a bus, our first stop of the trip was the Bunratty Castle. It was about 7 am, and still very dark, so after a quick gander, we were back on the narrow roads, headed up the coast.
We stopped in the small town of Lahinch to take some pictures and appreciate its beauty. The winds howled, the rain fell in buckets, and the waves of the North Atlantic crashed against the rocks. It was magnificent.
We then continued to proceed up the west coast of Ireland, driving through the stunning Cliffs of Moher, a place of true beauty. Mere pictures cannot do this place justice.
When I first began writing my novel I was very excited and happy with
it. Over the weekend I was nearing the climax, but I felt like the
story had lost some steam, and I had encountered a small bout of writer's block.
Over the last few days, the story has come back into form and I have
been very satisfied with my writing. In other words, I am now
rehappy with my novel.
Obviously this word did not exist, until now. You heard it here
first, I invented a new word. Thinks silently to self, “I
wonder if a Nobel prize is in my future?”
As a bonus, I already spoke to Bobby McFerrin, he is willing to write
a new version of his song to help promote my new word, “Don't
Anyone who wishes to use the word, I can bestow upon youa poetic license to do so.
It was the summer of 1997 when I first saw Black 47 perform at the Guinness Fleadh. Since then I have seen them perform numerous times in different venues, mostly in upstate NY. It was rare that I missed their Memorial Day shows in East Durham, NY.
Their music is upbeat and electrifying and often told tales of Irish politics. Some songs, such as James Connolly, really got the crowd going. Their most famous song, Funky Ceili, was always a crowd pleaser. I wonder what Bridie is doing right now.
I was fortunate enough to see one of their last shows, last night, in Poughkeepsie, NY. Tonight will be their final performance at B.B. Kings in Manhattan, and then Black 47 will retire.
It has been 25 years since their journey began, and I can honestly say they are my most favorite band. Over the years I have acquired T-shirts, CDs, and books from Black 47, items I will long cherish.
I spoke to Larry Kirwan after the show last night. I told him that it won't be the same without them around anymore, but as he said, "everything must come to an end."
Larry and Black 47 have been a positive influence and inspiration in my life. They have given us so much good music and so many good memories over the years, I wish them all the very best.
Good luck, Black 47. It has been a pleasure.
November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I have decided to take on the challenge. This is my first time attempting this. The challenge is to write 50,000 words, a novel, in 30 days. So far, I am doing well, averaging 3000+ words per day. The name of my story is The Switch, and that's all I have to say about that.
Perhaps when I finish the challenge I will display my badge proudly upon my blog wall, but right now I have more important things to think about, like what is going to happen in chapter 11?
Good luck to all the participants this year. This is not an easy challenge, but I think I will pull through. I actually think my story isn't half bad either.
See ya soon.
Free this weekend ONLY! Get your copy at Smashwords now! Toy Garden 3
This is the third installment in the Toy Garden series, come see what mischief Margaret is up to now.
Toy Garden 3 is now reasonably priced at $2.99.
Only a few days until Halloween, and I have a treat in store for you. I just published a flash fiction story on Smashwords. It is brief, but appropriate for this time of year. Best of all it's FREE!
Check it out, when you have a few minutes.
An excerpt from Bug:
I found a minute
insect in my sugar bowl today. It was brown and moving, so I
determined that it was not a grain of sugar, though it was that
small. I scooped it up and washed it down the drain. I wondered if
I should dump out the rest of the sugar, but I don't like to be
wasteful, besides how much harm could one little bug cause? I don't
see any others, though I really didn't check.
It has been about 13 hours since I published it. There have been six downloads and one review. Everything always seems better when you get a good review!
Review by:Gabion on Oct. 28, 2014 : A nasty little tale which is very well written. I honestly think it should have been much longer so as to develop a greater sense of unease. Good grammar and well structured. Three stars is very good for me - especially for a flash fiction tale. I'll have to explore more of Murphy's work.
PS. I would like to say thank you to Gabion. I don't know who you are, but I appreciate you taking the time to read and review my story, it makes it all worthwhile.
The great beast raised his massive wings, "And thou shall not pass."
"We shall see."
He stared down upon me with his fiery red eyes, gazing at me, seducing me.
"And what stand beyond you? My love or my light?" I questioned.
"Come and see."
"Doth not matter, for each I will fight as equally."
"So you would fight just as well if you knew your only outcome were death?"
"Yes, you see. Because my love is my light, and if she were to be taken from me then my world is filled with darkness anyway."
"I do see."
"So make your choice," I begged of the beast. "Step aside or fall at my sword. If I fail to overcome your treachery, then at least I know I am loved."
"Goodnight, sweet prince," and with that he spoke no more.
Another medical worker, from Dallas, has been diagnosed with Ebola. The problem is that she is flew on a commercial airline twice in the last week. On October 8th the health care worker, Amber Vinson, flew from Dallas-Fort Worth to Cleveland. On Monday, October 13th, she took a return trip back.
Vinson is one of two medical workers who treated Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan, who now have the Ebola virus themselves. The other employee, Nina Pham, is reported as being in an “improved condition” according to the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden.
The CDC is contacting passengers that were on flight1143 from Cleveland to Dallas/Fort Worth on Oct. 13th. They want to interview all 132 passengers. Since Vinson was not showing any symptoms at the time, they say that the risk of them contracting the disease is minimal. However, Dr. Frieden claims that she had a fever of 99.5 before she boarded the flight.
Rarely do I review food or restaurants, which I actually find funny because I love a good meal. However, I felt compelled to post this in the hope that at least one person reads it and makes a responsible decision.
I live in NY, so there is no shortage of good pizza places around. In fact, where I live, there must be at least six pizza places. I do not normally go to Pizza Hut, because no matter how much they boast about it, it really is sub-par when compared to a real pizza.
If you live down south, and have not experienced Pizza Hut, it is comparable to Little Ceasar's. If you are in a hurry and just want something to satisfy the growling in your stomach, then Little Ceasar's is great. It is hot, ready, and only 5 bucks.
I went to see Annabelle this past weekend. It was good, suspenseful, and it had a good ending. The characters were interesting and it had a good pace. (7/10) What may be more interesting than the movie itself is the fact that it was based on a true story. The real Annabelle was a Raggedy Ann doll acquired in the 1970's. Ed and Lorraine Warren now have the doll stored in their museum in Monroe, CT.
As always, the drive-in has a double feature. The second film I saw was A Walk Among the Tombstones with Liam Neeson. This was a dark story with strong subject matter. It was also suspenseful with a good ending. (8/10)
I also started reading IT this past week. I have seen the movie, it is one of my all time favorites. I may post a review or some comparisons between the book and movie when I am done reading it, but I may not finish it until Christmas, of next year. It is over 1100 pages long.
Anyway, as we go into the Halloween season, which books or movies are you looking forward to? What are some of your favorites that you revisit each year?
Other than IT, I have always liked The Shining, another Stephen King classic. Some of my new favorites are last years The Conjuring, which was a lot better than Annabelle, and also Trick 'r Treat released on DVD in 2009. Looks like Trick 'r Treat 2 is going to be released next year. You can read more about the new T 'r T on Entertainment Weekly's website.
Sometimes real life
can be much stranger and shocking than fiction. After reading a news
article today about a man who came to the US, infected with Ebola, it
seems clear that it may only be a matter of time before the gates of
hell open open and engulf every one of us. How fitting it should
happen upon us in this, our Halloween season.
I believe that once
we get through this scare, if we do, that the zombie movies and books
will now take a back seat to more real life drama. Think about it,
what a great story, albeit it fictional at this point, but why not
let someone like Stephen King take a crack at writing the aftermath
of what happened once the disease spread throughout the states like
Hopefully there are
some of us still left around to read the tale, or maybe even tell it,
but if you really want to spark some conversation try going to the
grocery store and while on line cough and sneeze a bit. When people
start looking at you because your cart is filled to the brim with
canned goods and bottled water, try explaining to them that you feel
a bit down, but surely it is nothing to worry about.
How long until the
government and the pharmaceutical companies start cashing in on the
outbreak? An offer of hope, and everyone starts running to the ER.
Bold promises and misguided intentions lead us down undeveloped,
unimagined, and previously undiscovered paths. How long do we wait
until we take action? Do we stand by and let the disease fester
inside each of our loved ones or do we put them out of their misery?
They will have you
believe that you can not catch it. Only, and only if, you come into
direct contact with an individual that has the virus. But if you
were one of the people that were on that plane with the Ebola
sufferer do you take comfort in the fact that he didn't rub up
against you? Or are you sitting in a waiting room right now, knowing
that you may be diagnosed with an incurable disease?
If you are a
religious person you may want to start praying now. Not only for
your friends and family, but for the entire world population. By
simple mathematics, this disease could have spread to
thousands, if not tens of thousands of people, already.
If you are someone
who has stock piled ammunition and a year's worth of food and water
in your basement, all I can say is good luck and you better get your
ass down in the cellar now.
John Grisham is a
thorough author. He writes his characters so well, and completely
researches his material to make it very realistic. The Confession is
Robbie Flak, is a small town lawyer in Texas who is always fighting
for the rights of the little guy. When his client, Donte Drumm, is
convicted of murder and sentenced to death, Robbie does everything he
can to put a stop to the execution.
The book leads you
to a series of different emotions and the characters are well
received, whether you love them or hate them. It also brings up the
real life issue of the death penalty. No matter which side you stand
on, you will enjoy this book. In the town of Sloan, where the story
takes place, the residents are divided by the trial. It encompasses
not only questions about the law, but also real issues of race and
The book is very
well written, it is engrossing, and when you are finished, you will
want to go out and pick up another story by Grisham. (4.25 out of 5 stars)
website to learn more or purchase your own copy of The
Also, check out John Grisham's homepage to win an autographed copy of his latest novel, Gray Mountain, and the chance to win an entire hardcover collection of all 33 of his novels.