A Mouse's Tale

Random scurryings of a writer.

January Thaw

As happens every winter, the past few months have been a ball full of crazy. Add in some scary politics, familial catastrophes, and the bone chilling cold of winter, and it’s easy to see how a blog can slip between the cracks. But, just like every January Thaw, it starts showing up right when you need it. 


Day 10 of Hatch 1

Today is day ten of our first batch of 2016. All seven eggs have healthy, wiggly embryos, despite two low temperature alarms on days five and six. Fingers crossed!

Dirty Flash: Turkey

A chill danced on the wind, bringing with it the warning of an early winter. The world seemed dull. The sky hung low, grey and desolate, its colorization seeping into everything it touched. The trees, the mountains, even the buildings, sighed, melancholy under the grey. 

Her sullen green cape blended into the surroundings. If not for her red tangled mane, she would have been overlooked by anyone who looked into the backyard. Lost in thought, she remained still, a monument on a somber day. The only motion was an occasional wave of her hand as she spread out treats to her chickens. She was reaching into her bucket when he came up behind her. He knew she was closing her eyes, loving the strength of his arms around her; she was forever commenting about how safe she felt in his arms. He could smell the conditioner she had used in an attempt to tame her curls. She relaxed a little, leaning into him.  

“I wanted to say bye before I headed out to my folks.” Harvest season was always busy, bringing with it the chance that he would be home late, leaving such little time with the wife he still longer for. Rushing from his regular office job to his folks didn’t leave them much time together. 

He could feel her smile as his warm breath tickled her neck. “Here’s hoping for an early night.”

“If not, we’ll have time this weekend. Things have freed up a bit, so we should have more time together.” He tried to keep the sadness out of his voice, but knew she heard it. She was always perceptive about his emotions. 

She turned and gave the most dazzling smile he had seen in a long time. “Really? You mean it?! That would be great, love. I miss being able to have you to myself at night.” 

He gave her a slightly confused look. “What do you mean?”

“Oh, it just seems like, since the kids left, I’m on my own a lot. Especially this time of year. Either work or your folks take up your time.”

Why was he nervous about her saying that? He couldn’t place it. There was no way she knew. Even if she did, it wasn’t an issue now. “I know. I’m sorry. You deserve better.” She did and he knew it. From here on out, things would change and she would get better than what he had been giving her. Current events were making sure of that, giving him one hell of a sign. 

“Hun, you haven’t been that awful.” She laughed as a hen pecked her shoe. 

His gazed followed her’s. Was that…chicken meat she was feeding them? She never fed the chickens chicken. Too cannibalistic, was her claim. He nodded at the pail. “What’s that you’re giving them for a treat?”

“The grocery store had turkeys on sale, dirty cheap. I cooked up a couple decent sized ones as a treat for them with how cold it’s been. I even ground down the bones for bonemeal and sprinkled it in the garden. Waste not, want not, right?”

“That’s you, babe. Always adapting.” 

“Go ahead and head to your folks, I’ll keep dinner on for you.” She stood on her toes and gave him a kiss on the cheek. 

As he stared the old Dodge, he waved at her. Backing out the drive, the fanbelt gave its customary squeal, making his wife laugh. He gave her a small smile before heading up the road. 

On his drive, his thoughts drifted to another woman. Someone he could never love, but enjoyed spending time with. It had been a week since he last heard from his caramel haired goddess. She always left him begging, thirsty for more, but over a month ago, her texts had slowed down. She refused to meet with him, claiming she was sick of his game and planning to back to California. She had no family left, but at least out there she had some friends. A week ago came the last text. She was done.  If he wasn’t leaving his wife, than their fun was over. She was done waiting. Little did he know, her phone now rested in the bottom of the river that ran by her now empty apartment. 

His temptress, a midlife crisis of gorgeous proportions, was out of his life. This might be the chance to rekindle his marriage. He knew his wife was amazingly adept at making the most of any situation. Still, he couldn’t help but feel as though his wife had something to do with the current change. 

Dirty Flash

In a bid to flex my writing muscles more, every now and again I’ll be writing a piece of what I call “dirty flash” and posting it. No, this isn’t smut, erotica, or anything like that. “Dirty flash” is the term I use to refer to flash fiction (a story of five hundred words or less) which hasn’t been edited and is posted in its toughest, truest form. 

If anyone has any plot ideas, prompts they would like to share, or a special piece they want, let me know!

The Jackal of Nar

I was in high school by the time I had finally talked my parents into giving me an allowance. The first week that I held my own fifteen dollars in my hand, money which I worked diligently at earning, I was thrilled. There was a little bookstore downtown that I had been dying to become a patron of. Counting the minutes until I could walk through the doors of the bookstore, I headed out on my walk. 

Upon seeing the door, my heart sank. “All books 25% off. All sales final. Store closing.” The close date on the sign was the very next day. I went in with a heavy heart, determined to at least delve in for my first and last experience. I also promised myself that I would not leave without a book. 

The pickings were slim. I headed in the direction of my favorite genre, sci-fi, which was casually mixed in with fantasy in this particular store. Concerned over the empty space on the shelves, I read each title carefully to see if there were any possible keepers. My eyes skimmed over the spines and then back tracked. 

The Jackal of Nar. A full sentence for a title. The fantastic artwork on the front captivated me. But “Nar?” It sounded too close to “Narnia” for my liking. Still, I picked up the book and began my traditional skimming: read the back, sleeve (if there is one – there wasn’t on this book), first page, last page, and three in the middle. 

I was hooked. I bought the oversized paperback that day. I read the first 100 pages before bed that night. I established myself in the Dring a Valley, fighting with Prince Richius and his men, and instantly pining for Lucyler. During my initial read, I swore at Biagio, thinking him Devil spawn, only to weep with him in the end. I threw the book no less than five times over Richius’ infantile behavior. I had nightmares over Sabrina’s end. 

Each year I read The Jackal of Nar. Whether I have time to read the entire trilogy or not, that first book is on my list of annual reads. John Marco is fantastic behind the pen of this novel. It was his first to be published and set him on top of a high pedestal from the first print. Read it, you won’t regret it.