Wednesday, December 17, 2014

An unmentionable story...

Mary Poppins!

So, today's 5 Word Wednesday challenge was a bit different. I was given a 5 word phrase, then two lists of random words, and then another phrase (along with the suggestion to bookend the story with the phrases.) Here's what I was given:

Mary Poppins and that umbrella…



...more than she could fathom

Weird enough? I love a good challenge, so here we go!

Mary Poppins and that umbrella were going to be her undoing.

Raegan beat her head against the coffee table. Emmie loved this movie. Proven by the fact that this was the third time this week they'd watched it. Even now Emmie sat cross legged on the floor, mesmerized, stuffed turtle in hand and her string cheese and juice forgotten. At least she’d calmed down. She’d tangled in the printer cord on her dad’s desk earlier, sending a picture frame shattering to the ground. Poor girl hadn’t stopped crying until long after the pieces were swept into the dustpan

The movie played on and Raegan caught herself quoting it. So much for getting any calculus done. She loved these kids, but dear stars, one more rendition of Jolly Holiday and Raegan was half tempted to quit and fight a part time job flipping burgers somewhere.

Footsteps thundered on the stairs. Hayden clamored into the living room, his pants forgotten, as usual, and his curly hair tousled from sleep. Raegen smiled. “Hey bud. Did you pee?”

His green eyes widened. “Yes.”

And yet his legs were crossed and he’d had all that water before his nap. “Nice try buddy. Go pee.”

He scowled and opened his mouth, presumably to protest, but Raegan cut him off. “We can sing your song while you go.” 

That did it. Hayden tore to the downstairs bathroom. By the time she caught up to him he had shed his underwear and wore only his orange Transformers t-shirt. He beamed up at her, wiggling his little man parts. Good gosh, you’d think at this point she’d be used to it.

"Which one to start?" he asked her.

She smiled. “On Dasher, on Dancer, on Comet.

Hayden picked up. "And Cupid! And Donner and piston!"

"Not piston, silly boy. Blitzen."

"Piston!" Hayden collapsed into a fit of giggles, luckily after he had stopped peeing and not before. She’d cleaned up so much of his errant pee this past year that she was completely immune to body fluids. Really, how hard was it to aim that sucker? Raegan caught him in her arms before he fled and made him wash his hands. As soon as she dried them he shot past her.

"Come back," she said, her voice calm from months of practice. “You need to put your clothes back on.”



Raegan scanned the living room. Emmie remained in the living room, her eyes not straying from the screen. A thud sounded from upstairs. Raegan growled under her breath and climbed the stairs. She still needed to finish her homework, plus try and get that extra credit worksheet done. She needed all the extra points she could get in that class. She scooped up a couple toys on her way upstairs. This job was more than she had bargained for. Emmie on her own would be fine but Hayden was a handful. Terrible twos indeed. How come no one talked about the horribleness of three year olds?

She stopped on the stair landing and listened. Another thud echoed down the hall. From Blake’s room. Crap. Raegan jogged down the hall and eased the door open, almost terrified of the room. Partly because of what Hayden might be doing, and partly because walking into the room of the boy you had a crazy crush on while he wasn’t there was just disturbing. She pushed the ‘stalker’ accusation out of her mind as soon as she saw Hayden, hands deep in the basket of laundry on Blake’s floor.

“Hayden, what are you doing?”

He flung a scarf over his shoulder and plunged into the basket again. “I wanna wear Blake’s shirt!”

“Hayden,” she dodged a sock as he tossed it.  "You don’t  need to be in his laundry.” Already half the floor was littered with clothes.

Hayden continued flinging “He said I could wear it!”

Raegan lunged for him just as he sidestepped her and tossed something her way. She caught it without thinking then looked at her hand. A pair of boxer briefs hung from her fingers. How perfect. All she needed was to get her calculus finished and here she was this afternoon elbow deep in boy parts and underwear. She glanced from the briefs, ignoring the flush surging to her face, to find Hayden stripped out of his shirt.


He tore out the door and continued down the hall where his room was. Raegen stormed after him just as his door slammed shut. "Argh!" she balled up the underwear in her hands. “I swear, one more naked boy and I am done!”

“Guess I’ll have to stay dressed then.”

She spun, a gasp caught in her throat. Blake stood on the landing, backpack tossed over his shoulder. The lopsided grin on his face told her he thought the situation was hilarious. Raegan wondered if the floor would be gracious enough to open up and swallow her whole.

Blake took a step toward her and set his backpack on the floor. "Rough day?"

Rough day? It had been awful, but now he stood just inches from her and instead of her rough day all she could think about was yanking him by his t-shirt and kissing him. Then running like mad out of the house. 

She pulled on the fabric in her hands. "It's not as bad as it could be," she said, glancing back toward Hayden's room. "He hasn't set anything on fire yet."

Blake smiled. "He usually doesn't do that until after you leave."

Raegan chuckled, her fingers gliding over the fabric in her hands. Oh gosh. The fabric of his underwear. She jumped and put her hands behind her back.

"You ok?" Blake asked, his gaze following where her hands had just gone.

Her face was surely as red as a tomato. Raegan swallowed and shook her head. "Yep." She stuffed the briefs up her shirt and tucked them in the waistband of her jeans. Kissing Blake Carson or confessing her undying love to him was totally within the scope of reason. But casually handing him back his underwear was more than she could fathom.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A little Christmas party

I mean ya'll, I wrote this story about the Miller's Christmas party and then found this. How perfect!
I had so many great lists of words today, that I decided to write a series of interwoven stories. A little story Christmas party if you will. Do come along. It will be fun!

powdered sugar

Meri shoved the cookie in her mouth and chased it down with eggnog. Then nearly choked. Good gosh, how much liquor was in that stuff? She sat her glass down and brushed powdered sugar off her sweater. Sweet mercy, she'd already polished off half the cheese tray, and would make short work of the cookies if she didn't stop. She glanced around. The house was packed. There must be dozens of people here, all friends and acquaintances of the Millers.
Or household staff of the Millers, as she was.
That made it sound too formal. She was a nanny. A low regarded one. At least the Miller's kids loved her. Sure she didn't need a degree to do this, but she could kiss a boo boo or make up a lullaby better than anyone she knew. The children loved her. They'd been packed off to their grandma's this weekend, and already she missed them.
Meri watched Mrs. Miller mingle with her guests, a diamond bracelet glittering on her wrist. 
Meri glanced down at her own black turtleneck. It was cute, and paired with her skirt looked elegant. But Mrs. Miller could spot a Target purchase a mile away. She probably sprayed Lysol everyday after Meri left, too afraid she had fleas or something just because she didn't shop at Neiman Marcus. Meri had cut the tags off Mrs. Miller's blouse before she ironed it this afternoon. The price was more than Meri made in a week.
Dear gosh, they had so much money. Not that Meri saw a lot of it. Mrs. Miller invited her to the party in lieu of a Christmas bonus. The grinch. Meri sighed and turned back to the buffet table, piled high with treats.
And champagne.
She grabbed a glass and scanned the room again. A tall, good looking guy stood right under the mistletoe, drinking champagne and listening to the man beside him. A shock of brown hair fell over his forehead. His nose was too long, and his chin really pronounced. But he was cute. Really cute. Meri smirked. How much of a scandal would it be if she got hammered and kissed him?


The girl was staring at him.
          Marshall took a sip of champagne and glanced at her again. He'd noticed her as soon as he walked in and had started making his way to her, slowly mingling. She'd eaten cheese and crackers with such casualness, none of the pretension in her actions like so many others in the room. He'd been ready to make his move when Drake stopped him. 
          "What do you think?" Drake asked now.
          Marshall paused, perplexed. What had Drake even been talking about? "I agree with you," he said, because Drake liked to argue and Marshall had to trust that an agreement to anything Drake said would satisfy him. 
          The girl looked up again, her face tight and her eyes clouded, as if a storm raged within her. What would someone be stressing out about at a Christmas party? He wanted to talk to her. But say what? She'd probably think him an idiot. Better not prove her right. Marshall took another sip of champagne, his feet firmly planted and offering their own validity to his cowardice. 
          Drake ambled on, and Marshall kept staring at the girl. He should talk to her. Christmas was the season of hope, right? And good things?


She'd given up a night of caroling for this?
Laurel traced the pattern on the white tablecloth with her finger. A throat cleared beside her. Laurel glanced up, Meg's brows drawn together in disapproval as she stared at Laurel's hand. Laurel snatched her fingers back. Don't touch anything, Meg had said earlier. Geez, as if ditching plans with your friends to fill in for the no-show server at the party your sister catered wasn't generous enough. Laurel had to put up with Meg's attitude as well. Fantastic.
She glanced away from Meg's disapproving stare. No one had seen her touch the tablecloth. No one even saw her. They were workers for crying out loud. Staff, the woman who owned the home had called them earlier. The people at this party wouldn't see them if they caught fire or dropped dead of a heart attack. There was no telling how much Meg was getting paid for this event.
Laurel fingered the embroidery on the White's Catering insignia on her jacket. Everything Meg did succeeded. Not Laurel. Never for Laurel. Meg had started her own company before her twenty fourth birthday. Meg had a diamond glittering on her finger from her perfect boyfriend. Meg could make flowers and wishes grow and would probably discover the cure for cancer.
That's what their mother certainly thought. Unlike her thoughts about Laurel who at twenty five was still in school, couldn't get a date if she paid for one, and the only thing she could make in a garden were worms and shriveled dreams.
And that's just what her mom knew about. She didn't know that Laurel couldn't afford health insurance and that she'd taken the bus all week because her car battery was dead. She didn't know about the loneliness and fear and how Laurel had nearly slept with a random guy last week just because she wanted to have someone - anyone - there with her when she woke up in the morning.
Laurel looked back at Meg. Meg had always had everything - success, approval from their parents, love. Laurel would never have anything.

nursing school
final exam

Marshall gulped his champagne. What the hell? This was Christmas, right? He clapped Drake's shoulder. "Gonna get a refill."
Marshall made a beeline for the girl. He picked up a fresh glass of champagne and took a sip. Then gathered what little manhood he still had and turned to her. "Some party," he said.
Some party? Gosh, his dweeb flag was flying. He'd dated women before. One for ten months. Surely that should have served as some sort of graduation into a more mature way to interact with women. But no.
He glanced at the girl, who smiled at him. "It certainly is fancy," she said.
"Yeah," Marshall said. "Never anything less for Donna." Gosh, he sounded like a prick. He cleared his throat. "How do you know the Millers?"
The girl glanced around then dipped her head and whispered. "I actually snuck in."
Marshall chuckled. Near giggled like a darned idiot. He should lay off the champagne. The girl laughed though, and relief flooded through him. He held out his hand. "I'm Marshall."
"Meri." She shook his hands. Man, her hands were soft.
"Meri. Do you change your name for all the seasons?"
The girl - Meri - laughed again. "Spelled a different way," she said. She took a swig of her own drink then set her glass down. "You know the Millers well?"
"I'm Bruce's younger brother."
Her eyes widened, like she'd just flunked some final exam he'd given her. He put a hand on her arm. "Gah, don't tell anyone we're related. Our DNA is the only thing we have in common." Meri's face relaxed. "You guys aren't close?"
"I'm just here to appease our mother," Marshall said.
"Ah." Meri smiled. 
Man, she was cute. Marshall brought his glass to his lips then thought better of it. "How do you know my brother and his oh so charming wife?"
The corner of her lip tipped up. "I'm the nanny."
"Oh." Meri. The kids talked about her all the time. He should have realized the connection when she told him her name. "The kids can't shut up about you," he said. "Mason says you make better blanket forts than anyone else he knows."
She blushed. Actually blushed, and she looked so darn cute Marshall wanted to propose right then and there. She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "It's just til I finish nursing school."
Marshall grinned. She was adorable. It was now or never. He summoned every ounce of courage he had and opened his mouth.


Meg swallowed down her rising nausea. Her stomach felt like dead weight inside of her. Mrs. Miller fluttered through the crowd like a butterfly. She'd see if Meg went to the bathroom on this floor, and there was no way she could go upstairs. Like that would go over well. Mrs. Miller would call the cops if she caught her caterer roaming around in their bedrooms.
A tremor of anxiety tore through her and Meg shivered. Laurel looked over at her. Great. The last thing she needed was for someone to find out. Sweet Laurel. She had bailed Meg out big time by showing tonight. "Anything for my sister," she had said.
Sister indeed. Meg dug her fingernails into her palm. She was a failure and a jerk. And Laurel deserved better than her for a sister.
A bathroom. She needed one now. Do the deed and be done with it. No one would know. No one would ever know. The truffles she'd binged on earlier needed to come out. She turned to Laurel. "Stay out here and make sure the glasses stay full."
Before Laurel could even respond, Meg darted down the hall. If Mrs. Miller caught her she would lie. She was washing her hands.
Not puking out the deadened mess that was her life. That was her. Meg pushed past a guest in the hallway and ran into the open bathroom, slamming the door behind her. 
Perfect Meg, her mom always said.
The deep feeling of failure rushed up inside of her. Meg darted to the toilet as tears streamed down her face.
What would they all think if they knew?


Meri blinked once and thought for sure she must be drunk.
This guy had just asked her out? It must be a glitch. Gosh, maybe they both were drunk. But he smiled at her, and oh gosh, he had a dimple. How can you refuse a man who has a dimple? It was just coffee. She glanced at her shoes and back to him. "That would be fun."
Marshall smiled. "Great. Let's leave now."
"Sure, unless you wanna rub elbows with someone high and mighty." He grinned again, those dimples flashing.
Heaven help her.
"Ok," she said. "let me get my coat."
Marshall came with her. Nancy, the housekeeper eyed Meri up and down as she passed them their coats. Crap. Nancy would probably tell Mrs. Miller. The snitch. And then Meri would lose her job because she dared go to coffee with Mr. Miller's brother and surely that would not be tolerated.  
Unease worked it's way through her as she jammed her arms into her coat. Even if Marshall was different from his brother, they came from the same family. And they were rich. Dripping-with-money rich. And though her job was only temporary, she adored these kids and Mrs. Miller's stupid snobbery might uproot Meri from her beloved little niche of a job quicker than she could say "Merry Christmas."
Marshall ushered her past the front door. She shouldn't do this. No way. She opened her mouth and looked up.
At dimples. 
"You know," Marshall said, "I had been staring at you all night, trying to work up the nerve to come talk to you." He walked to his car.
Bewitching. He was bewitching. And he had dimples and had talked to her like she was a human and not just the help. 
Meri smiled and warmth crept to her cheeks. "I had been staring at you all night, too."
Marshall grinned and held his door open for her. He offered his hand and when her fingers touched his a sweet thrill pulsed through her. Merry Christmas indeed. This was going to be a great night. Who needed mistletoe?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ah, geek love!

(if you don't love Star Wars, there may be something wrong with you)
Oh ya'll, I had the most fantastic time with this story. So many books have nerdy girl meets guy, so I thought I'd change it up. ;)

Here are my 5 words, compliments of my oh so wonderful coworker, who always plays along with my Five Word fun:


This relationship had been doomed from the start.
Lily knew that. She forced her gaze from her shoes and looked at Josh. Lights from the street reflected off his glasses. Good. She wouldn’t be able to look into those brown eyes of his and end things with him at the same time. Oh gosh, what was she doing? But she might as well end it now, right? Ever since last night she knew. He’d been lounging on a beanbag in his basement, a half dozen of his friends around him as Star Wars played on the screen. Lily had watched him joke about the movie and talk about things she’d never understand. He’d made a comment about the upcoming election and she’d had an epiphany: she’d never be enough for him.
Her grades weren’t stellar. She got confused when people talked about the economy. And she could barely hold together any sort of an opinion or thought without Josh’s geek friends exposing her stupidity. Memories of being called ‘moron’ in middle school had haunted her all last night, crunching up her insides. So she told him they should break up.
Gosh, she really was stupid.
Should we break up? Her question hung in the air, unanswered. Lily glanced away, her gaze falling on the glowing marquee of the movie theater. She’d even given him an argument of why, a blazing expose on her lack of merits that she had spent two hours last night crafting.
Her lip quivered and she chomped down on it, refusing to cry. Best just get this over with. She looked up at Josh again, his hands in his pockets screaming unconcerned and nonchalant, while her stomach flopped like it was going to inside out itself.
“That’s a good argument,” he said.
Oh gosh. He was going to do it. It’s what she’d planned for and expected, but now that it was here it was the worst thing ever.
Josh shook his head. “But you're presenting an argument to someone on the debate team, Lil, and he opposes all of your thoughts.” He brought his thumb up to brush against her lips. “You’re not gonna win this one.”
Her heart beat twice before she bent her head and buried it against Josh’s chest. 
He wrapped his arms around her. “You rascal,” he said. “I thought we were done with this. You’re smarter than you think you are, Lil. And you're everything I want.”
A sob burst out of her. Oh sweet boy, he was dumb to stay with her, but she loved that he did. She clung to him and cried, smearing his Dr. Who t-shirt with tears and snot. “I love you,” she said.
Josh squeezed her and tucked his chin to her forehead. “I know.”