Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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Well Enough – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Leslie sat at the cafe table, staring out the window without really seeing anything. Her laptop sat open on the table in front of her with the screensaver running. A cup of tea sat forgotten next to it.

Michelle walked into the cafe and, spotting Leslie, made her way over to her. “Well, well, well,” she said. “Fancy meeting you here, Les.”

Leslie turned from the window and smiled at her friend. “Hey there, Michelle. Long time, no see. Have a seat.”

“Thanks,” Michelle replied, settling down in the seat across from here. “So, what have you been up to lately?”

“Oh, nothing much. Just keeping busy. And you?”

“The same. Staying busy.” She pointed to the laptop. ‘How’s that book of yours coming along?

“Well enough, I guess,” Leslie replied flatly.

Michelle frowned at her tone. “Oh? I doesn’t sound like it. What’s wrong? Have you hit a case of writer’s block?”

“I guess you could say that. It feels like my characters have stopped talking to me. I think my well of ideas might have dried up.”

“Anything I can do to help, Les? I know how much writing that book’s meant to you.”

“I don’t know. I need something to give me some ideas. Tell me what’s been going on with you lately. Maybe I’ll get an idea I can use – if you don’t mind me using it.”

“Of course I don’t mind. Anything to help. Ok?”

“Thanks.”

The two friends chatted back and forth for a few minutes, and Michelle told her stories of what had been going on in her life, including all the drama and all the funny happenings. After a while, Michelle had to leave. As they said good-bye, Michelle noticed a glimmer in Leslie’s eye, and she smiled.

“I take it from the look in your eye, Les, that I was able to help you. I’m glad.”

“Yes,” Leslie said with a grin. “You did help me out greatly, Michelle. You’ve given me some ideas, and my characters are starting to whisper to me again. Thank you.”

“Great! Glad to help. Don’t forget to mention me in your acknowledgments,” she said with a wink.

“I will. Let’s meet again soon so I can show you what I’ve come up with.”

“Sure! I’d like that.”

Michelle left, and Leslie sat back down, woke up her laptop, and started typing away with a smile.

 


 

This story is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “well”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 14/17

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A Memorable Birth – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Martin, an older man in a Navy uniform, pulled his car up to the doors of the ER and ran inside with a cry of “Help! Help! I need help!”

The nurse behind the counter hurried up to him and asked, “What’s wrong, sir?”

“It’s my Lydia. She’s gone into labor! She’s going to give birth any minute! She needs a berth for her birth!”

The nurse gasped. “Of course, sir! We’ll get her taken care of right away!”

The nurse looked around and motioned a couple of orderlies over. They followed the old man outside to his car, with one orderly pushing a wheelchair ahead of him. Martin opened the car door and reached inside while the nurse and orderlies drew close to help move Lydia into the wheelchair.

The nurse and orderlies gasped when Martin turned to face them with not an expectant woman but a very pregnant Dachshund in his arms.

“Uh, sir,” said the nurse, her voice calm but somewhat uncertain, “that’s a dog, not a woman.”

“I know that! This is my Lydia, and she’s going to whelp her pups any minute!”

“But, this is a hospital. For humans. You need to go to a vet.”

“Don’t you think I know that? But I don’t have time. I’m from out of town, going to a reunion for some of my old mates from the Navy. Lydia went into premature labor; she wasn’t due for another week or so. I thought I had time, so I took her with me, as I always do. I stopped at the first vet office I found, but they’re closed. The nearest emergency vet is too far; she’ll not make it in time. Please! Can’t you do something?”

The nurse and orderlies looked from the old sailor to the dog and back. “Well…,” said the nurse, still unsure.

“Please! She’s all I have in this world. I can’t stand to lose her if something goes wrong. She’s never had pups before.”

The nurse and orderlies had a brief, whispered discussion, then gave a brief nod. The nurse turned back to the old man. “It’s not normal hospital policy, sir,” she told him, “but we can’t turn down a plea for help from a serviceman like yourself. And we’re not heartless enough to turn away from an animal in need. We’ll find a room and bed to make her comfortable, while Mike here,” she pointed to the orderly with the wheelchair, “contacts an animal rescue he knows that is nearby and that he believes can help Lydia.”

Martin sighed. “Thank you! That would be very much appreciated.”

“We’re happy to help, sir. And thank you, for your service, sir.”

Martin placed Lydia in the wheelchair, and the group wheeled her inside the hospital. The other people in the lobby stared at them, surprised to see the Dachshund being brought in, and watched as she was taken into a room while one of the orderlies made a call from the desk phone.

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This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “birth/berth”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Sept. 2/17

 

 


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Seat of the Pants – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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The front door creaked open. The man in black slowly tiptoed inside, carefully peering around this way and that in the almost-pitch blackness, to try to get his bearing and make sure all was quiet. Not seeing anything, he released the breath he was holding and began making his way more boldly down the hall, heading for the bedrooms.

The man in black came upon the master bedroom first. Shining his flashlight around the room, he looked for the dresser so he could search it for jewelry and anything else valuable. As the beam of light shined across the bed, two bright yellow orbs reflected back at the man from a dark mass in the middle of the bed. A low growl and a hint of something white followed in the next instant.

The man let out a startled cry as the dark mass on the bed grew in size and quickly jumped at him. As it landed on the floor in front of him, the growling grew in intensity, and the man hurriedly backed out into the hallway. He ran back down the hallway, but only made it a few feet before the black mass, which had followed after him, jumped at his back. The man in black cried out in pain as something sharp struck him in the buttocks, and he fell heavily to the floor in a veritable faceplant, accompanied by the sound of tearing fabric. Something heavy suddenly sat on top of the man, and he found he couldn’t move.

An unknown number of minutes later, the homeowners arrived back home to find their door standing open. Panicked, they rushed inside and flipped on the light switch, not knowing what they would find. They gasped in shock at the seen that greeted them in the middle of the hallway: a man in black, lying face-down on the floor, with a big hole torn out of the butt of his pants, and their Bullmastiff dog, Trusty, sitting on top of him, holding him down and with a big piece of fabric hanging out of his mouth.

When he saw them, Trusty wagged his tail and panted happily, knowing he did good and that his owners would be pleased with how he’d protected their home.

The homeowners praised Trusty, then quickly called the police on their cell phone.

While they waited for the police, the man in black moaned from beneath Trusty and softly pleaded for help in getting the dog off him.

The homeowners, and Trusty, ignored him.


This short story is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “pant”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Aug. 19/17


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Take A Guess – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“Guess what.”

“What?”

“Guess.”

“Why don’t you just tell me?”

“Nuh-uh. Guess.”

He rolls his eyes. “Just tell me.”

She shakes her head. “Just guess, ok?  A wild guess.”

“A wild guess? Fine. I guess that you really enjoy annoying me.”

She giggles. “I do. But that’s not the right answer. Guess again.”

He shakes his head. “No. I give up. Just tell me already.”

She leans over and whispers in his ear, “Guess what. I love you.”

His eyes widen in surprise. He never would have guessed it.


This short and sweet bit is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “guess”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Aug. 12/17

 


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High Low, High Low – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“…and when the clock chimed 5, the dwarves stopped work,” Doug said to the little girl, Lea, in the bed beside him. “They put down their tools and marched from the mine, singing their song as they went.”

Outside the bedroom door, Doug’s wife, Elaine, stopped to listen as Doug told the story.

“High low,  high low,” said Doug in a singsong manner, imitating the dwarves, “it’s home from work we go!”

Elaine raised her eyebrows in surprise and stepped inside. “Doug! What are you doing?”

Doug turned to her and replied, “I’m telling her the story of Snow White, of course. Why?”

“But that’s not how the song goes. It’s ‘heigh ho’, not ‘high low’.”

Doug’s brow furrowed in confusion. “Really? I always thought it was ‘high low’.”

Elaine blinked, taken aback slightly. “You did?”

“Sure. After all, they’re dwarves. They dig in a mine, right? That’s way low, underground. And the mine is inside a mountain, which is tall, sticking high up in the sky, right? It makes more sense than ‘heigh ho’, doesn’t it? What does that even mean, ‘heigh ho’?”

Left speechless for a moment, Elaine could only stare at him. She finally found her voice enough to say, “If you say so. Well, it’s your story, Doug. Finish it up. Lea’s waiting.”

Elaine turned and left the room, but stood just beside the door to listen a moment longer.

Lea gazed up at Doug expectantly, and Doug continued.

“When the dwarves finally made it outside the mine, they ran as quickly as they could toward home, where the princess, Snow White, would be waiting for them with the dinner she had promised to fix them.

“A loud roar from above brought them to a sudden stop, and they looked up to see a black dragon circling high overhead. With cries of fear, the dwarves looked about for the nearest hiding place, but all they could find were some bushes, low to the ground. They crawled under them as best they could. A few moments later, some armed riders on horseback came charging down the path the dwarves had been on, brandishing weapons and calling angrily to the dragon. The lead rider was an old man with a long white beard and wearing a white wizard’s robe.”

Elaine rolled her eyes and left, leaving Doug to finish his strange version of Snow White alone.

 

 

 

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This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “high/low”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Aug. 5/17


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Limb To Limb – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Mitch stared up at the little yellow tabby cat stuck on a limb high up in his tree. With a sigh, he rolled up his sleeves and began climbing up after the cat, cursing his luck for having such a stubborn cat for a pet. Why couldn’t he have gotten one more inclined to come when called, and had more sense than to get stuck up a tree?

After a few minutes of slow, careful climbing, Mitch finally reached the branch his cat was crouched halfway down on. The cat saw him and let out a pitiful mew. Mitch slowly inched out onto the limb and carefully reached out to the cat. However, the limb was not very thick or sturdy, and did not want to hold Mitch’s weight. Mitch had barely gotten out on it before it began to bend and crack. The cat, frightened, cried out and leaped onto Mitch’s back and to the trunk of the tree, where it began to claw its way back down, head first.

A few seconds later, the limb broke off underneath Mitch. He let out a quick yell as he began to fall, but he managed to quickly grab onto another limb and slowly make his way back down to the ground.

The broken limb fell, unfortunately, onto the car of Mitch’s grumpy neighbor, Earl, who has never really liked Mitch and has constantly complained about things Mitch has done, sometimes to the police much to Mitch’s chagrin. Mitch has never really done anything wrong, to warrant Earl’s ire, though there were a few instances that were purely accidental and which Earl has never let Mitch live down.

This, Mitch thought when he was what had happened to the limb, would be another such incident.

Only moments after the limb fell onto car, Earl came stomping out his front door. “That does it!” he cried out, “I’ve had it with that idiot! I’m going to tear him limb from limb! Mitch! Get over here!”

Mitch walked over to Earl’s car, which despite having a tree limb falling on the hood, didn’t appear to have too much damage done.

“How are you doing, Earl?” Mitch asked nonchalantly as he stepped up beside the older man.

“How am I doing?” Earl asked disbelievingly. He waved a gnarled hand at his car. “How do you think I’m doing?”

Mitch eyed the car. “I’m going to go out on a limb and say you’re not having a very good day?”

“You can say that again! Look at what you did to my car! And what are you going to do about it?”

“I didn’t do it on purpose, you know. It was a complete accident. And honestly, it doesn’t look that bad.”

“It doesn’t look that bad? Are you kidding me? Look at it!”

“I think insurance will probably cover it. But look, if there’s any problem about it, I’ll pay whatever insurance won’t cover to get it fixed? Ok? And if you need a ride anywhere until it’s fixed, I’ll take you? Ok? I am sorry about this, Earl. Really. I didn’t mean for this to happen.”

Earl sighed. “Fine,” he grunted. “But don’t let something like this happen again. Understand, Mitch? Not if  you want to keep your limbs intact.”

Mitch gulped and watch the older man stalk back into his house. Then a yellow blur caught his eye and he turned to see his cat making a bee-line for another tree. “Oh no you don’t, Tink!” he cried out. “Get back here!”

Mitch ran off, chasing after his cat.

 


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “limb”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 29/17


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Mind The Sealing…er, Ceiling – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Lord Sutcliffe sat at the desk in his study, composing a letter on a sheet of parchment by the flickering light of an oil lamp. Across the room, drawn curtains displayed the brilliant orange of a sunset sky over the trees of the woods at the back of his vast estate.

The door to the study opened and a young boy about five years of age came in. He held a small ball in his little hands. “Papa? he said, approaching the desk. “Papa?”

“Yes, boy, what is it?” Lord Sutcliffe asked gruffly as he continued to write.

“What are you doing? Want to go play ball?”

“I’m busy writing a letter right now, son. Maybe in a little while.”

“But it’s almost dark, Papa.”

“Just give me a few more minutes, son.”

The boy walked around the desk, looking at the different items on it. “What’s this,” he asked, dropping his ball and picking up what looked like some small, carved metal animals. He turned them over in his small hands and noticed a symbol on the bottom of them.

Lord Sutcliffe glanced up briefly from this letter. “Those are my sealing stampers. Be careful with them.” He returned to his letter.

The boy studied the small animals in this hands. “Ceiling…stampers?” he murmured and glanced up at the ceiling high over his little head. He looked at the desk and found a bottle of ink. He picked it up and wandered away, looking from the animal figures and bottle of ink in his hand to the ceiling, and thinking. He didn’t see any signs of stamps on the ceiling, so what did his father mean they were ceiling stamps? Maybe he hadn’t used them on the ceiling yet? Could he not figure out how to reach the ceiling with them?

An odd, tiny thumping noise caught Lord Sutcliffe’s attention and he looked up from his letter to see the young boy toss one of his sealing stampers up at the ceiling. It hit briefly before falling back down to the floor with a small thump.

“What are you doing, George!” Lord Sutcliffe cried out angrily. “Stop that before you break them!”

Young George, startled, turned to his father, and when he did, his small foot found the ball he had dropped earlier and he tripped and fell. The bottle of ink he held went flying high into the air and smashed into the ceiling, leaving a smear of ink on the ceiling and raining ink and porcelain on to the floor below.

“George!” Lord Sutcliffe shouted.

Little George stared up at his father, tears streaming down his face. “I’m sorry, Papa,” he said softly.

“Go to your room, George,” Lord Sutcliffe said, pointing to the door. “Now.”

“Yes, Papa,” George said. He grabbed his ball, stood up, and walked from the room, his little head bowed meekly in apology.

Lord Sutcliffe watched him leave and shut the door. He sighed and returned to finishing writing his letter.



This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday post, “sealing/ceiling”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 22/17