Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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Who’ll Stop The Reign? – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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A light rain fell as the cloaked figure stood at the edge of the cliff and looked down at the sprawling city below him. He could just make out the faint sound of cheering and barely make out movement along the streets as if a parade was marching along.

“There’s not much time left,” the figure muttered, then turned away from the sight of the city and hurried to the white horse grazing a few feet away and climbed up into the saddle. With a deft twitch of the reins the figure sent the horse galloping away from the cliff and down towards the city.

***

Within the city, the residents had gathered along the streets to watch the parade go by as the various officials and attendants and military figures led the way to the center of the city and the high priest’s temple, where Prince Alexi was going to be crowned following the sudden and mysterious death a fortnight ago of his father, King Ludwig. Despite various rumors about the prince, the citizens, for the most part, were prepared to welcome Alexi as their new ruler.

There were some who were not so thrilled at the prospect of Alexi’s reign, however. Hidden down some dark alleyways and high up in some attic windows and on rooftops, a ragtag group of dissidents watched the parade and waited.

As the parade drew closer to the temple, the dissidents grew restless.

“Where is he?” one asked of his companion as they waited on a rooftop near the temple. “He’s coming, isn’t he? There’s not much time left.”

The parade, at last, reached the temple, and the prince and his attendants for the ceremony made their way through the dense crowd of spectators and climbed up the steps of the temple. The gilt doors swung open to allow admittance.

As they were about the enter the holy building for the coronation, the sound of heavy hooves beating on the cobblestone street was heard, followed by the sounds of startled spectators hurrying out of the way.

A loud and angry cry of  “ALEXI!” drew the attention of the prince and his group. They turned and watched in surprise as a cloaked figure rode a white horse up the steps of the temple. When it reached the top, the figure reined the horse to a stop and jumped to the ground. In a flash, it reached beneath its cloak and drew forth a long sword.

“I will not allow you to become king, Alexi,” the figure said, pointing the sword towards the prince. “I will put an end to your reign of terror here and now, before it can begin.”

“Oh, is that so?” Alexi said with a sneer and drawing his own sword from the sheath at his waist. “And who are you to think you can stop me taking the crown and ruling?”

The mysterious figure reached up and pulled off his cloak, and a collective gasp of surprise echoed up from the crowd, as well as from those on the temple steps.

“Prince Henri!” cried out many from the crowd. Alexi

Alexi recovered after a second. “Henri,” he said with a frown. “So, you managed to survive your accident after all.”

“You know very well it was no accident, little brother. And now I’ve come to take my rightful place on the throne.”

With a scowl, Alexi raised his sword. Henri readied his. Giving a savage cry, the two princes charged at each other as the light rain over the city began to fall heavier.


 

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “rain/rein/reign”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 24/17


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Sign On The Dotted Line – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“Now then,” said the man in the nicely tailored suit sitting across the desk from Jerry, “we’ve gone over all the details. If everything sounds fine to you, just sign on the dotted line down at the bottom, above my signature, and we’ll be done.”

Jerry stared at the line the man pointed at and tried to ignore the long, pointed fingernail. He glanced back up briefly at the man with the slick black hair and soul patch, and gulped involuntarily at the gleam in his eyes (was their red color just a trick of the light?) and his leering grin.

“Are you having second thoughts?” the man asked. “Understandable if you are. But honestly, this is the best deal you’re gonna get this side of Heaven, I can promise you that. Who else is gonna give you what you’re asking for? Hm?”

Jerry looked back down at the paper. The man was right. He’d gone all over town and hadn’t found anyone else willing to help him out. He was desperate. It’s the sign of the times, Jerry thought glumly as picked up the pin, feeling discouraged that this was the only option left to him. He held the pen briefly over the dotted line, took a deep breath, and signed his name above the man’s signature of L. DeVille.

“Great!” the man cried out as he snatched the paper out from under Jerry’s hand. “The deal is made!” He stood up. “Enjoy the rest of you day, Jerry. I’ll see you again, when the time comes.”

As Jerry left the man’s office, he met up with his wife where she was waiting for him in the lobby, sitting quietly in her wheelchair.

“How’d it go?” she asked with her feeble voice.

“Don’t worry,” he told her as he wheeled her towards the door. “It’s taken care of. Things are going to be just fine from now on. You’ll see.”


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 17/17


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That Smell – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jared stepped up and knocked on the door. While he waited, he breathed into his palm to check his breath one last time and shuffled his feet anxiously.  He’d been friends with her for quite a while, and he’d had a crush on her for a while, and he thought he’d noticed a similar interest in him from her. And now she’d asked him over for dinner. He wasn’t sure what to expect. But he’d finally decided to tell her how he felt, at least, and see how it went from there.

After a few moments, the door finally opened and Bernadette stepped out. “Hi, Jared!” she said with a smile.

“Hi, Bernadette,” he replied nervously. He shoved a bouquet of flowers at her. “Here. I got these for you. I know you haven’t been feeling well lately.”

She took the flowers, and her smile widened. “How sweet! They’re lovely, Jared. Thank you! Well, don’t just stand there. Come on in. Dinner should be ready shortly.”

Bernadette went back inside and Jared followed. As soon as he entered, he was greeted by her two cats, Muffin and Biscuit, who intertwined themselves around his legs and offered up purrs and meows. Jared bent down to pet them. “Hello there, you two,” he said. “I haven’t seen you in while, have I? Did you miss me? How are you guys doing?”

The cats weren’t the only thing that greeted him, though. As he finished saying hello to the cats, he asked, “Bernadette, what’s that smell?”

“Huh?” she asked from where she was putting the flowers in a vase on the coffee table in the sitting room. “What smell?”

“That smell.”

“I don’t know what you mean, Jared.”

“Can’t you smell that smell?”

Bernadette finished arranging the flowers and came over to him and the cats. “I’m sorry, Jared. You’ll have to be more specific. With this stuffy nose from this bad cold I’ve been dealing with, I’ve not been able to smell anything, really, for the last few days.”

“Bernie, when’s the last time you cleaned the litter boxes?”

Bernadette blinked and looked from Jared, to the cats, to the bathroom down the hall. She gasped and her face reddened with embarrassment. “Oh my goodness! I can’t believe it! Jared, I’m so sorry you had to be greeted by that! Muffin, Biscuit, oh, my sweeties, I’m sorry! I wish you could have told me, reminded me. I’ve been feeling so terrible lately things have slipped my mind, and with not being able to smell, I didn’t even notice. I’ll do it right away! Jared, you can wait if you want, but if you want to go, I’ll understand.”

Jared shook his head and rolled up his sleeves. “No, Bernie. I’m staying and I’m going to help you.”

Bernadette gave him a grateful smile and the two set about tackling the litter boxes while Muffin and Biscuit supervised.

 


This silly little story is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “smell”:

https://lindaghill.com/2017/05/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-2717/


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Intergalactic Nonsense – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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The intercom buzzed on the bridge. Captain Hastings pressed the button on the arm of his command chair and answered, “Hastings here.”

A frantic voice replied, “Jennings here, sir. We need you come down to the galley right away.”

“What’s wrong?”

“The ambassadors and delegates from Xenos and Alberacht are arguing, and it’s about to break out into an all-out fight. If they do, it’ll become one heck of an intergalactic incident.”

Hastings and his first officer, Evans, exchanged a glance. “We’ll be right there.” He pressed another button. “Security, this is Hastings. Send a team to meet me at the galley, right away.”

Hastings and Evans hurried to from the bridge and took the transport tube to down three levels. They ran down the corridor and met the security team outside the galley. When they entered, they came to an abrupt stop, stunned by the sight that greeted them.

“What in the world?” said Hasting.

“Interesting,” said Evans. “I’ve always heard of this, but never thought I’d see one.”

In the middle of the dining area, the argument between the delegations from the planets Xenos and Alberacht had escalated into a fight, but instead of fists being thrown, it was food being thrown.

“I believe this may well be the first intergalactic food fight in history, Captain,” Evans said, ducking a stray cream pie that came flying towards him. It hit the face of the security team member standing behind him.

“What do you suggest we do, Evans?” Hastings asked. “Should we intervene?”

Evans took a pie from a nearby table. “Intervene if you want. I’m joining in!” He tossed the pie towards the nearest food fighter.

Hastings shook his head. “They never prepared me for something like this at the Academy,” he muttered.

 


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “inter-“:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS May 6/17

 

 


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To The Moon – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS #amwriting

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“Hey!” said the fox, running up the little dog lying by the fence. “Diddle! Have you seen Bessie lately? I’ve not seen her all day.”

The dog looked up at the fox briefly, then went back to dozing.

“Bah!” scoffed the fox. “What a lazy dog. Thanks for nothing, Diddle!”

The fox jumped over the dog and ran up to the small cat playing with a fiddle at the far end of the yard. “Have you seen Bessie lately? I’ve not seen her all day. She was saying something strange yesterday and I’m worried.”

“Nope, sorry,” said the cat. “Can’t say I have seen her today.” Then the cat spotted a dish and a spoon lying the yard close by. The cat stopped playing with the fiddle and started stalking the dish and spoon.

The fox wandered away and made its way to the far end of the fenced-in field. There he found Bessie, the brown-spotted cow who was his friend. She was standing all alone, staring up the crescent moon rising in the sky. The fox ran up to her.

“Bessie!” the fox said. “You’re not really going to try it, are you?”

Bessie let out a soft “moo” and looked at the fox. “Yes, I am, dear friend.”

“But you can’t, Bessie! You can’t jump over the moon! It’s impossible! No one can do it!”

“Moo!” Bessie said with an angry swish of her tail. “It’s only impossible because no one has done it before! But I can do it, fox! Just you watch!”

“But…” the fox started to say, but it had to back out the way as Bessie backed up.

The cow stared at the moon, then took off running as fast as she could across the field. She ran and ran towards the moon. She didn’t seem to see fence growing closer, and the fox was afraid she’d crash into it, but at the last second, the cow gave a long, loud “Moo!” that drew the attention of the cat and the lazy dog, and she took a flying leap into the sky.

To their amazement, the cow jumped high enough to reach the moon. The fox thought she’d really make it all the way over, but just as she was clearing the top, her collar snagged on the tip of the crescent and she hung there, dangling high in the sky.

The lazy dog laughed to see such a sight.

“MOO!” Bessie cried out in fright. “HELP ME!”

“Lose the collar!” the fox called to her.

Bessie started wriggling around and then, suddenly, she slipped out of her collar and fell to the ground. The fox, the dog, and the cat ran up to her as she struggled to her feet.

“Are you alright, Bessie?” the fox asked.

“Moo,” she said plaintively, “I’m fine, aside from a bruised ego. You were right, fox. I couldn’t do it.”

“But Bessie, you almost did! You almost made it! It was amazing! You did great!”

“Really?”

“Yes!”

The cat and dog nodded agreement, although the both grinned at the memory of her dangling from the moon.

“Thank you. Maybe I will try again. But not today. I think I’ve had enough excitement for one day.”

Bessie headed back to the field, escorted by her friends.

 


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Apr. 15/17

 


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Any Moment – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“Any moment now,” Lena thought as she watched the school’s back door from where she stood by the large tree in the school yard. “He should be coming any moment now…”

She’d left a note for him in his locker, asking him to meet her there after school because she had something important to tell him. Jason was the cutest boy in the school and was the star athlete, and every girl had a crush on him. She’d been lucky enough to have had him as her lab partner in class a few days ago, and they’d seemed to get along well enough. She couldn’t stop thinking about him ever since, so she decided to take a chance.

“Any moment now,” she said softly as she continued to stand there, watching the door in anticipation.

“Whatcha doin’?” said a chipper voice behind her.

Lena jumped and let out a small cry of surprise. She turned and found Eli, the class clown, standing on the other side of the tree. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

He flinched at the annoyed tone of her voice. “You didn’t go home after school, like usual. I just wondered if something was wrong.”

Eli was her next-door neighbor and they’d been good friends when they were little. As they grew older, she’d made new friends in school and she’d tried to avoid him as much as possible, not wanting to be associated with the class clown. But he wouldn’t leave her alone.

“It’s not any of your business, Eli,” she said, and turned her back on him to return to watching the school door.

“If you’re waiting for Jason, you can stop,” Eli said. “He’s not coming.”

She turned back to him. “What do you mean? And how did you know?”

He gave her a knowing look and said, “I saw Jason leaving earlier with Julia. They were laughing and holding hands.”

She frowned. “But…But…In class the other day….I really thought…” She slumped to the ground and started to silently cry.

Eli shook his head then knelt beside her. “You should’ve known better than to have gotten your hopes up for a guy like him. The hot guy on campus, the star athlete…You know every girl is going to want him. And you know those guys are always the “player” type. You deserve someone better than him, Lena.”

She looked up at him. “You really think so?”

“I do.”

“Any ideas who that might be? Or where he might be?”

He wiped her tears away as he replied, “Who knows? He could be anyone or anywhere. He could even be closer than you think.”

She gave him an appraising look. She’d never seen this side of him before. It was rather nice. She gave him a small smile and said, “Maybe you’re right.”


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Apr. 1/17


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A Different Drum – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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It was a warm sunny day in March, and Alice and her friend Diana stood out on the deck and watched Alice’s daughter, Marianna as she sat at the little picnic table in the backyard, pretending to be having a tea party. She wore her father’s old top hat and she had plush toy animals sitting around the table at the various place settings, with a large plush rabbit sitting next to her in the seat of honor.

They heard Marianna introduce the rabbit as the March Hare, then saw Marianna look at her watch and cry out “Move down! Move down!” The little girl got up and moved all the toy animals over one seat.

“What is she doing?” Diana asked.

“She’s playing Alice in Wonderland. She just loves that story, especially the part about the tea party.”

Marianna played tea party for a few more minutes, then suddenly got up and placed all the toys in a line across the yard. Then she picked up a stick and went to the front of the line. She began humming what sounded like a marching band tune, then started marching around like she was leading a parade. After a few minutes of that, she decided to go play in the flower bed and talk to the daffodils and other flowers as her heroine, Alice, had done in Wonderland.

Diana shook her head in amazement. “That girl of yours sure has quite an imagination.”

“Yes, she does,” said Alice. “She certainly seems to march to the beat of a different drum.”

They watched her for a few more minutes, then decided to go back inside and let her play for a while.

 

 


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Mar. 25/17