Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


Utter Chaos – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Sheila slogged up the steps to her front door. She was tired, both mentally and physically. The party had been draining on her. She really hadn’t wanted to go in the first place, and there were so many people at the noisy club, it was practically chaos. Why had Julie invited her, anyway? She knew she wasn’t a party person, and definitely not a club person. And Jim, of all people, had been there, too. Why had Julie invited him, too? Julie should have known what would happen if she ran into her ex. And it almost did. Julie was lucky Shelia had managed to get away without causing too much of a scene. What a mess.

Now all Sheila wanted was to get inside, change into something more comfortable than her party dress, and crawl into bed and stay there for a week.

Sheila unlocked her door and stepped inside. She stopped after only a couple of steps and groaned. Her widened eyes surveyed what she could only call a scene of utter chaos in her living room.

Figurines off her bookshelf lay scattered on the floor, along with a handful of books. A few of the figurines had shattered. The vase and magazines had been knocked off the coffee table. Pillows from the sofa were also on the floor, as well as the table lamps from the side tables. The small footstool in front of the sofa has been tipped over. It almost looked like a crime scene. Except for one thing.

The toilet paper.

The toilet paper that trailed down the hall towards the living room.

Sheila stared at it all for a moment, taking it all in. Then she shook off her shock and moved down the hallway, following the trail of toilet paper to the bathroom, where another chaotic scene greeted her. All the toilet paper had been rolled off the roll into a pile on the floor around the toilet and trailed out the door.

Sheila sighed and growled out one word. “Mitzi!”

Sheila went to the small, spare room next door to the bathroom. She had set up the room as Mitzi’s room, complete with a cat bed, a food and water bowl, and a small cat tree beneath a window. Here she found among all the scattered cat toys on the floor a tipped-over litter box, its litter spilled out onto the floor. The culprit, a little calico cat, lay beside it like the victim in a crime scene – except for the slightly twitching tail.

Sheila stared in wonder. How could something so small cause so much chaos? she thought After a moment, she sighed and shook her head. “Oh, Mitzi,” she muttered. “What am I going to do with you?”

Sheila left the room and headed for the kitchen to get a broom. It looked like she wouldn’t be crawling into bed just yet.

Image found on Pinerest

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


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A Big Heart – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Allie came home from work and sat down on the couch with a sigh. It’d been a long day and she was exhausted. She leaned her head back against the cushion and closed her eyes, intending to rest for just a few minutes before getting ready for dinner.

The next thing she knew, there was a knock on her door. Startled awake, she jumped from the couch and hurried to the door. Peering out the peephole, she saw Eric standing on the doorstep. She wondered briefly why he was there, then she remembered. It was Valentine’s Day and they were going to have dinner together. But why was he early? She glanced at the clock on the wall and saw the time and gasped. She’d napped for longer than she’d intended.

She quickly opened the door and let Eric in. “Sorry,” she said as he stepped inside. “I fell asleep on the couch. I didn’t mean to nap so long.”

“It’s okay,” he said with a smile. “I totally understand. That’s happened to me a few times.”

Allie closed the door and told him, “Why don’t you go into the living room and have a seat. I’ll grab us some drinks and join you.”

“Sounds good,” he replied.

A few moments later, Allie joined Eric in the living room. As she handed him a glass of red wine, she noticed a small bag sitting on the floor next to him. “What’s that bag?” she asked as she sat beside him on the couch.

“Oh, that’s just a little Valentine’s present I got for you,” he said, taking a sip of wine.

She took a sip from her glass of wine. “Oh? What is it?”

“Just a little surprise that I think you’ll like,” he replied with a wink. “Do you want it now, or after dinner?”

“That’s a silly question,” she answered with a chuckle. “You know I hate to wait when it comes to presents.”

He chuckled. “True. You do hate to wait. All right, then, now it is.” He set the glass of wine down on the coffee table and picked up the bag. “I know you’ve wanted one of these for a while now.”

Allie took the bag from him and looked inside. Her eyes widened and she gasped. “Oh, Eric!” Reaching into the bag, she took out a small black kitten with a red ribbon around its neck.

“Do you like him?” he asked.

She gazed at the kitten with a grin on her face. The kitten let out a small mew and purred in her hands. “I love him! He’s adorable!” Then she noticed that the kitten has a small white patch on its chest in the shape of a heart. “Eric, look! He has a big heart on its chest!”

“I know. When I saw him, I knew I had to get him for you. I knew you’d been wanting a black kitten for a while, and he was perfect for a Valentine’s Day gift.”

“Oh, he is, Eric. You’re the best! Thank you!” She paused, having noticed something else. Something small, attached to the red ribbon. “Eric, what’s this?” she asked, removing the ribbon.

“Oh, that’s your other Valentine’s present,” he said, his tone suddenly serious. “Here, let me.” He took the ribbon from her and removed the small thing from it. Then he dropped to one knee on the floor and held the small thing – a ring – out to her. “Allie, will you marry me?”

Allie gasped again, then smiled. “Oh, Eric! Yes!” she answered, and as she kissed him, she thought how lucky she was to have to guys with big hearts now.

Image found on Pinterest

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


Don’t Count On It – Stream Of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

“Marjorie?” Miles called as he stepped into the bedroom. “Have you seen my-” He stopped when he saw her standing by the bed, packing a suitcase. “What’s going on?” he asked, his brow furrowed.

“What does it look like, Miles?” she replied, zipping the suitcase closed. “I’m leaving.”

“Leaving? Are you going on a trip or something? You didn’t mention one to me.”

She turned and glared at him. She held up a cell phone. “I found your little text messages, Miles. Who’s Gina? And Amanda? And Iris?”

His eyes widened and he took a step back. “Uh, I, uh…”

With a yell, she tossed his cell phone at him. He ducked it and stammered, “Marjorie, listen…”

“No Miles, you listen. I’ve had enough. For a while now, I’ve suspected something was going on, but I shrugged it off, naively believing you were working late at the office, like you claimed you had been. I should have known better. And now I’ve seen the proof, right there on your phone – the text messages, and the photos!”

Miles took a deep breath. “Marjorie, I’m sorry. I really am. There’s no excuse for what I did. But I promise…”

Majorie shook her head and grabbed the suitcase from the bed. “No, Miles,” she said, taking a step towards the door. “No promises. It’s gone on long enough. And now I’m gone.”

She stalked from the room and through the house towards the front door.

Miles called after her. “You’ll be back, Marjorie! You’ll be back!”

“Don’t count on it!” she called back, and slammed the door behind her.

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday post, “count on it”:


Not So Excellent – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

He sat at his desk, studying a map on which some tiny figurines had been strategically set. With a chuckle, he moved one figurine off the map and moved another figurine so that it replaced it. Then he leaned back in his seat and grinned as he put his hands together in front of his face and tapped his forefingers together. “Excellent,” he muttered. He closed his eyes to savor the moment.

A knock on his door interrupted him. “Come,” he called, sitting up straight.

The door opened and a uniformed young man entered. “Sir,” he said with a brisk salute. “We’ve just been notified that he’s been captured and placed in a holding cell, as you requested.”

“Excellent, excellent. You may go now. I’ll let you know when I am ready to go see him.”

“Very good, sir.” The young man bowed and left.

Leaning back in his chair, he grinned. “Excellent, indeed. With his capture, my plan for world domination is one step closer to fruition.”

He sat up and punched a button on his desk. On the computer monitor to his right, a live video feed popped up, showing the prison area. He punched another button and the video zoomed in on a cell where a man in a torn suit paced back and forth. An armed guard stood next to the cell.

He cackled, then got up from his chair and did a little dance. Then he walked over to the mini bar and fixed a drink. He took a sip and returned to his desk. He raised his glass to the video of the prisoner in a salute, laughed, and took another sip. Then he turned his attention back to the map on the desk.

After studying the map for a few minutes, he leaned back in his chair and took another sip of his drink. He grinned and turned his attention back to the video feed of the prisoner. The glass slipped from his hand as he screamed, “No! Impossible!”

In the video, the guard lay unconscious in the cell. There was no sign of the prisoner.

He slammed a button on his desk. A moment later, the young uniformed man entered, and before the young man could say anything, he yelled, “Don’t just stand there! The prisoner has escaped! Find him! Now!”

Startled, the young man bowed and hurried from the room.

With a furious growl, he swept the map and figurines from the desk. “Dammit!” he cried. “Evans! You haven’t won yet!”


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

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Bored Game – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

“I’m bored,” complained Nick with a sigh as he slumped in his chair.

“How about we play a game, then?” suggested Jan as she came into the room with some snacks from the kitchen.

“What sort of game?” Nick replied sullenly.

“Well, we can make room on the coffee table and play a board game.”

Nick shrugged. “I guess we can do that.”

They cleared the coffee table and Jan set up a board game. However, it wasn’t long before Nick was complaining again.

As he noticed he was trailing far behind Jan in the game, he huffed and slumped back in his chair. “This is boring! You call this a board game? Ha! It’s more like a bored game!”

Jan frowned. “Fine! Stay bored then!” And with a huff she stalked from the room.

Nick stared after her for a moment, then turned and looked out the window. “I’m bored,” he muttered to himself.

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “board/bored”:


The Key – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

She sat in the chair and stared at the fire crackling in the fireplace. A letter lay in her lap. Slowly, a tear trickled down her cheek.

Memories of her argument with Mitch replayed in her mind as she watched the flames dance. The scene of her best friend – her only friend – storming out the door repeated itself, and she felt tears hit her hand.

She picked up the letter she’d found slipped under her front door not long after Mitch had left, and read it again.

“I hate seeing you so alone. I hate seeing how unhappy you are, though you try to hide it. I know you’re afraid of being hurt, but you need to stop shutting people out. You need to unlock your heart and let people in, Anya. I can help you, if you will let me. Let me be the key that unlocks your heart.”

The letter wasn’t signed, but she recognized the handwriting.

She grasped the letter and inwardly berated herself for being such a fool. She’d had no idea how Mitch had truly felt about her. And she knew he was right about everything – about hiding being unhappy and about shutting people out. She’d been pushing people away for so long, afraid to let anyone get close to her, but she couldn’t continue to do that now.

Mitch had already unlocked her heart.

Anya jumped from her chair and ran out of the house, letter in hand, to find Mitch.

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

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I’ll Remember It – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Jen sat at the table in the little coffee shop, her laptop sitting open in front of her, the colorful ribbons of its screensaver dancing across the monitor. She sipped her cappuccino as she watched the people sitting around her for a minute. Then she sat the mug down and tapped a key on the laptop to wake it up.

She opened a Word document and sat staring at it, her fingers poised to write something. But her fingers never moved. She just stared at the blank document and the blinking cursor patiently waiting for her.

She sat like that for a few minutes until she finally released a groan, slid her hands from the laptop and slumped back in her chair.

Her friend Riley came into the coffee shop at just that moment and spotted her. She called out to Jen and joined her at table.

“What’s up?” Riley asked. “You sounded so chipper on the phone the morning. Now you look…defeated.”

“I could just kick myself,” Jen muttered.

Riley raised a questioning eyebrow.

Jen sat up and grabbed her cappuccino. “I told you woke up with a great story idea, right?” Riley nodded and Jen took a sip before continuing. “Well, I was rushing around this morning, and I didn’t bother to make a note of the idea. I thought it was such a great idea that I’d be sure to remember it.”

Jen paused and Riley picked up the tale. “And when you got here and tried to start writing, you couldn’t remember the idea.”

Jen nodded.

Riley gave her head a small shake. “That’s why I keep telling you to make a note when you have a good idea, Jen. We’re just lying to ourselves if we think we don’t need to write it down.” Jen heaved a sigh and Riley continued. “But don’t feel so bad, Jen. It happens to us all. Even me. That’s why I keep reminding you.”

Jen gave her a small smile. “Thanks, Riley. Keep on reminding me, will you?” She raised her hand to signal to a waitress as she asked Riley, “Can I get you a cappuccino?”

(This meme is from Pinterest)

This relatable post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “make a note”:


Is Your Cat Plotting To Kill You? – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS


“How do you tell if your cat is plotting to kill you?” Sherri asked Mitch as she set her cup down on the coffee table.

Mitch gave her a quizzical look from the recliner across the table from her seat on the couch. “What do you mean?” he asked before taking a sip of coffee.

Behind the couch, a black and white cat crouched unseen and listened silently.

“Well, it’s just, you know. Things. Things Tux has been doing lately.”

Mitch set the coffee cup on the table. He thought she was probably overreacting, being a new cat owner and all, but he felt he should humor her, so he asked, “Like what?”

“Well, he always seems to be underfoot. I have to constantly watch where I’m walking for fear of tripping over him. Even on the stairs. I can be walking down the stairs when suddenly, as if from out of nowhere, he’ll be crouched on step, almost like he was trying to trip me.”

Behind the couch, the cat’s ears perked up and he turned his head slightly towards the spot where Sherri’s voice was coming from.

“Cats being underfoot is pretty normal, Sherri. Is that all he’s doing?”

Sherri shook her head. “I’ll wake up at night, suddenly unable to breathe, and find Tux has draped himself over my face.”

Behind the couch, Tux’s eyes narrowed. He didn’t like what he was hearing from Sherri.

“I’ve heard of some cats doing that, Sherri. They’ll lay there or near your head, or even on your chest. They like to feel your pulse. It’s comforting to them. It’s nothing to get too concerned over. Is there anything else?”

“Well, actually, …”

Tux didn’t wait to hear whatever else Sherri related. He padded quietly out of the room and into the spare bedroom. Crawling under the bed, he dragged out a book he had carefully hidden. “How can she be on to me already?” he muttered as he licked a paw and started turning pages. “I can’t believe it! I wonder what the book recommends I should do now…”

(images are from Pinterest)

(And I recommend the How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You book, by The Oatmeal. It’s hilarious :D)

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

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Good Fortune – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS


Frank pushed aside his empty plate of Chinese food and opened his fortune cookie. He didn’t know why he bothered with it. He didn’t really like the cookies, and he thought the fortunes in them were just silly. He only read them for the chuckles they gave him. Like horoscopes, he didn’t believe them.

“Good fortune will shine on you,” he read on the little slip of paper that was tucked inside the cookie.

Short and simple, he thought. And at least is sounds more like an actual fortune this time and not some knock-off of a Chinese proverb or something.

Still, he scoffed at the cookie’s fortune. “Good fortune will shine on me,” he muttered. “Yeah, right. Not with my luck.”

Frank left the restaurant and headed home. As he walked along the sidewalk in front of an apartment building, he spotted a $5 bill on the ground. He stopped and bent down to pick it up. A moment later, a brick fell from one of the apartment’s balconies , hitting the ground right where he would have been if he hadn’t stopped.

Frank jumped back and stared at the brick. His mind raced as he tried to calm his heartbeat. It had to be a coincidence, he thought. There’s no way that fortune cookie could be right.

When he finally calmed down, Frank continued his walk. A couple of moments later, his cell phone chimed. He looked at it and found a text message letting him know he’d been offered the job he’d interviewed for and had really been wanting.

Frank stared at it, disbelieving. “No way,” he muttered. “That cookie’s fortune couldn’t be real…”

Flustered, Frank walked on down the sidewalk to his apartment building. When he stepped out of the elevator and headed for his apartment door, he spotted a pretty girl unlocking the door of the apartment next to his. He didn’t recognize her. Then he noticed a couple of moving boxes next to her and realized she was moving in.

He stepped up and introduced himself, and offered to help her carry the boxes in. She gave him a warm smiled as she accepted his help, telling him how grateful she was for his offer because she was new in town and had no one to help her.

As he help her and they chatted, Frank noticed they had a lot in common, and he felt they were really hitting it off. When she smiled at him as he set a box down, he began to think maybe there had been something to that fortune cookie after all.

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


Surprise – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS


“What’s up?” Jerry asked as he sat down at the table across from David. “You sounded anxious on the phone.”

David took a big drink of his beer and stared at the table top as he collected his thoughts. Two empty beer steins sat on the table beside him. Around him, bar patrons laughed and chatted, and David wished he could stop worrying and join them. 

“Denise has been acting weird lately,” David finally said.

“Weird how?”

“I don’t know. She’s kind of evasive, I guess. She cancels dates suddenly. And she seems distracted sometimes when we’re talking. And I’ve overheard her on some odd phone calls. When I ask her about them, she just gives vague answers or changes the topic. I wish I knew what was going on. Things are usually so black and white with her. She’s always been like an open book. There’s nothing gray about her. So it’s not like her to be so mysterious.”

Jerry started to answer, but David cut him off. “I know what you’re going to say, Jerry, and I promise you that’s not it. She’d never do that. We’re totally committed to each other.”

Jerry started to say something, but David again cut him off. “You know what I need to do, Jerry?” He leaned back in his seat and rubbed his templed. “I need to use my little gray cells to try to figure out what’s going on with her.” He started to hum to himself as he continued to rub his temples.

Jerry watched him for a moment and slowly shook his head. He debated whether or not to tell David. He’d made a promise to keep it a secret, but he’d had no idea Denise’s plan would affect David like this. And though it’d only be for one more day, he wasn’t sure if David could take it any more if he didn’t tell him. After a moment, he decided.

With a sigh, Jerry placed a newspaper on the table in front of David. “Hey, Poirot,”  he said. “The answer’s right here in black and white.”

David sat up and blinked. “Huh?” he mumbled. “Where?”

Jerry pointed to the newspaper. “Right here. See?”

David stared at the newspaper in confusion. “I don’t see it.”

Jerry shook his head and pointed again. “Here. See the date?”

“Yeah. So? What about it?”

Jerry rolled his eyes and wondered how an Agatha Christie fan could be so dense. “It’s today’s date. What’s tomorrow?”

David blinked his eyes as he thought about it. When he finally figured it out, his jaw dropped. “You mean…”

Jerry nodded. “Right. She’s been planning a surprise birthday party for you, you dope.”


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “black, gray and white”: