Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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Welcome – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“Welcome!” said the little old man behind the counter as Jakob walked in through the aged hotel’s grimy glass doors and across the scuffed marble floor. It was stormy out, and Jakob’s steps left damp footprints in his wake. “Welcome! How can I help you?”

Jakob stepped up to the dusty counter and set his suitcase down beside him. “I need a room for the night,” he said as he tried to brush his soaked brown hair out of his face. “I got a little turned around on the road thanks to this storm, it’s getting late, and you’re the first place I could find that I could stop at.”

The old man gave Jakob a toothy grin. “Of course, of course. I understand completely. It’s our off season, so we have plenty of rooms available. Do you have a preference?”

“No preference. Any room will be fine.”

“Then how about room 113? It’s our most popular room. We have many people request to stay in it.”

“That’s fine,” Jakob replied, stifling a yawn.

“Great!” the old man said as he placed a ledger book with a faded leather cover in front of Jakob. “If you’ll just sign in here, I’ll get you your room key.”

Jakob grabbed a pen from a caddy on the desk and signed in the ledger book while the old man grabbed a key from a desk drawer.

“Here you are, sir,” the old man said, taking the ledger book and handing Jakob the key. “The room is right down the hall there to your left. Check out is at 10:00 in the morning. Have a good night!”

Jakob grabbed his suitcase and made his way down the dimly lit hallway to his room. It was a small room, with just the basic necessities like a twin bed, a small dresser, nightstand with lamp, and a small desk. Like the rest of the hotel, it was a bit dingy and dimly lit, but Jakob was tired and paid it no mind. He set his suitcase down and went into the tiny bathroom to take a quick shower.

After his shower, Jakob decided to sit at the desk with his notebook and see if he could get anything written more on his manuscript before going to bed. But he still couldn’t find a way around his writer’s block, as he’d hoped the change of scenery from the short trip he’d taken would have helped him with.

Closing his notebook, Jakob headed to bed with the hopes that a good night’s sleep would help instead. But a good night’s sleep wasn’t in the cards.

Jakob was about to doze off when the sound of the doorknob rattling woke him. Thinking someone was at the door and trying to get in, he got up to check, but no one was at the door or anywhere in the hallway. With a shrug, he went back to bed, but a few minutes later the door opened on its own. Jakob stared at it, surprised, and heard footsteps walk towards him, but there was no one there. Then he caught the faint scent of a flowery perfume. It lasted just a few seconds, then was gone.

Jakob didn’t know what to think. There was a ghost here. His room was haunted. Maybe even the whole hotel. He was scared, of course, and was tempted to leave the hotel right then and there. But then the inkling of an idea for story came to him.

He jumped out of bed and went over to the desk. He opened his notebook and started writing.

In the morning, Jakob went to the desk to check out. The old man was still there. He eyed Jakob with a bit of surprise as he said, “Good morning, sir. Did you sleep well? How was your night?”

Jakob smiled as he placed the key and some cash on the counter signed himself out in the ledger. “It was good,” he said. “I didn’t sleep much, but I managed to get a lot writing done for a change, so thank you very much.”

“You’re welcome,” the old man said with a touch of bewilderment as Jakob walked towards the lobby doors, whistling a happy tune.


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS March 21/2020


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The Phantom Meow & Purr – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jenny stared at the wand toy and catnip mouse lying on the floor next to the kitty bed in the living room. She still couldn’t believe Mister was gone. She’d had the orange tabby since he was a kitten. Time certainly flies by. Before she knew it, Mister was an “old man” of fifteen and had developed cancer. She’d had to make the difficult decision to have him put to sleep.

He’d been her constant companion and loving lap cat. She didn’t know what she do without him now.

Tears filled her eyes as she looked at his favorite toys. She didn’t have the heart to pick them up at the moment, so she decided to just leave them there for now.

She tried to go about her afternoon like normal, but she kept expecting to see him or hear him. When she sat on the couch, she expected him to jump up and snuggle next to her or curl up in her lap and purr. Or to bring a toy over to her to play with him. When she went to the kitchen, she expected to see him trot along beside her and meow for a treat while she fixed something to eat.

Now she sat alone on the couch and fixed food in the kitchen in silence.

Somehow, she managed to make it through the rest of the day without Mister by her side. As she laid in bed, she thought about him again and how he’d jump up on the bed and curl up beside her to sleep. She felt tears trickle down her cheeks.

She was just about to doze off when she thought she heard a meow from the foot of the bed. Then suddenly, there was a soft bounce on the mattress, as of a cat jumping up on it and what felt like small kitty feet walking across it, followed by the sensation of a cat lying up against her legs. Then she thought she heard low purring.

Somehow, she knew it was Mister, coming to comfort her by curling up beside her again, letting her know everything was all right and that he’d always be with her.

 


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “animal sounds” – write about the sounds animals make and how you experience them:
The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 22/2020


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Suddenly The Torches – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Suddenly the torches lining both walls all lit up as one, startling the young girl. She hadn’t known quite what to expect when she opened the old crypt door, but sudden light sure hadn’t been on the list.  Aryn blinked her eyes as she waited for them to adjust to the light. When she could finally see, she brushed away a cobweb she hadn’t noticed before then crept inside. She had only gone a few feet down the hallway when the crypt door slammed shut behind her, making her jump yet again.

Flustered, Aryn ran back to the door to see if it would open. At first she worried she would be trapped, since she couldn’t find any handles, but after a few moments, her wits came back to her and her thieving skills kicked in. Admonishing herself for panicking and losing control like that, she studied the door, lightly feeling along the designs carved into it, and found the hidden trigger that would open the door.

Heaving a sigh of relief, Aryn returned to making her way down the hallway. It was dusty and littered with rat droppings, as well as the occasional stone that had fallen from the ceiling. After a few minutes, she reached the point where it branched off. She pulled a crumpled piece of old parchment from the leather pouch on her waist and unfolded it. After consulting the fading map on the parchment, she followed the hallway that led to the right.

The torches on the walls continued to light up on the their own as she walked along the winding hallway, following the map as it led her further and further below the ancient city.

As time wore on, Aryn’s anxiety about this treasure hunt grew.  She had no idea where the map had come from, after all. It had just been slid beneath the door of her room at the Golden Dragon Inn along with an unsigned note promising that it would lead to great treasure.

So why had she accepted the challenge? Curiosity? Greed?

As the large chamber at the end of the map finally came into view, Aryn’s second thoughts about the quest were pushed aside.

She stepped into the room and the torches on the walls lit up, revealing all the ornate decorations along the walls and the large sarcophagus at the center of the room. Aryn stood just in the side door and gazed longingly at all the gold and bejeweled decorations that lined the walls adorned the sarcophagus. She longed to be able to take it all with her, but she knew better. Not only could she not carry it all herself, but she knew all too well that there would be traps in the room to stop someone like her from robbing it. There was only one treasure she was interested in taking , and that was the one that was mentioned in the note – the supposedly lost diadem of Queen Marina that had been missing for hundreds of years. If the what the note claimed was true, and the diadem had been hidden in this room, then it could be worth a fortune.

But first Aryn needed to get into the room. And that meant she needed to make sure there were no traps to stop her, first.

She reached into the leather pouch at her waist where here tools were kept.

“Time to get to work,” she told herself.


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “the first 3 words of the first full sentence” (the book I used was The Hobbit)

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan 2020 Daily Prompt – Jan. 11th

 

 

 


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Under The Shade Tree – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“Fine!” she spat angrily into the phone before hanging up. She held it tightly in her hand a couple of moments, as if trying to strangle it, then tossed it aside. She couldn’t believe it was happening. After all these years, that he would do that to her…

She took a few deep breaths, trying to calm down. She needed to get herself together so she could tell the kids without losing it.

She could hear the kids outside playing, so she went out into the backyard to watch. There was a nice, big oak tree at the far end of the yard that seemed to call to her, and she answered it. She crossed the yard and sat beneath it. As she watched her children playing, she let the shade from the tree’s branches hide her tears.

After a while, her tuxedo cat, Dinah, crept up from she knew not where and crawled into her lap. Dinah curled up and purred, and she petted her as she continued to watch the children play without a care in the world.

How nice it would be to be a child like that again, she thought. To have nothing to worry about. To be carefree.

As she sat there under the shade tree, she could feel her eyes growing heavy. Then she felt like she was falling.

With a jolt, she woke up. Gone was the shade tree, Dinah, and her children. Around her was a dark forest. A forest that seemed somehow familiar. Stretching out ahead of her was a dirt path. She followed the path for a ways until she came to a fork in the road. It too seemed familiar. As she was trying to decide which way to go, she thought she saw a white rabbit in a waistcoat hurrying through the trees down the path to the right. The rabbit, too, seemed familiar.

Then she saw a big cat with a large grin materialize in the branches of a tree at the center of the fork. The cat looked at her, and its grin grew larger.

“Ah, welcome back, Alice,” it said with a purr.

Alice blinked, suddenly realizing where she was. She grinned back at the cat and replied, “It’s good to be back.”

 


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 30/19

 

 

 


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Nuts – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Cole the black cat strode into his friend Tiger’s backyard, intending to pay a visit to the young orange tabby cat. As he rounded the corner of the house and entered the back yard, he paused in surprise at the sight that greeted him.

Tiger was striding across the yard with a walnut held in his mouth. Cole watched him climb one of the trees and drop the nut into a small hole in the trunk near the lower branches. Cole heard the nut hit what sounded like a pile of more nuts. Then Tiger jumped back to the ground and headed towards the back door, where there was a cat door.

Tiger’s behavior was strange, yes, but what Cole found strangest of all was that Tiger was wearing a squirrel costume.

As Tiger drew near, Cole called out to him. “Tiger!” he said.

Tiger paused before going through the cat door. “Oh, hi, Cole!” he said brightly.

“What are you doing, Tiger?” Cole asked.

“Well, you know how they say that to catch the prey, you should become the prey?”

“Yeah,” Cole replied hesitantly.

“Well, there’s this one pesky squirrel I’ve been having trouble catching, so I thought I’d give becoming the prey a shot.”

“Uh-huh. And?”

“Well, I’ve been taking nuts up the tree and storing them, like squirrels do.”

“And the costume?”

“It’s to help me get into character. I borrowed it from the miniature poodle across the street.”

“She actually let you have it?”

“Well, she’s not too crazy about it. But you know, she seemed a little too eager to let me have it after I explained what I wanted it for. She even laughed as I left with it.”

Cole sighed. “I can tell you why, Tiger.”

“You can?”

“Yes. You’re nuts! This is not what the saying means!”

“It’s not?”

“No. And I bet that poodle has been laughing her head off at you this whole time. And probably that squirrel you’ve been after has been watching and laughing, too.”

“So you’re saying I’ve been embarrassing myself all afternoon?”

“Yep.”

“Nuts!” Tiger spat in irritation before sitting down with a huff. His tail twitched briskly.

Cole walked up to his friend. “Let’s get that costume off you,” he suggested. “Then I’ll help you come up with a better plan to catch that squirrel. Okay?”

“Okay.”


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 2/19

Image is from my Pinterest

 


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Dress Up – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Sherri and Alec stood in front of the full-length mirror in their bedroom and grinned. Sherri brushed a lock of curly black hair behind her ear then tweaked her crooked nose and smoothed out a crease in her dress. “We look great,” she said, “don’t you think?”

Alec nodded, and quickly held a hand up to keep his pointed black hat from falling off. “Yeah. You look great in your witch costume.”

“And you look great in your warlock costume.”

“Do you think we’ll win the costume contest, though?”

“I don’t know. Maybe. There could be some tough competition. But we’ve got Salem to help us.”

“You still want to bring him?”

“Of course! What’s a witch without her black cat?”

“True. But do you really intend to dress him up for this? You know how he gets. Can you really get that costume on him?”

“It’ll be fine, Alec. Don’t worry. Now, come on. We don’t have much time before we have to leave.”

Sherri grabbed a small plastic bag from the bed and left the room. Alec softly shook his head as he followed his wife.

In the living room, Salem was curled up on the couch. Sherri softly sat beside him and reached into the bag. The cat’s ears twitched at the sound of the rustling plastic and he opened a yellow eye a slit. He watched as Sherri slowly dragged a small black cape and a small pointed black hat from the bag, then reached out for him.

Salem’s eyes popped open and he quickly sat up, a low growl starting to issue from his throat. Sherri reached further for him, and he hissed.

“Sherri…” Alec warned as he watched her quickly grab the cat and hoist it into her lap.

The cat struggled, wriggling and hissing, as Sherri worked to put the small cape and hat on the cat. Somehow, she managed to get them on the cat, but Salem made his displeasure fully known with a swat at her hand. His claws scratched her hand, and she cried out as the cat jumped from her lap and ran to hide under the lounge chair across the room.

“See,” Alec said. “I warned you about trying to dress up the cat.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Sherri said as she got up from the couch. “I’m going to go clean this scratch and put a bandage on it. Get Salem from underneath the chair and take the costume off him. When he’s calmed down, we’ll go.”

“You still want to take him?” Alec asked in disbelief.

“Of course! A witch needs her familiar, after all.”

Alec rolled his eyes as Sherri headed for the bathroom.


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 26/19

 

 


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Grounded – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Lydia stood on her doorstep and kissed her date goodnight. As he turned and walked back to his car, she unlocked her door and stepped inside, a big smile on her face. The date had been wonderful and she felt on top of the world.

Having locked the door behind her, she turned to walk into the living room, planning to relax on the couch and relive the fun date in her mind. The sight that beheld her eyes quickly dragged her down from Cloud Nine and grounded her in reality, ruining her good mood.

Knickknacks lay scattered on the floor, having been pushed off the shelves of her desk, curio cabinet, and entertainment center. The side of her fairly new sofa had scratches. There was a hairball on the rug, under the coffee table.

Afraid of what else she’d find, she went into the kitchen. Scraps of chicken lay on the floor underneath a torn trash bag that had been hanging on the doorknob of the back door. Anger building, she went to the bathroom and found the toilet paper roll had been completely unrolled and scraps of it were littered about.

Losing her cool at last, she stomped around the house, shouting, “All right, mister! That does it! You’re grounded! You’re not allowed outside for a month!”

Not finding the culprit in any of the bedrooms, she made her way to the laundry room, where she finally found the orange tabby cat curled up on top of the laundry basket and sleeping the sleep of the innocent – or in this case, the not-so-innocent, as Lydia could tell from the small piece of toilet paper stuck to a paw.

The cuteness of the sleeping cat melting her anger, Lydia just shook her head and sighed. Letting the cat sleep, she left the laundry room and proceeded to clean up after the cat, muttering as she left that he had better remember what he did when she refused to let him outside later.

 

 

Image is from my Pinterest

 

 

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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 12/19