Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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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

 

 


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Framed- Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Anna and Bob were browsing through a thrift store. Neither had anything in particular that they wanted to look for, they were just killing time and seeing if there was anything that might catch their eye that they would be interested in.

Anna stopped at a shelf of knickknacks to look at some cute little cat figurines. Bob went to the next set of shelves to look at some pictures.

Anna was inspecting a set of salt and pepper shakers that looked like Siamese cats when she heard Bob call to her.

“Hey, Anna!” he called. “Look at this!”

Anna set the shakers down and turned to look.

Bob stood in the middle of the aisle with a wooden picture frame draped over his shoulders and a big grin on his face. “I’ve been framed!” he joked.

Anna rolled her eyes but a second later chuckled. She grabbed her cell phone and quickly snapped a picture. “You and your joke may be silly, Bob,” she said as she tapped some buttons on her phone, “but I can’t help it. I’ve got to get a picture of it and share it.”

“Go right ahead,” Bob said. “Share the laughs.”

And so she did, and the picture of the framed Bob was shared with the world, and it quickly went viral.

 


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS July 20/19


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Fun With Leaves – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Matt was out in his backyard, raking up leaves. His yard was fairly large and there were a lot of trees around, so he had been at it for quite a while. His big black and white Maine Coon cat, Sylvester, had joined him about halfway through his raking, and Matt would take a break now and then to watch the cat play with some of the leaves. Watching the cat play put a smile on his face and helped him to not feel quite so tired.

Sylvester was having a good time outside. He loved that Matt had put in a cat door a few months ago, allowing him to go in and out at will. He especially enjoyed it now that Autumn had come. The temperature was cooling off, and more importantly, the leaves were falling from the trees. Playing with the leaves was one of his favorite things. He loved the crackly sound they made under his paws. Batting them around was lots of fun, but what was even more fun was jumping and swatting at the leaves as they fell towards the ground.

But the most fun of all was jumping into the big pile of leaves after Matt had finished raking them. And it looked like Matt was just about done.

As Sylvester watched, Matt raked the last few leaves over to the big pile in the middle of the yard. Matt stepped back, let the rake fall to the ground, and wiped his brow.

“Whew,” he said tiredly. “Finally, it’s finished.”

Sylvester then took his cue. He ran at top speed for the pile, and before Matt knew what was happening, the big cat jumped right into the pile. Leaves went flying everywhere while, from the center of the pile, Sylvester began jumping and swatting at the falling leaves nearest him.

Matt stared in horror and groaned, “Oh, Sylvester, no. Why did you do that? Now I’ve got to start all over again.”

Sylvester paid him no mind. He was having too much fun with the leaves.

 


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS June 22/19