Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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Christmas Contrast – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jessica stepped up to the door, took a deep breath, and rang the doorbell. The loud chime was a sharp contrast to the silence of the winter evening. A moment later the door opened and her friend and co-worker, Eric, greeted her.

“Hey, Jess! Glad you could come! The party’s already started, so go on in.”

“Thanks,” Jess said, stepping inside. She held up a small brown bag to him. “Here. I brought along a bottle of wine for the party. Hope it’s ok.”

Eric grinned and took the gift from her. “Thanks! We’ll definitely put this to good use later. The party’s in the living room. Go join everyone, and I’ll put this in the kitchen then join you all.”

The living room was decked out for Christmas. Jessica first noticed all the garland, ribbons, and decorations that were set around and smiled. Then she spotted the Christmas tree in the far corner and gasped. It was the loveliest tree she’d ever seen, and she thought it put the rest of the decorations in the room to shame.

Other friends from work – Olivia, Mitch, Darren, Michelle – and a handsome young man she didn’t recognize were seated around the coffee table and waved to her as she came into the room. Jessica grinned and joined them, taking a seat on the couch next to the young man she didn’t know.

“Hi, Jess,” the young man said. “Glad you could make it. You look really nice this evening, by the way.”

Jessica started slightly when she heard his voice and realized who it was. She had never seen Jimmy without his glasses, or with his hair cut neatly, or dressed up like he was. He had never struck her as the type to go to a party, either.

Eric came in then and turned on the karaoke machine. Jimmy instantly got up and,  to Jessica’s surprise, started singing a Christmas song. Jessica stared at him the entire time in disbelief. This Jimmy was such a stark contrast to the one she knew at work.

When he finished, Jimmy returned to this seat and Olivia got up to sing next.

“You were great,” Jessica told Jimmy. “I never knew you were such a good singer, or that you liked to do karaoke.”

“Oh, I’m sure there’s a lot you don’t know about me,” he said, giving her a wink.

“Oh, I’m sure there is,” she replied with a smile. “And I look forward to learning more.”

 


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Dec.16/17

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Getting Inked – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Terry walked into the room and saw Jenna sitting at the table, doodling on a sketch pad. Scattered across the table and on the floor around her were wadded up pieces of sketch paper. As he watched, Jenna slammed the pen down on table, growled angrily, and ripped the doodle from the pad. She wadded it up and tossed it aside to join what Terry assumed were other discarded doodles.

Terry walked over to her and asked, “Whatcha doing, Jenna?”

She looked up at him and answered snarkily, “What do you think I’m doing, Terry? I’m drawing.”

“Obviously. But why, Jenna? You’ve never been that great at drawing or had much interest in it before.”

She glared daggers at him. “Do I need a reason? Maybe I just wanted to practice to get better.”

“It’s just so odd for you to be drawing so suddenly. So you must have some reason.”

The corner of a magazine that had slid under a nearby couch caught his attention and he went over to it. Jenna watched, a look of horror on her face, as he dragged the magazine out.

Terry’s eyes widened in surprise when he saw what it was a magazine for, and he gave Jenna a questioning look. “Tattoos?” he said. “You’re interested in tattoos, Jenna? Since when?”

She sighed. “I’ve been thinking about it for a while. I thought if I got inked, you’d like it and find me more…interesting. So I started looking at magazines to get an idea of what sort of design I might want, and tried to see if I could draw a design of my own. But I’m just not good at drawing. And now the surprise is ruined.”

Terry tossed the magazine aside and knelt beside her. “Jenna, you don’t need to get a tattoo to be interesting to me. You already are a very interesting person.”

“You mean it?”

“Of course I do,” he said, taking her hand in his and giving it a gentle squeeze. “But if you still want to get a tattoo, it’s ok with me. Just be sure you’re getting one because you want to get one, for yourself and no other reason. And if want help deciding on a design, I’ll help you pick one out.”

“Thank you, Terry,” she said, and leaned her head against his shoulder.

He gently kissed the top of her head. “You’re welcome.”


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

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


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Take Up Arms – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

Today is Veteran’s Day, where we take the time to honor all those who have taken up arms in service of our country, and in many cases have given their all in order to defend us. Thank you, all you brave men and women, for your service.

Today, I also went to an event at one of our local historic homes. They were holding a reenactment of a battle that took place there during the Revolutionary War, and also had a small encampment set up that visitors could check out and see demonstrations of various things, such as cooking, weapons drills, games, etc. It was really very neat.  Here are a few photos I took of some of the soldiers, both colonists and British, taking up arms in battle during the reenactment of the main battle/raid, and of the cannon the colonists used to try to scare off the British prior to battle.

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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Nov. 11/17

 

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Which Will You Choose – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Which Will You Choose is back!” said the announcer, as the show returned from the commercial break. “Thank you for watching our special Halloween episode, brought to you by our special sponsor, Frank ‘n’ Stein’s new monster sandwiches, which come with three times the meat and toppings.  Now, let’s join Roger as he tries to make his choice.”

The camera panned over to Roger sitting on a stool on one side of the stage. On the other side of the stage, three women dressed as witches sat on stools, their heads lowered meekly and their ands clasped tightly in their laps in nervous anticipation.

“Now, then, Roger,” said the show’s host as he walked up to the middle of the stage and faced the young man. “You’ve had your chance to question the three contestants and you’ve had some time to think over their responses. The time has finally come to make your decision. Now tell us who the lucky winner of a date with you will be. Which witch will you choose?”

Roger looked from one witch to the next as the studio audience waited with bated breath for his answer. The three contests each wrung their hands nervously as they awaited his answer.

“I choose…” Roger finally said, dragging his answer out and increasing the tension in the air. “I choose….witch number 3!”

Joyful music played and black and orange confetti fell from the ceiling. Witch number 3 jumped up from her stool and shook hands with the other two contestants, then walked over to join Roger and the host at center stage while the other two witches applauded her.

As Roger and his date shook hands in greeting the host congratulated them and wished them luck on their date, then ended the episode by facing the camera and saying, “Well, that’s our show for today. Thank you all for watching, and happy Halloween!”


This silly post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “which/witch/wich”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 28/17


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‘Tis The Season – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Leaves changing color.

A nip in the air.

Days growing shorter.

Pumpkin Spice everywhere.

Candy corn on the shelves.

Scary movies on the screen.

Jack o’lanterns and witches,

black cats and ghosts,

decorating the yards

and everyone’s homes.

Excited children deciding

on costumes to wear.

It’s that time of year again;

‘Tis the Halloween season.

 

 

 

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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 21/17

(Morticia meme found on Pinterest)


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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