Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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Welcome Spring

The sun is shining.

The air is warm.

Birds are singing.

Flowers are blooming.

The dark and cold

Of Winter

Is leaving

As the light and warmth

Of Spring

Is arriving,

Bringing with it

The promise

Of new life

And new hope.

Welcome Spring

With open arms

And embrace its

Promises to us.


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In The Misty Moonlight – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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In the misty moonlight, Aryn crouched on the rooftop and watched the building across the street. She wondered what she’d been thinking when she’d accepted the job. She’d been told it was a house that she’d have to break into. Except this huge building was no house. It was a mansion. The large building and its surrounding land took up at least half the block on that side of the street. And there were practically no trees, just some bushes and flower gardens. So she didn’t have anything to hide behind if she tried to sneak up. 

Aryn watched as a pair of armed guards patrolled the outside of the mansion. She frowned as she tried to think. How was she going to get inside? The moonlight might be misty but it was still a full moon, so there was still plenty of light for her to been by the guards. Why, oh why, the young girl wondered, couldn’t her client have waited a few more days, so the moon wouldn’t be quite as bright? She understood how important the item they wanted her to get for them was, but surely a few more days wouldn’t hurt, would it?

The sound of horses clopping along the street reached Aryn, and she looked to see a carriage approaching the mansion from her left. Perfect! she thought. She quickly and quietly slipped down from roof. Keeping low to the ground, she ran up and jumped onto the back of the carriage as it turned onto the road leading up the mansion.

The carriage came to a stop in front of the mansion and the armed guards approached to talk with the driver and the occupants. While they were occupied, Aryn slid from the back of the carriage and quietly darted around to the side of the mansion. She paused to make sure she hadn’t been spotted, then crept along to the back of the mansion. There she found the servants entrance door. She checked it and found it locked, as she’d expected given the lateness of the night.

She pulled her cloth-wrapped lock picking tools from the leather pouch on her waist and got to work. Within moments, she heard the click of the lock. She put the tools away, quietly opened the door, and slipped inside. 

After giving herself a few seconds to let her eyes adjust, Aryn closed the door and softly crept across the kitchen floor to the main area of the mansion, in search of the item she’d been hired to steal. 


Aryn is a character I used once before on Stream of Consciousness Saturday. You can read it here.

And in case I gave anyone an earworm, here’s the Dean Martin song by the same name:


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 27, 2021

 


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Object – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

His heart raced as he knelt and gazed up at the object of his affection, at the woman who had won his heart, and as he pulled out the small object she’d noticed hidden in his pocket, he hoped she would not object to the question he was about to ask.

This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “object”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2021/01/12/tuesdayuseitinasentence-object/#like-5890


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Karma – a romantic holiday short story

With the Christmas holidays here and New Year’s coming up, I thought I’d share again this short story that I wrote a while back that’s set at New Year’s. It’s one of my few non-fantasy stories. This is a cute little romantic story and involves a kitten. I’ve also been playing with the idea, for a while, of possibly turning it into a novel. Feel free to let me know what you think of that idea. Anyway, enjoy the story 🙂

———————————————————–

“Karma”

“Is it ever going to stop raining?” complained the pretty redheaded woman in her early thirties standing by the front window of the little bookstore. She heaved a sigh and watched as people and vehicles passed by outside in the late afternoon, rushing to get to their destinations before the stores closed early for New Year’s Eve. It had snowed for Christmas, but rain had moved in the next day and had hung around for the rest of the week, washing away all traces of the white Christmas and dampening Julianna’s spirits.

The only child of a wealthy New York businessman and his socialite wife, Julianna had eventually grown jaded with that haughty lifestyle, and when her parents died in a freak car accident, she took her inheritance and moved away so she could start a new life. She found this little town, fell in love with it, and decided to settle there. That had only been a couple of months ago.

“It should clear up by tonight, if the weatherman is right,” said a slightly older brunette woman with short hair from a step stool behind the checkout counter where she was taking down a red and green HAPPY HOLIDAYS sign from the wall. “Just in time for the party, too. You’re coming, right, Jules?”

“I don’t know, Liza,” Julianna replied. “I really don’t know anyone here yet. I’d feel really awkward.”

Liza climbed down from the stool and walked over to stand beside Julianna and place a friendly hand on her shoulder. “You should come, Jules. It’ll be good for you, the new kid in town, to get out and meet new people.” Julianna turned to face Liza, who winked at her as she added, “Who knows, you might even make a new friend.”

Julianna got the feeling that Liza was trying to play matchmaker, and started to turn down the invitation. She had just gotten out of a bad relationship, only a couple of weeks before her parents had died, and was really not in the mood to start up another relationship just yet. But Liza looked so happy that she hated to disappoint the only friend she had made since moving there. “All right,” she said. “I’ll go. Eight o’clock at the Blue Room, right?”

Beaming a smile, Liza nodded. “Great! Don’t worry, Jules. You’ll have a good time. I promise. Now let’s hurry up and finish cleaning so we can lock up and go home and get ready.” She walked back behind the checkout counter and bent down behind it. A moment later, she stood back up and held a red and yellow polka dot umbrella out to Julianna. “Here. Take this and take out the trash, will you?”

* * *

With the open umbrella in one small hand and a trash bag in the other, Julianna walked out the back door of the bookstore and crossed the alley to the Dumpster. No sooner had she dumped the trash and closed the lid than she felt something bump against her leg. Looking down, she saw a little ginger tabby kitten beside her foot. It looked up at her with big brown eyes and let out a tiny little meow, then wound itself between her legs, brushing up against them as much as possible. Julianna smiled and picked up the kitten. It purred in her hand and licked her finger, its small pink tongue barely feeling rough against her skin.

Julianna giggled. “Well, aren’t you just a sweet boy. You’re alone and you don’t have a collar, so I’m guessing you must be an orphan, huh? And I’ll bet you’re hungry, too. Well, little fellow, I’ll tell you what. Let’s go inside where it’s warm and get you something to eat. I think I have some tuna left over from lunch that you can have.”

* * *

“Oh, he’s adorable!” cooed Liza when Julianna showed her the kitten after she had dried him off and given him something to eat. She reached out to pet the tiny cat’s head. “Are you going to keep him? I know you’ve been talking about getting a pet because you’ve been feeling lonely, living in that big house by yourself.”

“I think I will. He’s so sweet, and he seems to like me.”

“What will you name him, then?”

Julianna thought for a moment. “How about Karma? It seems fitting, since it was like fate brought us together, what with me needing a pet and him needing someone to care for him.”

Liza smiled. “Karma, huh? That’s a cute name. I like it. Karma the cat.”

Julianna held the kitten up so she could look it in the face. He purred as they looked at each other, and placed a small paw on the tip of her nose. “That’s it, then,” she told him with a smile. “Your name is Karma.”

The kitten sneezed suddenly, and its nose began to run. Julianna frowned and felt its nose pad. “His nose is a bit warm,” she told Liza. “I think he may be getting sick. I’d better get him to a vet.”

“There’s a new one that just opened recently nearby. If you hurry you might get there before it closes. Don’t worry about locking up. There’s not much left to do. I can finish it. Let me know later how it goes, all right?”

“Thanks, Liza. I’ll do that. Where’s the vet?”

* * *

Julianna parked her red Volvo by the glass front door of the small red brick building that housed the vet’s office just as a tall, dark-haired man in a white doctor’s coat was locking the door. Julianna picked up Karma from the passenger’s seat, grabbed her purse and umbrella, and somehow managed to get out of her car and open the umbrella without dropping anything. The man just stood at the door and watched her.

“Please, don’t lock up yet!” she called to him from beneath her umbrella. “You’re the veterinarian, right? I need your help. I think my kitten might be getting sick.”

The man looked at her a moment, gave her a quick nod, then unlocked the door and opened it for her. “You’re lucky, miss,” he said in a strong, deep voice as she and Karma entered the foyer. As Julianna worked to close her umbrella, he turned the lights back on. “A minute later, and you would have had to look for another vet.”

“I’m glad I made it,” Julianna said. “Can you take a look at my kitten? I think he might be catching a cold or something. I found him out in the rain by the Dumpster where I work. I don’t know how long he’d been there.”

“You found him? So I take it you’ve adopted him, since you’ve been calling him ‘my kitten’.”

“Yes, that’s right. I decided to keep him. I’d been considering getting a pet, and when I saw him, well…” She shrugged.

“Quite understandable. He’s certainly cute. And may I add that it’s also a kind and noble gesture on your part. Well, let’s go in the back and take a look at him, Miss…I’m sorry. What’s your name?”

“Julianna. Julianna Fairchild.”

He held out a hand, and Julianna grasped it and shook it briefly. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Miss Fairchild,” he said. “I’m Dr. Jonathan Forth.” Julianna took a good look at him for the first time, and noticed that he was about her age, maybe a year or two older, and was rather attractive, with beautiful green eyes. His voice was rather nice, too, she thought.

The doctor led Julianna to an examination room where she placed Karma on the metal examining table. Dr. Forth looked the kitten over and took its temperature.

“He’s certainly a very cute kitten, Miss Fairchild,” he told her. “Very sweet tempered, too. What did you name him?”

“Karma. And please, call me Julianna.”

“Karma? That’s cute. And fitting, too, I suppose, considering the circumstances of how you found him, Julianna.”

“Yes. That’s why I picked it. It was like fate had brought us together.”

The doctor gave her an appraising look. “Do you believe in fate? In karma?”

“I never really thought about it before, but I suppose I do.”

“I’ve never really been one to believe in it, myself, being a man of science and all.”

Julianna raised an eyebrow. “You don’t believe in fate? So, you’re saying you’ve never had any experiences that you could attribute to fate?”

He shrugged his shoulder nonchalantly. “Oh, I’ve experienced coincidences before, of course, but nothing that I would call fate or karma.”

Julianna shook her head. “What a pity. I wonder if there is anything I could do to change that.”

“Sorry. Nothing comes to mind.”

“Oh, don’t worry.” She gave him a wry smile. “I’ll think of something.”

He returned her smile. “Thanks for the warning,” he said sarcastically.

“I understand your practice is fairly new here?”

“That’s right. I just moved here and started my practice a couple of months ago.”

“Really? I’m new here, too. I moved here a couple of months ago, also.”

“What a coincidence.”

Julianna and the doctor looked at each other in silence for a moment, then down at Karma.

“So, how’s Karma? ” Julianna finally asked.

“He’s running a very slightly high temperature,” Dr. Forth replied, somewhat relieved with the subject change, “but otherwise he seems all right. I’d say it’s just a small cold. I’ll give him a shot of antibiotics to ward off anything worse. You’ll have to make sure he gets plenty of food, water, and rest. And he’ll eventually need to be thoroughly checked over and get his vaccinations. But one thing at a time. Let me give you my card. It has my home and cell phone numbers. You can call me tomorrow to let me know how he’s doing.”

“Okay,” she said with a smile. “Thanks.”

Dr. Forth took Karma through the other door in the room to the back laboratory for the shot, then brought him back to Julianna. He then led Julianna and her kitten back up front to the foyer, where he gave her a business card then opened the door for her. As Julianna looked out, she noticed with relief that it had stopped raining at last. She turned back to the doctor. “Aren’t you going to charge me for the visit?” she asked him.

“No. It’s on the house. Consider it a late Christmas present. Or if you like, a ‘welcome to the neighborhood’ gift.”

Julianna blinked, then smiled. “Well, all right. If you’re sure about it. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.” Julianna turned to walk out the door but was called back by the doctor’s hesitant voice.

“Oh, uh, Julianna?”

“Yes?”

“I’m going to a New Year’s Eve party tonight. Would…would you like to go with me?”

Julianna stared at him, surprised, and couldn’t answer for a moment. She liked him, thought he was rather nice, and would like to get to know him better, but… “I’m sorry,” she said with a sad smile. “I’d like to go with you, but I’m already going to a party.”

“Oh,” he said simply, a small frown of disappointment crossing his face. “Well, I guess I’ll see you around then. It was nice to meet you.”

“Likewise. I hope you have a good time tonight. Bye.”

Dr. Forth stood in the doorway and watched as Julianna got in her red Volvo with Karma and drove off.

* * *

Julianna, in an emerald green evening gown, sat at a far table in the Blue Room’s ballroom by herself, nursing her second glass of red wine and watching the New Year’s revelers chitchatting and dancing. She was bored. She had been there for about two hours, and nothing really exciting had happened. Liza had kept her company for a little while at first, but Julianna had finally managed to talk her into going out onto the floor to mingle and have some fun. A few acquaintances, mostly people she had met at the bookstore, had stopped by to say hello and chat for a minute. And she had been asked to dance half a dozen times, but she had turned them all down, claiming a sprained ankle. But she was really just not interested in any of them. She knew she probably should have accepted for appearance’s sake to make Liza happy, but she just couldn’t stop thinking about the veterinarian, Dr. Forth, and wishing she had accepted his invitation.

After another hour, another glass of wine, and declining three more dance invitations, Julianna was ready to go home. The clock had just chimed eleven when Liza, in a shimmering dark blue gown, approached her table. A tall, dark-haired man in a tuxedo was behind her with his head down so that Julianna could not tell who it was.

“Jules,” said Liza with a big grin as she stopped at the table. “I have a surprise for you. This guy is a friend of mine. He’s been dying to talk to you all evening, but couldn’t pluck up the nerve. I finally talked him into coming over. I think you might know him. He certainly seems to know you.”

At that, the man lifted his head and looked at Julianna, who gasped. “Dr. Forth!” she exclaimed.

“Please, call me Jonathan,” he said with a small smile as he sat down across from her. “It’s good to see you again, Julianna.”

“Likewise, Dr…. er, Jonathan,” she replied with a small smile of her own. “I didn’t know this was the party you were coming to.”

“Nor I you. This day has certainly been full of coincidences, hasn’t it? Though I suppose you would be more inclined to call it fate – or karma.” He gave her a wink.

Her smile widened. “Yes, I suppose I would. But at this point, I don’t care what it’s called. I’m just glad you’re here.”

He grinned. The live orchestra started up a slow dance tune, and Jonathan stood up and held a hand out to Julianna. “Care to dance?”

She returned his grin and took his hand. “I’d love to.”

* * *

“So, what made you decide to move here?” Jonathan asked as they danced.

“A desire to start over,” Julianna replied. “To make a long story short, I recently ended a bad relationship – the guy I was with was more interested in my money than in me. Then my parents died in a car accident. I decided to take my inheritance and get away. I wanted to go someplace where no one knew me. I found this place, liked it, and bought a house. And so here I am.”

“Ah. And here I was expecting to hear you say it was fate.”

She looked up at him and smiled. “Maybe it was. So what about you? What brought you here?”

He looked deep in her sea-blue eyes. “Fate,” he said bluntly, and she grinned. “That, and a desire for a fresh start, too,” he added.

“What a coincidence,” Julianna teased, and Jonathan chuckled and grinned.

The orchestra played a few more slow songs, and Jonathan and Julianna danced to them, too. Across the ballroom, Liza watched them with a pleased smile on her face. “I told you that you would have a good time, Jules,” she said softly.

Just before midnight, Jonathan asked Julianna another question. “Do you have any plans for tomorrow?”

“Not really.”

“How would you like to come to my place for dinner, then? I’m a fairly decent cook, you know.”

“Sounds terrific,” she said with a smile.

The clock then began to chime again, and everyone stopped what he or she was doing. As it chimed for the twelfth time, balloons and confetti fell from the ceiling and everyone called out “Happy New Year!”

The orchestra struck up “Auld Lang Syne” and most of the party attendees sang along. Julianna and Jonathan stood where they were and looked into each other’s eyes.

“Happy new year, Julianna,” said Jonathan softly.

“Happy new year, Jonathan,” Julianna returned.

As his lips met hers for the traditional New Year’s kiss, Julianna had a feeling that it would be a very happy new year indeed.

—-


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Fable – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

She thought the adventurous stories her grandmother used to tell about her youth had been nothing but one fable after another, but while going through her things after she passed, Julia found a hidden journal and photos squirreled away in a hidden compartment of a desk that proved they had been true after all.

This post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “fable”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2020/10/13/tuesdayuseitinasentence-fable/


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The Medium – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jack and Jen stood in the living room of their new home and heaved a sigh. It had taken a few weeks but they had finally finished unpacking everything. Jen took a look around the room, making sure everything was where it should be – photos on the walls, books on the bookcase, knickknacks on the shelves and in the curio cabinet, Fluffy’s dog bed in the corner, … With a nod of approval, she collapsed on the couch. Jack joined her a moment later.

“Finally,” Jack said. “I though we’d never finish.”

“I know. But we did. And now, this place can finally start to feel like home.”

“Yeah.”

It was getting late, so the couple decided to retire for the night. As they left the living the room and were heading to bed, a small figurine in the curio cabinet turned slightly toward them.

In the middle of the night, Jen woke up, thinking she’d heard footsteps outside the bedroom door. Heart pounding, afraid someone had broken in, she roughly shook Jack’s arm to wake him, then told him what she’d heard. He shook his head, sure she’d just dreamed it, and was about to tell her that when Fluffy jumped down from the bed and ran to the door. Then he heard the footsteps outside the door, too, clear as day. 

Jack hurried to the door and yanked it open. Fluffy ran out into the hall and towards the living room while Jack peered up and down the hall for who was walking around. To his surprise, no one was there. Confused, he checked each room along the hall, but found no one. He then made his way towards the front of the house to check there. When he got to the living room, he found Fluffy sitting in front of the curio cabinet, staring intently at it. Some of the figurines had be turned around inside it. One of the photos was hanging cockeyed on the wall, as well.

Stunned, Jack called out for Jen to come see it. When she arrived, she gasped in shock. “What’s going on, Jack?” she asked fearfully.

“I don’t know, Jen. I know what it looks like, but it can’t be. Can it?”

“Surely not,” she replied, but finding it hard to discount her eyes.

The couple returned to bed but found it hard to sleep. The next few days found more strange happenings. More things moved around. The sound of footsteps continued, along with the occasional whispered voice. Even an odd shadowy figure began to be seen.

When Jen awoke one night to see the indistinct figure of a older woman standing beside her, she screamed. The figure vanished as Jack awoke with a start and Fluffy sat up at the foot of the bed, instantly alert.

Jen tearfully recounted what she’d seen, and Jack decided they had no other choice but to do something about the problem.

The next day, Jack did some online research and made a few phone calls. The following day, a middle-aged woman arrived at the house. Jack let her in and introduced her to Jen as Linda, a local psychic medium he’d asked to come take a look at the house and possibly tell them what was going on. Jen started to tell her what they’d experienced but Linda held up a hand and walked purposefully to the living room. Jack and Jen followed.

“This room is where the majority of the experiences have been, correct?” Linda asked as she placed a hand on the curio cabinet.

Jen nodded but explained that things had happened throughout the house. She and Jack then led her around the house to let her get a feel for the whole place. Then they returned to the living room.

Linda took a seat on the couch, closed her eyes, let her breathing slow and her senses reach out around her. She began softly asking questions of whatever might be there.

After a few minutes, she opened her eyes and looked at Jack and Jen. She gave them a small smile. “You have nothing to fear,” she told them. “I have sensed no evil here, only the presence of one spirit. She tells me her name is Martha, and she used to live in this house. She didn’t mean to scare you. She was only trying to let you know she was here. She asked me to tell you that she’s happy to have you living here with her, as she’s been lonely and she likes you, and she hopes you will stay.”

Jack and Jen released breaths they didn’t realize they’d been holding. Relieved to know there was nothing bad in the house, they agreed to try living with Martha as long as she kept activity to a minimum, believing they could handle a little minor spiritual activity once in a while.

As the medium took her leave, Jack and Jen thanked her for her help, and Linda told them to call her if they ever needed her help again. Jack didn’t think they would, but he said they would if they did. Linda gave them a smile that seemed genuine but for some reason also made Jack feel a little uneasy, then drove off.

As Jack watched Linda drive off, he shrugged, thinking he’d imagined things, and he and Jen headed back inside the house.

Things in the house were peaceful for Jack and Jen from then on, with only a little ghostly activity from Martha now and again.

At least, for a while…


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 10/2020


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Excerpt from A Goddess Awakens

I haven’t been working on my WIP book for a good long while. I’ve been wanting to get back to it, but one thing or another has kept me from it – life in general, maybe some procrastination, …  

Anyway, I’m hoping to start getting back to working on it soon, and thought I’d share a small snippet from it, both for you all to enjoy and as a way to try to get me more motivated. So here’s the last bit that I’ve written on my WIP, A Goddess Awakens:

*****

Althea met Raven, Tarn, and Wren for breakfast in the dining area of the Golden Crown Inn. She had slept fitfully, her worry over Loren’s visit to the elves keeping her awake until the early hours and then invading her dreams. She was relieved, though, that her dreams had been free of Aerith for a change. 

The priest and two mages had secured a table at the far end of the dining room and had already ordered breakfast by the time she’d arrived. Althea tried to stifle a yawn as she took a seat across from Tarn and reached for a piece of toast and jam.

“Long night?” Tarn commented.

“I didn’t sleep well.”

“It wasn’t Aerith, was it?” he asked with concern, given the goddess’s growing attempts to take control of the swordswoman.

Althea shook her head and took a bite of toast. “No. She actually left me alone.”

“It was Loren, wasn’t it?” Raven said knowingly. “You were worried about him.”

“Yes. I can’t stop thinking about him going to visit the elves alone, after what he said about how they might react to him. I even had a nightmare about it.”

“At least Aerith wasn’t influencing you or anything, though,” said Wren. “That’s good, isn’t it?”


“It was a nice having a normal nightmare for a change and not having her even show up in a dream, let alone try to use a dream to control me.”

Tarn tried to hide a worried look by stuffing a piece of toast in his mouth, but Raven noticed and frowned slightly. Aerith’s influence on Althea had been steadily growing, and she reportedly had been appearing in her dreams, at the very least, almost nightly. Yet now she didn’t show up at all? That didn’t sound all that good to the mage, and apparently not to the priest either. The goddess may be up to something, possibly about to try something new to control Althea, Raven reasoned as she stared into her cup of hot tea with a small frown that went unnoticed by the others.

“I just hope Loren will be okay,” Althea said softly as she lifted her mug of tea to take a sip. “I wish I could have gone with him. We’ve been partners for so long and have been through so much together, it feels strange for me to be left behind while he goes off to do something potentially dangerous.”

“I’m sure Loren will be fine,” Wren said as she grabbed a piece of toast from the central plate on the table. “He’s an elf. He knows what to expect and what to do, and can take care of himself. And Anju is with him. Don’t worry so much. He’ll be back with us in no time.”

“You’re right, Wren,” Althea said with a small smile of gratitude as she took another piece of toast. “I guess I am worrying too much. Thanks.”

The sound of heavy footsteps running into the dining room and an anxious voice calling Althea’s name grabbed the group’s attention, as well as the attention of everyone else in the crowded room.

 


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Capture – Tuesday Use It In A Sentence #tuesdayuseitinasentence

He sat at the library table and watched her from across the room as he always did, wanting so much to go talk to her but afraid to; she’d captured his heart from the moment he saw her weeks ago but he had no idea what to do to capture her heart in return.

 

This late post is part of the Tuesday Use It In A Sentence prompt, “capture”:

https://stephaniecolpron.wordpress.com/2020/09/24/tuesdayuseitinasentence-capture/


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The E-Collar – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Lucy set the cat carrier down and shut the front door. Then she took the carrier into the living room and set it on the couch. A little black cat mewed from inside the carrier as she rummaged in her large purse.

A tortoiseshell cat wandered into the living room and over to the couch. She looked up at the carrier and asked the black cat, “How did it go at the vet, Salem?”

“It wasn’t too bad, Patches,” Salem replied. “I don’t remember some of it, for some reason, but Mom says my big boy surgery went well. So I guess now I’m a big boy.” He purred a little at the thought.

Patches seemed to smirk as she said, “Oh, yeah, you’re a big boy now, Salem. Do you even know what happened during that surgery?”

Salem stopped purring abruptly, not liking Patches’ tone. “No. What?”

“Don’t you feel pain in a certain location?”

“Yes, a little. They gave me some drugs, I think, to dull the pain.”

“Think, Salem. What’s in the area where you’re feeling the pain?”

Salem focused his attention on the location where the pain was. After a couple of moments, he realized what Patches was referring to and understood finally what had happened at the vet.

Salem began yowling from the carrier, upset at what he’d been put through, and Patches watched in amusement.

Lucy then found what she was looking for in her purse and pulled it out. It was a clear, plastic E-collar that the vet had given her to put on Salem to keep him from messing up the stitches from his surgery. Patches saw it and her amusement grew.

Lucy opened the carrier and took out Salem, who squirmed in her hand and yowled more. She put him in her lap as he continued to struggle, and with minor difficulty managed to fit the E-collar around the black cat’s neck. Then she set him on the couch and took the carrier away.

Salem sat on the couch, miffed at his situation and biting at the collar as he tried to figure out a way to get it off. Patches laughed at him.

“What’s so funny?” Salem asked grumpily.

“You look like a satellite dish, Salem. Or a lamp.”

“Ha ha. Very funny, Patches. How about you do something a little more comforting, huh? I mean, I did just have you-know-what done.”

Patches jumped up on the couch, went over to Salem, and leaned against him. “I love you, lamp,” she quipped.

Salem rolled his eyes. “Shut up, Patches,” he replied.

Photo is from my Pinterest

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


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Sharp As A Tack – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jenny opened the backdoor and stepped outside, calling for her poodle puppy Shasta to follow her. The little apricot puppy did as asked, barreling out the backdoor after her owner. Jenny’s boyfriend, Michael, followed after them. Jenny had said that poodles were a smart breed, so he was curious to see just how smart the energetic fuzzball was.

It was a pretty, sunny Autumn day, and a light breeze was blowing through the trees. Occasionally, a red or yellow leaf would drift to the ground. Jenny stood in the middle of the yard as Shasta ran circles around her, eager to play.

“Shasta,” Jenny called. “Come here!”

Shasta continued to run around Jenny while letting out small yips of excitement.

Michael chuckled from the back porch.

“Shasta!” Jenny called. “Come! Sit!”

Shasta stopped running and looked up at Jenny, her head tilted quizzically to one side.

“Shasta, sit!” Jenny repeated firmly, pointing to the ground in front of her. 

Shasta stared at Jenny again, then sat down. Her rear had barely touched the grass when she spotted a squirrel in the yard by the back fence. Shasta instantly took off after it, her little barks echoing across the yard as she ran. The squirrel jumped the fence and scurried up the nearest tree. Shasta stood at the fence, barking up the tree at the squirrel.

Jenny heaved a sigh and shook her head.

Michael laughed and said, “Oh, yeah, she’s as sharp as a tack, Jenny!”

“Stop laughing, Michael,” Jenny replied. “She’s still a puppy and we’ve haven’t been working long on her training. Just you wait. I’ll have her doing all sorts of tricks.”

At the fence, Shasta was jumping up and down, trying to figure out how to get over the fence and get to the squirrel. Michael saw her and snickered. “Sure,” he told Jenny. “I’d like to see that.”

They turned and started to head inside. They didn’t see Shasta spot a pile of junk not far away that was leaning against the fence and start to make her way towards it, intending to climb up it and over the fence.

As Michael and Jenny started to head inside, Jenny called for Shasta. Shasta paused on top of the first piece of junk, gave the squirrel in the tree a brief look of longing, then ran off to follow Jenny inside.

 


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

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Sept. 5/2020