Sunday, October 24, 2021



Hi All,

AS promised, here is the conclusion from my SCREAM entry for the WEP. 

We left off as Kimmie is mysteriously pushed through a tattered curtain...

And then, a dusty wind swirled around me as if conjured up by some strange dark force; it swept me through the curtain, my silent scream following.

A bright flame blinded me. Someone grabbed me by the arm and pulled me onto a shaky wooden bridge. Human sweat, burnt incense, and animal feces assaulted my nose. I tried to catch my breath and choked.

I lost my footing—the broad man, robed in white, vise-gripped my arm and stopped me from falling. His face hid within a hood. 

I mustered up as much saliva in my mouth as I could and swallowed hard. After sucking in a much-needed breath, I cried out, “Who are you? And where’s my mother!”

He remained silent.

As my eyes adjusted, pinpoints of flames darted through what looked like a skeletal wooded area. The chants grew louder as the drums beat out a harsh rhythm. I had no idea what was happening. 

My silent guide loosened his grip and shuffled me off the bridge. Shrieks from a group of women, dancing in a tight circle around a tree, sent shivers throughout my body. I trembled with each step. 

As we drew nearer, I saw him: the voodoo priest. He was about twenty feet away from me. He scattered handfuls of a light golden powder around the tree’s base and then drew something in the powder with his witch doctor’s stick. From his other hand, he poured a honey-colored liquid around the powder’s edge and muttered some strange incantation. I pulled my gaze away from him and searched for my mother and Antoine through a sea of dozens of white-clad Haitians. 

Was that her? A small group of disciples chanted and danced around a large seated person holding some squirming animal. Their bodies shifted, and I was able to see the face of the woman.

“Mommy!” I shrieked. 

The grip on my arm tightened.  

Everything was a blur of white, swirling within the orange flames of the torches and gray shadows. The voodoo priest maneuvered through his disciples as if floating between them. The pounding drums beat a quick, sporadic rhythm. He stopped in front of my mother and held out his arms. 

Mommy jerked into a kneeling position. Her face twisted in horror as her trembling hands held up a baby white goat. 

The voodoo priest called out in guttural tones, as he withdrew a large machete from under his robe. In one swift movement, he slit the goat’s throat. Blood gushed, spraying Mommy and himself with fresh blood. The chants turned into an eerie singing, and it grew louder as the disciples stepped closer to him. 

He first smeared the goat’s blood on Mommy’s head. She tried to recoil, but the disciple behind pushed her forward. He slapped more blood on her face and shoulders. I stared in shock. Never had I seen my mother so terrified. There was no color left in her face, only the fresh blood that glistened from the torchlight. She fell to her knees as her tears mingled with the blood. 

I tried to run, but the hooded man kept me pinned in place. 

Antione was nowhere in sight. Mommy was alone and helpless. 

I struggled to break free. We began to move slowly in the direction of the voodoo priest. Was I to be defiled with the goat’s blood, too? My stomach roiled.

One-by-one, the disciples stepped over Mommy, waiting for their turn for the sacrificial blood. Their sing-songy chant continued as if she wasn’t in front of them. She didn’t move. Fear surged through me as I had never felt. 

I went limp. 

The hooded man dragged me further toward the ceremony. My throat constricted.

We stopped next to a small tree where he released me and withdrew a corded rope from within the folds of his robe. Not one word crossed his lips. He reached out both his hands, fists together. The gesture clearly stated for me to do the same. I tried to run, but he was too fast. He caught and tied me to the tree. 

We locked eyes, and I screamed. 

But not even I could hear it. 

I tried to break free, but the binding was too tight. 

The hooded man headed toward the ritual, parting the disciples as he walked up to the sacrificial site. 

He stood between my mother and the voodoo priest, then dropped his hood. 

The High Priest froze.

The man flipped the hood back over his head. He bent slightly, stretched out his muscular arms, and pulled Mommy to her feet. She looked up into his face. Her stunned expression dissolved; as she parted her lips, one word escaped them, but I couldn’t hear it.

He nodded, then guided her in my direction. 

“Mommy! Mommy! Are you all right?” I held my breath.

Her head jerked, and she saw me. For the first time in what seemed like hours, she smiled.

She raced to the back of the tree and untied me. “Kimmie. Let’s get out of here!”

We followed the hooded man back down the side of the voodoo priest’s house and made it to the street. After rushing down three or four side streets, we stopped in front of a large black limo. I recognized it at once.

“Get in quickly,” Zaxai said as he unlocked the doors.


The next morning, Zaxai drove us to the airport. No one spoke. Which kind of surprised me. I didn’t want to push Zaxai. He did save our lives, but I still had some unanswered questions. How did he know I’d be coming out from behind that curtain? Why did the voodoo priest fear him so? What was Uncle Sid’s involvement with all of this? And, the most important one of all, whatever happened to Antoine? We never did see him again. 

I guess some mysteries are best unsolved—especially the whereabouts of a certain waiter named Antoine. 

One would think Mommy’s fascination with the occult would have ended here. No such luck. This was just the beginning…

Well, I hope you enjoyed the exciting conclusion!!! If you are just stopping by today, please advance to the post above to read the first segment.

If you haven't guessed, Zaxai, is Mommy Kay's uncle chauffer and righthand man. He saved them from THE VOODOO KING...

Thursday, October 21, 2021


 Hi All,

It is time for another WEP challenge! Woot! The ladies at the WEP are amazing hosting these challenges throughout the hat's off to you all! This October's theme is THE SCREAM!

So appropriate, don't you think?
There are some incredible entries this month, so I do hope you plan to visit the other authors at the WEP site, who put their talents to the test. You will not be disappointed.

My entry is an excerpt from my current work in progress MOMMY KAY. If you recall, I had submitted an early snippet a few years back from this memoir for the ROADS LESS TRAVELED prompt and won! If you have the time and would like to familiarize yourself with more of Mommy Kay here is the link.

Before you read my entry, I'd like to give you a bit of backstory. Mommy Kay and her daughter, Kim are visiting the impoverished Island of Haiti in the early 70s, the week after the Dictator, "Papa Doc" Duvalier died and his son was newly sworn in as President for Life. 

During their visit to Haiti, Kim mainly stayed inside the hotel. Mommy Kay would be gone for hours at a time. She was up to something, and Kim knew what it was. Mommy Kay had a new obsession. She wanted to experience a Haitian Voodoo ritual. 

I hope you enjoy this little teaser at 997 words.

The now, fifteen-year-old Kimmie tells the story...she didn't want any part of this trip, but Mommy ALWAYS got her way. 

Helplessness wasn’t an emotion familiar to me. For the first time in my life, Mommy wasn’t there. The walls in our suite seemed to press in on me from all four sides. The next few hours dragged as if carrying them on my back. 

The door slammed. 

“Kimmie,” Mommy called out.

A moment later she entered my room, wearing what looked liked white bedsheets. A turban covered her head.

“Put this on.” She dropped a bundle of the same white sheeting onto the bed. “We must blend in.”

I slipped on clothing and wrapped up my head in a similar turban.

“Fantastic. You’re so tan—you’ll pass for a native.”

“I wish I can say the same about you— you’re as white as that sheeting. You’ll never blend in.”

“Oh, stop worrying and try to have a good time.” 

Mommy stepped over to the dresser and stuffed a wad of cash inside her bra. “Antoine should be here soon.” 

“The sun is sinking fast. When do we leave?”

“As soon as it’s dark, around six o’clock. He’s meeting us at the back of the hotel by the kitchen entrance.”

Mommy paced a few minutes, then glanced out the window. “It’s time.”

My heart skipped a beat.

The hotel seemed eerily quiet. We met no one on the elevators, or at the back entrance.

Antoine was waiting for us in a beat-up jalopy. “Welcome my friends, ” he said with a slight quiver.

Mommy sat next to him in the front seat, and I slid into the back. Next to me was a large bottle of rum and a box of Cuban cigars. Antoine accelerated and off we went into the night. The twitchy manner in which he drove didn’t help the situation. Sweat beaded on my face.

“Where exactly are we going, Antoine?” I asked after a long pause of silence.

“Porte au Prince.”

“I figured that. Where exactly?”

He didn’t answer.

We drove on the main road and arrived downtown. The stench from the garbage in the streets barely masked the musky smell of human sweat and the lingering of cooked food. Several people sat on the sidewalks outside their front doors; their haughty expressions watched us as we drove by. We turned up a side street. At the top of the hill, we stopped abruptly. 

“We get out here,” Antoine whispered.

“Kimmie, bring the rum and cigars. They’re presents for the High Priest.”

My shaky hands gathered them up, and I exited the car. Antoine and Mommy stopped, facing a peeling red door.

“We go in here.” Antoine turned the handle.

He entered.

Mommy followed with her head lowered. I wondered what she was feeling. She moved normally; however, my legs shook as I stepped inside the dimly lit room. Flickering candles from a ceiling chandelier created dark shadows that performed a savage dance on the rough stained walls. 

Hundreds of scattered bones, entrails, and piles of white feathers littered the floor. A pungent smell of years of decay, Cajun incense, and dried blood loomed heavily in the air.

I dug my fingers into Mommy’s fleshy arm. “Are you sure about this?” I whispered and pointed to a glistening section of a fragmented wall. “That looks like fresh blood.”

“Yes, I see it.” She shrugged away her arm.

Antoine moved a few paces ahead of us.

“It’s time.” He pointed his finger up. “Follow me.” 

 Unidentified things squelched under our feet as we made our way toward a staircase at the back of the room. Antoine disappeared in a sea of creaks as he ascended. Mommy followed, squeezing between the walls of the narrow entrance. It was my turn now. I sucked in a deep breath and held it. 

Thump, thump, thump, pounded inside of my head as I climbed each of the rickety stairs. My heart threatened to tear away from my chest. 

Mommy’s breathing increased as we turned up the next flight. 

Then the next.

As we confronted the final flight, she stopped, clutching her heaving chest. “I-I need to catch my breath—go—a-head, Kim-mie.”

“No way.”


Antoine stared down at us. “We must not keep him waiting.” His voice cracked.

I stepped over Mommy and continued climbing. My legs grew heavy as if hundred-pound weights were attached to them. Mommy’s stomping feet and raspy breaths kept up with my slower pace.

At the top, hundreds of candles flickered in the room. Beams of moonlight filtered through the five large open windows. A soft chanting and a distant drumbeat played, as a two-story shadow appeared across a fraying, sheer drape.

Mommy stepped into the room, panting.

“He is in our presence. Keep silent until he addresses you,” Antoine whispered.

A massive figure stepped out of the shadows. Yellow light glinted off a jewel-encrusted medallion and rows of heavy gold chains. His frame cloaked in black robes stood rigid, and on top of his head sat an elaborate plumed headdress.

The whites of his eyes shone through midnight blue-black skin. 

“I know what you seek. Leave your offerings.”

I couldn’t move. His terrifying presence nailed me to the floor. 

Antoine pried the rum and cigars from my fingers and bowed, placing the offerings at his feet.

A split second later, he disappeared.

“We must follow him,” Antoine said, as he took hold of Mommy’s arm and dragged her through the drape.

I was convinced Antoine planned to have us sacrificed. And me, still a virgin. How appropriate. The beating drums grew louder and more sporadic. Or was it my heart? I wasn’t quite sure.

“Come, Kimmieeeee!” Mommy’s voice echoed through the rising of the heretic chants.

I willed myself to move. My left foot slid a few inches, followed by my body. 

And then, a dusty wind swirled around me as if conjured up by some strange dark force. It swept me through the curtain, my silent scream following.

Tagline: A tied-up Kimmie awaits her fate, as drums keep beating while her captor approaches a tear-stained Mommy, preparing a sacrifice for the Voodoo King.

I hope you enjoyed this teaser. For all of you LEFT hanging, I will post the remainder of the scene in a few days after the link closes... That is the least I can do. Have a Wonderful Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021



Hi All!

It's October! Yay! Fall is starting and the leaves are turning. It is my favorite time of year. The temps drop to a comfortable level, and I am back outside walking again. 

Once again, thanks to the INCREDIBLE IWSG team and the founder, Alex J. Cavanaugh If you aren't a member yet, please hop over to Alex's sign-up sheet here.

I have learned so much this past year about patience and keeping a positive attitude. Many times it wasn't an easy task, but with each day, I kept reading and writing between house projects. NOW, the exterior of my house is FINALLY complete and I have spent the past three weeks querying like a madman. This is a taxing chore for every writer. Each query must be adjusted to fit the needs of the agent. I found myself spending time writing a synopsis (we all know how much fun that is, HA!), doing a table of contents for one agent (Odd), and rewriting my bio several times. I have sent out about twenty query's for my current story and sadly I have received about eight rejections so far. I have also been querying my second novel as well, and have received two rejections so far. Will I give up? Hardly. Those of you who know me, know, I NEVER GIVE UP. lol But, we all get down and depressed during this process. I certainly do, and it takes every ounce of energy for me to continue. 

I have also written two entries for the IWSG anthology and entered a personal essay into the Writer's Digest contest. So, I have pulled myself out of a two-year slump. I have high hopes for this fall, although the pandemic has taken its toll on me and on so many people I know. I am finally leaving my house for a vacation next month after almost two years of seclusion. The Colorado Rockies should be amazing next month with a dusting of snow, and I am so looking forward to exploring them. A writer must "air" out their brains with new sights, sounds, and smells. Coming back, I know I'll be refreshed and ready to continue my quest.

My advice to all this season is to sweep away all the old cobwebs and reacquaint yourself with mother earth. So much of our earth is changing and being a part of that change will help us evolve with the changing times we are all experiencing.

Please keep safe my friends and may this new season bring you new hope. Sending all of you a virtual hug!