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Stream of Consciousness Saturday: “Ta”

Welcome back to another Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Pingbacks are apparently working once again. So, woohoo. We’ve got a visit to the vet and some grocery shopping on tap for this weekend. So, less than last weekend. And I’ve actually got a fiction idea brewing for today’s prompt of “ta”. I just finished outlining Break on Me, the next book in my Kurztown series, yesterday so these characters are still in my head.

Tattletale.”

Gabriel laughed when his younger brother stuck his tongue out at their sister across the table. You’d think they were five instead of in their twenties. At least it was Chris and not him Lyndsey was going to aim her temper at this time.

“I didn’t realize it would be tattling, Lynd,” Chris said.Β “I’d figured you’d already told him.

Gabriel glanced down the table at his father, but Zachariah Saranno was keeping his thoughts to himself at the moment. Which was pretty much par for the course for him.

“That doesn’t mean you needed to be the one to tell him.”

“All right, kids,” Gabriel said, holding his hands up before the argument could devolve any further. And had rolls pitched at his head from two directions.

“Enough,” their father said, his voice low but not leaving any room for doubt he meant it.

These Sunday dinners had started twelve years ago. Before his mom’s death, she’d taken care of most f the meals and making sure they ate together. But, after the accident, there’d been a time where they all just seemed to drift through. Until his dad seemed to realize the rest of his family was falling apart. And one of the rules he’d laid down early was that there was to be no fighting at the table. Gabriel had missed a lot of these dinners, in his years of being in the Army. But, he hadn’t missed one since he’d been home.

Gabriel knew his brother was still irritated with him for giving the plans Chris had worked up to their father, even thought it had been nearly a month. More than long enough by his opinion to get over what he’d done, even if Chris hadn’t been ready to show them to anyone yet.Β He was at least speaking to Gabriel, but he was worried anything he said could set his anger off again.

“Where is this tattoo?” their father asked then held up his hand. “No. If I cannot see it now, I do not think I want to know.”

Lyndsey rolled her eyes at her father then pulled the shoulder of her shirt away. “It’s not bad, you guys. It’s just the back of my shoulder. And I’m twenty-two. If I wanted to put ink all over my body, there’s nothing you could do to stop me. It’s my body.” She looked back at Chris. “And Doren helped me design it. He’s your friend. You know it would be in good taste. He doesn’t design anything that isn’t.”

And Doren certainly had enough ink all over his body. And from what Gabriel knew, he’d designed all of them. So, he certainly had experience. Gabriel looked a little closer at the exposed tattoo now. A feather? With small splotches under it and what was that next to it…an inkwell. Not a feather, he realized with a laugh. A quill. Leave it to Lyndsey not to go for the typical butterfly or rose or whatever.

“It’s for Mom,” she said softly, “and for me.”

Of course it meant something. Doren would have made sure of that, too. He’d been thinking of doing something similar. Not necessarily for his mom, but the others he’d lost. So many. Maybe he’d take his ideas to Doren, too.

He saw his father’s eyes glistening. Even twelve years later, mentioning their mother brought that grief back up. “Let’s finish eating,” his father said, his voice a little rough now. But, he glanced back once at Lyndsey. “She would have loved it, though.”

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Stream Of Consciousness Saturday – Tire

Last week, I forgot to check in to see what the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt was. This week, I did better. Following now(terrible about remembering to hit the follow button, especially when wordpress keeps changing things around)), so I won’t have that problem again. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, if you’ve read some of my RoW80 posts recently, you know I’m plotting out 2 different stories. Right now, that means working on back stories. And, for some reason when I saw today’s prompt of “tire”, one of those characters popped into my head. Declan was first introduced in Guarding the Heart, and now he’s getting his own story. He’s also very talkative. I’ve already written two pages, and he’s not even ten years old. He spent most of the first page telling me how his parents met, apparently a story he’d been told many times before. Now, we’re on to how they tried to balance between his mom living in Texas and his dad in Ireland. And there are reasons one couldn’t just move to the other(though they tried that for a time. And I’ll be getting to how Declan got tired of feeling like he never had one place to call home.

My back stories usually range from one page to a dozen(I think only one’s been that long. And it was a character trying to rationalize all his awful behavior and how everything was someone else’s fault). I’m thinking Declan’s will be on the longer end of this range. It was mentioned in Guarding the Heart that he was the most talkative of their group. Unlike Casey(the main character in that one), who’d rather act than talk.

I had planned to write a little story from his back story rather than this. But, I guess I’ll save that one for another time maybe. In fact, you’ll be able to see more of him(and other members of the BC Security team) around here in April.

SOCS/JusJoJan – Day 9: Title

Welcome back to Day 9 of Just Jot It January and also my second Stream of Consciousness(why can I never spell this right the first time?) Saturday. I’ve actually been doing pretty good. I missed the first day and last Wednesday because I was posting my RoW80 update & WiPPet Wednesday snippet. I probably could have linked back on that one since I jotted stuff down, but…I didn’t.

Anyway, maybe it’s because yesterday’s post was about one of my firefighter characters, this is the title that popped into my head when I read the prompt for this week’s SOCS. So a probably quick story starring my two former Marines/firefighters.

“Backdraft Conditions”

Mark pulled the mask down over his face before settling his helmet over his head. Beside him, Nolan performed the same actions, almost as if they were in sync with each other. The building in front of them was already fully involved, and he could see the aerial truck putting the ladder to one of the higher windows.

He headed forward, with Nolan still right beside him and through the door that had already been forced open. The heat blasted over him, even through his protective gear. If it wasn’t for that, there’d be no way he’d be able to walk in here.

“Hallway to the left,” Nolan said.

Mark wasn’t even sure how he could see that. The smoke was so thick, it was difficult to see more than the vague outline of walls and furniture. But, he moved to the left anyway. He’d learned a long time ago that Nolan very rarely steered him wrong. Sure enough, there was a hallway leading to more doors.

The smoke cleared a bit down here, so he could even make out some of the numbers on the doors. “How many of these are occupied?”

“Manager said most of them. They’re almost to full capacity this weekend. Some conference or something.”

“How many got out?”

“No idea,” Nolan replied, the tone in his voice sending prickles of worry down Mark’s spine.

The small hotel had twenty rooms, ten on each floor. It looked like almost all ten were down this hallway. The other wing must have the dining room and bar. They’d need to clear all the rooms. The fire had started late in the night, but he’d think the shrieking of the fire alarm would have woken everyone up. But, he’d known people who could sleep through even that.

They each took one side of the hallway, opening doors and calling out to anyone who might still be inside. It seemed everyone had cleared out from the first floor at least. His feet stilled as he came to the third door in the hallway, though.

Dark yellow smoke puffed out from under the door then seemed to be drawn back into the room. The signs of a potential backdraft situation had been drilled into him in the fire academy, but this was the first time he’d actually seen it for himself.

“Nolan,” he called across the hallway without taking his eyes from the door. Someone could be in that room. But, if he opened the door, it would introduce oxygen into the room and likely ignite. It could be enough to take out both him and his partner.

“What-?” Nolan started to ask was finished with a quick, “Oh shit.” Then, he must have gotten on the radio because he said, “We need venting on the first floor, left wing on the back side. Third room in from the lobby.” He felt Nolan move up beside him then. “Don’t open the door until they get it vented.”

Nolan had been with the fire department about two years longer than he had, so he trusted what the other man said. Still, he asked, “What if there’s someone in there?” If they could have got a victim out but were too late because they waited, he wasn’t sure if could carry that burden. Let alone the others that weighed him down so often.

“You open that door, and we could all be goners.” Nolan didn’t move from his side, though. He never had.

Then a voice, their lieutenant’s voice, came back over the radio. “It’s done, Hunter. Get in there.”

Nolan helped Mark force the door open, and they both stepped through. He scanned the room quickly, noticed smoke coming from behind the wall, seeping in alone the ceiling and floor. Then, his gaze caught on the lump on the floor. It looked like the occupant had tried to get out but had lost consciousness. Mark hurried over to him and saw the slight rise and fall of his chest. “Still alive.”

“Get him out,” Nolan said. “I’ll finish checking the rooms.”

Mark glanced at him. They were supposed to stay together. Two in, two out. But, sometimes that wasn’t the way it happened. “I better not have to come back in to rescue your ass.”

He couldn’t see much more than Nolan’s eyes through the mask, but he could imagine his friend grinning at that crack. It wouldn’t be the first time they’d used a sort of morbid humor to cover fears. They’d served in the Corps together for four years. There’d been a lot of that.

Mark slung the victim over his shoulder, the easiest and quickest way to get him out and headed back down the hallway. Once he’d been transferred to an ambulance and the care of a paramedic, Mark turned back toward the building. Nolan hadn’t come out yet. His PASS device hadn’t activated, though, which meant he was still moving in there somewhere. Had he found another victim? Did he need help?

He would have called for assistance if that was the case. Still, he was ready to head back into the building to find him when his best friend’s voice came through the lieutenant’s radio. “Left wing’s clear. Coming out.”

Mark let out a breath and took his helmet then mask off. For a moment, he’d feared he’d have to stand on the Hunter’s doorstep and tell them it was his fault one of their sons was gone. It wouldn’t have been the first loss of life he’d felt the weight of. But, he wasn’t sure he’d survive this one.

It didn’t matter now. They’d gotten the job done and were both heading home. There wasn’t much more he could ask for.

WeWriWa: “Phoebe”

Welcome to the first installment Weekend Writing Warriors of 2016. Last month, I started sharing from Come Back Down, the sequel to Into the Sun. I’m hoping to make a whole series of these novellas. Today’s snippet takes place shortly after last week’s.

γ€€γ€€γ€€”Phoebe.”
I heard the voice, but I didn’t respond to it. I wasn’t even sure he was talking to me at first. That used to be the only name I went by. But, now, and for the last five years, it was only when I went into town that I ever heard it. Everyone else called me Birdie.
But, Trace was turning to look at the guy behind us. He knew my real name, even though he never used it, either.

Who is this guy and what could he want? Why doesn’t anyone call her by her real name? I’ll share the next 8 sentences next week, and you just might find out.

I’m joining another blog challenge. Why not, right? I’m already doing RoW80(new round starts Monday), planning to do the A-Z challenge again in April. and after uncovering some old poetry notebooks, I’m thinking about participating in the OctPoWriMo this year as well. What can I say? I have a thing about challenges.

So, now I’m joining Just Jot It January. I may not post every day, but I’m hoping to at least most. I missed yesterday’s since I didn’t see it until this morning. I may include it with another post for that day(if that’s a problem, someone let me know please).

Today’s post always coincides with the Stream of Consciousness Saturday, which I’ve thought of joining before but never have. Today’s prompt is pause/paws, which works out well.

We’re getting a new dog. It’s something we’ve talked about for a while. We had to put my old dog, Shadow, down a few years ago. She was probably about thirteen years old. I don’t know for sure. I got her from a local humane society in 2000. They said she was about 2.5 years old then. She was mine from the minute my mom and stepdad brought her home. Followed me around everywhere. Which is how she got her name, not just because she was black.

She was a bit neurotic. Terrified of storms. She stuck even closer to me then. Always had to be right next to me. Even when we lived in an apartment and had two floors. Even though going up and down wasn’t easy on her aging joints. She really was my shadow. And she wouldn’t eat if I wasn’t there. We’re also pretty sure she was abused. Terrified of most men. And empty 2-liter pop bottles. You couldn’t even walk past her with one without her cowering away.

We still had her when we got our next dog, Lady. Another black dog, a lab this time(Shadow was a chow mix). They tolerated each other. Shadow was probably eleven at that time.

We’ve been a one dog family for the last several years. But, Lady is totally my husband’s dog. She mostly ignores me…unless I have food. But, she’s very protective of our son.

So, we’ve talked about getting another dog. Not sure how Lady is going to handle that. But, we took her to meet the new puppy, and she behaved a lot better than we’d expected. So, hopefully when he’s at our house, she’ll do all right, too. It may take some adjusting, though.

We aren’t exactly sure what the new puppy is. His mother is a staffordshire terrier. They got her from the same humane society I’d gotten Shadow from, and she was apparently pregnant when they got her. So, we don’t have a clue what the father is. The puppies have a bit of a lab look to them, though.

We’re getting the runt of the litter. He’s black(I’m noticing a trend here) with white down his chest and on his front paws. I was able to hold him in one hand the other day. We can’t pick him up for another two weeks, though.

So, now I need to come up with a name for him. Thought about something that goes along with Lady, like Duke, Earl or Baron(so it would be the lord and lady). I also have a thing for Irish names, so I looked through those. One stuck out: Kerwyn, which means small, dark one. Which fits on a couple levels. Who knows, I may think of something else in the next 2 weeks. And, of course, Shadow wasn’t named until we’d had her for about a week. So, maybe he’ll find a way of telling us his name.wp-1451671066497.jpg

shortly after we got her, running toward me.

shortly after we got her, running toward me.

with our lab mix, Lady

with our lab mix, Lady

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