Guest Entries, Self Promotion, Short Stories

The Jacket

I’m a finalist! Check out all the entries here and don’t forget to vote for your favorite. I hope it’s me, but I’ll completely understand if it isn’t – the competition is fierce! And please be sure to visit the other writers and share the love. After all, the Beatles were pretty clear that “All You Need is Love.”

Peg-o-Leg's Ramblings

The finalists in The Jacket Writing Competition have been selected.

Boy, howdy this was tough!  I asked a distinguished panel of 3 judges to review the entries for me.  Our criteria was simple: we were looking for an interesting story, told well.  We had consensus on several of the entries, but were widely apart on others.   I debated having a top 10 list, but decided that many was too unwieldy.  In the end I had to resort to taking up strong drink to narrow the field to 6.

Entries are again presented in the order in which I received them.  The Polldaddy poll is below the last entry.  Please vote only once per day until the polls close next Friday, March 30th.

Thank you so much to all who submitted entries!  I hope you had fun – I know that I did.

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Name: She’s a Maineiac
Website: http://miraclemama.wordpress.com

Proceed Without Caution

“God,” he sighed…

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Musings, Pet Peeves, Short Stories

I am Werewolf – Hear Me Howl

“No…” I groan.  Doubled over in pain, I scurry frantically for the ladies’ restroom.  “Not now.  Not here!”  But it’s no use.  The transformation has begun.  The beast within, liberated from its bonds, is now free to wreak its horrific path of destruction, all while wearing my skin.  It is me.  And for a time, I am it – a monster.

I knew it was coming.  All the signs were there – erratic, dangerous mood swings, acne outbreaks on par with life-choking algae blooms, immeasurable fatigue, and an uncontrollable sprouting of hair in places not normally furry.  Ever since the tender age of 11 when my mother welcomed me into the pack, I have experienced the pain, humiliation, and utter helplessness of my metamorphosis into a savage fiend every single lunar month.

There was a time that it was manageable.  At great expense, I was able to obtain medication for my condition.  If taken every day, the pills would weaken the beast to the point that when it awoke each month, I had the strength to cage the monster.  It still raged within me, but it had no power to do more than slaver madly from its confines.  I remained human.

But those days have long since past.  Although not afflicted with my malady, those in power decided that the use of this miraculous medication was morally objectionable.  In 2012, they succeeded in outlawing it.  And so I am now – once again – completely at the mercy of the creature which I am doomed to become each and every month for the rest of my life.

Haggard from the pain, I returned to the boardroom from which I had, moments ago, hastily fled.  Noting my appearance, a man snickered, “What’s wrong?  Got your period?”  A wave of mean-spirited tittering coursed through the room, further agitating the furious beast within.

The ensuing massacre occurred only in my beleaguered mind.  This time.

Short Stories

The Jacket

The Jacket

Carol cheerfully unlocked the door to her beloved little cottage in the country. She had just returned from a pleasant shopping trip to the local village and was eager to review her purchases. Carol thought of herself as a woman who could spot a good deal a mile away and this trip had done nothing to change that opinion. While strolling through the shops, Carol had purchased a nice bottle of Burgundy, a darling green plaid blazer, and an antique coffee table – which would be delivered later today – all at a fraction of their value.

Closing the front door behind her, Carol sashayed into the kitchen – her favorite room in the house – and placed the bottle of wine carefully on the counter. Then, in one swift motion, she removed the jacket and carelessly dropped the bag it was in on a chair. Carol gently laid the jacket on the table, smoothed out the wrinkles, and stood back to admire it.

Her appreciative smile slowly gave way to a frown as she noticed a piece of paper peeking out from one of the front pockets. Yanking the slip from her blazer, Carol held it to the light and read aloud, “Tom Wojciechowski.”

Carol instantly felt ill. Panic seized her as she dropped the paper, stumbled backwards into the refrigerator, and slid to the floor in a heap. Kneeling, she pressed her hands to her head, hoping to dampen the pain drowning her consciousness.

Through the fog of fear, pain and shock, Carol heard a man’s voice, deep and sorrowful, say quietly, “I’m so sorry. The only way to free yourself of the accursed garment is for someone to say your name aloud in its presence. There is no other way. Godspeed.”

A few hours later, a young man from the antique store in town arrived at Carol’s home to deliver the table she had purchased that day. After knocking several times, he hesitantly opened the door and called out while stepping inside. No answer. He did a cursory check of the main floor and, finding nothing but an ugly green jacket in the kitchen, he shrugged and left the coffee table by the front door before returning to work. Had he examined the jacket more closely, he may have found the small slip of paper now bearing the name, “Carol Nowicki.”