Category Archives: Word of the Day

FLUFFY

[Word of the day stories are prompted by a Word of the Day selection by any of the online dictionaries. Once a word is chosen, I set my timer to write and edit a story in one hour, no more time than that. The idea behind this is to promote just getting the ideas written as that is the biggest hurdle for most writers.]

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

sustain – verb

suh-stayn

  1.   to provide with nourishment
  2.   keep up, prolong
  3.   to support the weight of; prop; to carry or withstand
  4.   to buoy up
  5.   suffer, undergo
  6.   to support as true, legal, or just
  7.   to allow or admit as valid

 

Archie gathered the white fluffy stuff into a mound. The more he tried shaping it into a ball, the more the white fluffy stuff spread out. It was no use. No snowman today.

The next morning, fresh new fluffy stuff piled on top of the old. Archie called his friends.

“New snow! Come over and help me make the biggest snowman ever. With this much snow, we can build a whole family!”

Archie’s friends, Barb and Gloria, rushed right over, decked out in winter attire.

“This is his bottom half.” Archie pointed to a low mound of snow.

“Where?” Barb asked.

“Did he melt?” Gloria asked.

Archie squinted his eyes. Only one thing to do, try again.

“Good point. Let’s build a new bottom.”

Together they rolled, they patted, they pushed, and they smooshed.

They shoved and their big ball of snow fell apart.

Huh.

Gloria was the first to say it. “It’s too fluffy.”

Then Barb, “Won’t stick.”

Finally Archie, “We need to nourish the snow with more moisture.”

“Huh?” said Gloria.

“We need water,” Barb said.

“Oh.”

Out of the shed, they each grabbed a bucket, filled it with water, and doused the snow pile.

Quickly they patted and smooshed but the snow turned into ice. They heaped fluffy snow on top and tried to form a ball but no use. The ice was not sticky, just hard.

They gave up and made snow angels.

The sun peeked out, warmed the tree branches and sent droplets of water on top of the kids.

“That’s it! The sun will melt the snow and then we will have enough moisture for the snow to stick together,” said Archie.

Barb and Gloria agreed. They waited, then rolled.

Not sticky enough.

They waited some more, then rolled.

Still not sticky enough.

They waited until dusk, then rolled and rolled and rolled.

Finally, they had a big ball of snow.

“Tomorrow we can finish the rest,” Archie said.

The temperature dropped overnight.

Barb and Gloria arrived the next morning, holding a bag of accessories for their snowman, ready to work. Archie met them outside.

“This won’t take as long. Let’s roll.”

Barb gathered the snow but it had become fluffy again. She formed and the ball fell apart.

Gloria tried. She rolled a ball, patted it, added more snow and it fell apart.

Archie tried with the same results as Gloria.

They gave up and made snow angel after snow angel all over the yard. Tired, they flopped onto untouched snow under the tree and rested.

The sun was out and warmed the trees, sending more droplets of water to the kids below. They laughed as they caught droplets in their mouth.

“I think it’s ready for us to make the tummy of the snowman,” Archie said.

Together, they rolled, pushed and patted a smaller ball into shape.

They lifted the ball onto the bottom of their snowman.

Ooooof!

The smaller ball plopped right through the bigger one, creating a doughnut.

“What happened?” Gloria asked.

“The bottom ball did not have enough weight to sustain the weight of the smaller ball,” Barb explained.

“You sound like our teacher,” Gloria said.

“We need more water but in little bits.” said Barb.

That gave Archie an idea. He ran into his house and came back with a spray bottle.

“I’ll spray the bottom ball while you two shape it.”

“What about the snowman’s tummy?” Barb said.

“It can stay where it is. We’ll make a new one.” Archie answered.

Archie sprayed. Barb and Gloria shaped.

“I’ll test it,” Gloria said, plopping her behind right on top of the partial snowman. She didn’t sink in. “Now the tummy.”

Archie sprayed, Barb and Gloria rolled. Gloria sprayed, Archie and Barb rolled.

“Perfect!” they said in unison.

They lifted the snowman’s tummy into place. Time to make the head.

Barb sprayed, Gloria and Archie rolled.

“Perfect!”

They placed the head on top. It stayed put.

“Time to give him a face,” Barb said. Gloria took the accessories out of the bag.

Barb dug out holes for the charcoal eyes.

Gloria pushed the carrot in for the nose.

Archie smoothed a black shoelace across for a mouth.

“Perfect!” they said.

Until the carrot fell off.

Huh.

“The carrot is too long for the hole you made Gloria,” Archie said. “The hole can’t sustain the length of the carrot.”

Gloria smiled. She bit off the fat end of the carrot. And took another bite. Then just one more. She stuffed the carrot into the hole.

“Perfect!” she said. And it was.

“What should we name him?” Archie asked.

“Fluffy.”

“Perfect!” And Fluffy was.

 

Until a squirrel climbed up three days later and stole the carrot nose.

 

Thank you reader for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed this short story. If you have written a short story in a 60 minute time frame, using this Word of the Day word, please feel free to share it in the comments. 

 

 

 

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GORTOK GETS HIS WISH

furious – adjective 

[fyoo r-ee-uh s]

1 : very angry

2 a : very powerful or violent

   b : very active or fast
Long ago, the landfill in Titustown had filled up. The town agreed that they needed to do something better with the garbage than to fill up land with it because it would fill up too fast. The solution was to build a large incinerator that would burn the garbage that could not be recycled in one way or another. But the only land large enough to hold it, belonged to Gortok the Greedy, as the townspeople nicknamed him, and he refused to have that ugly incinerator on his property.
The only solution left for the town,  was pile all of the garbage on the only open lot in town that still belonged to it. Which was right next to Gortok the Greedy’s house.
Gortok wanted more than anything, for the mountain of garbage behind his house to disappear. He hated the sight of it and the smell was atrocious. The town had been using the lot as the dump for too long.
The mountain just grew…
and grew.
and grew.
And now, the smell was coming into his home.
So Gortok made a wish.
“Mother Nature,  please make the garbage go away.”
A few days later, Mother Nature granted his wish.
Whip!
Whoosh!
Whip!
The wind came from the outskirts of town and blew in with a fury.
Garbage from all over town rose up from the streets, the gutters, the lawns, everywhere, and landed on top of the mountain.
The town was clean. But Gortok the Greedy’s property smelled worse than before.
In a huff, Gortok walked to work. On the way, he unwrapped his granola bar, ate it then tossed his wrapper to the ground. He then he popped open his juice box.
Mother Nature was not happy. She sent the wind out once again.
Whip,
whish!
The wind picked up the tossed wrapper and whipped it at Gortok.
The wrapper hit him square in the face.
“Who threw that?” Gortok asked, expecting to find kids near. He grabbed the wrapper and whipped it to the ground again. He finished his juice and threw the plastic bottle as well.
Furious at Bartok’s behavior, Mother Nature once again sent wind out to do her bidding.
Whip,
whish,
whip!
This time the wind blew the bottle at Gortok, hitting his leg, and the wrapper hit his arm as he walked.
Gortok kicked the bottle and flung the wrapper.
“Enough!” he shouted, though no one was near to hear.
At the factory, a newspaper flew through the air, landing against the door Gortok was opening.  He threw it onto the walkway and went inside.
Mother Nature decided she had had enough herself. She told wind what to do and wind got right to it.
Whip!
Whoosh!
Whish!
It was quite late when Gortok left work. He was half asleep as he walked home and fell exhausted into his open doorway.
In the morning, a cool breeze woke Gortok up. He noticed the sweet smell coming in from the open doorway.
“This is unusual.”  He shuffled around his property. His jaw dropped open at the sight of the lot behind his house. The mountain had disappeared! Mother Nature had granted his wish. He did his happy dance, jigging and jagging around his lawn.
That day, Gortok whistled as he walked to work, saying hello to his factory workers as they walked past, plugging their nose. [He should have been more concerned as to why they were not on the job.] 
Around the corner, he found out why.
The mountain of garbage now covered his entire factory.
He was bewildered until he remembered his wish.
Gortok made his way through the garbage, into the factory and got right on the phone.
The headline on the next newspaper read,
‘GORTOK FACTORY BEGINS INCINERATOR PROJECT NEXT WEEK.’
The opening sentence of the article said,
‘Gortok Industries to start making incinerators for home use after finishing a large scale incinerator for the town’s garbage which will be built right on Gortok property.’
Mother Nature did not help Gortok with the garbage this time.
Gortok cleaned up the mess himself.

Word of the Day Story to Begin Again

Hello readers!

Starting in December, on Tuesdays, I will revamp my ‘Word of the Day’ stories. 

My idea behind this is to encourage you to just get your words written for whatever writing project you are doing. It’s just for fun. I hope to bring out the joy of playing with words.

The hardest part of writing is getting the initial words written. Therefore, as a writing prompt, I will be using the word of the day from either Merriam-Webster or Dictionary.com or Learner’s, to write a short, short story using that word(s) and then edit it one time in 60 minutes [no editing while writing the story, just write]. The story will be far from perfect but hopefully, enjoyable to read. I may take a little extra time to add photos or artwork of mine that fit the story.

Speaking of the story… it may be anything such as whimsical, funny, off the wall, sad, happy, philosophical; the word of the day kind of commands the writer, what story it wants to be in. 

If you choose to share your Word of the Day story, please add it to the comments section of the blog post. Please also feel free to leave constructive comments as well.

Have a funtastic week. See you on Friday for the next round of ABC’S OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD.

Traci 

 

 

 

This website promotes positive thinking. Negativity works against creativity and is not allowed on my site. Any negative comments will be deleted.

Ort: A Perfect Mouseful

[dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster Learner’s Word of the Day selections; photo credit-Merriam-Webster Learner’s Word of the Day]

ort – noun

[awrt]

  1.   Usually, orts. a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.

 

mischievous – adjective

[mis-chuh-vuh s]

  1.   causing or tending to cause annoyance or minor harm or damage

2.   showing a playful desire to cause trouble

      3.   intended to harm someone or someone’s reputation

 

Cat was angry at Mouse. Mouse was laughing at Cat because Mouse had just won his third game against Cat. Cat slunk off to figure out how to beat Mouse at Mouse’s games.

I have to slow down Mouse or trip him up somehow, Cat thought. Visions of glue, tape and food danced in his head. With the glue, Mouse was begging for help reaching out to be pulled from the glob of glue gumming up his paws. Cat shuddered at the thought. No glue.

Tape took over, tacking Mouse to it who was desperately trying to escape. Tape won’t work either. I don’t want to hurt my friend. 

While Cat was contemplating his next move, Mouse was mulling over how to help Cat win a game. A mischievous idea formed quickly.

Mouse made a maze in the middle of the yard. To help Cat win, he made Cat smiley faces on each turn leading the way out. Whoever got to the end of the maze first would win.

Tap, tap, tap.

Cat whirled around, surprised to see Mouse.

“I don’t want to play anymore of your games. I think we should play one of mine,” Cat said.

“Sure, but can we play one of yours after this last game of mine? I worked really hard at creating it,” Mouse said.

Cat’s whiskers twitched. “What’s the game?”

“I built a maze in the yard. Whoever gets to the end first wins and can choose the next three games to play.”

Cat shook his head. “Since you made the maze, you know how to go through it. That’s not fair.”

Mouse sighed. “You have a point, Cat. I will wear a blindfold to even us out.”

Cat thought about this. “We should each choose a winning treat for the other to place at the end of the maze. Whoever makes it through the maze and finishes their treat first, wins.”

“Deal.”

Together they scoured the house for the perfect treat.

Mouse found part of a tuna sandwich and carried it out.

Cat scoured the kitchen but there were no orts about, not even one crumb. All he could find was a small pink glob under the table. It was a little big for Mouse to eat but Cat planned on winning.

Treats in place, Cat and Mouse took their spots at the beginning of the maze. Cat was haunched in start position while Mouse was blindfolded and ready to go.

“Go!” Cat shouted.

Cat darted away turning this way that, into a dead end. “Drat!” He looked for Mouse. No Mouse around. He listened for Mouse. He could hear scurrying ahead of him.

Mouse twitched his nose letting him guide him to the end. He bumped into wall after wall but the strawberry smell was getting stronger.

Cat turned right, then followed straight. He turned left and left again into another dead end. He sat down and pouted. Doggone Mouse! He’s going to win. As a tear rolled into his whiskers, he noticed a smiley cat picture on the opposite wall. Oh sure, rub it in Mouse! 

Cat ran to the picture and scratched it out. He sulked through the maze scratching out each Cat Smiley he found. He was so busy looking for these smiling Cats, he didn’t realize what he had done.

I. Smell. Tuna! Cat’s nose twitched and his tail swished. He followed his nose right to the end of the maze. Mouse was already there, chewing and chewing.

Cat’s ears drooped. Mouse had won again.

“You won Mouse. But I’m going to enjoy this sandwich anyways.” He took a bite, then another.

Mouse said nothing but kept chewing away.

Cat finished his sandwich. “This was a great treat Mouse. Thank you.” Cat licked his paws.

Mouse just chewed.

“I said, ‘Thank you’ Mouse.” Cat stared at Mouse.

Mouse inhaled deeply.

As he breathed out, a bubble formed and grew and grew. Then…

POP!

Cat jumped straight into the air.

Mouse’s mouth still full he muttered, “Clever cat, giving me this ort. Not supposed to swallow gum. I lost.”

Cat blushed. “Mischievous mouse. Drawing those Smiley Cat faces to tease me. If I had seen those sooner I would have…Hey!”

“Won sooner,” Mouse said still chewing.

“You said a mouseful.” Cat laughed.

The next three games were Cat’s choice and he lost all but one.

 

THE END

If you enjoyed this story, take the challenge and write your own story in 60 minutes and edit it. The idea is to #justkeepwriting #justkeepwriting.

 

 

 

 

 

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Save Me From the Words

[This is a short story using both Word of the Day selections from http://www.dictionary.com and http://www.learnersdictionary.com. My goal for these stories is to get the story out by writing and editing it in one hour] 

galore – adjective, adverb

[guhlawr, –lohr]

always used after a noun informal

: in large numbers or amounts

pumpkins-galore

logophobia – noun

[law-guhfoh-bee-uh, log-uh-]

an obsessive fear of words

logophobia

 

Words shouted at Lucy.

“Please.”

“Understand.”

Lucy wanted no part of them. Every time she misspelled a word, she was made fun of which was every day. Her wings were torn forcing her legs to carry her to the forest edge before the words had a chance to catch up.

“Whew! I think I lost them,” she said to the owl perched in the tree.

“Whooo?” was the owl’s reply.

“The words,” Lucy said. She trembled and shook. She peeked around the tree edge and was off again.

The words were relentless. They chased her through the woods.

“We”

“Can”

“Help.”

Leaves crackled, twigs snapped. Lucy raced on, her legs burning. For a meadow fairy, she was quick and agile.

“Wait.”

“For.”

“Us.”

Lucy ignored the words. Her heart thumped against her chest bursting to get out.

Above, the owl followed along, cruising over the treetops always aware of the action below.

A tree root rose up out of the ground. Lucy’s foot snagged it sending her face first into the soft earth.

The owl swooped down, extended her wing which Lucy happily took. She swung up on the owl’s back. Together they flew out of the forest and headed towards town. Below them, the words gave up the chase.

“You suffer from logophobia,” Owl said.

Lucy scrunched her eyes.

“You are afraid of words; they terrify you.” Owl explained.

Lucy nodded.

“Only a few words were chasing you and they said they wanted to help. They seemed genuine.”

“I don’t think so. At school there were words galore. I’m not a good speller. The words became angry when I spelled most of them wrong.” Lucy’s bottom lip quivered.

“And so they chased you?” Owl asked.

“Not then. They threw the chalkboard eraser at me and made me write each word until I got it correct.”

“That’s not very nice.”

“You’re telling me. Fairy school is not all it’s cracked up to be. Every fairy culture is gifted in different forms. Meadow fairies are not good spellers. We don’t have to be because we are of the meadow and talk to the meadow creatures and care for them. We use no spells so we don’t write words, just speak them. Other fairies have to learn words to communicate to the other worlds, this is their job.”

“I see,” said Owl.

“When the last eraser hit my wing, tearing it, I stomped out of school, swearing I was never going back. Then one word apologized and then another, but it was too late for me. Once outside, I could not fly so I took off running.”

They glided through the air until Owl perched a top of a tall boxy building.

“We’re here,” Owl said.

Lucy stared at the sky. Stars twinkled. Meteors flew across it. She wished she could fly like them.

Bong! Bong! Bong! Bong!

“Tis four o’clock. I shall take you down now,” said Owl.

Lucy  held on tight, her wings tucked in neatly.

“Off you go. What you need is in here. Every culture and every law can be found here. You just have to look hard and research and you will find your answers.”

Lucy stepped toward the large building with the wise owl statues lining the stairway to it.

“Do not be alarmed when you enter. Words abound in every corner. These words are here to help you. Though you may be terrified of them, give them a chance. If it becomes too overwhelming, ask a librarian for help as help is always available in this magical place.”

Lucy was skeptical.  She stepped back toward Owl.

Owl nudged her forward. She took a deep breath and exhaled slowly.

“Thank you Owl for rescuing me. I shall take your advice.”

“Remember dear fairy, overcoming obstacles is not easy and takes time.”

Lucy nodded and waved goodbye.

Inside, the words waited patiently.

They had their work cut out for them.

As did Lucy. This was just the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

When Opposites Don’t Attract- (a penguin story)

(All photos in this story/blog were taken by Kevin Bold and Traci Bold and are copyrighted.)

 

ossify – verb

[osuh-fahy]

  1.   used with object: to convert into or cause to harden like bone.
  2.    used without object: to become bone or harden like bone.
  3.   used without object: to become rigid or inflexible in habits, attitudes, opinions, etc.

gallant – adjective, noun, verb

[adjective galuh nt for 1, 3, 4; guhlant, –lahnt, galuh nt for 2, 5; noun guhlant, –lahnt, galuh nt; verbguhlant, –lahnt]

adjective

  1.   showing courage : very brave
  2.   large and impressive
  3.   having or showing politeness and respect for women
  4.   showy, colorful, or stylish, as in dress; magnificent

noun

5.   a brave, noble-minded, or chivalrous man.

6.   a man exceptionally attentive to women

7.   a stylish and dashing man.

8.   a suitor or lover.

9.   a paramour.

verb

10.   used with object: to court or act as a lover

11.   used with object: to escort

12.   used without object: to attend or pay court as a gallant

 

In the animal kingdom, solitude is for very few animals. Most, like the solidarity of being together. This means that most species do not like to be alone but rather live in harmony with many.

“Shhh. No texting back there, the movie is about ready to start.” says the head emporer penguin. Harris and Jude turned the other way. They did not want to see ‘Madagascar’ again.

IMG_2060

But next door, at the Humboldt neighborhood, the penguins are each doing their own thing. Like this one. This is Jonas soothing a sore muscle from moving stones onto the grates.

IMG_2056

He is not happy. “If I have to move one more stone, I’ll be ossified just like one.” he says.

IMG_2055

“Please can you move just one more?” Perdy asks. “You are the most gallant penguin I know.”

IMG_2044

Jonas turns his head. “No, I won’t do it.”

IMG_2054

“Please,” Perdy begs. “I saved a fish just for you. I will bring it down.”

“Fine. If it means you are safe, I’ll go move more.” Jonas says. He waddles back to the grate.

IMG_2045

“Last one. I’ve conquered them all.” he says holding the last one in place.

IMG_2049

“Good work Jonas,” Perdy says behind him. “My turn to be conquerer of the rocks. Can you please get down now?”

IMG_2051

“Girls!” Jonas says trudging away.  “I’m going to find new friends to hang out with.”IMG_2047

And so he joined his emporer friends in their neighborhood for the showing of ‘Madagascar’.

The end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kid Friendly Politics: What You as a Kid Need to Know

blank – adjective, noun, verb

[blangk]

adjective

  1.   without any writing, marks, or pictures
  2.   having empty spaces to be filled in with information : not yet written in or filled out
  3.   without any recorded sound or information
  4.   not showing any emotion
  5.   used before a noun: stated in a very direct and certain way
  6.   to suddenly stop showing letters, images, etc…
  7.   void of interest, variety, results, etc.

noun

     8.   a place where something is lacking; an empty space:

     9.   a space in a printed form, test, etc., to be filled in

    10.   a printed form containing such spaces:

    11.   the object toward which anything is directed; aim; target.

verb

12.   used with object: to cross out or delete, especially in order to invalidate or void

13.   to keep (an opponent) from scoring in a game.

 

rabble-rouser – noun

[rabuh l-rou-zer]

  1.   a person who stirs up the passions or prejudices of the public,usually for his or her own interests; demagogue.

 

2016 is a big year in politics and all age people are aware of it in some way.

As a kid should you care about politics? You betcha! You are an important person in this country and all laws and issues will apply to you someday if not now.

Adults should be paying close attention to each candidate in all political parties. Parties are groups of people who back one theory of political conscious. Each party supposedly represents specific ideals that our great country was founded on. Therefore, if you believe in those those ideals, you would support that political party. Examples are Democrats, Republicans (these are the main two), and Independents. There are sub categories but those are for a different discussion on a different day. Also, you have the right to decide if you want to join or support a specific party, it is your choice no matter what your parents, friends, etc. are.

democrats republicans independent party

The bigger question is, should you/children follow politics? When children are old enough to ask questions, they are old enough to start learning about this daunting practice of political affairs. So if you are reading this or your parent/caregiver is letting you read this, you are old enough.

First, politics have been around for a very long time. Long ago the law of the land was a blank slate but those days are milleniums past.

Second, most kids learn about political parties and candidates by hearing other people talk about them. This may be good or bad. Therefore, in my opinion, it is always best to find out the correct information and get the facts for yourself. Plenty of rabble-rousers are out there to stir up trouble or get their own ideas planted into others heads for their own greedy purpose. As a kid, you can combat this. Here are some ways:

Simply ignore these people. This tactic works well with bullies too if you can handle it. Rabble-rousers just bully in more subtle ways.

no bullying

Gather information from reliable sources: the newspaper, unbiased magazines such as ‘Time’ ‘Newsweek’, ask your local librarian for factual resources.

If you get a chance to meet a candidate (some will visit schools) ask questions and don’t make them easy, ask what you want to know.

Have you ever heard a rumor or been part of one? Well, if you heard one, did you gather the information yourself or ask the person the rumor is about if their was any truth? probably not as that is scary enough on it’s own. the best you can do then is to ignore it. If you are really brave, you can ask the person yourself (they may really need someone on their side so they may be really happy you asked instead of just following the pack).

rabble rouser

Politics are the same way. The internet is loaded with facts but also with many rumors about any subject you like, especially politicians. Books can be the same way but the internet is the easiest way to spread horrible lies and rumors about people. Some of the politicians themselves will become rabble-rousers simply to get the heat off of themselves. This is a terrible practice and of course unfair. Just because it was done to them does not make it any better that they did it to someone else.

You as a kid do not yet have the right to vote but you have the right to learn about the laws of this country and how they affect you, even as a kid. Always fight for your rights. I do not mean by physically fighting as that usually never solves the problem, but arming yourself with factual knowledge.

Possible issues that may concern you:

  • health insurance-being able to seek medical attention when needed is important
  • wages-at 16 years old, you will be able to work. as an adult, you want to make a living wage so you do not starve or cannot afford to pay for a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear or insurance to keep you safe
  • discrimination-people are discriminated for many reasons which affects, getting a loan, getting a job, a promotion
  • education-every US citizen should have the right to a wonderful education
  • safe water to drink
  • safe food regulations to keep you healthy

time magazine

This is my advice, find reliable sources about issues and political candidates that you are interested in and research them. If you read or hear things about them, verify that the information is correct. Do not let people lead you blindly to think a certain way without giving it serious thought and attention.

You may not have a blank page about political issues and candidates but you can start your own journey to learn more about them without prejudices getting in your way. My plea, don’t be a rabble-rouser, there are too many around as it is. If you pay attention tot he candidates, you can see for yourself, most of them are ones already.

Remember this: YOU ARE A KID, YOU MATTER!!! Why? Because you are a huge apart of this country’s future.

 

 

 

Lost and Found

sylvan – adjective, noun

[sil-vuh n]

adjective

  1.   of, relating to, or inhabiting the woods.
  2.   consisting of or abounding in woods or trees; wooded; woody:
    a shady, sylvan glade.
  3.   made of trees, branches, boughs, etc.

noun

4.   a person dwelling in a woodland region.

5.   a mythical deity or spirit of the woods.

 

relieved– adjective

[ri-leev]

  1.   feeling relaxed and happy because something difficult or unpleasant has been stopped, avoided, or made easier : feeling relief

 

 

Jolene stepped into the meadow. On the other side were the woods. Behind her a group of kids ran after her chanting mean horrible things. She scanned the meadow; no where to hide there. Right then she knew she had to make it to the woods to drown out the meanies and their chants or she would lose her temper causing even more chaos.

469

Only a few yards in, the chants grew quieter as the woods ate up the sounds past it’s borders. Jolene breathed in deep. Ahhhhhhhhh. Much better. The only sounds were squirrels chattering and rustling in the foilage and something small scampering across the forest floor.

The air was crisp and piney, her favorite smell as it reminded her of Christmas time, a time that was always magical no matter whose home she was at. She closed her eyes and reveled momentarily in Christmases gone by.

CRACK!

Her eyes flew open. Was that a lightning strike? Jolene knew that sound all too well. She looked up to the sky. Blue skies still spilled through some of the gaping treetops and sunshine peeked through here and there. Not thunder, not this time.

CRACK!

The sound came from in front of her. She scoured the trees for falling limbs and branches.

CRACK! SNAP!

Now this was different. The sound was directly in front of her somewhere behind the oak and pine trees.

SNAP! A flash of electric blue light shot out from the wide oak.

Jolene was mesmerized. Her feet happily lead her to the majestic tree.

“Hello? Who’s there and how did you make that blue light?” she asked skirting herself around tree.

CRACK! SNAP! was her reply. Jolene jumped. She scurried to the other side of the tree in time to witness tiny feet like a babies but with only four toes kick forest floor up at her.

“Go away. You scare me,” a tiny yet commanding voice said.

“Who are you? I promise not to hurt you in any way. You made beautiful blue light. Please come out,” Jolene coaxed.

Shuffling sounds grew closer to Jolene.

“I do not have anything but my clothes and shoes. See?” she said holding her hands straight up in the air.

A short, furry person with a cherub face stepped out from the oak tree. This beautiful being radiated a soft glow of white light almost with a bluish tint and was carrying what looked like a bamboo stick.

Jolene immediately felt relieved and at peace, something she had not felt in a long time.

“You have the sweetest face I have ever seen,” Jolene said.

“Thank you,” came the simple reply.

“Most kids do not like these woods. Rumor has it these woods are haunted by ghosts of evil people. I like the woods. I find peace here.”

“As you should.”

“But there are scary creatures and animals in these woods aren’t there?”

“Depends.”

“On what?”

“On what you think is scary. Do you think rabbits, squirrels, fox, deer, owls, birds, or Sylvans are scary?”

Jolene thought about this. She really loves all animals but she had never seen a Sylvan before and was not sure what one really was.

“What is a Sylvan?”

“I am a Sylvan. Are you scared of me?”

The Sylvan twirled around emitting a cloud of powder blue dust. As the dust cleared, a taller shape stood in front of Jolene. This shape was just like Jolene’s dream version of a grandmother. This being still held the bamboo looking stick.

“No.”

The Sylvan swirled in circles again emitting a powder blue dust cloud. Now it was shaped into strange animal that had paws like a kitten, powder puff tail, soft fluffy looking gray fur and the face of a wolf.

“How about now?”

Jolene laughed. “Definitely not.”

Once again, the Sylvan swirled and twirled and when the powder blue dust cloud settled, the group of meanies was standing in front of Jolene.

“And now?” growled the Sylvan.

Jolene trembled. She felt fury rise up in her throat all sense of peace gone. Red was everywhere, she felt it, saw it and tasted the bitterness of it.

“Yes but scared for you, not of you,” she said through clenched teeth closing her eyes, willing the Sylvan to retreat. The heat was rushing through her veins and scorching her eyes. “You need to leave before I hurt you.”

CRACK! SNAP!

“You can open your eyes, I have changed back.” the Sylvan said.

Slowly Jolene opened her eyes. Her hands trembled, her body shook.

Blue light filled the space around her. The Sylvan was once again the furry, cherub faced short being. It reminded her of everything good  in the world, babies, animals and spirit beings.

Jolene relaxed. Peace was filling her up inside pushing the fury out of her. She sat down on the forest floor grateful for the soft seat it provided.

The Sylvan sat beside her. “You passed the test, you may visit these woods whenever you want Jolene. I know you will bring no harm to the creatures who live here.”

“What is your name?”

“Sylvie. Unoriginal I know but I like it best.”

“Makes sense to me. Why did you change shape? Can all Sylvans change shape?”

Sylvie tilted her head to the side and snapped her stick once.

Snap. A tiny blue streak shot across the air.

Finally she answered.

“We Sylvans change shape to suit our need. If we feel a dangerous being is here, we change into whatever scares them the most. If we feel a good being is here, we change into whatever image brings the happiest thoughts to that being. I imagine this is why these woods are rumored to be haunted.”

“I am so sorry I became so angry. When you changed into the meanies, every horrible thing they have ever done to me, other kids and even animals came to me and my horrible power started kicking in. I cannot control it when it does which scares me the most. I have to either run away or will the target to go away so I cannot harm them.” Jolene explained.

Sylvie squeezed Jolene’s hand. A warm feeling of love flooded Jolene. She hugged Sylvie then stood up to leave.

” I have to get back home Sylvie. My foster Mom will be worried if I am home too late. I promise to keep your secret.”

Sylvie smiled a brilliant smile. “No need to keep the secret. It will just be another rumor but one that will keep the bad beings out. You may visit whenever you like. In fact, coming here will ease your power and help you keep control over it until you learn how to use it wisely.”

Jolene tilted her head and thought a moment. “I’m glad you are my new friend Sylvie. I’ll visit again soon.”

CRACK! SNAP! Beautiful blue light lit up the forest.

“Anytime!”

Jolene rushed home, just in time to help with dinner.

“Where were you Jolene?” her foster Mom asked.

“Working on my creative writing project with a new friend.”

“New friends are good. What’s her name?”

Jolene beamed at her. “Sylvie.”

 

 

About My Kid Friendly Word of the Day Stories

I decided an anniversary description of my ‘Word of the Day’ stories was in order since it has been over a year since I started doing them.

supercilious – adjective

[soo-per-sil-ee-uh s]
1.   haughtily disdainful or contemptuous, as a person or a facial expression

In writing these stories I gave myself just one day to use either just the current days ‘Word of the Day’ from dictionary.com or Learner’s Dictionary, use both or to wait a few days and use a few days worth from either or both sites. My decision is based on whether or not these words can be used in a #kidfriendly story or not. I find it refreshing to use bigger words to expand vocabulary but sometimes the words from dictionary.com are just too mature for younger readers such as today’s Word of the Day, supercilious. In this case, I will wait a couple of days and use a few days worth of Word of the Day words so I have something to work with.

My favorite part of writing these stories is using my brain power that wants to get the story out so I cannot edit as I write. This is a crucial exercise for me because I am typically a cautious writer, editing as I go which is not conducive to good writing. Editing has to come later, once my original words are written.

 

odd – adjective

[od]

  1.   strange or unusual : different from what is normal or expected
  2.   always used before a noun: happening in a way that is not planned or regular
  3.   of different kinds or types
  4.   not matched or paired with another thing or person
  5.   not able to be divided into two equal whole numbers
  6.   marked by an odd number
  7.   fantastic; bizarre:
  8.   more or less, especially a little more (used in combination with around number)
  9.   left over after all others are used, consumed, etc.
  10.   (of a pair) not matching:
  11.   not forming part of any particular group, set, or class:
  12.   not regular, usual, or full-time; occasional; casual:
  13.   out-of-the-way; secluded:

 

Now I am making a change to my process. In doing this I will accomplish two things. One: Encourage writers to get the writing down. Where I would spend an entire day getting the best story, I am now only giving myself one hour to write the original and then one hour to edit. Therefore, I will not have the ‘perfectly polished’ story but a good one none the less. And two: give myself creative freedom that a time constraint offers simply because I can not overthink as I tend to do. I realize this may sound odd and it is but odd in a fantastic way for me.

odd

 

This being said, I hope you enjoy my stories from here on out. My proclamation: The story may be a little rough, but I got it down on paper (screen) and that is the hardest part. I promise it will be edited though as much as I can edit in one hour but the whole thing will be given two hours max and I hope it is enjoyable to read even though it won’t be perfect.

Now for your part, use word of the day selections from whatever source you have and write a short story in whatever time you give yourself. Feel free to share it on here in comments or not; the choice is a personal one.  The words are there just begging to be put to use and come to life.

Look for my new ‘Word of the Day’ story tomorrow and remember,  Just write!

 

#justkeepwriting #justkeepwriting

KNOWING – A Young Adult Paranormal Word of the Day* Story

telegnosis – noun

[tel-uhnoh-sis, tel-ig-]

1.   supernatural or occult knowledge; clairvoyance.

mien – noun

[meen]

1.   air, bearing, or demeanor, as showing character, feeling, etc.

A grey convertible veers into the eastbound lane of traffic on Highway 14. The driver is a middle age female, red hair blowing behind her, cell phone in her hand, excited to get to her destination. She doesn’t look up from her cell phone in time to see the rusty old black Suburban swerve to avoid hitting her. She does hear tires screeching behind her and gravel crunching. Only then does she look up, curious, to see that she is fully driving in the eastbound traffic’s lane right towards an oncoming white  sedan. Cell phone gripped tightly in her hand, she veers back into her lane. She doesn’t look back but continues on her way, hurried, oblivious to the carnage she caused behind her.

“Jordan, come back to planet earth,” my best friend, Noelle was whispering. I tried to focus on her voice but the next vision hit.

The Suburban, driven by a teenage male, does what he was taught in driver’s ed. He swerves to the right and when she passes, he counter steers to get back on the road but his back tires are bald. He has no traction to keep the back end on the road’s shoulder. As his truck slips, he panics, spinning the truck around to face the ditch that drops off about thirty feet just inches past the shoulder. At the bottom of the ditch are concrete tubes, ready for the roadwork that starts soon. He has no recourse. Knowing he can’t stop the momentum, he reaches for his cell phone in the passenger seat to call for help. The Suburban hits those concrete tubes head on, crunching the Suburban into a junkyard heap. The driver, though belted, hits his head hard against the steering wheel and then the window, knocking him unconscious, cell phone in hand, but not on.

Someone is grabbing my arm. I am trembling, I know. I try to breathe deep and open my eyes open slowly but then lightning fast, another one hits.

Startled and shaken, the man driving the white sedan, counts his blessings that the grey convertible misses him. He was in his own vehicular, musical world when the Suburban swerved and left the road even though he was only three car lengths behind him. He knew he had been following a truck-like vehicle but he pays it no mind and he vaguely hears a commotion as he passes where it went off the road. Being just after dusk, the light is behind him, hiding the ditch and what lay in it. In his shaken state, his mind does not even consider to try to get a license of the grey convertible; he’s just happy that no accident resulted.

“THIS SUCKS'” I hear myself cry as I come back to earth like Noelle is insisting. People are staring at me. Not surprised. Noelle and I are sitting in the back of the Cineplex movie theater watching the latest Johnny Depp movie. I’m not even sure what the movie is now.

“Turn around people,” Noelle directs. “She just got a sad text.” Noelle grabs my arm, ushering me out of the theater.

I see all of this happen, which I assume just happened based on the sky color once outside.

I suffer from telegnosis which gives me the ability to know things that happen far away from where I am at. I can also speak to the dead when the dead seek me out. Some people, like Noelle and my family, call it a gift but I call it a curse; I am a girl of cursed mien.

“What happened Jordan?” Noelle asks, smoothing my hair away from my tear-streaked face.

I tell her about my visions.

“That’s really creepy Jordan. I can’t believe that lady just drove away. Do you know where on 14 it happened?” Noelle asks.

“Not really. I just saw the Highway 14 sign and the woman driving towards the fading sunset. I didn’t see her license plate or any other road signs,” I say sighing hard.

“You should call 911 and report it Jordan. Maybe he’s not dead and  you can save him if you call.”

“How would I call that in Noelle? ‘Um, there’s been a terrible accident on Highway 14 where a grey convertible swerved into oncoming traffic and causing a black Surburban to lose control and skid into the ditch. I think the driver of the Suburban is dead.’ Then the operator will ask if I saw this accident and I have to tell her ‘Yes’ but not in the way she thinks and she dismisses me as an attention seeking teenager.”

Noelle handed me her phone. “Call it in on my phone. You’ll feel better when you do.”

Reluctant, I call.

“Woodward County 911. Is this an emergency?”

“Yes it is. I need to report an accident on Highway 14.”

“What is your location?”

“Um, I’m at the Cineplex in Northbrook but the accident is somewhere on Highway 14 where there are concrete tubes in the ditch. There’s a black Suburban in the ditch and I think the driver hit his head.”

A pause. “How long ago did this happen?”

“About five minutes ago I think.” I sigh deeply. I know she’s not going to believe me now.

“Miss, did you pass by this accident on your way to the movie theater?”

“No, It happened while I was in the theater.” I take a quick breath rushing on. “I see events happen when they occur but I am never near where they happen. I didn’t see the location only that it was on Highway 14 and there are concrete tubes in the ditch where the Suburban skidded into. The ditch is about twenty-five to thirty feet down. There should be skid marks on the south side of the east bound lane.”

No response. A few seconds go by.

“Is this a prank? You realize this is an emergency number, correct?” The operator is pissy.

“Yes ma’am. I know this is an emergency line. Please call it in,” I beg.

“Miss, Highway 14 has road construction beginning on several sections for almost seventy’five miles. Part of those sections are in the next county.” she says.

“Please,” I beg again.

“I’ll put a call out for a missing black Suburban that may be in a ditch on the east bound lane of Highway 14. anything else?”

“Yes. A west bound grey convertible with a red headed middle age woman driving it swerved into the east bound lane with the black Suburban causing that teenage boy to lose control and land in the ditch. The woman was staring at her cell phone when it happened and she drove off.”

Silence.

“Are you still there?” I ask. I look at Noelle, shaking my head. I bite my lip. She shrugs apologetically.

Silence.

“HELLO?” I shout into Noelle’s phone.

“Can I please get your name and phone number if the police need to get a hold of you?”

Quietly I answer, “Jordan Greer and this is my friend’s phone. My cell number is 745-222-1114.”

“Thank you for you help Jordan. The police will call if they find anything.”

“Thank you,” I say. “This is why I call it a curse, Noelle. Rarely can I help whoever needs the help at the time. Knowing things that happen as they happen where I’m not at is not useful. Seventeen year olds should not have telegnostic abilities.”

Noelle links her arm around mine. “I still believe you’re lucky Jordan. You have a cool gift. You just haven’t been able to hone it yet to help.”

I raise my eyebrow at her. “I don’t think I ever will. I think I’ll just always be tormented for the rest of my life.”

Back at home, I lay awake in bed for hours waiting for my phone to ring. I think about the boy. I wonder if I know him. I wonder if he’s been found yet. I wonder if he’s still alive. I wonder if the police will call me.

I wonder if I am still asleep. Nope, my clock says six a.m. I know the boy is dead, I know I won’t be getting a call from the police and I know he hasn’t been found yet.

I know because the boy is standing at the foot of my bed, blood matting his head, covering his face. I am a seventeen year old girl of cursed mien.

*The two #WordOfTheDay words are from July 5 and July 6 from http://www.dictionary.com.