The Conversation from Hell

Assignment #12 Writing 101


Today’s Prompt for Writing 101: Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.

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The good news is, she lives 6 hours away from me right now. The bad news is, she is moving back to my area in three weeks. I am referring to my sister. She is like a walking, living, breathing human tornado that destroys, or tries to destroy everything and everyone in her path. (I wish I were joking).

I answered the telephone this morning and the voice on the other line automatically put me on high “red-alert.”

My sister, Chauna is on the other line and she immediately informs me, “These people here are trying to declare me incompetent and take all my money away from me. They are all trying to steal from me.” (These people = her daughter, son-in-law, brother, mother).

Because I don’t believe one word of it, I say, “No, I don’t believe that. They have no reason to steal from you. Why do they need to steal from you Chauna? They have plenty of their own money.”

“Well,” she says, “I can’t explain it but they are and I’m getting the hell out of here.” (Big City). She starts whining, “They tried to steal my RV from me and now I can’t get it out of the consignment place until May 8.”

I remind her, “They put it in the consignment place because you told Rex to handle it for you because you wanted to sell it. He is just trying to sell it for you!”

Now she begins barking, “Well he didn’t ask me if he could put it in the consignment shop and now I can’t get it out until May 8. He should have asked me if he could do that. I would have told him I would only put it in the consignment shop if I could get it out anytime I wanted to.”

By this time I am getting very frustrated, “How was he suppose to know you wanted to be able to get it out anytime you want to. You don’t even have a truck to pull it with.”

Then she immediately states, “Well I might have wanted to get it out and he didn’t ask me if he could put it in there and I’m madder than hell at him.”

I ask her, “So this is all about control not really about the RV?”

“Well, maybe.” She stated, then adds, “I should have had control of that RV not Rex!”

(This horrible conversation continues for 15 more minutes then turns to something else).

After listening to her barking for 20 minutes I am really getting exasperated. She begins to tell me, “He (her daughter’s husband) has declared my daughter incompetent and has taken over all of her money.”

I am stunned, “What? Why would he do that? That doesn’t make sense!”

She further tells me, “She says that Rex will not allow her to see me anymore unless I hand over the control of all my money to him.”

I am shocked. “What?! (I highly doubt this is true). Why would he want to take control of your money? I just have a hard time believing that.”

“Well he did!” She states matter-of-factly, ” I can’t stand him. He’s a snake and I can’t stand him.”

I am really wanting this conversation to end, “So this all about the fact that you dislike Rex so much you are willing to give up your own daughter?”

“Yes, I am.” She informs me, ” I am not having him control me or take control of my money.”

I inform her, for the thousandth time, “Chauna, you have GOT to go to the doctor and get on some medicine.”

“No I don’t.” She barks, “I don’t need medicine! I need to get the hell out of here!”

“Yes, Chauna, you do.” I further remind her (once again), “You have a chemical imbalance and you need medicine to control it.”

She starts her barking again, “Everybody thinks the world’s problems can be solved with a f—ing pill!”


(OMG, Help ME! And she’s going to be here in 3 weeks)


* Names have been changed. I am not exaggerating this conversation. If anything, I have tamed it down and removed all but one of the curse words.








 

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Where was Home?

Today’s Writing 101 Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Which town, city, and country? Was it a house or an apartment? A boarding school or foster home? An airstream or an RV? Who lived there with you?

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When I was three and four years old we lived in house in a small town in southern New Mexico (United States). The house seemed huge to me, but I was small, so the house would now be considered small. There were several neighborhood children to play with but my best buddy was Rodney, and Rodney and I were both little three year old partners in crime.

I distinctly remember our neighbors across the street had a beautiful flower bed. What does three year olds do? They pick the flowers. The woman of the house caught me picking one of her flowers and demanded that I go straight home and tell my mother that I had picked her flower. She was an elder so I was obliged to mind her, so, I literally marched myself across the street to the back of our house, where the water heater was housed, and confessed my sin to the water heater. Then, I happily ran off to finish playing.

One beautiful summer day Rodney and I were outside playing and it was our good fortune to find a ladder standing up next to the side of the neighbor’s house. Because we were both little climbing monkeys, we climbed that ladder to the top of the house. Our mothers were outside and across the street visiting . They just happened to look up to catch sight of their 3 year old children walking all over the top of a neighbor’s roof.

I received a LOT of spankings when we lived in this house. Seems like every single night my mother would bark orders to my dad that I deserved a spanking. He would take his leather belt and slap it across my bare bottom three or four good whacks. Then he would go to the piano and play what I considered sad music.

Nevertheless, it didn’t change the fact that I continued to get whacked with a belt every single night. My mother said that she finally told my dad that they were going to have to stop beating me because it wasn’t doing any good.

I think my parents made the mistake of thinking that I had the same knowledge as they had in matters of right and wrong. They knew it was wrong to climb a ladder to the roof of the house at the age of three years old, therefore, I must know that too. I was only three years old! I had no experiences or knowledge imparted to me of the ways of the world and they were wrong in assuming that I did. I was a very curious and adventurous child and learned my lessons of right and wrong from the wrong end of a leather belt.

 

 

Heaven is Cocoa and Toast

Today’s Prompt for Writing 101: Tell us something about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.

Free free to focus on any aspect of the meal, from the food you ate to the people who were there to the event it marked.

Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

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Although I have written about this before, for lack of anything else that made such an impact in my childhood memories regarding food, I introduce you to my favorite meal as a very small child, hot cocoa and toast.

My earliest memories of my childhood have this beloved breakfast memory imbedded in them.

During my childhood years there were no such things as “instant” cocoa or ready to buy, chocolate milk. “Back in those days”, it was a labor of love to make hot cocoa.

When I think back to these early childhood memories, I search for any memory that would confirm that my parents lurred me to bed at night with the promise of “cocoa and toast” in the morning. I think I might have dreamed of hot cocoa and toast all night because 5:00 am found me waking my mother up to make me my favorite breakfast, hot cocoa and toast.

I watched her as she poured the milk in a pan, added the tablespoons of cocoa powder and sugar and stir the mixture while it was heating on the stove.

I watched her as she carefully buttered the bread, then put the bread on a pan placed in the bottom of the oven until they became nice and “toasty.”

Finally, my delightful and much anticipated breakfast would begin. I would dip the crunchy toast in the hot cocoa until the bread was soaked with cocoa and with each bite I took, the cocoa would joyfully dribble down my chin.

At that young age my little mind had no concept of heaven or what heaven might be like. Yet, if you told me heaven was like eating cocoa and toast, I would completely understand.

Even now, thinking of these memories takes me back to that time in my life where life was safe and warm and my happiness was so easily achieved merely by making me a breakfast of hot cocoa and toast.

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Varied Points of View

Writing 101 – Assignment #9 – Points of View

The sun was full-on in the noon position and the park was in pristine condition. The grass was manicured, the roses were in full bloom and there were so many trees you could hardly see the sun. That’s where I sat, right in the middle of the park.

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I’m worried. I know I have to tell Michael about our precarious position and I’m afraid he is going to be upset, I took a deep breath and exhaled it slowly, “Well, I guess it is now or never.”

I take a deep breath, “Honey, you told me you wanted me to always be honest with you.. and, well”.. I stammered, “I am pregnant.The words just shot right out of my mouth so fast I wasn’t sure if Michael was quick enough to catch them. Words that are just floating around in the air like fire flys, waiting for someone to catch them, put them in a jar to light the paths of those on their journey.

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I’m afraid that Marilyn wanted to go on this walk to tell me she is leaving me. She seems to be so sad anymore and I don’t think she is happy. I have to stop for a minute and catch my breath. Just thinking about not having her in my life devastates me. Then, by golly, she turns and looks right into my eyes and tells me she is pregnant. I am so happy I want to scream. I pick her up and twirl her around, then I realize it might hurt the baby and put her back down.”

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“You mean you aren’t upset with me Michael?”

“Absolutely not! We’ve been trying to get pregnant for five years now. I’m..I’m elated!”

“I know we have been trying, but financially we are behind in some bills and I thought you would be upset.”

“Darlin, it is the perfect time for us to have a baby!” Just as soon as I said those words I reached for her and gave her a warm loving hug, and I started bawling.

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I was sitting on the park bench watching a young couple, Michael and Marilyn. Michael was crying and Marilyn looked so happy. I haven’t seen her happy in awhile. I have been this couple’s guardian since the moment they got married. They don’t know anything about me, it’s just between me and the big guy. I point to the sky. My boss told me that today I would learn why I am sitting in the middle of this park, knitting.

Aahaa! So, that’s why I am knitting this sweater, she is pregnant. This is wonderful news as they have been trying for a long time. Then, from the corner of my eye I see Julian sitting on top of one the trees.

Hey Clarissa! How long do I gotta stay up here? I wanta go play with my friends.” Julian yelled over to me.

Julian, look at those two people. That’s your mamma and daddy and I’m happy to announce that you are scheduled to come to this earth in about 6 1/2 months.

“Hey, that’s cool!” He replied before he ran off to play with his friends,

Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Julian is going to be my client too. I grab my coffee, stick the red yarn and half finished sweater into my bag and walk in the direction of my little hide-a-way, feeling more like an angel than I ever did before.

Suddenly, one more memory comes to my mind. Julian’s favorite color is red. The End.


Assignment 9

Today’s Prompt: A man and a woman walk through the park together, holding hands. They pass an old woman sitting on a bench. The old woman is knitting a small, red sweater. The man begins to cry. Write this scene.

Comparison-Contrast Writing 101 Day 7

Today’s Prompt: Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else.

Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a fierce political debate, for example. Or you could aim to highlight the difference in tone and style between the two different speakers — your call! — Michelle Weber/WordPress University

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My grandmothers were both wonderful women yet they were almost as different as night and day. Because of this, I am using them as a comparison and contrast in a discussion.

“Well, you don’t have much culture about you,” Grandmother H. chimed, “Your just an old farm woman and uneducated on top of that.” She was proud of the fact that she managed to get her teaching degree while she had 4 young children.

“Yes, that’s right. I am an old farm woman because I was raised on a farm and I’m proud of that,” Grandmother G responded, “but I don’t know what you mean I don’t have culture. I have culture.” She added. She wasn’t a woman to apologize for being a country woman. She was comfortable in her own skin, and that’s what mattered.

“The only culture you have is the culture you get from milk after milking cows,” Grandmother H argued. “Culture is something you get from being educated and learning about the arts, such as oil painting, playing music, going to plays.” My Grandmother H reveled in the fact that she was an artist as well as a teacher and a world traveler. She had a little more pride than necessary.

“I play music,” replied Grandmother G. “I play ragtime music for barn dances and that’s all the culture I need.” Grandmother G. taught herself to play music and played it entirely by ear. When she got on the piano and played her ragtime music, everything in the living room would rock as though they were dancing along with the music.

“You smoke and you drink alcohol and no respectful woman would do either of those vices,” huffed Grandmother H. Grandmother H was a little “prudish” and judgmental regarding smoking and drinking and felt it was beneath her to do such a thing.

“Yes I do. I smoke cigarettes but I don’t inhale them (the truth) and every once in a while I enjoy a cold beer.” Grandmother G said in defense to Grandmother H’s accusations. Then she added, “I may not go to plays but I go fishing, and I get all the education I need while I’m fishing.” Grandmother G. was an avid fisherman. She loved to fish. Every summer she would have a huge fish fry and all of her family and friends were invited and asked to bring a potluck dish. It was always a huge summer celebration.

“Oh phooey. That’s hogwash.” Grandmother H hissed, then added, “My grandchildren want to spend most of the time with you and that’s just not right.” This is true. Even though I loved my Grandmother H, I did prefer to stay with my Grandmother G. She was my rock and loved me unconditionally. She was a simple, good hearted country woman.

“The reason they want to stay with me is because I don’t have a fancy house that they have to be careful not to break anything.” Then she tenderly added, “And, because you teach school all week and I’m just an old woman homemaker, so of course they will see me more because you work.” This just stands to reason.

“Yes, I do. And I’m proud of it too. And I travel during the summer months because there is so much of the world I want to see.” Grandmother H admitted. Every summer Grandmother H would go on trips and 90% of the time she would take my sister with her because she didn’t want to take just me or both of us at the same time.

“PJ says when she goes to your house you make her sit down and write because you don’t want her getting into anything.” replied Grandmother G. “What does that tell a child about your relationship with her?” This is true. The few times that my Grandmother H had me stay with her I felt as though she put me in the corner with a piece of paper and pencil, told me to write, and then she would go and do her own thing.

“Well, that’s because I don’t like keeping PJ as much as I do her sister. PJ gets into things.”

“You never cook a meal for them,” Grandmother G purred, “And there is love in making a meal.” My Grandmother H. hated cooking. I only remember having one meal in her home and it wasn’t that good.

“That’s because I don’t like to cook and I don’t cook for myself either.” Grandmother H grumbled.

Grandmother G looked lovingly at Grandmother H, filled her coffee cup with fresh coffee and reasoned, “If you want to get love out of something you’ve got to put love in.”

Grandmother H was at a loss for words and quietly drank her coffee.

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I stayed as close to my Grandmother G’s apron as I could and as often as I could because I dearly loved that woman. My Grandmother H would take my sister with her during her summer travels while my Grandmother G would take me with her.

If there was one thing I could tell my Grandmother H right now, it would be, “You never saw the good in me Grandmother H, and Grandmother G never saw the bad.”

 

The Letter: Writing 101 Assignment 5

Assignment #5 – Writing 101


My doctor’s appointment was in 10 minutes and I still had a few more blocks before I would reach his office. If I was late then I might lose my appointment and it would take a few months to get another one.

I was in a hurry, yes, but when I saw the bench I decided to rest for just a few moments before continuing my walk. I didn’t notice the letter until after sitting.


Dear Daddy,

Mommy and I miss you so much. Please come back home.

Love, Benson


I looked up to see the backside of the young man that had been sitting here. I ran to catch him, to give him back his letter, but he was gone.

Continuing my walk to my appointment, my mind was on a little boy named Benson that had captured my heart. I secretly hoped the letter had captured the heart of his daddy.

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This post is in response to my class, Writing 101, assignment:

Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed. Write a story about this encounter.

Today’s twist: Approach this post in as few words as possible.

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Lost – Writing 101 Assignment 4

Part 1 of 3 of Serially Lost for Writing 101


There are so many things that I have “serially” lost, that I don’t know what to write about or where to begin. After some thought, I decided to write about “losing my mind.”

When my husband and I divorced, the divorce itself and the custody battles that ensued was more than I could handle, emotionally. The severe depression I was in plus the stress on top of that, finally caused me to have a nervous breakdown, and I cannot even begin to tell you how horrible that is.

My mind began racing and I could not get it to stop. I completely ceased sleeping as my thoughts would not allow me to sleep. I became extremely paranoid and I was literally living in crippling terror. I would stay up all night pacing, trying desperately to sort through all the horrible thoughts haunting my mind. I felt like my mind was trying to solve a puzzle but I didn’t have all the puzzle pieces I needed in order to solve it, literally making me mentally and emotionally crippled.

The first time I went to the hospital they gave me a shot to help me sleep, although, against my wishes. I slept for quite a while and I was much better when I woke up but I wasn’t healed from what was causing me not to be able to sleep. To begin with, I didn’t feel like I had control over my own mind. My thoughts were racing and I felt I could not stop it from racing. My sense of smell was much more acute. When I was in the hospital I could smell the mingling smells of all the food from the cafeteria and it was nauseating

Some things that helped me during these terrible times were my journaling and walking. In order to gain some semblance of sanity, I was either writing or walking. These activities were soothing to me and helped me make it through yet, another day.


To be continued…