Bad Me says, Hit her. You know you want to. And she deserves it, the nasty, conniving – Good Me interrupts. Take a deep breath. Don’t let her wind you up. Rise above it, rise, rise! The muscles tighten across my right hand, fingers itching to curl into a fist. I flatten the hand and hold it firmly behind my back. “Every penny!” She smiles into my face, red lips defiant. I catch a whiff of synthetic orchid. She plays with a blonde curl, teasing it out into a perfect tendril. “You make it so easy for me, you know, darling! You’ll lose everything – house, job, your precious car…” I know she’s right because she can act like no one else can act. Her face will be a symphony of long-suffering sweetness, her tears bright as diamonds. They’ll believe her anyway, so why not make it true? says Bad Me. Good Me tuts. That’s no excuse. You are a role model, remember? “And, of course, you’ll not get to see Jason at all. Knowing you, you’ll hang about outside the school gates, hoping for a glimpse, but I’ll see to it that the restraining order’s enforced. He’ll cry at first, bless him, but soon you’ll be nothing but an uncomfortable memory. He won’t have much time to think about it anyway. He’ll be way too busy getting to know his new father.” My hand jumps out. It lashes like a whip. She veers sideways, her features twisted in shock. Her head splits on the edge of the wardrobe with a crash as she falls. Blood seeps through her hair, into the carpet. Bad move, says Good Me. Good riddance, says Bad Me.
"Lost in the parking lot: a dollar bill, with a number written in the corner. I won't ask for the dollar back. Please call room 352 of the South Dorm before the end of finals week. It's the number of a road that I have to take to get home. There's road construction, I can't take my usual route. My mom called last night with the news, but I was already in bed, so I grabbed the first piece of paper I could find. If I can't find it, I don't know what I'll do." The tired instructor never noticed this note taped to the soda machine as she fed the bill into it.
Author's Lament The publishing world is so crazy! You must have a book that's a daisy?! I wish I'd said doozy, Why are they so choosy? The reason I do this is hazy. -Jenny Harp
Hey, diddle, diddle, a cat and a fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon; the little dog laughed to see such sport and the dish ran away with the spoon.
Hrrmph, Diddle … Diddle, they named me Diddle. I come from a respectable breeder and a fine line of skilled hunting dogs, and they named me Diddle. Come on, what’s up with that? They sat around thinking for hours while twiddling their thumbs deciding on a name, and that’s the best they could do? Some intelligent and creative people these are. Even Piddle would be a step up. At least that suggests I am capable of doing something. I might just show them by doing it on their boots a time or two. Hey, what’s that racket? It probably has something to do with that dratted feline who thinks he owns the place. What’s he got? A fiddle? A fiddling cat. Do you suppose any of these lame-brains have tried telling him strumming one twangy note over and over ain’t music? Probably not. I doubt they know. Any species that thinks catching a mouse is hunting ain’t no rocket scientist either. I wonder if these clowns have noticed their cows ain’t really cows. They have wings and pogo sticks. They’re just some suckers dressed up for Halloween. Look, there goes one now, bouncing and flapping, thinking he’s really something. Whoa, matey, I wasn’t expecting that! One of them just took off into outer space in the direction of the full moon. Now, that was something to see. Probably got one of those jet-packs. I must be psychic because I anticipate a crash-landing in the future. Look at that little flea-bitten furball. Yep, the one they introduced me to as Fi-fi, their other dog. If Fi-fi is a dog, I’m a monkey’s uncle. No wonder they thought they needed a hunting dog. That dog couldn’t find an elephant on a prairie, let alone a rabbit in the woods. I wonder if any of these jokers really know how to hunt? I’ve been here a week and haven’t seen one of them walk farther than the kitchen for something to eat. Always laughing too, that little mop-head is. Sounds like yap-yap rather than a respectable bellow that a real dog would make. Disgusting, if I may say so. I see something moving. It’s a dish—a plate to be exact with legs, lots of them, like a centipede. He’s carrying the spoon with him. Hey there, wait up you two. I’m going with you. This place is just too strange for me. Watch out for falling cows …
Who is L. Oliver Bright? Read Coffee House Chatter and find out. Hazel Prior has lived in Herefordshire, Italy, Scotland, Dorset and Bath. After severe chronic pain put her out of action for five years, Hazel was eventually diagnosed and surgery saved her. Once she had recovered, she started writing seriously and rekindled her love affair with the harp. Since then she has written a novel, won several writing prizes and had stories published in anthologies and literary magazines. Now working as a free-lance harpist, she lives on Exmoor in southwest England with her husband and a very large cat.
Writer Jenny Harp is a New Zealander grandmother who lives in the United States with her husband and loves God, life and family. Joyce Frohn has been published in "Page & Spine", "Cirsova" and several print anthologies. She is married with a teen-aged daughter. She blogs at Blogger.com and has a Patreon page. Debbie Johnson's role in life is to advocate for those with disabilities. Her recently released second book, 'The Disability Experience II' is available for purchase on amazon.com.