When It’s Good, It’s Very Very Good; When It’s Bad, It’s Horrid


Post Cards From the Muse

When It’s Good, It’s Very Very Good; When It’s Bad, It’s Horrid

By Nandy Ekle

 

And, of course, I’m ranting about the computer. In today’s world, a simple pen and paper, or even a typewriter are archaic and hardly even worth thinking about. The corporation I work for during the day loves to think of itself as paperless, except for the actual letters we print to send to our clients. For old timers like me, those of us whose favorite things in the whole world are gel pens and Big Chief Tablets, this has taken a lot of work to appreciate.

And so, everything in the world is on a computer, out in cyberspace, up in the cloud. And in most cases this is very convenient and freeing. I especially like being able to do my research for a story sitting own my couch in the living room. I love being able to have all my tools in my lap because it all weighs less than five pounds. And most of all, I love having unlimited books, unlimited blank sheets of paper, and unlimited kegs of ink to use whenever and however I want. For these reasons, I love my computer, at work and at home.

But then there are the times when the computer refuses to work. These are times when my day job is totally crippled, even completely shut down. And the things available on my home computer are a distraction to my stories.

And those are the times that remind me of the poem of the little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very very good. But when she was bad, she was horrid.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

The Next Part


Post Cards From the Muse

The Next Part

By Nandy Ekle

 

Sigrun crouched in the corner of the dark house. She had lived there longer than there was a house with a dark corner. She had been tiny then, just an insignificant dot amid all her brothers and sisters. She remembered how they constantly ran over her, stampeding their way through the woods. When the last of them was gone, she took a deep breath and stretched her legs. This area was hers. And good riddance to them all. She preferred to hunt alone.

But that had been so long ago. She had never heard from them again. From time to time she saw someone who might have been familiar, but she didn’t call out their name to see if they were her kin. Really and truly, she didn’t care.

But now, slinking into the dark corner of the empty house, she felt a slight bit of loneliness. Ages and ages alone, no parents, no siblings, no lover, not even an enemy around her. Occasionally an inferior would wander into her path and trip her traps. When that happened she was happy to unleash them—for a time. She listened to them cry and babble. They screamed, they groveled, they threatened her, and then they whined and sobbed. And when they got to that point, she killed them. Then she would be alone again.

Her stomach growled. Thinking back, it was nearly a year since her last meal. Had she really hidden in the corner of this old house that long without eating? Rubbing her eyes, she ventured out and began preparing a trap for a meal.

The Post Card


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

 

The Post Card
By Nandy Ekle

 

I’ve been sitting here for a week staring out my window, trying to think of something to write. Anything. At. All. I see a squirrel run up a tree and think, Okay, must be something there. But nothing interesting happens. I watch as a beetle trudges across the sidewalk to the other side and wonder if I can make a play on the old “chicken crossing the road” story. But then I decide that’s too cliche.

I’m about to give up and spend another day not writing when the mailman puts a stack of letters in my mailbox. Looking through the day’s deliveries I find a couple of bills (must remember to make those payments), sales’ ads, sales’ gimmicks, and a few announcements to “Resident.” Then I come across a picture of a beautiful sandy beach. The sun is setting and the palm trees are almost black against the bright purple, pink and orange sky. The white foamy water has seeped across the beach nearly up to the legs of the two Adirondack chairs positioned under the fronds of the trees.

I turn the post card over and see these words: “No Drama Here.” And the story of who sat in those chairs under those starry palms with their feet swishing in the tide, and how they got there. The events leading up to such utterly delightful peace exploded in my mind and I couldn’t get to the computer keyboard fast enough.

Dear Muse. I get frustrated with you, nearly on a daily basis. But when you’re right, you’re very right indeed. Thank you.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

THE BEGINNING


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

 

THE BEGINNING

By Nandy Ekle

 

 

Prologue

Andrea felt the pinprick on the pad of her heel. The first thing that crossed her mind was the memory of the the empty glass falling out of her hand as she walked from the living room couch to the kitchen. It had hit the floor with a loud explosion, invisible splinters of glass raining across the room. She tried to sweep it all up, but the sudden sting in her heel made her wonder if she had missed a piece.

The second thought she had was that her heel—actually her whole foot had begun to burn as if it were on fire. Sweat beaded on her forehead and the feeling of flames raced up her leg, into her hip, and crossed to the other leg at the exact moment it also flew up her chest, arms, neck, face, and covered her scalp. Her jaw clenched painfully for a couple of minutes, then absolute numbness. Her legs fell out from under her and she fell to the floor.

The last thought she had before paralysis closed her eyes was that she was utterly alone. Tom was at work, the kids were in school, even the dog was at the vet. And she could not move any part of her body to get to the phone.

An undetermined amount of time later, Andrea became aware of being in a dark room. She couldn’t see anything, could just barely breath. No part of her body would obey her instruction to move. She felt something heavy and sticky covering her face. Her arms were definitely at her sides, but the sticky substance was wrapped tightly around her body. Somewhere close by she heard a strange clicking sound, then felt another pinprick in the top of her head going deep into her brain. She tried to scream as what felt like an arrow tipped with fire pierced through her skull and all the way to her spinal cord. No sound would come from her throat. The clicking sounds became more like the sounds of liquid being sucked through a straw. The pain turned into the sensation of floating up through a narrow tube up to another world.

All in all, the entire process only took about thirty minutes. When it was over, Andrea was an empty husk wrapped like a mummy and thrown against the wall. Nia had emptied Andrea’s carcass of all its essence. She threw the empty bag of bones against the wall, slunk back to the dark corners of the secret room, and locked the door. Andrea had been strong with a lot of essence that would keep Nia’s hunger away for a long time. And now she needed rest.

She curled her legs under her body and slept.

200 Words


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

200 Words

By Nandy Ekle

 

 

I’m starting this goal of writing at least two hundred words a day. Sickness, health, richer, poorer, hell or high water, I’m going to write two hundred words a day, and more if I can wring them out.

I will not worry about cohesion, plot, punctuation, spelling, long sentences, short sentences, or run-ons. There will be at least two hundred words a day.

I may be tired, sick, sick and tired, giddy, depressed, busy with grandkids, busy with grown kids, busy with no kids. I may be so down I can barely drag my self out of bed. On the road, on the high seas, hidden high up on a mountain top. In a crowd, or all alone, I will put down two hundred words.

The purpose of this two hundred words a day journal is to get the words flowing again. Words are like blood cells. They tend to stick together and close up portals where they might flow out and land on the pages. Like beautiful flower-shaped blotches of blood stains, words on the pages are soothing and sweet smelling, even when they’re dark and scary.

So this is my goal. For the next six weeks, I will get at least two hundred words a day added to this journal.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

The Post Card


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

 

The Post Card
By Nandy Ekle

 

I’ve been sitting here for a week staring out my window, trying to think of something to write. Anything. At. All. I see a squirrel run up a tree and think, Okay, must be something there. But nothing interesting happens. I watch as a beetle trudges across the sidewalk to the other side and wonder if I can make a play on the old “chicken crossing the road” story. But then I decide that’s too cliche.

I’m about to give up and spend another day not writing when the mailman puts a stack of letters in my mailbox. Looking through the day’s deliveries I find a couple of bills (must remember to make those payments), sales’ ads, sales’ gimmicks, and a few announcements to “Resident.” Then I come across a picture of a beautiful sandy beach. The sun is setting and the palm trees are almost black against the bright purple, pink and orange sky. The white foamy water has seeped across the beach nearly up to the legs of the two Adirondack chairs positioned under the fronds of the trees.

I turn the post card over and see these words: “No Drama Here.” And the story of who sat in those chairs under those starry palms with their feet swishing in the tide, and how they got there. The events leading up to such utterly delightful peace exploded in my mind and I couldn’t get to the computer keyboard fast enough.

Dear Muse. I get frustrated with you, nearly on a daily basis. But when you’re right, you’re very right indeed. Thank you.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

 

A Little R and R


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

A Little R and R

By Nandy Ekle

 It’s been more than two years. When the invitation came for a grand vacation with our closest friends, we asked no questions. Just jumped right in, credit card in one hand, telephone in the other, and joined the party.

I set the count down ticker on my count down app and watched the days tick by. I continued with my day job, I continued planning my stories, and I shopped for vacation clothes. My excitement was building higher and higher.

And then this week began. Nothing unusual, same old, same old. And finally today. I mailed/fax’d my letters, researched new letters, then mailed those. And the last few minutes of the work day.

Rest-and-Relaxation has arrived, at least for the next several days. And I must say, not one single solitary moment too soon.

I love my job, I love the company I work for, and I love the people I work with. But sometimes, you just need some R and R.

Write me a comment below and tell me about your favorite type of vacation.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.

What Happened to Detective Dougan?


POST CARDS FROM THE MUSE

What Happened to Detective Dougan?

By Nandy Ekle

 

Detective Jeremy Dougan headed to the station for his first day on the job in the city. After finishing the academy and putting in his time as a patrol officer, he had returned to his home town. He finally had the career he had worked and planned for: working on the police force in his hometown as a detective. He walked into the office with a whistle on his lips and noticed a new case waiting on his rough wooden desk. Setting down his coffee, he opened the folder.

The police report told about a missing person, Anton Easley, last seen getting into his car on July 20 on the Texas A & M University campus. He had told friends standing near that he planned to return to his residence to prepare for an upcoming chemistry exam. Jeremy had seen it before—an irresponsible college student suddenly decides he’s not bound to anyone and takes off without letting a soul know his plans. The last known residence of the uncaring boy sent shivers of surprise through his memory: 924 Ginger Street.

To find out why the address gave Jeremy such a surprise, go to amazon.com/The Least He Could Do. It’s $6.99, and Miss Bitsy is the second story in the book.

Congratulations. You have just received a post card from the muse.