When it Rings Will You Answer?

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Archive for October 2013

The Reluctant Pumpkin

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Casey didn’t like Hallowe’en. One might even say her dislike for the day bordered on hatred. She thought it silly to dress up as something or someone who you’re not. Her parents tried to encourage her to be more open to the idea. They said she could be a princess, a firefighter, a zombie, a zombie firefighting princess! Anything her heart desired, they promised they would make it happen. The only thing Casey’s heart desired was to be left alone. Her parents were not able to make that happen.

Casey’s parents LOVED Hallowe’en. They were two peas in a pod (literally one year) when it came to the holiday. They looked forward to October 31st the other 364 days out of the year and when it arrived, they went all out. They spent countless hours planning their costumes, decorating the house (both inside and out), and singing silly songs. Casey had a particular distaste for a certain French song her parents would sing called, “C’est l’Halloween.”

This year Casey’s parents decided to throw a Hallowe’en party for all their friends. Casey was not looking forward to having her house filled with vampires, zombies, nurses in questionable attire, and the like. She begged her parents to let her spend the night at her Grandmother’s house. She was mortified when her parents told her that her Grandmother would be attending the party dressed as a wolf dressed as a grandmother.

Casey threatened to run away if her parents pressed her to dress up. She knew that they knew she was bluffing. What was the point of running away? She’d be out on the street surrounded by those same vampires, zombies, and inappropriately dressed nurses. She’d be swarmed by little devils and was certain she’d see a wrecking ball or two. She decided to stay where she was and protest the evening silently. Her parents may be able to make her dress in a costume, but they won’t be able to make her speak. No sir. She would show them.

Later that evening the guests began to arrive. In walked former President Bill Clinton and his wife former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, or as Casey better knew them, Aunt Carol and Uncle Darren. A zombie, a werewolf, and two angels were next. There were no other kids yet and Casey didn’t expect any to arrive. She was always the only kid at these things. She hated that almost as much as she hated Hallowe’en itself. When you are the only kid somewhere, you become the focal point of the evening to every adult in the place. Hallowe’en was even worse because they would all have to tell her how cute she looked even though she knew she looked silly.

Casey couldn’t believe the costume her parents had made her wear. She was a pumpkin. A PUMPKIN! How embarrassing, she thought. Casey wove in between the various ghouls and ghosts, trying to remain inconspicuous. She had yet to say a word but no one had really taken notice, which was a good thing, but they all thought she was just being shy or that she was intimidated by all the scary costumes. She most certainly was not.

Casey’s Grandmother arrived as promised, a wolf in Granny’s clothing. She hugged Casey as best she could but couldn’t get her arms all the way around her pumpkin. She assured Casey to not be scared as she was still Gramma May underneath. Casey nodded in agreement and her Grandmother handed her a Baby Ruth and told her not to tell her parents where she got it with a wink.

Casey’s parents were dressed as Scrabble letters. Her dad was the letter I while her mom was the letter U. They tried to tell her that the costume had to do with something called a pick up line that her dad used back when he first met mom at school. She didn’t know what a pick up line was nor did she care. She was just glad that both her parents were fully clothed this Hallowe’en.

Casey parked herself on the living room couch. She couldn’t see very well over top of her pumpkin tummy. Various costumed grown ups would pat her pumpkin and tell her how great she looked and how she was the cutest pumpkin that they had ever seen. Casey nodded and smiled every time. She was bored. The adults looked like they were having all sorts of fun with silly games and lots of wine. It was still early but Casey just wanted to go to bed. She felt a tap on her pumpkin but couldn’t see who it was. She shuffled on the couch to get a better view and standing in front of her was another little pumpkin.

Casey’s heart fluttered. That little pumpkin was a boy named Luke. He smiled and said hello. Casey smiled back but remembered her silent protest and merely waved. Luke pointed over to his parents who were dressed as Alice and the Mad Hatter and scrunched his nose while sticking his tongue out indicating his embarrassment. Casey giggled and did the same after pointing to her own parents and Grandmother. Luke laughed and Casey followed suit. Suddenly she wasn’t bored anymore.  Casey still hated Hallowe’en but she supposed under the right circumstances she could see why it might be fun. The reluctant pumpkin had found a new pumpkin friend.



Written by josiahh

October 31, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Embarrassing Throwbacks: “One milk, two sugar”

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***I found this in a notebook. I wrote it eight years ago. It’s so terrible I felt the need to share.***


I asked her once if she was happy. She looked straight through me and answered simple and true, “one milk, two sugar.” She was lost, that much I could tell. So was I. When I asked her where she was from, “one milk, two sugar.” I asked her where she was headed, “one milk, two sugar.” There was something about her that kept me asking questions. Mesmerized and unable to walk away, I longed to hear her voice. It was small and timid yet towering and terrifying. I felt as though I was a small child starved for his mother’s apathetic ear. Completely willing to walk to the end of the world for a simple nod, pat on the back, or a wink of an eye. Anything but, “one milk, two sugar.”

What was it that she was looking for? I couldn’t stand it. She was damaged and I couldn’t fix her. I was helpless and at the mercy of this tragically flawed figurehead. A shining beacon for the lost and broken. She turned to me and grasped my hand and said, “one milk, two sugar” and I understood.

It’s been eight months since I’ve seen her. I haven’t heard from her in ten. Her voice still resonates deep within. “My darling boy, the world may beat us down and our loves may break our hearts and leave us but we’ll always have the afterlife to meet for tea and make things right. One milk, two sugar.”


I haven’t abandoned you …yet

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Oh, hello.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

I know, I know, I promised that I would pay more attention to you this time. That this time it would be different and that I would never leave you again. It may seem that I have broken those promises but I assure you that I am still here and I am still typing away. The thing is, I have been trying to actually finish something before posting it. No more of these cop-out “chapters” that may or may not ever reach a conclusion. I mean, I haven’t forgotten about Ingrid, but she’s on the shelf.  I don’t know if what I am working on is any good, but it’s coming along.

I have not abandoned you   …yet

To make up for my lack of attention, here is an adorable picture of a wiener dog dressed as a wiener. You’re welcome.


Written by josiahh

October 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM