Thursday, April 12, 2018

Be Careful What You Wish For

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(This is a first draft, and I have plans to do some work on it in the near future)

(This story came from Story Fragment #8--Genie Under The Sea)


I was not having a good evening. My best friend, Jill, had set me up on a blind date with her cousin Hudson. He was a nice looking man: he was six feet tall, had an athletic build, and blonde hair and blue eyes, along with an engaging personality. However, his choice of restaurant left a lot to be desired.

Some people might enjoy the idea of dining in an Italian restaurant located at the bottom of the ocean, but not this woman. I have a deep-seated fear of being underwater, which stems from nearly drowning in a swimming pool at the age of three. I had spent most of the evening teetering on the verge of a panic attack.

As I left the table to visit the ladies room, mentally willing myself not to lose my dinner, I ran straight into a rather exotic looking young woman.

Excuse me,” I stammered. “I’m not feeling well, and I wasn’t watching where I was going. Are you all right?”

Yes, thank you,” she purred, her accent one I couldn’t place. “And because you reacted so kindly, I have a gift for you—any three wishes you make this evening will be granted. The only rules are that I can not bring someone back to life and I can not make someone fall in love with you.”
Are you serious?” I looked at her in amazement. “What sort of prank is this?”

No prank, mistress. I am a genie, and I am granting you three wishes in exchange for your kindness to me. Whenever you decide on your first wish, just whisper it to yourself and it will be granted. But I must warn you to consider your choices and wish wisely.”

After a quick trip to the ladies room, I headed back to the table where Hudson awaited me. I considered telling him about the strange encounter, but after looking around the restaurant and not seeing the mystery woman anywhere, I chose to keep that little nugget to myself.

Hudson smiled at me and asked if I were enjoying the view. Considering the view was ocean water and fish, and I was still feeling like I might throw up at any second, I answered as honestly as I could.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. But I do wish we were on dry land instead.”

Something like a sonic boom occurred, and I closed my eyes, thinking of ducking under the table, sure the glass of the restaurant had shattered. Then I realized hiding under the table would be futile, as I would drown no matter where I was. When I realized there was no torrent of rushing water, I cautiously opened my eyes.

The first thing I saw was Hudson, still sitting across the table from me. He had a serious “deer in the headlights” look about him as he stammered “Where are we and how did we get here?”
Thinking that was a ridiculous question, and that we must still be in the restaurant, I broadened my view to look beyond my date and our table. In that instant, I realized why he was so shocked and confused. Instead of the underwater restaurant where we had been just seconds ago, our table now sat on a rocky beach alongside the docking area of the submersibles which ferried people to and from the restaurant. It was incredibly dark, which was going to make eating our meals a difficult task.

I wish we had more light,” I muttered angrily. Instantly, a bright spotlight shone on our table, nearly blinding the both of us.

Seriously? Come on! That wasn’t really what I had in mind!” I exclaimed.

Hudson looked at me quizzically. “Do you know what’s going on here?”

I’m afraid I might,” I confessed. “Remember when I went to the ladies room earlier? I literally ran into this woman—a very exotic looking woman, no less—and when I apologized, she gave me some line about being a genie and granting me three wishes for being kind to her. Apparently I’ve used two of them already, and that’s what got us in this mess. So I guess I have one last wish to try to put things right. Any ideas?”

At this point,” Hudson huffed indignantly,”I’M wishing this entire evening had never even happened, and that I was at home watching a football game.

You could be on to something there,” I readily agreed. I closed my eyes tight, and whispered my last wish: “I wish this night had never happened, and that we were both at our own homes.”

When I opened my eyes again, I was in my warm flannel pajamas, curled up on my sofa, with my gray tabby cat purring next to me. I picked up the novel I had been reading, and smiled to myself. The next time I met a genie, I was going to say thanks but no thanks to the wishes!

Friday, July 7, 2017


As you may have guessed, Yoda poetry is poetry written the way Yoda speaks--and it's harder to write than you might think.  This is my first (and so far, only, attempt).

Blowing through the clear blue sky cotton candy clouds are.
Shining on my face warm sunlight is.
With each step in the soft green grass I take,
Tickle my toes it does.
©  2017 Teresa Kander 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Story Fragment #14: Write a script scene of two people in conflict

The voice actor for a popular children's show has died, and the two characters in this scene are auditioning for the role.

Character #1: Gerry
Thinks Penelope is an entitled princess
Is sleeping with the show's producer
Wants to be successful to show up his twin brother, a writer on the show.

Character #2: Penelope
Thinks Gerry will ruin her father's legacy
Daughter of previous voice actor
Wants to win an award

Scene: Reception area outside producer's office. P sitting in a chair, waiting to audition, along with numerous others.
G enters and takes last remaining chair, next to P.?

P:  Oh no--MUST you sit there?
G: Believe me, Princess, if there were any other seats available, I'd want to be as far away from you as possible.
P: Fine. Just sit there and don't talk to me then. I can't believe you'd even show your face at this audition.
G: Me? What about you? I suppose you think that Daddy's little girl should just get the role handed to her?
P: Of course not--I'm banking on my talent, unlike you, who has to try to sleep his way to the top.
G: My relationship with Lily had nothing to do with it. I'm obviously the better choice to be the new Puddy Numkin.
P: Oh please! I've been preparing for this role my whole life--listening to Dad rehearse and talk about his motivation. I know this little cuddle bug inside and out--what do YOU know about him?
G: I know this role will be the key to the rest of my career. Kids love the little furball, and I'll be famous as his voice--and then the offers for other work will start pouring in...hopefully something a little less juvenile!

P gawks open-mouthed as the receptionist calls G in to read.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Story Fragment #13: Jean-Paul

Jean-Paul Robillard arrived at the lush penthouse apartment of his client, Hank Atkins, precisely at 10 am, just as he had done every morning for the last six months.

"Cuddles!" he called out. Are you ready for zee morning stroll?"

A fuzzy black toy poodle sped toward him, coming out of a door Jean-Paul knew led to Hank's study.

"Naughty girl--you know Hank doesn't allow you in zhere," Jean-Paul chided as he approached her with her leash.

Rather than meekly sitting at his feet, as was her usual custom, Cuddles turned and ran back into the study with a loud bark.

"No games this morning, Cuddles--I have a schedule to keep. Let's get going, non?"

As soon as he entered the study, Jean-Paul's bright blue eyes widened at the scene. Cuddles was pacing back and forth along the length of her owner's body, which lay in front of his desk. Jean-Paul couldn't discern Hank's injuries, but there was enough blood on the beige carpeting to make it obvious they were serious.

The Frenchman reached into his jacket pocket, intending to pull out his phone and call 911, but instead he felt a sharp pain in the back of his head just before everything went black.

When he came to a few minutes later--or he assumed it was just a few minutes, at least--he noticed a fireplace poker that had been left on the floor next to him, and surmised that was the weapon which had been used to render him unconscious. As soon as he could sit up without the room spinning, he made the 911 call. While he waited for help to arrive, he searched the apartment for Cuddles, but she appeared to have vanished along with his attacker, whom he presumed to all be the person who had injured Hank.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Story Fragment #12: P.T. O'Malley

P.T. O'Malley, the best-selling horror writer, flew through the door of the small town library at five minutes before two o'clock.

"Sorry I didn't get here sooner," she apologized to Melinda Lovejoy, the librarian. " I was working on the new book, and time just slipped away."

"Not a problem," Melinda assured her. "We're just about ready to start, and you already know the routine, so go ahead and take your seat at the table."

P.T., whose real name was Bella Chrisman, quickly took the remaining seat at the table, where she found herself sandwiched between Constance Newsome, director of the local animal shelter, and Patrick Kramden, church custodian and local gravedigger. What an interesting combination of judges, P.T. thought to herself.

At precisely 2 pm, Melinda walked up to the microphone and began to speak. "Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to our first annual feline beauty contest."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

100 Days Of Self-Exploration: Day Seventeen--What Is A Positive Memory That Stands Out From Your Childhood?

Just one? That's a tough choice. I have so many wonderful childhood memories, particularly with my maternal grandparents and my numerous cousins on that side of my family.

I remember Sunday afternoons when relatives would drop in at Granny and Grandpa's house at whatever time was convenient...we'd eat, talk, play, listen to America's Top 40, etc.

I remember holidays when everyone knew food would be on the table at noon, and we all tried our best to be there by then.

I remember New Year's Eve when an entire group of cousins would spend the night together. We'd watch New Year's Rockin' Eve, I'd get teased about my crush on Barry Manilow (who was part of the yearly tradition back then), and then we'd watch horror movies all night long, or until we all fell asleep in front of the television.

I remember "fair week" when Granny would have a bunch of us staying with her for the entire week---working in the house, garden and/or yard during the day to earn our way to the county fair every evening and all day on "kids day."

And those are just a few highlights off the top of my head!!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Story Fragment #11: Marguerite

Marguerite exited the shuttle craft uncertainly, looking around at the unfamiliar terrain. "Are you sure this is the proper location?" she asked the pilot.

"Yes, ma'am--the outpost you're looking for is right at the top of that hill," the pilot responded. "Matter of fact, here comes the ATV that will transport you."

Now Marguerite began to feel excited again. After the long journey from Earth to Sabrah, and the shuttle ride from the main settlement to this outpost, she was just a quick ATV ride from her final destination and, hopefully, the answers she had been seeking.

As she climbed into the ATV, the driver asked: "Are you here to see The Master?"

"Of course," she snapped. "Does anyone come to this God-forsaken  place for other reasons?"

"Well, some of us just enjoy the solitude," the driver replied quietly. "Those of us who live here tend to give each other plenty of space, no pun intended."

Chagrined, Marguerite sat silently for the rest of the short ride over the smooth orange sandy ground. Even though the entire planet was covered with an atmospheric bubble, she knew that most of the areas which were not colonized remained in their original condition. It still surprised her to see barren land, however, having come from the stifling overpopulation of Earth.