The Room

Morning light filtered through the tattered drapes on to well-worn hardwood floors. Memorized paths between the kitchen, couch, and bathroom forever etched and discolored. The cherished Siamese cat waiting on the couch. Everything as it should be. The remote rests on the coffee table next to the TV Guide waiting to be used. Last night’s crumb filled plate sits precariously on the edge of the television stand. Everything is still and quiet.

Echos of children’s laughter and family movie night reflect unheard off the smoky walls. Flies and ants go about their daily lives just as they always did. They don’t see any thing different. Everything is as it should be. As it always was.

Photographs of years gone by line the hall to the bedrooms. Helen and Franklin became family trips to Disneyland, then ballet and football sidelines, and first photos as Grandma and Grandpa. If only the walls could talk. Oh, the stories they could tell. Of secret kisses and whispered wishes.

Swim trunks and beach towels hang in the bathroom. Waiting for a new day. Lives forever lived in the rooms of this house. Hopes and dreams of generations absorbed in the floral wallpaper.

The drapes in the back bedroom where Matthew has lived since his grandparents passing are closed, but the gently falling snow can be seen through a top gap between panels. Clothes and remnants of life litter the once plush carpet. Arguments and demands for solitude echo through the room as it replays its occupants life. Matthew forever in bed, staring at the ceiling. Once happy and free, then bound in ever-growing chains, he finally found the solitude he desired.

 

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Going Out For Dinner

Jessica shoved the flyer under Gregg’s nose again in a last ditch effort to get him to actually put down the controller and listen to her. Some days she wondered why she married a professional YouTuber and gamer, but then other days he would make her laugh so hard she forgot she was mad at him. Marriage is about give and take, but today she was not about to give up the opportunity that she was trying to get him to notice.

“Dammit, Gregg! Just look at it!”

Gregg leaned to the side and button mashed as fast as humanly possible, but it was no use–she was in his way and she was mad again. He didn’t even bother to pause the game, since he knew the chances of returning to it in peace and quiet were the same as him winning a trip to the moon for a year.

He threw on his best boyish grin and looked at his wife. “You wanted to show me something?”

Jessica snarled and shoved the flyer under his nose again. “We’re going!”

“Oh, sounds great,” he said, leaning away from the flyer so he could at least see it had print on it. “Um, how about ne–”

“Tonight. Now. I’m going to get ready.”

There was no arguing with Jessica once she made a decision. It was one of the many things he loved about her. It took him ten minutes to get ready and he was able to get in a few more rounds of his game while she finished. When she came down the stairs in the white dress with red flowers that she had worn on their first date, panic surged through every recess in his mind determined to uncover what he obviously must have forgotten.

Jessica laughed. “You didn’t forget anything.” She kissed him on the cheek and tried to stop laughing as his face returned to its normal color.

“Oh, good.” Gregg finally breathed. “You look great. Where are we going?”

“To a new restaurant that opened last week,” Jessica said as they walked to the car. “Debra went the day it opened and she said it was the best place she had ever eaten.”

“Debra?” Gregg asked, watching Jessica input the address into the car’s dash. “Diet of the week, Debra? That Debra?”

“I wish you wouldn’t call her that. You know she just likes to look as good as she can.”

“Yeah, sure.”

As Gregg followed the car’s directions, his mind wandered to all the diets that Debra had tried to get him or Jessica on over the years. They started out normal enough with the no carbs diet, all carbs diet, no gluten diet, and the caveman diet. Recording this or that and measuring this and that. Lately though she was into some really strange diets. Just last month she had tried to get Jessica on the ‘only blue foods on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and only green foods on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.’ He never really wanted to know what she could eat on Sunday.

“Wasn’t this Bob’s BBQ?” Jessica asked as Gregg pulled into the parking lot.

“Hey, yeah! That was some great food. Remember when we brought your dad here for the first time?”

“Oh, God!” Jessica laughed. “The sauce got all over his Sunday suit and mom yelled at me for a week.”

They sat in the car and reminisced about more great times at the old joint. When Gregg opened the door, it was very clear that the new place was not, in any shape or form, a BBQ joint. The dining room was filled with small bistro tables that looked like they belonged in a fancy bathroom than a dining room.

“Two?” a young woman in a black dress asked.

“Yes please,” Jessica said.

As the couple sat at the table and looked around, everyone seemed to be enjoying their meal. That was a good sign at least. Jessica looked at the menu and began salivating over the options. Gregg had a very different opinion of the menu. Nothing on it was normal. There were no steaks, or fish, or potatoes, or even chicken. All they listed were flavors and prices. Prices that started at fifty dollars and only went up from there.

“Fancy, isn’t it?”

Gregg just looked at her. She’s lost her mind, he thought. “Uh huh.”

Their waiter arrived with an eager expression. “Have you decided?”

“Yes,” Jessica blurted out before Gregg could ask any questions. “This is so different than all the other places in town. I am so excited to try your tropical plate.”

“Excellent choice. Especially this time of year,” the waiter said. “And for you sir?”

Gregg sighed and quickly picked something. “I guess I’ll have the rustic plate.”

“I’m sure you’ll love it,” the waiter said, picking up the menus and returning to the kitchen.

Jessica was giddy. “Just think about what it could be. Tropical could be so many things. Pineapple chicken, curry, or maybe even some of that Hawaiian pork like we had on our honeymoon.”

“Or malaria,” Gregg said under his breath.

It had only been a few minutes since they placed their order when their waiter pranced out of the kitchen with their plates.

“Enjoy your meal,” he said as he set the two small plates in front of the couple.

Jessica stared at her plate and all Gregg could do was look at Jessica. He watched as she actually lifted her plate and looked underneath it just to make sure that was actually all there was. She was dumbfounded.

“Gregg…you don’t think–”

“Yep, I do.” He couldn’t resist anymore and started laughing.

“This can’t be–”

“Yep, it is.”

“Excuse me,” she called out, “Waiter? Oh, waiter?”

The waiter looked confused as he walked over. “Is there a problem?”

“Um, is this it?”

“Is what it?”

“Is this all there is to the tropical plate?”

“Yes ma’am. The tropical plate is a wonderful presentation of tropical flavors–”

“Tropical flavors,” she said, cutting him off. “Tropical flavors! You call two orange slices, one slice of kiwi, and a pineapple ring a meal!”

“Well, ma’am–”

“And just look at what you gave him! two chunks of carrots,” she tried stabbing one with her fork and it flung off the plate and landed in the potted plant across the room. “Two chunks of raw carrots, one bite of a potato, and one mushroom! That’s a meal!”

Her yelling brought the manager over who just wanted the couple to leave. They happily left without paying for their plates.

“When I see that ditsy dieting Debra tomorrow I’m going to give her a piece of my mind!”

Gregg drove back toward home silently laughing.

“Pull in here,” Jessica said.

“Why?”

“If I’m going to get dressed up and go out for dinner, we’re going to eat dinner! Real dinner!”

Three hours later the couple returned home with full bellies.

“I’m never going to get this BBQ sauce out,” Jessica said, fidgeting with her dress.

100 Horror Movies

So, a little while ago A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip posted something about top 100 horror movies since it is getting near October. I love horror movies and have been meaning to catch up on his post, but if you read my blog, then you know my current situation. It’s virtually impossible to get anything done with the amount of disruption that is going on here. Anyways, I wanted to get my list of 100 great horror movies…in no particular order but my absolute favorites are noted with a * .


  1. Hellraiser (series) *
  2. Saw (series) *
  3. Poltergeist I and II (III sucked eggs)
  4. Pumpkinhead
  5. Basket Case
  6. Subspecies
  7. Candyman I and II
  8. Wishmaster (series) *
  9. Phantom of the Opera — Robert Englund version *
  10. Phantom of the Opera — Dario Argento version
  11. Alien (series) *
  12. Pet Semetary
  13. The Stand
  14. The Mangler
  15. Lawnmower Man
  16. The Exorcist (series)
  17. Insidious (series)
  18. The Omen (series –Omen II is my favorite)
  19. Halloween (series) — Rob Zombie remake is my favorite
  20. Nightmare on Elm Street (series) *
  21. Phantasm (series) *
  22. The Evil Dead (series) *
  23. Jaws (series)
  24. Subspecies
  25. C.H.U.D *
  26. Alice Sweet Alice *
  27. Burnt Offerings
  28. The Changeling *
  29. Creepshow (series) *
  30. Trilogy of Terror
  31. Necromonicon *
  32. The Legend of Hell House *
  33. The Haunting *
  34. The Sentinel *
  35. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  36. Fiend Without a Face *
  37. Ben
  38. It’s Alive
  39. Ghost Ship *
  40. Dracula *
  41. Waxwork (series)*
  42. Withchboard
  43. Warlock (series)*
  44. Prophecy (series) *
  45. Q *
  46. The Amityville Horror
  47. An American Werewolf in London *
  48. The Shining
  49. Rose Red
  50. Salem’s Lot
  51. The Howling (series) *
  52. Fright Night
  53. Child’s Play (series)
  54. The Lost Boys *
  55. My Bloody Valentine
  56. Ghoulies
  57. Sleepaway Camp
  58. The Stand
  59. Slugs
  60. Night of the Leeper
  61. Children of the Corn (series) *
  62. Silence of the Lambs (series — Hannibal is my favorite) *
  63. In the Mouth of Madness *
  64. Nightbreed *
  65. Tales from the Darkside *
  66. The Cube (series) *
  67. Resident Evil (series) *
  68. House on Haunted Hill *
  69. Final Destination (series) *
  70. Session 9
  71. Psycho (series)
  72. Cabinet of Dr. Caligari *
  73. Carnival of Souls *
  74. The Pit and the Pendulum
  75. The Tingler
  76. Strangeland *
  77. The Fog
  78. Ghost Story
  79. The Serpent and the Rainbow
  80. Puppet Master (series) *
  81. The Gate *
  82. They Live
  83. House (series) *
  84. Critters (series) *
  85. Death Ship
  86. The Entity
  87. Lady in White *
  88. Twilight Zone: The Movie *
  89. Cat’s Eye
  90. Deadtime Stories
  91. Cabin Fever
  92. Body Parts
  93. The Relic
  94. Stir of Echos
  95. Event Horizon
  96. From Dusk till Dawn
  97. The Sixth Sense
  98. Sweeney Todd *
  99. The Dark Half
  100. Jacob’s Ladder

If I had to vote for a favorite horror movie, I couldn’t do it. I love too many.

Blogging Fill-in-the-Blanks #15

If you are unfamiliar with Fill-in-the-Blanks, they are short stories with words missing that you, the reader, fill in based on the noted requirement (i.e. noun, name, verb, color, etc.). Step 1 is to read the list of blanks for the story and write down the words you select for that item (i.e. Name 1 = Bill, nouns = stars, etc.).

There are two ways to participate in this new adventure:

  1. Copy the story and make a post of your own with the missing pieces filled in
  2. Post your responses in the comments below

List of Blanks

  • animal
  • appliance
  • occupation
  • noun x 2
  • room in a house

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The Pickle Jar

Jessica loved thinking of herself as an independent woman, capable of doing anything and everything that needed doing around the house. When a animal found its way into the house, she didn’t need any help in getting rid of it. When the appliance sprung a leak, she found the shut off valve and called the occupation all on her own. Every time her father called she assured him that she was very capable of taking care of things on her own. What no one knew, was the noun she kept hidden in the back of the tallest cabinet in her room in a house. There was one thing she had not been able to do since leaving home six months earlier. Every week, she would stand on the noun and pull down the jar. Every week she would try to open it. Too ashamed to ask for help and too poor to throw out good food. So far, its pickle jar: 23, Jessica: 0.