Monday, December 30, 2013

The Last New Years Eve - A Dark Fantasy Flash Story

He was waiting for her to fall asleep. Her breathing had been labored all day, and she had been in pain, but no matter what she had found a smile, a kind word, and a loving embrace for everyone that came to see her.
She was the strongest person he had ever met, the love of his life, and for a long time, the only reason he kept on going.
She was his everything.
Now all he could do was wait.
Wait until her last breath, until the harsh truth of Cancer would take her, as it had taken every aspect of her life, exept her spirit.
Actually it had grown her spirit.
Since her diagnosis she had lived with such full vigor that is was impossible to not feel infected by her presence.
On good days, the long conversations, family gatherings and travels.
On bad days, she smiled through Chemo and the loss of her thick red hair. Her bright scarfs where adorned by lots of little glitter that she added with the help of both of our nieces, the twins glowing each step of the way, unaware that this woman full of life was slowly swallowed by death.
Finally Diana relaxed in the arms of sleep, the few minutes of peace that she now found, interrupted by horrific pain, that woke her after way to short periods of rest.
This is the way he wanted to remember her.
Peaceful and at ease, a half smile on her open lips, resting in the knowing that she was loved.
And loved she was.
He picked up the pillow that had caressed him earlier, making the hard chairs of the hospital less uncomfortable, or at least bareable.
Kissing her one more time, he whispered gently. "I love you more then you know. Good bye my love."

Friday, December 27, 2013

Crossing - A Friday Flash Fiction Dark Fantasy

Crossing - A Flash Fiction Story

She lit another candle amongst a sea of candles.
“Another one already?”
She nodded quietly, then finished her silent prayer to the Gods. Turning toward the older gentlemen she smiled sadly.
"The seventh in three days."
"It is  an epidemic then?”
“Indeed. I wish there was something more I could do.”
Charon placed his hands on her shoulders, feeling her shiver, and rubbed them gently.
“You are doing all that you can do for them, love. How long have you been out here?”
She shrugged, overlooking the now dark pavilion with distant gaze.
“A while, probably. I do not remember. It was light. I have to..”
She turned, but he held her gently, forcing the younger woman to look at him.
“You can not forget to take care of yourself, Medina.”
Quietly she nodded again, but turned.
“I will, Dad, I will. But for now I need to help them. I need to aid the Dead.”

(Charon or Kharon was the ferryman whom in Greek mythology transported the dead to the Underworld. In my story, I imagined his daughter as a Priestess aiding those who passed unexpectedly from illness, through prayers and offerings to the Gods in their behalf).

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Review - Language Development - How to Use Activities for Toddlers to Boost Language Development by Roei Peled

Book Review - Language Development for Toddlers by Roei Peled
Language Development by Roei Peled
I was invited by the Author to review this book, as he is a part of a writing group I belong to. As a person who has as an extensive background in early childhood development and homeschooling, I was wary about a book written by a lay person about the subject.

I found this book to be an interesting read, that could be an informative book for those new to the subject of language development of toddlers. His insight born out of necessity is written in a caring way, asking the parent to engage completely with the child, no matter if they are right on track in their development or delayed.
The only concern I have about this book is the lack of expert information. It would have been nice for the Author to back up some of his claims, such as the individual stages of development, by quoting an expert in the field to give his account more credibility. Considering that he writes about such an important subject, expert verification is an important addition necessary to ease a parents concerns.

Overall I feel very comfortable sharing this book with a new parent, who might have general questions about their child's language development.

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Gift - A Friday Flash Ghost Story

The Gift
Flashcomb December 2013 Competion
The Gift

She knew he left the gift.
There was no real reason why this pretty little box, wrapped with a red bow should have been in her room.
No one had come in and out all day, no one cared enough to check on her, everyone busy with their own preparations of Holiday cheer, to even notice that she was missing from it.
She was not their favorite.
But he would have noticed. He would have wanted her to have fun, and stand in the midst of others, included in the fun and cheer.
Of course he would have. In his presence she had felt loved.
Deep, true soul mate kind of love, the one that gives  wings and allowed her to reach new heights.
And in his arms, that love had been hers.
A tear rushed down her cheek, leaving a salty, lonely line.
Quickly untying the bow, she opened the folded paper, reading it with a mixture of laughter and a quick sob.
“Go on living - promise me.”
She nodded into the seeming emptiness of the room, knowing she was not alone, never would be.
Quietly she murmured toward the unseen presence of her passed husband.
“I promise.”

       "The Gift" was written as an entry for a writing competition held by 1000 Words called "Flashcomb December 2013"  . The writing prompt was the picture of the gift above. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Book Review: Kay Hooper's "Hostage"

Book Reviews - "Hostage" by Kay Hooper
Finally I had a chance to read the new book of one of my favorite Authors - Kay Hooper - "Hostage", and I was not disappointed.
A stand-alone novel, yet a part of her on-going Bishop series, Kay has again delivered a fast paced story with twists and turns you will not see coming.
Following the story of Haven operative Luther Brinkman and Undercover FBI Special Crimes Unit Agent Callie Davis in an intense cat and mouse game with an escaped felon, Kay managed to utilize paranormal aspects in a way that makes them plausible, and believable, while giving us an idea of the downside of having "extraordinary" powers and senses.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and was delighted to reconnect with some of the characters that are also present in other books.

I highly recommend that you check out her other Bishop related books, which while all stand-alone novels, give you an insight into a very intriguing paranormal FBI Unit, and its leader, Special Agent Noah Bishop.

You can find out more about Kay Hooper, her books and her charity work here on her website. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Redemption - A Flash Fiction Horror Story

Redemption - A Short Horror Story

I ask for redemption, but it did not come.
No answer arrived and no ways could wash my sins away.
I had to do something, take action before the anger that had fueled my previous acts would reveal their ugly result.
Nothing, nothing I would do would unburden that within me, I thought, nothing, but sweet relief might come if I followed the plan He laid before me.
Unless, redemption would take a heavenly form.
I prayed, that night, long and hard, longer and harder then I ever had before, making sure that my words where chosen carefully.
Unlike other nights, the silence that engulfed my life was darker and emptier then usual.
Answers did not arrive.
Signs stayed away.
But the anger and the need for redemption remained.
What else did I need to do, to deserve to move on?
I began to beg on my knees, the tears of my soul pouring upon the smooth floor of the room, wearing me out, until I could do nothing but sleep.
Did He hear me at all? Was I now alone in the world, forgotten by the Most Powerful One?


The morning light revealed itself upon the bare concrete floor, uncovering every inch of imperfection as the previous night had shown within  me.
I knew now what I had to do. I knew now, that I was asked to give to others, that which I could not find within myself.

Warmer in thought and heart, I gloated in the midst of this new certainty, until it filled me completely, elating my every fiber, growing like the strong sunlight that poured more and more into the barren room.

Raising myself off my knees, I smiled, turning toward the mesmerizing sight behind me, just as the sunlight touched her tear stricken face, her hands still bound above her head, bound, wounded and filled with sin.
Carefully choosing my tools, I wondered if her blood would reflect or absorb the light.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Line - A Flash Fiction Dark Fantasy

A Line - A Flash Fiction Story

"Do not cross the line."
Most of us have been told not to cross a line. Usually it is meant metaphorically, designed to keep people in check.
Not in our family.
No one crossed our line. None of us dared.
While were not told any details, the stories of what would happen to us, should we dare to cross it, where as variable as our personalities.
Some of us considered trying it out.
According to family records, some did.
But none reported back to tell us what was behind the line.
They never made it back.

Still on this side of the line, live was not that bad. We had everything we needed, everything we could even wish for. Isolated, but cared for, we went on our marry way, each and every day, just like everyone else would. Following through on our duties, getting married, raising children. Live happily until our old age. Usually until very old age, as our family was filled with seniors that grazed our presence until well into their 90's.

But the line was always there.
Starring us in the face, taunting us, warning us of a world on its other side.
Questions arose and where forgotten, not answered with anything but knowing smiles of those whom had more knowledge then the person questioning.
Those who even dared to ask.
Most of us did not.
Most of us just lived.
And did not cross the line.

Maybe it was my red hair, which gave my grandfather the inclination to call me his Fire-Child. Maybe it was that I was named after the Greek Goddess of War, Athena. Or maybe it was all that and the combination of my youth that did not allow me to stay silent about a rule that was never explained, never questioned, never disobeyed.
I was different.
I questioned everything.

And got punished plenty for that.
But it did not matter to me. Everything was better then to follow mindless rules and standards, I did not choose.
After all, I was Athena, the Firechild.

I waited until everyone was busy with their duties. Bustling amongst themselves, absorbed by their routines that felt as restraining as leather reigns that held a bucking horse.
The steps through the garden were crossed quickly, and I stood before what was the chance to move toward the unknown.
A last glance upon my family, a breath, and I, the Firechild stepped beyond was, into the New.


Friday, December 13, 2013

The Pendant - A Friday Flash Horror Story

The Pendant - A Horror Story

The line to the pendant was long, as it was every year.
Our family was growing, after all, and everyone who was old enough to read, took part of the yearly blessing.
As usual we were exited, the chatter in the line was loud enough, that Grandma turned our way frequently, hushing, finger pressed at her lips, which were curved with the light and kind smile that grazed them often.
Oh how much we loved these moments!
Presents where already opened, our stomachs comfortably filled with the feast of ham, and sausages, duck and stuffing, pie and cookies which we had indulged in earlier. As a family filled with wonderful cooks who’s love poured in each morsel of deliciousness,  we savored food, gatherings and the warmth that came with it.
Never was there more then  a stern word, never did our families table be disgraced by quarrels, that occurred in so many families during the holiday season. We all really wanted to be there.
To enjoy each other.
And - to receive our blessing.

We knew that with each word the pendant revealed, another great year was brought forth, it’s power sharing a favor, that would resonate throughout each day of the coming year.
Last year, laughter had been the most common word and indeed the joyful sharing of fun had been more exhilarating then I could ever remember.
The anticipation was great, watching one by one moving closer toward my Grandfather whom held precious pendent that had been in our family for as long as anyone could remember.
It was beautiful, delicately gold framed, with an interior that appeared to be onyx, but no one was quite sure, as its depth when stared upon any other day, then the holy day of the Solstice, seemed endless and all consuming. The small sapphires sparkled in the sunlight, that glowed through the open bay window, our hairs moving gently in the soft breeze.
Two more before me.
One more.

A scream pierced the light scene, swallowing our living room with a darkness it had never embraced before. The chill in the air was felt by everyone whom had frozen in midst movement, their eyes gazed toward the blackness of the pendant whom for the first time held more then one thought, as it directed it self toward my older sister.
No one moved, no one seemed able to move, so I broke through to look upon the dreaded words that had brought forth a scream, and it was my turn to be consumed with chill.
“All Fun Must Find An End”, I read allowed, my words seeming to remove the spell of silence from the room, as everyone poured toward the scene to get a glimpse of the words I had spoken.
Everyone but my sister.
I turned toward her, as she had not moved since her uttering of despair, frozen more then we all had been, stiff and cold, staring forward toward my Grandfather, who whispered her name, then louder and louder.
“Nadine, Nadine, Nadine, NAADDIIIIIINEEE!”
I looked up to find her beautiful gaze, only to be rewarded by the black emptiness of the pendant, now borne deeply into her eyes.

Claudia Blanton Copyright 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Stolen Moments - A Friday Flash Fiction Romance

Stolen Moments  - A Short Romance

“I am not sure how I can go on home, pretending everything is okay.”
“I know you can. You are the strongest person I know.”
“Not without you.”
“You are not without me.”
“You will be hear, three flight hours away, and I will be home with him. I am not sure I want to go home. I feel torn.”
“Yes you want to.  For now.”
“I wonder if we ever learn to let go. How long it will take us to move forward.”
“You know I can't answer that.”
She sighed, and he smiled, kissing her gentle with a longing that always aroused a mixture of passion and sadness in her.
He could not have her.
She could not have him.
They both had to go back to a life they did not want to live.
Stolen moments.
A few hours, sometimes a day or two, together.
Their hearts never really apart.

“He won't really notice that I am back. Not that he ever notices me anymore.”
“Too busy with managing your wealth, I guess.”
“You mean spending it.”
“Why don't you cut him off?”
“Because.. “, her voice trailed off.
“Because you feel obligated. Because his family helped you, so you could get to the point of being as successful as you are. Because you think he was here for you, when you had nothing.”
“All true“, she answered with resignation.
“Still, you know better then to allow him to take advantage of your wealth and your fame.”
“Bestselling novelists are not famous.”
Some are, you are. Ever heard of Stephen King?"
“Very funny, Dan.”
She paused touching his cheek gently, as he closed his eyes for a second at her loving touch..
“Leave her.”
“I can't, you know that.”, his voice heavier with sadness then before.
“I will not leave a dying woman alone in her last few weeks of life.”
“She has lived longer then expected, two years longer.”
“Because she is a fighter.”
“You still love her.”
“No, but I do care for her. She is kind. Almost too kind.”
Mary sighed and rested her head on his chest.
They stood in silence for a moment, until the beeping of the alarm set on her smart phone brought them back to reality.

“You have to go. Don't miss your flight.”
She kissed him once more gentle but short, then straightened herself, her face now filled with the professional smile she put forth most of the time.
Unless she was with him.

Stolen moments.

“Call me.”
Not waiting for his answer, she walked quickly through the front door.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Little Compassion - A Flash Fiction Short Story

A Little Compassion - A Short Fiction

"Mrs. Phillips died."
"I know."
The young woman in white sighed. "Family has been notified?"
"Of course. But no one has arrived."
"Still not. She's been here for two weeks."
"I wonder.."
"Wonder what?"
"If they even knew how much she liked this story."
Melinda smiled.
"The little prince, yea she told me too. Not exactly the average reading for a 42 year old woman."
"She loved it. She told me, that she would read it to her son every night, when he was a child."
"Then he should have been the one reading it to her.", Melinda answered low, but with a harshness that defied her kind eyes.
"It's okay, I didn't mind."
The woman in white hugged her friend, then handed her a chart.
"New patient. Mrs. Walker. End-stage breast-cancer. Could you?"
Terry nodded with a sigh, grabbed the chart and moved out of the nurses station.
"Of course."

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Cop - Flash Fiction Story

The Cop - A Short Crime Story

Grieving families.
My personal nightmare.

And I am a part of their nightmare.
I have to poke into their lives, dig deeper then anyone would like me to.
Really, I do care.
Still, I have to do my job.

It is not my fault, that I uncover mistresses and secret bank accounts.
I am aware of the dilemma an no longer hidden drug problem will be for the family and with your friends.
Yes, I am sorry to hear, that the man in the bag, being driven away,  is someones father. Someones friend.
It touches my soul deeper then I will ever share with anyone, and definitely not with you
Even my wife, and absolutely not with my children.
Keeping a brave face for their sake.
And for yours.

Never-less, the scars this and every death leave upon my soul, are deep.
They wake me from each sleep, never restful, always disturbed.
Nightmares of tangled bodies, and the ability of human disdain of one another.
How can people be so cruel?

Yet, between the wanting to drown your and my sorrows in the bottom of a whiskey bottle, I return.
I always return.
Because someone has to.
Someone has to clean up, make sure that at least some of those scumbags will be locked up, away from you.

So I return.
My badge and gun always in reach.

But the question remains.
How can I survive another death?

Monday, December 2, 2013


I am the shadow
cleaning up
human brutality
left in the wind
after your imprint

I am the absolution
your transport
to another dimension
blood collector
bone crusher

I am the solution
breaking whom
brought death
upon this place
in the morning hours
darkness gone

I am the mourner
at your destination
tears streaming
as the afterthought
of your life
passes through
left behind

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2013

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Ultimate Power - A Flash Horror Story

The Ultimate Power - A Flash Fiction Story

Ultimate power.
What a wonderful presents to receive for one's 18th birthday.
Or was it?

Terry contemplated his next move.
Should he use this gift for his own gain? Play the lottery and get the winning ticket? Bet on horses? Sleep with Beth?
He sat upon the old, worn out couch of his mother's, the flowery cushions barely softening his seat.
How about revenge on Master Stevenson, the bastard who drove over his beloved cat?
Another option would be to take care of that freaking eye sore of a house across the street, INCLUDING the loud brat pack that lived there, finally allowing him to sleep through one entire night.
Being rich and famous could be interesting as well.
Choices, so many choices.
Terry smiled and closed his eyes.
Trying to decide alone would be fun beyond measure, more fun then he had in a long time.
But of course, after his nap.


James gazed upon his sleeping brother.
The Chosen One.
The First Born.
If he would have been the first born, the gift of Ultimate Power would have bestowed upon HIM.
HE would have been the one making choices, not Terry.
And he would have made them faster then that boy in front of him.
It was not fair, never fair, his entire life always playing the second fiddle was bad enough, but this was the last straw.
He could not take it anymore.
Not for one more second.


Diving the Henkel's Chef knife into his brothers abdomen was easier then expected. The quality of the knife his mother always praised, loudly proclaiming her prize possession, was a perfect murder weapon after all.
Easy to handle, not too heavy, not too light, a masterful balance.
The blood soaked the flowery couch and cushions, but he was not too concerned about that.
His mother deserved a new couch anyway.
Picking up the box that contained the Ultimate Power, he grinned from ear to ear.
Yeah, getting rid of everything in this dump would be the second thing he would do with his gift.
After all, he was now The Chosen One.

Copyright Claudia H. Blanton 2013