Welcome to the land of Friday Fictioneers which starts on Wednesday. Please don’t be confused, as people from all over the world participate and so the challenge has to start on Wednesday to be fair to those all over.
Thanks for reading and visiting and if you would like to participate with us please head over to the head mistress Rochelle’s blog and read up on the few rules. If you just want to read other great stories based from the same picture then click here and read away! Oh, make sure you read and comment on mine first though. Thank you very much!
Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)
MAKE. EVERY. WORD. COUNT.
Genre: Literary Fiction (102 words)
Gasping from the heat, having had no water for days, Henri stumbled and fell. His dry, cracked, bleeding lips moved in silence. His claw like fingers digging in the hot scorched earth.
His feet bare, blistered, raw from running, walking, crawling. His caked eyes red from the glare of the sun. He drew himself up, shaky on weak legs. He took another leaden step, then another.
He had to keep moving or die in the heat of the afternoon sun.
Henri jerked awake, swung his legs off the bed. Naught but a nightmare. He stood and limped to the sink for another drink of precious water.
Tell us about a situation where you’d hoped against all hope, where the odds were completely stacked against you, yet you triumphed. Be sure to describe your situation in full detail. Tell us all about your triumph in all its glory.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us LONGSHOT.
Years ago, when I was married to my ex, I had gone to a doctor because I had a small red spot under my chin that itched but wouldn’t go away. It had been there for more than six months and my Mother-in-law thought I should have it checked out when I told her about it.
So she made an appointment with my father in laws dermatologist. My MIL was on a kick about spots on faces as my FIL had small spots on his face that had to be cut out with a laser. So she insisted I go and see what the spot was about.
The doctor did a biopsy of the spot and a few weeks after that he called me to come see him. He told me bluntly, I had cancer. I almost hit the floor. I remember things becoming blurry, distant. I could hear the doctors and my mother in law’s voice, but nothing much registered.
All I could think about was….. I had Cancer. I can’t have cancer! That’s what my mind shouted while I fought the dizziness. No way I had cancer!
He said I had a rare form of lung cancer, the beginning stages. I was told that it rarely showed up on the outer body, but did in some rare cases, the doctor told me I was lucky it did show up on the outside of my body, as usual, with this type of lung cancer people didn’t know they had till it was almost too late. I just sat there stunned. Did he just say I was lucky?! What the hell kind of thing is that to say to someone you just told had cancer!
I asked him about treatment. He said at this stage the treatment that is usually done was steroid shots through the chest cavity into the lungs. I looked at him as if he had lost his mind. Shots through the chest into the lungs? Wouldn’t that hurt? Yes, he told me it hurt, but it was the best treatment.
I know we talked more about the treatments, making appointments with specialists and everything else that goes with that. But frankly, I don’t remember much of that. I was trying my best to keep it all together and not go running, wailing out of the room.
I had cancer. Now what? My ex and I had no insurance. How were we going to pay for it? Hell, how would I live through the damn treatments! I was in shock. The doctor told me to make an appointment with a cancer specialist as soon as possible. I said sure.
My mother-in-law took me home. I know she was shaken and scared for me, but I had no reassurance to give her. I was all ready slipping into denial. She asked if she should stay with me and I told her no, that I would be fine. The ex wasn’t home, of course, and I had no way to contact him. Didn’t want to at the time anyway. I needed some time alone to process the information that I had cancer.
I went in the house and sat at the kitchen table and cried my heart out. I was certain I was going to die. I felt more alone at that time than I ever did before or after in my life. I cried for hours that day alone, except for my dogs who sat around me trying to comfort me. I decided that I wasn’t going to call my family. I hadn’t talked to them in several years and I was not going to call them with the news I had cancer. I would deal with it alone.
I was used to dealing with things alone.
The ex finally came home but by then I had cried myself out and was calm. I told him what the doctor had said. The first words out of his mouth after I told him were, how would we pay for treatments.
I know it was the first thing that came into my mind, but it sounded pretty cold coming from him. That was pretty much all he ever said on the subject. The ex was not one for talking about unpleasant things, unless it was about himself. So just like he never talked about the four miscarriages, I had the preceding years, he never brought up the cancer. Ever. So I dealt with it alone. If you want to call it dealing. I ignored it. I just simply ignored it. I got phone calls from my mother-in-law and the doctor and ignored them both.
Now most anyone would have prayed. I didn’t pray, not exactly. I am not a religious person. I talked to my higher powers, the ones I do believe in. I talked to my animals. I told myself the doctor made a mistake, that I didn’t have cancer. I told myself the doctor was an idiot and that I was not going to take shots through my chest into my lungs. Hell, the cure sounded worse than the disease.
I also stopped smoking. I had been smoking on and off for years. I stopped the same day the doctor told me I had cancer. I stopped cold turkey.
Then I sunk into a black hole. A black hole of depression.
I started having anxiety attacks if I tried to go outside. I started having delusions about the phone being tapped, so I stopped talking on the phone. I started having thoughts that the ex was trying to poison me, so I only ate things I made. Which looking back was crazy, because if the ex wanted to poison me he could have poisoned anything in the refrigerator. But when one is sinking into that black hole thoughts don’t make much sense anyway.
I either didn’t sleep for days, or that’s all I did was sleep. It went back and forth, sometimes in the same week. I would sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and just space out. I would suddenly come out of it and realize I had been sitting there for hours. I would cry at odd moments. I would just start crying and couldn’t stop. I didn’t care about anything except my dogs. I kept enough sanity to feed my dogs and let them out in the backyard.
I would unlock the front door and then open it up a crack. Just enough to peep out and look at the front yard. Of course, no one was around. We barely got any traffic on our street. The block was full of houses that belonged to cops. Even so, I could not step foot out the door. I would start to breathe hard, my heart would race and I would have to slam the door shut and lock it again.
Between that hate of my ex, who ignored me and stayed away from home more and more, and the anger that was starting to boil inside of me I was determined to climb out of that black hole and stay out. So I struggled. I made myself do things I couldn’t months before. I forced myself to take a shower every day and get dressed. Every small step felt like I was walking through quicksand. But every morning I would get up and force myself to do things. I would push my fears aside and do it.
I finally moved my stuff into the extra bedroom. I told the ex that I didn’t want to disturb his sleep when I got up all hours of the night. The truth was, I didn’t want to be near him, especially in bed where he expected sex. He wasn’t getting any sex, at least not from me. He had girlfriends for that.
I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to die, then in the next breath I would tell myself if I died the pain would stop. Years before I had contemplated suicide and didn’t do it. I promised myself that day that no matter how bad things got I wouldn’t take my own life. I kept that promise, even after sinking in that black hole I kept that promise to myself.
I was in that dark hole for almost 2 years. Then I started my long climb out of the hole. What got me climbing out was that I didn’t die. Sounds crazy, I know. But in the beginning I thought I had cancer and was going to die. I didn’t die. I didn’t even get sick. Hell, I didn’t even catch a cold those 2 years. My brain took hold of that thought, that I didn’t die and wouldn’t let go.
My reasoning was if I hadn’t died by then of cancer I didn’t have cancer. I wasn’t going to die of cancer. Period. And if I wasn’t going to die of cancer I needed to get my ass out of that black hole. I needed to crawl my way out and get on with the business of living.
I got angry. I got angry with myself and I got angry with that doctor. I believe to this day, that is what saved me from living permanently in that black hole. It would take me another year or more to finally get out. A long year of fighting unreasonable fears.
Every day was a challenge. The first time in over a year that I managed to go out in the backyard with my dogs I cried. They were tears of joy. They were tears of achievement. I did it! Next I tackled the mailbox. It took me a few more months, but one morning I opened that front door, took a deep breath and walked out into the sunshine.
It wasn’t easy. I was terrified, but I kept telling myself that no one was going to hurt me. I got to the end of the driveway and opened the mailbox, grabbed the mail and ran back to the house. I did it! I might be breathing hard from running and fright, but I did it! The dogs danced around me as I laughed and threw the mail in the air! I don’t think I ever felt such joy before. It was that day I knew I would make it. I knew I would win.
Truthfully, I don’t know for certain I had cancer, at least the doctor was convinced I did. But I was so terrified of the ‘cure’ there was no way in hell I was going through that. Or, I never had cancer, the doctor had it wrong and my fear of needles was so strong at that time I would have rather died than go through the cure. I may never know the true answer. Unless one believes in miracles than I never had cancer and the doctor got it wrong, because here I sit today many years later.
So I fought two battles and won. Against all odds. Without any professional help. I beat cancer (if indeed I had it) and I beat depression. The odds were certainly stacked against me. But I beat them down, I climbed over them, I struggled on.
I won. I won. I WON!
- The Trials and Travails of Caleb Clark . . . Will He or Won’t He? (Short Fiction) | meanderedwanderings
In this week’s writing challenge, you’ll write a post using three photographs for inspiration.
You can choose to write a post inspired by a response to the “Threes” photo challenge, or you can write your post based on three photos you supply.
This week I am going to be different…..again. Yeah, I do that a lot. I am going to post a poem or verse or whatever it’s called. haha! Included is three pictures that relate together and to the verse. It’s a bit different as I did it in collaboration with someone else, who wishes to remain anonymous.
My friend and I were talking via email and this friend was lamenting the fact of their singleness. So with tongue firmly in cheek we came up with this little thing. Hope you enjoy. It’s called Sheila’s Poem (not their real name).
The Undemanding Girlfriend Poem
My name is Sheila and celibacy
has been my way of life
Strictly have I lived its creed
for nigh on twenty years.
Now is my time to change, to stop
thinking about it and just do it,
Time to be the woman I can be to the fullest.
It will be a challenge, as so many
things in this life are.
I know my bits are all rusty, crusty and musty
But I’m putting myself out there near and far.
I am the ultimate undemanding girlfriend of your dreams.
Now I will require very little,
Your love and affection, of course
Your loyalty and devotion.
Your understanding that everything up until now
has been my way and no other.
It may take me a while to adjust.
To understand your ways,
I am big on compromise,
So have no fear about that.
You can lift the toilet seat up,
but please leave it down.
And when you sit upon the throne,
leave no curly hair deposits in your wake
to make me frown.
I am your ultimate undemanding girlfriend of your dreams.
I like my tea of a morning,
as the sun tips the horizon in red.
A little cinnamon toast would be a nice touch,
fruit loaf my preferred bread, sliced thin.
Fresh baked that morning,
is the only way to have it, you know.
It’s just a short twenty-minute drive,
to Archies Harbourside Bakery, please don’t be slow.
When back you come, tea and toast
on breakfast tray,
Resplendent with a fresh-cut rose,
You remember I did mention that, no?
I am your ultimate undemanding girlfriend of your dreams.
As I shower and perform those necessary functions
A lady of beauty must see to each morning to thrive
You’ll clear the breakfast dishes,
wash and wipe up, oh and scrub the kitchen,
you never know when company might arrive.
When I enter our sitting room,
my morning coffee, ground fresh I’m sure with love,
Will be set upon the glass-topped table,
The one with the starched napkins,
you so graciously provide.
We will sit and enjoy the morning sun.
You leaving me temporarily to fix the bed,
Tucked corners, stretched tight,
fluff my pillows, I’m sure you’ll remember
just how I like them, won’t you have fun!
I am your ultimate undemanding girlfriend of your dreams.
Beside the pool, the one you so beautifully cleaned,
Sits our pool furniture, the best your money could buy.
Occasionally I will dip my toes into the water,
Call you for the towel, the good one of course
For I cannot afford the risk of getting wet.
My nails, my hair, you understand
I shall help you my love in the garden,
I am experienced in horticultural pursuits.
Our garden will look a picture,
with your muscle and my ideas we can’t fail.
Don’t forget your boots.
I have gifted you every garden tool
you will ever need to use,
to keep the weeds at bay.
I will be happy to supervise as you
trim the orchids, roses and
my favorite petunias too.
I am your ultimate undemanding girlfriend of your dreams.
Our lives will be lived in constant bliss,
I will guide you,
lead you to perfection
It won’t kill you but you may
feel a little off a bit.
But my love, what can be gained
without a little pain?
Our love will be cemented,
our lives self-directed
My love will be there for you,
Ticked off as you complete each
little task I ask of you.
I’m sure you will handle
the south wing renovations.
I saw your bank account my love,
You have more than enough
to cover the costs.
Though if you paint it yourself,
it will save you a lot.
What a life we have ahead of us,
for me to awaken each day
seeing your back heading
to the kitchen,
Knowing with all your love
you are preparing my tea.
As I doze in the half-light of dawn.
You do your little bit
to make this relationship the treasure it is.
I am your ultimate undemanding girlfriend of your dreams.
Today’s Daily Prompt asks;
Ever have an experience that felt surreal, as though you’d been suddenly transported into the twilight zone, where time seemed to warp, perhaps slowing down or speeding up? Tell us all about it. If you haven’t had an experience in real life that you can draw from, write a fictional account of a surreal experience.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us SURREAL.
I’ve had a few surreal incidences in my life. I’ve spoken about them earlier in my blog. Like almost being killed by my best friend. That was scary and heartbreaking all at once. But it was also surreal in that moment she was standing over me with that huge butcher knife in her hand. Time slowed, almost stopped as I waited, silent and still, to see what she would do next.
Or when my ex, after stalking me for years, showed up on my doorstep after almost a year of silence on his part. Showed up unexpected and unwanted. Where he proceeded to try to talk me into going someplace alone with him. For me, time sped up, as I watched in my mind all the crazy things he did to me, or tried to do to me. As the pictures flashed in lightening speed, the voice of my best friend at the time, yelling at me not to ever go off with my ex as she was terrified he would harm me.
I also remember a time when my mother and I were driving to work one cold winter morning. We worked at the same place, my first job out of high school. We cleaned the heavy frost off all the windows while the car heated up. It was about 4:30 in the morning. Still dark and so very cold. We got in the car, my mom driving and headed down the quiet street. There was one stop sign before we hit the main road to work. I remember the car as it was the ugliest orange-brown color. But it worked and got us back and forth to work. It was a small car I remember that too.
We stopped at the stop sign and both of us looked right and left, even though it was a 4 way stop. Neither one of us saw anything coming. So we slowly start to move through the intersection when I looked out my passenger side window and saw this car driving fast headed right at us. Something in the back of my mind screamed…..”It’s not going to stop!”
Sure enough, even though it was a 4 way stop, the man driving did NOT stop and hit the passenger side of the car and we spun at least 3 times before finally coming to a stop. We were quite scared and shaken but unhurt. We got out of the car and so did the man who hit us. He started yelling at us! I was so angry I got right in his face and started yelling right back. He was a good foot taller than me and probably had 100 lbs on me too. But after I got over being scared I was damn mad.
He started yelling that we should have stopped and stuff about stupid women drivers. I looked at his car with hardly a dent in it, but I also noticed that he hadn’t scraped his front window! There was this tiny clean space and the rest was solid frost! Hell, there was no way he could have even seen us much less the stop sign! That just made me more angry. About that time the police showed up and one officer took me aside and the other officer took the man off.
I told the officer what happened. I also pointed out the ice on the mans windshield. All though the guy left his car running to hopefully defrost the window before the police arrived. Didn’t work, as the police showed up rather quickly that morning for a change.
I remember though the feeling of calm come over me as I saw that car getting bigger fast just before he hit us. It was slow motion that time too, but quickly sped up after the accident. I also remember vividly the police officer looking at my mom’s car and telling me that if my mother would have been just a few seconds slower, the car would have hit my door and probably, if not killed me, injured me greatly. As it was, I was just shook up, but alive.
So yeah, I’ve had my fair share of surreal happenings.
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Daily Prompt: Let’s Dance
What are your earliest and fondest memories of dance?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us MOVEMENT.
Ah, dance. I love to dance, always have. I think I came by it honestly through my parents. They both love music and I remember when I was very young watching my mom and dad dance the ‘Big Apple’ or the ‘Jitterbug’. They would be dancing and laughing and having such fun! Those were the dances of their youth and they loved them.
I remember having a small record player when I was a kid. I would play actual vinyl records! I know I’m aging myself, but that’s ok. To this day I love vinyl records, 45′s, albums, for a while I even had some really old 78′s. (If you are too young to remember what they were or looked like, google them! Ha-ha)
When I was a kid, I would make up my own dance moves to my records. I’d work on them for weeks till I got it down just right. I would never sing though, because even back then, I knew my voice was not made for singing! I knew the songs by heart though, and my dance steps. And the rare times I knew no one was about I would try singing them along with doing my dancing. But I would never sing in front of anyone.
My parents loved to have me do my little dance routines in front of company. I think those were the only times I wasn’t shy! I would set my record player up and strut my stuff. The adults would clap and laugh and ask for more! I was in my element.
As I grew older I was taught how to waltz by my dad. We’d go out as a family to the bar and crank the jukebox up and my dad would waltz with me around the pool table. Those were fun times!
When I moved to Texas, of course I learned how to Texas Two-Step. Me and a girlfriend would go to a place in Ft Worth where they had a huge dance floor. We’d buy our first drink and sit at a table and it didn’t take long for both of us to be asked to dance.
I remember the first time a cowboy type asked me to dance. I warned him that I had never danced the two step and he was risking his fancy cowboy boots to my feet. He didn’t mind, he said, and off we went. He slowly showed me the basics and within minutes we were going around that old oak dance floor like we had been dancing together for years. Those were fun days back then. He never failed to ask me to dance every time my girlfriend and I went there.
I still love to dance, even though I rarely do anymore. But sometimes I crank up the music in the house and just go for it! My dog Sam is barking and chasing me and the cats look at me like I’ve lost my mind, but I laugh and just keep twirling! Sometimes, life is good.
- WordPress daily prompt: Let’s Dance | I solemnly swear i am upto no good!
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- Make them laugh | Life is great
- I Love You All! | Views Splash!
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- Daily Prompt: Dance | Different Isn’t Wrong, It’s Just Different
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- Daily Prompt: Doing the Hustle | Morrighan’s Muse
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- Feb Photo Challenge 27 | Queenie
Write a one hundred word story that has a beginning, middle and an end. (No one will be ostracized for going a few words over the count.)
MAKE. EVERY. WORD. COUNT.
Thank you Rochelle for another great Friday Fictioneers. If you want to see what the Friday Fictioneers is all about click here. If you want to read other great stories based on the same picture, click here.
Genre: Literary Fiction (98 words)
“The hay is making me sneeze!”
“Hush Hanna! The driver will hear you.”
“Aaaachoooo! Mica the hay is driving me crazy! It itches too!”
“Would you rather have walked to town?”
“When Papa finds out we’ve run away to get married, he is going to be so angry.”
“Once we are man and wife, Hanna it won’t make any difference.”
“You are right, I will stop complaining.”
“We are almost there Hanna. Once the tractor slows be careful jumping down. Soon we will be man and wife.”
Once down, they heard a voice………
“Well daughter, what have you to say for yourself?”
Objects are evocative; they hold stories. The writing challenge this week is to begin with an object. Take something small, and concrete — a thing, a noun — and use that as a starting point.
I began thinking what I could use as an object for my challenge. I looked all over my home office, nothing came to mind. I sat and thought and thought and thought, nothing came to mind. I decided to do some other things to clear my mind of everything. Start with a blank canvas so to speak. It usually works for me and sure enough, it did again.
I had the object I wanted to write about. It was perfect. It meant a lot to me. It held great meaning. It was a simple object, yet with so many emotions attached to it. Below is that object.
It usually sits in a glass cupboard with other things I value. So it’s a bit dusty, a bit dirty, but means so much.
It was my Dad’s favorite coffee cup according to my mom. My dad died a little over ten years ago from prostate cancer. I loved my dad. So this coffee cup holds lots of memories and love.
Sometimes I take it out of the cupboard and just hold it in my hands and think of him. I talk to him and tell him I miss him and I wish I could see him one more time. I tell him that I would have been there as he passed to tell him I loved him if I could have.
But I wasn’t there. That makes me so sad sometimes.
My mother sent me this cup several years after Dad died. You see, the time of his death is doubly sad as I wasn’t on speaking terms with my family at the time. No one told me he had died till several months after the fact. I never got my chance to say I loved him, I never got my chance to say good-bye.
I believe he knew I loved him. My dad and I could communicate silently. We did it most of our lives. He was a quiet man, kept to himself a lot. But, I always could talk to him. He was always honest with me. I appreciated that fact.
So even though this cup never gets filled with coffee anymore, it’s filled with other things. Memories, love, forgiveness, and peace.
It’s just a cheap glass coffee cup
But inside, it’s not empty
as memories fill it to the brim
Memories of quiet talks when no one else was around
of flower beds and growing things
that surrounded you
of black coffee with just a touch of sugar
and a doughnut on the side
This cup isn’t empty at all
as my love fills it up to be drank by the ghosts
of the past
Long fingers on strong hands grasping
the handle with care
This may look like an old cheap glass coffee cup
but to me it’s much more
It’s you Dad, I love you
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- DP Challenge: ONLY IF SOME BOOKS COULD SPEAK | one hundred thousand beats per day
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Cee’s Photography blog has a weekly thing going. She gives you 4 random questions to answer on your blog. Her questions are always fun. This week’s questions are below with my answers. Come play along if you wish!
Just click on Cee’s name above and see what it’s all about!
Would you rather be given $10,000 for your own use or $100,000 to give anonymously to strangers?
Now $10,000 would be great to have. I could find a use for it for sure. But, to have $100,000 to give away? That would be fun! I know of a couple of people who could sure use some help right now. If I had to give away to absolute strangers, I could do that too. Go to homeless shelters and find a woman with young kids, or a young family that needs some help. Find them a nice place to live, maybe give them enough groceries to last a while. Help them get nice clothes to go for job interviews. Pay for babysitting so the parents can go out and look for work. Help them get their dignity and pride back. There are so many needy families out there to help. I would also give some to my no kill animal shelter, so they wouldn’t have to worry about food, vet care or other things, while they find homes for all the animals. Hmm, I’m thinking I would need a bit more than $100,000 to do what I want to do. But it’s a start!
When you’re 90 years old, what will matter most to you?
What will matter most? Seeing I reach 91! Ha-ha! Seriously, I have no idea, when I get there I will let you know. I think my first thought would be, I hope I’m not in a home somewhere. Or if I am it’s a good one. I hope that my mind is still clear. I’m not real worried about that one, as many of my family have lived well into their 90′s with their minds intact. My mother is 84 and sharp as a tack. Not much you get over mom. My health will probably matter most.
Candy factories of the entire world have become one and will now be making only one kind of candy. Which kind, if you were calling the shots?
I am a diabetic. And do you know sugarless candy usually sucks and not in a good way?? Not to mention if eaten too much, you will live in the bathroom for the next 24 – 48 hours?? Truth! I tried some candy that was sugar-free when I first became diabetic. Not my greatest idea. I mean, really, who can eat just one piece of candy? They tasted great! So I was working away and eating a piece here and there thinking nothing of it. A couple of hours later, my hell began. It’s the best tasting colon cleansing stuff out there! Enough said about that! So now, for the most part I stay away from candy. If I do need a piece because the cravings are too bad I have a regular piece and call it good. My favorites? Peanut M & M’s.
So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house?
I own an umbrella?? If I do, it’s news to me. Ok, I admit, I don’t own an umbrella. Sometimes I wish I did and every time I have to take Sam out in the rain, I tell myself to get one. Sam won’t go out to potty in the rain unless I go out with him. Yeah, he figures if he has to get wet, so do I. I do have a fenced yard. But he refuses to go out the door when it’s raining. Unless I go to. So I do. Because it’s better than the alternative. Not that Sam potties in the house, he doesn’t. He has a bladder of steel. I just hate to see the little guy in misery because it’s been raining all day. And what’s a little rain water? When it’s warm, it’s even fun. Brings the kid out in me.
So what would your answers be?
No one should have to lose their home because they are sick. I’ve lost homes before. I know what it feels like to worry half to death where you will be living. It’s not fun. Please help if you can, if nothing else to reblog this. The WP community is a great one, let’s show Merry just how great we can be.
Originally posted on behindthemaskofabuse: