Sunday, September 27, 2015

Poem Two: December, 1982 - These Dreams

December, 1982 - These Dreams

Kim secretly invites me over for coffee and gingerbread bundt cake.
She can't call herself 'Kimmy' any longer.
That name went out with our majorette days, our sorority days.
She isn't supposed to talk to me in public. After all, she could be next.
In fact, nobody remotely involved with any employee at Albritton, Tatum and Hendrix is supposed to associate with me.
Only Rosa, the Hispanic coffee cart lady talks to me at the grocery store.
When she hugged me, I had to hold back tears.
I won't be buying much, anyway. I'm moving back to Kalamazoo to be with my family.

What a way to ring in the holidays, signing divorce papers.
 At least I'll be home with my family.
The hardest part is talking happy for the morning show.
Luckily I found a D.J. spot in Kazoo.
It's the graveyard shift, but I'm not fussy.

Thanks a lot, night terrors! You cost me my marriage.
How am I supposed to shine at the Phi Omega Christmas Bash this year? My damned marriage didn't even last eight months.

Wait... Stacey. She had night terrors all the way back to our baton twirling days in high school.
Back when we were 10, everybody thought Stacey's Aussie accent was weird, but I thought it was cool.
She is so alive.
I was so happy when she took majorette lessons with me and eventually marched along side me.
She went on to pledge the same sorority before she married and returned to Kalamazoo. Now she  works as a bridal consultant in the mall.
Her husband is on the road a lot. Refuge.

Christmas shopping with Mom and two older sisters sheds a dim light in my holiday mood.
Living with my parents at age 22 is a mixture of comfort and shame.
I pay utilities, help cook and clean, watch my baby niece on Friday evenings; but avoid anyone from college or the strutting high school achievers.

Stacey's older husband hits the road January 2nd,
Until then, I lose myself in the music I play.
 I bond closely with my co-workers.

 Luckily, my work schedule causes me to miss Mass, so I am free of prying questions from well-meaning women; or even worse, 'Maybe if you hadn't left the Church, you'd have met a nice young man and you'd be a mother by now.
Come on, January 2nd.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Recycled Prisoners: A series of poems by Liz Kingsbury McKeown - #1 Roseanna

This is dedicated to the protagonist, Robin Sullivan O'Connor and those like her.

November, 1982 - Roseanna

I did everything I could to stop them, snuff them out of my life, so much at stake.
Last night was perfect: dinner at my husband's colleague's house, a renovated Edwardian brownstone.
Keith and the other guys from the firm had their fingers on the pulse of the regional financial world of the early eighties.

Kim, the stay-at-home wife and I talked shopping, where in middle Michigan to buy clothes that weren't polyester without driving to Grosse Point or Ann Arbor. I am a local D.J. and morning talk show host, but make no mention of it to her. Don't rub it in. I know she appreciates my sensitivity in a time when caring about feelings is for hippies with soybean consciousness.

At home, in the brass bed with the Egyptian cotton sheets, life seemed so inviting. Perfect. I had been holding them in for a month. Then, I fall asleep and all hell breaks loose.

Deceptively, everything feels nice, like going to an ice cream social. People like me meet there from all over, primarily the Southern United States and Australia. We dance, we cook, we serve the honored ones with delight. Then, the time comes and we go through a fog. My stomach sinks. What does this remind me of? The cool, damp air feels sinister; something is afoot, but I just can't see it. Could somebody turn on a light?

All of a sudden, I'm horribly hungry and feel grimy, unwashed. It's dark, eerily cool and still. I feel afraid, but I still don't know what of. I'm standing outside in formation with acres of men, lean, unwashed men who reminded me of wild animals. We were all standing and waiting for something. I hear a man shout something and I get pushed to the front.

I wake up in a cold sweat, but still smell the smells and see the same people all standing in our bedroom with the oh so carefully selected antique furniture. I wake up with a start, nearly knocking Keith off the bed. My lower back is burning as if I've been beaten.  I'm shaking. The images slowly fade and so does my marriage.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Stephanie Parke's entry in a Tale for the Butcher Babe Pulp Fiction writing contest.

And here is Stephanie's Facebook link:
The door swung closed and Kit Gavin sighed as she wiped her forehead, she hoped she didn’t look as tired as she felt.  She pushed her black curls back under her headband and turned the sign. She clicked the lock on the door and leaned against it breathing a sigh of relief. She knew they would be back but couldn’t do anything else but figure out what to do about when it happened. She swept her hands down the front of her wide skirted dress and felt her three inch heels in every part of her body.  She breathed hard stifling a sob, her husband had been missing for three months and now Tommy Townsends men were hitting her up for the money he owed them. Well apparently the money  They” owed him. She was terrified and wasn’t sure what to do but couldn’t show it, except when she was alone. It was almost a relief to not have to pretend to be terrified for once. The amount Tommy’s thugs said her husband had borrowed from him had so many zeroes attached to it that she’d almost fainted.

She wrapped her arms around herself and rubbed her arms through her black short sleeved dress as she headed for the kitchen. Kincades had opened to great reviews but had slowly gone downhill despite the addition of her grandmother’s sour cream pound cake. She had put all of herself into it and even though Rick was flighty and she was sure cheating with every dame who walked in the door, she thought they might make it.  He’d never been a great husband but she’d believed he wanted to make it to. She had  no idea why the business was going under until the night three months ago that she’d caught her husband bleeding all over her new kitchen floor with Tommy Townsend’s beefiest thugs  dripping blood on the tiles.  She slapped the butter and other ingredients on the counter and wiped away a tear of frustration before it could hit the counter. She did what she did every time they came to visit, she drank and baked.

Her hands trembled as she pulled the bourbon down off the shelf and poured some in a glass.  She wanted more than anything to say to hell with it all, jump on her white Indian motorcycle and take off. Rick had never liked that adventurous streak in her, but that was too damn bad. She creamed together all the ingredients but found herself drinking more than baking. She took a deep gulp and almost missed the footsteps behind her. She slid her hand to counter and picked up the knife laying there. She knew that when she’d cut her last aged bone in ribeye of the night with its kona coffee and porchini powder glaze that she’d never thought she’d have to use it like this but she was damned if that creep Townsend was going to harass her twice in one night. She’d thrown them out before but now, this time of night she knew it meant trouble. She grabbed the knife from the block and turned, blade shinning in the dim light.

The man in front of her jumped back, both hands raiding in surrender. His black hair was everywhere and his green eyes showed his dismay. His white sleeveless undershirt was stretched across well-defined muscles and he looked tired too, well tired and surprised.  Jake Gavin, her brother in law gave her a comforting smile as he slowly approached. Kit felt her stomach drop and then tighten again as he moved closer. She and Rick had been separated for months, with years of arguments and cheating before that and she had been tired of it, ready to move on. She and Jake had  been on the verge of something sweet when Rick had come back. She’d known it was wrong, but something about the way his eyes sparkled and the way he didn’t hesitate to call her on her mistakes made her want him in a very unfamily like way. She knew she’d hurt him when she’d given Rick another chance but she couldn’t do anything else.

“Are you okay” Jake asked softly as he walked toward her. He smiled, his mouth quirking up at the corners and Kit felt her heart melt. She really shouldn’t have let Rick come back, but she was a good catholic girl and she had to give it a try. Lord she wished she hadn’t

She laughed softly and put the knife down. She wiped her hands on her apron and picked the bowl and spoon back up. She began beating the hell out of the cupcakes she was making, suddenly fascinated with getting just the right amount of air into the batter. “Sure” she said shakily “I’m good.”

She felt the fingers before she saw them and she stopped dead. She looked up into Jake’s amazing eyes and smiled because they both knew she was lying. 

“You are such a horrible liar,” Jake said with a chuckle as his hand traced her jaw “You never could lie.”

Kit shivered as his finger slid along her face and found herself leaning into him, forgetting why she was drinking and baking, for a moment nothing else mattered but this man and what she wanted, what they’d both wanted for years if they were honest. He slid his hands down her arms making goose flesh rise in their wake. She shivered again as he leaned in, their lips inches apart.

“Well isn’t this a pretty picture, too bad old Rick isn’t here to see this.”

Kit  and Jake jumped apart as a large man in a dark suit stepped out of the shadows. He loomed in the murky light and Kit found herself pissed that she was afraid. Here was the man himself, he hardly ever came out on a job unless it was BIG. Kit didn’t want this to be BIG. She just wanted him to go away, or at least to leave her and the business alone.

Two men grabbed them and held them fast so quickly that Kit and Jake Barely had time to make a sound. Gaggs were slapped on their mouths and Kit struggled furiously to get free. Tommy Townsend stepped toward them and chuckled as he smiled evily at them. He lit a cigar and pulled deeply on it, blowing out a smoke ring. “Or maybe, this is why he’s not here to see this?”

His eye brow arched and Kit stamped her foot in frustration as the goon holding her pushed her towards his boss. Tommy took her roughly by the shoulders and pulled her against his bulk. Jake struggled too, muscles bulging eyes wide, but the man held him tight. Tommy laughed and gave Jake a look that said he knew exactly what Jake wanted.

“Can’t see as there is much to fight over but I think she’ll do.” He pulled her headband off and her riot of black curls tumbled to her shoulders. Tommy gripped one of her arms in his and with the other wrapped a long strand of curls around one hand.  He pulled tight and Kit felt the tug all the way to the roots. She found herself mumbling a few words that she was sure would make a sailor blush through the gag.

“What’s that sweetie?” Tommy asked as he pulled her lips closer to his ear “you have something to say? Well I guess it couldn’t hurt to hear, don’t worry though I won’t make Rick’s mistake, I’ll make sure you are trained properly now that you belong to me “ He pulled the gag down and smiled at her with an evil perfect toothed grin.

“I don’t belong to anyone!” Kit snarled as she whipped the heavy mixing bowl up and onto Tommy’s head with a loud crack. His eyes rolled up in his head and he fell like a dead weight.

The room erupted into chaos, Jake head-butted the man holding him and kicked the other goon when he rushed to help. Kit pushed Tommy away and stomped on the foot of the goon who had held her. Both men crouched on the floor whimpering as Kit untied Jake. They stumbled out into the darkness and Kit heard the backdoor slam.  Jake crushed her into his arms and held her as Kit began to shiver.

Tommy didn’t stir and Kit peeked down at him. She wished she hadn’t, he pool of blood was growing around his head and she had a growing fear of what that meant.  Jake looked too and she could feel him gulp quickly. He didn’t want her to see but she knew he was afraid, knew what all that blood meant.

“He’s dead, Jake. What am I going to do now?” Kit hid her face, unable to face the fact that she was now a murderer.

“Hey” he said softly lifting her chin so she could meet his eyes “You mean what we are going to do?”

Kit smiled  and nodded biting her lip but she felt the late night darkness, smelled the blood and knew that this was far from over.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

And we have an entry! Jessica Samuels' entry for A Tale for the Butcher Babe.

Who is Jessica Samuels? Meet her on Facebook: or Tweet to her on Twitter: @jdsamuels25

And here is her short story:

Pulp Fiction Contest:

I really did not want to do another bounty hunter mission at all, but I needed the money. Im a chef at a butcher shop, and my name is Loreal Gavin. I have short black hair and a scarf around my head, and with brown eyes and pale skin. Im someone you dont want to mess with for a good reason, and I can kick serious ass.

That does not stop people from asking me to do what I used to do which is bounty hunting. I love tattoos and ride motor cycles, and I was on The Next Food Network Star and Cutthroat Kitchen too. I love food more then I loved to bounty hunt, so I stopped for a while. Until my friend came to me when I was working at the butcher shop. I look around the room at the place, and it's wrapped up in plastic after I cut it up into pieces. I enjoy the feel of the wet, red meat against my fingers. I have loved it since I was a kid, but then in high school I needed money so that's when I got into bounty hunting so I can earn money taking out bad guys. I was an expert with a gun so that helps, and I can take some stupid jerks out too. I came out from the back, and met her at the front of the shop. She sat at a table in front ones of the ones they have for people waiting for orders.

Her name is Melissa Stone, and Ive known her for a while at this point since she was in high school. I was too, and she befriended me when all the other students would not even talk to me since they are all preps and gangsters. Its in the Luxor realm high school. I went there since it has all kinds of creatures going there. She is a witch, and Im a werewolf. Sometimes werewolves get along with witches. I get along with them since they are easy to talk to, and they can even help me out with spells when I need some serious fire power. I did quit for a while in order to pursue my dream of cooking meals, and butchering meat too. I love my job, but there are times when I did miss the thrill of chasing some punk and offing them for money. Ill make an exception this time, and hurt the bastard that did this to my friend. Ill make him regret the day he livedI sat across from her to get more information.

What is his name? I asked her so Ill know where to look.

Mark KristoffI loved him till he raped me, and took my money. He has done this to all the girls he has dated too. Its not just me either, and just find him, get my money back since he stole $100,000 from me. Half of that will be yours, and bring me his head.

I smiled, Will do especially for that much.

Then she left, and I headed home. I went to my apartment to do research on him. It wasnt hard to track him down since he was staying with yet another live in girlfriend. I made sure she was away too, and went inside. He was there in the living room, and with my revolver pointed at his head. I pulled the trigger, and he never had a chance since he didnt know I was there at all. I loved seeing his lifeless body on the floor. I took his head off and then showed it to Alice. She gave me the money and I was $50,000 dollars richer. I missed it, but at the same time all I wanted to do was go back to my working in the butcher shop. I had fun stalking him, and taking him out so he could not harm anyone else. I loved food way more than bounty hunting though. There was a reason why I left it behind since riding motor cycles and chasing bad guys is not as fulfilling as cooking yummy foodsMmm

The end.

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Tale for the Butcher Babe: Let the Pulp Fiction short story contest begin!

Since being a contestant on Food Network Star, Butcher Babe Chef Loreal Gavin is now a chef at L.K. Kincaid's Butcher Shop and taught at the Chef's Academy in Indianapolis, IN. She is also the inspiration for this indie writing contest and will pick the winning Pulp Fiction story.
Here is her Facebook link:
And you can Tweet to her at: @ChefLoreal
If you want to enter, the maximum word count is 1,500, but this not absolute.  If you want to find me, my Twitter handle is: @WritersBoost or I am on Facebook under Liz Kingsbury McKeown. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Middle Feast has chosen: The Kidnapping by Stephanie Parke for the Thriller writing contest.

And here is her entry:
Kudos to you, Stephanie! I really enjoyed reading the stories by Jessica Samuels and Jamie Sue Wilsoncroft. I hope to see your entries in my next contest. And I will be blogging tomorrow about my next Pulp Fiction writing contest inspired by none other than Chef Loreal Gavin, the Butcher Babe!