Author Archives: TiffanyCrystal

[A Story & A Song] House of Seasons

Song and a story-house of seasons

Dedicated to all of you who keep pushing forward.

There’s a house I like to visit. It sits at the end of the road. There’s nothing fancy about the place, itself.  It’s a standard ranch home, one floor, a garage, two doors – front and back – but it’s still my favorite place to be. I like to call it the “House of Seasons” because it constantly changes. Everyone else on the block, their lawn is evergreen. The bushes never bloom, but they never wilt, either. The trees never lose their leaves, no matter how cold it gets or how hard the wind blows. The porch lights are never on when kids are trick or treating, and the Christmas decorations are there one day and gone the next.

The House of Seasons though…sometimes the yard is the brightest green you’ve ever seen. Sometimes it has dead spots. Sometimes the bushes are abloom with bright red and yellow flowers, sometimes they’re nothing but twigs. I’ve seen the trees go from tall and strong, branches reaching for the sky, to almost rotted completely through in the space of a single hour. Sometimes the entire house looks like it’s been attacked by spiders, cobwebs wrapped around it so tight, there’s no way of telling if the bushes decided to bloom that day or not. Sometimes the entire yard is dead, and there are holes in the sides of the house. The wind makes an eerie sound when it blows through the neighborhood on those days.

But there is something interesting about that house. No matter how many dead spots in the lawn, or holes in the walls; no matter how dangerously those dying trees creak and sway in the wind, the front door? Is always open. On Halloween, the porch light is on. Christmas lights go up the day after Thanksgiving, and don’t go down until after the New Year has come and gone. Every year, the owner throws out all the stops. Sometimes the cobwebs hide the decorations, sometimes only half of the lights work, but anyone passing by can still see that a lot of care has gone into the work.

I think that’s why no one else in the block likes to talk about the house. Because they can tell that work does go into the house. You see, everyone else is so concerned with keeping up appearances, and go to such great lengths to hide any imperfections, they don’t stop to think about the people who are able to peek over fences.

I’ve seen the backyards of my neighbors. Festering cesspools fill half of them. The other half are either overgrown with weeds, empty, or so full of dead spots, no amount of fresh grass seed will ever fix it.

I’ve seen the backyard of the House of Seasons. I have seen a garden that would put Paradise to shame.

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The best intentions…

Alright, so. The past two weeks have been interesting, but not good for writing. You know the old “Kids say the darnedest things”? Yeah, well, one of the munchkins in our household decided that school was the best place to say those darnedest things. Twice. On top of his older sister coming up with the brilliant idea of doing all her Image result for kids say the darndest thingshomework…and then not turning it in to the teachers. How on earth this made sense to her, I have no idea, but last week was spent dealing with all those fun times. I had one sentence written for the next chapter of Don’t Feed The Trolls. Not good, I know. I had planned on making up for it this week, but then the eldest kiddo was sick, and then there was Halloween night…ahh, fun times.

Let me explain something real quick. We have a dog, Dexter. He’s an idiot. I love him, but gods all bless, he. is. an. IDIOT. Wednesday night, my roommate took Dex out for his nightly walk. Not even ten minutes later, I smell skunk. Now, I fully cop to being weird. I love the smell of skunk, so my first reaction was “Yay! Skunk!” and then…”Wait…didn’t B just go out there…with…Dex……oh no.”

Then I heard the cussing. And the sneezing. And the whining. B comes in, still cussing. I looked at him, me: “He didn’t…?” B: “THE HELL HE DIDN’T!” Apparently, Dex decided that the black “kitty” outside looked like it needed a dog nose up its butt. The “kitty”Image result for skunk disagreed. It was too late that night to give him a skunk bath, so we just tossed his kennel in the backyard and he got to spend the night outside. We spent pretty much all day yesterday dealing with the skunk mess, and giving the dog, like six baths (he still smells, but not near as bad).

Honestly, it was kinda fun, but it has definitely pushed back the new chapter of Don’t Feed The Trolls. I’m hard at work it, I promise, but yeah. No update this week (in case you couldn’t tell).

Also: I am not taking part in NaNoWriMo this year (or any, for that matter), but I encourage anyone/everyone to go cheer on those who are.

Cross your fingers and hope really hard that this week is a bit better for writing, yes?

 

[Story & A Song] Josephine’s Coat.

Song and a story-josephinescoat

“Why did you give her that, Shel? Are you trying to get Jo killed?”

Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I had never heard my father attempt to whisper before, I probably would’ve continued on my way, strutting around like a supermodel in the new coat Mama made me. But the sound of the voice that so often shook the rafters pitched low enough to barely be heard halfway down the hall, combined with my name, brought my catwalk practice to a screeching halt.

“Jake, baby, please, just listen-” My mother was better at whispering than my father, but not by much.

I went on tiptoes, edging my way closer to the kitchen.

“No, Rachel, you listen.”

I froze. I had heard others call my mother by her birth name, usually bill collectors and the such, but never my father, and never with so much anger it vibrated the air.

“When you became pregnant, and I proposed to you, you told me what it would cost me. I paid my price, Shel. I led those girls – my own daughters – to that butcher, without hesitation, because you asked me to. And now you do this.”

The kitchen was silent. I peeked around the corner.

Mama was standing at the sink, back to me as she stared out the window at something I couldn’t see. Her dark hair pulled back in her usual messy ponytail. Daddy was pacing back and forth by the island. Back then, I had never really considered the age difference between my parents. I knew Daddy was older than Mama; he stopped correcting people who assumed he was my grandfather a long time ago. I even knew he had been married before, to Mama’s older sister. A picture of Aunt Leah hung in his office, right next to pictures of distant cousins I never got to meet. Cousins who – when I thought about it – looked a lot like me.

I was still mulling over that when mama spoke again.

“You know what would’ve happened, Jay. You remember that life, just the same as I do. I did what I had to do, to protect my children.” She finally turned away from the sink to stare at Daddy. “Just as you did when you tried to fool me with those bodies.”

Daddy stopped pacing. I saw him lean heavily against the edge of the island. “You know about that?”

Mama laughed, but it sounded funny. “Two years ago, Jo had a dream she didn’t understand. She was playing dolls with her sisters. All of a sudden, her sisters’ dolls all stood up and bowed to hers. Sound familiar, Jacob?”

Daddy pulled out a chair from the dinner table and fell into it. “It can’t be…”

I don’t think Mama even heard him. She just kept going. “You were away on a ‘business trip,’ when it happened. I stayed up all night crying.”

“I’m sorry-”

Mama did that weird laugh again. “I wasn’t angry, Jake. It was almost a relief?” I saw her wipe at her face. “Knowing that you were willing to kill ten innocent children, to save your own…no, baby, I wasn’t mad at you.” Mama walked over to join him at the table. She took his hands and held them in her own. “I never wanted those girls to die, Jacob. They were my nieces. I loved them.”

“‘Were’ your nieces?” Daddy’s face was almost as white as his hair. “Oh God, Shel, what did you do?”

“I did what I had to,” Mama said. “Didn’t you wonder where I got all the patches for Josephine’s coat?” She leaned forward until her head was touching his. I don’t know what she told him then, but I will never forget the way he ran from the room and the sound of retching that echoed down the hallway.

Mama died not too long after that, right after she gave birth to my little sister. A week later, I had another weird dream. The sun and the moon fell from the sky, cracking open when they hit the Earth. Ten stars poured out of the sun, and laid down on the ground at my feet. I peeked inside the moon, thinking that maybe there were more stars trapped inside the pieces, but it was hollow. I told daddy about the dream. He just hugged me tight and cried.

The coat of many colors still hangs in my closet. I’m not afraid of what the future holds, and enough blood has been shed already.   

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[Announcement] Finals week.

abc books chalk chalkboard

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Just a heads up that there will not be an installment of “Don’t Feed the Trolls” this week. My university is online, but we still have finals. The professor for one class has given all of us an extension on the ones due for her class, but that’s not the only class I’m in, and my eye has been blurring more than usual (oh joy), which severely hampers my ability to write. Hopefully next week will be back to normal.

In the meantime, don’t forget to check out my Twitter for your #Batfile prompt, and I’ll be back on Monday with a Story and a Song.

[A Story & A Song] Monster

Song and a story-todokonai


He said it would be quick. He said – compared to the disease slowly eating her alive – it would be painless. He didn’t say she would change. He didn’t say-oh, God, he didn’t say…



From the album THE ELEVENTH DAY ~SINGLE COLLECTION~. 

Available now.

Gackt.com

Don’t Feed the Trolls – Chapter 04

Don't Feed the Trolls (cover)Just when she thought everything was finally settling down, Shelly is once again thrown into the fray. Her friends are stuck on the other side of the Mississippi River, with no weapons, no food, and no chance of survival without her help. Throw in the complete collapse of civilization, extremely limited technology, and hordes of zombies that are becoming more and more sentient every day…

Hey, no one said it was going to be easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Shelly made sure to update hers just before she left.

Please note: this work contains language and themes that may not be appropriate for young readers.


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[A Story & A Song] Starlight

Song and a story


I see it coming. Even moving at the speed of light, it’s slow enough for me to slip out of the way. The gas had collapsed on itself, then burst outward. Waves of stardust arching out into the void around it. Around me.

I’m tempted to trail my fingers through it as it passes by, let the particles stream between my fingers before they make their way across the universe. A millennium ago, I might’ve, but I know better now. I know to look ahead in time, and watch all the different paths my interference could set these particles on. The last thing I want to do is to cause the death of an entire solar system. Again.

Besides, I’ve waited too long for this. I spent half of eternity going from one end of the universe to the other, searching for a way to bring you back to me. It took me another three millennia before I thought to look into the patterns of the dust around me, and the atoms that made them up. The way they changed in time, but eventually I found it.

At the very edge of the universe – past what any electric eye on Earth could see – the dying star that would give birth to another – smaller – star, and the death of its child and so on and so on, until eventually it spews forth one final burst of energy before collapsing into itself.

That energy will travel through the cosmos until it collides with another star’s dying breath. The collision setting a chain of events that will give rise to your soul again. It will take a long time, this star is only on its second death and it still has at least three more to go, but it will happen.

In the meantime, I float here, untethered and unafraid, bathed in the light of a thousand galaxies as I wait for you.

From the album Vessels.

Available now:
| iTunes | Amazon | Google Play | Spotify |

Don’t Feed the Trolls – Chapter 03

Don't Feed the Trolls (cover)Just when she thought everything was finally settling down, Shelly is once again thrown into the fray. Her friends are stuck on the other side of the Mississippi River, with no weapons, no food, and no chance of survival without her help. Throw in the complete collapse of civilization, extremely limited technology, and hordes of zombies that are becoming more and more sentient every day…

Hey, no one said it was going to be easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Shelly made sure to update hers just before she left.

Please note: this work contains language and themes that may not be appropriate for young readers.


Read more

Don’t Feed the Trolls – Chapter 02

Don't Feed the Trolls (cover)Just when she thought everything was finally settling down, Shelly is once again thrown into the fray. Her friends are stuck on the other side of the Mississippi River, with no weapons, no food, and no chance of survival without her help. Throw in the complete collapse of civilization, extremely limited technology, and hordes of zombies that are becoming more and more sentient every day…

Hey, no one said it was going to be easy, but where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Shelly made sure to update hers just before she left.

Please note: this work contains language and themes that may not be appropriate for young readers.


Read more

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