Last day Announced for Guest Submissions, November on the InkOwl

wp-1478749955915.jpeg

 

So the holiday took a bit of a turn with getting all of this blogging stuff together, forgive the abrupt end to October on the InkOwl. All of your comments and likes were appreciated! Hopefully, I was able to thrill a few of you. One day I’ll finish sharing scary stories from my own life.

But now November! I will be out for the month participating in National Novel Writing Month and will only be featuring guest posts that have been submitted to me. That being said, I don’t have a lot of posts to feature so I am moving the deadline to accept submissions to the end of this week, so November 5th.

Here are the official guidelines to follow:

Submissions must be about food. They can be any genre of writing as well.
Entries must contain no less than 50 words, no more than 1700 words.
Photos are a must, even if they are taken from the internet (please give credit).

Please list your website or blog so I can give you credit for your work and answer these three question for your author bio:
1. Where are you from?
2. What started you writing? (Why do you like to write?)
3. What is your dream for your writing?

*Pictures of yourself for the author bio are encouraged.*
**Pictures and content submitted with graphic language, violence and/or pornographic nature will not be accepted**
***Please give credit where it is due, I do not accept copyrighted work***

Send submissions to Michael.erickson512@gmail.com no later than November 1st.
I love forward to your submissions! Feel free to share, reblog, or ping this post as much as you can! Thank you!

I look forward to your submissions!
-M. E. InkOwl

On The Road

The road stretched before our car, thumping under all four tires. All around us desert and mountains stretched for miles.

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” I thought and loved it. This was my favorite part of our family road trip. It meant that we had finally left our home state and were now plunging headlong into a new adventure.

“Honey,” my mother said from the front seat to my father, “Pay attention to the road, you’re drifting.”

I smiled as my father nodded and pointed the front of his hat to the windshield. He loved this part of the journey as well, I could tell. The car always wandered between the white broken lines on the road.

My two siblings slept, their bodies fidgeting with dreams. I sighed and looked out the window again. We were traveling up the pass, and hills were transforming into mountains.

And that was when it happened. The rumble of an engine shifting gears from behind. It was a comforting sound, one that I had been listening to the entire trip. From behind us, an engine roared and a rusted bumper came into my view.  The car swayed to the right shoulder and mom cried out.

“Richard! Pay attention! You’re going to get us killed!”

We all jumped in our seats and I almost looked away from the passing truck. It was covered in dust, it’s paint job having long since rusted out. Stained windows reflected bug smears and even more dirt. But for a moment the sun disappeared behind the roof of the cab.

I stopped squinting and looked into through the window. An aged man gripped a slightly bent steering wheel. A cigarette was clamped firmly between gnarled lips. He was bawled, with skin the same dusty worn color as his truck. He stared resolutely out the windshield ignoring our car.

Next to him sat a younger person. I could tell because they were shorter and had smooth white skin. Bib overalls hung loose, over skinny shoulders that sat hunched down in their seat. I felt a chill run to my bones as I watched a ragged towel bounce over the child’s head.

It wasn’t right. The cloth laid over the kid’s face as if hiding the child from view. I only saw the pair for a total of five seconds, while my mother continued to scold my father. But time stopped for me. I saw a rigid back, etched with terror. The kid sat stalks still, unmoved by car nor bumpy road.

I knew, deep in my heart this was wrong, it was all wrong. The light from the late afternoon sun wasn’t even on the kids face, so why would they need it to be covered.

I opened my mouth to say something, but the engine of the truck revved even more and before I could get anything out the truck was gone down the road.

Our car was slowing down. Broken from the trance I looked around and realized we were pulling off to a rest top. Ahead of us, the old truck disappeared into the mountains.

-M.E. InkOwl

Death By Anticipation

“I’m gonna give you till the count of three.” The man screamed, spittle flying out of his mouth. His eyes were bloodshot, beard covered in spit, vomit, and heaven only knows what else. Beyond us, sand drifted in the morning light kicked up by the revving truck before us.

“What have we done?” One of us asks, as calmly as possible.

Expletives fly from his mouth as it twists with rage.

We’re going to die.” I thought, feeling my feet go numb.

“You stole my ATV! You stole it! I know it! And now you all are going to pay.” He waved the gun in our faces, black muzzle glinting before our noses.

He pointed the gun to the side of the dirt road, motioning us over, “Now line up over there! Now! Don’t ask questions just do it!”

I’m never going to see my family again.” Was all my mind could think.

We stepped over to the sagebrush covered hill.

“Honey,” said a woman’s voice from the cab of the truck, “I think you have the wrong guys, they’re just kids.”

“Shut up, woman. I know what I’m doing.” The man screamed. He stepped closer, a waft of alcohol blew from his twisting mouth.

“What is this guy on? He’s chewing up the inside of his mouth.” Even as I thought this he spit to the side, blood spattering the sand at our feet.

The man squared his shoulders, and spoke with in a dangerous whisper, “Alright.  You’re all going to tell me where you’ve been tonight, and then you’re going to show me the bottom of your feet.”

“What?’ Another of asked, bewildered and terrified.

“Show me your feet!” He screamed, stepping right up to us, all but shoving the barrel of his handgun up our noses.

We’re dead.” I thought, lifting my foot towards the man.

A look came over his face, making us pull back as one.

Then he screamed.

-M.E. InkOwl

By The River Running

Don’t you understand honey?” She said, trying to sound helpful. “They’re taking it all down all of it all the trees the river the forest, they’re already bulldozing it down.”

I ran, bushes and leaves slapping against my legs. A bird took flight from its hiding place, calling out with an ugly voice.

Raven.” My mind stated as the black wings disappeared beyond a stand of trees.

Behind me my grandmother’s apartment shrank behind the usual hedges of scrub oak and lilac.

I ran on, heedless of the noise and destruction I was causing. The trail wound it’s way up and over a small hill. For a flash I could see the green tops of trees leading off into the distance, ending in a long line of roofs

My thoughts returned back to what my mother had said, “It doesn’t matter anyway, Michael, Grandma is moving somewhere else, a better place.”

“But what’s better than this place?” I growled between taught jaws. It wasn’t fair. None of it was, especially for grandma. She was different, always had been. But now they were taking her away from this, from her home where it was safe to be different.

I continued on, now slowing my pace, daring someone to catch up with me pull me back inside.

As trees passed me I again heard my parent’s voice. “Now Michael it’s alright, this move will be good for grandma, they’ll take good care of her.”

Ahead of me some vines hung low over the path and I swung out at them, dashing greenery aside.

Why move from here? It’s perfect for Grandma. She doesn’t-” Thoughts suddenly derailedmy steps faultered and I tripped, almost sprawling head first into a bubbling stream.

I stopped for a moment, realizing just how deeply I was breathing, ears burning in my eyes. But the silence was too complete, my ears rang from it.

Something was not right. I stopped and scanned the forest where I stood. Large trees spread wide overhead, while the elevated path I stood on made up the river bank. Everything was normal, everything except. . .

Something swung in the gentle breeze, lazily circling in and out of view. It looked like a woven basket.

I walked up to the grizzled bush and pulled vines away. Something large swung out toward me and I leapt back in shock.

“What the?” I said, feeling my stomach twist. A woven form half the size of my body hung from a tree. Vines wrapped around most of its twisted limbs securing it to one side.

“Are you some kind of voodoo doll?” I asked, realizing that if a reply came from the woven form I’d most likely need to change my pants. There was no answer, just the sound of vines rubbing on branch. My attention focused beyond the vine. My eyes went wide. Nothing could prepare me for what I saw beyond the swinging form.

A small clearing sat to one side of the stream and path. A makeshift leanto sat between two trees, various objects and trash lay scattered about the space.

A fowl smell of rotten trash filled the air, making my neck tingle.

Maybe it’s a homeless person’s home.” I thought, trying not to panic.

Wind blew through the clearing picking up leave and trash, and throwing fetted air into my face.

I coughed and gagged, covering my nose and looked around. That what when I saw it, saw them. Dozens and dozens of twisted woven forms hung from the trees, swinging the wind. Their knobbled forms tossing this way that, faceless heads turning to look at an intruder, at me.

Dread fell upon me like thick oil. I did the only thing I could, I ran.

And I never looked back.

-M.E. InkOwl

Sinister Countdown Finale

snapseed-53

I had planned on posting several fictional stories and poems, but some unforeseen events have altered my plans. Please, bear with me as I share so much more than fictional accounts of sinister proportions. I intend to thrill you, horrify you, and terrorize you with true stories from my own life that haunt me to this day. Some will be gory, others bizarre, and still other’s will bend your perception of reality as you see it. Now allow me to pull you into my mind’s eye. Sit back, do anything but relax, and prepare yourselves for this year’s Sinister Countdown Finale.

-M.E. InkOwl

Figures of Inspiration


Two figures have been ever present in my life cloaked with wisdom and filled to the brim with unconditional love.

“You are incredible, my wonderful darling.” Grandmother declares with a flourish of her hands.

“You make us proud.” Grandfather says, his eyes disappearing behind the wrinkles of a smile.

Even as an exhausting youth, filled with an insatiable desire to know everything, they both took the time to listen.

Especially now as an adult and parent their support and consideration moves me through mountains.

And each time we meet we share this life long exchange:

“I love you Gramma, I love you Grampa!” I say, wrapped within their arms. A fortress of security lay within our physical bond.

“And we love you.” They whispered back.

-M.E. InkOwl
Author’s Note: The cabin featured in this month’s posts was built by my grandfather and great grandfather. It has now stood over thirty years collecting memories and history as generations have grown to love its weathered frame.

My grandparents, Don and Jan, have spent most of their life moving between ordinary existence and paradise as they have fixed up and improved our cabin, The Cabin.

They have imbued each wall, floorboard, and window with their very souls.

May it continue to bring peace, inspiration, and joy to many future generation is my hope. Their legacy will live on long after they and I have passed.

Thank you all for taking the time to read and participate in this month on The Ink Owl. Your words and likes are every so appreciated.

Creed of a Writer

Different am I, one who is touched by the fire of ink and paper.

The world is divergent to my eyes, one moment at a time.

Many see it as a fever of the mind, a weakness to be excluded, or ignored.

“Oh you write,” They say with an awkward pause, “Why?”

But how do I explain the why?

What words do I choose to express my mind, body, and soul in a moment filled with willing ignorance?

“Tell me, why do you breathe?” Is my yearning response.

“Let me lift the surface of my mortal frame and have you listen to the synapses within my mind. Do you hear the song contained within those delicate neurons?”

I picture myself saying, “Please would you mind not flipping your epiglottis down over your trachea as you swallow that drink of water, you’re clearly missing the point of this discussion.”

Part of me hisses out, “Why can’t you stop your eyes from blinking all the time? See, you’re pupils are constricting in this light, please avoid embarrassing me with the use of involuntary muscle movement, you’re being weird.”

“Do you have to pump blood at this very minute?” I scream as their heartbeat interrupts our conversation.

This is why.

I see the world in a different way than you. Not because I’m shorter or taller than you. Not because I have contacts or that my eyes are green.

I experience living in a myriad of language, in a colorful wash of words. My senses do not stop at that beautiful sunset, or scenic byway. I do not move on with my day after that chance encounter with an utter stranger, or exchange of verbal communication.

Each interaction is a hundredfold of what could be for those contained within my fingertips. I see an endless amount of sunrises and sunsets, across numberless worlds.

For my mind is inhabited by another universe of stories. Each one presses upon every moment of my life, waiting to pour from the gray and white matter of my cerebrum.

I write, because I breathe.

My mind needs to tell stories, just as my body requires liquid to stay hydrated.

Words come to the heart and mind the same as blood cells leaving my marrow, to stop would mean an unnecessary ending.

I cannot stop.

The real trouble is finding a moment to write it all down.

-M.E. InkOwl

 

Seer Among The Grass

My mom’s voice called from the front porch as I followed grandpa across the lawn.

“Michael, please be careful! I don’t want you falling on that and getting a cut. It’s rusty and old and I’m pretty sure you’ll get tetanus.”

Before me a rusted pile of iron stood, surrounded by twisting weeds.

“Alright, mom!” I hollered back and scuttled even closer on grandpas heels as he walked past the metal wreck.

He paused a moment, reaching out a hand and grasped a protruding rod. His face was covered by the shadow of his hat, wide brim brilliant in the afternoon sun.

“Grandpa,” I started, torn between a question and a desire to not annoy him, “What is this piece of junk anyway?”

He turned his head towards me, a large grin on his face.

“Michael, it’s an old farming plow. See this here?” He said, pointing to aged pieces of metal.

“Here is where you’d sit and hold the reigns while the horses pulled the plow along.”

I watched, completely drawn in, as his patient voice reconstructed the pile of rust.

We walked around the plow, taking it all in as he continued to teach me. My mind filled with images of the past.

And before I knew it, he was showing me up the side of an iron clad wheel and onto the creaking old seat.

“Now imagine you’re sitting there with a team of horses pulling through the dirt of your own farm.” He looked across the lane as he spoke this, and I felt his gaze bend time and space.

We both were suddenly in the middle of a dirt field, his hand rested on a horse’s neck. I flicked the reigns and we jolted forward, plowing into the rich earth.

I could hear the ground part and taste a bitterness in the air as dirt clouded in from behind.

It was at that moment, as my mother’s voice called me back to present times that I realized something of my grandfather.

He was much more than a man or magician or wizard. With his gentle strength and wisdom so earned, a Seer had he become.

-M.E. InkOwl

Between Cloud and Stone


“Run!” My feet plead as I stand before it all.

The sky stretches far beyond my small body as wind tosses grass about.

“Go.” Whispers my hands, aching to reach out and propel me forward.

Shadows play over a vast patchwork quilt of alfalfa and sage.

“Move.” Says the wind as it dances around my ears.

Sunlight warms my skin, enhancing a feeling of sleepiness.

“Step.” Thrums my heart, quickening as my pupils constrict in excitement.

And as a stick thrown into a gurgling stream, I surged.

-M.E. InkOwl

Summer’ Last Breath

We played upon the gentle graces of Summer’s last breath.

Between tree and water, our lives stood still.

Before us lay a pool of inspiration,

Waiting to be released upon willing minds.

The sun warmed our skin, even as a whisper of fall came calling.

Around us, leaves began to turn and our very bones felt a subtle shift.

“Winter is coming.” The earth spoke to us.

-M.E. InkOwl