For the holidays last year, a friend got me a balloon animal kit as a joke.  It’s actually surprisingly fun.

A balloon monkey holding a daisy

A balloon monkey holding a daisy

My flowers still kind of stink, but my monkeys are getting much better.  Also, my son’s popularity has increased significantly since I learned to make balloon swords.

A Ghost Story

The word limit on this assignment forced me to cut out half of my intended plot.  Maybe one day I’ll go back and finish it.



A single tulip had struggled its way free of the weed-choked garden that spanned the front porch. Long strips of paint peeled from the siding and columns. Like most of the windows, the doorway held little more than the memory of screen. The door itself was a thick slab of oak; it’s finish ignoring the effects of weather and use. A glimpse inside revealed the carpets were fit only for the trash heap, but here and there the hardwood floor beneath showed itself.

“It’s perfect,” Laurie said, running her hands over the splintering pain on the porch rail.

“You are insane,” her daughter responded.

“Can we paint it blue?” Junior asked, practically hopping in excitement as he starred up at the two story Victorian structure. The position of the windows and doors gave an impression of a face, and already he could picture it smiling beneath a coat of sky-blue paint.

Behind him, he saw his father directing the moving van into the long horseshoe driveway. The massive oak at the center of the curve was just begging for a tree house, and his hands were already itching with the desire to climb. His sister’s voice pulled him back from the distraction of the oak and he immediately began protesting the unfairness of it all.

“Sorry, Junior,” Ethan Sr. responded, ruffling his son’s ginger hair. “Your sister called dibs on the tower room.” He turned towards the house and sighed. It would take weeks before the house was in a condition to even think about unpacking non-essentials. Laurie had assured him it was structurally sound and that all the repairs were cosmetic, but he still regretted walking away from the sleek, modern house on the cul-de-sac in town. It was a small price to pay to convince his wife to give up everything for his transfer and promotion. As he started to turn back to the moving truck, he thought he caught a glimpse of something moving in an upstairs window.

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