How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

#BlogBattle Week 29 – Prompt Ride


The brains behind this challenge can be found at



  1. 1000 words max
  2. fictional tale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainment value!
  6. State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
  7. Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
  8. Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a linkback to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/orinclude a link to this page in your own blog post(it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
  9. Have fun!

Each winner will receive this awesome #BlogBattle Winner Badge to display with their winning story on their webpage:



Victoria hated long-distance driving. Hazel eyes gritty, she pulled into her new street and coasted to the curb. The red brick house still charmed her as much as the first time she’d seen it a month earlier. The realtor must have hired someone to trim the lawn and sweep the driveway. Was that a special service? She blinked bleary eyes for moisture and chuckled. Birds twittered along the tree-filled road graced with only eleven houses and an elementary school tucked in one corner of the dead-end street. She flicked off the car radio and gaped with wonder. The sun sneaked over the horizon. Sleepy heads lingered in dreamland in the safety of their beds early on this Saturday.

Six months ago, Victoria wouldn’t have imagined any of the recent changes in her life: a promotion, the move 600 miles to a strange town and a house. A house, not an apartment. She released the brake and drifted into the driveway, the Chevy’s motor a soft purr.


“We’re home, Marmaduke. Come on. I’ll show you around.” She glanced into the rear-view mirror before slipping out of the car. She vibrated with excitement.


She grasped the cat carrier from the back seat, keys already pointed towards the side door. “Gotcha. You’re going to love it here. So will I.”

The side entrance area was small, understandable for an 80-year-old house. She tripped up the handful of stairs to the main floor. “Oooh.” The living-room furniture had been arranged the way she’d planned in her head: the taupe sofa in the center of the space, facing the fireplace, her black area rug laid between the two. Down the hall boxes marked ‘kitchen’ cluttered the counters. The table and chairs were arranged for instant use. A huge basket wrapped in cellophane sat dead center. Coffee, tea, and mugs waited within. No need to search through her own boxes yet.


“I know, sweetie.” Zip. “Out you come.”

The white and ginger-smudged cat poked his head out and sniffed, pointed face cautious. He leaped towards the couch, changed direction and looped down the hall to investigate. Victoria stepped out to the car for her coffee-maker and luggage. While the coffee brewed, she slipped upstairs. Her bed set up beneath the sloped ceiling in the story-and-a-half awaited only sheets and blankets. “Oooh, Sam, what a jewel you are.” The spare bedroom had also been put to rights.

She’d anticipated the movers’ arrival first due to her own late start and the realtor had agreed to let them in, but this was far beyond her expectations. Too early now, but I must call Sam before lunch to thank her.

* * *

Marmaduke sprang out of her arms into a Meerkat look-out stance. She clutched at the cat, but he escaped to her feet, front paws on the armrest. He gawked at the intruders, tail thumping against the cushion. Victoria sat up and locked eyes with two raggedy children in her living-room’s threshold, hands clutching each other.

“Hello.” She rubbed her eyes. It was still daylight. Noting the mug too close to the edge of the coffee table, she pushed it back to safety. Guess I fell asleep… She swallowed a yawn.

“Your cat gots spots like a cow. You gots kids?” The shorter girl peered over her shoulder and stepped forward dragging her older sister along. The taller girl’s eyes grew by the second.

“No, I don’t. What are your names?”

“I’m Sarah—I’m four. That’s Sylvie—she’s seven. She don’t talk.”

“Nice to meet you. How’d you get in?”

Sarah giggled into her hand. “We comed in the door. You gots cookies?”

Victoria shook her head. “I just moved in—haven’t bought groceries yet. Where’s your mother?”

“She’s asleep on the bed with my brodder. He’s our new baby.”

“Where do you live?”

“Next door.” Sarah pointed in the direction of the side door. The girls spun round and raced down the stairs and outside before Victoria hopped off the sofa to follow. She watched the ragamuffins sprint down her drive hands clasped as if glued together.

From an all adult building to a house and now to kids in the neighborhood… What a ride the last month’s been. I hope this isn’t a mistake.

* * *

Marmaduke swooped from one window sill to another till he’d settled on the one fronting the street. “Say hello to the school kids for me since I’ll never see them.” Victoria stroked his head before leaving each morning at 7:00 and sometimes long after suppertime upon her return. The cat settled in the same spot all day seemed to never move.

Over the next month, she saw little of the neighbors except in passing, but she heard plenty through her open windows during the early fall. The baby bawled loud and hearty. His father, Steve’s rusty Ford broadcast its comings and goings with a howling muffler.

One Friday morning the sky opened up and gushed rain as if it might never stop. Victoria became drenched in the short sprint to her car. Running late, she gunned the Chevy out of the driveway and around the corner, where it quit. Not another vehicle in sight, she tried starting it. No luck. Again. Nothing.

She whipped out her phone to call CAA, but couldn’t hear for the deafening noise. Passing in the opposite direction, her neighbor, Steve, stopped and smirked. He wound down his window as did she. “Need a ride?”

Her head bobbed like a dashboard dummy. What choice did she have?


© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles. All Rights Reserved.


Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

49 thoughts on “#BlogBattle Week 29 – Prompt Ride

  1. Tess you have the ability to paint such a vivid picture I am transported to the very room. At the same time creating an underlying suspense. Well written my friend. My usual question follows. “Now what?!”


  2. Okay Tess, another cliff hanger. Does she stay, does she go? What about that family next door, the ragamuffin kids, the bawling baby, and now neighbor Steve to the rescue! Nicely done! Chryssa

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are such a good little story writer. As Sue has said, you transport us readers due to your inept ability to describe the details. Hopefully she accepts Steve’s lift 😊


  4. Glad to see you´re still writing. Another good one. Hope there is a sequel.


    • Thanks so much, Darlene.
      Yes, I am afraid to stop writing. My recent vacation messed with my writing brain activity.
      I got a little stuck with this one, but there are lots more possibilities hidden between the lines. Plan to tweak some more. I especially like the kids.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I want to read more! Those kids (and that family) sound like there may be a story (or three) there!


  6. Wonderfully done, choices truly. What a move to make.


  7. As usual, Tess, I’m amazed at how easily you can get the reader invested in the story and characters in so few words … and as usual you leave us hanging expecting and wanting more.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. No choice indeed. Hope this works out


  9. I definitely want to know more.


  10. Tess, I love where this story is going and am so curious about what brought about all the upheaval in her life! Must know more. 🙂


  11. As usual, emotive and enticing. Kids are wonderful, aren’t they? That lack of knowledge of social protocols is so endearing.


  12. As always, I got to the end not wanting it to be the end. And I have a feeling it isn’t the end of the story. It’s going on without us!


  13. It didn’t take you long to get right back into that ol’ Tess style of leaving us hanging. Fantastic! 🙂


  14. Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: and commented:
    Love this. #BlogBattle


  15. Beautifully written, as always Tess! You always captivate me right away. You’ve a true talent. Mega hugs my friend.


  16. such vivid story telling I want to know what happens next she got in the car, is he like someone psycho and those kids from next door who keep using the word gots why doesn’t the other one talk, she talks to her cat does the cat talk a cat called mama duke (that’s how I read it lol) gots to talk


  17. Lovely details–you drew a vivid picture. 🙂


  18. I’m caught up instantly, as always 🙂 I had an immediate, but wrong, thought when the children appeared lol


  19. Nice story of change and new life. I think more could be on its way for Victoria, it seems like this is just the beginning for her. 🙂


  20. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Time for me to catch up with some friends and here is the queen of fictional challenges… Tess Karlinski.. great as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This is a great story Tess, although, like the others have mentioned, I feel there are plenty of other stories to come out of it. I was hooked from beginning to end, 🙂


  22. Great story, Tess! Guess it was a bad move, hey? …love Marmaduke! 😀


  23. Tess, you make us dive in, headfirst and swim around and through your words. Thank you, you always enthrall us then leave us wanting more. Hope this day is treating you kindly. 🙂 All the best. 🙂


  24. I really want to know more about those kids, Tess…hope you go forward. Intriguing. ☺


  25. I love the underlying suspense throughout this, Tess, and your vivid details!


  26. Pingback: Saturday Morning Coffee – Collaborators, William Price King, Teresa Karlinski and M.C.V. Egan | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  27. I can’t say it enough, I just love your writing voice and style. 😀


  28. Very atmospheric. I’m going to catch up with the rest…


  29. Pingback: #BlogBattle Week 32 – Prompt: Mars | How the Cookie Crumbles

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