How the Cookie Crumbles

Life and scribbles on the far side of SIXTY-FIVE

#BlogBattle Week 47 – Prompt: Forest


To join in the fun and / or meet the wizard behind this challenge click below:


  1. 1000 wordsmax
  2. fictionaltale (or true if you really want)
  3. PG(no more than PG-13Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
  4. Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered aroundthe theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
  5. Go for the entertainmentvalue!
  6. State the Genre of your storyat 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 link back 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 the awesome #BlogBattle Winner Badge to display with their winning story on their webpage.


chest-371386_960_720 Pixabay

Image  from Pixabay. No attribution necessary.

Along Came Polly – Part 2

Part 1 here

Grace’s eyes swept the attic one last time. Enough for one day. Her sister grumbled, teetering on the ladder, an arm hugging a box and the other white-knuckling the beam.

“You okay, baby sister? What’s the matter? Out of shape?”  She stooped near the top of the folding ladder with a chuckle. Forehead glistening, Polly glared back, face a blistering red. “Going to live to your 60th birthday?” She shrieked with laughter till she choked with a coughing fit.

Polly stumbled to the floor below and released her box. Thump. Folded at the waist, she gasped for air, knees clutched as she heaved. “Make way. Coming down.” Grace sing-songed in a cheerful voice. The ladder quivered and creaked beneath her weight. Her sister already halfway to the kitchen, booted the box down the hall. A tap gushed water. A cupboard door slammed. Arms around her box, Grace peered around the corner. Her sister gulped water as if it might be her last chance to drink. She grinned and whacked the wall with the flat of her hand. Polly spun round, the glass grasped tight, eyes huge behind tiny granny glasses.

“Something in the dust you ate? Settle down, Grace. Aren’t you thirsty and tuckered out?” She grabbed another glass, filled it with water and handed it to her sister, who glugged it too. Simultaneously, the women dropped into chairs eyes locked on each other. Polly broke the stare first. Slamming her glass on the table, she giggled like a school girl. “You should see your face.” Yanking the kerchief off her head, she wiped her forehead. “I’m all sticky. Mind if I take a shower first?”

“Go. Where’s the day gone? I’ll rustle up something to eat. What do you feel like?”

“Surprise me.” Polly, rescued overnight bag in her hand, had made her way half-way to the bathroom, her voice faint.

* * *

 “How many boxes do you suppose there are?” Polly settled on the floor in front of the sofa, slicing the air with her mug. “A couple dozen?” Tucking the fluffy white robe from her sister’s guestroom around her knees, her chin pointed at the ceiling.

Eyes glazed, Grace shrugged in her pink velvet robe and stifled a yawn.

“Did you see the trunk buried beneath the boxes? I’m anxious to peek inside first thing tomorrow. What if it’s locked?”

“We’ll find a way.”

“Grace, are you all right? Too much, too soon? You haven’t had time to recuperate after the flu. Off to bed with you.” Led by the arm, her sister toddled down the hall to her room. “Sleep as long as you like. Don’t you dare get out of bed till you smell the morning coffee.” Polly pulled back the covers and padded the mattress. “First, hugs.”

The boxes in the living-room had lost their appeal. Plunked on the carpet like discarded presents, Polly eyed them with trepidation, but only for a moment. Ignoring her cooling coffee, she tore the top off the nearest box, her curiosity overpowering. Envelopes of bills and receipts bound with disintegrating elastic bands filled the box to the brim. Mouth pinched, she removed layer upon layer of envelopes. Disintegrating rubber crumbled in her hands and onto the gray carpet. On the bottom lay a large record book. She flipped through the pages, stopped and blinked. Wait a minute. What is Uncle John’s signature doing on the checks? The bills were in her grandfather’s name. Some checks were for five hundred and one for a thousand dollars made out to cash. Strange. Why cash and why such large amounts with Uncle John’s signature?

A page floated into her lap, less yellowed than the book pages. Light-headed as if floating in a dream, Polly dropped the book and unfolded the paper, heart clenched like a fist. Unable to focus on the writing, she closed her eyes. Why am I so nervous? This has nothing to do with me. Her head hurt as if gripped in a vice. She peered at the writing. A birth certificate? Still the words swam in a murky fog. She gripped the sheet and brought it to her nose. Too close. Back again, the words became clearer, sharper. Polly dropped the paper as if her hands burned and stared into space. Not possible. She covered her face, rocking against the foot of the sofa.  No. No. No.

Her cell chirped in her handbag on the sofa cushions. Not wanting to talk to anyone, she ignored the phone, but as always her curiosity won. She dug the cell out of her purse.  Tommy. Why didn’t he give up? How many times did she need to explain she liked her singlehood? Re-marrying was not in her future. She chucked the phone to the cushions concerned with more important matters.

This must be some kind of mistake. She planned to do a birth record search online, but not tonight, though tempted. This latest development had sucked the life out of her. Not confident she would sleep, Polly threw the paraphernalia back into the box anyway, shut off the lights, and tiptoed to the guestroom, the unsettling evidence clasped to her chest. She stopped at her sister’s door, her ear to sleeping mumbles. A chilling thought struck her. Sometimes, a forest of trees hides what you’ve always known or thought you had.  

To be continued

© 2015 Tess @ How the Cookie Crumbles

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!

65 thoughts on “#BlogBattle Week 47 – Prompt: Forest

  1. … and now the intrigue begins …. 😉


  2. Oooooooooo, the plot thickens. A third of the way through I scrolled to the top to check the prompt. Forest? Huh? But you got it in so well. Looking forward to part 3.


  3. Hmmmm….so much mystery. Fascinating. 💖


  4. Okay Tess. Plain and simple — I’m hooked. I drank up every word. But my thirst is not quenched, because I want more. 😀 Mega hugs!


  5. I was glad to see the to be continued note at the end. This is a good story and I need to know what is going on with the birth certificate.


  6. I love old trunks. I have quite a few around my house. What a mysterious story, Tess.


    • I love old trunks too, but don’t have one. I’d love to find a locked one and then find a fancy key expecting to find buried and forgotten secrets.
      I had no idea this might get mysterious… Thanks for reading, Jacqui. ❤ ❤


  7. Loving the continuing story Tess! I’m so intrigued. What did the payments mean….staying tuned!


  8. I can’t wait to know what she learnt, when will you continue?


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  10. she’s… adopted? Eloquent way of implying that without saying it, nice! 🙂


  11. Exciting! Mystery and intrigue….what next? Can’t wait to find out 🙂


  12. I’m turning the page in this book!!!!! Keep writing, and posting. But faster!!!


  13. Tess, you’re a terrible tease.!! What a way to leave it.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx


  14. I can’t stand the suspense! 🙂


  15. You hooked me then cut me loose!


  16. With the plot thickening, and you tingling, you’ve got me waiting with bated breath! 🙂


  17. Wow! This has the makings of a novel, Tess. And I love your descriptions. I can almost taste the water.


  18. Oh Tess, family dynamics, dysfunction and secrets! Love the use of the prompt in such a wonderful way. You simply get better and better at storytelling.

    Can’t wait for the next installment.


    • Bless your kind heart, Val. Thank you. I am tickled my writing may be improving. I do love weaving a tale.
      I can’t wait for next installment either as it’s not fully formed yet. Haven’t had time.
      Thanks for reading. You have no idea how your support lifts me up. (( ❤ ))

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Sorry to be so late to comment Tess but I am really enjoying this!!


  20. And…I almost moved my computer around looking for more…oh Tess, you’re that good. Thank you.
    Will, umm, patiently (sure yeah) wait for more. 🙂
    Hope this week is treating you kindly. 🙂


  21. A mysterious development, suitably ensconced in a trunk, like buried treasure. Looking forward to finding out how it ends. 🙂


    • I love old trunks though I’ve only seen them in movies. I’ve always had the notion wonderful and mysterious secrets are hidden there. Wouldn’t you love to find an old trunk? Thank you for reading, Cathleen. I have an idea about the next step but haven’t had time to think it through yet. ❤


  22. Oh, I can’t wait to see what’s going on with this birth certificate! Wonderful writing as always with great details that really beings the setting to life. 🙂


  23. This must be continued, I am so intrigued! You have a wonderful way of describing movement and details, Tess. I need to learn from you.


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  25. Can you see me blush? Thank you, but I’m still a greenhorn and have lots to learn, but if we learn from each other, I believe that’s grand. ❤ ❤ ❤