How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE


#BlogBattle – Week 26

Check out the originator of this challenge at

The rules are easy:

  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 link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include 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!

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This week’s prompt:  Head

Genre:  Contemporary Fiction

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Grandpa Jones

The house looked more tired than a couple years earlier when I’d last driven past. I braked, tumbled out of the car and gawked. My feet plodded across the gravel country road as if drawn by a magnet.

Angry shouts rang out. Hands hammered bare wood. The racket rose from the old house across the road. I broke into a run. Old Grandpa Jones still occupied the hovel, a well-shared joke in the county, though no-one had seen Grandma in years.

It turned out Grandpa wanted out and pushed on the front door knob but it wouldn’t budge. He cussed and kicked without success. For one thing the door opened inward and he pushed out. It was also warped more than ever since the recent rain; the only door in or out of the house.

“Let me outta here. Let me out.” A gummy voice bawled inside. Open palms slapped the door.

“Calm down, old man. Step away from the door.” I expected it to crumble from the blows on the other side, but it held fast. “Stand clear. I’ll put a shoulder to it.”

The quiet on the other side yawned loud.

The warped door groaned but didn’t shift a sliver in its frame, yet I felt rather than heard disintegration within where my shoulder encountered the wood and pitched me forward. Ow. that hurt. I folded over my knees to catch my breath and regroup. Overhead, the door shattered as a chair seat bulged through a hole inches from my face. The chair yanked out, rheumy eyes stared at me through the splintered gap.

No-one knew Grandpa’s age, but for a reedy fellow with a bedraggled beard, greasy white hair and no teeth, he appeared strong and tenacious.

“I guess you didn’t need my help after all.” I had to talk though I’m a man of few words.

“I can’t get out through this here hole. Get my axe in the woodshed.” He pointed a thickened, yellow nail to the left. “Move along young man. That-a-way.”

I took one last look at what one might call his abode with kindness. I wondered what held the wood fibers together and conjured up spider spit and dirt. The weary shack had no business standing at all.

I spun round and gave the house another gander. The structure had sunk lop-sided and cockeyed. No-one had seen it happen, but I heard talk the recent hard rains were responsible for the slippage of a lot of the old properties. It’s a wonder the wind hadn’t shoved once too hard leaving a confusion of dried kindling strewn about, yet it had hung on like a drunk weaving in the elements, loose and somewhat upright.

“Stop gaping, young man. Action gets the job done. Move it.” My face burned. The old man’s impatience took me back to childhood days when everything I did was open to criticism. I forced myself forward and rushed back with an ancient, rusted axe.

“Stand back,” I said.

Grandpa Jones had other plans. “Give it to me, handle first. It’s my house and I’ll wreck it any way I must.”

I learned something that day. You can’t judge any exterior by appearance or your pea brain idea of it, man or structure. I also experienced the shock of my life.

Grandpa Jones axed the door. His vigorous thrusts shook the house to quivering. Each lunge of the axe sent the house lower, the mud still fresh from the latest rain. He’d demanded I leave with no thank you, but I sat in my car instead and watched. Why, I will never know. I laughed and laughed—thought I’d lost my head. And then, it happened.

Noise to my ears rather than pleasure, birds and crickets sounded louder and busier. I hadn’t noticed them earlier. Though mid- morning, the temperature had shot upwards. I whipped out my trusted hanky to dry my forehead and had already removed my suit jacket. The crack of the axe continued. Ticked by the old man’s ingratitude, I started the engine. I glanced back one last time. A groan and rumble stopped me. The outdated shelter collapsed, tumbling into itself. My heart plunged. Stupid old man.

I rushed towards the house.

Please don’t let the old man die.

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


100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #151

For information how to join, click link below

This week’s prompt is …as I rose in the dark… +100 words



I tossed and turned, but sleep eluded me. A quivering shadow snaked past the window without crunching footfall. An owl hooted. As I rose in the dark, the front door exploded. Books and debris battered the walls and floor. Knick-knacks smashed and glass shattered. I dove beneath the covers.

Breath ragged and muscles cramped, sweat shot out of my every pore. I smelled bad. I’d once heard this cottage was haunted but— A Halloween trick, then?

“Derek—that you?”

The door slammed shut. Hair drenched, I peeked out and gasped air. Flashlight beams flickered about.

“Who’s there?”


“Why are you in my bed?”

“Uncle Frank?”


© 2014 TAK


100-Word Challenge for Grown-ups – Week #141

To join in the fun, check  out

This week’s prompt is ‘but there are so many seeds’ plus 100 words



Morgan paced, red lips set in a thin flat line. Clickety-clack, click. Three steps forward; two steps back. “How can she get away with this?”

“The public won’t have a clue.”

She whirled a scarlet nail towards her daughter, eyes black as onyx. “But there are so many seeds of half-truths and outright lies here.”

“This book is trash! Forget it.”

“Grievous insinuations—still, she didn’t name names…”

“So. Is it true about Warren Beatty? Who’s Cesare?”

“Ssh.” Morgan peered over her shoulder. “Where’s your father?”

“Why are you whispering?” Alexa jiggled flawless, penciled brows. “Spill.”

“Nothing to tell.” Arms folded, Morgan raised her designer chin.


Only Two Weeks Until Christmas

Are you still scrambling, as am I, checking off lists and / or scratching your head? Are you in a panic for that one stocking stuffer—something unexpected and special—the icing on the cake?

What the heck do you get Aunt Mary, or Betsy, or Uncle Phil? They have everything, right? I would like to make a suggestion.

First of all, sit down and take a deep breath. Feel better? I thought you might. I do not have a crystal ball and anyway, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. I’d likely drop and break it before I learned to read the messages within, but YOU can work some magic.

It is no mystery I am proud to suggest you click on over to and order copies of any one or all of the sizzling Flash Anthologies you’ll find at your fingertips.

Hurry. Time’s a-wasting and Christmas will not wait. Give the gift of laughter, bewilderment and surprise: small morsels wrapped inside as few as 50  and as many as only 150 words.

Go. Make your favorite people happy. If you wish to buy flash ebooks, use the code GIMME10 for 10% off through this month. Don’t forget #1 is always free.

OF SPECIAL NOTE:  Many of the authors of these anthologies donate their payments to MAGIC Foundation. which works around the world with children with growth and genetic disorders. True, yes?

Hurry while there is time. Check the right-hand bar on this page for a preview of all the lovely covers. There are now five to choose from.  Get them all. The latest is Finding the Path, but don’t stop there.


Between the Covers

When you need help, who do you turn to? The natural response might be a friend.  Friends don’t always have experience in the help you need, although they mean well. Then there are DIY manuals with instructions. They read like guidebooks: dry and tedious.

I read a book last weekend I wish had been available two-and- a-half years ago. I wish I’d had it to turn to then, but it is available now, and everyone should read it.

I want to introduce you to a book by Red Dwyer titled, “Killing Us Softly.”


 Click here to read more

She writes with reflection and directness about her own experiences when cancer arrived uninvited into her household, took over her life, and stole her husband’s. She explains the best ways to handle circumstances you cannot avoid and how to preserve precious energy as best you can.

This is not a handbook but a chronicle of an insurmountable life experience shared with the Reader: this is what happened; these were the difficulties; for best results this is what works. Honest. Direct. Exact.

Red Dwyer is a no-nonsense sharer of truths. Killing Us Softly is divided into segments which are easy to understand. If you wish to flip through the chapters to choose any particular section, all the information is arranged in an easy-to-follow layout. Or, like me, you can read this informative book from cover to cover in two sittings. Anyone who reads it will gain indispensable facts from between these covers.

I tried to stop after a couple of chapters but I became so caught up in the writing, I couldn’t put the book down until the end.

The author doesn’t collapse under the weight of her undertaking; she intends to celebrate her and her husband’s married life together until the end. She creates memories—happy ones—for her husband, her family, and for herself. How does anyone do that under the circumstances? How does anyone manage a large family, tend to her husband, research his illness, write and create happy memories too?

The words of wisdom interwoven in the story: what works and what doesn’t, are worth the read alone.  Emotional reactions, doubts, confusion in an alien world all need to be addressed. Red Dwyer has lived all of those situations and shares her experience in a straightforward manner.

I highly recommend this read. Check it out; you won’t regret the time well-spent.

Red Dwyer is also the Promoter, Publicist, and Publisher of Redmund Productions and the blogger at


Hear Hear. It has Arrived!

When I’m excited, I jump up and down, although I shouldn’t because my knees are no longer elastic and can’t take the shock. Another idea is to celebrate, but how is anything fun when done alone? I know! I’ll share the good news with you, my fellow bloggers.

The mailman delivered my copy of Flashes from the Bistro. I opened the package and sat down as soon as I turned the first page. Then another and another. I grinned, shivered and giggled out loud. Hooked, that’s what I was. I had to tell you where to find these unusual visualizations of the twenty-six authors within.

The vinaigrettes in this anthology consist of as many as 150 to less than 50 words. No, you won’t find recipes or tips on how to run an eatery, but minute stories to tease, unsettle, and entertain instead. Some of the stories are delicious, while others are a little dark yet impossible to resist, and you’ll find twists and turns where you least expect them.

I can describe the gems inside, but I want you to be surprised firsthand. You see how my enthusiasm is hard to contain?


Click here to take a leisurely tour.

In addition, you will find other books by various noteworthy authors. Go now. Check it out. You’ll be delighted, I’m sure. See a format you like?

Don’t forget to check out the free book bin on your way out.


Move Over Oprah

I’m too easy—and maybe simple too. The absolute truth is I know I’m easy to please. Maybe not quite that easy, still, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.

When I was much younger, I could never make up my mind about anything—so many choices you see. Also, because anything was possible, I had a problem making up my mind. I drove more than one cashier in the variety store insensible with impatience while I chose penny candy on the occasion I had a quarter to spend. That’s all behind me now. These days, I don’t need much other than the basics. In no particular order, I also enjoy wine, books, a phone and, of course, access to the Internet (which is iffy around here of late).

Now what excite me are the little things.  Allow me to borrow a cliché: Do small things amuse small minds? Nothing’s wrong with my mind; I prefer an uncomplicated life now: quiet and unassuming.

Microsoft Clipart

Microsoft Clipart

Permit me to spill my guts. My latest discovery is the humble can opener. I used to have an electric one in my last house (attached at eye-level over the sink), but when I moved, I decided not to deface my awesome new kitchen cupboards. I stuck it out with an old-fashioned manual opener until it became too blunt, I suppose, and cranking on that useless device made my eyes bleed wrecked my fingers.

I kept forgetting to buy a new one. A few weeks ago, I chucked the rusted old pain-in-the-wrists and bought a new one: Starfit in white; under $10.00; works smooth as butter; slices off the whole top of the can, not just the lid; painless to use—and whisper quiet. It was love at first sight.



And now, every time I need to open a can—which sad to say isn’t often—I smile and turn pink with pleasure. I pat my new domestic-device-friend and we get the job done.

See what I mean? I’m easy to please, and when I’m happy, I’m over-the-top ecstatic. If only everything in life was this simple. Sigh.

I cannot afford even one of Oprah’s favourite things, but do I care? I prefer the simple life now. Should Oprah want one as well, they can be found anywhere.

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What should you replace but keep putting off?

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Please note:  This is not a paid endorsement. I’m just sharing my enthusiasm.


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