All Right

The screen door hit the jam with a loud SMACK as Clara and Ida entered the kitchen. Two little arms,  a pair of bright blue eyes, both open wide, raced into the room.

Lucy’s gleeful “Mommy, mommy!” greeted her mother, and her full speed hug nearly knocked her over.

Clara laughed at the exaggerated emotions and bent down to returned the hug in earnest. “Love you lollipop.”

Lucy’s expression turned sweet and tender as she smoothed hair from her mother’s face. “Love you lemon drop.” Then mischief grew in her eyes. She giggled and kissed Clara SMACK on the mouth.


Last time with  ”Faith from Ruin”  ~ Turning the Corner


I’m writing with Velvet Verbosity this time. She gives us 100 words to use as we please as long as we use her word in the post. This weeks word is “Smack”. Do I get extra credit for using it twice? Added a little music with a great song by Gin Blossoms “As Long as it Matters”. Great lyrics to go with Clara’s new found hope.

100 Word Challenge #372

100 Word Challenge #372


”Faith from Ruin” last time ~ Hope Disappeared

Ida and Frank “kidnapped” Lucy for a trip to the grocery store. Frank, with a wink and sly grin imparted the advice, “stick close kid. Ol’ Frank’ll take care of yuh.”

Clara settled in the kitchen at the worn farm table still burdened by her overnight brooding. She clenched her eyes tight and shook her head vigorously, determined to brush off her trip down a slippery, jagged memory lane. With hands wrapped around a steamy mug of coffee sweetened with Ida’s homemade pumpkin spice creamer, she sipped and breathed in the sweet aroma and decided it was time to move on.

Her mind began to clear, and hunger edged in. She got up and  cut thick  slices of Ida’s homemade bread to toast and slather  with butter and honey. She crunched through the sweet buttery treat, giggling as the honey dripped down her hands and on her chin.

Lucy burst through the door chattering away as Frank and Ida bustled in, arms laden with bags of food. They visited comfortably as the pantry and fridge were reloaded. When they were done, Lucy was sent to the Lerner’s living room with a new pack of crayons, pencils and coloring books she and Frank had “snuck” into the shopping cart. A fresh pot of coffee brewed and mugs filled, the adults sat around the table.

Clara looked into her mug and began, “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I want to be completely honest with you. You guys deserve that, especially since you’ve treated Lucy and I like family.”

Swallowing hard, she took a deep breath and continued. “Lucy and I are running, well not really running, um, we’re finding a new place. Lucy needs happiness and stability. So do I. The black eye was from my husband. I warned him but, um. God! He drinks too much and he’s an abusive ass!”

Clara quickly continued, cutting Ida off as she tried to say something. “Shane, my husband, is not Lucy’s dad, so we don’t have that and I haven’t done anything illegal. I just loaded us up, and, left. I didn’t have a place, just a distance; far enough he wouldn’t want to come after me. I’m so hurt and I have scars on my heart and I’m not sure I can learn to love again.”

Ida reached over gently grasped Clara’s hand, and smiled. “Honey, we could see clear as day you needed refuge. I told you the first night, stay as long as you need and don’t worry ’bout the money. There’s no guaranty in life and Lord knows we can’t always count on those we love.”

Clara looked at Frank who had grabbed hold of her other hand and pulled it toward him. He thought carefully while he slowly spoke. “Clara, love’s like a rock. Sometimes smooth. Sometimes rough. We surrender to it. We learn when it knocks us around so we decide to throw that rock away, and these hazards of love never more will trouble us.”


This week at Write at the Merge, Write on Edge’s writing prompt, two quotes were give as inspiration. I chose  the quote in the image below and which is featured in the piece in bold itallics. I was able to work it into the much needed conversation between Clara and the Lerner’s. The P!nk/Nate Reuss song also had lyrics and a theme that fit where Clara is emotionally.


”Faith from Ruin” last time ~ Be Happy

In spite of the cool room, Lucy sprawled across her bed out of the covers, her hair, sweat-sodden by her charcoal hot sleep.Clara lay in her bed watching her daughter’s chest rise and fall in peaceful sleep.

Eyes prickled with tears, that gently crept over her nose and down her cheek dampened the pillow. She mourned the loss of normal for Lucy and bore anger and shame for choices which led them into an unstable, uncharted new life.

Light switched off, rosary in hand and quickly fell into a rare, deep sleep.


100 Word Challenge #353

100 Word Challenge #353

Velvet Verbosity gave us the word “Rare”. After an extended absence for inventory replenishment in the home business variety as well as the personal internal type, and a short vacation to visit my Texas son I’m back, rusty and slow. Taking up where I left Clara and Lucy as they try to begin again.

Big Head Todd’s Bittersweet played in my mind while writing and the lyrics fit Clara’s bittersweet worry for Lucy.

Guardian Angels

 ”Faith from Ruin” last time ~ Simply Complex

Her time at the church praying and going to Confession put Clara in a calm, peaceful state. She quietly drove back to the motel reflecting on her afternoon.

The little brass bell tinkled brightly as she entered the lobby of the Lakeshore. Through the door leading to the owners residence, Ida called, “Back here honey, Lucy and I are bakin’ some goodies.” Clara walked through the door and the warm yeasty fragrance of homemade bread and the spicy sweetness of the cookies cooling on the counter greeted her. Lucy sat on a high stool at the counter munching happily on a warm treat.

“Mommy! I got to help Miss Ida, she even let me chop, what are these called Miss Ida?”

She smiled warmly , “Apricots dear.”

“Yeah, apricots, and I put cookies on the pan and they are, what kinda cookies are these?”

Ida’s eyes twinkled  as she laughed, “Oatmeal Apricot cookies.”

“Yeah, Oatmeal. Apricot Cookies and they are so delicious with milk Mommy!”

Clara couldn’t suppress the hearty laugh as she listened to Lucy’s unbridled glee and breathless enthusiasm. “Oh Lucy, I love you, you silly girl.” She grabbed her and covered her in kisses while she tickled her. Lucy squirmed and giggled “Stop Mommy stop!”

With a flour sack towel in her hand resting on her hip, Ida watched the mother and daughter laughter and delight.

The outside door swung open and cold air mixed with the smells of fresh baked goods and an older gentleman quickly walked into the kitchen.

“That dern wind is getting cold. We just might get a hard freeze tonight.” He looked up at Clara and Lucy strode over and extended a hand, “Frank Lerner. You must be Clara. Lucy an’ Ida been bakin’ up a storm today.”

As he tugged his large hands through the sleeves of his coat he quizzed his wife, “Ida, you make enough to feed these two supper?”

She pursed her lips and flipped the towel at him, “Oh you know I did you silly man. Clara, you two eat with us tonight. On Franks orders I have prepared a feast. We are happy to have you.”

Clara, thinking to herself ‘what did I do to deserve these guardian angels,’ quickly decided there was no point in turning them down, “We would love to. It’s been a while since we had a home cooked meal.”

Clara and Lucy set the table with the tableware and linens Ida retrieved from the buffet. Ida and Clara loaded the table with serving plates and dishes of pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy and fresh Iowa sweet corn. They all took their places and Frank began the table grace,

“Name of the Father, an’ the Son an’ the Holy Ghost.” Clara looked up surprised not expecting a shared faith. The rest joined naturally,  “Bless us O Lord and these they gifts, which we are about to receive, from they bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.”

Frank winked at his wife, “Pass me the potatoes woman!”


Inspiration for this installment came from Write on Edge’s Write on the Merge prompt and they gave us 500 words to work with. The two pictures below were given as inspiration and I used both to add to Ida’s character and introduce Frank to the story.

Write at the Merge Week 39


The Space Between

”Faith from Ruin” last time ~ Graceful Kindness

“Good morning Mommy!” her tiny voice chimed. “Are you awake?”

Clara stretched and turned her head toward her daughter. A laugh caught in her yawn “I am now. Let’s get dressed and go see Miss Ida.”

“For cookies?”

“I don’t know Button. It’s rude to ask, but if she offers, sure.”

After showers and some much needed girl primping, they slipped on light jackets against the brisk Northern air that blew in overnight. This time the office was warmly lit, and the door unlocked. Clara closer her eyes and breathed in the smell of fresh brewed coffee. She saw a beautifully set side table, resplendent with treats and delicate cups for coffee. She hadn’t noticed the welcoming warmth of the tiny lobby the night before.

Sharons table & cookies

“Clara! How wonderful. Did you and Lucy sleep well last night? Help yourself to a cup of coffee and a cookie.”

They stepped over to the table. Clara poured a cup of coffee and handed a cookie to Lucy and took one for herself.

“Ida, thank you so much for your kindness. Shall we get thing squared away?”

Waving her off Ida smiled wide and pooh-poohed, “Oh, pshh! I can see plain as day you need a place for a bit. Just fill out a room card and don’t even worry about the rest.”

Her eyes widened and filled she stammered, “I-I don’t know how you know, but I-I can’t thank you enough.”

She turned away, sniffled swiping at her eyes. “Um, can you tell me where St. James Church is? I, um, well I need to find it.”

“Sure thing sweetie. Come look at the town map.”


Clara couldn’t explain why she trusted Ida completely, but she took her up on the offer to watch Lucy while she went to St. James. She parked her silver Malibu on the street in front of the church. The church was like a miniature Gothic cathedral, complete with a tower and steeply pitched roof which made it appear much taller. Her sneakers squeaked on the shiny marble floors. She dipped fingers into cool Holy water and blessed silently, Father-Son-Holy Spirit. She drifted forward quietly, slid into a pew, first seated on the cool oak then kneeling on sunken, well-worn kneelers.

The familiar comfort of echoes, and groans always found within sacred walls, eased her worries, walls where she felt safe from pain. Eyes closed she saw arms stretch out to her offering warmth and repose. She heard occasional quiet tap tap taps and kneelers creak as other mortals came and went.

Clara slowly calmed into steady tranquility as her internal conversation continued and the space between the turmoil of her flight, and the peace where her soul truth dwelt was bridged.


Write at the Merge-Week 36

This week at Write at the Merge we were given this for inspiration:

“This week, I’m going to ask you to write about the space between, the pause between two events using the following as prompts: Led Zepplin’s Ramble On or Dave Matthews Band ‘The Space Between’. I’m going to ask you to write about the space between, the pause between two events”

I’m a huge Dave Matthews fan back before they were big and touring all over the Northern US playing in small venues and stacking up fans. Of course, I chose The Space Between and lucky me, it is perfect for Faith from Ruin.

Photo of cookies and coffee provided lovingly by my dear friend Sharon. A piece of her heavenly home.

Graceful Kindness

Last ”Faith from Ruin” post ~ Three Strikes

They arrive late in the night and the darkness was quiet and deep. She decided to wait until morning to go to St. James, worried a nighttime door knock might alarm the priest. Clara had been careful with the money and decided to spend another night in a motel. The convenience store clerk told her about the Lakeshore Motel, a cheap, clean motel owned by his Aunt and Uncle. He called ahead so they would know she was coming.

Ida Lerner opened the office door where she waited in a tattered yellow terrycloth robe and moccasin style slippers. Burdened with their bags, Clara and Lucy whisked inside by a brisk Autumn wind. Ida’s face bore the grace of happiness crinkles around her gentle eyes. She shuffled behind the counter, looked up at Clara and a smile warmed her face

“Sweetie, you must be exhausted. Let’s just wait to do this in the mornin’ after you’ve had some sleep.”

Clara tried to protest, but Ida, looked away and quickly continued,

“I’ll putcha down at the end where it’s nice ‘n quiet. There’s no neighbors down there an’ you sleep as long as you like. I’ll be here when yer ready.”

She tottered around the counter, pressed the key into Clara’s hand and hugged the robe around herself. Crouching down eye to eye with Lucy in a covert tone, ” You come and see Miss Ida in the mornin’ for cookies and milk.” then glanced up at Clara and winked. Lucy smiled shyly, and hid behind her mother’s arm.

Clara caressed Lucy’s face as she nuzzled her elbow, hoisted their bags, and smiling, “Thanks, Mrs…..”

“Ida dear. Just call me Ida.”

“Thanks, and goodnight Ida.”

Ida ushered the pair outside, and locked up. They wobbled to the last door and turned the key to a quaint clean room with two beds. She dropped the duffles on the floor.

Lucy tucked in, she whispered, “Our dreams are on the way baby,” wiped blurry tears and fell asleep.


Trifextra: Week 93

Trifextra: Week 93

Inspiration for today’s piece was drawn from Trifecta Week Ninety-three. The word this week is GRACE. As always, third definition :

3)  a : a charming or attractive trait or characteristic
: a pleasing appearance or effect : charm <all the grace of youth — John Buchan>
: ease and suppleness of movement or bearing

Click the badge there on the left and go read some of the other submissions. There are some great writers who participate in this weekly challenge.

Inspiration also from an awesome song by Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water”

Three Strikes

Last “Faith from Ruin” post ~ Leave it Behind 

She threw the phone across the cab of the car. Shane’s number and ringtone. Already two phone calls. She wasn’t interested in more threats, the same crap hashed over a third time. This was not going to be a bowling turkey with three strikes because there were no benefits, no good outcome from yet another conversation. This was more like baseball, three strikes and you’re out.

When Clara stopped the night before in Hamilton she spent some precious money on a room. The Denny’s waitress told her Millie’s Tavern rented rooms upstairs. A scaled-down version of a “No Tell Motel”.  She and Lucy got some much needed sleep in a real bed. Today she was determined to get another 800 miles down the road. That morning in Denny’s she did some Google Map research on their free wifi. She needed to find state highways through small towns. She would continue ever westward to get them in the middle of Iowa by the end of the day. Whatever town she found herself in at the end of they day would become their new home.

Lucy sat in the backseat playing games on Clara’s iPad. She found it under the passenger seat while retrieving a dropped purple crayon. Clara wondered when she rushed out of the house where it was, but hurried packing prevented extravagant searching. She was relieve for another distraction for Lucy and thrilled the battery wasn’t dead.

She found herself relaxing as the distance grew. The landscape changed and every town they passed through offered something interesting. Clara and Lucy made a game of finding something weird or funny in each town and when they did, Lucy drew a picture.

They gathered miles and drove from day to night. Road signs declared Spencer would be the last town. A billboard caught her attention. An image of Jesus at a door and the caption,

“Knock and it shall be opened.
St. James Catholic Church-Our doors are always open.”

Spencer was end of the road and so she decided to find the church.


This week Trifecta is asking for 33-333 words using the third definition of the word TURKEY.

1: a large North American gallinaceous bird (Meleagris gallopavo) that is domesticated in most parts of the world
2: failure, flop; especially : a theatrical production that has failed
3: three successive strikes in bowling
4: a stupid, foolish, or inept person

Hoobastank’s “Dissappear” fits Clara and Lucy’s escape. Clara needs to make them disappear and find a place to begin again.

Trifecta: Week 92

Trifecta: Week 92

Leave it Behind

Lucy carefully stabbed pancake bites, and swirled each in strawberry topping as she chewed the previous forkful. She ate with such pleasure, Clara could almost taste the strawberries and cream.

Fatigue finally caught up and her mind wandered. She’d been losing sleep dreaming about the things that could have been. She’d prayed so hard, but it was useless. She was ready to take her past, burn it then throw it in the river. She had to leave it behind and start over. Determination replaced anger and regret.

Hot bacon and eggs waited. She smiled, worry erased, and hungrily began eating.


IMG_0382_thumb.pngLance and LeeRoy called on me to pick this weeks song for 100 Word Song. I am currently obsessed with Counting Stars and One Republic. Can not get the song out of my head and it was a great fit for this installment of Clara and Lucy’s story.

The last Faith from Ruin post was The Long Road. < Click on the link and catch up if you missed it.


The Long Road

Last ”Faith from Ruin” installment — Evil Robots

The night and the road droned endlessly. She was surprised and thankful fatigue was no where near. The conversation with Shane had amped her, zapping away every drop of weariness she had felt before the nasty exchange. Thankfully, Lucy, who woke when she got back into the car, fell back asleep after a drink of water and Clara’s special lullaby.

Her wide-awake state, the emptiness of the road, and the quiet car gave her too much time in her own head. Her mind jumped from her anger and fear of Shane, to resentment and more anger toward her sister, then off to regret and self-loathing for falling for a jerk like Shane to begin with, then, the observations of everyone else. She didn’t want the judgmental brand “Abused Wife.” Rather if she were to be branded she would rather be judged “Survivor,” or”Savvy.”

Another four hours driving and pangs of hunger gnawed. She started to look for mile markers and signs for the next town. She watched for overpasses with off ramps where signs were often posted on the on ramp side. A few attentive miles paid off when a familiar box of green, numbers and letters like blinding beams announced 12 miles to Hamilton. She had no idea what to expect, but decided it was time for a break.

millies tavern

Fifteen minutes later, Clara drove into a little hamlet and passed a 24-hour Denny’s. Further on, a raucous, rowdy bar with the harmless, yet titillating name “Millie’s Tavern” slid past. She drove on and passed quiet storefronts and empty side streets. Other than Millie’s, Hamilton was the quintessential sleepy town. She turned around in the elementary school parking lot and headed back to Denny’s.

She parked and shut the car off. Her legs tingled and ears rang slightly from the absence of road noise. Lucy sat up, bleary eyed and disoriented.

“Mommy? Where are we?”

“Are you hungry Button? I’m starving! Let’s go have pancakes, OK?”

“Yay! With strawberries?”


This time for Faith from Ruin, I’m giving you 330 words and I’m writing with inspiration from two different prompt, Trifecta and Write On Edge’s Write at the Merge. Can’t have a post without a good song to go with it. Sheryl Crow is an upbeat song but she talks about winding roads and faded signs, so hey, I made it work.
Trifextra: Week 91

Trifextra: Week 91

Trifecta’s (post 33-333 words) word this week, third definition is:

BRAND (noun)
1a : a charred piece of wood
b : firebrand
c : something (as lightning) that resembles a firebrand
2: sword
3a (1) : a mark made by burning with a hot iron to attest manufacture or quality or to designate ownership
(2) : a printed mark made for similar purposes : trademark
b (1) : a mark put on criminals with a hot iron
(2) : a mark of disgrace : stigma <the brand of poverty


Write at the Merge (a now defunct site) provided the photo “Millie’s Tavern” and a song by The Beastie Boys. I chose inspiration from the photo only. Post is to be done with a word limit of no more than 500 words.

Charming Lucy

Last  ”Faith from Ruin” installment — Right is Right

“Mommy, how come we aren’t going home?”

Not ready for this, she quietly mulled the possible answers. Saying too much upsets Lucy; too little could elicit infinite “Why?” which she could end in frustration, anger, tears or all three. This had to be kept light, and fun as long as possible.


“Hmm? Sorry. Did you want to play Angry Birds?”

Handing the phone back she hoped changing the subject would put her off a while.

“Not really. I wanted to play with Reagan. Can I?”

Peeking in the rearview she saw determination in Lucy’s eyes and knew she would have to persuade her like a shaman using an oboe to charm a cobra in order to make the child understand.

Intent on the road, she carefully chose simple, meaningful words.

“Remember I said we were going on an adventure?”

“Uh huh.”

“It’s like Rapunzel in Tangled. She had to run away with Flynn. They had lots of adventures. Sometimes scary, sometimes fun. They made new friends and everyone lived happy ever after.”

“Where are going mommy? What about Shane?”

“I don’t know yet baby. We won’t see Shane again.”

Lucy’s head dipped down, her mouth pinched and a her features clouded. “Good. He’s a meanie poopy head.”

Clara bit her cheek to suppress the shocked giggle threatening to escape. She looked in the rearview, “Lucy.”

Lucy looked up, “What?”

“Love you lollipop.”

A smile spread across her face like liquid sunshine, “Love you lemon drop!” Shoulders scrunched, she tipped her head back as her twittering giggle broke the ice and Clara released her laugh.

Lucy’s giggles ended with a dramatic Kindergarten, “ahhhh!” A curious glint twinkled in her eyes as she caught her mothers eyes, “Knock knock!”

“Who’s there?”


“Fence who?”

“Fence I colored the princess!”

Laughter burst uncontrollably, and included generous laugh-tears.

“Lucy, that’s silly! You’re gonna make mommy wreck! PlayAngry Birds. See if you can beat the next level.”

Clara turned the radio on and settled in to drive.


Trifecta: Week Eighty-Seven asks for 33-333 words from the prompt “Charm”, 3rd definition:

CHARM (verb) (3rd definition) 3: to control (an animal) typically by charms (as the playing of music)

Trifecta: Week 87

Trifecta: Week 87