Back of the Drawer #WEPFF Challenge No. 4 featuring “He Knew It; I Knew It” #amwriting #flashfiction

Surprise, surprise, I waited to the last minute, but here it is. Hope you like it.

He Knew It; I Knew It

No one saw what happened, but I did.

He knows I saw, but he doesn’t care. He knows I have no voice and he knows about my spells. He knows no one would believe me even if they did take the time read my handwritten statement with is childlike lettering.

I can’t help being what I am. I was born this way. I can’t help that sleep doesn’t always come so easy for me. And I can’t help that I was out digging for worms to put in my tank the night Larry turned dangerous.

It had just stopped raining and the ground was soft and sponging. The perfect time to pluck out worms, causing them little harm, and the perfect time to drag a body around. One sweep of the garden hose and the evidence would disappear with all the other mud and leaves that the rain washed away.

I tried to hide myself as he passed by, huffing and straining against the heft of the body. He never would have seen me had I remained behind the bush, but something caught my eye and I could ignore it. I ran out and scooped it up. That’s when he grabbed me by my hair and pulled me to my feet.

Tears ran down my face and my fists clenched in agony. When looked into my eyes and saw my silent scream, he dared to chuckle, but quickly silenced himself. He dropped me to the ground. “No one can hear your scream, stupid mute girl. No one will come to your rescue if I end you right here.”

I curled in the fetal position and protected my jar of worms from the point of his boot. Vomit spewed from my mouth when the blow hit my stomach. He ran for the hose and sprayed the evidence away, dousing me just for fun.

He walked to put the hose away as I rocked in my cradle of protection, hoping this was the end of my pain. Hoping that he’d simply kill me or leave me there to pass out. When I heard birds chirping and sensed a brightness behind my lids, I knew he’d spared me.

I opened my eyes to let the sun burn away my sleepiness. I could hear the morning nurse, Samone, screaming for help as her heavy feet thudded toward me. “Oh Clara. Oh Clara, what are you doing out here? Are you hurt? You’ll catch your death.”

She tossed a blanket over me and rubbed my head. Soon Terence followed and scooped me up. “What happened Miss Samone?”

“I don’t know. Looks like she was collecting worms again.”
“I’m sorry I wasn’t on duty last night.” Terence winked at me and slowed his pace as he turned a corner, so as not to bang my head. “I never would have let this happened if I had been.”

Samone was livid. “Don’t know if you could have stopped her. This one is stubborn. Seems the harder I try to keep her safe, the more harm she causes herself.”

Terence placed me down on a cot and two more nurses rushed in to tend to my cleaning and injuries. One of them called out, “Go get her note pad. See if she can tell us what happened.”

Terence began to step out of the room, but I kicked my feet and shook my head. I stared at him, willing him to look my way. He paused a moment, leaning his head as if baffled by my sudden outburst. Then he looked me in the eyes.

I blinked as fast as I could and extended the jar still wrapped in my arms. Terence smiled at me and stepped forward. “It’s okay Clara. I’ll put them in your room.” He slid the jar out of my hand and I exhaled. “Get better so you can take care of these little guys.”

After Terence left, a note pad was shoved into my hands as my soiled clothes were ripped away and warm soapy water washed across my skin. Samone grasped my hand, “Clara, tell us what happened.” Despite her strict rules and military-like marching about, Samone really did care about each and every one of her patients. I hated to see her so worried over me. I was happy to tell her exactly what had happened, but then he walked past the exam room.

He stood there, outside the window, with a broom in his hand pretending to clean the floors. I couldn’t stop myself from reacting. I flinched and kicked my feet again. Samone became agitated with not having the answers she sought. Leaving the other nurses to finish my clean up, she ran out the room and retuned shortly with a needle. It was time for me to calm down whether I want to or not.

After I was calm and fully treated, Samone asked me again what happened. Again he was there, outside the window of my room. Surely his shift was over. Did no one else wonder why the Larry, the night custodian was still hanging around? Under his scrutiny, I couldn’t tell the truth.

I wrote slowly, “I fell on the ground and hit a rock.”

Samone rubbed my head, clearly blinking to hold back tears. “You were collecting worms, weren’t you?”

I shook my head.

“Why, why do that alone in the middle of the night? What if you had an episode and suffocated in the mud?”

I nodded my head, “I couldn’t sleep. I’m sorry.”

After a while, Samone left me to attend to other patients. Larry walked by my room few more times that day before finally heading home. A week went by and Larry was starting to act smug, no doubt thinking no one would ever find out. None of the other nurses or staff could explain why Gail had stopped coming to work, but she was new and they all agreed that this wasn’t the right job for every nurse.

One Saturday afternoon I convinced Terence to play cards with me in the kitchen. We programmed my communication board to say ‘go fish’ and “you got any…”, then all I had to do is hold up the card I wanted. Terence and I had played the game a lot and figured a single suit of cards for me to use as choice options was the best way to go.

As we played, Ron the handy man came through to fix one of the drawers that had gotten stuck at some point during the week. It held all the specialty utensils for grilling, and with family day coming up, we’d surely need those.

Only partially paying attention to my game, I watched Ron out the corner of the eyes as he banged on the drawer trying to loosen it. Finally, the drawer snapped out and fell to the floor with a crash. Then Ron yelp.

“Oh my God!”

Terence was already on his feet, standing in front of me protectively. “What it is Ron?”

“Look what’s in the back of the drawer.”

Terence patted my shoulder and then stepped toward the drawer. Just then Samone and Larry came rushing in from the hallway, each just starting their evening shift. There it was; even with the sparkly new engagement ring missing, the moon shaped birthmark gave it away.

Terence yelled, “I think it’s Gail’s finger. Gail’s finger is in the back of the drawer.”

Samone covered her mouth and gasped. She blinked a few times and then pulled out her cell phone. “I’m calling the cops. I hope no one here has anything to hide.”

Larry stared daggers into the back of my head, but I didn’t bother turning around to look at him. He knew I’d done it; just like I knew he’d done it.

1306 words – He Knew It; I Knew It © Toinette J. Thomas 2017



Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#IWSG February 2017: “Being a writer changes how you read” & my #YouTube channel.

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

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Being a writer has turned me into a hungry reader. I used to just read to escape and or enjoy a good story. Now when I read, I want more. I want to be inspired. I want to learn. I want to see what does and doesn’t work. I want to experience the stories, good or bad, to better my own writing.

I still read for pure enjoyment, but now I also read for review and critique. I find that while I’m more critical over plot, character, and world development, I’ve become more compassionate about all the technical stuff. I don’t ignore or make excuses for outright bad writing and poor editing, but I recognize how difficult it is to find good, reliable, and affordable editing services as an indie; and don’t get me started on critique partners and support groups. Anyone can call him or herself a writer, but to be a good writer- to be an author- it takes determination and creativity that not everyone has.

Being a writer has made me truly respect all the books I’ve always loved. If you’d like to know more about my thoughts on reading, please consider following this blog (I post reviews twice a month) and checking out my You Tube channel.

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Has being a writer changed your reading experience?
Live in or near Hampton Roads? Please check out my giveaway on the side panel.

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Misha Gericke,
LK Hill,
Juneta Key,
Christy, and
Joylene Buter!!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #69).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 18- “What does retirement look like for you?”

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: ““What does retirement look like for you?”

In many ways this is a simple question for me to answer, but then there two different ideas of retirement I hold dear, so…

First, I’d like to retire from a traditional day job and be able to write and or create full-time. I dream of being able to wake up some time after 7:00 am and walk my dog. I’d have a light breakfast and a quick shower before putting on sweatpants and a t-shirt as I sit to write or work on other creative projects. The entirety of my day would be a combination of dog-walking and food breaks as I create. I’d travel and create without the stress of knowing that I have a job to get back to.

Second, I imagine a time when a few smart investments would allow me to have a hobby farm. All the animals on the farm would have jobs to do, whether farm labor or therapy animal, none of them would need to work too hard. I’d bake and make preserves to sell at farmers’ markets and then give the proceeds to whatever cause is most dear to my heart at the moment.

So, not sure if that’s much of a retirement for some, but it’s what I’ve got in mind.

If you’re up for it, please check out my blog tour where hosts get to praise teachers and promote books that have made a difference in their lives.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I wonder what cool things others have in mind.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords
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#IWSG November 2016: What’s so great about being a writing & supporting #teachers.

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: What is your favorite aspect of being a writer?

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Considering I mostly write fiction, I’d say I love the fact that I get to make stuff up to express thoughts, ideas, and more. I like that I can write stories that I want to read, even if I do need lots of help perfecting them for public consumption. But, at my very core, writing is something I have to do to feel complete. Even if I never published anything, I think I’d still be writing. Writing just for writing sake and providing myself with something to read is the best thing about being a writer.

I will say, though, I also like the fact that writing has opened me up to new and welcoming communities of like-minded people. It’s nice to now have a community of readers who also like to write… And, I love how much more involved I’ve become in supporting others since I started writing. It’s not like I didn’t care or give to certain causes before I started writing, but I feel like I give more now. I usually give whatever I would normally give, plus I always seem to be getting involved in fundraisers for causes where I donate my books.

Even now, I’m running a giveaway of my own to support classroom teachers with cash for their class. If you want to know more click here. In an effort to spread the word, I’m also putting together a blog tour where authors and bloggers get to share how books and teachers have made a difference in their life. If you are interested in supporting a classroom teacher, please consider joining my very simple blog tour.

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What do you like about being a writer?
Will you consider my blog tour or giveaway?
Also, check out my side panel to see the trailers I made for my new children’s books.

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Joylene Nowell Butler,
Jen Chandler,
Mary Aalgaar,
Lisa Buie Collard,
Tamara Narayan,
Tyrean Martinson, and
Christine Rains!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #71).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#IWSG October 2016: When is your story ready, in case you missed it, & #book drive donations.

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Created and hosted by the Ninja himself, Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writers Support Group posts the 1st Wednesday of every month. Click the image to learn more or sign up.

Monthly Question: When do you know your story is ready?

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The smarta$$ in me wants to ask the question, “ready for what?” When is your story ready for sharing, ready for editing, ready for publishing? Who knows… I guess, for me, this question is asking when is your story ready to be shared with others, whether on a blog, in a message to a select few, or with an editor in preparation for publication.

This is a tough one. I don’t always know in the same way for each story. Sometimes the story is ready only after it’s been self-edited enough. Sometimes it’s ready when the story feels complete and satisfying in a way that I no longer feel I need to add to or improve. Sometimes the story is ready when I’m tired of working on it. It really depends on the story and where I am emotionally.

And now on to the updates and in case you missed it.

This blog has been through so many changes over the years and I’m not in a place where I want it to change again, but it may have to. Some of the blog hops I participate in are either ending or changing and I’m feeling anxious. My movie review hop is ending, but I’m still going to try to review one movie a month. I feel like the love of cinema is an important part of me and my creative process that I should share with anyone who might want to know something about me from reading this blog. Also, the Question of the Month and Flashback Friday host has decided to walk away from those hops for good and personal reasons. I’ll miss him and am curious to see what direction these hops will take now that he’s seeking replacements. I threw my name in the hat, but I’d be happy with whoever he chooses. I just want these hops to continue. I really enjoy them.

So…now… let me choose my words wisely. Amazon(dot)com and I had a bit of a tiff recently. I’m seriously considering publishing my email correspondence with them as a free PDF download on this blog for anyone who’d like to read them. They are shocking, sad, and terrifying all at once. If you want to know the summary of our tiff, check out the article I wrote about it last week, by clicking the image below.

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I mentioned it before and here’s the results. I’ve updated all my books and am ready to release my children’s books on my birthday. If you have a moment, please enjoy my unboxing video.

And last but not least, I’m trying a wacky campaign that may not go anywhere, but since I’ve only shared it with family and friends so far (I don’t count Twitter), I won’t feel too bad if no one supports it. I’m used to my family and friends ignoring anything involving my writing, excluding my mom and a handful of others who are my biggest supporters. Again, if you have the time, I’d love for you to check out my campaign video.

Don’t say it enough; thanks bunches for visiting this blog and reading my babble.

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When is your story ready?
Do you handle unwanted change well?
Ever had a tiff with Amazon? Should I publish my emails?
Any thoughts on my new children’s books?

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After hanging out with Alex, be sure to stop by and visit this month’s co-hosts:
Beverly Stowe McClure,
Megan Morgan,
Viola Fury,
Madeline Mora-Summonte,
Angela Wooldridge, and
Susan Gourley!

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Click here to visit other IWSG blogs and sites to receive and share more inspiration and support. (This month, I’m #71).

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords