The Numbers Whisperer, Nicole Fende: Nicole Fende Interview (click to read print ready PDF)
Just for Fun:
I call these Short with a Twist and write them for the pure pleasure of it. They start with a short prompt, are under 500 words and have a twist at the end – the more surprising the better. I hope you enjoy them!
The Weather was Closing In
The weather was closing in on the small cottage but it was the least of Sue and Charlie’s problems.
They had come to the little house, hardly more than a shack, by the side of a beautifully desolate beach hidden in a tropical jungle at the insistence of Charlie’s office buddy who let them borrow it.
After flying to the small island on a plane that Sue thought came straight out of a movie, they found an ancient rusting Volkswagen beetle waiting at the air strip, a newly hewn clearing in a field, with the keys in the ignition and the fuel gauge on empty.
Sue was a little worried, “You know, we haven’t seen anyone else on this island and the pilot just left.”
“Oh, don’t be so fussy,” Charlie said. “You know Steve wouldn’t have sent us here if it wasn’t safe.” He hoisted their luggage into the front of the bug, closed the lid and tied it shut with the rope that snaked through the hole where the handle was missing – sacrificed long ago to some auto parts cannibal.
“Besides, look at how beautiful this place is; I can’t wait to see the beach, let’s go,” Charlie turned the key and the car sputtered awake. They set off on the only track available through the wall of trees, shrubs and vines toward the vacation cottage they had been promised.
Arriving at the opening that marked the end of the road, Sue and Charlie were speechless for a moment at the beach that was theirs alone. They rummaged in their luggage and hurried into swim suits to take advantage of the lowering sun.
It was pitch black and the wind was gaining strength with the smell of a storm when they finally made their way back from the warm silky water. Charlie dredged a flashlight out of his bag so they could see their way into the ramshackle building. “Damn it, where’s the light?”
“I didn’t see any power lines on the way here,” Sue said.
“Steve said we’d have everything we need for the time we’d be here,” Charlie said. “I can’t believe he would have sent us out here with no power.” He swung the light around and a table set for dinner came into view. “See, I’ll bet there’s just a fuse blown somewhere.”
“Charlie, listen.” They turned to the open door where they could make out the white sand path in the faint light from the sky. Sue had just enough time to scream as she realized who the table was for.
Somewhere a Bell was Ringing
Somewhere a bell was ringing, constantly, uselessly. Layla raised her head to listen and snapped her book closed.
“Damn that bell,” she muttered as she walked to the window to look over to the neighbor’s dock where the offending bell hung from a pier post. Someone, likely their sloppy teenager, had left the pull rope loose and the high wind was relentlessly battering the shapely bell.
Layla hadn’t met the new residents of the sprawling old house next door but they seemed pleasant. They were a quiet family and didn’t go out much but they were friendly and waved at her when they passed. The boy looked sullen but he always smiled at Layla.
She strained to make out the bell on the post through the rain sheeting past but couldn’t find it in the dark. “Oh well, I guess they’ll get it when the weather clears,” she sighed. “I’ll have to listen to it all night.”
A white flash and cracking bolt made Layla start back from the window. Then she knew: the ringing was inside with her.
Mary was fed up with Bob
Mary was fed up with Bob and his attitude. He was always strutting around showing off. Sure, he was good looking and all male, but he was so arrogant about it.
Mary tried to ignore him as she went about her business, but he made it difficult with his cocky attitude. When he came near her, she asked him, “Who do you think you are?”
He just turned his head and gave her a look that said, “The best thing that’s ever happened to you.” Then, he sauntered off to impress the next lady.
One day, Mary watched Bob strolling around and decided to do something about him. She picked up a large knife and honed it a few times to make sure it would do the job.
Mary walked softly towards Bob. She came up close behind him and Bob had just enough time to let out a surprised squawk and that was all. Roosters can be tough but they do make a nice dumpling stew.
Leroy called it Luck
The boys down at the corner store called it a near miss but Leroy called it luck. It was around 2:30 on a foggy morning when he and the Missus were tumbled out of bed by a bright flash and a huge explosion that shook the ramshackle farmhouse. Leroy snatched up his shotgun from by the door and stumbled out to the rickety porch.
His mouth dropped open as he looked at the steaming glowing rock that sat where the corner of his living room used to be. After putting out the fire, Leroy plopped down on the old porch rocker to survey the damage and have a beer.
The Missus stomped out to see what was taking him so long. Her mouth dropped open too but then it kept opening and closing as she kicked up a bigger ruckus than the rock had made. Finally, her face as red as the rock in the living room, she looked at Leroy and yelled, “What’re you gonna do about it?”
Leroy swallowed and said, “Nothin’ to do, I’m just gonna leave it.”
“My Momma told me you weren’t gonna amount to much,” she said, “and she was right.”
The Missus whipped around, huffed into what was left of the house, packed and left Leroy that morning. He’s kept the rock as a souvenir ever since.
(click title for PDF summary)
“Let’s Crochet!” Kalmbach Publishing, 2009.
“Let’s Knit!” Kalmbach Publishing, 2008.
“Knit & Crochet Combined,” Kalmbach Publishing, 2007.
(click images to view full size)
Hobby Farm Home Magazine
Farm Fetishes Column, “Vintage and Antique Cake Stands”, Sep/Oct 2011:
Hands On Column, “Pretty and Practical Aprons”, Sep-Oct 2011:
Feature Article, “Pride of Ownership, Heirloom-quality property record,” Mar-Apr 2011:
Feature Article, “DIY Yogurt,” Jan-Fab 2011:
Feature Article, “Starting Your Own Home Business?” Jan-FEb 2011:
Project, “Herb Sachets,” Summer 2011:
Feature Article, “Garden Sundials,” Spring 2011:
Project, “Copper Plant Markers,” Winter 2010-2011: