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Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady

Author

suespitulnik

I am a retired grandmother that grew up in western New York state, left for 25 years, and am now back in the area. I happily live with my husband and two cats. I am pro-military, food, family, and quilting. I am con-exercise, insulting commercials, and lack of common sense. My hope is to have the pile of paper on my desk become a book store novel that will make you laugh, cry, and perhaps, inspire you to make some changes in how you think.

An Exciting Invitation

“Tessa, remember Ben, the double amputee I worked with?” Michael asked. “He’s doing great now he’s paired with a yellow lab named Buttercup who was trained in a prison by a guy named James.”

“I didn’t know they released trainers’ names.”

“They don’t. The guys had a chance meeting after James got out when he recognized Buttercup. Ben and friends are building tiny houses for homeless vets in Kansas City and want to start a dog training school. Ben asked James to train more trainers. They want me to come talk about second chances.”

“I’m going too.”

“Excellent idea!”

Written in response to Charli Mills May 16, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about when a newly released prisoner meets the disabled veteran who adopted the puppy the prisoner trained behind bars. The prompt is based on the short story I wrote for Marsha Ingrao’s Story Chat. Yes, rewrite my story in your words, 99, no more, no less. Go where the prompt leads!

Taking on the Best

Tessa sat in the warm sunshine on their deck, hand sewing the binding on her latest quilt. She reminisced about the good times in her teens when she and her mother enjoyed scratch cooking and sewing together. Then she wondered why her mother was so often critical of her these days. Her thoughts wandered to the time she spent with Michael’s mother and how she was much more patient, positive, generous, and willing to help whenever needed. The light bulb came on. Tessa felt she had adopted the best attributes of both women, and her mother might be jealous.  

Written in response to Charli Mills May 9, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a mom selfie — a story that creates an image of a mom. No one mom looks alike or fits a maternal mold. Who is she? Go where the prompt leads!

Extraction

Scott, the young vet that had begun tending bar at the No Thanks was a keen piano player. He enjoyed making up jazz tunes, so his was a totally different sound than the house band. One afternoon, he played the same main theme repeatedly, adding a few more bars of music each time. The whomping of the lower notes drew Mac in, so when Scott finally stopped, Mac asked, “What are you going to name that piece?”

Scott looked startled, like he had forgotten he wasn’t alone. “Extraction.”

Mac nodded. “You have the sound of the helicopters down pat.”

Written in response to Charli Mills May 2, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about extraction. What is being extracted and from where? Is it an idea? How does genre change the perspective (sci-fi versus romance)? Go where the prompt leads!

Emma is Walking

Lexi hadn’t brought Emma to Irish dance class lately, so it was a treat when they arrived at the end of rehearsal. Lexi carried her around to say hello. When they reached Michael, she said, “Follow us onto the dance floor.” He didn’t understand why but did as requested. Lexi set Emma down, and the group watched as she took a few unsteady steps to her Grandpa. Everyone clapped their approval, and Scott, now working at the bar, went to the piano and started playing “Up, Up and Away.” Michael changed the words to, “There’s no stopping her now!”

Written in response to Charli Mills April 25, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, “up and away.” You can imagine a story from the photo of hot air balloons, a flying superhero, a natural wonder, or any other direction your inspiration goes. Go where the prompt leads!

Mac’s Story – Part One

Join the Army they said

You’ll become a MAN

Little did “they” know

I became like a drop of water

In a pool of soldiers

Giving up identities

Losing our roots

Creating an everlasting bond

Running together

Thinking as one

We shipped out as a unit

To the jungles of Vietnam

Heavy survival packs

Weighted down with ammo

We followed orders

Though we didn’t believe

We ate little

We slept little

We had no baths

Why are we here

Go take the mountain

We moved as droplets

Seeing when the water falls

It doesn’t run clear. It runs RED

Mac’s Story – Part Two

I survived the mountain

And others after that

My comrades fell

Running red

I had the chance to love

Producing a beautiful son

Unaccepted by his grandfather

We were sent away

My survival was for him

Our own country turned on us

The caring lady Nan was not deterred

She loved us both

Shunning the scoffers

We opened our lives

Helping other veterans

Looking for no thanks

A vacation to Niagara Falls

One winter season

Went terribly wrong

Red lights shining on water

Sent my mind spinning

To horrible killing fields

I barely survived

I’m sorry. I hate waterfalls

Written in response to Charli Mills April 11, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story using the phrase, water falls. Where is the water coming from? How does it shape a story? Who does it involve? Go where the prompt leads!

A Central Park Caper

Michael and Tessa stopped in a bakery and bought two huge croissants. They then went out into the sunshine and hailed a carriage to take them to Central Park, where they got dropped off. Finding an empty bench near the turtle pond, they sat to people watch. Michael set the bakery bag on the ground. They became so engrossed enjoying the noisy children making a fuss over the turtles and ducks they didn’t notice a Mama duck steal their bag. Tessa heard paper tearing, turned to look, and exclaimed, “I guess the ducklings are going to eat our lunch.”

Written in response to Charli Mills April 4, 2022, prompt at Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story to explain “baby ducks ate my lunch.” How did that happen? Who is the protagonist? Where did the baby ducks come from? Go where the prompt leads!

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