She Wrote What?

She Wrote What?

She Wrote What?

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A Shattered Existence

August 3, 2012

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An Excerpt From: A Shattered Existence

By ALICIA MCLEOD

Sleep was all I had been able to do for days. Who would have thought that a vacation, which was meant to be relaxing, could exhaust someone this much. My friends and I had just gotten back from a trip to Costa Rica. I had wanted to lay on the beach for the whole week we were there, but I ended up being dragged from activity to activity by my friends. I am not an incredibly fit person, so the strenuous activities like white water rafting, hiking and cliff jumping were quite exhaustive.

I was using the weekend of our return from paradise to fully relax and recuperate. I was allowing myself to drift in and out of sleep on the plush, worn-in couch in my living room. I rarely dreamed, but today was a major exception. The dream I had was indeed a strange one, because if I didn’t know any better I might think I was still awake. I was on my couch, just as in real life, but I was awake and staring down the hallway towards the bedrooms. What happened next ensured me that I was in fact dreaming, even though it felt so real. An apparition appeared in the spare bedroom doorway and began to drift down the hall toward me. It was hard to make out, due to the fact that it was quite opaque, but I could make out enough of the features to be able to tell that it was a middle aged man. There was no discernible body, it was more like a smoky, shapeless wisp. The face was quite handsome, even though it was colorless. The grey scaled features were easy to make out. His eyes, although lacking color, were like deep pools of black ink and expressed a profound sadness. They were quite beautiful and I held his gaze, spellbound. I wasn’t afraid, even though this was obviously a paranormal encounter and I had never experienced anything like it before.

The ghost floated toward me and hovered above the couch, staring down at me. He lowered himself down on me and began to caress my body; All I felt was a cool breeze, chilling me and causing goosebumps to pop up all over my skin. The spirit began to make love to me! At this point I was simultaneously afraid and excited. Something about the whole encounter felt so sensual and was so unique, that it had stuck with me even long after I awoke.

Over the next few weeks I thought about the dream, and the spirit of the man, frequently. I was ready to store it in my memory bank, one strange, lucid dream to reflect on from time to time, but something happened that wouldn’t allow me to.

This story will be continued and available to read in a future, printed anthology of a collection of short stories. Future notifications about the publication of this anthology will appear on this site, as they become available.

Travel Culture Magazine Article

July 31, 2012

One of my articles was published today. You can read ‘A Hidden Gem in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula’ in Travel Culture Magazine, follow the link below.

www.travelculturemag.com

Lucky Girl

July 26, 2012

Lucky Girl

By ALICIA MCLEOD

Ok calm down. It’s just a lottery ticket; a few numbers. A few numbers shouldn’t be scary, should they?

I look down in disbelief at the slightly crumpled ticket in my hand. It is just a lottery ticket, I tell myself again. There are just so many thoughts and fears racing through my head.

Could there be a mistake? Maybe, it’s a definite possibility. Yes, there has been a mistake. People like me just don’t win the lottery.

Who should I tell? Should I even tell anyone? What should I do next?

I close my eyes with a sigh and start to evaluate. The jackpot is 7.3 million  dollars. Did I win it all or just a portion? Perhaps there will be a huge party, sponsored by the lottery corporation; and I’ll get to meet loads of interesting people, and the others who will share the jackpot. Maybe one of them will be a handsome, single, young man; just as helpless as me, and the two of us can go on a mad spending spree.

I open my eyes and look down at the ticket one more time. As my eyes scan it, I realize that nobody in the world deserves this more than me. I have had such a run of bad luck lately, and come to think to think of it this has got to be fate.

I stand up and shove the ticket into my jeans pocket. Ruddy, ripped, old jeans — first purchase will be a new, very expensive, designer wardrobe. I can barely contain my excitement.

Honeymoon in Orlando

July 26, 2012 2 Comments

Honeymoon in Orlando

By ALICIA MCLEOD

With the potential for affordability, excitement and just plain fun, Orlando is a popular honeymoon destination. Couples looking for a truly relaxing vacation however, may want to try elsewhere. If a whirlwind vacation full of activity packed days and fun with the screaming masses is indeed your idea of a dream vacation, then the following may provide some tips on how to get the most of your trip.

My new husband and I chose Orlando for fun, sun and romance. We thought that the theme parks, especially visited without children, would be thrilling, easy-going and exciting. However, since spending ten days in one of America’s most visited cities, we now realize that it is a dream family destination and not ideal for couples. The weather was incredibly hot and muggy, the lines were long and the food was fast and sub-par. But it must be said that amongst these downfalls there were some smiles to be had during Disney’s magic hours and at Universal Studios.

If you are taking this trip to visit Disney World and Universal Studios take advantage of the perks that appeal to adults, offered by both. First at Disney, their magic hours are offered daily to all guests of any Disney resort. Magic hours are extended theme park hours, in which one of the four Disney World theme parks open two hours early, or stay open two hours later. The ability to stay until one in the morning at the Magic Kingdom, and avoid the crowds, was a trip highlight. At Universal Studios they offer an Express Pass, which allows holders to bypass the main line-up for most attractions, which makes things at this park far more enjoyable as you spend your days on rides being cooled by wind and water, instead of sweating buckets in line-ups. The one downfall of Universal’s Express pass is the price which is about $60.00 – $100.00 per person, depending on the day, whether you purchase online or at the park and whether or not there is a special. Another Express pass will need to be purchased if you want the same benefits at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. The Express pass line-ups tended to be a lot shorter, and this was during peak season, with the majority of attendees at the parks not willing to shell out the dough. Another plus at Universal is their CityWalk which is full of shopping and restaurant options, doesn’t cost to access, and is more geared towards adults. CityWalk also offers many nightlife options from clubbing to karaoke, so you can shop for a new outfit, have dinner at somewhere other than a hot-dog stand, and cap off the night with a few cocktails.

A few must see and do’s in Orlando, when indulging in the adult theme park based trip, include the thrill rides which abound at Universal but are few and far between at Disney, the Wild Animal Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and tasting beer from around the world at Disney’s Epcot. In only three of the theme parks at Disney do they have “thrill” rides, these are, Everest at Animal Kingdom, Space Mountain and Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom, and Rock ‘N’ Rollercoaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I purposefully left out the Tower of Terror, as it failed to invoke any feelings of terror in myself, my husband, or the six year old girl beside us. The Wild Animal Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a guided tour that lasts three hours, resembles a private safari, includes my favorite lunch of our vacation, and fun goodies like a photo cd and take home water bottle, that make guests feel special. Some of the animals you see on this excursion are crocodiles, hippos and buzzards, and all are seen a lot closer than if you were to wait in line and do the free with park admission Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction. As it was for the Express pass at Universal’s parks, this too is an activity hindered by cost. The cost varies seasonally, starts at $189 and does not include admission to the park which is required to attend the trek. Epcot offers samplings of food and drink from many countries, and it is the opinion of this newlywed that a vacation to Orlando isn’t a vacation without a sampling of beer from each. This is a fun way to enjoy an afternoon and forget about the oppressive heat, just be sure to bring your wallet as each beer will be in the six to eight dollar range.

The world’s best honeymoon destination? No, far from it. A unique vacation if you have energy and are willing to open your pocketbook? Yes, and could be made more fun if done with a group of friends and during a sale.

Part One of an Ongoing Series – Fantasy Flash Fiction

July 26, 2012 1 Comment

Fantasy Flash Series Part One

By ALICIA MCLEOD

Colette crept into her brother’s bedchamber quiet as a mouse. It would be her head if anyone found her out of bed at this hour. The moonlight shone softly through the window creating shadows on the wall. She wondered if the shadows would punish her if they knew what she was doing. Suddenly she was at her older brother’s bedside. She brushed the long brown hair out of her eyes, ignoring the film of sweat that had formed on her brow. The bed was tall and she had to stand on her tiptoes to see Cadby’s face. They were four years apart, she eight and him twelve. He looked so peaceful and for a moment she almost lost her nerve. Colette reached into her pocket to grab the vial, and her shifting arm allowed the moonlight to pass by and land on her sleeping brother’s face. There it was, the bain of her existence, her brother’s soft blonde curls laid softly on the pillow highlighted by the glow of the moon. His lovely blonde hair that was so different from her own. She remembered why she was standing there and clenched her fist tightly around the vial in her pocket. She drew the vial out and opened it slowly. The liquid inside had no taste or smell. Just do it quickly and it will be over, she told herself as she raised the vial to her brother’s lips. Praying silently to herself that he wouldn’t wake up, she began to pour the poison down her brother’s throat.

Part Two of an Ongoing Series – Fantasy Flash Fiction

July 26, 2012

Fantasy Flash Series Part Two

By ALICIA MCLEOD

Colette was nervously smoothing her sweaty palms over her skirts. Finally Prince Jakoi placed his hand firmly over hers, trapping it on her thigh. She turned to him and forced a smile, using her free hand to flick a golden strand of hair out of her bright green eyes. Prince Jakoi’s father, King Lance Torothean stood up from the royal throne in the middle of the dais.
“I bid all of you welcome.” The king bellowed to the lords, ladies and common people collected in the throne room. His voice matched his girth and his round stomach shook under the black and gold tunic as he spoke. Colette, started to tremble slightly and the prince tightened his grip on her hand.
“Today is an eventful one.” He continued. “My son’s betrothed has arrived from the southern Kingdom of Koth, and this evening is the royal wedding. I bid you all welcome to sit and sup at my royal table, and to celebrate this joyous union.” The King lowered his massive body back into the ornate throne.

Fifth Avenue

July 26, 2012 1 Comment

Fifth Avenue

By ALICIA MCLEOD

The circular bedroom smells of Chanel #5 and soft lighting casts shadows on the beige, lace-flocked walls. Georgina hurries over to the massive walk-in closet, noting on her way that she only has thirty minutes to get ready before dinner. The closet is more like a small sitting room and contains a beautiful make-up settee; A print of Monet’s Woman in a Garden hangs on the wall between the racks of clothing. Georgina sways into the closet and sweeps her hand across a row of gowns. Chambray, venetian lace, velour, silk and an array of other fabrics are all present. Every gown specially chosen for a different occasion, every one made using only the most exquisite textures and colors and every one designer. Georgina’s beautifully polished hand brushes over a Dior gown made of silk. The color is cerulean and the dress has only a minor ruffled detail across the bodice. Elegance through simplicity. She carefully lays the garment over one arm, walks with ginger finesse and places it on the bed. It looks gorgeous lying there on the golden bedspread. Accessories are next and Georgina knows just the thing to complement the gown. Stepping over to the make-up settee, she reaches inside a mahogany jewellery box and pulls out a luscious set of white-as-snow pearls. She then grabs some ivory Manolo’s , thinking that they aren’t that important because they won’t be seen anyway, but noting the daintiness of the straps as they hang over her fingers, they too are gorgeous. This whole process makes Georgina feel like a princess, a regal beauty out of a fairy tale. Most of all it makes her feel inherently feminine. She has a slightly difficult time wiggling into the dress, as the fit is the one thing that has never been perfect. Once on, she fumbles with the zipper and after some time gets it all the way done up. She then lays the pearls around her neck and latches the clasp. Now for make-up and hair. The curling iron has already been left to heat up in the en-suite bathroom and Georgina heads back into the closet to apply her make-up. Blackest-black mascara, mauve blush and lipstick the color of strawberries is on the menu. She applies all three with meticulous delight and stares into the mirror at the finished product. Thinking that it needs something, she adds black eyeliner to finish the look and smiles. Her stomach flutters with joy, she couldn’t be happier. In the bathroom, she adds a few curls to her chestnut coloured hair. Georgina then slips into her Manolo heels and heads over to the full length mirror for one final gaze. Her eyes well up with tears and she poses a number of ways, unable to contain her jubilation. She wishes she were in front of a camera. She begins to belt out Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares to You, and dance around like a giddy school girl. Footsteps are heard on the landing downstairs and Georgina stops singing mid verse. She rushes to the bathroom, grabs a tissue and frantically begins to wipe the lipstick off her mouth. A quick glance at the ornate gold clock hanging above the dresser tells her that her thirty minutes were up awhile ago. ‘Shit.’ She says, a quiver in her voice. Footsteps coming up the stairs now. A voice in the hall. Georgina can’t quite make out what is being said. She kicks off the heels, snatches them up and rushes into the closet to put them back, all the while fumbling with the zipper on the back of the gown. ‘George? George is that you? Are you home already?’ A woman’s voice calls out, muffled through the bedroom door. Suddenly the knob turns and Georgina jumps with panic. She slams the closet door, not knowing what else to do. Moments later the door is opened and a frightened Georgina is standing there half clothed, her secret exposed. ‘George!’ The blonde haired woman screams. Georgina is no longer Georgina, she is a he and he is known as George. George is husband to the beautiful woman now standing in their bedroom closet above fifth avenue. He is frozen, terrified and doesn’t know what to do or say. He pulls off the remainder of the gown, and gingerly places it back on its hanger. His wife, Charlotte, just stands there watching him. She also does not know what to say, and instead of speaking she begins to sob. Nude, except for a bra and panty set that belongs to his wife, George makes his way over to Charlotte and embraces her. He too begins to sob and the two of them stay like that until they both have no tears left. George gingerly places his hand under Charlottes chin and raises her head so that she is forced to look into his eyes, she turns away. ‘What does this mean?’ She chokes. ‘I don’t yet know myself.’ He replies, his voice shaking. Charlotte wipes her mascara stained eyes, brushes the hair out of her face, wraps her arms around herself and makes her way over to the bed. She sits down with a sigh, the remainder of a sob is caught in her throat, and she buries her head in her hands. George’s heart is shattering inside of his chest as he watches his wife. He cautiously moves over to the foot of the bed and kneels at her feet. ‘I may not know entirely what this means Charlotte, but I am certain it has nothing to do with my love for you.’ He says gingerly. She looks up from her hands and her big green eyes are pools of sadness and confusion. She opens her mouth to speak but stops, at a loss. The room is filled with silence. Charlotte’s eyes widen, as though a flood of clarity and realization has entered her mind. She stands up, smoothes out her designer suit, once again wipes her eyes and turns to leave. On her way out the door, she turns around for one last glance at her pathetic husband. ‘A fine park avenue heiress succumbing to the public embarrassment of having a cross-dresser for a husband is so far beyond my realm of acceptability, I won’t even consider it for a moment longer. However, divorce in and of itself is just as detrimental regardless of if the public is made aware of the reasons why.’ A brief pause. ‘Even though I have been sufficiently wounded by this little…encounter…I have decided that the best possible outcome for the well-being of our family will be to pretend this never happened. Do you realize we have two small children downstairs at this very moment?!’ She stops herself again. Charlotte has limits when it comes to anger. Composure, sophistication and elegance are her calling card. The mere idea of an incident like the one that has just occurred in her bedroom, does not lie within the realm of her normal universe. ‘Take a look around George. Realize where you are. Realize how you got here. If it wasn’t for me, you would be…’ She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. ‘From now on only use the dresses I no longer wear.’ She says, her eyes still closed. She then walks out of the room leaving her husband on his knees at the foot of their bed wearing her bra and panties. George stands up slowly and walks over to the mirror. He allows his eyes to wander over every inch of his body. He fondles the pink lace of the bra he is wearing. He cups the fake breasts that he has created with tissue. A soft smile slowly emerges on his mascara stained face.