Monday, December 26, 2016

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and are ready for New Year’s!
This year I started tweeting and following some interesting individuals with a lot of information to share in regards to writing, teaching, and poetry. Feel free to follow me @m_a_Arana (or here on this blog) to learn about these individuals.

In the meantime, here are some suggestions of past posts to read or you could peruse the site for other posts:

Writing Endeavors: Revise ‘til you Bleed!

Pet News 6: Dog Triggers

Death as Metaphor 15: Dreams that Play Death and Violence

Monday, December 19, 2016

Teaching Moments 6: Thoughts on Autism

Children with Autism need routine and consistency in their environment and from what is expected of them. Here are some general tips from a good friend who teaches children with Autism:

·         be calm (really really important)
·         make smooth transitions (give 5-minute warning)
·         reinforce good behavior (sometimes use what they like)
·         give precise rules (what do you want the child to do? and provide a ‘first x, then y)
·         provide break areas (a safe place to calm down)
·         if an inclusion class, have a buddy system (with a responsible student to help)
·         see what triggers the behavior
·         parents and teachers need to read IEPs where goals and objectives are listed

Check out more tips at https://www.autismspeaks.org/

Monday, December 12, 2016

Books I’m Reading 28

Publish your Book: Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author by Patricia Fry. This book deals with the importance of promoting your book to how to get your manuscript ready for publication. A lot of great tips.

The Beauty by Jane Hirshfield is a collection of poetry. As you read, you feel as the poetry is whispered by the wind. Bery interesting formats, too.

Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes and Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli. The art and the myths provide a glimpse into the lives of these deities.


Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a memoir written in prose. The poetry lends itself to an easy read, but the way Ms. Woodson conveys those memories touch the soul of what it means to be human in an ever changing world.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Quote 22

“Besides love and sympathy, animals exhibit other qualities connected with the social instincts which in us would be called moral.”
-Charles Darwin


When I ran into this quote, I started thinking about how animals give positive feelings. They’re all about the moment and the next activity. They don’t hold grudges or bad mouth you for forgetting their snack. They love and love and love.
I’ve seen it with my pets. If they find me hurt, they lean into me and lick my hand to sympathize. If I forget to open the gate or take out their blanket, they nudge me to remind me and then they get a belly rub. They don’t ask for much. 
Notice that I used the word ‘forget’ a couple of times. That’s because I’m a writer. And what do writers do but sit and write and read. I’m grateful for their understanding. 
That’s why this Holiday season, I want to make sure I return the myriad gestures that would make them happy.
So, don’t forget your pets. Return the love and be as patient as they are. =)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Pet News 23: Great Books for Dog Lovers

The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet by Victoria Stilwell is a great source for info on dogs, such as info on their use of senses to their behavior, including quirky ones. The photographs are wonderful, too.

Stilwell asks that we never stop observing our dog’s behavior because it’s their language and we could build our relationship with them the more we understand the things they do.

Also recommended is to give them plenty of exercise and training. Training doesn’t have to stop after they’ve learned the basics as a puppy. keeping an agile mind is good. maybe show them a good trick, take them to training classes, take them on a hike or other.

Victoria Stilwell is CEO of Positively Dog Training (VSPDT), author of books and articles about dogs such as It’s Me or the Dog, has an Academy for Dog Training & Behavior, is editor-in-chief of Positively.com, and so much more!


Monday, November 21, 2016

I would like to wish everyone a wonderful Holiday!

Hope you spend it with family and friends this Thanksgiving and if you don’t celebrate, it’s still a great time to spend with family and friends.

Feel free to look back on previous posts, Popular Posts, or any of the suggestions here:





2016’s Short Stories & Such: Career Day http://rainingvoices.blogspot.com/2016_02_01_archive.html

Monday, November 14, 2016

Why I Write 12: Reminisce

The following is a writing prompt from Writer’s Digest from back in October 2012. See if you can answer it like I have done below.


Tell us the story of when you first realized that you needed to be a writer. Did it happen when you were young? Was it after you read a particular book? Etc.


I have written poetry for most of my life. Seldom did I write short stories, unless they were assigned by a teacher. However, I was told the stories had potential. At first, “potential” did not inspire me to be a writer. So I began reading about writing and after some coaxing, a good friend of mine suggested I write down the short story idea I’ve been sharing with her. She challenged me to get it down on paper. Thanks to her, I did, and the short story spiraled into my first novel.


Since then, I needed to be a writer. I joined a writing and poetry group, I’ve written drafts on the WD Daily prompts, I’ve finished some first drafts to novels, and I’ve kept writing ideas for future novels on file. Writing has become part of my life and I hope to one day take the title of “writer” and ingrain it on the wall so the doubts that cloud me disperse… well, I digress. I am querying agents at the moment and if all goes well, I hope to land a deal. If not, then, I can refine another novel and start again. Some authors have mentioned that most first novels never see the light of day. Though, I hope that won’t happen, I’m practical enough to keep going.  

Monday, November 7, 2016

Books I’m Reading 27

Pogue’s Basics: Life, Essential Tips and Shortcuts (that no one bothers to tell you) for Simplifying your Day by David Pogue. This book lists many tips from using a rubber band to grip open jars to removing garlic husks easier. There’s something for everyone to learn new.
Erratic Facts by Kay Ryan is a collection of poetry. It is a different form of poetry I found interesting.

Mother Poems by Hope Anita Smith is a collection of poetry about a child whose mother died and how she comes to terms with it. There’s one particular poem title: Give me an “M” that embodies the whole loss and how important it is to have a mother.


Poesía Completa by José Saramago is a collection of bilingual poetry in Portuguese and Spanish. A very interesting collection that is worth a read.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Quote 21

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.”
-A.A. Milne

When I read this quote, I automatically thought of my pets. One of them has a habit of ‘knocking’ on the slide door to remind me to provide a blanket or two. Another, lifts his paw during a walk so I could check what’s underneath before moving on. The other, makes multiple circles letting me know a seizure is coming on. Yep, it’s important to ‘listen’ to our beloved pets. 

But the quote isn’t only about our pets, it’s about all animals. They might not have a voice, but they do show us with their body language so we could hear. That’s where we fall short. As humans, we don’t quite understand most of those movements. The least we could do is try.

Have a safe Halloween. Keep your pets indoors. And listen to them. =)


Monday, October 24, 2016

Short Stories & Such 26: Inside the Old Box

The following prompt was given by Writer’s Digest on May 7, 2013. I didn’t get a chance to share it online, but I’m posting it here, but don’t hesitate to use the prompt for your own version to the story.
When I first wrote it, I had only dialogue, then, I went back and added some more details. I hope you enjoy=)

Prompt: 
You are at the neighborhood garage sale, looking for nothing in particular. Something inside an old, wooden box catches your eye. The old woman who is running the sale comes over to say something about the object. What is it? What did she say and why?


Inside the Old Box 

  “How many of these things are we going to go to?” Tony turned off the ignition and pulled the key out to fumble with the beads that were attached to its chain.

  “This one’s different, Tony.” Gretta grabbed the empty tote bag under her seat.

  “How’s this one different?”

  “For one, there aren’t a lot of customers and second, it’s a garage sale.”

  “Ho ho ho.” Tony pretended to be amused and, then, formed a lopsided grin. “A garage sale and a yard sale are the same thing, Gretta.”

  “You have no idea of the difference.” She shook her head and pinched his nose.

  “Fine, suit yourself, but I’m going to stay here with the windows down. You’ll find nothing to go with your antique shop. Trust me. All we’ve picked up is more junk to go in our garage! This hasn’t been a positive shopping spree.”

  “Oh, phew!”

  Tony shrugged his shoulders, but didn’t remove his seat belt.

  "I still love you when you're no fun." 

  Gretta stepped out of the car and crossed the street toward the garage sale. She looks through items as if eyeing nothing in particular. She rummaged through old clothes and old records. She turned to the car where Tony had propped the car seat back and sighed.

  Then, a spot opened up where the old books were. She picked up a children’s book on the Raggedy Doll Annie and browsed the pages. When she set it down, she caught a glimpse of the edge of a wooden box. She moved some books and placed both hands around it. She used her fingers to trace the impression on the top of the box. It looked like a shell used to be glued on it. The wood had faded and could use some polish. She knew exactly where she could get a flat shell to go with it.

  Right before she opened it, the old woman who ran the sale approached her and said, “I’ve been waiting for you.”

  Gretta raised her eyes. “Excuse me?”

  “The box has been lost for many years. It holds a secret about your great grandfather.”

  “What?”

  “He was a seaman.”

  “Y-yes, how do you know that?”

  “It’s written on your face.” The woman’s faded blue eyes twinkled. “You are Gretta.”

  “Yes, yes I am. Did you know my parents?”

  “Only in nightmares.”

  Gretta’s pulse quickened and she backed away from the old woman. She set the box down on the next table, but the old woman picked it up and opened it. She walked toward Gretta with an eerie pace, extending the box with her shrouded arm. Inside was a golden locket, an old pocket watch, a picture, and a note.

  The old woman handed the note to Gretta and gestured with her pointy chin to open it.

  Gretta unfolded it and straightened the paper. “I don’t understand?”

  “It is your destiny.”

  Gretta bit her lip and re-read the note. She surveyed the long hand, most probably written with a quill and black ink. Her eyes took in each word written. When she finished, the old woman was gone.

  She searched for her frantically, leaving the box and its contents on the table. No one seemed to see the woman and Gretta returned to the wooden box. She placed the note inside, left ten dollars with a young woman assisting other customers, and headed to the car.

  Tony yawned as Gretta climbed inside.

  “What did we get?”

  She handed the box to him with vacant eyes.

  He slowly reached for it with a raised eyebrow.

  “Read it.”

  Tony opened the box and picked up the blurry picture of a dark haired man with his arm wrapped around a young woman who looked like… Gretta. He set it down, dismissing it as her grandmother.

   He fancied the tarnished silver pocket watch, but the locket was very Victorian. He heard Gretta gulp and he set the items down. He then unfolded the note carefully. The paper was torn from the edges and the folded creases had a few holes.

“My dearest beloved Gretta,
I have reached the pier where we last met.
I await your arrival.
I’ve missed you with all my heart.
Love, James”

  Tony squint at the name on the greeting and turned to Gretta. “Say, what is this?”


  But Gretta had already put on the locket around her neck and was walking down the street in the direction toward the beach.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Art 11: Unfinished





It’s fun coming across drawings I had made a while back.
This particular Life Drawing was done during an art class I had in 1998.
The focus is obvious on this piece (and it was hard even getting it down), but that’s not what struck me as I reviewed the stokes I made for getting to this phase in my art.
I like the way the dark lines contrast sharply with the smudge that represents the spine. Negative space is used to make the body. The piece is unfinished due to running out of time for the pose, which is clearly evident on the arms and stool.
The more I viewed the drawing, the more I liked that it wasn’t finished and I came to feel proud of it. Then, I realized, I could transfer that feeling to my writing. If I don’t finish a scene, I could pick it up again at a later time.

I’ve picked up the art bug again, and I’m hoping to improve my shading. There’s always room to do more I suppose…

Monday, October 10, 2016

Books I’m Reading 26

Steering the Craft: A 21st-century Guide to Sailing the Sea of Story by Ursula K. Le Guin. Le Guin provides good writing tips and examples for POV differences.

Es un decir (translates to ‘It’s a saying’) by Jenn Diaz, a writer from Spain. The story is from the point of view of a young girl named Mariela who finds her father murdered on her birthday and who tries to find the answers as to why, but no one is giving them. She enters the adult world with blinders on and must learn to deal with the silence and, then, the truth. This is a great story and is similar to the novel I’m querying about father and son.

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountain: A tale of travel and darkness with pictures of all kinds by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Eddie Campbell. This is a full color illustrated book of a story Gaiman wrote a while ago. The story follows two men on a journey to a specific cave in the mountains of Scotland where neither man trusts each other. The ending is quite interesting.


The Islands Project: Poems for Sappho by Eloise Klein Healy. This poetry collection delves into the theme of Sappho as it relates to the poet’s life. If you haven’t heard of Sappho, it’s best to do a little research before reading this. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Teaching Moments 5: Pawing for Good Leaders

Some peers caution against comparing teaching proper behavior to students to good dog training, but I am using it here as a metaphor for what modeling and guiding good behavior requires. In both instances, patience and a drive to understand are at the heart of behavior. Asking what and why and how are also part of our job.

Here’s a quote from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Top Tips from Top Trainers (2010, 211):

“Teachers who are calm, patient, and encouraging usually have more success getting through to their students and earning their respect. Teachers who are demanding, out of control, and unfair are usually not successful in establishing trust and respect from their students, and they make them feel hesitant and self-conscious.” –Angie Kober

Here’s a list of things to keep in mind when answering the call to train/teach children:

be a good leader
understand they will make mistakes (and so will you)
help them learn from their mistakes (yours too)
be successful
be clear of what you want (or leads to a communication problem)
practice
be consistent
repeat
make it fun
teach positive behaviors and learn from each other

think: stop, take a breath and smile

Monday, September 26, 2016

Pet News 22: Senior Pets Mirror Seniors

It’s been said that as children, we are taught to be adults. In fact, we yearn to be adults and forget about being a child. Then, when we’ve got the gray and can’t do much on our own, we want to return to that child who could do all those things we loved.

The same can be said about our pets. If you have an older dog like I do, you could attest to this.
My senior dog has always been a feisty girl. She could knock down a large German Shepherd during play and get him into trouble with a wink regardless of her small size. Then, she stopped playing, not because she didn’t want to… she still played fetch and ran and did everything. It was the amount of time doing play that decreased. She was now a ‘lady’ and behaved accordingly.

As the years passed, our fourteen-year-old began to revert to that puppy stage where you had to train ‘sit’ and ‘wait’ and such. Sometimes, she pretended not to listen. Her stubbornness had always been there, but now it was twofold. We had to start over again and take the time to play and train for at least five minutes a day so as not to tire her. It was strange to see her behavior change this way. We read books and found that it’s normal.


What’s not normal, is limping, crying out in pain, not eating, constipation, etc. or a recent behavior problem. So, if you see behavior that’s not normal, that’s when you take your pet to the vet. We had to take our senior dog because she started being lethargic. Thankfully, it was something we could prevent from happening by supplementing more vitamins in her diet. The love and affection never stopped, which is something that should never stop with our aging family.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Why I Write 11: Live Life Write Now

Last week, I completed the first draft to my fantasy novel about a different race protecting Earth, and I realized that after many years practicing the craft of writing, I have finally got to a place where I can write at different times in the day. Especially since my day job hours vary, I can always find a time to write. Of course, there are times I cannot fathom a sentence, but the muse is still there.

Getting into the querying process is probably the hardest thing about aspiring to be an author. The waiting and waiting for some kind of response to the novel queried really digs deeper and deeper into your soul. So, I keep writing. Hoping that the next one would be better.

I write because it’s part of who I am. I can have many days without writing. It has nothing to do with writer’s block (if you believe in it). It has to do with life. We’re here for a short time and the least I could do is enjoy it by creating characters and situations so others may find a break in their lives.


p.s check out my latest published poems:

            “Road Atlas” @ http://www.jellyfishwhispers.com/2016_07_01_archive.html
            “Youth” @ http://voxpoetica.com/youth

Monday, September 12, 2016

Quote 20

“Inventing is the mixing of brains and materials. The more brains you use, the less materials you need.”

--- Charles F. Kettering, U.S. scientist and engineer (1876-1958)

I like this quote because it says a lot about what we are capable of if we only let ourselves. For example, learning to compute in our heads without calculators or learning to play without having to turn on a video game.

Inventing has a lot to do with thinking about our world and what will be useful, not just remove tasks to free ourselves from actually doing the work. Vacuuming burns calories, but if we let robots do all the work, we won’t remember how to do the most basic of needs.


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Labor Day Weekend!

Have a great Labor Day Weekend.
Be safe.

As always, feel free to peruse the site. Here are some suggestions:


or 2014’s Death as Metaphor 14

or 2015’s Short Stories 21: Follow that Man

or 2016’s Why I Write 10: News and Additions


Note: if you can’t find the post, type the title on the search bar within the blog and you’re there! Then, check out my twitter page for some friendly tips from WebMD and ASPCA for your pets.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Art 11: Doll (Untitled)

Here is a life drawing I did during an art class back in 2011.
It was a 15-minute pose of a tall model reclining on a chair.
I love the green pastel used and the doll-like lips.
There was an issue with the left arm and it could have used more shading, but I’m proud of the overall image. It’s rare for me to even say that, so I hope you enjoyed this piece.


Monday, August 22, 2016

Writer’s Workshop 19: Fiction Tips

Back in April, I attended the 8th annual Writer’s Weekend at MT. SAC. There were a lot of workshops such as art-related, poetry, and writing.
Here are a few things I learned for fiction from the Fiction Workshop with Christopher Allan Poe and Bonnie Hearn Hill:
  • ·         dialogue is important

-it lets you know character
-drives the plot
-helps us identify the protagonist and antagonist, which is conflict
  • ·         conflict is all about someone wanting A and someone wanting B (not only fists flying)

the goal of the character drives everything
  • ·         always keep learning about your craft: read, write, take classes
  • ·         before write ask: whose story is this? what does this person want? who stands in their way?

by answering these questions, you can build your pitch
  • ·        it’s okay to have multiple protagonists and antagonists, but there should be a MAIN on from each to keep focus
  • ·         consider outlining




Note: My poem, “Disneyland,” got published in Spectrum 6: Pick Up Sticks issue, August 2016.
The issue is filled with great poetry about being a child or about an event that happened in childhood. if interested for a copy, go to http://spectrumpublishing.blogspot.com



Monday, August 15, 2016

Quote 19

“Don’t struggle to be a better teacher than everybody else. Simply be a better teacher than you ever though you could be.”
--- Robert John Meehan, U.S. educator, author


When I read this quote, I thought, “Wait a minute. Teachers comparing each other leads to competition and a not so happy workplace. How is that even good?”

It’s not.

Teachers should collaborate with each other and work towards building student’s abilities and empathy.

I’ve heard stories that teachers should get paid based on the results they get from student scores, but how does that tell you about the whole child?

If teachers think about being better than last year, they can improve on what was a success instead of wondering if they’re better than the rest.


Isn’t that what we want students to feel, too? A pride for being who they are and doing the best they can with what they got, learning from their mistakes and improving?

Monday, August 8, 2016

Books I’m Reading 25

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Home: No-nonsense advice that would inspire you to clean like the dickens by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer is a collection of tips from cleaning the pantry to washing the rug using natural ingredients.

Yes! We are Latinos by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy is a book in which they take personal experiences of students and write poetry that encapsulates those experiences of being Latino in the United States of America. They also include a brief history about the worn torn countries and multiple migration of various groups in Latin American countries.

Flashes by Tim O’Rourke is a New Adult novel about a seventeen-year old, Charley, who can get glimpses into the last hours of a victim’s life and a nineteen-year old Police Constable, Tom, who is out to prove himself a good detective. They come together during a major case and learn to trust each other.

City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology, edited by Lawrence Ferlinghetti is a collection of various poets such as Allen Ginsberg, David Meltzer, Harold Norse, Marie Ponsot, and many others.


Note: My poem “Go and Come” was recently published on vox poetica! Check it out at http://voxpoetica.com/go-and-come/


Monday, August 1, 2016

Pet News 21: Urinary Infections and Tip

If your cat starts behaving differently than normal, it’s a sure sign something’s wrong and a trip to the veterinarian is important to rule out any major illnesses.
When my cat started showing symptoms of lethargy and a lack of motivation to play, I knew something was up. She wouldn’t follow me around and I immediately took her to the veterinarian. After some blood and urinary work, the results explained what I feared: crystals in the urine that may lead to kidney stones.
But that wasn’t the hard part. Administering the antibiotics took a lot of work. I solicited my sister’s aide because one had to hold the cat and the other had to deal with the mouth to squirt the substance. All this and still, my cat showed a small sign of crystal, so, we put her on a recommended prescribed diet. Of course, once on it, she couldn’t revert back to her original formula.
It wasn’t a total loss, my cat loved the food and is now pretty stable. No crystals. Cats can be finicky and picky, you know. If only she wouldn’t stress herself out so much, she’d be perfect again.
Later, my vet recommended Cranberry juice to be added to her food to help with her bathroom needs, making the transition of urine go smooth. Giving pumpkin puree also helps with the bathroom process. Dandelion is also a diuretic to promote urine flow.

Whatever you do, make sure you consult with your vet first. Like humans, not every treatment works the same way. We’re glad it helped my cat.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Short Stories & Such 25: Selling Your House

This story was written back in March 21, 2013 when Writer’s Digest had a writing prompt about selling your house. I never got the chance to post it. I was busy with my novel and I lost track of time. I unearthed it for you. I hope you enjoy it.


Selling Your House

Kaden thrust the market sign into the lawn on the front yard of the house. He grappled with it until it stood on its own. He stepped back, wiped his forehead, and took in the scenery before him. The gray roof tiles and the round windows on the second floor made the house different from the rest on the block. The sun hit the right side of the house causing the shade on the left to cover the neatly placed garden that led into the side door to the kitchen. He had been waiting for this moment for over six months. After his daughter left for college out of state, he finally agreed to sell the place since all the upgrades were complete. He worked night and day to make sure it was ready.

Kaden strolled on the red bricked walkway to the house, wiped his feet on the outside mat, and stepped inside. Before he closed the door completely, he heard a knock. It was too early for anyone to come asking about the house, but he shrugged the uneasiness and opened the door.

“First day on the market, eh?”

Kaden lowered his head to see an extremely old woman stand before him. Her wrinkles were so deep he had a hard time following where they started and ended. Strange he thought. He hadn’t noticed anyone down the street this morning or while he adjusted the sign. She couldn’t have walked that fast. There was a slight incline to get here.

“May I help you?”

The old woman picked up her cane and pointed to the sign, “You selling this house?”

“Yes, yes I am. Are you buying?”

The old woman grinned. One of the few teeth she had protruded out.

Kaden hoped she wouldn’t laugh at his novice expertise in selling his own property. He’d like to avoid any surprises to the inside of her mouth or rotting gums.

“No,” she finally said.

“Oookay,” Kaden held the doorknob ready to close the door and bid farewell.

“I used to live here as a child.”

Kaden loosened his grip. “Ah, I see. Come to see the changes?”

“Come to tell you something about this place.”

“You mean like a history of the property? Well, I already did my research years ago.”

The old woman’s wrinkled lips creased before smiling up at Kaden.

Kaden wasn’t sure what to do. He’s heard of old people getting crazy the nearer they were to death. Maybe she’s one of those old people and his one of the recipients of their behavior, but there was no need to be rude in trying to get her to leave.

“Would you like to sit down to tell me?”

“I would never enter this house.”

“Um, I’m going to be really busy soon so -”

“Years ago, this house was occupied by two boys. When they grew up into adolescence, they did some things in here that no boy should ever be able to do.

Suddenly, Kaden felt a tingle radiate up his arm to his jaw. He rubbed the back of his neck for the mood had suddenly changed from strange to morbid. Whatever the terrible thing that took place here was better left behind. Maybe that’s why he never heard of such a story.

“Look,” Kaden started to close the door, “I’ve lived here for more than a decade -”

The old woman used her cane to stop the door. “Those boys buried their mother in the basement. They twisted her corpse into a knot and hid her down there.”

“I don’t think you have the right house. I can assure you there is no skeleton. There was a check on every board and tile in this house.”

“You will never sell this house.” The old woman stepped back to go, but turned to say, “She likes you too much.”

Taken aback, Kaden shook his head and looked down at his shoes and when his eyelids rose, the old woman was gone. He closed the door and continued to shake his head. He put his elbow over the other arm. He brought his thumb near his mouth thinking over what the old woman revealed, but it was so out there. He didn’t want to consider it. Instead, he proceeded to get the furniture plumped up. Even though he tried to keep busy, he couldn’t get the old woman’s last words out of his head. He paced in front of the door to the basement and after several minutes, he opened it. The loud creak caused his fingers to tremble. He reached in for the light. The bulb flickered before it lit the room. He went down the stairs scrutinizing the corners of the floorboards, but all he saw was emptiness.

Kaden kneeled at the bottom of the steps and chuckled. “Huh, just putting the spooks in me.” He proceeded to climb the stairs when he heard a sudden crack. He turned and detected the floor had warped. “What the -”


A silvery image ascended out from the floor. Kaden realized it was a woman. Her face was similar to the old woman outside, except, the wrinkles were gone. There was a sadness in her dark eyes and an anger in her movement. Before he had a chance to run up, it snatched him with elongated arms and dragged him under with her.