The World According to Q

The Story Begins

My name is Quentin, but my friends from the nest call me Q. I was named after my father’s great, great, GREAT grandfather. He came to this country from France, and now he’s hailed as a hero in our family. 

As the story goes, he and his lady friend left Paris to escape a dangerous gang called Les Rats. If he hadn’t had the brains and the courage to get on that ship, the both of them would have been eaten alive. It would have been bye-bye Monet family… and none of us would be here today.

I was born on Houston Street, in NoHo, but my family wandered a lot while I was growing up so there was no real place we called home. When my parents were killed – by an exterminator – my sister and I settled down in this cool little crib on 4th Avenue. 

Tenants came, and tenants went, and it always seemed to work out for us. My sister (Star) and I lived quietly by day, and the tenants never failed to leave us delicious crumbs for the night. Sadly, after Joe and Lisa Gregory moved out – nearly a year ago – the place stayed empty. 

The talk in the alley was that some new guy bought the building and then he jacked the rent up too high. Nobody was willing to pay it. The place was nice and all, but not THAT nice. Star and I had no choice… we had to start packing up. All of our rations were gone.

As I was running to-and-fro, making sure I’d left nothing behind, I heard a key rattle in the door. I scurried to the peephole and caught a glimpse of the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. She left the door open and came in and out, carrying boxes, cleaning supplies, and then a stool. 

Before I could scuttle off to tell Star, the young lady began to sing and spin… her skirt twirling in the air. And there I was, safely behind my peephole… with a front row seat!

As the woman spun, my mind spun – in English and in French (although I know very little) – and suddenly everything I’d ever been taught about being unseen (or unheard) escaped me. 

“Bonjour, Mademoiselle!” I squeaked.


Working through the Plot

I thought it would be fun to get two different perspectives for this story… the woman and the mouse. I figured it was only fair (and maybe more interesting) to hear from Q first, since he’s lived in NoHo longer. And since I’m working my way through SIX elements, I may end up with twelve mini-parts to this story… but we’ll just see how it goes.

The elements I’ve been looking at, that I’ll be working on through this story, are as follows:

  1. The Beginning (Exposition): Establishes characters and setting.
  2. The Inciting Incident: an event that puts the main character(s) into a challenging situation – where the movement of the story begins.
  3. Rising Action: Where most of the conflict takes place, which is a major part of the story.
  4. The Dilemma: This is where things get harder. It can be a twist in the story, an additional challenge, or the time when an important decision must be made.
  5. The Climax: The big moment… where most of the tension is contained.
  6. The End (Resolution): Where things get resolved and all goes back to normal, or to the next level… a new normal.

So, I’ve made my way through the first element, the beginning. Yay! but we may repeat the beginning just a tad while we hear from the woman. She has no name yet, but we’ll soon be introduced!

I’ve never sat down to organize a story (I’m not very organized at all!), so this is NEW to me. I’m hoping to learn a great deal about writing as I stay focused on the “P” word, PLOT.

I also wanted to keep things moving through the alphabet – so that explains our character “Q.” Ha! That being said, I’ll see if I can progress through the letter “R” in Part II of the story.

Thanks so much for reading, and for being here as I learn! I hope you’ve enjoyed, and that you found some entertainment, amusement or maybe something new that you didn’t know.

See you soon,


The Fall

Fiction & Illustration

The Return of Scarlett

While Harris, the chauvinistic film producer, was busy wooing Mrs. Moodie, Scarlett was busy with Alec, the gentleman from the gala. Mrs. Moodie’s revenge plot had been put on hold, for the time being, but her anger still festered.

It wasn’t the fact that Scarlett had left her son, George, standing at the altar that enraged her – it was that Scarlett had taken the money Mrs. Moodie had offered her to marry him, a dowry of sorts, and then ran off with it – unwed.

Mrs. Moodie’s net worth hadn’t suffered from the loss; it was her pride that had been stung. She felt that she had been scammed, and no one scams Mrs. Moodie. NO ONE. Only a fool would even try.

Meanwhile, Scarlet was falling in love. Alec was everything she had ever dreamed of, causing her to feel even worse about poor George. She hadn’t planned to run out on him as she did, and it was for his own sake that she did – she believed. A loveless marriage would have done him no good at all.

After only weeks of courting, under the cover of a moonlit night, Alex proposed to Scarlett and, undoubtedly, she said yes. Neither one wanted to wait long, as they yearned to be husband and wife, so they chose a date just one week out – and the wedding plans began.

The ceremony was quite elaborate. An oceanside Golf Resort was the venue, so the grounds were fragrant and plush. Every type of flower you could imagine – with the exception of red rose buds, of course – was strung about the greens in a quaint and delicate fashion. 

White folding chairs were placed in perfectly lined rows, as if they stood at attention, and a large decorated arbor was positioned at the end of a grassy aisle. The guests were led to their seats by young male ushers, while a handful of girls ran frantically to and fro – as they helped the bride prepare.

Harris was at home, preoccupied with some online shopping – purchasing a top of the line stove for Mrs. Moonie, no less – so Mrs. Moonie snuck out for her weekly hair appointment. It was there, in the beauty salon, that she learned of Scarlett’s wedding, which would be taking place within the hour. 

“This cannot happen!” she cried, running out of the salon with her hair still wound in curlers. Mrs. Moonie made it to the Golf Resort quickly, as it was just minutes away, but the ceremony itself was on the edge of the grounds, near the ocean, and she would never make it on foot.

Mrs. Moonie tossed some old golfers from their cart, launched herself inside, and hit the gas. Her timing was impeccable. She came barreling across the greens just in time to hear the minister speak: “Should anyone present know of any reason that this couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace”

“I object, I object!” She yelled. “Stop this wedding… that woman is a fraud!”

The guests all gasped, a fearful look upon their faces. Not because of what she had said, mind you, but because she and the golf cart were headed toward the cliffs. Before anyone could utter a word, Mrs. Moonie and the cart were gone.


Perhaps to be continued, perhaps not. Maybe Scarlett will live happily ever after, as every girl dreams, or maybe there are more surprises in store. We just don’t know for sure.

I decided that these impromptu word prompt stories are much more fun than having an agenda, and the characters are already somewhat illustrated so it only takes minor tweaking. That’s a real time saver!

Maybe it’s not a good idea to add all of my thoughts after my stories, but it makes me feel as though I’m saying “hello” – and keeping up with my social skills. I’m still working on getting around to catch up on everyone else’s work… so, in case I haven’t visited you yet… “hello!”

Anyway, that’s about all for tonight.

Thanks for reading… I hope you enjoyed!

Pride cometh before the fall… and the golf cart came tumbling after.


Word of the Day Challenge: Gas

Daily Spur Word Prompt: Appointment

The Man in the Window


The driver, who had wandered off looking for cell service, was nowhere to be found, and the passengers were out of the bus and ready to explore. 

“Wait!” Syd shouted, running back into the bus. There was a bit of a ruckus inside, and he came out holding up a carefully selected item from his plethora of books: A Guide to Wilderness Survival.

Lina shook her head. “Syd, this is hardly wilderness. It’s Ohio for heaven’s sake.”

The passengers rambled out in single file, behind Lina, as she led them down a gravel path. Soon, the narrow path opened to a much wider road, and they were able to walk side-by-side, in unity.

Isabella’s guitar was strapped around her shoulders, and Syd tried to balance his survival book on the top of his head. Hugo counted his steps as he walked, and Star poked along slower than the others because of her bare feet – and the fact that she kept stopping to view the clouds. 

It wasn’t long before something was stinging her foot. Syd stopped to examine it, and then he fumbled through his book to see if Star had stepped on anything poisonous.

“This is ridiculous,” Lina scolded. “There’s nothing poisonous out here!”

Melody, anxious to carry on, gave Star her boots. She had socks that were thick enough to keep out insects and pebbles, and her feet were tired of being confined. She kind of understood why Star didn’t care for shoes, but in her own ordinary life – they were a necessity. 

Lina’s comment about this being Melody’s “first new adventure” had sparked something in her, and she was quite excited now. And the countryside was beautiful. They watched cows eat from rolling green pastures, and passed by cornfields that went on for as far as the eyes could see. 

Up the hill further was a string of country houses and barns. They were all painted white, with the exception of one or two. Lina took a fork in the road, which led them in the opposite direction, to a canopy of trees, and then – eventually – a creek.

The group rested quietly for a while, catching their breath and staring at the water. Melody thought about how unusual they all were – compared to her prosaic life, that is. People didn’t talk to each other on the bus that she normally took each day, but the Number 5 was like a home to these passengers, and they treated each other like family.

Each had unique gifts or talents, and an energy that was contagious. Hugo saw math in everything, and Star – full of awe and wonder – loved to watch the sky. Lena, with her long lean legs, was larger than life, but her moves were gentle and unexaggerated. She was witty and outspoken – afraid of nothing – and she had a heart of absolute gold. 

Isabella – on the other hand – was oddly quiet, but she could speak with her guitar. Even Syd, ‘the paranoid man’ (a nickname Melody gave him privately – in her mind), was exciting to watch. Perhaps because she was a lot like him in many ways, but with a little less intensity.

Melody remembered her life as a child, and how she used to sing. Her mother encouraged her relentlessly, and drove her around several states for various competitions. She imagined being a star one day – in Nashville or L.A. – but her mother died suddenly, and Melody developed stage fright. Debilitating stage fright. And an impulsive urge to keep her life simple and neat.

So, she finished school, got a job at the local market, and then met Johnny. And so began her ordinary, uneventful life that was literally void of emotions, barring her anger at Johnny for cheating on her.

As everyone settled, Isabella began to strum, Lina started to sway and, without knowing where it came from, Melody found the courage to sing. Face to face with the others, and her fears, she belted out a tune and the passengers went wild.

Thunder began to roar – just as Star had predicted – and rain came pouring down. Everyone ran, in every which way, and Melody found herself alone, peering through the grayness to find the others. 

The bus horn honked, and she found her way to it by following the sound. The tow truck driver had arrived and the bus was being loaded. A car was parked behind it, and the bus driver hollered to Melody to get in the car.

“We’ll follow the tow truck in the car,” he yelled, the sound of rain making it hard to hear. “Once we’re at the depot you can transfer to a new bus and get to your destination.”

“What about the others?” Melody shouted as she made her way toward him.

“What?” He asked.

“The other passengers! I lost them by the creek when it started to rain!”

He looked at her strangely, just as he had when she caught him eyeing her in the rearview mirror of the bus. “What in the hell are you talking about?” He said, looking confused.  He could see the worry in her eyes, and his voice toned down a notch, to a slightly compassionate level. 

“Look lady. I’m not sure what’s going on with you, but you were the only passenger on my bus today. No one else boarded. It’s just you.”

Melody stayed silent on the ride. She was embarrassed, obviously, but she was also sure that she hadn’t imagined those passengers. “This is just weird,” she thought to herself.

But she was dripping wet, and she hadn’t gone on that new adventure alone – she just knew it. And she sang, something that she hadn’t done in years, and it was because of the passengers. 

They arrived at the depot quickly. “Why didn’t we just walk here?” she asked the driver. “We were so close.”  

“Company policy ma’am.” The driver said. He pointed her to the window where she could pick up her ticket, and then he hurried away.

The woman at the window handed her a boarding ticket for a bus that would get her to work at last. She looked at it for a moment and then handed it back.

“I don’t need this,” she said.

“Give me a one way ticket to Nashville, please.”

Melody waited at the crosswalk, her ticket in hand – knowing that whether the passengers were real or imagined, they had changed her life. She was different, and it was because of them.

Before the light changed, the tow truck went by with the old Number 5, probably on its way to the repair shop. 

She watched it drive away, and begin to fade out, and she was sure that she saw Syd, in the rear window, waving goodbye with a smile.  


Well, it was longer than I expected and I hope you were able to sit through until the end… and found it enjoyable or entertaining.

I swear I started to lose interest in it today, and I thought “NO, I’m going to finish this.” It’s much different than what my original idea was, but it kind of worked. My initial idea was a cross between the old show Herman’s Head and the movie Fight Club – and the protagonist was an adolescent boy… so as you can see it’s MUCH different than my idea, haha!

The image is a bit simple. I was tired. And Syd there looks a little weird. I moved his arms around and he looks a little like gumby. And then I realized that I’d forgotten about it being hitched to a tow truck, but who cares. Ha! Next time no props in the illustrations, it’s too much. Just people.

That’s about all for now. Time to move on.

Thank you for reading, I hope you found the story or my illustrations fun!

Word of the Day Challenge: Unity

The Daily Spur Word Prompt: Policy