I’ll Take Those Odds Part Five and Shelved is Released

So, my goal of writing a story over multiple blogs in order to get myself to blog more frequently, didn’t quite work as originally planned. Oh, well. Hopefully you all enjoyed the story, though. The final part is below. You can read the other four parts in previous blogs. Maybe I’ll do better in 2021? I’m not going to make a New Year’s resolution for it. I’m notoriously bad at those.

In more exciting news, Shelved: Appalachian Resilience Amid Covid-19 was released on December 14. This anthology was specially written and curated during the ongoing pandemic and published by Mountain Gap Books. It features work from some of my favorite Appalachian authors, including Jules Corriere, Jeremy Greco, and Jean Bruce. I have three Haikus and a short story in the anthology. Get your copy today! If you get a copy, make sure to leave a review.

Order here trough Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Shelved-Appalachian-Resilience-Amid-COVID-19/dp/1732972028/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=shelved+anthology&qid=1609449265&sr=8-1

Shelved is available now!

In terms of my other writing, I finished my Lucifer (TV)/Scooby Doo inspired fanfiction. If you’re interested in reading such things, you can find it HERE.

Now I need to get back to and finish my Stranger Things ghost story sequel I sort of abandoned earlier this year. Apologies to people who were invested in that story. I’m getting back to it.

This year was A LOT obviously, for many people. Most of my writing was fanfiction because it made me happy and was a nice distraction from the dumpster fire all around me. Overall, though, I was very lucky this year. I know 2020 was harder on other people. My main goal in 2021, besides getting my Covid-19 vaccine, is to get back to my own, original writing. No hard, set dates yet, but hopefully I’ll have a new book out sometime in the coming year. When I have dates, I’ll let you all know.

In the meantime, enjoy the end of “I’ll Take Those Odds.”

Stay safe. Stay festive. Happy New Year!

Charlotte only saw Death two more times after that. The final time was years later when she died, but the second time she saw Death was in the summer of 1952. Albert was 34 years old. He was happily married with a child of his own. Little Katherine was the apple of Charlotte's eyes, and she was more than happy to spend her days with her grandchild as Albert worked and Katherine's mother completed her studies.

Polio had been going around the town, and several children had fallen ill. The disease had already crippled one child in the neighborhood and killed another. Katherine hadn't been feeling well, and Charlotte felt that old fear creeping up inside her as she watched her granddaughter try to sleep off her fever. It was a hot day in June, and what little breeze there was lightly blew the curtains through the open windows.

Charlotte looked out the window and that's when she saw Death casually strolling down the street. Their suit was a bright, summery green. Her breath caught in her throat. Without a second thought, and no plan whatsoever, Charlotte threw open the door and ran out into the street. Death's eyes flashed when they saw her, and Charlotte wanted to melt into the ground and disappear. What was she doing out here?

"Why, if it isn't Charlotte Reeves." Death smiled and Charlotte swallowed hard. "To what do I owe the pleasure?"

"Are you here for the Price's little boy?" she asked, her voice less than steady.

"I don't believe that's any of your concern." Death cocked their head. "I gambled with you once, Charlotte, I won't be doing it again. How's Albert?"

"He's well."

"And you seem well," Death observed. "So, someone else must not be."

Charlotte declined to answer. "The Prices love their boy very much."

"Yes, don't they all?" Death continued to stare at her. "Maybe they'll be resourceful and offer me a deal, or a trade? But then again, very few people are as clever or as foolish as you."

The eerie silence grew between them. "Go home, Charlotte Reeves," Death instructed.

On numb feet, Charlotte turned and went into the house. When she looked back out at the street, Death was gone. The following morning, Katherine's fever broke. It had only been a virus. The same morning, the little Price boy was admitted to the hospital and placed in an iron lung. He did not return home.

Charlotte never looked for Death again, until they intentionally came for her.

"And that's the story of why you're still here on this Earth," Death told Albert. "Your mother bought you a hundred years."

Albert's eyes misted over. "My mother loved me so much."

"Yes she did," Death concurred. "She still does."

Albert tried to swallow, but his tongue was too thick. "Did, uh, my mother really best you?"

Death leaned in. "There are two versions to any story, Albert. In one, your mother beats me fair and square. In the other, I made an intentional mistake. Which one do you prefer?"

Albert gave a weak smile. "The first one."

Death nodded their head. "Me, too. Are you ready to go now?"

"Yes. I'd really like to see my Mom again."

Death smiled. "See her you shall." They held out their hand and Albert reached up and took it without a second thought.

End of Story


Thanks for reading! May your New Year be a brighter and better one.

Jonesborough, TN, from the top of East Main Street on a sunny day in June. This was one of my top pictures of the year, according to Instagram.

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