Hey guys, I've just posted my first short story on the site. I hope you enjoy it. Also, don't hold back on the criticism!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Girl by the Window

Why are you here?

I look up towards the voice. Its source stands just feet away from me. Her eyes are cold and piercing, acusing me of something. At first I don't know what she means. But those eyes burrow deeper into me, making me uneasy.

Why are you here? she asks again, this time more demanding. She's getting impatient.

I don't know, I answer.

Of course you know! You just don't want to admit it! Her voice begins to shake from her yelling. It booms throughout the room, shaking my very core. She opens her mouth as if to scream again, but decides otherwise. She moves over to the window and glares outside.

You're hiding, she whispers.

No, I say.

Don't deny it. You've been held up in here for weeks now. She turns back to me. It's time for you to leave.

I don't want to. I look down at my hands. But they're not my hands. They're brittle twigs meant to look like fingers.

I know you don't, she laughs. The sound is unpleasant. That's why you need to.

I need more time.

You're all out of it. Maybe if you had owned up to your mistakes earlier, things would be different. She snorts. But you didn't. So you hid, instead.

I'm not hiding! The statement comes out stronger than I wanted it to. It sounds childish, even to my ears. She smirks at me.

Fine, then. Keep hiding. What do I care?


"We need to vacate in two months."
"Will it be enough time?"
"It'll have to be. I can't afford to keep us here any longer."
"I can still get a job. We don't have to leave."
"It's probably better if we did."
"So where do we go then?"
"I'm going back with my parents. I don't think we'll have room for you, though."


Still here? She laughs harshly.

Leave me alone, I beg her. Tears are streaming down my cheeks. I don't want to deal with her right now. Not while I'm like this.

Like always, she doesn't listen to me. She just keeps glaring at me with her cold eyes.

It's your fault, y'know? she sneers. You used her. You soaked up her good-nature and took advantage of her. You two'd probably still be friends if you didn't act like such a spoilt brat.

I cover my ears. I try to keep her words out, but they keep flooding in. Those hate-filled words keep reaching my ears. She laughs, again.

That's right, keep denying it. She leans beside the window. It's pointless though. You'll just lose everything in the end.

Stop, I whisper.

You'll just be lonely and miserable.

Stop it.

You'll just be nothing more than an empty shell.

Just stop it! I grab the nearest object and throw it at her. It misses and hits the window instead. I curse. Slowly, I walk over to the broken window. I kneel before the jagged shards and tentatively grab one. She laughs as I cut a twigged finger on the glass

I told you so, she says between her cruel laughter. It's pointless.


"What is it?"
"A bill."
"Another one?"
"You've been skipping out."
"No, I probably just forgot to pay it."
"Can you afford it?"
"I don't know. I'll have to check with the bank."
"What's wrong?"
"....It's nothing."


She hate's you.

I laugh. I can't help it. I know she does, I say. My voice sounds bitter.

And yet you still hide up here. She almost sounded sad. I look up at her. She's by the window again. My eyes trace the spiderweb of cracks in the glass. There are still a few loose bits hanging in it. She's not looking at me, but outside. Her cold eyes distant. I sigh.

What else can I do? I ask. She probably can't stand to look at me, anymore. I'm sure she's glad she doesn't have to deal with me.

She looks at me, then. So you're just going to give up? Again, I can't help but laugh at that. I don't know why she's so suprised. She was stating the obvious.

Like you said, it's pointless. I feel cold as I say this. She doesn't say anything. All she does is hold my gaze in hers.

For some reason, her eyes look dissapointed.


"What happened to the window?"
"I think something hit it."
"Well, obviously."
"One of us is going to have to replace it."
"I know. I'll find the money."
"You don't have a job remember?"
"Don't worry about it. I'll get it somehow."


You can't afford it. Again, she states the obvious. I hug my knees. My legs are just like my arms; brittle, skinny branches.

I know that, I sigh. But I can't make her pay for it.

She's silent. I look over at her standing by the broken window. She keeps gazing outside, like she always does. Small rays of sunlight light up her face. There's no denying she's beautiful. She's always been beautiful, while I'm a twisted, ugly creature. I hate her for it.

What are you looking for? I ask her, not really expecting an answer. She glances at me, quickly, before returning her gaze to the window. A heartbeat passes before she speaks.

Something that can't be seen, she tells me. My eyes narrow onto her. Her response confuses me.

If you cant see it, then why bother looking for it? Cold eyes glare at me, acusingly.

Because you won't.


"I guess this is it."
"Well at least we made it this far, right?"
"Have you talked with your parents yet?"
"Not exactly, but I'm sure they'll understand."
"... Are you gonna be okay?"
"Don't worry about it."


Are you? She's sitting in a corner now, but I don't even spare her a glance.

Am I what? I ask bitterly.

Are you going to be okay?

I don't answer. I feel her get irritated as the silence stretches on. Her eyes pierce through me. Cold, questioning. I can't bring myself to meet her gaze.

Well? She pushes for an answer. I can't give her one. I don't know myself.

She growls at me before getting up. Walking over to the window, she tears the curtains open. Sunlight hits me. My twisted hands try to block it out, but are much too thin to offer any shade. I blink out the light, waiting for my eyes to adjust. I try to look at her, ready to scream, but all I see is her silouette.

You can't stay here,she hisses. I snarl back at her.

Watch me.

That's all I've been doing. I've watched you hide like a scared little mouse. I've watched you destroy yourself bit by bit. Her voice is dangerously low. It stops now.

Anger bubbles up in my chest. She has no right to speak to me like that! What does she know? Why does she even care?!

I care because you don't! she screams. I care because one of us has to!

I stare at my hands again. At the brittle black twigs that lay on my lap. I don't understand her. I always thought she hated me.

I don't hate you, she says, her voice softer now. I hate what you're doing to yourself. You can't keep hiding like this, anymore.

Tears begin to hit my hands. It takes me awhile to realise they're my tears. I let them fall. I feel her presence beside me. Soon, her hands cover mine, warming them. I look up at her face. Her eyes are pleading with me.

Come on, she says, pulling me up. I let her drag me to the window. The sun wraps me in its warmth. I had almost forgotten what it felt like. Her hand points outside, and my eyes follow it. I know what she wants me to do.

What am I looking for? I whisper.


I look at her then. I didn't expect that answer. But it makes sense now. So I search for myself, and finally I find her.


"Ready to go?"

I look up from my book. My dad's standing at the bottom of the stairs, looking up at me. I smile.

"I think I'm gonna ride with Max, Dad."

"Suit yourself," he grins. "See you in a bit."

I watch him climb into his truck and drive off, carting all my things. I let out a breath I didn't realise I was holding.

"Hey, Kat," Max calls from the kitchen. "Mind helping me move this?"

"Sure," I call back. We both drag her dresser downstairs. After it's safely on the ground, Max sits at the foot of the steps. I slump down beside her.

"I guess this is it," she laughs. I smile with her.


"Well, at least we made it this far, right?" I nod.

"Eight months on our own. Who woulda thought?"

"Nine months, actually. Your math's off."

We both laugh at that. It feels good to laugh with her again. It felt like ages since we laughed together.

"Oh, I almost forgot to tell you," I say. "I got a job downtown."

"Well, there you go! It won't be long before we're in our next appartment."

My eyebrow quirks up. "You sure you can put up with me again?"

"Hm. Now that I think about it..." I give her a playful shove, and we both start giggling again.

"C'mon," Max says. "We should probably head out."

We both climb into her car. I pull down the visor so I can check the mirror. Max gets behind the wheel. She looks at me before starting the engine.

"So, are you gonna be okay?" she asks me.

I look in the mirror. Cold eyes look back at me. I smile at them.

"Yeah, I'll be just fine."

For the first time in ages, the girl in the mirror smiles back at me.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How to Spot the Crazy Cat Ladies

Picture this: Your next door neighbor, a kindly old lady who you've known practically all your life, suddenly gets forced into the back of a police cruiser, brandishing a shiny set of handcuffs. Why? Did she have one too many speeding tickets that she just didn't pay? Not likely; the woman drives slower than a snail can walk. Perhaps she was selling illegal contriband to minors? No, she'd sooner cart herself to the police station than even think about that. So what is it?

What if I told you it was because she owned more than her share of cats? But that's silly, right? Who gets arrested for having a few pets? It's not like she was abusing them. That's just not her! Sadly, it doesn't matter how much she cared for the little critters. The fact of the matter is, your neighbor wasn't keeping just three or four cats. No, they found sixteen malnourished felines in her mobile home. You always thought her house smelled kind of funny.

As it turns out, your loving, elderly neighbor was an animal hoarder. And to be honest, what she had was only a mild offense. In some cases of animal hoarding, people can have as many as hundreds of animals trapped in small, unsanitary confinements. The poor conditions that these pets are forced under isn't always due to neglect or abuse, but rather because their owners simply can't afford to care for their charges. And even when they seek help, it's hard for them to let go of the creatures they've raised.

But what separates the animal lovers from the proverbial "Crazy Cat Ladies"? On average, animal lovers won't have an overabundance of pets. If they find that they can't care for their animals, they at least make sure they are placed in loving homes. However, hoarders will not only hold onto their pets, but will find ways to acquire more.

Also, the pets of hoarders will tend to be disease ridden and/or malnourished. Whether this is due to neglect or the inability for the owner to properly care for the animals depends on the offender. In some cases, animals will have defects due to inbreeding as a result. That's not to say that breeders are animal hoarders, as their goal is to find homes for the pets they breed.

Hoarders of any kind are almost always oblivious to the state of their homes. They could be living in the equivilant of an over used litterbox and not notice. This not only effects the health of the pets, but also any other residents of the home.

So what do you do if you suspect your neighbor or even a loved one is hoarding their pets?

Contact your nearest vet or humane society immediately. The earlier you take action, the better the chances of getting help for the hoarder before things escalate to the police. Also try and keep in contact with the animals. Offer to help clean their home or even to get them neutered. Every little bit helps.

To know more about animal hoarding, visit:

Monday, December 12, 2011

Introductions For Those Who Care

Hi, I'm C.C. I'm an aspiring writer and I've decided to start out with this blog here. I've lived in Maine for all of my 20 years, and I have no intention of leaving. Currently, I have three books in the works, as well as several ideas for short stories. Who knows, maybe you'll get to see some of my work posted here? 

Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Books is a blog about me, my ideals, and the things that influence my life. It will feature book reviews, personal life lessons, and issues that I just have to write about. I'll also try and post topics that are noteworthy; meaning the things that appeal to you as a reader. So don't be afraid to critique.

I look forward to writing in the future.