Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Laverne & Shirley: "The Diner" aka "Betty Please"

You might be wondering why I'm sharing this Laverne & Shirley clip. Well, it seems now that Mom and Dad are not here, there are so many little reminders of them left behind, and this episode reminds me of my dad.

I was making hash browns this morning, and it may me think of hash blacks and "Betty, please."

Both Mom and Dad had great senses of humor. I honestly don't know what it would have been like to live in a house where things were taken too seriously. Also, Dad always had Mom or one or us girls waiting on him, getting him something from the kitchen or whatever.

Well, after this episode aired, when dad wanted something, he'd call us by saying, "Betty, please," just like Laverne does. When he was done eating and wanted someone to take his plate to the kitchen, he'd say, "Betty, please pickup." It always made us laugh.

It's little memories like these that make me smile, but also bring tears to my eyes, because I miss them both so much.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Rafflecopter Giveaway!

The giveaway has begun! You can enter to win a an audio book download from audible of Mermaid's Kiss, Ally Ally Oxen Free, or Alfred C. Bogeyman. The contest runs from now until Dec. 23rd. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway You can enter by following the directions over there -->

I'm giving away 5 copies of each. You'll receive a code to use to download your book for free.

Or you can enter by visiting my Facebook Author Page, and clicking on the giveaway tab.

Happy Reading!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Loving the audio version of Flashes of Fiction 1!

I heard and approved the first 15 minutes of Flashes of Fiction Volume 1, and it's great. Tonya Manns creates voices for each character that just brings them to life. I can't wait to hear the rest.

I have some free download codes for audio books. I'll most likely be having a giveaway next month, so readers can win a free audio book for Christmas. I'll be posting more info after Thanksgiving.

The giveaway will include Alfred C. Bogeyman, Ally Ally Oxen Free, and Mermaid's Kiss. Check back for details!!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

More Audio Book News!

Mermaid's Kiss is now available on audible and iTunes. I worked the talented Douglas Hampton for this project.  He does a great job of breathing life into the the various characters.

There are more audio books in production. I found the perfect voice to read the Flashes of Fiction series of short stories. Tonya Manns has a smooth voice that easy on ears, and she is a great story teller. I am so lucky to find someone with such voice talent.

I'm working on getting some other eBooks ready for Kindle. Metamorphosis is one of them. I did not find my flash drive, so I had to start from an older version, but I'm making progress.

The story is about Chloe, a young girl dealing with entering into womanhood, her mother's terminal illness, and rumors about her father in small town 1960s. Luckily, she has grandma by her side, and her faith, to help her as her adjust as her life changes.





Also, look for Flashes of Fiction: Volume 4 in January 2015.

Happy Reading!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Alfred C. Bogeyman New Audio Book Cover

This is the new cover for Alfred C. Bogeyman.  It is the cover for the audio book, and when rights revert back to me, it will be the eBook cover as well.
The audio book is in its final stages, so it should be ready within a week or so.
I love this new cover. It captures the creepiness of the story without being too scary.
 The eBook is also available on Amazon and from Fire and Ice YA Books.

It's a fun, creepy read for kids of all ages. The story is just creepy enough to make a good Halloween story.







Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just in Time for Halloween! Ally Ally Oxen Free Audio Book



My audio book productions are moving right along. Ally Ally Oxen Free is now available as an audio book on Amazon, audible and iTunes. This spooky little tale is just perfect for anyone look for a scary story for children, and even adults!

Alfred C.Bogeyman is coming along and sounds great so far. I just approved the first 15 minutes yesterday, so if all goes well, it will be ready around Halloween, too. Another spooky little story for all ages.

Paul Holbrook does a great job of breathing life into the characters and making both stories come alive with his voice. I think listeners will love his voice and the way he distinguishes between characters while reading.

Mermaid's Kiss is still in the works. I haven't approved any readings on it, yet. But, I hope to have the first 15 minutes next week.

Happy Reading and Listening!

P.S.

I am still looking for that darned USB drive. grrr...



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fart pads for your underwear? I got the Redneck, lower-cost alternative

Flat D Flatulence Deodorizing Pad: No More Smelly Embarrassing Gas

When I first saw the Flat D Flatulence Deodorizing Pads, I thought it was a joke. But no sir!
These puppies are real. Check them out. 

This lead to a conversation with the hubby after eating a dinner that included of all things, beans! We were in bed and those beans were working on him, and I jokingly said, "I'm going to buy you some of those pads you put in your underwear to make your farts smell better."

He replied, "I don't need those, I'll just put a dryer sheet in my underwear."

And, guess what went through my head at that moment. (in a Jeff Foxworthy voice) If you put a fabric softener sheet in your underwear to make your farts smell better, you might be a redneck. 

So, I guess hubby came up with lower-cost alternative to flatulence pads. A box of Flatulence D pads cost about $20 bucks a box, you can buy a box of cheap dryer sheets for a buck or two.

Or course there may be the issue of irritation?

Happy Reading!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

More Audio Books!

I have Mermaid's Kiss and Alfred C. Bogeyman both in production. They should be available for sale on audible, iTunes and amazon in November.

I'm working with Paul Holbrook again with Alfred C. Bogeyman, and with Douglas Hampton for Mermaid's Kiss. Both are doing a great job on making these stories come to life.  I can't wait to hear the finished project.

I have to come up with a new cover for Alfred C. Bogeyman. Fire and Ice has the rights to the eBook and made that cover, so I need to come up with one for the audio version. I'm working on that as well.

Ally Ally Oxen Free is in the final stage and should be available within the next week or so. Just in time for Halloween. BUWAHAHAHA!!  I really like the way it turned it out.

Happy Reading and Listening!




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

My First Audio Book Is In Production!

I have found the perfect voice to read "Ally Ally Oxen Free" and make the story come alive. I'm working with Paul Holbrook, and the audio book is in production, and if all goes well, it will be available just in time for Halloween.

I'll let everyone know when it's available for iTunes, Amazon and audible.











Happy Reading... and soon, Listening! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

I'm Baaaaack!

Again, it's been a rough year with the loss my parents, and life just doesn't seem the same. It's like there's a big black hole in my life now. But, my Mom and Dad always told me how proud they were of me, and I know they'd want me to continue with my writing, so I'm back.

Here's what I'm working on now.

First, I haven't found my USB drive, so I did find one of the later version of "Metamorphosis", so I guess I start from there. Hopefully in the meantime I find that darn little computer stick, but for  now, this older version is all I have.

Second, I'm going to attempt making my books available as audio books. I've looked into it, and I got some good advice from a fellow author, so I'm going to start that project this week. We'll see how things go.

Third, I have enrolled all my Kindle books on Amazon.com in the Kindle Unlimited program. This means you can read as many of my books as you want for a certain price per month, along with other books you choose. I do believe it's $9.99.

I've already had some readers take advantage of this deal!

Happy Reading! 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Flashes of Fiction: Volume 2 Free This Weekend

Just a reminder that you can download Flashes of Fiction: Volume 2 Free over the weekend--through the 11th- when Flashes of Fiction: Volume 3 will be released.

Flashes of Fiction: Volume one is available for $0.99. You don't have to read the books in any order or all of them because they have five different short stories ranging from the bizarre to the humorous. Check out all the books I have available at  on my Amazon Author Page.

If you like stories like, The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Darkside, you may enjoy the unusual stories stories in these three volumes.
Free This Weekend! 
Available Aug. 11th
Available Now!



I'm searching high and low for my lost flash drive. Hopefully, I find it soon. If not, I have lost a great deal of work to do on Metamorphosis before I can release it. I found a very early version.


Happy Reading!!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I've Lost It!

Not my brain, but something very important. My USB flash drive that contains stories I'm working on, and Metamorphosis is on it. So, this means I need to find it before I can finish editing that story. I had planned to publish it on Kindle by the end of the month, but I'm going to have to push the date back until I can find my USB flash drive.

I have looked everywhere! It's time to start backing up documents in several places, I suppose. In the mean time, I've decide to release Flashes of Fiction: Volume 3 early, so look for it on August 11 on Amazon Kindle.

Stories include:

Grandma's Scrapbook                                                                          
Grandmas bags are packed, and she is ready for a death vacation.
Destination...3009                                                                                     
Jim finished building his time machine, and hes ready to see what advances the
future has to offer, but he is stunned by what he doesn't find.
My Friend, Clarence                                                                               
Jeremy knows intimate details about the murders of several young girls. He
claims  his  friend,  Clarence,  is  the  perp.  The  only  problem--Clarence is
Jeremys imaginary friend
The Weed Whisperer                                                                               
Simon  is  a  gardening  guru.  Weeds  never  dare  to  grow  in  his  garden  or flowerbeds, but Simon learns that weeds will attack if provoked.
One Man's Trash 
 Sometimes a good deal isn't always what it seems.     
      

       Flashes of Fiction: Volume 2 Will be FREE! from August 8-11.

                                                     
Finder's Weepers: Leonard get caught up in his own web of lies.
Remain Calm: The insane never question their own sanity.
Punctilious: Being on time just may be a matter of life and death
Assailant: A strange rash of burglaries occur ahead of a warm front.
Laugh Like a Baby: A story of mixed up emotions--Literally!

You can download my books @www.amazon.com/author/m-allman

I'll keep looking for my flash drive, and hopefully find it soon. 

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Free Reads!

Since I have my rights back to do whatever I wish with with my first anthology, I published some of the very short stories from the book on my Yahoo Contributor Page.

I also published one of my children't stories, Gordon Bunker~aka Gorilla Face for a free read.

 Don't forget to that Flashes of Fiction of Volumes 1+2 are available for $0.99 @ www.amazon.com/author/m-allman

I appreciate all those readers who have bought my books...



Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

This is why I'm not very active on Goodreads...

I've said before. I don't ask for reviews anymore. I did when my first book was published, but then I later decided it's best to let nature take its course and see how things go. That being said, I know not everyone will like a story I've written and that's okay--what's not okay is this:
Someone leaving a one star rating under suspicious circumstances. I have to wonder if this man even read Mermaid's Kiss after seeing that he too has a children's book about a mermaid. Hmmm...

I know this has happened to authors on the Goodreads site. It is a petty thing to do. If he really doesn't like the book,  then why not leave a review? Or why even bother to rate it at all?

I am grateful for those who read my book and leave reviews, whether you loved it or hated. I'm just saying, this one is suspicious to me.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why Yes, I Am A Little Strange...Thank You For Noticing

I guess that's why I create some strange characters, like Samuel Clemens in "Operation Onion" from Flashes of Fiction Volume 1. He body emits different odors depending on his mood, and well, it make his life a bit difficult. Here's what one reader had to say:

OPERATION ONION: HYSTERICAL!!! (And I just raised it from 3 to 5 stars!) Seriously: I was laughing so hard I finally gave up. Went into the other room and read it aloud to my husband. This one alone would have been enough, but so far I have liked them all!

Samuel Clemens was born with a problem. Because of that problem his Mom gave him the nickname Stinker. Seems that even at birth he could not hide his feelings: he smelled differently depending upon his mood. Made for some unbelievably funny stories (for the reader), and a very difficult life for Samuel. Can you just imagine trying to get through school or find a job with such a problem?

The ending to this story was great! Would not have thought of that in a million years, but it was the perfect solution! Way to go Stinker! Glad it finally worked out for you!




In Flashes of Fiction Volume 2 you meet Charles. When he was born, he laughed. But...what a minute. Aren't newborn babies supposed to cry? Yes, but Charles is not your ordinary baby, he laughs at a full diaper and bawls while playing peekaboo. Doctors can't figure it out, but Charles finally gets a few answers when he sets to find his father. 

                               Laugh Like  a Baby


My life is kind of like a week old banana. It has some bruised areas, but it’s still good. As I reflect upon the soft, bruised areas of my past, I laugh hysterically. But, I will try to control my emotions as I fill you in.
I was unusual from the day of my birth. The doctor slapped my wrinkly bottom the day I was born, but I didn’t cry; I laughed. Everyone in the room was stunned, newborns can’t laugh. So, with Momma’s permission, I went through all sorts of tests.
The results? All doctors found me to be perfectly healthy. The doctors decided I was a baby with an abnormal cry, and I would grow out of it as my tiny lungs matured.
Momma  took  me  home  and  soon  discovered  the  doctors  were wrong. I laughed at a full diaper and bawled while playing peek-a-boo.
Every doctor that examined me as a child was baffled. “It is something that will straighten itself out as he heads into adulthood,” the doctors told us.
Momma finally gave up on the doctors and accepted me “as is.” She gave birth to me in her late forties. I was probably the first and last child she’d ever have, so she loved me even though I was a freak.
Momma learned to deal with my abnormality, laughing along with me as I sobbed watching cartoons, and kissing my bumps and bruises as I chuckled.
We had a great life, until I started school. I got in trouble every day through no fault of my own. It was after disrupting the class with my laughter while watching the end of Old Yeller that Mrs. Levy ordered me to see the principal, Mr. Pickett.
“Maybe I should speak with your father.” Mr. Pickett said.
It was at that moment I realized, I don’t have a father. “It’s just me and Momma,” I told Mister Pickett.
 “Sorry son, I’ll give your mother a call.”
He called Momma, and she hurried down to the school. They sat in that office with the door closed for an hour before calling me in to join them. Momma took my hands. Her hands were always soothing and warm. She only held them firmly when her news was something upsetting. “Charles, I told Mr. Pickett about your unusual condition, and we’ve decided to put you in a special class. How does that sound?”
I nodded in agreement, but all I could think about was my father. Who was he? Was he like me? Was he put in the special class, too? I wanted to ask Momma, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. What if he had been mean to her or run out on her?
Mr. Pickett told me to go back to my classroom and gather my things from my desk.
I shuffled into the classroom, and Mrs. Levy looked up at me.
“I’m going to a special class on Monday.” I snickered as I cleared out my desk.
Everyone sat quietly as I gathered my things.
“See ya around,” one boy yelled.
“Bye, Charles.” Mrs. Levy smiled. She was probably glad to see me go.
 I slung my backpack over my shoulder and walked out to the car. I didn’t say a word during the drive home. When I walked through the door, I went straight to my room.
I was quiet until dinner. We sat at the table eating, and I had to ask. “Where’s my father?”
Momma almost choked on her soda. “Charles, I–”
“Please, Momma, tell me. I can take it, whatever the story.”
She cleared her throat. “Well, he was a fireman. We were engaged, but he was killed saving a family from a burning home.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this before?”
“I didn’t  want  to  upset  you,  and  I thought  when  you  were  old enough you’d ask. You did and now you know.”

I believed her, or at least I pretended I did. My childhood years were lonely. I didn’t care for my new class. I had a few friends, but they only liked me because they could tell me the most horrible, gruesome stories and I laughed every time.
You can find them both @ www.amazon.com/author/m-allman





Happy Reading!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I Have One Question...

Maybe it's because I haven't told you enough about it? 

That's it, isn't it? 

Well how about an excerpt from one of the stories?

There are 5, and they are humorous, but I guess that's a matter of opinion...






Assailant

“I woke on the icy snow. I must have been knocked unconscious.” Lorna took a sip of coffee. “Thanks for the coffee, Detective Blankenship.”
“No problem, Lorna.”
“When I woke, I was in the hospital with a nasty bump on my head.”
“Do you think you got a good enough look at the attacker to describe him to a sketch artist?”
Lorna nodded her head. “Maybe. I can try.”
“Okay, I’ll go get Scotty. He does a great job.” Detective Blankenship left the room. Lorna sat there trying to recall details that might help him.
The door opened and a small, thin man walked in and sat down in front of Lorna. “Hi, I’m Scotty.” He offered her his hand. They shook.
“Lorna, Lorna Bradshaw,” she said.
“Okay, Lorna, begin by describing the assailant, and I will ask for more details if I need them.”
Lorna took a deep breath. “Sure, let’s see. He had big round dark eyes.”
“Okay.” Scotty began to scratch his pencil on the paper.
“He… he had a long pointy nose, his head was round and quite large.”
“What about his ears, big, small?” Scotty continued to sketch.
“No ears, at least, I didn’t notice any ears. He did have very thin lips, almost non-existent.” Lorna held her head. “I still have a headache from him bashing it against frozen ground. I’m having trouble concentrating, so bear with me.”
“Sure, Lorna. Take your time.”
“He was wearing some sort of hat. It was a large black hat, like a top hat, and a red scarf. Other than that, he was dressed in all white. I remember because I could see his body in the dark.”
“Okay, I have a sketch done.” Scotty stared at it a moment. “But um…give me a minute with the Detective outside, okay.”
“Yeah, sure...”
Scotty took his sketch out to Detective Blankenship. “Psst… come here.” He laid the picture on the desk. “Do you see what I see?”
“Frosty?” Blankenship raised his eyebrows.
“Yeah, I think that knock on the head messed her up. This is exactly what she described.”
Blankenship went back in to talk to Lorna. He sat down beside her and looked into her eyes. “How are you feeling?”
“Fine, expect for the headache.”
“And the doctor at the hospital said everything was fine?”
“Yeah, great...” She rubbed the back of her head, “Just a goose egg back there.”
“Lorna, let’s go over your statement again.” Blankenship took out his notes.
“Sure, if it’ll help.” She took another sip of coffee.
“So…let’s see, you were walking up to your front door, right?”
“Yes.” She nodded. “It was pitch black because the outside lights were out, so I only got a glimpse of his face from the light of my watch.It glows in the dark. See?”
“Yes, very nice.”  Blankenship smiled.  “Now the assailant… he came out of nowhere and you fought with him?”
“He… He scratched me, see?” She showed him the scratches on her hands and face.
“What’s that, there?” Blankenship pulled his glasses down to the end of his nose. “It looks like a splinter.”
“They took some splinters out at the hospital.”
“I see. So, at some point he knocked you to the ground and took ice?”
“That’s all he got, the bags of ice I bought for our Christmas party.” 
****

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What's Next?

Well...I am working on editing and formatting Flashes of Fiction Volume 2. It will be available on Amazon Kindle June 1st.

Flashes of Fiction Volume One will be free from May 30th- June 2nd.
Click here to find it on Kindle 








Flashes of Fiction Volume 2 will be a $0.99 Kindle Short with 5 stories.
Stories include:
Finder's Weepers: Leonard get caught up in his own web of lies.
Remain Calm: The insane never question their own sanity.
Punctilious: Being on time just may be a matter of life and death
Assailant: A strange rash of burglaries occur ahead of a warm front.
Laugh Like a Baby: A story of mixed up emotions--Literally!



Look for Metamorphosis in August!











Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mermaid's Kiss is back up!

I think I got the bugs worked out. :) It's back up a amazon.com/author/m-allman

I did upload the wrong version, but just to be safe I went over it typos, and hopefully it is good to go! *fingers crossed.

Happy reading!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Typos! Bleh!

So, a nice reader/reviewer has brought it to my attention that Mermaid's Kiss does have a few typos. I'm looking into that today, so the book will not be available until I go over it again. I'm wondering if, just maybe, I didn't upload the latest version. Hmmm...

Anything is possible. I'll be the first to admit I am human and do make mistakes. I did have three other writers declare it error free, so maybe we all need glasses. He he!

Anyway, I will spend today finding the latest draft and going over it word by word.

Happy Saturday, and Happy Reading!


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Review of Montequero By Jenny Twist

Mantequero is a short story, but still satisfies the reader. Jenny introduces us to the heroine, June, who has spent her life alone, overweight, and content, but not really happy. She is forced to make a change when her sisters, who are both thin and married, suggest she be the one to move in with and care for their mother. So, she lies and says she’s planned a trip with a friend, but goes away alone to Spain. But, she does meet someone while she’s away. A mysterious man who actually thinks she is beautiful.

June invites this mysterious man into her life and her bed, and for the first time she enjoys the male attention, so much so that she ignores that she seems to be losing weight rapidly. Even when she is told of the legend of the Mantequero, she continues to see him.

While reading this story I feel sympathy for June and understand why she was so eager to give herself to the mysterious stranger. And, why she continues to see him, even though it may not be the wisest decision.

You can find all the books Jenny Twist has available on her Amazon Author Page

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I Got My Writing Mojo Back

For months I just couldn't get myself to write anything, except for work. I had ideas and wanted to finish several projects, but I just didn't have in me. But...now that I've finished Mermaid's Kiss, I feel like I'm ready to dive in an finish my other stories that have been waiting patiently in my document folder for well over a year.


I have new projects in mind, too, but I am going to finish older stuff first. Right now I'm working on Metamorphosis,which is another YA short story about a young girl who is relies her her faith and family to come to terms with her mother's untimely death and the rumors about her father. I plant to publish this story on Kindle in August.












I'm also working on editing and formatting the stories for my second Flashes of Fiction. I plan to publish it on Kindle June 1st.















Check out the books I have available now @ amazon.com/author/m-allman

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mermaid's Kiss~Excerpt

Thomas believes in myths and mythological creatures, and when he  reads that a mermaid's kiss has the power to heal, he thinks of his bedridden Grandpa. Thomas sets out to catch a mermaid to heal his Grandpa--if they really exist.

Available Wednesday @
amazon.com/author/m-allman












Elise swam up to the large rock and pulled herself up on top. She enjoyed lying across the rock and sunning herself in the afternoons. As she twisted her long, dark hair to wring the water out, her scales sparkled in the sunlight, creating a kaleidoscope of colors.
After wringing her hair dry, she swung it behind her, relaxing on her tummy and watching a boy on the far bank reading under a tree. Elise sighed. “I wonder what you’re reading. If only I could read their language, I’d—"
“You’d what?” Delpha lit on a branch hanging over the rock.
Elise almost slipped back into the water. “You frightened me.”
“You don’t want anything to do with those, those humans! They bring their nets and hooks and catch sea creatures, dining on them or mounting them on their walls.”
Elise rolled over to her side, propping herself up with her elbow. “Well, good thing for you that you are a seagull and not an ocean dweller.” She teased, smirking.
“Go ahead, make a joke, but you don’t leave these waters. You don’t see what I see…humans eating crabs and fish, catching them by the hundreds—no thousands in nets.” Delpha shook her wing at Elise. “You steer clear of them, you hear?”
Elise smiled and nodded. “Yes, your highness, seagull.” She rolled over to her tummy and propped herself up on her elbows, watching the human again. What is must be like to walk around and not swim. Not all humans can be bad, can they?
****
 Thomas sat with his back up against a tree reading about mermaids and their mystical powers. His cousin Dane walked up and sat down beside him. “You still reading that unicorn book, squirt?”
Thomas slammed his book on his lap. “Not unicorns! Mermaids.”
“Whatever, ones just as real as the other, I suppose.” He stretched his legs and leaned against the tree.
“If I could find a mermaid, then all I’d need is for her to kiss Grandpa and he’d be cured.” He flipped through the pages of his book and ran his finger half-way down a page. “It also says here that mermaid’s tears are like the fountain of youth.”
“Grandpa’s old, he’s going to die. It happens to everyone...eventually.”
Thomas jumped up and stomped away. He strolled alone along the water’s edge looking for the best area to place his net. “The book says to place the nets near patches of seaweed,” he mumbled.

Thomas rolled up his pant legs and waded out into the water a few feet. He couldn't see far enough out, so he decided to come back tomorrow with his raft. Then he could place his nets further out.

****

Elise watched the boy walk along the water’s edge. “I wonder what he’s looking for.” She sighed.
“A big fish to catch and eat up, I’d suppose," said Delpha.
Elise sat up flipping her tail in the water. "No, I don't think so, Del. He looks as though he's searching for something…he's lost or sad." She slid off the rock and sank down under the water and swam over to the water's edge. Looking up, she saw Thomas walking away, with his book tucked under his arm.
Delpha flew overhead, squawking and skimming the water looking for Elise.
Elise swam to the middle of the water and jump up flipped her tail and laughing. "I hear you, Del. Don’t worry. I'm not going to let him see me."
"Do you know what humans do to merpeople? They'll catch you, stuff you, and mount you on a wall for show, but not before they cut you open and study you inside and out."
"Don't worry, Del. I'm heading home now, and I'll be careful…I promise."

****
Thomas returned to the water's edge early the next morning, carrying his make-shift raft. The rays of sun shone through the fog, creating beams of light that reached down and glistened on the water. Sitting on the bank, he rolled up his pant legs and waded out a few feet before putting his raft into the water. He sat on his knees, bent forward and used his hands to paddle out further where he thought he'd find seaweed.
He continued paddling out to the middle of the water and swished the water as he looked for the flow of seaweed. Several areas were thick with it, so he chose the area where it grew the thickest. He pulled the netting from his back pocket and untangled it before spreading it out and lowering it near the seaweed. 

The make-shift raft teetered as he reached over to tie the netting to a low, crooked branch hanging out over the water. Thomas secured the net by tying each corner to other low-hanging branches, and then lay back on his raft to wait for his mermaid.
Lying there, staring up at the sky, Thomas smiled remembering how he and Grandpa used to go fishing and played Frisbee in the back yard. But, that was before he got sick, and now he can't even walk to the backyard without struggling to breathe. Thomas yawned, and watched the clouds separate into smaller cloudlets drifting across the sky. He drifted off to sleep, snoring.
****

"Elise, would you pick some fresh seaweed to eat for breakfast?" Her mother asked.
"Sure, be back in a few minutes." She swam off fluttering her tail softly as she glided through the water. She loved to look for starfish as she swam. As she came upon a lush growth of seaweed, she noticed something shiny dangling in the water. A bait! She thought.
Elise jumped back, her heart raced. But, the shiny thing was attached to white string, not fishing line. She swam a bit closer to get a better look. "It's a weight for a net." She mumbled. Elise swam up to the surface and quickly took a look around. She noticed the human lying a raft. His eyes were closed. He was making an awful noise.
Elise dunked under the water and hit the edge of the raft with her tailfin. It flipped, rolling Thomas off into the net.
"Help!" Thomas screamed. Panicking, he pulled at the net, but he legs and arms were tangled. Elise grabbed it and swam quickly across the water to her sunning rock and helped Thomas untangle his arms.
Coughing and gasping, he pulled himself onto the rock and began untangling his feet. "What are you trying to do, kill me?" He looked up and into Elise's emerald-green eyes. "You're real... a real mermaid."
Elise pulled herself up onto the rock beside Thomas. "I'm warning you...stay away and don't try to catch us for trophies. We merpeople are too clever for you humans."
"I wasn't going to hurt you. I just need a favor, that's all."
"Sure you do. There is nothing I can do for you, so go back to your raft and forget you saw me." Elise slid off the rock and plunged into the water.
"Wait!" Thomas's eyes glistened with tears. "It's my grandpa, he's real sick, and I need you to kiss him, that's all."
Elise stopped. She realized he was the troubled boy she saw strolling along the bank. "I'm sorry. I can't trust you."
She started to swim away, but Thomas yelled out, sobbing. "He's gonna die...please. I don't want to hurt you. Please come back." Thomas pressed his face into his hands and sat alone on the rock crying.
Elise stopped, and swished her tail to turn around. She popped up beside the rock. "Wait here, I'll be back. I have to take the seaweed to my mother."
Thomas continued to sob.
Elise rubbed his back. "Just wait here." 
Elise swam home and gave her mom the seaweed. "I'll be back, Mother."
"Wait, you haven't had breakfast."
Elise grabbed a seaweed cake. "I'll eat it on the way." She kissed her mother's cheek.
As she swam back to the rock, she hesitated. What if that boy did want to hurt her? Was she walking into a trap? But, he looked so sad, and she was curious about humans.
As she swam closer, she heard Thomas yelling and Delpha squawking.
Thomas swatted at the seagull. "Ouch, go away."
Delpha continued squawking and pecking at Thomas.
Elise popped up out of the water, chuckling. "Delpha, it's okay. He's not going to hurt me."
"And just how do you that?" Delpha stopped pecking and flew up to her usual perching branch.
Thomas sat rubbing a red welt on his cheek. "You can understand what that bird is saying?"
"Yes, can't you?" Elise asked.
"No, it just flew over here and attacked me, making that awful squawking sound."
"Delpha is just a bit over protective, I suppose." Elise pulled herself up onto the rock beside Thomas and wrung out her hair. "I feel bad for you, human..."
"Thomas, my name is Thomas." 
"Thomas, I don't know how I can help you. I mean, I can't leave the water, and I don't have any special powers."
"Maybe you just don't know you do. I read in my book that mermaids have special powers, and all it takes is one kiss to cure someone...one little kiss on the cheek."
"What are plans? Bring your Grandpa here?"
 "No, he can't get out of bed. My book says you can leave the water for a while without getting hurt. I got it all planned out. I'll use a wheel barrow to get you to the house, we can cover your legs in wet cloth, and you kiss grandpa. I'll bring you right back. I promise."
"I wouldn't trust him, Elise. He looks sneaky, and the whole thing sounds suspicious." Delpha squawked.
Elise looked at Thomas sitting there with tears glistening in his eyes and red welts on his face and arms, and she couldn't say no. "I'll trust him."

Thomas smiled.