Rib-tickling

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rib-tickling
  1. very amusing; funny or hilarious: a book of rib-tickling stories.

 

The grey Honda spun gravel as it traversed the winding driveway before coming to a stop in front of the sprawling three-story cabin.

Now that they had actually arrived, spending the evening with his parents was starting to seem like one of the worst ideas he could’ve said yes to.

“Um…Jo…”

Michael shook his head and sighed wearily.

“I need to tell you something about my family…”

He loved her. He’d even told her so several times. Now they were talking about marriage and even family. It seemed only right that she meet his family. But now, staring up at his parents’ home, the guilt and fear were beginning to settle. He hadn’t told her everything. The only thing Continue reading

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Tohubohu

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tohubohu

  1. chaos; disorder; confusion

In life there are detractors, haters, naysayers. Pamela learned this lesson early. When people told her she was crazy to think she could raise twins on her own at the age of 15, she ignored them. They laughed when she decided to go back to school and get her GED at 30 and her bachelor’s at 32. But she had been undeterred.

When graduation came, she mailed about 500 invitations, wanting the doubters to see her degree with their own eyes.

So when it came to getting her master’s degree and teaching full-time, she didn’t stop to think twice about the schedule. Her boys were old enough to take care of themselves and too busy to ever be at home. So Pamela filled her days with lesson plans. Her nights overflowed with papers and required reading.

The schedule was tough and tiring, but she was determined to make it. It wasn’t until she woke up with Continue reading

Inchoate

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inchoate*

  1. being only partly in existence or operation : incipient; especially : imperfectly formed or formulated: formless, incoherent

Everything was planned.

It had taken the better half of last year and the beginning of this year, but in a matter of hours, everything would be wrapped up. He would finally be done. There were just a few errands he had to run. One of which was returning a book to the library.

It was his obsessive nature that would cause him to do something like this on today of all days. His first therapist said he had a fear of success and relied on his obsessive nature as a way of limiting his possibilities. She said that’s why he never finished anything he started.

No, he hadn’t finished half the projects in his house. Yes, he’d given up on his bachelor’s degree during freshman year. And he still had yet to finish any of his novels. He always got down to the last quarter of the book and stalled, not knowing how to end it. But this he could do. He planned to stop off at the drugstore before heading home to write one final note, but first he Continue reading

Zeitgeber

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zeitgeber

  1. an environmental cue, as the length of daylight, that helps to regulate the cycles of an organism’s biological clock.

Something was wrong.

Annaleese had been quiet all morning and now she sat silently in the passenger’s seat, mindlessly tapping the back of her nails against the window. David would’ve thought she was lost in thought except for the fact that she was murmuring to herself as if she were engaging in a heated debate.

David divvied his attention between the traffic around them and his wife’s nonverbal cues. They’d been married for almost six years now and he had become acquainted with most of her nervous ticks over the years. But today he was confused as to what she could possibly be nervous about, considering it was the weekend and they were on their way to meet with friends before church.

“A penny for your thoughts,” he ventured.

Annaleese stopped tapping her nails.

From the corner of his eye he could see her turn slowly to face him. She was staring at him now.

“What?” Now she was making him nervous. Continue reading

Alliaceous

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alliaceous
  1. having the odor or taste of garlic, onion, etc.
  2. Botanybelonging to the genus Allium (formerlythe family Alliaceae).

 

Swaths of pink and orange  filled the afternoon sky. The day’s light breeze had turned cooler as the hours had passed.

“This will sustain you,” King Lucius said, handing her a meliam fruit he had brought with him for the ride.

She snatched it greedily from his hand and bit into the pink skin without hesitation. Juice ran down her filthy arms, creating thin, muddy pathways.

Callis was disgusted. And the alliaceous odor wafting from the woman was not helping his stomach.

He wished he had suggested they Continue reading

Cater-cousin

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 cater-cousin
  1. an intimate friend.
  2. Obsoletea cousin.

 

“Your Majesty?”

Callis was finding this scenario more than a little troubling. The sun was beginning its descent.

King Lucius stood with his arm extended, his eyes locked on the woman.

She was filthy, covered with dirt from head to toe. It was evident to Callis that she hadn’t bathed in at least a month. Only the skin of her face was exposed, but even that was covered in dried mud. She seemed to be wearing some type of thick material that hung down to her knees, obscuring her body. A hood hung loosely. He wondered who had constructed the disguise and why.

She had found some way to cover it in branches. Callis could imagine that if she sat still long enough she would blend in perfectly to the forest around her, completely unnoticed.

And now the King was offering her his steed.

Callis silently hoped the woman would refuse. The king was a gentleman. He would never Continue reading

Iatrogenic

 

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iatrogenic

  1. (of a medical disorder) caused by the diagnosis, manner, or treatment of a physician.

Callis kept his sword handy, prepared for what might come. Other than the woman’s wheezing, the only sounds around them were of the leaves being blown by a gentle breeze. While King Lucius seemed to be as calm as he was in his throne room, Callis was unsettled.

“Have you always had trouble breathing,” King Lucius asked.

The woman scowled without reply, struggling obviously to control her breathing.

“Answer your king,” Callis demanded coldly.

The king dismounted his steed and reached in his satchel.

“I used to have trouble breathing when I was a child,” King Lucius said to the woman. “My mother would make me tea. It calmed me. I’ve since made it into a hardened treat that has helped several children in my kingdom.”

The woman seemed suspicious of the king’s kindness. Callis was annoyed by the timing of it. Anyone who knew the king knew Continue reading