Thursday, March 24

Friday Fiction: The Corpse (Part 3)

Fiction Friday is a weekly opportunity for writers to share their work and receive a smidgen of feedback. It's also a GREAT place for readers to peruse inspiring and encouraging fiction from up-and-coming new authors. If you're new, don't be shy! Add a link or follow a link (at the bottom of this post), and be sure to scatter comments along your way. Enjoy!!!

I'm SO excited!! I'm hosting Fiction Friday again! My thanks to the lovely and most gracious "owner" of this meme, Anna K(arlene) Jeffrey, for including me on her itinerary of guest homes.

At the request of my daughter, I've written a few more paragraphs of my WIP, still in it's conception stages. (It has not yet reached infancy.) I answered a personal challenge set forth by the MikChiks to write 250 words a day in an effort to become more disciplined. They even put a ticker up for me on their advice blog Connecting Now. (Don't you just love the MikChiks?) This snippet put me over that goal for today (yay!), but I'm still behind over all.

(Here are links to Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them!)

Please remember, this is a draft. :)

Be blessed,


The Corpse
Part 3

The cafeteria didn’t serve mocha cappuccino, but when Callie needed a fix she could make do with ridiculous amounts of sugar and cream stirred into the bitter brew they called coffee. And she definitely needed a fix right now. She grimaced at the first sip, but the second and third went down much smoother.

Callie eyed Alfie over the rim of her cup, searching for words. Giving up, she wrapped her hands around the heated stoneware, closed her eyes, and breathed in the steamy aroma. Now would be a good time to pray, I guess.

But for what?

She breathed a whisper into her steaming coffee. “God, I’m confused.”

“I know you are.” Alfie leaned over the table, speaking softly.

Callie’s eyes flew open, and hot, sticky coffee sloshed over her clenched hands and onto the Formica. She put the cup down and grabbed a handful of napkins.

“I am too,” he said. “I didn’t want for you to… I mean, I didn’t want for it to happen this way. I wanted to see you before you got there, to tell you. I planned to meet you at the coffee shop.“

Alfie grabbed his own napkin and mopped his sweaty brown. “But I got a call…turned out to be nothing…but it made me late.”

The flimsy paper stuck to Callie’s hands and soon turned to shreds. She swabbed at the sticky mess on the table, smearing mocha-colored swirls and figure eights into the tabletop as questions and doubts tumbled and twisted in her mind.

“Then I thought maybe I could catch you in the parking lot, or the lobby, but I was way too late.”

Before Callie could snap at Alife to get on with it already, Kevin appeared like a vision, bearing the trademark red and brown to-go cup from her favorite coffee shop. A whisper of white whipped foam oozed from the sippy-spout.

“You said to find something to do. I thought you could use this.” The young, but obviously insightful intern set the cup before her with a flourish before breaking into off-key song. “'HERE I come to save the DAY!’ No offense to the man in blue, or anything, of course.” He bowed toward Alife. “Not trying to take your job.”

Callie welcomed the interruption and the heavenly libation. “Kevin, thanks, but could you…”

“I know, private conversation. I’ll go burn a cd or something.”

“No! Don't burn anything. I was going to ask you to get me a wet towel." She held up her sticky hands. "And, really… Thanks.”

© 2011
Photo credit


Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)


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Friday, March 18

Friday Fiction: The Corpse (Part 2)

Hello, loyal readers, and welcome newcomers!! You may remember (or you may not know) that, many moons ago (somewhere around three), I embarked on a journey to write a novel (yikes!). But, because I declared my intentions (publicly, even!), I've found it "impossible" to persevere. Weird, I know, but true. I've experienced it over and over again. I've learned that if I really set my mind to do something, I CAN'T tell anyone about it or it will never come to pass.

I'd like to break that trend, but I need your prayers!! As motivation for myself, I'm posting PART 2 (YAY!) of my future novel (yes, I said it), tentatively titled "The Corpse".

To refresh your memories, or to read it for the first time, here is a link to Part One, and how it came to be written.

To God be the Glory,

The Corpse
Part 2

Ripping off her mask with one hand, Callie grabbed up her cell from the desk behind her and thumbed in speed-dial #3 with the other. Alfie picked up after a half ring.

“Alfie. Where are you?”

“Right outside the morgue. I thought you might need me.”

“So, you know?” Callie nibbled at the cuticle on her thumb, worrying the already tortured skin until she drew blood.

“I don’t know what you think I know…but I do know…the dead guy I called you about this morning? He looks just looks like….”

The door to the morgue wooshed open, and Callie spun around.

Alfie’s one word echoed both in the room and over her cell.


Chapter 2

Callie closed her phone and slid it into her pocket, never taking her fiery eyes off of Alfie. “You knew. You knew when you called me.”

Alfie held his hands up in self-defense, the left one still gripping his cell phone. “Whoa, Callie. Yes, I knew what you would think when you saw him. And I tried to warn you on the phone but you didn’t want to listen.”

“You should have made me listen.”

“Cal, believe me, a swat team with tear gas and Tasers couldn’t have made you listen to me this morning.”

Callie brushed off his condescending remark, but a twinge of guilt gnawed at her. “Alfie, can we go somewhere and talk? Somewhere where the dead ringer for my dead husband isn’t laying on a slab laying in front of me, waiting for me to cut him open? I’m ready to listen now.”

Alfie pocketed his own phone and moved to put a protective arm around her. He pretended not to be hurt when Callie pretended not to notice as she ducked and turned around.

She spied Kevin, frozen in place and gawking at them.

“Kevin, I thought you were going to go do something. Crimenently.” Callie threw up her hands and stormed towards the door. “I need some air.” She tore off her gown and hat and tossed them in the barrel. The automatic door slid open as she approached it, sucking the pressure from the room with a silent whisper. Callie swiveled her head to eyeball Alfie.

“Are you coming?” she asked, and stormed from the room.

Alfie looked at Kevin, hoping for a little moral support, but Kevin just shrugged his shoulders, mouthed, “Sorry.” Alfie sighed, slid his phone into his hip holster, and followed in Callie’s wake.

© 2011
Photo credit: tuonela (

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Friday, March 11

Friday Fiction: When the Wind Blows

Today, I'm posting a repeat of my 2nd Faithwriters "Editor's Choice" award, or EC. This story will be published in an upcoming anthology.

To God be the Glory,

When the Wind Blows

All of the Christians have gone home. The church sits empty, save for dust motes floating in multicolored shafts of moonlight, spiders weaving new webs to replace those cleared away by the custodian, and the silent Spirit Who hovers majestically, lingering long after the bodies of the Church have departed.

He ponders the season of His confinement to the Holy of Holies. And when He only spoke to the Father’s chosen. The people had craved Him, but their time had not yet come.

He laughs with delight at His freedom in this age of Grace. To be able to be present with all of His children. To be summoned by a prayer. To be heralded and wrought to a frenzy by the voices of His worshippers raised in praise of His Name. To fill His children with Himself, and then go with them into the world.

He had flown with abandon this morning, floating, swirling, from one believer to another, being lifted to the rafters on a joyful noise, then descending in an invisible cloud to envelop His children in His presence. He filled the surrendered mind and heart of Pastor Beck as he stood surrounded by a Heavenly host called forth by the army of prayer warriors he shepherded.

The pastor’s words were pure Word; the Son was preached today. And worshipped, and loved, and lifted up. The Name of Jesus Christ was exalted, and the Father was well pleased. The Spirit sprang into abundance, and the Church’s faith came full circle.

The Trinity was in motion.

The prayers of the righteous touched His Heart, and He bestowed blessings upon His children. Some were discouraged by seemingly unanswered prayers. The blessings He bestowed were not always what was wished for, or what His children deemed best, but instead what was needed for the Father’s plan to unfold.

Smiling, cheerful Mrs. Granger cried out from a heart buried beneath a fa├žade of contentment for the restoration of her failed marriage.

The Spirit was bereaved, and grieved with her, but instead of granting her plea, He calmed His child and spoke to the hearts of three of her Sunday School classmates, urging them to reach out in love, comfort, and support.

Young Natalie knelt at the altar to pray as she had every Sunday since her baptism. She wanted to make sure everyone saw how serious she was about her decision to follow Christ. But all the Spirit heard was a clanging gong.

He hovered about her, and almost breached the wall of self separating them. He simultaneously nudged and inspired five of her friends to think of her and lift her to the Father. She was being convicted, and one day soon would see, hear, and finally surrender to the Truth.

He inhabited the music and spoke through the words of “Just as I am” to the Baileys as they communed with their Savior through worship. They had spent the past nine months church hopping, unable or unwilling make a commitment. As Gabrielle sang “I come..” and turned to her husband, he echoed, “I come.” They joined hands and hastened to the pastor, who stood smiling at the altar.

The Spirit thrilled to hear the Name spoken, and their confession of faith in the Lordship of Jesus Christ sent Him soaring. When Gabrielle and Dan stood before their new family, His Spirit of love bloomed as the congregation welcomed their new brother and sister.

Now, hours later, here in the stillness of the shadowy church and along the tendrils of Love snaking from heart to heart through the Body, the Spirit continues His work.

Natalie’s phone rings, and she accepts an invitation to go with a few girls to the soup kitchen tomorrow night. The Women’s Sunday School teacher takes out her best stationary and pens a welcoming and encouraging note to the Baileys. The aroma of baking fills more than one kitchen and text messages fly as His daughters finalize plans for a single ladies’ tea, making sure to include the newly single Mrs. Granger on the invitation list. Intercessory prayers pour through Him to the Father in the name of the Son.

The Church is stronger today than yesterday, and will be stronger still tomorrow as the Spirit prepares them for the return of the Son.

© 2007

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Friday, March 4

Jewels, Princesses, Shoes, and more!

 I'm double-dipping in bloggy land today! In addition to Fiction Friday, which is a silly children's story about a princess and shoes written for my niece Stephanie, I'm posting at Jewels of Encouragement today!! Pssst: You won't believe what I heard at the bowling alley! Come on over and read all about it.

Be blessed!!

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Friday Fiction: The Undercover Princess and the Kindgom of Shoes

The Undercover Princess and the Kingdom of the Shoes

Princess Stephanie didn’t know she was a princess. She thought she was just an ordinary, 7-year old girl whose ordinary mommy and daddy called her by an ordinary name. She was just Annie.

Annie and her ordinary family lived in an ordinary house in an ordinary town. The only thing that wasn’t ordinary about Annie was how much she liked shoes.

Annie really liked shoes. She liked them so much that she would rather get shoes for Christmas than toys.

Annie didn’t know why she liked shoes so much, until one night her mommy and daddy told her a new bed-time story about an ordinary girl named Annie.

When Annie was a little girl, a very, very little girl, before she started talking and remembering her memories, Annie didn’t live in an ordinary house. She lived in a big castle in a beautiful, rich land.

Her family wasn’t ordinary, either. Her mother and father were the queen and king of the land. Annie was a princess. And her name was Stephanie.

Stephanie’s mother, the queen, had the prettiest, daintiest feet of all the women in the kingdom. She knew how pretty her feet were, and she spent a lot of time admiring them. The queen was very proud of her feet.

The king loved the queen and would do anything to please her. He sent soldiers throughout the kingdom to bring back the best shoemaker from each town and every village to make shoes for the queen.

The king had a big workshop built in the royal village for the shoemakers. The workshop was bigger than the king’s castle! He filled the workshop with all of the tools and materials the shoemakers would need. When the soldiers brought the shoemakers back, he then he put them to work.

The shoemakers made hundreds of different shoes of all different colors and styles for the queen to choose from, but she only picked shoes that made her feet look the prettiest and daintiest. And she always had a matching pair made for their baby girl, Princess Stephanie. She had a whole room just for their shoes.

The shoemakers were allowed to sell or trade the many fine shoes she didn’t choose. They were glad the king had brought them to the royal village to work for, because they soon became rich, too. They built fine houses and beautiful churches and for their families, and large schools for their children.

The king and queen became even richer and more famous. The queen became even prouder of her pretty, dainty feet, now that she had shoes that made them look even prettier and daintier.

The shoemakers became even richer as traders bought their fine shoes by the hundreds to sell kingdom wide, and the kingdom became known throughout the world for the wonderful shoes they made. It became known as the Kingdom of the Shoes.

Not everyone was happy for the king and queen. Other kings from other kingdoms were jealous. They wanted to be more rich and more famous. They wanted their people to live in fine houses, worship at beautiful churches, and send their children to large schools.

But they didn’t want to work for it.

So they decided to take it from the king and queen.

The other kings invaded the Kingdom of the Shoes, and the king and queen had to run away and hide, taking their baby girl, Princess Stephanie, with them.

They only had room to take three pair of shoes, and it made the queen sad to leave all of her pretty, dainty shoes behind.

The king’s armies fought the evil neighbors for six years, until they gave up and went back home to their own kingdoms.

Now, as soon as the soldiers make sure the kingdom is safe, the king and queen and Princess Stephanie can come home to the Kingdom of the Shoes, and live happily ever after.

When Annie’s mommy and daddy finished telling her the story, she was almost asleep. They each gave her a butterfly kiss on the forehead and whispered, “Good night.”

Annie was sure she heard her mommy say, “Soon, my Princess Stephanie. Soon we can go home.”

Annie fell asleep with a smile on her face, and she dreamed of a room filled with beautiful, dainty shoes.


Written for and dedicated to my shoe-loving niece Stephanie, who overcame the temptation to blow her entire tax return on shoes. I'm so proud of you, Steph!!

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)