Posted in Craft, Short stories, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Teen Topics To the Tune of Characters 5/31/2021 Unconditional Love by Traci Kenworth


Teen Topics: To the Tune of Characters 5/31/2021

Traci Kenworth

Unconditional Love

Jori glanced around the bedroom painted teal with flower bordering. She swallowed hard. How did she luck into this? A queen bed shoved alongside one wall with gold sheet sets matching the white and gold bedroom set.

“Do you-like it?” the woman said, a hand to her husband’s arm.

No, not woman. Her new mom and dad for that matter.

She’d never had either. Her twelve-year-old self attempted a half-smile. Her voice rose scratchy as she spoke. “Sure.”

Behind them, the lovely interior of one of the wealthiest residents in Backwater, Tennessee caused her to step back. What if she broke something? Would they toss her out? Send her back to the orphanage? Or another foster family? Her hand curled around the suitcase they’d brought for her to put her things in. Her things. One pair of pants. Two shirts. A pair of shorts.

The woman-mom waved her inside the room. “Make yourself welcome.”

“Check out everything,” her dad said.

Taking a deep breathe, she inched into the setting. This couldn’t be real. She didn’t deserve this luxury. As if to hit that message home, two shadows appeared behind the parents. One boy. One girl. The boy smiled. The girl frowned. What a joy it must be for them to get a new sister, almost grown.

Her mother opened the closet. “We got your sizes from the- We hope you like them.”

Inside, every color of dress shimmered.

“The dressers are filled too. If you need anything else. Let us know.”

Her dad nodded. “You’ll be given an allowance to manage. We expect some chores. Same as any family.”

And if she didn’t do it to their satisfaction?

Her mother patted her arm. “Don’t worry. We won’t throw everything at you all at once.” She glanced at the rest of her family. “Let’s give her some space. To sort through things.”

The girl lingered behind the others. She flashed her teeth at Jori. Go ahead. Just relax. She’d be there to set her straight, that look said.

Jori cringed. Well, she couldn’t expect it all to be pudding could she?

Posted in a bit of seriousness, Muse, Reading, Uncategorized, writers, Writing and Poetry


English: Cain and Abel
English: Cain and Abel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




Traci Kenworth




From a Biblical standpoint, horror entered existence with the story of Cain and Abel. Two brothers. No inherent conflict hinted at until—both made offerings to God. Abel’s was accepted and found good, Cain’s lacking. Why? Because Cain didn’t put his best effort into it. He held back. I imagine he did this with a lot of things in his life. Being secretive doesn’t just happen one day, it’s part of a person’s character. Can’t you just see Cain skulking around, upset that his parent’s paid more attention to his younger brother than him? Jealousy can run rampant and well, violence erupts. No one envisioned that one day Cain would slay his brother but the roots had to have been there since Day One of Abel’s birth. Perhaps Eve noticed this when the two siblings played some game, or Adam when he taught them each the job they would undertake (Abel—farming the land, Cain—taking care of the livestock).


You can be sure that tempting Eve in the garden with the fruit from The Tree of Life wasn’t the last time Lucifer entered the family’s lives. Can’t you just see him there, hiding, playing on Cain’s fears that Abel would take everything that he loved away? Pushing him, prodding him, planting the seed that would cause him to one day murder his brother? Evil lies in wait for good. It always has. That I think sums up why the genre is both appealing to its readers and repulsive to others. Those who are drawn to it want to confront this darkness in whatever form it comes in (clowns, terminators, corpses, etc.) and destroy it. We want to see The Mummy blown back into the tomb it came from, the silver bullet take down the fearsome werewolf, and the little girl freed from the devil’s possession. It’s a sense of closure for us, to know that the good guy/girl does win in the end which doesn’t always happen in real life.


Since the dawn of time, many people have sat around campfires telling stories. About ghosts. Monsters. Hitchhikers. We listen with bated breath because we’re all looking for a way to protect ourselves, to shine a light down into the pit to expose the evil that lies in wait. It’s about survival. Some of us are looking for a way to beat back the zombie apocalypse. Every country, every group of persons, every religion has its beliefs. To me, horror isn’t about fanning the flames and showcasing the grotesque. It’s about standing together when things go south, having a goal in common, and when everything’s said and done, killing the virus before it becomes airborne.