Friday, October 6, 2017

Murder by Text: Secret Subject Swap

Welcome a Secret Subject Swap. This month 11 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts. Read through mine and at the bottom you’ll find links to all of today’s other Secret Subject participants.

Secret Subject Swap, a multi-blogger writing challenge | | #MyGraphics

My subject is: Take the last text message you received and turn it into a horror story.
It was submitted by: Rabia of The Lieber Family Blog. Points for the creativity of this prompt, Rabia. And for giving me the opportunity to say IT'S OCTOBER! YAY.

All over the internet and social media I've been seeing Halloween projects and pumpkin recipe since August. August! Really. Not for me. No thanks. I LOVE Halloween season. I have so much fun making Halloween themed food. We still talk about College Boy's challenge a couple of years ago that I make a Billy the Puppet Cake
Billy the Puppet Cake, a Halloween treat | | #recipe #Halloween

then there's my Bloody Fingers Halloween Dinner,
Bloody Fingers Halloween Dinner | | #recipe #Halloween

and my Witch's Caldron Giant Cookie.
Witch's Caldron Giant Cookie | | #recipe #Halloween

What do they all have in common? I posted them in October. August is for enjoying the end of summer. September is for apple season and welcoming Fall. And October is all out no-holds-barred Halloween and pumpkin immersion. Break out the pumpkin, 'tis the season. 

Spice Thumbprint with Pumpkin Filling, fall spices flavor this thumbprint cookie that's baked, then filled with a pumpkin frosting | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookie #pumpkin
Spice Thumbprints with Pumpkin Filling
Spice Thumbprint with Pumpkin Filling, fall spices flavor this thumbprint cookie that's baked, then filled with a pumpkin frosting | Recipe developed by | #recipe #cookie #pumpkin

And now that it really is October, what a perfect Secret Subject Swap prompt. 

Back in June I actually wrote a post that would have been perfect for this post, but it was done quite differently. Then I'd received scary texts and wrote the story. It's called I Know What You've Done and you should check it out. 

Today's prompt is more difficult, I need to take an innocuous text and turn it into a scary story. Actually, I took a few texts and wove them together. And I'm sure that having just finished making a new recipe, Chocolate Coffin Cookies (watch for this recipe in an upcoming post), had absolutely nothing to do with where my mind went when I saw these texts. It all started like this:

It was a cold rainy night in October. I was home alone, waiting for my family to arrive. I had just brought in the mail and was saddened to see that it was that time of year again, time to pay the premiums on Hubs' and my life insurance policy. The bill was higher than I'd expected, looks like Hubs upped the coverage on me. Good. 'Bout time he started to realize my worth.

The whole incident started with an innocent mistake. Or maybe it was fate. Either way I discovered it when my cell dinged indicating an incoming text. Actually a number of them. Hubs, College Boy and PurDude had started a group text conversation. At first I thought I'd been included on purpose, but as the conversation evolved it became clear that they were talking about me, not to me.

It seemed they were making plans, something they had all agreed to do together once home. Whatever it was, it sounded ominous. They agreed that it would be painful for me and that it would be hard for them to watch me suffer, but needed to be done. And they were apparently on a schedule, wanting to get it over with.

I was already concerned, trying to think of an alternative other than what was going through my mind. Life insurance. And my coverage had just gone up. They couldn't be planning to collect, could they? My loving family.

I looked down at the phone again. There would be another explanation, I just needed to follow the conversation. 

But it got worse. Their time frame was off, they were only going to have time to come home and find me, not do the work themselves. Really, they said that as they contemplated what they were calling Plan B, hiring someone. As if I couldn't get more mortified, it seems they'd done their research ahead of time, it was just a matter of who would make the arrangements. Yes, it had gone that far. And Hubs, the man I had married and built a family with, was telling my oldest to do it.

Apparently PurDude agreed with the choice.

There was a break in the conversation. I'd like to say that I spent the time wisely, but I was in shock, literally sitting at the table, staring. And shaking.

All too soon though, the texting picked up:

I gotta say, if it weren't my own death they were talking about, I'd be pretty impressed with those negotiating skills too. But it was the next text that got me to move.

If they were going to be home to find me soon, that means the hit had to be happening now. Terrified, I didn't even pack. Tears streaming down my face I grabbed my purse, jumped in my car and drove. 

Which is why I didn't see my family walk into the house 15 minutes later with a bonfire of candles lit atop a $35 birthday cake.

PS: You're probably thinking that a birthday may not be your idea of a horror story but for me, at just 4 days out, the number of candles on that cake may well be more terrifying than a murder plot.

Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Spice Thumbprints with Pumpkin Filling          

Ingredients (makes 2 1/2 dozen):
1 1/2 sticks butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP molasses
1 egg, room temperature
2 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 stick butter, room temperature
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 cups powdered sugar

*Cream the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the molasses and egg.
*Whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Carefully beat into the butter mixture. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to a day.
*Beat the 1/2 stick of butter with the pumpkin puree, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice until smooth. Carefully beat in 1 cup of the powdered sugar, then the remaining powdered sugar. Place in a sealable bag and refrigerate.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Remove dough from the refrigerator and roll into 1 inch balls. Place on the baking sheets and using the bottom of a wooden spoon, form a circle into the center of each dough ball about the size of a thumbprint. Make sure not to press all the way through.
*Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Cool completely.
*Snip the corner of the bag of pumpkin filling and pipe into the center of the cookies.


  1. I love how you did that, had me worried but so glad it's just a writing challenge. Great cookie recipe too.

  2. Oh geez, you got me on that one! I would have freaked out, too. Love all your Halloween recipes----very clever.

    1. This was actually a harder prompt than I would have thought!

  3. You have a strange family! Which, for all your readers, is a good thing. Alana

  4. What an awesome job in every respect. Loved it. So many people I know love Halloween and I enjoy looking at all the costumes, decorations, etc. But, it is one holiday I never made time for nor ever really participated. Maybe because both of my kids and two of their kids have birthdays that week!

    1. My kids totally got me into Halloween, the build up, the costumes, the crafts, the games, the playing with food, the parties, the school parade, the pumpkin carving, the trick-or-treating, there's nothing like seeing kids enjoy this time of year.

  5. Oh the places our mind can take us. I've decided if I ever have a Halloween party again, all the food is going to be your recipes.....

    1. I hope you do have that Halloween party, they're so much fun.

  6. What a cool prompt! You right, birthday candles are a dreaded site for sure.

    1. Sadly, I long for the days when I was actually excited for my birthday.

  7. your family always cracks me up. Love how you wrote this and the cute twist. Sorry it took so long to get my post up and come over here.

    1. It was a lot of work, putting all these tweets together as a post, but it was fun.

  8. LOL! Turning a surprise birthday celebration into a murder plot! Amazing!!! You sure there was nothing in the cake...


Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!