Friday, July 17, 2020

End of the Line(age): Use Your Words

Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I'm using: solidify ~ bridge ~ shadows ~ broom ~ coveted ~makeshift
They were submitted by Jenniy of Climaxed.
When I first saw these words, and every time for a few days since, all I could think of was Hansel and Gretel. Yeah, I don't know why either, let me just say that what goes on in my head can often be inexplicable interesting.

But once you have an association in your head, whether it's logical or not, it pretty much takes up permanent residence, especially when you tell it not to. So every time I went to try to write this post, Hansel and Gretel paid me a visit. And telling myself I was going to look at those words and NOT think "Hansel and Gretel" just made those two kids dig in their heels and settle down for the duration. {{sigh}} 

Defeat not being an option, and pilfering the story of Hansel and Gretel not being an option either, I've come up with a little piece of fiction for you today. A compromise of sorts between and my brain.

The players may change . . .

They had a lot to talk about as they sat on their back patio. They had left their grandmother at the family real estate office and come right home. Not a word was said between them on the ride home. Shock can do that to you.

The grill was going and they each had a beer. It was unlike her to drink beer, afraid it would fatten her up, but when he handed it to her, his sister took it. He could have handed her a snake, he thought to himself, and she would have taken it. She was deep in thought, trying to process the story their sweet grandmother had told them about their names, their lineage, and their ties to that other family. More than that though, his sister was, just as he was, fighting to come to grips with what Gram had asked them to do. Murder.

He flipped the Sweet Chili Turkey Burgers that would be their dinner and looked around. This house, their family home, sat on a beautiful, lush piece of land. Not where either of them expected to be living when in their thirties, but his sister had never married, and he needed a peaceful place to recover from his recent divorce. The quaint wooden bridge over the slow-moving brook was the of epitome serenity. And although not in the woods exactly, he loved being surrounded by mature trees, which also provided the seclusion that allowed them to begin their conversation there in the open. Considering the significance of the task, it would have been shocking to anyone else just how effortlessly they accepted their familial responsibility, their Gram's bidding. Through the evening, still sitting in that same spot, their strategy began to solidify.

Sweet Chili Turkey Burgers, lower in fat, bursting with fresh flavors, perfect for any cookout. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

Sweet Chili Turkey Burgers
Sweet Chili Turkey Burgers, lower in fat, bursting with fresh flavors, perfect for any cookout. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #dinner

. . . but the game remains the same. 

Gram said that she recognized the woman immediately, when she walked into their family real estate office. Not a coincidence at all, they were the only realtors in this small village. She was looking for a house, Gram later told them, and that meant it was going to start again. Something they could not allow. 

The family home, Gram explained, met enough of the criteria of the woman's coveted house be an enticement. Quaint, secluded, with a state-of-the-art kitchen and lots of storage, those were the parameters. Of course they were.

Grandmother and grandchildren spoke of it just once again, to agree on a course of action. A "for sale" sign would go in the yard of the family home. Gram would show the woman pictures of the house and the property, but she would not be there for the showing, her grandchildren insisted on it. They all had their roles. Gram would entice her, the grandson would get her in, and the granddaughter would be the closer.

"There it is," the woman in question thought on the day of her appointment, eyeing the Victorian cottage with the gingerbread trim in front of her. This may not be exactly what she had been seeking but, though explicitly described in family lore, her great, great, great, great grandmother's house was long gone. Until she could make some adjustments, embellish the outside to sweeten the look, this could easily be her makeshift home. 

Just as this was not exactly her ancestors' home, she wasn't exactly the witch her predecessors had been either, no broom for her, but the blood ran through her veins, the hunger inherited, the practices carefully passed on through the generations, albeit in the shadows

When the bell rang, brother and sister looked at each other with resolve. This was it.

He kept up a narrative as they toured the house together, deliberately saving the kitchen for last.

"I think this is just what you were looking for," he said as the woman's eyes lit up. "It's a chef's kitchen, pot filler over the stove, and just look at the size of this oven," he smiled as he opened the door, "so big you could fit inside," he encouraged, as she bent to get a good look.

His job was to get her in, which he accomplished by giving that witch an aggressive push. And, as Hansel turned on the heat, Gretel did her part. She closed it.

And if this witch was the last in her line(age)? 

Game over.

Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Wandering Web Designer
On the Border
The Crazy Mama Llama
Part-time Working Hockey Mom 

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Sweet Chili Turkey Burgers

1 1/4# lean ground turkey (I use 97% lean)
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 green onion, chopped
2 TBSP yellow pepper, chopped 
5 slices smoked provolone cheese
5 toasted rolls or English muffins
OPT: mayonnaise or mustard, lettuce and/or tomato

*In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, bread crumbs, egg, sweet chili sauce, salt, pepper, green onion and yellow pepper. Form into 5 burgers, wrap individually in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
*Preheat grill to medium heat. Place the burgers on the grill, close the lid and allow to cook for 14 - 18 minutes, carefully turning halfway through. 
*NOTE: turkey must be cooked completely. Internal temperature must be 165 degrees and juices should run clear. My burgers were about an inch thick, I kept the heat on the grill at a pretty even 400 degrees and they took 9 minutes per side.
*Once the burgers are cooked, place a slice of cheese on each, shut off the grill, close the lid again and leave on the grill for one minute.
*Place each burger in a toasted bun with your choice of condiments. 
*OPT: These can be cooked indoors in a hot pan with a little olive oil.


  1. Excellent! I absolutely love it!
    You need to do this more often!
    I love different 'takes' on fairly tales.
    I wonder what that dish would be called...

    1. Had to go where the words took me. Resistance is futile!

  2. At first (sorry!) I thought they had discovered they were related to the man who currently has taken over the news. Wow. I need to lighten up my mood. This does make you wonder what it would be like if dark fairy tales had sequels. Alana

    1. Oh no, that would have been a fate worse than death. Poor (but brave) Mary Trump!

  3. You did a bloody good job you have more talent then me

    1. I don't know about that but thank you for the compliment.

  4. I love how you incorporated the gingerbread trim ;-)
    Hänsel und Gretel was one of my favorite fairy tales. I imagined the witch's cottage to be super pretty with all the candy decoration.

    1. Good, you caught the gingerbread trim. She also thinks that she'll need to "embellish the outside to sweeten the look."

  5. Excellent! Your mind works in fascinating ways, i like it.

  6. Great nostalgic story. I, too, have great memories of my grandma. I woman who was only 3'6' but left quite the legacy.

    1. Legacies are about character, I'm glad your memories of your grandma are good ones.

  7. What a great addition to a wonderful story. I love how you took these words and built on your turkey burger. I have never tried it but hubby has and loves it. I may have to give this one a try. Pinning as always.

    1. I had never had a turkey burger either, which made trying to come up with my own recipe interesting. But I did try this one and I was surprised that it was a winner on the first try.

  8. Really great job of twisting the Hansel and Gretel dynamic!

    1. Brought it up to date a bit, glad you enjoyed the sequel.

  9. oh i loved this! sometimes when i get my words the same thing happens and no matter how I try to see them from a different angle, the idea is planted, and I'm stuck with nurturing it into a full grown post.


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