Posted in The Labz, Writing

Advent Story: A New Life

Happy 2023! Can you believe it? We’re almost a whole week into the new year. Definitely wanna talk to you about that a bit. Then I have a free story you might not have read before (or just skip ahead to the story!). Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. It was featured in the 2022 Indie Author Advent Calendar in December.

Happy New Year 🥂

What are your New Year’s traditions? Did you stay up and watch the NYC ball drop on TV? Or sit down to set some resolutions? If you’re the resolution setting type, then I hope you have those nailed down. Either way, I hope 2023 is going well for you so far.

I’m not typically one for resolutions. But I do like to reflect. And this year was another crazy one for me. Totally would not have called everything that’s happened, especially in these last few months. When we kicked off 2022, I thought I’d still be at that min wage job I quit for years to come. Boy was I wrong!

This week, I’ve been trying to take some time to reflect on what I have been doing vs what I want to do moving forward. The most important of those things is working more on healing my trauma. The tagline for the site mentions it, but it’s not something I’ve talked about here on the blog yet. Well, this year I’m going to share some of that. And stuff about video games. And music playlists. And other stuff. I have some ideas, but I don’t want to give away the surprises 🎁 just yet!

Advent Story

The 2022 Indie Author Advent Calendar was a lot of fun. Now that it is over, I want to give my story a permanent home. By posting it here on my blog. So without further ado, please enjoy some (more?) free fiction!

A New Life

It was one of those mornings. I woke up late because my new alarm clock did not go off. The shower was cold; this building’s hot water heater so far seemed to be super hit-or-miss as winter started. I reached for my comb, and knocked it into the toilet. Every little thing went wrong. When I finally tried to find my car keys, it felt like I had turned the entire tiny apartment upside down looking for them. I looked everywhere (well, except inside the boxes I still hadn’t opened to unpack), but I had no clue where they were. I was so late and beyond freaking out. My boss was going to kill me. I mean not literally, but still. 

When I finally spotted the keys, my black cat pounced on them, took them in his mouth, and proceeded to jump up on my tall bookshelf, out of my reach.

“Oh come on! I’m late enough as is, give me my keys!” I threw up my hands in frustration. 

“No.” He said flatly in reply. “You need a break.” 

“No I don’t, I need to go to work.” I insisted, stomping my foot as my hands balled into fists. 

He gave the kitchen a pointed look and raised an eyebrow. “You sure about that?” 

With my arms still up, I peered behind my back. The dishes were floating around every which way with magic dazzling and sparkling all around them. Forks trying to stab plates that twirled & dodged, knives having sword fights with each other, and a line of mugs and cups gliding through the chaos like a group of figure skaters. 

I start to sigh in exasperation. But as I dropped my arms all my glass cups and ceramic plates and bowls started to crash to the floor. “Stop!!!” I held out my hands in time for most of them to still be in the air. It took all my attention and focus, but I managed to slow them down enough so the rest didn’t shatter on impact with the tile floor. I hung my head, there was no time to clean them up now. So that mess would greet me when I got home. 

“As your familiar, it is my job to help guide you to becoming a full-fledged witch. And that-“

“Can you save the speech, please?” I really did not have time for his favorite lecture. I rubbed my face and turned back around. “I cannot miss work today. My boss will fire me. Then I won’t be able to afford this apartment.” 

“And how will you explain it to the mortals if your stress gets out again?” He tilted his head to the side. 

I found myself hating how he could, at will, make himself and anything he touched immune to my powers. So couldn’t just take the keys with a flick of my wrist. “I’m stressed about not having my keys. If you give them to me, then I won’t be stressed.”

“We both know that isn’t true. You have been far too stressed since you took this job.” 

I slowly lowered myself to the floor, joining the dishes. “But the job pays really well, it’s the only reason I can afford to live in the city.”

He hopped down and came beside me, “And what good is that? You were happier before we moved here.”

“But I want…” I wanted to prove to my family that I could make it in the city.

‘What does it matter what they think if you’re so unhappy?’ Came his voice in my mind as he put the keys in my hand and then looked up into my eyes. 

I sighed. He was right. “Let me at least call my boss.” I dug out my cell phone.

It rang several times, until he finally answered. I could barely make out what he was even saying through all the yelling about how I was supposed to already be there, and I needed to do what he told me to, and all the usual stuff. Except… from here on the floor, surrounded by my dishes, it didn’t scare me the way it always did. I looked at my cat’s abashed face, and simply did not care what my boss thought anymore. 

When there finally was a pause in the tirade, when there was finally a window in which he expected me to grovel, I instead said, “Ok, I quit.” 

When he started to yell about how I couldn’t do that, I simply hung up the phone. Because I indeed could quit. There was a lot I could do. I had set up a new life once already just to be here in the city, I certainly could pack it up and go somewhere else. 


Creative & a little odd. Silly & thoughtful. Jacq loves the beach and books. She has loved novels since I was a little kid, and made this site to pursue her creative interests.

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