Posts Tagged With: The Adventures of Jude and Tammy

Say Something

Say Something


*An Adventures of Jude and Tammy story*

Tammy slowly swung back and forth, the tips of her sandals gliding through the sand.  She looked up, hearing Jude’s voice across the playground.  He laughed and chased Katy around, trying to place a ladybug in her hair, knowing she was scared of them.  Tammy smiled and kicked off to make her swing go faster, higher. 

Katy’s squeals echoed off the brick wall of the school. “Jude, stop!”  She ran into the circle of her other friends.  “Help me, Alex, Chris, Rob.”

The three friends circled around Katy and then grabbed hold of her.  The tall skinny boy named Chris blurted out, “I’ve got her, Jude.  Do it!”

The five friends squealed and laughed in their circle as Jude pretended to place the ladybug in Katy’s hair. Tammy giggled watching the chaos from the swings.  Katy frantically searched through her hair for the bug and everyone else busted out laughing. Chris and Jude fell to the ground holding their stomachs, Alex giggled into her pig tails and Rob shook his head.  They then launched into a game of tag, covering the entire playground.

Tammy swung higher and higher, closing her eyes so she could feel the catch in her stomach as her swing fell back down to the earth after soaring high into the wide blue sky.  The warm rays of the sun kissed her cheeks with a light burn.  Her pale, porcelain skin always turned pink when exposed and caused a patch of freckles to appear across her nose.  A soft, sad song played in her mind as she lost herself in the swing.

“Hey, Tammy!”

She opened her eyes just as she reached the apex of the back swing and then smiled as she soared toward Jude standing beside the swings, his hands cupped over his brows like a visor to block the sun from his eyes.

“Hey, Jude.” It took a couple passes, her toes running through the sand to bring the swing to a stop.  “What’s up?”

“You should have seen it, Tammy.  I pretended to put this bug in Katy’s hair and she went all crazy. It was so sweet,” Jude told her as his eyes sparkled with excitement.

“I saw it,” Tammy responded.

“Did you see how she screamed? She sounded just like you when you scream.”

Tammy nodded.  The bell rang, indicating the end of recess.

Jude turned his attention to the school and then back at Tammy.  “Well, I’ve got to go.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”

With a small wave, Tammy responded, “Bye, Jude.”  She walked slowly into the building with a huge lump in her throat.


Tammy hung upside down on the monkey bars.  She closed one of her eyes and held out her tiger-eyed marble, catching a ray of the late summer sunshine in it and it sparkled.

Jude walked up beneath her.  “Hey, you still got that thing?”

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I?”

“Can I borrow it?”

Tammy wrapped her fingers around her marble and scrunched her brows at Jude.  The pressure in her brain grew heavy from being upside down for too long, so she pulled herself up and sat on top the bars.  “Why?”

“Chris wanted to play a game but I didn’t have a shooter.  We can play if I borrow yours.”  Jude held out his hand.

Opening her hand, Tammy looked down at her most precious treasure and then at the marble in her hand.  She bent down, placing the tiger-eye into Jude’s hands. “Take care of it.”

Without looking back, Jude took off running toward his group of friends and waved over his head, “Thanks, Tammy.”

Her fingers ached where the marble had once sat.  She closed her eyes to stop the tears that wanted to fall.


Watching the pretty pink ink flow across the paper, Tammy carefully formed each of her letters.  Her teacher told her earlier that day she had the best penmanship in the class and her stories were very imaginative.  She lay in the grass, swaying her legs back and forth behind her as she scribbled words across the lined page.  The black beetle scurried across the moss-covered log.

A ball bounced onto her paper, causing her to mess up the letter-g.  She raised her head and shouted, “Hey, watch where you throw your balls!”

Jude ran up, his steps crunching over the fallen autumn leaves and grabbed the ball.  He looked down and said, “Sorry, Tammy.  I didn’t see you laying there. Your brown sweater camouflaged you.”   He cocked his head to the side.  “What are you doing?”

“I’m writing a story,” Tammy answered.  “It’s about that time at the start of school …”

“Jude, come on!” Chris yelled from across the playground.

“See you later,” Jude said and took off running.

“… that we saw a black beetle in the woods,” Tammy finished saying.  She closed her notebook and placed her face into the crook of her arms and cried.


The cold winds came and snow fell, making the playground look like a winter wonderland.  Tammy loved her pink coat, boots, hat and mittens.  They had been an early Christmas gift from a grandmother she didn’t know who lived in the city. It was the last day of school before the winter break.

Tammy stepped through the snow until she came to the familiar plastic tunnels.  She liked to crawl into the end of the one placed by the edge of the playground where the other kids rarely played.  She liked to write there, free from the sounds of laughter, the wayward ball, the stares, or simply the sight of anyone else.  She crawled inside and pulled out her tattered notebook, now almost full of her stories.  She pulled out her pink pen that was now almost empty of ink and began to write.

The princess swung her sword and slayed the mean dragon, saving the kingdom.

“What’cha you doing in here?”

Tammy looked up, surprised to see Jude peering into the edge of the tunnel.  “I’m writing.”

“You’re still doing that?” Jude slid into the end of the tunnel and sat next to her.  “What are you writing about?”

Tammy blinked.  Her bottom lip trembled.  She snapped her book shut and said to Jude, “I missed you.”

Jude looked up at her and answered, “What are you talking about? I’ve been right here.”

She shook her head.  “No, you haven’t.”

He smiled. “You’re being silly, Tammy.  I see you every day.”

“No, you haven’t seen me in weeks.  You haven’t played with me or talked to me.”  She stuffed her book and pen into her pocket and climbed over him to get out of the tunnel.

Jude sat there quietly and stared at Tammy.  Confusion covered his face.

“Say something …” Tammy started, but then snapped her lips shut.  Tears sprang into her eyes.  “I was your best friend and would have followed you anywhere.”

“You are my best friend,” Jude muttered.

“You forgot me.” Tammy shook her head.  “I gave up on you when you took my marble and never gave it back.”

“It was just a stupid marble.  I’ll get you another one,” Jude said.

Tears coursed down Tammy’s face.  “It was mine and precious to me. You were precious to me.”

Jude pulled himself out of the tunnel and crossed his arms over his chest.  “You’re being such a girl, Tammy.”

“I am a girl.”  Tammy turned away and started walking away. “Good-bye, Jude.”


Till next time,

~T.l. Gray

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Categories: Blog Post, Flash Fiction, Short Story, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Hell of a Ride

This is a short story I posted for a contest. It contains characters of other stories I’ve posted here, but older. It didn’t win, but I thought I’d share it here.  Enjoy.



Story prompt.

Story prompt.


Pushing through the thick brush, Tammy shivered as a lone wolf’s howl rent the air, causing chill bumps to pop up all over.  The silvery moonlight covered everything with a shimmering film, as a thick, green fog slivered across the ground.


“Let’s get the hell out of here,” Jude whispered behind her.  “Why can’t we just go back to the campsite?”


Tammy felt something strong draw her into the woods.  “I have to do it.” She knew the answer to her escape lay ahead, somewhere in a legend.


Jude growled.  “I don’t understand why you have to do this.  You’ve got nothing to prove to anyone, me most of all.”


“It’s not about you.”  Tammy stopped, turned and faced Jude.  She reached out and placed one of her hands on the side of his strong, bold face.  “You’ve made your choice, now it’s time for me to make mine.”


Pushing forward, the sound of crickets and the smell of stagnant water assaulted Tammy’s senses as she sloshed through the soggy moss and putrid swampland.  Her breath caught as she pushed through a tangle of dead branches and the skeletal giant of twisted, rusted iron appeared before her, like a ghost forming out of the mist.


“Holy shit!” Jude exclaimed from behind her.  “That’s jacked up.”


Feeling her lips spread into a wide smile, Tammy answered, “I think it’s beautiful.”


“What the hell is a rollercoaster doing out in the middle of a swamp?”  Jude scratched his head.  “This isn’t right.  This whole thing smells wrong.”


Tammy marched forward, walking between the legs of the coaster, which were buried deep into the soggy earth.  She stared at the rusted frame above her.  Jude followed close behind.


“This is the way out,” Tammy said as she climbed a set of rickety stairs to the tall launch platform.


“That’s ridiculous, Tammy.  This is a roller coaster.  It doesn’t go anywhere but in the same loop.  It ends up where it begins.”   Jude stood on the platform and pointed out into the foggy distance. “There’s nothing out there.”


Tammy placed a kiss on Jude’s soft lips and then stepped into the front car.  She sat down and pulled the rusted safety bar into her lap.  She looked back at Jude.  “No, that’s not true.”  Squeezing the bar with her sweaty hands, she said, “Staying where we are, going around in the same circles is where nothing lives.


This…” She nodded toward the rusted track.  “…this is where living happens.”


Jude clenched his jaw and ran his hands through his hair.  “That coaster is nothing but ups and downs, curves and hills.  It doesn’t go any fucking where.”


“It’s life, Jude.”  Tears welled in the corner of Tammy’s eyes.  “It’s living.”


Shaking his head, Jude answered.  “No, Tammy.  That’s nothing but a rusted track.  You could die out there.  Just get the fuck out and come back with me to camp.”


Warm tears slid down Tammy’s cheeks.  “I’m sorry, Jude, but I can’t go back.  Being in that swamp, in that fog, in those woods …that’s not living, babe.  We’re lost.  We don’t know where we are, how we got here, but I can’t stay.”  She wiped her cheek and nose with her shoulder as she gripped the lap bar. “This is the way out, I know it.”  She looked up into his hazel eyes.  “Please, come with me. I love you.  I need you.”


Jude took a step back and shook his head.  “I can’t.  I’m not ready for this. I need… time.”


Tammy closed her eyes, pushing more tears from beneath her lashes.  “I don’t understand, but I can’t make you choose.”


The coaster creaked and then roared to life.  The metal rollers screeched across the rusted iron rails like the call of a banshee as it shifted and lunged forward into a slow crawl.  Tammy looked back at Jude, “I will love you forever.”


“Please stay.”


The coaster entered the upward climb.  Her legs shook in nervousness, her teeth chattered, and her heart pounded against her chest. She held her breath, not being able to breathe as the coaster reached the top of the summit.


At the pinnacle, she met deathly silence as the coaster came to a full stop.  She looked over the side and below her a green fog hovered over the ground, exposing only the tallest peaks of the coaster.  She saw no woods, no swamp, no platform, no Jude.


The coaster inched forward.  She gripped the lap bar as her fear reached its apex.  She let out a long, slow breath, released her grip on the safety bar and lifted her arms into the air above her head.


The coaster lunged forward and then plunged into an endless dive.  Tammy screamed as loud as she could, releasing all the pain, fear and helplessness bottled inside.  Every moment of rejection escaped into the air, and for once she felt truly free as the coaster raced along the rails.  She would not close her eyes.  She would not grab hold for safety.  She wanted to fly, and that’s exactly what she did.


The dark green-gray sky turned to a bright-brilliant blue.  The rancid reek of swamp melded into the salty tang of sea spray.  The empty, hollow howls of lone wolves became replaced by the gleeful screams and peals of laughter from fellow coaster riders. Tammy grabbed the lap bar as the coaster came into the bay and stopped at a freshly painted platform.  As she stepped from the car, she felt the dark memories of a beautiful pair of hazel eyes evaporate from her mind.  A lone image standing on a haunted platform faded into a silver mist.


“Tammy!” A bubbly girl ran up to her and draped her arm over her shoulder.  “So, how was the ride?”



Tammy felt as if she left something important behind, but she couldn’t remember what she forgot.  She smiled. “That was one hell of a ride.”


Till next time,

~T.L. Gray


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New Friends – Part III of the Adventures of Jude and Tammy

New Friends


Jude jumped up and down, pumping his little fist into the air.  “Yeah, I smoked you, Tammy!”

Tammy flicked her long auburn hair over her shoulder and smiled up at her celebrating friend.  “You got me this time. But, my turn is next.”  She picked up her favorite tiger-eyed marble and stuffed it into her dress pocket.

Snatching up the remainder ducks, Jude filled his pockets with his treasured marbles.  “What you wanna play next?”  He plopped down in the dirt next to Tammy?  He looked over at her and smiled.  “Just so you know. You’re my best friend, Tammy.”

Tammy wrinkled her nose and looked up at Jude, who had the bright sun behind him, causing her to only see his silhouetted outline.  “You’re my best friend, too, Jude.”

Jude shrugged.  “Okay, cool.”  He looked around and then asked, “Do you want to play hide and seek?”

“Who’s it?”

“I’ll be it.  You go hide.” Jude smiled.

Jumping up, Tammy bent over and placed a quick kiss on Jude’s cheek and then took off running into the woods.

Jude reached up and quickly wiped the kiss off. He wrinkled his brows and pursed his lips together and grumbled, “I wish she’d stop doing that.” He stood up and shoved his hands deep into his pockets and started walking into the woods, now in no hurry to seek Tammy and her stupid kisses.

Walking down the wooded path, Jude started kicking a pine cone down the trail and wasn’t watching where he went.  Angry at Tammy because he had told her a ton to stop being a silly girl, that he didn’t like kisses, but she didn’t do what he said.  He reared back and kicked the cone as hard as he could, sending it flying into the woods.

The cone hit a nearby tree, pinged back and then rolled down the hill.  Jude took off running after it.  He loved to run.  The cone bopped, bounced and hopped down the hill and then rolled onto the edge of the playground, coming to stop just below one of the see-saws.  “Katy, stop!” He yelled at the girl riding high on the see-saw as it drifted toward the earth toward his pine cone.

Her little feet touched the ground, but she held the see-saw from coming all the way down and then turned her head back toward him.  “Oh, hey, Jude.”

Jude gave her a little wave and quickly bent down to pick up his pine-cone football.

“Can you help me off?” Katy asked, nodding toward the other see-saw rider.

Rearing back, Jude took aim at a nearby tree and launched his pinecone with a mighty throw.  Together the two children watched it fly through the air, hit the bark of a nearby tree and then bounce off into the underbrush.  Jude then reached over and held the see-saw while Katy slid off, and then slowly lowered it for the other rider.

“Thank you, Jude,” Katy answered.  She nodded toward the other rider.  “Silas is heavier than me and every time I slide off, it makes him hit the ground hard.”

Jude shrugged.

Katy smiled at him.  “Do you want to come with me to the pond and race boats?”

“Nah, I don’t like racing boats.”

“Climb the monkey bars?”

“Nah, I did that already.”

“Well, what do you want to do?”

Jude poked his hands in his pockets and pulled out a handful of marbles.  “Do you like to play marbles?”

Katy smiled.  “I never played. Can you teach me how?”

“Sure,” Jude answered, and then launched right into explaining the rules of the games as he walked beside Katy toward the sand box.

Together, Jude and Katy played marbles well into the afternoon.  She learned the rules quickly, loved to laugh out loud and squeal with delight every time she sank a duck into the center hole.  Jude loved teaching her how to play and he didn’t mind her giving him a hug every time she sank another duck. Though he had fun, something tugged on the edge of his mind, but he kept pushing the feeling away so he could concentrate on the game.  If he didn’t watch it closely, he could lose, and Jude hated losing more than anything.

It wasn’t too long, Jude heard his mother calling him and he began to gather all his marbles.  Katy handed them all over willingly except for the white shooter he called Snowball.

“This one is so pretty.  Can I have it?” Katy asked.

Jude froze.  He looked down at his marble then back up at Katy.  Everything inside him wanted to snatch his marble away, but he found himself shaking his head up and down.

Katy squealed with delight and reached over and kissed Jude on the cheek.

He wiped the kiss off his cheek and grumbled.  “Tammy, I already told you stop doing that!”

Katy pulled back.  “Who’s Tammy?”

A sinking feeling hit Jude in the center of his stomach as he looked over his shoulder into the darkening woods, back toward where Tammy had ran earlier that morning, where he never went to find her.

Categories: Inspirational, Musing, Writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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