Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Utopia

Writing Prompt: Week 22
I've been away from this place for a long time.  Missed it.  A lot.  I took my inspiration from the picture, and of course, I twisted it to my personal bent for the bizarre.
Image courtesy of Unsplash.
                                       Image courtesy of Unsplash




The swing creaked in mock protest as she eased her slight frame into the cushions.  The soft breeze of a late summer's afternoon tickled the collection of wind chimes hung around the edges of the porch roof.

Contentment painted her face as she listened to the gentle wind-song.  Another day's chores completed.  Her garden weeded, and watered from rain barrels.  The first of the season's berries picked, cleaned, canned.  Herbs, both domesticated and wild, carefully picked and hung to dry.  

Her man had found a few stray chickens and goats on his last outing.  Their farmsteads deserted, just like her neighbors' homes.  Nature was quickly reclaiming the abandoned backyards, tough grasses were already breaking up asphalt streets.  

The community park down the road now hosted a bee tree, a thing that would have been discouraged if children still played there.  She'd already begun to plan a raid for the honey.  

They'd been lucky, the plague had missed them...  The small town that used to exist around them hadn't been of interest to the inevitable looters and gangs of displaced teens with no idea how to fend for themselves.  Those not killed by sickness moved on to easier pickings.

It was hard at first, no electric, no running water.  No Internet search to answer the many questions.  But, they'd stuck it out, relying on the few books they could find.   Learning by doing, trial and error, and half forgotten stories of grandparents.  

The swing moved lazily, her eyes drooped with the early evening heat. The gentle music of the chimes lulling her to sleep.

A raucous whoop and the unmistakable sound of a gas engine jolted her out of her comfort.  A smooth, easy reach brought the shotgun to her lap.

"Woman!  Looky what I found!  An' guess what?  It ain't that far to a real town, we can move to a place where they got water an' at least part time 'lectricity!  We ain't gotta live like this no more." He turned to reach into the pack of the two-wheeler.

While his back was turned, she aimed for the body.  She fired without hesitation.

"Damn," she muttered, "gotta find another'n."




.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Running on Fumes

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog










Barely beating the deadline for my own pick.  How bad is that.  Thanks to Lance for letting me choose the track.  Jackson Browne's "Running on Empty", which is sadly how I feel of late.  This post may not be entirely fiction.






On the road well before dawn. Caffeine induced wakefulness fuels the pursuit of the never ending need to make ends meet.

Half a day later, fumbling for domestic balance with quickly ebbing energy, the body's demand for down time wins out.  An unscheduled nap in a chair.  Yet it is not enough.

In random corners of time, the frivolous endeavours of the heart wait.

The ball of yarn next to a forgotten pattern.  The pen atop the page.

Until a cobwebbed mind, determined, takes the time to brush away the encrusted dust, and embrace the dream for just a moment.





Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Morning After

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog




Lyssa Medana
It's been a long time since I've written anything.  I feel dull and rusty. But I desperately needed to jump back.  So I combined prompts, an old haunt of mine Lance Burson's 100 Word Song and a new place, Light and Shade Challenge, hosted by Thomas Marlowe and Lyssa Medana.  The song, Bigmouth strikes again, by the Smith's. And a photo from Light and Shade. So here are 100 words....



The sun's morning rays filtering through the trees massaged Jonah's cramped  muscles to wakefulness.  He sat up slowly, began to gather the shreds of the clothing he'd been wearing last night.

With a sigh, he looked about, trying to get an idea of where he might be.

Then he caught sight of a rabbit's remains only a few feet from the wall he had been curled against.  

Overcoming the nausea and sense of defeat, he wondered idly what the time was.  Eventually, he'd have to find his way back.  Pretend this was a bad dream, and rejoin the human race.





Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Farewell Trifecta

Trifecta: Week 105

After several weeks (months?) of no words, I finally found a way to say farewell, Trifecta, Joules and Lisa.  I will miss this place that allowed me to express myself for a year.( I will miss adding that tricycle to my posts.) May your new adventures bring you joy.  I may see you again, somewhere in the giant spaces of the internet.  <3


Each link upon the page, as though someone else has left the room.
Handfasted to some through the magic of the Web.
And holding fast to the memories of voices I will miss.



Friday, February 21, 2014

In the Company of Shadows

We are a solitary people, uneasy in groups.  Among our own kind we are considered loners, introverts. Outcasts. 

Rather than gather about an overflowing table for our morning meal, we favor a seat beside a gently burbling stream. No reason to make others uncomfortable with our discomfort.   

Our preference is the company of ourselves, one on none.

It is not a lonely life, but a life alone. We do not live in silence. Far from it. Each appliance has a voice as distinct as birds' songs. Pets listen to our spoken thoughts and answer with purr or tail wag. Outdoors, the leaves whisper secrets, and all that walk, crawl, or fly have something to tell us. I am used to their company, the hurry and scurry, chatter and twitter. Presence without infringement.

So, it was startling when I first noticed my new companion. Just out of the corner of my eye, a darker shape. My shadow, I was certain. Yet, uncertain, a hint of something...wrong.

Throughout the summer and fall I covertly watched. It hid in the sun spattered trees, blinking in and out with the whim of light. Always just on the edge of my vision. I made conscious moves to put the sun at my back. My shadow fell in front, just as it should, nothing amiss.

As autumn rolled into winter and the leaves fell away, there were no places for my shadow to hide. One bright morning after a day's snowfall, I caught the stark contrast of that shadow against the white blanketed earth. It stood beside me as I shifted my eyes without turning my head. Again, the feeling of something not quite right.

Each day it was with me, sometimes following, sometimes leading. Other times, on the right or left.  On cloudless days I surreptitiously kept watch. Puzzling over what it was that didn't conform to how my shadow should appear. In frustration, I quickly turned my head to view it fully. As is a shadow's habit, it moved as quickly. I viewed it full on, taking in the contours of the profile, the shape of the body, the feet, where they met with mine. 

Its profile! I was facing it. I should not have seen a profile That was the wrong I'd sensed before, watching peripherally. There should have been a profile then. The shadow had been watching me!

The unease I had felt before slowly slid through disbelief, then quickly onward to fear. I backed away, my shadow obediently following. My instinct to turn tail and run was held at bay by the knowledge it would be following me. I could not outpace my own shadow. My rattled thoughts held me frozen, my breath coming in gasps. As I watched, the shadow, my shadow, moved its arms into a position that I recognized as clutching its chest. My own arms hung at my side, awaiting the message to flee.

Panic finally delivered that message as the thing impersonating my shadow crumpled in classic heart attack fashion. Feet unconsciously finding purchase on the snow crusted ground, arms pumping, I ran. The only fully formed thought in my mind was the certainty that I had not left that shadow behind. 

Racing through the naked trees, pounding over open meadow, I tried not to look at it. But as my course turned direction, the shade fell in beside me. The unmistakable shape of scissors appeared in one hand. I stumbled as I quickly checked my own to be sure I wasn't carrying any. Catching myself before I could fall, I slowed my steps. What might happen if my shadow fell upon its shadow scissors? 

Moving with care, keeping my eyes forcibly away from my companion, I eventually made my way home. Once inside, I slammed the door, as if that would keep the thing out. Afternoon sunlight blazed through the living room window, the drapes open wide to let it in. I frantically pulled them closed. The shadow was made less distinct in the dimness. I visited each room, pulling drapes shut and dropping blinds. The little light that leaked through was not enough to give my shadow shape. 

That was three weeks ago. I haven't gone out during daylight since. The winter shortened days have allowed me to leave after dark for grocery shopping.  But this week, the moon has been waxing toward full. My one attempt to traverse the lunar lit landscape ended within moments of exiting my home. I caught sight of it to my left. Once it was aware of my gaze, it mimicked tripping over some invisible obstacle. I watched transfixed as it fell, seemingly with some force. The resulting pain in my knees and wrist answered that month old question. 

I live in the dark now. Because I know what might happen if my shadow fell upon its shadow scissors.



 

I haven't written for ages it seems.  But thanks to the wondrous group at Write on Edge, I decided to take a leap.
They gave us this prompt:

“It takes two to make an accident.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

The details:
  • 1000 word limit, all genres of creative writing are welcome.
  • linky is open until Friday, February 21, at 11:55pm Pacific
  • Use the F. Scott Fitzgerald quote above as an opening/closing line or draw inspiration from it, your choice.
  • Community voting opens 2/22 and closes 2/28 at 11:55pm Pacific.
  • Community and editorial choice winners will be announced on Write on Edge and Bannerwing Books on Monday, March 3, 2014.
  • All entries must be original work, only published on your personal blog/website, and by entering you give Write on Edge and Bannerwing Books permission to reprint your entry in Precipice, Volume III‘s print and digital formats, as well as permission to edit for grammatical, spelling, and typographical errors.
  • Have fun!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Three Word Resolution 2014

Trifextra: Week Ninety-Nine

We're asking for your own resolutions in just three words.  Make it count; we'll be checking back in come 2015. - See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.pXULT6t7.dpuf


Find my place

I've been absent lately.  Not writing.  Not reading.  Thinking about both, but not getting either done.  I have plans in the works.  One project being worked on for me.  Many projects ricocheting around my head.  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Weatherin' the Storm

Write at the Merge, Week 47

This is my 201st post.  Wish I was writing more.  But...life.  I brought Willa, the psychic realtor back for this one. And it may be a little long.
The prompts for this week are: 
“Then the lights went out.”
The quote:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
I


Willa stood on the walk in front of the sixth and final house on her list.   She'd been on her feet since nine am, inspecting each property, noting cupboards, opening closets, counting bedrooms and baths.  

Her notebook was filled with remarks for each listing.  One home needed exterior paint.  Another had a roof that wanted patching.  The bungalow needed a bachelor to keep it company, the modest ranch begged for a young couple just starting their new life.

Not only did Willa see the physical needs of the homes she contracted to sell, she felt the personalities of them.  

The sixth home of the day was a rambling two story in an old neighborhood. The lawn was well kept and the wide front porch invited visitors. She cut her exterior inspection short as clouds began to roll in, bringing the gusting winds and first cold drops of a storm she vaguely remembered being forecast.

Willa ignored the building gale as she focused on her checklist. It wasn't until she heard tornado sirens blaring that she realized how intense the storm had become.

Her first thought was to hurry home, but when she opened the front door, the roaring wind drove her back inside.  She'd never been afraid of heavy weather, but the rattle of small limbs being hurled against the windows and greenish cast to the sky warned her to take cover.

Ducking into a hall closet, she knelt on the floor waiting for the worst to pass.  It was the crash of breaking glass that finally made her heart pound with dread.

She tucked herself into a corner and closed her eyes while murmuring a small prayer.  Another crash induced a squeak of terror and she squeezed her eyes shut tighter.

The small space suddenly filled with the smell of gardenias.  Willa felt herself enveloped in a warm embrace.

"It's alright, baby girl.  I got you."  The voice was calm, filling her head but not her ears.

"Ain't no puff of wind gonna get you in here.  This house has solid bones."

Willa began to relax, listening to the voice reassure her.

"This house has deep roots, grown in hard work and love.  The oldest in this here neighborhood."

"Our people been livin' here for generations. We was here before this city sprung up.  When this was just a little scratch farm, full of family and joy."

Willa leaned into the embrace, listening to the story of lives and loves.  

"Wake up, baby girl.  Time to go, the storm is passed."

Willa felt a nudge urging her to her feet.  She opened the closet door a crack.  The last light of day streamed through the windows.   She made a mental note to call her handyman to board up the one that was broken. 

She gathered her belongings and stepped outside.  A gasp escaped her as she surveyed the rest of the street.  

An abandoned house several doors down had lost much of its roof.  Another home's garage had been leveled, and three trees had been uprooted.

Willa turned to look at the sixth house of the day.  The old two story stood straight, radiating strength.  The only damage was the one broken pane of glass.

She smiled,"Solid bones.  I know just family for you."