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."






Saturday, November 2, 2013

Stocking Up

Trifextra: Week Ninety-Two
Another round of 33 words for the Weekend Challenge.  Congratulations to the Trifecta winner from earlier this week.  I'm still playing catch up on the reading! 

Now, on to the weekend prompt...
In The Scorpio Races, author Maggie Stiefvater writes, "It is the first day of November and so, today, someone will die."  Give us the next thirty-three words of this story, as you imagine it.  Take it wherever you like, but make it original and make it 33 words exactly. If you want to find out more about Maggie Stiefvater, check out her Twitter here and her Facebook here.  If you use her words on your page, please be sure to credit her. Good luck! - See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.TWXI7eNy.dpuf

Here's my submission:


You were all asked to be frugal with last month's rations.

Abigail did best, with two weeks worth left.

Be sure to thank her for the additional food as you wish her farewell. 



.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bad Company

 Trifecta: Week 101 

On now to our weekly prompt.  It's our last Halloween-inspired prompt of 2013, and we can't wait to see what you've got in store for us.  Please remember that we are looking for the third definition of our prompt word.  Please also note that we need the word exactly as it appears below.  No tense changes allowed.  Good luck!

boo 

1 (interjection)
used to express contempt or disapproval or to startle or frighten

2 (noun)
a sound that people make to show they do not like or approve of someone or something

3 (verb) to show dislike or disapproval of someone or something by shouting “Boo” slowly


http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.ONrid52N.dpuf



It started with misplaced objects.  Candy would hang her keys on the hook, or lay her glasses on the bedside table.  When she went to retrieve them, they'd gone missing.  She would find the items eventually, in strange places.

At first, she ignored the implications.  But as the places she found her belongings became odder and odder, she began to believe something outside the normal was happening.

Candy would return home to find all the kitchen cabinets wide open, or all the books in the bookcase turned backwards.  All the classic signs of a haunt.  She wasn't overly concerned, in fact, she began to carry on one-sided conversations with her invisible house mate.

"You know, this is annoying.  Why don't you be useful and wash up the dishes."  She never received a reply, and felt she had nothing to fear.

However, any guests she had found plenty of things to fear.  They were poked, had chairs pulled from under them, or saw shadows where there shouldn't have been any. They all left hurriedly, and nothing could convince them to come back for a visit.  

"You have to leave my friends alone!"  Candy received her first reply in the form of a malicious chuckle.  

The activity ramped up after that.  Candy wasn't feeling so fearless anymore.

She burned sage, sprinkled salt, recited prayers, and demanded the spirit leave.  She was rewarded with more chuckles and even a ghostly raspberry.

Candy finally convinced on more friend to visit.  He stopped by on a particularly blustery day.  

"Thanks so much for coming over, I'm out of ideas," Candy said as she took his coat and scarf.

"Not a problem at all.  Ready to get started?"  He straightened the collar at his throat.

From the far corner of the room, they heard a subdued voice intone, "Well, boo."













Sunday, October 27, 2013

No Longer on the Honey-Do List

Trifextra: Week Ninety-One

It’s now time for some Trifextra fun. Thirty years ago, Roald Dahl published the book Dirty Beasts, a collection of poems for children about weird and wonderful animals. The last poem, however, is called The Tummy Beast about a boy who thinks there’s someone living in his belly. Your Trifextra challenge is to write 33 words on a beast in an unusual place. No swamps or forests or caves, we really want you to take your beast out of its comfort zone. - See more at: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/#sthash.5bmuSf5m.dpuf

"Get your coat! We gotta go!"

"What?"

"You know the beastly hair clogs I'm always fishing outta the bathroom sink?"

"Yeah?"

"Well, this one just climbed out by itself and snarled at me."