“What you going to do about it, numb nuts?”
That was the last straw! He not only was challenging me, but he had resorted to using foul language in front of ladies!
A flame rising from the ashes of my childhood fears when listening to my drunken father’s abusive rants at my mother was uncontrollably burning inside me.
When I reached for his throat, the walls of the saloon seemed to split open. One large gap spilled a blinding light over the two of us. I was no longer a child cowering underneath my bed. A reckoning was at hand!
The rest is a blur, even now, as I await my moment on the gallows. My own future decided by men longing for a cold beer and a quick resolution had dismissed who I was in favor of who they needed me to be- a murderer.
The world would soon forget, possibly even forgive, me. I had rid this place of a brutal bully who had terrorized every single citizen causing a weight of hopelessness and despair.
As the hangman pulled the lever, I felt my mother’s tender touch sweep along my cheek beckoning me to come home.
Five Word Weekly Challenge- Leaving Your Mark
Mark, who was appropriately named, was the ‘black sheep’ of the family. Every family has/needs one and like they say, if you can’t identify your own family’s ‘black sheep’, it’s probably you. Black sheep are not necessarily ‘bad’ but they do stand out against the ‘herd’.
Today is Thanksgiving and Mark is standing outside his family’s home, still wearing a bright orange jumpsuit, on a special furlough from prison. He’d toyed with various alternative outfits, but all would be hard to manage with the barrier of an ankle bracelet so, in his usual style, he decided to “keep it real” in order to lift the awkward fog over what everybody already knew.
Mark needed to pause a bit longer on the step to regain his composure from a fit of ‘the giggles’ after slipping on a homemade green hat with a pumpkin stem. He’d made up his mind that he wasn’t going to allow everyone to be sullen when he had the opportunity to make them laugh. His time left was 8 months for a crime he’d committed but wasn’t a bit sorry for. The “whys” differentiate “bad guys” from “good guys” all of the time.
Once Mama wrapped him in the tightest hug and wiped tears of joy from her cheek, he knew he was indeed Home. The family got a big laugh over his costume with many of them saying with a shrug, “Some things never change.” and “Leave it to Mark.”. It became the best day, and the food was amazing!
That evening he reluctantly went back to prison. Mark had made friends with most of the prison guards and staff, so proper prison protocols were frequently suspended just for him. As he re-entered the prison after the holiday furlough, he wore the green hat again prompting audible laughter from every guard tower.
Eight months wouldn’t be so bad a wait after all.
SoCS- 9-24-22-Home- Our Personal Journey
Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “home.” Use it as a noun, a verb, an adjective, or an adverb. Enjoy!
“You can’t go home again.”
No truer words have ever been spoken.
Of course, gathering as families or connecting with old friends can be a pleasant experience but how often do our hopeful expectations of somehow being transported back to a ‘happy place and time’ come true? I guess that all depends on how specific one’s expectations are.
I know some people would probably say that my initial declaration is a bunch of nonsense. That’s cool. I don’t intend to ‘harsh’ anyone’s experience.
But for me, the sugar-coated memories I have are too precious to experiment with by adding a 2.0 version. I’m well aware of the selective nature of our memories. Heck… I never even put much stock in any ‘eyewitness accounts’.
I also realize that there are varying levels of optimism and pessimism in each of us. Some people dwell only on the pleasant memories and others (sadly) give too much of their time and energy to the unpleasant ones. Either way, there’s no doubt that we have embellished those memories.
So, for me, ‘there’s no going home again’. And that isn’t a sad concept.
Perhaps, we who choose to take the path of blowing off high school reunions or trips to childhood ‘stomping grounds’ have a concept of life as an ever-flowing journey of learning and collecting experiences and are compelled to keep moving forward. Reflection on our ‘roads taken’ is a marvelous affirming experience but there’s no return trip in our itinerary. We prefer keeping our memories like a classic movie- without alterations, modern revisions or remakes.
A case might even be made that people who keep “moving on” value the route they’ve taken the most.
Happy Saturday everyone! I hope you make some new beautiful memories this weekend.
d’Verse Prosery Monday- Bloody Hope
Here’s how to take part in the Prosery Prompt:
– Write a piece of flash fiction or other prose of up to or exactly 144 words, including the given line.
– Post your Prosery piece on your blog and make certain to link back to this post.
– Place the link to your actual post (not your blog or web site) in the Mister Linky site.
– Please visit other blogs and comment on their posts!
Remember: You must use that entire given prompt line for your Prosery piece. You may change punctuation and capitalize words, but you are not allowed to insert words between parts of the sentence.
“For how can I be sure
I shall see again
The world on the first of May”
–From “May Day” by Sara Teasdale
The bloody battle suddenly paused because of an unusual mid-April blizzard.
A tempest of icy crystals obscured visibility to a few feet as the under clothed soldiers huddled in small groups.
Jimmy’s tour-of-duty was due to end in thirteen days but his gut was warning him otherwise.
He felt compelled to scratch a short letter to his mother with numb fingertips and place it in his pocket.
We’ve been in a most bitter fight today.
Victory will be ours as soon as a brutal snowstorm lifts and offers my company its due.
Our resolve is solid and my discharge is imminent yet I wanted to let you know my heart is already home.
I am not afraid and I love you.
For how can I be sure I shall see again the world on the first of May?
Your loving son,
Friday Fictioneers – 6/18/21
Rochelle has offered us the photo prompt below:
She’d resided here for four years.
Having made the decision to move, Mama led her young ones deeper into the woods.
A surveyor had walked through their woodlot, two nights before, disturbing the family’s treasured privacy while the sound of machinery had been “closing in” on their reclusive setting for two months. It was time to go.
Mama looked back a final time. The old pumphouse had stood up well in spite of neglect. She felt too old for the abrupt change but reluctantly moved on.
Twelve successful litters, in one safe place, was more than most opossums could claim.
18 June 2021 | Rochelle Wisoff-Fields-Addicted to Purple
Six Sentence Story- Perilous Promises 2
Rules of the hop:
Write 6 Sentences. No more. No less.
Use the current week’s prompt word.
Return here, link your post Wednesday night through Saturday late…
Spread the word and put in a good one to your fellow writers
PROMPT WORD: HOME
It had been an agonizing two weeks and almost four hundred miles with Ernesto praying every night for their nightmare to end; sometimes even if it had to be with a merciful death.
He was haunted by too many things to count but having Butch’s imagined lifeless face nightly pursuing him in his dreams was the worst, even overshadowing their discovery, just yesterday, of the stiffened, rat ravaged, corpse of a newborn baby in a village dumpster.
As he and Abria inched toward America, some small kindnesses were afforded them by other ‘travelers’ even though the children weren’t part of any group, so recognizing the woman who had once dressed his knife wound waving to him from atop of an overloaded cattle truck, offered him an unexpected flicker of comfort.
She signaled him to hurry but Abria had already stopped moving her feet during the last hour so he dragged his sister even faster hoping to catch that blessed ride, when suddenly he let her go, because Abria, who hadn’t spoken a word since her attack ,screeched, “STOP! I want to go HOME!”.
Dust coagulated her tears and thickened the nasal discharge she’d had for days as she collapsed like an ancient woman on her deathbed; that scene of her crumbling before his eyes manufactured anger and anguish in Ernesto to the point of threatening to rupture his heart.
As the truck pulled away without them, Ernesto swept his frail, nearly weightless, sister up in the last daylight while cursing their father to HELL through clenched teeth, then rushed to find a hiding spot far away from the impending next wave of the caravan, which held far more danger than anything unseen they’d encounter in the brush after dark.
Sunday’s Six Sentence Story Word Prompt! – GirlieOnTheEdge’s Blog (wordpress.com)
It’s Six Sentence Story Thursday Link Up! – GirlieOnTheEdge’s Blog (wordpress.com)
I was remembering one of my first triumphs at school. It was an aptitude test on English grammar. In second grade, we were asked to choose the correct form of a word to plug into a sentence. Since we had no formal grammatical training before the test, I was very pleased to “ace” it.
Why did I have those skills at age eight? Simply because proper grammar was spoken in my home.
The English language has rules… not the kind meant to restrict our behavior, but those which apply in order to keep us on “the same page” and in the “same game”.
When I consider the modern distaste for rules, in general, and the emphasis on diversity, I realize many young parents are throwing an obstacle into their children’s education (and success) when they refuse to use proper grammar.
I understand that bilingual households are at a disadvantage automatically. All the more reason, in my opinion, for parents to school themselves in proper English.
Language has little to do with culture, so the clinging to slang and the blocking of the kids’ understanding of the rules of English grammar in the home, make no sense.
Al Sharpton is an intelligent man…Yet, he talks in a “street” dialect that, I assume, is an attempt to be “common” and endearing to the African American community. He “ain’t” helping anyone by confusing folks about English enunciation and grammar. Especially those people who have never lived in an environment where the rules of English were followed. Leading by example would be more helpful and honorable, in my opinion. Breaking other rules may gain a person attention and bravado but the rules of English language, once ignored, are terribly difficult to reclaim.
So, when parents consider helping their children’s efforts for a good education, the most important edge they can offer is the example of good grammar spoken at home.