Am I asleep, or am I dreaming? This question whirled through her mind.
“Am I asleep, or am I dreaming? ” This question whirled through her mind as she listened to the TV.
Barb sat straight up in bed having almost fallen asleep.
“Did that idiot just say that private property causes Global Warming?!”
Barb glanced at her husband, Dennis, to see he had dosed off with the TV on again. Now she was wide awake and angry ‘to boot’. Bill Gates was framed on the screen, sickly grinning, and proposed once more that no one should own property or cars.
Barbara was so agitated she hit Dennis square in the face with her pillow. He flailed and sat up beside her.
“What the heck, Barbara?! You nearly gave me a heart attack! What’s wrong?”
“You fell asleep again with that Communist News Network on. Why in the HELL do you watch that garbage!”
“It’s funny and boringly predictable at the same time. You know I can’t just fall asleep like you do.”
“If you insist on watching that station, then you better make darn sure I’m asleep from now on before you tune in. It’s disturbing and alarming to me. And if you don’t understand how disturbing it is, I’ll be happy to hit you with my pillow when it’s left on in the future!”
Dennis, now awake, changed the channel to Investigation Discovery. The show playing was about a woman gradually poisoning her husband to death.
“That’s more like it! Goodnight Dennis. Sweet dreams.”
mirror toss/tossing troubled clock dawn after willing unceasing stairs brow turning creaking
The mirror in the abandoned mansion was tired of watching the, now terribly troubled, clock which once stood stoically straight directly across from the stairs. Each and every dawn revealed a slightly new discoloration and further leanings. If she had hands, she’d be willing to toss it onto a junk pile thus improving her unpleasant view of the unceasing degradation of the once grand manor. The tired clock was well aware of the mirror’s condescending opinion and decided to put an end to her suffering by furrowing the brow on its rusting, once gloriously ornate, grandfatherly face creaking his hands to stop turning. He’d struggled for too long to keep time in the current unappreciated circumstance, after all. Every tick was forced and the tocks were erratically jumping ahead with an uncertain quickening quiver. The mirror never noticed his sacrifice since time now stood still. There was no more waiting… no more longing… there was no more time for her to reflect on anything.
Use the image as inspiration for a poem or short story.
A Sacred Ground
There they were. All my summer vacations documented in a stone memorial. Our family didn’t have the means to visit the ranch every year. These rocks symbolized dog-years instead. I was seven, once upon a time, and that’s when I found this secret spot. The first stone was my marker of the year I rode my first horse and had broken my wrist falling from the same.
The second and third kept a record of the “girl with strawberry curls”. I was too shy to express my adoration at 14 but we fatefully met again when I was 21. My life was forever changed that year.
The fourth stone marked our wedding right there at our happy place, on my 28th birthday, and the fifth commemorated the year our beautiful son, Anthony, was born. We wanted him to know that ‘Sacred Ground’ from the ‘beginning’ so Anthony rode his first horse swaddled in a pack on his mother’s back.
The sixth stone was a remembrance of all the other beautiful visits. It was dampened by tears of loss on that visit for Dad. Dad was the one who chose the vacation spot. I laugh remembering how he’d rub his hands in excitement while we packed for each trip. This year, he had succumbed to a sudden fatal heart attack at age 55. Mom would never be quite the same.
Mother refused a vacation pilgrimage seven years later and 14-year-old Anthony had joined a traveling baseball team, so our ranch vacations abruptly stopped.
Today I placed my stone-the last stone- on the temple I had started 80 years ago. I am alone again at my special spot. Time has a way of moving ever more swiftly near the end, but a lifetime of memories is here still. My cane is all that supports me now. I glance slowly around to etch this moment in my mind and those memories on my heart. Then I close my eyes. To my startling surprise, I still hear a seven-year-old hollering “giddy-up!” in the wind.
Same Same But Different Your ‘Same Same But Different’ task is to take the five challenge words and NOT use them in your writing. That’s right, you need to dig out your thesaurus and find a synonym for each word instead.
Your words are:
The old man buttoned his cardigan and folded his arms around himself into a hug. It was a frigid night, and his every limb ached a bit. The earth in his yard was frozen solid so navigating it would be tempting a broken hip. His usual ‘cribbage party’ down the street was going to have to ‘deal him out’. Any outing was definitely not in his cards tonight. As he poked the fire in his personally handmade fireplace, he took pleasure in listing his lifelong accomplishments one by one in his brain. Even though he was alone, he was safe, and his mind was still sound. A pageant of memories was still blessedly available, so he poured himself a glass of wine and took a long stroll down memory lane as he also ‘drank in’ the warmth of the fire. Before he ‘turned in’, he spoke out loud for the first time all day. “Life is good, by golly.”
Our prompt is to write about an abrupt change in climate. Truth is ALWAYS stranger than fiction.
It was Mother’s Day and we were camping. May was the beginning of our seasonal camping and we brought shorts, hot dogs, marshmallows, and of course, cold beer on ice! The morning awakened us to a bone chilling drizzle and temperatures in the upper 40’s F. Mid morning brought winds and an arctic blast turning the drizzle to snow! Our disappointment could not be hidden as we added layers to our clothing for warmth. No one thought to bring mittens and scarves. We warmed soup, and coffee, and discussed heading for home when a midday sun broke through the clouds and blue skies lined the horizon. We shed layer after layer as the day moved along. By 4:00 pm, all the campers were wearing shorts and sandals under a bright sun that wasn’t done with us yet. It was 75 degrees F. and still warming! The breeze finally died away leaving us in a humid 88 degree swelter by 6:00 pm. That night, we ran fans and slept in t-shirts. This is a true story. We live in New England, U.S.A. where we have a saying: “This is New England. If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes… it will change.”
stationery – pen, paper, envelope etc. stationary – still, unmoving
At the Upstate Youth Outdoor Rehabilitation School, affectionately called UpYORS by the kids, Ben supervised troubled kids from the inner city. The school served as a way to remove these kids from street gang influences while training them to be more self-confident, and independent, by introducing them to rural self-sufficiency skills. All of these kids had never, ever, seen a ‘real’ cow or horse so Ben was responsible for their basic education on “do’s and don’t’s” in those animals’ company. The letterhead for the school stationery had a silhouette of a boy milking a cow and a girl riding a horse but before ANY of them reached that goal, they would need to learn ‘animal manners’ to prevent them from being kicked in the head or bitten in the thigh! The school had recently been given a generous donation and had purchased life-sized, stationary, representations of every farm animal they’d encounter. Ben schooled the kids on how to approach, how to control, and how to calm the animals, as well as, their basic anatomy and body language. The one rule he repeated until he was hoarse was to “NEVER approach a horse from behind without first alerting it to your presence.” . The onsite horses and cows had all passed a rigorous temperament screening but Ben knew ANY horse might kick if startled. Through the years, Ben had had a few kids who rubbed him the wrong way but ALL had come around and had responded well to his trainings. The kids were not on their “home turf” so that ‘unsureness’ made them compliant. This year was different! A burly, brute of a kid, named Mack, made a joke of everything when he wasn’t ignoring instructions or bullying everyone. He’d obviously gotten into the trouble that brought him to the school from that attitude. As for his 6’4″ 250 lb presence and a full beard at 17 years old, that was the reason no one had ever bothered to push back either. Ben had to admit some of his jokes were pretty funny, just the same. Mack sauntered up to ole Bessie the cow, on day two, and pumped her tail like a water pump complaining she must be empty. But, Mack was going to be trouble. The duties were on a rotating basis on paper. By day 7, Ben was sick of that kid so he assigned Mack to clean and groom Diablo, their most spirited horse kept for those who became experienced riders. When Mack sat down to supper that night, his attitude had miraculously changed! So had his appearance. Some folks just need to learn things the hard way.
It is First Line Friday! Welcome and let’s get writing.
“I summon you, the beasts of war!” That was an extraordinary statement for a School Board meeting. In fact, Latrelle had never even heard that statement during his 25 year service in the U.S. Army! But, he was there in support of the message that Critical Race Theory was poisoning his grandchildren’s chance at a harmonious future so he applauded his neighbor, and lifelong friend, Jerry, after his impassioned call to purge it from the public school curriculum.
When it was Latrelle’s turn to speak, he decided to calm the discussion by simply describing the definition of racism and drawing attention to the, not so long ago, goal of educators to offer useful skills to kids rather than their current “save the world” through indoctrination mania.
His heart sank as Jerry was escorted from the venue by police for ‘supposedly’ threatening everyone’s safety. Yeah, Jerry was so dangerous, alright. He was the guy who’d lost an arm defending his ‘brothers in uniform’ in Afghanistan. So much had changed since he grew up in that neighborhood!
Jerry used to joke about Latrelle having more rhythm and liking fried chicken while he always told Jerry that if chaos broke out, all he’d have to do is outrun his ‘skinny white ass’. Good times!
But since his return, Jerry’s exchanges weren’t the same. They were guarded, actually, borderline robotic. Even the direct eye contact they’d shared all their lives was now minimal.
Latrelle, initially assumed that Jerry had been changed by the war but, more and more, he suspected that it was something even harder to describe. His whole hometown had lost its warmth and cohesiveness. Progress? He certainly couldn’t see any.
Since so many other online writers have blogs dedicated to their writings, I’ve decided to jump onto the bandwagon. All posts published here will be either fiction or poetry, some new, and some previously published on various places on the Internet. Some of my works are conventional, and some are quirky. All fiction posted here, except for fan fiction, will include the letters "rose" somewhere, as a tribute to my Baba.