In a Shimmering Moment

His placid face in no way shows the nervousness he feels. He has been here before. The expansive thrill is none the less valid for it.

Still, he keeps his tremulous sigh within as cameras focus on him and a few others.

In a shimmering moment of triumph that cannot be undone, several hearts quiver in anticipation of the reveal.

The tension mounts as the presenter’s fingers reach for and break the seal. Its cracking so loud it seems to filter away all other sound except for one voice…

“And the Academy Award goes to…”

Photo of an Academy Award "Oscar" statue


The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 537

Wordle 537: undone, cracking, triumph, expansive, reach, quiver, shimmering, filter, way, reveal, sigh, moment. Use the words in a short story or poem
undone, cracking, triumph, expansive, reach, quiver, shimmering, filter, way, reveal, sigh, moment
Use the words in a short story or poem

The Horns of the Hunt

The horns of the hunt echoed across the snow
The air cold and crisp with its biting sting
Such is the path this winter does sow
But the chase was on, we felt not a thing

Ah ho! Ah ho! A hunting we go!
The horns! The horns! Our tales echo!

Aye, with patience we stalked our quarry
We laid in the deep snow at readiness
Kills decisive and quick, never we tarry
Our arrows loud in the emptiness

Through trees and brush, for buck and doe
The horns! The horns! Our tales echo!

The necessities are done to prepare and pack
We lift our horn so loud to blow
Work done we celebrate and travel back
For to our homes we the wearied go

Our horns lay tell of successful tow
The horns! The horns! Our tales echo!


Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | First Line Friday: December 17, 2021

Our host Dylan provides the first line, we get to write whatever comes afterward. Length, genre, and structure are completely up to us. We are feel free to modify the line as we see fit, adding punctuation, quotes, or other bits if so desired.  Or for more of a challenge, change nothing.

The line for this week is: The horns of the hunt echoed across the snow.

The Final Bullet

“I summon you, the beasts of war!”

One soldier suddenly screamed into the darkening lazuline skies nearly obscured by smoke and flame surrounding them as they huddled in a found trench.

The tokens that had moved around maps in the plotting and paper rehearsal of their campaign in the sterility of the general’s compound, had not lived up to its gritty reality.  If 100 things could have gone wrong, it seemed that 90 of them had. Watson again pushed away the mental reminder that this mission would be his final bullets for a while; he would be on leave in a few days. Having been back-turned twice, this mission was one for the Fail column. Those thoughts did him no good now when the few of them left were simply trying to survive long enough to report this failure of a mission.

“Janssen! What the bloody hell are you doing? Shut it!” Another soldier, Corporal Murray, hissed.

With his rifle raised overhead to the sky in defiant punctuation, Lieutenant Janssen continued his rant.

“Come! Cast your shadows upon my flesh. You think me afraid? Come then! Come find a gallant feast of fear in which to dine and learn that Janssen is a poor man’s buffet indeed for I am not ear-marked to be such food stuffs!”

Captain Watson’s head spun from Janssen’s outcry, to Lieutenant Rupali,  a meter on his opposite side in a clear do you hear this? expression before they ducked from a spray of stone and debris from another blast close to where they were. Blasts that were getting closer and closer as the enemy closed in.

Captain Watson wished he were surprised. He had always felt there was something off with Janssen but had kept it to himself. The man was a decent soldier, if high strung. When Janssen, what they at the time had thought was jokingly, fancied himself a modern-day Shakespearean tragedy in the making and started to sprinkle Elizabethan speech into his words, Watson knew he was no longer the only one who had begun to worry as signs of that off-ness increased. It explained Janssen’s language as the mission and his mind started unraveling. 

They have been on the run for three days straight as they wove their way out of the gauntlet of enemy territory. At times there was no choice but to quickly fish through the belongings of the slain, picking up ammunition and whatever supplies from the fallen who no longer needed them. Leave no man behind, an abandoned concept in their desperation for survival. Watson felt the weight from the collected dog tags of those he could get to that he carried in his med pack.

He knew they were so close to being saved. Their last radio communique before it was shot out had them no more than a couple of kilometers from the rescue approaching on the other side.  The last thing they needed was attention drawn to themselves. It was clear Lieutenant Janssen had not got that message as another grenade blast went off far too close to them. Watson knew the next one would strike true. They had to abandon their position.

“Come you spilled seed! A worthiness for only the lead of my bullets to eat!”

There was no ambiguity about it, Janssen had gone mad; the screaming man rising to his feet now put them all at risk.

“Jesus Christ! He’s going to get us killed!” Rupali swung his rifle around, his intention clear.

It was Rupali’s outcry that made Janssen turn and lock eyes with his fellow lieutenant. Watson and Rupali knew then that any chance at communion with Janssen was gone a moment before he turned and started screaming at a run when he was brought down.

“No!” Watson yelled as he scrambled out of the trench, the doctor already swinging his med pack around for use.

Some part of him registered the increased firepower as his people began to engage the enemy to give him a chance. He ignored it as he made his way to Janssen.   

He dropped to his knees, his mind already in medic mode as he began to triage. It took a moment before it registered that he was too far from his patient. It was another moment before the agonizing pain that caused him to drop his med pack from the bullet that tore through him made itself known.

But Watson knew it was bad. Very bad.

He did not notice that their rescue had finally arrived; his thoughts as he slipped into unconsciousness: Please, God, let me live. Don’t let this be the final bullet.


The Sunday Whirl  | Wordle 509
Language, Eat, Fish, Flame, Feast, Saved, Risk, Unraveling, Spray, Shadow, Stone, Off

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Wordle #249
Gallant, Ear-Marked, Sterility, Fail, Stone, Plotting, Rehearsal, Punctuation, Ambiguity, 100, Back-Turned, Communion

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie |First Line Friday: July 16, 2021
“I summon you, the beasts of war!”

A Cuppa Can’t Fix Everything

A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything.

Words oft said by his French grandmother flittered through his mind.

Though it is surprising what a good cuppa in good china can help get you through.

Though normally a coffee drinker, sometimes grand-mere’s advice had its merits.  The aroma of the brew wafted from the bone porcelain cup he delicately held. The translucent teacup was over a century old. It had once been part of a set of twelve. Now only five complete sets, by some miracle the teapot itself and the single cup sans saucer he used now remained.

It was soothing.

But not soothing enough.

Nearly eight years: seven years, nine months and sixteen days to be exact.  

He looked at the packet of papers before him once again.

All the appropriate boxes were checked, statements filled out and signed, copies made and the original certificate and cheque made payable to ‘HM Courts and Tribunals Service’ attached.  

Such a cold black and white ending to something that began so red hot nearly a decade ago.

Form D8: Application for a divorce, dissolution or to apply for a (judicial) separation order

Form D80A: Statement in support of an application for divorce or (judicial) separation on the ground of adultery

Then wait for response.

Then Form D84: Apply to court for a decree nisi, conditional order or (judicial) separation decree or order

Then wait some more.

And then finally, FINALLY Form D36: Ask the court to make a decree nisi absolute, or a conditional order final

It was going to be at least another three months before all was said and done.

He just wanted it DONE!

The inherited tea set became the lesser by one unmatched teacup as it went airborne and crashed into the wall.

He cursed as he realized what he did and cleaned it up. Another thing the marriage had ruined.

The tea had been soothing, but not anymore.

He gathered what he needed, grabbed the packet and headed to the nearest divorce center.

He heeded another piece of advice and called a friend to meet at a pub later:

And when good tea in good china no longer helps, it usually means you need something stronger. Because sometimes a  perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything.


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First Line Friday: May 21, 2021

Dylan gives the opening line and challenges you to create whatever comes afterward. Length, genre, and structure are completely up to you. Feel free to modify the line as you see fit, adding punctuation, quotes, or other bits if so desired. No need to tie it to the picture, unless you want to.

Or for more of a challenge, change nothing.

The line for this week is: A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything.

Garden Tableau

In the early hours
As the dawn does rise
Rain had fallen deep
As I lay in sleep
And soaked the dark earth  

Awake now I breathe
The petrichor scent
Deep in the city
A moment of Zen
My window garden
Belies urban sprawl

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dVerse Poets Pub | Quadrille: How Does Your Garden Grow?

At dVerse Victoria wants to know about our gardens in a quadrille.

A Quadrille is a poem of exactly 44 words not including the title. The poem must contain the prompt word for the challenge: Garden.

And because Muse likes to combine challenges I wrapped the Quadrille in a Tableau. (Or is that wrapped the Tableau in a Quadrille? You decide.)

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie| Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 8 August 2020

For this week’s Lucky Dip, the mystery bag gives us a Tableau. 

The Tableau, a poetry form created by Emily Romano in October of 2008, consists of one or more verses, each having six lines. Each line should have five beats. There is no set rhyme scheme, although rhyme may be present. The title should contain the word tableau.

Welcome Tableau

I with heart of night
Now reach for the sun
With revered delight
Oh, sweet baby girl
This is what you’ve done
Welcome to the world  

Baby you’re the best
It is not bias
This I can attest
Oh, sweet baby girl
My love most pious
Welcome to the world  

My soul you’ve laid bare
And redefined love
All I have I share
Oh, sweet baby girl
Stuff dreams are made of
Welcome to the world

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Double dipping with two challenges this weekend:

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Music Challenge
Nobody Does It Better Week 85

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie: Saturday Mix
Lucky Dip, 8 August 2020 – The Tableau

Empty Tableau

I am not happy
I am not angry
Nothing here to share
In this lethargy
Abject apathy
Cannot seem to care

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie| Saturday Mix – Lucky Dip, 8 August 2020

For this week’s Lucky Dip, the mystery bag gives us a Tableau. 

The Tableau, a poetry form created by Emily Romano in October of 2008, consists of one or more verses, each having six lines. Each line should have five beats. There is no set rhyme scheme, although rhyme may be present. The title should contain the word tableau.

One dictionary states the word tableau means picture or representation; the poem should reflect this. A picture should come to mind as the poem is read.

Muse challenges with the representation of nothingness. Nothing to see here, but you can picture it.

Mock the Changing Times

Some news will mock the changing times with shock

So I take stock in how it’s oft more than it seems

Where some will hock that life is all but in lock

Yet want to block another’s chance to live their dreams

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Saturday Mix – Rhyme Time

‘Rhyme Time’ focuses on the use of rhyme to build your writing piece. You will be given six rhyming words and need to use all of them (but not limited to these) in your response, which should be a poetry form of your choice.

This week’s rhyming words this week are mock, shock, stock, lock, hock, block

Muse offers a surprisingly succinct entry this challenge using internal and cross rhymes.

Half and Half

Cass was a nightmare in white silk and pearls. Well half a nightmare. There was nothing to do but be attentive to the child as she enjoyed herself. It was all her father’s fault. He fell asleep on the couch last night watching classic horror movies. Cass came down for water at a pivotal scene as the title character walked down a street slinging mayhem about and a new idea was borne.

Unbeknownst to us parents until the moment she came down the steps she had made a few changes to the costume. Half of the lovely white dress was runny with red food dye and corn syrup – thank you so much internet for telling my child how the original movie did it, by the way. Though the movie character did not wear pearls, Cass being Cass insisted on them for her remake. The tiara was split in two and half hung tangled in her strawberry blond hair. The pearls, tiara and her hair was also spayed with the gooey mixture down half her body. It limited where we went because I could not find enough trash bags to cover the car seats enough to drive to around other neighborhoods, but she deems it worth it – so okay.

I knew it was going to be far from a breeze to get all that goop wash off, but I have to admit she did a fantastic job of it all on her own.  Two mornings ago, she was all about the pretty princess: lovely white dress and a tiara and pearls.  Only half of that walked the misty streets now as we stepped around the tossed eggs and toilet paper draped tress of the tricksters while we go treating. My creative daughter the very pretty Cassie on one half of her body, the very terrifying Carrie from the movie on the other.

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Written for:

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | First Line Friday: October 26th, 2018
We’re given the first line, the rest is up to us. This week’s opening line: Cass was a nightmare in white silk and pearls.

The Sunday Whirl | Wordle 375
Eggs, Breeze, Misty, Attentive, Child, Drive, Movies, Sling, Runny, Find, Corn, Spray
Use at least ten of the words in a poem, prose or story.

Microwave

Shawn stood at the stove, fry pan in hand as warmed-up yet another of James’ impromptu dinners. The man had a gift for taking leftovers and whatever else he could find and conjure up deliciousness. It was the only way to get a decent meal in Shawn sometimes. He let work keep him up all manners of hours and a proper meal oft fell by the wayside in the process. James made sure he ate.

After three other roommates had come and gone in a two year span. James signed on. They gave each other a million reason to walk away from being roommates. Yet in a short few weeks of living together there had been a marked difference in the daily routine of the place. Holly claimed it was like the apartment had a cold draft that someone finally sealed and the place was warm again. Shawn knew the draft was him and the warmth was James. He was always the mar, the blemish, the thing wrong in the equation. Until James that is, who arrived with his own issues. His temper being the worst.

Normally Shawn would use the microwave, but he had conducted a food experiment that had not gone quite as expected. James understandably had refused to clean it this time as he had all the other times, but the man was a hard-wired germaphobe. Shawn would often just wait it out knowing James would cave in and do it. Still, every now and then the man would raise a brow and get a stubborn streak. And it would be like sand in his shoe  he couldn’t seem to shake out until it was resolved. This was three days later – that was a record. Shawn knew he really was going to have to do something about it. He couldn’t stand it if James employed the silent treatment again.

Over a year ago, the first and last time Shawn made a huge mess and didn’t clean, James absolutely did not speak to him. Being petty, after a week, Shawn had moved the sofa to block the front door, delaying him when he knew James was running late. Shawn sat at the desk on his, earphones on, acting engrossed on his laptop. He looked up just in time to see James eyes turned stormy as he glared at Shawn. He still said nothing as he lifted the couch, flipped it over where it landed on the side table smashing it and went on his way leaving the door wide open. Holly, their landlady heard the crash and came running upstairs, passing a furious James along the way. She walked up to him and smacked on the back of his head so hard he saw stars ordering him to fix it. He knew she did not mean the table. Shawn was not in the least surprised when the cost of the table was charged to his share of the rent. By then he had cleaned the apartment, apologized. He almost cried in relief when James very efficiently and justifiably proceeded to curse him out.

Somehow they made the worse seem better in each other. Now at nearly two years together it was so much improved. James made him do better. No James made him want to do better. Shawn knew James learned to better manage his temper from dealing with him. They balanced each other.

Shawn sighed looking back at the microwave with guilt.  He turned off the stove and got the cleaning supplies.

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Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Music Challenge #24: “Million Reasons” by Lady Gaga

The Sunday Whirl – Wordle #342
Mar, Draft, Stormy, Sand, Charge, Silence, Fry, Star, Wired, Manner, Gift, Guilt