A Long Season

Feeling every second of the long season, it had been an especially rough time for her these past months. She can, and has done little else but, imagine how his penchant to skin a razor with his trade likely had him meander a little too long. She knows it was not greed that delayed him, compared to the mediocre craftsmanship of what was immediately available, he knew what their wares were worth and would not accept a sou less than. She did not begrudge him for an instant for it, but winter had assailed the mountain early. Its velvety white touch unusually brutal and endless, it was unsafe to travel the passage.

She thought she would go mad stewing in helpless isolation with the same cask of chores to occupy her days. Checking the store of supplies, because how on earth did those darn insects keep getting into the flour was beyond her ken, as if there were aught she could do had she run out. Checking the flue near religiously because only one lesson of waking, and nearly choking, in a dark smoke fill room was enough. He usually did that – checked the flue among other things. God how she missed him! His bawdy laugh, his soft whispers, his strong hands.  Her one solace had been her sewing. As his lutalica was what made him a master craftsman in his trade, she was with hers. A massive quilt in shades of blue, with white stars and one small red comet, with coordinating pillow covers, now adorned the bed she wearily crawled into.

She did not need a calendar to know winter was nearly over.  The winds were not so brisk. When she ventured out, the sweet scent of something green in the air adds to the warm sunshine finally reaching the foothills. With heavy lids she pressed her cheek to a star festooned pillow at last, even as she looked out of the window to the cold dark night and smiled with hope. The passage would be open and he would be home soon.

img_6373-1

Seeing Stars, Charcoal – Karin Gustafson

====================
Sunday Wordle #292
Sweet, Touch, Months, Adds, Sunshine, Stew, Cask, Red, Velvety, Smoke, Foothills, Long

MLMM Wordle #148
Cheek, Heavy, Insect, Skin a Razor(Drive a hard bargain), Instant, Greed, Helpless, Meander, Assail, Mediocre, Passage, Lutalica{Lutalica: The Part of Your Identity That Doesn’t Fit Into Categories)

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form, in any order that you like.

ManicDDaily – Seeing Stars, charcoal
This story was going to be something different, and from a male perspective until I saw Karin’s lovely art, then everything changed.

MLMM – Tale Weaver #107: Lost

We are wandering through ancient streets and hills. Well, I’m wandering, for I have no clue as to our destination, if any, she is strolling. She’s avoiding the main thoroughfares as much as possible, taking alternate paths as only one who lives and breathes these streets can. I tease that I think we’re lost, but I envy the ease of how she knows her way around, casually acknowledging points of interest. I see how every now and then she starts to go for my hand, but then stops herself. I don’t know what to do about that, so I put my hands in my pockets and try to remember to keep them there. Otherwise, she is charming, engaging and yeah I like her, but nothing more. She knows this. When she smiles at me, the corners waver a little, and it makes me feel a little bad, but what can I do?

We stop at a quaint trattoria for one of the best meals that I can remember, which is not saying much. I am enjoying the meal immensely, lost in the deliciousness of it all, but she barely touches hers. I’m watching her push the pasta from one end of the plate to the other, not really knowing what else to do. As we pass the maître de upon leaving, he gives us a hearty enough sendoff, but somehow I know he knows what is going on between she and I.

It was early afternoon when we started this impromptu tour. It was now dusk and the city was becoming a different kind of alive. There was something vaguely familiar, comforting about it that tugged at me, but I could not put a name to it. Ever watchful, she could tell it was bothering me and blatantly grabbed my arm to pull me around a block or two, turn a corner and then stop. I look up and grin.

We had been strolling around these Rome streets all afternoon, and I knew I saw it in distance earlier as we walked a part of Via dei Fori Imperiali. It seemed so far away then, I was wondering if we would get to it at all, but here we were now standing right in front of it. The Flavian Amphitheatre, or as the  name the world mostly knows it by, The Coliseum, beautifully lit up for the night.

As she had held my arm, it was only natural that she takes my hand to hold; I don’t try to retract it. Her fingers are long, her nails short, yet well-manicured, and like her soft smile, I see the tiny tremors belying her nervousness as I notice the ring on the third finger of her left hand. A ring that I know was not there a few minutes ago. I am lost for words as it all comes together. I thought she was a good friend. Yes, but no.

She is my fiancée.

This afternoon, the places we stopped, the maître de at the trattoria, this moment – all of it a rehashing of the day I proposed to her, at dusk, here in front of The Coliseum. For me this afternoon was a random, but wonderful wandering. A change of pace from the emptiness that has become my life. For her it was bittersweet reminiscing. A gentle rehashing in the hopes that it would trigger something of the life we had before the car accident wiped my memories. An urgent prayer it will trigger something. A desperate plea trigger anything.

It triggers nothing.

She knows me intimately, yet I really don’t know her from any of the other tourists milling around us. Her eyes are beseeching the words that cannot fall from my lips. I shake my head sadly, watching as tears form and start to trail down her cheeks, with neither of us doing anything to abate them, as I feel lost anew.

<>==========<>==========<>

This week, Lorraine asks us to weave a tale with the threads of lost.

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Tale Weaver #107: Lost 16.02.17

 

MLMM’s Wordle # 140 – Deeper

Enjoying a brief moment of kudoclasm, a corner of her lips turn up of as she thinks about how good it’s going to feel when he drives it home at last. Determined not to let it slip out again, she gets a firm grip his shaft.  She looks up at him expectantly, anxiously waiting for his signal.  Looking down on he, smiles grimly, placing his hand over hers, tightening their grip. When he’s ready he nods once.

With a slow, slightly twisting motion, it slides in easy for a moment and then stops in the same spot it did before. He glances at her and sees the naked resolve to get this done in her eyes. He pulls back, shifts and tries again.

And again.

And again.

Hunched over her, he feels the sweat of his exertions drip, sees it land on her. She is beyond caring, her breath coming in short gasps as she concentrates on her own efforts. He feels a pain as his back begins to cramp, but he’s almost there he can feel it! Owing it to simple somaticizing he doesn’t give it the time of another second’s thought as he pulls out slowly one last time and then shoves.

Hard.

And they feel it.  Their satiated breaths are understandably audible in the electrifying moment his shaft sinks in deep and stays put.

The aberrant earth blocking a solid purchase yields at last. He deadbolts the latches on the beach umbrella and opens its wide canopy against the glaring sun. Somehow knowing the wait is over, his stomach growls on cue. Laughing, she reaches inside the basket and tosses him a little something to sink his teeth into as reward for a job finally well done. He tosses crumbs to a sparrow and confident the umbrella will not tip over again in the grass, helps spread out a picnic under its shade.

<>==========<>==========<>

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie | Weekly Wordle #140

Shaft, Kudoclasm, Somaticize, Pain, Naked, Sparrow, Tighten, Deadbolt, Electrify, Wait, Tooth , Aberrant

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form, in any order that you like.

If You Look

Photo Credit: Lorraine (MLMM)

I see this decaying Mother Mary and burgeoning plant daily. It reminds me death can be found anywhere, but if you care to look, so can life.

<>==========<>==========<>

In a New Year’s Eve Flash Bash at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, we are  offered various photos and methods as inspiration for Flash Fiction to close out the year. The above photo spoke to me in a Flash Two: Tweet-tweet: write a tale of no more than 142 characters.

Fourth Rule

In a posh hotel that all but has avarice etched into its über sophisticated decor, a very shapely body in an expensive little black dress, with very shapely gams in equally expensive high-heels, sits legs crossed at the bar in all her expensive glory. Her ebon mane is relentlessly coiffed in an updo that looked like it took some time to accomplish. Naturally long lashes hood piercing eyes that seem to see everything and zilch simultaneously. Other than her sanguine lips she is barefaced. Beauty such as hers, really doesn’t need much else. One set of red taloned fingers lay casually on her sparkling clutch, the other holds a drink, its contents mini tidal waves of motion as she swirls it idly.  The drink could have been premium top-shelf or basement level swill for all the attention she appears to give it.

The bartender tries to strike up a conversation. I can tell his sandpaper voice is as grating to her as her voice is dripping with honey to him as she politely, but firmly blows him off.

Everything about her says bored sophistication.  The been there / done look that of one who truly has  been there and done that repeatedly. Even as she sits in a casual lean, there is a correctness in her posture. For all her apparent boredom, there was a remoteness about her. Something irrevocable, festering just beneath the surface. I know that look.

Crap. Not tonight.

Taking a seat two empty stools away from her, I curse under my breath while ordering a club soda for myself. Without a word or looking, I slide the small bottle with Amphetamine towards her. Just as silently and blindly she stops it before it crashes into her hand. She downs a couple of pills, downs her drink and slides the pill bottle back to me, her motions full of the apology she can’t speak. I pocket the bottle and shrug taking my drink back to a side table to observe.

In the mirror behind the bar we see when her date-to-be enters the lobby.  It’s not even five minutes before he hits on her. I’m sure the mark thinks it’s his charm, but I can see when the pills start to take effect. The remoteness morphs into a subtle wildness that adds to her appeal as they chat aimlessly for a few minutes more. Eventually he offers a gentlemanly elbow and she accepts. She nods at me once nonchalantly in passing. It is the only direct look my partner and I have exchanged since first entering the bar, signaling the sting is a go as she head to his room, hopefully to arrest him.  The pills rattle in my pocket as I stand to follow them a few moments later. Rules are rules – I know it’s wrong, she knows it’s wrong, but it’s Fourth Rule time, we need to get through this. We’ll deal with her possible addiction tomorrow.

<>==========<>==========<>

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Wordle #134 “December 19th, 2016”

Relent, Wildness, The Fourth Rule (There is an exception to every rule.), Barefaced, Amphetamine, Swill, Tidal, Sanguine, Irrevocable, Avarice (greed), Zilch, Sandpaper

Use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form. Use the words in any order that you like.

Weekly Wordle #133 – Irrevocable

 

With an annoyed gnash of teeth, he swept the flower from the table. He heard her gasp at the door, saw her crushed face as the bloom sailed through the air.

Too late he remembered…

Knowing nothing could be done, they watch the snowy edelweiss float for the briefest moment, like birdseed tossed into the air, then seemingly hurtled towards the uncovered lantern for a curl of fire to capture it.

A sudden hollowness fills him – and he knows – his heart is gone.

He had scoffed at the old gypsy woman a year ago he rode away with his prize, her granddaughter.

Not anymore.

With an askance glance the charred remains of what could have been, the descendent simply turned walked away. It was his third warning. They both know, this time, it is irrevocable.

Smoky whorls landed oh so softly in his palms, soft like a kiss. Like the kiss of love he will never get to know.

…when her heart is gone, you will lose yours –  forever.

He stood there transfixed for a long time. A ludic Narcissus, staring into his tear-stained hands long after the ashes were gone.

That was his curse.
<>==========<>==========<>

week-133
Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie – Wordle #133 “December 12th, 2016”

Gnash, Lantern, Edelweiss, Birdseed, Capture, Heart, Askance, Descendent, Irrevocable, Ludic, Ashes, Curse

You can use at least 10 of the words to create a story or poem. The words can appear in an alternate form. Use the words in any order that you like.

I challenged myself to a- use all twelve words b- use them in order given and c- write a story in under 200 words

 

FOF: It’s Time!

hay
Overnight, giant snowballs of hay appeared in the field.

Well, maybe not overnight, but as a kid who didn’t have to do the work, it felt that way each harvest season.

There’s something in the annual sighting of those stacks. It’s a visual nod to that the family has made it through another growing season; that the farm animals will make it through the coming winter. Most important, once the last bale was done, Papa would walk into Mama’s kitchen looking like a scarecrow and announce “It is done!” Somehow my young mind associated those giant bales of hay as a harbinger of the coming holiday season, all the joy they bring, and would ask “Is it Christmas yet?”

Now, it is my job. My wife and kids smile annually when I step onto the back porch, brush off hay and shout “It’s Christmas Time!”

<>==========<>==========<>
Written for:

Finish Off Fridays #3: Snowballs of Hay & Garden Gargoyles (09.12.16)

Too late…

In less than a minute from contact the infection took hold of her as nanites crawled from inside her irises to cover her entire body.

He watched in silent shock at the transformation.

Bringing her to the very height of her beauty; the nanites slowed for only the briefest of moments, showing him everything thing she could ever be physically and by God was she stunning! He gasped in awe at her absolute perfection, the cruel, cruel taunt displayed before him as she gave him a glimmer of her classic smile. A smile he inwardly knew was not real, yet he was as mesmerized by it now as he was when she was alive.
Though yards away he started to reach out to her, to touch her, when the vicious nanites true job finally kicked in. Her momentarily perfect eyes implode in on itself as though a fine, blacker than black silt were being sucked into an even blacker than black hole.
Only then did it occur to him to run, before the nanites sensed his own body, when he saw the first hint of blackness encircle the fingertip of his still outstretched hand.
Too late…
<>==========<>==========<>
A guy sitting across from me on the train had absolutely filthy nails.  My muse took a wicked flight of fancy as one of his finger tips looked like something alien was slowly devouring it. Amidst my repulsion, and fascination on how a relatively clean looking person can have such crusty nails, this whole scenario above happened in that most dangerous of places – my mind.
Let’s  hope my fellow slicers are having a more benign mental state – check them out…
sol

The Daily Post: Ready, Set, Done!

<trigger warnings – bodily fluids>

I am going mad.

A feeling not entirely out of the realm of possibility given the circumstances, truth be told. Surely if any place could inspire the fragmenting of one’s mind, this dark abyss would be so.  The ongoing series of low moans seeminly reverberate about the cramped space further emphasizing the horrendous state.

When was the last time we had fresh air? Saw sunshine?

Normally a gentle roll, the summer storm turned the normally gentle rocking of the ship into anything but a comforting lull. Several found their insides unceremoniously gushing out as a result of the lurching.  I tried not to think about it, but it was more near silent susurrus, a subliminal messaging of sorts to which I would not pay heed because this sin’t happening to me… This isn’t happening to me… This isn’t happening to me…This isn’t…

The man directly behind me starts speak when I feel hi body convulse and warm liquid strike my head and trails down my neck and back. I realize the first words were the beginnings of an apology he now completed, his stomach empty, butI ould not offer him the comforting words of understanding asthe stench and sheer repulsionstarts to overwhelm. Feeling itI reflectively try to back away from the warm body in front of me.  But like the man behind is bound to me and the stranger in front of me is chained to the man before him, I am just as shackled and cannot move when the ship lurches.

“I am sorry my brother”

And release…

Cross section of a slave ship 1828-1829.

Click for full size

<>==========<>==========<>

Ready, Set, Done! is a ten-minute free-write where you tap away on whatever comes to mind, no filters attached. You are free to edit later, or do as I have and just publish as-is. I have NO idea where this came from. I typed the first sentence, kept going and this was the result. The image was found after the fact.

That Which Is Called…

What’s in a name? Shakespeare asks.

Clearly he was never subjected to the abject cruelty of schoolyard children to the poor child whose mama got a little thoughtless in the naming department. I’m also guessing one simply did not use a diminutive in those days. At least not one associated with male anatomy, right William?

<>==========<>==========<>

Another go at Flash Fiction, also called sudden fiction, micro fiction or nanofiction via Friday 55.
Write a story in exactly 55 words, then tell the G-Man!