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The Accident, Short Fiction

22 Jul

The Accident

Brian looked up from the busted watermelon into the smoky,

amused gaze of a gorgeous redhead.

‘I’m Serena’.

They fell in love.

Manic Mondays are becoming an ending. At least for the past couple of Mondays. An ending to the bone-wearying ennui that sets in on Fridays! This too shall pass.

Saw The Lone Ranger Friday with Bob and Falon. We scarfed a pizza, went to the movie and scarfed popcorn and laughed. Lucky to have entertainers, not so lucky to be scalped of dollars to see them. I guess I always go back to the question of how much one person, one family really needs to live comfortably. Is there a study? I must look for one..

At any rate, it was fun and distracting and I heart Johnny Dep. He could park his shoes under my bed anytime…Don’t tell Bob.

Falon and I seem to be on a personal pampering quest. In the past three weeks we’ve done hair, visited the Hot Springs baths, and, just Saturday, had nails done. I’m looking forward to the pedicure and the  massage! Guess we’ll have to put all this on weekly rotation! Do we deserve it? Hell Yeah! And so does every other multi-tasking working woman out there! Less grocery shopping, more pampering! That’s the new mantra!

One final note for this manic Monday: I’ve added a new work file and labeled it SYNTD for SHIT YOU NEED TO DO.

I almost emptied it today. Go Me!

Tuesday Tangles and A Bit of Fiction

16 Jul

She stopped the car and laid her head against the back of the seat.

She hated this feeling. She had been feeling the tightness in her chest for two days. Two long days of feeling abandoned, of feeling the loss of a relationship. Her third divorce approached.

I know how to pick ’em she thought. I just wish I understood the why.

She closed her eyes obscuring the view of the lake in front of her. She tried counting her breaths in and out. She searched for her mental calm, her peaceful place and found only the hurt. She searched deeper.

She recalled that letting go was always the most difficult part. Letting go and knowing that she really didn’t control anything except her own behavior…not even her life was really her own. She was at the mercy of a world where stress and pressure were commonplace. Life wasn’t just family and survival anymore. Life was a complicated mess. Finding the good and the pure and the place you were meant to be and the people you were meant to be with was no longer an adventure but a bone wearying, soul killing experience based on the needs of the rich and shiny possibilities  that might be had for your labors.

Her cynicism was showing.

She felt like a target for the dysfunctional. It seemed that drunks and junkies, homeless dogs, stray cats and lonely children sought her. There were other choices for them.  But they seemed to find her.

And in her own loneliness she allowed them in, always thinking that this one would be the one that would allow her a brief rest, a shoulder to lean on in times of trouble. This one would take care of the crises that arose in life. It would be shared.

Loneliness painted the target on her back. Silly, really. She never thought of being lonely until she was lost, until she had no one to distract her from her need to be comforted and supported in a measure equal to what she gave.

No, she thought. I want it all.

She raised her head, started the engine, released the brake and prepared to drive away.

It will be what I make of it, she decided. And I will make of it a tall, soothing, margarita. If I let it go, what is meant to be will manifest. I have the power to change one thing. I can choose to be selective and take my time. I can choose to find a new path, find my pace, learn and grow.

Better late than never, she thought. Odd these sayings so overused, so often correct. Too bad the epiphany was so long in coming. Too grand that it finally arrived!

Tangled Tuesday, Quirks, Quotes, and The Beginning of a Story

9 Jul

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
Henry David Thoreau

The horror of it all, is that we exchange much of our lives for stuff. Just stuff. I’m guilty of shopping for instant gratification instead of searching out the beauty and peace there is to be found in my own back yard. Such a waste.

I’ve exchanged a bit of life the last couple of days on a story that is yet unfinished. But is really is becoming too lengthy to share in one post. I’m going to break it up. And I’m going to hope that someone will come back for the subsequent posts and see it through to the end.

I think I will begin each installment with the picture.

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

Desert Rose

She was named for the desert rose, the bloom so beautifully layered and constant in the most adverse of conditions. Her mother had seen one once in a hotel atrium and searched for its origins, fascinated.

She lived in adverse conditions much the same as her namesake. Poverty, the absence of family, the threat of simply living in a one room walk-up in the filthy neighborhood they called home shadowed their lives. She was sure Mama did her best. Their room was spotlessly clean.  She noticed her clothes were cleaner than the other kids around. Mama made her take a bath every night so she didn’t smell like the others.  She noticed.

The only place she felt safe in her pre[- school was in the office. No one coming or going would harm her, bully her.  Miz Jolly wouldn’t allow it. Miz Jolly liked to wink at her and give her small pieces of chocolate. Miz Jolly had a little girl too. She was in third grade and went to another school, somewhere uptown Miz Jolly said.

After school and when Mama worked she stayed with Janie. Janie was fat and smoked cigarettes and had lots of boyfriends. She didn’t like Janie. Janie was rude to her and never listened when there was a fight. She let the other kids bully and tease, not like Miz Jolly at all. But she learned ways of coping with good humor and steely resolve.

The other place she felt safe was the library. Mama had been bringing her here since before she could remember.  She loved the way it was so quiet in the corner Mama always chose. She loved the smell of the books, the feel of the covers. She specially liked Mr. Morris who always teased her when they checked out about being a little bookworm and then he would point to the picture of a green worm with glasses on the wall.

She giggled every time she spotted those glasses on that worm.

to be continued…

Tuesdays Tangles and a Bit More Fiction

11 Jun

Tuesday tangles are often rather interesting. This morning we stepped out the back door for a few minutes and a very early lunch to see what the River Market Farmer’s market had to offer. Yum. Fresh squash and zucchini and onions and lettuces from the Oriental lady I love to buy from. Her hands are worn and stained. I asked her once if I might take a picture of her hands. She was a bit hesitant and so I didn’t get a clear view of just her hands.

005

But aren’t they beautiful? Work worn and beautiful!

I bought fresh local blueberries and couldn’t resist a ginormous blueberry pancake for dinner. Tomorrow I’m thinking oatmeal and fresh blueberries for breakfast. It’s steel cut oats in the crockpot tonight!

Zucchini and marinara with spaghetti on Thursday sounds much better than the ubiquitous hot dogs.

Today was a good day. It moved in some strange circles, but it was a good day. A bit of fiction was on my mind and so I present it to you today. Hope you don’t mind if more of this comes. I’m going to call this ‘format’  Bit Fiction as it is a bit more than hint.

 

The Descent

The road was one of switchbacks, blind curves, and steep grades. She easily navigated the fifty mile descent from Grandmere’s farm in less than fifty minutes, a singular record among the living.

She was skilled, playing the gears on her old car with great finesse. She had mastered her Stradivarius and it responded to her gentle touch.

On this day her tears might have been an impediment to her descent, but the road’s familiar landscape echoed a life, full of twists and turns, yet well lived. The car’s familiar rumble and sway soothed as had Grandmere’s laugh and the honored seat in her lap in the front porch rocking chair.

Elsbeth downshifted to slow, maneuvering into the last hairpin, feeling the tires grip the blacktop, the gears mumble a bit as her speed dropped. She shifted back up to begin acceleration again in the middle of the curve, her hands relaxed on the gear shift and steering wheel. She sighed with satisfaction.

Elsbeth’s trip down the mountain was but a memory now, as was Grandmere, but the spirit of the ride would never fade.

 

Happy Wednesday and thanks to all of you who read my mental meanderings.

Hint Fiction Friday!

17 May

I was about to despair that I had nothing to write about!

Then it dawned Friday! Ohhhhhh yippepepepppeeeeeeee.

It couldn’t have come at a better time. Let’s see what’s lurking in my head today.

Brother Harlan had been preaching hellfire and damnation for nigh onto 50 years, having come to his calling at a young age and with a real focus on the sins of man. Now at 70, his preaching was taking on an almost mellow tone. This Sunday he’d been almost kind to the congregation. Why Denny Moore didn’t even comment on the state of his everlasting soul after the sermon, something he’d been doing for nigh on to 50 years. Denny did ask his wife if she thought the right Reverend was slipping a bit.
‘No’, she replied. ‘I think he’s just gotten old. Like us’.
Brother Harlan had gotten old and the past few months had surely threatened the state of his soul. Questioning himself and his steadfast belief that he was right about the afterlife had left him worn and withered of spirit. What if he was wrong? What if this was it? If this was the hell? He’d been torturing these poor tortured souls every Sunday for most of their lives with the threat of damnation and it looked liked most of ’em was already damned.
‘This life is messy,’ he thought. ‘Just plum messy. “
Harlan awoke on Monday with new purpose. The good people of  his flock would be loved and encouraged, given hope and shown the beauty in life. He would show them faith without failure. After all, no one would find the bodies he’d buried in the woods after all these years. Would they?

 

Happy Weekend!

 

Hint Fiction Friday and OMG, It’s the Weekend!

3 May

I am surprised that weekends have begun to be the same beloved reprieve they were BILMJ (Before I Lost My Job). All I needed to remind me of the precious status of weekends was gainful employment.

Oh my. Now Friday at 5 is the pinnacle of the week again. Yeah. It has happened. It’s not because I dislike my job. Far from it. The reason is really quite simple. Weekends hold the potential for spontaneity. Sleeping an extra ten minutes will not throw your schedule into chaos. Daring to take an extra 20 minutes for reading and coffee is a possibility that won’t cause a cut in pay. Taking in a movie or shopping or having dinner with friends isn’t necessarily followed by a groggy day of work. You can throw the schedule out the door for two whole days.

I like it.

Today is Friday. Wooooowhoooo. And so for the bit of fiction offered on Fridays, I give you this:

She waited, her courage waning a bit, a tissue clenched in her hand the only support she sought in this adventure. He spoke two words. With that all her fears and all her dreams coalesced and her life changed. Pregnant at 48.

Happy Weekend Everyone! A joyous, spontaneous good time to all!

Hint Fiction Friday #8

19 Apr

I drive down Crystal Valley Road this morning toward Stagecoach Road and I-430. It is 7:30 a.m. Rain storms blew through yesterday. Their passing leaves new intensity in the colors of the buds and blooms just peeking and peaking.  The early morning light suffuses the trees with an incredible, almost delicate, aura.  It enhances the greens, soothes the blacks, and adds dimension to the browns and grays.  The tulips reds sparkle with remnants of the rain and the last of the lavender hyacinths droop becomingly.

I might well enjoy this display of nature’s glorious color wheel but for half-mast eyelids at this ungodly hour of the morning.

 

Today’s Hint Fiction:

She rose slowly, the stranger’s arm supporting her efforts, her grazed hand held firmly in his, her scraped knees showing through jeans bloody and torn.

‘Thank you’, she said. ‘It seems my curb-inspired flying lesson has failed.’

It’s Friday!

Hint Fiction Friday #7

12 Apr

This is my last Freedom Friday for some time. New job, new responsibilities, and an ongoing search for my life’s work will mean the demise of Friday Freedom. We bid it a fond farewell.

Reevaluation of goals and dreams is a real bitch. Those of us fortunate enough to hoard the bottom three percent of the world’s wealth find that the best laid plans of mice and men don’t often go awry, they always go awry. It’s becoming much easier to understand the depression epidemic. Geez, what a vicious circle.

 Hint Fiction Friday  #

Sarafina attempted to assess the damage to her heart. It still beat. The pain had actually settled just south of her diaphragm. Maybe it was acid reflux. Perhaps last night’s chili dog had been a mistake. Oops, it moved a little further north and then swooped down south again.

She decided to concentrate on her head.

There, lurking in the muck of brain matter, she found what she sought. She confronted her indecision.  She attempted to make peace with the need to remain resolved.

‘I’ve become an enabler,’ she thought.

Tears welled.

The pain bumped into her heart. It squeezed.  Fifteen years before her divorce had felt like this.   

‘It feels like loss and failure.’

Sarafina sighed, her head dropping to her chest, the tears sliding down checks red with misery.

 She heard the beep of a text message. She sat down and touched the screen. It lit. She read.

‘I love you Mom.’

The pain eased slightly.  

The argument hadn’t ended, but then neither had the lifetime of love.

Hint Fiction Friday

5 Apr

I can’t imagine having a day much less productive than this one. I did clear away junk mail and tidy my desk in preparation for the dreaded tax deadline. I just hope we break even! I’m really hoping that one day the tax returns just do themselves or the laws are changed to make it super simple. Perhaps we just need to eliminate income tax and go for a federal sales tax with exemptions on food, medicine, and other necessities. It seems it might actually be fair to everybody. I would welcome feedback on that issue. Any experts out there have an opinion?

It’s that time of the week when short fiction takes its place in thepolkadot exercises in writing.

This one is dedicated to the first item on the Bucket List, Rumania:

He smiled, languidly dabbing his mouth. ‘Throat-baring 101’, he whispered. ‘Don’t offer unless you mean it.’ His arm relaxed and she fell limply to the ground.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. I’m going to try focusing my thoughts on a sexy, long-toothed, tuxedo-wearing, tall, dark, and handsome fantasy. Perhaps the house cleaning, shopping, and miscellaneous chores won’t be quite so boring.

BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

That’s my deranged laugh.

Hint Fiction Friday; Short and Sweet

29 Mar

It’s been hectic the past couple of days. Way too much going on around here. I’ve been placed in charge of concession for Zach’s Musical Event, The Bard and Skard. We’ve been cleaning and prepping and shopping. Whew!

Friday means it is time for a tiny bit of fiction. Let me present this flash:

Tears shone in Chrissie’s eyes. The ring slid onto her finger. Thirty years of love, two beautiful children and she and Joanna were finally wed.

Never give up the fight for human rights. It is the right thing to do.

Happy Weekend to all.

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