Retro Tuesday 6-6-2023

Writing Challenge 101 Day 4 – The Serial Killer (Loss)

Everything I learned about being a mother I learned from my mother.  Simple, right?  Of course, I learned from her.  But it’s not so simple as that.  I was the baby of the family, the introvert, the dreamer.  The nonconformist.  I lived inside my head, inside the stories I was always telling myself, understanding those stories and their characters better than I could ever understand the real world around me. My mother was just the opposite; she lived in the real world and had no use for the daydreams and fantasies of her youngest child.

I always thought this was the reason we so often clashed.  Now, however, I think we weren’t so different after all.  She had to live in a reality that I had not yet known.  She had a husband and kids and a house to run.  Groceries to buy, food to cook, and endless cleaning of house and laundry.  When I grew up and had these same things come to me, I had to learn how to live outside my own reality.  There isn’t a choice when you have children. 

I have come to understand that being a mother comes from the heart and from the soul.  It is the greatest surrender any woman can make to put aside her life for 18 + years to focus on her children.  Not all mothers make this sacrifice, but my mother did.  There are no absolutes in a mother’s world, no true rights or wrongs.  Everything we do as mothers is in the Now, the eternal present. There is no past or future in mothering. Every word we choose leaves its input on our child forever. As a mother myself, I can now see the challenges and sacrifices that she made from both sides.  She did the best she could in the Now.  When she knew better, she did better.  What better mantra for any mother?

Somewhere in the turmoil of our relationship,  the truth of being a mother changed.  Maybe she learned that you can’t fix your children.  Maybe she finally saw me for who I was and not who she wanted me to be.  Or maybe she just learned how to stop being a mother and start being a friend.  Time and again, she stood behind me without questions, no longer trying to fix my life, but simply being there. She learned that I didn’t need somebody to fix my problems (though I may have wanted that),  but, instead, I needed somebody to hear me.  I needed to know that I had value as me and not just as the person others wanted me to be.  I needed somebody who would never leave.

But there is no permanency in motherhood. Eventually, mothers go away from their children, leaving behind an empty space inside that will never again be filled in the same way.  Sometimes this leaving is first mental, just as you have gone away into a world of imagination where I cannot enter, our roles switched in what seems a tragic irony of fate.  Eventually, however, it will be forever. This, too, is motherhood.  A letting go, a final freedom, the ability of a child to physically let go of their mother when the time is right and the knowledge that, in truth, motherhood never ends.  It is an endlessness that has carried women from the first moment of the world, uniting us all back to the first mother, that very first instant when a woman looked upon the face of her newborn and fell in love.

What better tribute could there be?

Response – JSW Prompt 6-5-2023

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 300 words and post it to your page. The Challenge starts on Monday and runs through Sunday each week. Please remember to link your story back to this post so everyone can read your entry.

“Well,” he hedged, “yes.”

She threw her arms around his neck and gave him a hug. “Oh, I knew you did. Thank you.”

What had he said yesterday? That was the problem with drinking. He couldn’t remember.

“So can we go tomorrow?”

“Sure, baby, any day you want.” What the hell had he said?

“Pick me up at noon and we’ll have lunch and then go.”

“Okay.” How was he going to get out of this?

She kissed him. “I love you, you know.”

He mumbled something back.

“Bye, honey.”


He rubbed his forehead, sighed. He’d need a bucket loader to get out of this mess and he didn’t have a bucket loader. Next best thing, he was on the 4:00 flight to London.

Response – JSW Prompt 5-29-2023

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 300 words and post it to your page. The Challenge starts on Monday and runs through Sunday each week. Please remember to link your story back to this post so everyone can read your entry.

“Are they like elephants?” Amber asked, staring out the side window of the speeding car.

“What do you mean like elephants?”

“Do they walk across the land.”

“No, not really,” he said, keeping his eyes on the road. “Windmills can’t walk.”

“But what if they could?”

“Well, then, they might walk across the land like elephants.”

Amber watched the windmills striding across the land, wondering why her Dad couldn’t see them move.

One windmill stepped over the car, dipping it’s arms in her direction, and then continued on. There were a lot of things that Dads couldn’t see.

She smiled at the lion leaping across the sky and settled back into her seat. Picking up her dolly, she began to play.

Quote for the Day 6-4-2023

“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans. . . If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness.”
― Philip K. Dick

Friday Fictioneers 5-24-2023

PHOTO PROMPT ©  Ted Strutz

The roar of the crowd was like a hollow drone they could hear clear down to their dressing rooms. Jay picked up his shirt and pulled it on, listening to the crowd. “They are ready to go.”

Kerry, dressed and ready, nodded.

Rudy just shrugged.

“Come on, Rudy, they are yelling for you.”

“Not for me, man. For Chris.”

Which was true, but there were some “Rudys” in the mix.

Chris led them towards the stage where they separated for each to make their entrance. Let the fun begin!