Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 1-11-2018

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Fandango. .
 Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
1. A prompt photo will be provided each Monday pm to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.
2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday pm and runs to the following Monday pm.
3. Please credit photo to photographer.
4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try to stay within this limit.
5. Please indicate the number of words in your story at the end of your story. (It doesn’t count into the amount of words).

 

“Yggdrasil damned and heilagr hell,” Atticus growled, tugging angrily on his buried limbs. “”What the fricking…..” Falling silent as he continued to struggle.

Not that this was a bad neighborhood, but frankly, he preferred solitude. Preferred not to be the stump of all the local jokes.

‘Poor crippled, Atticus.’

‘Back hurting, A?’

‘I said “Brown – Left Hand!”‘

Really? It was like being in kindergarten again.

Damned if he was going to listen to that shit anymore, even if he had to hobble away on stumps.

Ignoring the snickering, he continued to struggle and fight, finally breaking his limbs free, spider-walking away on shaking roots, smiling for the first time in a millennium.

(118)


Notes:

Yggdrasil – Norse Tree of Life

heilagr – ‘holy’ in Old Norse

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Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers 1-4-2018

This week’s photo prompt is provided by J.S. Brand.
 Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers
1. A prompt photo will be provided each Monday pm to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.
2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday pm and runs to the following Monday pm.
3. Please credit photo to photographer.
4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try to stay within this limit.
5. Please indicate the number of words in your story at the end of your story. (It doesn’t count into the amount of words).

 


Kerry leaned on the railing of the yacht, watching the crane hunting in the shallows. Waiting in the shallows, actually, motionless until a tasty bit came by. Then snap!

Sort of like life. Waiting patiently in the background until one drifted a bit too close. Snap!

Jay appeared, leaning beside him, also contemplating the scene.

“Nice.”

“Yeah.”

The bassist turned towards him. “If you weren’t doing this,” he motioned around with one arm, “what would you be doing?”

A soft smile. “Playing jazz.”

Curious, Kerry asked, “Why aren’t you?” He’d come to the band late, after the retirement of their first bassist.

Jay thought for a moment about the crazy early days, playing in basements and tiny bars, humping their own equipment in a borrowed van, intimidated by the driving frontman of the band, days and months and years playing beach music or whatever the hell got them on stage.

He shrugged. “I like it here.”

Kerry nodded, understanding.

Snap!

 

(159)

 

Christmas Time is Here! 12-25-2017

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Day Five of Christmas Horse Pictures!

Christmas Day! Ring in the Happiness! Good Cheer! Presents…..

At my house, sort of.

I didn’t wrap anything until this morning, Christmased out by decorating the living room and Tree on Christmas Eve. Normally, all the presents for my kids are wrapped and under the tree by the week before. Not so this year, but maybe that is okay. It is okay not to try so hard?

It wasn’t like they were up at the crack of dawn.

So, I wrapped for them, then the rest of the my family. After opening presents at home, under the newly decorated Christmas Tree, my oldest mixed up Mac and Cheese and some oatmeal cookies for the Family Gathering later that morning.

This was at my asking, mind you. No, not asking. Telling. This wasn’t some bright insight on her part.

They both did an excellent job with my gifts. My son got me a neat black and white drawing of a barn scene with a bright-orange/red fox in the foreground. My oldest got me an agenda and a GC to B&N. Her gifts surprised me. Usually, it’s a DVD.

I was just about to start my “Great Agenda Hunt” for 2018 and this saves me so much time. It isn’t one I would have picked, but she did and it will work fine.

The we drove down to my parent’s house for Christmas with my Dad, sister and her son.

Truthfully, everything felt odd and awkward. Maybe it was just me, but usually I am pretty good about reading such things.

We handed out presents. My sister asked if I had purchased Dad’s gifts to my kids. I said no, I hadn’t been asked to put that on my agenda. Strike one, thought my Dad did write them each a check before we left.

Strike two, we took the dog. I am not yet comfortable leaving her home alone (well with the cats) for long periods of time. She has abandonment issues due to being dumped on our street. We didn’t take her inside my Dad’s house, because she had not been invited. She wasn’t even mentioned until we were getting ready to leave.

We ate and rushed home so my youngest could go to work. Christmas was over.

It was a good Christmas, I guess. At least, an okay one. I don’t do well with holidays on a whole – they overwhelm me – and the same with family gatherings.

Could it have been better? Could I have made it better? Yes and yes, but I’m not sure faking the emotions was the needed ingredient. I don’t want to fake and pretend. I just want Christmas to mean something more again.

That said, Christmas really isn’t for adults, not the Christmas Tree/Santa Claus side anyway. Christmas is for children, those who haven’t forgotten the world of Christmas magic.

I can remember being that child, but can I ever be that child again?

Maybe if I had gotten that pony under the Christmas Tree……

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(images from Pinterest)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Time is Here! 12-24-2017

clydefoal

Day Four of Christmas Horse Pictures!

Let’s pretend WordPress hasn’t been hiding my drafts from me and this is actually Christmas Eve.  For me, at least.

I found the holiday spirit today. Down went the still-piled fall decorations and up came the Christmas. Up came the tree upon direct command. My youngest then had to be told to put it together. He’s 22, remember.

But he did and I decorated it and we had our tree.  It was actually kind of nice. My daughter wasn’t there to put her ornaments on the tree and my son didn’t want to bother, so I pulled out the Breyer ornaments I’ve been collecting for years but which have never gone on a tree. I didn’t put them all up, just in case, since half of them are china/resin and we have four cats and, now, a dog. Plus some random horse ornaments and a snowman or two.

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I decorated the mantle and the little white tree my oldest brought up? I put it on a side table and decorated it as a bird tree.

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So, is Christmas here?

Today, it feels like a yes!

 

 

(Image from Pinterest)

Christmas Time is Here! 12-23-2017

Image result for gypsy vanner foal xmasBy the way, all the images for this series are off Pinterest and not mine

Day Three of Christmas Horse Pictures!

Today will be posting late. Actually today will be posting tomorrow AM and then tomorrow’s edition will post later. Merry Confusion!

So how goes the Christmas Spirit of the season for today, day three of horse pictures? For the pictures, pretty good. I am enjoying them each and every day. For the ongoing problem of the Christmas Tree, and Christmas itself, not so well. I hated, yes hated,  admitting to ‘testing’ my kids, or anybody, to protect myself. I hate that I do that. I didn’t realize for years and years and then I just pretended I didn’t.

Yesterday, I claimed it. Shamefully, hatefully, reluctantly, but I did.

So now what?

Where do I go from here?

I was hoping to work on that yesterday (actual yesterday, not writing yesterday), but I haven’t been eating regularly and correctly so, in Kohl’s, I got suddenly overheated, nauseous and thought I might pass out. Now, why am I linking this to the Christmas Trees?

Wait, the ego-side of me is saying.  I can make this sound better. But I can’t really. So I felt ready to pass out. Pup and I went to Dairy Queen and got ice cream. Have you, by the way, tried the Hot Chocolate and Oreo Blizzard? Delicious!

Notice how my flow of thoughts keeps avoiding the real issue? Maybe if I avoid the issue long enough, it will go away?

Truth?

In my head, I really wanted to clean up and put up the tree. In my heart, I wanted to clean up and put up the tree.  So, instead, I watched Youtube video’s and scanned Facebook.

I know avoidance is one of my highly polished skills, but at the end of the night I was mad and upset with myself. It’s it funny how many ways we have to totally screw ourselves over, pretending all the time that we are happy?

Oh, joy, ecstasy. I am so happy being miserable.

Merry Humbug!

Remember the Christmas Spirit I wasn’t finding? Well, we had Christmas with my Aunt today, at her nursing home.

I hate that my family is getting smaller (8 at last count), and we can’t make Christmas the same as it has been forever. No more my family over at the Aunt’s house on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day at my parent’s home. Heck, we don’t even really have Christmas in my house anymore. It’s almost like another day. Opening the present and keep going on with life. Ships in the night.

This is the little kid in me kicking and screaming because things have changed and I DON’T like it! I want things to be the way I want them because that’s how I want them!

I want the memories of when Christmas was special. Little faces glowing with the thrill of lighting a Christmas Tree and the joy of hanging stockings. Waking up early to peek and see if Santa rally came. Me staying up half the night to get everything wrapped and under said tree.

Pause. Breathe. Breathe.

Maybe I don’t want to invest in Christmas this year because I know it is going to be different. It can’t not be different. My Aunt is in a nursing home and can’t go to my parents’ house on the Day. And it isn’t even my parents house any longer, it is my parent house. Mom is not there anymore and I really needed her this week.

Truth?

I don’t want to wake up Christmas morning and have it any different from all the years of my life.

I don’t want to wake up any day of my life and have it any difference than it ever has been.

Impossible, I know. It is already different. It can’t help but be different. Every breath I take makes a difference.

The question is, how can I learn to live with the difference, not only on Christmas Day, not only with the ever-evolving relationship with my kids, my job, my family, but with the ever-evolving relationship with myself?

Does who I am today, on Christmas Eve Eve, have to be less-or-different than on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? This year? Next year? Ten years from now?

And I’m back to the Christmas Tree. I am angry with my kids for not putting the tree up because having the tree up means something to me from my past that I want them to understand and respect, even though they can’t. It’s not their past with the Christmas Tree which was, with my Ex, rather sporadic at best.

Do I think that if I stop my life it won’t pass me by? If I hold my breath, stubbornly, the world will relent and let me have my way? At Christmas Time or anytime?

At least holding onto my anger feels like I am doing something…..

 

Christmas Time is Here! 12-22-2017

Image result for christmas horse images

Day Two of Christmas Horse pictures!

Have you ever been walking along the road, seen a path heading into the forest, and wanted – just for heck of it – to follow, thinking it might lead somewhere rare and magical. I do. In fact, I was doing so yesterday during my at-work-walk. I wondered what it would be like to just step into the woods and disappear.

No, worries. I am not going to disappear. I’m not brave enough for one thing, but the desire is there, singing in my heart, calling me to step off the safe road and onto, and into, the unknown. Why do I think that if I just follow any of these paths, I might just have found my wardrobe?

Do you ever feel this?

We all long for the rare and magical, especially when our lives seem so dull and dreary, so bogged down in petty details and endless duties. Who hasn’t wanted to step into another world to find the adventures missing in their ordinary lives. Maybe you want to step into a bodice-ripping romance, a fantasy quest, or exploration deep into outer space.

These urges, these dreams, are what life is about. We dream to achieve.

So what am I dreaming into my life? I hope financial security and love and (mostly) free time, but is hope enough? Hoping is wishing. Wishing is what we do when we are afraid to dream, afraid to take the chance of asking for what we want.

I can long to step off the road into the unknown for the rest of my life without ever managing a single step. It is all up to me. To dreaming instead of wishing, hoping and pretending we don’t want what we want.

How does this relate to yesterday’s Christmas Tree dilemma?

I was saying I asked my adult kids to put up the artificial tree and it is still not up. Also, that I was refusing to do it… well…. because.

The absolute, embarrassing, truth is, I refuse to set up the tree because then I can say how horrible it is that my kids wouldn’t even set up the tree.  Does that make sense?

Like I’m testing them, waiting for them to pass or fail and, if they fail, I can say ‘well it wasn’t my job.’

There is something screwed up about my logic, but I realized I have always been this way. Leaving myself an out, just in case. So I can be the one wronged.

I hate this about myself, but it is true.

So what am I dreaming for my life here?

Nothing. I am not dreaming anything. I am wishing for what I want but afraid to ask, afraid to open up in case I am hurt or disappointed. I am afraid to take full control of my life because then there will be no one else to blame if the tree isn’t up. Or the present wrapped. Or the trash out. Dishes washed.

I am doing a disservice to myself and to my kids.

So maybe instead, I disappear into the woods and land up in Narnia. Or Middle-Earth.

Probably not. And, you know what, in those places I’d still have to do dishes and put up the Christmas Tree and take out the trash. It wouldn’t be a different life, just a different place.

But that doesn’t mean, just for an instant, I’m not tempted to see….