Response – JSW 5-17-2021

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 500 words and post 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.

©️csknotts2020

They stood on the sidewalk, traffic whizzing behind them, staring out at the slow-moving river. “We could tube down the river,” she said, excited about the possibility.

“Maybe we could go riding.”

“That would be fun, too.”

“How about the Children’s Museum?”

“Yeah, maybe later.”

“We could go to the Speedway, just to say we’ve been.”

“We could go swimming.”

“We could get more donuts from that donut shop.”

“How about taking a tour of the city?”

The river swung beneath them, promising forever. In the end, they went back home and watched a movie. Tomorrow, they would find something exciting to do. And tomorrow and tomorrow. And then next year.

Little did she know the lies of the river. He was dead before she ever came back.

Learning To Fly 4-22-2021

And days go on. Days counting down slowly and cruelly since I lost one of my best friends. Cindy Bergin, I miss you with every inch and fiber of my being. When I had forgotten how to swim, you taught me how to float, then how to swim again, and then you taught me how to fly.

And how do I go on? Without you, I would have never learned to stand on my own, to walk away when the moments called for it. You taught me self-sufficiency and hope for the future.

Cindy, you were one of the most self-aware and self-sufficient person I have ever know. You lived life to its fullest. How do I go on?

It is hard to put into words what you meant to me and what I know you meant to all your other friends and family. You were a light in the darkness. You were a fierce friend, willing to drop everything in an instant to support your friends.

I enjoyed writing with you. You were wild and free and happy to go to the extremes of the universe. Our ships will never fly again without you. How do I go on?

I remember the first time I met you in person. It was at Breyerfest. I hadn’t even known you collected Breyer horses and then you were coming down to Kentucky. We passed each other by at first, neither of us recognizing the other for a moment. And then you were there and my life began to change for the better.

After that, I looked forward to Breyerfest not only because it was a celebration of the model horses I had collected since childhood, but because you were there. Going home from Breyerfest was like a loss, but there was always next year. Now there are no more next years.

Nine hours is too far to separate friends, but, at the same time, those nine hours meant nothing. We saw each other once a year and yet, no matter how long between times we talked, every time was like we had spent no time apart. How do I go on?

You made me laugh at the world and at myself, but, even more important, you showed me the power of love. You never ended a phone call without saying “I love you.” And I suspect, you ended every call with every friend and family member with those exact same words. How do I go on?

I know, one day, the pain of your loss will fade. It will never go away completely, but it will fade. I will learn how to celebrate your life and live with the emptiness you left in mine. But right now all I have is tears for the loss I will feel for the rest of my life.

Cindy, you were, and still are, a friend of a lifetime. I will never know another person like you. How do I go on?

More importantly, how do we all go on without you?

Question of the Week 4-21-21

What words or phrase do you need to hear today?

“Everything is going to be all right.”

That’s what I need to hear today. Two weeks ago, I lost one of my best friends. My whole world changed and I need to know that, in the end, things will be okay. My world will keep turning and the empty space in my life will not always be so large and….. empty. I can’t even write about it, the pain is so fresh. So, today, I just need to know it will be all right in the end.

Response JSW 4-19-2021

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 500 words and post 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.

I lay on the table, oblivious to anything around me. Eyes finally closed. Distant sounds of the sea rolling towards me.

I almost drowned when I was five. My older brother dared me to keep wading out into the surf, further and further until there was no sand beneath my feet.

Then the bad things started. I wasn’t the bad things, but they said they were inside me so I guess they must have been. I don’t remember, but they must have been. The nightmares never left, so they must have been.

I knew he was here, watching me drown.

I drifted further, floating now on the swells, feeling the salt in my veins pulling me down. Past the breakers. Floating out to sea.

To sea. See.

I could finally see. Floating. Drowning in the soft warm rush of waves of darkness.

Warden: “Time of Death. 12:01”

Friday Fictioneers – 3-12-2021

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

He’d come to the beach to stay. Time didn’t matter. Nothing mattered but the beach.

Sometimes he fished, but he always let them go in the end. He didn’t like to see them in such pain.

Sometimes he walked, but the walking got harder as the days went by.

Sometimes he sat and watched the ocean. Daydreamed he could fly out under the waves, a thousand miles in a moment; freedom.

Sometimes he sat and slept. Dreamed about the salt in his blood mixing with the waves, the ache of faraway places.

One time, he just walked into the water.

JSW 3-8-2021

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 200 words and post 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.

JSW – 3-1-2021

(For some reason this didn’t post)

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 200 words and post 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.

“On the corner of main street/Just tryin’ to keep it in line/You say you wanna move on, and/You say I’m falling behind/Can you read my mind?” – Brandon Flowers, The Killers

He stopped playing, fingers poised over the piano keys as the next verse of the song rolled into his mind and, a moment later, out his fingers onto the keys. The melody had been in his head for days just waiting for the words to come.

He was alone in the studio. He preferred it that way now, not like when he was young and they first started the band. Then, the more chaos the better. In all the ruckus, he could create all day.

Turning on the bench, he started out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the Northwest forest beyond. Dusk was settling down over the trees like a blanket and he could hear the first, faint, call of an owl.

Another marriage down the drain and he just didn’t want to do it anymore. It was easier to be alone and find a companion when he wanted company. Companions were a dime-a-dozen. Love, well, was overrated. Even if the decision made his heart hurt.

Dark hung over him, kissing the room’s corners and elbows, whispering among the furniture and drapes. He was alone. Truth was, he didn’t want the companionship either. He wanted…. darkness. The world was moving on. He was falling behind.

Could they read his mind?

(This story is purely fictional and has no resemblance to the actual author and band).

Response – JSW 2-22-2021

The JSW Challenge is open to anybody who wishes to participate. Using the writing prompt, write a flash fiction no longer than 200 words and post 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.

“That’s what they all say.”

He didn’t look over, wasn’t anything more over there to see than in front of himself. Mud, mud and more mud. He lived in a suit of mud.

“So who is the enemy now?”

Daniel looked up, across the calm office to the man sitting behind the desk. He thought they were supposed to come out from behind the desk to seem more open, more approachable, more friendly, but what did he know? He looked at his hands as if the answers lay somewhere in the creases in his palms, but all he could see was the mud.

“What do you see?”

“Mud.” He gave the same answer everytime. Nobody believed him about the mud, how they’d lived in it and breathed in it and died in it as the battle wove all around them. Different mud different times. Same story.

His socks had rotted away and now they were mud. His pants, his coat, his rifle…. all mud. The trench sank deeper and deeper into the mud. They wallowed to their groins in mud.

“What is beyond the mud?”

Daniel looked at him for a moment, head cocked, jerking once. “Mud.”

It was all mud. Mud. Mud. Mud. Mud. Squishy. Crawley. Madding mud.

“It would help if you could wipe the mud away and see what is beyond.”

“There is no wiping away the mud,” he said with a shake of his head to dismiss the distant toll of bells. “The world is mud.”

The therapist sat in silence for a moment, looking at him. Daniel looked back, eyes tracing the mud along the man’s trousers and cuff, coating his desk and living on the wall beyond like a shroud.

The therapist tapped a finger on his notebook, glanced at his watch. His muddy watch. “We’ll take this up again next time.”

Careful not to slip on the mud, Daniel rose, flicking away mud oozing down his sleeves, onto the chair and the floor and the world. He squished out without speaking because if he opened his mouth, the mud would fill him, too. The enemy crawling inside.

The therapist went home and had a nice dinner with his wife and friends.

Daniel drowned.