Present Gifts

The Carrot Ranch prompt this week is to write a 99 word story that includes the greatest gift. What a fine thing to consider, for we too often don’t appreciate what we have till it’s gone.

What’s the greatest gift? Is it something so common for many of us, (not all), that it’s easily taken for granted? Air, water. Food, shelter. Life.

The word gift is spoken at births and funerals, times when we pause and consider the wonder and sanctity of life.

We reflect at these comings and goings; how now do we live our Gifts each Day?

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Given, Not Gone

 The gift of creation, with free will, was given long ago. Somehow this planet came into being in this solar system; over time each one of us also had a beginning. In our beginnings was wonder, was potential, power, and promise.

That was then, this is now.

Now we might dwell on our flaws and misspent potential, might despair at our human failings, might mourn the state of our planet.

Or, right now, we might acquire humility and gratitude for the Gift. Every Now is a beginning. We could choose to cultivate and nurture potential and promise, right Now.

***

Reciprocation           (Rerun! first published for theApril 6, 2017 Carrot Ranch prompt)

Do not forget Turtle who brought the earth up from the watery depths. Do not forget Tree, whose roots hold and cradle the earth, whose branches hold up Sky. These ones, Turtle, Water, Tree, Sky, are sacred.

Long ago these ones spoke together, and together thought to provide and to sustain; they thought us into existence that we might use their gifts.

Be humble. Our creations are mere imitations, expressing gratitude, expressing wonder. Be mindful. Give thanks to Turtle, to Water, to Sky, to Tree. We are their thoughts that receive their gifts, and they think us most sacred.

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Spun Out

I am reblogging this as two more 99 word bits have been added as I consider the idea of Gift, prompted at Carrot Ranch. Maybe this is the final final installment.

ShiftnShake

copy-of-working-template-for-ff-challenges10By speaking to this girl at the library, telling her how to keep her bike safe from the likes of me, I’d become memorable, recognizable. Now I was making the risk worse by talking with her further. But for some reason, I admit the truth, at least the truth about not being a student. I also tell her that I run a mobile bike mechanic service, which is a lie, but will be true beginning tomorrow. Because, truth is, being recognized for a kindness felt good. Beginning tomorrow my gifts as a bike mechanic will be brought to light.

***

I had a stand, tools and a sign on a trailer I towed with my own Surly Cross Check. Where before I tried to blend in, now I tried to stand out, brand my business as the bike mechanic who’d come to you, work around your schedule.

I joked with…

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Spun Out

copy-of-working-template-for-ff-challenges10By speaking to this girl at the library, telling her how to keep her bike safe from the likes of me, I’d become memorable, recognizable. Now I was making the risk worse by talking with her further. But for some reason, I admit the truth, at least the truth about not being a student. I also tell her that I run a mobile bike mechanic service, which is a lie, but will be true beginning tomorrow. Because, truth is, being recognized for a kindness felt good. Beginning tomorrow my gifts as a bike mechanic will be brought to light.

***

I have a stand, tools, and a sign on a trailer I towed with my own Surly Cross Check. Where before I tried to blend in, now I try to stand out, brand my business as the bike mechanic who’ll come to you, work around your schedule.

I joke with a young man walking by that he needs a bike. Then he tells me his got stolen.

“You must be pissed,” I say.

“Eh. They musta needed that bike more than me.”

I watch him walk on. I hadn’t needed the bikes I stole. What was it I needed?

***

“How much?” asks my first customer.

“Pay me for parts if any are needed. If you have time stick around and I’ll teach you how to do this yourself.”

“That’s bad business!”

“Consider it a gift.”

And I change the rates on my sign to say Free.

People give me coffee. Somebody brings me lunch.

Someone from the college comes by, asks me if I’d give bike repair workshops two evenings a week. They have a space, they’ll pay me for my time. The cycling team is looking for a mechanic too, he thinks.

This is a good day.

***

rwr-1This is the final installment of a thread that started with the August 29 challenge from Carrot Ranch as “Cutting Loose”, then continued through two Six Sentence Stories,Good Business” and “Sidelined“, and ends here as another 99 word Ranch response.
The September 12, 2019, prompt? In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes the greatest gift. Answer it as if it were a question, or show what it could be. Go where the prompt leads you!

 

Against the Window

Thomas knew he wouldn’t ever be so lucky as to go on a turkey drive like Robert had but he still felt like he must be one of the luckiest boys around to have such a great big brother, a hero returned from the southern war. Even though he didn’t remember him from before, even though Robert was fifteen years older, they were close from the moment Robert returned home and set his musket in the corner of the hallway, from the first time Robert tossed him in the air but then asked him seriously how things were on the farm, respecting Thomas and the chores that he kept up with. And Robert was good to work with, more patient than Pa, always took time to explain why things were done a certain way, allowed Thomas time to see how things worked.

Thomas looked out for his big brother, didn’t worry him about overhearing Pa wondering with Ma if Robert was all right, wondering at how he’d changed, wondering how he was going to make it. Thomas looked out for Robert when he was yelling and thrashing about just because of a cardinal beating its wings against the window, quieted him down, said it’s all right, shush it’s all right, just a little bird got confused, shush now, don’t get so excited, what’d you think it was?

Thomas wouldn’t realize that Robert looked out for him too, by not answering his questions or explaining what gave him bad dreams and waking nightmares.

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This is a second Six Sentence Story for this week’s prompt word “cardinal”. (The first is Sidelined) This story features Civil War vet Robert, returned to the family farm in Vermont, and his little brother Thomas, both of whom you may remember from past flashes.

Nick of Time

dverselogoanother season

turn turn turns

click

ringed gears

revolution

passing years

time

tick tick ticks

third clock

circling the sun

facing east

since time

begun

picking up sticks

spearing

scraping

scratching

stirring

and one for counting

carved and nicked

ever westward

our light runs

 

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De Jackson, aka WhimsyGizmo, is serving up quadrille at d’Verse Poets’ Pub this evening. Drop by the Pub for a shot of #87; the rules are few, just poem up with 44 words exactly and make sure one of the 44 is the word “nick”. 

Family Trip #WWP 122

“Do we have to? I hate being surrounded by all that old stuff. Besides, we come here every time.”

“Of course we do. Just shush. Do it for your father.”

“Yeah, brat, maybe you’ll even learn something. The key to your future is the past.”

They crossed the manicured grounds, climbed the steps and entered the old building. They were greeted at the door and reminded of the rules; inside voices, no running, no phones, and the items on display were to be looked at, not handled. Sneaking in a last punch at each other, the two boys followed their parents as the door closed on fresh air and sunshine.

“It smells in here.”

“Smell of history preserved. Check Dad out, he always goes to the same displays first.”

“Stupid, they’re not exhibits. This isn’t a museum.”

“Isn’t it? Mom, are we eating here at grandma’s too?”

 

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A family tale for Sammi’s  Weekend Writing Prompt #122. 147 words this time, using the word “museum”.

Sidelined

I’m in a sidewalk diner on a downtown side street, sitting at a little table that faces a large bike rack. I’m window-shopping without arousing suspicion, watching people and how they leave their bikes, hoping for a high-end number to come through. Even locked, I’ll have that bike released without anyone even noticing, will wheel away across town to my parked car, and whisk it into the spacious trunk.six sentence story copy

Just as I recognize her bike securely u-locked to the rack the waitress recognizes me; the girl from outside the college library says hello and thanks me again for my kindness and I realize with dismay that I broke my cardinal rule.

A Scott road bike catches my eye through the window and I watch a middle-aged businessman prove that he has no business keeping such a machine, but I may have to let it go, for I am no longer invisible.

***

From Cutting Loose, to Good Business, to this Six Sentence Story, the story is continued. The word from Denise this week is “cardinal”, the rules are to use that word in six sentences, no more, no less. Go to GirlieOntheEdge for more cardinal stories.

Stepping Out

When Dad told us Jimmy’s mom had asked him on a date, Jamie took my bike to her house.

“Is it okay, August?” He was looking at the trunk underneath the tired white shirts in his closet.

I swallowed. “Yeah, Dad. It’s okay.”

Pounding up the stairs, Jamie was back, brandishing brightly colored shirts. Dad protested but seemed glad.

“It’ll be all right.”

He smiled then because when Jamie says something you believe it.

Later Jamie told me what Dad said so quietly I hadn’t heard, that he’d whispered this was the hardest thing he’d done in seven years.

***

At Carrot Ranch the September 5, 2019, prompt is to write a story in 99 words (no more, no less) that shows true grit. You can use the phrase or embody the theme. Who or what has true grit? Go where the prompt leads you! 

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I’m not sure if this embodies the theme, but the prompt led me to Augie. I had thought I would write about the grit he and his new friend Jamie, both outsiders, demonstrate by showing up to middle school every day. But then it became about Augie’s father who has been a very quiet widower for seven years now, taking care of his son alone. The trunk in this episode alludes to Silence Shared.

Who? #D’Verse Poetics

dverselogoAt D’Verse Pub this evening Mish introduces Beverly Dyer. I recommend stopping in to learn more about this visual and literary artist/healer. It’s Tuesday Poetics; drop in at D’Verse Pub for Poets to read and write and for links to more of Beverly’s artwork.il_340x270.807854972_pbar.jpg

Who?

Who guides your brush?

colors your palette?

pictures your canvas?

Found feathers take flight

plumed brush or pointed quill

breathing images

giving wing to art.

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Good Business

six sentence story copyTo keep my bike business sustainable I play it safe, think of it like fishing, never overfishing any one pond; I stay around one campus for a while, blend in, then move on to another, never taking too much at any one time. Sitting on a bench or on library steps or against a tree in the lawn, I’m just another student studying for classes in the fall air, except I don’t go to classes- I’m in my work zone; I study the bike racks, assess the rolling stock, observe the people that leave their bikes there, philosophize at the temporary nature, the fallacy and futility, of ownership.

Here’s a bike of interest; it’s gorgeous, great paint, elegant lines, its beauty in its solid practicality, and already I am thinking that this Morgan horse of a bike might have to end up in my personal stable, already I’m noticing that the girl dismounting is about my size, I’m thinking this bike should be a good fit.

I say nice bike and she beams, obviously proud of it and tells me it’s the nicest thing she’s ever owned, that she saved and saved for it, figures this is her main means of transportation for a long while, around campus and to her three jobs that are putting her through college, tells me all this as she is securing her prize possession with a cable and padlock. It’s a solid padlock but it won’t take much to get through that cable, not much at all, so I go to another bike at the rack, unzip the handlebar bag and fish out the key for the u-lock, then give that u-lock and key to the girl, and I show her the best way to use them to discourage thieves.

She is so thankful and I just laugh and point out that the lock is more valuable than the bike it came from, then I disappear, knowing it has to be a catch and release day.

****

This Six Sentence Story is a continuation of Cutting Loose that originated from a Carrot Ranch prompt and was pushed further  by Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie . Link up and leave a six sentence story at GirlieOntheEdge’s blog. The prompt word is zone. Six sentences, no more, no less.