Boutique; #SixSentenceStory

What-You-Seek Boutique by D. Avery

Her mood overcast and as unsettled as the weather, she ventured in, smiling at the sign in spite of herself, wondering how she’d not noticed the little boutique before with it’s two bay windows either side of the door, each sparkling with kitschy knickknacks and tchotchke.

She drifted among the crowded aisles until stopping short at a shelf where she found, carefully arranged in chronological order, all of her pain; she picked up the most recent, turned it over in her hands and examined it, and as she did, the shelf was rearranged by category, the full collection of all her losses before her, some, despite being older, still more acute than the one she now held. She gathered the losses all up at once and wondered at the weight of them, then carefully put each loss back down on the shelf, now espying other pain; slights, disappointments, and regrets along with deep injustices she’d suffered.

She remained, looked at them all in turn until the shelf transformed again, until amongst those relics she also saw her joys; love and friendship among the losses; growth and wisdom, resolve and resilience among the hurts and injustice.

“Forgiveness; hope; looks like you found what you were seeking.” The wizened shopkeeper winked, and immediately she was back on the sun speckled street where she saw, as if for the first time, the long vacant shop with its splintered shutters like eyelids closed against the dusty windows and between them the faded sign, ‘What-You-Seek Boutique’, over the centered door.

The word prompt for Six Sentence Stories this week is “boutique”. All you have to do is include the word within six sentences that have some semblance of a story, or even a poem. Thank you to Denise at GirlieOntheEdge for hosting.

Volume; #SixSentenceStory

Volume  by D. Avery

How excited they’d been on their wedding day, naively going through the rituals, blithely echoing and agreeing to conditions far off in the future, so unimaginable then, and now here they were, till death do them part. Elsa could say how many years they’d been married in total, but for better or for worse couldn’t say exactly when the time had become interminable.

How long had his chewing been so audible, she wondered, and had his breathing always been so loud? From her corner chair she could hear every whistle, wheeze and expectorant of various states of matter that had cause to enter or exit his aging body, yet when he directed speech her way he seemed only barely able to muster an incoherent mumble.

Removing one blaring ear bud he finally looked up from his phone, and repeated for her, louder and slower, “I said, we have so many memories to celebrate on our anniversary.”

“Yes, volumes,” she replied, but he didn’t hear her.

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The word from Denise at GirlieOntheEdge is “volume”, the rules are to use that word in a six sentence story. The  link is HERE

Kettle; #SixSentenceStory

six sentence story copyI’m in with my Six Sentences! I can’t even remember last week or the prompt word, only know that I missed showing up with a response. This week that recurring farm family from Vermont has saved me from such remorse and regret. In this case the prompt word, “kettle”, is this fictional family’s heirloom. Thank you Denise at GirlieOntheEdge for being the Six Sentence Story hostess with the mostest. The linkup for stories is actually tomorrow.

Living History   by D. Avery

She found him in the old part of the barn with its dark slate foundation and thick roughhewn beams and asked, “Where’s Hope?”

He pointed at the old cast iron kettle and explained, “I told her the story of this old sugar kettle, the story everyone in my family has always told their children— of course she’s the first to have wanted to go underneath the upturned kettle herself.”

Her look interrupted his thoughts as he remembered how he and his sister had been affected by the story, how they had been tortured enough imagining the experience, had never wanted to actually experience what it was like to curl up under that dark charred cauldron. He lifted a side of the kettle and Hope rolled out, uncurled blinking at them, more thoughtful than shaken. “And the bounty hunters searched the house and the barn but never looked underneath this?”

“That’s right, Hope, and soon after, your great-great-great-grandfather sold a store of maple sugar that had also come from the kettle, though he knew he wouldn’t get a good price; but he also knew he couldn’t very well be driving an empty wagon all the way to Newport.”

Twist Again; #SixSentenceStory

Same Old Story, by D. Avery

She had always known too much about plants and their healing properties; animals, wild as well as domestic, responded too well to her; people invariably were wary of her, and she of them, throughout her lives. It seemed like in every incarnation she was accused of being a witch, the accusation serving as trial, verdict, sentence— a death knell. Being a healer was cause enough for alarm, and as soon as an accusation was voiced even those who had come to her in desperation seeking her skills and knowledge were unwilling to speak in her defense. At the end of many lives she had felt the weight of millstones, the searing heat of coal and flame, the twist of rope, the sudden jerk of her own weight at the end of a brief fall.

This time her crime was her words, but not any incantation, no spells or recipes of alchemy, just her truth put forth in print, naked and plain for all to behold. Again she felt the relentless weight and heat of ignorance and hate trolling her, picking at her, giving her no rest, but once again she would not confess, would not validate their lies, would not recant or apologize; she would not give up the hope she yet held for humanity.

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This is a second take on the prompt word “twist”, provided by Denise at GirlieOntheEdge. The premise is that you write six sentences exactly using that prompt. Leave a link and read the Six Sentence Stories of others. Fun comes is packed in sixes!

Twist; #SixSentenceStory

Twist             by D. Avery

He felt the press of their growing impatience like another layer of humidity, felt the whole long line involuntarily closing in, incrementally shortening the open links of six foot separations. If the family group behind him wasn’t so large he might have let them ahead, for he was also aware that they had, from the myriad choices, each already made up their minds; he’d heard their debates, their reasoning and their decisions, most resorting to personal favorites, but some members of this family daring a trial of the unknown, risking a new experience. A traditionalist, for him there were only two choices, the same two that had been there since the beginning, the choice a matter of black and white, as it were.

The disdain in the eyes above the mask showed there would be no more help or suggestions from the youth behind the counter, nor should there be; this was his choice and his alone to make. One would be selected, one would be forsaken; he felt on the horns of a dilemma, but suddenly the solution presented itself.

His own mask didn’t hide his smile as he finally walked away from the counter with his creemee, vanilla and chocolate twist.

 

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six sentence story copyThe prompt word is “twist”. The prompter is Denise at GirlieOntheEdge. The premise is that you write six sentences exactly using that prompt. Leave a link and read the Six Sentence Stories of others. It promises to be fun.

CRLC Challenge; Lemon Queens

square-templateThe August 27, 2020, Carrot Ranch prompt is still to, in 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that features Lemon Queens. This is a second response and it continues a Six Sentence Story which continued a 99 word story which I seem to have only posted in the comments at Carrot Ranch. Anyway Marge et al. now kayak and so she has fishing companions.

Hooks, Lines, and Sinkers            D. Avery

“Marge, look at the brown Ilene’s got on. Huge!”

“Another one?! I’m getting fed up with her beginner’s luck.”

“Well you’re not going to get fed up on your own fish today.”

“Shut up, Nard. Hey! Ilene, what’s that in that trout’s mouth?”

“My lure?”

“Your lure? But—”

“Marge, you assumed I was new to fishing.”

“But you insist fishing is just luck.”

“It is. And lucky me, I’ve got this lure I made myself. Two yellow spinners and a feathered hook. Lemon Queens I call this one.”

“But—”

“Here’s a purple version. Sour Grapes. Try it.”

Bending to Reason; #SixSentenceStory

six sentence story copyMore of a scene than a story this week, but in six sentences, per the rules of Six Sentence Stories, presented by Denise at GirlieOntheEdge. The prompt word is “bend” and you have through Saturday to participate.

Bending to Reason   by D. Avery

When Ilene and Lloyd got Marge and Ernest and the others into kayaking, it was a boon to everyone concerned; all agreed that while sitting in a kayak drinking beer wasn’t so different than sitting in a camp chair drinking beer, the view and the air was a refreshing change from Ernest’s two bay garage. With the interest in kayaking, Marge found it easier to get Ernest and her friends to go fishing with her and she enjoyed getting to new spots that had previously been inaccessible. Ernest, who had never taken to fishing, was content to paddle the Marge-Barge, a long double sit-on-top that accommodated his large frame, a cooler of beer, a cooler of snacks, and sometimes even a grill, but Lloyd sometimes brought a rod, as did Kristof, though both of them usually ended up just drifting and daydreaming. Marge could always count on Nard to fish seriously, and to both their surprise, increasingly, Ilene, though her insistence that fishing was largely a matter of luck rankled Marge who consistently out-fished them all, proof of her greater experience and superior skills.

This evening however, Marge’s skills were not in evidence and she snarled when Ilene again chirped in delighted surprise at her singing drag as yet another fish hooked on, putting an enviable bend in her new rod.

“Yeah, yeah, it’s just beginner’s luck is all it is, Ilene, just beginner’s luck.”

Ploughshares; #SixSentenceStory

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The word from Denise at GirlieOntheEdge this week is “station”. The rules? Write a six sentence story with that word. The story? A slice of Ilene Higginbottom’s work life as a school administrative assistant. You may know Ilene as the friend of Marge and Ernest

Ploughshares,   D. Avery

This morning, when Mrs. Richards finally heaved herself away from the counter that stood between Ilene’s office space and the bustling hallway, sighing her usual ‘Time to man the battle stations’, Ilene called her back; she called her back and called her out.

“As a writing teacher, Mrs. Richards, you’ll understand me when I say you need to rethink your metaphors; just who is it that you are battling? These kids coming in the door are not our enemies, yet every day I deal with the casualties from your classroom. I suggest to you, if you are feeling so beleaguered and besieged, perhaps it’s time you retreat— surrender even.”

Mrs. Richards stormed off so didn’t see that Mr. Penny had overheard the exchange, didn’t hear Mr. Penny’s comment to his aide-de-camp that she might have just started a war. Though he hadn’t spoken of his discomfort in being the principal and having to pick a side, Ilene reminded him he was on the side of the children.

End of an Era; #SixSentence Story

six sentence story copyThe linkup is open through Saturday. The word is out and the word is “useful”. The word is the prompt for Six Sentence Stories, provided by Denise at GirlieOntheEdge. The rules are simple; six sentences. Share your link between Wednesday and Saturday. This six sentence story is a follow up to a recent Carrot Ranch offering.

End of an Era by D. Avery

“Which one do you suppose is left alive?”

“Our boy is pretty tough, but my money is on your mother, and if she hasn’t killed him maybe she’s taught him some useful skills, you know, splitting and stacking wood, counting cards, that sort of thing.”

“I hope they’re all right, problem is they’re both so set in their ways, and she was insisting he would just have to do what she was doing while he stayed with her, like it or not — she wasn’t going to alter her activities and she wasn’t going to let him sit around with a device all day either.”

“Well, here we are… oh my God, they’re both alive… and wearing loincloths.”

The tan woman and sunburned boy grunted warnings and raised their sharpened sticks at the strange hominids before breaking into wide grins.

“Mom, Dad— me and Granma caught fish and discovered fire and we’re cooking the fish for lunch right now on these rocks in the hot coals, do you want some?

#SixSentenceStory & WWP#169

Impact   by D. Avery

She read about his death in the paper. After twenty years apart she wasn’t notified as a wife would be. After twenty years together she knew that him stepping into the path of a bumper sticker bedecked Subaru was not a random act.

He hadn’t always been a misanthrope and she wasn’t convinced that his time in Viet Nam was entirely to blame for his ongoing issues.

He’d prayed every day for forgiveness for the lives taken and the lives altered and scarred. She wondered, did the activists that’d lined up to spit on returning soldiers lie awake nights?

 

The Six Sentence Story prompt is “random”. The Weekend Writing prompt is “misanthrope”, in 99 words this week. Thank you Denise and Sammi.six sentence story copy

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