The Meeting

Driving to the meeting, he was angry when he spied his daughter with that girl. He had forbidden this friendship. He pulled over, anxious.

“Get in the car! Now! I told you to only play with our own kind!”

“Daddy”, she sobbed, “Celia’s cat got hit.” Both girls clung to him, faces tear streaked, begging him to do something.

He removed the white sheet from his car then bundled the limp cat in it. The cat mewed when he lifted it.

“You girls get in the car… Celia, here’s my phone. Have your parents meet us at the vets’.”

 

Charli Mills, Word Warrior Woman over at Carrot Ranch, continues to write powerful posts and to present challenging prompts. Here’s the latest. August 17, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that heals America. Difficult and idealistic, I know. Think about building bonds of trust or stories of friendship. It could be a positive story about America. Bonus points for hugging a cat.

Aspiring

She didn’t like it when people argued with her, told her she should have greater ambitions. She knew what she wanted, which was to have a baby, and to tell the baby always, “You are mine, mine, mine.” And she would be married to the baby’s father and he would also say to the baby, “You are mine, mine, mine.” She knew, even if she was only fourteen years old, that these were decent aspirations, knew that was a good way, the right way to raise a baby. She knew because she was still in the same state home where she had been abandoned fourteen years ago; she knew how it should have been. Now, partway to her goal, she smiled softly, hands on her belly, whispering, “You’re mine; you’re mine, mine, mine.

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                                                     This week’s cue is “mine”.

 

Offerings

Offerings          

 The curtain snaps against the breeze in the open window. Triumphant flapping and clucking of Hope’s favorite hen heralds its daily escape.

She listens to comfortable thuds and thumps as he prepares breakfast. Brewing coffee rumbles a baseline to the robins’ chirping. The last stair-tread squeaks as Hope joins her father. Both quiet and reserved, in the mornings together they are quite talkative, sharing observations from the farm or surrounding woods, their voices rolling soft like the round-rocked brook. They unconsciously interpret morning sighs. They bring her coffee, their tentative daily offering, worry they might rouse her to flight.

###

Laying By

“Thank you for the coffee in bed, sorry I’m so lazy, it’s just that morning sounds have become such sweet music to me.”

“That’s okay, Mom, we don’t mind, do we Dad?”

He grunted his assent and lingered with his own coffee after Hope left to tend her chickens. “Everything okay, I mean, you ain’t got your traveling itch again do you?”

“If you must know, I do plan on traveling, hikin’ to the blackberry patch that’s past the upper meadow, fill some buckets, then hike back, scratches and all, and make jam… Stop worrying, I’ve never been happier.”

###

Berry Patch

 “Jeezus, thought you were a bear!”

“Just me. Chores are done, thought I’d pick blackberries with you.”

“There’s more. Tell me.”

“Ok.” He picked as he spoke, careful not to bruise the berries. “You sounded restless this morning.”

“Oh.” She stopped picking, watched him. “I’m not.”

“Then what’s wrong?”

“I’m jealous.”

“Jealous?”

“I hear the music of the farm, of you and Hope, but then I’m like a scratch in the record.”

He had stopped picking, caught her tear with a berry-stained finger, pulled her close. “I’m sorry.”

“Show me everything about this farm.”

“I thought you’d never ask.”

###

Asking

 “What? Music?”

“Hope’s up the hill with her mandolin. Wanted to serenade us. Or wanted to get out of picking berries.”

“I’d rather she play for us than pick berries. She plays beautifully.”

“Yep. Comin’ along.”

“You’ve taught her so much. She’s quite a kid.”

“Yep, she is. She can do just about anything that needs doin’. Except…”

“Except what?”

“No one’s taught her to make blackberry jam. Teach her.”

“I don’t figure she’d want to. She’s always outdoors with you.”

“Just ask her.”

“Ask me what?”

“Hope. I didn’t know if you was interested in making jam.”

“Sure!”

###

Harmonies

He sat in his stuffed armchair.

“Dad, aren’t you going to help?”

“No, Hope, I’m not. Gonna set here and look to be reading my magazine.”

“You could at least play for us. I played for you when you picked the berries.”

“Nope. Gonna just enjoy the sounds of other people workin’.”

It was staccato at first, simple instructions, answers to questions. Then mother and daughter found their rhythm, the tempo quickened. Yelps from handling hot sterilized jars were followed quickly by laughter. They giggled at each other’s clef of bangs, curled by the steam.

Listening, he smiled, content.

###

Initiated by the Carrot Ranch August third and August tenth flash challenges. A continuation from The Fold.

Laying By

“Thank you for the coffee in bed, sorry I’m so lazy, it’s just that morning sounds have become such sweet music to me.”

“That’s okay, Mom, we don’t mind, do we Dad?”

He grunted his assent and lingered with his own coffee after Hope left to tend her chickens. “Everything okay, I mean, you ain’t got your traveling itch again do you?”

“If you must know, I do plan on traveling, hikin’ to the blackberry patch that’s past the upper meadow, fill some buckets, then hike back, scratches and all, and make jam… Stop worrying, I’ve never been happier.”

 

Written as a follow up to last week’s Offerings and as a response to this week’s prompt from Charli Mills at Carrot Ranch: August 10, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include music and berries. Also submitting as a six sentence story for Zoe at Recording Life Under the Radar, whose word this week is “scratch”.

#ExcerptWeek – For the Girls by D. Avery

Again, thank you so much Marcia for sharing your site. You have showcased so many great excerpts this week. It is an honor to be among your featured authors.

The Write Stuff

Back for an encore is poet D. Avery, with a  selection from her book For the Girls. We are very pleased to share this one with you, especially after the popularity of her poem about chickens, from Chicken Shift.

~~~

Dream Change 

Take charge
make change
don’t let worry
become sorry
no sorrow
the morrow
always comes
dawns
spawns hope
doors to open
pull, pry
push, try.

So be scared
then pick scared up
and mold it
shape it and rearrange
but don’t forever hold it
create peace
a place
to keep
your cares
hold sacred
something you can learn from.

Always be a dreamer
in dreaming be remade
love, live
life, lift
gift, give.
Live love, live
dream a sacred change
in dreaming be remade.

~~~

D. Avery, Author

D. Avery (196?-20??) has long been a compulsive poet. Despite a very important day job educating public school children…

View original post 51 more words

Offerings

The curtain snaps against the breeze in the open window. Triumphant flapping and clucking of Hope’s favorite hen heralds its daily escape.

She listens to comfortable thuds and thumps as he prepares breakfast. Brewing coffee rumbles a baseline to the robins’ chirping. The last stair-tread squeaks as Hope joins her father. Both quiet and reserved, in the mornings together they are quite talkative, sharing observations from the farm or surrounding woods, their voices rolling soft like the round-rocked brook.

Unconsciously they interpret morning sighs. They bring her coffee, their tentative daily offering, worry they might rouse her to flight.

 

For Carrot Ranch, August 3, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a story. Just as you might “see” a scene unfold, think about how it might sound. Even one sound to set the tone is okay. Go where you hear the prompt lead. Feel free to experiment.

#ExcerptWeek – Chicken Shift by D. Avery

Thank you marciamearawrites.com for sharing my poetry.

Be sure to click over to Marcia’s site to see the other featured authors.

The Write Stuff

 

Poet D. Avery is sharing two of her poems with us this week, and I’ve decided to start with this one, from her collection, Chicken Shift. Poem #2 will be along later in the week.  I know you will all enjoy this one, and will share it far and wide!

~~~

When Comes the Time

When comes the time, a road’s the place
The destiny some hens embrace
Chickens rise and leave the nest
To make their dreams manifest.
Their sojourn can’t end unless it begins
So they head out to look within
Pilgrims of regenerate faith
These chickens cross, they go with grace
They cross a road, they pass that test
Continue on their illimitable quest
Till comes the time when they stop, content
They know themselves and where they went.

~~~

D. Avery (196?-20??) has long been a compulsive poet. Despite a very important day job…

View original post 60 more words

Slipping

Still in her nightclothes, she stood in the damp grass, watching the swirling morning fog that veiled the lake, strands of the wispy gray unwinding skyward, wraithlike. It was thick enough to conceal the loons that called mournfully in the mist. Their molting was almost complete, signaling their departure, signaling ice up, winter. She envied the loons, their closeness, their ability to molt and migrate. At the water’s edge now, she turned over the old canoe, and, leaving her nightclothes on the shore, shoved off into the lake, paddle-less, letting the slight breeze carry her into the fog. The water was warmer than the cool fall air eddying around her and with barely a splash, she let herself slip into its consoling embrace.

An offering in six sentences for Zoe at Recording Life Under the Radar. This weeks cue is SLIP!

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Dark of Winter

 

People said that they walked on water that winter. Because everywhere was frozen water. It came down as freezing rain and remained frozen, encasing the countryside in a glassy sheen. Rain would be followed by a cold spell, with never any snow to soften the bleak monotonous gray. It was a winter of impossible travel, of long days stuck inside, of boredom and its attendant drinking and tempers. It was a winter when heinous occurrences, mute secrets, were blamed on the entrapments, the relentless icing.

She wished the crystalline memory that gripped her still, frozen, would shatter, would melt.

A second take for Carrot Ranch, July 27, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the word crystalline. It can be used in typical forms or in creative ways (like the name of a town). What meaning does it hold for the story or character(s)? Go where the prompt leads!

Crystalline

She laughed. “What do you mean you love me? We just met.”

“Yet I’m madly in love with you.”

“What do you love about me?”

“The way you talk. I love the clarity of your thought, that sparkle in your eyes. I love the lustre of your smile.”

“You talk like a geologist.”

“And I’ve found a jewel. I’m in love with you.”

“You don’t even know my name.”

“So tell me.”

“Guess.”

“Ruby. No, it’s Gem, that’s what you are.”

“No, and no. Not Ruby, not Gem.”

“Tell me.”

“My name is Crys.”

“Crys?”

Short for Crystalline.”

“Aha!”

 

For Carrot Ranch, July 27, 2017 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using the word crystalline. It can be used in typical forms or in creative ways (like the name of a town). What meaning does it hold for the story or character(s)? Go where the prompt leads!