Prompt Fiction

Picture Fiction: Gemini

Still busy.

Still INSANELY busy. School starts Monday here and I’m up to my eyeballs posting updates and syllabi on the seven school websites I maintain. Well, actually, I maintain six but I’m uploading a new high school website today! (Ack! Pray it goes well!!)

And I’m finishing templates for a new school website as we speak. (By the way, if your school needs a website, I’m the woman for the job!! Contact me and let’s talk!) I’ll post links to “my” schools soon.

Anyhoo, I don’t have time to write new fiction this week, so I’ll post an oldie (and hopefully a goodie). This was originally published on my self-hosted blog January 11, 2006. It’s what I call “Picture Fiction” – where I take a Creative Commons picture from Flickr and write a short story around it. I should start doing this again – it’s really fun and challenging. *makes note to self*

Catch ya later!

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Thursday Thread
Thursday is the day I post a bit o’ fiction.

Taking a random photograph from Flickr and weaving a short story around it. It’s Picture Fiction!
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Gemini

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There was something wrong with me. I knew it. I felt it. There was a splitting of souls inside the dark, smelly place I called a heart, one good, the other, not so much. I never knew who was in control. The loving husband who doted on his three-year-old son; or the promiscuous thirty-eight year old man who disappeared for hours at a time after work only to collapse on his front stoop, drunk and reeking of urine?

Why can’t I control the blackness? Why do I find myself succumbing to its seductive allure more and more?

I hear Sharon’s cries. I see the confusion in little Anthony. I can smell their fear. I can hear her, I can see him, I can sense their apprehensions, and yet, I do not care. A cold, evil animal lurks deep in my gut and no amount of coaxing will persuade the beast to venture out of his cave and seek the warmth his family offers on a daily basis.

A part of me is scared and dying. It’s as if I’m in a boat, looking toward shore, and see the good part of me sadly waving goodbye. This goodness shrinks with each passing stroke of the oar while the evil monster inside grows in both size and strength hogging the vessel more and more.

I cannot stop it. It has consumed me. The animal has been released and no one dares capture it.

Prompt Fiction

Fiction: Missing Youth

Thursday Thread
Thursday is the day I post a bit o’ fiction.

This was originally published May 2, 2007

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Missing Youth

Clara glanced at her watch and frowned. It was nearly time to get back but she just couldn’t force herself to move. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the children were having so much fun playing and chasing each other in the park.

She sighed. She missed having little ones under foot. She missed her grandchildren. She missed her family. Lifting a hand, she shielded her eyes from the afternoon glare. The man on her left shifted a bit and caused the park bench to groan in protest.

Clara looked over at her companion; Ben was asleep and snoring softly. She shook her head in disgust and turned her attention back to the children. How could he sleep on a day like this? There was so much activity, so much life, to appreciate and soak in before going back. There would be plenty of time to sleep, later.

A black and white checked ball bounced off her foot momentarily startling her. A little boy, not more than five, walked shyly toward her. She offered an encouraging smile, careful not to show her teeth; she didn’t want to scare the boy.

“ello,” she croaked in a throaty voice.

The boy hesitated. His eyes darted back and forth between the ball and his friends, he was clearly debating on whether it was worth confronting her to retrieve the ball or simply run back to his friends and forget about the toy.

Clara bent slowly from the waist and tried to pick up the ball, but her bones protested loudly and her muscles locked and refused to stretch. She sighed loudly and lifted one bony shoulder into a shrug. “I’m sorry,” she said. “But I can’t pick it up. Can I kick it to you?” The croak had worked itself out of her voice and the sound came out soothing and friendly. She was pleased at the change and smiled again; this time, the smile reached her eyes.

The boy visibly relaxed at her smile and nodded eagerly. He ran back several paces and Clara laughed softly. “No my child. I can’t kick it that far. You’ll have to come a little closer.”

Ben suddenly twitched next to her and emitted an abrupt snore. The boy jumped and Clara laughed again. “Don’t mind him. He’s just dreaming.” She blinked to bring the ball into focus. “Okay, ready now?”

The boy’s face stretched into a wide grin and he clapped his hands to signal he was ready. Clara summoned what little strength she had, brought her foot back and kicked.

Only she missed and the ball remained near her feet. She glanced up at the boy. The boy stared back at her. Suddenly, they both erupted into giggles. “I’m sorry,” Clara struggled to say past her amusement. “I guess I’m out of practice.”

The boy approached her and placed a small hand on her bare arm. His smile was beatific and his eyes sparkled with life and innocence. “S’ok,” his voice tinkled out. “My mom’s not a very good kicker, either.” He gave her arm little reassuring pats before picking up the ball.

A lump formed in Clara’s throat and she felt an overwhelming sadness surround her heart. She missed her grandchildren. Dear God, she missed them.

A soft rumble eased its way past the sounds of the park and caught the boy’s attention. Clara nodded off into the distance. “It sounds like rain’s coming.”

The boy nodded in agreement. “Yeah. My dad said it was gonna rain today.”

“Your dad is a smart man.” Clara said.

“Yeah,” the boy responded. “’Cept when it comes to fixing things. Mom says he’s not a very good fixer.” He grinned. Clara’s heart jumped at his expression and she noted, for the first time, one of his front teeth was missing.

“Mark!” A voice called toward them.

“Oops. That’s me. I gotta go.” Mark patted her arm again. “Thanks for trying to kick the ball.”

Clara’s eyes began to fill with tears at the boy’s kindness. Her throat closed up and she found she couldn’t speak. She simply nodded and smiled at him in return.

She watched Mark run off, and with each stride of his chubby legs, her smile dissipated until finally, it disappeared altogether.

“Mrs. Stevens?” A deep male voice sounded next to her right ear, a large hand rested on her shoulder. “Are you ready to go?”

“But,” she glanced at the thin gold watch on her wrist. “It’s not time yet.”

“There’s a storm coming, we should go. Are you ready?”

She swallowed a sigh and sadly nodded her agreement.