A small crowd of protestors formed in a midwestern town in the U.S. They were taking a chance of being arrested by the roaming police of the U.S. government.
“Aaron, I’m terrified that we’re actually doing this,” Mandy said.
Aaron replied, “We have to be brave or we will never get our freedom back.”
The crowd was protesting the discontinued social programs, particularly those that provided them food and medical attention. The President had all social programs abolished in 2017. Since then, the disabled and the elderly people in their community had suffered and many had died.
Now it was 2019. There were few jobs. People tried to farm, but the change in the climate made it almost impossible. Aaron had organized this small protest.
A young girl was carrying a sign that said, “Love.”
They heard the police before they saw them marching in. They stood their ground. The police began the carnage by knocking the sign out of the young girl’s hands.
Photo credit to Elaine Farrington Johnson
Jack lived in a quiet, wooded subdivision outside of town. The lots were large. Lots of privacy. Jack and his friend, Charles, liked to hunt. They said it was for fun. Everyone knew it was because they enjoyed the kill.
Jack and Charles didn’t think they had to go far to kill a deer. There were many all around Jack’s home. Jack set up a tree stand and baited the deer. Every year, he shot at least one right in his yard, in the midst of the subdivision.
Jack and Charles hunted other animals as well. There was a family of red foxes that lived in the subdivision. They were sly and crafty. Even though the men tried to lure them out to shoot them, they were smarter than the hunters. They never shot a red fox.
One year, Jack took his deer to the taxidermist. To his surprise, there sat a red fox, ready to be picked up. As Jack left the shop, he could have sworn he saw that fox move. He turned around to leave. The last thing he felt were the teeth of the fox sink into the back of his neck.
Sunday Photo Fiction
Photo Courtesy Natural History Museum of London
The first time I ever walked into my new dentist’s office, one thing slapped me in the face. Her office was decorated with many paintings and pictures depicted circles. A single circle. Groups of circles. Except for pictures of her children, pictures of circles were the only wall decor she had. They were beautiful and interesting.
The second time I was there, I asked her about her circles and why her office was filled with them. She didn’t really answer me. She just smiled and said she liked them and they made her feel calm. They seemed to make me, who had always been fearful of going to the dentist, feel calm as well. Since changing to this dentist, I’ve never been fearful again. I decided to investigate circles and what they mean. I wanted to know why she had them in her office and even I seemed to respond to them with a feeling of peace and calmness. I’ll share with you what I found.
From Wikipedia: “A perfect circle is an ancient and universal symbol of unity, wholeness, infinity, the goddess, female power, and the sun. You can merge it with various elements and can develop new meaning.”
If you believe in spirituality, that is a pretty powerful symbol, particularly for a female professional like my dentist.
“A perfect circle is symbolic of something that is whole, complete, ideal and eternal; a circle has no ending and no beginning, making it synonymous with cyclical ideas and processes. For example, a circular wedding ring is used as a symbol of everlasting love.”
This is my take on today’s prompt,circle.
It’s been a long time, months, I think, since I’ve welcomed everyone for a #weekendcoffeeshare. I’m glad to welcome you now, into our coffee shop. The owner has a nice setup for us. Several kinds of coffee and tea this morning. Danish and other pastries. Please pick your pleasure and join us. I’m so glad to see all of you!
If we were having coffee, my only excuse for not being here recently is that I’ve spent the summer writing. Writing a novel and recently starting another long-form fiction piece that, I think, is going to be a novella. There is a growing market for novellas now. I’m excited about them both.
Other things have been going on as well. The last time we spoke, I think I had lost my dog, a wonderful companion. A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Betsy. I lost her, at only four years old, to a terrible genetic illness afflicting only a few breeds. Since I don’t “do” life very well without a dog, I picked out a puppy soon after Betsy’s death. I still mourn her and always will. Now I have Hanna, who is the wildest, craziest puppy I’ve ever had. She was 3.5 months old when I got her and had spent much of her life in a crate. She is now 6.5 months old and is terribly well-adjusted for the most part. Hanna is a “designer” dog or a dog bred like a Goldendoodle, a mix of two breeds. She is half Havanese and half Lowchen and it seems to be a good mix. She’s beautiful, funny, smart, and healthy. If I can live through her puppyhood (a challenge), she will make a wonderful companion. Here is just a head shot and I’m sure you can see what I mean:
We are currently working hard on obedience training!
My summer has been completely filled with training and raising Hanna and writing up to 12 hours per day.
Now that October is almost here, I am getting ready to go to my little home in Florida for the winter. No idea yet when I will go. Hurricane Irma devastated Florida and did a lot of damage to the island where I live. I had some damage at my own home. Hurricane season doesn’t end in the U.S. until November 30, but usually hurricanes subside during November. This year, the Atlantic Ocean temperatures are still very warm. I won’t go to Florida until the ocean temperatures cool and until I’m sure that the infrastructure has been restored on my island. It makes it hard to know when to hire a housesitter! I hope to spend Thanksgiving there, but who knows? Everything is uncertain this year. The hurricane damage to Puerto Rico and the Florida Keys is unbelievably awful.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that’s all that’s been going on with me. I’d love to hear what’s been going on with all of you!
When I was growing up in northeastern Kentucky, I was fortunate enough to know my grandfather, who lived deep in the heart of Appalachia. He lived only until I was 23 years of age, but I was lucky enough to be old enough to have talked to him. Really talked to him. Conversations that, to me, were important. He was a fine man. Moral, ethical, smart. I’d like to write about him and men like him some day.
There were so many things that I never had the chance or knowledge to talk to him about. My mother, his daughter, told me stories about him. Not enough stories. I wish I knew more. One story that she told me was that my grandfather was determined that she and her seven siblings would never be involved in two endeavors that were prominent in those days in southeastern Kentucky. They would never work in the coal mines and they would never be engaged in the production of “mountain dew.”
Mountain Dew. Not the soft drink. Mountain dew is the slang term for homemade liquor or moonshine, corn liquor, hooch, and a dozen other names. Southeastern Kentucky was “dry.” In other words, liquor could not be sold legally. People made their own and made it for other people. There were stills to make the liquor hidden all over the mountains that were characteristic of the area. Moonshine is 100 percent alcohol and is still made in those mountains.
My grandfather was successful. All of his children left the area, at least long enough to get a college education. My grandfather, himself, got what passed for a college education in his day and was an advocate of higher education for his entire life.
WARNING: ADULT CONTENT. MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY
Sighing, Rebecca finished her Coke, paid her tab, and started back up to her room in Atlanta. Patrick had asked that she meet him there. Even though they had been lovers for the most of 35 years, it had been a long time since she had seen him. Rebecca had just escaped to the hotel bar. She hadn’t known Patrick had once again remarried when she agreed to meet him. He had just told her, along with telling her that his wife was a vindictive woman with the capability of harming both of them. Rebecca was quite upset.
She went upstairs and let herself into the room. Patrick was watching television. He didn’t speak as she came in. She put down her purse and sat down in the chair by the window.
“Patrick, can we talk some more?”
“When you left, Becca, I didn’t know if you were coming back. How could you make me feel like that?”
“Patrick, don’t be ridiculous. My luggage and all my stuff is here. Of course you knew I’d be back. I just had to think. You told me some really shocking stuff.”
“So what do you want to know?”
“I want to know more about Wendy, Patrick, since you say she could actually hurt me.”
“I didn’t mean physically hurt you.”
“Why don’t you explain exactly what you do mean, Patrick. You said she went to your ex-wife and told her about the two of you. That is pretty shocking to me since you had three underage children.”
Patrick got out of bed and put on his robe. Rebecca noticed he had obviously been to his room as he had brought some of his stuff over to her room. He sat down in the other chair at the table by the window.
“Becca, she would be likely to do to you just what she did to Elizabeth. She tried to ruin her life. I told you that she is a computer hacker, right?”
“Yes, Patrick, but that is against the law.”
“Becca, hackers are seldom caught.”
“So what would she do, Patrick? Spill it.”
“She might try to hack into your bank accounts and credit cards, Becca. She could clean out your bank accounts and run up your credit cards.”
“There is fraud protection on all of that, Patrick.”
“Yes, but it would be a giant pain for you to take care of it all before real damage was done to your credit. She could also steal your identity through your tax returns or credit records, Becca, and that is much more serious for you.”
“It would also be much more serious for her when I lead the feds right to her.”
“Becca, you wouldn’t do that to me, would you? I’d already be in enough trouble with her if she found out about us.”
Rebecca just sat there and stared at Patrick. Who was this sitting before her? What had Wendy done to him? Was he really married to such a woman? He said he loved Wendy. How could he love someone like that?
“Becca, are you going to walk out on me?”
Rebecca sighed and looked at Patrick. “No, I’ll stay, but Patrick, you really should have told me about Wendy so I could make an informed decision.”
“I knew you wouldn’t come,” Patrick said.
“No, Patrick, you didn’t know that.”
Rebecca got tears in her eyes and her voice sounded choked up as she spoke, “I’ve loved you for so many years. Even these past twelve years, I’ve never stopped loving you. I had to come. I had to see you, to see how you are, to be with you. You knew this. You took advantage of it. You should have thought enough of me to at least tell me that you’re married to a crazy person.”
“She’s not really crazy, Becca. Just insecure,” Patrick said softly.
“OK,” Rebecca said. “Whatever you say. I’m going to bed. If she comes here, don’t let her chop me up in my sleep.”
Rebecca undressed and got into bed. Patrick followed her, turning out lights as he went.
In the dark, he said, “Becca?”
“Do you still love me?”
“I’ve always loved you, Patrick, and probably always will.”
“Do you regret meeting me?”
“Patrick,” Rebecca said, “Don’t you think it’s about 35 years too late to worry about that? To answer your question, no.”
“How could you possibly not regret meeting me? I’ve ruined your life.”
“Patrick, we’ve had this conversation before. You haven’t ruined my life. In many ways, you’ve made my life.”
“Could you tell me what you mean? I know you’ve told me before but I need to hear it again.”
“I can’t ever remember a time when you weren’t good to me, Patrick. We’ve had our fights, but you did your best to be kind under the circumstances. I can’t imagine that any two people could have loved each other more intensely than we’ve loved. You’ve shown me the world, from Europe to the Caribbean to South America to North Africa. I would have never gotten to see any of that without you and you made it as romantic as you could possibly make it. I still think of the nights we spent in those castles in Portugal. You’ve made me laugh more than any other person ever could and love harder than I thought possible. How could I possibly regret knowing you?”
As she talked, Patrick listened. Not the Patrick who had the plan, but the Patrick she met all those years ago. He was the Patrick who had finally been diagnosed with bi-polar syndrome when he was in his 20s. It had plagued him all his life. Rebecca was the only woman who had ever accepted him as he was. They shared some common characteristics. Not his bi-polar tendencies, but they both liked to have fun, take a little risk, and they just seemed to fit. He often wondered why he’d never asked her to marry him.
“I still love you, Becca,” Patrick said. “I always have.”
On the other side of the bed, silent tears slid down Rebecca’s face. She knew that on some level, Patrick meant what he said. She knew he couldn’t sustain any relationship. He’d also loved Elizabeth. In some way, he probably loved Wendy. Not only was his bi-polar condition uncontrolled, but he was a highly intelligent, very complex man with many facets to his personality. The bi-polar syndrome made him very insecure.
“Patrick,” Rebecca said, sobbing, “Surely you know that I would get down on my knees. I would do anything for you.”
Patrick took her in his arms and they began to make their kind of love.
Copyright @2017 Rosemary Carlson
She took a walk that hot, sweltering day, taking her puppy who was learning to walk on a leash. She lived in the country and the road in front of her house was deserted. A day could pass, hours would go by with no traffic coming or going. She thinks that her sneaker caught on broken asphalt and down she went. She was walking too fast. For some reason, she couldn’t get up. Hours passed. Her puppy laid down beside her. She raised her hand in desperation, hoping someone would see it above the weeds.
The old man and the boy slowly walked into the old factory facility even though there was a “No Trespassing” sign.
The boy said, “Why have you brought me here? There’s nothing I can do.”
”I worked here for 24 years. Then, they closed it up. I didn’t get my retirement. You’re going to help me get it going again.”
The old man’s eyes were wild in his head. His hands were shaking. The boy came to the old man.
”Grandfather, it’s gone. There’s nothing we can do.”
He put his arms around him. The old man shook and cried.
Photo Credit J Hardy Carrell
Wearing a special HazMat suit developed in early 2018, Jennifer was one of the environmental scientists who was outdoors in the Fall of 2028 taking soil and air samples. Her team was working in the Washington, DC/New York City/Boston corridor.
After a North Korean missile had struck Japan, the U.S. had bombed North Korea. They got off a missile toward South Korea. Using several nuclear-tipped ICBMs, Beijimg had fired on the east coast of the U.S. and the U.S. had destroyed the capital of China. What was left of the U.S. government had been moved to Columbus, Ohio.
Radiation poisoning spread over the eastern portion of the U.S. Many teams like Jennifer’s were deployed over the entire region. People were surviving, but few survived along the northeast corridor. They had determined that it would be years before the food would be safe to grow. Water was being purified.
Jennifer went inside the in-ground shelter to make her report. No real change from the last time. She recommended importing as much food as possible and relying on the western U.S. for the rest. She laid her head on her desk and cried.