My Beauty

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It was Saturday. He’d asked her to go to town with him. They worked so hard on the farm. She walked over to the mirror and gasped. Her white hair, long and stringy. Her skin, leathery and red. She began to work her magic.

He couldn’t believe what he saw. All the men in town would be jealous. Her beautiful hair peeking out from under a tiny hat. Her glowing skin. She wore a navy blue suit that matched her flashing eyes.

He offered her his arm and said, “My beauty?” She smiled.

93 words

 

Thanks to Rochelle and Friday Fictioneers for the wonderful prompt and to Nathan Sowers for the photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bus Tour

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The old man and woman crept up to the door of the church. They couldn’t believe what they saw. Above the door was the Old Cross, the pagan cross. It was the cross they worshipped when they were young and visited The Sorcerer.

They stood back and looked at the Church, both it and the Old Cross covered in vines, like the church from long ago. Was it possible that The Sorcerer could be here so many years later? He was surely dead by now.

The old couple was on a bus tour of Wales. They had moved to London to have a normal life. They thought they had left paganism behind, but here was the Old Cross. They had an almost unbearable urge to enter the old church.

Their guide and tour group walked up. The guide Continue reading

Caught – #writephoto

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She’d felt like it was her tree since she was a child. It was right at the edge of the forest, quite close to the back of the house she shared with her parents. She watched it grow as she grew. A shy little girl, she spent a lot of time playing in the back yard, usually alone. Often under that tree.

One day, when she was a teenager, her father noticed that the tree, much taller now, had grown a bit crooked and was leaning. He talked to her mother about cutting it down. He feared that, in a storm, it might fall and hit their house. It had a curious opening in the trunk that caused it to branch into a smaller trunk. He thought the wind could catch it just the wrong way.

She overheard the conversation and begged her father not to cut her tree. She used every argument she could think of and told him of how she’d played under it all of her life. After doing some calculations, her dad determined that, if the tree fell, it would not hit their house after all. He agreed to leave the tree. She grabbed him, hugged him, and told him she would always appreciate it.

Two years later, when she had just begun university, a tragedy befell the family. Her parents were killed in an automobile accident. The girl chose to live in her parent’s home after that. She continued her schooling, but grieved deeply for her parents. She was hopeless. She forgot about her tree..

One weekend, she went outside to work in the yard. The sun was filtering through the trees. She was so grief-stricken that she hardly noticed nature or beautiful days. She turned around and looked up and the sun caught her in the face, through the opening in her tree. Remembering her tree, she closed her eyes and let the sun soak into her skin. She felt like she was coming alive again. The sun and her tree were wiping away her grief and bringing her back to life.

She remembered her dad leaving that tree there. For her.

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the beautiful photo prompt!

Ramona, The Dark Fairy

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In the Old Country, there existed a creature called the Dark Fairy. Ramona, a dark fairy, visited a little boy named Evan one night.

She propelled Evan outdoors and to the front of the neighbor’s house. He screamed when he saw her. She put a sock in his mouth. She told him who she was and that, when the boy inside came out, he was to hit him with a rock. The boy had bullied Evan. He couldn’t help himself. He threw the rock and hit the boy. She made Evan laugh.

Dark fairies are magical, mean, evil creatures.

 

Thanks to Charli and the Carrot Ranch for the interesting prompt!

 

Respect

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All the children worked in the garden. It was hard, back-breaking work, especially since the crows had descended, picking everything clean. When Abigail’s brothers talked to their father, the farmer, about the crow problem, he discussed possible solutions with them. When Abigail mentioned it to her father, she felt the back of his hand and heard him say that she was just lazy.

”It isn’t fair,” Abigail said to Frank, her oldest brother. “He talks to you like you’re a human being. To him, I’m just a slave.” Frank just laughed and told her she was just a girl. Abigail had heard that all of her life. She worked as hard as any boy or man.

They had tried a scarecrow in the garden. A pitiful, spindly thing that wouldn’t scare anything away. Abigail knew that scarecrows worked in the neighbors’ gardens. She went to work building a female scarecrow with all the accoutrements.

Her father and brothers laughed at her creation. They said she wouldn’t work. That Abigail was stupid.

Suddenly, their problem with the crows stopped. Abigail’s scarecrow was scaring them away. Her father didn’t acknowledge her, but looked at her with a new respect in his eyes.

 

200 words

*In remembrance of Aretha Franklin. When I first heard this song, it was likely the first time I’d ever heard the word “respect” associated with women. She had an effect on an entire generation.

*Thanks to sundayphotofictioner for the great prompt and to Anurag Bakhshi for the photo prompt.

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The Comet Hale-Bopp

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They found the darkest possible spot, that night in the spring of 1997. A flat rock on a mountain top called Lochegee. They had to climb and up they went, right at dusk.

They sat and waited for this much hailed comet. They heard voices and a group of college students joined them. It seemed like a magical, almost spiritual, time, knowing the comet had been visible 4,200 years ago.

They all saw its blue-white brilliance at the same time, right above the horizon.

When they climbed down, it was in silence, knowing they had witnessed a rare and wondrous sight.

 

*Thanks to Charli Mills and the Carrot Ranch for the prompt!

The Writer

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”You can tell I left here in a hurry last night,” she thought to herself as she attempted to clean up the mess on her desk.

“At least I took my laptop out of the filth,” she thought as she wondered why she had put a liquor bottle on her desk. She must have really been desperate.

She was on the third draft of her third novel. It had been a late night. The door swung open and there stood her agent.

”I have news,” he cried. “Your second novel has just been accepted by the publisher.”

She fainted.

 

 

99 words

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff for the prompt and Yvette Prior for the photo!

 

 

Mania

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“Gavin, I’m writing my comprehensive exams for Oxford. I am not going to worry about him right now.”

”How long has he been gone?”

”I’m not sure. You know there are days when I don’t see him. From the looks of the soap in his shower, it looks like he’s been gone for a while.”

Gavin walked into his bathroom and looked in the shower.

“Everything is certainly dried up in there. That soap. He’s just used that little corner,” he said.

”He’s always afraid he won’t be able to buy anything, even with that huge fortune sitting in the bank at his disposal.”

Gavin paced around the apartment. “Any idea where he went?”

I finally sighed and laid down my books.

”A few weeks ago, he mentioned a craving for Indonesian food. If I were you, I’d try Amsterdam.”

”Is he manic right now?”

”Gavin, when will you learn that he’s always manic and get him some help?”

Gavin just looked at me and said, “Where in Amsterdam?”

”The red light district. That’s where his favorite Indonesian restaurant is. As well as a lot of available women.”

 

Thanks to Susan at Sunday Photo Fiction for the prompt and Fandango for the photo!

Summer – #writephoto

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Summer was not her favorite season. She preferred fall and even winter. Here she was, in the dog days of summer, looking at a meadow that stretched out before her. She pulled over to the shoulder of the narrow, two-lane road in her car, got out and started walking. It was hot. She didn’t enjoy the weather, but the meadow reminded her of a long ago and far away meadow where she and her husband had once picnicked.

That day, that picnic, came back to her in living color detail. How long had it been? 35 years? 40 years? It had been a lovely day. Her husband had squashed down the beautiful white flowers and laid down a tablecloth. The flowers in that long-ago meadow had been a combination of milkweed, yarrow, and wild indigo. The white flowers in this beautiful meadow looked to be the same. This was a little bit of deja vu for her. She stepped from the shoulder of the road into the meadow and sat down on a little rise at the edge of the road with the flowers tickling her ankles.

She’d been carrying the picnic basket that day. He’d been carrying the drinks. She could hear the tinkle of their laughter as they walked through the meadow that long-ago day. They were just married. Newlyweds. So very much in love. They sat down on the bright blue cloth and spread out some French bread, cheese, grapes, and a vintage white wine. She had brought two wine glasses. The sun beat down on their heads as they ate, laughed, and talked and became drowsy. The smell of the flowers was as intoxicating as the wine.

She felt tears well up in her eyes. They didn’t have any baggage back then, but that changed. A popular thing to say currently was that people needed to unpack their baggage. How did you unpack your memory? Forget the events of 40 years? She thought that saying was silly. Their’s was a life fully lived, both together and apart. They were always happier together, but they had spent significant amounts of time apart. The first time her choice, the second time his. That had led to a very odd history for them as a couple.

Until recently, she didn’t think there was a chance they could live together for the rest of their lives. She thought their relationship was over and only the dregs remained. She didn’t know quite what either would do. They weren’t young anymore.

Then, life happens as it will and he started to become engaged in their marriage again. She was suspicious at first and didn’t believe it was real. He started to seem more himself, that boy she had picnicked with that summer day. She became hopeful. It had been so long since she had seen that boy that she had almost forgotten him. Gradually, she became convinced. He did seem to be that boy but with the wisdom and fatigue of age. She started to let down her guard.

As she looks at the familiar meadow with the white flowers, she remains hopeful, but still not sure. Will she live the rest of her life unsure? Perhaps. He may feel the same. She’s decided it’s worth the risk although this time, if it doesn’t work, it’s too late for them both. There isn’t enough of life left to start over, together or apart. They will each be alone.

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the excellent photo prompt!

The Fawn

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She watched him when he was a fawn. Come summer, he grew spikes. A young buck. He was unafraid of her. He grew accustomed to her apples. He came to the porch and snatched the food from her hand. She grew to love him that winter. She was alone.

The next summer, he was a four-point buck. He came to the porch. She tried to make him go away, fearful he was too accustomed to people.

It’s been ten years. An old buck comes to the porch. He takes the apples. She knows by his eyes that it’s him.

 

*Thanks to Charli Mills and the Carrot Ranch for this prompt that is so very appropriate.