My Epic Workplace

8C3D3321-777C-43A6-A954-A6FCBF26B192

Job: Environmental and ecological freelance writer focused on climate change. Epic workplace: A house located in the woods. Connected both by wire and wirelessly to the Internet and the news channels. A powerful Mac computer and a standing desk. Subscriptions to all major research databases. Memberships to all major news organizations such as Getty. Three televisions to access the major news channels at the same time.

In today’s world, this would be my epic job and my epic workplace. A workplace where I could advocate for responsible ecological policy that would have a positive impact on slowing climate change.

 

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

Advertisements

Turning – #writephoto

26222753-6F82-4EF3-B9E3-C3CEF374D442

Abigail was curled up in a corner of her sofa going through the photos in the photo album she had kept. She’d just finished a huge project. She’d gone through her mother’s personal belongings. A lifetime of photos, letters, other personal things. It had been very hard, very emotional. Her mom had been gone for a long time and, only now had she been able to bring herself to sort through the dozens of boxes she had left behind.

She knew now, after the discoveries she had made, that her mother had spent a lifetime climbing a mountain like the beautiful mountain in the picture she had taken years before. She’d never known her mother until she went through her things. Odd how you could live with someone all your life and never know them. There was so much more to her mother than she’d ever known.

Abigail looked up from the photos, thinking to herself how she could have been closer to her mother and understood her so much better if her mother had only talked to her. If her mother had talked to someone. She didn’t. She closed herself up in a cocoon and when she did talk to family and friends, it was only about the good stuff. She wouldn’t open up, confide in anyone. Pride. Foolish pride. Pride that cost her family, friends, loved ones, and the affection of her husband. But, perhaps most importantly, her daughter and her own self-respect.

Her mom came by that pride honestly. Her family was so prideful that it silenced them, even between each other. There was no such thing as an apology, an honest discussion, or real interaction. Abigail was glad she was more like her father’s family. Of course, they were proud, but they weren’t afraid of expressing their feelings and they didn’t feel jealous of each other. Looking back, she felt sorry for her mother.

Abigail had been turning away from her mother’s family for many years, even before she realized why she was. There were a few members of the family that were still in her life but very few. As she grew older, she had no patience for the type of pride that cost you loved ones. It was common in Appalachia, in the mountains.

She looked back at the photo album and realized that it was time to turn away from the kind of life where pride was more important than love. She closed the book.

 

*Thank you for the challenging writing prompt, Sue Vincent! What a beautiful photo!

The Old Professor

BAA30BB7-118A-4F50-8E34-A6A8329D2FAF

The old professor looked at the beautiful full moon shining over the city.

“Are you sure you’re ready to retire, Robert?” his friend, Arthur, asked.

”I’ll never be ready. It’s my life. It’s time though.”

Robert was packing boxes.

“Do you have to move? No one is left for you where you lived 25 years ago,” Arthur commented.

”I’ll go through my papers. Write my memoir. I’ll always be a professor, Arthur. I just want to read, write, and research, That’s all I need.”

”Live here with me, Robert. I need your company.”

Tears streamed down Robert’s face as he smiled.

 

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff and Friday Fictioneers and photo attribution goes to Gah Learner.

Overtaken

797C08C5-2CAF-4DFD-8E91-E6B26068CAD7

Ruth knew there was a burn ban. The ban was until 6 p.m. and it was almost dark. She thought she could burn the trash. The fire had gotten away from her. She and Sam were using blankets to try to beat down the flames.

The small volunteer fire department was on its way. Sam had called them before he ran out to help her. The fire was heading toward the forest behind their house. There were homes back there. Families, children, wildlife.

“Sam, I don’t hear any sirens yet,” Ruth screamed.

”You know they’re all ten or more miles away. We have to keep it at bay until they can get here,” Sam replied over the increasing roar of the fire.

Ruth and Sam were both members of the fire department. They couldn’t leave the blaze long enough to get their fire-fighting equipment. Ruth knew they could stop the fire on the ground with their equipment, but she had just seen it jump to the top of a tree.

The volunteers started pulling in the driveway, putting on their gear as they jumped out of their cars. Someone got the pair’s gear out of the house.

The fire was roaring through the underbrush, advancing fast.

“We have to build a berm to try to stop this,” Sam said.

”It’s too hot. You can’t get in there,” someone screamed at him.

Sam grabbed a shovel and went in. Just as he did, the fire took on new life and overtook him.

 

Posted to IndiesUnlimited. If you like this story, please go to this site and vote for it after 5 p.m. Tuesday. Thank you!

Photo attributed to K. S. Brooks

 

Watcher – #writephoto

8A54D8F7-B1DC-449B-A76B-E462730D7061

She didn’t walk every day. Only when she had time and they didn’t need her. Only when her weary body could force itself out the door to walk below the ridgeline. She told herself she walked for fitness. She knew she really walked for the fitness of her mind. She would often walk for a short distance, but when he was there, on top of the ridge, she would walk for an hour or more. He fascinated her. Somehow she knew the big, gray wolf was male. She didn’t know how.

She would glance up at the top of the ridge after she had walked away from the house. Most days, she saw him standing there. Facing her. High up on the ridge. As she walked, his walk paralleled hers. She walked the path at the base of the ridge while he walked the top of the ridge. Walking at the same pace she did.

They carried out this ritual for months, the woman and the wolf. Through the summer and into the late fall. She couldn’t imagine why he walked with her, though some distance away. She wasn’t afraid. On the contrary, he made her feel calm. She knew he wouldn’t hurt her. She started sitting down and resting halfway through her walk. He stopped and rested when she did.

One day, early in the winter, she was resting halfway through her walk and she heard the leaves crunch behind her. She sensed it might be him, so she sat very still. The crunching stopped. She sat for a few more moments. Then she got up to walk and saw him mere feet from her. She knew not to meet his eyes. She just started walking. He followed her, this time on the path right behind her. When she turned to go home, he also turned and followed her home. He waited for her to go in the house, then he walked off into the woods.

The wolf and the woman became walking companions. He started walking in front of her and led her up the hill to the ridgeline. When they stopped and she looked down the other side, she saw the men. Men were logging the woods and logging was prohibited in those woods. It dawned on her that this was what the wolf had wanted her to see. He wanted her help.

She reported the logging to the authorities and it stopped. During her next walk, the wolf was waiting for her. When she got to the path, he did the most surprising thing. He leaned his big body against her. Very gingerly, she reached over and took a handful of the ruff around his neck. They stood for a long time like that. Then, he walked off into the woods.

After that day, the wolf didn’t walk with her anymore although she saw him occasionally watching her from the ridgeline. She thinks he accomplished his mission — to get her help in reporting the loggers. He probably had a den, a mate, and pups nearby. She missed his company.

What she didn’t know is that he had become her watcher. She could walk the woods in safety because he will watch out for her as long as he lives.

 

Thanks to Sue Vincent for the lovely photo and writing prompt!

My Beauty

51D77F21-44BF-4135-8A5D-0E97790DF4E1

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

7713E047-EA1A-4911-9A3B-C15EEA6BDFD4

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

EEE22D89-7030-46F9-A26B-DB6397D8DA4D

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

124BE0AF-13E6-4799-8198-7A56A896152C

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

AAC0986B-F481-45AB-AA4C-933B68F94116

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.

*