Writing Prompt Wednesday: Postcard

 

c184fd592ffaf98b635ccd1c796e0f4b

Legend of Love

He was covered in red clay from head to toe. The pasture that had summoned him, was turning from green to lavender in the fading daylight as the coroner’s wagon vanished over the hill. Vincent collapsed and sobbed.
That morning started like most Sundays. The 39-year-old confirmed bachelor awoke early and walked into the morning, perfectly groomed, as the dew was just starting to lift. The mile walk to his favorite breakfast nook was uneventful. His cane made a click clack on the ancient cobblestone back street as the vendors began to line the rue leading toward his destination. Suddenly, he felt weak. His waxed mustache twitched and the hair on his neck felt static as his jet black derby shifted to one side.
Bewildered, he primped himself, as best he could without a full length mirror, and stepping more lively ahead.
“Vincent?”
An alluring feminine voice made him turn on his heels. Instead of a woman, there before him stood a vendor selling antiques. A rather nasty looking overweight bald man beckoned him with a wave.
Stepping up to the wagon, Vincent was drawn directly to a powder blue box of old postcards. By this time his ordinary stoic presence had uncharacteristically turned into a desperate one. Vincent rifled through the box and there he found HER.
Legend claims he became momentarily invisible as time stood still and there was no sound until he said her name.
“Camille”.
Beneath the chestnut tree he had suddenly stopped. A vivid vision had led him there moments after he had held the postcard. The authorities who had pursued him for a purloined postcard, left with Camille Dubois’ remains. A 25-year-old missing persons mystery ended beneath the tree in a mound of red clay.
Vincent, the confirmed bachelor, had experienced profound love and immeasurable loss before the Earth had made a single rotation.
Some say, he weeps there still.

Writing Prompt Wednesday

Advertisements

Writing Goals: Getting to the point.

People who write novels must have far more focus or patience than I. Perhaps, there’s an ADHD that affects writers?

For example, my Random Word Stories are delightfully fun to write. But, they end up being book jacket versions of novels that I’d enjoy reading, nothing more. You’d think if I embraced them as beginnings, I’d have a wealth of inspiration for a novel. Instead, I lose interest in the longer intricate version. Like the kid in a candy shop, off I go in search of new sweet flavors to sample.

I enjoy writing poems and short stories. They get to the point. I like that. Every word counts. Don’t get me wrong. A well-written novel is a beautiful experience. I just don’t believe that I have the self-discipline to accomplish writing one.

My favorite novel is the Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury. It’s a bunch of short stories crocheted together. Ah… a collection of short stories is “like a box of chocolates” in my opinion. Certainly, dismissing the novel writing idea, completely, isn’t going to happen. But following my aptitude and “attention deficit” trait seems the better use of my creative energy. A collection of short stories may be the answer for me.

 

Have you struggled with similar thoughts? Is blogging merely enough? 😉

Random Word Story #33: A Place Behind Her Eyes

adult beautiful beauty blond
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I use a random word generator and write a quick story with them. It’s fun! Check out my category of them. 🙂

queen
valuable
grape
fixed
star
sin
Here’s my story:

These were NOT Cheerios!
Stella flung her styrofoam cup across the table and watched the golden rings dance across the kitchen carpet. A few made it into the dog water dish. That made her grin for the first time in days. “Bullseye.” she murmured into hand.
The lady wasn’t happy. She even said, “I’m NOT happy, Stella.” as she stooped out of sight beneath the table to scoop them up.
Stella heard at catechism that lying was a sin. She guessed lying to kids must be an exception because the grape juice was NOT grape juice either! Yuck!
This place was a nightmare already! It was everything she feared a foster home would be. There was nothing familiar… No one to trust… And, nothing good to eat!
Jean, the case worker, said she’d only be here until her mother got “fixed“.
Yeah right.
You can’t fix stupid.
She loved her mom but good choices weren’t her specialty. Running off to Hollywood to become a STAR and leaving her 8-year-old daughter alone at the park was her latest “brain fart”. Jean asked her not to use that term but Stella knew the word “retarded” was a no-no and, besides, it really fit the situation. It stunk!
Stella had to believe her mother was just stupid or the unbearable alternative of her mom not regarding her as valuable would have to be considered. That would NOT be okay.
The lady sat down beside her. Stella hadn’t even noticed that she had vacuumed the mess and cleared the table while Stella was visiting the “place behind her eyes”. She was the queen of that secret place where time stands still and everything is true.
Stella went there often. Stella wanted to live there forever. Now, she was NOT happy.

Writing Prompt Wednesday: The Curmudgeon List

These were the words to be used in our stories or poems:

tower, rotten, bribe, diamond
—————————————————————– Here’s my story:

man wearing plaid dress shirt and black pants sitting near brown brick wall
Photo by Jeffrey Reed on Pexels.com

~Curmudgeon – (noun) a bad-tempered person, especially an old one.~
This was the “Word of the Day” printed on his homeroom chalkboard.
“What an awesome word!”, Tony thought.
He rolled it around on his tongue. “Cur… mudge … eon.”
By the time the first bell rang, he had a list of real life curmudgeons forming.
-The rotten vice principal who considered all kids as criminals and spontaneously inspected backpacks. How was he to know a cat skull wasn’t a school- approved item?
-That lady who reported his Mom for letting him walk alone to school. Geez! He was almost thirteen!
-The curator at the museum who pulled his ear for shouting in the clocktower exhibit. It was completely worth it, though. He’d found an echo chamber extraordinaire and those places are rare!
And, the old man who lived down the street. His mailbox said, “Strange”. PERFECT.
The man actually had tried to bribe him with Oreos to come inside to see his rock collection. He claimed to have diamonds, too! Creepy stuff!
Tony was walking to class looking at his feet while revisiting that invitation. “Yeah, right.”, he mumbled.

By day’s end, Tony came to realize that Mr. Strange didn’t actually belong on his newly created “curmudgeon list”. He’d added a few new candidates throughout the day. One was his father’s boss who made him cancel their summer trip to the beach because the boss had decided to go to an Indian Sweat Lodge “seeking Truth”.  Dad was stuck with covering the office and Tony was stuck with the community pool.
But, his odd neighbor wasn’t at all bad-tempered even though he must have been pushing one hundred! Strange had even waved to Tony yesterday with a generous smile and shouted, ” You’re welcome any time, young fella. You don’t have to come in.”
Thoughts began to flood his mind.
Perhaps, Tony would ask his mom about that neighbor?
Mr. Strange might actually have an interesting collection?
I wonder if he’s lonely?
One more thing also occurred to Tony. His snap unkind judgement of an otherwise nice old man made Tony a true curmudgeon.
So?
He added himself to the list.

Writing Prompt Wednesday

 

Wednesday Writing Picture Prompt

humphrey

His mother was forever telling him, “Don’t listen to those kids, Baby. You have a big heart.” Fact is, he WAS gutless. A coward. The taunts of , “Yellow, Yellow, made of Jello!” were true.
Guy could pretend. He’d laugh when the other “class weakling” was the object of torment but he didn’t want to. He was even too gutless to walk away!
Writing poetry and mimicking Fred Astaire on TCM defined his childhood. When the other boys weren’t chasing him, they built tree houses and egged trailer trucks from the overpass. Guy was too terrified to go along even if he’d been asked.

His first wife wasn’t fooled for long. She’d said his gentleness was charming and refreshing, at first. After six months, she’d packed her bags and claimed she felt unprotected. Vulnerable.
He wanted to tell her that her mother’s revered spaghetti pie was mushy and disgusting! But, as usual, he couldn’t find the nerve. His head pounded, his stomach twisted, but his knees shook and the yellow monster grabbed his tongue.
When she slammed the door for the last time,  screaming at the top of her lungs, “Pathetic Girly Man!”, he just closed the drapes and cried.

Tragically, Donna would end up a true victim of his cowardice. Donna, his second wife, gave him hope. She’d literally waltzed into his life at the Downtown Arts Center. They were paired up at the Tuesday night Classy Dance Class and she swept HIM off his feet. She was a delicate flower, four years his senior. They weren’t married a week when he realized she was more a mother figure than a lover and companion. That might have actually worked anyway if his yellow cowardly monster hadn’t taken over.
Donna had a long hidden drinking problem. Psychologists labeled it “high functioning alcoholism”. He gave her a wide berth, and tender hugs from behind, hoping for the best.
The night she was killed, he’d asked her not to drive. Tears ran down his cheeks as she’d taken the keys and said, “It’ll be fine, Baby. It’s just down the street.”. He’d never argued or even raised his voice. What if he’d overpowered her? Taken the keys? Demanded she’d stay?

Today, his doctor ordered stronger meds. They were working alright. His poetry and dancing were gone but so was the big yellow coward that had ruined his life!
Once in a rare while, the monster would come to him in a dream, or flash behind him in a mirror. Fear was haunting but separate from him now. It would be okay.
He didn’t mind the overwhelming hollowness because hollowness wasn’t going to kill anyone who mattered.

 

 

 

A True Story and Real Life Dilemma

oppossum

The following is a true story. By the time this is posted, I will have added a photo. For now, the story is more important:

Early in our camping experience last summer, my granddaughter and I heard my Jack Russell Terrier barking and came upon a baby opossum peeking out from behind our generator bin. It was frightened and clearly a bit young to be wandering around on its own.
I called the dog off and she scampered out of sight. (I say “she” because Nature makes females a bit more sturdy and independent early on. I will never know her true gender but my guess is an educated one.)
She appeared once more that day around our log splitter. This uncharacteristic sighting made me snap a photo and assume “something” had happened to her mother. When I told my husband, he said he had seen a dead baby opossum in the nearby bushes, the day before. Seems my “guess” had more legitimacy after that.
It was Sunday, and we were hours from leaving for home. I had learned from other lessons of interfering with Nature, that my human instinct to “get involved” was not always wise for either the wild animal or for my heart. I felt I just HAD to give her a chance. She had survived, so far, and although I could not take responsibility for her, I didn’t have to all-together turn my back.
Just before I left, I took a large handful of dry dog food and piled it, undercover, near the generator bin. With a heavy heart, I went home.
The next week, the dog food and opossum were gone.
I thought of her often throughout the summer. I also accepted the “not knowing” of what happened to her a mixed blessing.
Around the middle of October, my dog came strutting back to my campsite with a prize catch. My heart sank! He had caught and killed a juvenile opossum. It was from under the place where I had, months before, left the dog food. Even this moment, my heart is racing and my stomach is turning at the telling of an “almost” triumphant tale.
I have little doubt that the opossum was the orphan I had met in June. She HAD survived but had not learned enough to continue to survive.
This winter’s harshness has made me consider her violent end a possible blessing against the option of freezing or starving. Without a mother, her instincts may not have well prepared her.
The moral of this story, that I hold on to, is that I HAD cared. That I HAD tried to help. I couldn’t (and shouldn’t) have done more and that I really need to let go of the heart-sickening guilt I keep revisiting.
There would be those who would say, “You didn’t care or do enough.”
I would beg to differ.
The sick feeling in my stomach while writing this is still there.
I also had asked myself a number of questions. Here’s a few:
Can I find her in time?
Is her mother temporarily trapped in a dumpster and might she return?
How could I safely capture and transport her in the same car as my dog?
Would I really be offering her a better life by interfering?
Would my husband’s opinions on my decision matter?
Is there a law against bringing wild animals into a day care setting?
Would the Animal Hospital accept her?
How terrified would she be in all this?
Yes…I DID care deeply but I knew that caring didn’t give me the “right” to affect absolute changes nor did it protect me from possibly doing more harm than good.
I’ve learned a lot from this experience. I hope in telling this story, “little opossum’s”, AND my dilemma, speaks to you.
Don’t forget…I also may be wrong in my conclusion that every sighting of an opossum was the SAME opossum. And that my friends, is where hope lives.