Frozen In Time

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“What’s he doing there, Papa?”

“Serving his time,” he didn’t need to look to know what his granddaughter was pointing at. He could see it with his eyes closed. In his sleep. Seared into his very dreams.

“What time?” the innocence in the child’s voice returned him to the present. She could not know. So many died so she would not need to.

“His time in war,” he explained.

“To fight?” the green eyes were round under the cascade of unruly hair. The girl never could abide any hair-ties. Her mother despaired. He found it enchanting. He’d forgotten what it was to have hair

He nodded.

“But he’s just watching,” the child noted.

“Yes,” he nodded.

“Forever?”

He looked up at the man frozen in time. So many of them were.

“I hope not, child.”

She pressed his hand.

“I shall bring him a blanket,” she said. “And a pup.”

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Mama’s Trees

 

“So, we go?”

James nodded. Better than pretending that all was as it had been. Nothing ever will be.

“It’s cold,” Maria held out two scarves. A third was wrapped around her neck.

“So, we go!” Benjamin pulled a hat over his head. “You take the middle, Maria and I will go top and trunk. We’ll trade.”

They’d walked a tree home one year when Mama lost the car. They all had cars now, but she would never drive again.

James reached for the first tree. Glanced at their list of in-need homes.

In Mama’s memory, a Christmas Walk-a-thon. 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: Dale Rogerson

 

Robin’s robin

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“Tell me again, Grandma,” the child burrowed into the bedclothes.

“You heard it a million times,” she ruffled the girl’s curls.

“But it’s my favorite story, Grandma!”

The woman smiled. Begging was part of the ritual. Their dance of love. She made herself comfortable and felt the small torso snuggle closer.

“Remind me again how it starts?…” she teased.

“Grandma!”

“Silly me. Of course I remember… So, there you were, born early and a little wrinkled.”

“A lot wrinkled!”

“Yes, a lot. And with a howling mouth ajar like a hatchling calling for a juicy worm …”

“Eeew …”

“And we didn’t know what to call you …”

“Till you saw my hair …”

“Which was as rusty as a robin’s bib.”

“And …” the child wriggled with anticipation.

“And it is clearly the right name, because a robin has been nesting in the tree outside your window ever since!”

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

On The Bright Side

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(Photo by Anton Darius on Unsplash)

 

The party rocked. Music thrummed through her soles and the edges of her vision blurred.

I’m buzzed, she thought. Tipsy. Perhaps even drunk.

It did not matter that there was no alcohol in the bowl.

The cheer was what intoxicated her.

The brightly colored joy.

So much better than last week’s funeral, she thought. That energy had depleted her. Dark. Gray. Thirsting.

For another sip.

She smiled to let the pavonine life-liquor of the child’s birthday party pour right into her. 

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: pavonine in 81 words

 

The Reunion

 

The house was unassuming. Outdated decor and mild neglect, but nothing to write home about. That is, till they took the stairs to the basement, passed through what appeared to be a closet and headed down another and much longer flight into a stone walled damp. The steps ended with a heavy door: creaky metal hinges, old timbers, and the smell of aged oak.

Gabe’s heart threatened to sink.

Excitement was fine. Dungeons? Not so much.

How well did he know this man? College reunion be damned.

“Ta-da!” Bart flicked a switch.

A shrine.

To wine.

Just like old times.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo promot © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Glitter Bound

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(Photo: Jackson David on Unsplash)

 

She spun around, with arms spread wide

The tinsel spooling

From her outstretched hands.

Spilling from her golden crown,

And all about her glowing gown,

It glittered and eventually

Bound,

Her body to the very ground

From whence her heart and soul

Made sound.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: tinsel in 44 words

 

Attired

Claire Fuller (7)

 

“You aren’t seriously going to do that.”

One could debate which was opened wider, Bella’s jaw or her eyes. She did have enormous eyes. People sometimes said they took half her face. I used to think it an exaggeration, but looking at her now, I was no longer so sure.

“Am too,” I kicked one of the tires. Part for emphasis. Part to check the resistance.

Definitely Bella’s jaw. Definitely more than half her face.

“Good for the planet. Also, if a gal can make a dress out of meat, another gal can make a prom dress out of tires.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: – Claire Fuller

 

The Gift

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(Photo: Jennifer Burk on Unsplash)

 

She was not there.

Of course, she did the work. She wiped the sinks. She did the wash. She peeled the taters. Washed the floors.

But she was not there.

Not when people stopped by. Not where there were any windows open or any blinds up.

She’d been smuggled to them as a child.

A gift.

From someone.

To the man and lady of the house.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Smuggle in 66 words

 

Wild Away

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Margot leaned closer to examine the stake. Her smile grew.

The child should be called Gretel, with such clues.

Then again, Margot was no evil stepmom. Or at least, not evil … The two of them couldn’t help not being biologically related.

Not any more than the girl could help being wild.

The social worker believed the latter a hindrance. Understandable, perhaps, given how many placements the child had lost. The system found it inconvenient to have a lass with more wilderness than tameness, who needed space and took it. Knowing Grenadine’s history, how could they not see why she’d tolerate no leash?

“This child will run away,” the social worker had warned when Margot said she’ll have her. “You’re so rural, you’d have no help keeping her contained.”

Margot had no plan to do so.

The child was free. The sticker meant that she’d be home by dinner.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Familiar Patience

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(Photo: Andreea Popa on Unsplash)

 

She probably thought that she had found him. However, it was he who had found her. That is, if seeking her directly could be claimed a discovery.

He did not rub it in. There was no need.

Like the others, she was going to learn at her own pace. Humans could not be hurried. Not even those with above average affinity.

So he waited. Stared. Rubbed against her. Swished his tail. Licked his paws.

Magic lessons.

From her familiar.

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Familiar in 79 words