So Much More

“It is so much more than just a game. It’s our future.” (Molly Wright, age 7).

This is science. This is humanity. This is potential. This is simple. This is profound. This is truth.

A not-even-eight-minutes video can change the future. Watch it. Share it.

 

 

The Creek Don’t Rise

 

ccc141

 

“Tomorrow, God willing and the creek don’t rise!” Mama smacked the rug one last time, stepped back to admire her handiwork, nodded to herself, and shouldered the beater.

“But Mama,” Marlee whined, “everyone else is going!”

I watched the exchange from the safety of a leafy fork on the big tree. If Mama didn’t see me, she could not call on me for chores.

Mama stopped. “Everyone?”

Marlee straightened. Hopeful and suspicious.

“Every. Single. Person?”

Marlee’s shoulders dropped.

“Thought so.” Mama’s dress swirled prettily as she turned toward the cabin, and for a moment I could see the lass she’d been before Bobby and I and Marlee came and brought with us gray hairs and wrinkles.

“But …”

“But nothing. The creek is swelled with rain and more may be coming. No swimming. And,” she added, “You come down from that tree. I need help with the washing.”

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

The Shucker

https://tile.loc.gov/storage-services/service/pnp/nclc/00900/00919v.jpg

 

A girl’s voice protested. A cackle followed.

Leah kept her head down and her eyes on the task before her. There was a quota to complete if she wanted anything in her stomach, and she could make her body dead to wandering fingers. She’d learned how. The hard way. The only way.

When the foreman finally moved on, she gritted her teeth and tried to not compare slime to slime.

Not that she would ever touch the stuff. And not only because it was forbidden.

Beside her, Mandy sniffled. “How can you stand it?”

“Perhaps she doesn’t mind him,” Becca hissed. “Seeing how she never cries.”

Leah clenched her teeth, locked her knees, and steadied her breath. She focused on the fading light glinting on the blade. “No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.”

 

 

 

 

For the dVerse Prosery writing prompt


Prosery prompt quote: “No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife.” (Zora Neale Hurston, from “How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow, 1928)

Photo: Hine Lewis Wickes, The Library Of Congress https://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/nclc.00919/

Not Having A Ball

 

“I found it!”

Minerva sighed. She never did do well on conveyances. “Found what?” she mouthed, careful to not move her head.

“The perfect place!”

Minerva attempted to open her eyes, but the world whizzing by, combined with her daughter’s bouncing on the seat while turned in the opposite direction to the train’s travel, was too much. She clamped her eyes shut and groaned.

“Mom! Just look! We’ll pass it!”

One eye. A blur. Space under an overhang. Speeding rails.

“For what?”

“For the ball!” Swinging arms. “Can’t you just see us waltzing?!”

The bag! Where was the barf bag?!!!

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © J Hardy Carroll 

 

 

Playing Along

kelly-sikkema-bcdnGrkLlYA-unsplash

(Photo: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

 

He wasn’t going to win this game.

He learned that much from many

That he had

Lost.

And he did not care

To have his face made pie

Against another Juke

Box.

So he played along,

As if it was all

A big

Joke.

 

 

 

For the dVerse 10th Anniversary (!!) poetry quadrille challenge: Juke

Dedicated to all who had to play along, because that was the safer – if fake – choice.

 

 

The Longest Walk

ccc139

 

The dappled path grew arms of shade to shackle her so that her legs refused to move.

Earth’s gravity cranked itself up and higher.

It needn’t be so hard, and yet each cell in her begged an excuse.

She couldn’t.

She had to.

She shouldn’t.

She must.

She wouldn’t.

She better.

Or else.

The tree-lined corridor – so outwardly calm, so beautifully straightforward – was but a hall of mirrors.

An amplifier of her agony.

For who would see it and believe her, when none had yet, and perhaps no one ever would?

The careful greenery imposed a form of blindness on others.

A willingness to only selectively see.

Appearances, she already knew, could become everything.

It made the manicured life into a wall beyond which no one saw. Or wouldn’t.

Leaving her to take.

Again.

As in every day.

The longest walk.

Home.

And its unspoken of.

Relentless,

Tortures.

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

Dedicated to all who live behind the veils of appearances and are kept hidden in plain sight under a mirage of perceived privilege. Abuse knows no socioeconomic boundaries. Torment knows no race, no age, no god, no faith, no intellect, no education, no level of income. May you be heard. May you find a way to be safe.

 

 

Stumped

 

“We shouldn’t do this.”

Laura pulled the ax out of her backpack.

“Stop! It’ll hurt the tree!”

Laura directed a querying finger at the wormy stump before planting her feet and lifting the tool.

Monique stepped closer.

“Don’t be daft,” Laura sighed. But she did lower her arms and gave her little sister a long look.

Monique’s eyes glittered. The gal was going to cry. Over a tree stump.

Then again, she’d bawled over a crushed ant and pouted for a week after Laura ate the goose’s egg.

“The bark will compost.” Laura tried. “And … we need fire wood.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo: © Sandra Crook

 

 

Hopeless Case

 

“Just how long has this been parked?”

The youth’s shrug managed both disinterest and disdain.

Edith pressed her lips. Inhaled. Her students had called it her “Schoolmarm Face.” They didn’t know it was just as effective at getting her own body to comply.

She pointed at the wheels.

“Grassy stuff,” the youth noted. “It grew.”

Edith knew a hopeless case when she saw it.

“Well then,” she thrust her purse at him.

For the first time, he looked marginally awake. “Um…, Ma’am?”

“Hold it.” She rolled her sleeves. “And help these old knees down. Someone’s got to check the undercarriage.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Russell Gayer

 

Spot

 

 

They dug a hole and placed him in it. They shoveled dirt atop. They nailed a plaque onto a post.

They stood and mumbled words.

They bowed their heads.

They shed some tears.

They did it the way it was done.

The way friendships were supposed to close.

And still it did not feel right. That kind of burying. The post with painted plaque. The tidy mound of dirt over their spot.

The next day they lugged the old doghouse and placed it on him.

For rain.

For moss.

For bones.

Even for rot.

After all, Spot loved the lot.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

PHOTO PROMPT © Alicia Jamtaas

 

Horsing Around

ccc135

 

“Did she see you take Butter?”

Hailey chuckled, “Nah.”

The stable dame was notorious for imbibing at lunch and for the sprawled-in-chair-nap that followed. If you timed it correctly, you could saddle a horse, enjoy a ride, and return before the woman stirred awake.

“What if she found out?” Dora squirmed on Rocky’s back, and the gelding raised his head in admonition. “Sorry, Rocky,” she placed a palm on the equine’s neck.

Hailey shrugged. “Not like Butter will tattle. Right, Butter?”

The horse neighed in return, and the girls giggled.

Rocky snorted.

“Nor you, Rocky. You ain’t a snitch,” Hailey agreed.

The mare trotted languidly. She had to be just as happy for the outing, let alone with Rocky. If it weren’t for Hailey’s family’s recent trouble, and the sale of Butter to Mrs. Jolly’s stable, the horses would still be grazing together, as they had from colt and filly.

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge