Indispensable

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(Photo: Catt Liu on Unsplash)

 

She checked the items off the list.

One by one by one by one.

She’d learned to not look too far down. Better to not confront endlessness. To not have to face it that today, too, there will not be a moment when the job is done. When she is free.

Only another task.

Another chore.

Mistress claimed she was “indispensable.”

Praise or curse for why she could not get a few days off to see her ailing mother. To rest. To marry.

“We’re your family,” Mistress had said. “We need you. It is a requisite you stay.”

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Challenge: Requisite in 98 words

 

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

 

 

Blue Sentry

 

“Can you see them?” Lizzie swayed with anticipation. The waiting has been endless. Endless. Endless.

There was no response.

“Blue!?” she prompted.

“Hold your horses,” Lily soothed, always one to keep the peace. “He takes time to formulate and produce.”

Lizzie knew that, and that it wasn’t proper to press others to do what they physically could not. She tipped her head in guilty acknowledgement.

Still, she wished someone else was standing sentry. Not that Blue had any say. They were each placed where they were placed, and had to make the most of it. Slow as time, Blue would have to do.

And yet, it was so hard to wait.

Especially when she was finally dressed in all her finery and wanted to show it off before any got wilted.

“Car,” Blue said.

Finally! Lizzie wriggled.

“Such Impatiens,” Petunia rustled. “No finesse. All is hurry hurry hurry with them.”

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

The Underside of Recollection

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(Photo: Mick Haupt on Unsplash)

 

It was merely by a feather,

But nonetheless a

Tether

To a life before,

When friends were at the

Door,

And when she did not have to worry

About honor, trust, or

Glory.

She held on to the underside

Of recollection.

To the roots of love that

Promised a

Direction.

For there had been simplicity to life,

An implicit understanding

That words as given were meant

To keep,

And that the sun will rise in

The morn after a

Sleep.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Tether in 80 words

 

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

 

Inked

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(Photo: Pierre Bamin on Unsplash)

 

When voice failed and

She could no longer

Think

She turned to

Ink

For words on velum

Scribbled

Fast

Translated

Into heart.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Ink in 22 words

 

Not All

 

“We must cancel!” Ruth’s voice was reedy with tension.

“We must not!” Tomas retorted more sharply than he’d intended.

Ruth flinched and turned away. Her shoulders trembled.

Tomas wanted to kick himself. “I’m sorry, Love,” he tried.

Her head shook, but she turned back to him and buried her face in his chest.

“It is all ruined,” she sobbed, pointing at the storm’s devastation.

“Not all,” he wrapped arms around her.

A long breath shuddered, then Ruth’s eyes, glistening, found his.

“No, not all,” she repeated. Breathed.

His own knees weakened. His Ruth of Awe and Fire.

His bride. Today.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Brenda Cox

 

Arranged

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(Photo: Ben Rosett on Unsplash)

 

There was not much to do but wait.

And hope.

The lots were cast,

Though she had very little trust

In such.

It was not for her

To decide.

Now it was just,

The drip of minutes

Through childhood’s hourglass.

Dreams slowly fraying

Into dust,

While growing worries,

Poke trembling shoots

Into her heart.

Will this unknown,

Chosen for her

Husband,

Will he be

Kind?

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Challenge: unknown in 65 words

 

Refusal

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“Not all orders ought to be obeyed.”

The old man’s head was bent over the leather, but Owen read more than concentrated focus in the bony shoulders, in the jab of awl then needle bearing sinew through the holes.

“They said ‘Everyone’, Grandfather,” the youth fretted.

The fingers stopped moving and rheumy eyes met his in shared cornflower. The hue used to comfort him. A confirmation of family and familiarity. Now Owen wondered whether it also reflected the age he may well not live to be. Especially, he thought, if he did not obey …

“Look up,” the elder’s chin bobbed.

Owen squinted against glare. White sun on milky skies and swift-moving darker clouds of gray.

“You can no more change the sun’s course than a moral compass,” Grandfather noted. A cloud blotted the sun and a chill traveled down Owen’s back. “Do not obey evil. Fight it, or hide.”

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

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