The Farthest Ride

They were going to make a race for it.

Sherry frowned.

Why did everything have to be a race with them?

She knew there was naught a thing she could do to dissuade them. To the contrary: if she tried to, they were almost certain to up the ante, in bravado and a bit of spite.

Older sisters were never listened to. Even if they were ran to later with the scrapes and bruises and secrets that had to be kept from parents and the like.

Lots more than scrapes and bruises at risk here, though.

“I’m going to ride,” Thomas bragged. The paddle-board he’d rescued from the trash was his pride and joy. Pitiful in looks, with masking tape to hold the bits together, but serviceable. For ripples. Not for this.

“Nah, I swim,” Teddy said. “I’ll reach the farthest wind turbine before you get half-way to the first!”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Where She Lies

andrew-buchanan-xyl-uovEWR4-unsplash

Photo: Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash

 

Where the green grass ends

And the ocean grows

Is where she lies

And listens

To the crabs

As they crawl

And the fish

As they flutter

And the wind

As it lifts the

Wings of

Sandpipers

And spins

Seashells

On the sand.

 

 

For RDP Friday: Lies

(and for Kathryn, in my mind’s eye)

 

When It Leaves

shimmer SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

“What is that thing?”

Melanie squinted against the glare. Shrugged. “A microscope with duck feet.”

Tony frowned. His sister was easily the most annoying person to ever occupy the Earth. Well, after James. James was worse.

The boy stole a look behind him as if expecting James to manifest, even though he knew that the youth was many miles away. You just didn’t know. With James.

Melanie rested her chin on her knees, hummed under her breath, and played imaginary piano with her toes, watching the sand swish around her soles. She was hungry. She wondered what they’ll have for dinner. She lifted her head to glance around. The beach was slowly emptying but it was too early to check the bins.

And anyway, it was Tony’s turn.

She couldn’t keep doing everything for him. He was never gonna learn.

Her stomach growled and she sighed and squinted again at the odd shape on the sand. “Yep,” she pursed her lips. “Definitely a microscope with duck legs.”

Tony made that sound in his throat that she knew meant he was distressed but didn’t want to show it. She ignored him. He had to toughen up.

The quiet between them lingered. It felt stretchy. Like a taught rubber band wound over a finger. Melanie stared. That thing didn’t move.

“It’s an alien,” Tony finally said.

Melanie nodded. Could be.

Tony breathed. “I wonder where the spaceship is.”

“Yeah.” Melanie sat up, suddenly intrigued. “And I wonder when it leaves. You think that if we ask, it would agree to take us with?”

 

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

Her Reflection

silver-1 SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

She walks along the dunes. There had been very little time away from others. So very few opportunities to be alone. She needs this more than air.

Morris agreed to keep an eye on the children. They were not enthused.

“He’s boring, Mama!” Ethan complained.

“Yeah, and his breath smells!” Lilly pouted.

“You don’t have to kiss him,” she replied. “And if you are bored, I can leave you some chores.”

They skulked away, displeased, but there was nothing for it, grumpy neighbor-as-babysitter or not. She knew she was becoming increasingly impatient. She did not want to cross the line into unkind.

It wasn’t their fault that Paul left. It wasn’t their doing that their dad did not see fit to shoulder any responsibility. She knew they missed him. He didn’t even think of calling on their birthdays. She knew Ethan cried for his dad in his sleep.

She almost took them with her to the dunes. Almost made it a family outing. Lilly loved running in the sand. Ethan’s eyes always lit up at the space. Like her, he loved the breeze and silence.

But she could not. Not this time.

This time she needed to replenish. For herself. For them. They needed a sane mother. She was running low on how.

 

She walks and breathes and ruminates and lets the worries and the sorrows stream out and flow down her cheeks and neck and chest till they evaporate.

There was a time she had hoped to have a house on the dunes. There was a time she had a dream of living in the solitary calm of gulls and tides and estuaries.

It wasn’t that she regretted having the children (marriage was a whole other story, given what non-partner Paul turned to be). She did not. Not once. She couldn’t imagine her life without them. Just for this morning, though … she needed to let be a part of herself that did not have them in its center.

She walks as if in daydream. The light shimmers and the estuary glints silver in the shrinking distance. It gives her peace. A reminder of how every stagnant-looking pool may in fact be only a pause in flow.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto challenge

 

 

Favorite Place

ocean curl NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Of all scenes

And joys and sorrows,

Of all the steps

And breaths

And sense,

There is the ebb and flow

And stillness,

That makes this

Movement

My heart’s

Place.

 

 

For Sunday Stills: Places

 

 

Color Me Home

 

It would be the last place anyone would look, and the first thing everyone would see.

It made it perfect.

She always gravitated toward hiding in plain sight. There was equity in the blinding effect of what people learned to not see or did not know could be there in the first place.

How long would it take, she wondered, for her cover to be blown?

The longest had been almost four weeks. The closest call had her discovered before the first patch of paint dried. She’d almost lost everything that day, and the consequences were brutal, but she’d learned from it. As she had from every challenge and obstacle. Even those that were not meant to be instructive.

That was how she rolled. How she wrest back some control.

For now, this box of aqua perched on sand, seasonally emptied of its contents, was home.

The surf a lullaby.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Not Here!

KeithKreates253

Photo: Keith Channing

 

They had everything.

The Papa Chair. The Mama blanket. The two Cub chairs. The inner tubes: one small, one large. Even tin cans emptied to serve as sand pails in the refilled beach’s rectangle.

What a perfect day!

The lake awaited, wet and cool. The silty mud. The pebbles, the weeds to wade across or pull.

They swam. They flipped. They raced. They flopped.

The hours passed. The contents of the picnic basket made their tummies nice and full.

They rested till the water once more called.

Then one cub disappeared.

“Nicko!” they yelled, frantic with the possibility of the awfulness that might unfold.

“One moment!” the junior responded from the direction of the small structure. “I’m not done.”

Relief was quickly replaced by wonder only to be followed by surprise and whiff of horror.

“Nicko??!!?” the Mama dashed across the small beach to stop what was already well set into motion. “That’s not an outhouse! It’s my changing room! Go in the bushes! Not here!”

 

 

 

For Keith’s Kreative Kue #253

 

 

 

A Different Kind Of Home

A different kind of home

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

A moment

For the memory of

A different kind of home,

Where sun sparkles

On the water

And you feel your soul

Fold along the crease

Of rolling foam,

And where your spirit

Sings the song of places

It has long known

How to roam.

 

 

 

Zen Essence

calm curl NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

In the moment of the soft swell

Of a calm curl,

The gentle foam

Belays the power of

The waves that lift ocean liners

And cradle whales.

A breath

Before

Exhale.

 

 

Thank you, Terri, for this prompt. Perfect for today. For me, the shore is the ultimate calibrator. I took this photo in Ogonquit, Maine, quite too many years ago. Time to go back. Time to go to the beach. Any beach. For breath, for awe, for space, for zen.

For Sunday Stills: Essence of Zen

 

A Bit Of Clarity

Photo: Sue Vincent

She always went to the beach for a bit of clarity.

The movement of the water on the sand brought her back into her own breath. The rush of energy reminded her of the push of arteries, the pull of veins. The predictably irregular rhythm of the surf reminded her how ebb and flow do not mean that things will be uniform. They’ll come and go. Each unique. Each set its own and inseparable from what flowed forth before and what is following.

She could count on a wave and then another and another, on the rise and fall, the crash and wash, the small detritus that each leaves and yet is part of what had been and what will be and what just is.

Like life.

Like the muddy, murky, uncertainties of everything.

Where the one thing she could trust was that another wave will come, and that even the biggest wave retreats, at some point, in wavelets of resignation. As another one rolls in.

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto challenge