Nailed It

stable-door CrispinaKemp

Photo: Crispina Kemp

 

He could never abide a wiggle.

Not a wriggle. Not a waver. Not the smallest bit of leeway.

Give an inch they’ll want a mile. He was one for nipping any jiggle in the bud.

Sure, the place was old, but it was built a-sturdy, and it stood the test of time. A war. A drought. A famine. Years could lend a touch of wrinkle, but that was no excuse for creaky hinges or a swinging that was anything but right.

Doors should no more need replacing than the people who had built them. Neither ought be done away with when they’re ripe.

So at the very start of wobbling, he cut a bar to measure, took the hammer and the odd-and-ends crate, and firmly nailed the wood across the geriatric slats.

Not unlike the way the surgeon had patched his hip and clinched his femur on to that.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

To Know Good

valario-davis-knAVZEz2Dfw-unsplash

Photo: Valario Davis on Unsplash

 

 

“So how do you,” he asked,

“Know good

From bad?”

 

“By the heart,” she replied.

“By the actions that

Build

And prop up,

And the words that

Support

And patch the

Cracked places

Inside broken parts.”

 

“And how,” he pressed,

“Do you know what

Just needs

Giving up?”

 

“By the soul,”

She patted the warm place

On her lap.

“For breath

Matters,

And hope

Matters,

And kindness

Is superior to any

Pass-by-night

Emperors

Full of promises

Of might,

Touted

For our good

But seeped in

Falsehood meant

To bring on

Plight.”

 

He shuddered

And she stroked his wet cheek

And held a cool

Palm to his brow.

“Now sleep,

And let spirits

Of light,

Hold back the bad

And

Fill your cup

With good

Till the world grows

Up.”

 

 

 

For RDP Sunday: For Our Good

 

 

 

Flecked History

wadi a dawasir M.Bin HMQ

Photo: M.Bin HMQ; Wadi ad-Dawasir, Saudi Arabia

 

“He is an infidel,” Abdul grumbled about his employer. “Ad-Dawasir history shouldn’t be fouled by non-believers.”

“So were your ancient ancestors,” Umm Habib noted, her fingers flying as she shaped the dough with the practiced moves of innumerable meals prepared.

The adolescent startled. Such accusation would’ve necessitated a fist-fight if it hadn’t come from his grandmother.

“Many Taghlibi remained Christians well after The Prophet came,” the old woman’s face remained placid. She didn’t need to look up to sense the anger flashing in the boy’s hereditarily flecked eyes. But youngsters’ dark moods and opinions were like moving water. Truth remained.

She plucked freshly baked bread from the earthen oven with bare fingers, tips hardened by life’s constant flames. “That history is long passed, but it bears remembering some of our ancestors even fought against Muslim, and many stayed Christian …” she paused, considering. “Before finally embracing The Prophet’s teachings and Islam.”

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Wadi-ad-Dawasir, Saudi Arabia

 

 

Ain’t Got Much Of

FF RogerBultot

Photo prompt: Roger Bultot

 

“She keeps the shelves half-empty.”

I turned at the voice. A gnarled hand leaned heavily on a carved stick. The man’s chest was almost parallel to the stained cement floor.

I crouched so I could make eye-contact yet spare him the strain of lifting his head. He smiled. For such an ossified body, his expression was remarkably lively.

“My wife,” he raised an eyebrow at the display. “I’d space the boxes, but she says that what people think we ain’t got much of, reminds them of the empty spaces in their own pantries and how there’s always room for more.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

 

Momma Jean

Photo Prompt: © Jean L. Hays

 

“Don’t you go spendin’ no money!” Momma Jean announced.

In a whirlwind of industrious determination, she began rummaging through shoe boxes and ancient suitcases, closets, and plastic bags, flinging this or that onto the table.

I didn’t dare to offer help. Once Momma Jean got like this, it was best to keep out of the way.

“Now!” She finally straightened, hair askew and dust-bunnies clinging to the edge of her house-dress. My inveterate neighbor was out of breath and in her element. “You tell me what that costume look like, and I make it for you. You win first prize.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

New Passage

Photo: © Renee Heath

 

It had been a long night. It will be a long day and night still.

The old man sighed and watched the spirits paint the sky.

The youth had spent the night secluded in silent contemplation. The elders had kept vigil not far from the tent.

Some elders frowned at the arrangement. “Right of passage should require complete solitude,” they’d argued. “How else will there be quietude enough to hear the whispers of the land?”

“Times had changed,” he’d stressed. “The current world requires the tent’s protection as well as our watchful eye. Surely the spirits, in their wisdom, understand.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Stop to Sip

A drink SmadarHalperinEpshtein (2)

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Walking along

Paths of life,

Stop to sip

Pause to laugh.

Make small moments

Of cool calm,

Find someone

To lean on.

Take a rest

Take the air,

Live well through

Time’s wear and tear.

 

 

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: drinks

 

Tempestuous Times

cmurrey clothesline Flickr

Photo: cmurrey, Flickr

 

“These are tempestuous times,” she said

And her strong hands wrung the laundered sheets

To squeeze out suds

As she would want

To push out infiltrated evil.

“I’ve seen hardship before,” she stirred

The linens

In the boiling vat,

Simmering the despair

Till it foamed and evaporated

Into bleached hope.

“Wrong does not last,” she rinsed

And wrung

And shook

And hung

The wash

Till it fluttered

Free

To dry,

Only the barest of stains

Still visible

In the sun.

 

Merriam-Webster’s word for July 30, 2018:

Tempestuous

This post continues the blogging challenge in which Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day, serves as inspiration a-la the “Daily Prompt.”

Want to join me? Feel free to link to this post on your blog, and/or post a link to your blogpost in the comment section below so others can enjoy it, too. Poetry, photography, short stories, anecdotes: Go for it!

For more visibility, tag your post with #WordOfDayNY, so your post can be searchable.

“Follow” me if you want to receive future prompts, or just pop in when you’re looking for inspiration. Here’s to the fun of writing and our ever-evolving blogging community!

 

Mendel’s Messengers


PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

 

She waited.

Three teens passed, faces glued to lit screens. One murmured “sorry” when he almost bumped into her. He didn’t look up.

A mother hurried in the direction of the car park, harried by a whining toddler.

Long minutes passed. She’d walked from the bus and her legs weren’t what they used to be. She leaned onto a lamppost and closed her eyes.

“Ma’am?”

A bearded face leaned toward her. Another man behind.

“Will you help me cross the street?”

“At your service!” Both men offered their hands.

She smiled. “Mendel sent you. It’s what he used to say.”

 

 

For the Friday Fictioneers Challenge

 

What To Expect

life lived2

 

“I don’t know what to expect,” he said.

“Expect the unexpected,” the old woman smiled.

His smooth brow wrinkled,

Unconvinced but polite.

Her smile grew.

She patted his arm and sighed.

She, too, had been a greenhorn

To life

Intent on knowing

What cannot be known

Before experiences

Arrive.

 

 

 

For The Daily Post