The Key

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Photo: Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

 

It was the key that would change everything.

He only found it because Cooper, ever disobedient, had slipped the leash and ran off the trail and into the thick of the woods. Again.

Deena thought his walks in the forest were cruel.

“It is his breed’s nature to hunt scents,” she’d inevitably complain about the leash, ruining what calm there was to be had in an afternoon walk. “How can you chain him to you when he’s meant to run where his nose leads?”

In Leigh’s view, walking the canine on paved sidewalks where there was no loam or crushed insects or chipmunk poo for Cooper to breathe, was actually far crueler. And so, like they often did when it came to disagreements, they ended up taking the easier way out by splitting the walks between them.

Deena would walk Cooper in the mornings in the neighborhood, where the most the dog could sniff was garbage cans and the occasional fellow leashed-pooch’s butt. Leigh walked him after work, and almost always in the direction of the woods, where in some ways they were both of them at home and both straining against some kind of leash.

It wasn’t perfect and sometimes it was lonely, but he preferred it that way. Quieter. With none of Deena’s nattering about minutia that he found excruciatingly boring to listen to and only slightly less indecent to ignore.

Not that he’d say that to her. Life was better when some observations were kept to oneself.

Like about keys …

He’d been running after Cooper when he tripped on an exposed root. A stream of words he’d learned while serving on a Navy ship spilled out of his mouth, when a shape manifested on the leaf-strewn forest floor. And it was as if a switch flipped and turned his mouth dumb.

He swallowed but there was nothing. His body shuddered with the memories of how quickly a mouth can turn devoid of moisture. That, too, he’d learned while serving on the ship.

He shook it off to make the involuntary shaking into an act of volition. Still his heart whooshed in his ears as he took a knee to the wet ground and reached for the key.

He didn’t know how long he remained frozen, fingers hovering without actually touching the bit of metal. Long enough for Cooper to return to investigate. Because the next thing  Leigh was aware of was Cooper’s wet nose, sniffing at the object of his master’s interest, licking Leigh’s fingers, breathing on his cheek.

“Move,” Leigh nudged the canine gently out of the way.

And Cooper, for once respectful without bribery, obeyed, and stretched with head on paws, his tongue dangling and his long body smeared with something Leigh noted to himself in passing would need scrubbing off with soap before being allowed back indoors.

“It’s the key, Cooper,” Leigh whispered. He was awed. He was aghast. “But how?”

It’s been eight years, five months, and two days since he’d lost it. On a different continent, in what felt a different world, in the middle of a battle, and not two hours after he’d sworn to his dying best friend that he would guard it with his life and bring it home to the fiance Mark had left behind.

“It was to be my wedding gift to Deena,” Mark had gasped, fighting for every breath. “She doesn’t know about it. I was waiting to tell her. It’s the key to my safe.”

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: Key

 

Tea Time

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Inle Lake, Myanmar (Photo: Julien de Salaberry on Unsplash)

 

Arkar waited. The sky, his namesake, spread gray and calm above him.

Sometimes it took Dachen a little longer to make it. No matter.

Long breaths passed. A dog barked in the distance. Children laughed, and Arkar thought of the first time he’d met Dachen. They were but boys themselves then. Dachen had just come to live with his grandparents, who lived downstream from Arkan’s childhood home. The old folk enfolded the young orphan. “Our great joy, he is, true to his name.”

Dachen was as gregarious as Arkar was shy. They balanced each other. Then and since.

A pat sounded and Arkar lifted his pole in welcome. Dachen neared and expertly swiveled his boat to face Arkar’s.

“Twelve fish today,” Dachen’s face shone. He accepted a cup from Arkar. “Two big ones here for your wife.”

Arkar smiled his thanks. For the fish. For his friend. “Tea time?”

 

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Myanmar

 

 

Whale Of A Time

Photo prompt: Dale Rogerson

 

Finally.

They sent the younger children on their way. They cleaned up after breakfast. Hung the wash. Made the bed. Picked up after the husband, the father in law, the older sons (who in almost all cases were sprawled, asleep, with an empty plate of this or that by their side, as boys of certain ages seem to be).

The market waited. And the dinner to start. But for the next hour, there was just them. Their gossip. Their shared stories of the minutia of struggles and laughter.

It was their sanity’s lifeline, midday at Juanita’s “Whale Of A Time.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

Five Years Ago

Carol

Carol Hornig: Much loved, deeply missed

 

Five years ago today

You passed on

Into effervescent light,

Boundless love,

And joyful belly laughs.

 

It is no wonder, for

You have lived light, even

Through deep pain.

You have breathed

Unconditional

Love

And nourished all you’d met

Along your path.

You have gifted us all with your

Laughter,

Your glorious heart.

 

You are now

One

With it all,

In the place your soul

Must have always known

As home.

 

 

Warmer Together

April snow2 NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Come and play

In the snowdrifts

And the cold

Will not bite

We are warmer

Together

And will sleep well

Tonight.

 

 

 

Note: No filter was used. This is the original photo of the colors that day.

 

For Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Hot and/or Cold

 

Heart Memories

Kathtyn and Carol Jan08

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Good friends to me,

To each other,

Their hearts and souls

Brimming love.

A decade passed

Since this photo,

And both had grown

Angel wings.

Sweet moments

Of memories

That won’t ever

Depart.

 

 

Dedicated to Kathryn and Carol, forever thankful to have known you. You are forever in my heart.

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Memories

 

Fall Friends

Foliage 2018 8b NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Side by side

They keep near

In the wind

In the rain.

Limb to limb

They hold hands,

Close company

They maintain.

Friends in all

Friends in fall.

 

 

For The Sunday Trees Challenge

 

Evening Friends

Friends Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Come on friend

We will walk

On this sand

To the end

Of the earth

And return

Just before

A new night

Falls again.

 

 

For the RDP Thursday Challenge: Friend

 

Be With

Friendship Craft DiklaNachmias

Photo: Dikla Nachmias

 

When someone needs,

May you be there

May you be with.

When it is you who needs,

May someone be there for you

To be with.

 

For Nurturing Thursday

 

 

Caffeinated Mist

Coffee Tzur Moriah

Photo: Tzur Moriah

 

Come the peak

Of a morning

Perched atop

Milky alps,

A mug of brew

And its message

Wakes the mind

Warms the heart.

 

 

For the Friday RDP Challenge: Coffee