The Gall

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(Photo: Abigail on Unsplash)

 

She steamed and paced and stomped and stewed.

The temerity. The audacious liberties he’d taken.

It was one thing to sell the house.

Another, to have removed her name from the deed.

To have kept the change hidden.

Her parents’ house, no less.

The place of hers – not his – childhood.

Cruelty was why she’d left him.

But this?

He, vacationing on islands.

She and the children, homeless.

 

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Temerity in 69 words.

 

 

Wild Away

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Margot leaned closer to examine the stake. Her smile grew.

The child should be called Gretel, with such clues.

Then again, Margot was no evil stepmom. Or at least, not evil … The two of them couldn’t help not being biologically related.

Not any more than the girl could help being wild.

The social worker believed the latter a hindrance. Understandable, perhaps, given how many placements the child had lost. The system found it inconvenient to have a lass with more wilderness than tameness, who needed space and took it. Knowing Grenadine’s history, how could they not see why she’d tolerate no leash?

“This child will run away,” the social worker had warned when Margot said she’ll have her. “You’re so rural, you’d have no help keeping her contained.”

Margot had no plan to do so.

The child was free. The sticker meant that she’d be home by dinner.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

The Addition

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(Photo: Simona Roubkova on Unsplash)

 

“What are you going to do with this thing?”

Leah shrugged, and watched as Marty circled the addition to their household, arms behind his back in what she thought of as his ‘Wannabee Inspector General.’

“It is useless,” he muttered.

“It is cute,” she said, and chuckled at the horror on his face. “In its own way, at least.”

For to be fair, the poor creature would win no beauty contests. Patchy hair, droopy eyelid, bloated abdomen. But there was a trusting glint in the blue eye, and a gentleness that sought her heart and hooked it.

“You’d do it mercy to put it down.”

“I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being,” Leah challenged. “If we can be of help, why not even try?”

She reached down to pet the pup. “Her name’s Pat.”

 

 

Prosery prompt: “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” — Wisława Szymborska, “Possibilities”

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

Reprieve

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She lifted her face to the sun and felt the vibrant scents of waves and freedom fill her lungs. The whole of her relaxed as if on cue. Pre-programmed. Indelibly tuned in to the whoosh of ocean breath that she could not yet see but every cell within her remembered.

Her heart swelled and her chest rose, liberated.

The moment coursed through her in liquid satisfaction.

Surf. Ebb. Swish. Flow. Hiss. Sand-licking waves.

Another inhalation of the salty tang and behind her she could hear the sounds of other people readying to take the path from car-park to sand. A child protested. A man’s voice soothed. A door slammed. A moment later a discordant melody of feet clip-clopped onto the faded wooden slats, drumming a crescendo of expectation through her bare feet.

The beach.

A needed reprieve.

At home at last by the ocean where her soul had always lived.

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

No Country Bumpkin

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Photo by Eric Muhr on Unsplash

 

She was not a country bumpkin

Though she aspired to

Be one.

So she dressed the part

And practiced

How to walk and talk

In twang,

And she hoped to look

Uncultured

To the folk stopping

In store,

So they’d believe

She was

Hardcore.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: bum

 

 

Not Much

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Photo prompt: © Jennifer Pendergast

 

There was nothing left to stay for.

Not much to pack, but still he managed to stuff the duffel with odds and ends. More for feel than for utility.

He won’t be coming back.

The empty cars stood, cooling, on the rails. There was an echo in his bones even with no movement. Even without any sound.

He scanned for danger. One never knew, and he had had enough surprises.

When nothing stirred, he climbed aboard. The metal floor smelled of pee and rats, but at least he’d sleep with a wall at his back tonight, a door barred shut.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Bobby’s Boonies

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Photo: Nolan Krattinger on Unsplash

 

He never thought he’d feel that way. But there he was, besotted by life in the hinterland, buoyed by the boondocks.

Who’d have believed the sticks could end up so satisfying? Sure, he gave up the sunny beaches, but while his city pals squeezed onto small spaces on the sand to swelter in the summer sizzle; he could splash right in his backyard stream, in his birthday-suit if desired.

Then there were vegetables from the garden. The birds’ song. The quiet. He had discovered his inner bumpkin.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Hinterland in 87 words

 

 

River Run

 

She could not sleep for the excitement.

A dream come true. A lifelong prayer answered.

She lost count of the times they’d gone without, made do with little. They saved. They scrounged. They worked. They sought. They searched. They found.

Only to be turned down. Back onto the merry-go-round.

It was not for sale. It was too old. It was rotten. It was tied up in legal battles. It was too large. Too steeply priced. Too small.

She almost lost hope.

Then this. Beat up and needing some work. Their Goldilocks perfection.

He didn’t want to sell. His late wife’s boat. Her family’s name. Nope.

They begged. They pleaded. They tried to explain.

Finally … he relented. Perhaps they wore him down.

They drew the contract. Argued. Fretted. Signed.

The boat was theirs.

“You must rename her,” he stressed, pen in hand.

Of course.

Tomorrow it will become her River Run.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Make It Home

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Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

They strung up the hammock, and called it home.

There was a tent.

There was shade.

There was view.

There was fresh air.

And in the morning, sparkly tears of dew.

It wasn’t much, perhaps.

With a long trek to get water,

And so a lot to learn. Anew.

Still, they made do.

 

There had been little time to plan,

After they got the letter.

It was pay up, in whole,

Or let the owed sum fetter

Their everything into

Being a forever debtor.

So they packed what they owned

And drove away

With broken hearts and eyes the wetter.

 

At least here,

Even with no walls

There was shelter.

Which was, already,

Better.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Home in 114 words

 

 

 

 

Central Park, New York City

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Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Where waters tide

‘Round canyons

Carved by time

And ice,

Other canyons

Rise

Man-made

To tickle skies.

 

Where greenery

Respite to

Millions

Provides,

Sleep memories

Of others

Who used to there

Reside.

 

Where footfalls mask

The horns of cars

And rustles hold

More sway,

There breathes the city

That like me

Many call home

Today.

 

 

 

For the dVerse challenge: take me with you