Sardines

Photo prompt © Fatima Fakier Deria

 

“We’ll never all fit,” Sultana groaned.

“Lots of room!” the driver boomed encouragement even as he tightened screws underneath the van.

“C’mon!” Mariam elbowed past her cousin and climbed onto the vehicle, parcels and a flapping hen in hand. “Next one isn’t till dawn.”

Sultana looked around as if better conveyance would miraculously manifest. None did. She sighed, grabbed her packages and hoisted the bleating kid under an arm. She squeezed aboard, the last one on, with barely room enough to sit down.

The door slammed. The goat peed, soaking her lap.

It’ll be a long ride to Jaddati’s farm.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

 

Rudy’s SOS

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Photo: Keith Channing

 

It was a quiet early hour at Headquarters.

Bernice was doing her nails. Bertrand had a foot perched on his desk and was clipping his toenails. Benny was (as always) squinting into one of his miniature rice grain paintings. Bella was snoring. Bonita was munching on crackers. Bruno was belittling Baron’s game-score. And Brittney, brittle as usual, was cradling the radio’s earphones even as she browsed the internet for interesting short film ideas.

Suddenly the switchboard sounded jingle bells and lit up in flashing green, red, and gold.

A Santa call!

In her fluttery rush to respond, Brittney almost dropped the microphone.

Bruno dove to save it. Those things were brilliant but brutally expensive. None of them wanted it docked from their pay for negligent breakage.

“North Pole,” he breathed into the mouthpiece.

“SOS! SOS!” The reedy voice could only be from one origin.

“Rudolph?!” Bruno rolled his eyes and hit the speaker button. The reindeer’s dramatic flair was brilliantly entertaining. “What are you doing on the radio? You know you’re not permitted.”

The radio screeched as Rudolph must have cranked the volume to its maximum.

“Shut up, shut up!! You moron! SOS! SOS!”

Bernice dropped her polish. Bertrand cursed. Benny’s rice grain rolled off the tray. Bella fell off her recliner. Bonita choked. Brittney fainted. Baron stared.

Rudolph was colorful but he was not prone to cursing.

Bruno’s cleared his throat.

“Sheesh, Rudy. Is it really an emergency?”

“Are you deaf? It’s an SOS!! Code Red. Code Red. Santa Off Sled. The darn temporary ladder that Brenda borrowed from Pottery Barn broke. Santa’s hanging by a thread! Send Feathered Fairy Fred!”

 

 

 

For Kreative Cue 240

 

 

Let Spirits Fly

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Photo: Kacper Szczechla on Unsplash

 

Then

Came just the perfect time

For snowy charm

To let its spirits

Fly

On high,

And make the wind bend

Trees and

Set tardy leaves to

Sway

Astray,

As Fair Folk sprinkle

Flaky frost and

Set aflame a winter’s

Dance.

I am

Entranced.

 

 

 

For the dVerse Quadrille Challenge: Spirited

 

 

Ode to Morphology

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Photo: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

Ode to the needed application

Of distinctive word formation

And appropriate derivation

(With Speech Pathology implications

For morphological miscalculation).

Because without the permutations

Of root words in combination

And grammatical allocation,

There’d be much missed in

Communication.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Morphology in 37 words

Note: As a Speech-Language Pathologist, this writing prompt would have been absolutely impossible to not take on! 🙂

 

Ring-a-marole

 

“Why’d they do that?”

“‘Twas needful.”

Sheri twisted her skinny braid around her finger. It was the one benefit of having really fine hair. She could get it to loop five times while Marina only could loop hers twice. Long fingers helped, too. Marina’s were chunky. From Dad’s side. “Needful how?”

“Protect the tree, this does.”

“From what?” There was nothing in their end of the park.

“From whom, more like.”

Sheri unwound her braid and stuck the edge of it in her mouth.

“Mom doesn’t like it when you do that.”

“Mom isn’t here,” Sheri stated. Besides, her sister was just jealous because her own hair was too short to suck on. “Protect from who? And why?”

“‘Tis for me to know and for you to find out,” Marina regarded the ring of metal stakes, the tree, her sister’s face.

“You plain don’t know,” Sheri stomped, frustrated.

Marina smiled.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s CCC challenge #55

 

 

Nervous Nelly

https://i1.wp.com/sundayphotofiction.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/DeAnnaGossman-chicken-cat.jpg?resize=768%2C576&ssl=1

Photo: courtesy of DeAnna Gossman

 

“I’m telling you, Nym. She isn’t coming back.”

“But her drinking vessel is here.”

They both knew that she never strayed too far from it or for too long. There was even some liquid left in it.

Nelly made a doubting sound that gave him an urge to scratch her. Instead, he sniffed and looked again.

And of course the drinking vessel was still there, unemptied. It was the kind designed to not allow them any actual sipping. Not that he’d want to. The stuff that went into it was odoriferous and generally undrinkable. It wasn’t even real blood.

Still, it would be nice if she didn’t lock her drinks that way. It was insulting.

He’d tried to dip and lick once, but the one legged vessel was too tall and wobbly, and it tipped and rolled and fell and broke into small bits of ice that cut his tender flesh when he’d tried to walk on it. If he’d wanted to taste blood there were better ways for it than being reduced to licking his own.

He never got too close to one again.

“Come, Nelly,” he soothed his anxious, clucking friend. “We’ll nap now. I’m sure she’ll return.”

 

 

 

For Sunday Photo Fiction

 

 

Upending

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Brugge, Belgium (Photo: Libby Penner on Unsplash)

 

Some call this city “Venice of the North,” but they don’t know the other direction this town goes, and it is not one of the winds.

I know, because I’ve seen it.

Seen what lies beneath the streets, glazed over by blind eyes of tourists snapping photos, dismissed by those who should know better yet still refuse to view.

For the ones beneath need acknowledgement to manifest. Not trust, recognition.

I know, because I don’t trust them. Not one bit. And yet they are there, plain as anything: The Upenders.

They’ve been here before people, and they expect you pay respects. Their mirage is reflected in the still waters of the canals, and when you let yourself go below the floor, beyond the basement, they’ll reveal themselves. If you won’t visit, beware. For when you least expect, they’ll rise to flip yours over, resentful of a willful ignorance of Upending.

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Belgium

 

Kiss Bliss

Frog Ready for a kiss AnneToet

Photo: Anne Toet

 

Time had arrived

To make the shift

From frog

To handsome

Prince,

But then the kiss

When it was dished

Kept Frog’s

Amphibian

Bliss.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Fantasy

 

 

What She Ought

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Photo: Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

 

She looked so fraught

I thought she fought

For what she brought.

She apparently did not

But then still she almost forgot

To tell me of some fish she’d caught

And how distraught

The worms she bought

Were at the thought

That she decided that she ought

Just put potatoes

In the pot.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS challenge: “ght”