Her Ants

(Photo: Hans-Peter Gauster on Unsplash)

 

She has ants

In her pants.

Restless thoughts

Writing plots.

No surprise

Her brain fries,

Daily grind

Flying blind.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: restless in 19 words

 

A Long Way Down

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“This place will never do,” Aaron shook his head.

“It’ll have to,” Ella tucked the edges of frustration back into the crevices that practice had made almost foolproof. Almost. One could not get complacent.

She’d seen what happened when one did, and the cost was never worth the temptation of release.

“We’ll make it work,” she added before Aaron could add argument to what they both knew will have to be managed anyway.

The steep plot of thicket-covered land was all they had. A measly inheritance, perhaps, but better than the debtor’s jail … and the ways one had to pay debts with one’s body. Piecemeal. By the hour. By the man. They could neither of them survive it again.

“It is a long way down,” Aaron acquiesced. “The stairs are rotted.”

“A longer way up for those who do not know the path,” Ella smiled. “We’ll do fine.”

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

Only Cooler

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(Photo: Chagit Moriah Gibor)

 

It was going to be a gargantuan effort, but that had never stopped her before.

No matter what others always said she could do.

The skis were first. Adjusted to work over the wheels like skids on seaplanes. Only cooler.

Literally.

She slid through the ice and snow to find a clean patch. Shoveled up the snow onto her lap to press into a ball. Rolled and patted. Devised a ramp and pulley to hoist the second ball. Plopped on the third. Poked in twigs.

There.

Lopsided, but so was she.

Her snowman. Wheelchair be damned.

 

 

 

For Sammi‘s Weekend Writing Prompt: Gargantuan in 96 words

 

 

Fall Festive

 

It was barely fully fall but the weather seemed intent on ensuring none of them would be able to ignore the coming winter. Morning frost. Freezing rain. Evening flurries. Weekend snow.

“So much for global warming,” Moise moaned.

“It’s Climate Change, Pops,” Ben interjected. “It makes mayhem to let us know how much we’d messed things up.”

“Whatever it does,” the older man waved at the window, “it is not as it should be.”

“Perhaps,” Bernice entered with arms full of pine bows, lights, and tinsel, “but we can still make it as festive as we want in the interim.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

A Walk And A Bite

 

boy-fishing CrispinaKemp

 

“I’m going out for a walk and a bite,” he said.

No one answered.

Not that he expected anyone to. It was just a habit. A way of hearing his own voice. A way of reminding himself he still had one to use. A connection to other times and places. 

And people.

It’s been a while since there was anyone home who could reply.

He took the fishing rod and pail. “It’s time to go,” he said to the bait. “I see you ate the leaves I left you yesterday. Good job!”

The spider on the eaves stirred when he shut the door. “You keep an eye,” he saluted with the rod and chuckled. “More than one, since you have them.”

The evening light was soft. The lake was quiet. The water had barely a ripple.

“Hello there, swimmers,” he greeted. “Who would come to keep my gullet company tonight?”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Untended

 

“He gets the room behind the bush,” Mama ordered.

“But Mama,” Samantha tried, “we’re in the country now.”

Mama shook her head.

Samantha swallowed a sigh. This was the middle of nowhere. No neighbors. No roads. Old growth all around. Barely a dirt path to the cottage from behind the barn.

There will be no arguing with Mama.

She caught Daniel’s eye. He did his little special wink at her and she wanted to cry. He was comforting her even though it would be he who will be stuck in a room with barely light and zero view.

His eyes flicked toward the barn, and she understood — at least in the house he’d be warm, where she could keep an eye. At least Mama wasn’t hiding him in the barn.

Mama could not stand his disfigurement. Reminder of the fire she did not tend. The baby she let burn.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

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

 

 

Square One

st-olaves-mill CrispinaKemp

 

“You’ll have to climb up there to fix it,” Shelly’s voice made clear he did not think the climbing or the fixing would do any good.

Bertie sighed. It was none of it ever simple. Not with Shelly. Not with him.

Mama prophesied it when his brother was born wrinkled, whimpering, and without a dad.

“You’ll have to watch out for him,” she’d announced to four-year-old Bertie. “You’re his older brother now.”

Then mama, too, was gone, and left them with their uncle and their scowling aunt, who did not need two more butts to wipe or wallop, and Bertie had his work cut out for him. Then, and now.

Shelly couldn’t help being pessimistic. At least Bertie had had some years of motherly love.

“It’ll work,” Bertie promised, climbed.

The windmill spun. Lights came on. Then the new cable caught and tore and they were back to square one.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Gone Swimming

Photo prompt © Jean L. Hays

 

She spent the day swimming, buoyed by the swell and fall of waves, kissed by the spray of salt, caressed by playful bursts of wind as silvery bodies and slick flippers dipped and slid and spun beside her.

The sun warmed the top of her head, then the tip of her nose and the crests of her knees as she turned to rest and float and face it.

It was like living in a dream.

And it was. A dream.

The stained glass in the open door a portal to what was. The ventilator sighed. She could no longer swim.

 

 

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