Stumped

 

“We shouldn’t do this.”

Laura pulled the ax out of her backpack.

“Stop! It’ll hurt the tree!”

Laura directed a querying finger at the wormy stump before planting her feet and lifting the tool.

Monique stepped closer.

“Don’t be daft,” Laura sighed. But she did lower her arms and gave her little sister a long look.

Monique’s eyes glittered. The gal was going to cry. Over a tree stump.

Then again, she’d bawled over a crushed ant and pouted for a week after Laura ate the goose’s egg.

“The bark will compost.” Laura tried. “And … we need fire wood.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo: © Sandra Crook

 

 

Inked

pierre-bamin--ltjzTfhpCI-unsplash

(Photo: Pierre Bamin on Unsplash)

 

When voice failed and

She could no longer

Think

She turned to

Ink

For words on velum

Scribbled

Fast

Translated

Into heart.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Ink in 22 words

 

Not All

 

“We must cancel!” Ruth’s voice was reedy with tension.

“We must not!” Tomas retorted more sharply than he’d intended.

Ruth flinched and turned away. Her shoulders trembled.

Tomas wanted to kick himself. “I’m sorry, Love,” he tried.

Her head shook, but she turned back to him and buried her face in his chest.

“It is all ruined,” she sobbed, pointing at the storm’s devastation.

“Not all,” he wrapped arms around her.

A long breath shuddered, then Ruth’s eyes, glistening, found his.

“No, not all,” she repeated. Breathed.

His own knees weakened. His Ruth of Awe and Fire.

His bride. Today.

 

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Brenda Cox

 

Home, Sweet Home

 

“There’s plenty of room,” Zoe insisted.

Easy for you to say, Dana sniffed. Zoe was five foot nothing in heels and reed thin. Dana sat on planes with knees bumping her chin.

Zoe slunk between people like an oiled spaghetti, unlatched a gate, and scampered down metal stairs.

“Wait!” Dana bumbled in her wake, apologetic. She must have stepped on five pedestrians’ toes and hit another with her bag.

The basement studio was airless, dark, and smelled of garlic and Bok choy. Dana was sure she could touch both walls with outstretched arms.

“Welcome, Roomie!” Zoe announced. “Home, sweet home!”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © Roger Bultot

 

 

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

snowtwigman ChagitMoriahGibor (2)

(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