Tchotchkes

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(Photo: Smadar Epshtein)

 

“Oh Mama, look!”

The woman raised eyes from the screen to follow her daughter’s arm. “Kitsch to the max,” she wrinkled a lip at the stall.

“But Mama!” The child checked her tone before it thinned into a whine. She loved the shoes! She would need finesse. “I mean,” she shaped a grin, “for Purim?”

Her mother shook her head. “What are going to dress as, Queen of Tchotchkes?”

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Kitsch in 69 words

 

 

Green Throne

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Not many could make stone into illusion.

She could.

Her hands carved softness into unyielding rock. Made age appear into the moss as if the stone itself shed velvet, hewed damp to seep from underneath the surface as if through the core of sighing cushions, long forgotten, left to rot.

Only it was not.

Instead of a discarded chair, it was a throne. A headstone.

A memorial to the man who’d scooped her out of orphaned desperation, who brought her here, who led her to her heart’s forgotten home.

She held the memories of his calloused hands atop her shoulders. Steadying her mallet, guiding her chisel, letting her learn. Letting her fail. Letting her know she was worthy. As was he. Just because she was.

His masonry was practical. Fences. Houses. Walls.

Hers sang to the forest floor as she carved. His armchair, reincarnated.

For eternity. Her parent of soul.

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Wrinkled Thorns

 

She always left one rosebush alone. Let the flowers bloom as they wanted, curl and unfurl as they wanted, dry and droop as they wanted.

“It is an eyesore,” her mother-in-law criticized, ever eager to point out imperfections to the daughter she did not birth and that her son had chosen to love more than he ever did the one who’d labored to bring him into the world.

“Perhaps,” she smiled, but did not yield.

Thorns and wrinkled petals seemed fitting. Frosty resentment prevented closeness, but the old woman had given life to the man she loved. It was enough.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: Dale Rogerson

 

Almost Ready

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She practiced every day the sea was calm and some days when it was not but the waves called her anyway.

“Your lips will permanently blue,” Lucy, her twin, chided.

Leena shook her head and tightened the proffered towel around her shoulders. Her fingers were numb and the damp cloth almost slipped.

Lucy sighed. She used her brooch to pin together the towel’s ends, then rubbed Leena’s back to help the blood flow. She could not dissuade her younger-by-ten-minutes sister from swimming. Leena was all stubbornness once she’d set her mind to something. But Lucy could make sure Leena did not go to the beach alone, and that someone was there to help warm her up and get her safely home.

“I’m almost ready, Lucy,” Leena gasped through chattering teeth. “Next time Cousin Ned visits, I’ll beat him to the logs. He will not get to call me Weakleena again!”

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

The List

 

“Are you sure about this?” Raymond wrinkled his nose at the parcel.

“Surer than sure!” Mara squared her shoulders. She will fight him, if need be. This was not something she was willing to back down from.

“It is morbid,” Raymond huffed.

“Yet it says so right on his bucket list,” Mara soothed, recognizing her brother’s retreat. “A coast-to-coast trip.”

“But …” Raymond shook his head in confused surrender. “I don’t think he meant to do so in an urn.”

Mara petted the label. “I’d rather err on the side of caution than be haunted by his restless ghost …”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

Respite Ride

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The sun splashed warmth onto her cheek and she raised her head in wonder. It’s been overcast for days. The rain spitting intermittently through heavy banks of fog. She has been so intent on her needle work, her thread meandering upon the canvas in search of hue-filled flower beds, that she had missed the change in weather altogether.

Her lips lifted and she put the sewing down. However jolly, the pattern was no substitute for the real tapestry that unfurled under bright light outside.

She made haste. There was no way to know how long the patches of blue sky will stay unclothed by clouds.

In the stables, Sally hoofed the earthen floor and shook her head to echo her mistress’s excitement.

“I know,” Mauve tightened the saddle on the mare. “We both of us cannot wait to take a respite ride. The paths await. The sun’s still there!”

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Long To Fade

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(Image: Alicja_ from Pixabay)

 

“Where have you been?!” her mother’s elbows speared the air like wings on a falcon, keen to dive.

The lass lowered her head and hiked her apron in an offering. The contents would not account for hours wiled away from chores, but they might reduce the heat of what promised to be imminent suffering.

“I went out to the hazel wood, because a fire was in my head,” the child demurred, unpinning one side of the apron to reveal a mound of early hazelnuts, “in eagerness to bring your favorite, Mother. Seeing how the morrow is your saint’s day.”

The woman’s scowl budged none. “A flatterer as well as an idle hand. I know a hasty crop when I see it. Now, as you are so eager, fetch a switch of hazel and I’ll give your hide a fire that will not soon fade.”

 

 

For the dVerse prosery challenge

Poetry prompt from W. B. Yeats

 

 

A Leap Of Faith

 

She always knew the road could end.

Rickety throughout, it got almost impassable in places. It was a folly, she’d been told. A fool’s errand. Doomed to fail.

The way had never been fully completed, quite possibly never fully traversed. So many had abandoned it that there would be no rest stops, no soft places to lay one’s head.

Indeed, each step confirmed the lack of maintenance.

Still, it was her path to take, her journey to attempt.

And when she faced the maw, the utter void of all support, she knew.

She could turn back.

Or she could leap.

 

 

 

For Rochelle‘s Friday Fictioneers

Photo Prompt: © Alicia Jamtaas

 

 

Topper

 

‘Twas the best spot in the woods and he was keeping to it.

Sure, it had almost no leaves and practically no protection from the wind. Sure, the branches whipped around in every breeze and let the cold sneak under the most primped up feathers.

It none of it mattered.

When he could perch up at the very top.

Surveil. Keep tabs. See things first. Unhindered by masses of pine needles or large floppy green things hiding one’s next dinner.

“See Topper there?” he heard a winger chatter at another. “He thinks he’s top banana.”

“Not banana,” Topper retorted, and puffed his chest for emphasis with not-so-hidden indignation. “Top crow!”

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

Photo prompt: Sue Vincent

 

 

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