A Reservoir Of Fate

gunton-well CrispinaKemp

 

Mauve wondered what lay behind the walls. The structure was heavily surrounded by briars, vines, and weeds that would leave welts on anyone who tried to make their way through them. Though many of the plants seemed native to the area, she couldn’t avoid the feeling that their placement and proliferation was intentional.

She saw no opening. The smooth walls were obviously water tight, and the pipe that drained into the small semi-circular pool hinted at some kind of reservoir. But who would build one and leave no means of entry? Why? Why in the forest?

“‘Tis magic water,” Mrs. Ainsley explained that night, wooden spoon stirring pots over the fire.

Was the old woman joking? Mauve couldn’t see her face.

“I would not drink it,” the enigmatic bed-and-breakfast hostess added. “Too potent. But rinse your feet in it if you wish. Been known to change some young folks’ fate.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Soul Archeology

vista SueVincent

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

They were literally walking on the bones of ancient past.

The bones of actual ancients, too, if you want to be exact about it.

He contemplated telling Liz then decided she was more likely to be spooked than awed by the notion. So he let the soles of his trekking boots crunch wordless greetings with each step, and he set his mind to wonder, radar-style, about the centuries he could not see and so few even knew about, yet lay here for every person to experience. Literally. Through the mounds. These monuments to earlier.

It was an odd thing. History.

Will others one day tread upon the remnants of his, and will any ever stop to wonder about the life he’d lived, the vistas his eyes had feasted on, the memories he’d placed into the air with every exhalation?

If so, what would they think, and how did he feel about the possibility?

Not great, he realized. Especially if those future humans would by then have skills for viewing molecules of thoughts or the equivalent … His mind, unearthed, would be a bit like having archeologists come across a buried midden: plenty of data, but far from being the end one would wish presented for scrutiny.

He shuddered. More from shame than worry.

“These are man-made,” Liz noted from behind. The path was narrow and they could only walk single-file.

He nodded, unsure whether she had misinterpreted his reaction or — as she sometimes could be — was eerily on point.

“I wonder if they had intended for anyone to walk on these,” Liz added.

He stopped. There was something in her voice. A fullness.

He turned to her. Her cheeks were wet. Her eyes were red. How long has she been crying?

Her lips turned up at what she must have seen in his expression. “I’m fine, Shawn,” she breathed. “It is just that there’s a sense of spirit pushing like a memory-foam against my feet …”

His own eyes filled and he shook his head, surprised at the emotion.

“See?”

“I do,” he nodded, reached for her hand.

The fields below them stretched wide and green to the horizon. The air sighed with the scents of grass and rain and years and sun.

“This place,” he braved, “it makes me want to be a better man.”

 

 

 

 

For Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto

 

 

 

Window Washing

Photo prompt @ A. Noni Mouse

 

Her husband thought she loved to cook, which she did, but not exactly. He thought she liked the cleaning up after, which she did not, or not for the reasons he believed.

She didn’t correct him. It worked right fine for her that he would sigh contentedly after they had finished eating, and then transfer his happy belly to the den to read the paper or watch some TV.

Washing up gave her the perfect place.

Her neighbor, body glistening, exercising in the room he’d made into a gym, its window facing her sink.

She thought of it as dessert.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

Nailed It

stable-door CrispinaKemp

Photo: Crispina Kemp

 

He could never abide a wiggle.

Not a wriggle. Not a waver. Not the smallest bit of leeway.

Give an inch they’ll want a mile. He was one for nipping any jiggle in the bud.

Sure, the place was old, but it was built a-sturdy, and it stood the test of time. A war. A drought. A famine. Years could lend a touch of wrinkle, but that was no excuse for creaky hinges or a swinging that was anything but right.

Doors should no more need replacing than the people who had built them. Neither ought be done away with when they’re ripe.

So at the very start of wobbling, he cut a bar to measure, took the hammer and the odd-and-ends crate, and firmly nailed the wood across the geriatric slats.

Not unlike the way the surgeon had patched his hip and clinched his femur on to that.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

City Witty

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

“You see those?”

“I sure do.”

“Well, that’s where they’d come through.”

“Don’t think I believe you.”

“Well then, just wait and see.”

“Until when would that be?”

“Sometimes ‘tween two and three.”

“What? Are you kidding me!?”

 

“It’s the city, my friend

And this is not West End …

Alligators won’t poke their head

Till the green light’s delayed.

Sure, they value the park,

The reservoir in the dark,

And the nice scratchy spark

From a bit of tree bark …

But you’d agree it is best

To let most traffic rest

‘Fore you poke scaly breasts

Onto Central Park West.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers  –  Thanks for picking my photo of my ‘hood’!

And for those who want more … about this snippet of lore about Alligators living in the tunnels underneath the city … click on the ‘gator below …

The Light On

Photo: Sue-Z

 

They left the corner light on at night.

A habit.

A ritual.

An understanding.

The stone path had been there before they bought the property, and the remains of a lantern post. It was right where they’d wanted a vegetable garden, and so at first the plan was to plow the area clear and remove the slabs and pebbles.

But then the hoe broke.

And then the belt on the mower.

And then there was the matter of their daughter’s bellowing every time they tried to work on that part of the yard.

She was barely two at the time. Not quite talking. And yet she managed to throw “No! No!” tantrums and pull at their clothing and plop herself in utter-toddler-dejection right onto where they aimed to work.

“You best give up,” their neighbor nodded her warty chin, sage eyes not unkind in understanding.

It was the Fair Ones, she explained. They had their own paths. Their own energy highways.

“The ancients had marked it. To hold space and to deter the mischief. It is easier. And the young ones can still see.”

They left the light on.

Repaired the path.

Moved the vegetable garden.

Life was better calm.

 

 

 

For Sunday Photo Fiction

 

 

If Tied

gatepost CrispinaKemp

 

“If tied,” she said, “come by.”

“If not…?” he asked.

Her shake of head stilled any of the questions he had swirling inside his. It cooled his urge to argue. He knew it wouldn’t help. He knew it would only make what was already unlikely, impossible.

In the days that followed he found every reason to visit the gatepost. He wasn’t meant to come too close, but the nearby field offered cloves that his mare suddenly required, and there were numerous trips to town that merited taking exactly the dirt road that hugged parts of the property.

He drooped with every thread-less passing.

He couldn’t sleep.

He felt angry, worried, sick.

Till one day, as he rode by on an errand for a parcel, he saw it. A pink thread. Tied.

Her parents relenting.

They’d let him court her. Even though his father, in his drunkenness, had killed their son.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Small Fry

eggcelent-from-todd-foltz

Photo prompt: Todd Foltz

 

“Are you sure it will work?”

Tim’s chin bobbed up and down enthusiastically.

A bit too enthusiastically. It looked suspiciously like an I’m-clueless-but-want-to-pretend-I’m-not kind of nod.

Benny frowned. He had a bad feeling about the whole plan. “I still think we should have brought a proper pan.”

“Nah,” Tim waved his hand and pointed to the ball of molten orange glaring at them from the horizon. The light shimmered. “They said it was going to be hot enough to fry eggs.”

“In the carton? Don’t you need to crack them first?”

Tim shrugged. “We can always make hard boiled ones.”

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

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

 

 

Top Dweller

Photo prompt © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

She peered anxiously through the glass. He should have called someone. Who climbs up metal ladders in this frost? What if he falls? Breaks something? Who would care for him? Care for her?

She pressed a knuckle to her mouth, too afraid to call out lest her voice startled him.

“Aha!”

The sound came with a ladder-wobble and she almost screamed. How can he do this to her? He knows she cannot stand to be stressed!

A moment later his foot descended.

Wobble.

Stop.

Wobble.

Next.

Then his elbow.

With a miserable-looking kitten cradled in the crook of his arm.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers