By The Books

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Photo: MoneyforCoffee on Pixabay

 

Now that it was all hers, she wanted none of it.

She didn’t give an iota for questions or neighbors’ looks.

Out went the furniture. The clothing. The towels.

The reminders of swindlers and rooks.

She got rid of the bedding, the shelving,

The whole kit and caboodle in numerous crannies and nooks.

There was naught in the house for her

But memories of pain and emotional hooks.

She cleaned out the lot

And left only the books.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Caboodle in 78 words

 

Unsuitable For Your Kind

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(Photo: Kristian Strand on Unsplash)

 

“The best,” the man swept a heavy arm across the offerings.

“And there?” the woman gestured at the shadows.

“Nothing worth your time, Madam.” He looked pointedly at her tailored attire, “Unsuitable for your kind.”

“Nonsense,” she ordered.

He frowned but snapped his fingers. “Silvia!”

The child looked underfed even in comparison to the other orphans.

“Trouble,” he warned. “Used up her chances twice.”

“Or,” the woman smiled, “very insufficiently pre-loved.”

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Pre-loved in 71 words

 

 

Self Employed

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“This is not what we invested all that tuition money for, Robert.”

His mother’s voice remained soft, even pleasant. One may think she was but mildly annoyed.

Rob knew better.

It was the same voice that had sent his boyhood self to the attic without dinner for the slightest infraction. That left a small child to shiver there through endless winter nights. That told his father to retrieve the paddle and “do what needed to be done to make a man of an ungrateful son.”

“I am sorry, Mother,” Rob bowed politely in her direction. Bowed just enough to let her know that he no longer cared nor feared her. “I had made it clear that your plans did not fit mine.”

“Your father expects a partner,” she stated. Ordered.

“That ship had sailed, Mother,” he replied. “I bought the farm. I’ll be my own man. Chart my own course.”

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

In Every Dawn

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(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

The light spun silent waves

Of day

Into her heart,

Her chambers slowly opening

Their delicate petals

To sing

The morning’s chant.

There is a hope,

She knows,

In every dawn.

Its breath imparting

An oasis

And a coming home.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Oasis in 40 words

 

Sitting Duck

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“It has no feathers.”

“Of course it doesn’t,” Molly noted. “It’s a duckling. It has fuzz.”

Duffy was not impressed. The small thing was squeaky and looked utterly too squeashy. She wasn’t even sure it was waterproofed.

She shook her head. She never was good with small squeaky, squeashy, clingy things.

“It’s only for a short while,” Molly’s voice was soft, but Duffy recognized the little waves of irritation that signaled turbulence just underneath the surface.

Best not mess with that.

Duffy sighed and peered closely at the fuzzball. “So what am I supposed to do with it?”

Molly flapped with such relief that Duffy wasn’t sure whether to be reassured or terrified.

“Just keep it out of trouble,” her sister called, already on the wing.

“What kind? How…?”

Silence.

Then a squeak.

The fuzzball waddled, pooped, and attempted to preen its zero feathers. Ridiculous.

Her nephew.

Also kinda’ cute.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Make The Move

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Rupert had always taken things too literally.

Now she would be stuck with the same leak around the toilet bowl when the boys flush a bit too long; with the same creaky closet door that slithers nightmares in her dreams when Mat-The-Cat decides to make a bed of laundered linen; and with the crooked shelf in the pantry that requires a perfected fold of cardboard to ensure the flour box does not slide off.

It never was the outside scenery she needed changing.

She watched one half roll by and realized she did not care to wait for the other.

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt © Ted Strutz

 

Initiation

 

“Close your eyes. Feel the levers of the earth move with you,” Moria deposited the words like diamonds lined on velvet cloth.

Lianne obeyed the first. Tried hard for the second. But all she felt were the tremors in her body, bare skin shuddering against penetrating morning chill. And the fear.

“Breathe in the cold, breathe out the worry.” The old woman’s voice affected little compassion, yet there was no shaming in it. Just instruction.

Lianne tried, but her shaking only intensified. Perhaps I am not ready, she fretted.

“You are ready,” Moria stated.

Lianne gasped. Could her mentor read her mind?

“No, but I’ve seen enough initiates.”

The elder’s chuckle, puncturing the solemn task, somehow eased Lianne’s mind. Her body calmed. Her eyes relaxed behind the wrap. Her toes curled around the softness of the mossy ground. The bottom step offered a damp welcome.

“Better. Now climb.”

 

 

 

 

For Crispina‘s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

The Bobblins

 

The moon hid on the night they lit the Bobblins. Nature’s cold dark shoulder. Though Gary said it was Luna’s way of lending them the main stage free of luminescent interference.

Renee still felt a shudder run down her spine.

It was the depths of it.

The weight of memories that bobbed and swayed and listed ever so slightly over the mirrored pond.

Even the wind ceased. For the moment.

Was it, too, leaving the stage free of routine rustling, the air’s microphone open to the whispers of the babies, cocooned in color coded pastel uteri, waiting to be born?

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Photo prompt: © David Stewart

 

 

Passing Through

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(Photo: Sue Vincent)

 

She stood before the wall. The exit. The entry.

Hesitant though the thunder of her heart under her chin sang of excitement.

And trepidation.

For how could she not be somewhat wary, going where she was about to.

The unseen.

The hoped for.

The warned of.

The dreamed about.

For she had dreamed of it, as many do and perhaps feel reluctant to share, for fear of hastening what is inevitable or courting what is feared.

She never did find death’s door to be morbid.

It was another entrance.

An adventure all would take and may as well embrace.

She stood before the oval opening. Ready to exit the womb of this world, perhaps be reborn.

The light receded.

The door creaked.

She passed through

To the unknown.

 

 

For the WritePhoto challenge … and for Sue, in her time of transition … We’re all here holding you in light and love.

 

Speed Dating

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He was the shy one of the waddling. Afraid to take the lead or be left behind, he maintained his place in the middle of their paddling, webbed feet rowing furiously as to not lose his place.

“Too tightly wound, that one,” his mama tilted her head in puzzlement, for there was naught wrong with him. Middle hatched, middle weight, decent feathering.

“Good thing he’d never have to lay eggs,” his aunt quacked laughter. “Or sit on them, rain or hail or thunder!”

He pretended to not hear. Bobbed amidst the plump. Scanned the water. Dove. Rose. Dove.

“They’re just a bunch of hens,” a soft squeak sounded.

He pulled his head up too fast and almost dove back just to cover up his clumsiness.

She rested effortlessly on the water, a perfect Duckess from the skein that had dropped by their pond.

“You could leave,” she added. “Come with.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge