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

 

Aftermath

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“This is all that’s left.”

Marshall nodded and surveyed the area, hands clasped behind his back in a show of control that did not quite hide his devastation.

Danielle caught Sandy’s eye and the latter blinked acknowledgement. Marshall’s white-knuckled grip and the way he rocked ever so slightly on the balls of his feet communicated volumes. Danielle didn’t think he trusted his voice.

The moment stretched.

“We did find some items scattered farther on,” Danielle pressed, distressed by his unnamed grief.

“Mostly parts of items,” Sandy clarified. Won’t do to raise hopes when they already knew nothing was salvageable.

Marshall lifted his head and gazed at the path of destruction the freak storm had left on the barrier island. A quietude spread inside him. An ebb and flow of sorrow and release.

“Thank you ladies,” he told the county’s disaster inspectors. “Mother Nature had spoken. I will not rebuild.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Not Invisible

 

He crouched by the lockers.

Feet swarmed by. Sneakers, sandals, loafers, tennis-shoes. The hallways rang with voices and a smell wafted from the floor. A mix of sweat, old puke, and industrial cleaner. The smell of school.

It was odd. To be invisible.

Not literally, but still. A new kid in a city with more kids in this one building than in the whole town he’d come from.

“Hey, you,” a foot in a shiny Mary Jane nudged the edge of his bag.

He looked up.

“You Mark?”

He nodded.

“Cool. Come with. I’m Clara. Welcoming committee. Show you around.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers 

(Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll)

 

No Country Bumpkin

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Photo by Eric Muhr on Unsplash

 

She was not a country bumpkin

Though she aspired to

Be one.

So she dressed the part

And practiced

How to walk and talk

In twang,

And she hoped to look

Uncultured

To the folk stopping

In store,

So they’d believe

She was

Hardcore.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: bum

 

 

Paused Revolution

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Photo by Adam Cain on Unsplash

 

The sun rose bright

In the horizon

Spilling gold on

Ebbing tide.

They woke with

Tangled limbs still weighted

And lids that wrinkled

In the light.

It dawned to be

The day of changes,

When revolution would be

Put aside.

They’ll find their breath,

And mend their fences.

They’re family now.

They will not

Fight.

 

 

 

For the dVerse Poetics challenge: revolution