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

 

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

 

Things To Come

 

Perhaps it had been the mark of things to come, though till it arrived they did not know it (or, as some stated, they’d preferred ignoring the possibility).

There were so many explanations: Bad weather, a change in allocation, inability to keep up with need, aging infrastructure, decline in the number of those who knew how to fix things with handiwork instead of keyboards.

Of course, the sidewalks didn’t crumble overnight. It took years. Yet somehow people had dismissed a steady rise in ankle injuries. They merely shook their heads when accessibility was reduced to the long-legged spry. There was no outcry. After all, most people didn’t ambulate with strollers, walking-sticks or wheelchairs.

In the end it was the roller-bags that tipped the scale. What unconscionable disrepair allowed wheels to break in ways manufacturers won’t cover? People could not be reduced to lifting suitcases when they needed to go somewhere!

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

A Slowly Fraying Memory

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Photo: Free-to-use-sounds, on Unsplash

 

 

From the hollows of despair, they fled.

The shirts on their backs and the children

In their arms, all they could manage to

Take.

Even the abysmal shelters they had recently

Been made to call

Home,

No longer gave any protection or

A chance at repair or

Reform.

They left, dodging death and finding

Further fright to

Flee,

And in their hearts they held on

Tightly

To the slowly fraying

Memory,

Of days when life was softer

And beds were warm,

And babies slept

Well kept

Safe from war and hate and

Harm.

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Abysmal in 93 words

Note: Dedicated to all displaced, terrorized, pressed, oppressed, persecuted persons everywhere, and to the many millions who had, throughout history and in recent memory and in today’s times, been forced to further risk their lives by leaving what had once been home and safety behind, for the unknown.

 

No Big-Mart

 

“It says this way to the manor,” Doug tugged Lily’s sleeve.

“I know,” she shrugged to release his hold. At thirty-four, he was really quite too old to tug on clothing for attention.

“So why are we going in the opposite?”

She wondered how it was that there was a time when the nasal tone of his petulance didn’t bother her. Had she simply ignored it in the beginning, when infatuation took precedence to logic? Doug was still easy on the eyes, but her heart had become wiser.

“Because the manor will still be there later, while this Farmer’s Market stall might not.”

“What’s wrong with Big-Mart?”

Her lips tightened. She couldn’t believe he actually whined. “Big-Mart has no proper food. Everything’s processed. And anyway, I’d much rather support local farmers than corporate executives.”

She cringed at the sound of her own voice. She’d become her mother. To her boyfriend.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimsons Creative Challenge #57

 

A Spinning Spin

 

Illustration: Anne Anderson from Grimm’s Fairy Tales (London and Glasgow 1922)

 

He wanted her to spin

Straw

Into gold.

To make the mundane

Magic

To behold.

Though the metal

Nourished

Naught,

And left only

An empty

Cot.

Where with

Better thought

He might’ve

Got,

Riches which

Could not

Be bought.

 

 

Note: A little spin on Rumpelstiltskin

For Anmol’s dVerse poetics: Myths and Legends

 

 

 

Treasure Hunters

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Photo Credit: Joy Pixley

 

It had been a long trek on an oven of a day in what had to be a replica of hell. I was parched half-way to mummification and about as lively as the end result, but Mark seemed as bouncy as a pixie in morning dew.

He checked the map. “Twenty more feet!”

Either he didn’t notice the forest of thorns (and its likely residents) or didn’t care. He was in his element. I definitely was not.

I’d joined THOR (Treasure Hunters Of Renown) a month prior, on the rebound from a breakup. The local chapter was small but Mark’s enthusiasm was contagious and the prospects were exciting. We compared topography maps with old mining records and discussed unsolved mysteries of lost gold from the bandit days of the Wild West. Hunting treasure sounded alluring. It made me feel brave. From the AC.

“I’m not going in there!” I croaked with a drywall tongue as my mind filled with images of scorpions and my ears strained for rattlers. I was sure I’d heard the cackle of ghosts.

If I made it home alive, the only treasures I wanted were a cool drink, my couch, and my remote.

 

 

For Sunday Photo Fiction

 

What Matters Most

Newborn A YiscaFreeman

Photo: Yisca Freeman

 

What matters most

Are those we wrap

In loving arms

To keep from harm.

What matters most

Are those who hold

All future steps

Yet to unfold.

 

 

For Nancy Merrill’s Photo a week challenge

 

Pensive Park

before i die PhilipCoons

Photo: Philip Coons

 

In a park, on a lawn,  by a

Trail

This board aimless wander

Curtails,

And the question it

Raises

Brings along varied

Phrases.

What would your heart

Assign

If you saw such a

Sign?

 

 

For Kammie’s Oddball Challenge

 

Come Play!

play NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

My pink shoes are a mess

But I’m in no distress.

I have been in the dust

For elephants it’s a must.

I’m a fierce one, you see

Will you come play with me?

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Play