It’s a Wrap

people at theater

Photo: Monica Silvestre on Pexels.com

 

“It’s a wrap,” she said, and rose, and massaged the small of her back, which after all those hours of sitting felt as if sharp clamps had been tightened through it. Her back was never quite the same since the car accident. Or was it since the Shingles? Or the bad fall? Or the earlier things that were best left unremembered?

It wasn’t only her spine that bowed under the spasm. Her muscles were responding to a lot more than just the time spent in the chair.

He looked up, annoyed and uncomprehending. “Wrap, how?”

“In all the ways that matter,” she responded. It felt like ions since a soft hand on her back would melt the stress away and deepen her breath and make sleep nestle in so close she could smell it.

Decades? Years? Months? Too long.

“Living up to your rap of being cryptic, I see,” he muttered.

It was meant as a jab, but instead made a small peal of laughter form like a pearl inside her belly.

“I guess I am,” she noted, one hand still kneading the tightness in her lumbar area, the other held close against the urge to pat his head and make it better.

She’s moving on. He’ll have to find someone else to do all that for him now.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: Wrap/Rap

 

 

 

Delicately

Delicate AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

She flitted gently by his head.

The slight bow noted, the sorrow that was there

But perhaps not heard.

 

She knew he had to hold himself up

All this time

That it was the only way

He’d learned.

And yet she could discern the hidden

Effort that it took

To rise against the gravity,

In times where drought of hope

Returned

Again and again and again.

 

She understood the energy required for

Making the Herculean appear effortless,

To constantly correct

The wobble under

Winds and strain.

 

She hovered for a moment

Letting a space of permission

Manifest

Before she landed, feather-weighted and,

Delicate

On his chest.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Delicate in 106 words

 

Taking Tea

coffee or tea AmitaAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

“Every pot can be

A teapot

But not all of them can make

Sufficiently

Good tea,”

He said, and fussed

And set the bag

To rest

On the edge

To breathe

For me.

“I’ll take coffee,”

Said the mother,

Contrary just because

She had the right

To be.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Teapot in 48 words

 

 

 

Ripples In The Water

bibin-tom-Pe_kwGLgdXE-unsplash

Photo: Bibin Tom (Tulabi Falls, Manitoba)

 

The dream took almost a decade to fulfill.

And there it was. Reality.

She could scarcely believe it.

First there were the logistics to overcome: savings to secure, the children to raise beyond immediate dependency, paperwork and releases to organize, complicated details to ensure such international travel would even be possible.

Then there was the soulmate to find. Or rather, to have find her.

She looked around. At the deep calm. The ripples in the water. She’d pinch herself, only  it would rock the boat and she had no intention to fall out. Not when it had taken so long to get in.

“You’ll have to adjust,” they’d told her.

“Some things you just won’t be able to do,” they’d said.

Well … stubbornness had gotten her through the accident. It got her through years of being a wheelchair-bound single parent.

It got her back into a canoe.

With Hugh.

 

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Manitoba, Canada

 

The Amateur

three black handset toys

Photo: Alex Andrews on Pexels.com

 

He was an amateur in

Matters

Of the heart.

Oh, he prided himself on being

An expert

Of the physiological

Domain.

And perhaps a tinkerer

In that

He was.

But he was not even

A dabbler

In intimacy.

He lacked all expertise

In the understanding of

Connection

Or trust

Or hope.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Amateur in 51 words

 

Ladies In Waiting

Photo by Arun Sharma on Unsplash

 

“It is time yet?”

Prissy frowned. Alia always never had an ounce of patience. “Look around. Does it look like it is time?”

Edna glared at Prissy. That girl would not recognize patience if it sat right in front of her and introduced itself by name.

“Anyone want a snack?” Deena reached into her bag and pulled out an assortment of wrinkled potato chip bags, a crumbling granola bar in a zipped bag, and apple slices that had seen brighter days.

Alia’s look of horror was so comical that even Prissy smiled.

Count on Deena to diffuse the tension, Edna thought.

They all had their roles in every little drama life presented. Whether like players on a stage or play-pieces on a chess board, she wasn’t sure. Only that they slid into their respective places with predictability that was both comfortable and disconcerting.

Perhaps not so surprising they would do so now, when it might be the last opportunity for it. Their dynamics were about to change forever.

As soon as it was time.

A door opened at the end of the hall and they all jumped.

“Alia Marquette?” a uniformed woman appeared. “Your shuttle to Mars is about to depart.”

 

 

For the Sunday Photo Fiction prompt

 

Be The Judge

BlueWhite DvoraFreedman

Photo: Dvora Freedman

 

“You’ll be the judge of it,” he said.

He held the door for her and she hesitated a moment before slipping into the passenger seat. She buckled in part out of habit and part as security against the anticipated whiplash of yet another disappointment.

He drove in silence and she was grateful for it. They were beyond words by now, anyhow.

Roadside scenery shimmered by through a sudden squall.

“We’re here,” he said.

She must’ve fallen asleep.

“Say yes, and I’ll sign the papers,” he breathed.

She blinked. How did he find her dream house?

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Judge in 95 words

 

Relativity

Photo Prompt: Dale Rogerson

 

“Your grandfather must be turning in his grave.”

She’d made bitterness her trademark, so finding meaning usually entailed having to decode gradients of dismay.

He figured this one was a 67 out of 100. Enough disgust to call attention to how the “good old days” were better than modern progress, while not completely dismissing the comforts of advanced technology.

“Clean power is good for the lungs,” he cajoled, half-hoping for an argument. It was his Grandma’s genes he carried, after all.

“Pah,” she wrinkled her nose. “Nothing wrong with a bit of soot to get people appreciating real power.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

In Translation

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Photo: Valentin Salja via unsplash

 

“You can’t do it.” Lizbeth scowled.

Betty shrugged a shoulder at her cousin and put the hand-bound manuscript in the box beside her.

“You’ll ruin it.”

“I won’t,” Betty countered. “I’ll be gentle.”

“That’s not what I meant!” Lizbeth folded her arms and planted her feet firmly on the dusty floor of their late aunt’s apartment. Her color rose. She was jealous but would never admit it.

Betty always got the best of everything: Summer camp, long visits with Aunt Mathilde, a degree in writing, even a dad who taught her Swedish.

“I’ll be gentle in my translation,” Betty caressed Aunt Mathilde’s poetry booklet. “Dad will help. Her words languished long enough without being read.”

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Translation in 115 words

 

 

Two By Two

twins OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

“Do we have to?”

“For the hundredth time … yes, we do!”

“But no one else is going!”

“No one else will be around for long.”

She felt his pouting through the ground. His clomping had a rhythm for each mood, and this one spelled: I’m thinking of an answer to refute you. She counted his foot-beats and waited. Never took more than a minute, with this kind.

“So Noah says.”

She couldn’t help but smile at his predictability. “So he does.”

His tetchy steps continued, unconvinced.

She said nothing but upped their pace a bit. It wouldn’t do to be late for this one. They cleared the lee of a dune and a gust of wind blew sand into their faces. She shook her head to clear it from her ears.

“And you believe him?”

At that she paused and turned her head toward him. “I’d rather believe him than perish.”

“But look!” He bellowed, and if she hadn’t known him well she would’ve missed the fear under the notes of clear frustration. “There’s not a drop around.”

She sighed. For all her projected certainty, he was voicing the doubts she did not let herself express. The blue skies mocked her loyalty, and the parched ground billowed dusty clouds as proof of the utter lunacy of leaving the herd to follow some two-legged prophet and his nightmare.

And yet, her own dreams had been filled with thunder. She’d wake startled, breathless with the premonition of a fruitless escape from tumbling mud that rose above the highest dune and all the way to the horizon and beyond.

She breathed and chewed her cud a moment before resuming her walking. She’d rather be a fool who lives. Especially with the calf that she could feel kicking in her womb.

“Noah said he’ll have fresh hay and all the food and water we can stomach,” she cajoled.

“Alfalfa, too?”

She grunted her assent along with her amusement. Her mate had always been partial to alfalfa, and the rare treat’s season had long passed.

“He promised some of that, yes. And barrel-loads of dates.”

His footfalls overtook hers, excited now. “Dates?! Why didn’t you say that sooner? Stop dawdling and pick up your feet! How much farther to that ark, you said?”

 

 

 

 

For Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Two