Unspoken

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Photo: Kelli Tungay on Unsplash

 

He couldn’t bring himself to tell her.

Instead he left breadcrumbs. Glowing pebbles on a midnight road.

Receipts. ‘Forgotten’ notes. His boots in the garage, muddy though the yard was not.

Liminal clues in hope she ask him where he goes …

Refugees sheltering in the woods.

Perhaps she already knows.

The mud this morning on her shoes.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Challenge: Liminal in 57 words

 

 

Simon’s Snack

Photo prompt: © Ronda Del Boccio

 

“Peach jelly and olives?! Are you serious?”

“As a heart attack.”

Jack shuddered. This may well be the end result.

Jill’s pasta sauce concoction reminded him of “after-school snack” on days his mother had to work late and the school-bus would drop him off at his uncle’s house. Uncle Simon would have a tall glass of bluish milk waiting, alongside a dish of crackers topped with lemon-lime marmalade and loaded with sardines.

The mere thought of Jill’s recipe gave him the runs.

Good. Saved by the throne.

“Sorry, Hon. I must’ve caught something at work. I better have plain toast.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

Note: Dedicated to my cousin Noam, who reportedly loved sardines-and-jelly sandwiches. I remember being horrified by the very idea and saddened that he would never enjoy them again. Four years my senior, he died at war, just weeks past his nineteenth birthday. We miss you, Noam (sandwiches and all)!

 

All Caught Up

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She leaned back, took a long look around, and sighed in satisfaction.

He’d love it. She was sure he would.

It took three full weeks and dozens of hours, but now every piece of paper he’d ever owned was alphabetized and catalogued. The photos organized by color, location, and main character. The receipts tagged and ranked by preference: favorite things first, the things he’d never order again, last.

He was due home by nightfall. She could only imagine his delight.

The office was transformed. So was the garage. She even organized the nets and oar for an artistic touch. Bronzed all his mementos so they matched.

No more desk and drawers. No more folders. No more boxes with a mishmash of photos and cards. Goodbye to letters stacked together by arbitrary designations of correspondence, when they could be more logically sorted by zip code (or when there was none noted, ordered alphabetically by addressee’s given name and divided by paper-type).

It had been a Herculean task, but she was undaunted. Who but her would take it on to help him out?

She couldn’t wait to show him how she’d got him all caught up.

 

 

For Keith’s Kreative Kue #236

 

 

Nuts About Her

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Photo: Herrmann Stamm on Unsplash

 

He does not like the new way the kitchen’s been done.

He does not like the curtains she’d chosen.

He cares naught for the way she turned the couch around

Or how she leaves the garage door open.

He will never get used to the stuff on her nails.

He detests hosting all of those book clubs.

He’s did not want his Foosball exiled downstairs

Or pink bottles to take over the bathtub.

Some days he thinks it had been better before

She showed up to give life a stir,

But she does make him laugh and he cannot ignore

The fact that he’s just nuts about her.

 

 

 

For Linda Hill’s SoCS prompt: Nuts

 

 

Their Dream

 

In his dreams he sees a mansion, flanked by rows of old-growth trees, fenced by sturdy brickwork, gated by imposing wrought iron spiked by gold.

In his dreams, he sees a driveway that spells out the expectation of his wealth. He envisions sprawling gardens, floors of endless rooms, and lavish halls, and a multi-car abode.

In his dreams he sees the pools, the tennis courts, the deck, the dock, the boat.

In her dreams she sees a cottage on the edge of forest, amidst the rolling meadows heading into dunes and shore.

In her dreams she sees the cozy rooms, the closeness of the furnishing, the softness of the rugs upon the cool slates of the floor.

And when he shares his dreams and scoffs at hers and tells her that she dreams “far too small,” she knows that their shared one won’t go where they’d thought it would, before.

 

 

For the Crimsons Creative Challenge

 

 

A Roof Over Her Head

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Photo prompt: Michael Gaida @ Pixabay.com

 

It looked deserted from the outside, and if someone risked a broken neck to view the inside from the roof, it did not look all that more promising from that angle, either, which was exactly as intended.

It would not do to broadcast the availability of shelter when there were more who sought to ruin what was left than wanted to actually have a roof over theirs.

Better it appeared abandoned and on its last legs already.

The rules were clear: You do not venture out of the pits without permission, and never in daylight. No light allowed during nighttime. Night-vision goggles only. The internal covers at the bottom of pits, which obscured the actual bunker, were to be drawn only after the scopes ensured no one was in the perimeter. The motion sensors were examined weekly. The roof’s latches every other. They could take no risks.

Few had a roof over their heads since the cataclysm, and those who had been fortunate to find or be allowed under one, did best if they kept a low profile or they were certain to lose it. The roof. And the head.

Dingo knew all that.

He also knew that Marlee was out there somewhere, and that the only way for her to find him was for him to plant a signal she would recognize.

How, though, when he was still a Probational and wouldn’t be trusted to come topside without escort for another month?

He tossed and turned on his berth until Steven threw him out, ordering him to go jog on one of the treadmills till he got sleepy.

The common room was empty. The airlock doors blinked slowly to indicate the pit covers had been opened.

It won’t take but a moment to leave Marlee a sign.

 

 

 

For the FFFC photo prompt

 

It’s a Wrap

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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

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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

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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

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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