Going Green

mallard-drake CrispinaKemp

 

“No way Jose!” Jessie’s arms were folded in what was half stubborn refusal, half terrified self-preservation.

Derek laughed and wiggled his toes, which were caked with mud and muck and unidentifiable stuff that was best left well outside of sniffing range.

His sister groaned. “Do you have to be so gross?”

“What’s wrong with a little bit of nature, eh?” he teased. He took a step and bent to touch the carpet of green algae that covered the pond. It looked like velvet.

“Are you nuts?!” Jessie looked ready to lunge and probably would’ve pulled him back if it weren’t for the fact that it would require getting closer to the pond’s edge.

“Chill, Sis,” Derek shook his head. “It’s not like I’m gonna be eaten by Nessie.”

“Imaginary monsters don’t worry me,” Jessie’s lip curled in disgust. “Salmonella from those mallards and whatever else in this water sure does.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

The Catch

 

“What’s with the basket?”

Sharlynn’s lip curled up. “For the catch.”

Robert raised an eyebrow. “Thought you went vegan.”

“I did,” Sharlynn grinned. “But Bertrand resists, and I thought I’d shock him and prepare fish for his birthday dinner. It’s not every day that a man turns half centenarian.”

Robert groaned. At forty-nine, he was next in line.

“So,” Sharlynn’s eyebrow matched her brother’s. “May I come aboard?”

“Sure,” Robert waved in half-invitation, half-defeat.

“Don’t look so worried,” Sharlynn laughed. “I’m gonna clean’em up myself. Also, Bertie’s getting kale quiche. What I truly hope to ‘fish’ is some fresh seaweed.”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers  (Photo prompt © C.E.Ayr)

 

 

 

Barry’s Safari

 

“Don’t look!”

Melanie’s voice was low and urgent.

Naturally, I tried to look.

“No!” she hissed. “Stay still, Bethany! Don’t move!”

Naturally, I disobeyed. No way I was letting Melanie see something interesting and miss out on it! Bad enough she was born thirty minutes before me, and had to constantly remind me how she “was normally positioned” and I was “the butt-instead-of-head” one.

I looked … and almost had a heart attack! Not that I was gonna let her see it. I molded my almost-shriek into a grin. “Cool!”

“Bee!” she hissed.

She rarely used her baby name for me. Perhaps she was genuinely terrified.

“It’s fine, Meh-Meh,” I returned. The syllables felt simultaneously odd and soothing in my mouth. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d used my baby name for her. Being the younger twin, and always the smaller, I’d been self-conscious about not appearing babyish.

“It’s a rhino!” she mouthed.

“A baby rhino,” I tried hopefully. “I mean, I think it is.”

“Babies have mamas and even that so-called baby has a horn,” she shuddered. Her voice shook.

Suddenly suspicious, I chanced a look around to seek Gary. A moment earlier, our safari guide had ‘conveniently’ needed to go get something from the truck.

Even his silhouette appeared smug.

“So, Gary!” I called out, eliciting a gasp and a fetal position from Melanie. “Who’s that little one?”

The khaki-clad man stepped into the light of the fire he’d lit earlier. More for ambiance than for warmth. His grin was someplace between satisfied and embarrassed.

“It’s Barry,” he chuckled, clicked his fingers, and pulled a carrot out of his back pocket. “Our resident rhino.”

The gray beast sauntered closer. If Melanie could have drilled herself into the ground, she would.

“You terrified my sister,” I glowered at the guide.

I wasn’t really worried about her. I could see that she was trying to regain her composure (if not her self-respect). In fact, I was definitely going to get a lot of mileage out of this. But … she was my sister to torment. No one else had the right!

“Sorry,” his voice was only marginally contrite. “Barry is an unofficial part of the tour.”

“For those who survive,” Melanie muttered under her breath. She was still shaking.

The rhino lipped the carrot and chewed it noisily, then took a step in our direction. Melanie squeaked.

Well, those who come out butt-first apparently have stronger constitutions. I stood up. “Got more carrots?”

 

 

For Keith’s Kreative Kue

 

 

Untended

 

“He gets the room behind the bush,” Mama ordered.

“But Mama,” Samantha tried, “we’re in the country now.”

Mama shook her head.

Samantha swallowed a sigh. This was the middle of nowhere. No neighbors. No roads. Old growth all around. Barely a dirt path to the cottage from behind the barn.

There will be no arguing with Mama.

She caught Daniel’s eye. He did his little special wink at her and she wanted to cry. He was comforting her even though it would be he who will be stuck in a room with barely light and zero view.

His eyes flicked toward the barn, and she understood — at least in the house he’d be warm, where she could keep an eye. At least Mama wasn’t hiding him in the barn.

Mama could not stand his disfigurement. Reminder of the fire she did not tend. The baby she let burn.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

The Farthest Ride

They were going to make a race for it.

Sherry frowned.

Why did everything have to be a race with them?

She knew there was naught a thing she could do to dissuade them. To the contrary: if she tried to, they were almost certain to up the ante, in bravado and a bit of spite.

Older sisters were never listened to. Even if they were ran to later with the scrapes and bruises and secrets that had to be kept from parents and the like.

Lots more than scrapes and bruises at risk here, though.

“I’m going to ride,” Thomas bragged. The paddle-board he’d rescued from the trash was his pride and joy. Pitiful in looks, with masking tape to hold the bits together, but serviceable. For ripples. Not for this.

“Nah, I swim,” Teddy said. “I’ll reach the farthest wind turbine before you get half-way to the first!”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Backseat Jostling

thais-ribeiro-rgrfJPE6Yjo-unsplash

Photo: Thais Ribeiro on Unsplash

 

“Mama, he’s touching me!”

She tightened her grip on the steering wheel.

“Mama, he’s breathing on me!”

She inhaled.

“How come he always gets the window?”

She sighed.

“I don’t have room!”

She braked.

“Stop this or you can all walk home!”

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Jostle in 42 words

 

 

The Two Towers

PHOTO PROMPT -Copyright-Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Photo prompt: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

 

“He’s gonna do WHAT?!!”

Oh oh, never should have said nothing. I swallowed and inspected my sneakers. Found a stain. Hopefully mustard.

Mom grabbed my shoulder.

“Marcus Anthony Jeremiah Rivera, what did you just say your brother was up to?”

Her face told me it’d be as bad for the messenger if I didn’t confess. I was toast. Benito was gonna beat me up soon as she was done with him.

“See those towers?”

Her eyes narrowed.

“Benito saw a big rope between them and he said it’s perfect for zip-lining.”

Way Mom ran, she should’a been in the Olympics.

 

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

 

 

Square One

st-olaves-mill CrispinaKemp

 

“You’ll have to climb up there to fix it,” Shelly’s voice made clear he did not think the climbing or the fixing would do any good.

Bertie sighed. It was none of it ever simple. Not with Shelly. Not with him.

Mama prophesied it when his brother was born wrinkled, whimpering, and without a dad.

“You’ll have to watch out for him,” she’d announced to four-year-old Bertie. “You’re his older brother now.”

Then mama, too, was gone, and left them with their uncle and their scowling aunt, who did not need two more butts to wipe or wallop, and Bertie had his work cut out for him. Then, and now.

Shelly couldn’t help being pessimistic. At least Bertie had had some years of motherly love.

“It’ll work,” Bertie promised, climbed.

The windmill spun. Lights came on. Then the new cable caught and tore and they were back to square one.

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Paused Revolution

adam-cain-xiyCHV49J5I-unsplash

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

 

 

Resolute Rose

caroline-hernandez-ybBvORpb9Xk-unsplash

Photo: Caroline Hernandez on Unsplash

 

 

The least of hardship was when

She broke her toe,

Age nine,

Her youngest brother

Then a mewling newborn

In her arms.

She’d been pacing

Through the night

To let Mother

Recover some.

Ever the intrepid

Elder child,

Rose missed but

A step,

Taped her toes,

And walked on

Till the morn.

 

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Intrepid in 52 words