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

 

Contented

Photo: Sue Vincent

 

There was nothing wrong with her beyond that she could not abide much in the way of interference, and had always preferred the company of fair-folk and the song of wind and dust-in-light to the over-stimulating presence of other humans.

She’d gotten through the requisites of growing up: the schools, the get-togethers, the expectation of having friends, the beck and call of work one needed in order to make a living. She’d endured the close proximity when needful, but mostly let the din of people’s voices wash over her like an avalanche, while she curled up inside her mind and sustained herself on preserved pockets of precious solitude.

Most wouldn’t have believed her had she laid bare her wistfulness for isolation. Or perhaps some would have, but had never said it. She did not much care to find out which of the two or neither it was.

Three decades had passed and the half of another, before she began wondering if she’d live to see the exit of another year or self-combust under the pressure of life’s demands for what felt like constant interaction.

Then Aunt Carolina passed. She left behind a small fortune in savings bonds and an old house no one would have wanted. The latter was to be torn down and the land sold to become someone else’s problem.

Or so the estate managers thought.

Cilia fought them with a ferociousness that surprised her at least as much as it had anyone who’d ever known her. It wasn’t that she’d been a pushover till then, only that she had never found it worth the effort to try and exchange one relative discomfort with another. This was different.

This house was what she suddenly did not know how she had ever lived without.

In the end they relented after she gave up all claims to any of the funds Aunt Carolina had left. She’d get only the cottage and its contents. None of her cousins — not even Marley-the-Meddler — objected. Their share grew with her out of the pie.

The attorney warned her that the house would sooner gobble up what savings she had than be a home that could house her. “The gloomy place is centuries old,” he warned. “It doesn’t even have running water.”

“Aunt Carolina had lived there till she died,” was her retort.”She bathed. I’ll manage.”

She did much more than that.

For the first time in her life she could feel herself actually breathing.

The garden’s stone walls wrapped around her like a hug of moss and ancient patience. The cottage creaked and cracked and breathed as if it was itself alive with memories and whispered sighs of times before. And she did not have to explain to anyone how none of that was a menace. The walls held echoes of calm solitude. The garden wreathed itself in growth. The birds chirped. The kits of a fox mewled. The silence gleamed.

She knew why Aunt Carolina had refused to leave.

“We are like twins stretched over several generations,” she murmured into the fire as the wind whistled in the chimney and the elves made a racket in the trees outside her door. “You must have known, someplace, that I will need to find this. As you had, in your time.”

She stretched her feet and giggled at the big toe that the hole in her sock had liberated. A wooden box sat, heavy, in her lap.

She’d come across it in the crawlspace earlier that afternoon. She’d climbed up after a noise she thought was a squirrel’s nestlings. Instead she found a loose board, half-an-inch of dust, and a pile of rags atop a box.

“The house and all its contents,” she smiled in recollection of Aunt Carolina’s will. “I should have known you’d leave more than enough behind to keep the roof above us for another eon.”

 

 

 

For the Sue Vincent’s WritePhoto Challenge

 

 

Left Behind

 

They walked around, eyes wide, not touching anything.

“It’s like a museum,” Lilly breathed.

“Only with ghosts,” Samantha shuddered.

Lilly shot her a warning glance and slid her eyes toward Mikey. As it was the boy woke up screaming every night.

This was the first intact house they’d seen. Well, almost intact. It had a roof, walls, and shutters that had protected some of the windows. It even had a wood-burning stove. They needed the shelter more than any ghost might, and Mikey didn’t need additional terrors.

She forced a smile. “Let’s find some water and make tea, shall we?”

 

 

For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers

 

A Delicate Dare

Delicate NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

Their small heads

Rise proud

In mid-trail.

Delicate and fierce

They stretch their

Full miniature scale.

The risk they take

Of being

Stepped on,

Dwarfed by delicious

Access

To sun.

 

 

For the Lens-Artist Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

 

 

Moody Sentinels

PNG surreal OfirAsif

Photo: Ofir Asif

 

Three sentinels

Stand determined.

Moody and muddy

Rooted

They brace against

The eddies

And the flow

Of oars and flotsam,

Ever mobile,

Passing by.

 

 

For Calmkate’s Friday Foto Fun: Moody

 

 

In Flight

in flight stephenforte

Photo: Stephen Forte

 

In the slight pause between

Flapping up,

Flapping down,

Live the breath

And the lift

That propel

To carry on.

 

 

For the Photo for the Week challenge: Birds

 

Night Light

nightlight1 AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

“Almost there!” she sighed.

What had been an orange halo of illumination at the horizon of their climb finally crystalized into evidence of habitation.

She could hear Merri’s labored breath behind her.

“Not long now,” she cajoled to mask her wariness.

Will they be welcomed or will they be turned out again? The other two places were small towns. This was a big city. Perhaps they could blend in. Hide in plain sight.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Illumination in 73 words

 

Three’s Company

desert trio flower OsnatHalperinBarlev

Photo: Osnat Halperin-Barlev

 

Amid pebbles and sand

Atop tenacious pale greens

Three mouths unseal

In communal reveal

To welcome

Potential

Under an

Arid sun.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Trio

 

 

Purple Bunch

Purple bunch NaamaYehuda

Photo: Na’ama Yehuda

 

On a fence

In the city

Under balconies

To the sky,

Climbs a purple

Bunch of

Pretty,

A tangled riot

Reaching high.

 

 

For Deb’s One Word Sunday: Purple

 

Translucent Faith

faith R.R.Z

Photo: R. RozenZvi

 

I see you

Taking steps

Into faith

And thin air,

Holding hope

Like a rickety railing

Buffeted by winds

That had blown away

Trust in

A safe step

Anywhere.

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Translucent in 29 words