Frozen In Time

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“What’s he doing there, Papa?”

“Serving his time,” he didn’t need to look to know what his granddaughter was pointing at. He could see it with his eyes closed. In his sleep. Seared into his very dreams.

“What time?” the innocence in the child’s voice returned him to the present. She could not know. So many died so she would not need to.

“His time in war,” he explained.

“To fight?” the green eyes were round under the cascade of unruly hair. The girl never could abide any hair-ties. Her mother despaired. He found it enchanting. He’d forgotten what it was to have hair

He nodded.

“But he’s just watching,” the child noted.

“Yes,” he nodded.

“Forever?”

He looked up at the man frozen in time. So many of them were.

“I hope not, child.”

She pressed his hand.

“I shall bring him a blanket,” she said. “And a pup.”

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

Glitter Bound

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(Photo: Jackson David on Unsplash)

 

She spun around, with arms spread wide

The tinsel spooling

From her outstretched hands.

Spilling from her golden crown,

And all about her glowing gown,

It glittered and eventually

Bound,

Her body to the very ground

From whence her heart and soul

Made sound.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: tinsel in 44 words

 

Finding Fido

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“Still nothing,” Sally said as soon as Damian came through the door.

His shoulders sagged. The whole drive home he’d hoped for news. He didn’t dare imagine beyond that, but his arms ached and his cheeks felt cold without the welcome of unabashed wriggles and wet kisses.

And to think he’d never wanted “a beast in the house.” To think he’d been so set against it.

Little did he know that a furball in a giant velvet bow would burrow deeper into his heart than anyone before it. Including, if he was honest, the two-legged.

“I taped more flyers,” Sally filled the silence. “And called the vets … just in case.”

Damian nodded over the tightness in his throat.

“Mary is so sorry …” Sally pressed on. “She didn’t mean to leave the door unlatched.”

“I’ve to go,” Damian grabbed his gun. “I must find Fido before the dark does.”

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

New Neighbor

 

“What on earth?! Have you seen her?”

Molly looked up from her coffee. The swirl of mocha infiltration on the milk froth in her cup was fascinating. She licked her upper lip, tasting calm and morning.”Seen who?”

“Her!” Abby flicked her head urgently in the direction of the kitchen window.

“Do I have to?” Molly pouted. Her sister was altogether too excitable. Surely there was naught wrong with sitting idly with one’s breakfast. However, she could not recall the last time Abby did anything but gobble down her toast, gulp her tea, and pop right up in search of dishes to wash, counters to wipe, cabinets to put to order, or lists to make.

Abby’s chest rose in what was certain to turn lecture.

Molly sighed, stood, and craned her neck to see. White uniform. Red crosses. Pink rubber gloves. “Oh, her? Sheri. Our new neighbor. A nurse or such.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

The Addition

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(Photo: Simona Roubkova on Unsplash)

 

“What are you going to do with this thing?”

Leah shrugged, and watched as Marty circled the addition to their household, arms behind his back in what she thought of as his ‘Wannabee Inspector General.’

“It is useless,” he muttered.

“It is cute,” she said, and chuckled at the horror on his face. “In its own way, at least.”

For to be fair, the poor creature would win no beauty contests. Patchy hair, droopy eyelid, bloated abdomen. But there was a trusting glint in the blue eye, and a gentleness that sought her heart and hooked it.

“You’d do it mercy to put it down.”

“I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being,” Leah challenged. “If we can be of help, why not even try?”

She reached down to pet the pup. “Her name’s Pat.”

 

 

Prosery prompt: “I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.” — Wisława Szymborska, “Possibilities”

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

The Present

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(Photo: Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash)

 

She was shaking when I entered the room. Hands wringing, lips trembling, her eyes a shade of numb I had rarely seen.

Mary had called me. She had come to check on her and bring a midday repast. Mother being too proud to ask for help, even though her legs no longer held her sturdily or long enough to cook herself a decent meal.

Appearance and stoicism were Mother’s barometers of standing.

Socially and otherwise.

Not that you’d know it from her mascaraed cheeks.

She pointed to the antique book I had gifted her the previous evening. 

I understand, therefore I’ll live,” was scribbled in the cover. “R.B. 1941

Mother pressed a notepad on me. Scribbled on it were the same words. Same letters. An older hand.

“I forgot,” she whispered, caressing her initials. “But reading what I have just written, I now believe.”

 

 

Prompt quote: “Reading what I have just written, I now believe.” (Afterward by Louise Gluck)

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

Simple Pleasures

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Photo: Smadar Epshtein

 

“What does happiness mean,” she asked,

Her eyes round with the query

Of the lost

Awaiting to be

Found.

“It is the sun warming your skin,” he said,

His own eyes taking on the mist.

“And the unexpected sweetness

Of cherries on your

Tongue.”

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Happiness

 

 

Outed

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“What is this place?”

“An outhouse?” Marti sniffed, perhaps for clues.

Barbara wrinkled her nose. Marti always did have a potty brain. “It would not make sense without a door, now, would it?”

“Ventilation?” Marti doubled down. “And anyway, a door could be removed.”

“No hole in the ground,” Barbara pointed out.

“Could have been filled in or covered.”

Barbara shook her head. Even covered in leaves and mud, the floor of the small structure looked too evenly tiled for that.

“So, if you such a genius,” Marti sneered at his know-it-all cousin, “what do you think it is?”

Barbara inspected the arched entrance, the partially enclosed back wall, the proximity to the ancient manor’s fence. A guard post, she thought, but did not say. There would be no fun in that.

“A portal to Avalon,” she stated loftily.

“Ah,” Marti retorted. “As I said, it is an outhouse, then.”

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

Tucked In

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Photo: Peter Oslanec on Unsplash

 

The voice of song

Lulled her to sleep

As wind whispered

Leaves into heaps.

Her mind soared on

A night’s journey’s sweep

As breathing slowed

And memories steeped.

Her body warm neath

Blankets soft and deep,

She sighed and found

A dream to keep.

 

 

For the dVerse poetry quadrille challenge: blanket

 

 

Skyward

(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

They rose in steady hum of

Motors aiming to break

Clouds

And dispersed the waves upon the

Sand as life skittered

Aground.

They pointed nose into the

Sky with souls holding on well

And fast

As engines revved anew

And headed home

At last.

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: sky