Ruby Rudder

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Photo: Cosmin Serban on Unsplash

 

The boat was old and holey, but that did not matter. They never intended for it to be sea-worthy. Haruto didn’t like to get his feet wet, and Miyu had seen enough leave for the waves who did not return. Neither one of them had a hankering for sea-sickness or for gutting fish or for seaweed tangling the rudder and weighing down the nets.

They had a different goal instead.

The neighbors raised collective eyebrows when the couple hauled the vessel, hull protruding in the air, baring barnacles and showcasing slime.

Haruto and Miyu just nodded, plopped the boat against the workshop’s wall, and disappeared into it without a word of explanation.

They didn’t owe it to anyone and they didn’t know how well the end result would be. Better to keep mum until they saw for themselves how well the idea translated from a dream to action. And the neighbors’ bafflement was fun.

For days they sawed and sparked and banged and nailed. One morning the boat got swallowed by the workshop with only a small bit of the aft sticking out. The next day it was the other end. The smell of primer and varnish and paint permeated the air.

The neighbors mused and wondered. A few doors down the street, Mrs. Adachi placed bets with Mr. Chinen.

Holes were dug in the backyard. A mixture was poured. Poles wedged in.

Mrs. Adachi’s bet went up. Mr. Chinen raised his.

Then one early morning there was a new commotion. Ropes and pulleys, a few curses, far too many bangs.

The neighbors came out. Offered a hand.

By the time breakfast was ready, the boat was securely perched like an awning over a diamond of poles. A hammock strung below, shaded but for a dapple of golden strips of sun. The rudder, painted ruby, pointed to the stars.

And for the next year, Mrs. Adachi was going to have the benefit of Mr. Chinen washing her car. …

 

 

 

For RDP Tuesday: Ruby

 

 

 

Nailed It

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Photo: Crispina Kemp

 

He could never abide a wiggle.

Not a wriggle. Not a waver. Not the smallest bit of leeway.

Give an inch they’ll want a mile. He was one for nipping any jiggle in the bud.

Sure, the place was old, but it was built a-sturdy, and it stood the test of time. A war. A drought. A famine. Years could lend a touch of wrinkle, but that was no excuse for creaky hinges or a swinging that was anything but right.

Doors should no more need replacing than the people who had built them. Neither ought be done away with when they’re ripe.

So at the very start of wobbling, he cut a bar to measure, took the hammer and the odd-and-ends crate, and firmly nailed the wood across the geriatric slats.

Not unlike the way the surgeon had patched his hip and clinched his femur on to that.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Explained

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Photo: Izabelle Acheson on Unsplash

 

She will not elucidate.

She won’t expound.

She won’t make plain.

There is, in her view, absolutely

Nothing she needs to

Explain.

 

There is the plate.

There are the cookies.

There was her mouth to entertain.

So, what does any of that

Have to do with dinner

Or with waiting for dessert

Again?

 

 

For RDP Tuesday: Explain

 

 

 

River Run

 

She could not sleep for the excitement.

A dream come true. A lifelong prayer answered.

She lost count of the times they’d gone without, made do with little. They saved. They scrounged. They worked. They sought. They searched. They found.

Only to be turned down. Back onto the merry-go-round.

It was not for sale. It was too old. It was rotten. It was tied up in legal battles. It was too large. Too steeply priced. Too small.

She almost lost hope.

Then this. Beat up and needing some work. Their Goldilocks perfection.

He didn’t want to sell. His late wife’s boat. Her family’s name. Nope.

They begged. They pleaded. They tried to explain.

Finally … he relented. Perhaps they wore him down.

They drew the contract. Argued. Fretted. Signed.

The boat was theirs.

“You must rename her,” he stressed, pen in hand.

Of course.

Tomorrow it will become her River Run.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

All The Colors

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Photo: Rene Bernal on Unsplash

 

We are,

All the colors

Of this earth,

Broken into

Pieces of

Humanity and

Mixed together

To make into

A kaleidoscope

Of hope.

 

 

 

For Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt: Kaleidoscope in 23 words

 

 

The Promise

 

“It’s not much,” Eric noted.

“That it isn’t,” Morris agreed. “Still …”

Eric nodded. It was better than their tent in the woods. “Walls look sturdy.”

“That they do.” Morris circled the dilapidated farmhouse, hands clasped behind his back. A habit left from years of teaching and one he wasn’t particularly happy to be reminded of.

It still hurt. To have been cast aside. To not be wanted anymore.

“So, she just left it for you?” Eric tried to keep the eagerness out of his voice. He’d hoped for some juicy details ever since Morris had told him about the inheritance.

“That she did,” Morris replied.

He remembered her, of course. Juliette, the brunette. They’d been a couple, in a manner of speaking. “What’s mine is yours,” she had promised. Years ago.

Then they’d parted.

Not once had he thought it to mean anything beyond what she’d shared with him then.

 

 

 

For Crispina’s Crimson’s Creative Challenge

 

 

Slip From Grip

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Enslaved persons cutting sugar cane on the Island of Antigua, 1823, (The British Library)

 

 

She fed them well so

They would

Sleep,

And silently

She gave the slip,

To all she knew

Yet did not sweep

Away the bite

Of whip.

She fled,

So the child in

Her belly’s keep,

Would not writhe, helpless,

In another person’s

Grip.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: slip

(Note: Dedicated to all who suffered and still suffer under the yoke of injustice, discrimination, racism, and pretense. We can do better than this. We must do better than this.)

 

 

 

 

Treasure In The Sand

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Galway, Ireland (photo: Fum Bally on Unsplash)

 

He leaned on his elbows and watched, periodically checking the clock and the tide-chart that hung next to it. Any moment now.

The briny air tickled a sneeze out of him, and he debated whether he had time to go fetch a handkerchief or if he could just use his shirt. Laundry day would not be for another full week. The handkerchief won. He rushed back to the window, flushing with a combination of exertion and embarrassment.

It was sobering to be faced with his own obsession.

The waves hissed and brushed against the beach. The ocean sighed. The breeze picked up. It would rain tonight. He believed his bones.

Then he saw her, walking on the exposed strip of rock-spattered sand. Her head was down, searching. She held a plastic bucket in her hand. It had seen better days.

They both had.

She was his treasure in the sand.

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Galway, Ireland

 

 

The Reporter

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Photo: Sven Brandsma on Unsplash

 

He reports first thing in the morning.

He reports again every night.

There’s little that could dissuade him

From being absolutely forthright.

 

He records every scene with a flourish.

His voice reflects every sight,

As with journalist’s flair

He spells data in ample delight.

 

He would not be distracted from telling,

The minutia has got to be tight.

After all, he is in potty training

And to him no discharging is trite.

 

 

 

For RDP Sunday: Journalist

 

 

More To Overcome

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Photo: Jon Tyson on Unsplash

 

As soon as he arrived, she would be able to make her exit.

Take time for herself. Have a moment of calm.

She was oh-so-tired. She urged him on.

“On my way,” he said. “A few more minutes and I’ll come.”

She waited.

The minutes then the hours ticked their slow molasses of seconds. Time puddled, sticky, in her mind.

Around her the demands of life continued and her body obeyed. Her hands found zippers and did and undid buttons and washed dishes and stirred pots and hung wet linens and kneaded dough and bandaged a skinned knee and broke up fights and interrupted arguments. Her mouth managed to answer questions she did not remember being asked.

At some point her eyes no longer rose to check the clock. The sinking feeling curled up and took residence inside her gut.

She fed. She bathed. She put to bed.

She rocked. She soothed. Not knowing what she said.

As dark deepened and the night grew long, she knew.

He would not arrive.

There will be only more to overcome.

 

 

 

For RDP Sunday: Overcome