Work: A Short Story

Sam climbed the ladder, his sore back muscles protesting each hand hold. It was the last tree to trim out and he’d be done. Well, at least for this season.

Down the hill, he could hear Marie calling the cow in for the night and groaned at the gathering darkness as if he were Moses and the Almighty himself might just stop the sun in the sky.

Farm chores couldn’t compare to conquering an entire Philistine army. But they were as necessary as drawing breath…least that’s what Ma always said.

Sam hacked at an overlapping limb and corrected himself—would have always said. It’s something Ma would have said. Continue reading “Work: A Short Story”

Guide, One Last Time: A Short Story

This story is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Guide. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all).

The breeze through the window whispered across Sarah’s bare arm making the hairs her skin bump up against the cold. She smiled, lifting her face to catch the warmth of the sun, wishing it was more than just a blur of light.

At her movement, Geronimo lifted his head from her lap and dropped it, heavy. Too heavy. Too weak. Continue reading “Guide, One Last Time: A Short Story”

On the Threshold: A Short Story

She stands on the threshold big toe hanging over and it makes her heart beat just as fast as the cars driving across her little house. Anything that stays in one place long enough

Anything that stays in one place long enough can’t move no more.

It’s not like Maeva Dawn wants to be stuck inside all the time, afraid of the darkness that’s outside her little dog trot house. She just can’t make herself put more than her right big toe outside her doorway.

Somehow life had made a cage for her and little-by-little she’d given up. Continue reading “On the Threshold: A Short Story”

First Steps—A Short Story

He stood, flanked by metal bars that stretched long in front of him. The sweat of his hands threatened to break his grip, spill him pell-mell onto the floor. This, the first time he’d been out of a chair or bed since the accident, and he was destined to make a fool of himself in front of every single person in the room.

“You can do this, sir.”

Sir. Everyone here called him sir…as if his long ago rank was still settled in stripes on his shoulder. Continue reading “First Steps—A Short Story”

Finding Home—A Short Story

She closed her eyes against the gaping white canvas. There was a time when she could get lost inside a world of her own making. Just her and a paint brush against the boring gray world of school institutions and suburban life.

But now…now…

Sighing, she laid the brush aside and pushed to her feet. The square window flickered with the coming storm. She flicked out the light and stood leaning against the window frame. Outside heat lightening stitched through the night sky illuminating the edges of dark clouds, and she smiled.

She could almost hear the wind in the trees at Gramma’s house, feel the electricity lift the hairs on her arms. With the lights still dim, a pencil in hand, she sketched the trees against the dark sky, glowing behind clouds. She may not ever have Gramma back, but she could bring Gramma’s house to canvas, remember the only place that was homeshare the beauty, stoke inspiration for other.

 

This post is a response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Inspire. The rule is no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all). It’s obviously no longer Friday. I spent more than a few hours with my kids as they sold their crafts at craft sales. I’m slightly burnt and dehydrated, but I loved the chance to let my kids have a little taste of entrepreneurship. I pray you’ll have a wonderful week.

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ReCollect: a Short Story

Last weekend I attended a Writer’s Conference as part of the faculty (for those of you not familiar that means I was there working as my editor persona). The odd thing about conferences is that I tend to come away with little nuggets even when I’m not officially attending. And this one was no different.

I realized I needed to be more consistent in my writing of stories. I don’t know what that looks long term (as in for tomorrow). But for today, I’m using a prompt from Five Minute Friday. As the name suggests, I wrote without editing (Lord, preserve us all) for five minutes. So now that you know what’s going on. Here is my story about “Collect.”

I let the stones trickle over my fingers and into the grey box. 1-2-3-4-5. Smooth, cool. The thunks of the landing echoing against the cardboard where I’d stashed my mishmash collection of stones since I was a kid.

A deep red I found on the beach—Spring break with my mom. The Petoskey, engraved with strange, long dead coral—summer vacation with husband. Sea glass, quartz, …

A record without words. I tucked the box back into the shelf and leaned my head against the cabinets breathing in the rain scrubbed air. Relishing the quiet that only comes from vacation, fresh-air, and showered kids tucked in bed. Continue reading “ReCollect: a Short Story”

“Dog Days” of Summer

DogIf you follow me over on Facebook, you know we have a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog named Odie. We rescued him when his previous owner moved into assisted living and had to give the puppy back to the breeder.

From the first day we brought him home, Odie has been an endless stream of funny stories. And since we’ve officially entered the “dog days of summer”, I could use a smile. And I suspect you could use one too.

So let me introduce you to my puppy.

Odie is an adorable mass of brown, black, and white fur. Extremely smart, but when we first rescued him, scared of everything, even the grass (seriously). Although he loved to be pet, he preferred hiding in his crate to playing fetch with the kids.

At first, the only way we could coax him outside was if I took a treat with me to bribe him into the grass, and stayed nearby. So I was shocked when a few weeks in, Odie greeted Romeo, our neighbor’s cat, like he was a long lost friend. Trotting with his puppy tail extended long behind him, Odie was clearly inviting the kitty to come play.

The cat, however, wanted nothing to do with this new situation and came up hissing and spitting. Odie, now recognizing that the kitty was not an old friend, took off running in the opposite direction. No doubt looking for his crate. But to his puppy delight, Continue reading ““Dog Days” of Summer”

The Making of a Tiger

This is a short story revealing a little background on the characters of the WWII novel I’m writing. The main character here (John) is the father of the main character in the book (Kailyn). It’s set in the Himalayan mountains of Burma. Hope you enjoy it . . .

Making of Tiger

He didn’t have much use for his small knife any longer. It had been so long since he’d carved blocks of wood into jungle animals, that the monsoon rains had left rust and mold on the blade.

But tonight. Tonight his hands needed the feel of wood. The surety behind it’s hardness. The knife peeling away bits and flakes to reveal what had always lurked beneath the bark.

John rubbed a calloused thumb across the edges. His white skin stark against the ridged grain.

A scream ripped through the jungle and John jumped from the fallen log. His daughter, Kailyn, sat quiet. Amber eyes wide, staring through the fire at her Papa, shifting between the door of their thatch-roofed home and the jungle. He knew she wanted to run, but her mother’s pain contained her here. Captured in the flickering light of the fire. Continue reading “The Making of a Tiger”

In Its Place–A Short Story

Old-Hardware-3I could feel the heat from the hardware store’s stove warming my feet as I sat on the couch in our second floor apartment. My toes nearly glowed with happiness. In such heat a body could nearly forget the cardboard covered holes in her shoes and the snow outside the window.

A body could nearly forget everything. I touched the corner of wool blankets next to me and brushed lint off the red box on top. Well, nearly.

Mama always said, “Lucille, honey, we’re lucky to have the store.”

She’d brush my wild curls into submission and tell me that other folks would love this here place even with the oily smell. Or some days, she’d say they’d like it even with the chipped walls or with all the men hanging around outside looking for work from any fortunate builder or handyman with a job big enough to hire extra hands.

I don’t know who she was trying to convince. Maybe herself or my older brother, George. I don’t think either of them liked their jobs in the family business.

But I certainly didn’t need telling. I loved Miles Hardware. Three stories of rising red brick between the white clapboard buildings.

Continue reading “In Its Place–A Short Story”