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”

The Water Droplet: A Poem

I hang suspended
.          Stretching away from my design
.          Wrapped tight within myself—my natural tendency
.          Clear shimmering, promising help
.          But void.

Until
.          My neighbor slips down
.          Bumping my tight skin, breaking the meniscus,
.          Binding with me, pulling, stretching

And we dance to the ground.
Splash, jumping with the others
Filter through the dirt
Nourishing, becoming.

 

_________________________

This poem is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Neighbor. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all). And yes, I know it isn’t Friday anymore. I was up enjoying Lake Michigan and my family and purposefully left my laptop at home. But I did take pics. If you’d like to see some, head over to my Instagram account.

Like the little water droplet in the poem, I so often fight joining with other folks. But when I do allow myself, I find a whole new purpose.

So this fall I’m back to leading a neighborhood study and hanging with my writer’s group. But I’m also presenting at two writer’s conferences and volunteering downtown at a fabulous outreach that uses art to reach the homeless population. I’m nervous and excited as I dance into this new season. Hoping to be nourishment to my fellow neighbors.

How about you? What are you tackling this season?

 

The post pic is mine.

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”

Words and a Life Lived

For Five Minute Friday, I usually write a short story. The character “magically” appear in my mind along with how they feel and what’s happening. Normally, I can see a scene—a rise in the action and the fall. (It’s a lovely byproduct of telling stories for YEARS…until someone catches you actually talking to yourself.)

But this week, the prompt speak has left me scrambling. It has, ironically, stripped me of words. Bits and pieces of thoughts & characters tumbled through my mind—images of my daughter speaking up for a fellow student, a gentle word from a friend, the struggle to tell the truth—but they’re void of the rise and fall.

And I wonder if there might be a reason for that. Continue reading “Words and a Life Lived”

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”