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In Hiding (Micro-Fiction)

November 20, 2014

11-19 Pipe

Shielding her eyes from the mid-day sun, Geri stumbled from the opening of the shallow cave that had been her shelter. Her muscles twitched after huddling in the small space for so long.

Her head swirled as if she’d been blindfolded and spun in circles. A relieved sigh escaped when she spotted the water pipeline in the distance. Before time ran out, they’d agreed to meet there.

Geri slumped against a support pole, borrowing a sliver of shade. Growing sleepy under the warming rays, silence augmented her isolation.

Maybe she won?

Hide-and-seek (or winning) never felt so lonely.

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I decided to go ‘short’ for a couple reasons (1) to give your eyes a break (most of my fiction ends up being around 1,000 words) and (2) to practice writing short again.  I’m hoping to come up with an entry for a micro-fiction contest but it’s been months since I’ve attempted to write a story in 100 words or less.  This one came in at 98 words.

There really wasn’t any inspiration for this, other than this photo I had on hand, taken earlier this year during a hike on the Mogollon Rim (Arizona.)  I’d hoped the story would have an end-of-the-world feel at the beginning, the twist being the revelation that it was a game of hide-and-seek.

Whether it worked or not, I don’t know – you tell me!  (Really, I would love the feedback :) )

Have a great Thursday!

Stranger Inside

November 17, 2014
Sometimes we find familiar around the next curve

Sometimes we find familiar around the next curve

Your eyes,

your face,

your smile (absent for too long)-

they are all familiar

impressions on the

repressed memories

lurking in the recesses

of my sub-conscious mind.

I wrestle with the

incongruity of

past and present-

the surreal shadow

that slithers across

the barren landscape

of a new reality.

I hope you can find

yourself,

your smile,

your life (reason to live)-

all buried beneath

the stranger inside-

the person I once knew.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

Inspiration:  For those who look to this part of the post to explain what on earth I was writing about, I won’t leave you hanging.  This poem has dual  meaning.  It was written to/about a person consumed by drugs.  He looks like the person you’ve known all along, but inside, he is gone.  His good heart belongs to his addiction.  It is also written to/about his parents; the people who have struggled to accept their only child is no longer the boy they raised.  How do you come to terms with that?  Not very easily.  That’s all I know.  Sometimes I can’t believe these are the same people I remember fondly from my childhood.  They are so different now; so sad and broken.

Unfortunately, this is about my family.  Just in time for the holidays, relationships have been severed and only time will tell if they can be repaired.  Right now, I’m sort of in the middle and will walk the line as best I can.  In the meantime, all I can do is offer prayers for peace, strength and forgiving hearts.

I realize I’ve neglected my fiction here lately.  I’ve written a couple of stories I plan to submit for publication, so I can’t post them here, but I do have a couple ideas.  I hope to post some fiction soon (either this week or next.)

I’ll sign off with this… if we look closely enough, we can find even the tiniest blessings in times of trouble.  I hope you have a beautiful week!

To The Creature In My Attic…

November 13, 2014
Young pest captured in neighbor's attic

Young pest captured in neighbor’s attic

For months, I’ve

heard your wanderings,

traced your path behind painted walls.

Clawing, scampering, scraping

noises puncture my conscious mind;

you’re stealth when others are near.

Oh, creature in my attic,

I know your game-

your clever maneuvering,

has made me question my sanity.

Stowaway visitor,

my husband discovered

the scattered evidence

of your clandestine presence.

I’m vindicated!

A months-overdue “told you so”

crosses my satisfied lips.

Soon, a baited metal cage

will, with any hope,

further prove my point.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

Inspiration:  This poem is written to whatever has been making itself at home in our attic.  For months, I’ve complained of noises in the walls only to have my husband tell me it was squirrels on the roof. Whenever I called him to hear the clawing sounds for himself, it would stop.  He’d pass me a I-think-you’ve-lost-your-mind look and head back downstairs.  (I don’t know for sure, but writing poetry to attic-dwelling animals could be a solid sign of insanity!)

Well, crazy must be contagious because the kids heard the noises, too.  And the cats began pouncing at walls (chasing noises that up until that point, the crafty creature made me suspect were only in my head.)

Finally, last weekend, my husband heard scratching/scampering and asked me, “Did you hear that?”

A small part of me wanted to say, “no” and play it off like he was nuts.  Instead, I replied, “I told you something is in the attic!”

A good “I told you so” wins every time :)

Divide And Conquer

November 10, 2014

11-10 Sedona

Divide and conquer… originally, used to describe a military technique that maintains control by dividing the masses. If they don’t band together, they are easier to manage. They don’t get together and rally against the ruler.

In my life, divide and conquer has come to mean dividing our resources so our to-do list doesn’t control us. Most recently, this thought came to mind when I over-booked our calendar. On the same day, we now have a Boy Scout camp out and putting up Christmas decorations at church. We also had a conflict with my older son’s band activities and our younger son’s doctor’s appointment. Divide and conquer.

I got to thinking – while our ‘to-do’ list is whimpering from our efforts, dividing our resources to manage it could have the opposite effect by bringing us to our knees.  The more things we don’t do as a family, the more memories we miss making as a family. Years from now, it means fewer things we can talk about that we all remember- because we experienced them together. Divide and conquer needs to be our last resort, not our go-to strategy.

This time of year feels like life has been put on “fast forward.” I guess my thoughts needed to go down this path as a reminder that less is more. Even as I write this, I feel a little guilty because I’ve declined to be a leader in Cub Scouts this year. Not because I don’t think it’s valuable, but because I have so little time- and I feel like I’ve over-spent it.

Unlike money, I can’t make more time.

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I appreciate you reading my random thoughts on life. I hope you have a peaceful Monday!

You (Can’t) Complete Me

November 6, 2014
Eagle's nest near Woods Canyon Lake (AZ)

Eagle’s nest near Woods Canyon Lake (AZ)

Time moves like grey clouds on an overcast day.

Shading,

shifting,

shadowing.

My future, hazy, rolls on the horizon.

My perch, compromised;

my insecurities, exposed.

I used to think you completed me.

I bought into the fallacy;

           partook of the trickery-

My cup runs over, but still, I’m empty.

Incomplete.

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

Inspiration: Though written in first person, the poem is not autobiographical this time. For some reason the phrase, “you complete me” came to mind today. I’m not so sure someone else can complete us. I think we have to be whole and comfortable in our “self” before we can commit to love. However, I’m not a total pessimist- I do believe we can find someone who compliments us by bringing out our better qualities.

In this poem, the broken person realizes that no matter how much the other person gives, it’s not enough. Looking back on the relationship, with the perspective of the time invested, he/she sees an uncertain future. The person has grown to be cynical from the realization they were duped by the idea someone else could make them whole. “My cup runs over, but still, I’m empty” – this acknowledges that although life has bestowed numerous blessings, the person still feels hollow inside.

Of course, if you saw something entirely different in these words, you’re right, too!

Thanks for reading and contemplating my words. Have a wonderful rest of the week :)

All Ears (And Feet)

November 3, 2014

I feel your presence.

I notice your ears; then… my-

what big feet you have!

11-3 Baby JackRabbit

~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

Jack rabbits move faster than I can think. Before it occurs to me to get my camera, they are nothing but a memory! My older son noticed this one outside by our deck several weeks ago and said, “hurry, Mom, take a picture.” Right. The camera!

I took the photo through the closed window because I knew any effort to get closer would result in the rabbit running- er, hopping away. I think we all have a flight instinct. When in physical danger, our body releases hormones that give us a boost of energy- allowing us a chance to survive.

In my last fiction piece, forgetting and remembering were contrasted; both resulting in apathy and fear. Joanne made a comment that said in part, “That is a fear I battle. I am afraid to move forward because I can’t see the next step.” I can relate to this statement so much.

This got me thinking about our evolution and how the “fight-or-flight” response to physical danger (which no doubt involves fear) makes us move, but the result of emotional fear is often to stay put. We get paralyzed with unknown scenarios and the myriad of “what-ifs” that come to mind (and they always seem to be worst-case outcomes!)

Today, my prayer is that we all find the faith to take on a fear. It’s not easy to get past the road blocks constructed in our minds, but acknowledging them is an important step that can lead to action. I have some fears of my own to take on. I think we all have them if we stop to think about it.

Just a few rambling thoughts on a Monday… thanks for bearing with me and reading through them.

Have a beautiful day!

Wishes (Short Fiction)

October 31, 2014

10-31 necklace

“Can you tell me again why I’m here?” I searched the eyes of the white-bearded man perched next to me on the rotted log.

He sighed. “Child, I tell ya ev’ry day. Perhaps it’s me fate… I’ll tell ya again.” He shifted his weight and winced, rubbing his lower back. “Thirteen years plus thirteen days ago, I found ya sittin’ on this here log.

“How did I get here?”

“Gittin’ to it.”

He expelled a series of phlegmy coughs that made my insides shiver.

“You leant on this log. So I ask ya, ‘girlie, what’s yer name?’ Ya said nothing. Then, I seen the amulet around yer neck.” He lifted a polished arrowhead dangling from a leather cord. “It’s just like mine, ‘cept yers has ribbon, too.”

I felt for my necklace and rubbed the arrowhead between my thumb and index finger.

“I knew then, ya seen Nukpana.” He cleared his throat. “Fer centuries, she’s granted wishes, an cast spells. Yer grateful at first… til misery sets in.”

I furrowed my brow. “How did she find us?”

“We invite her. All it takes is tears an repeatin’ our heart’s desire three times.” He frowned. “Cain’t resist the evil lure of makin’ pain go away.”

“What was my wish?”

He stared at me for several seconds before turning his attention toward his hands. He rubbed his finger over his ridged thumbnail. “Ya wanted to forget.”

“Forget what?”

He shrugged. “Don’t know. Only one person knew; an’ she asked to forget.”

Read more…

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