Stepping Aside

01-20 Hallway_Door-Monticello

Every morning, I let our dogs outside. Every morning, our 16-year-old Yorkie Poo barks when she’s ready to come in. Every morning, I open the door, but she just stands there staring at me. I try to call her inside and get her to move because I know what’s coming.  I hear collar tags jingling and rapid footsteps barreling toward the door. Then, it happens: our Golden Retriever tramples the small dog as she tears into the house. Every day, the Yorkie Poo gets up and looks a little dazed like she’s trying to figure out what just happened; then she will come inside.

As an outsider (who happens to be warm and cozy standing inside,) it’s obvious to see that if she either walked in when the door opened or moved aside, she wouldn’t get stepped on.  This got me thinking about how I sometimes get stuck in the routine of doing the same thing and expecting different results, whether it be dealing with people at work, home, or even my own behavior and reactions to things.

When I feel the frustration of enduring repeated offenses, I need to remember to pause and look at the situation differently. There just might be a solution as obvious as stepping away from an open door.

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It’s been a while since I’ve written fiction, but on Thursday, I will post a story inspired by another one of Emilio Pasquale’s fabulous photos.  I hope you’ll come back and check it out – he certainly gave me a challenge this time 🙂

I Won’t Break

01-12 Snow

I bent over backwards,

turned inside out,

to create the illusion of peace.

Whenever the dust settled,

you blew through again,

disrupting the balance.

***

Shoulders hunched, back bowed

from the weight of life,

I wait out the storm.

Each breath anticipates

the point in time

when I can stand tall once more.

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Inspiration:  During our recent snowstorm, I saw this young tree bent from the weight of snow.  When I spotted it, I immediately thought that it was nature’s representation of me.  Several times, I went outside and shook the snow off of it and it would spring back to the upright position.  I have hope that I, too, will bounce back like this little tree.

Open To Interpretation – Speakeasy #155

Signs are there... but open to interpretation
Signs and people:  open to interpretation

“Without a word, she dropped to the ground.” I took a drink of iced tea. “Such a bizarre dream… I have no idea what it means.”

“A wooden cheetah climbed the tree?” Pam tilted her head to the side and scrunched her face.

“Yeah. She almost reached the wooden eagle, but then she just stopped, leaped from the trunk, and ran away lightning fast.”

She shook her head. “That is strange. Cheetahs don’t even climb trees.”

“Whatever. Maybe it was jaguar or a leopard. That’s not the point.”

“Oh yes, the point is you give up too soon.” She jabbed a ketchup-dipped fry in my direction.

“What?”

“The leopard almost reached her goal and then turned tail. That, my friend, is you.”

“Maybe she decided she wasn’t hungry.”

“Doubt it. Leopards are hunters by instinct.”

“Maybe I’m the eagle.”

Pam laughed. “Nope. Eagles symbolize freedom. You’ve trapped yourself.”

“Maybe the leopard decided the bird wasn’t worth the effort,” I said.

“Or she was afraid of what would happen if she actually caught it.”

I rolled my eyes. “It was just a stupid dream. Can we talk about something else?”

“You’re either stressed about that job offer in Chicago or the lack of proposal from Ian- or both.”

“You got all that from a dream?”

Pam looked over the rim of her eyeglasses. “It makes more sense than the literal interpretation of wooden animals in a tree. The subconscious never rests and our conscious worries tend to manifest in our dreams. The way I see it–”

“Okay, okay. I am a little anxious. Just stop already.”

Pam smiled… her smug smile. I hated that one.

“I don’t think Ian will ever be ready to commit.” I picked the sesame seeds off my burger bun and dropped them into a pile on my plate. “I’m done wasting my time.”

“Then why not take the job in Chicago?”

“I like it here.”

“You like the safety of here.”

“Dang it, Pam! Stop analyzing me.” Her scrutiny always made me squirm, mostly because, as my best friend of fifteen years, she pegged me more than I planned to admit.

“Fine, but you really should find out why the leopard turned away.”

“Right. I’ll go to bed tonight and tune myself into the dream channel and pick up where it left off. Better yet, I’ll chase the wooden leopard down and ask her why she didn’t devour the eagle.”

“Funny,” Pam said in a sarcastic tone. Then she shrugged. “Maybe you should stay. That way, we can still discuss your deep-seeded insecurities over lunch.”

I sighed. “Chicago might not be so bad.”

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This is my response to Speakeasy’s weekly writing prompt.  The challenge this week is to write a piece in 750 words or less (mine is less- 438 words, to be exact) (1) using “Without a word, she dropped to the ground.” as the first sentence, AND (2) make some sort of reference to the photo prompt (which is posted on the Speakeasy site.)

The challenge is open to everyone, so if you want to play along, click the badge below to check out the guidelines.  Stories can be written and posted on your blog now, but we can’t add our link to Speakeasy until Tuesday.

Thanks for stopping by!

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He Said / She Said – Speakeasy #150

Note:  read the left side (red text) first, then the right side (blue text.)  Scroll down for normal sentence/paragraph format:

   HeSaidSheSaid            ~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-~~~-

It occurs to me that while this appears fine on a computer screen, the formatting may be a mess on some mobile devices, so here is the text in normal sentence format:

HE SAID:  Monotony.  Each day that followed was more of the same.  Serving his sentence: life.  He vowed to stay ’til death claimed his soul.  Fifteen years- 180 calendar pages turned; 5,475 tick marks made.  Each heartbeat spent, suspended in perpetual limbo.  He still loved her, but love didn’t translate the language divide.  He wanted to unwind after a stressful Monday, she wanted to talk.  He was confused by her moody swings and sulking on the other end of the couch, silently.   Guilt pushed from his mind – he rationalized he didn’t have to bear the impossible burden of being her everything.  He felt smothered by the knowledge her ideal was more than he was, or could ever hope to be.    

SHE SAID: Empty. Lonely, neglected, rejected.  The silence awakened doubt; suspicion that forever was a myth- a lore dwelling somewhere outside herself.  Yes, she still loved him, but couldn’t ignore the endless darkness.  Even by her side he felt a world away.  Nothing could satisfy the ravenous hole inside her, as it devoured every ounce of happiness she managed to grasp.  She wondered- if she let go, would he reach for her, or idly watch her be swallowed- whole?  Would she survive either way?  Precariously straddled, life’s breath held in the balance:  She waited for someone to tell her what to do next.

12/15/14 – replaced original text with image due to improper display in WordPress theme.

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This is my response to the Speakeasy weekly prompt, which is to write a work of fiction in 750 words or less, and (1) use the following as the last sentence:  “She waited for someone to tell her what to do next.” AND (2) make some sort of reference to the video short The Black Hole (click the title for a link to view the video – it’s actually quite fascinating!)

I’m not great at shaped writing, but I got the idea do write my response in the yin-yang shape and couldn’t let it go… I know the shape isn’t perfect, but I hope it’s good enough that you were able to see it!

The prompt is open to anyone, so if you want to check it out, click the badge below.  Have a wonderful Monday!

P.S.  I’m several days behind on blog reading, so if you’ve recently left a comment or subscribed and I haven’t visited your site, please bear with me as I work to catch up this week!

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Pushing Tushes

Youth isn't just for the young!
Youth isn’t just for the young!

Kendra hadn’t been this nervous since her first date… in 1979.  Newly divorced after twenty-eight years of marriage, it pretty much was her first date.  She shifted her bra to lift her breasts where she thought they should be, but gravity turned out to be stronger than expensive Victoria’s Secret technology.  She turned her back to the mirror and threw a glance over her shoulder; fingers crossed the stone-studded pockets complimented her tush.

She sighed.  Pushing fifty, her body didn’t fit the twenty-year-old image in her mind.  The full-length mirror was the only one bold enough to confront her with the truth.  She applied her lipstick, perhaps too red for her age but she wore it anyway.

Kendra slid into her red cowboy boots.  (Red made her feel vibrant.  Her friends called it the “red attitude.”)  She grabbed her keys and hummed a country tune as she headed to her car.  Ten minutes later, she pulled into Mr. Lucky’s parking lot.  She strutted through the barn doors and saw Brad waiting inside.

“Wow, you look beautiful.”

“And you look great, too.  New shirt?”

He sucked his belly in, but it still hid the top of his belt buckle.  He grinned.  “I bought it just for tonight.”  Brad held his elbow out in a dramatic gesture.  “Would the most gorgeous woman in the house like to join me in the Tush Push?”

Kendra saw the line dance in full swing when she looked over his shoulder.  She slid her arm through his elbow.  “Come on, my two-stepping prince.  Let’s show ‘em how it’s done!”

He gave her a twirl.  In that moment, she felt better than twenty-one.

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TrifectaPicture11-1This story might be a little corny, but it has some truth for me.  Sometimes I forget that youth isn’t reflected in the mirror.  It isn’t until I let go of how I look (or rather, how differently I look than I did twenty years ago)  that I’m able to feel free and happy.  (Oh, and I love red, but don’t wear red lipstick :))

This is also  my response to Trifecta’s weekly writing prompt, which is to write a 33 to 333 word piece using the following word/definition:  TUSH:  buttocks (slang)

Remember, the challenge is open to anyone, so if you’re so inspired, please write your own response and link it up on Trifecta’s site!

Thanks so much for reading.  Have a beautiful week!!