Today Pegman took us to Coniston Water, Lake District, England. I took a stroll around and found this picture. Thanks, Karen and Josh, for providing another great idea for a 150-word challenge.

As children, my sisters and I danced among these stones, singing the praises of gods we did not know while wondering why anyone should be guided by spirits they could not see.

Rayana, the eldest. A beauty with a voice filled with the music of one-hundred crystalline bells.
And a mind that held world-knowledge that surpassed each of our elders.
Oh, her many qualities swayed armies.

Clarene, the brave. Villagers compared her strength to that of our most powerful axman. Her gentleness to the heart of a dove.
When war broke out, she was our fiercest defender and most compassionate healer.

What were my qualities? Selfishness. Anger. Revenge. All wrapped up in ocean-blue eyes and golden hair. As were we all.

So, I warn you, the next time you sit, mead in hand, do not ask our elders how the village survived for lies will drip from their tongues.

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The Threat

Posted: June 20, 2018 in Friday Fictioneers
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My Dearest Sonya,
I leave tonight. Father drinks too much. Mother constantly cries. My brothers fight in a war that makes no sense. But you know all this. I can’t say where I’m going and haven’t much money but join me, I beg you. Since it is impossible for us to be seen together, I’ll come to the market at noon. Wear a yellow dress if the answer is yes, blue if the answer is no.
Your Raul

Sonya reads a second letter, feels the threat. Slowly she slips into her black dress to signal Raul’s father that his son intends to flee.

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Ghosts

Posted: June 16, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
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Today Pegman took us to Taşlıçay, Ağrı, Turkey. I scrolled around pictures for a while before finding this wonderful picture of blowing snow.

The old people say there are no ghosts left
that they disappeared after the great famine
took more than half the population of the village.
They are wrong.

On the edge of fields
I see ghosts
dancing in clothes so bright
they put the sun to shame.

Or, I hear them in the barn
telling jokes and laughing
until I think their sides might split.
If only they still had sides.
If only.

Sometimes these fragile ghosts
sit at my kitchen table.
I drink tea while listening to their stories.
Often I reach out to touch them.
Futile, I know.
I need no reminder.

They leave notes
We love you
Kindness is the root of happiness
Go to bed early
Feed the dog

I no longer have a dog.
But my children don’t know that.
Their memories are
from the times before
the soldiers came,
starving and mean.

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Today’s thought-provoking photo was provided by Jean L Hays. Thanks, Rochelle, for posting it for the Friday Fictioneers to mull over and create a 100-word story.

Time was Angie felt like a pretty bird.
Time was Lester was kind. Gentle.
He’d give her small gifts. River rocks. A sand dollar.
One morning he brought home a clutch of robin eggs
bluer than his eyes.
She made him put them back.

Now Angie feels as if she’s
cooped up with a tiger.
Lester’s gone all crazy. Mean.
He steals things or rips them apart.
Hair combs. Stockings. Earrings.
Anything that makes her feel feminine and soft.

Angie knows it’s her fault
and doesn’t complain.
She let Lester’s daddy hit the boy
too many times.

 

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Susana stands stiffly, watching people run to the water’s edge, and return.
Each picks up a stone or bottle fragments polished by wave-driven sand.
Some discover Japanese glass floats in blue or green.
Others find pearls tucked inside broken half-shells. And squeal.
They have no idea they are stealing when they slip her treasures inside their backpacks.
Still, their ignorance makes her angry.
She conjures wind that whips sand, and rocks and driftwood into an angry funnel
that dances down the beach and swallows them whole.
Susana smiles in the silence and slowly bends to collect what is left behind.

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Not Your Fault

Posted: June 2, 2018 in Uncategorized

I’m cheating this week and posting another FF story. These 100-words have been rolling around in my head for three days and I had to write them down. Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read them.

For years I believed that
if you bothered
to dig deep enough
to look into my soul
and see me
me
for who I truly am
you would love me more

And, if you could decipher
the thoughts mixed into
the words I spoke
out of anger
or in defense
or defiance
you would love me more

But at last I realized
it wasn’t your fault
that our love was
withering like flowers
left too long in the sun

It was mine
for I sheltered my soul
and protected my thoughts
out of  fear
of being loved too much


Correcting a Mistake

Posted: May 30, 2018 in Friday Fictioneers
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Today’s photo was provided by Russell Gayor’s wife, Connie. I tried my best to write a serious story, but when I saw our fellow Fictioneer standing in a hole filled with mud and water, I had to go on the light side. Thanks, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for posting it.

Used to be, Ernest was the best darn farmer in these parts.
Long before the 4th of July rolled around
his corn was way higher than your kneecap,
and his beets was bigger en bowlin balls.
I kid you not.

Then he up and married Widow Smith.
Worst dang thing he ever coulda’ done.
She don’t like nothin green on her plate.
Says corn makes her intestines ache,
and beets turn her teeth red.

Personally, I think she might be a vampire.
She sure sucked the life out of our Ernest.

Say, now that I think on it,
I ain’t seen her round for a while.