Landmine

Posted: February 21, 2018 in Friday Fictioneers
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After staring at this picture for awhile a story finally came to mind. Sorry, it turned a bit bleak in the end. As always, thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting our Friday Fictioneers’ party each week, and thanks to my fellow attnedees for reading and leaving comments.

Photo by Marie Gail Stratford

Just like the yarn in Grandma’s weaving basket, the threads of Lilliana’s life were all tangled up.
Used to be she knew precisely where she was headed and what waited at the end.
Used to be nothing, nothing could get in her way.
Yeah, used to be.
But now she couldn’t see beyond the thin, grey line of her new life.
Sure, people tried to help, said reassuring words, promised the moon.
She listened, straight-backed and graceful.
Even smiled – sometimes.
But Lilliana knew, absolutely, that women without feet were never asked to join the ballet.

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Today Pegman took us to Palisade Rim/Ute Petroglyph Trail, Colorado in order to inspire a 150-word story. I’ve visited this area many times and am always fascinated by the petroglyphs, stories told by ancient hands or just a, “Hey! I was here.”

The People lived on this land for one-thousand years
before your people came,
offering greed and war
and turning our landscape into peaks of tattered garbage,
our lakes to pools of poison,
and our rivers into flowing yellow acid.

We hunted bear, fox, antelope, bison,
took only what was needed
and gave back ten-fold,
leaving the land unaltered
while moving place to place.
We thanked Mother Earth for her bounty.
Offered prayers and gratitude when she provided peace.

You? You brought disease, war, and tears beyond all imagining.
Soldiers killed our women and babies; butchered our men.
And when that failed to annihilate us
your men slaughtered our bison,
leaving piles of bones strewn across the grasslands.

Now you are welcome to this earth
for you have ruined the surface
and what lies beneath.
We will bide our time
until your God comes to ask,
“What have you done?”

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Apology

Posted: February 14, 2018 in Friday Fictioneers
Tags: , , , , ,

For fifty-six years I’ve pinned this photograph to the wall or taped it to the mirror.
Sometimes it’s buried in my wallet.
How I miss you.
Because it was Christmas, you wore a red velvet dress.
Because I was angry I wore black boxing shorts and a torn yellow shirt.
At the party, you laughed, smiled and flirted with me
as if I weren’t the biggest jerk around.
We both drank too much, I know that, but I drank until I couldn’t see.
Still, I heard – brakes squealing, shattering glass.
And. One. Shrill. Scream.

(94-words)

Never Ending Love

Posted: February 10, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
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Today Pegman took us to Terni, Italy. While scrolling around this fascinating place I found a painting of Marmore Falls. Suddenly (especially since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner) love was in the air. Thanks, Pegman!!!

Oh, how I love you
and you love me

For I have given you laughter
and nights of such glory
we were compelled to sing and shout
under blankets of stars
And in the end
I gave you children
so beautiful even the Gods are jealous

In return
you convinced me
that I do possess courage
and you taught me
how to acquire power
beyond all imagining
Even as you made me
recognize
that neither should be abused

We have shown one another
kindness
patience
generosity

And tolerated
anger
anxiety
lustfulness
and fear

If we only survive ten more years
or are lucky enough to live
one hundred years
or one thousand years longer
we shall flow through time
side-by-side
with our heads held high
and our fingers entwined

For I know
beyond a shadow of a doubt
the strength of us will always remain

(Located in the Parco Fluviale del Nera, the Marmore Falls is one of the finest outdoor attractions in the region surrounding Terni. This waterfall may look natural, but is actually man-made and stands as the tallest man-made fall in the world.)

I know ya’ll will think this real queer, but Netta jotted a note next to every wine stain on her tablecloth. Used a Sharpie; make it stick.

Weddin’ night 5/21/68
Mama passed 7/18/68
Baby stillborn 3/21/70
Bought me a rowboat. Waaaa-hoo!!! 8/20/70
For why did Hank shoot Boomer-the-Mutt? 6/1/71
Floozie in our house!!! 1/1/72
Hank done punched me!!! 3/12/73
Bought me a new fry pan, feelin’ better 3/15/73
Damn! Punched me again! 12/24/73
Walloped s.o.b. in the head Mary Merry Christmas.  12/25/73
s.o.b ain’t movin.’ 12/26/73
Real nice row in the swamp today 12/27/73

I’m tellin’ ya, read the table. Them dates is scattered, but the truth is in there. Guarantee.

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I have missed What Pegman Saw, so am dipping my toe into the 150-word waters of a story about North Coast, Finland. Thanks, Pegman!!!

We inhabit a land of seagrass and women who wear armor.
Our children are strong. Our men brave.
Together we have lived upon these shores for one thousand years
and will defend it to the death.

At night the polar skies glow with fox-fire.
The days glisten with sunshine and laughter.
Our fields produce crops you have never heard of,
and we will never share.
The forests surrounding our homes
are alive with bear and lynx.
They do not frighten us,
for they are here to serve.

So, even though you have three times our number of sailing ships,
filled with twice as many soldiers armed with weapons of hammered steel,
do not think, for one moment,
you have the slightest chance of conquering our people.

For we will rise up in a fury so strong
the hearts of your bravest men will tremble.
Send your army.
We are here.
Waiting.

Wow! It’s Wednesday-Friday again and time to take Rochelle Wisoff-Field’s picture prompt and create a 100-word story. Thanks, Sandra Crook, for presenting us with a wonderful example of Trompe L’Oeil, it sure fooled me!

People had called her Ms. Penny Wise for so long, her true name was lost.
Living in the derelict house, wearing tattered dresses and taped-together shoes she was most often forgotten.
But sometimes, surely not often, a woman delivered a pie or a man fixed her car.
No one was invited inside nor thanked, for that matter.
So when Ms. Penny Wise wasn’t seen for a week or maybe two, she wasn’t missed.
When they discovered she’d actually died, no tears fell.
But when they found out she left a million dollars to her cat,
they wished they’d paid more attention.