Guardian Angel

Posted: April 27, 2019 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , ,

The first time Tadita caught my eye, she was strolling barefoot across the cobblestones on her way to the olive press, long auburn hair swinging in time with each step. Oh, how her hips swayed, jaunty and proud. Her eyes, the color of a blue jay’s wing, dared me to speak or stay quiet, I don’t think she cared.

Twenty years later I spied Tadita again, still barefoot, still slim. Was it possible her eyes were even bluer, her hair the same length and color? So many years had passed, the olive press was crumbling, as was I but not my Tadita.

And the last time? Tadita sat at the edge of my bed, eyes filled with kindness and love. She hadn’t aged a day, while I lay broken and dying. I swear, just as I let age finally take me, delicate blue wings sprouted from Tadita’s back.

 

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I did archeology at Fort Vancouver, just across the river from Portland, OR so my story is located a little south of where Pegman took us today but I couldn’t help writing 150-words about something so familiar and dear to my heart.

We Indians and Kanakas took our leave of Fort Vancouver long ago.
Archaeologists study what we left behind believing that mapping areas of shattered dish fragments will show what our lives were like while working as servants for soldiers and their wives.
They deceive themselves for decorated fragments of transfer-printed pitchers and shards of salt-ware jars have no stories to tell. They define where we lived, in quarters sectioned off from the Hudson’s Bay men, but the “fancy” names we were given such as Ban-yan, Foretop, and Ropeyarn are not recorded on these fragments. Heartache and loneliness cannot be written on a sliver of porcelain. Nor the joyful birth of a child.
We wish the archaeologists well.
And perhaps it’s for the best no one remembers our true names or what we did or how much we loved. Those memories are for us to keep.

I must admit I’m addicted to Friday Fictioneers, so today I put aside an hour of editing my manuscript to add a story to this mix of wonderful flash fiction writers. Thanks to one and all who find time to read my story.

Siegert pulls the picture from his pocket.
He knows exactly how many cobbles create the path
from his old room to the gardens,
the rectory
to, well, anywhere on the grounds.
He’s counted each with his feet.

Excitement welled when Siegert heard adopted.
But soon he hears,
“The boy’s quite stupid. Rarely talks.”
Silence is golden, they told me so
“He stumbles.”
I cannot see out of my left eye
“No one actually likes him.”
Please, all I want is love

The train whistle blows.
Siegert knows it’s but a ten-hour trip back
to the land of cobblestones and priests.

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“Uncle Dato built it.”
“Why?”
“It pleased him.”
“He calls it Memory Tree.”
Laughter from five cousins scorches the air.
“This from a man with dementia?”
“Open a door.”
“Holy der’mo!”
“Hello, Uncle.”
“Open.”
The eldest complies.
“Give it to me.”
A slip of yellowed paper passes hand to hand.
“Our wedding day. Zoya wore blue silk. Another.”
The youngest opens a door.
“Our firstborn lived three days. Another.”
“The army arrived. Few are left. Another.”
“The sun shone so brightly today. My heart is filled with joy.”
“We are eating dogs. Another.”
Doors open, shut, open, shut.
In less than an hour, memories of an entire lifetime flow over those gathered around the Memory Tree.
The final note.”My brothers have sons, I have none. I will pour love upon my nephews.”
Uncle Dato nods at each man before taking leave.
Silence. Then laughter.
“That’s one crazy old man.”

Lessons

Posted: March 16, 2019 in Uncategorized

Oh, they call it the Luck o’ the Irish
But they know not what they’re sayin
for it’s the strength of we beansídhe,
our intertwined arms and legs
and songs sung when the boyos
are gone to fields
of war
and testosterone
that keeps our world in balance

Skirts gathered above the muck
we tend our family fields
Plant potatoes while
rearing children
hoping they turn out
far better than their elders

We teach daughters to
tend sheep
card wool
and knit sweaters
that announce our clan
with pride
And show them how to say
No!
That is not for me

The boys?
We do our best to
make them brave
and smarter than their fathers
None of us wants to lose
another
husband, father, son
to war

In the end,
the lot of us
help our boys muster
the strength
to avoid anger
And offer nothing less than peace

 

 

Game?

Posted: March 2, 2019 in What Pegman Saw
Tags: , , , ,

Today Pegman and k. rawson took us to a beautiful place, Portmeirion Village, Wales. Another place for the bucket list.

Note: Meet at the blue bench in front of Mary’s statue.
I look from the paper to the benches, there are three.
Note: Sit on the correct one or your daughter will vanish forever.
How does one choose?
Note: Be there by 4 p.m.

3:45: Mary seems to be laughing, mocking, as my heels click-clack across the cement.
My husband is playing our game which has morphed from
Hide-the-Lipstick to today’s installment – Find-Your-Daughter.
Each time he presents the game the reward or punishment runs the gamut from
diamonds or pearls to a night in a cellar filled with spiders.

Before today, the anticipation thrilled me,
never knowing when he would offer a new riddle or what the outcome would be.
Not now. The stakes are too high.
Bench #1 – gum stuck to the seat
Bench #2 – too cold
Bench #3 – last choice
I wait, shivering, while wind rattles oak branches like bones.

(147-words)

 

 

Today’s Friday Fictioneers photo prompt was submitted by J Hardy Carroll and posted by our fairy blog mother, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. I’m deep in the throes of editing my novel so have been absent for a while. But, because we have been snowed in for about a week, I thought I’d poke my head out of a drift and give a stab at a little flash fiction.

In my eyes, your reflection shows nothing more than violence and greed.
What did you say? These are not entities that reflect?
You are wrong. Your violence reflects in the bruise on my cheek, shattered dishes, holes punched in walls.

Stolen hearts prove your greed. Look at your children.
Their sparkling eyes should reflect love given freely, yet, they cower in corners when you walk in the room.

Your heart is colder than stone. Your criss-cross love-hate attitude creates heartache and pain.
Leave us. Leave us now. Before this woman who once loved you, stings you with much more than words.