Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Swallowed Time

Posted: September 8, 2018 in What Pegman Saw
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Today Pegman took us to Hanoi, Vietnam, and the memory of my nineteen-year-old boyfriend getting a low number in the lottery flooded in. Thanks, Karen, for the bittersweet recall of a good man.

Nineteen: Got it all. Good lookin’ girlfriend. Football star. Accepted to a high-end college. Gonna’ be a doctor.
Nineteen: Drew #25 in the Screw-You, You’re-Going-to-Vietnam lottery. Feeling empty. Can’t focus.
Farewell party. Beer. Hugs-n-Kisses. Loud music. Tears. Smell of fear.
Twenty: Celebrated that birthday lugging a 100-pound pack on a 50-mile march. Thanks, U.S. of A.
Twenty: Free ride to jungles loaded with bugs, mud up to my ankles, orange-colored defoliants and villagers carrying hatred in their eyes. Some live. Some don’t.
Twenty-one: Hello, LSD, mescaline, cocaine, heroin. Life is easier now that skulls in the bushes don’t register as anything more than a flash of white tangled in a heaviness of green and stench.
Twenty-two: Few of us mark our birthdays. Just glad to be alive. Or not.
Thanks, LSD, for swallowing time.
Twenty-four: Home. Greeted by strangeness and anger. And a fear I cannot heal.

Father is smiling today and I feel like a prince inside his gaze.
Yesterday, his frown made me scurry like an ant beneath his feet.
It is hard to predict when his heart will be made of stone
and the entire day promises to be rocky
or his heart will blossom with the warmth of a hundred loving fires.
Those days are so smooth and calm I wish they would last forever
but the hours click by too quickly and another morning
arrives and I am once more challenged to decipher
which Father I will meet when I rise from my bed.

Today is Wednesday-Friday! Thanks, Rochelle, for posting this picture of a boxing gym. We at Friday Fictioneers only know that because there are about a half-dozen signs telling us so. Thanks, J. Hardy Carroll for providing the picture. Now, for my 100-word story. Thanks to all who read and comment on my submissions.

Photo by J Hardy Carroll

The background music to Tessa’s life was filled with squealing tires, shouting men and boxing gloves thump, thump, thumping skin.
The characters who peopled her world were drunk, bruised and mean.
Helmets, ropes, mats, and bags provided the never-changing scene work.
Only when it snowed did she feel safe for the men couldn’t drive the unplowed streets nor navigate the sidewalks.
They couldn’t come upstairs and tease her mother nor play Tessa’s violin so violently the strings snapped.
And she felt secure in the knowledge that no one would grab her wheelchair and shove her across the room.

The Last of Her Kind

Posted: June 14, 2017 in Friday Fictioneers
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Tonight in a town square lit by the moon, the Friday Fictioneers gather to write 100-word stories. Thanks, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields and Dale Rogerson for this thought provoking photo.



The day had been too long, hours creeping by with the slow tock, tock, tock of her heart. Lizbeth owned no watch, nor could she read the shadows of the sun’s passing. Although she had promised, Mother hadn’t taken time to teach the meaning of shifting winds. And after saying, “You’ll learn to read the waters,” Father disappeared. When brother Paul kissed her, saying, “I’ll return for you,” she believed him, too. Six-year-olds trust so easily.

The day had been full of screams. Now, hidden in the shadows, Lizbeth does her best to interpret the silence crawling across the night.


Posted: February 1, 2017 in Friday Fictioneers
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PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Up here, at this height, Felicia saw the world perfectly, everything was clear.
Up here, there wasn’t a thing Felicia couldn’t do.
Her artwork covered the walls, her journals were packed with poems.

Down there, her mind went all muddy as if she were a fish swimming in flood water.
The air became thin. Noises grew louder. Her skin felt too small, itchy.
She slid along the wall when men passed by. Ran if one moved behind her.
Women? No better.

Today the scars on her back feel swollen and raw.
Each man is her father, every woman her mom.

Angel in Black

Posted: January 27, 2016 in Friday Fictioneers
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Wow! Wednesday/Friday again. The photo prompt was supplied by C.E. Ayr and posted by our Fairy Blog Mother Rochelle. I usually don’t pre-read anyone’s submissions before writing mine. Today I broke the rule and, after reading Rochelle’s (and only Rochelle’s), I felt the need to show her characters a hint of kindness. (A link to the Jewish Ghetto Police during WW II

PHOTO PROMPT - © ceayr

“Be by the gait, half-past ten.”
“But . . .”
“On time, or someone else will have it. Many wait in line.”
“May I bring a friend?”
“Ah, a menage a trois!” She turns in a swirl of sable and Chanel.

Frightened beyond words, the two creep along the wall without whispering. If a dog barks or they leave a moon shadow…
The reward is worth the fear.

Tonight she is clothed all in black, smells of nothing. She passes one sandwich, two, through the bars. Nadine and Martine grasp them with eager hands.

Poor kinder, tomorrow Jüdische Polizei will liquidate the ghetto


The Twin

Posted: August 6, 2014 in Friday Fictioneers
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Friday Fictioneers has reared it’s pretty head once more. This is my contribution at 101 words. Thanks, Bjorn, for the thought provoking picture. I’m sure this desolate building will inspire some sad tales this week.

Björn 6

First, German tanks rolled through
shelling buildings to rubble.
Next came Russians, finally Americans.

People hid in basements between
walls humming with the weight
of the enormous machines
rumbling past their
front doors.

When the soldiers were gone
Francine’s entire family was dead.
The neighbors who remained buried
Momma, Pappa, and baby Michelle
in what was left of the cemetery.

But Francine had hidden Franklin
in her pretty pink room.
Arranged him in the chair Pappa gave
her for Christmas.

She placed weak tea and crumbled cookies
on the stool beside him
saying, “Momma told me I must
always look after you.”