Monday, September 9, 2019

The Monthly Read Link


September has always been my launch month. 
2019 is special, I have just become a pensioner – which is to say that I have reached sixty-five years of age. It has been five years since I launched Sixty Plus and that seems a good reason to move on and begin something new or at least a variation. I hope my readers have enjoyed my flash fiction weekly posts. They were fun to do and share. Starting in September, I-Write will have a monthly feature that will showcase short stories I have had published. 


For my first post I have chosen a pair of stories that were inspired by some quirky reading.  Chiffon Cake’s main character has a curious condition. She not only remembers things from her childhood, she experiences them or to quote the story - “Certain things that I saw once, (previous optical impressions is the term he uses) return in a sort of hallucination.” Add in a cookbook and a grandchild and an intrusive relative and voila – Chiffon Cake. This story was published by Half Way Down the Stairs in 2016.


The second story is Woman’s Battalion of Death, also published in 2016. Danforth Review featured this story in November – the month where our veterans are remembered. My source for this story was a book titled ‘Women writers from World War 1’. The writings were diary, letters home and reports – not what I expected but very interesting nonetheless. The report that became Woman’s Battalion of Death was bare-bones dry facts that I dramatized with imagined details and voice.


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Sharp on the Edges


 

 
Harvey likes to say outrageous things to her, amused to see his sweetie bewildered.  So Suzy isn’t surprised, when he sees the arrowhead collection her father bequeathed her, that he asks,
“Which of my ribs do you plan on driving those between?” 
She doesn’t answer.  Her silence sometimes is enough to make him stop but he persists. 
“Are you going to channel a warrior, do a rain dance?” 
He is teasing of course, she knows that, but her father made a bit of ceremony as he gave her the arrowheads, telling how he found them in the fields and the series of dreams he had afterwards.  Harvey mocks far too often and he shouldn’t mock her father at all. 
Suzy picks up one arrowhead, raises it above her head and begins to hum.  Almost of its own accord her mouth opens and a very passable, plausible chant erupts, her body follows in a parody of pow-wow dancing.  Funnily, in that moment she feels native, her white English Anglican heritage circumstantial. 
Harvey laughs; the signal that he is done with his joke, but Suzy continues to wail and dance.  Then her eyes became glassy and seem like they are seeing far beyond the objects in the room, even not focusing on Harvey.  He glances over his shoulder to see what she is looking at.  It occurs to Suzy that her performance is rather good, although it doesn’t feel like pretend.
“Quit kidding around.”  He tells her.  “Stop it.”  A different note is in his voice now, and Suzy reaches the point where she would let it go normally, but a new inflexibility holds her to the game.  The joker is on the other foot; she thinks as her vocals reach an eerie crescendo and a breeze comes from her twirling body even though she wears no fringes or feathers.  Harvey backs out of the room. 
“You’re crazy.” Harvey announces as he leaves the house. 
The door shuts behind him but Suzy’s thoughts follow her father’s enigmatic story about the arrowheads.  He told of spirit keepers and conduits.  She twirls, her arms spread like wings.  To possess them is to be chosen by ancient ones.  She keens again.  Then she grows still. 
She will put the box of arrowheads away except for one she will leave out as a reminder.  But which one?  She takes the box of arrowheads to the bedroom.   
She notices a something lying on their bed.  She picks the arrowhead up and a tingle bites at her finger.  But there is no wound and no blood. 
“Caution.”  
A breeze lifts her hair as a shiver runs down her spine.  They are sharp on the edges.   

 

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Honey Bear


 
I’m gluing the cookie jar’s lid shut because anyone looking inside won’t find cookies.   

It’s this way. I’ve rearranged things. The wooden container from the funeral home is now a footstool; I’ve made a cushion top and it’s very nice. But I couldn’t rest my feet on it so my husband’s earthly remains went to a better place.  

The cookie jar is a cheerful affair, a squat bear with an always smiling face. I’ve never used an endearment for hubby before, but since he’s changed addresses, why not start now? 
 
Honey Bear. 

Every day he’s got a twinkle in his eye.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

The Reader


She thought quite marvelous things about herself after reading author bios. After reading a mystery she imagines herself to be the one clever enough to unearth perpetrator and solve the crime that all others had overlooked.  After a read of saint and psychopaths she uncovers both evil and holy pockets in her mind. 

She’s a reader that haunts the library, borrowing the maximum allowed. She trades in second-hand books. She has piles of books everywhere because she always needs something to read.

Who is she without the word?

The blank page.

Write something.

Quickly.
Before she has nothing to think about

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Wanting a Grandchild


Our former neighbors, still friends, Jack and Debbie are dropping in on Friday for afternoon coffee.  It’ll be great to catch up with them again. They were great company when they ranched out here. My husband and Jack good friends, as Debbie and I were.

The whole family is coming including their son’s new girlfriend Emily. Their son is no longer the young teenaged neighbor – he’s moved on too. 

“Getting closer to being a grandpa,” Jack says.  

I ask, “Is there an actual start on that project?” No marriage but no problem.

“Not yet, but I’m kind'a hoping they slip up.”

Saturday, August 3, 2019

The New Hobby


“It’s not a major catastrophe if you don’t get everything you need this trip.” I say, but he doesn’t even look away from his screen and keyboard. If it were paper and not online the catalogue at Leather Unlimited would be torn and tattered.    
“What is it you’re researching now?” I try again. He’s been here one hour and 20 minutes now.
“Rivets.”
Oh. There’s a language involved, he’s learning it. Stitching awls, saddle skirting, half-hides. The morning coffee has gone cold. We’ll leave soon for the city.
He’s needed to fill his time. A new hobby. Other than online shopping. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Chenille Bedspread


 Why had she kept the old chenille bedspread when she bought so many other things new?  

She hesitates.  To throw it in the laundry might just be the end. Just let it happen, let it become torn and done with.  But her hand brushes down the tufted rows, like the rows of grain; like the corduroy that she used to make overalls for her toddlers; like wet combed hair showing the teeth of the comb.  The bedspread has been with her a long time, the care she had given made it last.

To remember or forget, that is the chenille question.