Once

I watch them ride by, flushed with life. Up and down the hills they go, speeding past the world.

I try to imagine the wind lashing their face with mirth while the cold makes their noses red.

My hometown was always hot and dusty, and yet we enjoyed racing through the fields. It didn’t matter that our stomachs were empty or that the stones pricked our bare feet. For those few moments were were kings of our own world. Laughing and sprinting on our own terms. We were free.

I go back to mowing the lawn. The memories are fading and the weeds keep growing.

My stomach may no longer be empty, but my heart sure is.


In response to The Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge of July 22, 2018, based on a photo by C E Ayr.

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The tongue is the sword

It’s kinda ironic that the sense organs are the ones that come into play when we are being most senseless. Like the tongue.

Such a tiny organ but can make such a huge impact. It can inspire, it can conspire, it can decimate a person’s soul. They may say that actions speak louder than words, but I beg to differ. You can do the kindest of actions, go completely out on a limb for someone, but if you follow that up with harsh words, then all your kind actions are for naught.

I should know. I’ve seen my mother do that over and over again.

As a teenager I almost hated her. She was nagging, critical, and screamed at the drop of a hat. I swore to be nothing like her. In retrospect most of the mistakes that I made in life, were dictated by the urge to spite her or the obsession to do everything differently than her.

It’s taken me half my life to realise that her actions were never wrong. She was friendly, open, extremely helpful, very generous, and knew when to fight for her rights. I should have followed all of that.
Just minus the incessant critique and volatile temper.


In response to this week’s Stream of Consciousness prompt – Organ

Daddy’s little helper

I never know when the memories will hit, or what will trigger them. A crisp uniform. Well polished shiny shoes.

Most definitely shiny shoes.

There is a technique to polishing shoes. Wipe – Polish – Buff – Shine. Daddy’s little helper was well trained in that.

And when daddy was about to leave to work, it was my responsibility to hand over his applets and badge, and fetch his shoes. And sometimes when I accidentally got my finger prints on the shoes, well that was the time for a quick spit-shine.

Yes, its strange the things that trigger those memories.

In response to Bikurgurl’s 100 Words Wednesday: Week 80 challenge based on a photo by Bikurgurl.

Sitting on Rooftops

I climbed onto my rooftop expecting to escape the crazy drama at home. I never expected you.

At first it was creepy, someone staring at me. Then it got annoying. Whatever made you think that I was going to jump, and even if I were, did you really think that some total stranger waving about wildly two streets over, could talk me out of it? But your attempt at sign language, and your face morphing through those million different expressions, that was really amusing.

Now I look forwards to our game of charades everyday.

Sitting on the roof, sharing silence and the occasional nod with my nameless companion, has become the most relaxing part of my day.

Thank you my friend.


In response to the Friday Fictioneers challenge of 20 July 2018, based on a photo by Dale Rogerson

The passenger

The sound of the ignition firing threatens to tear out my heart, but I don’t look back.
Maybe I’m taking the coward’s route. Maybe running away from the past and shutting down the memories is not the solution. But for today it will do. Let me first survive the weight of today.

Joy, laughter, excitement- these emotions are dead to me. The world’s mirth appears to mock me. I blare the radio and accelerate in my attempt to get away. But the ghost of my past sits firmly in my rear seat, his vacant eyes frozen on me.

In response to the Friday Fictioneers – 13 July 2018 challenge, based on a photo by Liz Young

El Diego

Dead man walking

He ambles along, his bad leg marking tracts in the dust.

The phrase comes to mind, only he’s in a prison of his own making.

‘Can we turn on the light?’ I follow, wondering if he had even bothered to pay the electricity bill.
A switch clicks, and I blink back my surprise.

‘El Diego’ – The name escapes my lips like a prayer.
His eyes light up.

The next half hour is a blur.

‘I’ll be here around 10 with my team. They will be so thrilled to see your collection.’
He bids me adieu with joy in his eyes and a spring in his step. El Diego has brought him back to life.


In response to the Sunday Photo Fiction – July 15,2018 challenge, based on a photo by Susan Spaulding

Welcome to my break-down

Mom.

My crazy mom.

Who loves me like crazy, but drives me crazy too.

This Thursday we had been invited to her very close friend’s grand child’s naming ceremony.
Let me give you some additional information to better paint the scene.

First of all, my mom has a lot of very close friends. Secondly, whenever she is invited, her presence is imperative. Thirdly, she assumes that any friend of hers is a friend of mine, and worse still, any friend of mine is a friend of hers!
So naturally I was invited too.

On Wednesday, I left home at 3pm to go to my health center. After a rather stressful month I had decided to indulge and had booked myself a massage.
But I made one critical mistake – I left my phone at home.

At 4pm my dearest mom suddenly hit the panic button. It was 4. She had to go for the ceremony at 5. Her daughter was not back. Five frantic calls later she realised that the phone was ringing in the very next room.
There was only one possible deduction now. Some tragedy had struck.

I dont even want to elaborate on what happened next.
Calls went out to my spouse, my son, my friends – My daughter hasn’t come home yet. I cant contact her. Do you know where she is? Do you have any way to contact her?
One poor gullible soul even drove all the way to my fitness center only to be turned away after a five minute wait because ‘Madam is in a therapy session and can not be disturbed.’

Suffice to say that by the time I returned all the calls explaining that it was a simple unnecessary unfounded illogical unreasonable mix-up in dates by my mom resulting in utter and embarrassing chaos, I was far more stressed out and in knots than before that ill-fated massage.

However, do you know what the clincher is – I’m quite sure that this will repeat again.
Sooner rather than later.

God!

In response to the Friday Stream of Consciousness prompt – Start and end with a three letter word.

Sitting on a park bench…

Sitting on the park bench…

Those were supposed to be lyrics in a song. How did he go from being the guy who strummed his guitar to Aqualung, to actually become the old man, he wondered.

The words run through his head.
Sitting on a park bench… Drying in the cold sun… Feeling like a dead duck… Leg hurting bad…

Damn Jethro Tull. Those guys sure could tell the future!

Sitting on the park bench… Eyeing little girls…

At least it wasn’t with bad intent, he laughed to himself, as two little tornadoes charged towards him, their screams interrupting his crazy thoughts.
‘Grandpaaaaa…’


The challenge of Sunday Photo Fiction of June 17th was to write short fiction based on a photo by Susan Spaulding.
The first thing that I thought of was the song Aqualung by Jethro Tull. My apologies to Tull and all his fans (of which I am one) for this corny writing 🙂