Ma…

Ma…

Perhaps the most influential concept in my life.

The source of my origin… the force that directs my existence… everything that I am is her… everything that I try not to be is her…

She engulfs me, sometimes to the point of suffocation; and yet without her I would probably scatter into a million pieces and get lost in the ether.

As an infant I depended on her, as a teen I detested her, or so I would have had the world believe, marriage and a baby gave me a new perspective on her, and by the time my own brat hit his adolescence, I had the utmost respect for her. Of course, a large part of my mothering philosophy involved reflecting on what not to do, but still, at the end of my own journey and after reflecting upon my own mistakes, I realized that she had done the best that she knew how to, and could, given her own circumstances, and that she was a victim of her own past.

The intense lines on her face taught me to lay down my own baggage gently. Her bitterness taught me faith, to believe that life would in fact unfold as it was scripted to, and that while riding the rapids it was best to let go of fear and just enjoy the jostles and splashes. And if once in a way you get thrown over, then, hey, ma did teach you to swim.

Until finally, life came full circle.

She depends on me, I guide her, advise her, reprimand her, support her. At the end of each day I reflect upon my mistakes, go down on my knees asking for forgiveness and patience, as I am sure she probably did when she herself was a young mother learning from her own mistakes.

Ma…

The source of my origin… the force that directs my existence… everything that I am is her…

In response to Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt “ma”

Annie’s

I watch him watch me from the corner of my eyes.
He thinks I don’t see the subtle shake of his head, the disappointment in his eyes.

She’s cleaning those shells again,’ he whispers. Probably complaining to Dr. D!
Bless the good doctor. If it wasn’t for her, they would have tried to take these away too. She’s good people. She understands a mother’s responsibilities. When Annie comes back, she’s going to ask for her shells. They may say that she’s never coming back. But I know better. She never goes anywhere without her shells.

Oh Lordy, I missed a spot.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneer’s challenge based on a photo prompt submitted by Sandra Crook

The unfortunate wait of Mr. Chron

JHC Clock

Mr. Chron’s mind travelled to the past, to when he was a gentleman of importance. When he stepped into the room, his arrival was marked by pomp and created quite a ripple. At Mr. Chron’s word, eager mothers would hush their little ones, while the gentlemen would set down their tea and get to pursuits of more imperative nature.

With automation, his role became more ceremonial. Yet heads turned, eyes shone, and little ones clapped in greeting.

Now, he’s just window dressing. He’s been staring at the room in silence, waiting for someone to wonder why he won’t retire to his chambers any more.

Its been a rather long wait.


In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 14 September 2018, based on a photo contributed by J Hardy Carroll.

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.

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.

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

The kitchen sill

Her fingers circled the lid in a slow hypnotic motion. Hardly anyone ate the pickles any more. Certainly not the kids. Her Indian pickles had too much oil and spice for their palate. With Ravi’s escalating reflux problem, it had become a rare sinful indulgence. And yet…

She couldn’t imagine her window sill without those jars. It was a treasured recipe passed down from generations. Her lingering connection to the women of her family who lived no more. She smiled thinking of how appalled her grandmother would have been had a meal been served without the auspicious pickle.

Some traditions were not about logic, they were about comfort.


PHOTO PROMPT © Jean L. Hays

In response to The Friday Fictioneers challenge of 15 June 2018

Yearn

Around the lamp post we spun, you and I, as the rain came down drenching us in magic and merry oblivion. We made promises of eternal love and togetherness, vowing never to stop dancing in the rain.

Then the sun came out, drying out the rain, obliterating all traces of our childishness, and in the harsh light of day we saw only practicality. Life happened as life does.

Yet even now when the rain is falling and the night twinkles, a little child peeps out from her hiding place, and yearns to dance around that lamp post again.


PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

In response to Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers challenge of 15th December

Sand and water

I stare at the row of houses. Somehow I know that I am supposed to walk into one of them, but no matter how hard I try, I cant remember which. My mind is a heavy fog, and if I try too hard, the fog starts swirling and churning, and that hurts so much. I just stop. Maybe if I wait for a while it will all come back.

In the distance I hear a scream. A young woman is running frantically. She looks scared and I wonder why. But then she runs up to me and grabs my hand. “Mom, you know your not supposed to go out alone. Where did you go?”

I really don’t know why she’s holding my hand so tightly. I want to tell her that it hurts, but she’s all shaken up and I don’t want to upset her further.

My feet are wet and sandy. I must have come from the water. Although I don’t really recall.

She drags me along and I follow. For some reason, I just want her to calm down. She seems nice.


In response to The Sunday Photo Fiction challenge of December 3rd 2017