fiction

First Line Friday – No Can Do

First Line Fridays is hosted by Dylan Hughes at Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie. She gives the first line and we do the rest.


“Whatever you do, you can’t do that.”

”Says who?” As far as Sara was concerned non-technical managers were useless. They never understood the problem and never had a clue about the solution.

“You are NOT rebooting the system! You really should show me some respect. You’re lucky to have this job.”

”Lucky? I’m lucky? The one who has been here since midnight? I’m the lucky one?”

”Don’t get yourself get in a tizzy now. We need to get the system back up and running before they start the board meeting. Now be a good girl and find another solution.”

Sara was boiling. After all the changes the system had to be rebooted. “It must be rebooted, Jim!”

”No. we are not bring down the entire network. No way!”

That was the last straw. Sara locked her computer screen and grabbed her wallet.

”Just where do you think you’re going?”

”Coffee. Going to get a cup of coffee.”

”What about the system? What will I tell Mr Bergman?”

”Tell him you would not let me reboot the system. Too bad nothing else will fix it.” Sara took a deep breath and walked toward the elevator knowing this might be her last coffee from the company cafeteria.

fiction

First Line Friday September 10, 2021 – Tristan

Image by digitalginz from Pixabay

First Line Fridays is hosted by Dylan Hughes at Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie. He gives the first line and we do the rest.


Today, Tristan decided to be a pirate.

After 25 years, I had become accustomed to the fact that Tristan would never mentally advance beyond the level of a seven-year-old.

“It’s too much. The stares and the name calling. If you won’t put him away somewhere, then you can deal with him on your own.”

That was the warning Nick gave me when our son turned ten years old. He lasted three more years, then one day he did not come home from work. No note, no call – nothing. I notified the police in case my suspicions were wrong, but he had given notice at work, saying he was moving out of town. They assumed I was moving, too, but they were shocked to find out we had a child. His boss told the policeman Nick never mentioned a child. The news came as no surprise to me.

”Mama? MAAAAMMMMMA?” I walked over to the plastic swimming pool that was Tristan’s ship.

”What is it, Mister Pirate?” He was a beautiful child and made a fabulous pirate with his long dark curls poking out from under the scarf he asked me to tie around his head.

”My parrot is hungry. Can we have a sandwich?”

”Yes sir, matey!”

As I spread the mustard on the bologna sandwich I watched him run around the pool. I knew someday I would no longer be able to care for him. But today was not that day.

Today, Tristan decided to be a pirate.

fiction

First Line Friday

First Line Fridays is hosted by Dylan Hughes at Mindlovesmisery’s Menagerie. He gives the first line and we do the rest.


August approached in a golden sweltering haze. Carrie spent every August at this old rundown beach house her father left her and every year seemed hotter than the last. This year was no exception.

She unlocked the door to find the pile of realty brochures she had come to anticipate. This little slice of beach just off the point skyrocketed in value in the ten years since her father succumbed to a sudden heart attack. The wave of emotions washed over her allowing grief to rise into her consciousness. This had become a familiar but painful ritual every time she came to this damned place.

She was thankful she remembered to have the power turned on in advance of her arrival. Last year she had forgotten and weathered a fairly severe storm in the dark her first night back.

She walked to the other side of the room and slowly pulled on the sadly discolored drapery cords. There it was. The long stretch of boardwalk, flanked by seagrass neatly maintained by Mother Nature herself. At the end of the boardwalk she could see the waves rolling gently onto the beach signaling low tide. She could feel her heartbeat slow to the rhythm of the sea. This was the only reason she kept this place.

Carrie was fortunate. The houses that flanked the cottage had been kept in their respective families which kept the developers at a healthy distance. Thankfully local ordinances minimized overdevelopment. She never engaged the investors for fear their offers might tempt her to sell.

She slipped on her flip-flops and stepped onto the deck. It was worn and the boards warped from the sun and the sea but her dad always said those boards gave the place character. As she stepped onto the boardwalk she stopped and breathed in the salty air. It was easier to breathe here and somehow the heat was more tolerable.

Sitting in the wet sand, she watched sand fleas bury themselves at her feet. This was where she spent every August as far back as she could remember. The ocean, the sand, and the salty air were embedded in her DNA. She closed her eyes tightly to force down any thoughts of a future when she would not spend her August reconnecting with this place.

A high pitched giggle caused her to look up. She saw the little brown-haired girl, stick in hand, writing in the wet sand, a man bent over her shoulder.

“Look, Daddy. I wrote I love you. Now run before the water gets us!”

She watched as the two ran back down the beach filling the air with laughter. A lifetime ago that had been Carrie and her father running and laughing on this same stretch of sand. She couldn’t help but wonder if that little brown-haired girl would someday return here to wait out the sweltering August heat and remember.

fiction, Writing

Sunday Writing Prompt, May 30, 2021 – Shape-Shifter


This is my first time participating in the Sunday Writing Prompt hosted by MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie. Today’s prompt is shape-shifter.

The Rules:

  • The style is completely open; poetry, prose, even a single sentence…Go where the prompt takes YOU!
  • Keep your submission to 500 words or less.
  • Post it on your page, and TAG it Sunday Writing PromptSWPMLMMMindlovemisery’s MenagerieAnd be sure to leave a link or pingback in the comment section below.
  • Feel free to use my photo for inspiration, or as your own cover image.
  • Please have your submissions in by the END OF EACH FRIDAY (Pacific Standard Time). Every Saturday, I will post a “standout” piece in a post entitled, SATURDAY SPOTLIGHT. Bear in mind, it will be based on my personal opinion. If you are not chosen, that does NOT mean your piece was not superb.
  • Be creative and HAVE FUN


Image by sdc140 from Pixabay

The Sacrifice

My fate was sealed before I was born. A bundle of sage swirled above my mothers head as the elders marked her protruding belly with charcoal from the fire. They held her head back as she choked down the potion that would hasten my arrival. Disease had taken all but of a few of the elders. When the protector succumbed to the fever, he was kneeling at my mothers feet – a sign her child would absorb the magic of the ages, but only if the birth happened before the next rising of the moon. I witnessed it all. It was my only memory of my mother. I would always remember the desperation of her last breath as I saw my first light. They say it was love, but I feared I was destined to never experience love again.

I was taken into the wilderness as a baby, left alone on a blanket to test my power. It was the first time I heard the animals speak. The panther considered eating me, pacing around the blanket for hours. He suspected a trap and taunted me by scraping a paw across my forehead. I did not cry, nor did I bleed. I felt the power of the panther seep into me as the panther backed away. By morning, I was no longer a member of the tribe. I was every creature of the forest and carried the mark of the panther from that day forward.

This life was lonely, full of responsibility for the tribe. I slept while fully awake, each part of me taking its turn guiding my body. I was a manchild the first time I transformed. A deadly rattlesnake found its way into the camp headed for the tent of the chief. Without a thought I felt myself rise and fall with the silent wings of the red tailed hawk until I had the snake in my claws. This was the reason for my mother’s sacrifice.

During the full moon I could sense my mother’s presence, her hair long and dark, her body strong now. It was her spirit that protected me, but it did not quell the deep loneliness I felt. She told me that during the coming moon, I must claim a wife and have a child. If I did not, another child would be taken from his mother as I had been. Her tears filled the sky and fell like arrows to the ground.

At the next full moon, I took a wife. I shared her bed and felt human touch for the first time. Within months our son would be born to a mother and a father. He would not lie alone in the forest as I had. I would teach him. He would know love.

Blog, fiction

The Message – A Fiction Piece

Arnie pushed her auburn hair behind her ears. She found her hair annoying at this length but there was no need to worry about a haircut now. The message was clear, perhaps the clearest she had ever received.

She scooted her stool close to the window and pushed aside the blue and yellow flowered curtains her grandmother said would be perfect for her room. “You will always have a breath of spring in your room!” The sky was baby blue with cotton-ball clouds In the distance. Other than her curtains, spring had faded away. Summer arrived with warm days and cool nights. Everyone seemed anxious to get outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun but Arnie was conflicted.

Jack Rose, Arnie’s father, paused by her door. “Gorgeous day, isn’t it?” The question was rhetorical of course as her father continued toward the stairs that would lead him to his morning coffee. Grandmother Rose moved in with them when Arnie’s mother passed away. Three years had passed but it still felt like it happened yesterday. People had been kind, but Arnie never wanted to see flowers again. She could no longer tolerate their syrupy sweet smell.

Of course Arnie knew of her mother’s looming fate before anyone else. The message was the first one that frightened her and she clung to her mother hoping it would sway the imminent message. All she could do was wait until others learned what she already knew. Sadly, there was no changing the result. The drunk driver was never caught, but Arnie knew that would be the case.

Arnie quit trying to talk about the messages long ago. Everything was conveniently whisked in the category of coincidence. Arnie was not mature enough to articulate what she knew so she just quit talking about them. Over the last few years the frequency of the messages had decreased. She knew as soon as her mother died she would lose her playroom so Grandma Rose could have a nice room of her own. She packed up her most important books and the stuffed bunny with the floppy ears her mother gave her long before her father explained the need to consolidate her belongings.

She smiled at the squirrels jumping precariously through the oak tree out front. She slipped on her sandals and went downstairs to join her family.

“Your pancakes are ready, my dear.” She loved the way her grandmother smiled with her eyes. “I even warmed the syrup just the way you like it.” Her grandmother kissed Arnie on the forehead as she handed her a plate with three large pancakes. “I hope you’re hungry.”

As she ate her pancakes, Arnie listened to her father and her grandmother talk about the weather. It was a perfect day to just relax with no errands to run and no work to be done. Arnie tried to compartmentalize her thoughts. Should she tell them? What purpose would it serve other than turn a perfectly glorious day into a catastrophe?

After breakfast, Arnie went outside and climbed into the curve of the oak tree. It was a perfect place to give into her thoughts. She thought about her mother and wondered if this was what she felt? Did she know on that day she would breathe her last breath or did it come as a complete surprise?

Who does one tell, when the entire world faces the same fate? Who would believe a thirteen year-old child if she told them today would be the last sunset for the entire planet? Who would believe the sun would lose its grip on this beautiful earth forcing it to be flung into space?

From the tree she watched her father practice on his makeshift putting green. Her grandmother clipped the rose bushes, cutting off the dying blooms. She closed her eyes and wondered if today she might see her mother again.

A hawk appeared out of nowhere and scooped up a small squirrel scampering across the yard. Sunset had come a little early for that little guy.